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Archive for July 1st, 2015

NewsTribune deals with stunning loss of reporter

Posted by wlpo on July 1, 2015

An award-winning investigative journalist with the NewsTribune has died unexpectedly.

39-year-old Kevin Caufield died Wednesday morning while at OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria. He spent nearly a decade at the NewsTribune, winning state and national awards. Caufield regularly covered the La Salle County Board and Illinois Valley Community College Board of Trustees.

He leaves behind his wife Alison.

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Police investigating death along I-80

Posted by wlpo on July 1, 2015

State Police are investigating a fatal single-car crash found around 7:30 Wednesday morning on Interstate 80.

State police said a trooper checking a disabled car near the Route 351 exit noticed tire tracks that veered off the road and into a steep ravine. A car was found about 500 feet off the interstate that had hit a tree. The dead driver was found near the car.

The identity of the victim is being withheld on notification of family. The accident remains under investigation by State Police and the La Salle County Coroner’s Office.

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Car crashes into a cancer center in Peru

Posted by wlpo on July 1, 2015

Three people were hurt when a car crashed through the front entrance of a Peru cancer center.

Seventy-year-old Kathryn Lindner of La Salle says she can’t remember what happened but police think she hit the gas instead of the brake while at the Valley Regional Care Center on Venture Drive just before 9 Wednesday morning. She hit 74-year-old Fidencio Casas-Bugarin of Mendota who was walking into the building. Casas-Bugarin was pinned between Lindner’s car and the building.

Lindner was taken to St. Margaret’s Hospital in Spring Valley while Casas-Bugarin was taken to Illinois Valley Community Hospital in Peru. Also taken to IVCH was a six-year-old girl from Mendota who while trying to avoid the car slipped and fell onto glass.

Lindner wasn’t ticketed.

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Firefighter injured at house fire south of Streator

Posted by wlpo on July 1, 2015

A Streator firefighter was injured after getting hit by a fire truck while on the scene of a house fire.

A 9-1-1 call went out just after noon about a structure fire at 2000 South Aquaduct Road, just south of Streator in Livingston County. Eight fire departments were on the scene battling the fire.

The fire was under control by 2 o’clock. The injured firefighter was taken away in an ambulance. No one else was hurt.

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Workforce employment offices reopen despite state budget crisis

Posted by wlpo on July 1, 2015

After a few hours of being shut down due to budget concerns, B.E.S.T. offices are back open.

Administrative Assistant for the Business Employment Skills Team Jo Ann Johnson says offices reopened at noon Wednesday. Workers were initially told not to show up to work Wednesday because of the state budget crisis. Kathy Day of B.E.S.T says they’ve now been told by the state they can incur expenses for July.

B.E.S.T. has offices in Peru, Oglesby, Ottawa, Princeton and elsewhere. They work to link up employers to job seekers in an eight county coverage area.

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Young girl allegedly sexually assaulted in Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on July 1, 2015

An Ottawa man is accused of sexually assaulting a young girl.

Twenty-four-year-old Juan Roldan was arrested Tuesday for one count of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child. He’s accused of assaulting a preteen girl that he was familiar with.
Roldan was taken to the La Salle County Jail. He’s being held on $750,000 bond.

Roldan is due back in court July 24th.

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Streator turning the 4th of July into a five-day celebration

Posted by wlpo on July 1, 2015

Very few cities celebrate the 4th like Streator.

Streator’s 4th gets going Wednesday with a carnival opening up in City Park at 5. The “Little Miss Sparkler & Mr. Firecracker” winners will be announced at 6:30 in the park followed by the preliminary round of 99.3 WAJK’s “Red, White, Blue & You Talent Competition”.

Streator’s 4th party continues all the way through Sunday with a parade. Fireworks will be Saturday night at the Streator High School football field.

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Rain hasn’t slowed progress of large elementary school addition in Peru

Posted by wlpo on July 1, 2015

Two months from today, a newly expanded Northview Elementary School in Peru will open for business.

Despite a rainy last month, Peru Elementary Superintendent Mark Cross says construction is on schedule at Northview and will be ready for the first day of classes on September 2nd. The district is adding onto the back of the elementary school so that 2nd thru 4th graders who used to go to Washington School will move into Northview in the fall. Demolition of Washington School is expected to start later this year.

The district received an $11 million dollar grant to expand Northview Elementary.

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Construction zones to watch out for during busy travel weekend

Posted by wlpo on July 1, 2015

To celebrate the July 4th weekend, the Illinois Department of Transportation is opening up construction zones wherever possible. However some stretches will still be down to one lane.

In Bureau County, Interstate 80 is down to one lane each direction near Sheffield for a bridge replacement. Also Route 6 west of Sheffield is down to one lane because of bridge work.

In Putnam County, Route 71 in Granville has one lane of traffic controlled by signals due to culvert reconstruction. And in Marshall County, Route 89 a mile south of LaRose is closed for roadwork. There is a detour.

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Grand jury indicts Varna man on three counts of murder

Posted by wlpo on July 1, 2015

A 22-year-old Varna man has officially been indicted for murder by a La Salle County Grand Jury.

Bradley French was indicted on three counts of murder Tuesday in Ottawa court. He’s accused of the Father’s Day killing of 38-year-old Joshua Scaman of Oglesby. Scaman was found dead in a parking lot of Illinois Valley Community College, after prosecutors say French shot him with a bow and arrow.

French is due back in court Thursday as his co-defendant, 18-year-old Rachel Milton of Oglesby. She’s accused of trying to hide the bow used in the murder.

French is in the La Salle County Jail on two million dollars bond while Milton has posted the needed five thousand dollars to bond out.

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