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Elderly woman crashes her car at a local golf course

Posted by wlpo on August 20, 2014

It was a beautiful day to be golfing but that’s not why area firefighters were at Spring Creek Golf Course in Spring Valley.

A 91-year-old woman had to be helped out of her car after police say she drove off of Spring Creek Drive and into a ditch Wednesday morning.

Muriel Miller of Geneseo was taken to St. Margaret’s Hospital for treatment.

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IVCC Trustees call a special meeting to discuss contract negotiations

Posted by wlpo on August 20, 2014

Friday evening is an unusual time for a board meeting, but that’s when the Illinois Valley Community College Board of Trustees is getting together to talk about employee contracts.

The closed session will begin at 5pm. The board could talk about the ongoing negotiations with the teacher’s union. Instructors began the semester without a new contract.

The board could also approve a contract with the Service Employees International Union when they come out of closed session.

That contract would cover the custodians but not the instructors.

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Former Ottawa building trades teacher addresses school board

Posted by wlpo on August 20, 2014

The next school board election for Ottawa High School could be a testy one.

Candidate and former building trades teacher Dave Keely told the current school board Tuesday night that he and his group called “SOS” or Save Our School, plan to have at least three candidates running for board seats in the spring. They also want Superintendent Matt Winchester replaced by someone who “understands the value of respect toward students, faculty, staff and the community at large”. Keely called for a no confidence vote against Winchester.

Winchester and the board caused public outcry by letting go of Keely in the spring which cut the building trades course.

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Massive cleanup begins at Ottawa nature preserve

Posted by wlpo on August 20, 2014

If you think cleaning your garden is tough imagine taking care of a 253-acre nature preserve.

Twelve busloads of workers from Fairmount Minerals arrived in Ottawa Tuesday morning to clean out invasive plants, branches and other debris so restoration can start on the Dayton Bluffs Preserve. It’s along the Fox River, just west of the Route 71 and Interstate 80 interchange.

The Conservation Foundation bought the land last year for $2 million. They’re leasing it to the city of Ottawa for a dollar a year to offer as a public preserve.

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Deal being worked on to replace “albatross” in downtown Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on August 19, 2014

One of Ottawa’s oldest and tallest buildings could undergo major changes.

The city is working on a deal where the current owners of the Little City Building on West Madison Street will donate the building to the city so the city can then sell it to Larry and Karen Kiest of Ottawa for $49,000. They would like to turn the five-story building into a mix of retail and a boutique hotel. The sale will only happen if the city can get a federal loan to help pay to remove asbestos.

Ottawa Mayor Bob Eschbach says while it’s not a sure thing, this is the closest he’s gotten to someone fixing up the downtown eyesore. He says it’s structurally sound and just needs to someone imaginative to work with it.

The Little City Building is nearly 115 years old. It’s been sitting empty for over a decade.

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Resurfacing to begin Wednesday in Peru

Posted by wlpo on August 19, 2014

You’ll need patience and extra time if your daily drive includes Route 251 on the south side of Peru. Starting Wednesday, crews will be removing the old surface and laying new asphalt on Route 251 near the Route 6 interchange. The work area will span from the north end of the Illinois River bridge to just north of the Seventh Street overpass. The ramps will also be resurfaced.

During work hours, lanes will be closed and flaggers will be directing traffic. The work is being done by Advanced Asphalt of Princeton for about $669,000. The project is supposed to be completed by September 5.

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Crash near Newark kills a man from Plano

Posted by wlpo on August 19, 2014

The morning drive between Millington and Newark came to an abrupt halt due to a head-on crash near the La Salle and Kendall County Line.   A man was killed.

The Kendall County Sheriff’s Office says 56-year-old Raymond Boudreau Jr. of Plano was heading south on Fox River Drive around 6:30am Tuesday when he crossed the center line and crashed head-on with Susan Smith of Millington. Both were driving pickup trucks.

Boudreau was pronounced dead at the scene. Smith was taken to Valley West Hospital in Sandwich. Her injuries weren’t life threatening.  Sheriff’s deputies were investigating the cause of the crash.

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Man arrested for Ottawa home burglary

Posted by wlpo on August 19, 2014

More than a month after a break-in in a historic part of Ottawa, a man has been arrested. Rich Renfro of Ottawa is accused of stealing money from a house on Ottawa Avenue on July 11. He was arrested Monday on a warrant for residential burglary and was taken to the La Salle County Jail.

Renfro’s bond was set at $30,000. He returns to court next Thursday.


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Peru Police share driving tips for the start of the school year

Posted by wlpo on August 19, 2014

You might have a lot on your mind when bringing your kids to school, but don’t let that stop you from slowing down and paying attention.  The first day of school for Peru Public Schools is Wednesday. Peru Police Chief Doug Bernabei says you’ll see marked police cars in the morning and afternoon as officers trying to get the new school year off to a safe start.

Remember, when you’re in a school zone, the speed limit is 20 miles-per-hour. Bernabei says the fines are more severe if you’re caught speeding in a school zone.

Eventually the police officers will trade their marked cars for unmarked cars to make sure you’re following the rules.

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Mendota Council trying to tackle rundown buildings

Posted by wlpo on August 19, 2014

Where have you heard this before? A town in the Illinois Valley is trying to fix up rundown buildings in its downtown.

According to the NewsTribune, Mendota’s fire chief says several downtown buildings are in bad enough shape that they are a public hazard. He had a slide show for the city council Monday night that showed bowing walls, separating bricks and damaged roofs to buildings on Washington and Illinois Avenues and on the corner of Sixth Street and Sixth Avenue.

The city attorney is supposed to track down property owners.

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