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News from the Illinois Valley

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Archive for December 7th, 2015

Tax levy headed down in La Salle

Posted by wlpo on December 7, 2015

Here’s a rarity, a city lowering its tax rate and levy and not raising it.

According to the NewsTribune, the La Salle City Council is asking for a little over $2.3 million in property taxes next year. That would be a tax levy drop of over 7 percent from this year.

A big reason for the tax drop is the expected higher EAV, or equalized assess valuation of the city. The EAV is expected to go up over 2 percent.

Besides daily operations, property taxes will be used to pay off bonds. Alderman Tom Ptak says paying off debt remains a priority.

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Crackdown coming on electronic devices inside the Bureau County Courthouse

Posted by wlpo on December 7, 2015

Leave the electronics at home or in your car when visiting the Bureau County Courthouse, at least beginning next year.

Starting January 1st, all laptops, tablets and cell phones will no longer be allowed in the courthouse. Sheriff James Reed says this is being done to promote a more secure environment for courthouse employees and visitors. He says he’s more concerned with security of the building than the inconvenience it will cause visitors.

Courthouse employees and lawyers will still be allowed to bring in electronics. Right now Bureau County is one of only a few courthouses in the state that allows electronic devices.

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Mautino resigns as representative and then takes oath to become new Auditor General

Posted by wlpo on December 7, 2015

It’ll take awhile to get used to but as of last night, Frank Mautino is no longer the state representative for the Illinois Valley.

Mautino resigned his seat shortly before getting sworn in as Illinois’ new Auditor General during a ceremony at the downtown courthouse in Ottawa. Before he could even get a word out to the overflow crowd, Mautino choked up. Once he composed himself he said he was “honored and blessed” to serve in the House and now have the new opportunity.

Mautino reflected on the over two decades representing the Illinois Valley saying he’ll miss helping people the most. He also credited local leaders as making it “easy” for him by being so progressive.

Despite the new title, Mautino says he will still be very visible in the Illinois Valley. As he put it, “I was born here, I was raised here, I will be here”.

Mautino will officially take his new state job January 1st. It comes with a six-figure salary and a ten-year term.

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Alleged armed robber from the suburbs gets arrested in Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on December 7, 2015

A wanted man considered armed and dangerous was tracked down at Walmart in Ottawa.

Ottawa Police arrested Gary Smith of Robbins on Saturday for three counts of possession of counterfeit credit cards. Officers were called by Walmart security after Smith allegedly was acting suspicious and trying to use credit cards that were declined and in other people’s names.

After finding out his name, Ottawa Police realized he was wanted in Will County for armed robbery. Smith allegedly held up an Orland Park gas station in August using a handgun. He was also wanted by Naperville Police for robbery and obstructing justice.

Smith was taken to the jail in Ottawa.

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Construction giant in the Illinois Valley passes away

Posted by wlpo on December 7, 2015

A big name in the Illinois Valley construction scene has died.

Len Trovero Sr. died Friday at his home in Peru. After graduating from Brown’s Business College, Trovero went on to own and operate Len Trovero Construction and Central Illinois Contracting Corporation in La Salle. He was also a past president of the Illinois Valley Chamber of Commerce.

You can read funeral service information for Len Trovero Sr. at Classic Hits 103.9

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One woman critically hurt and another dead after rollover crash in southeast La Salle County

Posted by wlpo on December 7, 2015

A weekend crash near Ransom killed a woman from Crest Hill.

Fifty-one-year-old Cheryl Giacomi was the passenger of a car that rolled Saturday just before midnight on Route 170. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver is Alexandra Ivelic also of Crest Hill. She was flown to OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria. She’s listed in critical condition as of Monday morning.

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Cause of garage fire under investigation in Streator

Posted by wlpo on December 7, 2015

A garage went up in flames Monday morning on the northeast side of town.

Streator firefighters got called just before 6:30 initially about a car fire on North Wasson Street. When they got to the scene they found a garage with heavy smoke and flames coming from inside of it. While the garage was heavily damaged, firefighters kept the fire from spreading to a nearby home. They had the garage fire out in about 10 minutes.

The cause of the fire is being investigated by the Streator Police Department and the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

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New online petition demands pollution clean up in DePue

Posted by wlpo on December 7, 2015

While slag piles and zinc contamination has La Salle in the news, don’t forget similar problems still faced in DePue.

An online petition went up last week with the message, “Exxon & CBS, clean up your toxic mess that’s poisoning DePue’s children”. Those companies demolished zinc and fertilizer plants in 1991 and heavy metal pollutants remain in the village.

Thousands from the around the world have “signed” the online petition. You can support the petition by clicking DePue clean up petition

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Peru woman accused of hitting officers after weekend bar fight

Posted by wlpo on December 7, 2015

If you want a quick ride to jail, scuffling with police officers will do the trick.

La Salle Police got called to the 9th Street Pub Friday night about a fight. Christina Palmatier and Kenneth Thornhill of Peru were both arrested for battery for their alleged roles in a scuffle. Palmatier proceeded to take her aggression allegedly out on police by hitting two officers. That got her additional charges of aggravated battery to an officer and resisting an officer.

Palmatier was taken to the county jail while Thornhill was released with a court date.

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New work week starts with dense fog

Posted by wlpo on December 7, 2015

Be careful during your morning commute.

A Dense Fog Advisory is in effect for the Illinois Valley until noon. Visibility in some spots is a quarter mile or less. Some slick spots could develop on roads and bridges with freezing fog.

Remember to have your head lights on and keep plenty of room between you and the driver in front of you.

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