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Archive for April 20th, 2011

Rural Granville home damaged by fire

Posted by wlpo on April 20, 2011

A house outside of Granville was left with damage after an electrical fire broke out.

Granville Fire Chief Ron Campbell says the people living in the home on Hattons Road called just after 10pm Wednesday night as the house began to fill with smoke.

Fire was coming out of a wall when firefighters arrived minutes later.  Campbell says the fire was contained to one wall and two roofs.

Two adults and two cats that live there safely escaped.  The Red Cross was called to help them get a place to stay.

Surrounding fire departments provided assistance.

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Peru officials asking for changes to dog pull plans

Posted by wlpo on April 20, 2011

A controversial plan to hold a dog pulling competition at Peru’s Baker Lake could be changing.   Two weeks after giving organizers permission to use the park for the First Annual Pull for Humanity, members of the city council and the mayor want the event moved to the dog park and a list of rules followed.  The competition is planned for Saturday, May 14.

City Clerk Dave Bartley went over the city’s request with Tom Rodriguez last week.  The city is asking that a veterinarian be on hand, that only competing dogs be allowed at the park, and that they show proof of liability insurance, to name a few.

Bartley told the council Wednesday night he wasn’t sure if Rodriguez would be willing to follow all of their guidelines or move the event to Wigley Field.

Wigley Field is a fenced-in area and another event is also booked for Baker Lake that day- The Danny Brandon Children’s Walk.

The council plans on pulling their permission for the dog pull if Rodriguez doesn’t agree to their guidelines by Monday.

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Musical schedule for wine and jazz festival to be announced Thursday

Posted by wlpo on April 20, 2011

You couldn’t host a wine and jazz festival without music.   The headlining performer for the debut of the Ottawa Two Rivers Wine and Jazz Festival is being announced Thursday afternoon.

Mayor Robert Eschbach will share the news at city hall.  Julie Johnson with the Ottawa Visitor Center will also give an update on how preparations for the festival are coming along.

The festival is schedule for June 4 and 5.

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IVCC withdraws from enterprise zone

Posted by wlpo on April 20, 2011

Enterprise Zones are created to lure businesses by offering tax breaks.  The Bureau/Putnam Enterprise Zone is home to an ethanol plant whose property taxes have led to a lawsuit against Putnam County.

Illinois Valley Community College is taking legal action against Putnam County over property taxes that have been abated for Marquis Energy, LLC.  Now college officials have decided to withdraw from the enterprise zone.

The board of trustees voted on the move Tuesday night.  College President Jerry Corcoran says the board agreed to participate in the enterprise zone with restrictions but that those restrictions were not followed.

College officials insist they never intended to abate property taxes for Marquis Energy.  Property taxes on for the plant have been abated since 2009.  The college estimates it’s costing them $140,000 a year.

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Blagojevich trial begins with jury questions

Posted by wlpo on April 20, 2011

CHICAGO (AP) – Jury selection has begun for ousted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s second corruption trial.

Potential jurors started filling out questionnaires Wednesday that are meant to help weed out anyone with strong biases for or against Blagojevich.

The first trial ended with jurors deadlocked on all but one count of lying to the FBI. Federal prosecutors have since simplified their case to address previous jurors’ complaints that the evidence was too difficult to follow.

The 54-year-old faces 20 charges, including accusations he sought to sell or trade an appointment to President Barack Obama’s old U.S. Senate seat for campaign cash or a top job.

Blagojevich doesn’t have to be at the courthouse for the very beginning of jury selection. But he’ll be called in whenever the judge begins questioning potential jurors individually.

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Congressman visits La Salle and Peru, talks about Medicare

Posted by wlpo on April 20, 2011

Medicare will likely remain in good shape for people already 55 years old and older, but the healthcare program’s future looks questionable if you ask an area congressman.

Republican Adam Kinzinger is years away from 55 but Medicare was on his mind as he meet with seniors at Heritage Manor in Peru Tuesday.  He also took his first tour through the La Salle Veteran’s Home.

Kinzinger says if you’re 55 or older you’re staying on the same system, but for younger people, Medicare could go broke in nine years.  He says changes will need to be made to preserve it for future seniors.

Energy prices were another topic.  He says the U.S. needs to develop new energy sources and thinks the country needs to expand drilling.

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Counselors available for grieving students at Ottawa High School

Posted by wlpo on April 20, 2011

Counselors and school crisis team members are available at Ottawa High School Wednesday morning to help students grieving the loss of one of their own.

16 year old David Jones of Ottawa was found dead in his home Tuesday after police received a report of a missing person.   La Salle County Coroner Jody Bernard says the sophomore died from an apparent self-inflected shotgun wound.

Ottawa High School Superintendent Matt Winchester says his condolences go out the boy’s family.

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Oglesby schedules appliance pickup day

Posted by wlpo on April 20, 2011

Here’s your chance to throw out the old appliances cluttering your basement and garage, at least for people in Oglesby.  The city’s appliance pickup day will be Monday, May 2.

You should have your items out to the curb before 6am.   They’ll be taking things like water heaters, freezers, and things that are 80% metal such as bikes, and metal swing-sets.

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High winds hit central Illinois

Posted by wlpo on April 20, 2011

KINCAID, Ill (AP) – High winds battered central Illinois, leaving behind damage, but not in the Illinois Valley.

Midland Fire District Assistant Chief Guy Choate said yesterday “trained eyes” spotted a tornado in central Christian County.

Strong winds damaged a house, a couple of grain bins and a shed near Kincaid. They also knocked down a few power lines. No injuries were reported.

The funnel, which Choate says the spotters lost sight of because of “rain wrapping,” missed populated areas of the county. He added winds were slackening Tuesday evening, but it appeared the area may be hit by heavy rains.

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Large sinkhole discovered in Peru

Posted by wlpo on April 20, 2011

Barricades surround a sinkhole in Peru.  The hole near Second and Pike Streets was reported around 8pm Tuesday .  It was estimated to be six feet deep.  City workers were called out to rope it off until it can be fixed.

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