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Archive for October, 2015

St. Bede grad reunited after losing his class ring years ago

Posted by wlpo on October 30, 2015

Maybe miracles do truly happen at St. Bede Academy.

Two weeks ago, the staff at St. Bede got a call from a woman in the state of Ohio who had found a 1967 academy class ring while out walking her dog. Inside the ring were the engraved initials of M.A.K. The woman mailed the class ring back to Peru and the search for its owner started.

Academy staffers eventually narrowed the search down to a Michael Kopina who says he has never even visited Ohio. Kopina came to the academy last week to claim his long, lost class ring. He plans on being back again at St. Bede for his 50th class reunion in 2017.

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Hall Superintendent says gun threat rumor was false

Posted by wlpo on October 30, 2015

There are a lot of reasons to love social media but it can also lead to rumors spreading like wildfire.

Hall High School Superintendent Mike Struna says there’s no truth to rumors posted on Facebook Thursday that a student threatened to bring a gun to the school. Struna says school administrators and the Spring Valley Police Department talked to several students and even parents at home and determined the rumor was false.

As is usual protocol, Spring Valley officers will be at the school Friday. Struna says he’s confident the students are safe.

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Gas prices fall back under two dollars a gallon

Posted by wlpo on October 30, 2015

This news is definitely a treat going into the Halloween weekend. Gas prices are back under two dollars a gallon in some parts of the Illinois Valley.

According to GasBuddy.com, gas has fallen to $1.96 a gallon in Ottawa and $1.99 for unleaded in La Salle. In Peru you can find gas for $2.01 a gallon while stations in Oglesby, Princeton and Spring Valley are selling for $2.09 a gallon. Utica is at the higher end with unleaded at $2.19 a gallon.

The average price statewide for unleaded is $2.30 a gallon, nearly a dime less than a week ago.

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Ottawa Police have located missing 10-year-old boy

Posted by wlpo on October 29, 2015

A nearly two hour search that included helicopters flying around Ottawa ended on a positive note.

Jaden Lunsford was found just outside the city around 12:40 this afternoon. Officers say he was found unharmed and eventually reunited with family members.

Lunsford was initially reported missing around 10:30 Thursday morning after he had last been seen before 8 o’clock in the morning. Ottawa Police haven’t said what prompted them to treat Lunsford as a missing child.

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Opinions sought for future of Waltham Schools

Posted by wlpo on October 29, 2015

If you live in the Waltham Elementary School District in Utica, chances are you’ve been called about a survey. If you hung up before taking the survey or never got a call, there’s still a chance for your opinion to be known.

There’s now an online survey you can take to about facility needs and what should be done in the future. The Waltham School Board has hired a survey company to poll would be voters. Earlier this spring, many Waltham voters said no to raising taxes to pay for expanding Waltham North and closing Waltham South.

You can find the online survey by clicking Waltham School Survey

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Spring time is already on the minds of IVCC staff

Posted by wlpo on October 29, 2015

Believe it or not, it’s almost time to register for spring semester at Illinois Valley Community College.

Registration opens next Tuesday with online enrollment available starting at 8 in the morning. In-person registration at the college begins at noon with phone, fax and mail registration gets going at 2. Spring class schedules are available right now at both the Oglesby and Ottawa campuses, on the IVCC website and at grocery stores.

To register online, you have to have a WebAdvisor account. You can set one up by clicking IVCC Web Account

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Two hurt in crash on the west side of Peru

Posted by wlpo on October 29, 2015

A bad crash along Peru’s Plank Road happened after one driver turned in front of the other.

63-year-old Gary Quesse of La Salle was southbound on Plank Road Wednesday morning when he tried turning left into a private drive. He ended up turning into 20-year-old Tre Martinez of Peru. After the collision, Martinez ended up in a ditch. Both SUVs were towed from the scene which snarled traffic near the Peru airport for about an hour.

Quesse was ticketed for failing to yield. He and Martinez were taken by ambulance to Illinois Valley Community Hospital in Peru.

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Struggling Streator Grade School Band looking for grant money

Posted by wlpo on October 28, 2015

The latest attempt to keep the music playing at Northlawn Junior High in Streator is a national grant competition.

The school’s music program is in the running for a $2,500 grant with Farmers Insurance. The music department has already absorbed cuts and a group of parents, teachers and community members called “SGS Band-Aids” have been scrambling to raise money to keep the program alive.

Up to sixty grants will be awarded to the top twenty vote getters. Voting goes until next week.

To vote for the Streator music department, click Streator music grant contest

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Parole board to decide Weger’s fate in three weeks

Posted by wlpo on October 28, 2015

La Salle County State’s Attorney Brian Towne has said his peace and now it’s up to the Illinois Parole Board.

Towne on Wednesday was in Springfield to argue against Chester Weger getting released on parole. This is Weger’s 20th attempt at getting parole after being sentenced to life in prison over 50 years ago for murder at Starved Rock State Park.

As in past years, Towne argued that Weger should stay behind bars because he confessed to killing three women at the park, not just the one he was convicted of killing. He also points to the seriousness of the crime and impact it continues to have on the Illinois Valley.

The parole board meets Thursday, November 19th to decide Weger’s fate. Last year they voted 9 to 3 to deny parole.
Weger is now 76 years old and is doing time at the Pinckneyville Correctional Center.

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Power Out in Seneca

Posted by wlpo on October 28, 2015

If you live in Seneca, you may want to get some fresh batteries for your flashlights.  Power to the entire town will be turned off overnight to fix a damaged pole.

ComEd says the outage should start around 1 a.m. and that they should have the power restored by 5 a.m.  ComEd is calling all customers in Seneca affected by tonight’s outage, but if someone you know may have changed numbers or gotten rid of their landline, you should let them know their power will be off tonight.

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