Double Murder Conviction Upheld | Short-Term Rentals Discussed | Harry’s Cafe Closing

Double Murder Conviction Upheld

On Monday, an appellate court affirmed the murder conviction of Elzbieta Plackowska, a 48-year-old former Naperville woman who fatally stabbed her 7-year-old son Justin and Olivia Dworakowski, a 5-year-old girl she was babysitting. Plackowska was found guilty of first-degree murder in September 2017. The murders took place in October 2012 at the condo on Quin Court where Olivia lived with her mother. After killing the children, Plackowska then killed two family dogs. Her defense built her appeal around the notion that the trial court incorrectly determined that she possessed the mental capacity to comprehend her conduct at the time of the murders. The appellate court rejected her claims, noting that after the murders Plackowska made substantial efforts to avoid detection. Plackowska is sentenced to natural life in prison.

Short-Term Rentals Discussed

Last night Naperville City Council voted unanimously to direct staff to bring back an ordinance that would prohibit short-term rental properties like Airbnbs and VRBOs. After multiple complaints of these properties being used as “party houses”, council will vote at their next meeting on whether to temporarily shut down the industry in Naperville before they revisit the issue within 180 days. Several council members said they hope to find a way to allow responsibly managed properties to operate while shutting down the bad actors.

Proposed Cannabis Zoning

Council also heard the first reading of an ordinance that would establish zoning standards for adult-use cannabis stores. The biggest issue was whether to make these dispensaries permitted-use or conditional-use in industrial and commercial zones. Conditional zoning requires a public hearing to grant the use. Other potential changes that were discussed were increasing the distance between dispensaries and extending operating hours. The final reading and vote on that item will be held at a future meeting. Though council originally voted to opt out of recreational cannabis sales, it is revisiting the matter after a referendum on the March ballot showed 53 percent of Naperville voters were in favor of recreational marijuana sales.

Stolen Puppy

Police are looking for those responsible for stealing a Boston Terrier puppy from the Naperville Petland. These two images were released showing individuals suspected in the crime, which took place July 31 around 8:45 p.m. One suspect distracted employees while the other took the puppy out of a restricted area of the store. They left the scene in a white Jeep Cherokee type of vehicle. The dog is a black and white 10-week old male weighing about 4 pounds. Anyone with information is asked to contact Naperville Crime Stoppers online or at 630-420-6006

Harry’s Cafe Closes

Morning coffee won’t be quite the same as a Naperville mainstay closes up shop. Harry’s Cafe announced on Facebook that the food truck business at the 5th Avenue train station would be closing as of Friday, August 7. The owners cited lack of commuters for their decline in business. Harry’s Cafe had been a mainstay at the station for 42 years.

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