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Archive for March, 2013

Parents’ group wants to change public school funding

Posted by wlpo on March 31, 2013

          Worried that their children could loose their music and art classes a group of parents, grandparents and even a few students in La Salle have started talking about public school financing. 

Julie Ator and Mike Rhode are members of Fair Funding for La Salle County Schools, a group that began just a couple of months ago. Rhode says he got involved because of his soon-to-be stepson who plays saxophone in the Lincoln Junior High Band.  He was surprised and upset to find out how schools are funded, believing that schools outside of Chicago get less.

He thinks the message needs to be taken to Springfield. 

They also support a one-percent sales tax referendum that will be on the ballot in April in La Salle County.  The referendum failed in November.  Rhode admits he voted no, saying he was uneducated about where the money would go.

          An interview with Rhode and Ator is available at the AM 1220 WLPO news page.

   

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Seminar discusses Affordable Care Act

Posted by wlpo on March 31, 2013

By now you’ve probably heard all the horror stories about the Affordable Care Act, also known by some as “Obamacare.”Illinois Valley Community Hospital CEO Tommy Hobbs and St. Margaret’s Hospital President and CEO Tim Muntz will talk about the health care act during the next IVAC breakfast seminar. The discussion starts at 7:30am Wednesday, April 10th at Mario’s Maples Supper Club in Peru.  The meeting is 15 dollars for IVAC members and 18 dollars for non-members.

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Naperville Islamic Center gets okay

Posted by wlpo on March 31, 2013

 A federal judge has reversed a county board’s decision to prevent an Islamic education facility from operating in suburban Chicago.   In a ruling Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer says she expects the DuPage County Board to approve a request from the Irshad Learning Center.  The board denied a conditional-use permit for the facility in 2010, after nearly two years of debate. Board members said they were concerned about the center operating in a residential neighborhood.  Officials from Irshad filed a federal lawsuit, arguing the board violated their Constitutional right to the free practice of religion.   Pallmeyer concludes there was no direct evidence of deliberate discrimination. But she says there’s no evidence Irshad would have any more impact than other religious institutions already operating in residential areas.

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Strickland accused of killing Strickland

Posted by wlpo on March 31, 2013

A 19-year-old Chicago man is being held without bail on charges he killed his grandfather while the 72-year-old waited for a ride to dialysis treatment.  A Chicago TV station reports William D. Strickland is charged with first-degree murder and armed robbery. Police say the suspect lived with his grandfather, who also was named William Strickland. The elder Strickland was shot several times while he waited outside his South Side Chicago home around 3:30 a.m. March 2nd. Police are still looking for a second suspect.

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St. Rock “Gospel” fundraiser

Posted by wlpo on March 31, 2013

A re-telling of the Gospel of St. Matthew at Starved Rock Lodge last week drew in money for hunger relief. According to its press release, the Lodge partnered with local musician Phil Kaufman to host “Cotton Patch Gospel” last Monday and Tuesday and raise over $2000 for local and international hunger agencies. Kaufman has performed the one man musical over seventy times, portraying more than 20 different characters. The release says that in two years, he’s raised over $77,000 to fight hunger. In April, Kaufman will be in Brooklyn, New York to perform the show for Harry Chapin’s widow. Chapin wrote the music and lyrics to make the show into a musical. “Cotton Patch Gospel” will be performed again at the Lodge in one year.

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Rivermen Leaving Peoria

Posted by wlpo on March 30, 2013

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) – The St. Louis Blues have told the operators of the Peoria Civic Center that the NHL club’s minor league affiliate in Peoria will leave after this season.

The Civic Center recently received an email from the Blues saying the Rivermen will be gone when the current season ends in April. It isn’t clear what will happen to the minor league team.

The Blues own the American Hockey League’s Rivermen. The team has played in Peoria since the 1980s.

Civic Center general manager Jim Wetherington says the Blues have two more seasons on their lease with the arena. The team will pay a $90,000 penalty.

Wetherington plans to try to draw a hockey team to the arena for next season.

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Progress Being Made In Westclox Cleanup

Posted by wlpo on March 30, 2013

Hundreds of tons of rubble has been removed this month from the old Westclox building.

According to the News-Tribune, 1.6 million pounds of steel were removed from the Westclox rubble pile. That’s about 800 tons.

The rubble covered more than three acres and site manager Mike Krug says crews are “down to picking up loose odds and ends.” The rubble includes steel, concrete, brick and construction materials.

Krug says there are no plans for the site once it is entirely cleared.

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Mayor of Dwight working to help former prison workers after closure

Posted by wlpo on March 29, 2013

What do you do when your city loses a major employer?  Bill Wilkey, the mayor of Dwight is finding out.  The women’s prison outside of Dwight officials closes Sunday.  Nearly 350 had worked there.

Wilkey says they’ve been in turmoil since a year ago February when Governor Pat Quinn announced he wanted to close the prison.  He’s not a fan of Quinn and he doesn’t think the closure will save the state money.

These days he’s working with local lawmakers to hold a workshop for the estimated 22 people left jobless.  He also wonders what will happen to the businesses like their Casey General Store they waited on prison employees everyday.

Many prison employees were given other jobs within the Illinois Department of Corrections.  They begin their new jobs Monday.

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Oglesby hiring summer workers

Posted by wlpo on March 29, 2013

Looking for an extra job this summer?  The City of Oglesby is hiring people to work at the swimming pool including a pool manager.

They’re also hiring park maintenance crew members, children’s summer program instructors, and men’s softball umpires.

You can get an application at the city clerk’s office or at the parks and rec office.  The deadline to apply is April 19.

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Area Gas Prices Falling

Posted by wlpo on March 29, 2013

Here’s a combination you can live with.  Temperatures going up while gas prices go down.

The price at the pump has went down the past couple days in the Illinois Valley.  According to GasBuddy.com, unleaded gas has fallen below $3.60 a gallon at several spots including stations in La Salle, Peru, Spring Valley, and Earlville.  You can always find up to date prices on the AM 1220 WLPO website.

The average price in Illinois is $3.92 a gallon, 30 cents above the national average.  The cheapest gas in Illinois is being sold in Normal.

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