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Archive for April 26th, 2010

Haunting Message Sent at L-P

Posted by wlpo on April 26, 2010

A funeral hurst parked outside L-P set the stage last night for “Operation PROM-ise”.

The event featured a video depicting L-P students getting into a mock car crash and speakers with relatives killed by drunk drivers.  L-P Senior Mike Bergagna played the role of a drunk driver on his way to prom.  In the video, his prom date was killed in the crash.  The video went on to show Bergagna arrested and sentenced to 13 years in prison for the crash.

The first victim impact speaker of the night was Nancy Burress.  Her 20-year old daughter Amanda Kapinski was killed in a drunk-driving crash in Putnam County in 1999.  When referencing the coroner telling her that her daughter was killed, Burress told the audience “everything changes with that knock on the door”.

The other victim impact speaker was retired Princeton Fire Chief Gary Hanna.  He showed raw video of an accident scene and funeral of his brother and nephew who were killed by a drunk driver in Bureau County in 1986.  Hanna was one of the first two on the scene not knowing his brother was among the victims.

Peru firefighter Rodney Perez organized “Operation PROMise”.  He says they plan on doing a similar program again and said they’ll be successful even if they just get one person to make a good decision and not drink and drive.

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Kinzinger Speaking At Tea Party

Posted by wlpo on April 26, 2010

The latest Bureau-La Salle Tea Party meeting will feature the republican candidate for the 11th Congressional District.

Adam Kinzinger will answer questions at the tea party’s monthly meeting tonight starting at 6 at Pitstick Pavilion in Ottawa.  Kinzinger says he sees it as another chance to talk at a public forum, regardless of what some people may think of tea parties.

He spoke at a tea party rally in Joliet April 15th and says each has its own flavor.  He says it’s incorrect to say the tea party is one major movement with a central leadership.

Kinzinger acknowledges he’ll probably be attached to the tea party now but says many of the members share his concern of government overspending.

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Convoy for Cancer Changes Venue

Posted by wlpo on April 26, 2010

The big rigs will be rolling into Peru on Saturday.

The 8th Annual “Convoy Against Cancer” Big Truck Show is going on from ten until three in the Kohl’s parking lot at Peru Marketplace.  This is the same event that’s been held previously in Princeton.  People who enter their trucks pay a registration fee that will benefit the American Cancer Society.  If you just want to see the trucks, it’s free.

All makes and models of trucks are invited to be in the “convoy”.  Besides the trucks, there will be food vendors, drawings and music.

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Ideas Sought For Ottawa Parks

Posted by wlpo on April 26, 2010

Its time to brainstorm about city parks in Ottawa.

City officials are holding a brainstorming session tonight at city hall to come up with public ideas on improving existing parks and suggestions for future park space.  They’ll also talk about bike path connections.

The meeting starts at 6:30.

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Bank Robbery Trial Underway

Posted by wlpo on April 26, 2010

Jury selection started for one of two guys accused of robbing the Peru Federal Savings Bank on Shooting Park Road last September.

36 year old Chad Diederich of Carbon Cliff faces 4 to 15 years in prison if he’s found guilty of aggravated robbery.  His co-defendant, Richard Riggs of Rock Island has yet to go to trial.

The men were stopped on Interstate 80 in Ottawa just minutes after allegedly robbing Peru Federal September 4th.  Diederich is accused of being the robber while Riggs was driving the getaway car.  Prosecutors think Diederich bought a plastic gun at the Peru Walgreen’s to use as a show of force during the robbery.

Investigators say Diederich and Riggs were found to have an excess of five thousand dollars in their car when they were arrested.

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Group from La Salle turned away by Westboro Baptist Church

Posted by wlpo on April 26, 2010

A trip to a controversial church in Kansas leaves a group supporting veterans turned away.  The group included people from the Illinois Valley.

They were in Topeka yesterday, trying to attend a service at the Westboro Baptist Church.  They wanted to honor dead U.S. soldiers by wearing black to the church service. The church and its founder, Fred Phelps Sr., have gained notoriety by picketing at soldiers’ funerals.

Jerry Bacidore of La Salle says he was given permission by Shirley Phelps-Roper to attend the noon service, but when his group showed up, it was turned away.

Phelps-Roper told The Topeka Capital Journal the group would have been welcome if Bacidore hadn’t publicized the visit in a letter to the newspaper.

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Road work scheduled for I-39 near Mendota

Posted by wlpo on April 26, 2010

If it stays dry, crews will begin work on Interstate 39 near Mendota Monday.

Workers will be repairing concrete and replacing shoulders on both sides of traffic.  The construction zone covers 19 miles from just north of Mendota to Rochelle.  Expect lane closures.  The project is expected to be done by November.

It’s an $11 million project.

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LPHS hosts Operation PROM-ise 2010

Posted by wlpo on April 26, 2010

Keeping teens safe during the prom season is the goal of video project and assembly at LP High School.  Operation PROM-ise 2010 centers on a mock prom night car crash that dramatically changes the lives of the people involved.

The mock crash and what happens afterwards is part of a video that will be shown Monday at Matthiessen Auditorium.  Doors open at 6pm.  The program begins at 6:30.

It’s open to everyone, but due to the nature of the video, you shouldn’t bring your younger children.

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