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News from the Illinois Valley

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Archive for February 19th, 2016

Traffic Reopens on Interstate 39 After Semi-truck Blows Over

Posted by wlpo on February 19, 2016

Wind gusts up to 60 miles per hour can make driving tough, especially for trucks.

A semi-truck was going south on I-39 near Wenona Friday afternoon when it was blown over just before two o’clock.  Emergency crews responded to the accident and according to the Illinois Department of Transportation the roads have been reopened.

If you need to travel Friday, use caution on the roads as emergency dispatchers have received several reports of debris, including trees that have blown onto the roads.

According to IDOT, four semis have been blown over along Interstate 39 throughout Friday afternoon.

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Emergency Crews Quickly Respond to Peru House Fire

Posted by wlpo on February 19, 2016

If you’re in Peru today, avoid the area by Shooting Park Road and Fulton.

That advice comes courtesy of the Peru Police Department. They were working with fire crews from LaSalle and Peru as well as other emergency personnel on a house fire in the area just before 3 this afternoon. According to police the quick response from the firefighters “no doubt saved the house.”

Nobody was injured in the fire. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined. Classic Hits 103-9 WLPO will keep you updated as the story develops.

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High Winds Whack Power for Hundreds in the Illinois Valley

Posted by wlpo on February 19, 2016

It’s a good thing the sun is out, because the windy weather could leave you or your neighbors in the dark.

Steady winds of 40 miles per hour with gusts up to 60 have been leading to occasional power outages throughout Friday afternoon.

ComEd spent the afternoon investigating multiple outages in Mendota that left about 700 without power. Corn Belt Energy also had a busy day, with power out for more than 1/5th of its customers in LaSalle County at times. Ameren continues to repair and restore sporadic outages in the Illinois Valley that have left hundreds without power in Ottawa and LaSalle for short periods.

The outages are coming after the National Weather Service issued a High Wind Warning for the Illinois Valley Friday afternoon. Those high winds are expected to calm down overnight into Saturday morning.

Classic Hits 103.9 WLPO will continue to keep you enlightened on any major outages.


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Food pantry in La Salle prepping for Easter

Posted by wlpo on February 19, 2016

Easter will be here before you know it and the Illinois Valley Food Pantry is already thinking about handing out holiday meals.

The pantry’s annual Easter meal distribution is scheduled for Saturday, March 19th at their office on Marquette Street in downtown La Salle. Donna Hess with the pantry says they’re expecting to help around 500 families or roughly 1,500 individuals this Easter.

You can get a meal if you live in La Salle, Peru, Oglesby, Utica, Cedar Point, Tonica, Lostant, Leonore or Lowell. To get a meal you need to register with the pantry by Wednesday, March 16th.

As always, monetary and food donations are more than welcome on behalf of the pantry. The pantry is open Monday thru Friday.

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Rare High Wind Warning issued

Posted by wlpo on February 19, 2016

A Wind Advisory has been upgraded for the Illinois Valley to a High Wind Warning.

Southwest winds will be steady at times of around 40 miles per hour with gusts as high as 60 mph. This may make driving a little tough and could be strong enough to damage property.

While the warning ends at 6 o’clock, you could still get a gust overnight of around 30 miles per hour before the wind dies down Saturday and Sunday. The entire state is at least under a Wind Advisory.

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La Salle woman accused of befriending and then stealing from elderly person

Posted by wlpo on February 19, 2016

For the second time this week, a woman from the Illinois Valley is accused of stealing from an elderly person.

Forty-seven-year-old Dawn Ingold of La Salle was arrested Thursday afternoon at her job in La Salle. She was picked up for unlawful financial exploitation of an elderly person.

Peru Police Chief Doug Bernabei says Ingold was arrested after a five month investigation. It’s alleged that while she was put in a legal relationship with the victim, Ingold illegally spent $5,000 to $50,000 of the woman’s funds for her own use.

Ingold was taken to the county jail with her bond set at $35,000.

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Illinois Valley lawmaker starts petition against “bailout” of CPS

Posted by wlpo on February 19, 2016

So do you think the state should “bail out” the Chicago Public School system? You’re new state representative says no and wants you to sign a petition supporting his stance.

Governor Bruce Rauner wants the state to take over the failing district and let CPS file for bankruptcy. Democrat State Rep. Andy Skoog says that idea is a mistake. Skoog says he’ll vote against the governor’s plan because the taxpayers he represents “shouldn’t be on the hook for Chicago’s decades of mismanagement”.

To sign an online petition called “No Chicago Bailout”, click Skoog No Bailout Petition

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Republican state senator has no problem with new state holiday for President Obama

Posted by wlpo on February 19, 2016

It turns out there are some things state lawmakers can agree on. An Illinois Valley Republican says there shouldn’t be “too many problems” with the bill that would make President Barack Obama’s birthday a state holiday in Illinois.

While State Senator Sue Rezin may disagree with a lot of the positions held by former State Senator and current President Barack Obama, she doesn’t think deciding to celebrate him “will be controversial.” She says it’s about respecting what President Obama has accomplished, as well as his time in the Senate:

Rezin says she will keep an eye on the bill as it progresses. But don’t mark your calendar just yet, the bill still needs to pass the State House, Senate, and get Governor Rauner’s signature before August 4th can be considered a holiday.

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Gas prices trending upward

Posted by wlpo on February 19, 2016

It had to end sometime right? Gas prices are no longer plunging down towards a dollar a gallon.

This time last week, the price at the pump in the Illinois Valley ranged from $1.23 to $1.45 a gallon. Today, the price of unleaded is anywhere from $1.35 to a $1.75 a gallon. According to, you can find $1.35 gas in Mendota and Granville. If you’re headed towards Chicago this weekend, stations in Morris are among the lowest in the state with $1.33 gas.

The average price of unleaded statewide is $1.69, up 15 cents from a week ago.

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Hefty bond set for La Salle man accused of preying on young boys

Posted by wlpo on February 19, 2016

If you’ve been following the story of a La Salle man accused of sexually assaulting boys for as long as maybe three decades, his bond and next court appearance have been set.

Fifty-year-old Eric Travis will next be in La Salle County Court Thursday, March 10th to face charges of predatory criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sex abuse. Until then he’s being held inside the La Salle County Jail, needing $50,000 bond to get out.

Travis was arrested at his downtown La Salle apartment Tuesday after La Salle Police were told about a man who had allegedly sexually assaulted several boys in the La Salle area. While Travis is so far accused of sex crimes against two boys, investigators are looking into the possibility that there may be “numerous more victims” of Travis in the last 30 years.

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