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Archive for January 17th, 2012

Deal Could Be Worked Out For Alleged Westclox Arsonist

Posted by wlpo on January 17, 2012

A plea deal could be in the works for the younger of two teens accused of starting the fire at Westclox in Peru.  There are signs that the public defender’s office and prosecutor are working out a deal for a 15 year old Peru boy charged with aggravated arson.  The boy is scheduled to be in court next Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the older boy, Steven Gallacher of La Salle was indicted Tuesday by a La Salle County grand jury.  He’s been charged as an adult and will be back in court Thursday for arraignment.

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City Hesitant About Footing Bill For Tractor Adventure

Posted by wlpo on January 17, 2012

The 11th Annual Heritage Tractor Adventure may have to look elsewhere besides Oglesby for a host city.

While the city council didn’t vote on playing host or not, council members Dennis Yborra and Dom Rivara both said the 10 thousand dollar commitment as host is too costly for their liking.  Yborra says the city’s hotel/motel tax dollars are better spent somewhere else while Rivara can’t reason asking for a 700 thousand dollar line of credit from a bank while paying ten thousand for the tractor parade.

Commissioner Tom Porter also has concerns financially and if they’d have enough volunteers for the June event.  Mayor Don Finley seems to be okay with hosting again.

Finley says the city didn’t make money when they hosted in 2010 but hotels, restaurants and non-profit groups did profit.

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Woman concerned about safety of Shooting Park Road-Peoria Street intersection

Posted by wlpo on January 17, 2012

Either a busy intersection in Peru needs stoplights or more people need to review the rules of the road.  The intersection of Shooting Park Road and Peoria Street is a four-way stop.

Amber Ellerbrock of Peru is asking the city to do something to make the intersection safer.  She brought her concerns to the city council Monday night.  She says she’s never been in a crash there but has come closed several times.  She wants to circulate a petition asking for a stoplight to be installed.

City officials agree it’s a messy intersection and say they’ll take a look at it.

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Big Raise For Former St. Bede Star

Posted by wlpo on January 17, 2012

Even after struggling to a 15 loss season last year, St. Bede grad J.A. Happ is getting a raise.

The tall lefty from Spring Valley agreed to a new one-year, $2.3 million dollar deal today with the Houston Astros.  The contract was awarded during an arbitration hearing.

Happ made 474 thousand dollars last season.

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Massachusetts man accused of having 94 pounds of cannabis

Posted by wlpo on January 17, 2012

A traffic stop on Interstate 80 near Peru was anything but typical after police say they found 94 pounds of marijuana.  A State Police trooper says he stopped Abdullah Abdur-Rahim of Allston, Massachusetts Monday afternoon for following too closely and improper lane usage.

Officers say 94.3 pounds marijuana was in the cargo area of the pickup truck.

Abdur-Rahim was arrested for possession of cannabis with intent to deliver and was taken to the La Salle County Jail.

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Three Hurt In Spring Valley Crash

Posted by wlpo on January 17, 2012

Two children were hurt in a crash on the west end of Spring Valley.

Peggy Ali-Khan of Spring Valley and Eileen Finn of LaGrange Park collided yesterday afternoon at the intersection of Ladd Lane and Dakota Street.  Finn and two of her passengers, a 13-year old boy and 9-year old boy also of LaGrange Park were taken to St. Margaret’s Hospital.

No tickets were issued.

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Westclox Accused Arsonist Due In Court Today

Posted by wlpo on January 17, 2012

The younger of two kids charged with setting the old Westclox building on fire is due in court.

The 15-year old from Peru is supposed to make his next court appearance today in juvenile court in Ottawa in front of Judge Dan Bute.  A couple weeks ago, the judge ordered the teen held in the detention home until at least today’s hearing.

His co-defendant, 17-year old Steven Gallacher is up for arraignment this Thursday morning.  He’s in the county jail on 250 thousand dollars bond.

Both teens are being represented by lawyers with the public defender’s office.

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NIU’s Cole Hall Reopening After 2008 Shootings

Posted by wlpo on January 17, 2012

The red-bricked building hasn’t been used since a gunman opened fire on a geology class four years ago, killing five students and sending others running for their lives out its front doors.

But students at Northern Illinois University begin heading back into Cole Hall today after an extensive, $6-million renovation. The reopening of the hall is expected to be a low-key affair.  No special ceremonies are planned.

Julianna Gehant of Mendota was one of five students killed by a gunman in 2008.

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