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Archive for July 22nd, 2016

Nuclear Safety Drills a Success at LaSalle Nuclear Power Station in Marseilles

Posted by wlpo on July 22, 2016

You might sleep a little easier knowing that emergency crews are prepared in the event of an emergency at the Exelon nuclear plant in Marseilles.

Friday, representatives from FEMA and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission gave their initial findings after watching the safety drills which took place at the LaSalle Nuclear Power Station back on Wednesday. The drills simulated an earthquake that knocked out a bridge and led to a hypothetical nuclear emergency.

Sean O’Leary with the Federal Emergency Management Agency said the scenario laid out the type of things they were looking to see from a preparedness standpoint. Both he and Greg Hansen with the NRC said they were satisfied with the plant’s performance.

The next time the plant will have to go through safety drills like these will be at the next inspection in 2 years.

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Illinois Dept. of Veterans’ Affairs looks to make Pokemon Extinct at Veteran Homes

Posted by wlpo on July 22, 2016

A veteran’s group in the state is trying to turn “Pokemon Go” into “Pokemon No.”

The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs asked Nintendo on Friday to restrict the game at any of their Veteran Homes. They’re also asking you not to play it at their properties.

Dave MacDonna, spokesman for the IDVA says he has seen reports of distracted drivers on the grounds of Veteran Homes, so they are taking this “preemptive measure, in hopes of protecting all involved.” He went on to say he encourages visitors, but would “prefer them to be aware of their surroundings.”

The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs currently operates 4 Veteran Homes across the state, including one in LaSalle.

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La Salle Woman to Stand Trial in October in Alleged Child Porn Case

Posted by wlpo on July 22, 2016

A La Salle woman accused of sharing child pornography across the country will stand trial in October.

Forty-eight-year-old Eva Morris appeared in court Friday, where she was arraigned on 2 counts of aggravated child pornography. She appeared with Public Defender Tim Capellini, although she told Judge H. Chris Ryan she might try to hire her own lawyer.

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

Her trial is set to begin October 3rd.

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Cody Smith to First Face Murder-For-Hire Charges at Trial in September

Posted by wlpo on July 22, 2016

While the state has decided which charges a man accused of sex crimes and murder-for-hire will stand trial for first, the date the first trial will happen has been pushed back.

Cody Smith, a homeless man with ties to Peru and LaMoille, appeared in court Friday to learn that he would stand trial first for the three charges of murder-for-hire he is facing. Those charges stem from Smith’s alleged attempt to have three witnesses to a sexual assault he supposedly committed killed. He will stand trial for the alleged assault after the first case is decided.

However, the first trial will not begin August 1st as initially planned. Smith’s attorneys were able to get the trial moved back to September 19th in order to handle motions related to the case.

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La Salle teen killed in latest crash at trouble spot near Utica

Posted by wlpo on July 22, 2016

Does more need to be done safety wise at the North 33rd Road and East 8th Road intersection north of Utica? Three people have been killed there in less than two weeks.

The latest crash victim is 19-year-old Joran Hollingsworth of La Salle. He was pronounced dead at the scene of a two-vehicle crash Thursday evening just after 6:30. The other driver is a 17-year-old girl from Mendota. She was taken to Illinois Valley Community Hospital in Peru where she was treated and released.

An elderly Mendota couple was killed in a crash at the same intersection on July 11th.

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The price at the pump continues to fall

Posted by wlpo on July 22, 2016

Gas prices continue going down in the Illinois Valley.

According to, you can fill up for $1.88 now in Peru. You can find unleaded for $1.93 in La Salle and also fill up for under two bucks a gallon in Streator and Princeton.

The statewide average for gas right now is $2.21 a gallon which is down eight cents from a week ago.

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Dangerous heat will stick around for much of the weekend

Posted by wlpo on July 22, 2016

Despite some rain, a cool down isn’t in the works for the Illinois Valley.

An Excessive Heat Warning will stay in effect through Saturday night. High temperatures the next two days are expected to be in the low to mid-90s. When you factor in the humidity it could feel more like 110 to 115 degrees.

According to the National Weather Service, at one point it felt like 110 in Ottawa on Thursday. Rockford had a heat index of 113 while Chicago hit 107.

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Illinois Valley lawyers heavily backing incumbent in states attorney’s race

Posted by wlpo on July 22, 2016

Having shared a courtroom with La Salle County State’s Attorney Brian Towne, many lawyers in the Illinois Valley have pledged their support behind his re-election campaign.

According to the Democrat’s quarterly campaign filing, he has received donations in the last three months from the Cantlin Law Firm, Schweickert & Ganassin, and Martin Law Office along with money from individuals lawyers like Anthony Raccuglia, Joe Navarro, Ed Kuleck and George Leynaud. Towne’s total campaign fund was $39,000 as of June.

His opponent, Republican Karen Donnelly has only received $350 in contributions from Steve Weberski besides the $5,000 that she has invested into her own campaign in the last three months. Donnelly has over $4,800 in her campaign fund which is way up from the $54 she had in her campaign fund in April.

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Strong winds wreak havoc across the Illinois Valley

Posted by wlpo on July 22, 2016

Depending on where you live, Donald Trump’s speech may have been interrupted by a power outage.

Storms rolled through the Illinois Valley between 9 and 11 Thursday night and Streator was one of the hardest hit spots. Firefighters there say they took nearly a dozen calls of wires down along with at least two calls about trees on homes and power poles being blown into streets. Thankfully nobody was hurt.

Peru Police were busy was well handling calls about large branches or limbs and power lines down including a stretch of 6th Street near Peru Catholic where a tree came down on top of a parked pickup truck. Barricades were up Friday morning closing off 6th between Pike and Schuyler Streets.

Deputies were also called about a downed tree Thursday night on the bottom road between Peru and Spring Valley.

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Oglesby and Peru once again hosting multi-state baseball tournament

Posted by wlpo on July 22, 2016

If parking lots at hotels and restaurants look busier than usual this weekend in the Illinois Valley it could be because of baseball.

The Central Region Senior Baseball Tournament is back in Peru and Oglesby with nine teams including players locally from Ottawa. Opening ceremonies start at 6 Friday night in Washington Park in Peru with the Challenger Division game at 7 and a hitting contest at 8. Tournament games start Saturday at noon.

Oglesby Mayor Don Finley says with hungry teenagers this tournament is a boost to dining choices. He says Oglesby hotels are completely booked and some teams are staying in Ottawa, Utica and Mendota.

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