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Archive for May 23rd, 2013

Police arrest three men from Waukegan accused of bank fraud locally

Posted by wlpo on May 23, 2013

          Burglaries at businesses in La Salle and neighboring counties could be tied to three men from Waukegan.  Investigators say the men stole payroll checks from the businesses and tried to cash them at area banks.

Fernando Sanchez-Guizar, Nicolas Armando Chavez-Garcia, and Joel Gaytan-Sandoval were arrested last Thursday in Waukegan after an investigation involving the FBI and police departments in several states.

They’re accused of bank fraud and were being held in the Lake County Jail.  They could face more charges.  The Mendota, La Salle, Peru, and Spring Valley Police Departments were some of many departments investigating. 

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Parolee accused of having heroin and ammunition

Posted by wlpo on May 23, 2013

           A parole check at a business in Peru could have a man returning to prison.  Officers were at Applebee’s Wednesday where they searched Thore Pastorik of Marseilles, allegedly finding heroin and two ammunition rounds.

          Pastorik was arrested for possession of a controlled substance and possession of a weapon by a felon.  He’s on parole for a heroin-related conviction in 2011. 

          Pastorik was taken to the La Salle County Jail.

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Peru Elementary Going After Grant To Remove Asbestos And Upgrade Electric System

Posted by wlpo on May 23, 2013

Even with all the state’s financial woes, the Peru Elementary School District hopes a state maintenance grant can help pay for a couple of urgent problems.

Superintendent Mark Cross says asbestos in the attic at Washington Elementary presents an immediate health and safety hazard.  To get it removed, the price tag is estimated to be around 50 thousand dollars.

The immediate problem at Northview Elementary School is outdated electrical wiring that if it fails, it could knock power out to the school for a week or two.  Cross thinks electrical upgrades at the school would require boring underneath the school parking lot.  The estimated cost of bring Northview’s electric system up to date is 60 thousand dollars.

Cross hopes to dip into the fire prevention and safety fund for the local matching dollars so they avoid taking on debt.

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Displaced Marseilles Students Set To Graduate

Posted by wlpo on May 23, 2013

It may not be ideal but it beats having nowhere to graduate.

Since the record flood closed the elementary school, Marseilles 8th graders will have their graduation outside in the Illinois Valley Cellular parking lot.  The makeshift graduation is planned for tonight at 7 o’clock.

There will be a stage with hundreds of chairs covered under a tent.  Much of the things used during the graduation are being donated.

The after graduation party will be at the Marseilles American Legion Hall.

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Ottawa Chief Names Officer Of The Year

Posted by wlpo on May 23, 2013

A twenty year veteran of the Ottawa Police Department is being honored by his peers.

Det. Sgt. Randall Baxter was named the Ottawa Officer of the Year for 2012 by Chief Brent Roalson.  Roalson says Baxter has the respect of his peers, his work is always of the highest quality and he’s created a higher standard within the department.

Baxter was promoted to Sergeant in 1998 after working patrol the previous five years.  He now works in investigations.

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Up To Governor To Increase Illinois’ Speed Limit To 70

Posted by wlpo on May 23, 2013

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Legislation increasing the speed limit on interstate highways in Illinois to 70 mph is headed to Gov. Pat Quinn.

The House approved the bill 85-30 Wednesday. State Representative Frank Mautino voted to raise the speed limit, so did State Senator Sue Rezin.

The head of the Illinois Department of Transportation opposes the speed limit increase. But a spokeswoman says Quinn will review the bill.

Opponents say studies show increased speeds result in more crashes and deaths.

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50 Schools Closing In Chicago

Posted by wlpo on May 23, 2013

CHICAGO (AP) – The Chicago Board of Education has made a final vote to close 50 schools.

The ambitious proposal that sparked protests and lawsuits could help define – for better or worse – Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s term in office. The board voted Wednesday.

City officials say the closings are necessary because of falling school enrollment and as part of their efforts to improve the city’s struggling education system. But critics have blasted Emanuel and schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett, saying the closings disproportionately affect minority neighborhoods and will endanger children who may have to cross gang boundaries to get to a new school.

Protesters rallied during the board’s meeting Wednesday. They also sent busloads of teachers, parents and students to Springfield to lobby lawmakers to approve a moratorium on the closings.

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