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Archive for July 6th, 2016

House fire breaks out in Streator

Posted by wlpo on July 6, 2016

Nobody was hurt in a house fire Wednesday afternoon on the southeast side of Streator.

Firefighters were called at 2 o’clock about a fire at a two-story house on South Sterling Street. The fire was on the second floor of the house and was put out in under five minutes. Everyone living at the house was already outside when firefighters got there.

Damage from the fire was mainly in one room of the house. What started the house fire is under investigation.


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Thanks to large pledge, Peru moving forward with splash pad

Posted by wlpo on July 6, 2016

The continued success of Peru’s J.A. Happ in major league baseball is allowing him to give back to his home in a big way.

Happ and his wife Morgan who is also from the Illinois Valley have pledged $100,000 towards building a splash plad and playground on the site of the old Washington School property. The idea being that the play areas will be built to accommodate special needs children of all ages.

Peru Mayor Scott Harl choked up when announcing the pledge, calling it a great night for the city. Harl says the development will be on the fast track with hopes of a ribbon-cutting in the next two years. The Happ pledge won’t cover the entire cost but the group “Friends for Peru Pool” has raised another $100,000 and the city is still due a $256,000 federal grant that the state has yet to release.

Harl says the city will also be aggressive in seeking more pledged money to the splash pad development. As the Happ pledge was being announced, the city’s attorney Doug Schweickert pledged $10,000 towards the project from his law firm.

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Man Involved in Semi Rollover Near Lostant in “Stable” Condition

Posted by wlpo on July 6, 2016

State Police are still unsure exactly why a semi entered the median on Interstate 39 north of Lostant Tuesday morning.

According to police, 59-year old Randy Smith was going north when his tractor and trailer went into the median before rolling over. The accident happened shortly after 6, and Smith was the only person involved in the accident. Police say the cause was “improper lane use into the median.”

Smith would have to be taken to Illinois Valley Community Hospital where he was then flown to Peoria. He is listed in stable condition at this time.

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Department of Veterans’ Affairs Looking for Business and Veteran Going out of Their way to Help Others

Posted by wlpo on July 6, 2016

Do you know a business that regularly goes out of its way to help veterans? What about a veteran who goes above and beyond to help their fellow service members? You can help them be recognized for their efforts by nominating them for one of two awards.

The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs has opened up nominations for two awards. The Veterans’ Patriotic Volunteer is meant to honor the work of an Illinois Veteran who has made especially big contributions in service to the Veteran Community. The Veterans’ Business Appreciation Awards honors the work of any business, including non-profits, which significantly help veterans and deserve to be recognized.

The awards will be presented at the Illinois State Fair on August 14th. Nominations will be open until July 29th. You can click here to get a nomination form or learn more about the awards.


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No falls but plenty of tickets at Starved Rock during the holiday weekend

Posted by wlpo on July 6, 2016

Now that the dust has settled after the holiday weekend, here is the rundown of tickets and arrests made by Conservation Police across the Illinois Valley.

Sgt. Phil Wire says his department wrote up 11 misdemeanor cannabis tickets at the park last weekend. They also charged 13 park goers for being in restricted areas. A 16-year-old boy was arrested for allegedly having LSD while a 17-year-old boy is accused of being legally drunk on the trails and having a fake driver’s license. Fortunately Wire says there were no reports of vandalism.

When it comes to enforcement on the water, Conservation Police wrote 23 boating tickets and gave 40 written warnings. Two boaters were arrested for operating their boat while drunk after the Hennepin fireworks while a call about a stranded boat in Spring Valley turned into an OWI arrest.

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No new positions or big purchases at IVCC because of financial concerns

Posted by wlpo on July 6, 2016

Even with a stopgap budget passed in Springfield, leaders at Illinois Valley Community College are preparing for a significant loss in funding for next school year.

The IVCC’s audit-finance committee met Wednesday and went over a draft of next year’s budget that assumes the school will get no more than 75 percent of state funding it received in 2015, the last time a budget passed. Because of the shortfall, department heads have been told to hold off on any capital or equipment purchases and nonessential travel and supplies.

Since 2013 over 20 positions have either been eliminated, combined or moved from full to part time.

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Spring Valley hopes to have solved tornado siren issue

Posted by wlpo on July 6, 2016

If and when tornado sirens are needed again, they should all work in Spring Valley.

According to the NewsTribune, Spring Valley Police Chief Kevin Sangston says the siren system is back online and working properly. They’ve even installed a backup system.

The city recently switched to radio controlled sirens and at least two sirens didn’t activate back on June 22nd. Sangston says while it may not be the whole reason, there were electrical issues on the 22nd.

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New public works director needed in Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on July 6, 2016

Ottawa’s director of public works has indicated his plans to resign amid battery and disorderly conduct accusations.

Sixty-four year old Bob Shull was cited last week as a result of the complaints. He is accused of creating a disturbance as well as “shoving” someone at a public works building back in January. He is due to appear in court July 22nd.

Tuesday, Shull submitted a letter of resignation to the City of Ottawa. Citing a desire to “watch my grandchildren grow up,” Shull plans to “leave the workforce” effective July 19th.

Ottawa Mayor Bob Eschbach declined to comment further on the incident, saying he believes the letter “speaks for itself.”

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Town forum in Peru to talk about the Washington School property

Posted by wlpo on July 6, 2016

If you could make the decision, what would you do with the old Washington School property in Peru?

The city is hosting a town forum Wednesday at 6 at city hall to talk about the property. Demolition of the elementary school was finished this past spring and the Peru Elementary School District is almost ready to hand the deed for the property over to the city.

Little league officials have already approached the city about a bigger baseball diamond on the old school site. Of course there’s also the idea of a splash pad or new swimming pool.

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Rodeo gets things going at La Salle County 4-H Fair

Posted by wlpo on July 6, 2016

The first day of a festival that lasts through the weekend kicks off Wednesday night on the south side of Ottawa.

The LaSalle County 4-H & Junior Fair gets underway with a rodeo. The rodeo will be at 7 at the 4-H fairgrounds, and marks the first of 5 days of activities that will be taking place.

Thursday, judging will begin on non-livestock projects which include things ranging from aerospace to zucchini. There will also be cake decorating, and dog and cat shows. Grandstand entertainment includes truck and tractor pulls Thursday and Friday nights with a demolition derby Saturday night.

You can find the complete schedule by clicking La Salle County 4-H Fair

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