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Archive for April 23rd, 2010

Hall Students Support Teachers

Posted by wlpo on April 23, 2010

It was a show of solidarity among students at Hall High School today.

Dozens wore bright yellow shirts with the message “Save our Teachers” on the back.  The message on the front of the shirts was a play on the Visa credit card slogan of priceless.  The shirts read: Pencils $3.94; Textbooks $84.50; excellent teachers…PRICELESS.

Hall is among many schools having to cut staff because of lack of state funding.

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La Salle fire chief says emergency drill went very well

Posted by wlpo on April 23, 2010

A mock tornado and chemical spill kept gave La Salle Fire Fighters and other emergency responders a chance to test what they know.  It’s also given La Salle Fire Chief Andy Bacidore an idea of corrections that need to be made.

Bacidore coordinated Thursday night’s drill that involved area fire departments and ambulance services.  He says it went well in that it uncovered a lot of corrections they would need to make in the city’s plan and mutual aid systems.  He says they hit some bumps in the road, but that’s why they did the drill.  He thinks it will be awhile before they come up with changes.

As for the people who participated, he says he’s getting positive feedback.

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Ten Years For Man Who Put Teen In Coma

Posted by wlpo on April 23, 2010

A Princeton man convicted of running over a Putnam teen while he was drunk driving was sentenced to prison yesterday.

46 year old Richard Kereta was given 10 years in prison after being found guilty in February on a host of counts including felony DUI and reckless driving causing great bodily harm.  He faced a maximum of 15 years in prison.

Kereta was convicted of driving drunk on November 30th, 2007 when he slammed into teenager Nicole Englebrecht.  Englebrecht was in a coma for six months after the crash and still has lingering effects.  She did testify against Kereta during his trial, drawing praise from Putnam County State’s Attorney Jim Mack.

Kereta had no prior felony convictions.

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Boys Detained In Peru Charged With Murder

Posted by wlpo on April 23, 2010

Two of three boys found in Peru Wednesday morning are charged with murdering an Indiana man.

A 12 year old boy and 15 year old were in Kosciusko County Court yesterday and charged as juveniles with murder.  The third boy detained in Peru Wednesday morning for the murder, another 12-year old boy is charged with aiding and causing a murder.  A hearing is set for next week to determine if the boys should be tried as adults.

They were found in Peru Wednesday morning after police got a call about a suspicious car at Wal-Mart.  Based on evidence they gathered, Peru Police called officials in Indiana to have them check on Phillip Danner of Cromwell, Indiana.  Danner was later found dead in his home.  The three boys were then held at the Peru Police Department until Indiana officials flew them back to their county.

The boys are all from Indiana with no local ties.  The 15-year old is the step-son of the victim.

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March unemployment down but still high

Posted by wlpo on April 23, 2010

Slight improvements in area unemployment figures, but the numbers remain high.

LaSalle County unemployment in March was 16.1%, down slightly from February.  Rates also decreased in neighboring counties.  Bureau County unemployment was 14.3% and Putnam County unemployment was 15.5%. 

For the Ottawa-Streator Area unemployment was 15.6%,
nearly a full percent lower than in February but much higher than the same time last year.

The Department of Employment Security says the Ottawa-Streator area saw job losses in Manufacturing, transportation-warehousing-utilities and leisure-hospitality sectors.

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Stretch of Kangley Blacktop closing in May

Posted by wlpo on April 23, 2010

You may have to soon find a different route to go from Kangley to Streator or vice versa.

Starting May 3rd, part of County Highway 29, or Kangley Blacktop will be closed to traffic so crews can replace the bridge over Egg Bag Creek.  The stretch is a half mile north of Route 18.

The project is expected to last around four months.  Detours won’t be posted.

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Phones to be down at La Salle City Hall Friday afternoon

Posted by wlpo on April 23, 2010

          Phones at La Salle City Hall won’t be working for a couple hours Friday afternoon.

          Due to a change in computers for the city’s E911 system, phones will be down starting at noon and probably lasting until 2pm.  Any 911 calls made during the down time will be rerouted to the La Salle County Dispatch Center. 

          The only working phone during the computer switchover in the city hall is the regular non-emergency phone number for the police department.

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