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Archive for March, 2013

Pensions brought up during LPHS candidate forum

Posted by wlpo on March 28, 2013

If you haven’t paid much attention to pension reform talks in Springfield, you probably should.  It will likely affect your tax bill.

L-P Board candidates Jim Quesse, Dr. Rose Marie Lynch and Rick Sipovic were all asked how the district will react if pension costs are handed down to local school districts at last night’s AM 1220 WLPO/NewsTribune forum.  Each candidate mentioned they would look at levying a tax to help defray pension costs.

Sipovic says teachers could also see changes in how their retirement and pensions are set up.

Lynch said in talking with State Representative Frank Mautino, she thinks pension costs will be shifted to schools.  She says best case scenario would be pension costs getting phased in instead of all at once.

To hear the L-P candidate’s forum in its entirety at the AM 1220 WLPO news page.


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Streator Company Awarded Job Of Building L-P Athletic Complex

Posted by wlpo on March 28, 2013

Vissering Construction out of Streator has the job of building a new athletics complex for L-P.

The L-P School Board last night approved the low bid of Vissering for just over $3.8 million dollars.  Vissering was the lowest of five bidders and the other four bidders were all from out of the area.

Board President Jim Quesse says there will be another million or so in costs for playing surfaces, signage and other equipment.  Add it all up and the project will be around a million under the initial estimate of $5.7 million.  The board is using a combination of bonds, capital project money and 100 thousand dollars from the city of La Salle to pay for the complex.

Workers hope to start moving dirt next month and have it ready for soccer games in the fall.  The complex is on Chartres Street north of the La Salle Post Office.

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Dwight inmates moved to Logan Correctional Center

Posted by wlpo on March 28, 2013

The cells at the Dwight Correctional Center are empty.  The last of the inmates were taken to Logan Correctional Center Tuesday.

The maximum security women’s prison was one of several prisons and detention centers closed by Governor Pat Quinn.

An estimated 1,080 inmates were moved out of Dwight to Logan according to Illinois Department of Corrections spokeswoman Stacey Solano.  Now those women are being kept with inmates from the women’s prison in Lincoln.

As for the roughly 350 people who worked at the Dwight prison, Solano says 12 retired or resigned, 19 selected layoffs, and the rest took jobs elsewhere in the department.  Employees begin at their new positions Monday.

By closing the prisons Quinn has said he’s saving money.  The union representing prison employees has said they’re against it for safety reasons.

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Area unemployment higher than in the rest of Central Illinois

Posted by wlpo on March 28, 2013

Looking for a job is challenging, especially here.  The February unemployment numbers from the Illinois Department of Employment Security show that the Ottawa-Streator area has the highest unemployment rates in central Illinois.

La Salle County’s February unemployment rate was 13.6%, more than a point higher than in 2012.  Bureau County unemployment was 12% and Putnam County’s was 13.2%, both an increase over January 2012.

The state says since last year, the area lost several hundred retail and manufacturing jobs.  Jobs were added in transportation and warehousing and leisure-hospitality.

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Major Route 6 Work Planned This Summer

Posted by wlpo on March 27, 2013

Getting to Marseilles from Ottawa and vice versa will be a little tricky later this year.

The Illinois Department of Transportation is looking to resurface Route 6 from the Route 71 and Route 6 intersection in Ottawa to the east city limits of Marseilles.  The estimated cost is just over 2 million dollars.  In Bureau County, there’s also construction planned on Route 6 between Sheffield and Wyanet for 2.5 million dollars.

The Route 6 jobs are part of 486 million dollars in road and bridge projects announced this week by the state.

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Hegeler Carus Foundation is looking for volunteers

Posted by wlpo on March 27, 2013

If you’re looking for a new hobby or interest, the Hegeler Carus Foundation is looking for volunteers.  They’ll be training new volunteers in April.

You’ll learn about the architecture and history of the Hegeler Carus mansion and the families.  Volunteers are tour guides and performers.

They’re holding training sessions on four Saturdays in April from 9:00 am – 11:00 am.  If you’re interested, contact Tricia Kelly at the mansion.

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Spring Valley candidates talk development during forum

Posted by wlpo on March 27, 2013

A good looking downtown is a positive for any city.  The candidates for Spring Valley Mayor think improving their downtown is important.  The three candidates shared their ideas for economic development during a forum presented by AM 1220 WLPO and the Newstribune Wednesday night.

Third Ward Alderman Jack Narczewski says the downtown needs a lot of work and he thinks it would be a priority.

Mayor Cliff Banks says he’s worked hard to take care of the older buildings downtown and takes credit for improvements to the old Circus Bar, a building that had caused the city much strife.  He also says he believes in tourism and learning from what Ottawa had done with their downtown.

The other Third Ward Alderman Walt Marini says he would like to promote shopping locally and tourism with Barto Landing and to do that he would work with their economic development director and the Illinois Valley Chamber of Commerce.

You can hear the entire forum by going to the AM 1220 WLPO news page.

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Teen accused of battery remains in jail

Posted by wlpo on March 27, 2013

A man accused of seriously injuring a woman at his home remains in jail.  18 year old Nathan Hawk of Ottawa was indicted Tuesday in La Salle County for three counts of aggravated battery.

Hawk was arrested nearly two weeks ago after an early morning 911 call.  At the time of his arrest, police said Hawk was being combative and had to be restrained.  An injured 50 year old woman was eventually taken to St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria.  Her condition was never made public.

Hawk’s bond was set at $1million.  He also faces felony charges in Peoria County.

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FOID Card Backlog In Illinois

Posted by wlpo on March 27, 2013

CHICAGO (AP) – Is it because of the fear of President Barack Obama taking guns away? Or maybe more in-depth background checking?

State officials say there is a more than 60-day wait for an Illinois Firearm Owner’s Identification card. Illinois State Police spokeswoman Monique Bond says more than 70,000 FOID card applications have been received so far this month, on-track to be a program record. State police received 338,610 FOID applications last year.

Illinois has about about 1.5 million people with FOID cards.

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Diabetes Affecting 10 Percent Of Illinoisans

Posted by wlpo on March 27, 2013

CHICAGO (AP) – Illinois health officials are putting out the word about diabetes management and prevention.

The Illinois Department of Public Health is joining the American Diabetes Association to raise awareness about the disease that affects nearly 10 percent of adults in the state. Yesterday was “Diabetes Alert Day,” a day set side to raise awareness.

You can prevent or delay diabetes by losing just 7 percent of body weight – that’s about 15 pounds if you weigh 200 – and through regular physical activity and healthy eating.

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