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Archive for October 13th, 2011

New EMA Director Picked For La Salle County

Posted by wlpo on October 13, 2011

When a disaster hits La Salle County, Connie Brooks will be at the forefront of response.

She was unanimously approved Thursday as the next La Salle County Emergency Management Agency Director.  Brooks will take over officially December 1st when Mike Jobst retires after eight years on the job.  Brooks has been his assistant since 2009 when she left a job with the La Salle County Health Department.

She’ll make just over 47 thousand dollars a year.  Her contract is for one year.

Because of a negotiated two and quarter percent pay raise for county employees, Brooks will make more than what Jobst is earning now.

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La Salle County Solar Farm Moves Forward

Posted by wlpo on October 13, 2011

The largest solar farm in Illinois moved another step closer to becoming a reality.

The La Salle County Board approved a special use permit for Invenergy to install underground cable for the solar farm northeast of Streator.  The cable will go under eight pieces of property including tracks owned by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad.  Environmental Services Director Mike Harsted says the original plan was for ComEd to put the cable above ground but Invenergy decided going underground was easier and quicker.

The solar farm is expected to create 100 construction jobs.

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Man arrested for Ohio bank robbery

Posted by wlpo on October 13, 2011

One week after the tellers at Citizens First State Bank in Ohio were approached by a man with a gun, a man has been arrested.

Timothy Gallagher of Ohio was arrested Thursday morning and was being held in the Bureau County Jail.

Gallagher is accused of holding up the bank last Thursday.

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IEPA wants Iowa Interstate Railroad to be responsible after train derailment

Posted by wlpo on October 13, 2011

The fire is out but the mess left behind after a train derailment near Tiskilwa remains.  An Iowa Interstate train hauling ethanol derailed early last Friday morning causing a blaze that forced people from their homes.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday they want Iowa Interstate Railroad to investigate the impact the crash has left on the groundwater that flows toward Plow Hollow Creek, Big Bureau Creek and the Illinois River.  The railroad would have to hire someone to do the study, monitor the water, and come up with a plan to correct it.

 

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Bureau County teen accused of having a handgun

Posted by wlpo on October 13, 2011

Red flags or a sense of danger?  Play it safe and call the police.  A number of people with concerns contacted investigators with the Bureau County Sheriff’s Department Tuesday morning.  Later that day police say they took a 38 caliber handgun from a 15 year old boy.

Sheriff John Thompson says people were describing circumstances that were likely criminal.  Investigators spoke with a number of adults and other teens before the boy was arrested for unlawful use of a weapon.

Thompson doesn’t want to say what the teen is accused of doing with the gun.

The boy was being held in the La Salle County Detention Home.

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Lowpoint woman dies following car crash near Varna

Posted by wlpo on October 13, 2011

A rollover accident near Varna has killed a 28 year old woman from Lowpoint.

Brooke Bruell was pronounced dead at the scene Tuesday evening west of Route 89.  Deputies say she was on a county road when she drove into a ditch and hit a bridge head-on.

The crash remains under investigation.

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Bath Salts Arrest In Peru

Posted by wlpo on October 13, 2011

A worker at Ned’s Smoke Shop in Spring Valley was arrested for the second time this year for allegedly selling illegal drugs.

Peru Police back in August say an undercover cop met Nedal Abdallah of Spring Valley near 5th and Harrison Streets on the west end of Peru.  The detective bought bath salts.  When lab tests proved the drug was bath salts, Abdallah was arrested yesterday for unlawful delivery of a controlled substance.

He was released after posting bond.  Abdallah faces the same drug charge in Bureau County.

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Habitat For Humanity Needs Family For New House

Posted by wlpo on October 13, 2011

If you could use a Habitat for Humanity home or know someone who could, head to Ottawa tonight.

The Steenbergen family of Streator decided against moving into a new habitat home on West Superior Street.  The family didn’t give a specific reason why they pulled out.

Habitat for Humanity of La Salle, Bureau and Putnam Counties has reopened the family selection process.  There’s a required applicant meeting at 6:45 inside the Goodwill Store.

Families that are picked for habitat homes are given an interest free mortgage to pay and are also expected to provide “sweat equity”.

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Husband And Wife Cops Retiring On Same Day

Posted by wlpo on October 13, 2011

Some couples do everything together.  A pair of Bureau County officers are deciding to call it a career the same day.

Chief Deputy and Lieutenant Larry Floyd and his deputy wife Katherine are retiring from the sheriff’s office in December.  Larry is a 37-year veteran of the force, Katherine has put in 31 years.

Larry Floyd’s dad is a former Bureau County chief deputy.

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Students Invade County Board Meeting

Posted by wlpo on October 13, 2011

The La Salle County Board room will have a packed house today but it’s not because of a hot button issue.

The annual student government day is today at the county level.  Students from area high schools either sit in on the board meeting or shadow other county elected officials throughout the afternoon.

Tops on the county board’s agenda today is naming a new Emergency Management director.  They’re expected to promote assistant EMA Director Connie Brooks.  Mike Jobst is retiring.

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