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Archive for May, 2012

Deal Reached To Open Controversial Gun Range

Posted by wlpo on May 31, 2012

Start polishing those guns, a deal has been reached to open the Buffalo Range Shooting Park near Ottawa.

Judge Eugene Daugherity gave his okay to reopening parts of the range to shooters.  An independent study will be done on the rest of the range to see if there needs to be more safety improvements done.

The range has been closed for over two months after the attorney general’s office got an injunction to keep it from opening.  The state argued safety improvements hadn’t been made to keep errant bullets from going into Buffalo Rock State Park and the I&M Canal trail.

Gun range officials don’t think the bullets are coming from their range and accuse the state of having a liberal anti-gun agenda.

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Ottawa Woman Wins Over Million Dollars

Posted by wlpo on May 31, 2012

Could you retire from your job if you won over a million dollars?

58-year old Susan Walker of Ottawa is calling it a career from Sabic Innovative Plastics after claiming 1.7 million dollars from a 20 dollar scratch off ticket.  She won four million dollars before taxes.

Walker bought the “Gold Bullion” ticket last week from the Shell station in Ottawa.  The gas station gets a payout for selling the ticket.

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IVCC receiving large wind energy grant

Posted by wlpo on May 31, 2012

You can’t go far without spotting a wind turbine.  A program at Illinois Valley Community College that trains students for jobs in the wind energy field is receiving a $99,000 grant.

The money is coming from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Grant and is part of the college’s 2.1 million dollar capital campaign.

The classes will be offered in the Peter Miller Community Technology Center that’s under construction and expected to open in January 2014.

College President Jerry Corcoran says enrollment in the program has been filled to capacity.  He hasn’t said how the money will be used.  That will be announced Monday.

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Lake Thunderbird man’s death was due to drowning

Posted by wlpo on May 31, 2012

If you’ve been following the story of the man that was found dead in Lake Thunderbird, investigators say it was a drowning.

56-year old Gary Gillen’s body was pulled from the lake in Putnam County Tuesday.  He was reported missing to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department Monday.  Police say Gillen’s home was near the lake.

Coroner Robert Cofoid says he’s waiting on autopsy and toxicology results, but it wasn’t foul play.

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Starved Rock State Park among most popular Illinois tourist sights

Posted by wlpo on May 31, 2012

What’s your favorite attraction in Illinois?  64 attractions started in an Illinois Tourism sponsored tournament and only eight remain.

Starved Rock State Park is among the eight finalists for the most popular tourist attraction in Illinois.  Starved Rock is pitted against Garden of the Gods in southern Illinois this week.  Some other attractions include the Field Museum, Brookfield Zoo, Main Street Galena and Lincoln’s New Salem Site.

The attractions themselves don’t win anything besides bragging rights.  But if you vote, you become eligible for weekend getaways to Chicago, Galena and Springfield.  You can vote once a week by finding Enjoy Illinois on Facebook.

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Several Local Clergy On The Move

Posted by wlpo on May 31, 2012

The month of June will bring several changes with catholic churches in the area.  Forty-two priests in the Peoria Diocese are being reassigned.

Father Robert Rayson of St. Hyacinth’s and St. Patrick’s in La Salle and St. Thomas More in Dalzell will move to churches in Champaign and Seymour.  Taking his place in La Salle will be Father Antonio Dittmer who is coming from Minnesota.

In Oglesby, Father Michael Andrejek is going from Holy Family to St. Joseph’s in Pekin.  Replacing him at Holy Family is Father Gary Blake who is now at Holy Cross in Mendota.

Father Patrick Fixsen is staying with St. Patrick’s in Arlington and Holy Trinity in Cherry but is going from being an administrator to a pastor.  Monsignor Philip Halfacre of St. Michael the Archangel in Streator is expanding his role to include St. Pat’s in Seneca.

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La Salle Speller Bows Out Of National Bee

Posted by wlpo on May 31, 2012

When the bright lights were on, La Salle’s Grant Innis aced the spelling test.  Unfortunately he didn’t do good enough spelling off the lit stage to advance in the national spelling bee.

The recently graduated Lincoln Junior High student nailed both words during yesterday’s televised rounds of the Scripps Spelling Bee.  Innis knew how to spell “remand” and “keest”.  However he didn’t score well enough in Round 1 testing which was done Tuesday on computers to be one of 50 semifinalists.

Innis is one of 278 students to compete in the national spelling bee.

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Foreclosured Homes Still Problem In Illinois

Posted by wlpo on May 31, 2012

CHICAGO (AP) – Almost 31 percent of homes sold in Illinois in the first quarter of the year were in foreclosure or owned by a bank.

The statistics were released Thursday by RealtyTrac. The company says the total number of foreclosures sold from January through March totaled 8,592, and the average sale price was $127,530.

The number of foreclosure sales was 22 percent higher than during the same period last year, and almost 12 percent higher than the last three months of 2011.

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La Salle man accused of hitting a police officer and a neighbor

Posted by wlpo on May 30, 2012

Sometimes your temper rises and you feel like taking it out on someone- don’t.  A man living at the high rise in La Salle is accused of hitting a neighbor and then a police officer.

Police were called to the apartments on Second Street late Tuesday night for a man hitting another person on the 7th floor.  They say they found Marc Rowley in a hallway but as they tried to arrest him, they say he got out of hand and started hitting an officer.

Rowley was eventually arrested for aggravated battery to a police officer, battery, and obstructing and resisting police.  He was being held at the La Salle County Jail.

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Eye-sore property closer to being torn down in Peru

Posted by wlpo on May 30, 2012

Normally if you put $18,000 into a house you end up with a better home.  In Peru, they’ll end up with an empty lot and that’s considered to be an improvement over the house that’s been deteriorating at 1124 Buffalo Street.

The city spent about two years trying to have something done with the home that was chronically in poor shape and littered with garbage and broken windows.  Two companies have been hired to remove asbestos and demolish the home for about $17,730.

This after the city spent money on legal fees and to buy it from a tax scavenger.

The city council approved the spending Wednesday night.  Alderman Dave Potthoff suggested that they start budgeting for that type of project so they’ll know how much they have to spend.

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