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Archive for March 29th, 2011

Men accused of stealing scrap metal in Putnam County

Posted by wlpo on March 29, 2011

Theft charges for a couple of men accused of stealing scrap metal from a building in Putnam County.

Brian Sirianni of Pontiac and Randal Gordon of Streator were arrested for theft Sunday.

Police say the scrap metal was stolen from a property on Greenhouse Avenue in Granville Township Friday.

Sirianni and Gordon were released with court dates.

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Ill. House votes to lift smoking ban at casinos

Posted by wlpo on March 29, 2011

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – The Illinois House wants to lift the ban on smoking at riverboat casinos that border states where smoking is allowed.

The bill passed 62-52 Tuesday. It now goes to the Senate.

Rep. Daniel Burke said he sponsored the measure because Illinois is losing business to states that allow smoking at casinos. The Chicago Democrat claims casinos have lost $800 million since 2008 because gamblers go to Iowa, Indiana or Missouri casinos.

Burke says casinos have improved air filtration systems, reducing the health concerns from smoking.

Supporters of the smoking ban say it’s unfair to subject gamblers and casino employees to second-hand smoke.

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State Rep doesn’t see city funding cut receiving approval

Posted by wlpo on March 29, 2011

A portion of the state income taxes you pay, are paid back to your city, but some lawmakers and Governor Pat Quinn have talked about keeping that local share for the state.

Peru Mayor Scott Harl doesn’t want to see that happened.  Harl says if the idea was enacted, the city would miss out on nearly $1.4 million.

State Representative Frank Mautino, a democrat, says he’s familiar with the idea.

Mautino says appropriation committees have been passing a number of bills this week to take care of what the state must do by law; such has fund pensions and healthcare.

Meanwhile, Harl’s urging everyone to tell their lawmakers to oppose the idea.

You can hear more about the proposal and this year’s budget outlook by listening to an interview with Mautino on the AM 1220 WLPO news page.

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Malnourished Animals Rescued Outside Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on March 29, 2011

Around 20 neglected animals were rescued Monday afternoon by La Salle County Animal Control Officer Gary Wind.

Acting on a tip, Wind went to a farmhouse near Farm and Fleet in Ottawa and found 16 dogs, a cat, two bearded lizards and a pony abandoned and without food and water.  Wind thinks they may have been neglected for over a month.

Wind got a hold of the property owner, Ottawa Attorney Kenneth McEvoy who said he was unaware of the animal neglect and said he had recently filed eviction papers for the two women living at the house.  Wind says he’ll turn over information to the state’s attorney for possible charges against the two women.

Among the dogs found were a three pound chihuahua, a poodle and a Great Dane.  Wind says they’re all being taken care of at local animal shelters or animal rescues and should survive.

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New Roles For Ex-Fire Chief

Posted by wlpo on March 29, 2011

While he’s no longer fire chief, Gene Scheri has a couple new titles as a Spring Valley fireman.

The city council named him the fire chief emeritus and fire marshal at last night’s meeting.  While the chief emeritus position is just honorary without pay, Alderman Dan McFadden and Mike Richetta voted against the title saying it shouldn’t be appointed.  McFadden also voted against Scheri becoming fire marshal believing that the position should be picked by the fire department instead of the city council.

The fire marshal position means Scheri is responsible for inspecting plans for new buildings.  The job will pay him 50 dollars a month.

Sheri was recently replaced by Todd Bogatitus as fire chief.

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Local College Students And Staff Help Japanese Recovery

Posted by wlpo on March 29, 2011

IVCC students and faculty are stepping up to help Japan recover from the earthquake and tsunami.

The college’s Diversity Team donated money to a relief fund which the IVCC faculty union matched bringing the two-day fundraising total to 22 hundred dollars.

The money will be sent to the International Red Cross.  IVCC’s Diversity Team also raised money to help Haiti after their earthquake.

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Volunteers Wanted In Search For Missing Woman

Posted by wlpo on March 29, 2011

If you’d like to help in trying to find a missing Marseilles woman, be free tomorrow morning.

Marseilles Police Chief Jim Hovious says volunteer searchers can meet at 10 o’clock at the Marseilles Lions Club to look for 43-year old Susan Schultz.  The search is expected to focus on the towpath since Schultz used to walk in that area.

Schultz was reported missing Wednesday by her mother.  She hasn’t been seen since March 18th.

Investigators are concerned because Schultz has a history of mental and physical disabilities.  She also has diabetes and would be in need of insulin.

Schultz is described as five foot six, weighing 200 pounds with brown hair and glasses.  If you have information, call the Marseilles Police Department.

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Trailer Burns To Ground Near Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on March 29, 2011

A mobile home just outside Ottawa burned to the ground Sunday.

Firefighters from Ottawa, Naplate, Utica and Marseilles responded to a fire at Datti’s Mobile Home Park just south of Interstate 80.  One trailer was leveled another suffered damage from the fire.  A woman and her daughter were taken to Ottawa Regional Hospital for treatment.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is underway.  The Red Cross assisted people displaced by the fire.

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