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Archive for May 2nd, 2016

Man dies from injuries sustained in Peru apartment fire

Posted by wlpo on May 2, 2016

A weekend fire in Peru has turned out to be fatal.

Fifty-three-year-old Mark Feik died Sunday after he was flown to OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria. On Saturday, Feik was pulled from an apartment on fire in Peru on Maple Drive. At least one other person in the apartment complex was checked out by paramedics.

The state fire marshal’s office was called to investigate the cause of the fire. Peru firefighters have said they don’t think the cause is in anyway suspicious.

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Peru moving ahead with another Venture Drive realignment

Posted by wlpo on May 2, 2016

The city of Peru is taking another stab at making the Venture Drive and 38th Street intersection more convenient.

Universal Asphalt in La Salle will realign the much argued about intersection once again for $560,000. Plans are to move Venture Drive about 170 feet to the west so that it intersects with 38th Street in what is now the southwest part of the Hobby Lobby parking lot. When the realignment is done, you’ll be able to turn left onto 38th Street from Venture Drive unlike now where you can only turn right. The orange pylons at the intersection will also be gone.

Construction could start in about a month with the widening of 38th Street north of the Peru Mall.

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La Salle County inmate accused in murder-for-hire plot

Posted by wlpo on May 2, 2016

A LaMoille man who was already in the LaSalle County Jail facing a serious charge now has three more to contend with.

Twenty-two-year-old Cody Smith was arrested last June for allegedly sexually assaulting a two-year old. While in jail, Smith supposedly arranged to have three witnesses to the crime killed, according to States’ Attorney Brian Towne. LaSalle County Deputies found out about the plan and used an undercover cop to investigate the incident.

Based on Smith’s conversations with the man he thought was a contract killer, he was charged Monday with 3 counts of Solicitation of Murder for Hire. Each is a Class X felony that carries with it a possible sentence of 20-40 years.

With the earlier charge of sexual assault, Towne says Smith, if convicted, could be sentenced to 66 to 150 years in prison. Smith is still being held in the LaSalle County Jail with bond over two million dollars.

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House fire breaks out near junior high in La Salle

Posted by wlpo on May 2, 2016

A smoke filled house had Peru and La Salle firefighters rushing to 923 Marquette Street in La Salle around 10 Monday morning.

One of the first firefighters on the scene reported smoke filling the home. So much smoke he couldn’t get inside. Thankfully everyone in the home got out okay.

An electrical issue was likely the cause of the fire. The home is still livable.

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Big numbers from the St. Bede Auction

Posted by wlpo on May 2, 2016

The 33rd annual St. Bede Auction was the most successful one yet.

While some more money could come in, organizers say the auction brought in $270,000, smashing last year’s total of $223,000 which had been the record fundraising amount.  The use of mobile bidding has allowed people not even at the auction to bid on things, elevating the auction to new heights.    Tickets to this year’s auction were sold out almost two weeks in advance.

Bidders also helped to raise about $60,000 for the academy’s “Fund in Need” which is a fundraiser to add a couple computer science courses starting in the fall.

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One passenger hospitalized after vehicle ends up in a Troy Grove cornfield

Posted by wlpo on May 2, 2016

This time of the year there’s a lot going on in cornfields with planting season. One cornfield west of Troy Grove had an unexpected visitor.

At around 11 last night, deputies say 20-year-old Anthony Rosado of Berkeley was on Route 251 when he lost control of his car and drove into a cornfield. A passenger of his, 47-year-old Sabrina Wilson of Chicago was taken to OSF St. Paul Medical Center in Mendota. Rosado and two other passengers, a woman from Compton and a one-year-old baby were checked out at the scene of the crash.

Nobody was ticketed.

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Fatal crash numbers ease back in April

Posted by wlpo on May 2, 2016

With a third of the year now in the books, the Illinois Valley continues to be ahead of last year’s pace when it comes to fatal crashes.

Through April, eight crashes have killed nine people on La Salle County roads. Fourteen people were killed in 13 crashes all of last year.

In Bureau County, six people have died this year in six different crashes. All of last year eight people were killed in eight crashes.

Putnam County saw its first fatal crash of the year last month. Putnam County had only one person killed all of last year in a traffic crash.

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Trial delayed in fatal hit and run

Posted by wlpo on May 2, 2016

If you’ve been following the story of a Mendota teenage girl being hit and killed while walking on a rural Bureau County road, the man blamed in the fatal hit and run has had his trial date delayed a couple months.

Twenty-year-old Jose Torres was originally scheduled to stand trial Monday for his alleged role in the death of 19-year-old Jacquelin Martinez of Mendota. Martinez and other teens were walking on a rural road near Bureau last August when they were hit. Everyone but Martinez survived.

Torres is now looking at a July 25th jury trial date. He faces felony charges of failing to report an accident resulting in death and failing to report an accident resulting in an injury.

Torres also faces a lesser charge of fraud in La Salle County where 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.

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Digital projector on its way to historic movie venue

Posted by wlpo on May 2, 2016

Your movie going experience is about to get better in Earlville.

The Route 34 Drive-In Theatre in Earlville was closed Sunday so preparations could start on installing a new digital projector. A message on the Route 34 Drive-In Facebook page announced that the projector is in route and should arrive this week.

A “Go Fund Me” page was set up last year amid fears that the drive in would go out of business not having enough cash to convert its projector to digital. Enough money has been raised to order a digital projector.

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