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Archive for August 7th, 2012

Cost Of Living In Ottawa Goes Up

Posted by wlpo on August 7, 2012

Sewer and water bills are going up in Ottawa.

The city council unanimously voted to raise the average monthly bill nearly 16 dollars a month starting in September.  Public Property Commissioner Dan Aussem says they need 15 million dollars to address combined sewer overflows or else face fines from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  The sewer and water bill increase will generate about a million dollars a year for 15 years.

Mayor Bob Eschbach says he’s not excited about the significant rate increase but they’re still on the lower end for water and sewer bills.  According to his numbers, Streator, Marseilles, La Salle and Princeton all still charge more for sewer and water.

The council raised sewer bills last year by over two dollars a month.

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Ottawa Eases Swimming Pool Fence Requirements

Posted by wlpo on August 7, 2012

Having your own backyard pool is great but it can be tragic if a child falls into one.  Ottawa Public Safety Commissioner Ed Whitney is afraid a vote by the city council will lead to this happening more often.

The council amended its swimming pool ordinance, no longer requiring homeowners to put up a four foot tall fence around pools that have at least four feet high rigid walls or an automatic pool cover.  Commissioner Dale Baxter says it’s redundant to have a four foot fence if your pool already has a four feet high rigid wall keeping children out.

Whitney however says the council is jeopardizing a child’s life just to let a homeowner save a few bucks.  He says if someone can afford a pool they can afford to put a fence around it.  Baxter estimated the cost of putting up a pool fence was a couple thousand dollars.

Whitney was the only vote against easing swimming pool fence restrictions.

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Firefighters and Ameren called to gas leak in Peru

Posted by wlpo on August 7, 2012

Gas lines are usually well marked but one along May Road in Peru wasn’t.  Firefighters says an unprotected gas line was camouflaged by weeds and grass when it was hit and broken by a man mowing late Tuesday morning near the old Econolodge.

Firefighters say the man did the right thing by slowing down after realizing he had hit the line and moving to a safe area and calling the fire department.  Ameren was called to repair the line.  Nobody was hurt.

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Streator man killed during motorcycle crash

Posted by wlpo on August 7, 2012

Investigators are trying to figure out what caused a man from Streator to drive his motorcycle off the road during what turned into a deadly crash south of Marseilles.

The La Salle County Sheriff’s Office believes 43 year old Daniel Orr was heading south on County Highway 15 when he apparently lost control on a curve and went into the ditch.

The crash was discovered around 5:30am Tuesday.  Orr was pronounced dead an hour later.  An autopsy was being performed Tuesday.

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Murder Indictment In Amboy

Posted by wlpo on August 7, 2012

A man from Amboy has been indicted for murder.

A Lee County Grand Jury yesterday indicted 32-year old Matthew Welling on five counts of first-degree murder and two counts of home invasion.  The indictment claims Welling hit 79-year old Delmar Leroy Daniels in the head which he knew would cause death.  Daniels was found beaten to death in his Amboy house on July 18th.

Investigators claim Welling admitted going to Daniels house after drinking.  They allegedly found Welling’s necklace, shirt and flip-flops next to Daniels’ body.

So far police haven’t found a link between Welling and Daniels.

Welling is in the Lee County Jail on two million dollars bond.  His next court date is Thursday.

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Huge Crowd Debates Ambulance Staffing In Oglesby

Posted by wlpo on August 7, 2012

Many in the standing room only crowd at the Oglesby City Council meeting left disappointed.

The council voted 3 to 2 to put on file a new wage and salary ordinance for its ambulance service last night.  Mayor Don Finley and Commissioners Paul Danekas and Dom Rivara want to get six ambulance workers under a thousand hours a year so they can stop having to shell out a pension.  They also don’t think Ambulance Director Cathie Edens needs put in 100 hours a week.  So they’re proposing more hours to be spread around among the ambulance workers more efficiently.

Public Safety Commissioner Tom Porter argues the ambulance service is running efficiently and fears service will suffer if employee hours are cut.  Several ambulance employees say the people who would have their hours cut would probably have to look elsewhere for a job.

Finley and Danekas think the changes in ambulance worker hours and moving the director to a strict salary will save around 55 thousand dollars.

About 150 took in the heated meeting.

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Fatal Fire In Streator Was Intentionally Set

Posted by wlpo on August 7, 2012

A fire that killed a young girl in Streator is being treated as arson.

The La Salle County State’s Attorney’s Office and members of the state police crime scene investigation team are looking into the Sunday morning fire that killed 3-year old Saranadee Green-Libby.  She was found in her bedroom and was rushed to St. Mary’s Hospital where she died.  An autopsy was done yesterday.

The La Salle County Red Cross is assisting families with food, shelter and clothing.

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Bank Robberies On The Rise In Chicago

Posted by wlpo on August 7, 2012

CHICAGO (AP) – The FBI says the robbery of two Chicago-area banks has pushed the number of banks robbed this year to 116, one more than last year’s entire total.

The Metropolitan Bank, located in Chicago’s Brighton Park neighborhood, was robbed Monday afternoon by a man in his 20s with blond hair. Chicago Police say that during the course of the robbery, the man implied he had a weapon.

Earlier, investigators say a man who appeared to be about 30 years old robbed a Charter One Bank branch in suburban Bridgeview. Officers have not revealed the amount of money stolen in the two robberies.

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