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Archive for July 15th, 2015

Illinois Valley embezzlement case grows to include mother and daughter

Posted by wlpo on July 15, 2015

A million dollar embezzlement case in La Salle now has a mother and daughter both charged.

Fifty-seven-year-old Connie Steinbach of Oglesby was arrested last November for allegedly stealing over a million dollars while working at JB Contracting in La Salle. This past Monday, her daughter, 29-year-old Ashia Kolodziej of La Salle turned herself in on a warrant for two counts of felony theft. She’s accused of taking part in the scheme with her mom and at one point having nearly $300,000 of the stolen money in her possession.

La Salle County State’s Attorney Brian Towne says his office has “volumes of records leading them to Ashia’s involvement”. The alleged embezzlement happened between 2008 and 2014.

Both mother and daughter are out on bond. Steinbach is due in court today for a final pretrial hearing with a potential jury trial set to start Monday.

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Morris man killed in train vs. pedestrian collision

Posted by wlpo on July 15, 2015

A Morris man is dead after getting hit by a train Wednesday morning.

20-year-old Zachary Johnston was pronounced dead at the scene after getting hit at the Liberty Street crossing in Morris shortly after 10 Monday morning. According to the Grundy County Coroner’s Office, Johnston was wearing headphones wired into his phone and didn’t hear the train approaching or the train’s horn.

An autopsy will be performed Thursday morning.


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Happy hour returning to Illinois

Posted by wlpo on July 15, 2015

SPRINGFIELD, (AP) – Happy hour drink specials will make a comeback in Illinois under legislation signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

The discounted drink specials have been banned in Illinois since the late 1980s over concerns about excessive drinking and impaired driving.

The measure signed Wednesday allows drink specials up to four hours each day and up to 15 hours a week. But it doesn’t allow volume specials like two drinks for the price of one or mega drinks. It also prohibits deals after 10 p.m.

Proponents say the change will produce more tax revenue for state and local governments through increased alcohol sales.

The law takes effect immediately.

Rauner’s office says the changes help support the state’s hospitality industry while putting safeguards in place.

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Sinkhole to blame for Route 26 closure

Posted by wlpo on July 15, 2015

A sinkhole has been confirmed to be the reason behind the closing of a stretch of Route 26.

More than 10 miles of the highway between Ohio and Princeton was abruptly closed Monday for what the Illinois Department of Transportation initially called a “pavement failure.”

According to IDOT, the sinkhole – located about two-and-half miles north of Interstate 80 – was probably caused by a nearby field tile going bad, combined with recent heavy rains.

IDOT said it was hard to say how long the construction would last, but it would most likely take 2 to 3 weeks.

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Contractors knocking down doors to Marseilles City Hall for clean up jobs

Posted by wlpo on July 15, 2015

If you’re a contractor in the Illinois Valley, chances are you’ve spent some time in Marseilles this week.

City officials in Marseilles including the police department say they’ve been overwhelmed with potential contractors looking to repair damage from Monday night’s hailstorm. All contractors wanting to work in Marseilles must get a contractors permit from the city.

If you have damage at your home or business and are approached by a door-to-door repair salesperson, ask them to show you their solicitors permit and contractors permit.

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Two Mendota boys face arson charges

Posted by wlpo on July 15, 2015

Most kids spend their summer days playing or at the pool. Two Mendota kids are accused of spending a summer day setting fire to a public bathroom.

A 12-year-old boy and a 13-year-old boy are accused of arson after intentionally setting fire to a bathroom at Apple Orchard Park on the southwest side of Mendota Tuesday.

Both kids are being held in the La Salle County Juvenile Detention Center pending further court hearings.

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Man dies day after crashing his ATV in Spring Valley

Posted by wlpo on July 15, 2015

A La Salle man has died after an ATV accident.

Twenty-two-year-old Julian Molina was on an ATV Monday afternoon according to Spring Valley Police when he hit a curb, went off North Greenwood Street and hit a utility pole. Officers say he was driving way too fast.

Molina was initially taken to St. Margaret’s Hospital before getting lifeflighted to St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria. He’s was pronounced dead Tuesday afternoon.

An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday.

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Little chance given for having fireworks in Peru this year

Posted by wlpo on July 15, 2015

Fireworks on Water Street aren’t completely dead in the water for this year but it may take an “act of god”.

Peru Parks & Recreation Board President Ray Zborowski referred to an act of god when describing the chances of the Illinois River coming down enough in the next few weeks to reschedule the city’s fireworks. The board wants to do fireworks before school is back in session and Robbie Novak with Extreme Pyrotechnics says he’d need a couple weeks’ notice. So that leaves just a couple weekends in August for fireworks.

After two straight years of flooding on the Illinois River, the Parks & Rec board is looking at other venues for 2016 including the Illinois Valley Regional Airport and Baker Lake. Both venues have their pros and cons.

The option of using a barge on the river was ruled out with the pyrotechnician saying he wouldn’t do it.

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