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Archive for November, 2010

Not Everyone Approves New La Salle County Budget

Posted by wlpo on November 30, 2010

A new budget takes effect today for La Salle County, after the county board narrowly approved it Thursday afternoon.

Ten board members voted against the 71 million dollar budget.  Many don’t like the $6.6 million dollars budgeted expense for the La Salle County Nursing Home.  Even some who voted for the budget say they want the nursing home to either be run better or taken out of the county’s hands completely. 

A pay raise for the nursing home’s assistant administrator also ruffled feathers including those of board member Randy Freeman.  He says a 73 hundred dollar pay raise “rubs him the wrong way” in that the county has told other employees they can’t afford raises.  Freeman also says the assistant administrator should take some blame for being at the nursing home when alleged sex abuse was happening.

Chairman Jerry Hicks says the raise actually is 57 hundred dollars and is an equity adjustment to make up for overtime the employee has put in.  It also brings her 51 thousand dollar salary to the same level as the assistant director of nursing at the nursing home.

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Crackdown on accessible parking violators comes to Peru

Posted by wlpo on November 30, 2010

Sometimes a good parking spot is hard to find, but that doesn’t mean you can park in an accessible parking space.

43 tickets have been written since Friday for people accused of illegally parking in accessible spaces.  The crackdown on illegal parkers is a project of the Secretary of State Police.  Officers were looking for lawbreakers at malls across the state including Peru.

You could be fined up to $500 if you’re caught using a placard or disability license plates if the person issued the permit isn’t with you. You could also face a 30-day driver’s license suspension.  Parking in an accessible space without a placard could cost you up to $350.

The Secretary of State’s office says they’ll continue to look for violators.

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Ill. House fails to OK medical marijuana use

Posted by wlpo on November 30, 2010

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – The Illinois House has voted down legislation that would have approved the use of marijuana to ease pain or nausea because of illness.

The long-debated issue got just 53 of the 60 votes it needed for approval Tuesday.

Democratic Rep. Lou Lang used a procedure to postpone consideration of the measure to another time.

The bill would allow people to get permission from a physician and the Department of Public Health to have marijuana plants in their home and use it for treating the symptoms of AIDS, cancer, glaucoma and other illnesses.

But critics say other legal drugs can ease symptoms and that Lang’s bill doesn’t address medical treatment – just possession of pot.

The Senate OK’d the bill in May.

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Horizon House preparing to light “Tree of Hope”

Posted by wlpo on November 30, 2010

800 bulbs equal $40,000 for Horizon House.  The srtands of lights have been hung on the Tree of Hope on Plank Road but the first strand won’t be lit until December 13.

Carol Fesco with Horizon House says they’re sending out mailings this week asking for donations.

You can learn more about the Tree of Hope during an interview with Carol Fesco available at the news page.

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Early Morning Fire Near Mendota

Posted by wlpo on November 30, 2010

No one was hurt in a fire this morning outside Mendota.

The Mendota Fire Department took an initial call at 4:40 about a home fully engulfed at 311 North 3850th Road in Troy Grove Township.  Firefighters from Troy Grove, Peru and Utica assisted.

Fire officials say the fire started and was contained in an upstairs bedroom.  There is fire, smoke and water damage to the upstairs but no actual estimate has been released.

The fire is considered to be accidental.

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Deal Officially Reached To Reopen Stretch Of Vermilion River

Posted by wlpo on November 30, 2010

A closed stretch of the Vermilion River in Oglesby should be back open to kayakers and rafters next year.

A deal to reopen Buzzi Unicem’s stretch of the river to recreation has been reached between the cement company and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.  Buzzi closed its stretch last year after a drowning.

The DNR plans to put in new signage, hanging buoys, and concrete blocks in the hole below the low-head dam to reduce the rapidly flowing undertow.  A restricted boating area will be designated at the dam.

DNR officials say they will start working on safety additions before the end of the year.  They say the work could potentially create dozens of jobs.

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La Salle’s downtown parking changes effective Wednesday

Posted by wlpo on November 29, 2010

Free parking in two city lots and a block without a three-hour time restriction are some of the incentives La Salle officials hope will improve downtown parking.

The new parking strategy is designed to free-up better parking spots for shoppers by encouraging employees to use city lots and areas away from store fronts.

Beginning Wednesday you’ll be able to park in the city lots behind Stage 212 and near the Knights of Columbus for free.  The lot across from city hall on Second Street still require a $20 monthly fee.

Parking on Second Street from Marquette to Gooding is also being changed around to create more spaces and will no longer have a three-hour time limit.

The parking changes are being done on a six-month trial basis.

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DePue Mayor Wants Action On Superfund Site

Posted by wlpo on November 29, 2010

The village of DePue wants Attorney General Lisa Madigan to help get pollution cleaned up in and around Lake DePue.

Mayor Eric Bryant wants Madigan to investigate the conduct of a project manager with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.  Bryant claims the IEPA has dragged out implementation of a plan to clean up pollution at the lake for 15 years, doing little to make owners of the contaminated sites clean things up.  A study was done in 1992 that first identified elevated levels of metals like zinc, lead and arsenic. 

Bryant says contamination and silt in Lake DePue has negatively impacted fishing and boating and threatens future boat races.

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River Deal Huge For Area Rafting Company

Posted by wlpo on November 29, 2010

There may be no one happier to hear about the reopening of the Vermilion River in Oglesby than Bob Herbst.

 Herbst owns Vermilion River Rafting in Oglesby which offers rafting and kayaking on the Vermilion River.  With Buzzi Unicem’s stretch of the river closed this year, Herbst says they did business with about 15 hundred people.  Before the river was closed to recreation, they did business with around 35 hundred.

Herbst says they probably would’ve had to close if the river was closed past next year. 


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Community Gift Wrapping Event In Peru

Posted by wlpo on November 29, 2010

If you’d like to get into the spirit of Christmas, head to Peru Mall Tuesday morning.

Community volunteers are needed to wrap gifts for area seniors in need.  The gift wrapping starts at 10 next to J.C. Penney’s.

The gifts were collected through the “Be a Santa to a Senior” program which is supported locally by the Red Cross, area senior centers, Ottawa Regional Hospital Adult Day Center and the La Salle Veteran’s Home.

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