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Archive for January 20th, 2011

Celebs Announced For Annual Dancing With the Stars

Posted by wlpo on January 20, 2011

The field of celebrity dancers for the 4th annual Illinois Valley Cellular Dancing with the Stars for charity event is almost complete.

99.3 WAJK’s Jon Shapiro will be dancing for the Red Cross while 99.3 WAJK and 96.5 the Wolf’s J.C. Phillips will be trying to win money for the Arthritis Foundation.  Dr. Lee Ceresa will dance for Horizon House, “Sellin’” Ellen Credi will represent Lighted Way and BCR owner and publisher Sam Fisher is competing for Freedom House.  Jamie Adkins of Jazzercise is representing March of Dimes while Barb Harl, Peru Mayor Scott Harl’s wife is competing for IVCIL.  La Salle County State’s Attorney Brian Towne rounds out the current field in dancing for Easter Seals.  IVCC Foundation’s dancer is to be announced.

The dancing charity will happen Sunday May 22nd at Senica’s Oak Ridge.  Tickets go on sale April 1st.

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IVAC holds 99th annual dinner

Posted by wlpo on January 20, 2011

An area business group that’s been around longer than any of its members is sat down for dinner with its members for the 99th year.

The Illinois Valley Area Chamber of Commerce turns 100 this year.  It’s a milestone that didn’t go unnoticed by the organizations new Executive Director Marci Duro.  Duro spoke briefly before the groups annual dinner at Senica’s Oak Ridge Thursday  night.

Duro says communication with the people they serve is top priority.

The dinner drew a crowd of members and local business leaders but a few stand-outs such as recently appointed State Senator Sue Rezin and a 6th grader from Waltham Elementary.

Adam Claggett received a plaque for his effort to collect 58 hundred pounds of food for the Illinois Valley Food Pantry.  The 11 year old received a standing ovation.

Also receiving plaques were Kurt Rimmele of Basalay, Cary and Alstadt, Architects of Ottawa and John McCormick of Hometown National Bank.

You can see a photo of those who received plaques by visiting the AM 1220 WLPO photo gallery.

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Theater Group Wants Volunteer Cleaners

Posted by wlpo on January 20, 2011

If you can spare a hand or two for painting and scrubbing, the Engle Lane Theater group could use your help.

The group is looking for volunteers to help paint and scrub the rebuilt theater destroyed by the June 5th tornado.  Theater member Kathy Missel says they’ll probably start the clean up next weekend but you should contact the group on Facebook if available to help.

Missel says they plan on doing a full season of plays this year after last year’s season was cut short by the tornado.  Their first tentative show is a musical called “Pop”.

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Woman hospitalized after Route 251 crash

Posted by wlpo on January 20, 2011

An accident that stopped traffic on Route 251 south of the bridge in Peru has left a woman hospitalized in Peoria.

Mary Zalazar of Peru was taken to St. Francis Medical Center after being extricated from her car following a crash at the bottom of the hill on Route 251 Thursday afternoon.

Police Zalazar stopped at the stop sign on Ben Samek Road but pulled out into traffic on Route 251 and was hit by an SUV driven by Lynn Neill of Oglesby.

Zalazar’s car spun off the road and into a tree.  She was taken to Illinois Valley Community Hospital before being transferred to Peoria where she was considered in serious condition Thursday night.  She was ticketed for not yielding at a stop intersection.

Neill wasn’t hurt.

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Arrest Made In Sheridan Shooting And Break-In

Posted by wlpo on January 20, 2011

A man from Triumph has been arrested for a New Year’s Eve home break-in.

23 year old Kevin Kuhns was arrested Wednesday for residential burglary.  He’s charged with breaking into the home of a rural Sheridan man New Year’s Eve morning.  The homeowner shot Kuhns once with a .45 caliber pistol when he confronted him after hearing breaking glass.  Kuhns was recently released from a hospital.

Kuhns is being held on 50 thousand dollars bond.  Investigators initially said there were two people involved in the break-in but Kuhns is the only person charged for now.

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Fees Going Up At Ottawa Elementary Schools

Posted by wlpo on January 20, 2011

The cost of attending elementary school in Ottawa is going up.

The school board this week approved fee increases for the 2011-2012 school year.  Fees for supplies and technology are going up five dollars while activity fees will cost two dollars more.  Cafeteria prices are going up a nickel and students will now have to buy their own planners for six dollars.  Parent-teacher organizations used to pay for the planners.

Superintendent Craig Doster says the district fees haven’t gone up in two years.

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Police say man fled during traffic stop

Posted by wlpo on January 20, 2011

A simple traffic stop for speeding turned into a search complete with police dogs.

A state trooper stopped 34 year old Andrew Huffman on Interstate 80 near La Salle Wednesday night for speeding.  But they say Huffman took off.  Officers from La Salle, Utica and the Illinois Conservation Police searched the area near Conway and J-C Whitney looking for Huffman.  He was found about 30 minutes later.

Police say he admitted that 12 pounds of marijuana found in the car trunk was his.

He was taken to the La Salle County Jail for cannabis trafficking, obstructing justice, possession of a cannabis plant and other tickets.

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Construction of Menard’s in Ottawa unclear

Posted by wlpo on January 20, 2011

It’s been over three years since the announcement was made that Menard’s was building a store in Ottawa.  The 28 acres of land north Wal-Mart now doesn’t even include a sign saying that Menards is coming soon.

Ottawa’s Building Official Mike Sutfin says the down economy has stopped the development, but it doesn’t mean Menards isn’t coming to Ottawa.  While he hasn’t heard anything about Menards moving ahead, he points out that the company has made significant improvements to their proposed site including extending utilities, grading and putting in a detention pond.

Ottawa received the news about Menards coming in 2007 just after Lowe’s turned down Ottawa.

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Fall semester brought enrollment increase for IVCC

Posted by wlpo on January 20, 2011

Good news on the enrollment front for Illinois Valley Community College.

Fall headcount was up 2% while total credit hours taken was up 3%.  Spring enrollment for the new Ottawa Center is expected to exceed 500 students.

The inaugural Fall semester enrollment in Ottawa was 367.

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New Congressman votes to repeal health care reform laws

Posted by wlpo on January 20, 2011

Not surprisingly, Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger was one of 245 votes Wednesday to repeal the health care law President Barack Obama signed last year.

Kinzinger promised when campaigning that he would try to repeal what some opponents call “Obama-care”.

He spoke in opposition on the house floor.  Kinzinger says the road to cheaper health care is allowing people to buy insurance across state lines and reducing premiums.  He also wants lawsuit abuse reform.

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