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Archive for April 26th, 2013

More Barges Moved At Marseilles Dam

Posted by wlpo on April 26, 2013

The process of removing stranded barges at the Marseilles Dam continues.

According to the Army Corps of Engineers, three barges were removed from the dam Thursday thanks to a huge crane called HERCULES.  Officials were able to open up two gates at the dam after getting the three barges out of the way.

Three barges still remain stuck at the dam.  Officials hope to remove the cargo from these barges this weekend.

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Marseilles Woman Wins Big With Instant Lotto Ticket

Posted by wlpo on April 26, 2013

A Marseilles woman has struck it big.

Gayle Holcomb was given an oversized check from the Illinois Lottery yesterday for 762 thousand dollars.  She bought a 2 dollar scratch off ticket for the game called “$1,000 A Week For Life”.  Holcomb says she used her lucky penny to scratch the ticket and just about fell over.  She says she plans to share the winnings with her family.

Holcomb bought the winning scratch off at the Circle K in Marseilles.  The gas station gets 1 percent of the winnings.

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Saturn viewing available Sunday at Starved Rock State Park

Posted by wlpo on April 26, 2013

You’ll be a little bit closer to the planet Saturn on Sunday.  Observe and learn more about the planet during a day of presentations Sunday at Starved Rock State Park.

Members of the Chicago Astronomical Society will be set up in the area of Fox Ridge.

Day-time Solar Observation will begin at three, with special solar viewing equipment.  It’s followed by a program about Saturn.
At 7:30 p.m., is the program “Astronomy for Fun” and afterwards you’ll be able to view Saturn at its closest approach to Earth.

Jupiter and its moons will be visible at 8:00 p.m., for a brief time.

If you go feel free to bring your telescope, binoculars, and a small red-bulbed flashlight.  You could also bring a regular flashlight covered with red plastic. You won’t be allowed to have a white light at the observing site.

Admission is free but they’ll be accepting donations.

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Major Donation For IVCC’s New Technology Center

Posted by wlpo on April 26, 2013

As the Peter Miller Community Technology Center continues to take shape at Illinois Valley Community College, a major donation has been made for the building.

Ralph Scriba of California has donated 50 thousand dollars to the technology center’s capital campaign.  Scriba is a 1951 graduate of LPO Junior College.  He graduated from Mendota High School in 1945.

After his time in the Illinois Valley, Scriba moved to California and founded the company Swift-Cor in his garage.  They went on to make parts for major airlines including Boeing.  He sold the company in 2000.

IVCC President Jerry Corcoran says Scriba reached out to the college asking how he could help.  Corcoran says it’s the third largest capital campaign contribution.

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Ottawa Woman Accused Of Stealing Airport Rental Car

Posted by wlpo on April 26, 2013

If you’re driving a stolen car, may want to abide by the speed limit to avoid drawing attention.

A state trooper says he stopped a car this morning around two o’clock near Utica for speeding.  When the trooper ran the vehicle identification number, it turned up stolen from Dollar Car Rental at Midway Airport.

The driver, Jannelle DeBernardi of Ottawa was arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle.  She was taken to the La Salle County Jail.

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Corps Of Engineers Reports “Unprecedented” Damage To Marseilles Dam

Posted by wlpo on April 26, 2013

An initial damage assessment of the Marseilles Lock and Dam is done and it’s not pretty.

Five of the eight gates at the dam are severely damaged after several barges hit the dam last week because of the Illinois River flooding.  Ron Fournier with the Army Corps of Engineers in Rock Island says two of the gates are inoperable and have pieces that broke off and floated downstream. Fournier says the damage at the dam is unprecedented and the worst he’s seen in his 20 years with the Corps of Engineers.

Despite all the damage, Fournier says the dam is in no danger of collapsing.  As the water falls more, he says engineers will get a better look at what repairs are needed at the dam.

Lawmakers, city officials and others are expected to meet at the Marseilles Fire Station this morning to talk about the economic impact the lack of barge traffic will have between Marseilles and Chicago.

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Schock Not Running For Governor

Posted by wlpo on April 26, 2013

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) – The campaign manager for Republican Aaron Schock says the three-term congressman will seek re-election and forgo a run for Illinois governor.

Steve Shearer says Schock has concluded he can do more on Capitol Hill as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee than as governor. He said Schock could work on comprehensive tax reform and long-term repairs to entitlement programs.

Talk of the Peoria Republican’s possible run for governor began in earnest last summer. However, Schock said at the time he didn’t want to consider anything until after the November election.

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Custody Dispute Could’ve Led To Mass Shooting Near Springfield

Posted by wlpo on April 26, 2013

MANCHESTER, Ill. (AP) – Investigators say there was a dispute between the man suspected of killing a south-central Illinois family and at least one of the victims, but they don’t know what it was about.

Illinois State Police spokeswoman Monique Bond says official are running down reports that Rick Smith was involved in a custody dispute with a member of the family that was found shot to death Wednesday in Manchester. Smith is suspected of forcing his way into a home west of Springfield, and shooting the family with a shotgun.

The victims were two brothers, their father, their pregnant mother and their great-grandmother. The boys’ 6-year-old sister was shot and seriously injured.

Smith died after a shootout with police.

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