Authorities are investigating what caused a transformer fire at a northern Illinois power plant that forced one of two power-generating units to shut down. Firefighters were called to the Dynegy Power Station in Hennepin around 11 this morning as thick black smoke rose from the site along the Illinois River. Smoke was no longer visible by noon. Dynegy Inc. spokeswoman Katy Sullivan says the fire occurred in an area of the plant where electricity from the generating unit is transferred to the power grid for distribution. She says nobody was hurt.
Streator Explosion Update
One person died in a house explosion in Streator last night. Streator Police say a house exploded in the 300-block of Court Street around 10:30 last night, and this afternoon, a body of an 82 year old woman was found in the debris of what’s left of the house. Authorities say three firefighters were injured, however all were treated and released from the hospital. A cause has still yet to be determined. Listeners have reported to WSPL (Studstill Media) that they felt their homes shake from over a mile away. One man said he thought someone hit his house, while another said it felt like an earthquake.
Photo by Nick Deranek Studstill Media
Remains of Exploded House
Apparent 351 Jumper
LaSalle County Deputies were able to stop an apparent jumper from the Shipping Ports Bridge in LaSalle last night. According to Sheriff Tom Templeton, when Deputies and LaSalle Police arrived at the bridge around 8:20 last night a what they are calling a male subject was in the middle of the bridge with one leg over the railing. Authorities say he had numerous cuts to the forearm and was very distraught. As a LaSalle Police officer talked to him, deputies approached and were able to gain control of him before he jumped. He was taken to IVCH for treatment and a mental health evaluation.
The parole hearing continues for the man convicted of murder at Starved Rock in 1960. 75-year old Chester Weger began his 19th parole hearing last Wednesday and has been serving a life sentence for the killing of a Chicago woman in St. Louis Canyon. La Salle County State’s Attorney Brian Towne says he will be going down to the Pickneyville Prison to testify against Weger’s parole. Towne says even though Weger has been in prison over 50 years, his age and prison time does not make him any less of a threat than he was in 1960.
Towne said he began the Weger investigation when he was a First Assistant with the State’s Attorney office. Through numerous investigations and speaking with those involved in the trial, Towne said he has been convinced that Weger committed the murder. He mentioned that because of budget and county finances in 1960, Weger was only convicted of one murder and given a natural life sentence. That conviction led the county not to try Weger on the two other murders. Towne estimates that Weger’s parole decision will be made in October or November.
A Chicago man was arrested late Saturday night on possession of cocaine. Illinois State Police officials say 46-year old Donnie Ray McElroy stopped on Interstate 80 westbound near Ottawa at 11:30 PM Saturday. Authorities say McElroy was stopped on a complaint of driving under the influence, failure to dim headlights along with other traffic offenses. McElroy was also arrested on possession with intent to deliver of cocaine and possession of cocaine. McElroy was taken to the La Salle County Jail where bond was set at one million dollars.