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Archive for March 29th, 2012

Closed section of the Vermilion River to re-open Saturday

Posted by wlpo on March 29, 2012

A great spot for rafting and kayaking is the Vermilion River between Streator and Oglesby.  After a couple of deaths on the water several summers ago, a stretch of the river was closed for public use.

That all changes at 10:30am Saturday with a ceremony to re-open the river.  Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Marc Miller, State Representative Frank Mautino and La Salle County Board Chairman Jerry Hicks will be on hand to officially reopen the river for anyone to use.

They’ll be gathering at Vermilion River Rafting on North 2249th Road, south of Oglesby.

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Local unemployment rates show improvement over last year but remain high

Posted by wlpo on March 29, 2012

At least one out of ten people in the Illinois Valley area who want to be employed aren’t.  That’s if you go by February’s unemployment rates.

Local unemployment rates were slightly lower than they were at the same time last year though they remain some of the highest in the region.

Bureau County February unemployment was 11.5%, La Salle County was 12.6%, and Putnam County was 12.6%.

It remains to be seen how the closing of Jewel in Peru this month or the upcoming closings of Kmart in Peru and R.R. Donnelly in Mendota will affect local unemployment rates.

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Chocolate festival and silent auction scheduled for CASA

Posted by wlpo on March 29, 2012

It takes a heart to help abused and neglected children but it also takes funding.  A group that helps children interact within the La Salle County Court system hosts their annual fundraiser “Nothings Sweeter than a Child” Chocolate Festival and Silent Auction Sunday.

Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA for short, is the group.  Money raised will help them train volunteers to work with the children.

At the festival you’ll be able to sample a variety of chocolate candies and baked goods.  You’ll also be able to make bids on gift certificates and other items.  There will also be activities for children.

$10 for adults and $5 for children five and younger.

From 1-4pm Sunday at Celebrations 150 in La Salle.

You can learn more by listening to an interview that’s available at the news page.

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Four Hurt In Streator Crash

Posted by wlpo on March 29, 2012

A head-on crash in Streator sent four people to the hospital.

Officers say Alyson Jasiak of Streator was trying to pass a turning car on East Main Street when she hit an oncoming semi driven by John Kagel of Chenoa.  Kagel was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital along with three of Jasiak’s passengers, Lucia Tinoco, November Rhodes and Robin Solner all of Streator.

Jasiak was ticketed for failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident.  The accident remains under investigation by Streator Police.

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Mayor Fearing Worst In Prison Closure

Posted by wlpo on March 29, 2012

The mayor of Dwight is trying to create a sense of urgency when it comes to saving Dwight Correctional Center from closing.

During this week’s board meeting, Mayor Bill Wilkey says the prison is going to close August 31st and that people need to understand that.  The Commission on Government Forecasting & Accountability is hosting a hearing next Wednesday at Dwight High School.  Wilkey says while the hearing serves a purpose, the only thing stopping the closing is for lawmakers to add funding for the prison and the governor to sign off on it.

Wilkey says it’ll help to have a large turnout at Wednesday’s hearing to go along with a big letter-writing campaign in opposition of the closure.

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R.R. Donnelley Bosses Mum On Closing

Posted by wlpo on March 29, 2012

Around 200 people are losing their job after R.R. Donnelley announced closure plans in Mendota.

The magazine and newsletter printing company called workers into a meeting yesterday morning saying they would be closing by the end of May and offer workers severance packages.  Efforts to reach R.R. Donnelley officials in Mendota and at the headquarters in Chicago have been unsuccessful.

The company started printing in Mendota in 1992 when they moved into the old Wayside Press building.

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