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Archive for September 3rd, 2014

Men from Varna and Washburn killed in seperate crashes

Posted by wlpo on September 3, 2014

Two car accidents in Marshall County have killed two men in just three days. 20-year-old David Skinner of Varna died after police say he rolled his car on a rural road west of Varna around 4:30am Wednesday.

68-year-old Paul Diebel of Washburn was pronounced dead after a similar accident Monday on Tax School Road. Police say Diebel was driving north of Washburn when he hit a culvert and an electrical box and became trapped underneath his overturned car.

The Marshall County Sheriff’s Department and coroner were investigating both crashes.

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Phone service disrupted by fiber optic cable cuts

Posted by wlpo on September 3, 2014

Were you having a hard time making phone calls? Two construction site accidents in Central Illinois were likely the problem. Thousands of Frontier Communications customers had phone and internet problems Wednesday after two fiber optic cables were cut at different construction sites.

Frontier Public Relations Manger Dana Berkes says the one cut was in Normal and the other in Elkhart. She says you need to make sure you call JULIE before you dig and says many of their outages are caused by construction accidents.

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Grandson accused of killing grandmother and himself in Dixon

Posted by wlpo on September 3, 2014

A grandmother in Dixon is dead and police think her 27-year-old grandson was the killer. Investigators say 71-year-old Josephine Howard died Tuesday afternoon from multiple stab wounds.

Howard’s body was found after the Lee County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the home she shared with her family in Dixon. Outside police say they found Theodore “Ted” Howard covered with blood from stabbing himself. He died after being taken to KSB Hospital in Dixon.

Police think the grandmother and grandson had been fighting and are considering their deaths a murder-suicide. An investigation continues by the Lee County Sheriff’s Department and coroner and Illinois Crime Scene Investigators.

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Search resumes for missing Mendota woman

Posted by wlpo on September 3, 2014

A search for a missing Mendota woman comes up empty.

After some credible leads, searchers with the Mendota Police Department, Lee County Sheriff’s Office, State Police, and Department of Natural Resources dug up a part of Bartlett Woods southeast of Sublette Tuesday.  They were looking for Veronica Blumhorst of Mendota. Investigators say they found no human remains during the dig. Blumhorst was last seen by her co-workers leaving the SuperValue grocery store in Mendota on September 20, 1990.

Searchers checked with the Lee County Historical Society before digging up ground that may have been at one time home to Native Americans.

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Sign thief or thieves running around in Mendota

Posted by wlpo on September 3, 2014

Have you noticed any street signs missing in Mendota?  According to the NewsTribune, Police Chief Tom Smith says there has recently been a rash of sign thefts. He says only a few street and traffic signs that have gone missing have been found.

Smith is asking you to remain alert and call the police department if you have information about the sign thefts or see anything suspicious.

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The wait is over as classes begin at new look JFK School

Posted by wlpo on September 3, 2014

After seeing their neighbors start school, it’s finally time for classes to begin at JFK Elementary in Spring Valley.

Wednesday’s the first day of classes at the newly-expanded and renovated elementary school. The 17 million dollar project includes a new lab, library and gym plus 30 new classrooms. The district used a 12 million dollar state grant to help pay for construction.

The larger JFK building brings all Spring Valley elementary students under one roof. The district closed Lincoln School.

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Red Cross part of the scene of Streator house explosion

Posted by wlpo on September 3, 2014

The investigation into a fatal house explosion continues in Streator.

82-year-old Ethel Davison was found dead Tuesday afternoon inside of the rubble of her home that exploded the night before. Her grown son was able to get out of the explosion okay. Two neighboring homes caught fire and the Red Cross is assisting families who lived in those houses.

Three firefighters were treated and released in battling the Monday night fire. Nicor has been at the scene of the explosion making sure gas lines in the 300 block of Court Street don’t pose threats to the rest of the neighborhood.

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Fixing sewer lines proving to be costly in Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on September 3, 2014

Ottawa isn’t a big town but it’s large enough to cost over $486,000 to clean and televise all of its sewer lines.

The Ottawa City Council is paying National Power Rodding Corporation of Chicago that much money to continue with the city’s long term plan of fixing the combined sewer overflow problem. They plan to clean and send a camera down into over 175,000 feet of sewer lines to find things that could cause backups in people’s basements. Most of the work is supposed to be done this year.

The city council passed a $4 CSO surcharge back in 2010 that will pay for the improvements. The added fee onto sewer bills is bringing in a million dollars a year.

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