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Archive for June, 2016

Man Charged with Bringing Brass Knuckles to Fight Pleads Not Guilty

Posted by wlpo on June 30, 2016

After finding out about another charge he was facing for his role in a melee in Peru earlier this month, Floyd Campbell entered a plea of “not guilty.”

The 21-year old Campbell, who is listed as being from Peru as well as Indiana, had already been accused of bringing brass knuckles to the fight, which took place at 28th Street Park in Peru on June 15th. Assistant States’ Attorney Jeremiah Adams then informed Campbell in court Thursday of a misdemeanor charge of mob action which had been added against him.

He’s due back in court September 8th. The other man involved in the fight, Mitchell Hampton, is expected to appear in court tomorrow. Hampton allegedly fired a gun during the same brawl. Both men currently remain in the LaSalle County Jail.

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Stealing a Car, Selling Drugs, and Attempted Murder All Charges Faced by Chicago Pair in Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on June 30, 2016

Two Chicago men face a slew of charges after Ottawa Police arrested them for a number of criminal activities.

Michael Porter was arrested Wednesday around 3:00 for Unlawful Possession of Cannabis, but that would just be the start of his troubles. On Tuesday, police had found a car which had been reported stolen earlier in the day. While the 25-year old was in custody, police learned enough to charge Porter with Unlawful Possession of a Stolen Motor Vehicle.

Porter was taken to the LaSalle County Jail, but that wouldn’t be the end of his troubles. Thursday, police determined they had enough information to charge him with two counts of Unlawful Delivery of a Controlled Substance, after he allegedly sold heroin to undercover cops earlier in the month.

As Michael was being arrested Wednesday, 20-year old Romier Porter tried to run from police. He was caught and arrested as he is wanted out of Des Moines for Intimidation with a Dangerous Weapon and Attempted Murder.

Both men are currently in the county jail in Ottawa.

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“The Walking Monk” stops off in La Salle

Posted by wlpo on June 30, 2016

It’s not everyday a Hare Krishna monk is hanging out in a La Salle park. It’s also not everyday that a monk is walking across the United States.

Dressed in an orange robe, 63-year-old Bhaktimarga Swami spent a few a minutes at Pulaski Park in La Salle late this morning. He started walking in New York and is headed to San Francisco. The monk is going about 20 miles a day.

Swami is walking to promote a healthier global lifestyle, a stronger spiritual foundation and a meditative life. He’s already walked across Canada, Israel and Ireland.

You can follow Swami’s journey by clicking Walking Monk Blog

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Fieldcrest School Board votes to keep all four schools open

Posted by wlpo on June 30, 2016

For the foreseeable future, the Fieldcrest School District will include four different schools. The school board voted Wednesday night to not close Fieldcrest South Elementary in Minonk.

The board also agreed to go to attendance centers starting with the 2017-2018 school year. They haven’t decided yet which school will house what grades.

The idea of closing the elementary school in Minonk stems from budget issues and the fact that the district’s enrollment has been declining. Most of the 300 or so people who packed the board meeting seemed to be against closing any of the four schools.

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Woman walking in Spring Valley gets hit by a car

Posted by wlpo on June 30, 2016

A woman walking along the main drag in Spring Valley luckily escaped with cuts and scratches after being hit by a car.

Spring Valley Police say 25-year-old Melissa Demarco of Spring Valley was hit by a car driven by 34-year-old Brandon Holt of Ladd at the intersection of Dakota and Hennessey Streets just after 5 Wednesday afternoon. Holt told police he didn’t see Demarco until she was on his hood. Demarco says she was on Holt’s hood for about 10 feet before she rolled off when he stopped.

Holt was ticketed for failing to yield to a pedestrian. Demarco decided against going to the hospital.

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DePue’s village president and lawyer skeptical about contamination clean up plans

Posted by wlpo on June 30, 2016

While efforts to clean up potentially contaminated yards in DePue are finally moving forward, it’s not without a fair amount of pushback from village officials.

Wednesday night, members of the Illinois EPA were in DePue discussing two plans for cleaning up contaminated soil in the village. The source of the contamination was the New Jersey Zinc plant, which was then owned by Exxon and CBS. The IEPA’s plan involves testing the soil in every yard, and removing and replacing entire sections of yard found to be contaminated.

Village President Eric Bryant says he’s happy to see things finally moving forward. However he described the acceptable levels for some chemicals, arsenic in particular, as “disturbing.” Then, Nancy Loeb, who is legally representing DePue, harshly criticized other aspects of the plan. In particular, she said the lead standard the IEPA used was “insufficient and out-of-date.”

IEPA officials said they will release a statement to the objections raised by Bryant and Loeb in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, if you want to comment, you have until July 14th.
You can learn more about how to submit your comments by going to the IEPA’s website.

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Online donation fund set up for Seneca tornado victim

Posted by wlpo on June 30, 2016

While a lot of publicity has gone to the Maierhofer farm owners in Seneca for what they lost in last weeks storms, a man who rented a home on their property could also use your help.

Rodney Seibert is a contractor who depends on his van to get to job sites. The van along with Rodney’s tools, clothes, computer and printer were lost in a tornado last Wednesday night. Seibert is now living with friends.

The Maierhofer’s themselves have asked that instead of helping them, they would like you to instead help out Seibert. You can donate to a Go Fund Me page by clicking Seibert Tornado Fund

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Annual baseball game to be played in Granville cornfield

Posted by wlpo on June 30, 2016

Darrell Alleman has built it and you’re invited to come this Saturday. “Ghost players” will be back at Alleman’s property near Granville for an Illinois Valley version of the movie “Field of Dreams.”

The throwback baseball players will be around to play catch and play in a game with kids picked out of the crowd starting at 6. “Field of Dreams” will then be shown on the field at dusk.

It’s free to park and check out. The field is along East 1250th Street in Granville.

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No education budget could spell doom for many Illinois Valley schools

Posted by wlpo on June 29, 2016

If you believe financial estimates of an education watchdog group, the Streator Elementary School District would close about a week after school starts if there’s no budget passed.

The Illinois School Management Alliance says elementary schools in Streator would close after 9 days if the budget impasse continues. DePue Schools would close in about 90 days while elementary schools in Princeton would last about four months. Ottawa and La Salle Elementary Districts would get through 2016 while Milton Pope, Bureau Valley, Spring Valley, Dalzell, Hall, and Streator High districts would close before the end of the school year.

You can find the school finance report by clicking School Survival List .

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Ottawa officers staying busy with DUI enforcement

Posted by wlpo on June 29, 2016

The biggest city in the Illinois Valley is making the most drunken driving arrests.

The group Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists put out 2015 DUI arrest numbers. Ottawa police officers made 119 DUI arrests last year, 43rd most in the state. La Salle police were next highest in the Illinois Valley with 69 DUI arrests last year tied for 71st in the state.

Fifty-three DUI arrests were made in Peru with 29 DUI arrests in Streator and 23 in Princeton. Marseilles was next with 21 DUI arrests.

Those numbers don’t include DUI arrests made by county deputies or the state police.

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