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Archive for December 5th, 2011

Peru to borrow $3 million for road and sewer projects

Posted by wlpo on December 5, 2011

At a time when debt is a dirty word, the City of Peru will be taking out a $3 million loan to pay for a road and sewer improvement project.  Mayor Scott Harl was backing it.  He says roughly $2 million will go towards 2012 road construction and $1 million will go towards the north area sewer work, some of it related to the expansion of Eakas Corporation. The loan would be paid back with new sales tax money.

The plan barely passed Monday night with the vote split and Harl left breaking a tie.

Aldermen Dave Potthoff says the better plan would be to pay as they go so they wouldn’t have to borrow and would have money for emergencies.  Potthoff, Dave Waldorf, Tony Ferrari and Bob Ankiewicz opposed it.

Chamlin and Associates has been hired to prepare the bid work though the council also agreed to start looking for an engineer who would work under contract to develop the program.  They would not be a city employee or receive benefits.

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Oglesby Raising Taxes

Posted by wlpo on December 5, 2011

It’ll cost a little more to live in Oglesby next year.

The city council passed a new tax rate last night that goes from $2.02 per $100 assessed valuation to $2.09.  If you had a 100 thousand dollar home,  your tax bill will go up around 60 bucks next year.

Overall, the city’s trying to collect over thirty thousand dollars more in property taxes.  The total property tax revenue would be 640 thousand dollars.

Finance Commissioner Paul Danekas says despite the extra tax money, next year’s budget will still have more expenses than revenues.

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More open houses planned for Rock Island Clean Line

Posted by wlpo on December 5, 2011

Imagine miles of power poles, 140-160 feet high carry high voltage transmission lines through the farm fields of north central Illinois.  The Rock Island Clean Line that’s being proposed would span from northwestern Iowa and to Morris, carrying energy produced by wind farms.

It’s going to take many people to build it.  Hans Detweiler with Clean Line Energy says that’s why they’ve been talking to contractors that could be hired.  Detweiler explains the kind of labor they’ll need.

Detweiler says it will probably be another two and a half years before construction begins.  They still need approval from the states of Illinois and Iowa and the federal government.

If you own property affected by the project open houses are scheduled for 11am-1pm Wednesday at the Bureau County Metro Center in Princeton; from 5-7pm Wednesday at the Mendota Civic Center, and from 7am-9am Thursday at the Mendota Civic Center.

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Election Could Shake Up La Salle County Board

Posted by wlpo on December 5, 2011

Barring any write-in candidates, next year’s general election will have nine contested races for La Salle County Board.  Yesterday was the last day to turn in election papers.

In Peru, newcomer Republican Beth Giordano will take on the primary election winner between Democrats Joseph Oscepinski and current board member Matthew McLaughlin.  Incumbent Democrat Joseph Panzica of Utica will face the Republican primary winner between Tina Busch and Tamra Bierbom of Utica.

In Ottawa, Democratic board member Lou Anne Caretto will be challenge former board member Susan Thornton. Newcomers David Smith a Republican and David VanDuzer a Democrat will fight it out for a board seat as will other newcomers Brian Dose a Democrat versus Republican Kyle Creedon.

In Streator, incumbent Democrat Herman Bruns will take on Republican Mike Sheridan.  Incumbent Democrat Don Jordan will face Republican Walter Roach Jr.

The other contested races are between incumbent Republican Randy Freeman of Lostant against Democrat Gerald Senko of Streator and Democrat incumbent Bob Greenwalt of Sandwich versus Republican Allen Erbrederis of Somonauk.

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After crime, now punishment for Blagojevich

Posted by wlpo on December 5, 2011

CHICAGO (AP) – A veteran judge will sentence Rod Blagojevich this week on corruption charges in a potentially surprise-filled spectacle where the former Illinois governor may beg for mercy or dig in his heels to protest his innocence.

The impeached state executive-turned-reality TV star has reason to feel anxious stepping before U.S. District Judge James Zagel.

He’s staring at the possibility of 10 or more years in prison.

Zagel is known for being tough but fair.

The 70-year-old judge must answer several nuanced questions in calculating a sentence. Those include what harm Blagojevich’s crimes caused and whether any good he did as governor counterbalances the bad.

The sentencing hearing starts Tuesday. But Zagel will announce the sentence Wednesday, possibly to give him time to sleep on it.

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New MCH emergency room to open Wednesday morning

Posted by wlpo on December 5, 2011

Not that you’re planning to visit the emergency room, the ER at the new Mendota Community Hospital will start taking patients Wednesday at 6am.   At that time, the ER at the old building will close.

Crews have been moving items from the old building to the new one on Route 34 since Friday.  Doctor’s offices that were moving to the new building should have been relocated by Monday.

All departments of the new hospital should be open for routine services and emergencies Thursday.

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Another safe firearm deer season in the Illinois Valley

Posted by wlpo on December 5, 2011

While the deer who were shot would beg to differ, firearm deer season in the Illinois Valley was problem free.

Conservation Police Sgt. Robert Frazier says only a handful of tickets were handed out during the seven-day firearm deer season.  He says there were no accidents or injuries and few landowner complaints for hunters trespassing.

The third part of squirrel hunting season begins Monday with the second muzzleloader season starting Friday.


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Fiery Death For Elderly Mendota Man

Posted by wlpo on December 5, 2011

A pickup fire along Route 251 near Mendota killed a man.

86 year old Bruce Waldorf was found dead inside of a burning pickup truck Friday afternoon. Investigators say he had been burning a downed tree in an open field south of Mendota.

The death is still under investigation. Sheriff Tom Templeton doesn’t suspect any foul play.

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Van Fire On Southside Of Peru

Posted by wlpo on December 5, 2011

A van was gutted by fire this morning in Peru.

Firefighters were called out to the 1900 block of State Street just after 9:30 this morning for a van fire. They had the fire put out in around 10 minutes.

No one was hurt.

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Heroin Bust Near Ottawa High School

Posted by wlpo on December 5, 2011

Already out on bond for allegedly dealing drugs, a man from Ottawa is accused of dealing again.

Timothy Stanford was arrested Friday in an apartment near Ottawa High School for unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. Detectives say they found heroin and packaging materials inside his apartment.

Stanford was taken to the county jail.

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