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Archive for December 2nd, 2016

Peru Man May Stand Trial for Role in Melee

Posted by wlpo on December 2, 2016

A Peru man may be going to trial later this month for his role in a rumble at a city park back in June.

Floyd Campbell was back in an Ottawa courtroom Friday. The 21-year old is accused of bringing brass knuckles to a fight, which took place at 28th Street Park in Peru this summer.

His alleged role in that fight led to felony charges of unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon, and mob action. Another man, Mitchell Hampton, was arrested after allegedly firing a gun during that same brawl.

Hampton pled guilty in November to reckless discharge of a firearm and an unrelated charge. He was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison.

Campbell, meanwhile, remains in custody, unable to come up with the $10,000 needed to be released. He’s due back in court for a final pretrial hearing December 9th.

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Study Looking at Possibility of Ottawa Rec Center Completed

Posted by wlpo on December 2, 2016

Could a new recreation and community center be coming to Ottawa? A definite answer to that is still a way off but a meeting Wednesday will shed some light on whether or not one is possible.

Sports Facilities Advisory, a firm out of Florida, was hired earlier this year to do a feasibility study about the project in the city. The project was funded by the City, Ottawa High School, OSF St. Elizabeth Medical Center, and the Ottawa Y.

The study looked at different locations and different costs to see what may be possible for the city. Public comment was also taken in the early stages of the study.

If you’d like to hear the results of the study for yourself, they will be presented at the Reddick Library Conference room on December 7th at 6:00.

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Volleyball Dad Accused in Theft Case has Trial Pushed Back as Talks Continue

Posted by wlpo on December 2, 2016

The trial for a volleyball dad accused of stealing from a traveling team has been pushed back, but could be resolved in the near future.

Forty-five year old Eric Zimbelman was in an Ottawa courtroom today, where his attorney asked to push the trial, which was set to start later this month. Zimbelman is accused of stealing an unspecified amount between $10,000 and $100,000 from the Illinois Valley Volley Power travel team.

While asking for the extension, his lawyer said that negotiations were ongoing, and that it could be possible they could reach some type of agreement.

Zimbelman was not in custody, having previously come up with the $7,500 needed to be released.

He’s due back in court for a status hearing January 19th.

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Homeless Man Pleads Guilty to Trying to Steal Car

Posted by wlpo on December 2, 2016

A homeless man will be almost 80 when he finishes his sentence for burglary.

Roy Cope pled guilty to trying to steal a car from a Peru dealership back in July on Friday. In exchange, the charge of possession of a stolen motor vehicle against the 72-year old was dropped.

Cope made news last month with his 44-day hunger strike, during which prosecutors had asked for a court order to feed him via a feeding tube. He was sentenced to 7 years in prison for his crime.

His criminal history means that was actually on the low end of what was possible. If convicted, he could’ve been sentenced to up to 30 years in prison.

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Garbage truck involved in Marseilles fender bender

Posted by wlpo on December 2, 2016

Nobody was hurt after a crash in Marseilles involving a garbage truck.

Deputies say 27-year-old Kiley Robertson was driving the garbage truck for Republic Services Inc. Thursday morning when he pulled out in front of 28-year-old Corey Espeland also of Marseilles. The crash happened at a county intersection just south of Interstate 80.

Robertson was ticketed for failing to yield.

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Stabbing investigated in Streator

Posted by wlpo on December 2, 2016

A girlfriend allegedly stabbed her boyfriend in Streator.

Officers arrested 24-year-old Heidi Ball of Streator Thursday night for domestic battery. She’s accused of using a knife to stab her boyfriend. The boyfriend was treated at the OSF emergency room in Streator.

Ball meanwhile was taken to the jail in Ottawa.

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Gas prices holding steady in the Illinois Valley

Posted by wlpo on December 2, 2016

The month of December so far hasn’t brought higher gas prices in the Illinois Valley.

According to, you can fill up for less than two dollars a gallon in Peru, Streator and La Salle. Stations in Princeton, Mendota and Ottawa range from $2.03 to $2.09 a gallon. Belvidere has the lowest unleaded price at $1.73 while you’ll still pay over three dollars a gallon in downtown Chicago.

The statewide average for unleaded is $2.22 a gallon, up a dime from a week ago.

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Crashes snarl traffic during morning commute in Peru

Posted by wlpo on December 2, 2016

For a couple of hours, Route 251 on the north side of Peru was a mess Thursday morning.

Just after 7:30 a van driven by 76-year-old John Olson of Peru collided with a semi driven by 48-year-old Neal Leffler of Oklahoma at the Route 251 overpass over Interstate 80. Both men claimed to have the green light and neither was ticketed or hurt.

As that crash was getting cleaned up, a semi hauling a concrete building had its trailer tip over while turning onto Route 251 from 38th Street just south of the first crash. The 23-year-old driver Andrew Garrett of Missouri denied going to fast and wasn’t ticketed. He also wasn’t hurt.

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Illinois Valley senator applauds Exelon support

Posted by wlpo on December 2, 2016

A bill aimed at keeping open Exelon nuclear plants in Cordova and Clinton is a win for energy consumers and businesses across the state according to Senator Sue Rezin.

The Republican says it’s not just a Cordova and Clinton issue. In supporting the bill Rezin says taking two nuclear plants offline would result in your electric bills climbing higher and higher for decades. Rezin’s senate district has three power plants including the Exelon plant in Marseilles.

Critics meanwhile say it’s a corporate bailout that will hike energy prices. If approved by the governor, the state would give $235 million a year to Exelon for 13 years.

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