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Archive for August 27th, 2015

Unemployment rates inch up in La Salle and Bureau County

Posted by wlpo on August 27, 2015

July was a tough month of job losses for most of the Illinois Valley.

La Salle County’s July unemployment rate was 6.4 percent, up from 6.1 percent in June. Compared to last July however La Salle County’s jobless rate improved by almost two percent.

In Bureau County, the July unemployment rate was 5.7 percent, up from 5.3 percent in June. The jobless rate is still over one percent better than last year.

July’s unemployment rate in Putnam County was 5.5 percent, a slight improvement from 5.6 percent in June. Compared to last year, the jobless rate in Putnam County has improved by over two percent.

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IVCH takes care of sterilization issue to avoid Medicare stoppage

Posted by wlpo on August 27, 2015

If you depend on Medicare for help, there are no more worries about Illinois Valley Community Hospital in Peru not accepting it.

Members of the Illinois Department of Public Health were at the hospital this week and went away happy with steps the hospital has taken to shore up its surgical sterilization procedures. A complaint about an infection led to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services putting a legal notice in the NewsTribune saying IVCH wouldn’t be able to accept Medicare after Saturday.

IVCH is now in compliance with the state.

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DUI charge filed in fatal Osage Curves crash

Posted by wlpo on August 27, 2015

Three weeks after a crash that killed Kari Ryan of Peru, the other driver has been ticketed for driving drunk.

The Illinois State Police have formally charged 55-year-old Dale Hancock of Coal City with DUI along with illegal transportation of alcohol and improper lane usage. La Salle County State’s Attorney Brian Towne says charges are imminent with his office as well against Hancock.

Hancock is accused of crossing into Ryan’s lane of traffic at the Osage Curves on Route 6 between Utica and Ottawa. Ryan was pronounced dead at the scene.

Hancock is due in court on September 23rd.

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Trial delayed for ex-Streator coach facing a sex abuse charge

Posted by wlpo on August 27, 2015

A former coach and teacher at Streator High School won’t stand trial for allegedly having sex with a student until at least November.

26-year-old Rylee VanMelkebeke was in La Salle County Court Thursday and his lawyer Ed Kuleck asked for and received more time to prepare his case. His client was arrested back in May at Streator High School for criminal sexual abuse. He’s accused of having sex with victim between 13 and 17 years old.

VanMelkebeke is due back in court for a status hearing in October with a jury trial set to start on November 2nd.

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Alcohol plays a role in Peru crash that sent two drivers to the hospital

Posted by wlpo on August 27, 2015

Whether its day or night, the driver coming towards you could be drunk.

Peru Police say a three car crash on Plank Road Wednesday afternoon was caused by a drunken driver. Jose Romero-Montesinos of Woodridge is accused of crossing into the other lane of traffic on Plank Road near the Armory and hitting Alexandra Brisbin of Princeton. Brisbin then spun around and hit a truck driven by Daniel Mathy of Peru.

Both Romero-Montesinos and Brisbin were treated at Illinois Valley Community Hospital. Mathy was okay. Romero-Monetsinos was arrested for DUI.

Traffic was rerouted off of Plank Road for about 45 minutes after the crash which happened just after 3 o’clock Wednesday afternoon.

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Marseilles woman accused of fraud after cashing a check in Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on August 27, 2015

It’s hard to pull a fast one on a bank or credit union when it comes to bad checks.

Yesenia Donovan of Marseilles is accused of cashing an invalid payroll check earlier this month at Financial Plus Credit Union in Ottawa. After a few weeks investigating, a deputy arrested Donovan Wednesday on a warrant for theft and financial institution fraud, both felonies.

She was taken to the La Salle County Jail.

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Six men ran down and arrested after report of train burglaries in Streator

Posted by wlpo on August 27, 2015

Six men were arrested and three cars impounded after Streator Police got wind of a group allegedly breaking into railroad cars.

Streator Police Chief Kurt Pastirik says around 4:30 Wednesday afternoon, his department got a call about “suspicious actions” on BNSF Railroad property. Six men were confronted by police and then made a run for it.

Keith Gullens, Raleigh Klabbatz and Terrell Murray of Streator along with Dontae Coleman and Alex Mosley Jr. of Chicago were all tracked down and arrested for burglary. Damaris DeLeon of Streator was also arrested on a retail theft warrant and for driving with a suspended license.

Pastirik says this is still an ongoing investigation.

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Committee proposes six-figure job to expand lecture hall at IVCC

Posted by wlpo on August 27, 2015

The biggest lecture hall in Illinois Valley Community College is about to get bigger.

The college’s facilities committee thinks another row is needed in the lecture hall. They’re also suggesting a middle aisle for accessibility, a lower ceiling for better acoustics, and energy-efficient lighting. The improvements will cost over $600,000. They already have a company out of Chicago picked to do the job.

The full board of trustees still needs to approve the lecture hall expansion. Money would come from the state.

The expansion could be done by next fall semester.

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Food pantry in Spring Valley benefits from closed pharmacy

Posted by wlpo on August 27, 2015

Instead of a “going out of business sale”, a closed pharmacy in Spring Valley decided to help the needy.

Pharmacist Terry Thompson and his wife Beverly cleared out the shelves of Thompson Drug Company and donated over 2,000 things to the Hall Food Pantry. The donations include everything from band aids, cough drops and pain relievers to heating pads, laxatives and nail clippers.

The food pantry was moved so much they named an area of the pantry “Thompson’s Corner”.

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Search for wanted man ends in Marseilles

Posted by wlpo on August 27, 2015

What was a man charged with murder doing in the Illinois Valley?

Police including members of the U.S. Marshal’s spent Wednesday afternoon tracking 41-year-old Isaac Joles who is wanted out of Arkansas for a conditional release violation for first-degree murder and prior weapons charges. Using pings from his cellphone, officers eventually tracked him down northeast of Marseilles where he was arrested without putting up a fight.

Before Marseilles, alerts went out about the fugitive driving in Morris near the Interstate 80 and Route 47 area and on Route 52 heading towards Mendota. Two schools in Morris were locked down just to be safe.

Joles was taken to the La Salle County Jail while waiting for a trip back to Arkansas.

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