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Archive for July 22nd, 2010

Happ Reportedly Back In Majors Sunday

Posted by wlpo on July 22, 2010

According to the Major League Baseball Network and the Associated Press St. Bede graduate J.A. Happ is expected to be back in the major leagues this weekend.

Reports came out Thursday night that Happ will be called up by the Phillies from Triple-A to start Sunday’s game against Colorado.

Happ has been on the disabled list since mid-April for a left forearm injury.

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Grants Keep Dream Alive For High Speed Rail

Posted by wlpo on July 22, 2010

Seven years after a study said it was feasible to look at commuter rail linking the Illinois Valley to Joliet, local officials are ready to move to the next step.

Ottawa Mayor Bob Eschbach announced last night that the federal government has awarded the area a 245 thousand dollar grant and the state a 150 thousand dollar grant to do a “comprehensive transportation corridor study”.  The grants are expected to cover the entire cost of the study.

Eschbach says the study will include looking at creating bus service to the suburbs and city to try and prove ridership exists for commuter rail.  The committee is also looking at a second route of having commuter rail connect Ottawa to Aurora using the Illinois Railnet line.

Ottawa City Planner Tami Huftel says the immediate next step is to hire a consultant to do the comprehensive transportation study.

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Heat advisory in place for most of Friday

Posted by wlpo on July 22, 2010

If you have plans to be outside Friday, be mindful of the hot temperatures.

The National Weather Service says there will be a heat advisory in place from 10am until 7pm Friday.   Heat index values are predicted to reach 105.

They suggest you drink a lot of fluids or stay inside where there’s air conditioning.  Check up on people who may be more susceptible to heat related illnesses.

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Area unemployment numbers increase from May to June

Posted by wlpo on July 22, 2010

Summer hasn’t been good for area job seekers.  The Illinois Department of Employment Security says LaSalle County’s unemployment increased from May to June by one percent to just over 13%.  It’s almost two percent higher than the same time last year.

In Bureau County unemployment increase to 10.5% and Putnam County unemployment increased to 12%.

The Ottawa-Streator area rate was 12.5%.  Since the same time last year, the area has seen jobs lost in the manufacturing, leisure-hospitality and retail trade sectors.

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Ottawa Fire Chief Retiring

Posted by wlpo on July 22, 2010

Ottawa’s fire chief is calling it a career.

Chief Jim Duback announced today that he will retire October 1st.  He’s been with the Ottawa Fire Department for 26 years.  He was captain before taking over for Rick Scott in 2005 as chief.

Duback also served as Board President of Ottawa’s 911 Board for the past seven years.

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More parking means more tickets for Lady Antebellum concert

Posted by wlpo on July 22, 2010

If you want to see Lady Antebellum play at the Cedar Point Sportsmen’s Club next month, don’t give up- more tickets have been made available.

A limited number of tickets are on sale at Lou’s La Grotto in Peru.  The extra tickets are available because concert organizer, Merry Noonan was able to find additional off-site parking.

The concert is Saturday, August 14.  Gates open up at 4pm.

It’s part of Lou’s LaGrotto’s “Concert for A Cause” series.  It’s sponsored by 96.5 the Wolf.  Proceeds will help JFK Elementary in Spring Valley.

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Blagojevich trial closings set for Monday

Posted by wlpo on July 22, 2010

CHICAGO (AP) – The presiding judge in former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s corruption trial says closing arguments should begin and end Monday – meaning jurors could begin deliberating next week.

Defense attorneys told Judge James B. Zagel on Thursday that Sam

Adam Jr. will close for Blagojevich. The lawyer gave a dramatic closing for singer R. Kelly two years ago before his acquittal on child pornography charges.

The judge looked skeptical when told the loquacious Adam would need just two and a half hours, and asked if he was sure. Prosecutors say they’ll need about two and a half hours for their closing and one for rebuttal.

Blagojevich has pleaded not guilty to charges that include scheming to sell an appointment to President Barack Obama’s old Senate seat.

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Softball tournament and food included in MagnoliaAffaaire

Posted by wlpo on July 22, 2010

Do you feel like getting out of town this weekend but don’t want to go far?  You could make a stop in Magnolia where the village is holding MagnoliAffaaire’s Summer Celebration.

It kicks off Friday with men’s softball games on the ball field.  Families can watch a movie in the park starting at 9:30pm.

The men’s softball tournament continues Saturday.  There will also be a dedication of the Magnolia Grade School/ High School Memorial at noon.  The Magnolia Baseball Association will have a bake sale and concession stand.  The fire department will also be serving pork chop sandwiches starting at 11.  There’s a beer tent in the evening with the local cover band Road Angel playing from 8pm until midnight.

Events continue through Sunday.

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Winning Mega Millions Ticket Sold In Peru

Posted by wlpo on July 22, 2010

As of late this morning, no one has stepped forward to claim a winning ticket sold at Hy-Vee in Peru.

State lottery officials say someone bought a quick-pick ticket at Hy-Vee that matched all five numbers but missed the Mega Ball in Tuesday night’s drawing.  The ticket is worth 250 thousand dollars.

The Peru Hy-Vee is no stranger to big lotto winners.  Cynthia Dennler of La Salle bought a winning Little Lotto ticket at the store in March of 2008.  That prize was $3.25 million dollars.

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Convicted Murderer Getting Second Chance

Posted by wlpo on July 22, 2010

A convicted murderer from Streator was back in La Salle County Court yesterday.

43 year old James Alvarado was awarded a new trial by the Third District Appellate Court.  He was given the services of a public defender in court yesterday and will another hearing July 30th.

Alvarado was sentenced to 45 years in prison for shooting and killing his wife Angela at their rural Streator home in October of 2006.  He was sentenced by Judge H. Chris Ryan in July of 2007.

However the appellate court ruled Alvarado should get a new trial believing that Judge Ryan and States Attorney Brian Towne erred by not allowing a witness to talk about an alleged affair Alvarado’s wife was having.  Alvarado testified that he found out about the affair, “blacked out” and accidentally shot his wife.

Alvarado is being held at the La Salle County Jail on a million dollars bond.

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