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Archive for April 6th, 2011

Road construction set to begin on I-39

Posted by wlpo on April 6, 2011

The drive between Mendota and Rochelle could take a few minutes longer starting today, that’s if you’re taking Interstate 39.  A construction project that began last year, resumes Thursday.

Crews will be removing and replacing section of concrete pavement between Mendota and Rochelle.  They’re starting at Route 30 and moving south.

There will be lane closures.  The work is expected to continue through October.

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Dog pull event approved by Peru Council

Posted by wlpo on April 6, 2011

If you’re not familiar with dog pulling, you’ll have a chance to experience a competition in Peru next month.  A proposal by an area man to hold the First Annual Pull for Humanity at Baker Lake received the okay from most of the city council Wednesday  night, but only after hearing again from Tom Rodriguez.

He takes his dogs to competitions and says he would like to establish an event closer to home.  He told the council he’s willing to be flexible so he could receive permission.

Aldermen Joe Mikyska and Jack O’Beirne argued in favor of the event, asking that the other aldermen give it a chance even if they’re not familiar with it.

Dave Waldorf also voted in favor of, saying he didn’t support it at first but after hearing the discussions, he’s changed his mind.

Tony Ferrari and Dave Potthoff were the two no votes.  Ferrari has said from the start he doesn’t see it as a sport and Potthoff seemed concerned about people with big dogs bringing them to the park to show them off.

The competition is being planned for May 14.

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Area Teens Praised For Safe Driving Campaigns

Posted by wlpo on April 6, 2011

Two area high schools are winning money for their efforts to promote safe driving among teens.

At the beginning, 105 high schools were selected to be a part of the statewide “Operation Teen Safe Driving Program” where they each had to come up with a campaign for safe driving awareness.  Schools were divided into regions and Ottawa High School has been named first place in Region Three with LaMoille High School placing fourth.

Ottawa High stands to get 25 hundred dollars while LaMoille gets a thousand dollars.  The money can be used for things like a post-prom party.

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Mautino Bill Extends Jobless Benefits

Posted by wlpo on April 6, 2011

With many still unemployed in Illinois, state lawmakers have extended a deadline for unemployment benefits.

The governor has signed a bill co-sponsored by State Representative Frank Mautino that keeps benefits coming for 44 thousand people.  Benefits were going to end April 1st for 32 thousand people and in May for 12 thousand more unemployed.

House Bill 1030 passed 109 to 1 in the House and 45 to 11 in the senate.  38th District Senator Sue Rezin voted against the bill.

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Yard waste collection set for Oglesby

Posted by wlpo on April 6, 2011

Just in time for the growing season, yard waste collection has begun in Oglesby.  Pickup will be every Tuesday now through November.

Yard waste needs to be in compost bags with city stickers.  Stickers are $1.50 each and are on sale at City Hall, John’s Service and Sales and Eureka Savings Bank.

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Historic Landmark Group Wants Streator Churches Saved

Posted by wlpo on April 6, 2011

The annual “Ten Most Endangered Historic Places” list of Illinois includes catholic churches in Streator.

The group “Landmarks Illinois” is urging people to call Streator Mayor Jimmie Lansford or Bishop Daniel Jenky in an attempt to save St. Anthony’s Church and Immaculate Conception Church from demolition.  The historic places group also wants St. Stephen’s Church renovated and used rather than building a new church for the consolidated parish.

St. Anthony’s and Immaculate Conception were closed last September when consolidation plans were announced.  St. Anthony’s was built in 1897 while Immaculate Conception went up in 1884.  St. Stephen’s Church was built in 1908.  It’s the oldest Slovak-Catholic Church in the country.

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School Board Presidents Get Axed

Posted by wlpo on April 6, 2011

There was no shortage of interest in the race for four spots on the Hall High School Board.

When the dust settled, Joseph Bezely led all vote-getters with 16 percent of the votes.  Paul Quinn and Jack Boroski also win board seats with 15 percent of the vote.  Michael Morris snatched the last available seat with 12 percent of the vote. Current Hall High School Board President Todd Fanning finished seventh in voting with 9 percent of the vote.

The Ottawa High School Board will soon have to pick a new president. Incumbent President George Hupp came in last place in the Ottawa High board race with 18 percent of the vote.  Fellow Incumbent Karen Fisher won re-election with 22 percent of the vote.  Joining Fisher in winning board seats are newcomers Anita Kopko and Bill Byczynski.

Gene Duffy finished in fourth place.

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Election Fails To Excite Voters

Posted by wlpo on April 6, 2011

La Salle County Clerk JoAnne Caretto hoped she was wrong in predicting a low voter turnout but it turns out she was right on the mark.

Voter turnout Tuesday in La Salle County was 21 percent.  Caretto predicted 22 percent.  The last municipal election in April of 2009 had a turnout of 29 percent but had mayoral races in places like La Salle, Peru and Mendota.

14,964 voters were cast Tuesday with 703 voters casting either absentee or early votes.

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