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Archive for June 29th, 2016

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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LaSalle Woman Looking at Serious Jail Time if Severe Allegations Prove True

Posted by wlpo on June 29, 2016

A La Salle woman’s arrest could be the first of many dealing with child pornography.

Forty-eight-year-old Eva Morris was arrested Wednesday at her home on Joliet Street for two counts of aggravated child pornography. La Salle Police were first told earlier this month about several possible incidents of child pornography. The FBI eventually joined the investigation.

Morris is in the La Salle County Jail being held on $150,000 bond. The investigation is ongoing and more people could get arrested since La Salle Police say pornographic images tied to Morris were shared throughout the country.

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Price tag on L-P referendum could be lowered

Posted by wlpo on June 29, 2016

The public has spoken and many of you think a $67 million dollar tax referendum is too steep.

Director of Communications with L-P High School Matt Baker says “the tone has changed a little bit.” Baker says they are readjusting the facilities plan to meet the community interest and goals. Superintendent Steve Wrobleski acknowledged that the $67 million tax impact is too high.

A task force made up of community members and L-P staff members will give the board a recommendation at their July meeting. The board is then expected to vote in August to put a tax referendum question on the November ballot.

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Shabbona Man Arrested on 48 Counts of Alleged Sexual Assault of Children

Posted by wlpo on June 29, 2016

A Shabbona man is looking at several lifetimes in prison after being arrested for 48 counts of Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault of a Child.

The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office was made aware yesterday of accusations that 72-year old Gary Hulthen had been sexually touching children under the age of 13. Deputies’ say they learned during their investigation that there were at least two juvenile victims and potentially more.

Following an interview with police, Hulthen was arrested on 48 counts of Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault of a Child, according to police. They say the incidents of abuse date back to 2013. He was taken to the DeKalb County Jail where he awaits a bond hearing.

DeKalb County Deputies stressed that this is still an ongoing investigation.

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One of Two Men Facing Charges after 28th Street Park Rumble to Appear in Court

Posted by wlpo on June 29, 2016

A Peru man with ties to Indiana will be in court Thursday morning for allegedly bringing brass knuckles to a rumble at 28th Street Park in Peru earlier this month.

Twenty-one year old Floyd Campbell, who is also listed as being from Anderson, Indiana, was one of a group of people playing basketball at the Peru YMCA back on June 15th, according to police. Peru Police Chief Doug Bernabei says the game turned physical and some of those playing decided to settle their differences at 28th Street Park.

It was during that altercation that Mitchell Hampton allegedly fired a gun. Campbell and Hampton were both arrested, and that’s when police say they found the brass knuckle-like weapon on Campbell.

He was charged with Unlawful Possession of a Weapon by a Felon and taken to the LaSalle County Jail where he needs $10,000 to make bond.

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Crash west of Ottawa kills motorcyclist

Posted by wlpo on June 29, 2016

The name of a man killed in a motorcycle crash on Route 6 west of Ottawa has been released.

Forty-year old Jerry Fink of Marseilles was rushed to OSF St. Elizabeth Medical Center around 11:00 Tuesday, where he was later pronounced dead. He was hit on his motorcycle by 51-year old Lori Flanagan of Streator. Flanagan wasn’t hurt in the crash.

Wallace and Ottawa Fire Departments were among the crews that responded to the crash. The LaSalle County Sheriff’s Department is still investigating the incident.

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Clean up continues week after tornado outbreak in the Illinois Valley

Posted by wlpo on June 29, 2016

It was a week ago when several tornados touched down across the Illinois Valley, and recovery efforts are progressing quickly.

LaSalle County EMA Director Connie Brooks says no requests have been made for any state or federal assistance after the storms. She says some homes were impacted, but the damage has not been serious enough to need outside help.

Rather than looking for help from the government, Brooks says many people have turned to “bringing in their own people” to help pick up.

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One driver accused of causing lots of damage in Tiskilwa

Posted by wlpo on June 29, 2016

A teenage driver allegedly left a path of destruction in downtown Tiskilwa.

Witnesses say 19-year-old Colton Erven of Tiskilwa was speeding on Main Street Monday morning when he first hit a parked car. He then went on to crash into support posts for a building, two newspaper boxes, a bench, cement planter and into the front of Kelley’s Place. Erven and his wrecking ball of a car finally came to a rest in the middle of Main Street.

He was taken to Perry Memorial Hospital in Princeton.

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Accident near Wenona sends four children to hospitals

Posted by wlpo on June 29, 2016

At least four kids were hurt while riding a UTV, or utility task vehicle west of Wenona.

La Salle County and Woodford County deputies both went out to an accident scene east of Route 251 just past 10 Tuesday night. Four underage riders were hospitalized with one of them being flown to Peoria.

You’ll hear more details as they become available.

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