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Archive for January, 2012

Officials investigating Illinois reactor shutdown

Posted by wlpo on January 31, 2012

CHICAGO (AP) – Exelon Energy officials say they’ve traced a power failure at a nuclear reactor in northern Illinois to an electrical insulator in a switchyard.

Spokesman Paul Dempsey says the insulator failed and fell off Monday morning, causing one of the reactors at the Byron Generating Station to shut down automatically.

He says the bad insulator will be sent to a lab for analysis and officials hope to replace it by Tuesday evening. It’s unclear how soon before the reactor could return to service.

Steam containing low levels of tritium, a radioactive form of hydrogen, is being vented to reduce pressure within the reactor. But federal and plant officials say the levels are safe for workers and the public.

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Peru to consider more night-time committee meetings

Posted by wlpo on January 31, 2012

A lot of the decisions made by your city leaders are done at open meetings, but can you make to those meetings?  The Peru City Council meets at 7:30pm on rotating Mondays and Wednesdays.  Many of their committees meet in the morning or during the work day.

Alderman Rodney Perez would like to see that change.

Mayor Scott Harl agrees.  He says he would like to have committees meeting in the evening so people who want to attend them can.  He believes more discussion takes place in the committee meetings.

Harl has asked the aldermen to give it some thoughts and they’ll talk about it again next Wednesday.

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Two Companies In Oglesby Fighting Their Taxes

Posted by wlpo on January 31, 2012

While most property values seem to be going down, that’s apparently not the case for two companies in Oglesby.

The La Salle County Assessor’s Office has raised the assessed value of Bade-A-Minit and Wire Mesh by almost 400 thousand dollars more than they think they’re worth.  The companies are fighting the assessment at hearings February 10th in Ottawa.

Standing to lose money in the deal, the city of Oglesby is sending its legal counsel Jim Andreoni to the hearing.  Andreoni says the city could hire its own appraiser to look at the two companies but time is running out.

L-P High School and Oglesby Elementary Schools also plan to send representation to the hearings since they’re very interested parties.

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Oglesby Debates Home Delivery Of Alcohol

Posted by wlpo on January 31, 2012

You’ve heard of pizza and sandwich deliveries, but what about alcohol?

Steve Beckcom runs Lil Bella’s Pizza and has now opened up Brady’s Liquors next to the old Golf n’ Pub in downtown Oglesby.  He wants to deliver alcohol from his store to people living in Oglesby and sought out the city council’s permission last evening.

While a few commissioners were fine with the idea, Commissioner Tom Porter says he was stunned by the idea and never heard of an alcohol delivery service.  Police Chief Jim Knoblauch had the same reaction and says he’s against the idea, wondering how they’d be able to monitor who all was getting the alcohol.

The store owner’s say anyone who uses the delivery service have to first come into the store and fill out a form that gives their driver’s license information.  That person has to be the one who then orders the alcohol over the phone and who answers the door when the delivery arrives.

Mayor Don Finley says neither the state nor city has any ordinance banning alcohol delivery.  The council plans on taking up the idea at a future meeting.

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Senator Kirk On The Mend

Posted by wlpo on January 31, 2012

CHICAGO (AP) – Sen. Mark Kirk is continuing to improve after a major stroke and has been upgraded to fair condition.

Northwestern Memorial Hospital neurosurgeon Richard Fessler says Kirk is alert, talking and responding well to questions.

The Chicago hospital released a statement about Kirk’s progress, a little more than a week after he suffered a stroke
that’s affected his left side.

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Peru city council talks about insurance agents

Posted by wlpo on January 31, 2012

Just like you have car, homeowners, and health insurance policies, the City of Peru has group health insurance, liability and causality insurance policies.

To help them handle their insurance policies, the city has been paying Dick Martuzzo of the Duncan Insurance Office to be their consultant.  Martuzzo will stay their consultant for at least another two years.  The city council Monday night agreed to continue paying Martuzzo $650 a month for the work.

The council also agreed to keep Brennan and Stuart as the agent for the group health insurance policy with Blue Cross Blue Shield.  Alderman Rodney Perez was the lone no vote, saying he thought they should go with Jackson Kahl in Peru instead.

The city council can switch agents anytime they want and it wouldn’t change what they’re paying.

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Power restored to customers in Marshall, Putnam and Bureau Counties

Posted by wlpo on January 30, 2012

The power is back on to homes in Henry, Bradford and surrounding towns.

Leigh Morris with Ameren Illinois says a rack on a utility pole broke, causing wires to fall onto other wires Monday afternoon.

At the height of the outage more than 1000 customers were affected.

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Jewel in Peru closing

Posted by wlpo on January 30, 2012

75 jobs are being lost in Peru.  The grocery store Jewel is going out of business.  Employees were told about it Monday morning.

Peru Mayor Scott Harl says he heard about the possibility of it closing about a month ago.

Harl says city officials are trying to contact the building owners to see what they plan on doing.  He sees it as a valuable corner and would hope it’s not vacant long.

Mike Siemienas with Supervalu, Jewel’s parent company, says it was a difficult decision but had to be done for the strength of the company.

The last day it will be open is March 2.

The store was an Eagle Country Market for many years before the chain closed in the mid 2000’s.  It later reopened as a Jewel.

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Local republicans tapped for Manzullo campaign

Posted by wlpo on January 30, 2012

The upcoming congressional primary race could leave you with a new representative in Washington D.C.  The redrawn district has Republican Congressman Don Manzullo running in La Salle and Bureau Counties, areas that are new to his district.

He has is picked a few experienced Republicans to help his northern Illinois campaign.  The group includes former LaSalle County GOP Chairmen Frank Kobilsek and Patricia Wagner.   Also included are Bureau-La Salle Tea Party organizers Art Havenhill and Christine Arndt.

Manzullo faces Congressman Adam Kinzinger in the spring primary election.

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Two People Displaced After Princeton Fire

Posted by wlpo on January 30, 2012

A fire broke out above a hair salon in Princeton.

Firefighters were called out to Oh La La’s Salon on North Main Street.  Crews say intense smoke was coming from the attic of the two-story building.  They had the fire under control in about 25 minutes.

Fire Chief John Petrakis says they contained the fire and smoke damage to the attic with some water damage on the first floor.  Two people who lived on the second floor had to stay with family.  No one was home at the time of the fire.

Petrakis says the fire looks accidental.  A stretch of North Main Street near the fire was closed for nearly three hours.

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