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Archive for February 18th, 2011

Ameren Pushing To Raise Rates

Posted by wlpo on February 18, 2011

If you pay electric or gas bills to Ameren, be prepared to start paying more soon.

The company Friday asked the Illinois Commerce Commission to raise its electric and gas bills starting next January.  The commerce commission must approve any rate increases before they take effect.

Under the Ameren proposal, the typical residential electric bill will go up between $2.96 and $3.78 per month.  The average residential gas bill will rise anywhere from $1.88 to $4.53 per month.

Craig Nelson is senior VP of Ameren Illinois.  He says they’re sensitive to the impact that any rate increase may have on customers, but Ameren must have finances to provide a safe and reliable energy delivery system to accommodate future growth.

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Local Senator Leaving Before Term Ends

Posted by wlpo on February 18, 2011

37th District State Senator Dale Risinger of Peoria has announced he’s stepping down February 28th.

He was just re-elected in November and sworn in last month.  Risinger points to his age of 67 as a reason to step down even though he says he is in good health.  The Republican also appears frustrated by budget issues in Springfield.

Risinger represents central and western Bureau County, northwest Woodford County and most of Marshall County.  He was first elected to the seat in 2002.

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Father and daughter arrested in Peru

Posted by wlpo on February 18, 2011

A five-week long investigation into drugs in Peru has left a father and daughter arrested.

Michael Wilson and his 19 year old daughter Brittany were arrested for misdemeanor possession of cannabis and possession of drug paraphernalia after police searched their Plum Street home Thursday night.

Police say they found marijuana and a large amount of drug paraphernalia.

Michael and Brittney Wilson are free after posting bond.  Meanwhile, felony charges are pending against a third person who has yet to be arrested.

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Peru and Ottawa populations grew since 2000

Posted by wlpo on February 18, 2011

La Salle County has three cities with populations over 10,000.

According to the new census, Peru’s population went up four percent to 10,295.  Ottawa’s new population is 18,768, a two percent jump from the 2000 census.  Streator’s new population decreased 3% to 13,710.

Utica saw the biggest population jump in the area with a 38% increase to 1,352.  Marseilles population went up 9% to 5,094.  Oglesby’s population is up 3% to 3,791.  Princeton and Spring Valley’s populations are both up 2%.

La Salle and Ladd both had 1% drops from the last census.  There are now 9,609 people in La Salle and 1,295 in Ladd.

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Flood warning continues for Illinois River

Posted by wlpo on February 18, 2011

Forecasted flooding along the Illinois River near La Salle shouldn’t cause any problem.  Minor flooding has been predicted for this weekend.

The National Weather Service has issued flood warning.

They expect the river to rise above flood stage Friday night and continue to rise through Saturday evening.

There’s a flood advisory for the Fox River at Dayton.

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La Salle group working with WIU to develop vision for the city

Posted by wlpo on February 18, 2011

Listing the challenges facing the City of La Salle is easy, but creating solutions not so much.

A group of 42 volunteers will work with a group from Western Illinois University for a strategic visioning meeting series.  They’ll spend the following five Monday nights considering where the city should be heading and how to get there.

Economic Development Director Don Alesky says by the end of March they’ll hold a public hearing and present their findings to the city council.  Ultimately he would like to use it  for a new comprehensive plan.

Alesky says the program is costing the city about 45 hundred dollars out of the general fund.

The first meeting is 5:30pm Monday at Hometown National Bank.

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Ottawa man arrested in prostitution sting

Posted by wlpo on February 18, 2011

A major prostitution sting in Joliet included a man from Ottawa and a woman from Morris.

According to the Joliet Herald News, “Operation Room Service” began last month after hotel owners believed their businesses were being used for prostitution.  Duane Einhaus of Ottawa was arrested yesterday in the sting for solicitation of prostitution.  Einhaus was a candidate for Ottawa City Council in 2007.  Also arrested from the area was Kristen Welch of Morris.  She was picked up last month for felony prostitution.

In all, 33 people were arrested in the online prostitution sting.

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