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Archive for December 8th, 2016

Streator High briefly evacuated due to bomb threat

Posted by wlpo on December 8, 2016

There were some tense moments today at Streator High School.

Students were evacuated for a short time to let administrators and Streator Police look into a bomb threat. Superintendent Matt Seaton says the threat was actually received after school let out Wednesday. The threat mentioned something happening though Thursday.

Seaton said in a recorded statement to parents that protocol was followed and the threat remains under investigation.

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Special City Council Meeting to Talk about Fire Department Boat

Posted by wlpo on December 8, 2016

With this recent winter weather, you’re probably not thinking much about boating. But that will be one of a few topics covered at an upcoming special city council meeting.

The Ottawa City Council is planning to have a special meeting next week, their second in three weeks. At the meeting, they plan to discuss the South Side Fire Station, as well as the department’s boat.

Neither of those topics was on the agenda for the most recent council meeting, which took place Tuesday. The special meeting will be held Monday at 6:00 at City Hall.

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Former Illinois Valley congressman denied change of venue for his court case

Posted by wlpo on December 8, 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – A federal judge has refused to move Aaron Schock’s corruption case from Springfield to Peoria at the former congressman’s request.

A judge on Wednesday said in her opinion that keeping the case in Springfield doesn’t hurt Schock, but that it could delay other cases she is hearing. Schock requested the move last month, arguing that the Peoria court was more convenient and appropriate. Prosecutors didn’t want the case moved.

Prosecutors say the disgraced Republican hosted Washington tours and meet-and-greets, charged a fee and kept some of the cash. The 35-year-old Schock is accused of using government and campaign money to subsidize a lavish lifestyle, as well as pocketing thousands of constituents’ dollars.

Schock will be arraigned Monday. He represented Marshall and Putnam County while in Congress.

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Another weekend snowstorm predicted for the Illinois Valley

Posted by wlpo on December 8, 2016

Another weekend snowstorm is gaining steam.

Accumulating snow is expected Saturday afternoon into Saturday night and then again late Sunday across the Illinois Valley. While no predictions have been made yet about how many inches, the weather service in Chicago says chances are better than not of seeing at least three inches.

Whatever snow falls won’t be going anywhere for awhile as high temperatures next Tuesday thru Thursday could be in the single digits with wind chills near 20 below zero.

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Rec Center in Ottawa could cost more than $20 million

Posted by wlpo on December 8, 2016

While it’s not certain yet if a new rec center will be coming to Ottawa, one could thrive given the right conditions.

During a presentation Wednesday night at Reddick Library, Evan Eleff from Sports Facilities Advisory laid out what a new facility would cost. He said the amenities his company looked into were decided on by the city, Ottawa High School, OSF St. Elizabeth Medical Center, and the Ottawa Y, all of whom are behind the project.

According to Eleff, to meet the area’s needs, the building would have to be nearly 75,000 square feet in size, and be built on more than 5 acres of land. The building would have 2 basketball courts, indoor pools, and other amenities and cost over $21 million.

The project is still in its early stages, as the option of funding still hasn’t been explored. Eleff went on to say projects in this phase are typically anywhere between 2 and 4 years away from opening their doors.

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Crash in Lee County snarls I-39 traffic

Posted by wlpo on December 8, 2016

A fatal crash north of Paw Paw shut down southbound Interstate 39 traffic for several hours Wednesday morning.

State troopers believe 44-year-old Rusty Garner of Tennessee was driving drunk when he hit a semi parked on the shoulder of the interstate just before two in the morning.  Garner survived the crash and was flown to a Rockford hospital while two passengers in his SUV were pronounced dead at the scene.  Their names haven’t been released.

Traffic was diverted off of southbound I-39 for about five hours.

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