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Archive for August 18th, 2014

Westbound I-80 reopens after a serious crash near La Salle

Posted by wlpo on August 18, 2014

If you were following the story of a crash that closed westbound Interstate 80 near La Salle, three people were injured, including a woman that was taken by helicopter from the crash.

State Police say the accident happened just after 2pm Monday when Kayla Guenther of Ottawa hit a semi while getting on eastbound I-80 from northbound I-39. Guenther’s car went through the median into the westbound lanes.

A couple from Spring Valley was a motorcycle and heading west. Police say the motorcycle hit a guardrail while trying to avoid the crash.

Guenther and the 56-year-old man driving the motorcycle were taken to and area hospital. A 55-year-old woman that was on the motorcycle was taken by helicopter to a hospital.

Guenther was ticketed of improper lane usage.  I-80 reopened shortly after 4:30pm.

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Three people face felony theft charges in Princeton

Posted by wlpo on August 18, 2014

Things have been going missing in Princeton and police think they have the people responsible. Matthew Mesick, Kristin Bolin and Christopher Bookwalter of Princeton were arrested Sunday night for felony theft.

Bookwalter was also arrested for residential burglary and Bolin for possession of a controlled substance.

Police say the investigation continues because they found many items that weren’t reported as stolen. If you know anything about the thefts or think something was stolen from you, call the Princeton Police Department and ask for the investigator.

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Instructors picket for new contract at IVCC

Posted by wlpo on August 18, 2014

Holding signs that said things like “fair contract now”, 51 faculty members at Illinois Valley Community College held an informational picket Monday morning.

Their three-year contract is expired and negotiations are at an impasse according to Ray Roskos with the Illinois Federation of Teachers. He says salary and benefits are the biggest sticking points.

The two sides met Friday and are both asking that a mediator get involved. There won’t be another picket Tuesday.

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Arrest made in Streator stabbing

Posted by wlpo on August 18, 2014

One man is in custody and another is recovering in a hospital after an apparent stabbing in Streator.

Dustin Bennington of Streator was arrested over the weekend after allegedly leaving the scene of a stabbing Saturday morning. Investigators say the victim is a 20-year-old man who was stabbed several times in his upper body. He’s in critical but stable condition.

Bennington is charged with two counts of aggravated battery with a weapon. He was arrested in Fond du Lac County in Wisconsin and is being held on $500,000 bond.

Anyone with information about the stabbing should call the Streator Police Department.

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More trails reopen at Starved Rock State Park

Posted by wlpo on August 18, 2014

Progress is being made on reopening trails at Starved Rock State Park.

Kathy Casstevens with Starved Rock Lodge says some trails reopened Friday. The trails from the visitor’s center and lodge to Wildcat Canyon are open to hiking.

However trails from Wildcat Canyon to Route 17 and St. Louis Canyon will remain closed for cleanup. Work also continues to remove debris at the Riverside picnic area and the boat ramp.

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It’s almost time for the Bureau County Fair

Posted by wlpo on August 18, 2014

In three days you’ll be able to stroll through the exhibition halls with a corn dog in hand at the Bureau County Fairgrounds.

Fair staff and exhibitors are preparing for the annual institution, the Bureau County Fair. Kathy Costerisan has traveled to other county fairs and the Illinois State Fair to recruit horse exhibitors. Obviously she loves the horses but she also enjoys the fine arts building. She says they have collections, textiles, art and almost 600 entries for photography. Superintendents of the canning, hobby and other departments are working to get all of those items set up so they can be judged  and ready for you on Wednesday.

The Bureau County Fair runs Wednesday through Sunday at the fairgrounds in Princeton. You can learn more about the fair by listening to an interview that’s available at

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College campuses will go smoke free next year in Illinois

Posted by wlpo on August 18, 2014

Even if school stresses you out, there will be no smoking at Illinois Valley Community College starting next July.

Governor Pat Quinn signed into law the “Smoke Free Campus Act” over the weekend. State Representative Frank Mautino voted against it earlier this year while Senator Sue Rezin supported it.

You’ll still be able to smoke inside your car on campus. Illinois Valley Community College and other campuses have to be smoke free by next July.

IVCC will have to create a task force by the end of the year to implement the law.

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Medical marijuana on the agenda in Oglesby

Posted by wlpo on August 18, 2014

A medical marijuana cultivation center in Oglesby is on the fast track.

The Oglesby City Council, Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Commission are all meeting Monday to vote on a permit and zoning change for a cultivation center near Love’s Travel Stop. Green Thumb Industries out of the Quad Cities wants to grow the marijuana.

The state has the final say where a cultivation center goes in the Illinois Valley. They’re expected to start sifting through applications next month.

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