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Archive for October 19th, 2015

Garage fire fills Utica with thick smoke

Posted by wlpo on October 19, 2015

That thick black smoke coming from Utica Monday afternoon was a detached garage burning.

The garage owned by Chris Plankenhorn was gutted and his house had some damage to the back porch. A minivan and truck parked near the garage were also burnt. The fire also damaged the neighbor’s house on Johnson Street.

Utica Fire Chief Ben Brown says the state fire marshal’s office did stop by to investigate the cause but he’s doesn’t think it’s anything suspicious. Brown did say the homeowner was burning stuff earlier in the day.

Several fire departments helped to put the fire out.

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Yet another field fire breaks out amid Red Flag Warning

Posted by wlpo on October 19, 2015

For the third time in five days, the Leonore Fire Department has been called to handle a field fire.

The latest call came in at 11:30 Monday morning along North 16th Road, south of Leonore. A mutual aid call for help was put out to Grand Ridge, Lostant, Tonica and Wenona Fire Departments.

On Saturday, about five acres burnt during a field fire while nearly 70 acres were scorched in a fire last Thursday.

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Another large pot bust made on I-80 in La Salle County

Posted by wlpo on October 19, 2015

Another out of state driver will always remember the Illinois Valley as a place where drugs aren’t welcome.

Thirty-nine-year-old Parker Bradtmiller of San Leandro, California was stopped Thursday at Sapp Brothers in Peru. A drug dog showed up and allegedly led state troopers to 23 pounds of marijuana inside Bradtmiller’s car.

He was arrested for possession of cannabis with the intent to deliver and taken to the county jail. Bradtmiller needs $100,000 to get out of the clink.

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Fight involving a bow and arrow breaks out in Streator

Posted by wlpo on October 19, 2015

A Streator teen is accused of bringing a bow and arrow to a fight.

A man living on West Second Street called Streator Police Saturday night about a fight in front of his house and one man involved had a bow and arrow. Another caller told police she heard someone say “shoot me you m-fers, we will all go down tonight.”

After the ruckus, 19-year-old Brian Northrup was arrested for aggravated battery and unlawful use of a weapon. He’s now in the county jail.

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More and more Illinois Valley towns enacting burn bans

Posted by wlpo on October 19, 2015

Burn something outside today and you run the risk of getting into trouble.

A burn ban is in effect for the entire coverage area of the Cedar Point, Tonica, Princeton and Peru Fire Departments. This means no open burning will be allowed without getting the okay from the fire chief.

Some relief could finally come Tuesday night into Wednesday morning with a chance of showers.

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New fire engine ready to roll in Utica

Posted by wlpo on October 19, 2015

If you had to wait a month to use a new truck you bought, wouldn’t you be anxious? You can imagine what the Utica Fire Department is going through.

A new engine arrived last month but it then took about a month of training before firefighters could actually use the shiny new engine. Utica Fire Chief Ben Brown says Monday is the day the truck goes into service:

Brown says the $500,000 truck can carry all their rescue equipment and fire-fighting materials to the scene. It has airbags, wide seatbelts and new technology to prevent it from rolling over.

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Decades old organ comes alive this weekend at L-P

Posted by wlpo on October 19, 2015

There’s something spooky about an old black and white movie. You can watch the original silent film version of “Phantom of the Opera” during a unique viewing at LP High School’s Matthiessen Auditorium.

As it the old days, accompanying the film will be a live performance using the auditorium’s rare Aeolian pipe organ. The viewing is Saturday night starting with a 6 o’clock presentation about the organ and then the film featuring live music at 6:30.

Admission is free but donations are appreciated to help with the ongoing restoration of the decades old organ.

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Conditions ripe for fires to spread quickly

Posted by wlpo on October 19, 2015

Monday isn’t a good day for burning.

Strong winds and low relative humidity has led to a Red Flag Warning from the National Weather Service. The caution against burning runs from 10 until seven Monday night.

The weather service says with wind gusts as high as 35 miles per hour, dry conditions and very low humidity, fires can grow rapidly in a hurry.

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Vacant house fire under investigation in Streator

Posted by wlpo on October 19, 2015

It was a wild end to the weekend for Streator firefighters. They were called to two house fires in about three hours time.

Just before 7 Sunday evening, a dryer fire filled a home with smoke at 302 Frech Street. Everyone who was in the house when the fire broke out is okay. Streator firefighters had the blaze under control in about 10 minutes.

Then at around 10 Sunday night, a call went out about a vacant house on fire at 808 North Everett Street. Firefighters showed up to find heavy smoke and fire coming from the back of the one-story house. They brought the fire under control in 20 minutes. Nobody was hurt.

The cause of this fire is under investigation.

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