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Archive for August 8th, 2012

Business managers say changes to an intersection is hurting their business

Posted by wlpo on August 8, 2012

Two weeks after a busy intersection near the Peru Mall and Dairy Queen was reconfigured, it’s still causing a fuss.  Many people have been complaining about the changes at 38th Street and Venture Drive.

A handful of business managers along Venture Drive are speaking up too.  Home Depot Manager Johnny Jaworski told the Peru City Council Wednesday night that changes to traffic flow are hurting business and customers are complaining.  Managers of Dairy Queen, Mi Margarita and Peru Federal Savings Bank echoed his sentiments.

It wasn’t enough to stop most of the alderman from officially approving the changes to stop signs at the intersection.  Aldermen Sherry Mayszak and Rodney Perez voted against the changes, in part because they hadn’t received a copy of the ordinance.

Mayor Scott Harl says they need to move and add signage to make it better but insisted it’s a better situation than they had before.

The changes were intended to prevent traffic from backing up onto Route 251.  Harl says that they’re open to suggestions.

If you have an opinion about the intersection, it’ll be the topic when the Public Works Committee meets at 10am Monday at city hall.  In the meantime, remember you probably can’t turn left.

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115 jobs expected to leave Mendota next year

Posted by wlpo on August 8, 2012

Mendota is getting hit with another plant closing.  Bay Valley Foods plans to close its plant in Mendota in the early part of next year.

Their parent company TreeHouse Foods Wednesday announced the plans to close that location and one in Ontario, Canada.  They say the decision to close them came after reviewing ways to lower production costs.

Approximately 115 people work at the Mendota plant.  The soup production line is being moved to a plant in Pittsburgh.

The city lost about 200 jobs when R.R. Donnelly closed earlier this year.

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Hall High School player dies after collapsing during football practice

Posted by wlpo on August 8, 2012

High school football fields across the area were busy with players getting in their first practices of the new season.  At Hall High School practice came to an unexpected halt when a 17 year old student collapsed during a non-contact agility drill Wednesday afternoon.

911 was called and Daniel Lule was taken by ambulance to St. Margaret’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly after 1:30pm.

His death is being investigated by the Bureau County Coroner’s Office.

Students, family and friends of Lule will be able to speak with grief counselors at the school at 10am Thursday and at 8am Friday.

School officials have described Lule as, “a wonderful young man who was a Red Devil through and through.”

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CIMCO Recycling Fire Deemed Suspicious

Posted by wlpo on August 8, 2012

Two weeks after a fire at CIMCO Recycling in Ottawa, the investigation into who or what started it continues.

Ottawa Fire Chief Jeff Newberry says it is suspicious because the room had no electricity in it.   He says the fire was in an upper level storage room where the main entrance was welded shut, so “someone had to make a concerted effort” to get in.

Newberry says CIMCO officials have talked about offering a reward into information leading to an arrest.  He says the totally property loss was 400 thousand dollars.  Mainly plastics burned but a wall did collapse.

Newberry says the hardest part of fighting the CIMCO fire was lack of water.  He says the company is looking at putting hydrants on their property.

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Three Men Accused Of Running With The Buffalo Rock Buffaloes

Posted by wlpo on August 8, 2012

If you go to Buffalo Rock State Park, feel free to check out the buffalo pen.  Just don’t jump inside it.

Conservation Police were called to the park Sunday after three men at a birthday party allegedly felt the need to run around with the buffalo.  Gregory Burris of Oglesby, Eddie Mentgen of Peru and Jason Webber of La Salle were all ticketed for going into a restricted area.  They were not hurt.

All three were given court dates.

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Area Shelters Opening Earlier Than Usual

Posted by wlpo on August 8, 2012

It’s been a long and hot summer, especially for people who have no place to go.  The homeless shelters in Peru and Ottawa are opening September 1, one month earlier than usual.

Carol Alcorn is Executive Director of Illinois Valley PADS Homeless Shelters.  She says many of the people they help have lost their jobs and have been evicted.  Most of them are from La Salle, Bureau and Putnam Counties.

While they prepare to open, they need household items and cleaners.  They also need more volunteers, particularly people to work the overnight shifts.

If you would like to donate items, money or your time to PADS more information is available at the website.  You can call also call the shelters in Peru or Ottawa.

The shelters will be open seven days a week from 5pm-9am until the end of next May.

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July Was Nearly Warmest and Driest Ever In Illinois

Posted by wlpo on August 8, 2012

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) – A weather expert says Illinois experienced the second warmest and fourth driest July on record.

State Climatologist Jim Angel says the average temperature statewide was nearly 82 degrees and 6.4 degrees above normal. Only July 1936 was warmer.

Average rainfall was 1.5 inches in July. That’s 2.6 inches below normal.

Angel says Illinois has “a long way to go” to recover the soil moisture, stream flows, lake levels and groundwater it has lost.

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