LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES



October 30, 2014  5:30 am

Two Hurt in La Salle County Crash
Two people were sent to the hospital following a LaSalle County crash. The La Salle County Sheriff’s Office says 56-year old Pamela Anderson of Millington was northbound in a vehicle on County Highway 3 north of Norway Tuesday night and apparently failed to stop at a stop sign at US Route 52 and was struck by a westbound semi-truck driven by 57-year old James Stewart of Newark. Stewart was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove where he was last listed in critical condition, while Anderson was taken to Saint Elizabeth in Ottawa.

Harvest Moving Along
After a slow start to the harvest season, things are beginning to catch up. Officials at the La Salle County Farm Bureau say the recent warm weather and dry conditions have been ideal for farmers to catch up on the harvest. Officials say the corn crop throughout the county is more than half completed while soybeans are just slightly behind. President Monty Whipple is still expecting a great harvest despite the slow down.

M-Z, You May Apply for Medical Marijuana Next
Aspiring medical marijuana patients whose last names start with M through Z can soon apply to the Illinois Department of Public Health for a registry card.  The department begins accepting applications from that group starting Saturday.   Illinois has been processing paperwork from thousands of applicants whose last names begin with A through L. Others have been asked to wait until Nov. 1 to apply.

Medical Office in Streator Closing
A medical office on the north side of Streator will be closing at the end of November. Hospital Sisters Health System officials made the announcement yesterday that the Orthopedic practice office with Dr. William Malik on Oakley Avenue will be closing on November 30th. The office will still see patients through November 26th. HSHS officials also said Dr. Reshma Relwani at the Internal Medicine office on North Bloomington Street will be relocating to the Family Medicine office on East Elm Street beginning November 10th. Those patients under Dr. Relwani should be receiving a letter soon about the new location.

More Money for Poorer Districts
A hearing on a proposed overhaul of the school funding formula in Illinois has been scheduled for November 18th in Springfield. A bill directing more money to poorer rural districts and less to wealthier suburban ones passed the Illinois Senate in the spring but the House didn't take it up.

Bank Fraud Scheme
Authorities say 19 of the 29 suspects charged in a "card cracking" bank-fraud scheme in Illinois and Indiana are under arrest. Federal prosecutors say the schemers deposited bad checks in a third party's account, then withdrew cash before banks determined something was wrong. Total losses are more than $1.7 million.

Senate Debate
The Illinois candidates for U.S. Senate are sparring over immigration reform and anti-violence policies in their final televised debate ahead of next week's election. Chicago's WTTW-TV hosted yesterday's forum for Democratic U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and Republican challenger state Senator Jim Oberweis. Durbin is the second-ranking Democrat in the U.S. Senate and is seeking a fourth term. Oberweis is a dairy magnate from Sugar Grove and was elected to the state Senate in 2012.

Paying for Votes in Illinois?
The Cook County State's Attorney's office is investigating a Chicago alderwoman for allegedly offering prizes to voters casting ballots in Tuesday's election. State law prohibits giving money or other valuables to encourage voting. Alderman Leslie Hairston says she only wanted to encourage attendance at the polls.

Catholic Schools Closed
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago has adopted a restructuring plan for its school system that includes closings and consolidations. Catholic Schools CEO Thomas McGrath says the restructuring is part of the effort to sustain the system over the long term. The plan calls for the closing of six schools in June 2015 and the merger of six others the following month.

Band Director Pictures
The trial of a former southern Illinois high school's band director accused of taking inappropriate photographs of a 14-year-old girl at a thrift store has been delayed.  41 year old Michael Norrington was Carterville High School's band director when he was charged in June with unauthorized video recording.    Police say the accuser and her parents were at a Goodwill store in Carbondale when the parents saw Norrington point his cellphone up the teenager's shorts and take pictures.

Music and Dementia
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is leading a new study on whether music can help dementia patients.  Researchers are monitoring the responses of 1,500 Alzheimer's and dementia patients who were given iPods at Wisconsin nursing homes through the program.   Their mental state will then be compared to the same number of people in 100 other nursing homes who haven't received iPods.