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Archive for July 26th, 2012

Unemployment Goes Up In The Area

Posted by wlpo on July 26, 2012

The unemployment scene in the listening area is trending in a negative direction.  Jobless rates for La Salle, Bureau and Putnam counties in June were all worse than the month before.

La Salle County’s latest unemployment rate is 11.4 percent, compared to 9.8 percent in June and 11.1 percent a year ago.  Bureau County’s June jobless rate is 9.2 percent, compared to 8 percent in May and 10.1 percent a year ago.  Putnam County’s June unemployment rate is 9.4 percent compared to 8.6 in May and 10 percent a year ago.

Illinois’ latest unemployment rate is 8.7 percent, up slightly.

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Cause of Cimco Recycling fire under investigation

Posted by wlpo on July 26, 2012

One day after a fire at Cimco Recycling in Ottawa, firefighters aren’t sure what started it.  Ottawa Fire Captain Steve Haywood said Thursday it could take a while for the State Fire Marshall to determine the cause.  The Ottawa Police Department is also investigating.

The fire was reported early Wednesday morning by a man who noticed it while driving by the former Bakelite plant on Route 6.

The fire was mainly on the top floor of a section of the building used for storage.  Haywood says he’s not aware of people trespassing on the property and says the door to the area with the fire was welded shut.  The area had sprinklers but they were old and no longer in use.

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Westclox cleanup making progress

Posted by wlpo on July 26, 2012

The businesses that had to relocate because of the New Year’s Day fire at Westclox have either returned to the old factory or set up shop elsewhere.  But the part of the building that was reduced to rubble is still lying in a heap.  Mayor Scott Harl told the city council Wednesday night that the owners have been cooperative.

Alderman Rodney Perez was asking if the city should start fining the owners to push them.  Harl says they’re making progress.  He says the owners need a special permit from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency because there’s more than an acre covered by debris.

Cleanup has been delayed because of the insurance company’s investigation.

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Area Farmer’s Markets Will Accept LINK Cards

Posted by wlpo on July 26, 2012

Farmer’s Markets in Mendota and Princeton will soon offer the chance to pay with a LINK card.

Over 40 farmer’s markets in Illinois are getting grant money to have a machine that takes LINK card payments.  Before they can start offering LINK payments, Mendota and Princeton will have to do training and attend a state meeting about the program.

The Bureau County Farmers Market in Princeton runs Tuesdays and Saturdays between May 23rd and October 31st.  The Mendota Farmer’s Market is every Saturday from July thru October.

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Drivers Adjust To Traffic Change Near Peru Mall

Posted by wlpo on July 26, 2012

Changes take time to get used to, especially when it’s a busy intersection.  Turn lanes by the Peru Mall and Dairy Queen have been redone in an effort to prevent traffic from backing up onto Route 251.

Changes were rolled out Monday and it’s left many people confused.  All of the signage won’t be up until next week.  Mayor Scott Harl thinks it’ll just take time for people to get the hang of it.

The set up now is people who come off Route 251 don’t have to stop at the intersection anymore.  You can either go straight without stopping or turn right onto Venture Drive towards Hobby Lobby.  People who come out of Hobby Lobby still have to stop at the intersection but can no longer turn left towards Route 251.

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Earlville Murder Case Delayed

Posted by wlpo on July 26, 2012

A California man involved in a fatal Earlville home invasion is getting more time for trial.

Marcus Samarripa was in La Salle County Court yesterday and had his August trial date erased from the schedule.  His attorney Ed Kuleck says he needs more time to study lab results.

Samarripa is in jail for murder.  He and Raymond Maldonaldo allegedly broke into the Earlville house of Joel Contreras in February.  Contreras shot and killed Maldonaldo.  Samarripa is charged based on the accountability theory of felony murder.  That means since he was carrying out of a felony and someone died during it, he can be held responsible for the death even if he didn’t shoot the victim.

Samarripa’s next court date is August 17th.

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Smoke Flare Up At Cimco Recycling

Posted by wlpo on July 26, 2012

Firefighters were back at Cimco Recycling last night for a rekindle.

They got the call around nine o’clock after neighbors of the old Bakelite plant off Route 6 said they saw smoke coming from the building.  Earlier in the day yesterday firefighters spent about eight hours fighting a fire centered in the buildings fourth floor.

Ottawa Fire Captain William Manley says it appears some type of dense plastic material on the fourth floor was burning.  The roof collapsed causing part of a north wall to come down.

Well over a dozen fire departments helped fight the fire.  No one was injured.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office is helping to investigate the cause of the fire.

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Illinois Valley’s Version Of Woodstock

Posted by wlpo on July 26, 2012

Peace, love and music.  Where have you heard that saying before?

Promoters say this weekends Bigfoot Band Camp Music Festival in Putnam County is modeled after Woodstock.  Several local and regional bands are lined up to play all day Friday and Saturday at the Putnam County Conservation Area west of McNabb.  Besides music, there will be arts and crafts, food, fire spinners and belly dancers.

General admission both days is 15 bucks cash only.  If you want to camp out, its an extra eight dollars.

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Soap Stars Put On Play In Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on July 26, 2012

A story made famous in a Jimmy Stewart movie will usher in this year’s Ottawa Riverfest.

Former soap star Walt Willey and longtime partner Kim Johnson are putting on “Harvey” July 27th thru the 29th at Ottawa High School.  “Harvey” tells the story about an eccentric man whose best friend is a rabbit named Harvey that only he can see.  Besides Willey, the show will also feature Vincent Irizarry who starred with Willey on All My Children.

Showtimes are 7:30 this Friday and Saturday night with a Sunday matinee at 2:30.  Advance tickets are 25 dollars at the Ottawa Visitor’s Center or 30 dollars at the door.

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Family Displaced After Fire In DePue

Posted by wlpo on July 26, 2012

A family in DePue has to find somewhere else to call home.

A two-story house owned by Raeann Bergeron caught fire yesterday afternoon around 1:30.  Bergeron told the News Tribune she was able to get out okay with her children and pets.

Fire departments from DePue, Bureau and Ladd fought the second floor fire for about an hour.  There’s no word yet on a cause although it could’ve been because of an air conditioner.

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