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Archive for December 16th, 2011

Spill affects traffic on Route 251 for four hours Friday

Posted by wlpo on December 16, 2011

A spill near the busy shopping area in Peru left a portion of Route 251 at Interstate 80 blocked off for four hours.

It happened Friday afternoon when a truck hauling dirt apparently spilled some of its load.

Firefighters and others with heavy equipment were on-site to clean up the spill that was made more difficult because the dirt is contaminated.

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Police Say They’ve Caught Spring Valley Christmas Decoration Vandals

Posted by wlpo on December 16, 2011

Outside Christmas decorations are a festive way to celebrate the holidays. Unfortunately, they were targeted by vandals in Spring Valley.

Officers say four young boys were arrested yesterday for criminal damage to property. They’re accused of nine vandalism incidents in the past two weeks. The things being vandalized were Christmas decorations, a boat trailer, yard ornaments and a mailbox.

They were all released with court dates.

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Maze Lumber Beard Contest Ends In A Tie

Posted by wlpo on December 16, 2011

Hockey players grow beards for the playoffs. Workers at Maze Lumber in Peru are growing there’s for charity.

Seventeen Maze workers are growing their beards out until December 15th. Your part in the deal is to stop in at Maze Lumber and vote for your favorite beard. You pay a dollar to vote with the money going to The Marine Corps League’s Christmas for Kids.

The bearded men haven’t shaved since November 1st.

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Republican Congressman Wants To Keep Representing Illinois Valley

Posted by wlpo on December 16, 2011

Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger says he’ll run for election in the new 16th District, a move which pits him against longtime incumbent Congressman Don Manzullo.

Kinzinger’s Thursday announcement comes the same day that a federal court upheld a new congressional map drawn by Democrats. Kinzinger’s says he chose the expanded 16th instead of his current 11th – which stretches south of Chicago to Bloomington – because it has more of his old district than any other.

Kinzinger’s new district covers all of La Salle, Bureau and Putnam counties.

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Five Area Soldiers Gave Lives During Iraq War

Posted by wlpo on December 16, 2011

With the Iraq War officially ending yesterday, the final U.S. soldier death toll is around 45 hundred. Five area soldiers were among the casualties.

Not long after the war started, Army Staff Sgt. Lincoln Hollinsaid of Malden died in combat April of 2003. Two years later, Marine Corporal Jonathon Beatty of Streator died in combat while Naval Petty 1st Class Officer Thomas Hull of Princeton died of illness in the Arabian Gulf. The third area Iraq War death in 2005 was Army Sgt. Joshua Terrando of Morris who died in combat.

The final local Iraq war death happened in 2008 when Army Spc. Phillip Pannier of Washburn was killed in combat.

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Controversial Sand Mine Clears Hurdle

Posted by wlpo on December 16, 2011

After 14 hours of testimony, it was a unanimous vote in favor of a sand mine east of Starved Rock.

The La Salle County Zoning Board of Appeals said yes to a special use permit for Mississippi Sand to mine silica sand on over 200 acres of land along Route 71. The approval was made with several conditions including limiting blasting to weekdays and daytime hours, voluntary phone calls of when blasts are about to happen and a property appreciation agreement where the sand company adds three percent every year to nearby homes appraised values.

The approval came despite nearby landowners being against the permit. Peg Kramer-Graves says the blasts at U.S. Silica are worse than an earthquake she went thru in Puerto Rico. Neighbor Marv Groneke says he was in good health until U.S. Silica started mining. Since then he’s come down with double pneumonia and emphysema. Nearby landowner Kelly Powell went as far as to look at the sand pit developers and say “I will not have you people kill me”.

Public opinion during last night’s hearing was pretty split with several union members supporting the mine because of job creation. Many environmentalists said the mine will affect Starved Rock in a negative way with noise and destruction of marsh and wetlands.

The La Salle County Board will have final say on the sand mine permit when they meet next month.

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Illinois River Should Barley Stay Below Banks

Posted by wlpo on December 16, 2011

Driving over the Illinois River today you may notice the river is on the rise.

A Flood Advisory is in effect for the Illinois River around La Salle until Sunday afternoon. The latest stage is 18.6 feet, below the 20 foot flood stage. However the river’s expected to rise near 20 feet by tomorrow morning.

The Illinois River in Ottawa is also under a Flood Advisory but it’s expected to crest a couple feet below flood stage.

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