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News from the Illinois Valley

IVCC Athletic Director Resigns

Posted by wlpo on July 23, 2014

Illinois Valley Community College is looking for a new athletic director and men’s basketball coach after accepting Tommy Canale’s resignation. Canale, who recorded 6 straight winning seasons as IVCC men’s basketball coach, is leaving for a position with National Scouting Report. IVCC President Jerry Corcoran called Canale a “good man who has done a fine job for the college.” Canale, whose last day is July 31st, believes there’s a lot of opportunity for success at IVCC and is excited about what lies ahead on his career path.

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Man remains behind bars after long police standoff in Oglesby

Posted by wlpo on July 23, 2014

A hefty bond amount has been given to a man accused of engaging police in an overnight standoff in Oglesby.

34-year-old Eric Fischer is being held in the La Salle County Jail on $200,000 bond. He is charged with domestic battery after allegedly beating his wife Sunday night at a home in Oglesby.

It all began when Fischer’s wife told police she was beaten by her husband. After hearing Fischer was barricaded inside a home with two handguns and three dogs, officers from across the Illinois Valley surrounded the home and evacuated neighbors.

Officers tried talking Fischer into coming out on the phone but he refused. Police finally went in about eight hours after the initial 911 call was made and took Fischer into custody.

More charges are pending against Fischer.

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High speed chase ends near La Salle-Kendall County line

Posted by wlpo on July 23, 2014

A man is accused of leading police on a chase through three counties before being stopped near Newark.

Early Wednesday morning, Morris officers and deputies from Grundy County attempted to stop Joshua Foster of Peoria. La Salle County deputies joined the chase once Foster crossed into the county. The chase went up Route 71 and deputies finally got Foster stopped in Newark.

He was arrested for aggravated fleeing and eluding a police officer, going 100 mph in a 55 mph zone, DUI of drugs and/or alcohol, unlawful possession of a controlled substance and driving on a suspended license. Foster was also wanted on warrants in Peoria and Putnam County.

He was taken to the La Salle County Jail.

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Former L-P coach starts his prison sentence at Stateville

Posted by wlpo on July 23, 2014

Matt Fletcher has officially started serving his prison sentence.

The 31-year-old former head wrestling coach and greeter at L-P High pled guilty Friday to aggravated criminal sexual abuse and child pornography. He arrived at Stateville Correctional Center Tuesday near Joliet.

Last November and December, Fletcher admits to sending sexual texts back and forth to 17-year old girls at L-P. He took it a step further and had sexual contact with at least one of the students.

Fletcher was given five years in prison on the sex abuse charge and over two months probation for the child pornography charge. Two other charges were dropped as part of his plea deal.

He’s likely to serve just over two years of his sentence because he’s eligible for day-for-day credit.

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Man officially charged in Paw Paw rest area murder

Posted by wlpo on July 23, 2014

The man suspected of killing a woman at the Interstate 39 rest stop near Paw Paw has officially been charged in the death.

Prosecutors in Lee County Tuesday filed 12 murder counts against 36-year-old Terence Doddy of Rockford in the July 1st death of 44-year-old Tonya Bargman of Monticello. Other charges include robbery, concealment of a homicidal death, and possession of a stolen motor vehicle and credit card.

Doddy is accused of asphyxiating, or choking to death Bargman at the southbound rest stop at Paw Paw before stealing Bargman’s car. Doddy already was charged in Winnebago County in the June 30 killing of 37-year-old Todd Hansmeier of Rockford.

Doddy will be arraigned Wednesday in Lee County.

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Construction bill means road improvements for the Illinois Valley

Posted by wlpo on July 23, 2014

An effort to keep construction jobs’ going means millions of dollars being spent on La Salle and Bureau County roads.

Nearly three million dollars is going towards resurfacing Route 71 in La Salle County between Route 52 and Interstate 80. Just over three million dollars will be invested in adding lanes on Route 26 south of the red covered bridge in Princeton south to Interstate 80.

The work is part of a one billion dollar construction bill signed Tuesday by Governor Pat Quinn.

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Utica sand company plans to add jobs with expansion

Posted by wlpo on July 22, 2014

Love it or hate it the sand industry is doing good business.

According to the NewsTribune, Unimin Corporation in Utica plans to build onto their existing plant so they can double production and add 45 jobs. The company is adding new buildings with the tallest being almost 190 feet. Because of the height, Unimin asked the village board and planning commission to waive height restrictions which they did Tuesday night.

Besides an increased tax base, Unimin will also pay the village around $180,000 in building fees.

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Credit card numbers stolen at Goodwill?

Posted by wlpo on July 22, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) – Goodwill Industries is working with federal officials to investigate a possible security breach

Goodwill says it was contacted Friday by a fraud investigative unit and federal officials who said payment card numbers may have been stolen from some U.S. stores. Investigators are reviewing information but so far no data breach has been discovered.

Goodwill officials say they’re working with credit card makers, the Secret Service and fraud investigators to figure out if a breach occurred.

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Former Ottawa High building trades teacher running for school board

Posted by wlpo on July 22, 2014

It’s long been rumored that former building trades instructor Dave Keely would run for school board in Ottawa. His wife Angie has made it official.

She announced during Monday night’s Ottawa School Board meeting that her husband Dave intends to run for a board seat. The current school board cut Keely earlier this year which set off a public outcry and large student demonstration.

Board members and administrators say it was a budget cut and numbers have been going down in the building trades. They’ve since worked out agreements to send building trades students to L-P and Sandwich.

Keely meanwhile found a job at United Meters in Morris.

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Injured child lands Ottawa man in jail

Posted by wlpo on July 22, 2014

An Ottawa man is in big trouble after an injured child was taken to St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria.

Ottawa Police got a call Saturday night from workers at St. Elizabeth Medical Center of a possible child abuse case. Detectives went to Peoria where the injured child was and met with family members.

Monday morning, 23-year-old Steven Berglund of Ottawa was arrested for aggravated battery to a child, a class X felony. He was taken to the La Salle County Jail with bond at a million dollars.

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