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Archive for February 1st, 2012

Local lawmakers react the State of the State Address

Posted by wlpo on February 1, 2012

Removing the sales tax on natural gas would be a good excuse to take longer hot showers, but it could cost the state millions of dollars.

Governor Pat Quinn, a democrat, Wednesday proposed removing that tax during his State of the State address.

The natural gas tax idea took Democratic State Representative Frank Mautino by surprise.  He says the tax brings in $164 million to the general fund.

Otherwise, Mautino says the speech was pretty much what he expected.

Republican State Senator Sue Rezin isn’t as confident in the state’s business climate as the governor.

Rezin, who’s district includes La Salle, Peru and Ottawa, says all outside experts who look at numbers and public policy say we are about to head off a cliff and she doesn’t think the state understands that.

Rezin says the address was short on details, but she supports Quinn’s efforts to help veteran’s find jobs.

Quinn will give a budget address on February 22.

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Quinn: End natural gas tax, give families relief

Posted by wlpo on February 1, 2012

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Gov. Pat Quinn used his State of the State address to call for an end to Illinois’ tax on natural gas.

He also proposed on Wednesday the creation of a new tax credit for parents with children. He says it will save $100 a year for the average family of four.

The Democratic governor also said Illinois should expand an existing tax credit for companies that hire unemployed veterans.

Quinn said ending the natural gas utility tax will help businesses and families alike. He said Illinois would be the only state in the Midwest without that tax, giving businesses an advantage.

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Ottawa Delivered Goes Out Of Business

Posted by wlpo on February 1, 2012

There’s one less outlet for local news in the area.

After two and a half years, Ottawa Delivered is going out of business.  Editor Steve Diogo says the paper fell victim to the same economic pressures that are decimating newspapers across the United States with internet companies like Facebook and Group-On competing for advertising.

Diogo says he always knew Ottawa Delivered was an experiment and most experiments fail.  He has a couple opportunities he’s looking at in the area.  He’s not sure what’s next for his co-workers.

Ottawa Delivered had a staff of eight.

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Illinois owes local hospital $3.5 million in Medicaid payments

Posted by wlpo on February 1, 2012

You hear a lot about how Illinois owes money to schools and human service agencies.  The state owes a lot to hospitals too in the way of Medicaid and state employee insurance payments.

The total is climbing at Illinois Valley Community Hospital in Peru.  Hospital spokesman Gene Vogelgsang says they’re waiting on $3.5 million in Medicaid payments.

Governor Pat Quinn will likely talk about Medicaid during his State of the State speech Wednesday.  Vogelgsang says he would like Quinn to explain what the state will do about it.

Vogelgsang doesn’t believe changing the qualifications to receive Medicaid would help hospitals since as a non-profit IVCH accepts everyone, even those who can’t pay.

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Report Of Attempted Abduction In Mendota

Posted by wlpo on February 1, 2012

Not many details are known about an attempted child abduction case in Mendota.

An alert went out just before five yesterday afternoon about a black pickup involved in an attempted abduction in the 1400 block of Augustine Avenue.  Police said the driver was white with ear to ear facial hair.

A dispatcher this morning wouldn’t say if the report is still under investigation or if it was unfounded.

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Firefighters Called Back To Westclox

Posted by wlpo on February 1, 2012

A month after the Westclox fire, Peru firefighters are back at the scene.

They were dispatched for a rekindle of the fire just before 10 this morning.  The flare up is in the back corner of the burned out middle building.

The original blaze started just minutes before New Year’s Day.

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Alcohol Delivery Debate Continues In Oglesby

Posted by wlpo on February 1, 2012

The man wanting to deliver alcohol in Oglesby says it’s all about safety.

In a letter sent to people in Oglesby, Steve Beckcom of Brady’s Liquors says the big reason they want to deliver alcohol is for safety reasons.  Beckcom says most times when people are drinking and run out, it can get dangerous when they get behind the wheel to get more.   But he says by offering the delivery option they can hopefully cut down on that happening.

While some are leery of the idea including Oglesby Police Chief Jim Knoblauch, the liquor store owners point out that Utica currently allows alcohol delivery.

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Governor’s State Of State Address Today

Posted by wlpo on February 1, 2012

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Gov. Pat Quinn will discuss jobs, economic growth and tax relief for Illinois families and veterans during his State of the State address.

The Democrat says job creation is the top issue for working people and he’s expected to lay out an agenda with several proposals. Quinn says that includes some type of tax relief. The address starts at noon in Springfield.

He’s expected to touch on state pension reform, restructuring the Medicaid system and raising the state’s dropout age from 17 to 18.

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Local Relay Event Seeking Volunteers

Posted by wlpo on February 1, 2012

Want to volunteer for a good cause?  How about helping with the Relay For Life Of Upper Illinois Valley.

The American Cancer Society event is looking for volunteers to do everything from drive people around on golf carts to helping setup and cleanup.  The event is July 14th and 15th in Mendota.

To volunteer, send an email to:

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Local Gas Prices All Over The Map

Posted by wlpo on February 1, 2012

Want some of the cheapest gas in the state, go to Ottawa or Streator.

Gas at Thornton and Marathon stations in Streator and Ottawa is 3.13 a gallon, the second lowest cost in the entire state.  Other places in Streator and Ottawa like Caseys, Shell and BP gas is either 3.14 or 3.15 a gallon.  Drive just 20 minutes or so to La Salle and Peru, Oglesby, Mendota or farther to Princeton, and you’ll be paying anywhere from 3.33 to 3.39 a gallon.

According to, the cheapest gas in the state is 3 dollars a gallon at a Mobil station in Lake in the Hills.  The most expensive gas is 3.99 a gallon at several spots in Chicago.

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