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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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Semi driver accused of causing I-55 crash that killed four women

Posted by wlpo on July 22, 2014

JOLIET, Ill. (AP) – A semi driver involved in a Will County crash that killed four people has been charged.

According to the Illinois State Police, the semi was speeding on Interstate 55 near Channahon when it hit several vehicles stopped in a construction zone. Francisco Quiroz of Leesburg, Indiana, is charged with failure to reduce speed to prevent an accident.

The Will County Coroner’s Office has identified the victims as 54-year-old Vicky Palacios of Coal City, 48-year-old Urlike Blopleh of Channahon, 43-year-old Kimberly Britton of Urbana and 11-year-old Piper Britton of Urbana.

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More kids living in poverty in Illinois

Posted by wlpo on July 22, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) – A new report says the number of Illinois children living in areas of high poverty has increased by about a third since 2000.

The annual survey by the Annie E. Casey Foundation estimates 347,000 Illinois children live in areas of concentrated poverty. That means more than 1 in 10 children live in neighborhoods where the poverty rate is 30 percent or higher.

The report says Illinois ranks 20th among states for overall child well-being. The state’s child poverty rate in 2012 was 21 percent, compared to 16 percent in 2005.

This year’s Kids Count survey did find some encouraging news about Illinois. There’s been a long-term decline in teenage moms.

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Bills going up in Mendota

Posted by wlpo on July 22, 2014

If you call Mendota home, you may want to start saving a little extra cash to pay your city bills.

According to the NewsTribune, the Mendota City Council is raising water, sewer and garbage collection rates by a combined $6.75. Alderman Randy Morris says its the first time the city has raised these rates in a decade.

The council says the higher bills are needed to pay for state-regulated sewer and water upgrades.

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Gas prices at their lowest in months in the Illinois Valley

Posted by wlpo on July 22, 2014

While the temperature is going up, the price at the pump is heading down.

According to, prices for unleaded in the Illinois Valley are primarily in the range of $3.33 to $3.39 a gallon. Ottawa has the lowest gas around with some stations selling it for $3.27 a gallon. Meanwhile Mendota is at the high end with $3.49 gas.

The statewide average for a gallon of gas is $3.61. That’s 30 cents cheaper than a month ago and eight cents cheaper then a week ago.

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More “July-like” temperatures expected in the Illinois Valley

Posted by wlpo on July 22, 2014

What a difference a week can make.

With temperatures struggling to reach 70 last week, Tuesday could be the hottest day of the year for some of you in the Illinois Valley. High temperatures  are expected to be in the low-90s. When you factor in the humidity it’ll feel more like 100.

Temperatures will cool back into the 70s starting Wednesday.

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Court appearance today for man behind police standoff in Oglesby

Posted by wlpo on July 22, 2014

The man behind a police standoff in Oglesby is due in court Tuesday morning.

Eric Fischer has a court appearance in front of Judge Cynthia Raccuglia on a charge of domestic battery. More charges are pending after Fischer allegedly beat his wife Sunday night and then barricaded himself in an Oglesby home with two handguns and three dogs.

After unsuccessfully trying to get Fischer to come out for over seven hours, officers from around the Illinois Valley went into the home and arrested Fischer. His dogs were taken by La Salle County Animal Control.

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