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Archive for August 26th, 2010

Unemployment remains high through July

Posted by wlpo on August 26, 2010

Finding a summer-time job was no easy task given the high unemployment.

La Salle County’s unemployment rate for July was 13.3%, almost two percent higher than the same time last year.

Bureau County unemployment was 11.2%, one percent higher than the same time last year.

Unemployment in Putnam County was actually lower than it was last summer.  It was 11.4% this July compared to 15.3% in July 2009.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security says the Ottawa-Streator area has lost jobs in manufacturing and leisure-hospitality fields.

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JFK students receiving 75 laptops from Lady A concert proceeds

Posted by wlpo on August 26, 2010

It used to be the Trapper Keeper was the cool must have school supply to carry in junior high.  Times are changing.

Sixth graders at JFK School in Spring Valley will be using MacBook laptops thanks to Lou’s LaGrotto’s most recent “Concert for a Cause.”

Concert organizer Merry Noonan says the Lady Antebellum concert earlier this month is paying for the 75 computers.  Noonan called school officials with the news Wednesday.

Gina Herrmann is the principle at JFK.  She says students will use the laptops through out the day and bring them home.  They’ll use them through 8th grade and beyond because they’ll be able to pay a tech fee which will eventually make them their own.  They would like to continue this for future sixth graders.

Noonan says the whole show was wonderful and she’s already thinking about next year.  The concert was sponsored by 96.5 The Wolf.

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Blagojevich brother says ex-gov. hasn’t called

Posted by wlpo on August 26, 2010

CHICAGO (AP) – Rod Blagojevich’s brother is celebrating news that prosecutors dropped corruption charges against him but says he hasn’t yet heard from the ex-governor.

Prosecutors said Thursday they would not retry Nashville, Tenn., businessman Robert Blagojevich on corruption charges but would retry the ex-governor.

Robert Blagojevich says he’s not surprised the ex-governor hasn’t called, saying “When it comes to my brother, I’m an afterthought.”

But he says he still loves his brother and hopes the charges against him also are dropped.

Jurors last week deadlocked on four counts against Robert Blagojevich and 23 of 24 against his brother.

Both denied charges that included allegedly scheming to sell or trade an appointment to President Barack Obama’s former Senate seat.

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Woman Critical After Oglesby Crash

Posted by wlpo on August 26, 2010

A woman from Pontiac was lifeflighted after flipping her car in Oglesby.

57 year old Lora Pinter was on Route 251 near the Oglesby spur intersection when for whatever reason she lost control and went into a field.  The crash happened just after one yesterday afternoon.

Pinter is in critical condition.

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New Details About La Salle Boy Mauled By Pit Bulls

Posted by wlpo on August 26, 2010

A second grader at Northwest School in La Salle was attacked and killed yesterday by a group of dogs.

Police say 7- year old Jason Walter of La Salle was at Eric Shanklin;s farm northeast of Varna when he was attacked shortly after seven yesterday morning.  Investigators think Walter went outside to get things ready for school when he was attacked by three pit bulls and a mixed breed.

Police say family members found Walter lying on the driveway and called 9-1-1.  He was pronounced dead shortly afterwards by Marshall County Coroner Dave Lenz.

Investigators think Walter’s mom had a relationship with the owner of the farm and she and her son often stayed the night there.  The mixed breed dog is said to be owned by the farm’s owner while the three pit bulls were owned by a woman living in a mobile home on the farm.

The investigation is ongoing.  No charges have been filed.

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Cross Country Run For Soldiers Comes To Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on August 26, 2010

A cross-country run to support soldiers killed in Iraq has come to La Salle County.

Retired Postal Clerk and Army Veteran Mike Ehredt is on a 45 hundred mile jog from Astoria, Oregon to Rockland, Maine.  Yesterday, he began his latest stretch in Sublette and jogged along Route 52 before stopping overnight in Ottawa after coming in on Route 23.  After running 30 miles Wednesday, Ehredt plans to run to Streator today before resting up.  He runs about 30 miles each day of his trek.

Along the way, Ehredt is placing flags every mile with a yellow ribbon that bears the name, rank, service, age and hometown of soldiers killed in battle.  The flags are going in reverse chronological order by date of death.

So far, Ehredt has placed flags in Carroll, Iowa for Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Thomas Hull of Princeton, in Kearney, Nebraska for Army Reserve Sergeant Joshua Terando of Morris and in Chadwick, Illinois for Marine Corporal Jonathon Beatty of Streator.

You can follow Ehredt’s progress by going to

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Cajun Ron Competing In National Chef Contest

Posted by wlpo on August 26, 2010

Voting is now open to make Cajun Connection chef Ron McFarlin the winner of an ABC “Nightline” contest.

McFarlin is one of 18 finalists in ABC’s “People’s Plate List” competition.  Cajun Ron submitted a three-minute video to the show after being nominated for the national chef contest by a woman from Rockford.

You can see the video on “Nightlines” website and by going to rons Cajun connection dot-com.  Voting in the competition lasts thru September 26th.

The winner will be announced September 27th on “Nightline” with an ABC film crew visiting the winner and to record footage to be shown at a later time.

Here is the link to vote

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