LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES



Updated 4/23/14 5:29 am

La Salle County Woman Charged in Fatal Crash
A La Salle County woman has been charged with DUI following a fatal crash in Kendall County. According to Illinois State Trooper DeAnn Falat, 56-year old Susan Bedenk of Serena was westbound on US Route 52, northeast of Morris, Monday Afternoon when her car collided head-on with an eastbound pick-up truck. Authorities say the passenger of the pick-up truck, 66 year old Susan Jones, of Joliet, was pronounced dead at the scene, while Bedenk and the driver of the pick-up truck were taken to area hospitals.

Mendota Fire
A house fire in Mendota late Monday afternoon remains under investigation. According to Mendota Fire Chief Dennis Rutishauser, firefighters were called out to a home in the 500-block of 5th Street just before 7 PM Monday after the homeowner noticed heavy smoke coming from their basement. Officials say the fire was under control within 20 minutes but caused considerable damage to the home. 25 firefighters assisted on the scene from three departments and it took just over two-and-a-half hours to extinguish the fire. No injuries were reported from the blaze.

Local Poverty Rates
Poverty rates remain high in many areas, including in La Salle County. According to the latest report from the Census Bureau, La Salle County has a poverty rate of 14.4%. Some of the highest poverty rates come out of Streator and Ottawa, where areas of those cities are between 22 and 25% in poverty. In Bureau County, the poverty rate is at 12% while Putnam County’s poverty rate is lower at 8.7%. To be within the threshold of poverty, a family of four is making less than $23,283 or an individual is making less than $11,945.

Gun Lawsuit
The parents of a slain Chicago police officer have settled a lawsuit filed against a Mississippi gun shop they believe was the origin of the weapon used to kill their son. Carolyn and Thomas Wortham III and Ed's Pawn Shop & Salvage Yard announced litigation between the parties was resolved. Thomas Wortham IV was killed May 19, 2010 as he tried to stop four men from stealing his motorcycle.

Obama Library
Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan says there was a "misunderstanding of the rules" when no Republicans were in attendance at a vote involving Barack Obama's presidential library. The Chicago Democrat says that the vote will be held again. The measure would offer $100 million to lure the Obama library to Chicago.

Corn Crops
Efforts by the nation's corn growers to get their crops planted in key grain states continue to sputter. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says just 6 percent of this year's corn crop is in the ground. Illinois growers have planted just 5 percent. Iowa is at just 2 percent and Nebraska is at 4 percent.

Stolen Mail
A St. Louis woman faces up to 15 years in federal prison after admitting she opened and stole packages while working as a supervisor at a southwestern Illinois post office.  Forty-one-year-old Jane Johanna Emily, pleaded guilty Tuesday in East St. Louis to charges of obstruction of mail, theft of U.S. mail by a postal employee, and opening of mail.A federal indictment alleged Emily opened and stole mail packages in March and April of last year while she was a supervisor at the East St. Louis post office.

Slain Girl
The family of an eastern Illinois girl who was kidnapped and strangled more than 20 years ago has started a scholarship in her name.  Jessica Roach's family will award a $1,000 scholarship to a graduating senior at Georgetown-Ridge Farm High School. They hope to make the award annually.  Jessica was kidnapped in 1993 near Georgetown. Her body was found six weeks later in an Indiana cornfield. Larry DeWayne Hall was convicted of the crimes and is serving a life sentence in a North Carolina federal prison.

Cow Thief Execution
Missouri has executed an inmate convicted of killing a farming couple in 1993 as part of a plot to steal their cows.  William Rousan mouthed words to his brother-in-law and a minister he invited to the execution before he was killed. He was declared dead at 12:10 a.m., nine minutes after the procedure began.Prosecutors say Rousan, his teenage son and brother killed Charlie and Grace Lewis at their farm, which only a few miles from the prison where Rousan was executed.

Illinois Agency Misspending Money
A report says an Illinois agency misspent money that's supposed to be used for training police officers and coroners. State auditors say the Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board has spent thousands of dollars on food and rooms at seminars and has failed to keep adequate records. The money comes from a $2 surcharge for obtaining a death certificate.


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