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Sheriff of La Salle County takes state leadership role

Posted by wlpo on April 1, 2015

It’s always nice to be recognized by your peers. La Salle County Sheriff Tom Templeton has been picked by his peers to be president of the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association.

Templeton was sworn in as president at this week’s sheriff’s conference in Peoria. The group has been around since 1928.

La Salle County State’s Attorney Brian Towne is also in a state leadership position. He’s the president of the Illinois State’s Attorneys Association.

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Peru police officer hurt in crash while on duty

Posted by wlpo on April 1, 2015

A Peru police officer was hurt after getting rear ended in a two-vehicle crash.

The La Salle County Sheriff’s Office says the officer was stopped on Shooting Park Road Tuesday afternoon when he was hit from behind by Jose Madera of La Salle. The officer was taken to Illinois Valley Community Hospital for minor injuries.

Madera was ticketed for failing to reduce to avoid an accident and illegal transportation of alcohol. He was released with a court date.

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Big drug bust on I-80 near La Salle

Posted by wlpo on April 1, 2015

A man and woman from Vegas are in big trouble in La Salle County.

Just before 10 Tuesday night, a La Salle police officer pulled over Thomas Mason on Interstate 80 just east of La Salle. The drug dog showed up and allegedly led police to find 22 pounds of cocaine and 9 pounds of heroin inside Mason’s vehicle. He and his passenger, Corday Rice also of Las Vegas were arrested for the class X felony of drug trafficking.

Both were taken to the La Salle County Jail.

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Ottawa getting federal money to buy and tear down eyesore homes

Posted by wlpo on March 31, 2015

Do you have any rundown homes in your neighborhood? The city of Ottawa is getting state money to tear down abandoned houses.

The Illinois Housing Development Authority is giving Ottawa $280,000 in “Blight Reduction Funding” buy and then demolish vacant homes. The hope is to redevelop the property.

Ottawa Mayor Bob Eschbach says the problem with abandoned properties has increased since the recession forced homeowners to abandon their homes without being able to pay. He’s hoping the acquisition, demolition and redevelopment process will start later this year.

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Dozens of employers will be at IVCC Job Fair

Posted by wlpo on March 31, 2015

It’s time to update your resume. The 24th Annual IVCC Job Fair is Thursday, April 16th.

Sixty companies have signed up to be at the job fair. If you’re looking for a job, remember to dress in interview attire and bring at least 10 copies of your resume.

The job fair will run from 10 until 2. For more information click

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Police Stop Car Carrying Pot, a Gun and Ammo

Posted by wlpo on March 31, 2015

Officers never know what they’ll find when they pull someone over. Early this morning, they found pot, a gun and ammunition.

State Police stopped a vehicle around 2:20 this morning on I-80 in Peru for improper lane  usage. The driver, Diamond Staples of Anderson, Indiana, turned out to be wanted for driving with a suspended license.  After searching the vehicle and it’s two  passengers, officers say they found less than 30 grams of marijuana, a firearm and  ammunition.

One of Staples passengers, LaNay Edmonds of Indianapolis, was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of cannabis. While the other passenger,  Timothy Crawford, got an unlawful possession of ammunition charge.

All three are being held in the LaSalle County jail.

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Unemployment rates trending in right direction

Posted by wlpo on March 31, 2015

Unemployment rates are improving across the board in the Illinois Valley.

According to state figures, La Salle County’s February unemployment rate was 7.5 percent, down a point from the month before and a full three points from a year ago. Bureau County’s latest jobless rate is 7.1 percent, down nearly a percentage point from January and over two percentage points lower than a year ago. In Putnam County, the February unemployment rate is 7.2 percent, down a half of a percent from the month before and a three-percent improvement from a year ago.

Illinois’ unemployment rate is 6.5 percent, almost half of what it was five years ago.

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Next election now just a week away

Posted by wlpo on March 31, 2015

A week from Tuesday, polls will be open for the Consolidated Election.

There are races for mayor in places like Utica, Oglesby, Marseilles and Princeton while cities like Ottawa and Peru have hotly contested elections for commissioner and alderman seats. There’s also a good chance your local school and library boards have candidates on the ballot.

Referendum wise, voters in the Waltham School District will vote on a nearly $7 million dollar referendum question for a school addition while Streator Elementary School voters are being asked to increase taxes to help avoid future cuts.

If you’re not sure where to vote, click here

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Midland High School goes on lockdown after threatening message found in bathroom

Posted by wlpo on March 31, 2015

There were some anxious moments at Midland High School in Varna.

School officials say a threatening message was found late Monday morning on a boy’s bathroom wall at the high school. The school immediately was put on lockdown and the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office was called.

Deputies searched the school and interviewed a few students but no weapons were found. The school remained on what’s called a “soft lockdown” for the rest of the day.

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Mendota Hospital officially becoming part of OSF network

Posted by wlpo on March 31, 2015

Mendota Community Hospital officially becomes OSF Saint Paul Medical Center Wednesday.

A blessing and dedication ceremony is happening Wednesday morning at the hospital. Monsignor Paul Showalter of the Catholic Diocese of Peoria is expected to be among the speakers.

The process of merging into the OSF network started last year. Margo Schmitz, the president of the Mendota Community Hospital Board of Directors has said the merger will allow the hospital to better serve the community.

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