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Archive for March 24th, 2010

North Commercial TIF approved in Peru

Posted by wlpo on March 24, 2010

Run-down motels, old truck stops and a few other properties north of Interstate 80 in Peru should be more attractive to developers.  The area is included in a commercial TIF district that was approved by the Peru City Council Wednesday night.

It’s to be known as the North Commercial TIF and it’s the city’s third.  It includes an old Howard Johnson, Crazy D’s, and several other closed businesses.  The only new development to be included is a Holiday Inn that recently opened.  City officials say they included it because the land the hotel is on had drainage issues that made the project much more expensive.
A joint review board had originally voted to not recommend the TIF be approved but after six meetings including the city’s TIF attorney Herb Kline, the review board made a favorable recommendation.

Kline says Peru will continue discussions with the tax bodies.

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High School Loses Staff

Posted by wlpo on March 24, 2010

Feeling they’ll lose nearly a million dollars in state funding, the Streator High School Board cut staff on Tuesday night.

During a special meeting, the board voted to let go of: five first, second or third-year probationary teachers; eight part-time teachers and 13 support staff including a custodian and six security monitors.  The probationary teachers let go are Rachel Knott, Laura McCormack, Kathy Nellis, Laura Spraggon and Ray Sykes.

The board also did what’s called an “honorable reduction” of tenured teacher Alison Clausing.  She’ll go from a full-time position to a four-fifths teaching position.

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Police Band Together For Drug Bust

Posted by wlpo on March 24, 2010

Bond has been set at 750 thousand dollars for three men arrested in a multi-department drug bust yesterday afternoon.

Dan Thorndyke of Earlville is charged with three felony counts of dealing cocaine.  He was arrested by TRIDENT investigators after allegedly selling over eight thousand dollars worth of cocaine to an undercover informant.

Not long after this happened, around 50 police officers from all over the area combed out to locations in Earlville, DePue, Spring Valley and Peru.   Gabriel Arteaga of Peru was arrested at a country apparel store across from the Peru Municipal Building for dealing cocaine and marijuana.  Officials say they found a couple pounds of marijuana in the store.

While this was happening, more police paid a visit to the store owner Alejandro Arteaga at his home in Spring Valley.  He was arrested and charged with five total felony drug counts for cocaine and marijuana.

Among the charges is a rare super X class felony for all three men with a possible 40 year sentence attached to it.

Investigators say they captured 14 ounces of cocaine, two pounds of marijuana, several thousand dollars in money and several rounds of ammunition in the arrests.

Besides 50 officers carrying out the raid, they also used five k-9 units and air surveillance from the state police.

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Posted by wlpo on March 24, 2010

Peru Police Chief Doug Bernabei speaking about drug bust. – Peru Police Chief Doug Bernabei speaking about drug bust.

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Plan would increase costs for Ill. veterans

Posted by wlpo on March 24, 2010

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Gov. Pat Quinn is proposing a plan that would increase the cost of staying in Illinois’ four nursing homes for veterans by as much as 45%.

Quinn has asked lawmakers to approve a $400 per month increase in the maintenance fee for veterans’ home residents. The plan is designed to bring in about $3.5 million to help operate the state nursing homes in Anna, LaSalle, Manteno and Quincy.

A spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs says the current $929 per resident monthly maintenance fee hasn’t been increased since 1979. Spokeswoman Sabrina Miller says, if approved by lawmakers, the increase would go into effect July 1.

Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director Dan Grant says the proposed $1,329 rate will cover less than 17 % of the actual cost of caring for the estimated 1,000 veterans who live at the four homes.

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Teen Showcase tries to send positive message to students

Posted by wlpo on March 24, 2010

Getting teens to make positive choices is the goal of a day of programs at Illinois Valley Community College.  The 25th Annual Teen Showcase is Thursday in the college’s auditorium.

          One of the groups performing is MWAH! Or Messages Which Are Hopeful.  Chris Oechsel is sophomore at Bennett Academy in Lisle.  He says their purpose is to tell kids there are ways to help you through your problems.  They’re delivering their message through songs and sketches.  Someone from the La Salle County State’s Attorney’s office will be speaking about the rules of the road and the texting ban.

          Students at the showcased will also learn about E-Etiquette or internet safety. 

          Over 600 junior high students from six counties are expected to participate.  It runs through most of the school day Thursday.

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Nursing Home Getting New Owner

Posted by wlpo on March 24, 2010

It looks like the much maligned Camelot Terrace in Streator is getting a new owner.

If the state is able to process a transfer of ownership license soon, a new owner out of Indiana has agreed to buy the nursing home from current owner Michael Lerner of Chicago.  Lerner has been under fire by workers at Camelot and their union for understaffing and not addressing mold and leakage issues.

Workers at the nursing home were supposed to learn of the new ownership details late this morning.

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Ottawa and Princeton have been recognized for their trees

Posted by wlpo on March 24, 2010

Have you ever enjoyed the luscious tree lines along Ottawa Avenue? You’re not the only one..

A program called Tree City USA is giving out awards to 186 cities that take special care of their trees, Princeton and Ottawa are two of them.

Awards were given out yesterday at Starved Rock Lodge and there’ll be another ceremony on April 1st at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources headquarters in Springfield.

 This is Ottawa’s 12th year receiving the award and Princeton’s 21st.

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Congressional candidate rallies against healthcare overhaul

Posted by wlpo on March 24, 2010

“Repeal and restart”, that’s the approach congressional candidate Adam Kinzinger wants to take on the healthcare law signed Tuesday.

          Kinzinger says it won’t be easy, but an effort needs to be made to dump the new healthcare law.  The republican from Manteno says the new policey will add more and more debt and mean higher taxes because states will have to pay for unfunded Medicaid mandates.  He also claims it is a bad deal for seniors by cutting $500 billion from Medicare.

          Kinzinger thinks the approach should’ve been to bring the costs down first of insurance and prescription drugs.

           Kinzinger says more tort reform is needed when it comes to malpractice lawsuits.  He also believes the government should ease state line requirements so that people can go outside of their state to get more choices for health insurance. 

          Kinzinger said there was some of the bill he likes.  He supports letting children stay on their parent’s insurance coverage until they turn 26.  He also supports making sure that children with pre-existing medical conditions can’t be denied insurance. 

          Kinzinger is challenging Democrat Debbie Halvorson in the 11th Congressional District.   He made a campaign stop in Ottawa Tuesday night.

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