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Archive for September 23rd, 2011

LaHood announces plans to seek full term in State Senate

Posted by wlpo on September 23, 2011

What do you want to see from you state lawmakers?   Republican Darin LaHood says he wants to focus on cutting state spending, making Illinois more business friendly, and passing concealed carry legislation.

He’s looking for his first full term in the State Senate.  He announced his plans to run in the 37th District Thursday in Princeton.  He was appointed to the seat in February to replace the retired Dale Risinger.

LaHood’s father is former longtime Congressman and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

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Father remembers Mendota Marine that was killed during a helicopter crash

Posted by wlpo on September 23, 2011

Earlier this week you heard about the Marine from Mendota who died during a training exercise at Camp Pendleton, California.  27 year old First Lt. Thomas Heitmann and another Marine were killed when their Cobra attack helicopter crashed Monday.

Thomas Heitmann Senior took a moment to share memories of his son with AM 1220 WLPO.   Heitmann believes his son’s interest in flying started when he was a kid and would go to an air show with his dad every summer.

After graduating from St. Bede Academy in 2002 where he ran track and played football, the young Heitmann spent a semester at Sauk Valley Community College.  Eventually he would continue his education at Valley Forge Military Junior College in Pennsylvania and at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach Florida.  There Heitmann joined the ROTC, earning a national naval scholarship, and was commissioned as a LT. with the Marines after graduating.

Heitmann received his wings in April, finishing first in his battalion.

The young Heitmann had told his parents he would take them for a ride whenever he could get the chance to return home and rent a plane, but sadly the chance never arrived.

The older Heitmann says his son loved being part of a family.  Heitmann says his son had a tender heart, million dollar smile, and died doing what he dreamed of doing.

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Theater Group Leaving Utica

Posted by wlpo on September 23, 2011

The Illinois Valley is losing an entertainment destination.

The Follies Theatre is leaving Utica and opening up a larger location on Route 47 in downtown Yorkville.  The new theater will open December 1st.  The last show in Utica was done September 3rd.  Follies officials say the draw to Yorkville was it’s a fast growing area and still close enough to the Illinois Valley.  Don Zellmer says they thought about keeping both locations going but decided to concentrate their efforts in Yorkville.

Follies opened in downtown Utica four years ago.

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Scarecrows Will Line Ottawa Streets

Posted by wlpo on September 23, 2011

Here’s a sure sign Fall is here, the annual Scarecrow Festival in Ottawa.

The 25th edition of the festival is this Saturday from 10 until 4 in the downtown area.  Cash prizes will be given out for the best scarecrow designs by non-profit groups and individuals.  A travelling trophy is up for grabs for businesses.  The scarecrow theme this year is scary movies.

Besides the scarecrows, there will be vendors, sidewalk sales and outhouse races.

96.5 the Wolf will broadcast live from the festival from 10 until 11.

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Local Jobless Rates Are A Mixed Bag

Posted by wlpo on September 23, 2011

Whether local unemployment rates are improving or worsening depends on how you want to look at it.

La Salle County’s August jobless rate was 11.2 percent, up from 10.9 percent in July but an improvement from last August when the jobless figure was 12.3 percent.  In Bureau County, the August unemployment rate is 9.8 percent, up from 9.5 percent in July but down from 11 percent last August.  For Putnam County, the August jobless rate is 9.8 percent, down from 10.2 percent in July and lower than the 11.4 percent rate during August of 2010.

Illinois’ unemployment rate was 10 percent last month, unchanged from July.  The state’s jobless rate last August was 9.9 percent.

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