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Archive for July 20th, 2016

Illinois Valley Community College $3,000 Closer to Scholarship Goal after Donation

Posted by wlpo on July 20, 2016

While issues with state funding have caused headaches for Illinois Valley Community College, the generosity of some unions in the valley have put them closer to their scholarship fundraising goals.

The school’s scholarship fund moved $3,000 closer to its goal for the year after a trio of recent donations. The Illinois Valley Building and Trades Council, Illinois Valley Construction Industry Labor-Management Group, and Illinois Valley Contractors Association each donated $1,000 at an Ottawa luncheon hosted by IVCC President Jerry Corcoran.

He said he’s proud of the partnership IVCC has developed with the groups because they “play a critical role in our ability to carry out the college’s mission.”

The $3,000 means that the scholarship campaign has now raised $485,000 toward its $500,000 goal.

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IVCH Cafeteria to Open as Cooling Center During Potentially Excessive Heat

Posted by wlpo on July 20, 2016

With temperatures that are expected to feel hotter than 110 Thursday and Friday, it never hurts to know about places to cool off.

Illinois Valley Community Hospital in Peru is opening its doors during the periods of Excessive Heat as a cooling center. The cafeteria will be open if you’re looking to get relief from the hot, humid weather.

The cafeteria is on the west side of IVCH, and you can get in by going through the hospital’s West Street entrance during the day. If you need to stop by at night, you can go in through the emergency department entrance.

An Excessive Heat Warning takes effect at noon Thursday, lasting until 7 Friday evening. After that, an Excessive Heat Watch will last until 3 Saturday afternoon.

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Another delay in fatal Bureau County hit and run

Posted by wlpo on July 20, 2016

If you’ve been following the story of a Mendota teenage girl being hit and killed while walking on a rural Bureau County road, the man blamed in the hit and run was in court yesterday.

Twenty-year-old Jose Torres of Oglesby was supposed to have a final pretrial hearing in Bureau County Court yesterday but his lawyer asked for and received a week delay on the hearing. Torres’ trial date is set for August 22nd.

Torres is charged with the felonies of failing to report an accident involving a death and failing to report an accident involving an injury. He’s accused of hitting and killing 19-year-old Jacquelin Martinez of Mendota last August while she and others were walking on a rural road near Bureau. Everyone but Martinez survived.

Torres also faces a lesser charge of fraud in La Salle County where he’s accused of trying to prevent a repo man from taking his Jaguar that investigators say was the car involved in the fatal hit and run.

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Child porn indictments handed down to La Salle woman

Posted by wlpo on July 20, 2016

A case involving a La Salle woman potentially sharing child pornography across the country came before a grand jury Tuesday.

Forty-eight-year-old Eva Morris was indicted on two counts of aggravated child pornography. She was arrested late last month at her home on Joliet Street. La Salle Police were first told about several possible incidents of child pornography last month. 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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Streator Police looking for unsuccessful burglar

Posted by wlpo on July 20, 2016

Not all burglars use the cover of darkness to commit a crime.

The Streator Police Department is looking for a man that tried to break into a home and garage last Wednesday afternoon. He was unsuccessful at both tries on Oakley Avenue.

The would-be burglar is a middle-aged white guy wearing painters’ style clothing. You can check out a video clip of the suspect on the WLPO Facebook page.

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Motorcyclist hurt in crash while riding through Starved Rock State Park

Posted by wlpo on July 20, 2016

A deer is being blamed for causing a motorcycle crash on the Starved Rock curves.

Paramedics were called out to Route 71 just after noon Tuesday in Utica. Twenty-one-year-old Austin Vessely of Ottawa hit a deer, causing him to fall off his motorcycle.

He was taken to OSF St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Ottawa.

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Food pantry in Spring Valley could use help restocking its shelves

Posted by wlpo on July 20, 2016

How’s the food supply holding up with kid’s home for the summer?

Each year, the Hall Food Pantry does a program called “Second Helpings” where families can get food from the pantry in Spring Valley twice a month instead of the usual limit of once a month. Pantry Director Jan Martin says with kids eating at home during the summer instead of in school, the cupboards get bare a lot faster at the pantry as well.

They could use “child friendly” foods, like breakfast and lunch snacks. Fruit would also be a nice thing to donate.

You can drop off food donations at the pantry on North Terry Street in Spring Valley 8:30 until 4 on weekdays.

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Historic mansion at the center of power struggle in Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on July 20, 2016

An agreement between the City of Ottawa and the group that runs Reddick Mansion may be closer than initially thought.

Ottawa Mayor Bob Eschbach said they planned to work on a lease agreement in a closed session following Tuesday night’s city council meeting. The city owns the mansion, and historically they’ve leased the building to the Reddick Mansion Association. However the latest lease ended in November. Overall, the mayor seems optimistic about discussions moving forward, saying the city was “going back to the drawing board,” and that they plan to continue looking forward during negotiations.

Eschbach says the city presented an agreement to the association that was ultimately rejected by the group’s board. The association issued a statement earlier this month claiming that talks had stalled and that the city had not been responding to previous offers they had made.

Members of the Reddick board also claim they may have to close the mansion if the city doesn’t agree to help pay for renovations. Eschbach says the city is offering to help pay for repairs.

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Through fire half of the year, Skoog with large fundraising lead over Long

Posted by wlpo on July 20, 2016

If money can win an election then Democratic State Representative Andy Skoog is in good shape this November.

As of the end of June, Skoog had $81,000 in his war chest compared to Republican Jerry Long’s $3,400. In the last quarter, Skoog received thousand dollar or more contributions from unions along with Ameren. He also received a $500 donation from AT&T. Long’s contributions have all been from the House Republican Organization and that $5,000 has gone to payroll.

A big chunk of Long’s campaign spending has been on Facebook where in the last three months he spent $800 for online ads. Skoog meanwhile is more old school spending $6,500 on yard signs.

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School in Spring Valley will open its doors to avoid the heat

Posted by wlpo on July 20, 2016

If you need a place to escape the heat, Hall High School is an option.

The school will be open as a cooling center Thursday and Friday from 11 until 6. The cafeteria and upper gym will be open.

An excessive heat watch is in effect both Thursday and Friday with daytime highs in the mid-90s.

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