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Archive for April 27th, 2016

Sparkling safety grades for Illinois Valley hospitals

Posted by wlpo on April 27, 2016

If you or a loved one heads to a hospital in the Illinois Valley, you’re in good hands.

The patient safety watchdog group called “Leapfrog Group” has put out grades for over 100 hospitals statewide. Illinois Valley Community Hospital in Peru, St Margaret’s Hospital in Spring Valley and OSF St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Ottawa all received an “A”. Hospitals were graded on 30 safety issues like patient falls, dangerous bed sores, accidental cuts and communication.

IVCH made the biggest improvement after getting a “C” grade last spring. St. Margaret’s and St. Elizabeth both had “B” grades. St. Mary’s Hospital and St. Paul Medical Center weren’t graded.

For the reports click here Hospital Safety Scores

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Peru Man Indicted After Allegedly Selling Heroin Near School

Posted by wlpo on April 27, 2016

While trying to sell drugs is bad enough, when someone’s selling them in front of a school that’s in a different class entirely.

That’s what law enforcement felt about Spencer Miskowiec, who was arrested earlier this month. The 26-year old Peru man was indicted Tuesday on charges he allegedly sold heroin twice to undercover cops less than 1,000 feet from a school. Because he was near a school zone, his 2 felony charges for dealing were upped to Class X and Class 1. In Illinois, only first-degree murder is higher than a Class X felony.

Miskowiec is still in the LaSalle County Jail. He’d need to come up with $200,000 to get out.

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Hastert Sentenced to 15 Months, Sex Offender Treatment in Hush-Money Case

Posted by wlpo on April 27, 2016

A federal judge has decided to go above prosecutor’s recommendations in sentencing former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert today.

Judge Thomas Durkin referred to Hastert as “a serial child molester” before sentencing the former Yorkville teacher and coach to 15 months in prison. He also plans to make the 74-year old undergo sex offender treatment as part of his sentence.

Hastert pled guilty last October to breaking federal banking laws while trying to pay $3.5 million in hush money to one of the alleged victims.

Earlier, after entering the courtroom in a wheelchair, Hastert said he was “deeply ashamed” for “mistreating” some of his students during his time as an educator. The defense had been hoping for a sentence of probation, and prosecutors had been asking for 6 months.

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Accused truck thief in La Salle get indicted

Posted by wlpo on April 27, 2016

The man accused of stealing a truck from a La Salle gas station is still behind bars.

Thirty-one-year-old Ronald Catalanello of Oglesby was indicted Tuesday in La Salle County Court for possession of a stolen motor vehicle. His bond has been set at $125,000.

Earlier this month, police in Countryside outside of Chicago arrested Catalanello after he allegedly crashed a stolen pickup that was taken while left running at a gas pump at Becks in La Salle. He is due in Ottawa court Friday.

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Redevelopment of Westclox property continues

Posted by wlpo on April 27, 2016

It’s tough to notice gradual changes that happen over time. For example, you may not have noticed Peru’s Westclox Factory slowly coming back to life.

When Promier Products bought the building about two years ago, President Cody Grandadam had a vision to convert the inside into several smaller areas built specifically for new and growing businesses in LaSalle. He says being able to turn a building that once employed thousands back into a center for business is a great feeling.

At the rate it’s filling up, Grandadam says he expects it’ll be at least 5 years before all the space is taken. This evening, 12 possible future tenants will be showcasing their individual business ideas as part of the Illinois Valley Entrepreneurial Opportunities Class at L-P.

You can check out the student’s businesses from 4 to 7.

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Oglesby latest city to go after lackluster landlords

Posted by wlpo on April 27, 2016

Be honest, as a homeowner do you cringe when another home in your neighborhood turns into a rental property?

According to the NewsTribune, Mayor Don Finley says he’s growing tired of weekly calls of homeowners complaining about rundown homes, or “rat holes” as he calls them. Finley thinks many of the problems stem from out-of-town landlords letting rentals go without any upkeep.

Finley and the rest of the Oglesby City Council are talking about an ordinance to go after landlords who let properties fall into disrepair. Some council members though are concerned how the city will pay for enforcing the rental property ordinance.

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Two months now have passed since disappearance of Dillon Scott

Posted by wlpo on April 27, 2016

In Champaign County, a missing person’s case has come to an end with the finding of a 24-year-old woman’s body in Clinton Lake. In the Illinois Valley, the search continues for Dillon Scott of Princeton.

According to Scott’s missing persons report, he was last seen exactly two months ago today, at 3:30 in the morning on Saturday, February 27th. He was last seen shortly after getting into a crash on Route 29 in DePue.

The Bureau County Sheriff’s Office has taken the lead in the investigation. You can see details about the case by clicking Dillion Scott Missing Persons Profile

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Mendota emergency responders take mind off work with kickball match

Posted by wlpo on April 27, 2016

After dealing with an emotional fire call Saturday afternoon, you can’t blame Mendota police officers and firefighters wanting a chance to relax and have fun.

Many emergency responders spent part of their Monday morning playing kickball against students at Lincoln School. Mendota officers Diane Kent and Greg Kellen came up with the idea to promote a more positive relationship with the kids and emergency responders.

According to a post on the Mendota Fire Department’s Facebook page, the kickball game ended in a tie.

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Sentencing day for Dennis Hastert

Posted by wlpo on April 27, 2016

CHICAGO (AP) – Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert is stepping before a judge to learn his punishment in a hush-money case centered on sex-abuse allegations.

At today’s hearing in Chicago, federal prosecutors intend to focus on accusations that Hastert molested at least four students when he coached wrestling at Yorkville High School. The 74-year-old pleaded guilty to breaking banking law as he sought to pay someone $3.5 million to conceal secrets from his past.

Hastert’s team is hoping for probation.

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