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Archive for January 15th, 2016

Ottawa Police Arrest Two Teens for Choosing to Get in a Car while Drinking

Posted by wlpo on January 15, 2016

Two teenagers were arrested early this morning after hopping in a car after drinking.

Ottawa police arrested 19-year olds Autumn Franklin of Ottawa and Donovan Keele of Marseilles, at about 1:30. Autumn was arrested for DUI after she allegedly had a blood alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, a BAC the high can result in blacking out and losing consciousness. She was also arrested for underage drinking, illegal transportation of open alcohol, and driving an uninsured vehicle.

Although Keele may not have been behind the wheel, he was arrested for underage drinking and illegal transportation of open alcohol. They were each released with a date in court.

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Oglesby man accused of fatal hit and run that killed Mendota teen

Posted by wlpo on January 15, 2016

“We’re confident we got our guy”.  That’s Bureau County Sheriff Jim Reed talking about an arrest warrant being issued for 20-year-old Jose Torres of Oglesby.

Reed believes it was Torres’ car that hit and killed 19-year-old Jacqueline Martinez of Mendota August 30th near a party outside of Bureau.  Torres is charged with failing to report an accident involving a death.

Torres is accused of hitting Martinez and three other teens who survived.  He was actually arrested this past Tuesday in Oglesby for financial institution fraud after allegedly refusing to give up his Jaguar to a repo man.  It’s that Jaguar that Reed and prosecutors think Torres was driving when he hit and killed Jackie Martinez.

Torres is in the La Salle County Jail being held on $100,000 bond.  He’s due back in Ottawa court February 5th.

The warrant for his arrest in Bureau County comes with a bond of $300,000.

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Walmart store closure list does not include Illinois Valley locations

Posted by wlpo on January 15, 2016

Walmart fans in the Illinois Valley can breathe a sigh of relief. No local Walmart stores are among the 154 stores being closed in the U.S.

Only two stores in Illinois are on the closure list. Two so-called “Walmart Express” stores in Chicago will close Sunday.

A dozen supercenters are on the closure list with four of them in Texas. Four Sam’s Club stores will also close across the country.

Walmart decision makers say the store closures are based on financial performance and “strategic alignment with long-term plans”.

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IVCC cutting ties with business development center

Posted by wlpo on January 15, 2016

The state budget impasse is ending a longtime partnership at Illinois Valley Community College.

IVCC is ending a 30-plus year relationship with the Illinois Small Business Development Center. IVCC President Jerry Corcoran says the SBDC “provides a valuable community service and has helped many small businesses get off the ground, but with ongoing uncertainty with state funding, we must focus our limited resources on credit-generating programs”.

Corcoran says ending financial support for the SBDC will save the college about $50,000 annually. The business center’s director and another employee will have their jobs cut by IVCC.

Corcoran says the move does give the center time to transition to another grant provider for 2017. The SBDC provides one-on-one counseling and outreach to small businesses.

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Annual IVCH Foundation Ball back for 28th year

Posted by wlpo on January 15, 2016

There’s still time to get your ticket to the annual IVCH Foundation Ball.

Have a heart hearty dinner, sip on cocktails and dance the night away while raising money for the Peru hospital Saturday night. Funds are used to buy new equipment among other things through the IVCH Foundation.

Besides food and drinks there will also be live music. The party starts at 6 o’clock inside Celebrations 150 in La Salle and wraps up around 11:30.

Tickets are $47.50 a person and you’re asked to pre-register. You can reserve tickets by clicking IVCH Foundation Ball Tickets

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Hunters head back to the fields in Putnam and La Salle County

Posted by wlpo on January 15, 2016

Hopefully you didn’t put your hunting rifle away for the winter.

The second “Late Winter Deer Season” opened Friday as did a special “Chronic Wasting Disease Season”. Putnam and Marshall County is part of the late winter season because they’re considered to have a surplus of deer. La Salle, Grundy and Livingston County are all part of the CWD season in an effort to try and stop the spread of the disease in white-tail deer.

Bureau County is closed for the deer hunting season at least when it comes to firearms. You can still hunt down deer with a bow and arrow through this Sunday.

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Gas prices inch down a little more in the Illinois Valley

Posted by wlpo on January 15, 2016

Weather shouldn’t be an issue if you’re traveling this weekend and neither should high gas prices.

According to, Streator has the lowest unleaded gas in the Illinois Valley at a $1.69 a gallon. You can find gas in Peru for $1.71 a gallon and between $1.73 to $1.75 in La Salle, Spring Valley, Utica, and Ottawa.

The statewide average for unleaded is $1.91. That’s down almost 10 cents from a week ago.

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Sandwich convenience store sells $50,000 Powerball ticket

Posted by wlpo on January 15, 2016

So did you win anything with Wednesday night’s Powerball drawing? There were 893,000 winning tickets in Illinois with payouts ranging from $4 to a million dollars.

While million dollar winners were sold in Glenview and Schaumburg, a $50,000 winner was sold at Stop & Save in Sandwich and at the Pilot Travel Center in Minooka. The stores for their efforts will get $500.

Illinois lotto winners have a year to claim their winnings.

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Icy road blamed in crash that sent Streator driver to the hospital

Posted by wlpo on January 15, 2016

Despite the snow and ice melting, there are still some slick spots.

Dulce Montes of Streator found that out Thursday morning. He was on a county road east of Tonica when he lost control of his car on a patch of snow and ice. Montes ended up in a ditch.

He was taken to Illinois Valley Community Hospital in Peru.

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Warm up temporarily shuts down Oglesby skating rink

Posted by wlpo on January 15, 2016

Here’s a reason not to curse at the single digit temperatures expected this weekend. The longer it stays cold, the longer the Oglesby ice rink stays open.

The skating rink was closed down yesterday because of the 40 degree weather. The rink on Walnut Street will stay closed now until the ice freezes enough for skaters.

When frozen, the rink is open 8 in the morning until 10 at night. There are a few hours set aside for hockey.

The rink is east of city hall in the empty lot across the street from the city parking lot. You should bring your own skates since rentals aren’t available.

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