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News from the Illinois Valley

Archive for March 23rd, 2016

February a good month for home sales in most of La Salle County

Posted by wlpo on March 23, 2016

Home sales in February were a mixed bag for the Illinois Valley.

On one end, 65 homes were closed on in La Salle County, a 33 percent jump from February of 2015. But in Bureau County, just 11 homes were sold, down nearly 40 percent from February of the year before. In Putnam County six homes were closed on in February compared to two the year before.

The median sale price of homes in Putnam County was $94,000 compared to $80,000 in both La Salle and Bureau County.

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Still all quiet on the Mautino front

Posted by wlpo on March 23, 2016

As more lawmakers ask for answers, a spokesman for Auditor General Frank Mautino says “nothing new on our end at this point.”

Ryan Keith of RK PR Solutions is handling media relations for Mautino. Keith says “Frank continues to work with his team of advisers to go through documents and address these issues and questions that have been raised.” Keith says there is no timetable for a response.

A “watchdog group” first questioned some of Mautino’s spending while he was still state representative. Since then at least one Republican lawmaker has said he should resign.

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Sand company makes big contribution to Ottawa playground

Posted by wlpo on March 23, 2016

A playground where any child can play regardless of a disability is moving closer to becoming a reality in Ottawa.

U.S. Silica has cut a $1,400 check for climbing equipment at the new inclusive playground in Lincoln-Douglas Park. The climber is part of phase two of the playground. Phase one involves freestanding playground equipment along with a rubber surface for children with mobility issues. The first phase is expected to be done by June.

The Ottawa Kiwanis Club is leading the fundraising drive for the inclusive playground. About $113,000 has been raised so far with the goal being $250,000.

Donations can be dropped off at the Ottawa Y.

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Prayer service held for injured Spring Valley pastor

Posted by wlpo on March 23, 2016

Unfortunately there’s no improvement to report for a Spring Valley pastor injured in a car crash.

As of Wednesday afternoon, The Rev. Robert Spilman is considered to be in critical condition. He was flown to OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria Thursday night after a two-car crash on Route 6 in Bureau County. Spilman crashed into a trailer that was being backed into a driveway. The other driver wasn’t hurt.

He is the pastor at Parish of the Nativity of Our Lord in Spring Valley. Parishioners gathered for a prayer service Wednesday night on behalf of Spilman.

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Wheaton Republican calls for Frank Mautino to resign

Posted by wlpo on March 23, 2016

At least one Republican state lawmaker is asking for Auditor General Frank Mautino to step down.

State Rep. Jeanne Ives of Wheaton is one of a dozen representatives that sent letters to Mautino saying there are “concerns regarding the proper and ethical use” of his campaign funds. With no specific response coming yet from Mautino, Ives says the former Spring Valley representative needs to step aside.

Mautino has hired a lawyer and is working with a public relations firm. When reached by Classic Hits 103.9 WLPO in February, a spokesman for Mautino said “nothing new on our end right now.”

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Teenager crashes into Spring Valley Casey’s General Store

Posted by wlpo on March 23, 2016

A learning experience for a Spring Valley teen led to a few frightening moments Tuesday morning.

Shortly after 7, the 15-year old was trying to pull into the Casey’s in Spring Valley. As she pulled into the spot, police say she “hit the gas instead of the brake” and crashed into the store front.

The teen was driving with a temporary license at the time of the crash. Fortunately, she and her passenger left the crash unharmed. No other injuries were reported.

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Storms and wintry mix part of the Illinois Valley forecast

Posted by wlpo on March 23, 2016

You may experience just about every type of weather in the next 48 hours in the Illinois Valley.

A storm that’s bringing heavy snow in Wisconsin could bring scattered strong thunderstorms to the Illinois Valley Wednesday evening. Once the storms end, dense fog will settle in.

Thursday the storm could bring blustery conditions along with the chance of snow and sleet.

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United Way pushing towards campaign goal

Posted by wlpo on March 23, 2016

With a little push, the United Way of the Illinois Valley could fill in the rest of the thermometer on their signs around the Illinois Valley.

The non-profit kicked off its annual fundraising drive in September trying to collect $300,000. Executive Director Julie Sloan says they’ve raised $277,000 so far. She’s hoping more corporate donations come in soon and that coaches from L-P and St. Bede can raise a good chunk o change during a bartending challenge on April 9th.

Funds raised by the United Way help out 16 non-profit agencies in the Illinois Valley. You can donate by calling or stopping by the United Way office in Peru.

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Streator tourism push pays off

Posted by wlpo on March 23, 2016

While Pluto still hasn’t regained its planet status, it’s not for lack of trying by Streator tourism officials.

Streator won the award for “Best Tourism Marketing Campaign” for their “Year of Pluto” celebration in 2015. Tourism officials from the city accepted the award at the Illinois Excellence in Tourism Awards banquet Monday in Springfield.

Streator had several space or Pluto themed celebrations last year since the discoverer of Pluto, Clyde Tombaugh was born in Streator. A spacecraft carrying some of Tombaugh’s remains passed by Pluto last year.

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Streator politician points finger at Chicago following Belgium attacks

Posted by wlpo on March 23, 2016

Do cities like Chicago and Cicero share some blame for the attacks in Brussels?

Republican state representative candidate Jerry Long says if elected, he will work to protect Illinoisans. One way he proposes to do that is to “stop cities like Chicago and Cicero from being sanctuary cities where illegal immigrants can hide.” Long says lawmakers need to do their part to stop terrorists from “getting a foothold in Illinois.”

Long takes on Democrat State Rep. Andy Skoog in November.

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