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Archive for September 16th, 2016

Improvements Being Made at Veterans’ Home after Resident Diagnosed with Legionnaires’ Disease

Posted by wlpo on September 16, 2016

Two state departments are doubling their efforts at the Veterans’ Home in LaSalle after more than a dozen cases of respiratory illness were diagnosed.

The Departments of Public Health and Veterans Affairs say 11 cases of pneumonia have recently been found at the Home. They say one of those residents also tested positive for Legionnaires’ disease, which poses a threat to the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.

Because the bacterium that causes Legionnaires’ disease is often present in water supplies, the departments are looking to make improvements in that area. They’re in the process of installing water filtering shower heads, cleaning ice machines, and monitoring several other areas.

They say 3 cases of Legionnaires’ disease have been found in the past month, though two of them did not have any contact with the Veterans’ Home.

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High Water Again Delays Construction on New Ed Hand Bridge

Posted by wlpo on September 16, 2016

Just when the water levels start to drop from the August rains, some showers come through to keep the rivers high. That trend has made construction on the new Ed Hand Bridge slow to a near-halt.

According to the LaSalle County Highway Department, the planned closure of the Vermillion River near the bridge site in Oglesby has again been pushed back. The construction is now scheduled to take place next Monday through Wednesday.

Boats, rafts, and other river traffic won’t be allowed near the bridge from 7:00 in the morning until 4:30. The closure is so that crews can set up the structural steel for the bridge.

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Murder-For-Hire Trial Pushed Back to December after Defendant Hires New Lawyer

Posted by wlpo on September 16, 2016

A man accused of trying to hire a hit-man to kill three witnesses to another crime he’s accused of won’t be standing trial next week as originally planned.

Cody Smith, a homeless man with ties to Peru and LaMoille, appeared in court Friday for what was supposed to be his final pretrial hearing. However, Judge Cynthia Raccuglia would learn Matthew Mueller of Morris was taking over as Smith’s attorney for the three murder-for-hire charges. Mueller requested the trial be pushed back so that he could have time to prepare a defense.

The charges stem from Smith’s alleged attempt to have three witnesses to a sexual assault he supposedly committed killed. He was supposed to stand trial for the alleged assault after the first case is decided.

Judge Raccuglia granted Mueller’s request for an extension. Smith’s trial for these charges was moved to December 12th

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Alleged Cocaine Dealer Remains in Custody on $2 Million Bond

Posted by wlpo on September 16, 2016

An alleged drug dealer had his first appearance in court with his lawyer today.

Police raided the home of 43-year-old Louie Shaw of Ottawa last week. In the home they found items believed to be associated with drug dealing, and more than a half-pound of a substance containing cocaine.  Police also seized nearly $800 in cash that was found at the home.

Shaw was arrested for unlawful possession of cocaine with the intent to deliver, a Class X Felony. If convicted, he faces between 6 and 30 years in prison.

He’d need to come up with $200,000 to be released from custody. He’s due back in court for arraignment on September 23rd.

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Preparations start for April election

Posted by wlpo on September 16, 2016

If you live in Spring Valley and this election season has you wanting to get into politics, you can take the first step on that journey next week.

Spring Valley City Clerk Becky Hansen has announced that petitions for next April’s election will be available in her office starting Tuesday. That date is also the first that the petitions are allowed to be circulated.

A number of officials will be elected in the city next April. Some of the offices up for election are: Mayor, City Clerk, City Treasurer, and Aldermen for the First through Fourth Wards.

For more information, contact the City Clerk’s Office.

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Gas in some parts of the Illinois Valley inching down towards two dollars a gallon

Posted by wlpo on September 16, 2016

If you’re headed down to the twin cities this weekend, you may want to top off your gas tank.

According to, the cheapest gas in the state is in Bloomington at $1.85 a gallon. In the Illinois Valley you can find $2.02 gas in both Peru and Streator. Princeton is at the high end charging $2.19 for unleaded.

The statewide average for unleaded is $2.25 a gallon, down four cents from a week ago.

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Trial for former substitute teacher and coach pushed back several weeks

Posted by wlpo on September 16, 2016

A former substitute teacher and volunteer coach at L-P High School won’t stand trial Monday as originally planned.

Twenty-four-year-old Kyle Pisano of Peru instead could be working towards a plea deal. Lawyers on both sides hinted that negotiations were ongoing so Pisano won’t be due in court again until November 4th. He is charged with felony criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

Pisano was arrested earlier this year for allegedly having sexual relations with an underage student. He has since posted $7,500 bond to be released from custody.

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Sheriff’s office at forefront of Deb Dewey investigation reacts to stressful case

Posted by wlpo on September 16, 2016

The Deborah Dewey saga has taken a toll on many, including deputies that have spent hours on the case.

A message of thanks has been sent out by the Bureau County Sheriff’s Office. On the sheriff’s department Facebook page, they say they would like to thank every individual and agency who assisted in the search for Deborah Dewey. The message goes on to say “we are all very disheartened and sad with the outcome of this investigation” and “this will undoubtedly leave a scar on our peaceful towns of Standard, Ladd and on our entire community.”

The sheriff’s office is asking that you keep Deborah’s family and friends in your thoughts and prayers.

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Sheriff explains why Clifford Andersen is being housed in Bureau County

Posted by wlpo on September 16, 2016

Since word came out that Deb Dewey was found dead and her brother-in-law was arrested for allegedly hiding her body in Putnam County, one of many questions was why Clifford Andersen is spending his days in Princeton and not Hennepin.

Putnam County Sheriff Kevin Doyle says housing Andersen in Bureau County is all about staffing issues. He says his small department has two officers in Decatur for training and another on vacation. So as part of a “gentleman’s agreement” with Bureau County, the Illinois Valley’s most talked about inmate is behind bars in Princeton despite his case being heard in Hennepin.

Checking his history, Andersen was in traffic court in Bureau County in 2013 for driving uninsured.

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Water main break affecting elementary school in Oglesby

Posted by wlpo on September 16, 2016

Students at Lincoln School in Oglesby were urged to bring bottled water with them Friday.

A water main break happened Thursday night near the school along Mormon Street. A message was sent to parents that the school is under a boil order and that the school’s restrooms are safe to use but no drinking from the water fountains.

The water issue is for anyone living in the 900 block of Mormon Street.

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