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Archive for November 4th, 2015

Former owner of abandoned Peru gas station facing hefty fine

Posted by wlpo on November 4, 2015

A closed gas station in Peru that some have turned into a mini parking lot is at the center of a court decision and hefty fine.

A judgment made in the La Salle County Circuit Court approves fining the former owner of a Marathon station along Route 6 over $500,000 and the man who ran the station before it closed in 2013 over $52,000. The Illinois Attorney General’s Office sued last year on behalf of the State Fire Marshal who claimed the gas station owners put the public at risk for not removing underground petroleum storage tanks.

Peru City Attorney Doug Schweickert says the city recently filed paperwork to acquire the gas station property. They hope to take advantage of a state program that would help pay to remove the underground tanks.

He says the company who owned the gas station, Alpine International is now defunct and the last station manager, Ghulam Murtaza may be somewhere in Texas.

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Sewer and street projects are higher priority than Christmas Party in Princeton

Posted by wlpo on November 4, 2015

Does your employer throw a Christmas Party? If yes, how fancy is it?

A divided Princeton City Council decided this week that the $6,000 spent on a Christmas party for city employees is better spent on sewer and street improvements. City employees will still get Christmas gift cards to show appreciation for their work.

Mayor Joel Quiram says canceling the Christmas party for one year is the prudent thing to do.

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Pre-Veterans Day ceremony planned in Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on November 4, 2015

For 24 hours straight, a veteran will stand guard at the War Memorial in Ottawa’s Washington Square.

The yearly Honor Guard Vigil starts Friday around 5 and ends the next day with closing ceremonies. Veterans signed up with the Ottawa American Legion to stand guard in 15 minute shifts. Veterans from the Illinois Veteran’s Home in La Salle will watch over the memorial Saturday morning.

A mobile services van from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will also be at the park Friday to answer any questions veterans may have.

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Coyote silhouettes doing their job scaring off geese in Peru

Posted by wlpo on November 4, 2015

Go ahead and admit it, you laughed at Peru’s idea of fake coyotes scaring off geese at Baker Lake.

It’s been a week since the dozen coyote silhouettes were put around the lake and the results couldn’t be better according to police chief and administrative services manager Doug Bernabei. He says the past two days there have been no geese at the lake. Before the fake coyotes, Bernabei says there were hundreds of geese leaving behind messes that had walkers complaining to the city.

Each fake coyote costs the city $50. They’ve ordered 18 of them.

Bernabei says once winter sets in, they’ll store the coyotes and then bring them back out to Baker Lake in the spring.

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Fox Lake police officer took his own life fearing he’d be caught embezzling

Posted by wlpo on November 4, 2015

Thinking he was close to being caught stealing money, a Fox Lake police officer staged his own death to look like others killed him in the line of duty.

The commander of the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force says the Village of Fox Lake was doing an internal audit that Lt. Charles Gliniewicz feared would show he was embezzling money from a youth program he was in charge of.

Gliniewicz was found dead with gunshot wounds in September after telling dispatchers he was pursuing three suspicious men. A massive manhunt and two-month investigation followed.

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LaMoille man killed after losing control on a curve

Posted by wlpo on November 4, 2015

A dangerous stretch of Route 34 known as “Peterson’s Curve” took the life of a 25-year-old man from LaMoille.

Michael Griffin lost control of his car Sunday morning at the curve in Bureau County. He rolled his car several times into a field where he was pronounced dead by Bureau County Coroner Janice Wamhoff.

Wamhoff says he was buckled up and she doesn’t think alcohol played a role.

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Food pantry gearing up for busy holiday season

Posted by wlpo on November 4, 2015

Have you made Thanksgiving plans yet? For many in the Illinois Valley, a Thanksgiving meal revolves around the Illinois Valley Food Pantry in La Salle.

Families or individuals wanting a Thanksgiving meal from the pantry have two more weeks to register. Meals will be handed out Saturday, November 21st. The pantry expects to serve 750 families this Thanksgiving.

You can help out by donating food like instant potatoes, stuffing mix, vegetables, turkeys or hams to the food pantry. The pantry is on Marquette Street in downtown La Salle.

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Streator truck driver ready to make another run at Springfield

Posted by wlpo on November 4, 2015

To run for political office, it helps to have your political party’s financial backing.

Jerry Long of Streator says once he got a call from the Republican Party that they’ll back him for another run at the 76th State Representative District seat, he decided to break an earlier promise to not run for office again. During his close defeat to Democrat Frank Mautino last year, Long says he spent much of his own savings and drained his own financial resources. But now he’ll get financial backing by the Republican Party.

To get to Springfield, Long will first have to beat 23-year-old Jacob Bramel of Marseilles in a primary election. Bramel is an Air Force Veteran and would appear to lean towards a Tea Party Republican. Long meanwhile is a union truck driver.

Either candidate would face an unknown Democrat since Frank Mautino is giving up his seat in the House next year to become Auditor General.

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Death investigation in Livingston County said to be a murder-suicide

Posted by wlpo on November 4, 2015

If you’ve been following the story about a rural Livingston County couple found dead over the weekend, investigators think it was a murder-suicide.

Sixty-two-year-old Wesley Thorson and 56-year-old Dawn Thorson were found dead in their rural Cornell home Saturday. The thinking is that Wesley shot his wife and then took his own life.

The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office and the Illinois State Police are still investigating.

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Dense Fog Advisory again issued for the Illinois Valley

Posted by wlpo on November 4, 2015

The price to pay for unseasonably warm temperatures for November is fog.

For the second straight morning, the Illinois Valley is under a Dense Fog Advisory. Fog today is expected to start lifting by 10 o’clock.

Until then, visibility in some spots could be down to a quarter mile or less. Remember to turn your headlights on and slow down.

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