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Archive for February 1st, 2016

“Hunger Blitz” Brings Tons of Food for Illinois Valley Food Pantry

Posted by wlpo on February 1, 2016

An annual food drive will help to keep the shelves stocked at the Illinois Valley Food Pantry.

Members of the Utica Knights of Columbus along with students from St. Bede Academy fanned out Saturday at La Salle and Peru grocery stores collecting food as part of their annual “Hunger Blitz.” The group ended up collecting over 4,000 pounds of donated food and more than $2,000.

The food and cash was collected in about eight hours Saturday morning and afternoon.

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All Signs Point to Arrest for Alleged Amboy Tractor Thief

Posted by wlpo on February 1, 2016

Signs are often used to figure out where you’re going, but for an Amboy man, a string of knocked over signs were used to tell where he’d been.

Sunday morning the Lee County Sheriff’s Office received a report of damaged street signs. They led to a tractor that had been taken from Vaessen Implement south of the city.

Darrel Farringer admitted to taking the tractor around 1am Sunday, driving it in reverse, hitting signs along the way from Vaessen to a South Davis Ave address where he allegedly hit a garage and parked the tractor.

Farringer was charged with Aggravated Unlawful Possession of a Stolen Vehicle, Criminal Damage to Government Supported Property, and two counts of Criminal Damage to Property, all felonies. He was also arrested for wreckless driving.

Farringer was also wanted on a warrant out of Vermillion County as well. He is currently being held at the Lee County jail on $10,000 bond.

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Mendota woman okay after driving into a creek

Posted by wlpo on February 1, 2016

A Mendota woman is lucky to be okay after overturning her car.

Twenty-year-old Savannah Wade had to be pulled out of her wrecked car Sunday after she overturned it. She ended up in a creek.

Wade wasn’t hurt and she also escaped getting ticketed.

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Midwest winter storm expected to bring only rain to the Illinois Valley

Posted by wlpo on February 1, 2016

It looks like the next major winter storm will miss the Illinois Valley.

Rain or freezing rain is in the forecast starting Monday night and lasting into Wednesday morning. There could be periods of light snow but as of right now, accumulations along Interstate 80 are expected to be an inch or less.

If you drive a few hours to the north in Wisconsin or west into central Iowa, they could see a foot of snow.

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Mold and lead issues still has classes canceled at Midland

Posted by wlpo on February 1, 2016

It’s another unscheduled day off for students and staff at the Midland School District.

All three of the district schools are closed because of issues with lead and mold at the elementary school in Lacon. Workers will be at the school today sampling paint in every room of the school along with checking on soil outside the school building.

Classes were also cancelled at Midland last Thursday and Friday and likely will stay closed thru Tuesday. The testing and closures come two weeks after the Regional Office of Education did a safety inspection of the elementary school in Lacon.

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Crash in Peru sends a pair to the hospital

Posted by wlpo on February 1, 2016

Both drivers were hurt after a crash at one of Peru’s busiest intersections.

Eighteen-year-old Juan Zandate-Gonzalez of Peru is accused of failing to yield at the intersection of Shooting Park Road and Route 251 Saturday night. He collided with 45-year-old Jose Hernandez of Texas.

Both men were taken to Illinois Valley Community Hospital in Peru. Zandate-Gonzalez was ticketed for failing to yield and failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

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Burn ordinance revamped in Streator

Posted by wlpo on February 1, 2016

You’ll want to be careful at your next bonfire in Streator to make sure that you aren’t breaking any the city’s new rules.

For example, a bonfire is considered a “recreational fire” by the open burning ordinance can’t be more than 3 feet by 3 feet. Also, they can only be held between 9am and midnight on days where winds are less than 15 miles-per-hour, somewhere besides your front yard.

If you’re a leaf or grass burner, the changes affect you too. Now you can only burn your so-called “landscape waste” on Tuesdays or Saturdays that aren’t windy. Also, open burning is prohibited on all roadways.

The Streator Fire Department says the open burning ordinance was updated to prevent open burning in the streets and give an outline for recreational fires in addition to reducing smoke emissions.

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Troubling start on Illinois Valley roads in 2016

Posted by wlpo on February 1, 2016

January was a terrible month for fatal crashes in the Illinois Valley.

According to numbers from the state, three crashes last month in La Salle County led to four deaths. In Bureau County, three people were killed in three separate crashes. No one was killed on state roads last month in Putnam County.

When comparing numbers statewide, only Cook and Lake County had more people killed in crashes last month than La Salle County. Despite its size, Bureau County had as many fatal crashes as DuPage County and more traffic deaths than much more populated counties like Rock Island, Champaign and Madison.

So far 67 people have died in 62 crashes statewide in 2016. That’s 13 more than the death toll last January.

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