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News from the Illinois Valley

Archive for March, 2011

Food Pantry Needs Donation For Easter

Posted by wlpo on March 31, 2011

While you stock up on eggs and candy for your Easter celebration, the Illinois Valley Food Pantry is preparing for the Easter distribution.  They’re expecting to serve 600 families this holiday.

Donna Hess is the Executive Director of the pantry.  She says they’re getting afraid they my not have enough food. Hess says the Easter distribution is smaller than the Christmas and Thanksgiving distributions.

Hess says a food drive by the Knights of Columbus helped them out last month and a large food drive by the letter carriers will set them up for the summer but they’ll always take donations, especially since food prices are increasing.

Easter distribution will be Saturday, April 16 from 10am until 2pm at the pantry in downtown La Salle.

You can learn more about the pantry’s effort by listening to an interview with Hess available at the AM 1220 WLPO news page

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Investigation Continues Into Death of Baby In La Salle

Posted by wlpo on March 31, 2011

Services have been scheduled for a three month old baby that died after a 9-1-1 call in La Salle.

Alexandria Pratt, daughter of Tiffany Pratt and Richard Stachowiak of La Salle was pronounced dead at Illinois Valley Community Hospital early Wednesday morning.

A La Salle Police officer and La Salle Ambulance personnel were called to a home after receiving a 9-1-1 call from a woman requesting an ambulance for a baby that was not breathing.

Police says the father and a police officer tried C-P-R on the child.  Police say there were no signs of injury or trauma.  An autopsy was performed yesterday.  The La Salle County Coroner’s office says they’re waiting on toxicology results.

The La Salle Police Department and D-C-F-S are also investigating.

You can hear more about services for Pratt during AM 1220 WLPO’s In Memoriam.

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ComEd Poles Catch Fire In Bureau County

Posted by wlpo on March 31, 2011

Fire departments in the Illinois Valley responded to a couple more fires on Thursday.

Just after 3:30, Walnut fire crews were called to ComEd power poles catching fire on Star Road just north of Walnut.  Crews had the fire under control in about a half hour.

Then just after four o’clock, Mendota and Troy Grove fire departments were called out to a controlled burn that got out of control near Meriden.  The fire was out in under an hour.

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Cocaine Bust In Mendota

Posted by wlpo on March 31, 2011

Area drug officials think they’ve busted a cocaine dealer in Mendota.

TRIDENT members and Mendota Police searched the home of Matthew Arrendondo yesterday after getting information that he was dealing drugs from his home.  Investigators allegedly found cocaine in his home.

Arrendondo was taken to the county jail on the charge of unlawful possession of controlled substance with the intent to deliver.

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Truck overturned I-39 ramp near Troy Grove

Posted by wlpo on March 31, 2011

A spill caused by a truck that overturned Thursday morning outside of Troy Grove has been cleared.

It happened before 8am on the on ramp to southbound Interstate 39 from Route 52.  Police haven’t said how the accident happened or what was spilled.

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Over 60 WWII veterans reserve seats for “Pillars of Honor”

Posted by wlpo on March 31, 2011

The original scale model of the World War Two monument in Washington D-C is coming to the La Salle VFW this weekend. The exhibit is called “Pillars of Honor”.

Elton Murphy, the Commander of the VFW Post 4668, says over 60 World War Two veterans have reserved seats for programs Saturday and Sunday, though everyone is invited.

Murphy says people will be coming from the Veteran’s Home in La Salle and a couple of other nursing homes.

The programs are at 2pm Saturday and Sunday.

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Last day for early voting

Posted by wlpo on March 31, 2011

Thursday is the last day to cast an early vote in Illinois.

The early voting location in La Salle County is the basement of the Etna Road Governmental Complex.  You don’t have to give a reason why you’re choosing to vote early instead of waiting for Tuesday’s Election Day.

Thursday is also the last day county clerk offices will accept absentee ballot applications by mail.

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Future Of Ottawa Mansion Up For Debate

Posted by wlpo on March 30, 2011

Is there a certain point where money issues trump historic or sentimental value?

Economic development consultant Linda Miller told a crowd last night that she is putting together a redevelopment plan for the 155-year old Reddick Mansion in Ottawa. Miller says the mansion’s revenue is dropping significantly after tenants like the chamber of commerce moved out.  She also says mansion officials are charging too little for museum tours and membership fees.  Mansion President Diane Sanders told Miller they did make enough money last year to meet basic expenses but don’t have cash for big improvements like a new elevator.  The mansion needs one to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Ideas Miller gave to make more money was to book more weddings and receptions, open a restaurant or coffee shop inside, rent out office space or make it a bed and breakfast.  The bed and breakfast idea drew groans from some in the audience.

Miller didn’t give a timeframe on when she would have a redevelopment plan ready for the Reddick Mansion.

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Grass Fire Outbreak

Posted by wlpo on March 30, 2011

Fire departments from all over the listening area were busy Wednesday afternoon.

Shortly after one o’clock, Marseilles firefighters were dispatched to a grass fire on North 2879th Road.  That’s just north of the city.

Minutes later, Hennepin and Granville firefighters were called to a timber fire just behind the steel plant.  The fire was called in by a picketing worker at the plant.

Just before three o’clock, Bureau firefighters were dispatched to a grass fire outside Princeton.  About a half hour later, West Brooklyn firefighters were called to a grass fire along Route 30.

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Police and coroner investigate La Salle infant’s death

Posted by wlpo on March 30, 2011

Despite attempts to resuscitate an infant in La Salle, a three-month old baby was pronounced dead after being taken to the hospital.

Police received a 911 call at 4:19am Wednesday from a woman asking for an ambulance for a baby that was not breathing.

A police officer arrived not even a minute later and found the reported father performing CPR on the child.  The officer than tried before paramedics took over.  The baby was taken to Illinois Valley Community Hospital where it was pronounced dead.

Police say there were no signs of injury or trauma.  An autopsy was scheduled for later Wednesday.

It’s being investigation by the La Salle Police Department, La Salle County Coroners office and DCFS.

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