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Archive for July 30th, 2014

Crash on I-80 injures a Chicago teen

Posted by wlpo on July 30, 2014

It is easy to find yourself drifting into another lane when you’re on an Interstate. Investigators believe a crash Tuesday on I-80 happened after a man over-corrected after drifting into the eastbound passing lane.

Police say Willie Hooker of Chicago’s car spun clockwise and hit a guardrail. The impact caused a backseat door to open. 15-year-old Jessie Barron was laying down in the backseat and was thrown from the car.

Hooker and Willliam Epting of Chicago weren’t hurt but Barron was taken to the St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Ottawa. His condition isn’t being made available.

Hooker was ticketed for improper lane usage and a child restraint violation.


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La Salle teen killed in a sand mine crash was under the influence

Posted by wlpo on July 30, 2014

The investigation into a crash that killed a teenager from La Salle has been completed.  Zachary Behrens died on June 16 after he crashed through a fence at US Silica in Ottawa and ended up in the bottom of an old sand mine.   

La Salle County Coroner Jody Bernard says toxicology reports show the recent LP High School graduate was on LSD and marijuana when he died. An autopsy shows that he died from drowning in the water that was in the bottom of the pit.  His death is considered accidental.

His family released a statement saying they couldn’t have asked for a better son or brother.  They say Behrens was an honor roll student, enrolled in the Air Force, never got in trouble and had a bright and promising future. 

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Ottawa Fire Chief to retire in August

Posted by wlpo on July 30, 2014

The Ottawa Fire Department has handled thousands of fire calls since 1984. A man that has been around for many of those calls says he’s retiring next month.

Chief Jeff Newbury’s last day will be August 27. Newbury started with the Ottawa Fire Department in October, 1984. He was promoted to Deputy Chief in June 2006 and was named Chief in October 2010.

Newbury’s next job is in education. He will be teaching fire science at Sauk Valley Community College beginning in the fall. His replacement hasn’t been announced.

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A Peru plant will be without power while a transformer is taken out of service

Posted by wlpo on July 30, 2014

You’ll see a crane set up near James Hardie in Peru. The city’s electric department is preparing to take an 87,000 pound transformer out of service so it can be shipped to Boston, Virginia to be evaluated and rehabbed.

The transformer serves James Hardie and hasn’t been performing as it should according to Alderman Jim Lukosus. He says James Hardie will be without power for up to 12 hours.

The transformer is being taken out of service Thursday. It’s costing $77,000 to move it and have it evaluated. The money is coming from the electric department fund. Lukosus says they’re fortunate to have a backup.

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Man involved with a police standoff is indicted

Posted by wlpo on July 30, 2014

A man who had to be brought out of his home by an Illinois State Police swat team has been indicted for felony domestic battery.

Eric Fischer of Oglesby was indicted Tuesday, a week and a day after allegedly beating a woman and an overnight standoff with police.

Fischer remains in the La Salle County Jail with his bond at $200,000 .

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Ottawa Riverfest begins tonight

Posted by wlpo on July 30, 2014

Let the party begin in Ottawa. The annual Riverfest Welcomeburger Picnic is from 5-8pm Wednesday at Washington Park.
The carnival also opens Wednesday night on Woodward Memorial Drive. The Taste of Ottawa begins Thursday at the riverfront.
Because of the festivities, you’ll find that some of the streets and parking lots have been closed off.

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