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Archive for November 7th, 2014

Hicks to remain La Salle County Board Chairman despite loss

Posted by wlpo on November 7, 2014

La Salle County Board Chairman Jerry Hicks won’t lose his title even after losing his board seat.

The Democrat from Marseilles lost to Republican Mike Weiss in the race for Hicks’ District 22 county board seat. But because the board chairman is now elected by the voters every four years, Hicks will keep that job for at least another two years when it comes up for re-election.

One result of the election loss for Hicks is that he can now only vote to break ties. Before he could vote on any issue no matter the vote count.

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New drug charges for Harris

Posted by wlpo on November 7, 2014

Police say they found more than kitchen supplies at a business in Ottawa. A raid Thursday of the Chef’s Helper on Columbus Street has left Robert “Pudgy” Harris of Morris facing cocaine related charges.

Harris has a criminal history and spent time in federal prison.

Officers with TRIDENT allegedly found approximately 50 grams of cocaine, several digital scales, packaging materials and about $3,800 cash. Police say the search came after Harris sold 57 grams of cocaine.

Harris was charged with two counts of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance and one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. All are class X felonies.

Harris is being held in the La Salle County Jail with his bond set at $2 million.

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Charge upgraded for man accused of harming an infant

Posted by wlpo on November 7, 2014

Earlier this week, Classic Hits 103.9 WLPO told you about a man that was arrested for domestic battery after allegedly injuring an infant. Thursday the charge was upgraded to felony aggravated battery to a child.

Jacob Sprostan of Oglesby was in court yesterday. He was arrested by the Oglesby Police Department Tuesday night after a two-month old baby was taken to St. Margaret’s Hospital in Spring Valley for serious injuries. The baby was flown to St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria.

Sprostan is being held in the La Salle County Jail with his bond set at $50,000.  His next court date is November 21.

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Child porn arrest made in Kangley

Posted by wlpo on November 7, 2014

A man from Kangley faces child pornography charges.

Members of the La Salle County Sheriff’s Office and the Illinois Attorney General’s Office Child Task Force went to James Melcher’s home Friday morning. He was arrested for possession of child pornography. Investigators say more charges are pending.

Melchers was taken to the La Salle County Jail.

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Successful fundraiser for the March of Dimes

Posted by wlpo on November 7, 2014

The Illinois Valley has come through once again in helping out a great cause.

Preliminary figures from Thursday night’s Signature Chef’s Auction show the event raised about 104 thousand dollars for the March of Dimes. That number includes a $5,000 donation from Miller Group Charitable Trust in honor of A.J. Miklos. Olsen Trucking also donated $3,000 as a match for every $100 donor.

Restaurants from the Illinois Valley showcased their goods and attendees bid on several things in live and silent auctions.

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State Representative race could take a couple weeks to decide

Posted by wlpo on November 7, 2014

It could take a couple of weeks to declare a winner in the race between Democrat State Representative Frank Mautino and Republican challenger Jerry Long.

Just over 300 votes separated the two after election night. La Salle County Clerk JoAnne Caretto says by state law, they have to give at least two weeks after election day for absentee ballots to arrive by mail. Any provisional ballots also by state law have until next week to be added to the vote count.

Provisional ballots are votes made on election day that raise questions. Examples are if a voter has outdated registration information or their name isn’t on a precinct’s eligible voter list.

Carretto expects to finalize La Salle County votes no later than November 20th.

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Services for Streator teen will happen inside a high school gym

Posted by wlpo on November 7, 2014

In the coming months, Pops Dale Gymnasium in Streator will be noisy with high school hoops. Saturday it’ll be the site of a visitation and funeral service.

17-year-old Benjamin Newton of Streator will be remembered during a visitation that starts at 10am and a funeral service at 2pm inside the high school gym. Newton was killed Wednesday night after the car he was riding in crashed north of Streator.

Two other teens in the car are being treated in Peoria with one listed Thursday in serious condition and the other in critical condition.

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Tax rate going up in La Salle County

Posted by wlpo on November 7, 2014

The county part of your property tax bill is likely increasing if you call La Salle County home.

The La Salle County Board Thursday put on a file next year’s tax levy which is $1.01 per hundred assessed valuation of your home. If the board approves the new levy in a couple weeks, it would be a nearly four-cent jump from what you paid this year in property taxes.

La Salle County Board Chairman Jerry Hicks says after keeping taxes down the last several years, they “have to bite the bullet” and raise the levy because of a continued decrease in property values. They’re also dealing with rising health insurance and payroll costs.  The county makes up eleven percent of your property tax bill.

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