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Archive for March 10th, 2011

Area unemployment remained above state average in January

Posted by wlpo on March 10, 2011

Area unemployment numbers are down from last year but they’re still high.

La Salle County unemployment for January this year was 12.8%, 3.5%  lower than in January 2010.

Bureau County unemployment was at 11.9%, 3.1% lower than the same time last year.

Putnam County has also seen improvement.  The January rate was 12.7%, down 2.4% from last year.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security says the Ottawa-Streator area saw job growth in retail trade, profession-business services and education and health.  There were cuts to jobs in manufacturing though.

The state-wide unemployment rate for January 2011 was 9%.

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Peru City Treasurer working on FY 2012 budget

Posted by wlpo on March 10, 2011

While it’s only three months into 2011, the 2011 fiscal year will be coming to a close at the end of April for the City of Peru.

Treasurer Gary Hylla is working on the fiscal year 2012 budget.  He says he’s using a new format that will show you a three-year budget history.

Unlike in past years, the new budget must be approved by May 1.

The 2011 fiscal year marked the first time the city used an operating budget rather than an appropriations ordinance.

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No Death Penalty Raises Questions With Seneca Case

Posted by wlpo on March 10, 2011

Abolishing the death penalty opens up more issues than it closes according to La Salle County State’s Attorney Brian Towne.

Towne was putting together a death penalty case against accused double murderer Keith Mackowiak when Governor Pat Quinn abolished the death penalty yesterday.  He says the decision may require more legislative action to clarify what needs to be done in the Mackowiak case including who pays for his defense.

One thought is his potential sentence will automatically be life in prison.  A status hearing for Mackowiak will happen Friday at one.  Lawyers were supposed to argue if the death penalty was unconstitutional but that is a moot point now.

Towne expects extensive talk between the lawyers about where to go next in the case.

You can hear an interview with Towne by visiting the AM 1220 WLPO news page.

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Crash Kills Bureau County Man

Posted by wlpo on March 10, 2011

A man from western Bureau County was killed in a head-on collision.

State troopers say C. Robert Weber of Neponset was westbound on Route 34 late Monday morning when he crashed head on with Thomas DeMay of Sheffield.  Weber was pronounced dead at the scene.

The crash is still under investigation.

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How Your Lawmakers Voted On Death Penalty Abolishment

Posted by wlpo on March 10, 2011

The death penalty issue split local lawmakers.

When the state senate voted on abolishing the death penalty in January, Republican Sue Rezin voted against the bill.  During the house vote, Republican Bob Pritchard and Democrat Careen Gordon voted for the abolishment while Democrat Frank Mautino voted against it.

The Illinois Senate approved abolishing the death penalty 30 to 29 while the House approved the bill 60 to 56.

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IVCC Announces New Hall of Famers

Posted by wlpo on March 10, 2011

The latest inductees into the Illinois Valley Community College Hall of Fame include a former state senator and current cell phone company owner.

Gary Dahl and Illinois Valley Cellular CEO Tom Walsh will be inducted into IVCC’s Hall of Fame April 16th.  Dahl is credited with securing funding for the future Community Technology Center and also for founding the school’s truck driver training program.  Walsh is an IVCC grad and is credited with contributing thousands to local charities and being a big supporter of the school’s performing arts and music program.

Others being inducted include: 1952 grad James Bergagna who’s a renowned advocate for the underprivileged and disabled; former Journalism Instructor Dr. Rose Marie Lynch; and the schools 1958-59 basketball team that made nationals.

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