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Archive for June 7th, 2016

Ticket officially issued to former Ottawa school bus driver

Posted by wlpo on June 7, 2016

Already convicted by most in the court of public opinion, an Ottawa school bus driver will have her day in court next month.

The La Salle County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday that 38-year-old Tonya Willey of Ottawa has been ticketed with improper use of an electronic communication device. Willey is the bus driver caught up in last month’s controversy where a video shot by a student showed her checking her phone while driving kids around on an Ottawa school bus.

She’s been given a July 27th court date.

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Interstate 180 used for emergency landing of small plane

Posted by wlpo on June 7, 2016

The lack of traffic on Interstate 180 in Bureau County proved to be a good thing for an out-of-state pilot.

A private, four-seat plane landed on the northbound lanes of traffic on the lightly-used interstate at around 6 o’clock Tuesday night. Nobody was hurt in the landing. The plane had left Iowa and was bound for Ohio but ran into power issues.

Peru firefighters rushed out to the Illinois Valley Regional Airport as the pilot was told to land there but didn’t make it.

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State Senator Sue Rezin Says Typically Reasonable Protestors “Turned Ugly” Monday

Posted by wlpo on June 7, 2016

At least one state lawmaker isn’t looking favorably on the reception Ottawa gave to Governor Bruce Rauner during a scheduled speech.

State Senator Sue Rezin also spoke during Rauner’s conference and, like many, she had shown up to City Hall prior to the speech’s move to the downtown courthouse. She then had to move through demonstrators who are opposed to many of the Republicans’ platforms.

While the Senator said she has no problem with your right to demonstrate, she feels some protestors on Monday crossed a line:

“Many people that demonstrate usually I’ve worked with on other issues and usually we have something in common,” Rezin said, “but boy, when I left it turned ugly. And to be called names and yelled at the way that I was… I’m not standing for it.”

Rezin went on to say she felt the more vocal protesters did a disservice to those who were “really trying to make a point.”

The General Assembly is continuing to work to resolve the budget impasse as the state approaches one year without a formal budget.

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OSF Center for Health Streator to Stay at Address of Former St. Mary’s Hospital

Posted by wlpo on June 7, 2016

Although it came under new ownership this year, if you’re looking for healthcare services in Streator you’ll still likely be heading to 111 Spring Street.

OSF Healthcare and the City of Streator announced Tuesday that the OSF Center for Health Streator will stay where the old St. Mary’s hospital was.  OSF Healthcare plans to remodel the property so that outpatient services and community programs can be more “centrally located.”

The company says the renovations will cost about as much as a new facility, but this way they can use more of that money for improving patient care. Streator Mayor Jimmie Lansford says it was the city that first asked OSF Healthcare to take a look at renovating the current site instead of moving.

OSF Healthcare officials say the renovations will include the demolition of the old St. Francis building, in addition to making several other required changes.  In total they’re expecting the project to take about two years.

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Motorcycle crash north of Ottawa injures at least one

Posted by wlpo on June 7, 2016

A medical helicopter has been called to the scene of a motorcycle crash north of Ottawa.

The 9-1-1 call went out around 12:30 Tuesday afternoon for a motorcycle accident in the area of East 16th and North 35th Road. Ottawa, Serena and Sheridan firefighters were called to the scene.

A Life Star medical chopper was called. You’ll hear more details as they become available.

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Crash kills man near Wyanet

Posted by wlpo on June 7, 2016

Details are limited so far about a fatal crash in Bureau County.

What is known is that a 27-year-old man died in a single-vehicle crash Sunday afternoon on Wyanet-Walnut Road in rural Wyanet.

The victim’s name hasn’t been released.

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Woman arrested for stabbing family member in Spring Valley

Posted by wlpo on June 7, 2016

A stabbing sent a woman to jail and a man to the hospital in Spring Valley.

Police and paramedics went to a home on West Second Place Monday night just before 9 o’clock. Thirty-six-year-old Heather Sobin was arrested in her home for aggravated battery. She’s accused of stabbing a 36-year-old man in his back with a kitchen knife.

The victim who is a relative of Sobin was taken to St. Margaret’s Hospital for a wound to his lower back. Sobin was taken to the Bureau County Jail.

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Motorcyclist hospitalized after crash near Wedron

Posted by wlpo on June 7, 2016

Passing somebody on a two lane road is always a risky proposition. Twenty-year-old Kent Robbins of Sheridan ended up in the hospital after he tried it on his motorcycle.

According to La Salle County deputies, Robbins was behind a car driven by 46-year-old Corey Johnson of Serena Monday evening near Wedron. Robbins collided with Johnson while trying pass him at the same time Johnson was trying to turn.

Robbins was taken to OSF St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Ottawa.

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Opening of new business in La Salle could depend on a judge’s decision

Posted by wlpo on June 7, 2016

A judge’s order could speed up the process of bringing down a crumbling building at a busy La Salle intersection.

La Salle Building Inspector Chris Covert hopes Judge Joe Hettel grants the city an emergency demolition order today to take down an old garage near 3rd and Bucklin Street. The building’s roof has partially collapsed and the walls are failing. The city has unsuccessfully tried getting the owner to take the building down for a few years.

Doug Dellinger of Oglesby wants to open “Doug’s Automotive” in the old BP gas station next to the crumbling garage. The city though has turned off utilities until the neighboring building gets taken care of.

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Dead trees coming down in Spring Valley

Posted by wlpo on June 7, 2016

If you see a dead tree on public property in Spring Valley, let the city know about it.

According to the NewsTribune, the public works department is going around town and cutting down hundreds of dead trees. Many of them are ash trees killed off by the Emerald Ash Borer. Next on the chopping block are large trees along Route 6 which could affect traffic when being brought down.

Mayor Walt Marini hopes they can find a deal to plant new trees to replace the dead ones.

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