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Streator family has the nation’s biggest pumpkin

Posted by wlpo on September 30, 2014

STREATOR, Ill. (AP) – One of the world’s biggest pumpkins is right here in the Illinois Valley. The McMullen family in Streator has grown a pumpkin so big that the only way to move it is by forklift.

At 1,692 pounds, the pumpkin-tracking website says the McMullen pumpkin is so big that right now only one known pumpkin in the world is bigger. That’s a pumpkin in Belgium weighing 1,840 pounds.
Sandy McMullen says the family doesn’t use plant food or any other kind of growth aid. Instead they grow big pumpkins every year and pick the most promising seeds to try again the following year.

The McMullens started growing giant pumpkins about 12 years ago.

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Run/Walk will raise awareness to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Posted by wlpo on September 30, 2014

Thanks to modern medicine and education, babies have a strong chance of survival, but Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, continues to end young lives.

Ashley and Andrew Lamps lost their son, Aden, to SIDS in 2013. Now they’ve created the Aden Lamps Foundation for raise awareness. They’re holding a run-walk at 9:30 Saturday at Hall High School. Registration is from 7:30-9:30. Registration is 25 dollars for adults and 20 dollars for children. A children’s fun run will follow the race.

Learn more about the Aden Lamps Foundation by listening to an interview that’s available at the WLPO news page.

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First fall freeze could be around the corner

Posted by wlpo on September 30, 2014

Did you go from having the fan or air on Monday afternoon to bundling up Monday night? Temperatures in the Illinois Valley plummeted about 20 degrees in a matter of hours.

While its not cold by any means, the National Weather Service says the average first fall freeze for the Illinois Valley is the first week of October. However the temperature isn’t expected to fall into the 30s for at least the next week.

Tuesday will be a one day cool down with a high expected around 65. Tomorrow and Thursday though will be warmer with highs back in the mid-70s before another cool down Friday.

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Rita Crundwell dealt another blow in court

Posted by wlpo on September 30, 2014

ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) – A federal judge has denied Rita Crundwell’s request for a public defender as she fights to keep $90,000 in pension funds.

The judge asked for more information on several motions Monday. He will decide whether Crundwell’s pension should be part of her restitution for swindling Dixon out of $54 million when she was city comptroller. Crundwell is arguing her pension should be exempt from money she must repay.

Crundwell was convicted of stealing the money from the city over 22 years, and was sentenced to nearly 20 years in federal prison.

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Learn more about credit cards during a free workshop

Posted by wlpo on September 29, 2014

You can’t buy a role toilet paper without someone trying to sign you up for a credit card. Should you say yes to their offer?

Learn more about credit card offers and how to read your monthly statement during a workshop Tuesday morning at the Peru Mall. The program is sponsored by Illinois Valley Community Hospital and State Comptroller Judy Barr Topinka.

The workshop begins at 10am in the IVCH storefront down the hall from Sear’s.

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Elderly pilot killed in plane crash near Sandwich

Posted by wlpo on September 29, 2014

An 80-year old man was killed after his plane went down between Sandwich and Plano.

John Juergensmeyer of Elgin was pronounced dead at the scene of a plane crash along Griswold Springs Road which is south of Route 34. No one else was on the plane when it crashed Sunday night.

The plane went down along Griswold Springs Road, which is south of Route 34 between Sandwich and Plano. State Police along with the Federal Aviation Administration are handling the crash investigation.

An autopsy is planned Tuesday.

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Man arrested five years after being accused of breaking into Ottawa home

Posted by wlpo on September 29, 2014

Five years after he allegedly burglarized a home in Ottawa, a man has been tracked down in Mississippi.

Ottawa Detective Scott Harden says a warrant was issued in July 2009 for Daniel Culver. He was wanted for a residential burglary on Catherine Street.

Harden says Culver fled the state and was on the run until they got wind he was in New Albany, Mississippi. Ottawa officers called New Albany police who were able to nab Culver on the residential burglary warrant.

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Rat scare keeps school in La Salle closed

Posted by wlpo on September 29, 2014

There will again be no preschool this week at Jackson Elementary in La Salle after a teacher claimed to see a couple rats in her classroom back on September 18th.

Superintendent Dan Marenda says they’re not seeing any evidence of rodents in the building despite setting several traps. He says they’ve talked with both their exterminator and architect to check out the building. Marenda says they’ve also talked to local politicians about assistance in making sure the school is ready again for students.

While the rat surveillance continues, four preschool classes normally held at Jackson are moved to Northwest and Lincoln schools.

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Popular Halloween attraction opens this week in Princeton

Posted by wlpo on September 29, 2014

Are you in the Halloween spirit yet? Folks at the Bureau County Fairgrounds in Princeton are getting ready to scare you with “Nightmare on Fairgrounds Road”.

The annual Halloween spook fest opens up this Friday and continues Fridays and Saturdays thru October 25th. Besides the haunted house there will be hayrack rides, a bonfire and food.

Tickets to “Nightmare on Fairgrounds Road” are eight dollars unless you want to skip to the front of the line. So-called speed passes cost ten dollars.

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LPHS homecoming royalty to be named Monday

Posted by wlpo on September 29, 2014

Performing before a crowded high school gymnasium takes courage and talent.  Watch LP students perform music,  dances and more during the traditional homecoming variety show.

It is st 7pm Monday in Sellett Gym.  The 2014 homecoming court will be introduced and the king and queen will be crowned.

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