LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES



Updated: October 1st, 5:32 AM

Child Sexual Abuse in Ottawa
Two people in Ottawa are in jail following sexual acts involving a child in July. The Ottawa Police Department says 55-year old David Wheeler and 43-year old Julie Love were arrested following an incident at their home in July. Authorities say Love and Wheeler engaged in sexual acts in front of their child more than once and Wheeler was also allowed to commit sexual acts on their child, who is under the age of 13. 

Wheeler has been charged with two counts of Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault of a Child and is being held on a $500,000 bond. Love has been charged with two counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Child and Permitting Sexual Abuse of a Child and is held on a $75,000 bond. Both are being held in the La Salle County Jail.

Mendota Retail Theft
A Chicago man is in jail following a theft at a local store on Sunday. Mendota Police say 24-year old Kurt Pappas Ryan was arrested following a theft at a CVS Pharmacy in Mendota on Sunday afternoon. Authorities say Ryan was charged with felony retail theft and was taken to the La Salle County Jail, where he is being held on a $50,000 bond.

Giant Streator Pumpkin
A Streator couple has grown what may be one of the biggest pumpkins in the world this year. Gene McMullen says he and his wife, Sandy, grew a pumpkin this year that recently weighed in at 1,692 pounds, which is a new Illinois record. The McMullen's weighed the pumpkin back on September 20th at a wine festival in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. Gene said they spent most of the year growing the pumpkin, which is called an "Atlantic Giant." He hopes that the pumpkin will be in the top 25 of the biggest throughout the US by the end of the year.

Gene said the pumpkin also beats their personal record of 1,451 pounds and he originally thought that his pumpkin was only going to weight around 1,300 pounds. He said the average weight of an "Atlantic Giant" is typically around 1,000 pounds. The pumpkin can currently be viewed at Eric's Pumpkin Patch.

Joliet Double Murder Trial
A Will County judge will announce a verdict next week for a man accused in a grisly 2013 Joliet double murder. Closing arguments were given Tuesday morning in the first-degree murder trial 26-year-old Joshua Miner of Joliet. He's charged with strangling Eric Glover and Terrance Rankins, both age 22. Miner has been portrayed as the ringleader in the plot. His defense attorney has said prosecutors won't be able to prove that Miner led the attack.

Illinois Back Wages
An Illinois appellate court has ruled that back wages owed thousands of state government workers from 2011 to 2013 must be paid. A panel of judges from the First District Appellate Court found that members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees should get the back pay. The ruling supports an independent arbitrator's decision.
 
Victim Rights Resolution on Ballot
Illinois voters in November will be asked whether victims should have greater rights protected by the state constitution during criminal trials. The Crime Victims' Bill of Rights would ensure that victims have information about court hearings and plea negotiations, be able to seek restitution and get necessary information on how to keep safe during criminal trials against an alleged perpetrator.
 
Dixon Warden Retires
The warden of Dixon Correctional Center has retired in the wake of an Illinois Department of Corrections investigation of her for protocol violations. The investigation of Nedra Chandler began September 19th. That's the same day Sterling police arrested registered sex offender Robert Swon at her home.
 
Illinois Health Care
Governor Pat Quinn says more than 685,000 people in Illinois have signed up for health care in the first year of the federal health care law. That includes 468,000 residents who enrolled in the expanded Medicaid program and 217,000 who enrolled in private health plans. Open enrollment for the second year begins in mid-November.