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Archive for July 28th, 2009

Trucker Found Dead on I-80 Rest Area

Posted by wlpo on July 28, 2009

A trucker was found dead last night at the eastbound rest area past Morris.

Grundy County Coroner John Callahan says he pronounced 53 year old Michael Sigmund dead just after ten last night. Sigmund was found by a fellow trucker in the sleeper part of his semi.

Sigmund was due to make a delivery yesterday morning in Minooka. Foul play isn’t suspected

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Drowning Victim Is Remembered

Posted by wlpo on July 28, 2009

Services were held yesterday for an Amboy nine year old who died hours after being found unresponsive at Lake Thunderbird beach in Putnam County.

According to investigators, William “Jake” Metzen was swimming in the lake with a friend and the friend reported Metzen missing after he hadn’t seen him for awhile. Metzen was eventually found in the water underneath a platform with a slide.

Metzen was taken to Perry Memorial Hospital in Princeton before being flown to St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria where he was pronounced dead last Thursday evening.

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Steel Plant Closure Affects School Revenues

Posted by wlpo on July 28, 2009

Cuts in state funding and a loss in property tax dollars because of the steel plant closing has Putnam County School officials looking at every dollars as it nears time for a new budget.

Superintendent Jay McCracken says they’ll run a full preschool program despite losing 55 thousand in state funding. He hopes they can save money by looking at the supply budget.

The district is losing 18 thousand dollars because of cuts to the reading improvement block grant. Add to this property tax dollars that’ll be lost as the closed Mittal Steel plant in Hennepin depreciates.

McCracken plans to have the tentative budget at the August meeting.

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La Salle Council Takes Control Of Abandoned School

Posted by wlpo on July 28, 2009

The old Matthiessen School has been an eyesore on Grant Avenue for more than a few years. Busted windows, open doors, and overgrown weeds and trees make it look like something out of movie but that should soon be changing.

After years of talks with the building’s owner, the City of La Salle as acquired the building. It’s free but it comes with asbestos and some other environmental issues. That didn’t seem like a problem for the city council that gladly voted to accept the building from owner Maurice Johnson.

Plans are to secure the building that currently, if you wanted to break the law, you could walk inside. Eventually, Mayor Jeff Groves says he would like to see the building torn down.

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More Dead Birds Found In Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on July 28, 2009

Hours after over 70 dead sparrows were collected outside the Holiday Inn Express, at least that many were gathered up yesterday in the parking lot of Allen Park in Ottawa.

La Salle County Animal Control Officer Gary Wind says the Allen Park sparrows had been there awhile. Some are being stored locally while officials try to find a lab that could test the birds to see what’s causing their deaths. Wind speculates a disease is going around and there’s just a natural die off because of over-population. Wind thinks the disease could spread fast cause the sparrows spend nights close together in trees.

Despite the large number of birds found dead in Ottawa, Wind says there’s no health threat to humans.

There have been reports of other small pockets of dead sparrows being found in Ottawa besides at Holiday Inn and Allen Park. If you find dead sparrows, call La Salle County Animal Control.

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