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Archive for July, 2009

Peru considers water and sewer rate increases

Posted by wlpo on July 30, 2009

While cities seemed to be excited to have projects approved for federal stimulus money, they still need to come up with the money to pay back millions of dollars in loans.
In Peru, where a combined sewer separation project is estimated to cost $8.1 million, an increase in water and sewer rates seems to be the remedy for paying back the loan.
The city council could approve a rate increase Monday night. The finance committee is recommending a two-part increase that would raise the average bill by almost 16% in September and 18% in May 2010.
The extra revenue would be enough to pay back the loan and pay for other water and sewer projects like a relief sewer for the Marquette Road sewer line that’s had trouble in the past, drying beds, and a vactor.
The council will vote on the proposed increased Monday.

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24 years For Ransom Woman

Posted by wlpo on July 29, 2009

43-year old Ann Marie Getz was sentenced in Grundy County Court to 24 years after pleading guilty in May to aggravated DUI. She faced a maximum prison sentence of 28 years.

Getz admitted to driving drunk when she crashed into a car driven by 27 year old Amanda Jahn of Dwight. Jahn and her 11 month old daughter Kaitlyn and 3 year old son Ryan were killed. The fatal crash happened in November along Route 47 near Mazon.

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Local U of I trustee hasn’t been asked to testify

Posted by wlpo on July 29, 2009

The state’s investigation into politically influenced admissions at the University of Illinois continues and so far, a local man who serves on the university’s board of trustees hasn’t been called to testify.
Bob Vickery said Wednesday he expects the testimony to wrap up this week and says he could still be asked to testify.
Trustee Lawrence Eppley’s resignation letter was accepted by Governor Pat Quinn yesterday.
Vickery said if a member chooses to resign, that’s a personal decision. Vickery said Epply was chairman for six years and he has to understand he’s responsible for all things good and all things bad.
The investigation was prompted by a report by Chicago Tribune.

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Salvation Army helps students prepare for school

Posted by wlpo on July 29, 2009

If you need help getting school supplies for your kids, the Salvation Army could help.
Salvation Army of La Salle and Ottawa is doing a school supply assistance signup August 5th-7th from 9:30 until 11:30. You can sign up at either office.
If you’re accepted to get assistance, you’ll get a card saying when you can pick up supplies. Around 100 students were helped last year in the area.
If you don’t need the assistance, you can help by donating school supplies. They always run out of folders, glue and notebooks.

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Next election season begins Tuesday

Posted by wlpo on July 29, 2009

Time to start thinking about elections again.
Next Tuesday is the first day candidates can begin gathering signatures on petitions to be part of the February Primary Election. Petition kits are available in the La Salle County Clerk’s Office starting Friday. The petitions can be filed in late October.
Fifteen La Salle County Board seats are up for re-election to go along with the county clerk, sheriff, and treasurer.

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Welcomeburger opens Riverfest

Posted by wlpo on July 29, 2009

Something that many Ottawans circle on their calendar each year starts Wednesday.
Riverfest starts officially at 5pm with the 44th annual “Welcomeburger” at Washington Square Park in downtown Ottawa. From tonight thru August 3rd, Riverfest features everything from art show, carnival and flea market to the “Taste of Ottawa” and live music the riverfront.
The carnival starts Wednesday while “the Taste” and live music begins Thursday with bands “Images in Irony” and “Go Figure”.
Everything except carnival wristbands and food at the “Taste” is free.

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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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