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Archive for February, 2010

Celebrity Waiter Dinner raises money for LP Foundation

Posted by wlpo on February 28, 2010

A Jimmy Buffet concert in one corner of the room, Oktoberfest next to that, and secret agents wandering around were some of things you would have found at the annual LP Foundation for Educational Enrichment Celebrity Waiter Dinner.
About 100 people participated in games, raffles and eating for the nonprofit group that raises money to buy supplies for LP High.
It was held Saturday at Senica’s Oak Ridge.  The event raised over $5,600.

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Construction Season Begins

Posted by wlpo on February 27, 2010

Is this another sign of warmer weather?  Time for construction on Interstate 80.

Weather permitting, I-DOT plans to start roadwork on 80 between the Spring Valley exit and the turnoff to Plank Road.  Crews are going to remove four bridges and resurface the stretch of 80.  The work’s expected to last into the fall.

By the end of next week, both directions of traffic between Spring Valley and Peru will use the westbound lanes via crossovers separated by a concrete barrier.

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Leland Teen Needs Votes For Grant

Posted by wlpo on February 27, 2010

A local teen needs your help in getting his hometown a new baseball field.

Leland High School student Darren Riskedal is a finalist for a 50 thousand dollar community service grant thru Pepsi.  As of today, Darren is in third place to receive the grant.  The last day to vote is tomorrow.

Riskedal says he wants the new field because he’s used it his whole life.  He’s also using the new field as an Eagle Scout project.

To vote for Riskedal’s project, go to www.refresheverything.com.  Click on the link to 50 thousand dollar grants for his project.  Again, voting ends tomorrow.

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TV Weatherman Coming To Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on February 27, 2010

A face you’ve probably seen on television plenty of times has been added to the guest list for today’s “Stormapalooza” in Ottawa.

Fox Chicago morning meteorologist Mark Strehl will speak with kids about weather today at the 2nd annual event from 1:30 until 3:30.  Ottawa Cub Scout Morgan Johnson created “Stormapalooza” for an Eagle Scout project.

Also scheduled to appear today at Reddick Library is National Weather Service Meteorologist Jim Allsopp.  He’ll give a presentation that’ll include facts, myths, and preparedness information about severe weather.  He’ll also talk about career opportunities in meteorology.

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Second Trial Gets Conviction

Posted by wlpo on February 26, 2010

It took a jury in Putnam County around six hours to convict 45 year old Richard Kereta of being drunk when running over a Putnam teen in 2007.

Kereta who lives in Princeton, was found guilty Friday on eight separate counts including enchanced felony charges of DUI, reckless driving and driving while revoked.  The aggravated DUI and reckless driving charges were separated to say Kereta caused great bodily harm, permanent disability and disfigurement to the victim, then 17 year old Nicole Englebrecht.

Englebrecht was in a coma for six months and still suffers from the crash near her home on township road 300 North.  Putnam County States Attorney Jim Mack praised Englebrecht for her testifying in Kereta’s case, calling it inspirational.

This was the second trial for Kereta.  His first trial in October was disclared a mistrial because of issues with the jury.

He’ll be sentenced April 22nd.  He’s free on bond despite Mack’s efforts to get his bond revoked.

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Liquor Talk In Ottawa Closed To Public

Posted by wlpo on February 26, 2010

Mayor Bob Eschbach who is also Ottawa’s liquor commissioner has invited all the city’s liquor license holder to a closed meeting Monday at 5 in the city hall.   Eschbach says letters sent to the liquor licensees didn’t say the meeting was public and he thinks they would be less open if the public and media are present.

The need for the meeting came up after Monte’s Riverside Inn owner Bradley Hughes complained to the council about private groups hurting his businesses bottom line.  Places that are supposed to have events for members only according to Hughes are advertising to the public, even offering carry-out meals.

Eschbach says no action will be taken at Monday’s gathering.  If he feels a change to the liquor ordinance is needed, he’ll propose it at an open city council meeting.

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Severe weather education topic of “Stormapalooza”

Posted by wlpo on February 26, 2010

Have a son or daughter interested in weather?  Head over to the Reddick Library in Ottawa Saturday.

          The 2nd annual “Stormapalooza” is from 1:30 until 3:30.  Ottawa Cub Scout Morgan Johnson created the event for an Eagle Scout project.  Johnson says he’s been interested in weather thanks to mom.

          National Weather Service Meteorologist Jim Allsopp will give a presentation that’ll include facts, myths, and preparedness information about severe weather.  He’ll also talk about career opportunities in meteorology.

          La Salle County Skywarn and Amateur Radio Emergency Services will be at Reddick also to answer questions about storm spotting and reporting.

          “Stormapalooza” is free.

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Final design approved for new IVCC building

Posted by wlpo on February 26, 2010

          Metal and stone- some of the features you’ll notice when driving up to the new Community Technology Center when it’s built on Illinois Valley Community College’s campus.

The board of trustees last night approved the final design concepts for the building that’s estimated to cost 25 million dollars.

Dominick Demonica of Demonica Kemper Architects and Paul Basalay of Basalay, Cary & Alstadt Architects showed it to the board.  Next, architects will shift their focus to the design and development phase.  The building is scheduled to be ready in 2013.

Their plans also including removing the old tennis courts and replacing them with wetlands.

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Organ festival returns to Streator

Posted by wlpo on February 26, 2010

This kind of pipe dream is reality.

          The annual pipe organ festival called “Pipe Dreams” is back in Streator.  Organists from seven churches will perform this Saturday and Sunday. 

          Saturday’s pipe organ schedule is: 1pm at St. Stephen’s; 2pm at Holy Trinity Lutheran; and 3pm at Park Presbyterian.  Sunday’s schedule is: 1pm at First United Methodist; 2pm at St. Anthony’s; 3pm at Christ Episcopal and four o’clock at St. Paul’s.

          The festival is free but donations are accepted to support the American Red Cross.

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IVCC board approves tuition changes

Posted by wlpo on February 26, 2010

If you’re sending a kid to Illinois Valley Community College, get ready for a tuition increase.  As expected, the board of trustees last night approved a $6 increase in the combined tuition and universal fee rate beginning this summer. Tuition will be $75.75 per semester hour.  College officials say it could be the lowest rate in the state.  Fulltime students will end up paying at least $90 more next fall.
      If you’re considering the Truck Driver Training program, prepare to pay $193 more to enroll.  The cost of the program will be $3400.

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