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Archive for January 6th, 2016

Familiar faces take over running the Waltham School District

Posted by wlpo on January 6, 2016

There’s new leadership coming to Waltham Elementary Schools.

According to the NewsTribune, Principal Kristi Eager has been promoted to superintendent while Assistant Principal Melanie Lukacsy is moving up to principal. Interim Superintendent Larry Carlton will officially resign later this month.

The school board will work out the new compensation for Eager and Lukacsy within the next month.

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Name released in fatal Princeton fire

Posted by wlpo on January 6, 2016

Thanks to DNA testing, the victim in Monday night’s crash and house fire in Princeton has been identified.

Remains of 33-year-old Nicholas Stocking of Princeton were found inside a car that crashed into a house along Route 6. An exact cause of Stocking’s death hasn’t been determined.

Fire departments responded Monday night to a house fire on the west edge of Princeton. After the flames were knocked down in the empty house, firefighters had a grisly discovery of a body inside a burnt car that had crashed into the home.

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State Emergency Management Agency wants Illinosians to “Resolve to be Ready” in 2016

Posted by wlpo on January 6, 2016

As parts of Illinois deal with record and near-record flooding, one state agency is launching a new initiative to help you be ready.

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is encouraging people to “Resolve to be Ready” for emergencies in 2016. The program will highlight different preparedness and safety topics each month ranging from things like severe weather and earthquakes to school and cyber security and more.

IEMA Director James Joseph says the flooding over the past week that is typically not seen until spring or summer highlights the need for this program so that “when the unexpected occurs, [people] are able to stay safe.”

The agency also runs the Ready Illinois website where you can find more information about what to do before, during, and after an emergency situation.

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Still Slippy Roads Lead to Three-Car Crash near DeKalb

Posted by wlpo on January 6, 2016

A patch of ice is being blamed for a crash that sent a Troy Grove woman to the hospital.

Raeanna Neubauer was slowing down for a red light on Peace Road near DeKalb when Ryan Ford of LeRoy allegedly came from behind, slid on ice and rear ended Neubauer’s SUV Wednesday morning. The impact caused Neubauer to crash into a van in front of her driven by Dallas Rivera of Byron.

Neubauer was taken to Kishwaukee Community Hospital. Nobody else was hurt and no one was ticketed.

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Medical transports keeping Ottawa firefighters busy

Posted by wlpo on January 6, 2016

The Ottawa Fire Department had a busier year in 2015 than it had in the 3 years prior.

In a report submitted to the Ottawa City Council, the city’s fire department responded to more than four thousand calls last year. That’s a hundred more than in 2014, and a thousand more than 2012. Ottawa Fire Chief Steve Haywood says “the department is busy, but people are hanging in there.”

One of the biggest areas of increase is the number of medical transfers. Haywood says the department had 81 transfers for December, the highest ever. By comparison, the department only had 80 for the entire year of 2012.

Haywood said it was an average year when talking strictly about fires. He also says calls for mutual aid were up which shows increased cooperation among departments in the Illinois Valley.

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Illinois Valley senator defends Governor Rauner’s secretive vacation

Posted by wlpo on January 6, 2016

The next time Governor Bruce Rauner goes on vacation do you think it’s his duty to let everyone know where he’s going?

After catching heat from media outlets and others about keeping a lid on his whereabouts over Christmas, Rauner now says he and his family spent a couple weeks in Spain and Morocco sleeping in tents and finding time to ride camels in the Sahara Desert. He says he kept his whereabouts a secret not wanting everyone to know where his kids were.

Senator Sue Rezin says the hubbub about Rauner’s vacation to parts unknown was much ado about nothing. Rezin says whether it’s the governor or state representative, it’s good to have some downtime before going back in session. Lawmakers are due back in Springfield next Wednesday.

By the way, Rezin says she spent most of her holiday break at home spending time with kids and binge watching Netflix. And yes, she did watch all ten episodes of “Making a Murderer”.

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Detached garage burns in La Salle

Posted by wlpo on January 6, 2016

Firefighters are still looking to see what caused a fire in a detached garage Tuesday afternoon in LaSalle.

They responded to a call of a fire on Tonti Street just after 2 o’clock. The fire started in a detached garage that was destroyed in the fire. Part of a house was also damaged.

Despite the damage, no injuries were reported following the fire.

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Public invited to talk about future development in Utica

Posted by wlpo on January 6, 2016

In a lot of ways, what happens in Utica shapes the image of the entire Illinois Valley.

There’s an open house and public hearing Thursday night to go over a future road map, or comprehensive plan for the village. The village board hired consultants to update the village’s comprehensive plan and you can check the plan out Thursday night starting with the 6 o’clock open house inside the village hall.

Some of the major suggestions for Utica are: a roundabout for the Route 6 and 178 intersection; dredging and restoring the I&M Canal; repairing the canal trail; building a dyke around the downtown; develop the block north of the tornado memorial and bring in more business at the Interstate 80 and Route 178 interchange.

Some other minor proposals include officially changing the village name to Utica and putting a mural on one of the grain elevators south of the canal.

Here’s the comprehensive plan Utica Comprehensive Plan

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Illinois Valley congressman continues to call for repeal of Obamacare

Posted by wlpo on January 6, 2016

WASHINGTON (AP) – The latest attempt by Republicans to dismantle President Barack Obama’s health care program is destined to go farther Wednesday than any of the others, actually reaching his desk.

But the end result is expected to be another failure like the dozens of previous attempts when Obama vetoes the measure.

Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger is among those wanting to repeal the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare. He says “Americans agree that we don’t need a government fix-all-program that is responsible for driving up costs and reducing choice in an already broken system”.

Kinzinger says he wants a bipartisan solution to reforming the health care system.

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