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Archive for October, 2016

Streator Man Makes First Court Appearance in Robbery Case

Posted by wlpo on October 31, 2016

A Streator man who was arrested for robbery last week will be back in court with his lawyer Friday.

Thirty-year old Juan Garcia Nunez appeared in court with his lawyer Monday morning for his first appearance before a judge. In court, his lawyer argued that bond should be reduced for Garcia Nunez. The motion was denied after States’ Attorney Brian Towne’s objection.

While Garcia Nunez is accused of breaking into a Streator home in September. According to Towne, actions allegedly done by Garcia Nunez involving women’s underwear may tie him to a number of other incidents under investigation.

Police claimed it is possible Garcia Nunez could’ve been involved in more than 20 other incidents in the area. Garcia Nunez is in custody at the LaSalle County Jail where he’d need to come up with $100,000 cash to be released.


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Fatal Crashes Reach Five-Year High in LaSalle, Bureau Counties

Posted by wlpo on October 31, 2016

The Illinois Valley is at a five-year high for fatal crashes, and there are still two months left in the year.

LaSalle County roads are the sixth-most dangerous in terms of deadly wrecks. So far this year 29 people have been killed in 24 crashes. That’s more than twice as many deaths on almost twice as many crashes when compared to all of 2015.

Bureau County has had 10 deaths in 10 fatal crashes. The number of fatal accidents is once again higher than the year before, when there were 8 of each.

The good news is that Putnam County roads have been very safe by comparison. Only one person has been killed in one crash in the county.

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Candy Containing Cannabis Caught by Parents in Manlius

Posted by wlpo on October 31, 2016

Have you sorted through your kid’s stash of Halloween candy?

A parent in Manlius came forward with suspicious looking candy that was marked as a “Crunch Choco Bar,” and the packaging had marijuana leaves on it. Police tested the candy and it did test positive for pot. As a result, the Bureau County Sheriff’s Office is asking you to make sure you check your kid’s candy before giving it to them.

Also, they’re still looking for any information on which home may have provided the candy. If you know anything about it you can call the sheriff’s office at 875-3344.

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Man Found Dead in Hot Tub had Cocaine, Alcohol in System According to Coroner

Posted by wlpo on October 31, 2016

A man who was found dead in his hot tub allegedly had cocaine in his system when he died.

Grundy County Coroner John Callahan has released more details about the September death of 60-year old Randy Weiss. He says Weiss was found by his girlfriend on the afternoon of September 23rd. Callahan said the cause of death was drowning, but believed other factors may have played a role.

A toxicology report indicated that Weiss had cocaine in his system and a blood alcohol level close to .20. Callahan believes those factors contributed to his . The coroner says foul play was not a factor in Weiss’ death.

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Men from Tennessee and Earlville killed in separate La Salle County crashes

Posted by wlpo on October 31, 2016

Two fatal crashes happened within a couple hours of each other Friday afternoon in La Salle County.

At 3:30, Peru Police responded to an accident on Route 251 at the intersection with Ben Samek Road.  Fifty-three-year-old Danny Foster of Tennessee was killed in the crash.  The other drivers involved were 49-year-old Richard Shambaugh of La Salle who was rear ended by Foster and 31-year-old Abby Pantenburg of Peru who hit Foster after he spun into her lane.  They were both taken to Illinois Valley Community Hospital in Peru with minor injuries.

Then just after 5:30 Friday afternoon 22-year-old Jordan Morrissey of Earlville was killed in a crash along Route 34 east of Earlville.  No other details about his crash have been released.

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Crash near Grand Ridge blamed on drunken driver

Posted by wlpo on October 31, 2016

An early Sunday morning crash is blamed on a drunken driver.

Deputies were called just after 6 Sunday morning for a car in a field east of Grand Ridge. Thirty-two-year-old Matthew Yunker of Grand Ridge was arrested for DUI and failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident. He was hauled off to jail.

Yunker and his passenger got out of the crash okay.

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Iconic Streator movie theater will reopen

Posted by wlpo on October 31, 2016

Let the healing begin is the message on the website for the Majestic Theatre in Streator.

Back on Thursday, Katie Troccoli of Streator bought the closed movie theater after it was boarded up two years ago. She ran the theater before her business partner Tim Burke who owns the building put it up for sale. Troccoli claims he got upset when they were able to get digital projectors.

Troccoli says she plans to restore the building and make the Majestic “better than she ever was.” At one point the theater was listed for sale through Coldwell-Banker at over $250,000.

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Amtrak adds extra Thanksgiving train route between Princeton and Chicago

Posted by wlpo on October 31, 2016

Are you headed to Chicago for Thanksgiving but dread the drive? You can always ride the rails.

Amtrak is adding an extra route from Princeton and Mendota to Union Station to handle the expected large number of holiday travelers. The day before Thanksgiving, one extra afternoon train that will hit Princeton a little after 3 o’clock and Mendota around 3:30 can take you to Chicago. An extra afternoon train has also been added to get you back home on Sunday after Thanksgiving from the city to the Illinois Valley.

The busiest travel days for Amtrak are the Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

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Dumpsters, sheds and garbage cans all catch fire over the weekend in the Illinois Valley

Posted by wlpo on October 31, 2016

Besides the vacant house fire in Streator, there were other types of fires breaking out in the Illinois Valley over the weekend.

On Saturday afternoon Ottawa firefighters were called to O’Reilly Auto Parts on Columbus Street for a dumpster fire.  Sunday afternoon La Salle firefighters helped put out a garbage can fire that broke out in a kitchen on Lauren Place.

Sunday night, La Salle firefighters helped Utica with a shed fire on Burgess Drive while in Marseilles firefighters were called to a home on 8th Street for a strong gas smell.  The homeowner had apparently left a burner on for over five hours.

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Vacant home catches fire for second time in Streator

Posted by wlpo on October 31, 2016

There’s been another fire at a vacant house in Streator.

On Saturday night, firefighters responded to a house on fire at 513 South Vermillion Street. When they got to the scene, firefighters found the single-family home fully engulfed with the fire ready to spread to a couple neighboring homes.

The house that initially caught fire was severely damaged but firefighters were able to keep the fire from doing major damage to other houses. The neighboring homes had only minor damage.

How the fire started is under investigation by the state fire marshal’s office.

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