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Archive for June 17th, 2015

Semi-truck crash closes ramp at I-80 and I-39 interchange

Posted by wlpo on June 17, 2015

A semi rollover took about six hours to clean up at the intersection of Interstates 80 and 39.

State troopers say 33-year-old Justin Kristich of Streator was westbound on I-80 just after 11 Wednesday morning when he overturned his semi on the southbound, I-39 ramp. He was hauling steel beams which took all afternoon to pick up.

Kristich was taken to a local hospital. First responders called for a medical helicopter to come for Kristich but all declined to fly in the cloudy conditions.

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Flooding closes parts of Starved Rock, Mathiessen State Parks

Posted by wlpo on June 17, 2015

The flooding of the Illinois River has forced parts of Starved Rock and Mathiessen State parks to close until the water recedes.

The Fort St. Louis de Louis Visitor Center, main parking lot, picnic areas and the trail leading from the visitor center to French Canyon at Starved Rock are all closed due to the flooding. French Canyon and all other trails are still accessible from the Starved Rock Lodge. At Mathiessen, all multi-use trails are closed due to wet conditions.

Officials are urging everyone to use caution while hiking at both state parks as open trails will be wet and muddy in areas. If you run into trails that are flooded, you’re asked to turn back.

Park staff will continue to watch the situation and will update when conditions change.

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Mandatory evacuation continues in Utica despite lower flood projection

Posted by wlpo on June 17, 2015

Water has yet to reach businesses and homes in Utica and latest projections show it may not this time around.

The Utica Village Board had an emergency meeting Wednesday morning and Village President Matt Jereb says flood level projections are less than previously anticipated. To be cautious though, a mandatory evacuation is still in effect for homes and businesses that had water on their properties in 2008 and 2013.

Jereb says the village will continue to keep everyone in Utica updated via the Code Red telephone system. You can access your home or business in the evacuated area but you shouldn’t stay there for very long.

Trustees Wednesday morning gave Jereb the ability to hire temporary help if needed to fight the flood. The board also declared a state of emergency in Utica which makes them eligible to get possible state and federal reimbursement for flooding clean up costs.

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Teenager accused of car break-ins in La Salle and Peru remains behind bars

Posted by wlpo on June 17, 2015

A teen accused of several car burglaries in La Salle and Peru has been indicted.

Nineteen-year-old Tiahmo Draine of Marseilles was indicted Tuesday for three counts of burglary. He and a 17-year-old boy from La Salle were arrested May 30th after someone called police in La Salle about two suspicious men.

Before the arrests, La Salle Police had taken over a dozen complaints of car break-ins with more reported in Peru. Draine was arrested for car burglaries as well in Ottawa back in 2013.

He remains in the La Salle County Jail on $75,000 bond.

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Latest check of river levels in the Illinois Valley

Posted by wlpo on June 17, 2015

Barring major rain today, the Illinois River through La Salle and Peru is expected to crest this evening nine feet above flood stage.

The river through La Salle-Peru is expected to rise almost another foot today before cresting. As of right now, the Illinois in La Salle-Peru would fall about five feet short of how high the water got in 2013.

In Utica, the Illinois River is ten feet above flood stage. The river at the Starved Rock Lock and Dam has gone up over two feet in the last 24 hours.

In Marseilles, the Illinois River is three feet above flood stage. The river in Marseilles has gone up more than two feet in the last 24 hours.

In Ottawa, the Illinois River is nearly five feet over its flood stage. Unless more heavy rain falls, the river in Ottawa has crested according to the National Weather Service.

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Illinois Motorcycle Freedom Run goes on without Marseilles

Posted by wlpo on June 17, 2015

The Illinois Motorcycle Freedom Run isn’t cancelled this weekend, but the usual sight of motorcycles roaring into Marseilles won’t happen this time around.

Due to flooding concerns in Marseilles, this year’s motorcycle run will still leave out from the Grundy County Fairgrounds Saturday morning at 10:30 but instead of heading to Marseilles for a ceremony and day’s worth of activities, the bikes will head back to Morris around noon for a ceremony. The usual line up of live music, food vendors and ceremony at the Middle East Conflicts Wall Memorial are all cancelled.

Freedom Run President Tom Yarber says his group has to accept the decision the city of Marseilles made to cancel its part of the yearly event. Yarber says blocking Main Street on Saturday with all the bike traffic could jeopardize lives if the river continues to rise.

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