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Archive for February 15th, 2011

Peru Pool Fundraising Effort Picks Up Steam

Posted by wlpo on February 15, 2011

A small but enthusiastic group met Tuesday night and officially established the “Friends for Peru Pool” fundraising committee.

The committee is chaired by Heidi Heuser, who is Peru Mayor Scott Harl’s administrative assistant.  Leslie Sandberg of Cedar Rapids, Iowa will co-chair the committee.  She is a Peru native and retired teacher who spoke to Heuser and a few others by phone.

Sandberg says the committee must build a case to show potential donors why it’s important to have a new city pool.  She says they have to take the approach of not if a new pool will be built but instead when.  She mentioned having a new pool named after her dad who was Peru’s longtime recreation director.

The small group wants to add more committee members in the next couple weeks while also putting together a letter that will be sent to potential donors.  A fund for the pool has so far raised 22 hundred dollars.  Mayor Harl personally donated 100 dollars at yesterday’s meeting while 75 dollars has been raised via memorials in honor of former alderman Ron Wren.  Second Ward Alderman candidate Rodney Perez promised to give a thousand dollars towards to pool fundraiser if elected in April.

The committee talked about having a big kickoff event this year for their fundraising drive.  Options including bringing back the Taste of the Illinois Valley or asking Merry Noonan to benefit from one of her “Concerts for a Cause”.

A new pool is estimated to cost over three million dollars.  Peru has applied for a 2.5 million dollar grant.

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Ottawa Port District Gets Go Ahead

Posted by wlpo on February 15, 2011

There’s one less bill sitting on Governor Pat Quinn’s desk waiting for his signature.

Quinn House Bill 1617 on Tuesday which establishes the Ottawa Port District.  Mayor Bob Eschbach says the district will help promote economic development and new job creation, especially with companies wanting to use the Illinois River for transportation.  The port district allows the city to apply for grants that are available only to cities with port districts.  La Salle-Peru and Seneca also have port districts.

The next step in setting up the port district is to select a Board of Directors.  Eschbach can appoint three members with the governor picking the other four.  Board members must live in Ottawa.

The port district board can’t collect property taxes unless voters say they can with a referendum.

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Area Census Numbers Are Released

Posted by wlpo on February 15, 2011

More people live in La Salle County than did a decade ago.

According to new census numbers, 113,924 now live in La Salle County, up from 111,509 people counted in the 2000 census.  Despite gaining in population, La Salle County is still the 17th most populous county in the state.

Both Bureau and Putnam Counties have experienced slight population losses.  Bureau County’s new population is 34,978 while Putnam County’s is 6,006.

Kendall County saw the biggest population jump with a 110 percent increase from 54 to 114 thousand people.

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Another Telephone Scam At Work

Posted by wlpo on February 15, 2011

The latest scam report is out of Streator.

Police there are investigating numerous recent fraud cases targeting the elderly and disabled.  The victims are called by phone and told they’ve won sweepstakes for millions of dollars.  In order to redeem their prize, they’re asked to send money outside the United States, usually Jamaica.

Investigators say the victim is continually called until a payment is made and is then called again for more money for a prize that never comes.  The scam artist usually uses a family members name and calls with an unknown or out of area number.

If you’re a victim, call Streator Police.

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Parts Of Listening Area Lose Power

Posted by wlpo on February 15, 2011

Power was lost for around an hour in some parts of La Salle and Utica late this morning.

Ameren says a power line issue along Boyce Memorial Drive in west Ottawa caused the power issues between 10 and noon today.  At the peak of the outage, 689 customers in Utica were without power.

La Salle had nearly 30 outages at one point.

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