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Archive for March 21st, 2013

Health Of The Illinois Valley Worsens

Posted by wlpo on March 21, 2013

Is the Illinois Valley drinking or smoking too much? Or are there too many fast food choices?

In the new county health rankings studied by the University of Wisconsin, La Salle County ranks 77th in the state out of 102 counties for health.  That’s up from 66th last year.  Putnam County is the 58th healthiest county in Illinois, up from 37 last year.  Bureau County is the 35th healthiest county in Illinois compared to 25th last year.

Looking at specific health factors, La Salle County is above the state average for number of smokers and excessive drinkers, people who are obese and physically inactive. On the positive, La Salle County’s graduation rate is above the state average and the birth rate and number of uninsured people are both below state average.

For a closer look at health rankings in the Illinois Valley, go to

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Traveling exhibit highlights life of Mary Hegeler Carus

Posted by wlpo on March 21, 2013

The leaders in science and industry are typically men even in 2013, which makes it remarkable that Mary Hegeler Carus was able to study engineering and run M and H Zinc Company more than 100 years ago.

She’s the subject of a traveling exhibit created by a researcher at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.  Heleger Carus’ great great granddaughter Josephine Cantrell says she’s happy to see her finally being recognized.

It’s called Petticoats and Slide Rules: The Life of Mary Hegeler Carus.  The grand opening is at5pm Friday at the Hegeler Carus Mansion.   Admission for the evening is $10.

The exhibit will be at the mansion through Sunday.

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IV Food Pantry prepares for Easter

Posted by wlpo on March 21, 2013

Easter is a week from Sunday.  Volunteers at the Illinois Valley Food Pantry are ready for this year’s Easter distribution.

Pantry Executive Director Donna Hess says they’re expecting to provide dinners for 675 families and 1,600 or 1,700 people, about as many people as last Easter.

She says thanks to some good donations and food drives they have enough food for Easter.  And she says the number of people relying on the pantry is down slightly, something she says is good.

Easter distribution is Saturday from 10am util 2pm.  The pantry will be closed on Good Friday.

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Streator Call Center Expanding

Posted by wlpo on March 21, 2013

Here’s refreshing news, a local company hiring and not cutting.

THE RESULTS COMPANIES, a Streator Call Center is adding 200 jobs.  In a news release, the company says the expansion is possible after acquiring adjoining space at their existing building on Pratt Street.

Calls from the newly hired workers will start May 1st.

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Staff Cuts Coming At L-P

Posted by wlpo on March 21, 2013

Having to shed salaries and benefits, the L-P School Board is starting at the top.

The school board last night cut assistant superintendent Edsel Clark and two part-time dean positions held by Catherine Lance and Jeremiah Farrell.  Lance will go back to being a full-time teacher while Farrell will be full-time dean. The board also cut back hours of an art teacher and let go of an English teacher.

The cuts were made after Superintendent Steve Wrobleski gave a three-year budget projection that includes a deficit growing to over three million in the 2015-16 school year.  Wrobleski says he’d like to start by reducing next year’s budget by 500 thousand dollars.  He met with teachers last week to talk about potential cuts and plans to do so again next week.

In case you’re wondering why the L-P Board is making staffing cuts and yet spending millions on a new athletic complex, Wrobleski says much of the sports money is coming out of a TIF fund that can’t be spent on salaries.  He says even without the new sports complex they would have over a two million dollar deficit budget.

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Spring Valley Man Crashes Into Power Pole

Posted by wlpo on March 21, 2013

Anytime you get behind the wheel a crash can happen.

Dagoberto Zamudio of Spring Valley was hurt yesterday afternoon after deputies say he swerved to miss a small animal, went into a ditch and hit a utility pole.  He was on Route 71 near Ottawa when the crash happened.

Zamudio was taken to St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Ottawa for treatment.

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