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Archive for May 19th, 2016

Aspiring politician wants Frank Mautino to resign

Posted by wlpo on May 19, 2016

Even though he hasn’t won anything, state representative hopeful Jerry Long has some advice for Auditor General Frank Mautino.

The Republican union trucker driver from Streator reacted to news that Mautino’s spokesman confirmed there’s a federal investigation into the former state representative’s campaign spending. Long says “I had called for Frank Mautino to answer his campaign spending questions, but now I believe it is time for Frank Mautino to resign.” Long goes on to say “the people of our state deserve better than to have an Auditor General under the dark cloud of a federal investigation.”

Mautino has come under fire for spending thousands of dollars with Happy’s Service Station and Spring Valley City Bank before closing out his campaign account late last year. His spokesman says the Democrat from Spring Valley is “cooperating with the U.S. Attorney’s office in its investigation.”

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Hall Votes to Make More Cuts as Concerns Linger about State Funding

Posted by wlpo on May 19, 2016

Just days after telling a group of administrators at a conference “there’s nothing left to cut,” Superintendent Mike Struna and the Hall School Board voted to cut another $67,000 from their budget.

The school board has voted in the past 2 months to make more than $350,000 in cuts, according to the NewsTribune. Struna says the cuts are directly tied to the lack of money the school has gotten from the state. He says if an education budget is not passed for the next school year, Hall will have to borrow money to get through the year.

There’s a bill before the State Senate that would “fully fund” education for next year, according to State Senator Sue Rezin. However, Rezin believes partisan politics are currently preventing the bill from advancing.

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Peru Man Faces Felony Charges after Arrest for Allegedly Having Sex with a Minor

Posted by wlpo on May 19, 2016

A Peru man is in jail after multiple police departments say he had sex with a minor.

The Illinois State Police, with the help of the Peru Police Department, arrested 47-year old Miguel “Mike” Fraga of Peru. According to police and State’s Attorney Brian Towne, Fraga has been charged with three felonies: Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault, Criminal Sexual Assault to a Family Member, and Sexual Relations Within Families.

Fraga was taken to the LaSalle County Jail, and his bond was set at $200,000.

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Illinois One Step Closer to Raising Smoking Age to 21

Posted by wlpo on May 19, 2016

Springfield lawmakers are one step closer to increasing the smoking age to 21.

A bill that would raise the age to buy or have both cigarettes and “e-cigs” passed the State Senate yesterday. State Senator Sue Rezin was one of the 32 who voted in favor of the bill. Rezin says she’s “not a fan of tobacco products in general.”

The bill still needs to pass the General Assembly which may be a tricky task. This stricter tobacco and e-cig law comes after legislators from both houses passed a law that would decrease the penalties on people caught with a small amount of pot.

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Bow and arrow murder trial delayed until August

Posted by wlpo on May 19, 2016

A murder trial involving a bow and arrow as the weapon won’t start Monday as once planned.

Lawyers for 22-year-old Bradley French of Varna asked for and received more time to gather up evidence in the case. So instead of Monday, French will stand trial August 1st.

French is accused of killing 38-year-old Joshua Scaman of Oglesby on Father’s Day of last year. Scaman was found dead in a parking lot of Illinois Valley Community College, after prosecutors say French shot him with a bow and arrow.

French is in the La Salle County Jail on two million dollars bond.

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Fire training could produce some smoke in Spring Valley

Posted by wlpo on May 19, 2016

If you happen to see smoke near JFK School in Spring Valley Saturday morning, you don’t need to worry.

The Spring Valley Fire Department will be working with the Northern Bureau County Firefighter’s Association on training exercises in the school’s north parking lot. Specifically, they’ll be working with what’s called a “Flashover Simulator.” A flashover occurs when a growing fire gets so hot it quickly spreads throughout a room.

According to Fire Chief Todd Bogatitus, the training will be using a live fire simulator that may create some minor smoke in the area.

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Troopers taking to the roof to raise money for Special Olympics

Posted by wlpo on May 19, 2016

The same cause that will have Mendota police washing cars on Saturday will have state troopers taking to donut shop rooftops.

Starting at 5 Friday morning, hundreds of officers will stake out rooftops at Dunkin Donuts locations to raise money for the Law Enforcement Torch Run that benefits Special Olympics Illinois. In the Illinois Valley, you can catch local cops on the roofs of the Dunkin Donuts on Shooting Park Road in Peru, as well as the Ottawa location on Columbus Street.

Overall, they’re hoping to raise more than $5,000. If you do make a donation, you’ll get a coupon for a free donut.

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“Revenge porn” case moves ahead in La Salle County

Posted by wlpo on May 19, 2016

The first known prosecuted case of “Revenge Porn” in La Salle County is moving its way through the system.

Thirty-one-year-old Ryan McGuire of Sandwich was indicted Tuesday for non-consensual dissemination of private sexual images. He’s accused of putting a naked picture of a woman on the internet without her permission.

McGuire is out of jail after posting $2,500 for bond.

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Illinois Valley lawmakers against lowering penalties for pot possession

Posted by wlpo on May 19, 2016

Despite being from different political parties, State Senator Sue Rezin and State Representative Andy Skoog agree they don’t want to “decriminalize” penalties for being caught with small amounts of pot.

Both the Republican Rezin and Democrat Skoog voted against a proposal to hand out $100 to $200 fines instead of jail time to anyone caught with 10 grams or less of pot. Despite their no votes, the idea passed in both the House and Senate.

The proposal now heads to Governor Bruce Rauner’s desk.

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Stretch of Route 251 could soon be called”Witczak Brothers Memorial Highway”

Posted by wlpo on May 19, 2016

Route 251 between Tonica and Mendota won’t just be Route 251 anymore if State Senator Sue Rezin gets her way.

The Republican is pushing a resolution naming Route 251 between Tonica and Mendota the “Witczak Brothers Memorial Highway.” Seven brothers from the Illinois Valley family served in either World War II or the Korean War. Rezin says the renaming of the state road is the least that can be done to thank the Witczak’s for their service.

Seven sons of Thomas and Clara served in different capacities of the military. Rezin read a letter on the Senate floor from the lone surviving brother Anthony Witczak of Peru.

Anthony said “this is a great honor to have this road named after my family. My brothers, wherever they are, would really appreciate this.” The seven Witczak brothers served a combined 18 years in the military.

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