Classics Hits 103.9 WLPO

News from the Illinois Valley

Convicted murderer being sought after by Streator Police

Posted by wlpo on October 24, 2014

A man who did time for murder is wanted by Streator Police.

The Streator PD sent out a statement saying 69-year-old Richard Hellerman failed to register with police once he was let out of prison last month for murder. He’s wanted now on a warrant for failing to register as a violent offender.
Investigators say Hellerman is white, six feet tall and weighs 200 pounds. He has brown eyes and brown hair.

His whereabouts are unknown to police. If you have information call the Streator Police Department.

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Regional dispatch center planned for La Salle, Peru and Oglesby

Posted by wlpo on October 24, 2014

La Salle, Peru and Oglesby are separate towns but they’ll soon share a 911 dispatch center.

The state is giving $1.5 million to build a regional dispatch center that will take calls for police, fire and ambulance for Peru, La Salle and Oglesby in one building. The center will be in Oglesby but city officials aren’t saying exactly where just yet.

Peru Police Chief Doug Bernabei said “this is big”, promising substantial savings with the consolidated dispatch center. He hopes any potential telecommunicator job losses would be through attrition.

Oglesby Mayor Don Finley hinted this could just be the start of the cities working together and sharing costs and services. La Salle Mayor Jeff Grove echoed those thoughts.

Governor Pat Quinn was planning to attend Friday’s announcement but was unable to fly in due to the fog.

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Streator Republican trying to unseat Democrat Mautino

Posted by wlpo on October 24, 2014

Repairing Illinois’ economy is a priority for both of your choices for state representative. Though, the candidates don’t agree on how that should be achieved.

Democrat Frank Mautino has been the 76th District state representative since 1991. He says the most important job for the General Assembly  is to continue to stabilizing the economy. Mautino says the General Assembly’s second priority is getting final resolution to the pension issue.

Jerry Long of Streator is challenging Mautino. Long says the first job for lawmakers should be restoring the state’s credit rating. He thinks to do that, they will need to cut waste and fraud.

The 76th District includes La Salle, Bureau and Putnam Counties. Learn more about the candidates by listening to interviews available at the Classic Hits 103-9 WLPO News Page.

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Scarecrow Days in Princeton will include a helicopter candy drop

Posted by wlpo on October 24, 2014

Ottawa isn’t the only town in the Illinois Valley who loves scarecrows.

Scarecrow Days in Princeton includes activities in and around downtown on Saturday. Main Street will be lined with decorated scarecrows and businesses will offer up deals. There’s a costume contest and parade in Soldiers and Sailors Park along with pumpkin races.

Later in the afternoon there will be kids games and a candy helicopter drop and fireworks at Hundred Acres Orchard.

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La Salle County receives grant for nursing home flood wall

Posted by wlpo on October 23, 2014

When the Illinois River floods enough, it’s hard to reach the La Salle County Nursing Home and Highway Department. A levee is being extended behind the buildings to handle future flooding.

A good chunk of the project is being paid for with a state grant worth $450,000. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity announced the grant recipients Thursday. La Salle County Engineer Larry Kinzer had estimated the wall to cost $750,000 and was hoping the county would receive a grant.

Also receiving grant money to prevent flooding and water problems is Tonica. They are receiving $350,000 for a lift station upgrade.

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Unemployment numbers continued to improve in September

Posted by wlpo on October 23, 2014

Gasoline prices aren’t the only numbers declining. Local unemployment figures continue to improve. The Ottawa-Streator Area September unemployment rate was 7.6%, down more than three percent from last September.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security says the last time the unemployment rate was lower was in 2008. Jobs were added in professional-business services and transportation-warehousing. Jobs were lost in manufacturing.

La Salle County’s September unemployment rate was 7.6%, down three percent from last September.

In Bureau County, unemployment improved to 7.7%, down from 8.6% and Putnam County was at 7.3%, down from 9.7%.


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Investigation looking into what caused a garage fire in Peru

Posted by wlpo on October 23, 2014

The state fire marshal’s office is looking into what caused a detached garage in Peru to go up in flames.

The 911 call came in around noon Wednesday about a garage fully engulfed at 1409 14th Street, just east of Centennial Park. With power lines over the garage, a call was quickly was also put in to the electric department. La Salle helped Peru firefighters put the fire out and keep it from spreading to any homes.

Nobody was hurt.

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Cheapest gas in Illinois being sold in Streator

Posted by wlpo on October 23, 2014

Streator can boast something that no other city in Illinois can right now. They have unleaded gas for $2.69 a gallon.

According to, that’s the cheapest gas in all of Illinois. Just up the road in Ottawa you can get gas from $2.84 to $2.86 a gallon. In the La Salle-Peru area, gas is going for $2.85 to $2.89 a gallon.

The statewide average today for unleaded is $3.16 a gallon, down a dime from a week ago.

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La Salle residents encouraged to complete surveys

Posted by wlpo on October 22, 2014

If you live in La Salle, you’ll be receiving a survey in your water bill. Information collected from the surveys will be used by the state to decide if La Salle should be eligible for CDAP grant money.

You were last surveyed five years ago. Since then, the city has received nearly $5 million in grant money for infrastructure work.

To entice you to complete and return the survey to city hall, the city will be picking four people to receive $100 gift certificates for La Salle businesses.

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Safe driving habits are an important lesson at Fieldcrest High School

Posted by wlpo on October 22, 2014

Teenagers are not great drivers, but they are learning. Students at Fieldcrest High School in Minonk are learning to become safer drivers through a Teen Safe Driving program.

Sheila Haley oversees the program and special day of driving exercises Thursday.  Haley says students will be able to drive a golf cart while wearing impairment goggles. Another course will force them to drive around cones while texting.

She says the high school began the driving program in 2009 after receiving a state grant. The grant was created to reduce the number of teen driving deaths. Statewide, teen driving deaths are down by over half since 2007.

You can learn more about the program by listening to an interview that’s up at the Classic Hits 103.9 WLPO news page.

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