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News from the Illinois Valley

Archive for July 23rd, 2009

Area unemployment increases from May to June

Posted by wlpo on July 23, 2009

The recession is bound to end, but until then the job situation remains tough. The Illinois Valley is no exception.
Unemployment numbers for La Salle, Bureau, and Putnam Counties increased from May to June and were considerably higher than the same time last year.
La Salle County unemployment in June was 11%. Bureau County was 9.4%. Putnam County was 12.8%.
One positive note, the Department of Employment Security says retail jobs increased.

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Fog Related Crash Injures Two

Posted by wlpo on July 23, 2009

With fog like this morning’s, there is bound to be accidents.

Two people from Earlville were taken to the hospital after a crash this morning on Route 34 near the La Salle and DeKalb County line.

According to the report, Ronald Butz was driving a Suburban when he tried to make a pass in the fog. He told police he didn’t see Billie Brendel before crashing into his car.

Both Butz and Brendel were taken to Valley West Hospital. Butz was arrested for DUI and improper lane usage.

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No Sentence Yet In Bureau County Rape Case

Posted by wlpo on July 23, 2009

A sentencing hearing for an accused rapist in Bureau County looks like its going to last all week.

Sentencing started Monday afternoon for 47 year old Ricardo Louison of LeMars, Iowa. He faces the possibility of 60 years in prison after pleading guilty to aggravated criminal sexual assault and aggravated kidnapping. Testimony will continue tomorrow afternoon in Bureau County Court at 1:30.

Louison was charged last year for kidnapping and raping a woman in Princeton. The incident happened in 1999. He was charged after DNA results linked him to the crime.

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Ottawa Paves Way For IVCC Building

Posted by wlpo on July 23, 2009

The Ottawa City Council has taken two more steps in welcoming Illinois Valley Community College to town.

They passed earlier this week a 90-day option agreement with Centrue Bank. Mayor Bob Eschbach says the city will use the 90 days to inspect the bank building and work out a lease agreement with IVCC.

The council is also hiring an architect out of the suburbs to do conceptual designs and a needs assessment for turning the office building into classrooms for IVCC. The company will also help the city apply for a clean energy grant to go towards the IVCC building.

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Community offers prayers and support for closed steel plant

Posted by wlpo on July 23, 2009

They’ve asked the company leaders and lawmakers for help, now laid-off workers of Mittal Steel are asking for help from above.

Between 150 and 200 people stood outside of the main gate to the closed Hennepin steel plant at noon Wednesday for a prayer vigil and rally. Many of them were from families impacted by the plant’s closing in March. Area pastors lead them in prayer while State Representative Frank Mautino told the crowd they have the backing of the governor.

A group of picketers have been at the plant’s two gates since last Monday. They want to see the plant sold to one of the would-be buyers so they can get their jobs back. So far, Mittal doesn’t look like they’re willing to sell.

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Sheriff Wants To Keep Job

Posted by wlpo on July 23, 2009

La Salle County Sheriff Tom Templeton’s name will be on the ballot next year.

The republican announced last night that he plans to seek a fourth term as La Salle County Sheriff. Templeton was first elected in 1998 after being deputy sheriff for 25 years. Before that, he was a patrol deputy and captain.

Templeton says he looks forward to being sheriff when La Salle County implements its new 911 system to serve the rural parts of the county.

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