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News from the Illinois Valley

Archive for March, 2013

Spring Valley mayoral candidates to participate in radio forum

Posted by wlpo on March 26, 2013

The mayor of Spring Valley faces competition in his bid for re-election.  Mayor Cliff Banks and his challengers Aldermen Walt Marini and Jack Narczewski will be on AM 1220 WLPO Wednesday night for a candidates’ forum.  It’s being hosted by AM 1220 WLPO and the Newstribune.

It will start at 6:03pm and will all be streamed online at http://www.AM1220WLPO.com.  The moderator will be AM 1220 WLPO’s Jeremy Aitken.

Candidates for the LP High School Board will be on the air Thursday for another forum.

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Peru mayoral candidates share ideas for Peru during forum

Posted by wlpo on March 26, 2013

Recent street and infrastructure projects in Peru are being paid for in part with a half-cent sales tax increase that was narrowly approved by the city council in August 2011.

Jim Giordano, a candidate for mayor, says he thinks the tax is valid.  During the Newstribune and AM 1220 WLPO’s Candidates’ Forum Tuesday night Giordano says the tax could stay in place but he would want to give a definitive date for when they would take it off.

Mayor Scott Harl is campaigning to keep his seat.  He says the sales tax was set up to be reviewed in five years but he can’t see it being ended.

Mike Hart says he would keep the sales tax because he thinks it’s useful for completing infrastructure projects like roads and sewer lines.  He would also like to use the money to hire a city engineer.

Former Mayor Don Baker is trying to get his old job back.  He says he would work with the city council to repeal the tax.

You can listen to a podcast of the forum by visiting the AM 1220 WLPO news page.

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Peru to oversee parking for summer concerts

Posted by wlpo on March 26, 2013

When Tim McGraw and Brantley Gilbert perform at the Illinois Valley Regional Airport in Peru this summer the city will be cashing in.  An agreement between Merry Noonan, the woman behind Lou’s La Grotto’s Concerts for a Cause and the city was approved Moday night.

The city will make one dollar from every ticket sold and unlike last summer’s Kid Rock concert, the city will be in charge of parking and security outside of the venue.  With this will come a $5 charge for parking.

City Clerk Dave Bartley says they’re getting volunteers together to help with parking.  Cars will be parking in a city-owned field that is no longer farmed.

Tim McGraw and Love and Theft will perform July 6.  Brantley Gilbert performs on August 3.  You can get ticket information by going to www.20inarowcountry.com.

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Princeton Man Killed In Crash

Posted by wlpo on March 26, 2013

A crash likely caused by wintry conditions killed a man from Princeton.

53-year old Dale Waugamon was pronounced dead late Monday at Perry Memorial Hospital after a crash on Route 26 south of Princeton. There was another driver involved in the crash but no information is available on him.

Both Waugamon and the other driver were in pickup trucks.

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Three Hurt In Ottawa Rollover

Posted by wlpo on March 26, 2013

The wintry weather played a part in a rollover crash that hurt three area people.

Deputies say Randi Clemens of Ottawa was westbound on Route 6 yesterday morning near Ottawa when she lost control on the ice.  Clemens spun out, went into the other lane of traffic and hit Michelle Carey of La Salle.  After the collision Clemens rolled her jeep onto its top.

Clemens, her passenger Samantha Trumbo of Ottawa along with Carey were all taken to St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Ottawa.  Clemens was ticketed for driving too fast for conditions and failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident.  She was released with a court date.

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Teachers Cut In Peru Elementary School District

Posted by wlpo on March 26, 2013

The Peru Elementary School District is the latest to cut staff because of less state aid and falling property tax values.

The elementary board last night approved cutting 8th grade teacher Alex West, 4th grade teacher Erin Laurence and 2nd grade teacher Stephanie Miller.  West’s position will not be filled while one of the other spots will be filled by a current kindergarten teacher meaning one less kindergarten class next year.

The Peru Elementary Board also cut first year teacher’s aide Kimberly Schuetz and eliminated a food service worker while cutting the hours of another cafeteria worker.  District social workers and library staff are also having their hours cut.

Peru Elementary Superintendent Mark Cross says the cuts will save over 180 thousand dollars.  Counting staffing cuts the last two years, Cross says they’ve reduced their total staff by 11.

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Illinois Senator Going After Energy Drink Makers

Posted by wlpo on March 26, 2013

CHICAGO (AP) – U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin is asking energy drink companies to stop marketing their products to children.

The Democratic senator sent a letter  to the CEOs of Red Bull, Rockstar and Monster asking for an explanation for the companies’ sponsorship of sporting events that target children. Durbin says the companies have often claimed they do not market their drinks to youngsters. But he says he is aware of multiple situations that contradict their claims. Durbin cites several examples in his letter, including a high school football tournament and a motorcycle race for children as young as thirteen endorsed by Red Bull.

Durbin says his letter stems out of growing concerns during the past year about the potential health risks posed by energy drinks.

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Home Sales Up In The Valley

Posted by wlpo on March 25, 2013

Home sales are up for most of the Illinois Valley.

According to numbers from the Illinois Association of REALTORS, 63 homes were sold in La Salle County last month, a 9 percent increase from the month before.  In Bureau County, 18 homes went off the market last month, an 80 percent increase from the month before.  Putnam County had two homes sell last month, same as January.

The median sale price of homes sold in La Salle County was 65 thousand, an 8 percent decrease from the month before.  The median price of Bureau County homes in February was 93 thousand dollars, 36 percent jump from January.  Homes sold last month in Putnam County cost 39 thousand dollars, 64 percent less than January.

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County Clerk tries to avoid using schools as polling places

Posted by wlpo on March 25, 2013

As schools try to ramp up security, do you think polling places should be in schools?

Every now and then talks in Springfield center on banning polling places in schools because of safety concerns.  When the April 9th election arrives, La Salle County will have three polling places in schools: Dimmick, Rutland and Wallace Townships.

La Salle County Clerk JoAnne Caretto says her hands are tied in some precincts.

Caretto says when she started in the early 1980’s, the majority of polling places were in schools.

She says one option that’s been mentioned is for school’s to have an institute day on Election Day.

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IV Food Pantry helps families prepare for Easter

Posted by wlpo on March 25, 2013

          Have you made plans for Easter?  Nearly 500 families in the La Salle-Peru area will have something to eat because of the Illinois Valley Food Pantry. 

477 families were part of this year’s Easter distribution on Saturday.  Pantry director Donna Hess says the Waltham Presbyterian Church provided bunny-milk cartons with candy. 

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