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Archive for March, 2012

Local Lawmakers Support Not Giving Up Facebook Passwords To Bosses

Posted by wlpo on March 30, 2012

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – The Illinois House wants to bar employers from asking workers and job applicants for access to
social media like Facebook.

The legislation passed 78-30 Thursday and now goes to the Senate. State Representatives Frank Mautino and Pam Roth support ban against Facebook snooping. Some employers, particularly law enforcement, have begun asking for passwords so they can review the online activities of job applicants.

Under the this law, workers could file lawsuits if pressured to  open up private accounts or they’re denied a job for refusing. Bosses  could still ask for usernames to view public information online, and  they can monitor work-owned computers.

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Ruling Made In Crash That Killed Longtime Dentist

Posted by wlpo on March 30, 2012

An elderly man from Earlville has been found guilty of causing a crash that killed a retired Ottawa dentist.

75-year old Everett Olmstead was ordered to pay a thousand dollars in fine and court costs in the death of John Harbeck of Ottawa.  Olmstead was found guilty of improper passing.

Harbeck was out riding his bicycle with three other men last October north of Ottawa when he was hit by a grain truck driven by Olmstead.  The longtime dentist died at the scene.

His widow is suing Olmstead in civil court.

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Mendota Gets Official Word About Donnelley Closure

Posted by wlpo on March 30, 2012

The city clerk in Mendota says she’s received federal notice that RR Donnelley will close and lay off 207 employees.

Emily McConville says the city has received a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act letter confirming the closure. Federal law requires employers with at least 100 employees give 60 days notice of mass layoffs or plant closings.

RR Donnelley officials still have not responded to requests for comment. The Mendota plant prints magazines and newsletters. It opened in 1992.

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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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Gas leak found and repaired in Peru

Posted by wlpo on March 28, 2012

Strong winds are being blamed for a broken gas line on top of a shopping center in Peru.  Somebody smelled gas Wednesday afternoon in the area of MC Sports and Goodwill.  Firefighters went on the roof and found a gas line for a heater had broken.

Rick Abbott with the Peru Fire Department says the wind probably caught it and broke it.  Crews with Ameren were able to repair it.

Earlier in day, firefighters were at Pizza Hut for cigarette butts that caused the mulch to begin smoldering.

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