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Archive for July 21st, 2010

Summer building projects continue at LPHS

Posted by wlpo on July 21, 2010

New gym lockers, plumbing and roof repairs and new windows are just a few of the projects contractors have been working on at LP High School this summer.

The projects are considered life-safety work.  The architect for the school, Bob Johnson, says work is progressing well.

One of the more noticeable things being done is the soda blast cleaning.  Crews have been touching up entrances to the gym, the main entrance and others.  Although a mechanical problem left some of the school’s landscaping damaged.

Most of the projects will be completed by mid August, one exception being tuckpointing work, which won’t be completed until October.

Situations have come up that have required more work and driven up the cost.  Change orders total almost $134,000.  Including the unexpected charges, the total price tag is $1,126,535, under the original estimate.

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Bond Set For Accused La Salle Arsonist

Posted by wlpo on July 21, 2010

Bond has been set for a La Salle man accused of setting fire to a home Monday night.

Joshua Hoyt is being held at the La Salle County Jail on 150 thousand dollars bond.  He’s charged with residential arson.  Even if he were to come up with money for bond, Hoyt is facing trouble from the department of corrections for breaking his parole.  He was on parole for an aggravated battery charge from last year.

Police say Hoyt started the fire around 10:30 Monday night at 237 Tonti Street.  They say he lives at the home and apparently started it on fire after fighting with a woman at the house.

No one was hurt in the blaze.

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Lawyers: Ex-Gov. Blagojevich won’t testify

Posted by wlpo on July 21, 2010

CHICAGO (AP) – Rod Blagojevich’s attorneys say the ousted Illinois governor will not testify at his corruption trial.

Blagojevich had long pledged to take the stand in his own defense, saying for months that he wanted to do so to set the record straight.

But his attorneys initially said Tuesday they could rest the case without calling a single witness. They confirmed that Wednesday. They say the prosecution did not prove its case.

Experts have said putting Blagojevich on the stand could be risky.

Blagojevich has pleaded not guilty to scheming to sell or trade an appointment to President Barack Obama’s old Senate seat and to scheming to launch a racketeering operation in the governor’s office.

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Debate over digital signage continues in Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on July 21, 2010

An old debate between two Ottawa City Council members came back up Tuesday night.

Public Safety Commissioner Ed Whitney and Mayor Bob Eschbach remain at odds on businesses in and around downtown putting up LED, or scrolling message board signs.  After getting their old sign that wasn’t digital damaged by a delivery truck, Papa Johns officials asked the city for a digital sign.  Because the city has an ordinance against these types of signs in the downtown district, the Zoning Board of Appeals denied the pizza joint’s request.

The council though tabled its decision, wanting to see if they could work with Papa Johns to find an alternative.  Whitney argues that they shouldn’t need an alternative saying digital signs bring more attention to businesses.  He accused Eschbach of going against businesses since the mayor has long been against the scrolling message boards.

Eschbach led the charge to exclude digital signs from downtown Ottawa after JJ’s Pub was allowed to put one up before the new sign ordinance took effect.

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Documentary on DePue contamination to be shown during boat races

Posted by wlpo on July 21, 2010

You can learn more about the heavy metal contamination in DePue when a documentary on the situation is shown during the DePue boat races later this month.

“Save DePue: A Story of an Environmental Crisis” takes a look at the village’s 15-year-long struggle to have the contamination cleaned up.

The documentary is about 30 minutes long.  It’ll be shown Friday, July 30 from 1pm until 5pm at the DePue Public Library, Saturday, July 31 from 9am until noon at the school library and later that evening outside behind the city clerk’s office.

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Ottawa paying more for street work

Posted by wlpo on July 21, 2010

Paperwork issues by a low bidder have the city of Ottawa paying $42,000 more than they would have if the low bidder met state requirements.

The city council Tuesday night awarded an asphalt contract for city streets to Advanced Asphalt after the low bidder, UC Paving was found to be de-certified by the state at the time bids were open.  Despite the option of rebidding and giving UC Paving a chance to get recertified, the council decided to accept the $632,000 bid of Advanced Asphalt.  Their bid is 42 thousand dollars more than UC Paving and $28,000 more than the engineer’s estimate.

Streets Commissioner Dale Baxter was uneasy waiting to rebid saying the bid prices could go up and they could upset Advanced Asphalt by giving a competitor a second chance.  There was also concern that delaying the asphalt work would push the job into the winter.

The city is using $350,000 in Motor Fuel Tax to pay for some of the project.  The rest of the money comes out of the Street Department budget.

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