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Archive for May 8th, 2015

Driver dies after crashing into a tree in Streator

Posted by wlpo on May 8, 2015

A Streator driver who crashed into a tree Wednesday morning has died.

23-year-old Patrick Simons died Thursday while at St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria. He was flown there Wednesday after crashing into a tree on East 12th Street on the south side of town.

Streator Police Sgt. George Krasnican says the fatal crash was a combination of heavy fog, speeding and alcohol.

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Illinois Supreme Court rules pension law unconstitutional

Posted by wlpo on May 8, 2015

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled today that former Governor Pat Quinn’s 2013 pension law is in violation of the Illinois Constitution.

The law sought to fix a $111 billion shortfall in the state budget, but the court ruled the state constitution prohibits pension benefits from being “diminished or impaired.”

Retired employees, labor unions and other groups sought invalidation of the controversial law, which called for curbing cost-of-living increases for retirees, an extended retirement age, and limiting the amount of salary used for pension benefits.

The decision puts new Governor Bruce Rauner and legislators in a bind as they must now start from scratch to craft a workable pension-savings plan.

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Illinois Valley gas prices up slightly

Posted by wlpo on May 8, 2015

Hitting the road this weekend to visit mom? La Salle and Peru have the cheapest gas in the Illinois Valley.

According to, you can get unleaded at some stations in Peru and La Salle at $2.35 a gallon. Princeton stations are selling for as low as $2.39 a gallon. Streator is at the high end with some gas going for $2.69 a gallon.

The statewide average for gas today is $2.73, up eight cents from a week ago.

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Car and motorcycle collide south of Tonica

Posted by wlpo on May 8, 2015

Remember to start seeing motorcycles. An 89-year-old driver from Peru was given a ticket after he didn’t allegedly see a motorcycle Thursday morning south of Tonica.

La Salle County deputies say Richard Wellner pulled out in front of a motorcycle driven by Curtis Teutsch also of Peru. Teutsch was taken to Illinois Valley Community Hospital in Peru. Wellner wasn’t hurt but was ticketed for failing to yield.

The crash happened at the intersection of Route 251 and North 17th Road.

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Applications now being accepted for superintendent at Ottawa High School

Posted by wlpo on May 8, 2015

If you have the credentials to run a school district of over a thousand students, Ottawa High School would like to hear from you. While it’s not a qualification, it probably helps to have thick skin as well.

The job posting for superintendent went up yesterday on the Ottawa High School website. Current Superintendent Matt Winchester is leaving at the end of June. He leaves after a contentious last year with accusations of bullying staff and catching heat for the cutting of building trades.

The duties listed for the next superintendent include functioning as the educational leader and chief executive officer of the district. The superintendent should also act with integrity, fairness and in an ethical manner.

The pay for being Ottawa High School superintendent is negotiable based on experience, qualifications and record of success.

Applications are due to School Board President Tim Creedon by May 22nd.

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Heat and humidity before storms in the Illinois Valley

Posted by wlpo on May 8, 2015

So did you give in and turn the air on?

According to the National Weather Service, the high temperature Thursday was 84 in Peru. It got up to 87 in Pontiac and Midway Airport. Morris had a high of 86.

These were the warmest temperatures in the Illinois Valley since late September.

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