Northern Star




Northern Star

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The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

A pair of trees with faces and an owl carved into them stand in the woods. Prairie Park offers man-made and natural picturesque scenes. (Ro Hong | Northern Star)

Prairie Park offers peaceful beauty

By Ro Hong, Videographer | April 22, 2024

There will be times when DeKalb gets too small, and you’ll run into people you know everywhere you go, eat at the same restaurants repeatedly and everything will feel muted.    However, there is a beautiful place near the East Lagoon that...

Park’s flower for Keller destroyed

By Daniel Pritchett | September 4, 2012

Antinette “Toni” Keller’s memorial, located near a Prairie Park trail behind DeKalb Elks Club, 209 S. Annie Glidden Road, no longer features the towering sunflower planted in her memory. According to an Oct. 24, 2010, Northern Star article, Keller...

Michael Hottelmann (right), Jenni Hottelmann (center) and
Rosetta Johnston (left) release water lanterns into the East Lagoon
as part of a memorial for Toni Keller Tuesday night.

Candlelight vigil held to honor one year anniversary of Antinette “Toni” Keller murder

By Chelsey Boutan | October 18, 2011

Thirty lit lanterns resembling sunflowers floated across the East Lagoon as Beatles and Pink Floyd songs played softly in the background. Members of the campus community released lanterns in remembrance of former NIU art student Antinette "Toni" Keller...

Homeless at park move on

October 18, 2011

The number of homeless men and women that occasionally move through or stay in Prairie Park has probably fallen since the death of Toni Keller, said DeKalb Police Lt. Carl Leoni.Leoni said the Park District has been more "on top of" reporting homeless...

Prairie Park remains identified as Keller; Curl’s next court date Feb. 17

By Kyla Gardner | January 17, 2011

Forensic analysts have identified the human remains found in Prairie Park on Oct. 16 as those of NIU student Antinette "Toni" Keller. Forensic analysts were able to match DNA from a piece of femur bone to DNA swabs taken from Keller's mother and father,...

Police tape marks off the path through Prairie Park in DeKalb during the Toni Keller investigation. The DeKalb Park District will be increasing patrols and will add additional informational signs to ease public safety concerns in the area.

Prairie Park precautions

By Kyla Gardner | November 29, 2010

The DeKalb Park District has increased safety and security measures at Prairie Park and will add additional informational signs in response to community safety concerns. The DeKalb community has expressed concern about the safety of Prairie Park in light...

Pedestrian traffic through Prairie Park Sunday afternoon yielded very few walkers or bikers. One DeKalb resident said he believes the murder of Antinette Keller is a factor, but added he stills feels safe.

A quiet walk in Prairie Park

By John Bachmann and Kyla Gardner | October 31, 2010

Three days after the re-opening of Prairie Park, the location where DeKalb Police found burned human remains, the wooded area south of Lincoln Highway was almost desolate. A portion of Prairie Park was closed off to the public from Oct. 21 to Oct. 28...

DeKalb County States Attorney John Farrell informs the public of the charges against William Billy Curl on Friday night at the press conference.

‘Crime of opportunity’

By John Bachmann and Kyla Gardner | October 31, 2010

William P. Curl, the man charged with the murder of Antinette "Toni" Keller, will appear in court today at 8:45 a.m. before Judge Robbin Stuckert for a status hearing. Curl, 34, of DeKalb, had his first court appearance Saturday morning in the DeKalb...

DeKalb Police Chief Bill Feithen (left) and DeKalb County States Attorney John Farrell address the media Tuesday morning at the DeKalb City Council Chambers.

Police say remains too “badly burned” to determine identity

By John Bachmann and Kyla Gardner | October 26, 2010

Police revealed Tuesday that remains found in Prairie Park were so badly burned that authorities couldn’t determine whether they were human until a week after they were found. DeKalb Police Chief Bill Feithen said at a media briefing that although the...

Little information on Keller raises community fears

By Editorial Board | October 25, 2010

The NIU community waited with bated breath since Saturday for updated information on the status of the death investigation of NIU student Antinette Keller. By today, though, everyone is breathless from trading rumors, allegations and unanswered questions...

DeKalb residents express concern for safety in Prairie Park

By Shaun Zinck and Rikki Cottrell | October 25, 2010

Sections of Prairie Park, south of Lincoln Highway, remain taped off from the public as the Antinette “Toni” Keller death investigation continues. This section includes half of the frisbee golf course on Pearl Street, holes six through nine, back...