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Archive for December 27th, 2010

Fire Breaks Out In Mendota

Posted by wlpo on December 27, 2010

Dozens of firefighters were in downtown Mendota Monday afternoon after being called to a four-alarm fire.

Work crews apparently thawing out gutters with torches ignited a wall on fire at Main Street Station Bar and Grill in downtown Mendota.  The fire spread up to the second story which is apartments.  The Illinois Valley Chapter of the Red Cross was contacted to help people living in the apartment.  No one was hurt.

Fire crews brought the fire under control quickly thanks to tower trucks from Peru and Mendota.  Just a small trace of smoke remained an hour after the initial fire report at two o’clock.

Most fire crews began leaving the scene around five o’clock.

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Another Semi Crash On Interstate 80

Posted by wlpo on December 27, 2010

The day after a crash that cut traffic on Interstate 80 down to two lanes, a man remains hospitalized.

Police say it happened yesterday evening west of the Plank Road exit after a semi crossed the median and hit an eastbound semi.  Then another semi became involved.  Traffic was down to one lane in each direction for several hours while crews cleaned up the wreckage.

The names of the people involved haven’t been released.  Police say the man that was driving the semi that crossed the median was being treated at St. Margaret’s Hospital in Spring Valley.

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Accused cocaine dealer arrested

Posted by wlpo on December 27, 2010

Drug charges for a woman suspected of selling cocaine in Peru.  Darrylena Merritte of Peru was arrested Monday by La Salle Police on a warrant for three counts of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance.

Police say members of the drug team TRIDENT bought cocaine from Merritte while at the City Motel in Peru several times.

She was taken to the La Salle County Jail.

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Major Pot Bust Near Utica

Posted by wlpo on December 27, 2010

The latest large pot bust in the area involves a motor home.

A motor home driven by Jay McMaster of California was pulled over Sunday afternoon headed east bound on Interstate 80 just past Utica.  The Utica canine unit was called in and pointed towards drugs being in the rear of the motor home.  Investigators then did a search and allegedly found five bags of cannabis hidden under a bed and another inside a closet.  The total weight of the alleged cannabis was 128 pounds.

McMaster and his passenger Shawn McDonald of New York were both arrested for possession of more than five thousand grams of cannabis with intent to deliver.  Both were taken to the county jail.

Their bond will be set in court Tuesday morning.

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Christmas Eve crash on I-80 kills an Aurora man

Posted by wlpo on December 27, 2010

A crash that stopped westbound traffic on Interstate 80 on Christmas Eve, left one man dead.

Police say 48 year old Michael Ariano of Aurora was heading west on I-80 near La Salle late Friday morning when he lost control on the wet and icy road.  Police say his car rolled several times, throwing him from the car.

Ariano was taken to Illinois Valley Community Hospital in Peru where he was pronounced dead.

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La Salle continues to work on agreements with new ambulance service

Posted by wlpo on December 27, 2010

Another agreement between La Salle and their new ambulance service is up for discussion Monday night.  The city is preparing to begin a new ambulance service in March with Paramedic Services of Illinois.  They were still working the billing arrangements.

The city council is also applying for a Community Development Assistance Program grant.

The council meets at 7pm Monday.

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Drifting snow could affect rural travel

Posted by wlpo on December 27, 2010

Driving in-town and on the Interstates shouldn’t be a problem this morning, but you’ll need to watch out for drifting on some rural roads.

Plows have been trying to keep up with drifting snow mainly on east-west roads.  Slow down and give yourself extra time if you’ll be heading through those areas.

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