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Archive for April 23rd, 2015

Unemployment rates continue trending in right direction

Posted by wlpo on April 23, 2015

The employment scene in the Illinois Valley continues to improve.

La Salle County’s March unemployment rate was 7.3 percent, down from 7.5 percent in February and down nearly three percentage points from a year ago. Bureau County’s latest unemployment rate is 6.6 percent, down from 7.1 percent in February and two percentage points lower than a year ago. The March jobless rate in Putnam County was 6.7 percent, down from 7.2 percent in February and three percentage points lower than last year.

While jobless rates in the Illinois Valley continue to improve, they are still higher than both the state and national unemployment rates.

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Arrests for having small amounts of marijuana could soon be treated like a speeding ticket

Posted by wlpo on April 23, 2015

The man who represents many of you in Springfield is not a fan of lessening the punishment for getting caught with small amounts of pot.

Democrat Frank Mautino voted against a proposed bill that would have you getting a ticket instead of being arrested for possession of 15 grams or less of marijuana. The idea did get enough votes to pass in the House and now heads to the Senate.

If the proposal becomes a bill, you’d get a $125 ticket for having a small amount of pot instead of facing a misdemeanor charge and having to show up in court. Supporters say it’ll save time and money for the court system.

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Plenty of chances in the Illinois Valley to recycle electronics

Posted by wlpo on April 23, 2015

Electronics recycling events are more popular than ever before. There are no less than three of them happening Saturday in the Illinois Valley.

If you live in La Salle or Peru, you can bring your unwanted electronics to the Carus Chemical parking lot from 9 until 1. Anyone in La Salle County can drop off electronics at the Etna Road government complex in Ottawa also from 9 until 1. And if you live in Marshall County, there’s a drop off from 8 until noon at the Marshall County Highway Department in Lacon.

Things you can dump off include TV’s, DVD players and VCRs, computers and small kitchen appliances.

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Semi driver creates sticky situation in Marseilles

Posted by wlpo on April 23, 2015

A semi driver from New York left behind quite a mess in Marseilles.

Andrew Lopez was ticketed for spilling an unstable load on a highway. Marseilles Police say they got a call Thursday morning about a semi leaking a substance on the road. Officers say it turned out to be liquid Teflon which isn’t hazardous. It did however dry and leave trails on West Bluff, Main and Commercial Streets.

Clean up crews will be out Friday morning trying to clean the liquid up. It could get congested on streets where they’re cleaning.

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Two Ottawa-area men charged with first-degree murder

Posted by wlpo on April 23, 2015

The search for a missing person has turned into a homicide case.

48-year-old William Horman of Dayton and 21-year-old Jonathan Beckman of Wedron both are charged with first-degree murder and a concealment of a homicidal death near Ottawa.

They’re accused of beating 47-year-old Robert Dowd of Dayton to death, burning his body and disposing the ashes.

According to La Salle County Sherriff Tom Templeton, the county got a report last week of a missing person. Through interviews and evidence, they eventually came to the conclusion that the person was likely dead and that Horman and Beckman were the suspects.

Allegedly, Horman and Beckman bludgeoned Dowd to death at his truck-washing business, Rob’s Wash Out, near the Route 71 and I-80 interchange in Ottawa. Horman and Beckman allegedly took the body to property near the Fox River in Dayton, burned the body in a burn pile, and disposed the remains into the Fox River. States attorney Brian Towne alleges it took them two days to fully dispose of the body.

Horman was employed at Dowd’s truck-washing business, and allegedly had talks with Dowd to become a partner. After Dowd said that wasn’t going to happen, witnesses say Horman went around saying he wanted to kill Dowd. Beckman did some part-time work at the business.

Bonds for Horman and Beckman are set at 2 million dollars each. The two will be tried separately and their indictment hearings are set for May 5. The murder charge is punishable by 20 to 60 years in prison, with the concealment charge adding another 2 to 5 years.

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Burlesque-style play opening at Illinois Valley Community College

Posted by wlpo on April 23, 2015

A time machine might not exist, but you can experience the next best thing at Illinois Valley Community College.

“Sugar Babies – The Big Bad Burlesque Musical” opens Thursday night at 7:30 in the IVCC auditorium. It’s the college’s spring musical.

The musical is a recreation of 1920 Burlesque, and features skits that made the rounds in every Burlesque theatre during the Jazz age. The cast of 16 includes IVCC students, faculty, staff and community members.

Keep the little ones at home as Sugar Babies includes adult humor and no children under 12 are permitted. The show runs at 7:30 Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, and at 2 on Sunday.

Tickets are $20 and $15 for students and seniors.

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Ottawa man facing child porn and sex abuse charges

Posted by wlpo on April 23, 2015

Already facing two child porn charges, an Ottawa man also now faces a felony charge of aggravated criminal sex abuse.

Sean Daniele was indicted Tuesday on the new sex abuse count in La Salle County Court. He’s accused of having sexual contact with a child under 13 years old.

Officers raided his home March 20th and seized a computer among other evidence. The Illinois Attorney General’s Office was involved with their child crime unit.

Daniele is being held at the La Salle County Jail on $100,000 bond. He’s back in court May 21st.

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Vehicles needed for firefighter training in Wenona

Posted by wlpo on April 23, 2015

Got a hunk of junk sitting around? Firefighters in the Illinois Valley could use it for training.

The Wenona Fire Department is hosting an extrication class May 23rd at the fire station. Firefighters will practice ripping up vehicles as if they were in a real accident, trying to get to crash victims.

Wenona Fire Chief Bob Krischel says they could use 5 to 6 vehicles, doesn’t matter what kind. Donating a car is tax deductible.

If you can donate a vehicle that you don’t mind being torn to shreds in the name of training, call Krischel at 579-1715.

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Major Interstate 80 resurfacing project begins next week

Posted by wlpo on April 23, 2015

If your daily commute takes you from Ottawa to Marseilles on Interstate 80, your drive time may be longer starting next week.

If the weather holds out, crews from D Construction will begin a resurfacing project on I-80 between Ottawa and Marseilles this Sunday night. It’s a project that was actually started a year ago.

Most of the construction work will be done overnight between 6p and 10a. However there will be lane closures during the day even if workers aren’t around.

The construction should be done by July 4th.

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