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News from the Illinois Valley

Summer break around the corner for state lawmakers

Posted by wlpo on May 25, 2015

Schools aren’t the only places of business closing for summer vacation this week. Lawmakers in Springfield will head home after the spring session ends Sunday.

It remains to be seen if any action will happen on big issues like the budget, pensions or raising the minimum wage. If you enjoy e-cigarettes, there’s a bill being talked about that would ban indoor smoking of e-cigarettes in same places that traditional cigarettes are already banned.

Some of the more unusual proposed bills include naming an official state polka song and making it illegal for radio stations to use sirens or car crash sound effects in commercials.

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Extended holiday break for some at Marquette Academy

Posted by wlpo on May 25, 2015

With just four days left of school, some grade school students in the Illinois Valley are getting an unexpected day off.

A pipe broke over the weekend at the elementary school for Marquette Academy in Ottawa. Classes have been cancelled for elementary students at Marquette but the preschool and high school are not affected.

This Friday is supposed to be the final day of classes at the academy.

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Woman hit and killed by a train in downtown Streator

Posted by wlpo on May 25, 2015

A Streator woman is dead after being hit by a train.

Over the noon hour Saturday, Streator Police went out to the BNSF tracks on the eastside of downtown Streator and saw a woman lying on the ground. 57-year-old Pamela Wicks was pronounced dead at the scene.

Witnesses told police that Wicks walked in front of the train even though it was sounding its horn.

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Sheridan driver hurt after flipping her car onto its top

Posted by wlpo on May 25, 2015

Memorial Day for a Sheridan woman meant spending time in the hospital after a crash.

Brandi Tripp was on a county road north of Somonauk Monday morning when she lost control on the gravel. She drove into a ditch and flipped her car onto its top. Tripp was taken to Valley West Hospital.

Nobody else was involved in the crash.

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Peru woman arrested after passing out in car at gas station

Posted by wlpo on May 25, 2015

A Peru woman is in hot water after she allegedly passed out at a gas pump with a child in the car.

La Salle County Deputies responded to the Shell Oasis gas station a little after 9 Sunday morning where they found Colleen Boe allegedly passed out behind the wheel of her car at a gas pump with a child in the backseat.

Boe was charged with DUI, unlawful possession of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, and endangering the health and safety of a child.

She was taken to the La Salle County Jail.

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La Salle man charged with involuntary manslaughter gets new court date

Posted by wlpo on May 24, 2015

The La Salle man in jail for allegedly attacking and killing his stepfather with a rock, plastic shovel and gas can has a new trial date.

21-year-old Darnell Williams originally was supposed to stand trial June 1st for involuntary manslaughter in February’s death of 47-year-old Mark Jonas. His new trial date is August 3rd.

Williams is accused of attacking Jonas after he kicked in his door. Williams was allegedly trying to get his mom to sign over a car title.

Jonas went unresponsive during the scuffle and was pronounced dead at Illinois Valley Community Hospital. The doctor who performed an autopsy says he died from a heart attack caused in part by the altercation.

Williams is being held in the La Salle County Jail on a million dollars bond.

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Housing sales down in the Illinois Valley

Posted by wlpo on May 24, 2015

Housing sales are down so far this year in the Illinois Valley.

According to the Illinois Association of Realtors, 271 homes have been sold through April, a 14 percent drop from last year. The median sale price though in La Salle County is $85,000, up 13 percent.

In Bureau County, 84 homes have been sold so far this year, down five percent from last year. The median sale price of homes in Bureau County is up four percent to $76,000.

For Putnam County, 21 homes have gone off the market this year, a 31 percent increase from last year. The median price of a sold home in Putnam County this year is 76,000, a 38 percent jump.

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Hall Township Food Pantry honors Lily Rosploch with “Lily’s Corner”

Posted by wlpo on May 24, 2015

Little Lily Rosploch is gone but she’s definitely not forgotten.

In the 5-year-old’s memory, the Hall Township Food Pantry has added “Lily’s Corner” where pantry guests can pick out donations specifically for babies. When she was receiving treatments, Rosploch was known to check out the hospital nursery.

For the rest of the month, Holy Trinity Church in Cherry, St. Patrick’s Church in Arlington and St. Thomas More Church in Dalzell have collection boxes for baby supplies. The pantry needs your help in stocking “Lily’s Corner”.

You can also drop off diapers and other donations at the food pantry office on North Terry Street in Spring Valley.

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La Salle County collecting dead birds to test for West Nile

Posted by wlpo on May 24, 2015

It’s time to start being on the lookout for dead birds.

The La Salle County Health Department is collecting dead birds to make sure they’re not carrying the West Nile Virus. The virus is spread to birds and humans by mosquitoes. Most people who get West Nile may only experience minor aches and pains but it has killed people in the past. La Salle County has had cases of the virus the last 13 years.

Dead birds that are tested include: crows; blue jays; cardinals; and robins. The bird’s body needs to be in good condition when tested and it has to of died from disease.

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State eases back on number of construction zones for the holiday

Posted by wlpo on May 23, 2015

To celebrate Memorial Day weekend, the Illinois Department of Transportation is opening up construction zones wherever possible. However some stretches will still be down to one lane.

In Bureau County, Interstate 80 is down to one lane each direction near Sheffield for a bridge replacement. Also Route 6 west of Sheffield is down to one lane because of bridge work.

In Putnam County, Route 71 in Granville has one lane of traffic controlled by signals due to culvert reconstruction.

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