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Minivan catches fire at La Salle truck stop

Posted by wlpo on February 13, 2016

Those dining at Denny’s in La Salle Saturday morning had an up close look at a fire.

A minivan in the restaurant’s parking lot along Interstate 80 caught fire. La Salle firefighters showed up around 6:30 and were able to have the fire out in under an hour. The minivan is a total loss.

Nobody was hurt.

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Crash involving Earlville man blamed on texting while driving

Posted by wlpo on February 13, 2016

Here’s a stark reminder of the dangers with texting while driving.

Deputies in DeKalb County say 30-year-old Corey Ryckman of Earlville crashed into a utility pole Friday night after taking his eyes of the road to text. The crash happened on a county road outside of Leland.

Ryckman lucked out in that he wasn’t hurt. He was ticketed for improper use of an electronic device.

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Grand Ridge 7th grader wins “Bee”

Posted by wlpo on February 13, 2016

Does the word “ravioli” have 2 “i ‘s”? The answer is “yes”. Shelby Dovin, Grand Ridge 7th grader knew that. That gave her an edge and the championship in the Regional Spelling Bee Saturday in Ottawa.

Jessica Haywood is Administrative Assistant in the Regional Office of Education. Haywood said Dovin receives a plaque, a “Book Mouse” gift certificate and $200 cash. Dovin, daughter of William and Kellie Dovan, will now compete in the grand finals, sponsored by the Peoria Journal Star, on 1pm. March 18th on WEEK TV. Laura Yegge, Seneca 6th grader receives a 2nd plaque, “Book Mouse” gift certificate and a $100 cash prize. She is the daughter of Todd and Darcy Yegge.

Haywood said the event, in Ottawa Township High School auditorium, was well attended.

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Advisory now for 3 county area

Posted by wlpo on February 13, 2016

It appears all 3 counties in our listening area will see snowfall before the weekend is out. The National Weather Service has Bureau and Putnam Counties under a “Winter Weather Advisory” from 9pm Saturday until 6pm Sunday. LaSalle County has a “Winter Weather Advisory” Sunday 6am till Midnight.

The Weather Service thinks 3 to 5 inches could fall here by late Sunday night. Winds will be fast enough to cause travel problems.

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State Police Find Forged Cards, Metal Knuckles in Car, Arrest Two

Posted by wlpo on February 12, 2016

You’ve heard of some drivers on the interstate being “white-knuckled”, but metal-knuckled?

That’s what state police would find after pulling a car that was allegedly going fast on Interstate 80 near the Interstate 39 exits. Police say there was a strong marijuana smell that led them to search the car where they found metal knuckles, a credit card reader/encoder, and 33 fake debit/gift cards.

21-year old Emani Hollingsworth from Robbins, IL, was arrested for DUI of Drugs, Possession of a Theft Device, and Speeding. His passenger, 30-year old Eddie Thomas of Chicago was charged with an Unlawful Use of a Weapon.

Both men are currently being held at the LaSalle County Jail.

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Multiple Police Agencies Team Up To Arrest Oglesby Man For Drugs

Posted by wlpo on February 12, 2016

An Oglesby man was less than ecstatic when police busted him for having ecstasy.

Early Thursday afternoon, Tri-DENT drug agents, Oglesby Police, and even the Department of Homeland Security teamed up to arrest Jeremy Brolley for Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver. That substance was MDMA, or ecstasy.

While police searched his house, that wasn’t all they would find. They allegedly found almost twelve ounces of a substance containing MDMA, and more than four ounces of marijuana, LSD, and other drug-related paraphrenalia.

Brolley was taken to LaSalle County Jail where his bond will be set.

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Tuition going up at Illinois Valley Community College

Posted by wlpo on February 12, 2016

The cost of being a student at Illinois Valley Community College is going up.

The IVCC trustees have approved a $5 per hour tuition hike that will start this summer. The 4.2 percent tuition jump means that IVCC students will pay $124 per credit hour.

College President Jerry Corcoran says tuition at IVCC is still well below the state average for community colleges. He argues that the state budget crisis has some community colleges looking at raising tuition twice the amount that IVCC is.

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Prime spot available for new business in downtown Utica

Posted by wlpo on February 12, 2016

If you’re looking to open up a small business, how does being located in the heart of downtown Utica sound?

The village is now taking proposals to move into the spot next to Skoog’s Pub & Grill at 149 Mill Street. Second Look Antiques used to be in the spot but moved when the upstairs apartment caught fire last May.

The owner of the property actually donated it to the village. Since then the village has poured thousands of dollars into the property paying for a new roof, windows and doors.

Utica Village President Matt Jereb says the board “doesn’t want a hole in their downtown”.

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Fish fry at St. Bede will help fund new track

Posted by wlpo on February 12, 2016

There are a lot of fish fry’s happening Friday in the Illinois Valley. Only one will raise money to build a track in memory of a fallen marine.

The St. Bede Academy Fish Fry is 5 until 8 inside the school cafeteria. The cost is ten dollars a person with proceeds going to building a track at St. Bede in honor of Bruin alum Thomas Heitmann.

Heitmann was killed in a helicopter training exercise in 2011 in California. At that time he was a captain in the Marine Corps.

The Captain Thomas Heitmann Memorial Fund was set up by family and friends who want to fulfill his dream of a track and field facility at St. Bede.

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Busy fire department outside Ottawa looking for new fire station

Posted by wlpo on February 12, 2016

An Illinois Valley township is one step closer to having a new fire station.

The LaSalle County Board voted to give the Wallace Fire Protection District a Special Use Permit for a piece of land just west of Ottawa. The land, which was farmland, will be used for the Wallace Fire Department.

The County’s Director of Environmental Services, Mike Harsted, argued in favor of the permit saying that at a public hearing last month, the idea got a “unanimous positive recommendation.”

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