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News from the Illinois Valley

Granville Library to Look at Lindberg’s Connection to Illinois Valley Next Wednesday

Posted by wlpo on September 28, 2016

You’re probably familiar with the accomplishments of Charles Lindberg, but did you know about one of his misadventures in the Illinois Valley?

The Granville Library will be hosting an event where you can learn more about that infamous trip next Wednesday. Ron Bluemer who is an author, historian, and Director of the LaSalle County Museum will be giving a presentation on Lindberg.

One year before his historic flight across the Atlantic, Lindberg had been an air mail pilot for a company in St. Louis. He frequently flew over the valley, but one trip in particular would end with him crashing in a field near Wedron.

The event runs from 6:00 to 7:00. For more information, contact the Granville Library.

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Putnam County Lawyer’s Gift to Improve Cultural Centre at IVCC

Posted by wlpo on September 28, 2016

Part of a donation left by a former Illinois Valley Community College trustee will be going to improve an auditorium at the school.

According to the college, they will be using the $410,000 gift left by Walter Durley Boyle on improvements to the school’s Cultural Centre. In addition to his role at IVCC, Boyle was a long-time Putnam County lawyer.

The school says nearly $400,000 of that will be used for putting in LED lighting and wall treatments that will improve acoustics and aesthetics. The work will also include painting, and electrical and fire alarm improvements.

The 600-seat auditorium was opened in 1980. It’s typically used for college and public ceremonies as well as musicals, graduation, and other activities.

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Car crashes into downtown Peru office building

Posted by wlpo on September 28, 2016

A SUV crashed into the building housing Helmig & Helmig law firm this afternoon in Peru.

The 9-1-1 call for an ambulance came in around 12:20.  A woman according to dispatch reports drove into the building.  Both her car and building took and significant damage.  She was taken to Illinois Valley Community Hospital in Peru.

The building is near the intersection of 4th and Fulton Streets.

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Stretch of Route 251 Officially Dedicated to Veteran Family

Posted by wlpo on September 28, 2016

The first cars officially drove on the newly dedicated “Witczak Brothers Memorial Highway” this morning.

State Senator Sue Rezin and State Representative Andy Skoog both spoke before dedicating the stretch of Route 251 between Tonica and Mendota to the Witczak family. The family had seven brothers serve their country in either World War II or the Korean War.

Anthony Witczak thanked his mom in a tearful speech during the dedication ceremony at the Tonica Fire Department this morning.

After the dedication, the Peru Memorial Color Guard provided a 21-gun salute.

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Patient who was considered endangered after leaving Mendota Hospital turns up downstate

Posted by wlpo on September 28, 2016

A man who walked out of OSF St. Paul Medical Center in Mendota while wearing scrubs has been found safe and with relatives in southeastern Illinois.

An alert went out overnight that a 33-year-old Mendota man needed to be evaluated but walked out. Officers warned that he could be agitated and aggressive.

At about 11 Wednesday morning, Mendota Police Sgt. Dave Lawson says a family member called his department saying the man who left the hospital is safe and is seeking treatment. Lawson says he is no longer considered missing or endangered.

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Garage set on fire in Princeton

Posted by wlpo on September 28, 2016

A detached garage and two cars parked inside of it were scorched Wednesday morning in a fire not far from Perry Memorial Hospital in Princeton.

Firefighters were called to the 400 block of Park Avenue East at around 6:45 for a burning garage owned by Dan and Maria Hartsough. Crews had the fire out quickly but major damage was already done.

The fire is considered suspicious. In fact police immediately began looking for a bearded man on a bicycle who officers think intentionally set the garage on fire.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office is helping with the investigation.

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Spring Valley threesome facing heroin charges after Interstate 80 stop

Posted by wlpo on September 28, 2016

A trio from Spring Valley is in trouble for allegedly messing around with heroin.

Minooka officers say they pulled over a car Monday morning on Interstate 80 that had 32-year-old Kevin Greening, 30-year-old Steven Rambaud and 24-year-old Jesse Whiting inside. Greening and Whiting were picked up for possession of a controlled substance and hypodermic syringes and needles. Rambaud faces just the possession of a controlled substance charge.

Officers say the men had over 70 bags of heroin with them. They were all taken to jail.

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Walk to Remember this Sunday in Peru

Posted by wlpo on September 28, 2016

An Illinois Valley group is holding an event this weekend to help those dealing with the incredible pain of losing a child.

The River Valley chapter of a group called “Compassionate Friends” is holding their third annual Memory Walk and Balloon Release at Baker Lake in Peru on Sunday. Walkers will be able to write a message to their child on the balloon which will be let go in a ceremony after the walk.

Rita Studzinski has been involved with the walk every year. She says the event’s growth is bittersweet:

If you’d like to participate in Sunday walk, the cost is $10. In addition to the walk, the group meets the fourth Thursday of every month.

You can find a registration form and more information by clicking Walk to Remember

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Second straight day of field fires in the Illinois Valley

Posted by wlpo on September 28, 2016

The dry, windy weather this week has been keeping fire departments on their toes.

Tuesday was another busy day. Mendota and Troy Grove crews were called shortly after 2:30 for a “fully involved combine fire.” The combine was in a bean field located off of East 6th Road.

Utica fire crews were called about an hour later to reports of a brush fire. The fire was just off of Interstate 39 near the Interstate 80 interchange.

The activity wasn’t just confined to LaSalle County. Crews from around Putnam County were called to a field fire just off of a county road north of the McNabb Blacktop around 4:00. Crews were able to have that fire under control in about 20 minutes.

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Henry Police trying to tackle speeding issue

Posted by wlpo on September 28, 2016

It looks like the village of Henry has a speeding problem.

Back on Monday the police department put out a message saying they would be running radar around schools and writing tickets. Complaints started rolling in about speeding around town.

The police department responded by posting a Facebook message Tuesday saying “from the comments about the post regarding speeding, it appears that most of the streets in town are drag strips.” If you live in Henry and have speeding complaints, the police department wants you to show up to the next village board meeting and express your concerns.

The police department plans to share the Facebook comments to alderman as well.

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