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Archive for November 15th, 2010

United Way begins Christmas Care program

Posted by wlpo on November 15, 2010

You don’t have to have children to buy toys for Christmas.  The United Way is collecting new toys to give out to low income children.

The Christmas Care Program allows qualified parents to receive one toy for every pound of aluminum cans they donate to the United Way.  Parents can earn more toys by attending three classes on budgeting.  Families that are recommended for the program by area services and schools can participate.

They gave toys to 900 kids last year and may need more toys this year.  Newborns through kids in 8th grade receive the items.  Toys shouldn’t be wrapped.  You can drop off items at boxes set out area businesses.

If you would like a box to leave out at your business or office, call the United Way office.

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Park committee seeks grant for La Salle Rotary Park

Posted by wlpo on November 15, 2010

Before you see baseball and soccer fields being added to La Salle Rotary Park, they’ll need to bring in electricity, water, and sewers.  That’s going to take money but members of the park’s committee are hoping they could be helped out by a grant through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

The grant could cover up to three-quarters of the cost.  Gary Gearhart from the park committee says he’s trying to secure $250,000 from private donors to pay for the match, so they could potentially be eligible for $1 million.

Before they could send out the paperwork they need the backing of the city council, which they received Monday night.

A 501(c)(3) non profit will need to be created so they can receive donations from some of the possible donors.

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La Salle chooses another service over Peru Ambulance

Posted by wlpo on November 15, 2010

An ambulance service from Schiller Park has beaten out Peru Ambulance Service to handle calls in La Salle.

The La Salle City Council decided Monday night to begin negotiations with Paramedic Services of Illinois to establish a 24-hour ambulance service that would have an ambulance or two at the La Salle Fire Station.

The decision to switch services came after a plea by PVS director Mark Roberson, who said La Salle going with another service would diminish the service provided to both towns.  He offered a revised offered that included a $4,000 a month fee, an ambulance in La Salle 24 hours a day, and possible name and logo changes.  He also said it would save people’s jobs.

But many La Salle officials felt PVS should have made that offer last Monday when five services made offers during an informal meeting.

The new service has said they would hire local paramedics.  La Salle would be paying about $28,300 a month but would be able to be paid from the money collected by the service, something that hasn’t been happening with Peru.

La Salle Mayor Jeff Grove thinks they could have the new service in place in three months.  PVS has said they would continue to work with La Salle during the transition.

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Another Body Found In La Salle

Posted by wlpo on November 15, 2010

An autopsy could give investigators a better idea of what killed a man found dead La Salle.  Police say they got a phone call shortly before 9:30am Monday led them to an alley north of the 1200 block of Second Street.

Found dead was 39 year old Brent Wren of La Salle.  Police Chief Rob Uranich says a preliminary investigation showed no signs of foul play.  An autopsy will be performed Tuesday morning.

It’s a similar situation to an investigation last Thursday when a 55-year old man was found dead in an alley downtown.  His death was considered accidental.

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Power Plant Unhappy With Property Tax Bill

Posted by wlpo on November 15, 2010

Whether you’re running a household or a nuclear power plant, paying nearly twice as much in property taxes than you did the year before isn’t easy to swallow.

Exelon Nuclear has filed objections against the La Salle County Treasurer’s Office for over-collecting on 2009 tax payments.  Exelon officials say the amount collected is more than allowed by law based on the average annual expenditures of the prior three fiscal years.

La Salle County Treasurer Don Lamps says due to an increased assessed valuation, Exelon paid 24.8 million dollars in property taxes for 2009.  That’s up from 12.5 million paid in 2008.

Lamps wouldn’t comment about the actual tax objection filing.

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Ottawa Times Blogger Lawsuit Moves Ahead

Posted by wlpo on November 15, 2010

A defamation lawsuit involving a blogger on the Ottawa Times website now involves an actual person being sued.

Attorney George Hupp has filed a motion to amend a lawsuit filed by Don and Janet Maxon to claim that Carol Miller of Ottawa is the blogger known as “Fabfive” who claimed the Maxon’s tried to bribe city officials into supporting a bed and breakfast.  Hupp says he also is looking to add “John Does” as other possible defendants.

Miller gave a deposition recently in the case.  Internet Company AOL has also told Hupp they’ll cooperate and give out e-mail information.

Judge James Lanuti will hear the Maxon’s amended lawsuit on December 1st.

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La Salle Woman Hurt After Morning Crash

Posted by wlpo on November 15, 2010

A La Salle woman was hurt after crashing Sunday morning along the La Salle and Bureau County line.

State Police say Brittney Jo Burkett lost control of her car while driving on Meridian Road northwest of Peru.  She went into a ditch and overturned her car.

Burkett was taken to IVCH.  She was arrested for DUI and improper lane usage.

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Felony retail theft charge for woman arrested in Peru

Posted by wlpo on November 15, 2010

A Sunday night shopping trip turned into a trip to jail for a woman arrested at Walmart in Peru.

Jennifer Monroe of Ottawa was arrested for felony retail theft after cops were called to the store Sunday night.  She was taken to the La Salle County Jail.

A woman with her, Brandi Noel of Ottawa was arrested for a lesser retail theft charge and was allowed to go with a notice to appear.

A third woman, Nicole Ardelean of Seneca was picked up on a failure to appear warrant out of Bureau County and possession of drug paraphernalia.  She was released after posting bond.

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Ambulance service topic of discussion for La Salle

Posted by wlpo on November 15, 2010

The people that show up at your door when you call for an ambulance in La Salle could be changing.  With their contract with the Peru Volunteer Ambulance Service set to expire, La Salle officials have been considering other ambulance services.

They interviewed a handful of contenders last Monday, some from out of the area.  The city council could hire a new service or renew with Peru Monday night.  The council meets at 7pm.

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New parking rules for La Salle

Posted by wlpo on November 15, 2010

The rules for parking in downtown La Salle are changing starting Monday.    In an effort to free up more prime parking spots for customers, the city’s rolling out a new parking strategy.

Three city parking lots will offer free parking.  That includes the lots across from city hall, next to the Knights of Columbus and behind Stage 212.

Parking on Second Street from Gooding to Marquette will no longer have a three-hour limit and will be reconfigured to create more spaces.

The new plan is on a six-month trial basis.

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