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Archive for February 26th, 2010

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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