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Archive for October, 2012

Peru alderman offers to drive shopper bus

Posted by wlpo on October 31, 2012

The shopper bus is a way for seniors in Peru and La Salle to get to area stores but it only runs on weekdays. That would change under a proposal from Peru Alderman Rodney Perez. Perez says he would volunteer his time to drive the shopper bus for a couple Saturdays, especially with the holidays approaching. He shared his idea with the rest of the city council Wednesday night.

Perez is a truck driver and has a CDL.

City Clerk Dave Bartley says he can’t see anyone being opposed to it. They’ll put comment cards on the bus to see if the riders would like it.

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Mediator Involved In Ottawa Teacher Negotiations

Posted by wlpo on October 31, 2012

Despite having a mediator involved and working on an expired contract, one of the Ottawa teacher’s union negotiators says don’t expect another strike.

Steve Johnson says with all the teacher’s strikes this year in Illinois and Ottawa’s lengthy one in 2009, he understands it’s on people’s minds.  Johnson says they plan to negotiate until a mutually agreeable contract can be signed.  He says the superintendent and school board president both say they’re not going to impose a contract which bodes well for continued good faith bargaining.

The next meeting between Ottawa teachers, the school board and a mediator is November 7th.

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Heating Assistant Available For Low Income

Posted by wlpo on October 31, 2012

If you need a helping hand paying for heating bills, you can start applying for assistance.

The state’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program or LIHEAP is available now for anyone who meets certain income requirements.  A single person qualifies for assistance if monthly income is under 14 hundred dollars.  A family of four qualifies for LIHEAP is the monthly income is under 29 hundred dollars. The energy funds go until they run out.

The Tri-County Opportunities Council in Dixon is the local LIHEAP office.

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Former American Idol contest to visit DePue

Posted by wlpo on October 31, 2012

Do you remember “the singing waitress” from Season 10 of American Idol?  She’s coming to DePue High School.

Devyn Rush will speak out against bullying Thursday morning in the high school gym starting at 10.  Rush is the national spokesperson for the anti-bullying group “Hey UGLY”.  The “UGLY” stands for unique, gifted, loveable, you.

Rush is expected to sing a few songs besides delivering her anti-bullying message.  The local group CAB or communities against bullying will also be part of the event.

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Woman Killed In Ottawa Fire

Posted by wlpo on October 31, 2012

Investigators are still looking into a fire that left a woman in Ottawa dead.  Firefighters were called to Rhonda Anderson’s home on the south side of town yesterday evening after someone noticed smoke coming from her townhouse.

The 57 year old was found in the kitchen by firefighters and was taken to St. Elizabeth Medical Center.  Anderson was pronounced dead in the emergency room.

Her dog was also pulled from the home and taken to a vet.  It’s unclear what happened to it.

The adjacent townhouse received little damage.

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Three water main breaks leave much of La Salle under boil order

Posted by wlpo on October 31, 2012

The third time is not a charm in La Salle where city workers were called to a third water main break in a day’s time.  The most recent break is on 5th Street.  Service could be affected on 5th from Gooding to Bucklin.

The break was noticed around 3pm Wednesday.  The first break happened early Wednesday morning near 6th and Wright Street.  The break collapsed an area of Wright Street.

A second water main break was discovered at 3rd and Tonti around 11:30am and was affecting homes between 6th and 1st Streets on Tonti.    Homes and businesses south of 9th Street and east of Interstate 39 are under a boil order.  The north side of 9th Street is not.

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Red Cross Asking For Help On Behalf Of East Coast

Posted by wlpo on October 31, 2012

Want to help people out east, donate blood.

According to area Red Cross officials, Sandy canceled over 300 blood drives resulting in a shortage of around nine thousand units of blood platelets.  Those numbers are expected to only grow with extended flooding and power outages.

Blood drives tomorrow in the area include: from 11:30 until 5:30 at First United Methodist Church in Princeton; from 1:30 until 5:30 at First Baptist Church in Ottawa; and from 1:45 until 6 at Streator’s Blood Donation Center.

Visit if you can make a monetary donation.

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New Polling Place Locator For La Salle County

Posted by wlpo on October 30, 2012

If you haven’t voted in the last few elections, your polling place may have changed without you knowing it.

New voter cards were mailed out last summer after redistricting.  If you lost your card, there’s another easy way to know your new voting spot.

For first time, the La Salle County Clerk’s Office has a polling place locator.  You can either click on an interactive map or enter your address and your polling place will pop up on screen.

Here is the polling place link:

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Law enforcement and lawmakers make a pitch for preschool funding

Posted by wlpo on October 30, 2012

Don’t go swimming during an electrical storm and don’t stand on a swivel chair,  some of the practical advice preschool students in Andrea Ruiz’s class learned Tuesday from special guest readers.

Peru and La Salle Police Chiefs Doug Bernabei and Rob Uranich, La Salle County States Attorney Brian Towne, State Senator Sue Rezin and State Representative Frank Mautino took turns reading from the book, “Officer Buckle and Gloria.”

They were at Jackson School in La Salle to stress the importance of preschool programs that rely on state funding and how preschool could prevent children from ending up in trouble.  The La Salle Elementary Program is dependent on state money according to district superintendent Dan Marenda.  Enrollment is open to all preschool-aged La Salle children but preference is given to students considered at-risk.

It’s the at-risk student they’re with whom they are most concerned.  It’s part of the organization Fight Crime: Invest in Kids.    Representative Mautino, a democrat who’s up for re-election next week, says that early childhood education always takes a high precedent during appropriations.  He faces Republican challenger Don Jensen in next week’s election.

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Hennepin Woman Hurt After Crash On Peru Bridge

Posted by wlpo on October 30, 2012

A chain reaction crash on the Route 251 bridge in Peru sent one woman to the hospital.

Lydia Ramirez of Hennepin and Brianne Sanders of Minonk were stopped for traffic Monday afternoon on the bridge when officers say James Blaydes of Oglesby slammed into Sanders.  The impact pushed Sanders into the back of Ramirez’s car.

Ramirez was taken to Illinois Valley Community Hospital.  Blaydes was ticketed for failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

The crash held up traffic for about a half hour.

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