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Archive for April, 2015

Waltham School Board needs a new member

Posted by wlpo on April 30, 2015

Want to dip your toes into politics all the while helping out children? Try serving on a school board.

The Waltham Elementary School Board in Utica has a vacancy. According to the NewsTribune, the district is accepting applications over the next month. The existing school board hopes to fill the vacancy in early June.

Being a school board member is a volunteer position.

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IVCC student gets national recognition for her academics

Posted by wlpo on April 30, 2015

If your picture gets printed in the U.S. Today, you’ve done something big.

Ashley Williams of Ottawa was in the April 20th edition of the national paper as part of the 2015 All-USA Community College Academic Team. Williams was named one of the top 20 community college students in the nation. She’s a sophomore at Illinois Valley Community College.

For her efforts Williams received $7,000 in scholarships and was invited to a national convention in San Antonio. She plans to transfer to Loyola University and study environmental policy and law.

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Barn burns in eastern La Salle County

Posted by wlpo on April 30, 2015

Several fire departments battled a barn fire south of Serena.

Serena, Marseilles, Wallace, and Sheridan Fire Departments all were called just before 9 Thursday morning about a barn fully engulfed in flames on East 2250th Road, west of Route 71. Most firefighters began returning to their stations around 10:30.

Nobody was hurt.

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“Doin’ the local thing” initiative keeps downtown Ottawa businesses open later

Posted by wlpo on April 30, 2015

A thriving nightlife scene is a key component to any successful downtown. The city of Ottawa will take a step towards achieving that goal Friday.

About a dozen downtown Ottawa businesses will remain open until eight p.m. on the first Friday of the month, starting this Friday night and running through December. The effort is spearheaded by the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce and Executive Director Boyd Palmer.

Palmer says the restaurants downtown are thriving, but once people finish eating, there currently isn’t much else to do. With stores open later, it will give people an additional thing to do and keep them downtown longer than simply eating.

While the initiative is only planned through December, Palmer hopes the businesses get positive feedback and extend and expand the late-night hours in the future.

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Buda veterans part of the latest “Honor Flight” to Washington D.C.

Posted by wlpo on April 30, 2015

Three heroes from Buda are headed to the nation’s capital.

Dean Barnett, Ron Bitting and Fran Kopp are in the latest group of military veterans flying to Washington D.C. as part of the “Honor Flight of the Quad Cities”. The flight gives veterans a chance to visit memorials honoring their service in the military. Preference is given to veterans who fought in World War II and the Korean War.

A camera crew from the Quad Cities was in Buda Wednesday morning as part of a ceremony for Barnett, Bitting and Kopp. They will fly out of the Quad Cities early Thursday and return around 10 Thursday night.

You can track the veteran’s flight here

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Former Sparland clerk denies role in cyberstalking case

Posted by wlpo on April 30, 2015

LACON, Ill. (AP) – The former village clerk of Sparland denies impersonating another woman online in a stalking case. Margaret Murry pled not guilty yesterday to two counts of cyberstalking in Marshall County Circuit Court.

The 55-year-old was indicted in March on charges she pretended to be another woman online in a way that led two men to go to the victim’s home “for purposes of a sexual relationship.” The indictment says that while the victim wasn’t harmed, Murry’s suspected actions placed the victim in harm’s way.

Murry resigned as village clerk in September 2012. Her next court appearance is July 22.

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IDOT rep hears transportation wants and needs during stop in Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on April 29, 2015

Could you imagine a four-lane Route 23 between Ottawa and Streator? How about a truck route to bypass downtown Ottawa? Or a bike path connecting cities along the Illinois River? These were some of the things discussed at Wednesday morning’s IDOT Infrastructure meeting at the Ottawa City hall.

A packed house was on hand for the meeting, which is part of a series held across the state by IDOT. The meetings give you the opportunity to discuss transportation problems and offers ideas to IDOT.

Steve Jonland of Streator Economic Development proposed the four-lane route 23 as a way to relieve traffic congestion. Jonland said the number of sand trucks has increased significantly on the route. That paired with the already-winding road makes passing tough and back-ups common.

Increased sand truck traffic on route 23 in downtown Ottawa had Ottawa Mayor Bob Eschbach and chamber member Judy McConville suggesting a truck route for semis that would bypass the area entirely.

Larry Kinzer of the La Salle County Highway Department talked about the Dee Bennett road relocation project, moving the road farther up from the Illinois river which would allow easier access to the lock and dam during high-water periods. The road would also be used as a bike path to connect the cities along the river.

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Man pleads guilty to rest stop murder near Paw Paw

Posted by wlpo on April 29, 2015

The man accused of murdering a woman at the Interstate 39 rest stop near Paw Paw has pleaded guilty to the crime.

37-year-old Terence Doddy of Rockford entered the guilty plea Wednesday morning while in Lee County Court. He now faces a life sentence.

Doddy admits to strangling to death 44-year-old Tonya Bargman of Monticello at the southbound Interstate 39 rest stop near Paw Paw on July 1st. He stole her car and was eventually arrested July 4th in Beloit after crashing during a high speed chase.

Doddy also faces a murder charge in Winnebago County for killing a co-worker the day before the rest stop murder.

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Funds established for displaced Standard family

Posted by wlpo on April 29, 2015

In a matter of minutes, a family in Standard was left without a home.

The Wink family which includes a mom and two of her children were displaced in Tuesday’s fire near the Putnam and La Salle County line. North Central Bank locations in Hennepin and Ladd have set up a Wink Family Assistance Fund to help the family out.

The American Red Cross has been contacted to help the family. A Go Fund Me account has also been set up.

You can find the Go Fund Me account here

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Farmhouse near Standard destroyed in fire

Posted by wlpo on April 29, 2015

Firefighters from across Putnam County and elsewhere fought a house fire for several hours on Tuesday.

The initial 9-1-1 call about a house fully engulfed south of Standard came in Tuesday morning before 11. Within an hour, the two-story farmhouse was crumbling due to the flames. Firefighters actually had to come back to the house around 5 o’clock when the fire rekindled.

The state fire marshal’s office has been contacted to investigate the cause of the fire. Nobody was injured.

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