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Archive for February, 2011

Pothole patching a daily job in Peru

Posted by wlpo on February 28, 2011

There are more potholes than people to fill them in Peru, but that isn’t stopping city streets crews from continuing to patch.

Public Works Superintendent Gary Bleck says they patch everyday but with workers out for medical reasons and the number of potholes too numerous, they’re trying to keep up.

One stretch of road that’s been patched and re-patched is Route 6 near the Ptak Funeral Home.

When asked Monday night if they could cut out an area and lay new asphalt in that area, engineer Roger Chamlin said it wouldn’t be worth the money.  He suggested they continue to press IDOT and state lawmakers to resurface Route 6 through La Salle and Peru sooner than scheduled.

La Salle and Peru officials have been sending letters and reminding lawmakers about the deteriorating condition of Route 6, but the state has said it would not be repairing the road for a few more years.

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Help Paying For Blizzard Cleanup Could Be Coming

Posted by wlpo on February 28, 2011

Governor Pat Quinn is asking the president to help pay for last month’s blizzard cleanup.

Quinn sent a formal request Monday asking that 60 counties be declared federal disaster areas.  Bureau, La Salle and Putnam counties are all included in the disaster request.  If the disaster declaration is approved, local counties could get up to 75 percent reimbursement for snow removal costs, debris removal and repairing damage to government owned buildings.

Local and state government expenses for the Groundhog Day blizzard are expected to top 64 million dollars.

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Duo Facing Drug Trafficking Charges After I-80 Stop

Posted by wlpo on February 28, 2011

Two New Yorkers face felony drug charges after being stopped in Utica.

Jonathan Rodriguez and Jacobs Sanchez were pulled over Sunday afternoon east bound Interstate 80 for allegedly speeding.  Utica Police with the help of their drug dog and TRIDENT searched the men’s car and allegedly found over five pounds of cannabis.  Officers say the drugs were inside several large duffel bags in the trunk.

Rodriguez and Sanchez were taken to the county jail and charged with cannabis trafficking.

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Illinois River Rising Again

Posted by wlpo on February 28, 2011

The Illinois River is on the rise again.

A Flood Warning remains in effect for the river at La Salle through Sunday.  The latest stage of the river is 19.7 feet, just below the 20 foot flood stage.  The river is expected to climb to 22 feet by tomorrow night before receding.

A flood advisory is also in effect for the Illinois River at Ottawa.  The stream there is expected to stay below flood stage.

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Marijuana Bust In Mendota

Posted by wlpo on February 28, 2011

Area drug officers think they’ve taken a marijuana dealer off the streets.

Members of TRIDENT on Friday searched the Mendota apartment of Andrew Hensley.  Investigators say they found cannabis and other things used in the sale of the drug.

Hensley was arrested for unlawful possession of cannabis with intent to deliver.  Jason Henry was also arrested at the apartment for possession of cannabis and drug paraphernalia.

Hensley was taken to the county jail.  Henry was released with a court date.

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Another LaHood Joins Political Scene

Posted by wlpo on February 28, 2011

People in western Bureau County have a new state senator.

42 year old Darin LaHood was chosen Saturday to replace retiring 37th District State Senator Dale Risinger.  Republican leaders from the district which includes parts of Bureau, Marshall and Woodford Counties made the unanimous pick of LaHood.

LaHood is an attorney in Peoria.  He’s the son of U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood.

LaHood beat out four other candidates including Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis and Peoria County Coroner Johnna Ingersoll.

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Retired Peru Washington teacher visits Madison protest

Posted by wlpo on February 28, 2011

An extraordinary and moving experience is how one retired teacher is describing the demonstration at the Wisconsin State Capital building.

Former Peru Washington teacher Dan Brooks joined protesters in Madison Saturday.  They’re against Republican Governor Scott Walker’s efforts to strip nearly all public workers of their collective bargaining rights.

Brooks says he saw people from many different kinds of unions and from all over the country.

-He sees Walker’s stance as an extremist action that’s more than economics.

While teaching, Brooks was vice president of the union several times and was involved with contract negotiations.

He says people need to understand that this isn’t just anger or political emotion, it is people’s lives.  He says those are real people who are being made a target for an agenda that he believes is union busting.

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It’s time to get ready for severe weather

Posted by wlpo on February 28, 2011

The season for tornado drills has returned.  This week is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Illinois.

As usual, the tornado sirens will sound at 10am Tuesday, the first Tuesday of the month, but it’s also a time for schools and agencies to perform a tornado drill.

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Peru Pool Fund receives more donations

Posted by wlpo on February 28, 2011

More money has been raised for the Peru Pool Fund.  The family of former Alderman Ron Wren will make a presentation regarding the fund at the start of Monday night’s city council meeting.

Wren died in January.  Monday is the last for people in Peru’s fourth ward to submit a letter asking to be considered for Wren’s seat.

The Peru City Council meets at 7:30pm.

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Route 178 work scheduled to begin today

Posted by wlpo on February 28, 2011

After years of preparations, construction should finally start Monday on the Route 178 realignment in Utica.

IDOT Engineer Herb Jung says the project will last two construction seasons starting with the widening of 178 at the north entrance into Utica. Crews are also extending Lincoln Street from 178 to Mill Street, building new bridges over the I&M Canal and Clark’s Run Creek and building a bypass off Route 178 that goes west of downtown.  Village officials have long wanted to take truck traffic out of downtown.

Advanced Asphalt of Princeton is doing the construction work for over $4 million.

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