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News from the Illinois Valley

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Archive for May 29th, 2015

“Change for Katelynn Benefit” helping out crash victim and her family

Posted by wlpo on May 29, 2015

It’s a parents’ worse nightmare. Getting a call that your son or daughter has been involved in a crash.

That call for one family came the morning of August 28th when 16-year-old Katelynn Ortiz of Seneca hit a semi head on while on her way to school. She was flown to a Downers Grove Hospital and 13 surgeries later is now at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

To help with the medical and travel costs, a benefit for Katelynn is Saturday from 4 until 9 at the Marseilles Lions Club. A GoFundMe page has also been set up here

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One dead after three-vehicle crash on Route 23

Posted by wlpo on May 29, 2015

A Newark man was killed in a fiery crash north of Ottawa on Route 23.

The La Salle County Sheriff’s Office says 61-year-old William Krug was stopped in his car late Friday morning on Route 23 looking to turn into a driveway. He was rear ended by a box truck driven by 22-year-old Frank Contacessi of River Grove. The collision caused Krug to go into the other lane of Route 23 where he was hit by a semi driven by 56-year-old Jay Mitchell of Waterman.

Krug was pronounced dead at the scene. Contacessi and Mitchell weren’t hurt.

The semi caught fire leading to the stretch of Route 23 at the accident scene being shut down for four hours.
So far no charges have been filed although the crash is still under investigation.

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Streator teacher arrested for alleged sexual abuse of teen

Posted by wlpo on May 29, 2015

A P.E. and Driver’s Ed. teacher at Streator High School faces a sex abuse charge.

25-year-old Rylee VanMelkebeke was arrested Friday afternoon at the high school for aggravated criminal sexual abuse. He’s accused of committing an act of sexual penetration with a victim between 13 and 17 years old. VanMelkebeke was taken to the La Salle County Jail.

Streator Police say the case is still an ongoing investigation.

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Milestone anniversary for Ladd gets attention of state lawmakers

Posted by wlpo on May 29, 2015

While debating the budget and pensions, the Illinois House also had time to pass a resolution in honor of Ladd.

The Frank Mautino-led resolution congratulates Ladd for its 125th anniversary which will officially be celebrated June 7th. The village was founded in 1890 and was named after George Ladd of Peru. Ladd was originally a construction camp settled by railroad company workers.

The final part of the resolution even mentions Ladd being known for its fried chicken.

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Popular pub in Utica reopens after fire

Posted by wlpo on May 29, 2015

Slowly but surely, downtown Utica is returning to what it was before a May 10th fire.

Skoog’s Pub reopened for business Friday. Renovations continue but it’s open for lunch and dinner. Joy & Ed’s Supper Club is also back open while Flutterby Gourmet Popcorn remains closed. A message on Flutterby’s Facebook page says they have to gut their building because of smoke and water damage.

Utica Fire Chief Ben Brown says they are still awaiting a report from the state fire marshal’s office on the official cause of the fire.

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Peru getting information out about construction on busy streets

Posted by wlpo on May 29, 2015

Making sure you’re not caught off guard, the city of Peru is hosting meetings to talk about upcoming construction on Peoria Street and Plank Road.

The informational meeting about planned work this summer on Plank and May Roads is Wednesday, June 3rd. The following night will be a meeting about construction plans for Peoria Street. Both meetings are at City Hall with the Plank Road talk starting at 6:30 and the Peoria Street talk starting at 6.

Letters about the construction projects have been sent out to homeowners and business owners who will be directly affected by road work.

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Bank robbery under investigation in Princeton

Posted by wlpo on May 29, 2015

The search is on for two men who held up Centrue Bank in Princeton.

Just after two Thursday afternoon, two men are accused of demanding money while one threatened a teller he had a gun. Princeton investigators say a weapon was never shown. The robbers made way with an undisclosed amount of cash and may have had help from a woman driving a dark colored minivan.

The thieves are said to both be black men, between 6’1 to 6’2. You can see surveillance photos of the suspects on the WLPO Facebook page.

If you have information, call the Princeton Police Department.

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Dennis Hastert latest Illinois politician accused of breaking the law

Posted by wlpo on May 29, 2015

CHICAGO (AP) – Another Illinois poltician is accused of corruption.

A federal grand jury indictment says former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert agreed to pay $3.5 million in hush money to keep a person from Yorkville silent about “prior misconduct.”

Hastert was a high school teacher and coach from 1965 to 1981 in Yorkville. The indictment does not go into detail about the alleged prior misconduct.

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