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Archive for August 9th, 2010

La Salle stepping up effort against abandon properties

Posted by wlpo on August 9, 2010

Owners of run-down buildings and abandon homes in La Salle, heads up, city officials say they’ll be more aggressive in going after rule breakers.

The city is spending $4500 to hire a firm to help them apply for a Brownfields Grant.  Brownfields are blighted properties that are possibly polluted.  Mayor Jeff Grove thinks this sort of grant could help with some of the problem buildings.

The abandon building ordinance is also being revised.  Police Chief Rob Uranich is looking at similar ordinances in Normal and New Lennox to come up with a stronger set of rules.  The council will likely go over a copy of it at their next meeting.

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Police Chief Killed In Crash

Posted by wlpo on August 9, 2010

An area police chief was killed Friday afternoon in a car crash.

36 year old William “Bill” Bauer of Buda was pronounced dead at the scene of a crash around noon Friday in Marshall County.  Bauer was said to be driving east on Camp Grove Road when hit Stacey Heinz of Wyoming at an intersection.  Heinz and her two children were taken to St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria.  The kids were treated and released while Heinz was last listed in good condition.

Bauer had been Wyoming police chief for the last seven years.  He also worked for the Bradford, Princeton, Henry and Sheffield police departments at various times.

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Miss Illinois Skydives Over Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on August 9, 2010

Miss Illinois was hurdling from the sky towards the Illinois Valley today.

Whitney Thorpe-Klinsky of New Baden jumped at Skydive Chicago in Ottawa today with the Army Golden Knights.  The pageant winner jumped from around 13 thousand feet.  The Knights were in the area training for this weekend’s Chicago Air and Water Show.

Thorpe-Klinsky was crowned Miss Illinois in June.  She’ll compete in the Miss USA Pageant in Las Vegas in January.

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Durbin and Halvorson take closer look at Asian carp

Posted by wlpo on August 9, 2010

The effort to protect Lake Michigan from the invasive Asian carp brought U-S Senator Dick Durbin and Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson to Starved Rock State Park.

The two were joined by staff from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources on a short boat tour Monday morning.  They were shown a demonstration on electro-fishing, a technique used to stun the fish.

Durbin says the federal government plans to spend almost $99 million to deal with the species before they reach Lake Michigan.  He says they’re looking at ways of curbing the population.

He also thinks some of the solutions being proposed by other states, such as closing the locks along canals leading to the lake are not realistic.

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Bureau County Relay surpasses fundraising goal

Posted by wlpo on August 9, 2010

High turnout and good weather made it a successful year for the Bureau County Relay for Life.  The annual fundraiser at Hall High School Friday night attracted approximately 300 participates and raised dollars over $124,000 for the American Cancer Society.

Rachel Misiniski says their goal was $123,000.  She also says they 120 survivors take part, one the best turnouts for survivors.

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Teen not injured after run-in with a barge

Posted by wlpo on August 9, 2010

In a battle between a jet ski and barge, you would expect the barge to win.  But if safety is the goal, everyone came out a winner after an encounter on the Illinois River in Bureau County Sunday.

Police say 18 year old Tyler Hoge was riding a jet ski on the river a couple of miles west of the Route 89 bridge when he fell off of the jet ski as a barge was approaching.

Conservation Police Sgt. Hank Fraizer says Hoge’s mother went out on another jet ski to get him but they were also knocked from their jet ski.  Fraizer says the mother swam to shore while the younger Hoge was able to get back on the jet ski.  By that time, the barge had slowed but still hit Hoge, who was able to hang on to a rope on the front of the barge.

In the end, no one was hurt and the jet skis were left with minimal damage.

Peru River Rescue and 10/33 Ambulance also were there.

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Breast Fest raises an estimated $45,000

Posted by wlpo on August 9, 2010

A fundraiser for the American Cancer Society looks to have been a success.  Geri Miller was the driving force behind “Breast Fest” Saturday night.  Her goal was to raise $50,000.  She raised an estimated $45,000 Saturday night.  That’s on top of money that was previously raised for the American Cancer Society.

The party was at Dick’s in Ladd.  Miller was diagnosed with breast cancer when she turned 35, she turns 50 this week.

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Grand opening for IVCC Ottawa campus

Posted by wlpo on August 9, 2010

The new satellite campus for Illinois Valley Community College in Ottawa is opening for business Monday.

A grand opening happens at 8:30am in the former Centrue Bank building at 321 W. Main Street.  Plenty of college and city officials are expected at the ceremony today along with area lawmakers.

An open house for the public is Thursday from 4pm until 7pm.  Small group tours and prizes will be available.  Classes start August 16th.

It’s IVCC’s first satellite campus in the school’s 86 year history.  The college has a five-year lease for the building with the city of Ottawa.

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Blagojevich jurors enter 9th day of deliberations

Posted by wlpo on August 9, 2010

CHICAGO (AP) – Jurors at the corruption trial of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich are set to enter their ninth day of deliberations.

Jurors will be back at the downtown Chicago courthouse Monday morning after leaving early on Friday.

Court officials have said the Blagojevich jurors planned to deliberate from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.

The jury began deliberating late last month after Rod Blagojevich’s attorneys declined to call any witnesses. They say the government never proved its case.

Blagojevich faces 24 counts, including charges of trying to sell or trade an appointment to Barack Obama’s vacated Senate seat. His co-defendant brother, Robert Blagojevich, faces four.

Both have pleaded not guilty.

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