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News from the Illinois Valley

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Archive for August 28th, 2014

Herman named IVCC head men’s basketball coach

Posted by wlpo on August 28, 2014

The new head men’s basketball coach at Illinois Valley Community College knows his way around campus. Former assistant, Chris Herman will take over the helm this season. The college announced the move Thursday.

Herman was an assistant for Tommy Canale for six seasons. Prior to coming to IVCC, he was an assistant at Pratt Community College in Kansas and worked under his father at Illinois Central College. He played basketball at Washington High School and Sam Houston State and Georgia College.

Herman says IVCC will play an attacking style defense and offense.

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Police and coroner investigate Ottawa man’s death

Posted by wlpo on August 28, 2014

One moment a young man was playing basketball with friends and the next he was being taken away by ambulance. The La Salle County Coroner is trying to pinpoint what killed 29-year-old Ronald Anderson Jr. of Ottawa.

Anderson collapsed in the gym of the Illinois Valley Y Tuesday evening and was pronounced dead at Illinois Valley Community Hospital.

Both Coroner Jody Bernard and Peru Police Chief Doug Bernabei say there was no trama or foul play. An autopsy was performed and Anderson’s medical records were being examined.

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Local tuxedo shop going out of business

Posted by wlpo on August 28, 2014

Fifty jobs are being lost because of Jim’s Formal Wear closing in Ottawa.

The company says due to their contract ending with Jos. A. Banks, they had to make a difficult decision to close three stores including Ottawa.  Employees have been asked to stay on until the store closes at the end of the year.

Ottawa City Commissioner Jim Less says, “it’s extremely sad to hear the closing of another local business by corporate decision”.

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Letter from Peru superintendent goes viral

Posted by wlpo on August 28, 2014

First the Washington Post and now the Chicago Tribune has picked up a letter written by Peru Elementary Superintendent Mark Cross.

Cross wrote the letter directed at his district’s parents explaining how Common Core is threatening to destroy public education. In the first day of being up on the district’s Facebook page it reached over 9,000 people. The letter had over 50,000 views in under a week.

Cross thinks the message against Common Core struck a chord with people and that’s why its went viral. He says he didn’t do the letter to make a political statement.

You can see the letter on the Classic Hits 103.9 WLPO Facebook page.

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Open house for newest Habitat for Humanity home

Posted by wlpo on August 28, 2014

History has been made with Habitat for Humanity of La Salle, Bureau and Putnam Counties.

Enrique and Ashley Diaz and their two young boys are moving into the first ever rehabbed home within the local Habitat chapter. There’s an open house at the home on Hall Street in Streator from 5-7pm Thursday. The house has new electrical, plumbing, insulation, cabinets, air conditioning and appliances.

Applications are still being accepted for a family to move into a second rehabbed home in Streator on Shabbona Street. For an application click

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Grand opening for newly expanded elementary school in Spring Valley

Posted by wlpo on August 28, 2014

JFK School in Spring Valley no longer looks like the school from your childhood. You’ll find a new gymnasium and library if you attend a grand opening Thursday night.

The school has undergone a $17 million addition. The extra space gives the district enough classrooms to have all of the students in one building instead of two.

It was paid for using $5 million the district had set aside and a $12.5 million state construction grant.

The grand opening is from 6-8pm. The first day of school is September 3.

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