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Busy rail crossings in Mendota and Streator will close for construction

Posted by wlpo on October 25, 2014

Well-traveled rail crossings in Mendota and Streator will be closed to traffic until next month.

The Route 34-BNSF Rail crossing in Mendota will be closed starting Monday. BNSF Railway is rebuilding the crossing. Detours will be used for both east and westbound traffic using Main and Eight Streets.

In Streator, the Route 18 or Main Street crossing will be closed for a couple weeks starting Sunday. Detours will take you on stretches of Route 23.

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Peru woman accused of pinning a man against a barn with her car

Posted by wlpo on October 25, 2014

There are a lot of things to use as weapons. A woman from Peru is accused of using her vehicle.

La Salle County deputies were called out for a disturbance Friday morning to a house in rural Mendota. Allysa Haupt was arrested for aggravated battery after she allegedly hit a man with her vehicle and pinned him up against a pole barn. She drove away but was later arrested and taken to the La Salle County Jail.

The victim was taken to Mendota Community Hospital.

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Suburban man accused of biting La Salle County deputy

Posted by wlpo on October 25, 2014

A traffic stop in Mendota Saturday morning was far from routine.

Christopher Cali of Bolingbrook is accused of fighting with a La Salle County Sheriff’s Office deputy. Cali allegedly bit a deputy after being pulled over just after two Saturday morning on 13th Avenue in Mendota.

He was arrested for felony resisting/obstructing police and aggravated battery to a police officer. He was also wanted on two warrants out of Will County for battery.

Cali was taken to the La Salle County Jail.

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Illinois readies itself for potential Ebola case

Posted by wlpo on October 25, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) – The Illinois Department of Public Health has announced a 21-day quarantine for those who’ve had direct contact with West Africa Ebola patients.

Illinois’ action follows that of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. The two issued a mandatory quarantine for travelers after a physician who returned to New York City a week ago from treating Ebola patients in Guinea fell ill with the virus.

Governor Pat Quinn says the order is a “common sense step” to ensure Illinoisans will be protected from potential exposure to the virus.

No Ebola cases have been reported in Illinois.

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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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