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Archive for September 10th, 2012

La Salle County Board Says Not So Fast On Proposed Clean Energy Line

Posted by wlpo on September 10, 2012

The latest “not in my back yard” issue to hit La Salle County is opposition to a high-voltage transmission line.

Texas-based Clean Line Energy is looking to put up the “Rock Island Clean Line” thru northern Bureau and La Salle County, using tall towers to take wind energy from Iowa to Chicago and places further to the east.  While the company would offer cash to put poles in landowner’s yards, many are leery of loss of property value, possible use of eminent domain to take over land without the owner’s consent and no long term local job creation.  The La Salle County Board share’s the same concerns.

They unanimously passed a resolution last night asking the Illinois Commerce Commission to do an impartial study on the impact of the energy line in La Salle County.  Many board members say there are too many unanswered questions to support the project.

The commerce commission will give the ultimate yes or no to the Rock Island Clean Line.  County Board Chairman Jerry Hicks admitted they can’t stop the project but they can at least show the state they’re concerned.

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La Salle County And Exelon Settle Tax Dispute

Posted by wlpo on September 10, 2012

While you get your tax refunds in the spring, Exelon is getting a tax refund from La Salle County in the next month.

The county and Exelon have settled two year’s worth of tax disputes out of court.  The county will pay the power company 427 thousand dollars, or 25 percent of what Exelon says the county taxed excessively for Social Security and the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund.  County Board Chairman Jerry Hicks called it an “overcharge” that won’t happen again.

The overcharge amount won’t affect Exelon’s bottom dollar too much.  Hicks says they represent 20 percent of the county’s entire tax base.  The power plant’s last two tax assessments have put the property value at 525 million dollars.

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Striping to begin Tuesday morning in La Salle

Posted by wlpo on September 10, 2012

It’s nice to have new asphalt on First Street in La Salle.  After Tuesday you’ll have fresh paint outlining parking stalls and crosswalks.

La Salle’s Engineer Mike Furlan says the striping contractor will be working in the downtown and at the Ninth and Lafayette Streets intersection starting around 8am Tuesday.

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Barn fire keeps firefighters busy in Putnam County

Posted by wlpo on September 10, 2012

The barn was lost but a nearby shed and garage were saved during a fire at a farm in Putnam County.  Firefighters from six departments were called to the Ray Kunkel farm minutes before12pm Monday for a wooden barn that was burning.

Standard Fire Chief Michael Skowera says they had to protect a shed that was two feet away from burning barn, a two-car garage and an LP tank on wheels.  Skowera says they had to bring in a backhoe to put out the fire.  The barn and everything in it was lost.  He says the owner was welding on a piece of machinery outside of the building and an ember may have started the fire.

Granville, McNabb, Cedar Point, Magnolia and Spring Valley brought engines and tankers.  The last of the firefighters left just after 4pm.

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Bus And Pickup Crash Near Marseilles

Posted by wlpo on September 10, 2012

A rough start to the school day for students of Milton Pope Grade School.  39 students ranging from kindergarten to eighth grade were taken to area hospitals after their bus crashed with a pickup truck before school Monday.

La Salle County Sheriff’s Deputies say it happened at North 32nd and East 25th Road near Marseilles.  They think Michael Shelton of Seneca ran a stop sign, hitting the bus driven by Diane Kelly of Marseilles.

The bus ended up on its side.  22 of the students were allowed to go home with their parents.  Shelton was taken to Morris Hospital and was ticketed for disobeying a stop sign.

The bus driver, Kelly, was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital in Streator.  As for the students, none of their injuries were life-threatening.  The crash remains under investigation.  School was cancelled.

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Pot Bust On I-80 In La Salle

Posted by wlpo on September 10, 2012

A man along ways from home faces drug charges in La Salle County.

Creighton Cogdill of Boise, Idaho was pulled over Thursday night on Interstate 80 in La Salle.  He’s accused of having 22 pounds of cannabis inside two duffel bags along with a gram of cocaine.

Cogdill was arrested for cannabis trafficking and possession of a controlled substance.  He was taken to the La Salle County Jail.

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Third Person Charged In Streator Grocery Store Robbery

Posted by wlpo on September 10, 2012

If you played a part in planning a robbery but didn’t physically do it, you can still get in trouble.

Raymond Wren of Streator was arrested over the weekend for armed robbery.  He’s accused of planning last Wednesday’s robbery of B & R Grocery in Streator.

Streator Police arrested Jason Brooks and Denise Breen for not only robbing B & R Grocery but also the Butternut Store a few hours earlier.  In each case, they’re accused of stealing cash.  Police won’t say how much.

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