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Archive for June 29th, 2015

Well known name in the Illinois Valley fills vacancy on L-P board

Posted by wlpo on June 29, 2015

The La Salle-Peru Board of Education picked someone with plenty of experience helping others when filling a vacancy on the board.

Carol Alcorn, the executive director of the Illinois Valley PADS homeless shelter, is the newest board member. She was picked out of six final applicants who were each interviewed by the board Monday night. She’ll be officially sworn in during a special meeting July 7th.

Alcorn replaces Jim Quesse, a 10-year board member who resigned in May due to time constraints with work.

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Plans move ahead for regional dispatch center despite grant uncertainty

Posted by wlpo on June 29, 2015

The future of a regional 9-1-1 dispatch center for the Illinois Valley is one of many things being held up because of Illinois’ budget issues.

Under former governor Pat Quinn, the state awarded a $1.5 million grant to build a regional dispatch center near Illinois Valley Community College. However Peru Police Chief Doug Bernabei says no dirt will move on the building until the current governor unfreezes grants.

While they wait for the grant, Bernabei says the cities are taking care of all the leg work in creating a regional dispatch center. Monday night the Peru City Council agreed to add Mendota and Bureau County to the consolidated dispatch center, joining Peru, La Salle and Oglesby.

Bernabei says if the construction grant is approved soon, they could potentially get building the center early next year. If the grant goes away, plan B could be asking taxpayers to foot the bill.

Governor Bruce Rauner Monday signed a bill that requires consolidation of dispatch centers where each 9-1-1 center can’t serve a population under 25,000. The law takes effect in July of 2017.

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IVCC ahead of the game in becoming “smoke free”

Posted by wlpo on June 29, 2015

Colleges across the land of Lincoln are smoke free starting Wednesday.

Last August, then-governor Pat Quinn signed the “Smoke Free Campus Act” banning smoking both indoors and outdoors on college campuses. The only exception is smoking inside your own car.

Even though they had until Wednesday to comply with state law, Illinois Valley Community College went smoke free with the first day of summer school on May 18th. It’s up to campus security to enforce the smoking ban.

Students who are repeat offenders could get suspended while faculty could also face discipline.

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New principal hired at Ottawa High School

Posted by wlpo on June 29, 2015

The change at the top of Ottawa High School continues.

Patrick Leonard will begin as the new Ottawa High principal Wednesday after being unanimously hired by the school board Monday morning. Leonard comes to Ottawa from Serena where he was the high school principal there for the last decade. He replaces Mike Cushing who officially takes over as superintendent of Ottawa High tomorrow.

Cushing is replacing Matt Winchester who resigned earlier this year to take a job at L.E.A.S.E., or La Salle/Putnam County Alliance for Special Education in Ottawa.

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Two dead after crash in Sandwich

Posted by wlpo on June 29, 2015

Two people died after a single-car crash in Sandwich.

Sandwich police were called shortly after four Sunday morning to 1200 East Route 34 for a single-car accident. The driver, 23-year-old Savario Simmons of Montgomery and the passenger, 25-year-old Chastin Pawson of Sandwich were both pronounced dead at the scene.

The fatal accident remains under investigation.

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Rapidly rising Vermillion River shut off to recreational boating

Posted by wlpo on June 29, 2015

The Vermillion River is below flood stage but it’s gone up enough in a short time to take safety measures.

Conservation Police Sgt. Hank Frazier says the river through the entire stretch of La Salle County is closed to boats until further notice. Frazier says the river level more than doubled over the weekend.

A river rescue Sunday on the river also led to the closure according to Frazier.

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Drugs said to have played roll in crash injuring two drivers in Peru

Posted by wlpo on June 29, 2015

Two women hurt in a late night crash in Peru were treated and released from Illinois Valley Community Hospital in Peru.

Around 10:30 Sunday night, 19-year-old Caitlyn Gloria of Mendota is accused of running a red light and turning into 59-year-old Mary Boland of Peru. Gloria was coming from the Interstate 80 exit, turning onto northbound Route 251 when she hit Boland who was southbound on Rt. 251.

Gloria was arrested for DUI of drugs, possession of cannabis and paraphernalia and disobeying the traffic light. She was given a court date.

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Morris accident claims a life

Posted by wlpo on June 29, 2015

A five-vehicle crash in Morris claimed the life of a woman from Chicago.

Sixty-six-year-old Linda Baines was pronounced dead Sunday afternoon at Morris Community Hospital. She was rushed there after a crash near the Morris Interstate 80/Route 47 interchange.

Baines was driving eastbound on I-80 when the fatal crash happened. The crash remains under investigation.

Three other people were hurt.

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New school board member may be announced Monday night at L-P

Posted by wlpo on June 29, 2015

A vacancy on the L-P Board of Education could be filled Monday night.

The board is having a special meeting at 5:30 with the only topic on its agenda being possible approval to fill vacant board seat. Former board president Jim Quesse resigned in late May blaming time constraints with his job. He’s since been replaced as president by Tony Sparks.

Monday’s meeting will start at 5:30 and initially be in closed session.

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Mendota and Bureau County on board with consolidating dispatch centers

Posted by wlpo on June 29, 2015

A proposed regional 9-1-1 dispatch center for the Illinois Valley is still in the works.

At Monday night’s meeting, the Peru City Council will vote on adding Mendota and Bureau County to the dispatch center planning board. Last year Peru, La Salle and Oglesby joined together to consolidate 9-1-1 dispatch centers into one building near Illinois Valley Community College.

The state last fall announced a $1.5 million grant to build the dispatch center but no construction has started since the grant has been put on hold by Governor Bruce Rauner. A 9-1-1 consolidation bill awaiting the governor’s signature could also have an impact on the regional dispatch center.

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