Local News – 2/12/16

February 12th, 2016

*Spike in Motor Vehicle Fatalities in LaSalle and Bureau Counties

Illinois State Police District 17 Commander, Lieutenant Jon Dively announced that LaSalle and Bureau Counties have experienced a remarkable spike in motor vehicle fatalities. The fatal numbers have risen more than 250%. The combined counties have experienced nine fatalities from eight crashes this year with only two fatalities during this same time last year. In most cases, one or more of the Fatal Four violations were present: Speeding, DUI, Distracted Driving and Failure to wear a seatbelt. Illinois State Police Troopers are being assigned specific patrols to concentrate on LaSalle and Bureau County roadways. High visibility patrols have been found to help reduce fatal crashes. Troopers will be taking enforcement action where they deem necessary to do so.


*In Reports From the Bureau County States Attorneys Office

In Reports From the Bureau County States Attorney’s Office, 20 year old Patrick Carter pleaded guilty to the class 1 felony offense of residential burglary and the class 2 felony offense of burglary. He was sentenced to serve 6 months in the Bureau County jail and ordered to pay fines, fees and court costs in the amount of $1129. He will also do 50 hours of public service work and pay $664.80 in restitution.

29 year old Anthony Philippe, formerly of DePue pleaded guilty to the class 3 felony offense of failure to register as a sex offender. He was sentenced to serve 4 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections followed by 1 year of mandatory supervised release and ordered to pay $1222 in fines, fees and court costs.


*Illinois Sheriffs Association Scholarships

The Illinois Sheriffs’ Association has announced that it will be awarding over $54,000 in college scholarships throughout the state of Illinois to students wishing to pursue higher education during the 2016-2017 academic year. The scholarships are to be applied to tuition, books and fees only and to qualify, applicants must be enrolled full-time at a certified institution of higher learning within the state of Illinois. Applications are available at local Sheriff’s offices and must be turned in by March 15th 2016.


*Black Hawk Park Valentines Day Event

Black Hawk State Park in Rock Island will host a Valentine’s day event on Sunday evening (2/14/16). The event will run from 6:30 until 8:30 and will feature an outside hike on a luminary-lit trail. Inside the lodge there will be live music by Just For Fun and donuts,cider and hot coca will be served. The event is free and open to the public. For more information call 309-788-9536.



Local News – 2/11/16

February 11th, 2016

*LaSalle County Lightning Travel Baseball Fish Fry

LaSalle County Lightning Travel Baseball is hosting a fish fry tomorrow evening (2/12/16).  The event will take place at Celebrations 150 in Utica from 4 until 8. The dinner will include fish, fries, coleslaw and baked beans. There will also be 50/50 drawings, silent auctions and raffles. Tickets will be available at the door and are $9 for adults and $6 for children.

President Obama Calls For Better Politics – 2/11/16

February 11th, 2016

>>President Obama Calls For Better Politics

(Springfield, IL)  —  President Obama believes the nation deserves better from their politicians.  Speaking to the Illinois General Assembly yesterday, the president discussed what he called a “poisonous political climate.”  Obama said politics should be based on compromise and civility.  He did call out Democratic State Representative Ken Dunkin, who has aligned with Governor Rauner on several issues.  His speech was held exactly nine years after he announced his candidacy for the White House on the Old State Capitol.

>>Cause Of Deadly Rock Falls Fire May Have Been Electrical

(Rock Falls, IL)  —  Authorities are revealing a possible cause for a Rock Falls fire that killed five family members.  “The Dixon Telegraph” reports an investigation by the State Fire Marshal shows strong indications that the blaze was electrical in nature.  Officials say the fire broke out last month inside a home on Second Avenue.  The victims included two parents and their three children.

>>IDOT Worker And Man Hit By Car In St. Clair County

(Washington Park, IL) —  An IDOT worker and a man are hurt after they were hit by a car in St. Clair County.  State Police say the employee was helping a stranded motorist yesterday on Interstate 64 when the accident happened.  Both were hospitalized with serious injuries.  As of last night, the driver of the vehicle hasn’t been charged.

>>Bomb Threat Cancels Classes In Harrisburg

(Harrisburg, IL) —  Classes are expected to resume today after a bomb threat kept students out of school in Harrisburg.  Superintendent Michael Gauch says a message was found Tuesday night on a bathroom door wall at the middle school.  Classes were canceled the next day.  A bomb task force and dogs were called in to sweep the buildings.  No bombs were found.

>>State Suspending Notices For Vehicle Emissions Tests

(Undated)  —  The Illinois EPA will no longer be informing drivers if they need a vehicle emissions test.  The state EPA announced they have been forced to suspend mailing the reminders because of the budget crisis.  Vehicle owners whose license plates expire at the end of March will be the first motorists not to receive the notice.  As a result, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is temporarily allowing license plate renewals for owners who haven’t taken the EPA emissions test.

>>Man Arrested Following Drug Raid In Rockford

(Rockford, IL)  —  A man is facing drug charges following a raid in Rockford.  Narcotics officers with the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department seized several drugs Tuesday from a home on Underwood Street.  They included heroin, marijuana and cocaine.  Ryan Sitton was arrested and charged following the search warrant.

>>ISU Partnering With Bloomington To Help Improve Drinking Water

(Bloomington, IL)  —  Illinois State University is partnering with the City of Bloomington in an effort to improve the local drinking water.  The school announced two new water-monitoring stations will be installed at Six-Mile Creek and Money Creek.  They should be in place later this spring.  The stations will send results to a website which will allow the public to view the water quality at any time.

Local News – 2/10/16

February 10th, 2016

*Perry Memorial and Princeton Prompt Care Merger

Mayor Joel Quiram made public Perry Memorial Hospital’s press release last night (2/9/16) announcing the merger between Perry Memorial Hospital and Princeton Prompt Care. Perry Memorial Hospital CEO Rex Conger and Princeton Prompt Care owner Paul Bonucci believe that the merger will offer additional access to more healthcare options within our service area. Clinic hours of 9am until 6pm Monday through Friday and 9am until 2pm on Saturday and Sunday will remain the same.

Two Dead In Separate Bureau County Crashes – 2/10/16

February 10th, 2016

>Two Dead In Separate Bureau County Crashes

(Westfield Township, IL)  —  Two different highway accidents in Bureau County are responsible for two deaths.   Monday morning, a rollover on Route 29 killed the driver, Sowmay Sridhar.  Monday night in another wreck on Highway 89, Bureau County Sheriff James Reed says a passenger, Devin Parker and the driver, James Wright were injured and taken to a hospital where Parker later died.

>Police Investigating Pekin Woman Featured On “Hoarders”

(Bureau Co., IL)  —  Pekin police are investigating a woman after her home was featured on the A&E reality show “Hoarders.”  The house is shown holding dozens of dead animals inside cages.  The probe began February 1st, a day after the episode aired.


>President Obama To Address General Assembly

(Springfield, IL)  —  President Obama is returning to a familiar place.  The president will be addressing the General Assembly today in Springfield.  Today is the same day Obama announced his candidacy for the White House nine years ago.  He began his political career as a member of the Illinois State Senate.

>>Pana Father Arrested Following 4-Month-Old’s Death

(Pana, IL) —  A Pana man is in custody following the death of his four-month-old baby.  Robert Stivers is being held on one-million-dollars bond.  Police say the child was flown to a St. Louis hospital on Friday and staff noticed the baby had signs of bruising, fractured ribs and swelling on the brain.  The child died early Monday.  Authorities say Stivers was arrested for aggravated battery but additional charges are possible.

>>Authorities ID Pair Involved In Rockford Deadly Crash

(Rockford, IL)  —  Authorities are identifying two people involved in a deadly Rockford crash while fleeing from police.  Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana says Eric Brown and Laronda Graham are still in the hospital.  The accident happened Monday morning near Springfield Avenue and Cunningham Road.  Officials say Graham sped away after a deputy tried to pull her over.  They say the vehicle carrying her and Brown eventually crashed into a white Buick driven by Joy Lambert, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

>>Governor Rauner Promotes Reforms While Speaking In Rockford

(Rockford, IL)  —  Governor Rauner continues to promote his pro-business agenda.  The governor spoke yesterday morning at the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.  He discussed reforms he believes will help Illinois grow.  Rauner also expressed outrage over the budget crisis, saying the lack of a spending plan is a failure on lawmakers.

>>SIU Members Hold Budget Rally On Campus

(Carbondale, IL)  —  Members of Southern Illinois are calling for an end to the budget crisis.  Students, administrators and community leaders rallied yesterday on campus, urging state lawmakers to fund public universities and colleges in the state.  SIU President Randy Dunn doesn’t anticipate any more cuts this year but he believes that could change if a spending plan isn’t approved soon.

>Gas Could Cost Less Than A Buck

(Undated)  —  A report suggests that the price of gasoline in some states including Illinois, could hit 99-cents.  Yesterday, Patrick DeHaan with GasBuddy-dot-Com said Illinois is one of nine-midwestern states where gas prices are at their lowest level in more than 12-years.   The cheapest gas in the Quad Cities region right now is in Clinton, Iowa at a dollar-33 a gallon.


Woman Killed In Bureau County Crash – 2/9/16

February 9th, 2016

>Woman Killed In Bureau County Crash

(Bureau Co., IL)  —  An investigation continues after a Peoria woman was killed in a Bureau County crash.  Authorities say a vehicle driven by Sowmya [[ so-mya ]] Sridhar [[ shree-dhuhr ]] rolled over yesterday morning on Route 29 near Kentville Road.  The victim was later pronounced dead.  She was the only person in the vehicle.

>>State Owes Springfield Hospitals Large Amount Of Money

(Springfield, IL)  —  The state owes Springfield’s two largest hospitals a great deal of money.  “The State Journal Register” reports Memorial Medical Center and St. John’s Hospital haven’t been paid at least 76-million-dollars combined for the care of state workers, retirees and dependents.  That amount continues to grows as Illinois deals with a budget crisis.

>>President Obama Returning To Springfield

(Springfield, IL)  —  President Obama is returning to Springfield this week.  The president will be in the state capitol tomorrow to address the general assembly.  Wednesday is the same day Obama announced his candidacy for the White House in 2007.  He began his political career as member of the Illinois State senate.


>Man Killed By Train In Bloomington

(Bloomington, IL)  —  A man is dead after he was hit by a train in Bloomington.  Authorities say George Denison was killed yesterday morning near the intersection of Front and Allin streets.  An autopsy shows he died of blunt-forces injuries.

>>Barry Manilow To Perform In Rockford

(Rockford, IL)  —  Barry Manilow is coming to Rockford and it could be the last time.  The singer-songwriter will be performing at the BMO Harris Bank Center on March 26th.  The concert is part of his upcoming “One Last Time!” tour.  Tickets go on sale tomorrow.

>>Hancock Fabrics In Bloomington Closing

(Pekin, IL)  —  Hancock Fabrics in Bloomington is closing.  “The Bloomington Pantagraph” reports the fabric and sewing supply retailer is planning to shut down the location after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this month.  The store has been open since 1989.

Perry Memorial Hospital CEO Announces Retirement

February 6th, 2016

Rex Conger, President and CEO of Perry Memorial Hospital, is announcing his retirement, effective January 15th, 2017.  He has held his current post with the hospital for over 9 years.  After hearing from Conger of his intention in 2013, the hospital’s board of directors began putting into place a transition plan.  Annette Schnabel with hired as Chief Operating Officer in 2014 with the expectation she would eventually transition into the President/CEO position when Conger retired.  Next, the board will hire a new Chief Operating Officer, who will replace Schnabel when she becomes the new President and CEO of Perry Memorial Hospital.  Conger will move into a President Emeritus role until his retirement date.  As President Emeritus, he will have an office in the hospital and will report to the hospital board of directors.  Conger will continue to be involved on various statewide boards and committees.

Illinois Briefs – 2/5/2016

February 5th, 2016

Lead Paint Could Doom Elementary School

The Midland School Board, north of Peoria, has decided to close the elementary school in Lacon after hazardous lead paint was found in several areas inside and outside the building.  For the rest of the school year, younger students will attend class in a nearby middle school, and to make room for them, fifth graders from that school will be shifted to a nearby high school.  All three Midland district schools have been closed for the past seven days for lead paint testing, and it’s still not clear if the Lacon school will be repaired or demolished.

East St. Louis High School Sends Water To Flint

(East St. Louis, IL)  —  A truck loaded with 15-thousand-bottles of water is heading to Flint, Michigan thanks to the efforts of students and East St. Louis High School.  English class discussions about the lead crisis in Flint turned into a two-week collection drive by students, teachers and school staff members.  The water from East St. Louis was taken to Decatur where that load was added to three other trucks full of water gathered in Decatur that are being transported to Flint this weekend.

Archdiocese Contemplates Cuts, Consolidation

(Chicago, IL)  —  Chicago’s Roman Catholic Archdiocese is in line for a radical reorganization over the next 15 years that could lead to the closing of many churches.  Archbishop Blase Cupich [[ SOO-pitch ]] told priests and advisers recently that a shortage of priests that’s not expected to ease could lead to the closing or consolidation of a number of the three-hundred-51 parishes now in operation.  The Archdiocese is also looking to close some dilapidated buildings to save money, though a cost-savings target hasn’t been announced.

Church Leader Accused Of Molesting Girls

(Belleville, IL)  —  In Belleville, the leader of a church youth singing group has left that post after being charged with sexually assaulting two girls in his home.  Police say 66-year-old Dennis Theurer is accused of abusing two girls, aged seven and 13 repeatedly between 2013 and this year.  Police and the church’s pastor say the alleged offenses were not connected to Theurer’s involvement with the Edgemont Bible Church, where he was an elder.

Mayor Will “Discuss” Lucas Museum Site Change

(Chicago, IL)  —  Mayor Emanuel appears open to the possibility of finding a new location for the proposed Lucas Museum, now that a legal challenge to the lakefront site is being allowed to proceed.  The Chicago “Sun Times” reports Emanuel said today he’ll discuss the project’s future with film mogul George Lucas and his wife Mellody Hobson, a Chicago investment executive.  Emanuel said he still supports the lakefront site being opposed by the group Friends of the Parks, but the fear is that Lucas will pull his plans if faced with a lengthy and expensive legal fight.

Chinese Investors Buy Chicago Stock Exchange

(Chicago, IL)  —  A Chinese investment group has established a beachhead in the U.S. equity market with plans to acquire the Chicago Stock Exchange.  The Chongqing Casin Enterprise Group has signed an agreement to acquire the one-hundred-34-year-old Chicago exchange, which handles less than one percent of the nation’s stock trades.  No purchase price was quoted but the Chinese group is expected to use the Chicago exchange to offer shares in Chinese companies to American investors.

Peru Bank Robbery Investigation Continues

February 4th, 2016

The investigation continues into a bank robbery in Peru.  The heist was reported shortly after 3:30 Wednesday afternoon at Peru Federal at Shooting Park Road and Pine Street.  Peru Police Chief Doug Bernabei released a description of a suspect described as a skinny white male, around 150 pounds in his mid-20s, wearing a camouflage hoodie and a dark beanie-like stocking hat, round sun glasses, medium-colored jeans, black tennis shoes with neon green around the soles, brown gloves, carrying a Walmart bag and was last seen on foot eastbound on 16th Street.  It’s being described as a strong-armed robbery, meaning a weapon was implied but not displayed.  One witness reported shortly after the robbery seeing a light-colored small station wagon with Oklahoma license plates running a stop sign near the bank.  Anyone with any information regarding the incident is being asked to call 1-815-223-2151 extension 0 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-340-4045.

Illinois Briefs – 2/3/2016

February 3rd, 2016

Governor Signs New E-Cigs Law For Minors

(Undated)  —  It will soon be illegal for minors to use electronic cigarettes.  Governor Rauner signed a law last week that will impose penalties for anyone under the age of 18 caught in possession of e-cigs or other tobacco-free nicotine products.  The law goes into effect June 1st.

One Arrest, Two Wanted In Rochester Death

(Rochester, IL)  —  A person is in custody and two others are wanted after a man was shot to death in Sangamon County.  Authorities say Matthew Grady was found dead last week at his Rochester home.  Travis Ramsey was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and attempted armed robbery.  Arrest warrants have been issued for Dewon Loman Junior and Marcus Russell.  Police believe the suspects tried to rob the victim and ended up shooting him.

Pinckneyville Bookkeeper Pleads Guilty To Stealing From Fire District

(Pinckneyville, IL)  —  The former bookkeeper of the Pinckneyville Rural Fire Protection District is admitting to stealing a large amount of taxpayer money.  Tammy Kellerman pleaded guilty yesterday to mail fraud.  Prosecutors say she stole more than 450-thousand-dollars by using checks on the district’s account to pay off personal credit cards and expenses.  Sentencing is scheduled for May.  Kellerman faces up to 20 years in prison.

New Rockford Board Member Chosen

(Rockford, IL)  —  A new member of the Rockford School Board could be unveiled soon.  “The Rockford Register Star” reports a replacement for Mike Harner was chosen last night.  Harner announced he was resigning last month.  Board President Ken Scrivano says he will notify all candidates of the decision today.  The newest member will be sworn in during a board meeting next week.

Illinois American Water Investing Millions In Peoria County

(Peoria Co., IL)  —  Illinois American Water is planning on investing a large amount of money in Peoria County.  The utility says it will spend over eight-million-dollars to install water mains in Peoria, West Peoria and Bartonville.  Work could begin this month depending on the weather.

Transgender Girl Scout Responds To Bully By Selling Cookies

(Herrin, IL)  —  A transgender Girl Scout from Illinois won’t let rude comments stop her from selling a lot of cookies.  BuzzFeed News reports nine-year-old Stormi was selling Girl Scout cookies door to door last month in Herrin when a man turned her away.  He told the child, “Nobody wants to buy cookies from a boy in a dress.”  In response, Stormi and her foster mother decided to share her story and move all her sales online.  By last week, she had sold over three-thousand boxes.