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Archive for February 3rd, 2016

Torch starts downtown Marseilles fire

Posted by wlpo on February 3, 2016

Torching down a roof of 1 Marseilles building caused problems for an adjacent 1 Thursday evening. Fire Chief Nicky Garrison said sparks off the north building caused the front wall of the south building at 473 Main to begin to burn after 6pm Thursday night.

Garrison said the fire was out in 30 minutes. Damage limited to the wall. The cost to replace is $1000. The south building is unoccupied except for an upstairs tenant who got away safely. The north building houses a beauty shop and insurance office. They will be operating normally Friday.

 24 men were at the scene including Seneca and Wallace Fire Departments. There were no injuries to anyone. A passing police officer noticed the flames.

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Food pantry collecting soup ahead of the big game

Posted by wlpo on February 3, 2016

So who you picking to win the big game on Sunday? Make your prediction while also helping to feed the hungry.

The opening kick off has already happened for Hall Township Food Pantry’s annual “SOUPer Bowl”. You’re asked to put on the lid of your donated soup cans either “D for Denver” or “NC for Carolina”. You can drop your soup cans off at the pantry in Spring Valley or area churches. Schools are also taking part in the “SOUPer Bowl”.

The winning team of the “SOUPer Bowl” will be announced Monday.

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Streator Man Arrested After Parole Check Allegedly Turns Up Heroin

Posted by wlpo on February 3, 2016

Parole violations always mean trouble, but a Streator man is facing especially serious charges.

The Tri-DENT drug group was helping the Department of Corrections with a parole check Wednesday morning when they arrested Jamal Cheers. Cheers has been charged with Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver.

The charges came after a search of his Streator home led agents to 350 bags that allegedly had about 35 grams of heroin in them. Tri-DENT also says 3 grams of “raw” heroin were found during the search.

Cheers was taken to the LaSalle County Jail where he is being held without bond.

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Lead screening offered in Elementary District

Posted by wlpo on February 3, 2016

The Marshall County Health Department is offering free lead screenings to the students, faculty and staff of Midland Elementary School in Lacon. This reported by WQAD-TV.

According to the Department’s release, the elementary school is working with a lead risk assessment team to resolve the issue. The lead screenings involve drawing a small amount of blood from the finger. Results take about a week.

The Health Department did not say how they were alerted to the threat of lead at the school. But, the Department does encourage anyone who works or attends the school – who missed the screening – to schedule an appointment this week.

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Illinois Valley dive teams prep for potential rescues

Posted by wlpo on February 3, 2016

Firefighters these days do a lot more than fight fires.

Over the weekend, Oglesby firefighters braved the chilly water in a local pond and practiced ice rescues. Fire Chief Ron Papurello says the ice was six inches thick giving the divers a chance to practice in their ice suits. The chief says they will be back out soon practicing ice rescues so that some of the divers can get state certification.

Last month members of the Peru Fire Department practiced water rescues using the Illinois Valley Y pool. Earlier in the month Fire Chief Jeff King says Peru’s dive team was asked to help search underwater for a safe in Whiteside County.

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Peru hospital deals with highly contagious skin rash

Posted by wlpo on February 3, 2016


If you’re eating, you may want to push the food aside for a moment.

A press release was sent out by Illinois Valley Community Hospital in Peru mentioning that they recently admitted a patient who was diagnosed with a contagious skin rash known as scabies. Scabies is easily treated but can quickly spread to others through direct skin contact.

Symptoms of scabies include small red bumps and blisters that cause severe itching. If you think you have the skin rash, call your doctor immediately.

Unfortunately over-the-counter treatments aren’t usually effective.

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Electric rates on the rise in Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on February 3, 2016

If you live in Ottawa, chances are you’ll be paying higher electric bills starting in June.

The Ottawa City Council finalized the selection of Homefield Energy as the provider for the city’s Electrical Aggregation Program. According to Commissioner Wayne Eichelkraut, between 80 and 85 percent of Ottawans are in the program.

He says rates were going to go up regardless of provider, but Homefield’s rates were three-quarters-of-a-cent lower per kilowatt-hour than Ameren’s. Eichelkraut is disappointed with the result saying in prior years they had been able to save up to four-times that amount.

The electric agreement with Homefield Energy is a one-year deal.

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Fatal hit and run defendant from Oglesby is officially indicted

Posted by wlpo on February 3, 2016

An Oglesby man blamed in a hit and run that killed a Mendota girl remains locked up in the La Salle County Jail.

Twenty-year-old Jose Torres was indicted yesterday by a La Salle County Grand Jury for fraud. The fraud charge stems from Torres allegedly trying to stop officers from repossessing a Jaguar car that investigators think hit and killed 19-year-old Jacquelin Martinez of Mendota.

Martinez and other teens were walking outside a party last year near Bureau when they were victims of a hit and run. After hundreds of interviews, several police agencies in the Illinois Valley worked together and developed Torres as a suspect in the fatal hit and run.

While Torres faces the fraud charge in La Salle County, he’s been charged with the more serious felony of failing to report an accident involving a death in Bureau County. He’s due back in La Salle County court Friday and has a court date in Princeton next Wednesday.

Bond for Torres in La Salle County is $100,000 and its $300,000 in Bureau County.

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Midland schools remain closed during mold and lead testing

Posted by wlpo on February 3, 2016

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

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

Classes have been cancelled at Midland since last Thursday and schools will stay closed thru the week. The testing and closures come two weeks after the Regional Office of Education did a safety inspection of the elementary school in Lacon.

The Midland School Board is having a special meeting Thursday night at Midland High School in Varna to go over testing results with the public.

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Mardi Gras Parade this weekend in Utica

Posted by wlpo on February 3, 2016

Before you watch the big game on Sunday, have some fun Saturday night in Utica.

The village’s annual Mardi Gras Parade returns. Revelers will line the sidewalks along Mill Street. The parade gets going around 6.

Upwards of 20 floats are expected in this year’s parade. Organizers say the Utica version of the Mardi Gras Parade is much more family friendly then what you see or hear about in New Orleans.

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