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Archive for July 8th, 2016

Man Accused of Robberies at I&M Toll House Pleads “Not Guilty”

Posted by wlpo on July 8, 2016

A man who is accused of robbing several people in Ottawa was formally charged Friday.

Lucas Brown was arrested at the end of May stemming from accusations that took place earlier in the month. The 25-year old Ottawa man is accused of robbing people who were at the Toll House along the I&M Canal. Officers said they found some stolen items in Brown’s possession at the time of his arrest.

Brown had already spent time in prison last year, and was only let out in October after doing time for drugs. In court he pled “not guilty” to the new charges. He will stand trial August 29th.

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Reddick Mansion Association may Close Building’s Doors if Repairs Can’t be Made

Posted by wlpo on July 8, 2016

A historic attraction in the city of Ottawa may be forced to shut its doors, at least temporarily.

The Reddick Mansion Association says their lease with the city, who owns the building, ran out in November, and has yet to be renewed. Despite not having a lease, the association moved forward with planning substantial repairs that they “expected” the city to contribute to. The Association has offered to spend up to $600,000 on the project.

They say the city has not given a “formal, written response” to the committee’s latest proposal which was submitted in April. If the repairs don’t begin this year, the group says safety concerns could lead them to close the mansion temporarily to visitors.

About 1,600 people have visited Reddick Mansion since December of last year.

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Man Arrested for May Sex Crimes Appears in Court

Posted by wlpo on July 8, 2016

A Peru man who is accused of being a sexual predator will stand trial for his actions this October.

Miguel Fraga appeared in court Thursday where he was formally charged after being arrested back in May. The 47-year old Fraga is charged with criminal sexual assault to a family member, sexual relations within his family and predatory criminal sexual assault.  All three charges are felonies.

Fraga was able to post $20,000 bond to be released from jail. On Thursday his trial was set for October 31st.

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Congressman Kinzinger calls attack on Dallas PD terrorism

Posted by wlpo on July 8, 2016

Would you consider the killing of Dallas police officers a terrorist attack? Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger does.

Kinzinger says what happened in Dallas was a “heinous crime on the entire law enforcement community and the definition of an act of terrorism.” The congressman goes on to say “we cannot continue to let hate groups and terrorists attack our men and women in uniform.”

Kinzinger did somewhat acknowledge to police shootings in Minnesota and Louisana saying “my heart aches for the families of those lives lost and those investigations are underway.”

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Closures planned on Route 6 and at the Interstate 39 and 80 interchange

Posted by wlpo on July 8, 2016

Getting from Ottawa to Marseilles and vice versa is about to get more complicated.

Starting Tuesday, Route 6 between Ottawa and Marseilles will be closed through mid-August. The reason Route 6 will be closed is so crews can replace a bridge over Millikin Creek. Route 71, Interstate 80 and Seneca Road will be used as a detour with Route 6 out of commission.

If you’re a frequent interstate user, a busy ramp on Interstate 80 will be closed starting Monday. The Interstate 39 southbound to I-80 westbound ramp will be closed for upwards of 10 weekdays. Crews will reopen the ramp on weekends.

The ramp will be closed because of crews painting and cleaning an overpass that takes County Highway 13 over I-80. During the ramp closure, existing ramps will be used as detours. Message boards and signs will direct you through the detour.

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Illinois Valley gas prices largely unchanged from last week

Posted by wlpo on July 8, 2016

The price at the pump is holding steady in the Illinois Valley.

According to, Peru and Streator stations are on the low end with $2.14 unleaded gas. You can fill up for $2.15 in Princeton. Oglesby stations are at the high end charging $2.29 a gallon.

If you’re headed to Bloomington-Normal this weekend, gas can be found there for less than two dollars a gallon.

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Hospital fundraiser will mean getting down and dirty

Posted by wlpo on July 8, 2016

If you want to push yourself and don’t mind getting muddy, the “MudCross Challenge” is for you.

The obstacle course is about 3 miles long and according to organizers will have you running, walking, climbing, crawling, and sliding your way to the finish line. The mud challenge is for all ages and takes place Saturday, August 13 at the Sunset Ridge Moto-Cross Track in Walnut.

You can sign up as an individual or as part of a team. The more people signed up in your group, the more money you save off the registration cost.

Proceeds from the “MudCross Challenge” will go to the Perry Memorial Hospital Auxiliary. The challenge made over $5,000 for the hospital last year.

To sign up, click MudCross Challenge

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Illinois Valley first responders react to Dallas shootings

Posted by wlpo on July 8, 2016

Almost immediately after the shocking news came out about Dallas police officers being shot and killed, reactions began pouring in on social media.

The Seneca Police Department posted a message saying their thoughts and prayers are with the Dallas Police Department and the families of the officers who were killed and wounded. The Livingston County Sheriff’s office posted a picture of a Dallas P.D. badge with a black stripe across it.

The Peru Fire Department also reacted on its Facebook offering condolences to the family and friends of the officers killed. The Mendota Fire Department’s message included the words “law enforcement officers have our most sincere appreciation for the job that they perform and the dedication that they have for keeping us all safe from harm.”

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Plans underway to restore fire damaged property in downtown Utica

Posted by wlpo on July 8, 2016

It looks like a popular dining destination in downtown Utica is expanding.

According to the NewsTribune, Kelly Waters with Skoogs Pub got approval Thursday night from the Utica Planning Commission to enlarge and extend Skoog’s kitchen into the next door building which has sat empty since a fire last year. Plans also include redoing the façade of the 149 Mill Street address.

The $160,000 project also includes outdoor dining space and a new second-floor apartment.

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