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News from the Illinois Valley

Archive for November 12th, 2015

Trident arrests 4 along I-80

Posted by wlpo on November 12, 2015

   They come from the East ….allegedly bearing ……cannabis. TRIDENT has arrested 4 people on drug possession this week along Interstate 80.

   On Tuesday, agents stopped 32-year old Alfred Parsons of Silver Springs, Maryland and a passenger, 32-year old Imani Kelly of Washington, D. C 4 miles east of I-180. Agents found 14 pounds of cannabis in their car. And, Thursday, 27-year old Connor Neff of Grand Island and 28-year old Cordai Riley of Niagara Falls, both in New York were stopped 2 miles west of the Ladd exit. A search of their car found 16 pounds of marijuana.

   All were charged with possession of cannabis with intent to deliver, a Class 1 felony. All are in Bureau County jail.

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Motorist in August crash has died

Posted by wlpo on November 12, 2015

DUI charges against a Coal City motorist involved in a fatal crash near Utica will be dismissed. The News Tribune reports 55-year old Dale Hancock died Tuesday in a Joliet nursing home according to an on-line obituary. The cause of death wasn’t given. Hancock was charged in the wake of a crash on the Osage curve west of Ottawa August 5 that killed 33-year old Kari Ryan of Peru and injured her passenger. Early reports indicated Hancock veered into the path of Ryan’s vehicle.

States Attorney Brian Towne said charges will be dismissed although civil lawsuits could be pursued against Hancock’s estate.

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Princeton bank robbery suspect caught

Posted by wlpo on November 12, 2015

   A second suspect in a May bank robbery in Princeton is now in custody. Princeton Police released the information on Facebook Thursday.  31-year old Paul Windham III of Chicago was arrested without incident by a FBI gang task force Wednesday morning. Windham was taken to the Lake County, Indiana jail on a warrant for robbery of the Princeton Centrue Bank on May 28. He’s in custody pending extradition to Bureau County.

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Power Problems

Posted by wlpo on November 12, 2015

Between last night’s storms and today’s high winds power companies have their hands full keeping the lights on.  Cornbelt Engery is making good progress getting power back on for the close to 1,000 people in the dark this morning.  All but about 100 Cornbelt customers have had their power restored.  Those appear to be caused by downed poles and individual outages which crews continue to work on.  Ameren is also reporting a few outages around the Illinois Valley today.

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Windy Advisory Today

Posted by wlpo on November 12, 2015

While the storms blew through last night leaving the Illinois Valley relatively unscathed, there is still a wind advisory until 6 tonight.  Strong winds at 25 to 35 miles an hour should continue throughout the day, and they could gust up to 50 miles an hour.  The high winds could cause additional damage to trees and buildings, power outages and make driving challenging–especially for high-profile vehicles.

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Utica Flood Control

Posted by wlpo on November 12, 2015

While Utica is in the enviable position of having a growing tax base, they’re still faced with what to do about the seemingly yearly threat of major flooding.  According to the News Tribune, village engineer Kevin Heitz thinks flood control could come from a better understanding of the village’s topography, so the board’s thinking about having an aerial survey done.  The cost of the survey would be around $20,000.  Trustee John Schweikert says:  “it’s a small price to pay to figure out why we’re flooding.”  Heitz urged the Utica board to decide quickly, as aerial mapping can only be done with no leaves in the trees or snow on the ground to impede the view.

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Storm Damage Minimal

Posted by wlpo on November 12, 2015

There was only scattered damage in the Illinois Valley from last night’s storm.  Keenan Campbell, Bureau County’s Emergency Management director told Classic Hits 103.9 WLPO news a semi ended up on its side on westbound I-80 just east of Princeton around 8.  Putnam County EMA’s Quentin Buffington said a large tree fell across Route 26; and Connie Brooks, La Salle County EMA director said a tree came down near Garzanelli’s and branches were down from Oglesby to Sheridan.

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Ottawa State of the City

Posted by wlpo on November 12, 2015

If you missed Ottawa’s State of the City address last month, you have a couple of chances to catch it on TV in the next week.  The address will be shown on Mediacom local digital channel 14 Saturday afternoon at 1:30 and again Tuesday night at 7.  You can also watch it anytime online here:  http://www.cityofottawa.org/government/state-of-the-city-address

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Utica Growing

Posted by wlpo on November 12, 2015

With a tax base that grew by nearly $500,000, do you think Utica should cut taxes or save the extra cash?  After getting a first look at the preliminary estimate on its equalized assessed valuation, that’s the decision facing the village board.  The News Tribune reports that in 2014 sand mines added more than $3,000,000 to Utica’s tax base.  Mayor Matt Jereb thinks this year’s increase was due in large part to Unimin’s big expansion.  Trustee John Schweikert says he’s pleased to see Utica growing where other communities are foundering, making Utica an attractive option for families looking for a place to settle.

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