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Archive for September 22nd, 2015

Oglesby City Council getting creative in buying up rundown properties

Posted by wlpo on September 22, 2015

Do you have any abandoned or broken down houses in your neighborhood? Oglesby is getting creative to bring one down in the 400 block of East First Street.

The city was originally going to buy the property and demolish it with state grant money, but the grant froze over the summer due to the state budget impasse. City attorney James Andreoni though says he found another way the city could get rid of the property.

They may buy the property for less than 650 dollars, get it appraised, and then sell it to neighbors who would bring it down themselves. Andreoni says the city could sell the property on a contract sell, and would then get reimbursed from the neighbors.

The city council likes the idea, but voted to table the sale until next meeting so the property can get appraised first. This way the council can have a number in mind when putting a contract together.

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Two crashes within minutes of each near construction zone in Peru

Posted by wlpo on September 22, 2015

If you’re going to take Route 251 between Peru and Oglesby, please pay attention.

Just before 8:30 Monday morning, deputies say Leann Love of Tonica was northbound on Route 251 slowed down for construction traffic when she was rear-ended by Brianna Cusac of Streator. Neither woman was hurt.

Less than a half hour later, deputies were handling another crash in the same spot where Mason Moriarty of Tonica was slowed down for the previous accident and rear-ended by Miranda Kennedy of Streator. Both were okay but Kennedy was ticketed for failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

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Homestead Parade will be alcohol free going forward

Posted by wlpo on September 22, 2015

After a post-parade fight went viral, changes are coming to next year’s Homestead Festival Parade in Princeton.

Last week, Princeton Police Chief Tom Root met with the festival committee and they came up with the idea to ban alcohol on all floats. Princeton Mayor Joel Quiram says for years there’s been an “unwritten rule” that alcohol isn’t allowed on floats but wasn’t being enforced. No alcohol on floats will now be enforced and driver’s of floats found with alcohol could be fined and lose their license.

A fight at this year’s parade allegedly stemmed from members of a class reunion float throwing things while drinking.

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Gas prices climb in much of the Illinois Valley

Posted by wlpo on September 22, 2015

If you find gas in the Illinois Valley for under $2.10 a gallon, you may want to quickly fill up.

Prices shot up in the last day by 10 to 20 cents at stations in Peru, La Salle, Utica and Oglesby. Gas in La Salle and Peru is in the area of $2.25 a gallon after going for $2.03 a gallon earlier this week.

The price at the pump has actually gone down in Streator and Ottawa with many stations selling unleaded for $2.13 or $2.14 a gallon. That’s down about a dime from the weekend.

According to, gas in East Peoria is the lowest in the state at $1.96 a gallon. The highest gas is selling for $3.79 a gallon in Chicago.

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Largest pumpkin in North America belongs to Streator family

Posted by wlpo on September 22, 2015

Almost 20 years ago, Gene McMullen’s wife wanted her husband to put in a garden outside their Streator home. Who would’ve thought that garden would lead to a North American record.

At last weekend’s Cedarburg Wine and Harvest Festival in Wisconsin, a pumpkin grown by McMullen in that same garden weighed in at 2,145 pounds, breaking the North American record for largest pumpkin and ranking second-heaviest all time.

McMullen says there is no secret formula when it comes to growing such large pumpkins. Last year, he grew a pumpkin that weighed in at just under 1,700 pounds, the eighth largest in the world at the time.

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One lane traffic planned on busy Ottawa bridge

Posted by wlpo on September 22, 2015

If you need to get to south Ottawa Wednesday, expect delays.

State crews will be doing some work on the southbound part of Veteran’s Memorial Bridge from 7 until 3:30. During the work, the southbound side of the bridge will be down to one lane.

The work is routine maintenance according to the state.

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4th of July fireworks in Peru look to be headed to the airport

Posted by wlpo on September 22, 2015

The Peru fireworks will have a new spot next summer and it looks like it’ll be at the Illinois Valley Regional Airport.

Members of the Peru Parks and Recreation Board continue talking with airport officials to be the new host of the July 3rd fireworks. Parks and Rec members want to do a walk through of the airport sight in the next couple weeks before putting together final plans for city council approval.

The main issue to work out still at the airport is parking. The city will likely have to use land around the airport that is normally used for crops. The airport’s manager Chuck Studer says they’ll also have to figure out a way to have the fireworks while keeping the airport open to planes.

The city has decided to move away from the traditional fireworks site along Water Street because of high water problems on the Illinois River the last two summers.

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