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Archive for August 10th, 2010

Several people hospitalized after crashes on I-80

Posted by wlpo on August 10, 2010

*photo submitted from Sara Lynn

Traffic on eastbound Interstate 80 was stuck for several hours as fire fighters and paramedics handled two crashes east of the Utica exit.

Police say one person was flown to a Peoria hospital while another was taken there by ambulance.  Others were taken to Illinois Valley Community Hospital and Ottawa Regional Hospital.

The crashes happened just before 2:30pm Tuesday between the Utica and Ottawa exits.  Police say a semi hauling beef hit another semi that was broken down on the shoulder.

The second accident happened shortly after that.  Police say a semi hit three cars that were stopped because of the first accident.

IDOT was making eastbound traffic exit at Utica to Route 178 to Route 6 to Ottawa. Westbound traffic was also moving slowly as people slowed down to look at the accidents.

By 6pm, one eastbound lane had reopened.  The other lane was reopened after 9pm.  Police haven’t yet released the names of those involved.

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Blagojevich judge: No word from jurors

Posted by wlpo on August 10, 2010

CHICAGO (AP) – The judge in the corruption trial of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich says he’s heard nothing from deliberating jurors in more than a week.

Prosecutors, defense lawyers and reporters gathered in Judge James Zagel’s courtroom on Tuesday, the tenth day of deliberations. Zagel said with a sigh that he had no news. He told those assembled that, in his words, “We are all in exactly the same position. We are waiting.”

Blagojevich faces 24 counts, including charges of trying to sell or trade an appointment to President Barack Obama’s vacated Senate seat. He has pleaded not guilty.

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Alzheimer’s Fundraiser Returns To Peru

Posted by wlpo on August 10, 2010

By now, you’ve probably seen the signs around town for a “Memory Walk”.

The annual event is sponsored by the Central Illinois Chapter of the American Alzheimer’s Association.  Last year’s walk raised 21 thousand dollars to help fight Alzheimer’s disease which affects someone new every 70 seconds.

This year’s walk starts at 1 at Baker Lake Sunday in Peru.  Prizes are awarded to individuals raising the most money and team’s who raise the most.

For more information, go to

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Marquette Academy Ready To Launch

Posted by wlpo on August 10, 2010

While Streator is consolidating catholic churches, Ottawa has consolidated its catholic schools.

A week from today, the era of Marquette Academy officially begins.  St. Patrick and St. Columba elementary schools are now under one roof at the old St. Columba School.  The grade school’s new mascot is the Knights.  St. Pat’s now houses Marquette’s pre-k and daycare programs while the high school is the same building for ninth thru 12th graders.

Principal Brooke Rick is part of a whole new administration.  She says parents won’t see any radical changes.  One potential change that met resistance was multi-age classrooms, where students are put in classes matching learning levels, not by age.  Rick says they aren’t doing multi-age classes and kids will be with students their age.  They will offer accelerated learning or honor’s programs for excelling students.

Rick says the new academy means they will align curriculum between the grade school and high school.  To help match the curriculum, many teachers will teach at both the grade school and high school.

Rick says Marquette’s preschool is full and the grade school enrollment of 270 and high school of 200 is right at projections.

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Coroner Position Still Up In Air In Putnam County

Posted by wlpo on August 10, 2010

There’s no urgency among Putnam County Board members to re-establish the position of county coroner.

Some counties like La Salle have an elected coroner.  That’s not the case in Putnam County where they have an appointed death investigator.

Death investigator Robert Cofoid brought up the topic at last month’s county board meeting.  He says he was approached by someone about the possible switch.

But no one on the county board did anything to initiate that change yesterday.  In order to change the death investigator position to that of coroner, the board would have had to agree to put the question on the ballot.  Anyone else in the county could also start a petition and have it signed by a certain percentage of the people and have it filed.

Thanks to the Newstribune for information in this story.

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