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Archive for February 24th, 2011

Audit: Ill. EPA missed some nuclear inspections

Posted by wlpo on February 24, 2011

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency failed to conduct some of its quarterly inspections of nuclear power plants.

The state auditor general reported Thursday that four nuclear plants did not get all of the required inspections during the past two years. They were Braidwood, Dresden, Byron and LaSalle.

The EPA is supposed to check for radioactive substances that may leak into water supplies. That has happened at two Illinois nuclear plants.

A spokesman says the Illinois EPA has now hired another employee and is on track to check all the plants every three months this year and in the future.


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Fire destroys home northeast of Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on February 24, 2011

Fire has destroyed a home northeast of Ottawa.  The blaze was discovered just before noon Thursday by a person living in the one-story ranch   near the Dayton Ridge Golf Club.

Firefighters from Naplate, Ottawa, Utica, and others were able to bring it under control in about two hours.

Naplate Fire Department Deputy Chief Chris Backos says the cause is being investigated.  The State Fire Marshall’s office was called.

The Red Cross office in Ottawa was called to help the family.

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Oglesby Cement Plant Remains Quiet

Posted by wlpo on February 24, 2011

Unless the cement industry suddenly picks back up, Buzzi Unicem in Oglesby will remain shut down.

Mayor Don Finley and other local officials met with Buzzi’s Vice President of Operations recently in Oglesby.  He came away thinking positive that if the cement industry picks back up, the Oglesby plant will reopen.  The plant currently has about a half dozen employees working on shipping.

One reason Finley is keeping hope Buzzi will restart production is they spent 400 thousand dollars on improving a railroad bridge last year and plan to spend another 200 thousand dollars this year.

Buzzi recently bought a cement terminal in Joliet but Finley was told this has no effect on the Oglesby plant.

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New Principal For Utica Grade School

Posted by wlpo on February 24, 2011

Waltham Elementary has a new principal.

The school board unanimously picked Mike Olson to take over principal duties July 1st.  Olson is currently a social studies teacher at Putnam County Junior High School.  He received a two-year contract.

Olson replaces former principal Jason Hamman who left right before Christmas to deal with family matters in the Quad Cities.

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Henry Men Charged With Sportsmen Club Break-In

Posted by wlpo on February 24, 2011

Two men from Henry are accused of stealing liquor from an area sportsmen’s club.

The Marshall County Sheriff’s Office took a report Saturday about a break-in the night before at the Marshall County Sportsman’s Club north of Wenona.  On Tuesday, Jonathon and Brian Laney of Henry were arrested for allegedly breaking in and stealing a substantial amount of alcohol.  Both are charged with burglary and are being held at the Marshall County Jail on 30 thousand dollars bond.

Investigators say more arrests are possible.

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Area Congressman Still Frustrated About Closed Steel Mill

Posted by wlpo on February 24, 2011

There’s no buyer in sight for the former ArcelorMittal steel plant in Hennepin.

Congressman Aaron Schock says while there have been prospective buyers taking a look, no offers have been made.  He said the economy is making a potential sale difficult.

What’s making matters worse is the plant has been stripped of its equipment, making it far less desirable for other steel companies.  Because the plant has been gutted, Schock says officials are trying to attract businesses outside of the steel industry.  He says the plant is still an asset and the area offers a skilled workforce and access to a major interstate.

While they try to find a buyer, Schock says his office is providing money to the displaced plant workers to go back to school.

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Snowstorm Approaching

Posted by wlpo on February 24, 2011

Winter apparently is far from over.

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for the entire listening area from 6 tonight until 9 tomorrow morning.  The advisory is for snow.

The National Weather Service predicts 4 to 8 inches of fresh snow by time the snow moves out early Friday.  Snow could fall an inch per hour tonight.

Adding to travel problems will be 25 mile per hour wind gusts that could cause blowing and drifting snow.

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