DeKalb County Jail

A judge is giving a 75-year-old man more time to make a case he deserves a new trial after being convicted of murdering a northern Illinois girl in 1957.

Jack D. McCullough was convicted in 2012 of killing 7-year-old Maria Ridulph of Sycamore. An appellate court upheld his conviction in February.
A DeKalb County judge who denied McCullough's handwritten request for post-conviction relief last month has given him until Nov. 30 to build a
stronger case.

DeKalb County Jail

Two prosecution witnesses lied and the prosecution withheld evidence in the cold-case trial of Jack McCullough. That’s according to a new motion filed in DeKalb County Circuit Court by Public Defender Tom McCulloch.

McCullough was convicted in September 2012 of murdering 7-year-old Maria Ridulph of Sycamore in 1957. He has maintained his innocence since his arrest in the Seattle, Wash., area.

The motion, filed last week, asks reconsideration of a motion that McCullough filed in June, seeking relief based on actual innocence.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

A man was seriously injured at the Sycamore Steam Show and Threshing Bee this morning. His arm was caught in a piece of antique machinery: a Sycamore fire department spokesman describes the injury as serious, but not life-threatening. He was flown by helicopter to a trauma center in Rockford.

  There was an ambulance company on site: they were able to free him and treat him until the helicopter arrived. He’s said to be in his early 30s. Meanwhile, the steam show has resumed.

Flickr user Thomas Ricker / "Bully" (CC BY 2.0)

The school year's end is drawing near for many Illinois communities, but bullying won't necessarily end when classes do. A new city ordinance might change disciplinary actions for those offenses, but will it be enough to get bullies to stop?

Jenna Dooley

The Evergreen Village flood mitigation project is now in the demolition phase. According to DeKalb County Planning Director Paul Miller, there are several parts to this, including the removal of asbestos on more than a dozen homes.

Miller says demolition of mobile homes has been underway since October. Approximately 40 units have been removed.  The county is working toward having the site cleared and cleaned by the end of May 2015.

Sycamore Police Facebook Page

A northern Illinois police department is the 17th agency in the state—and the first in DeKalb County—to be accredited.

The Daily Chronicle reports the Sycamore Police Department was recognized by the Illinois Law Enforcement Accreditation Program Monday during a City Council meeting. The department all 71 criteria for its policies and procedures to earn the honor. (CC BY 2.0)

Sycamore officials will perform a test of the city's CodeRED Emergency Notification System on Wednesday, October 1 at 10:00 AM.

Sycamore Pumpkin Festival

The Sycamore Pumpkin Festival kicks off this week.  It will be a bittersweet start to the festival's 51st year.  This is the first year since the death of the Festival's founder, Wally Thurow, affectionately known as "Mr. Pumpkin."  Sycamore author Tom Oestreicher has written a biography of Thurow and the festival.  The book is called Mr. Pumpkin & The Sycamore Pumpkin Festival: A 50 Year History.

Playmate recalls the last time she saw Maria Ridulph

Three half sisters of accused murderer Jack Daniels McCullough testified for the prosecution Tuesday in the 55-year-old disappearance and death of little Maria Ridulph. Two contradicted their parents’ statement that the accused was home that fateful night, and one recalled their mother’s deathbed declaration about the case.

They were preceded on the stand by Kathy Sigman Chapman, Maria’s playmate on Tuesday evening, December 3, 1957. A member of the prosecution team brought her to the witness stand before the session started. Chapman – with close-cropped grey hair and wearing a dark skirted suit – tested the chair, looked around, chatted briefly with the court stenographer, then smiled and stepped away.

Kindred Hospital

Sycamore police say it appears one or both  of the two people found dead in a Sycamore hospital Tuesday died of self-inflicted gun shot wounds. The bodies of a man and a woman were discovered in a patient's room after shots were heard in Kindred Hospital, an acute care facility.