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Archive for June 13th, 2011

La Salle to pursue $800,000 grant for park

Posted by wlpo on June 13, 2011

The words gamble and tax dollars came up several times as La Salle aldermen considered allowing the La Salle Rotary Park Committee to apply for another state grant.   The topic was up for a vote Monday night.

The OSLAND grant they want is for $800,000 and would require a $400,000 local match.  Gary Gearhart is president of the park development committee.  He says he sure the park foundation can raise the money.

A few aldermen were still uneasy about applying for the grant and putting the city online for that much money.  Finance committee chairman Tom Ptak didn’t vote in favor of the grant saying the city was tapped out.

Aldermen John Duncan and Mark Schneider also voted against the grant for the same reasons.  Enough aldermen thought it was worth the risk to apply for the grant and trust that the foundation could raise the money.  The grant application is due July 1.

The park committee would also like to contract with several engineers and legally combine the two parcels of land that make up the park, but the council held off on those requests.

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Nursing Home Losing Money

Posted by wlpo on June 13, 2011

For people who think the La Salle County Nursing Home is more trouble than it’s worth, they got more ammunition for their case at the La Salle County Board meeting.

Auditor Jeff Johnson says the nursing home experienced a 386 thousand dollar loss last year in revenues.  Johnson says nursing home officials held the line on expenses but less people staying at the home was one of the reasons for the revenue loss.  In operations costs alone Johnson says the nursing home had a million dollar loss compared to the year before.

Besides financial issues, the nursing home has been under fire in the past couple years for sexual assault claims that have led to lawsuits and staffing changes.

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County Board Gives Thumbs Up To Hog Farms

Posted by wlpo on June 13, 2011

A hog farm expansion has been given the go ahead.

The La Salle County Board voted unanimously to bypass a public meeting and tell Joe and Katie Hagenbuch of Utica to start building a new hog farm near Triumph and expand their existing one in Waltham Township.  La Salle County Environmental Services Director Mike Harsted said he initially thought people should get a chance to speak at a public meeting about the hog farms but got no opposition so he agreed with the board to skip a meeting and let the hog farm construction begin.

Katie Hagenbuch told the board if they would’ve delayed construction by holding a meeting, the hog farms wouldn’t be ready this year and the county would lose out on the tax dollars.  La Salle County Farm Bureau President Monte Whipple says time is money and also told the board to get out of the Hagenbuch’s way and let them move forward.

The Hagenbuch’s have already received the go ahead from the department of agriculture.  Several county board members say they don’t want a public meeting about the hog farms since the last one near Dana allegedly had people living nowhere near the hog farm opposing the project.  Board member Randy Freeman called that meeting a fiasco.

When finished, the Hagenbuch’s two farms can house up to 48 hundred hogs.

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One person injured during crash in Jonesville

Posted by wlpo on June 13, 2011

A crash involving a car and a pickup truck stopped traffic in Jonesville.  At least one person was taken by ambulance from the crash that happened just before 2pm Monday at the bottom of the Route 351 hill and turn off from Route 71.

The names of those involved haven’t been made available yet.

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Oglesby Firefighters help boy out of a ravine

Posted by wlpo on June 13, 2011

A spill down a hill could have ended worse for a boy in Oglesby.  Firefighters were called to the dry bridge on Walnut Street Monday afternoon to help out a junior high aged boy who apparently went off the sidewalk and into a ravine.

Police say the boy was using a motorized wheelchair and went about 15 feet off of the road.  Police say his fall was broken by a tree, preventing him from falling further.

He was helped up the hill by firefighters and was taken to Illinois Valley Community Hospital as a precaution.

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Celebrate La Salle considered a success

Posted by wlpo on June 13, 2011

The second annual Celebrate La Salle is in the books and one of the organizers says it was a success.  The three-day festival at Hegeler Park ended Sunday.

Dan Burke was the project chairman.   He says it went better than they anticipated.  He says they had more events this year and plan to grow the festival next year.

As for the weekend’s highlights, he says Road Angel and the kids games were the most popular.  Wrestling on Friday also attracted a crowd.

Burke says they didn’t have any problems and they made money.  He thinks next year they’ll consider bringing in more food vendors.

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Deputy Hurt In Mendota Crash

Posted by wlpo on June 13, 2011

Four people including a sheriff’s deputy were hurt during a crash in Mendota.

On Friday night, a La Salle County deputy was responding to a crash on Route 251 in Mendota with lights on and siren blasting when he collided with a car.  Howard and Doris Miller of Mendota and Daryl Miller of California were in the car and all taken to Mendota Community Hospital along with the deputy.

Mendota Police didn’t release the name of the injured deputy.  They say the crash is still being investigated.

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Power Lines Going Up Along I-80

Posted by wlpo on June 13, 2011

Poles carrying high-powered transmission lines from La Salle to Wedron are starting to go up.

Leigh Morris with Ameren says the first set of poles have been put up along Interstate 80.  The single-shaft poles are anywhere from 70 to 105 feet.  The La Salle to Wedron lines runs 24 miles and will end at a new Fox River substation in Wedron.

The La Salle to Wedron line should be done this year.  Another Ameren line from Ottawa to Wedron won’t be done until sometime next year.

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Deliberations Continue In Blagojevich Trial

Posted by wlpo on June 13, 2011

CHICAGO (AP) – Jurors weighing corruption charges against Rod Blagojevich include a former church choir director, a bartender and dietician.

The 11 women and one man begin their first full day of deliberations today. Jurors at Blagojevich’s first trial deadlocked after a lone holdout prevented conviction on allegations he sought to sell or trade President Barack Obama’s old Senate seat.

One thing this jury has that jurors last year didn’t is Blagojevich’s testimony. He didn’t take the stand last year but testified for seven days this time.

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Hog Farm Debate In La Salle County

Posted by wlpo on June 13, 2011

A brand new hog farm and expansion of an existing one are up for discussion tonight at a La Salle County Board meeting.

John Hagenbuch of Utica wants to build a new 1,920 unit hog farm southeast of Triumph and expand an existing hog farm in Waltham Township to 1,920 units.  He’d like to start building this summer.  Hagenbuch will address the county board tonight in Ottawa about his plans.  After his presentation, La Salle County Farm Bureau President Monte Whipple will give his group’s opinion on the hog farms.

The county board tonight could sent a letter to the department of agriculture requesting a public hearing about Hagenbuch’s hog farm plans.

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