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Archive for July 10th, 2014

Heroism and lifesaving awards to group of Illinois Valley officers

Posted by wlpo on July 10, 2014

Going beyond the call of duty has four officers in La Salle County being called heroes and lifesavers.

La Salle County Sheriff Tom Templeton presented heroism and lifesaving awards Thursday to Corporal Eric Yacko, deputies John McGrath and Aaron Hollenbeck and Seneca Police Lieutenant Harry Kosters.

Yacko is credited with running into a burning home on Route 6 in Ottawa and saving a man. McGrath is being praised for giving a one-year-old CPR and saving the child’s life in Streator. Hollenbeck and Kosters worked together on a domestic situation in Seneca, forcibly removing a man from his burning trailer.

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Bump in the road for sand mine east of Utica

Posted by wlpo on July 10, 2014

Opponents of all things related to sand mining in La Salle County have scored a minor victory.

After getting many complaints from environmentalists and people living near a proposed sand drying facility west of Ottawa, Northern White Sand has temporarily withdrawn its permit application. Vice President of Operations Eugene Hodges says “objectors asked us to move it and we will”. He says they’ll pick another spot to pipe in sand from their mine site south of Route 6 between Ottawa and Utica.

The county board did approve a special use permit for Northern White Sand to build a barge loading facility along the Illinois River west of the La Salle County Nursing Home. Plans are to run a pipeline from the mine to the sand drying facility and then south to the barges.

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Peru Fireworks Rescheduled Again

Posted by wlpo on July 10, 2014

If you were planning your Labor Day Weekend around Peru’s rescheduled 4th of July fireworks, you may need to tweak your schedule. Peru Park Board President Ray Zborowski says the fireworks will now be at dusk Saturday, August 30. The change was made to allow for Sunday to be used as a rain date.   

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New sculpture to be “planted” in Ottawa’s Allen Park

Posted by wlpo on July 10, 2014

Ottawa is known for murals but another piece of art will have city leaders together Friday morning.

Last summer a community mosaic sculpture was created in Washington Square called the “Giant Mosaic Rainbow Flower”. The flower is four-feet in diameter and has mosaic pieces put on it from people in the community. Marseilles artist Susan Burton put finishing touches on the sculpture and it will be unveiled at 11am Friday in Allen Park.

Burton says over 180 hours were put into the flower sculpture. She says the surface of the flower is primarily glass which showcases Ottawa’s long history with the glass industry.

Burton wants to put three more sculptures near the flower in Allen Park: a fish, butterfly and rainbow turtle.

Hear more about the sculpture and its artist Susan Burton by listening to an interview posted online at

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Some trails still off limits at Starved Rock

Posted by wlpo on July 10, 2014

The cleanup continues ten days after storms hit Starved Rock State Park.

Crews are still cleaning up debris including damaged trees and hanging limbs. Trails are open on the east end of the park but some remain closed on the west end.

Signs are up warning hikers of closed trails. You can get ticketed if you’re found walking on closed trails.

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Door-to-door sales people create stir in the Illinois Valley

Posted by wlpo on July 10, 2014

Facebook drama has the Ottawa and Streator Police Department’s taking notice.

Both department’s released messages Wednesday saying foreign exchange students selling books in the Illinois Valley are legitimately working for a company called Southwestern Advantage. The peddlers are selling products for younger children and Ottawa officers say that may prompt them to ask about other families with children in your neighborhood.

This has caused a stir in the world of Facebook with some thinking the sales people are looking for children for human trafficking. Streator Police say that’s not the case and urge people to stop posting threats towards the students on Facebook.

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“Les Mis” opens this weekend in Streator

Posted by wlpo on July 10, 2014

A musical that’s had successful runs on Broadway and more recently was made into a film opens this weekend in at Engle Lane Theater in Streator.

“Les Miserables” is the story of Jean ValJean and the poverty and desperation he encounters in nineteenth century France.
The performance at Engle Lane is directed by Doug Bartelt. The cast includes Roger Amm as ValJean, Suzannah Walter as Fantine, and Carlye Pillash as Cosette.

Performances run this Saturday through the following Saturday. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children 12 and younger.

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Utica opens door for outdoor dining

Posted by wlpo on July 10, 2014

On a nice, sunny day, you could soon see people dining on village sidewalks in Utica.

According to the NewsTribune, the Utica Village Board has approved outdoor dining licenses. One board member voted against the idea over concerns of room on sidewalks for outdoor dining plus handicap accessibility.

Utica bars and restaurants however will not be able to serve alcohol with outdoor dining just yet. The board put off a decision on serving liquor outdoors because some are worried customers could decide to take the alcohol with them when they finish eating.

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Relay for Life returns to Mendota

Posted by wlpo on July 10, 2014

If you’re wondering why Mendota is a little more purple than usual this week it’s for a good cause.

Organizers with the Relay for Life of the Upper Illinois Valley have asked businesses to “paint the town purple” this week ahead of this weekend’s relay at Lake Mendota. The relay starts at 6 Saturday and goes to 6 Sunday morning.

This is the fifth annual Relay for Life in Mendota. The fundraising goal is 160 thousand dollars. Money raised goes to the American Cancer Society.

Jaimie London will broadcast from the relay Saturday starting at 5 on 99.3 WAJK.

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