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Archive for October 9th, 2012

Plumbing Closes Marquette High School

Posted by wlpo on October 9, 2012

There’s no school today at Marquette Academy High School.

School officials called off classes because of what’s being called a major plumbing issue.  The high school only is closed.  Marquette Academy’s Pre-K and elementary buildings are still open and class is in session for them.

The high school building is completely closed to students, staff and faculty.

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La Salle annexes land for athletic complex TIF district

Posted by wlpo on October 9, 2012

La Salle is larger Wednesday than it was Tuesday, if only by about 80 acres.  A farm field and a couple of homes along Chartres Street, former railroad right-of-way and lots already being used for business have been annexed so the city can continue to create a tax increment financing district to pay for LP High School’s athletic complex.

The land owned by the Cleer Family, Carus Corporation and the Witek’s was annexed under the agreement that property owners wouldn’t have to pay the city’s portion of their property taxes until it’s developed.  And they’ll now be covered by La Salle’s fire and police departments.

The city council agreed to the annexations Tuesday night.  Mayor Jeff Grove says most of the land will be zoned for commercial uses.  No new homes are expected and if one is built, it can’t be a large apartment building.

The city and LP High School want to turn a part of the north end of La Salle along Chartres Street and Raccuglia Drive into a TIF district so money from the TIF could help pay for a new track, soccer field and tennis courts.

Grove thinks they could have the new TIF created by the end of the year.

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Still No Video Gaming In The Illinois Valley

Posted by wlpo on October 9, 2012

The Illinois Valley is still waiting to flip the switch on video gaming.

Well over 200 video gaming machines went live yesterday in 65 different establishments in Illinois.  The closest machines in the listening area are at Minonk Lanes.

Places that have the go-ahead to eventually have at least five gaming machines include: Illinois Valley Super Bowl and Art Giese’s Tavern in Peru; John’s North Star in La Salle; El Zarape in Mendota; Shaker’s Lounge in Ottawa; and Road Ranger’s in Ottawa and Mendota.

Businesses and the gaming terminal vendor get 35 percent of video gaming revenues.  The state will take in 25 percent and cities or villages get 5 percent of the cash.

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Car cruise raises money for La Salle baseball and softball

Posted by wlpo on October 9, 2012

Remember the car show in downtown La Salle last month?  It raised money for La Salle boys’ baseball and girls’ softball.

George Green, the man behind “Cruisin La Salle”, presented checks written for $1,580 to leaders of the baseball and softball leagues Tuesday night.

The former La Salle alderman says he thinks this was the seventh year for the car show and plans to hold another one next year.

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Crow found near Mendota had West Nile Virus

Posted by wlpo on October 9, 2012

It’s hard to be bit by a mosquito when you’re wearing long pants and a sweater but they’re still out there.  And they could be carrying West Nile virus.

A crow found near Mendota on September 25 has tested posted for West Nile virus, the virus spread by mosquitoes.  The La Salle County Health Department says it’s the second bird they’ve found that has the illness this year.  An infected blue jay was found in May.

Luckily, nobody in La Salle County has had the virus which can leave you with a fever, headaches and muscle aches.

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month has special meaning at Cherry Grade School

Posted by wlpo on October 9, 2012

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is giving the students and fans of Cherry Grade School an opportunity to show their support for their girls’ basketball assistant coach.

The Lady Comets will be wearing pink when they host Deer Park.  Coach Ryan Luecke says they’re not trying to raise money, just show their support.  Assistant coach Jill Lusietto was diagnosed with breast caner earlier this year.

Pink T-shirts are on sale and free ribbon pins will be available for the first 50 people who pay admission to Thursday’s game.  The game starts at 6pm.

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Annual College Night Is Quickly Approaching At IVCC

Posted by wlpo on October 9, 2012

Everyone from the University of Illinois to United States Naval Academy will be represented at this year’s Illinois Valley Community College “College Night”.

Recruiters will be at IVCC looking for potential students tomorrow night from 6:30 until 8.  There’s supposed to be around 50 public and private colleges and universities along with military academies.

During the “College Night” there’s also a financial aid workshop starting at 6.

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Harvest Statewide Doing Better Than Last Year

Posted by wlpo on October 9, 2012

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) – Good weather has allowed combines to roll, and the Illinois Department of Agriculture says more than three-quarters of the state’s corn crop has already been harvested – well ahead of last year’s pace.

Patrick Kirchhofer of the Peoria County Farm Bureau says that mostly dry days have aided the harvest season. Kirchhofer says Peoria County farmers are finding the harvest is better than expected – considering the hot, dry weather Illinois endured this summer.

Farmer Mike Hoeft, however, isn’t happy. He’s finding yields of 20 to 30 bushels an acre on some of his fields in Delavan. But Hoeft says “that’s why you buy crop insurance.”

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Westclox Trial Set To Restart

Posted by wlpo on October 9, 2012

After a three-week break, the Westclox arson trial gets back going tomorrow morning.

When 17-year old Steven Gallacher’s trial last left off, he was confessing on video about how he and a 15-year old boy from Peru started a New Year’s Eve fire at the old clock factory.  Gallacher of La Salle mentioned how he just got bored with video games and decided to walk down to Westclox.

When the trial restarts tomorrow morning in Ottawa, a representative from the state fire marshal’s office is expected to be called to the stand.  Former La Salle firefighter Steve Smith was the first person to take a stand, describing how he tore up his leg fighting the fire.  His injury elevated Gallacher’s arson charge to aggravated arson.

Without the injury, Gallacher could’ve been eligible for probation if he’s found guilty.

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Peru Native At Center Of Fight Between Chicago Mayor And The Governor

Posted by wlpo on October 9, 2012

CHICAGO (AP) – A woman from Peru is at the center of a spat between Gov. Pat Quinn and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Quinn wants his Director of Communications, Kelly Kraft to lead the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority board. Kraft is a St. Bede graduate.

Quinn is accusing  Emanuel of character assassination for questioning the qualifications of Kraft. Emanuel has suggested the board, which operates U.S. Cellular Field, should start over in its search for a new executive director.

Quinn wants Kraft to get the job despite questions about her expertise and reports she filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009. Quinn  called Kraft “a very good person.”

Emanuel says he has nothing personally against Kraft, but wants someone with the financial management skills needed to protect Chicago taxpayers.

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