State Briefs 2/18/10

One killed, one injured in two-vehicle crash


CHANA – A Rochelle man died Wednesday in a two-vehicle head-on collision on Chana Road in Ogle County.


At 8:37 a.m., Ogle County Sheriff’s deputies, along with the Ashton Fire Department, responded to a two-vehicle crash on Chana Road, about three miles south of Chana.


The investigation determined that a pickup driven by Ralph G. Gleissner, 64, of Ashton was southbound on Chana Road and was struck head-on in the southbound lane by a northbound car driven by Joshua Garza, 23, of Rochelle. Investigators said that Garza crossed into the southbound lane.


Gleissner was transported to Rochelle Community Hospital with serious injuries. Garza was pronounced dead at the scene.


Rockford Register Star


Man sentenced to 30 years for killing wife


ROCKFORD – A man who killed his wife last summer by shooting her in the head while she slept was sentenced Wednesday to 30 years in prison.


Thomas McFeggan, 65, was sentenced by Winnebago County Judge Joe McGraw for first-degree murder.


McFeggan’s wife, Carol, 62, was discovered the morning of June 29 by their daughter, Sarah McFeggan, and Sarah’s friend, Valerie Heinisch, inside the couple’s northwest Rockford home.


Police spoke to Sarah McFeggan, who gave officers a note written by her father that she said she had found in the kitchen. In the note, Thomas McFeggan wrote that he killed Carol McFeggan, and that her death was not a suicide. He also revealed in his note that he and Carol were facing foreclosure on their home, although Carol didn’t know about it.


Thomas also wrote that he had planned to commit suicide. Instead, he was found fishing at Fish Trapp Lake in Vilas County, Wis. He was arrested July 1, 2009, by the Wisconsin State Patrol and the Vilas County Sheriff’s Department.


In July, McFeggan pleaded not guilty to killing his wife. Winnebago County State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato said McFeggan pleaded guilty Wednesday in exchange for a recommended sentence of 30 years in prison.


Carol McFeggan was employed by the Rockford School District at the Auburn High School Main Campus where she was a front-desk receptionist. She also was a co-founder of the local Homicide Survivor Support Group.


Rockford Register Star


‘Jersey Shore’ star to appear in Peoria


PEORIA – Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, the short-statured star of MTV reality show "Jersey Shore," is headed to Peoria.


Polizzi is scheduled to appear at Cam's Place about 9 p.m. Friday, then head to Carbon nightclub sometime after midnight, said Carbon owner Branden Martin.


Martin has lured other reality TV stars to Peoria – "Reality Remix" host and veteran of MTV's "Road Rules" Mark Long, as well as VH1's "Rock of Love 2" stars Ambre Lake and Jessica Kinni. But he thinks Polizzi's visit will be one of the biggest draws yet.


"Jersey Shore" follows eight cast members living together "Real World"-style. Since joining the cast in 2009, Polizzi has regularly made headlines based on whom she is dating, what she is wearing and her various party antics (like when the 4-foot-9 star was slugged in the face after a confrontation with a male school teacher).


Peoria Journal Star


AG’s office accuses coal mine of polluting water


CANTON – The Illinois Attorney General's Office has filed a complaint against a coal mine near Macomb for allegedly discharging pollutants into surrounding waterways for several years.


The complaint was filed Feb. 10 with the Illinois Pollution Control Board against Freeman United Coal Mining Co. LLC and Springfield Coal Co. LLC, which currently owns the mine after purchasing it from Freeman United in 2008.


The mine is in Industry, about 12 miles south of Macomb in McDonough County.


Permits issued by the state allow for a specific amount of iron, manganese, sulfates and suspended solids to be discharged daily into surrounding creeks and tributaries, but the complaint says the mine exceeded those limits, in some cases by nearly seven times the legal maximum.


The alleged violations stretch back to 2004 and are as recent as December 2009.


Although Freeman United no longer owns or operates the mine, the company is named in the complaint because violations happened during its ownership, said Scott Mulford, spokesman for the Attorney General's Office.


The two companies will have 60 days to respond.


Peoria Journal Star