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Archive for February 14th, 2011

Concert among ideas for Peru pool fundraiser

Posted by wlpo on February 14, 2011

With the weather warm up it’s easy to be thinking about spring.  A group will be talking about swimming pools Tuesday  afternoon in Peru.  An open meeting at 4:30pm is for anyone who wants to consider fund-raising ideas for a new public swimming pool.

A fund-raising idea being considered is a concert at the Illinois Valley Regional Airport.

The pool didn’t open last season for safety and structural reasons.  City officials want to build a new pool but paying for it is a problem.  A fund has been created to accept donations.

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Area Lawmaker Pushing To Squash Funeral Protests

Posted by wlpo on February 14, 2011

State Representative Frank Mautino has signed on as co-sponsor of a bill that cracks down on funeral protests of soldiers.

House Bill 180 expands current law protecting mourners at funerals by prohibiting any protests an hour before or after the funeral and banning protesters from being within a thousand feet of the entrance or exit of the cemetery.  The current bill keeps protesters 200 feet away.

The bill is in response to the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas who often protest at soldiers funerals.  Mautino says “hateful rhetoric has no place at private ceremonies like funerals, especially where fallen soldiers are laid to rest”.

The bill awaits a hearing with the House Criminal Law Committee.

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Railroad Not Saying What Caused Mendota Derailment

Posted by wlpo on February 14, 2011

A determination on what caused Friday’s train derailment in Mendota may be a long way’s away.

Amy McBeth is a spokesperson for Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad.  She says the investigation is still open and that her company will “take the full amount of time possible so that we can gather all the information that could be relevant”.  McBeth says they’ll file a report with the Federal Railroad Administration on the derailment by the end of March.

A dozen cars of the 129 car BNSF freight train derailed just after one o’clock Friday afternoon.  A closing at 5th Street in Mendota was closed throughout the weekend.

No one was injured.

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NIU Shooting Hits Another Anniversary

Posted by wlpo on February 14, 2011

Wreaths were laid Monday at Northern Illinois University to mark the third anniversary of a campus shooting that killed five students.

Just after three o’clock on February 14th, 2008, former NIU student Steven Kazmierczak opened fire in Cole Hall, killing five students before shooting himself.  Among the students killed was 32-year old Julianna Gehant of Meriden, just outside of Mendota.

Gehant was an Army veteran who was studying to become an elementary teacher.  She was a 1994 graduate of Mendota High School.

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Status Of L-P Coach Still Unknown

Posted by wlpo on February 14, 2011

The La Salle-Peru Boys Basketball team will play its final home game tomorrow against Yorkville.  The question remains whether Head Coach Chad Hesterberg will be there.

School officials haven’t commented on the future of Hesterberg.  So as of now, he is still suspended from the team.

Hesterberg was told to miss Friday night’s game after an altercation at L-P Thursday involving a student.

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Spelling Bee Winner Crowned

Posted by wlpo on February 14, 2011

Being able to correctly spell desolate and testimony earned a Shepherd Middle School seventh grader the La Salle County Spelling Bee crown.

Mara Briones won 200 dollars, two plaques and the right to represent the county in the Grand Finals next month in Peoria.  She’s the daughter of Don and Gilda Briones.

Madison Burress, a 7th grader at Grand Ridge Elementary finished in second place.  She won a hundred dollars and a plaque.  Madison is the daughter of David and Gail Burress.

Thirty-two spellers competed in the competition at Ottawa High School.  The bee lasted 17 rounds.

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Audit on the agenda for Peru City Council

Posted by wlpo on February 14, 2011

There won’t be any romance at Peru City Hall tonight, just a city council meeting.  City officials will hear a report on the 2010 audit.

The council remains short a member following the death of Fourth Ward Alderman Ron Wren.  People interested in the seat should submit a letter of intent to the mayor.  Letters will be accepted until February 28.  Someone will be appointed by March 28.

The Peru City Council meets at 7:30pm Monday.

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Yummy contest returns to IVCC

Posted by wlpo on February 14, 2011

An educational contest that’s becoming a tradition at Illinois Valley Community College returns to the cafeteria Wednesday afternoon.

The Sixth Annual Edible Car Contest has teams of students making cars entirely out of food.  The contest is part of National Engineers Week.
It requires that at least one member of each team to be a woman.

Prizes will be given out for the best design, most creative and speed. High school teams are also allowed.

You can watch the contest Wednesday at noon in the cafeteria.

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NIU marks third anniversary of deadly shootings

Posted by wlpo on February 14, 2011

DEKALB, Ill. (AP) – Northern Illinois University will host a memorial event later in the day marking the third anniversary of shootings that left five students dead and more than a dozen others injured.

Wreaths will be placed Monday afternoon at a memorial garden near Cole Hall, the site of the shootings which has remained closed since the shootings. Three years ago on Feb. 14, a gunman entered a geology lecture and opened fire at the DeKalb school.

NIU officials have started to renovate the building. The lecture hall where the shooting took place will be replaced with an anthropology museum and computer lab.

Kelly Wesener is an assistant vice president at the university. She says even though time passes, the campus continues to heal.

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Trimming overtime part of the plan for PVAS

Posted by wlpo on February 14, 2011

Changes are coming to ambulance service in the Illinois Valley.  La Salle launches their new ambulance service on March 1.  City officials decided last fall to part ways with the Peru Ambulance Service.

The split has triggered changes at PVAS.  Director Mark Roberson says a big change is a reduction in overtime.  He says PVAS will continue to have six ambulances and two crews but hours are being spread out.  He says no one is being laid off.

He also says they’re making budget cuts.  La Salle contributed $4,000 a month plus revenue from the calls handled in La Salle.

Roberson says they’ll continue to run transfers and provide mutual aid. But he says, they’ll only be able to send an extra ambulance to La Salle if they have their Peru stationed covered.

PVAS will continue to serve Peru, Peru Township and Dimmick Township.

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