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Archive for June 23rd, 2016

Ottawa Woman Arrested After Allegedly Stealing Dog During Wednesday’s Storms

Posted by wlpo on June 23, 2016

While many spent Wednesday’s storms making sure they and their loved ones were safe, an Ottawa woman saw it as a good time to commit a crime.

Twenty-Five year old Jerica Milligan appeared in court Thursday, after being arrested Wednesday night for residential burglary. Milligan is accused of breaking into a home she used to live in, during Wednesday’s storms.

The owners returned to find several things out of place, and their dog was missing. Ottawa Police say they would later find Milligan out walking the missing dog. She was taken to the LaSalle County Jail where her bond was set at $100,000.

That’s not her first run-in with police. She is also awaiting trial for an alleged theft from Burger King. Milligan is accused of stealing money from the store to buy heroin, which she overdosed on in the store.

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High-Speed Chase Lands Ottawa Man Six Year Sentence

Posted by wlpo on June 23, 2016

A man who led police on a high speed chase through Ottawa won’t be going anywhere for several years.

Twenty-Eight-year old Jeremy Henry of Ottawa was accused of leading police on a chase along Route 23 where speeds topped 100 miles-per-hour. He was eventually caught after getting his SUV stuck in a field outside of Earlville.

Henry appeared in court Thursday to take a deal that will send him to prison for 6 years. He pled guilty to Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding Police, and Aggravated Battery to a police officer, which were 2 of the four charges from the May chase.

He was given 6 years for each charge but Judge Cynthia Raccuglia will allow them to be served at the same time.

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Governor Bruce Rauner says Illinoisans “Fortunate Things are not Worse” after Storms

Posted by wlpo on June 23, 2016

As Governor Bruce Rauner continues to learn about the damage and cleanup efforts from last night’s storms, he says “we are fortunate things are not worse.”

In a statement issued Thursday, Rauner says he and his wife are praying for those who were impacted by the tornadoes. He went on to explain that Illinois Emergency Management crews are doing damage assessments today and the Illinois State Police are pitching in to help out local law enforcement.

Rauner went on to thank both volunteers and first responders for “working tirelessly throughout the night to ensure the safety of our citizens.”

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Lightning strike blamed for siren issue in Spring Valley

Posted by wlpo on June 23, 2016

Not everything went smoothly in Spring Valley during the latest severe weather event.

The city went to sound its tornado sirens at 8:45 last night. Police Chief Kevin Sangston says the radio control system for the sirens malfunctioned due to an apparent lightning strike. Police officers then manually started the city hall siren.

If you live in Spring Valley, another way to keep up on city emergencies is signing up for “Code Red” notifications. You can get on the notification list at city hall or by going to the city website.

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Four injuries blamed on Pontiac tornado

Posted by wlpo on June 23, 2016

The tornado that brushed by the southwest side of Pontiac Wednesday night is being called significant by survey teams with the National Weather Service.

The tornado hit around 10 o’clock last night and is blamed for four injuries. The twister was on the ground in and around Pontiac for 11 miles. It was 440 yards wide at one point and had maximum winds of 125 miles per hour.

The tornado is considered an EF-2 which is considered significant.

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Power outages extending into Thursday afternoon

Posted by wlpo on June 23, 2016

Power crews from Ameren, Cornbelt Energy and ComEd continue working on outages.

As of noon Thursday, Ameren reported over 500 customers without power. Dozens of Ameren customers in Utica, La Salle, Sheridan and Serena remain without power.

Cornbelt Energy is handling nearly 700 outages in La Salle County. Many of the outages are in Earlville, Sheridan and Ottawa.

ComEd is dealing with dozens of customers without power near Earlville and Seneca.

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EPA unveils plans to clean up DePue

Posted by wlpo on June 23, 2016

While cleanup of contaminated soil left from New Jersey Zinc and, later, Exxon and CBS is a lengthy process, Illinois EPA officials say its moving in the right direction.

At an informational session in the DePue Gym Wednesday, several illustrations explained how a homeowner’s yard will be split into zones, tested, and cleaned if it’s found to be contaminated. According to Connie Sullinger with the IEPA Toxicity Assessment Unit, crews will see how far down the soil is contaminated in that part of the yard. They will then remove the contaminated soil and replace it with clean soil.

The sample areas are conservative, but would reduce the risk of further contamination, according to IEPA Project Manager Charlene Falco. Falco says the reason the project took so long to get going involved disputes between the state, Exxon, and CBS. She says the “responsible parties” estimate that once the cleanup starts, everybody’s yard will complete in 2.5 years.

There are still several areas of the cleanup which will need to be completed. If you want to comment or ask a question about the cleanup, you can go to the public meeting next Wednesday in the DePue Gym from 6-8.

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At least a dozen tornado reports across the valley

Posted by wlpo on June 23, 2016

While there were reports of several funnel clouds last evening across northern Illinois, survey crews with the National Weather Service will be out Thursday at places taking the worst of the storms.

Members of the weather service are doing damage surveys along the paths of three super cell tornadoes: from Amboy to Sheridan; Troy Grove to Seneca and from Pontiac to Chatsworth. The official number of tornadoes is likely to go up as weather survey crews get a better look at last night’s damage.

As of right now, the weather service is confirming at least brief tornado touchdowns in or near: Amboy; Compton; Earlville; Leland; Troy Grove; Sheridan; LaMoille; Manlius; Marseilles; Seneca; and Pontiac. Funnel clouds were also confirmed by trained weather spotters in places like Princeton and Ottawa.

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