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Single-truck crash shuts down ramp on I-80

Posted by wlpo on September 1, 2015

A single-truck crash this morning at the intersection of Interstates 180 and 80 looked a lot worse that it really was.

Several cars littered the ramp from Interstate 180 to eastbound 80 shortly before 10 this morning. Yakubov Rakhimdzhon of Colorado was trying to merge onto 80 when his semi hauling several empty cars left the road for whatever reason. After Rakhimdzhon tried to overcorrect back onto the road, the truck rolled on its side, throwing several cars across the ramp.

Rakhimdzhon was given a ticket for improper lane usage. The ramp was shut down for several hours as emergency crews cleared the scene.

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Condition of boy hurt in fatal Bureau County hit and run is improving

Posted by wlpo on September 1, 2015

Great news from Peoria, the 17-year-old boy hurt in Sunday morning’s hit and run in Bureau County has improved to fair condition.

On Monday the teen was considered to be in critical condition. He was flown to OSF St. Francis Medical Center Sunday morning after he and three other teens were hit by a car on a private lane north of Bureau Junction.

Nineteen-year-old Jacqueline Martinez of Mendota died Sunday morning after she was taken to St. Margaret’s Hospital from the hit and run scene. Two other teens were treated and released from St. Margaret’s.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Bureau County Sheriff’s Office or the Bureau/Putnam County Crime Stoppers.

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Accident in Streator involves on-duty officer

Posted by wlpo on September 1, 2015

A Streator police officer is fine after he was hit while on patrol.

Ryne Reel was hit just after 1:30 Tuesday morning on the north side of Streator. Reel says the other driver blew a stop sign, fled the scene of the crash and wasn’t found. Passengers of the wanted man, Ivy Flynn and an underage girl were arrested for underage drinking. A boy also in the car was arrested on a state juvenile warrant.

Nobody was hurt in the crash. The accident is still under investigation.

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La Salle cracking down on out-of-state landlords

Posted by wlpo on September 1, 2015

Do you have a landlord that’s impossible to get a hold of and lives far away? La Salle is cracking down on absentee landlords.

Building inspector Chris Covert was granted permission to start withholding rental licenses to landlords who don’t fully complete annual rental license forms. The forms were mailed out last Friday and are due October 1st.

Covert says there are a few landlords who live as far away as Michigan and California who don’t properly fill out the forms or don’t fill them out at all, and can be difficult to get a hold of. In the past, the city hasn’t done much about the absentee landlords, but Covert now has the power to deny the landlords from getting their licenses until they properly fill out and return the rental forms.

Covert says there are only about a half-dozen landlords who are a problem, but they combine to own around a fifth of the rental units in La Salle.

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Hot afternoons means early dismissals for some Illinois Valley schools

Posted by wlpo on September 1, 2015

The heat is back this week and schools are responding.

The Midland School District will dismiss early at 2:10 each day this week. Elementary schools in Ottawa and Streator will be let out at 2:20 while Streator High School is getting out at 2:25.

Elementary students in Marseilles will be sent home at 1:30 starting Wednesday.

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Homeless shelters opening for the season in the Illinois Valley

Posted by wlpo on September 1, 2015

Looking to give a hand up rather than a hand out, PADS Homeless Shelters are opening later Tuesday in Peru and Ottawa.

The shelters offer three meals a day, a needs assessment, classes on interviewing and job skills, and a peer support group. The shelters helped out over 200 clients last year. They are always in need of volunteers to help.

For more information about PADS Shelters, click PADS Shelters

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Investigation continues into fatal hit and run near Bureau Junction

Posted by wlpo on September 1, 2015

One teenager’s life is lost while another is fighting for his life after a hit and run in Bureau County.

Nineteen-year-old Jacqueline Martinez of Mendota died Sunday morning while at St. Margaret’s Hospital. She was taken there after being hit by an unknown driver north of Bureau Junction Sunday morning. Bureau County Sheriff Jim Reed says Martinez and three other teens were walking down a private lane when they were hit.

A 17-year-old boy in the group was flown to Peoria and was listed Monday in critical condition. The other teens were treated and released from St. Margaret’s.

Reed wants anyone with information to call the sheriff’s office or the Bureau/Putnam County Crime Stoppers. He says there were around 100 witnesses to the fatal hit and run.

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Heat threatens to shorten school days this week in the Illinois Valley

Posted by wlpo on August 31, 2015

The heat is back this week and schools are reacting.

The Midland School District has already announced that due to warm temperatures this week, they will dismiss early at 2:10 each day. At Fieldcrest, the district hasn’t announced any early outs but have sent a message to students saying if they do, it’ll be at 1 o’clock. They will try to make the early out decision by 10 in the morning.

High temperatures the rest of the school week are expected to be around 90.

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Tragedy strikes in Bureau County with one teen dead and three hurt

Posted by wlpo on August 31, 2015

A Mendota teenager is dead while three other teens were hurt after a hit and run in Bureau County.

Nineteen-year-old Jacqueline Martinez was pronounced dead Sunday morning at St. Margaret’s Hospital. She was taken there after she was hit by an unknown driver in a rural area of Leepertown Township just before one Sunday morning.

A 17-year-old boy was seriously hurt in the hit and run and was flown to OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria. Two other children were treated and released from St. Margaret’s.

Bureau County Sheriff Jim Reed wants anyone with information to call the sheriff’s office or the Bureau/Putnam County Crime Stoppers.

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Suburban woman hits it big with 50/50 win at Amboy Depot Days

Posted by wlpo on August 31, 2015

Every festival in the Illinois Valley has a 50/50 drawing but nothing comes close to the drama and cash involved with the Amboy Depot Days.

Kim Gerster of Carol Stream is this year’s 50/50 winner. Her share is just over $149,000, meaning nearly $300,000 worth of 50/50 tickets were sold this year for the Depot Days fundraiser. That broke last year’s record of $214,000 worth of tickets sold.

Randy Williams of Joliet also had his ticket pulled out which means he won the runner-up prize, a 2015 Chevy Cruze. Williams and Gerster weren’t at the festival when their names were called.

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