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Three Hospitalized after Two Crashes Involving Six Vehicles on Monday

Posted by wlpo on July 26, 2016

A total of six vehicles were involved in the two crashes on Interstate 80 West which sent three people to the hospital Monday morning.

It all started when 33-year old Brian Stewart from Texas was heading west on I-80 just east of Utica shortly before 11. According to State Police traffic was moving slow due to construction when Stewart’s semi rear-ended a car driven by 62-year old Deborah Linna from Michigan. Both cars were knocked off the road into a ditch due to the force of the crash.

As traffic backed up due to the accident, another crash would occur. Seven minutes later in the same area, 32-year old Edward Stafford of San Jose, Illinois would crash into 73-year old Ronnie Burrows from Ohio. According to police, that crash would force Burrows into two other cars before ultimately stopping.

Burrows, his passenger, and Linna would all need to be taken to Illinois Valley Community Hospital. Emergency crews would have to close both lanes of I-80 West for two hours Monday so the crashed could be cleaned up.

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Accused Bow-and-Arrow Killer Due Back in Court Thursday

Posted by wlpo on July 26, 2016

A man accused of committing murder with a bow and arrow will be in court Thursday.

Twenty-two year old Bradley French of Varna is due in court Thursday for a final pretrial hearing. His lawyers asked for an extension back in May so they could gather more evidence. Currently, he is still slated to stand trial for his alleged actions on Monday, August 1st.

French is accused of killing 38-year-old Joshua Scaman of Oglesby on Father’s Day of last year.  Scaman was found dead in a parking lot of Illinois Valley Community College, after prosecutors say French shot him with a bow and arrow.

French is in the La Salle County Jail on two million dollars bond.

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Torres’ Trial Date for Alleged Hit-And-Run Moved to October

Posted by wlpo on July 26, 2016

The man accused of a fatal hit-and-run involving a Mendota teenage girl won’t be standing trial until the fall.

Twenty-year-old Jose Torres of Oglesby had a final pretrial hearing in Princeton Tuesday morning that would turn out to be less than final. According to the NewsTribune, Torres’ attorney asked for and received a continuance in the hopes of suppressing some of the evidence against him. His new trial date is October 17th.

Torres is accused of hitting and killing 19-year-old Jacquelin Martinez of Mendota last August while she and others were walking on a rural road near Bureau.  Everyone but Martinez survived.

Torres also faces a lesser charge of fraud in La Salle County where he’s accused of trying to prevent a repo man from taking his Jaguar that investigators say was the car involved in the fatal hit and run.

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Peru City Council puts township consolidation idea in the hands of voters

Posted by wlpo on July 26, 2016

Besides voting for president, city of Peru voters will also have a question on the November ballot dealing with the city dissolving the Peru Township form of government.

The city council has approved an advisory question that asks voters whether the city should pursue the issue of dissolving Peru Township. Since it’s an advisory question, it’s just getting the opinion of voters and doesn’t change the township’s status. Actually dissolving the township form of government in Peru would take another referendum and other agreements to be made.

Peru Alderman Dave Potthoff says the move is all about saving Peru taxpayers money. Some township salaries total over $40,000.

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Relay for Life of Bureau County is this Saturday

Posted by wlpo on July 26, 2016

It’s Relay for Life week in Bureau County.

The annual fundraiser for the American Cancer Society starts up at three this Saturday afternoon and ends at 11 that night at Zearing Park in Princeton. This year’s fundraising goal is $35,000 and so far according to online numbers, over $23,000 has already been raised by over 20 teams that have signed up to be part of the relay.

To sign up or donate to the Relay for Life of Bureau County, click Relay for Life of Bureau County

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Decades old ice cream shop in Ladd closes its doors

Posted by wlpo on July 26, 2016

It’s the end of an era in Ladd.

After 105 years of business, Torri’s Ice Cream Parlor has closed. Tom Torri came to America from Italy and initially opened a fruit store in Ladd but soon started making ice cream. The business became known as Torri’s Ice Cream Parlor in 1935 and has been in the same building ever since.

Pieces of the parlor are being sold off including booths, ice cream dishes, toys and other antiques. You can check out some of the for sale items by clicking Torri’s Ice Cream Parlor

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Resource for homeless in the Illinois Valley reach their silver anniversary

Posted by wlpo on July 26, 2016

In a perfect world, there would be no homeless people and therefore no need for Illinois Valley PADS. But homelessness is a reality and the shelter has reached a major milestone of 25 years helping the homeless.

To mark the occasion, there is a community celebration planned for Friday, August 12th from 5:30 until 8:30 at Celebrations 150 in La Salle. Organizers say the event will both reflect on the past growth and success of Illinois Valley PADS while also projecting the vision for the future of the organization.

IV PADS includes homeless shelters in Peru and Ottawa along with a resale boutique in Peru called Lily Pads. Between the two shelters, IV PADS helped nearly 300 clients and provided over 23,000 meals.

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Heat wave in the Illinois Valley’s rear view mirror

Posted by wlpo on July 26, 2016

While it won’t take long to break a sweat working outside today, temperatures are a lot more manageable than they were over the weekend.

The National Weather Service has put together a summary of this past weekend’s heat wave. The warmest day for Peru was Sunday with a heat index of 111. It felt like 108 on Thursday and topped out at 102 on Saturday.

In Morris, Sunday was also the warmest day with it feeling like 113 with the humidity. Pontiac meanwhile hit 117 with the heat index on Sunday and 116 on Thursday.

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Elderly burglar in Peru was carrying a knife

Posted by wlpo on July 25, 2016

If you’ve been following the story about the 72-year-old who was caught stealing a vehicle from a Peru dealership, he was armed when a police dog took a bite out of him.

Peru Police Chief Doug Bernabei says Roy Cope had a knife on him when he was arrested after a car and foot chase early Sunday morning.  Bernabei says Cope never threatened anyone with the knife.

Cope was in La Salle County Court yesterday and was given bond of $100,000 for the felony charges of burglary and possession of a stolen motor vehicle.  He’ll be back in court August 11th.

Bernabei says Cope has no ties to the Illinois Valley.  He ended up in the Illinois Valley after getting a bus ride from Iowa where he served time for burglary.

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Congressman Kinzinger Contributes to Bill Aimed at Fighting Drug Addiction

Posted by wlpo on July 25, 2016

While it may seem like there are fewer and fewer things politicians can agree on these days, fighting drug addiction is a common goal. Thanks to some input from your Congressman, a recently signed bill looks to do just that.

Congressman Adam Kinzinger was part of a conference of both Republicans and Democrats that hammered out the details of the “Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act.” The bill outlines six areas that drug abuse and addiction can be treated in, while taking steps to help lower the rate of addiction as a whole.

Kinzinger issued a statement, saying there is “no question” the bill will “save lives.” It also included parts of another bill he had previously introduced which will make it easier for veteran EMTs to transition into civilian EMT jobs.

The statement comes as the Congressman makes plans to make a trip back to the Illinois Valley later this week.

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