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Archive for April 28th, 2010

Peru approves 2011 operating budget

Posted by wlpo on April 28, 2010

Are all of the city’s debts included in the budget?  Does the city need to spend four thousand dollars on T-shirts?  Just a couple of the questions asked during a budget hearing before Wednesday night’s Peru City Council meeting.

The city is making the change to an operating budget.  The budget begins May 1, the start of fiscal year 2011.

City Treasurer Gary Hylla, Mayor Scott Harl, and Clerk Dave Bartley fielded questions from three men in the audience.

One man drilled officials on expenses such as $5,000 for the volunteer economic development director and $18,000 for a new truck for the cemetery.

Officials explained how not everything in the budget would be spent and purchases would need council approval.

Hylla says it’s very close budget cash flow wise.  The city is projected to spend about $900,000 more than they’ll take in.  Hylla attributes it to loans and interest.

Harl says they went with a budget instead of an appropriations ordinance because this way they could call all of the department heads in and pick it to the bone.

The council approved the budget.  It’ll be revised in about three months after an audit by the city’s accountants.

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Peru Bank Robbery Trial Continues

Posted by wlpo on April 28, 2010

Closing arguments are expected tomorrow afternoon in the trial of a man accused of robbing Peru Federal Savings Bank last September.

36 year old Chad Diederich of Carbon Cliff is accused of stealing just over five thousand dollars from the bank.  He and a Rock Island man who is thought to be the getaway driver were arrested just minutes after the heist in Ottawa.

A state police crime scene investigator was called to the stand today.  He identified a robbery note found at the counter of Peru Federal Savings Bank along with a hat, khakis, bag, toy pistol package and over five thousand dollars that was allegedly found where Diederich was sitting in the alleged getaway car.

Diederich is defending himself.  He faces 4 to 15 years if convicted by a jury of aggravated robbery.  He has a prior conviction of aggravated robbery.

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Fire that destroyed Utica home considered accidental

Posted by wlpo on April 28, 2010

A blaze that left a home in Utica a total loss looks to be accidental.  Area fire departments were called to Isabelle Duffy’s home just after 2pm  Tuesday.  Investigators think it may have be sparked by rags that spontaneously combusted.

Utica Fire Chief Dave Edgecomb says a contractor was doing staining work at the house Monday.  No one was at the home when the fire was reported.  The state fire marshall’s office was part of the investigation.

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Another State Band Title for Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on April 28, 2010

The dynasty continues at Ottawa High School.

The OHS Band has been crowned state champions for the 14th consecutive year. The band won the Class A title with 1,209 points, 60 points better than runner-up Vernon Hills.

The scores include both solo and ensemble performances.

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Arthritis Walk fundraiser in Peru this Sunday

Posted by wlpo on April 28, 2010

You and your canine companion can walk for a cause this Sunday in the 2010 Arthritis Walk. The Arthritis Foundation has put together this event to raise funds to fight arthritis. Registration starts at 8:30 in the morning, the walk starts at ten and it’s about a mile around Baker Lake.

For your dog, there will be an American Fido Competition. The dogs will be judged on costumes, obedience and tricks.

The Arthritis Walk is sponsored by the Miller Group Charitable Trust. Miller Group Media includes AM 1220 WLPO, 99-3 WAJK, 96.5 The Wolf, the News Tribune and Agrinews. Last year about 15 thousand dollars was raised. You can register for the walk by going to the Arthritis Foundation’s website, which you can find on

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Man indicted on sex abuse charges

Posted by wlpo on April 28, 2010

A man accused of having sex with a 14 year old girl and trying to have sex with a 13 year old has been indicted for sex abuse charges.

Oephia Hampton of Spring Valley was arrested in March after police say he went to a parking lot along Shooting Park Road in Peru to meet with a 13 year old girl from La Salle.

At the time he was arrested for solicitation of a child, a class four felony.  Tuesday he was indicted for two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and three counts of predatory criminal sexual abuse.

Hampton remains in the La Salle County Jail where he’s being held with his bond set at $100,000.

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