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Archive for March, 2011

Smokers Hurt La Salle County’s Health Ranking

Posted by wlpo on March 30, 2011

Bureau County is the healthiest county in the listening area according to a University of Wisconsin study.

After taking in factors like employment, adult smoking and obesity rates, and access to healthy foods, Bureau County was rated as the 23rd healthiest county in Illinois.  Putnam County is ranked 41st in the health rankings while La Salle County is 65th.

A few areas that hurt La Salle County’s health rankings were a 12 percent unemployment rate and 30 percent of adults saying they smoke.  La Salle County scored well with access to recreational facilities and healthy foods.

La Salle, Bureau and Putnam Counties all have 27 percent adult obesity rates.  Putnam County has the highest number of uninsured adults locally at 19 percent.

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Search Continues For Missing Marseilles Woman

Posted by wlpo on March 30, 2011

The search resumed Wednesday for a Marseilles woman who was last seen March 18th.

Searchers gathered to look for 43-year old Susan Schultz.  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.

Schultz was reported missing Wednesday by her mother.

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Mautino predicts a balanced state budget

Posted by wlpo on March 30, 2011

A balanced budget approved on time may not seem likely in Illinois but State Representative Frank Mautino thinks it’s possible.

The Democrat says he doesn’t think lawmakers will need to go into overtime this session, unlike past years.

He says house appropriation committees have been meeting during the weeks when the General Assembly isn’t in session so they’ll be running on time at least on the house’s side.

Mautino says it will be a balanced budget but with a lot of cuts.  He says making it more difficult is that for the first time in a number of years, it’ll be based on real revenue rather than a borrowing plan or the sale of state property.

You can hear more from Mautino in an interview available at the AM 1220 WLPO news page.

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Heroin related charges for Ladd man

Posted by wlpo on March 30, 2011

Heroin charges for a man already on parole for a drug conviction.  Mathew Marusich of Ladd was stopped Tuesday in Peru.

Police say he was wanted on a warrant for two counts of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance-heroin. Police say they also found three bags of what they think is heroin, adding a new charge to the counts against him.

Marusich was taken to the La Salle County Jail with bond for the warrant set at $50,000.

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Chocolate Festival returns to Celebrations 150

Posted by wlpo on March 30, 2011

Chocolate lovers, a fundraiser this Sunday is chance to use your weakness for a good cause.  The annual “Nothing’s Sweeter than a Child” Chocolate Festival features chocolate treats and a silent auction.

Proceeds go towards La Salle County CASA.  It’s Sunday from 1-4pm at Celebrations 150 in La Salle.  Tickets are $10 for adults and $five for children.

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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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