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Archive for November 29th, 2011

La Salle County Tax Bills Going Down

Posted by wlpo on November 29, 2011

If you live in La Salle County, the county’s portion of your property tax bill should be less next year.

The county board has approved a budget with a tax rate that’s about two dollars less then this past year’s. The county is looking to collect a total of 24 million dollars in taxes next year, about a half million less than a year ago.

Board Chairman Jerry Hicks says many specific levies like the general fund have been capped and can’t be raised anymore.

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County Board Races Shaping Up

Posted by wlpo on November 29, 2011

Day two of candidate filing produced three new contested races for La Salle County Board.

Incumbent Democrat Matt McLaughlin of Peru filed his re-election papers but he’ll face a primary election challenge from Joseph Oscepinski Jr. also of Peru. A day after incumbent Democrat Herman “Bones” Bruns of Streator turned in his papers, Republican Mike Sheridan also of Streator announced his candidacy to take on Bruns. Incumbent Democrat Joe Panzica of Utica announced he’s seeking another term yesterday. He will likely face the winner of a primary election between Republican’s Tamra Bierbom of Utica and Tina Busch of Tonica.

Other incumbents turning in re-election papers Tuesday were Democrats Jill Bernal of Peru, Joseph Savitch of La Salle, Jim Olson of Seneca and Don Jordan of Streator. Republican incumbents filing yesterday were Catherine Owens of Sandwich and Elmer Walter of Grand Ridge.

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Illinois House rejects business tax incentives

Posted by wlpo on November 29, 2011

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – The Illinois House overwhelmingly rejected a 250 million dollar package of tax breaks meant to help businesses and keep several major companies from leaving the state.

Only eight people voted for the package, while 99 opposed it today.

The financial exchange company CME Group Inc. and Sears Holdings Corp. have threatened to leave if they don’t get some tax relief.

Other companies across the state could benefit from an array of smaller tax credits in the bill. It also includes relief for individual taxpayers and low-income workers.

It passed the Senate earlier.

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La Salle Police say they found 681 pounds of marijuana during a traffic stop

Posted by wlpo on November 29, 2011

When is a car worth $500,000?  When there is 680 pounds of marijuana stashed its trunk.  La Salle Police officers say that’s what their dog helped them find during a traffic stop on Interstate 80 early Tuesday morning.

Jared Craft and Kristina Walker of California were charged with cannabis trafficking, a class X felony.  They were being held in the La Salle County Jail, awaiting a bond hearing.

Police Chief Rob Uranich says the marijuana carries a $500,000 street value.

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Backers of a high-voltage transmission line to host business open house

Posted by wlpo on November 29, 2011

Building a 500-mile-long high voltage direct current transmission line is going to take workers, concrete, and even hotels. Representatives with Clean Line Energy and Kiewit will be in La Salle to talk to business owners about the Rock Island Clean Line.
It’s a transmission line that would start in Northwestern Iowa and connect to a line near Morris, carrying energy produced by wind farms. Plans call for the line to pass through Bureau and La Salle Counties.
If you have a business you think could get involved with the project, there’s a business open house scheduled for 4-6pm Thursday at the Lock 16 Visitor’s Center in La Salle. Another open house will be from 8-10am Friday at the Morris VFW.

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Headbutt Sends Ottawa Man To Prison

Posted by wlpo on November 29, 2011

Head butts are legal in the squared circle of professional wrestling but not in the real world.

Darrin Liedtka of Ottawa was given three and a half years in prison after pleading guilty Monday to aggravated battery to a police officer. As part of his plea deal, another charge of aggravated assault was dropped.

Liedtka admits to head butting an Ottawa officer last year during a struggle. He’s been in prison before.

Since Liedtka’s already spent over a year in jail since being arrested and the fact he’s eligible for good behavior time, he could be out of prison within a year.

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Most Homes Selling For Less Than Last Year

Posted by wlpo on November 29, 2011

If you’re in the market for a new home in the Illinois Valley, chances are the sale price is lower than last year.

According to the latest numbers from the Illinois Association of Realtors, the average price of homes sold in La Salle County last month was 100 thousand dollars. That’s about nine thousand dollars less than 2010. Homes in Bureau County are selling for an average of 84 thousand dollars, up about four thousand from a year ago. In Putnam County, the average selling price is 106 thousand dollars, 33 thousand dollars below the 2010 price.

Eleven counties in Illinois didn’t even have a home sold last month.

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