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News from the Illinois Valley

Archive for July 8th, 2015

New bridge in Utica still at least two years away

Posted by wlpo on July 8, 2015

The countdown continues for a new bridge in Utica over the Illinois River.

According to the NewsTribune, Village engineer Kevin Heitz says the state will go out for bids next November with construction starting in spring of 2017. Of course all this is dependent on money from Springfield being available.

The village is expected to pick up part of the tab for a new path attached to the new bridge along with a new sewer discharge pipe. The plan is still to keep the current bridge open while the new one is built.

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Hospital in Streator could soon have a new owner

Posted by wlpo on July 8, 2015

Long rumored, St. Mary’s Hospital in Streator is officially up for sale.

The hospital’s ownership group, Hospital Sisters Health System plans to begin a formal process later this month to transition all operations and assets of St. Mary’s to another provider. The new ownership process is expected to take several months.

HSHS President and CEO Mary Starmann-Harrison says “we have determined that Streator residents will be better served in the future by another organization that can deliver highly integrated health care services in the region”.

St. Mary’s Hospital opened in Streator in 1887.

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UPDATE: Man listed in serious condition after workplace explosion in Tonica

Posted by wlpo on July 8, 2015

A 43-year-old man hurt during a workplace explosion near Tonica is in serious condition at a Rockford hospital.

Kevin Znaniecki was initially taken to Illinois Valley Community Hospital before being transferred to St. Anthony’s Medical Center in Rockford. He suffered burns after a workplace explosion at the Dauber Company south of Tonica. As of 4:30 Wednesday afternoon, Znaniecki was listed in serious condition.

The 9-1-1 call about a fire and medical emergency came in around 4:45 Wednesday morning. Tonica and Lostant firefighters along with Oglesby paramedics responded.

The Dauber Company makes silicon carbide products.

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Latest about the attack and robbery of a teenage girl in Mendota

Posted by wlpo on July 8, 2015

The investigation continues into the report on an 18-year-old girl being attacked Monday afternoon in Mendota.

A lieutenant with the Mendota Police Department says they are looking for four, white men to get details about their apparent roles in the attack. Police have so far said one of the men forcibly removed the teen from her car and attacked her while another man stole money out of her vehicle.

The suspects left the scene in a white Ford Explorer with black trim, tinted windows, and silver rims. The lieutenant who spoke with Classic Hits 103.9 WLPO says the men they’re looking for have distinctive physical characteristics so they are not releasing that information to the public at this time, believing it could hinder the investigation.

If you have any information on the incident, call Mendota Crime Stoppers or the Mendota Police Department. You could get a reward if your information leads to an arrest and conviction.

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Ottawa looking to remove more dead ash trees

Posted by wlpo on July 8, 2015

The city of Ottawa is now taking bids from companies who specialize in taking down dead or dying ash trees.

City Engineer Dave Noble says treatments to try and save ash trees from the Emerald Ash Borer have been largely unsuccessful. He says there are dead or dying ash trees all over town including one right in front of city hall. Noble says some ash trees that were planted not long ago will have to be cut down.

Bids to remove the dead or dying trees are due by Monday, July 20th. The city will pay only to remove trees on public property.

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Rodeo helps to kick off La Salle County 4-H Fair

Posted by wlpo on July 8, 2015

“Boots, Buckets & Barrels of Fun” is the theme for this year’s La Salle County 4-H Show & Junior Fair.

There’s a kick off event Wednesday night along with a rodeo but judging begins tomorrow morning at the fairgrounds in south Ottawa. Tomorrow evening will feature a “Cloverbud Parade” followed by a truck & tractor pull. Friday night at the fair includes another truck & tractor pull and a movie night in the barn. Saturday night at the fairgrounds will feature a demolition derby.

Daily admission to the fair is $5 but grandstand events are $10 for anyone 10 and up.

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Weekend birthday party planned for Ladd

Posted by wlpo on July 8, 2015

It’s time to celebrate 125 years of Ladd. The village is throwing a four-day party starting Thursday.

Ladd’s 125th Anniversary celebration starts with a carnival, opening ceremony involving a time capsule along with a tug-of-war pitting the Eastside versus the Westside. Tomorrow night there’s live music, a beer garden and a beard contest.

Friday’s schedule includes fireworks while there’s a 5K Race on Saturday and parade Sunday afternoon.
For a complete schedule of Ladd’s 125th Anniversary, click http://www.villageofladd.com/125th-anniversary-celebration/

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Final two candidates set to replace Aaron Schock in congress

Posted by wlpo on July 8, 2015

Voters in central Illinois including Marshall County have given the Republican nomination to state Sen. Darin LaHood in the race to replace former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock. That means the son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is likely headed to Washington.

LaHood heads into the Sept. 10 special general election as the favorite after defeating anti-establishment conservative writer Michael Flynn. LaHood will face Democratic high school teacher Robert Mellon.

Schock meanwhile resigned earlier this year due to questions about spending.

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