LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES



Updated: September 18th, 5:27 AM

Route 178 Bridge
The Illinois Department of Transportation will be holding a public hearing for the Illinois Route 178 bridge in Utica this afternoon. Officials from IDOT will be on hand to present proposed project information and possible impacts. The project proposed is to build a brand new bridge east of the current bridge and is estimated to cost $26 million and expected to be finished in 2017 at the latest. The current bridge would stay open until the new bridge is fully completed. The public hearing will start at 4 PM today at Utica’s Village Hall.

Lockport Man Died in Sublette Fire
A fire in Sublette this past weekend claimed the life of a Lockport man. Sublette fire officials say the body of 57-year old Edward Vollrath was found inside of the trailer after firefighters extinguished the flames. Officials say they were called out to the trailer at Woodhaven Lakes just before 10 PM. Firefighters were on the scene for about five hours putting out the blaze. Officials say the trailer was a total loss.

Streator HS ACT Scores
ACT scores at Streator High School were up in 2014 from 2013. Superintendent Matt Seaton says scores in many areas went up while others stayed the same. Scores in English rose to 18.1 from 17.3, Mathematics was up to 18.9 and Reading was up from 18.5 to 9. Seaton also mentioned that the overall composite score rose to 18.9 from 18.5. Seaton says he was very pleased to see the broad improvement in scores, however the composite score was still below the state average of 20.7.

Needles in Meat
A southwestern Illinois man accused of inserting what prosecutors called "booby trap" sewing needles into packaged supermarket meats has again lost a bid to be eligible for release on bond. U.S. District Judge David Herndon sided with federal prosecutors in ordering that Ronald Avers remain jailed pending his trial tentatively scheduled for November.

Manteno Fish Kills
Dead fish found floating in the small lake south of Lake Manteno likely were killed by herbicides, according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Consumer products used to kill weeds didn't directly hurt the fish, according to fisheries biologist Dan Stephenson, but the bacteria that causes vegetation to decompose can use up a lot of oxygen. The shallow depth of the small lake was another major contributor, he said.

Bradley Marijuana Plants
A Kankakee man has pleaded not guilty to federal charges he was growing $3 million worth of marijuana plants at a warehouse in Bradley. Thirty-seven-year-old David Neblock was arraigned on Monday. Neblock was arrested last week, more than a year after authorities raided the warehouse.

H. Ty Warner Case
A federal appeals court in Chicago is deciding whether the billionaire who created Beanie Babies got off too easy for hiding millions of dollars in Swiss bank accounts. Federal prosecutors argue that Ty Warner's sentence of probation will harm their ability to go after other tax evaders. The trial judge in Warner's case took his charitable works and private acts of kindness into account in deciding against sending him to prison.