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Archive for March 17th, 2010

Basketball coach and band instructor let go at LPHS

Posted by wlpo on March 17, 2010

LP High School will be looking for a new head boys basketball coach and band instructor after the school board voted to not rehire either.

The vote came after three hours of closed session Wednesday night.  The vote to not rehire coach Scott Olsen was 4 to 3.  The vote to not rehire band instructor Alex Guerrero was unanimous.

Many students and parents waited it out.  Among them were band students Nicole Steinz and Curt Vlastnik, juniors, and Andrew Paden, a freshman.  They held a sign showing their support for the teacher they called “G”.

Olsen spent much of the meeting with his family.

Jim Quesse is the school board president.  He says they make their employment decisions based on information they receive and an evaluation process, but says he couldn’t say more about their decisions.

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Woman Arrested For Setting Ottawa House On Fire

Posted by wlpo on March 17, 2010

Bond was set at 200 thousand dollars this morning for a woman from Ottawa charged with arson.

42 year old Terri James appeared before Judge H. Chris Ryan today and was appointed a public defender.  She’ll be arraigned April 1st in La Salle County Court.

James was arrested yesterday after allegedly setting a two-story brick house on fire off Route 23 on the south side of Ottawa.  The owners of the home, Vicki Smith and Carol Kozlowski weren’t home at the time.    James is also accused of trying to burn an abandoned house on Leland Street, about a block south of Lincoln Elementary on the west side of Ottawa.  Police say someone saw the fire started at the home and put it out before it took hold of the building.

 James is charged with class 1 felony of residential arson for the Catherine Street home and a class 3 felony of attempted arson for allegedly setting the fire on Leland Street.

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Jobless Rates Continue To Go Up

Posted by wlpo on March 17, 2010

The latest jobless figures are in for the Illinois Valley.

Once again, the unemployment rate for Bureau, La Salle and Putnam County went up from the month before.

La Salle County’s January unemployment rate is 16.9 percent, up two and a half percent from the previous month.  The rate is nearly six percent higher than a year before.

Bureau County’s January jobless rate is 15.5 percent, two-point three percent higher than the month before.  The rate is over six percent higher than a year ago.

January’s unemployment rate in Putnam County is 15.9 percent, up about two percent from December.  Putnam County’s jobless rate is around four percent higher than it was last year.

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Bureau Valley Picks New Superintendent

Posted by wlpo on March 17, 2010

A man with over a decade’s worth of administrative experience is taking over the helm at Bureau Valley School District.

John Bute was hired this week by the Bureau Valley School Board to replace retiring Superintendent Terry Gutshall.  Bute was given a two-year contract and he’ll officially take over July 1st.

Bute is the current superintendent at Pleasant Hill Elementary in Peoria.  Before that he was a principal at Clay City and Farmington before moving onto his current position.

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United Way Meets Its Goal

Posted by wlpo on March 17, 2010

It took every last minute of their campaign fundraising deadline but the United Way of the Illinois Way did reach their goal.

Executive Director Andrea Walters says her board of directors certified Tuesday night that they reached their fundraising goal this year of 340 thousand dollars.  Walters says they’ll now be able to allocate money to 16 partner agencies that in turn coordinate nearly 30 human service programs.

Walters says she’s overwhelmed that they raised 73 hundred dollars since Friday morning to reach their goal.

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