August 21   5:30 am

A 20 year old motorcyclist is dead after a crash on Route 251.  Livingston County Coroner Michael Burke says Spencer L. Kirwan, of Kappa, was pronounced dead at the hospital in Pontiac yesterday afternoon.  The coroner says Kirwan’s motorcycle and a pick up truck collided at an intersection on Illinois 251 near Minonk.

Country Showdown
The State Finals for a long running talent showcase is coming to Starved Rock tonight.  The Country Showdown State Finals will be held tonight at Starved Rock Lodge.  The Showdown has been running for 33 years, and local competitions at Starved Rock Lodge have been held for the past 12 years.  The Lodge and WALLS 102 are teaming up to host the state event, and the competition starts at 7. 

LaSalle Nuclear Plant
The 2nd of two units is now back on line at the LaSalle Generating Station near Marseilles.  Exelon said that Unit 2 returned to full power Tuesday, exactly two weeks after it automatically shut down.  At full power, the two units at the plant produce enough electricity to power over 2 million homes, and the utility says the shutdown did not affect electrical service

Catalytic Converters
There has been what police are calling a rash of catalytic converter thefts in DeKalb County.  The DeKalb County Crimestoppers says that just this past Monday 4 vehicles had their catalytic converters stolen from the parking lots of Kishwaukee Hospital, Wal-Mart, and the Daily-Chronicle.  Anyone with information on the crimes is asked to call The DeKalb County Crime Stoppers.

Electric Investigation
 An Illinois watchdog group is celebrating a decision by regulators to launch an investigation of an Orangeburg, New York-based alternative electric supplier.  Consumers have complained about misleading marketing by Major Energy. The Citizens Utility Board says the company's rates are the worst it's seen in the Illinois competitive power market.  Since 2010, about 3 million Illinois consumers have switched to a company other than the regulated utilities — Commonwealth Edison or Ameren Illinois — to supply electricity.

Term Limits Fight
 Bruce Rauner is directing his legal team to keep fighting to get a legislative term limits questions on the Illinois ballot in November. A state appeals court ruled against the effort Wednesday and the next stop will be the Illinois Supreme Court. Time is running out because the ballot will be certified on Friday.

U of I President
 An employee of the firm helping the University of Illinois search for a new president says the school should expect to pay a salary in line with its status as a top university. University spokesman Jan Dennis said Parker Exective Search's Laurie Wilder told committee members the average compensation for Big Ten presidents is $780,000 a year and the average for presidents at top public universities the firm surveyed is $969,000. Retiring president Bob Easter is paid more than $552,000.

Grant Park Cop
 A police lieutenant in the Kankakee County community of Grant Park has been fired after being charged with criminal sexual assault. Grant Park Police Chief Carl Frey said the Stephen Nardi was on unpaid administrative leave during a yearlong criminal investigation. Frey said Nardi's conduct did not involve the village of Grant Park and was unrelated to his police duties.

McHenry 12 Year old Girl
 A McCullom Lake man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison after impregnating a 12-year-old girl. McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather called the crime "repulsive and disgusting and unforgivable" before sentencing Rafael Rodriguez-Sanchez for his conviction on predatory sexual assault charges. Prosecutors had sought a sentence of 20 years.

Bradley Cuts
 Bradley University President Joanne Glasser says freshman enrollment is expected to be down this fall and the private university is looking at budget cuts.   Glasser said Wednesday during her state of the university address that Bradley expects about 940 incoming freshman to start school this fall. That would be a drop of 140, or almost 4 percent.    Glasser said the school is planning to balance its budget by making about $7.8 million in cuts.