Fatal Accident near Ottawa
A fatal accident northeast of Ottawa yesterday afternoon remains under investigation. La Salle County Sheriff's officials say they were called out to the intersection of Illinois Route 71 and County Highway 4, just south of Interstate 80 yesterday around 1:30 for a two-car accident. Authorities say there were fatalities in the wreck but have not released any more information.
County Budget Deficit
County finances will be running at a deficit once again next year. At last week’s county board meeting, county finance chairwoman Arratta Znaniecki said the county is facing a budget deficit of around $11 million. During her presentation, Znaniecki mentioned that in order for the county to make any ground on the deficit, the county may need to cut the number of county employees. Board Chairman Jerry Hicks mentioned that the county is in good shape financially and that the county needs to “watch our dollars.”
The county is looking at $74 million in expenditures and only a $63 million budget. It passed the board with a 21 to 3 vote.
Winter Weather Related Accidents
Local law enforcement kept busy Monday afternoon following numerous calls with weather related accidents. Illinois State Police were called to an accident on Interstate 39 Monday morning around 10:30 AM, north of Mendota, for a wreck involving two semi-trucks. Authorities say a truck driven by 59-year old Eva Davis of Glasford was southbound on I-39, when her truck went off the road, across the median and into the northbound lanes where she struck another semi-tractor trailer driven by a 61-year old Missouri woman. Authorities say the Missouri woman had to be extricated from her truck. She was taken to Mendota Community Hospital.
Peru Police say they handled several different incidents, including two that shut down Shooting Park Road for several hours yesterday evening. La Salle Police handled a rollover accident on Illinois Route 351, just before the I-80 interchange around 4:30 PM yesterday.
Ferguson Protests in Chicago
Chicago Police say there have been no arrests and no reports of damage to property after hundreds of people protesting the Ferguson grand jury decision made their way across the city. The department says it will always protect residents' right to free speech and peaceful assembly. The march started minutes after it was reported that Officer Darren Wilson would not face charges in the shooting death of Michael Brown.
FAA Changing Emergency Procedures
The Federal Aviation Administration is revamping its systems following the September sabotage and fire at a suburban Chicago air-traffic control center. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta says the agency is working to reduce its response time to a major facility outage from days to hours. It took more than two weeks to fully repair the suburban Chicago center.
Rauner Not Ordering University Budget Cuts
Bruce Rauner's spokesman says the governor-elect's transition team isn't ordering budget cuts at Illinois universities. The head of the state's Board of Higher Education has told university presidents in an email that schools should be preparing for cuts of up to 30 percent over the next year-and-a-half.
Ice Shortens Duck Hunting Season
A mid-November cold snap has brought an early end to the duck hunting season for many participants. Some hunting spots in La Salle, Bureau, Putnam and Marshall counties were iced over or inaccessible from Nov. 15 until at least Nov. 22. Hunters were forced to stop short of the blind because boats were not heavy enough to break through the ice. The ice was estimated to be 3-4 inches thick in some spots.
Chicago Rush Fraud
The one-time owner of a now-defunct indoor football team in Chicago is facing federal fraud charges. Prosecutors say David Staral told the Arena Football League he was worth more than $5 million when he bought the Chicago Rush -- weeks after he filed for bankruptcy.