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Archive for October 18th, 2012

Utica Celebrates Route 178 Work

Posted by wlpo on October 18, 2012

Some things are worth the wait.  That seems to be the feeling in Utica with the new Route 178.

A symbolic ribbon cutting for the new road was held last evening at the Utica Village Hall.  Like the road, the village hall was rebuilt after damage done in the 2004 tornado.

Utica Mayor Fred Esmond says it was a collaborative effort between the Illinois Department of Transportation, construction crews, and people of Utica.  He says despite some concerns the new road is better for the village.

IDOT Engineer Herb Jung says the road around downtown and the new interchange with Interstate 80 was finished on time and within budget.  He says the price tag for the new Route 178 was over four million while the new interchange cost 15 million dollars.

Jung hinted to the crowd that IDOT’s next project in Utica is replacing the Route 178 bridge over the Illinois River.

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Illinois unemployment dips to 8.8 percent

Posted by wlpo on October 18, 2012

CHICAGO (AP) – Illinois’ unemployment rate dipped to 8.8% in September.

That’s down from a rate of 9.1% in August. And the Illinois Department of Employment Security says the seasonally adjusted figures reported today show Illinois’ unemployment rate has fallen 10 times in the past 13 months.

IDES says Illinois added 13,800 jobs in September, and Director Jay Rowell calls the news “encouraging because it reinforces the trend of continued job growth.”

The department says last month’s job gains were driven by the areas of professional and business services, as well as the leisure and hospitality sectors.

The U.S. unemployment rate for September stood at 7.8%.

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Ottawa High School student in trouble for bullet casings

Posted by wlpo on October 18, 2012

Even if you don’t specifically threaten anyone, you can get into big trouble bringing any type of ammunition to school.

An Ottawa High School student faces charges after officials say they found spent ammunition casings Monday in a trash can inside a locker room.  According to school officials, one student brought the casings and a round from home but didn’t have a weapon or threaten anyone.

The ammunition was found after school so the school wasn’t dismissed or put on any kind of lockdown.

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Interstate Chase Covers Three Area Counties

Posted by wlpo on October 18, 2012

A man from Mokena is accused of leading police on a three county chase is in custody.

Officers say they tracked Daniel Bakalik down in a cornfield near Minooka just before 7.  A couple hours before that, Ottawa Police got a call about a stolen truck.

After the stolen truck call was made, Ottawa officers, La Salle County deputies and state police out of La Salle chased the driver on eastbound Interstate 80.  Deputies from Grundy County and state police from Joliet joined the chase as the fleeing driver entered Grundy and eventually Will County.  Not long after stop sticks were deployed, officers say Bakalik ditched his truck and ran into a cornfield.

It wasn’t an extreme high-speed chase with police staying in the range of 70 miles per hour.

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IVCH Sees Baby Frenzy

Posted by wlpo on October 18, 2012

There was a “baby boom” of sorts at Illinois Valley Community Hospital in Peru.

The hospital had six babies born between 2:30 and 9:30 Wednesday morning.  IVCH Public Relations Director Gene Vogelsang says that a lot of babies being delivered in one day at a hospital the size of IVCH.

Vogelsang says at one time they had 10 newborns in the hospital before one was discharged.

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