LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES



Updated: January 27th - 5:45 am

Mendota Firefighter Dies in Non-Line of Duty Accident
A Mendota firefighter died following a car-versus-pedestrian accident in Mendota Saturday afternoon. Mendota Police officials say 62-year old Thomas Mahaffey was crossing the street at the intersection of Sixth Avenue and Sixth Street around 3:30 PM Saturday, when he was hit by a vehicle driven by 78-year old Harold Nurnberg of Mendota. Mahaffey was taken to Mendota Community Hospital where he was then flown to Saint Francis in Peoria, where he later died. Mahaffey had been a member of the fire department since 1976 and was 'Firefighter of the Year' in 2007.

Visitation for Mendota Firefighter Tom Mahaffey will be held at Holy Cross Church from 3:00 - 7:00 pm Wednesday. Funeral services will be Thursday at 10:30 am at the church.

Drug Arrest on Interstate 80
A California man was arrested last Friday after he was allegedly found in possession of drugs. Illinois State Police officials say they pulled over 21-year old Ryan Watson in his Chevrolet HHR for speeding. Authorities say the trooper smelled cannabis in the car while he was speaking to the driver. Authorities say after a search of the car was completed, they found 12 grams of cannabis, along with 25 hits of LSD and nearly $15,000 in cash. Watson was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and was taken to the Grundy County Jail.

Weather Related Accidents
Snow and freezing rain contributed to numerous slide-offs and minor accidents Monday. La Salle County Sheriff's officials say they responded to dozens of calls along state and township roads. Authorities say one accident on Illinois Route 23 north of Streator sent a California man to Saint Mary's Hospital with minor injuries after his vehicle rolled over. Illinois State Police say several truck accidents, including on Interstate 39 south and Interstate 80 caused traffic backups. Authorities say roads are still icy, including many rural roads, and advise drivers to use extra caution while out and about today.

Streator Salvation Army Expanding
The Streator Salvation Army will be getting more space come the end of the year. Director Judy Booze says the store purchased the neighboring building, which was the old Tomasello Shoes store at 132 South Bloomington Street. Booze said she is very happy with the outcome of the 18-month process to acquire the building. She mentioned that the current Salvation Army building becomes crowded, including during the holiday season with donations and the Angel Tree drive.

Booze said she would like the building done by spring, however a more initial timeline will be given following a meeting with Vissering Construction. The old shoe repair store will be used for more thrift store space in the downstairs area. Booze had no current plans for the upstairs apartment area.

Boy Charged in Hit-and-Run
Prosecutors in southern Illinois say a boy faces felony charges in a fatal hit-and-run last summer. The boy is charged with reckless homicide and failure to report an accident involving injury or death in the June 6th accident. The medical examiner's office determined Jack Hoppe died of blunt trauma to the chest and abdomen from a motor vehicle.

Illinois Prison Costs
Illinois is spending up to $25 million a year to keep inmates in prison because they can't find suitable places to live that meet the terms of their parole. Many are sex offenders who face housing restrictions while others are subject to electronic monitoring. The Illinois Supreme Court recently took up a case challenging the practice but said it might be better for state lawmakers to address the issue.

Nor'easter causes Flight Cancellations in Chicago
A winter storm forecast to bring up to 2 feet of snow to the East Coast has contributed to more than 200 flight cancellations at Chicago's two major airports The National Weather Service said a major storm moving up the East Coast would bring heavy snow, powerful winds and widespread coastal flooding. A blizzard warning was issued for a 250-mile stretch of the Northeast.

Two to be Sentenced in Drug Ring
Twin brothers who partnered with Mexico's most notorious cartel kingpin to build a nearly $2 billion North American drug ring will be sentenced today in Chicago. Pedro and Margarito Flores' cooperation led to indictments of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman and 50 others. Prosecutors are asking for a sentence around 10 years.

Medical Marijuana Businesses
Some of the business owners on a short list for Illinois medical marijuana licenses say they were chosen in a fair process and Governor Bruce Rauner should approve them. Documents show Pat Quinn was ready to grant at least a dozen licenses before leaving the governor's office but didn't. Rauner says he will review the process.



Dee Lewis
7 p.m. to midnight