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Archive for March 2nd, 2012

Snowy roads and crashes closed stretch of I-39

Posted by wlpo on March 2, 2012

The drive home took an hour or two longer for people using Interstate 39 Friday evening.  The snowfall left the road slick enough that cars and semis were crashing.

Traffic was stopped in both north and southbound lanes between Mendota and PawPaw.

A dispatcher with Illinois State Police District 1 said the northbound lanes had reopened by 6:30pm and southbound lanes were expected to reopen shortly after that.

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Dislocated Workers Center reaches out to Jewel employees as store closes

Posted by wlpo on March 2, 2012

The shelves have been empty for days but the workers continued to clock in at Jewel in Peru.  They won’t tomorrow.

The store’s last day was today.  Employees were told on January 30 that it would be going out of business.

75 jobs are being lost making it the kind of situation the Dislocated Workers Center commonly becomes involved with.

Joel Torbeck is the director of the service at Illinois Valley Community College. He was at the store twice Friday explaining their services to the workers.  He says many were interested while others thought they would retire.

Torbeck says they also surveyed employees to gauge their interest.  That information will be used to receive extra money that would pay for the out-of-work employees enroll in job training classes.

Torbeck has also talked with management at Kmart in Peru.  That store will close this summer.

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Father and toddler okay after car crashes through windows at Hardees

Posted by wlpo on March 2, 2012

It was scary morning for a father and his toddler.  Joseph Budz of Marseilles and his three year old child are okay after he lost control of his car, drove through a ditch and through the windows of a former Hardees restaurant.

Police began receiving 911 calls shortly before 9:30am Friday from people who said the car wasn’t even going fast.

Police say Budz was heading south on Route 23 when he drove into the ditch by Dunkin Donuts and keep going.

Budz and the child were looked over at Ottawa Regional Hospital.

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Westclox Arson Trial Gets Delayed

Posted by wlpo on March 2, 2012

There won’t be trial next week involving one of the teens accused of starting the old Westclox fire.

Public Defender Tim Cappellini asked for and received a delay in the case of 17-year old Steven Gallacher of La Salle.  His new trial date is May 21st.

Gallacher has been in the La Salle County Jail since he and a 15 year old from Peru were arrested a couple hours after the fire. The 15 year old has pled guilty to arson and will be sentenced Tuesday.

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Survey’s Circulating In Spring Valley

Posted by wlpo on March 2, 2012

If you drive into Spring Valley, you may be handed a short survey.

The Illinois Department of Transportation wants public feedback as they look to replace the Route 89 bridge.  The survey has seven questions, asking things like where the driver began their trip, how often they make the trip and how often they make the trip using the bridge.

IDOT wants the survey’s mailed back in by March 14th.  A public meeting about the bridge replacement will happen April 12th at Spring Valley City Hall.

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Ottawa Regional Hospital Closer To Merging With OSF Hospital

Posted by wlpo on March 2, 2012

One hurdle has been cleared for Ottawa Regional Hospital & Healthcare Center to become OSF Saint Elizabeth Medical Center by May 1st.

An agreement has been signed to have Ottawa Regional Hospital join the OSF HealthCare System.  Last night, corporate members of the Ottawa hospital signed off on the merger.  Next up is an April vote by the Illinois Health Facilities & Services Review Board.

Karen Brodbeck is Director of Marketing for the Ottawa hospital.  She says finances played a role in the merger.

She says Ottawa employees will keep their jobs after the merger and keep the same seniority.  There will also be no change in doctors or medical records.

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