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Archive for May 30th, 2009

Utica house comes down during controlled burn

Posted by wlpo on May 30, 2009

A practice for the local fire department was entertainment for the people in Utica Saturday afternoon.

Children and their parents watched as about two dozen fire fighters with the Utica Fired Department performed drills on an old two-story home.

Chief Dave Edgecombe says they performed four drills inside the home on Route 178 before burning it down.

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Job gains seen in retail and hospitality

Posted by wlpo on May 30, 2009

La Salle County unemployment dropped slightly from March to April but remained much higher when compared to the same time last year. Unemployment was at 10.8% for April compared to 7.1% the same time in 2008. The Illinois Department of Employment Security released the latest numbers Friday.

It was a similar situation in Bureau County where April unemployment was at 9%, that’s nearly five points higher than the same time last year.

Putnam County unemployment is still dealing with the loss of Mittal Steel jobs. April unemployment was at 12.7%, nearly double the same time last year.

Overall, the Ottawa-Streator area unemployment was at 10.4%.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security says though there have been job losses in manufacturing, construction and government, jobs were gained in leisure-hospitality and retail trade.

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Work begins to convert old Wal-mart into classrooms

Posted by wlpo on May 30, 2009

Work started this past week on turning the old Wal-Mart building of Ottawa into a temporary school.

Crews are fixing the Wal-Mart roof after it sprung some leaks. Once this is done in a couple weeks, Vissering Construction of Streator will go to work on the inside by building classrooms for 5th and 6th grade students who’ve been displaced from the flooded out Central Elementary.

Vissering is doing the job for $555,000, over $150,000 less than what the district estimated the cost to be. The total cost of making Wal-Mart a school is about $1 million.

Students will start attending the school in the fall.

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