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News from the Illinois Valley

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Archive for February, 2015

Two arrested for alleged heroin dealing in Peru

Posted by wlpo on February 28, 2015

Heroin continues to be a problem in the Illinois Valley but Peru police think they’ve taken at least two dealers off the streets.

Wilfredo Candelaria of Peru and Nora Toovey of DePue were pulled over Friday night at 6th and Fulton Streets in Peru. With the help of a drug dog, Peru Police Chief Doug Bernabei says officers found over 100 separate packages of heroin and a small amount of crack cocaine and paraphernalia.

Candelaria and Toovey were arrested for unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. Both were taken to the La Salle County Jail.

They are expected to make a first appearance in court Sunday morning.

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Extrication needed in Spring Valley crash

Posted by wlpo on February 28, 2015

A man accused of driving drunk had to be helped out of his car after crashing in Spring Valley.

Spring Valley Police say Craig Hagie of Spring Valley crashed Friday night on West Dakota Street. Paramedics came and removed him from his car. Hagie was then taken to St. Margaret’s Hospital where he was treated and released.

He was arrested for DUI, driving an uninsured vehicle and driving in the wrong lane. Hagie posted bond and was released with a court date.

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Ottawa Police looking for two men who were recently let out of prison

Posted by wlpo on February 28, 2015

Your help is needed tracking down two men wanted for crimes in Ottawa.

Julius Davis of Chicago was indicted in La Salle County Court this week for unlawful possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Ottawa Police say they found a stolen vehicle left running at a gas station. A warrant for Davis’ arrest was issued February 13th. Davis was just released from prison in December for residential burglary.

Speaking of residential burglary, Ottawa Police are also looking for Jason Bird of Cicero. He’s accused of breaking into a home in Ottawa back in January. He was let out of prison after doing time for drugs.

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Weekend snow expected for the Illinois Valley

Posted by wlpo on February 28, 2015

It looks like March will come in like a lion for the Illinois Valley with more snow expected. But the heavy stuff will stay south.

Anywhere from a dusting up to 2 inches of snow is expected in the Illinois Valley through Sunday. The snow should start Saturday evening.

The further south you go from Interstate 80 the higher the accumulation is expected to be. Places like Springfield could see up to six inches of snow this weekend.

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Bridge inspection likely to slow traffic in Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on February 28, 2015

Getting in and out of downtown Ottawa could be slow going next week.

It’s time for a structural inspection of the Main Street Bridge. McClure Engineering does the inspection every four years.

Expect partial lane closures from 9:30 until 2:30 on Monday.

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Oglesby medical marijuana developer loses permit to build in Dixon

Posted by wlpo on February 28, 2015

CHICAGO (AP) – The medical marijuana grower wanting to build a cultivation center in Oglesby is giving up at least one of three permits after missing a deadline to pay state fees.

Green Thumb Industries LLC missed Wednesday’s deadline to pay a $200,000 fee and secure a $2 million surety bond or escrow account for each permit. An Illinois Department of Agriculture spokeswoman says the state will not move forward with a permit for a cultivation center near Dixon.

Besides Oglesby and Dixon, GTI also won a cultivation center license in the Quad Cities. As of now GTI’s plan is to grow marijuana on the west side of Interstate 39 near Love’s Travel Stop in Oglesby.

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Oglesby man found guilty in animal cruelty case

Posted by wlpo on February 27, 2015

Guilty was the verdict for a man accused of abandoning a dog that was found seriously injured along a highway. Steven Bottoms of Oglesby was convicted Friday of cruel treatment to an animal, a misdemeanor charge.

Bottoms and his wife Tiffany Bottoms were arrested last May after an injured pitbull was found near Interstate 39 and Route 6. The dog had been hit by a car and required surgery.

The couple was accused of deserting the dog though Tiffany Bottoms told Classic Hits 103.9 WLPO last May that the dog had actually been given to a new owner a couple of weeks prior to being injured.

Steven Bottoms’ bench trial was heard by La Salle County Circuit Judge Cynthia Raccuglia. He’ll be sentenced on March 27. Tiffany Bottoms is scheduled to go to trial in March.

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Man sent to Ottawa hospital after alleged wooden club attack

Posted by wlpo on February 27, 2015

An argument escalated in a hurry in Ottawa.

Ottawa Police Chief Brent Roalson says when Robert Angell went to his on and off again girlfriend’s house Thursday night on Marquette Street, he found her with another man. Angell went out to his car and grabbed a wooden club, hitting the other man once in his head and leg.

The victim was treated and released at St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Ottawa. Angell was arrested for aggravated battery and taken to the La Salle County Jail.

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Illinois Valley gas prices stay fairly stagnant

Posted by wlpo on February 27, 2015

If you can pay in cash, the cheapest place in the state to get gas is in Peru.

According to, Sapp Brothers is offering up unleaded for $1.99 a gallon if you pay in cash. Other stations in Peru have unleaded for $2.05 to $2.19 a gallon.

Gas is going for as low as $2.05 in La Salle, $2.14 in Streator, and $2.19 a gallon in both Mendota and Ottawa. Princeton’s cheapest gas is $2.25 a gallon.

The statewide average for unleaded right now is $2.43 a gallon, up four cents from a week ago.

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La Salle County’s lead prosecutor upset at eaglet verdict

Posted by wlpo on February 27, 2015

Can you be an animal lover and still disagree with the decision to find eagle handler Steve Patterson not guilty?

La Salle County State’s Attorney Brian Towne says he’s an animal lover but he also took an oath to uphold the law. While he respects the jury’s verdict, he says he’s deeply saddened and disappointed by how the trial played out.

Towne says the “necessity defense” argument that swayed the jury shouldn’t have even been in play because it applies to humans not animals. He’s also upset that testimony and evidence including random eagle pictures were allowed by Judge Dan Bute in the retrial after he said they were irrelevant during the first trial.

Towne thinks the jury acted on human emotion instead of following the law and believes the decision creates a slippery slope of allowing Patterson and others to decide what’s best for nature.

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