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Archive for July 15th, 2016

Two People Arrested after Marseilles Armed Robbery appear in Court

Posted by wlpo on July 15, 2016

A man accused of armed robbery and the woman who allegedly drove a getaway car for him appeared in court Thursday.

Thirty-one year old Paul Hawkins has been charged with a number of felonies for his role in the incident, which took place in Marseilles last Friday. He is accused of going into a home and threatening those inside with a gun, before allegedly taking a wallet and phone and leaving. Thursday he was indicted on charges of Armed Robbery with a Firearm, Robbery, Theft with Intent of more than $10,000, Theft of less than $500, and Possession of a Weapon by a Felon.

When he left, he was allegedly driven by 38-year old Kimberly Somyogyi of Westmont. When police found Somyogyi and the car, Hawkins wasn’t with them. She allegedly told police a false location she had dropped Hawkins off at before revealing that had been dropped off in Morris. She was indicted on a charge of Obstructing Justice.

Somyogyi has posted bond and was released from custody while Hawkins remains in the LaSalle County Jail.

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Northern White Sand Granted Special Use for Second Barge Terminal

Posted by wlpo on July 15, 2016

You may see more barges near the Northern White Sand operation in Ottawa.

The company was granted a “Special Use” permit by the LaSalle County Board during their meeting on Thursday. The decision passed by the narrowest possible margin, with 15 of 29 board members voting for it.

Northern White Sand asked for the permit, which will allow them to build a dock and facilities for 4 barges, in a move they believe will decrease the need for tugboat traffic along that part of the Illinois River. Board members raised concerns about the noise, due to a nursing home in the area, as well as what the number of barges would mean for casual boaters in the area.

Board Member Russell Boe explained that the setup would actually result in “less inconvenience to river flow.” The terminal is the second Northern White Sand is putting in the area, allowing them to have up to 8 barges between the two terminals at a given time.

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Streator Teen Faces Felonies Following Fight Thursday

Posted by wlpo on July 15, 2016

A Streator teen is facing serious charges following a fight that took place in the city.

Police were called Thursday to a ruckus that was taking place on Wilson Street. There they found a man who was bleeding profusely from his head. Witnesses said they saw 18-year-old Bailey Smetanko throw a brick at the man. Police arrested Smetanko, and appeared in court yesterday on charges of Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon and Aggravated Battery in a Public Place.

He’s currently in the LaSalle County Jail where his bond is $50,000. He’s due back in court July 29th.

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Kinzinger reacts to latest terrorist attack

Posted by wlpo on July 15, 2016

While condemning the attack in Nice, France, Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger is also calling for unity in the war against terrorism.

Kinzinger says his prayers are with the victims, their families and the people of France.  While mourning, the congressman says “the freedoms we love, defend and honor are being threatened by a barbaric form of evil.”

He goes on to say “we stand with our allies, but we cannot stand for terrorism.”

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Ottawa tops list of rainfall amounts from Wednesday storms

Posted by wlpo on July 15, 2016

Do you still have some puddles around in your neck of the woods? The National Weather Service has put out a list of all the rainfall totals from Wednesday.

Ottawa had the most rain in the Chicago coverage area at a little more than 3 inches. Over two inches of rain fell in La Salle and Oglesby. Peru, Marseilles and Morris had spotters measuring over an inch and a half of rain while in Streator only three-tenths of an inch fell.

Places like Aurora, Rockford and Rochelle barely had a trace of rain Wednesday.

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Projected revenues and expenses both down at IVCC

Posted by wlpo on July 15, 2016

Despite some cost cutting steps and raising tuition rates, it looks like Illinois Valley Community College will go another year with more expenses than revenue.

The board of trustees has approved a tentative new budget with $32.8 million in revenue and $33.5 million in expenditures. Both revenues and expenses are lower than the previous school year.

To balance the budget, the board will shift around some money and dip into their reserves for about $20,000. They’ll have a public hearing and official budget approval vote next month.

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Fatal hit-and-run case comes up in Bureau County court

Posted by wlpo on July 15, 2016

A homeless woman charged with leaving the scene of a fatal crash in Princeton is due in court today.

Twenty-three-year-old Haylee Miller will be arraigned this afternoon in Bureau County Court. She was arrested late last month for leaving the scene of an accident that led to a death.

Thirty-one-year-old April Williams of Princeton died after she was allegedly was hit walking from a party by Miller. The crash happened on the west side of Princeton near the Hillview Mobile Home Park.

Miller needs $5,000 to bond out.

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Sub-two dollar a gallon gas returns to the Illinois Valley

Posted by wlpo on July 15, 2016

For the first time in several months, you can buy gas in the Illinois Valley for less than two dollars a gallon.

One spot in Peru has gas for $1.94 while you can fill up at one station in La Salle for $1.99. According to, prices elsewhere range from $2.05 in Ottawa to $2.13 a gallon in Oglesby.

The statewide average for unleaded is $2.30 a gallon, which is down a couple cents from last week.

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Bike ride across Bureau County raises money for kids

Posted by wlpo on July 15, 2016

Be on the look out for bicycles if you drive in Bureau County Saturday.

The 6th annual “Z Tour Bike Ride” for charity is going on. The rides begin and end at Zearing Park in Princeton. There are bike routes going from 10 to 100 miles. Same day registration starts at 6.

Proceeds from the ride across Bureau County go to the Zearing Enrichment Center in Princeton which provides a childcare learning center. Last year’s “Z Tour Bike Ride” raised over $21,000.

For more information about the ride, click Z Tour Bike Ride

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