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Archive for May 1st, 2012

Peru could change rules on video gaming

Posted by wlpo on May 1, 2012

You can’t legally win money from playing a video gaming machine but that could be changing soon.  In preparation for that a few people are asking the City of Peru to change their rules so local bar owners may apply for a state gaming license.

Norm Clark with the Illinois License Beverage Association and Russ Guynn of Waterstreet Pub in Peru explained the situation to the city council Tuesday night.  They’re asking the city to change their rules banning video gaming so when local liquor license holders apply to the state for a gaming license they’ll be approved.  If not they say the state will turn them down.

The gaming licenses would be available for bars, truck stops and fraternal organizations but not convenient stores.

Clark says the state could be prepared to begin issuing licenses by September but has his doubts since the legislation was approved nearly three years ago and not much has been done.

Peru’s attorney will look into creating an exemption for bar owners who would be licensed by the state.

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OSF St. Elizabeth Medical Center Era Begins

Posted by wlpo on May 1, 2012

A new month brought a new beginning for Ottawa Regional Hospital.

The Most Reverend Bishop Daniel Jenky gave the official blessing to ORH becoming OSF St. Elizabeth Medical Center.  OSF Healthcare System Chairperson Sister Judith Duvall calls the merger a “match made in heaven”.

Dr. Brian Rosborough is the Vice President of Medical Affairs at the Ottawa Medical Center.  He says the merger means improved patient outcomes, more access to specialized treatments, state of the art technology, and care that keeps patients closer to home.  OSF taking over also means stability to the hospital financially.

CEO Robert Chaffin called today a “milestone” and says the evolution of the Ottawa hospital continues.  The former Ottawa Regional Hospital started as Community Regional Hospital of Ottawa in 1974.

The first public hospital in Ottawa started in 1895.

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Panel rejects closing 2 Illinois prisons

Posted by wlpo on May 1, 2012

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – An Illinois legislative commission says Gov. Pat Quinn should not close prisons in Dwight and Tamms.

The panel’s action is only advisory. Quinn can still close the prisons, which he says must be done to cut state spending.

The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability voted 7-3 against the closures Tuesday.

The Tamms prison is a “supermax” facility for the most dangerous inmates.

Dwight houses female prisoners.

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New I-80 Pot Bust

Posted by wlpo on May 1, 2012

It’s hard to fool the police dog.  A man from California is accused of hiding 13 pounds of marijuana in a speaker box in the trunk of his car.

State troopers stopped Thomas Linarez Monday morning on Interstate 80 near Utica.  He was arrested for possession of cannabis with intent to deliver and was taken to the La Salle County Jail.

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Ottawa Man Still Missing

Posted by wlpo on May 1, 2012

The search for Chris Strobel is now onto day four.

The 36-year old married, father of two was last seen around 2am Saturday near Ottawa City Hall.  A search of rivers, woods, and alleys in Ottawa turned up nothing Sunday and Ottawa Police Chief Brian Zeilmann says detectives are now doing their best to follow any leads.

Zeilmann says Strobel was picked up on surveillance video of businesses in town but all before he was last seen near city hall.  After this, Zeilmann says “it becomes a blank”.  He says there has been no indication yet that Strobel had made any mentions of running off but at same time there’s nothing pointing to foul play.

If you have information about where Chris Strobel could be, call Ottawa Police.

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Grain Bin Burns

Posted by wlpo on May 1, 2012

A smoldering tower of wheat kept a dozen fire departments busy for eight hours near Amboy.  The fire was inside a 240,000 bushel grain bin owned by Consolidated Grain and Barge.  It was noticed Monday afternoon.

Amboy Fire Chief Frank Stenzel says smoke was coming from the vents.  Stenzel says they needed the help of aerial trucks from Mendota and Princeton.  They’re not sure what started the wheat on fire.

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Gun Range Deal In Place

Posted by wlpo on May 1, 2012

Parts of the Buffalo Range Shooting Park could reopen this week.

After several hours of negotiations yesterday, lawyers for the gun range and the Illinois Attorney General’s Office said they hammered out an agreement to open some parts of the gun range.  Circuit Judge Eugene Daugherity is expected to rule on the agreement tomorrow in downtown Ottawa.

Testimony about a state injunction keeping the gun range closed has been going since earlier this month.  The state claims stray bullets from the range have just missed hitting several people at either Buffalo Rock State Park or along the I&M Canal trail.  Officials with the gun range say the errant bullets are coming from somewhere else.

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