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Archive for December 15th, 2011

Ottawa Bell Ringer Trying To Break World Record

Posted by wlpo on December 15, 2011

Ever volunteered to ring the bell for the Salvation Army? One man from Ottawa wants to ring it 40 straight hours.

Salvation Army Captain Quentin Boyle is at the Peru Walmart looking to break a record of consecutive hours bell-ringing. The record is 36 hours but Boyle wants to beat it by a few hours. He can sit down every four hours for ten minutes.

Alongside Boyle is a 700-pound red kettle that you can drop gifts into.

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Arson Arrest In Streator

Posted by wlpo on December 15, 2011

A Kangley man on parole for theft now faces an arson charge.

Michael Taylor was arrested Tuesday for setting a truck on fire and a garage in two different spots on the same morning. Police say they got called about a suspicious vehicle minutes before the garage caught fire on Madison Street. The fires also damaged another garage and an RV trailer.

Taylor was taken to the county jail. His bond was set at 75 thousand dollars.

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Trial Date Set Involving Princeton High Gun Case

Posted by wlpo on December 15, 2011

Not guilty is the plea for a teen accused of going into Princeton High School with a loaded gun.

Blake Schmidt of Princeton was arraigned Wednesday on a charge of felony unlawful use of a weapon.  He’s accused of walking into the high school on November 16th with a loaded shotgun as classes were already dismissing.  Officers say he never pointed the gun at anyone besides himself.

Schmidt is currently out of custody after posting five thousand dollars bond.  His trial date is March 19th.

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Sand Mine Hearing Stretches Into Another Night

Posted by wlpo on December 15, 2011

A few hundred people were around for the start of the La Salle County Zoning Board of Appeals hearing but only a few dozen were still going when the hearing was continued until today at 5.  Things began last evening with Mississippi Sand President Tony Giordano saying his company’s quarry in Missouri is at maximum production capacity so they want to start blasting along Route 71 just east of Starved Rock.  He promises over 40 jobs with an average salary of around 70 thousand dollars.

The current property owner Bernard Ernat then testified saying the land is the least productive of his 12 farms in La Salle County.  The sand company’s lawyer then called several experts to testify that the mine wouldn’t be a noise issue, wouldn’t lower adjacent property values, wouldn’t overload Route 71 with truck traffic and wouldn’t really affect wildlife in the area.

One potential negative of the night for the sand mine was testimony that the 314 acres had a 203 Land Evaluation and Site Assessment score.  La Salle County’s Zoning Ordinance says any land with a score of 200 or above should be preserved as farm ground.

Before the hearing ended, Ottawa Visitor’s Center Director Julie Johnson testified that she thought the sand pit would drive tourists away from using Route 71 from Ottawa to Starved Rock.  Starved Rock Cycling Club member Donald Dirks finished the night by saying the stretch of road in front of the proposed quarry is a major bicycle route.

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