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News from the Illinois Valley

LaSalle County Deputies Find One Stolen Truck as Another Goes Missing

Posted by wlpo on May 5, 2016

If you live in Oglesby be sure to keep an eye on your truck.

Wednesday afternoon the LaSalle County Sheriff’s Office got a call from someone on East 275th Road reporting that a 2000 Black Ford Ranger Pickup had been stolen from the property overnight. Earlier in the day, deputies were involved in a different incident with a stolen truck.

LaSalle County Deputies were also called shortly before 2:00 Wednesday morning about a burglary in progress. The alleged burglar had left the North 22nd Road home before police arrived. While investigating the incident, deputies found a White Ford F-150 pickup that had been stolen out of Livingston County.

If you know anything about either vehicle you can call the LaSalle County Sheriff’s Office at 433-2161.

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Man Arrested Following Robbery, Chase in Shabbona

Posted by wlpo on May 5, 2016

There were some tense moments for one DeKalb County village Thursday morning.

The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office received a call shortly after 7:00 about a robbery in progress at the Casey’s General Store in Shabbona. According to deputies, 30-year old Bryan Malone of Shabbona had taken a cash register from the store before running away, heading south. A customer in the store led police to a building Malone had gone into, where he was then arrested for 1 count of Armed Robbery and 1 count of Robbery.

The incident led to Shabbona Schools being put into a lock down for a short time. Malone was taken to the DeKalb County jail where his bond will be set Friday afternoon.

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Sex abuse case involving school board member in Ohio gets new trial date

Posted by wlpo on May 5, 2016

While a former substitute teacher and coach at L-P gets all the headlines, there’s also news to report on a sex abuse case involving a cheerleading coach and school board member in Bureau County.

Thirty-nine-year-old Melinda “Mindy” Ringenberg of Ohio was in Bureau County Court Wednesday for a final pretrial hearing. The sides eventually agreed to push her May 31st trial date back to July 25th.

Ringenberg was arrested and indicted back in February for the class 2 felony of aggravated criminal sex abuse. Bureau County State’s Attorney Geno Caffarini says the victim is a boy between 13 and 17 years old. Besides being a school board member for Ohio High School when she was arrested, Ringenberg was also a volunteer cheerleading coach.

She’s pleaded not guilty to the crime and posted $7,500 to be released from custody.

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Tractor and semi collide outside of Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on May 5, 2016

This time of the year, be on the look out for tractors driving around.

Deputies say 35-year-old Mark Boe of Ottawa was on a tractor pulling a cultivator just past 9:30 Wednesday night when he was rear-ended by a semi driven by 65-year-old Claude Quisenberry of Elgin. The two men were driving on Route 71 north of Ottawa.

Thankfully nobody was injured. The crash is still being investigated.

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New website launched about Kaskaskia restoration

Posted by wlpo on May 5, 2016

A little more than a century after it opened, there’s renewed optimism about renovating and eventually reopening the Kaskaskia Hotel in downtown La Salle.

A new website called “” has surfaced that shows what the six-story building could look like. The site has conceptual drawings and mentions restoring the Kaskaskia to a “boutique hotel, events and conference center, offering its guests the finest in service, surroundings and Midwest hospitality”.

Mayor Jeff Grove says he is cautiously optimistic that the latest attempt to fix up the hotel becomes reality. Until it happens, Grove says the city will continue to pressure developers to make needed improvements. Grove says a lot of improvements the city asked for have been done and continue to be worked on.

Peter Limberger, the son-in-law of Kaskaskia owner Blouke Carus has taken over the development process. Grove was told by Limberger that they hope to secure funding sometime this month. A funding plan could include foreign investments.

To check out the Kaskaskia website, click Kaskaskia Project

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Disease threatening Illinois Valley deer will be addressed in Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on May 5, 2016

A disease that is wiping out white-tailed deer along the Illinois River is the topic of a meeting at the Bone Shed in Ottawa.

Representatives with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources want to talk about the spread of chronic wasting disease. DNR officials say the disease first showed up in Illinois in 2002 and has become entrenched in La Salle County.

You can hear what the state is trying to do to fight the disease at a meeting starting at 1 on Saturday at The Bone Shed. Landowners, hunters and anyone concerned with the deer population are encouraged to show up.

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Vandalism outbreak hits Mendota

Posted by wlpo on May 5, 2016

Your help is needed in finding a vandal or vandals in Mendota.

The city’s police department took several calls Monday about mailboxes and garbage cans being damaged around town. Officers think someone did the damage using their car.

If you have any information, call the Mendota PD or Mendota Crime Stoppers. You could get a cash reward.

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Canine Flu Outbreak may Not be All Bark in The Illinois Valley

Posted by wlpo on May 4, 2016

With warmer temperatures you may not be concerned about getting the flu anymore, but your dog may actually be at a higher risk than ever.

Progress Park Veterinary Hospital in Peru says they recently found out about outbreaks of canine influenza in Peoria and Bloomington. Dr. Amy Hasty at the hospital says travel to and from the Illinois Valley means that it’s “pretty likely” there will be an outbreak here at some point.

The best way to prevent your dog from getting the flu is to make sure its vaccinated against both forms of the flu that are highly contagious for dogs, according to Hasty. She also says if your dog appears to be coming down with the flu it’s best to call your vet and avoid traveling with your dog if possible.

While the risk of a canine flu outbreak may be a new threat, Hasty says the threat of the flu will be a “long-run concern.” She says that is due to how often dogs interact with each other, as well as how often people travel with their dogs.

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Volunteer baseball coach and substitute teacher at L-P facing a sex charges

Posted by wlpo on May 4, 2016

A substitute teacher and volunteer baseball coach at L-P High School is facing jail time after allegedly having inappropriate relations with an underage girl.

Kyle Pisano was arrested Tuesday afternoon at his home in Peru. The arrest came after an investigation conducted by LaSalle and Peru police into a claim that the 24-year old allegedly had sex with a girl between the ages of 13 and 17 over a two-week span last month..

La Salle County States Attorney Brian Towne does not believe there are any other victims, but says an investigation is ongoing into whether Pisano abused his “position of trust and authority.” If so, the two counts of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse would be made Class X felonies and carry the possibility of substantial prison time. If convicted Pisano faces anything from probation to 14 years in prison.

He was taken to the LaSalle County Jail, where he posted $7,500 bail and was released. According to a statement released by L-P Superintendent Steve Wrobleski, Pisano has resigned his position effective Friday.

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Flint Hills evacuated in Peru after a fire scare

Posted by wlpo on May 4, 2016

There were some tense moments along the riverfront in Peru Tuesday morning.

A call about smoke showing at Flint Hills Resources came in before 6 o’clock. An initial report had smoke showing from the 6th floor of the plant. La Salle and Oglesby firefighters provided mutual response to help with Peru. Hazardous response workers from Flint Hills also helped contain the issue.

Peru Police Chief Doug Bernabei says the fire was contained right away and there’s no public safety threat. He says no one was injured.

Workers at the plant were evacuated.

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