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Archive for December 8th, 2009

Oglesby Comprehensive Plan Meets Opposition

Posted by wlpo on December 8, 2009

The city council Monday voted 3 to 2 in favor of accepting an updated comprehensive plan.  Commissioner Tom Porter voted against saying the plan was overly supportive of the newly created economic development-tourism coordinator position even though it’s supposed to be on a one-year trial basis.  Commissioner Dennis Yborra said he had a few things he didn’t like about the plan but wouldn’t give specifics.

The city council and planning commission worked together with North Central Illinois Council of Governments to update the comprehensive plan for the first time since the 1950’s.  It helps cities decide how they plan to develop in the future which can include economic development, parks and recreation and government operations.

Planning Commission Chairman Ken Ficek says the plan is a working document that can be changed at any time.  He says everything that the public suggested during planning meetings was put in the plan even if he doesn’t agree with certain ideas.

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Troubled Bank Closing Branch In Ransom

Posted by wlpo on December 8, 2009

Less than a week after MB Financial Bank in Chicago took over the failed Benchmark Bank locations in five towns, they’re closing three of them.

MB officials announced yesterday they will close the former Benchmark Bank in Ransom and consolidate it into a branch in Seneca.  A bank in Verona is also being combined with the Seneca office.  The other branch closing is in Aurora.

Back in March, the FDIC reported Benchmark Bank had a net operating income of negative 799 thousand dollars.  The bank was then put on a watch list.  The feds came in and closed the Benchmark Bank locations Friday but MB Financial then took over the assets and reopened the branches Saturday.

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Layoffs In Streator

Posted by wlpo on December 8, 2009

U.S. Foodservice is reportedly set to layoff in the area of 95 workers at their Streator plant.  Nothing has been made official yet on when the layoffs will start and what particular jobs are affected.

U.S. Foodservice is based out of Rosemont.  It’s the second largest foodservice distributor in the country.

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New Swine Flu Death

Posted by wlpo on December 8, 2009

Bureau County now has a confirmed death due to swine flu.

The updated Illinois Department of Public Health swine flu page has 67 deaths statewide because of swine flu.  The death in Bureau County is said to be a 42 year old.  The swine flu death in La Salle is an 18 year old woman.

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Snow Related Crashes

Posted by wlpo on December 8, 2009

Two area women were hurt yesterday in separate accidents that are being blamed on Mother Nature.

Right at 6 yesterday morning, Erica Vickers of Streator lost control on Route 23 near Grand Ridge and hit a utility pole.  She was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital in Streator for treatment.

Less then an hour later, Keri Myers of Morris was on Route 71 east of Ottawa when she lost control, drove into a ditch and hit an embankment.  She was taken to Ottawa Regional Hospital.

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Habitat For Humanity Looks For Families

Posted by wlpo on December 8, 2009

The area Habitat for Humanity is looking for families to fill new homes in Ottawa and Streator.

Habitat officials are having an application meeting tomorrow night at 6:30 inside First Congregational Church in Ottawa.  If you have a family income of between 21 to 46 thousand dollars and are willing to partner with Habitat, be at tonight’s meeting.

Families are picked based on their need for improved housing, family stability, willingness to improve their house, and ability to pay the mortgage.  Habitat homes aren’t free but families get a no-interest mortgage.

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Taxes Going Down In Oglesby

Posted by wlpo on December 8, 2009

Property taxes are going down in Oglesby.

The city council last night placed on filed their tax levy for fiscal year 2009 thru 2010.  The tax rate is going down from $2.11 to $1.94.  That’s an 8.7 percent decrease.

The city’s total tax asking is going to be $597,000, down $45,000 from the current fiscal year.  Finance Commissioner Paul Danekas says the rate can be lowered because of an estimated increase in the city’s equalized assessed valuation.

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