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Archive for December, 2010

Grant could fund La Salle wastewater plant flood wall

Posted by wlpo on December 28, 2010

When the snow melts, it will have to go somewhere and that’s likely to be the Illinois River.  While flooding isn’t an immediate threat now, chances are the river will again rise above its banks at La Salle.

That’s why La Salle officials think they need to build a flood wall to protect the wastewater treatment plant.  A major flood in September 2008 knocked the plant out of operation and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage.

They’re asking North Central Illinois Council of Governments to help them apply for a disaster recovery program grant that could pay up to $750,000.  The flood wall is estimated to cost $1.8 million but there’s a possible they could receive additional grant money.

Officials haven’t said how they would pay for any matching portion.

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Quinn considers plan to borrow $15 billion

Posted by wlpo on December 28, 2010

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Lawmakers say Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has been discussing borrowing billions of dollars to soak up the state’s pool of red ink.

The Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday that Quinn has floated a plan of borrowing up to $15 billion to pay down the state’s deficit.

Lawmakers say officials from the Democrat’s administration have discussed massive borrowing as an option, but that Quinn’s people have not specified numbers.

Quinn budget spokeswoman Kelly Kraft says only that Quinn continues considering various options for dealing with a deficit that could top $15 billion by June. They include a 1 percent income tax increase and “responsible borrowing.”

Large-scale borrowing faces a tough road. The Democratic-dominated Senate has been unable to scrape together enough votes to borrow $3.7 billion to pay this year’s pension obligation.


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Salmonella Sprouts Linked To Urbana

Posted by wlpo on December 28, 2010

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is advising the public not to eat alfalfa sprouts produced by the Tiny Greens Organic Farm in Urbana because of possible salmonella contamination.

The warning issued Monday evening also includes a mix called Spicy Sprouts, which also contains radish and clover
sprouts.  The sprouts were distributed ito various customers, including farmers’ markets, restaurants and groceries, in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri and possibly other Midwestern states.

The FDA says preliminary results of the investigation of a multistate outbreak of salmonella infections indicate a link to
Tiny Greens alfalfa sprouts served in sandwiches at Jimmy John’s.

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Plenty Of Area Lawyers Seek Judge Seat

Posted by wlpo on December 28, 2010

The field to take over for retired Judge James Lanuti includes four lawyers from Ottawa.

Jeanne Fitzpatrick, Anita Kopko, Sheryl Kuzma and Joseph Navarro represent half the candidates to replace Lanuti.  The rest of the choices are Richard Black of Morris, Troy Holland of Mendota, Richard James Lannon of La Salle and Melissa Olivero of Peru.  The deadline to apply for the judge position was Thursday.

Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Kilbride will eventually recommend a candidate to the full Supreme Court.  If you comments about any of the eight candidates, you can send them by mail to the Administrative Office of Illinois Courts in Springfield.  The deadline to submit comments is January 24th.

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Fire Breaks Out In Mendota

Posted by wlpo on December 27, 2010

Dozens of firefighters were in downtown Mendota Monday afternoon after being called to a four-alarm fire.

Work crews apparently thawing out gutters with torches ignited a wall on fire at Main Street Station Bar and Grill in downtown Mendota.  The fire spread up to the second story which is apartments.  The Illinois Valley Chapter of the Red Cross was contacted to help people living in the apartment.  No one was hurt.

Fire crews brought the fire under control quickly thanks to tower trucks from Peru and Mendota.  Just a small trace of smoke remained an hour after the initial fire report at two o’clock.

Most fire crews began leaving the scene around five o’clock.

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Another Semi Crash On Interstate 80

Posted by wlpo on December 27, 2010

The day after a crash that cut traffic on Interstate 80 down to two lanes, a man remains hospitalized.

Police say it happened yesterday evening west of the Plank Road exit after a semi crossed the median and hit an eastbound semi.  Then another semi became involved.  Traffic was down to one lane in each direction for several hours while crews cleaned up the wreckage.

The names of the people involved haven’t been released.  Police say the man that was driving the semi that crossed the median was being treated at St. Margaret’s Hospital in Spring Valley.

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Accused cocaine dealer arrested

Posted by wlpo on December 27, 2010

Drug charges for a woman suspected of selling cocaine in Peru.  Darrylena Merritte of Peru was arrested Monday by La Salle Police on a warrant for three counts of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance.

Police say members of the drug team TRIDENT bought cocaine from Merritte while at the City Motel in Peru several times.

She was taken to the La Salle County Jail.

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Major Pot Bust Near Utica

Posted by wlpo on December 27, 2010

The latest large pot bust in the area involves a motor home.

A motor home driven by Jay McMaster of California was pulled over Sunday afternoon headed east bound on Interstate 80 just past Utica.  The Utica canine unit was called in and pointed towards drugs being in the rear of the motor home.  Investigators then did a search and allegedly found five bags of cannabis hidden under a bed and another inside a closet.  The total weight of the alleged cannabis was 128 pounds.

McMaster and his passenger Shawn McDonald of New York were both arrested for possession of more than five thousand grams of cannabis with intent to deliver.  Both were taken to the county jail.

Their bond will be set in court Tuesday morning.

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Christmas Eve crash on I-80 kills an Aurora man

Posted by wlpo on December 27, 2010

A crash that stopped westbound traffic on Interstate 80 on Christmas Eve, left one man dead.

Police say 48 year old Michael Ariano of Aurora was heading west on I-80 near La Salle late Friday morning when he lost control on the wet and icy road.  Police say his car rolled several times, throwing him from the car.

Ariano was taken to Illinois Valley Community Hospital in Peru where he was pronounced dead.

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La Salle continues to work on agreements with new ambulance service

Posted by wlpo on December 27, 2010

Another agreement between La Salle and their new ambulance service is up for discussion Monday night.  The city is preparing to begin a new ambulance service in March with Paramedic Services of Illinois.  They were still working the billing arrangements.

The city council is also applying for a Community Development Assistance Program grant.

The council meets at 7pm Monday.

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