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Archive for October 27th, 2011

More Buildings Come Down In Minonk

Posted by wlpo on October 27, 2011

A day after the fire, two more buildings were knocked down in Minonk bringing the total to six.

Over a dozen fire departments responded to downtown Minonk when a fire broke out Tuesday morning just after four.  Officials think the fire started in the back of an old video store and then quickly spread to other adjacent buildings.  Besides the old video store, other buildings that came down were a former hardware store, a dentist office, insurance office, apartment and lawyer’s office.

Some of the buildings had second-floor apartments.  The Peoria chapter of the Red Cross is assisting people who lived in those apartments.


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Proposal To Raise Water Bills In Streator

Posted by wlpo on October 27, 2011

This time next year, water bills in Streator could cost seven dollars more a month.

Illinois American Water requested a rate increase yesterday with the Illinois Commerce Commission.  The water company says it needs more money to make upgrades and reinvest in infrastructure.

There will be public hearings in the next year about the rate increase.  The higher rates aren’t expected to take effect until at least September of next year.

Illinois American Water’s last rate increase was April of last year.  Bills then went up nearly six dollars more a month.

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Public Meeting In Ottawa About Dying Ash Trees

Posted by wlpo on October 27, 2011

What will be done in Ottawa do stop the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer?

The Department of Ag says an ash tree on the south side tested positive for the ash tree killing Japanese beetle.  Ottawa Building Official Mike Sutfin says they’re putting together a management plan but that people need to assume all ash trees in town will die.  .

As part of the management plan, there’s a public hearing happening Wednesday at Ottawa City Hall starting at 4:30.  People with ash trees on their property are especially invited to the meeting.

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Quinn Coming To Utica

Posted by wlpo on October 27, 2011

With something as popular as Starved Rock State Park celebrating its 100th birthday, you would think some special people would show up for the occasion.

Governor Pat Quinn is planning to stop at the park this Sunday.  Starved Rock officials aren’t saying what time or exactly where just yet.

Quinn last stopped in the area in August to show support in Illinois Valley Community College’s plans to build a Community Technology Center.

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Unemployment Rates Improve Slightly

Posted by wlpo on October 27, 2011

It may not be much but the jobless scene in the area is on the upswing.

La Salle County’s September unemployment rate is 10.8 percent, down from 11.2 percent in August.  In Bureau County the unemployment number is down from 9.8 to 9.4 percent.  Putnam County’s jobless rate is down from 10.3 to 9.9 percent.

The Ottawa and Streator area specifically had a 10.4 percent September jobless rate.

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Cleanup Underway In Minonk

Posted by wlpo on October 27, 2011

Crews are working to clear rubble from five buildings destroyed in a fire in downtown Minonk.

Four buildings fell in the Wednesday blaze and a fifth building will have to be torn down for public safety reasons. City administrator Doug Elder says the building’s walls are leaning, making it unsafe. The fire drew 125 firefighters from 15 volunteer fire departments in a 30-mile radius.

No injuries were reported. Two people escaped from upper level apartments. Elder says one of the buildings dated to 1888.

The Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office has been called to investigate.

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Three Busted For Allegedly Selling Alcohol To Kids

Posted by wlpo on October 27, 2011

The latest check on area businesses selling alcohol to minors led to three arrests.

State Police dropped in on 16 businesses late last week in Depue, Neponset, Sheffield, Princeton, and Wyanet.  Peggy Geiger of Sheffield working at the Sheffield Casey’s, Warren Dall of Princeton working at the Princeton Inn and Tonya Sharve of La Salle working at Wise Guys Bar and Grill in Princeton were all arrested for unlawful delivery of alcohol to a minor.

All three were released with court dates.

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State Praise For Mendota Woman

Posted by wlpo on October 27, 2011

A woman from Mendota was at the executive mansion in Springfield this week to receive an award.

Carol Kern won a “Governor’s Unique Achievement Award” for her work as director of the Mendota Area Senior Services.  Kern is credited with starting up a transportation program for 10 area townships.  She was also key in raising money to keep Mendota’s senior services up and running.

Kern was nominated by the Western Illinois Area Agency on Aging.

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Less People Going To IVCC

Posted by wlpo on October 27, 2011

Does it seem like there are more spots open in the parking lots at Illinois Valley Community College?

IVCC’s fall enrollment is just over 43 hundred, or 152 students less than fall of 2010.  That’s three percent drop.  IVCC’s five-year enrollment average has still gone up by 6 percent.

Statewide, community college enrollment is down two percent from fall of 2010.  Rend Lend Community College in southern Illinois saw the largest enrollment drop of 18 percent while South Suburban Community College in the suburbs increased its enrollment by 18 percent.

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