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News from the Illinois Valley

Archive for August 28th, 2011

Coffee blamed for I-39 accident

Posted by wlpo on August 28, 2011

Sipping on a cup of coffee usually doesn’t distract you too much when you’re behind the wheel, unless you start choking.

Police say that’s what happened to Melvin Wilder of Oglesby late Saturday morning.  He was drinking coffee and started choking while driving a semi south on I-39 just south of Route 52.  He lost control of his truck and hit an embankment underneath North 31 Road.  The truck overturned, shutting down the southbound lanes.

Wilder was taken to Illinois Valley Community Hospital.

 

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Irene cancels flights at Chicago airports

Posted by wlpo on August 28, 2011

CHICAGO (AP) – Aviation officials say almost 400 flights have been canceled at both of Chicago’s airports because of Tropical Storm Irene.

Airlines canceled more than 300 flights at O’Hare International Airport and around 70 at Midway International Airport yesterday.

Chicago’s Department of Aviation says most of the cancellations are due to East Coast weather conditions. There aren’t any delays.

More than 11,500 flights have been canceled nationwide.

Weather officials downgraded Irene from a hurricane to a tropical storm yesterday as the storm’s winds lost speed.

As a hurricane, Irene had already unloaded more than a foot of water on North Carolina, spun off tornadoes in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, and left 4 million homes and businesses without power. At least 18 people died in the storm.

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O’Hare and Irene

Posted by wlpo on August 28, 2011

Tropical Storm Irene is causing problems for travelers in Chicago. Officials at both of the city’s airports nowsay about 250 flights were canceled on Sunday mostly due to weather conditions on the East Coast. That’s about 200 flights at O’Hare International Airport and about 50 at Midway International Airport.

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Revamped Waterway Visitors Center

Posted by wlpo on August 28, 2011

When the Illinois River floods at Starved Rock, the Illinois Waterway Visitors Center should be relatively unaffected. Gary Shea is lead ranger at the Center located two miles east of Route 178 at Utica. Shea said a new addition that is well above flood stage will now contain offices and the auditorium. Shea says new exhibits are in place and the center will likely host more “Bald Eagle” programs next February. Offices and the auditorium were previously in the basement. In the past, Shea said, flooding would fill the basement, upwards of three times a year, forcing the the center to close for cleaning.

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Rural King official opening

Posted by wlpo on August 28, 2011

An ad in the News Trib and The Times indicates “Rural King” is officially opening Monday. It’s LaSalle Peru’s first business aimed primarily at farmers in quite some time. Preparations to open have been underway for over a month. Rural King is a chain of stores mostly in the Midwest . The Peru location is in the old Econo Foods Store on 38th Street . A “grand opening” sale is planned for September 1 – 4.

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Felons getting access

Posted by wlpo on August 28, 2011

The Chicago Tribune is reporting today that rapists, child molesters and other violent felons have been allowed to take part in a state-sponsored babysitting program. The Tribune reports that even after a 2009 state law forced the Department of Human Services to better vet baby sitters taking part in the Child Care Assistance Program, the state still lacks safeguards to weed out sitters who live in the homes of sex offenders and other felons. The paper did not find any instances where children were harmed due to the problem.

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Bureau County Fair – last day

Posted by wlpo on August 28, 2011

The 156th edition of the Bureau County Fair concludes today. The main grandstand entertainment is a demo derby at 5. An open horse show precedes it. Live music includes the Bureau County Barbershop Quartet and the Putnam County Jazz Choir and Show Band. A visitor will also find carnival rides, a beer tent, food stands and exhibit halls.

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Streator National Guard mustering

Posted by wlpo on August 28, 2011

Effects of Hurricane Irene have reached in-land to Streator – home of “Company A – 405th Brigade” of the Illinois National Guard. Lt. April Hawes is in charge of “Company A – 405th Brigade” – based at the Streator Armory. Lt. Hawes told AM 1220 WLPO news Sunday morning “Company A” is awaiting approval to go to Pennsylvania for training THEN will await the “green light” to be deployed along the East Coast in the wake of Hurricane Irene. “Company A” will provide logistical support to emergency agencies.

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Streator High School break-in

Posted by wlpo on August 28, 2011

It’s a mess for Streator High School officials and the Streator police. Sgt Guest of the Streator police says school personnel are searching through offices and rooms assessing damage and losses following a break-in late Friday or early Saturday. Streator police say janitors called them about 7:45 Saturday morning after finding several offices, the band room and computer lab with broken windows and doors. Sgt Guest said some computers were damaged as well. It’s unknown what, if anything was taken. Police will examine the security video for clues to the break-in occuring sometime between 11pm Friday and 4am Saturday. No word from Streator High School Superintendent Kevin Myers regarding adjustments to the school schedule.

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