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Archive for October 28th, 2010

Incumbent LC Board member being challenged by former board member

Posted by wlpo on October 28, 2010

What do you think should be done with the La Salle County Nursing Home?  Both candidates in the race for the district 13 seat on the La Salle County Board say you should decide its fate.

Incumbent Republican Susan Thornton and Democratic challenger Joe Panzica both believe the nursing home is important but because of rising costs and legal problems, voters should have input on if the county should sell or lease the home.  They also agree that retirement and health insurance benefits should be eliminated for county board members.  Both Thornton and Panzica pledge not to accept these benefits.

Besides cutting off benefits, Panzica also thinks a freeze on raises can help control county spending.

The candidates differ on reducing the size of the county board.  Panzica is worried rural representation would be lost if the board size is trimmed.  Thornton doesn’t think losing rural representation is a concern.  She would like to see 15 to 17 board members.

Panzica is afraid if the board is cut too much, special interest groups could grab control of the board majority.

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County Clerk predicts half of those registered will vote Tuesday

Posted by wlpo on October 28, 2010

How much effect will the Tea Party movement have on energizing people to get out and vote?  The woman in charge of elections in La Salle County doesn’t see much change.

County Clerk JoAnne Caretto believes voter turnout for next week’s election will be around 50%.  That’s above the 46% turnout in the last non-presidential election but well below the 2008 presidential election turnout of 69%.

Just over 73,000 people are registered to vote for this election, about 100 less than four years ago.  However early vote totals are nearly 200 more than in 2006.

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Area unemployment numbers share improvement over last year

Posted by wlpo on October 28, 2010

More people have found jobs or they’re no longer filing for unemployment.  The unemployment numbers for September show improvements over August and September of 2009.

Bureau County’s September unemployment was 10.4 percent.  La Salle County unemployment was 11.6%.  Putnam County unemployment was 10.9%.

For the Ottawa-Streator area unemployment was 11.3%.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security says Non-farm payroll employment was lower than one year ago.  Losses came in manufacturing, government and leisure-hospitality.

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Broken Rail Causes Traffic Issues

Posted by wlpo on October 28, 2010

A section of railroad track that needed to be replaced is affecting traffic on Route 23 in Ottawa.

Illinois Railway officials are working on a broken rail at the crossing north of Route 6.  The work has forced people heading south to use one of the northbound lanes of Route 23.

Crews will be working into Thursday evening.  They expect to have traffic back to normal by 7am Friday.

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Countdown To Election

Posted by wlpo on October 28, 2010

If you’re eager to vote in the November Election, you don’t have to wait around until Election Day to cast a ballot.

Early voting ends today across the state.  In La Salle County, the early voting location is in the basement of the Etna Road Governmental Complex in Ottawa.  Hours for early voting are 8 until 4:30 on weekdays.

Today is also the final day the clerk’s office can accept an application for an absentee ballot by mail.  Absentee voting in person though continues through Monday.

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Fatal Crash Leads To Lawsuit

Posted by wlpo on October 28, 2010

The daughter of a Mendota man who was killed in a crash last week is suing.

Emily Hampton filed a wrongful death lawsuit Monday against Dennis McConnville of Peru.  McConnville was driving a combine October 20th and is accused of running a stop sign and hitting and killing James Hampton who was driving a pickup.  Hampton didn’t have to stop at the intersection of East 8th and North 33rd Road outside Utica.

McConnville was treated and released soon after the crash.

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Cold Weather Settling In

Posted by wlpo on October 28, 2010

High winds are moving out, and cooler temperatures are moving in.

The National Weather Service in the Quad Cities has issued a Freeze Warning for Bureau and Putnam counties from midnight Thursday until 9am Friday.  Low temperatures will reach the mid 20’s in some spots.

Vegetation will be killed off by the freeze if not brought inside.

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Heavy Wind Pounds Area

Posted by wlpo on October 28, 2010

The strong winds have finally moved out of the area, but they left behind power outages and tornadoes in some spots.

The National Weather Service confirms four tornadoes touched down Tuesday.  The twisters were in Peotone, Elburn, Malden and Ashton.

While no tornadoes happened in the Illinois Valley, there was still plenty of wind.  The maximum wind gust reported in La Salle-Peru happened Wednesday at 58 miles per hour.  Morris and Marseilles reported maximum wind gusts of 51 miles per hour.

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