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News from the Illinois Valley

Archive for May, 2010

Communities observe Memorial Day

Posted by wlpo on May 31, 2010

Oglesby Memorial Day Service
http://ping.fm/p/VIbp5 – Oglesby Memorial Day Service

Across the nation communities are remembering fallen soldiers with Memorial Day observances.  In Oglesby, the American Legion, veterans and others gathered to remember the 26 men from Oglesby who died in World War Two, Korea, and Vietnam.

The service was held in Memorial Park.  It was one of several services in the Illinois Valley today.

You can hear a recording of the Spring Valley service at 6pm Monday on AM 1220 WLPO.

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U.S. Foodservice employees told hold practice strike

Posted by wlpo on May 31, 2010

Unhappy with their employers, workers at U.S. Foodservice in Streator are hitting the picket line.

Before their shift starts at 4pm Monday, workers are expected to participate in what’s being called a practice strike.  Union officials say they’re protesting unfair treatment by company officials.

According to Teamsters Local 722, the workers have been without a contract since May 9th and have attempted to bargain in good faith “to no avail”.  The union is accusing U.S. Foodservice negotiators of creating a discriminatory pay system, eroding healthcare benefits and reducing recall rights of laid off workers.

U.S. Foodservice in Streator announced in December they were laying off nearly 100 workers.

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Father and daughter taken to hospital after crash

Posted by wlpo on May 31, 2010

A father and daughter were treated for injuries after an accident on the Osage Curve.  Police say Roy Barnhart of Ottawa lost control of his jeep on the curve along Route 6 Sunday morning.

Barnhart and his 12 year old daughter Haley were taken to Ottawa Regional Hospital.  He was given a ticket for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

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Streator doctor arrested for rape

Posted by wlpo on May 29, 2010

CHICAGO (AP) – A sexual assault charge for a gynecologist who practiced in Streator.

At a bond hearing Friday for Dr. Bruce Smith, Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Annette Milleville said a rape exam of one alleged victim in 2002 turned up semen, but police didn’t request a DNA sample from Smith.

Milleville says investigators finally got a DNA sample from Smith this month and the state crime lab determined that Smith’s DNA profile matched the semen.  He’s accused of multiple rapes.

Smith was charged Thursday with sexual assault and turned himself in to police. His attorney says he plans to plead not guilty.

Smith worked at several Chicago hospitals before moving his practice to Streator.

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Boy charged after fire destroys three buildings in Marseilles

Posted by wlpo on May 29, 2010

A dark plume of smoke seen across La Salle County was large fire burning through several old buildings in Marseilles.  Investigators think it was the work of a young boy.

The blaze was reported at about 2pm Friday.  It started in an abandon warehouse on Commercial Street and spread to a storage garage and former foundry.  Three other buildings were left with minor damage.

By evening, police had taken three boys to the police station.  One was charged with arson and burglary.  He was taken to the county juvenile detention home.  The other two were released to their parents.

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Posted by wlpo on May 28, 2010

Listener submitted pic of downtown Marseilles fire.
http://ping.fm/p/MIEV3 – Listener submitted pic of downtown Marseilles fire.

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Major Fire In Marseilles

Posted by wlpo on May 28, 2010

A major fire in downtown Marseilles was brought under control around five this evening.

The fire along Commercial Street apparently started in an abandoned warehouse just before two this afternoon.  The fire then spread to nearby rundown buildings including one that’s called “the foundry”.  The large fire caused traffic to be diverted and led to power outages.

There are no reports of injuries.

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IVCC Offering Degrees In Exchange For Janitorial Work

Posted by wlpo on May 28, 2010

Making more in-roads into Ottawa, Illinois Valley Community College has struck an unusual deal with the new Marquette Academy.

Starting in the fall, Marquette juniors and seniors can get an Associate’s in Science degree from IVCC by taking dual credit courses.  In exchange, Marquette officials will offer their janitorial service to keep the new IVCC-Ottawa Center clean.

Marquette juniors can enroll in 17 hours of dual credit while seniors can enroll in 21 hours of dual credit by going to Marquette in the morning and attending class at the Ottawa Center of IVCC in Oglesby in the afternoon.

The IVCC Board approved the so-called “Running Start” pilot program Thursday.

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Police say they find crack-cocaine during I-80 stop

Posted by wlpo on May 28, 2010

An ordinary traffic stop for speeding turned into a drug bust for police on Interstate 80.

Police say after they stopped the car Tuesday night near a man riding in the car, James Toliver of Chicago, admitted that he had a small amount of marijuana.  This reportedly prompted troopers to search the the car.  Police say they found 112 grams of what they think is crack-cocaine in the trunk.

Toliver was arrested for possession of cannabis and possession of a controlled substance and was taken to the La Salle County Jail.

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Ground Breaking For Ottawa Goodwill Store

Posted by wlpo on May 28, 2010

Groudbreaking on a new Goodwill store in Ottawa happens next week.

City officials will join Goodwill ownership in moving dirt next Tuesday morning at 11.  The 17 thousand square foot store is north of interstate 80 near Wal-Mart.   The store should open this fall and employ 30 to 35 full and part-time workers.

The Ottawa Goodwill will be primarily donated goods but they’ll have some non pre-owned merchandise available.  As in Peru, the Ottawa store will have a drive-up, drop-off point.

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