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Archive for November 18th, 2011

Service station fire disrupts traffic on Route 23

Posted by wlpo on November 18, 2011

A block of one of the busiest streets in Ottawa was closed off due to a fire at a service station.

Fire Chief Jeff Newberry says an oil-burning furnace at Jim Boe’s Service Station on Columbus Street malfunctioned, overheated and caught some surrounding stuff, including tires, on fire.

The call came in just before 1pm Friday.  They had it under control in 20 minutes.  A block of Columbus, or Route 23 northbound, was closed while they were on the scene.

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IV Food Pantry expects to serve 900 families for Thanksgiving Day

Posted by wlpo on November 18, 2011

Smell the turkey, taste the sweetness of the corn, and watch the butter melt into your mashed potatoes.  Thanksgiving is a day of feasting, and for 900 local families that meal is possible because of the Illinois Valley Food Pantry.

Donna Hess is the pantry director.  She says this Thanksgiving Day they’re helping more families than ever before.

Large and medium sized families receive turkeys while families with one or two people get hams plus traditional side dishes.

Hess says she’s grateful to the many area grade schools that held food drives and the support shown by churches.

Donations are always needed, especially with Christmas next month.  You can drop off items at HyVee in Peru during the “Fill the Mayflower” drive from 9am-3pm Saturday.

More with Hess by listening to an interview that’s on the AM 1220 WLPO news page.

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White powder being sent to a lab, investigation continues

Posted by wlpo on November 18, 2011

Business is back to normal at the La Salle County Circuit Clerk’s office but police continue to investigate a white powder that arrived by mail Wednesday.

The mystery powder closed the office in the downtown Ottawa courthouse.  Sheriff Tom Templeton says they were able to prove the powder wasn’t hazardous.  He says it’s being sent to a lab for more testing.  He isn’t saying what it could be but just that it is being handled as a criminal investigation.

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Life in prison for Sterling man

Posted by wlpo on November 18, 2011

GALESBURG, Ill. (AP) – A judge in western Illinois has sentenced killing spree suspect Nicholas Sheley to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Sheley was sentenced Friday for his conviction in September in the 2008 death of 65-year-old Ronald Randall of Galesburg.

WGIL Radio reports that Judge James Stewart also gave Sheley concurrent sentences of 30 years for aggravated vehicular hijacking and seven years for possession of a stolen vehicle.

Sheley has pleaded not guilty to killing five other people in Illinois and in the deaths of a couple from Arkansas in Missouri.

He next faces trial in Whiteside County for the death of 93-year-old Russell Reed of Sterling. That could take place as soon as March.

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Stabbing Investigated In Streator

Posted by wlpo on November 18, 2011

A stabbing is being looked into in Streator.

A 28 year old man was stabbed late Tuesday night in the 900 block of North Park Street. The man was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital for treatment.

No other information has been released.

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Ex-La Salle County Board Member Loses Lawsuit

Posted by wlpo on November 18, 2011

No stranger to suing La Salle County, Stephen Carlson’s latest effort was denied.

Bureau County Judge Marc Bernabei tossed out Carlson’s lawsuit this week. Carlson is arguing that the new county board district map is illegal since populations aren’t equal enough in population. The judge tossed out Carlson’s claim but gave him until Wednesday to file a new complaint.

Carlson served one term on the La Salle County Board as a republican from Mendota. He sued the board while he was a member.

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Latest On Princeton School Shotgun Case

Posted by wlpo on November 18, 2011

How did Blake Schmidt get into Princeton High with a shotgun?

Princeton Police Chief Tom Root was left asking himself that saying the school normally has all doors locked during school. Surveillance video showed Schmidt walking in the door but with no one else around. The time he came into the north entrance, students were being dismissed. Root says that’s why students were let out of the building instead of locking them down inside while they negotiated with Schmidt.

Investigators say Schmidt had three rounds loaded in the shotgun and another five rounds in his pocket. When he’s found mentally fit to leave a Peoria Hospital, Schmidt faces a felony charge.

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