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News from the Illinois Valley

Archive for October 21st, 2016

Trial for Peru Man Accused of Sex Crimes Moved to December

Posted by wlpo on October 21, 2016

A Peru man who is waiting on a trial for alleged sex crimes will now be waiting until December.

Miguel Fraga appeared in court Friday, where his lawyer asked that the trial be pushed back so that possible motions can be taken care of. Fraga had been slated to stand trial October 31st.

He’s been charged with predatory criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual assault and sexual relations with a family member.  He was arrested back in May as part of a joint investigation by the Peru Police Department, Illinois State Police and La Salle County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Fraga came up with $20,000 needed to get out of jail.  His new trial date is December 9th.

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Two Hospitalized after Ambulance gets into Wreck near La Salle Fire Station

Posted by wlpo on October 21, 2016

A Ford Taurus took the worst of it in a crash with an ambulance near the La Salle fire station.

Michael Birkenbeuel of Peru was ticketed for failing to yield after he collided with a Utica ambulance yesterday afternoon.  His car was totaled and he was taken to St. Margaret’s Hospital in Spring Valley.

Jacob Burkardt of Peru was behind the wheel of the Utica ambulance in the crash.  He went to Illinois Valley Community Hospital.

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Motions Move Trial for Driver Involved in March Fatal Crash

Posted by wlpo on October 21, 2016

The trial for an Ottawa woman who was charged following a fatal crash in March has been pushed back again

Samantha Orozco appeared in court Friday where her lawyer asked that the trial be taken off of the schedule until Judge Cynthia Raccuglia could rule on some motions. The trial had been set for October 31st.

Orozco was arrested back in June for her role in the March crash on Champlain Street in Ottawa which killed her passenger, 31-year old Shalane Stevens of Ottawa. According to police, Orozco had been under the influence at the time of the accident. As a result, she was charged with four counts of Aggravated DUI.

She remains in the LaSalle County Jail needing $50,000 cash to get out. She’s due back in court for a hearing on the motions November 3rd.

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Man Behind Bow-and-Arrow Killing’s New Trial Hearing, Potential Sentencing Pushed back again

Posted by wlpo on October 21, 2016

The Varna man who was convicted in a bow-and-arrow killing still doesn’t know if he’ll get a new trial and, if not, how much time he’ll spend behind bars.

Citing an “anonymous phone call,” 22-year old Bradley French’s lawyer explained in court Friday that the new information could help his case. The Aurora lawyer is looking into allegations of misconduct against one of the key witnesses in the case.

French’s lawyer claimed he had only received some of this information as late as Wednesday. As a result, he asked Judge H. Chris Ryan to push back the hearing on his motion for a new trial and potential sentencing.

French was given a new court date of November 22nd. If the motion for a new trial fails, he faces between 20 and 60 years in prison.

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Crash snarls Interstate 39 traffic near Troy Grove

Posted by wlpo on October 21, 2016

There’s a traffic mess about a mile north of the Troy Grove exit on Interstate 39.

A semi and an SUV pulling a camper were involved in a crash just before 11 Friday morning on southbound I-39. Southbound traffic is at a standstill while northbound traffic is moving.

An officer on the scene reported that everyone involved in the crash were refusing medical attention. You’ll hear more details as they become available.

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Dangerous Tonica intersection becoming safer

Posted by wlpo on October 21, 2016

An intersection that has seen its share of bad crashes has gotten the attention of the state.

Starting Wednesday, the Route 251 and North 20th Road or Richardson Road intersection will be an all way stop intersection. Right now it’s just a two-way stop as Route 251 traffic doesn’t have to stop.

Just last weekend the intersection on the north side of Tonica saw two crashes involving a total of five vehicles.

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Gas prices plunge in Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on October 21, 2016

Christmas has come early for anyone filling up in Ottawa.

According to GasBuddy.com, unleaded in Ottawa has dropped down to $1.87 a gallon. The next cheapest gas in the Illinois Valley is in Peru at two dollars even. Oglesby stations are at the high end charging $2.19 a gallon.

The statewide average is $2.21 a gallon, down seven cents from a week ago and about 20 cents cheaper than this time last year.

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Tense times on the south side of Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on October 21, 2016

If you live on the south side of Ottawa the police are asking you to be vigilant and lock your doors.

Officers are looking for a man who allegedly attacked a woman Thursday morning on Marcy Street. The woman wasn’t hurt and nothing was stolen. Investigators think this guy could be behind home break-ins the last couple of years and other assaults. If you have any information, call the Ottawa P.D.

You can see a picture of the suspect on the WLPO Facebook page.

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Car rolls into median off Interstate 39 near Oglesby

Posted by wlpo on October 21, 2016

Traffic slowed on Interstate 39 near Oglesby Thursday evening after a rollover crash.

Troopers and paramedics were called to the interstate just north of Oglesby for a car that flipped over into the median. The car came to a rest on its top.

You’ll hear more details as they become available.

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