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Archive for February 11th, 2016

Annual wine walk in Utica sells out

Posted by wlpo on February 11, 2016

Apparently wine is popular in the Illinois Valley.

All available tickets to this Saturday’s Winter Wine Walk in Utica have been sold. Utica Village President Matt Jereb says they cut off ticket sales at 2,500. Last year they sold a thousand wine tickets.

Those of you lucky enough to score tickets will start at the La Salle County Historical Society Museum and pick up your wine glass and 10 tasting tickets before visiting several other businesses serving food and wine. You’ll be able to walk or take the free shuttle bus.

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School board member in Ohio is accused of sexual contact with a minor

Posted by wlpo on February 11, 2016

A school board member with Ohio High School is charged with a sex crime.

Thirty-nine-year-old Melinda “Mindy” Ringenberg of Ohio was arraigned and indicted Wednesday in Princeton for the class 2 felony charge of aggravated criminal sex abuse. Bureau County State’s Attorney Geno Caffarini says the victim is a boy between 13 and 17 years old.

Ringenberg is a member of the Ohio School Board and a volunteer cheerleading coach. Caffarini says the alleged victim has nothing to do with her affiliation with the high school.

Ringenberg pleaded not guilty to the crime and posted $7,500 to be released from custody. Her jury trial is set to start May 31st. She’s represented by Joe Navarro.

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Grand jury indicts Oglesby man in fatal hit and run

Posted by wlpo on February 11, 2016

An Oglesby man blamed in a hit and run that killed a Mendota girl has been indicted by a Bureau County grand jury.

Twenty-year-old Jose Torres was formally charged Wednesday with failing to report an accident resulting in death and failing to report an accident resulting in an injury. Both are felony charges.

The charges stem from Torres allegedly hitting and killing 19-year-old Jacquelin Martinez of Mendota with his car last August. Martinez and other teens were walking near Bureau when they were hit.

Torres is actually spending his time in the La Salle County Jail for a fraud charge. He’s accused of trying to prevent a repo man from taking his Jaguar that investigators say was the car involved in the fatal hit and run.

Torres has hired Joe Navarro as his lawyer.

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L-P student falls short in appearing on “The Voice”

Posted by wlpo on February 11, 2016

If you’re a fan of “The Voice”, you won’t be seeing L-P Sophomore ZomNyet Webster of Utica.

Webster was back in Chicago Wednesday for call back auditions. Unfortunately she didn’t make it to the next step to making it onto TV. She took to Facebook to thank her supporters and reveal what she’s been told to work on like breathing and bravado.

Webster is a member of the L-P choir and if you go to basketball games, chances you’ve probably enjoyed her rendition of the national anthem.

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Streator moves a step closer to having a stand alone ER

Posted by wlpo on February 11, 2016

You never want to think about needing an ambulance, but if you need one in Streator it will now be able to take you somewhere closer to home.

OSF HealthCare was granted special permission Wednesday to use ambulances to take Streator patients to an urgent care. Typically, ambulances can only go to emergency departments, but OSF has not yet established an emergency center at Streator OSF Center for Health.

As for that stand alone emergency room, OSF expects to get the approval to operate it on February 16th. Then it will be up to the Illinois Department of Health to give OSF a license.

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La Salle and Streator schools picked for available construction bonds

Posted by wlpo on February 11, 2016

With money hard to come by these days for schools, there’s some good news for La Salle and Streator Elementary School Districts.

The districts are two of 29 in Illinois to be picked for low to zero-interest loans to pay for building and construction needs. La Salle Elementary can borrow nearly $5.5 million while Streator Elementary can borrow $5 million.

The state board of education says no state dollars are being spent. La Salle and Streator schools were picked from nearly 200 applicants.

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