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News from the Illinois Valley

Archive for December 7th, 2014

“Keeping the Wreath Red” program returns

Posted by wlpo on December 7, 2014

A fire in its place is okay….but, a burning tree or house is something all fire departments want to avoid.

“Keeping the Wreath Red” is a program now in its 15th year at the Mendota Fire Department. According to their Facebook page, a wreath with red lights has been placed on a monument outside the fire station. Red bulbs are replaced with white ones for every holiday related fire or accident the department handles up through January 4.

The use of burning candles should be monitored carefully along with wreaths, trees and other combustibles, says the department. . All can contribute to the speed and size of winter fires.

Princeton Fire Department is also participating in the “Keeping the Wreath Red” program.

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Stepped up patrols yield results

Posted by wlpo on December 7, 2014

Stepped up patrols by Peru police in the second half of last month got some drivers ticketed. According to a department release, Peru police had 4 DUI arrests and issued 7 tickets for seat belt violations, 1 for a suspended/revoked license, 4 for having no insurance and 1 for speeding. The enforcement was sponsored by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

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No specific stats on deadly police encounters

Posted by wlpo on December 7, 2014

The deadly police encounters in Missouri, Ohio, South Carolina and New York may make it feel like there’s a tidal wave of cases sweeping the country. But there are no firm statistics to say whether they’re part of a growing trend or simply a series of coincidences generating a deafening buzz in news reports and social media.

The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports track justifiable police homicides but the statistics that rely on voluntary reporting are incomplete. Circumstances of the deaths and information such as age and race aren’t required.

Samuel Walker is an emeritus professor of criminal justice at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a leading scholar on policing and civil liberties. He says it’s “outrageous” there’s no accurate count of the people who die in police custody.

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Costume guests forced to evacuate

Posted by wlpo on December 7, 2014

A Chicago-area hotel was evacuated and 19 people taken to hospitals early Sunday after a chlorine leak that authorities say was an intentional act.   The Rosemont Public Safety Department says authorities responded around 12:45 a.m. to the Hyatt Regency O’Hare, which was hosting a convention in which many people were dressed as furry animals.

The hotel was evacuated because of high levels of chlorine gas in the air. The source of the gas appeared to be powdered chlorine that was found in the 9th-floor stairwell. People were later allowed to return. Authorities say those who were taken to hospitals complained of nausea and dizziness.

The hotel was hosting the Midwest FurFest convention, where attendees dress as animals to celebrate art, literature and performance.

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Rose wears controversial shirt

Posted by wlpo on December 7, 2014

Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose wore a black “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirt during warmups before the Golden State Warriors game Saturday night. The shirt refers to a New York man who died July 17th after a police officer placed him in a chokehold when he was being arrested for selling loose, untaxed cigarettes. A grand jury decided it would not indict the officer in Eric Garner’s death.

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President Obama states case for raid

Posted by wlpo on December 7, 2014

President Barack Obama said Saturday he authorized the failed attempt to rescue American Luke Somers in Yemen because the U.S. had information the American photojournalist’s life was in imminent danger. Authorities said Somers, who was kidnapped in September 2013, and a South African teacher, Pierre Korkie, were killed by their Al-Qaeda captors during the rescue operation this past week.

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Operation Elf Action aims to help

Posted by wlpo on December 7, 2014

Imagine your child or grandchild getting a phone call from Santa. And, by arranging that call, you’re helping disadvantaged children to receive gifts. That’s the mission of “Operation Elf Action” and the Mendota Chamber of Commerce.

You have until the end of business Monday to submit a request for a call from Santa. The cost is any amount you wish to donate. If you don’t have children and still want to help, stop by any Mendota bank to pick the name of a child who could use a holiday gift. Donations can be mailed to “Operation Elf Action”, PO Box 620, Mendota 61342. If you can provide gift wrap, bows, ribbons or gift bags, that’s appreciated, too.

Santa will make his calls early Wednesday and Thursday evenings of this week.

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Vehicle crashes north of Shippingsport Bridge

Posted by wlpo on December 7, 2014

The Sheriff’s office and state police were investigating a 1 vehicle crash Sunday just after 5:30am north of Shippingsport bridge. State police told Classic Hits 103.9 WLPO that the accident has since been cleared away. Another caller told us a light pole had been taken out due to the accident, but police would not confirm that. How the accident happened or the condition of the driver has not been released. You’ll hear more when it’s available.

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