Classic Hits 103.9 WLPO

News from the Illinois Valley

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Archive for January 26th, 2015

Caffarini to act as a temporary Bureau County States Attorney

Posted by wlpo on January 26, 2015

An attorney that’s been a familiar face at the Bureau County Courthouse for 17 years will be the acting States Attorney beginning February 1. Geno Caffarini will take over for Pat Hermann.

Hermann recently announced that he was resigning from his position as States Attorney to go into private practice. He told the Bureau County Board that he wanted Caffarini to be his replacement. The county board will pick Hermann’s replacement, which will have to be a Democrat.

Caffarini says his appointment is temporary but he would accept the job if appointed by the county board.

Caffarini is also an attorney with Raccuglia and Associates.

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Black ice contributing to Monday evening traffic accidents

Posted by wlpo on January 26, 2015

Icy roads contributed to dozens of accidents across the Illinois Valley. Freezing drizzle late Monday afternoon left roads covered with black ice.

Truck accidents slowed traffic on Interstate 39 between Mendota and Interstate 80. Numerous people ended up in ditches or yards. Most of the accidents were minor but there were several people injured.

Please so down and be prepared to stop. The National Weather Service issued a Freezing Rain Advisory until 6am Tuesday.

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California man accused of having LSD and cash during traffic stop on Interstate 80

Posted by wlpo on January 26, 2015

LSD and nearly $15,000 cash are what police say they found after stopping a man from California near Seneca.

An Illinois State Police trooper pulled over Ryan Watson of Summerland, California on Interstate 80 Friday afternoon. After allegedly smelling marijuana, police say they found 12 grams of marijuana, 25 hits of LSD and the cash.

Watson was arrested for possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and unlawful possession of cannabis and was taken to the Grundy County Jail.

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Mendota firefighter killed while walking across a street

Posted by wlpo on January 26, 2015

A longtime Mendota firefighter was killed trying to walk across a street.

62-year-old Thomas Mahaffey was walking Saturday near the intersection of 6th Avenue and 6th Street in Mendota when he was hit by a vehicle driven by 78-year-old Harold Nurnberg of Mendota. Mahaffey was taken to Mendota Community Hospital before being flown to OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria where he was pronounced dead.

The crash is still under investigation. Mahaffey was a member of the Mendota Fire Department since 1976.

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Snow blamed in crash that injured driver from Earlville

Posted by wlpo on January 26, 2015

There were a lot of weather related crashes Sunday in the Illinois Valley. At least one of them had the driver going to a hospital.

James King of Earlville was driving near Route 34 outside Leland Sunday afternoon when he lost control on the ice and rolled his car.

He was taken to Valley West Hospital.

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Ottawa woman was allegedly driving around with a 9-year-old while under the influence of drugs

Posted by wlpo on January 26, 2015

A crash involving a driver from Ottawa may have been drug related.

According to the La Salle County Sheriff’s Office, Amanda Farley was on a county road east of Sheridan yesterday morning when she got into a crash. She was taken to Valley West Hospital while a nine-year-old boy riding with her was taken to his father.

Farley was arrested for allegedly driving under the influence of drugs and endangering the life of a child. She was given a court date.

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Retired Streator man finds inspiration for a book on the playground

Posted by wlpo on January 26, 2015

Your retirement is the end of your career, but it can lead to a new beginning or a book. Not long after Rod Rathbun of Streator retired he began wondering if he had retired too soon. When his wife, an employee of St. Michael School in Streator, suggested he become the playground supervisor he was skeptical but took the job.

After one day he was in love with his new job and the students.  Rathbun says he found them hilarious and couldn’t stop talking about them.   His wife suggested that he start writing down the stories from work.  He did.

Rathbun says he would come home from work and write about his experience that day. Those stories combined with tales from his childhood and his grandchildren became the book, “Hey Mister, Can You Tie My Shoes?”

It’s Rathbun’s first book so he was surprised it was accepted by Tate Publishing. He says many of the teachers and parents at St. Michael’s have read it and find it hilarious.  He doesn’t think he’ll write a second book but he’s kept his job as the playground supervisor.

You can learn more about his book and how you can buy it by visiting the Classic Hits 103.9 WLPO news page.  The book is available at, Barnes and Noble, and the Tate Publishing bookstore.

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