LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES



Updated: September 30th, 5:27 AM

Somonauk Man First Patient Qualifed To Use Medical Marijuana In Illinois
A La Salle County man was one of the first in the state to receive an approval letter for medical marijuana use. Jim Champion of Somonauk, a 48-year-old veteran with multiple sclerosis, has a qualifying condition for marijuana use under the new law. Illinois Department of Public Health spokeswoman Melaney Arnold confirmed Monday that about a dozen letters have gone out as the state reviews applications from patients, which have come in by the thousands.

La Salle Preschool Remains Closed
Preschoolers in La Salle are still out of their building following a rat scare. Superintendent Dan Marenda says preschool at Jackson Elementary School has been shut down since September 18th after a teacher said she saw a couple of rats in her classroom. Marenda says they have not seen the rats in the building and the traps they set have not been set off. He says they continue to check every day along with an exterminator and the building architect. Preschool students have been attending classes at Northwest and Lincoln Elementary Schools until their classrooms are ready for use again.

Ottawa Burglar Found in Mississippi
A man wanted in connection with a burglary in Ottawa in 2009 has been arrested in Mississippi. Ottawa Police Detective Scott Harden says 28-year old Daniel Culver was involved in a burglary in the 400-block of Catherine Street in July of 2009. Authorities say Culver fled the state when police obtained a warrant for his arrest. Ottawa Police said they recently learned that Culver was living in New Albany, Mississippi since 2009. Culver was arrested in Mississippi and is awaiting extradition back to Illinois.

Kendall County Plane Crash
An 80-year old pilot is dead following a plane crash in Kendall County Sunday evening. Kendall County Sheriff’s deputies say they received a call around 8 PM Sunday for a plane crash just south of Plano. The Kendall County Coroner's office identified the pilot as 80-year old John Juergensmeyer of Elgin. Deputies say the crash was hard to locate and the use of night vision from a helicopter was needed. A cause is not yet known and the crash remains under investigation.

Man Held Without Bond in Aurora ARTCC Fire
A suburban Chicago man has been ordered held without bond on charges he set a fire at an air traffic control center. The damage brought Chicago's two international airports to a halt. Brian Howard appeared before a federal judge yesterday afternoon. Prosecutors say Howard started the fire Friday at a regional control center in suburban Aurora before trying to commit suicide.

Crundwell Pension
There's still no decision on whether convicted Dixon embezzler Rita Crundwell will get to keep $90,000 in pension funds. Crundwell wants the money exempted from the $44 million she owes Dixon. A federal judge Monday asked for more information on several motions and denied Crundwell's request for a public defender.

Threats at SIU-Carbondale
A Chicago man has been charged with making threats against students, faculty and staff of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. Federal prosecutors say Derrick Dawon Burns is accused of making the threats. U.S. Attorney Stephen Wigginton didn't reveal a motive for the threats. Burns faces ten years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine on each of eight counts filed against him if convicted.

Man Completes Race after Near Death Experience
A Kansas man has completed the Quad Cities Marathon a year after he nearly died during the race. Jeff Blakeman picked up at the 19-mile mark, where he collapsed from a heart attack last year. He was also reunited with several people who helped save his life.