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News from the Illinois Valley

Archive for May 8th, 2013

Groundbreaking For New Wound Center

Posted by wlpo on May 8, 2013

Work is underway on a new Wound and Hyperbaric Center at Illinois Valley Community Hospital.

Officials gathered Wednesday for the official groundbreaking on the 24 hundred square foot building.  The center will be directly across from the IVCH ER entrance at the corner of 6th and Plum Streets.

The IVCH addition is expected to open in July and will have hyperbaric oxygen therapy as one of its treatments.  IVCH CEO Tommy Hobbs says the new building will treat chronic wounds.

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Search continues for men accused of trying to cash a stolen check

Posted by wlpo on May 8, 2013

          One day after three men tried cashing a possibly stolen check at a bank in La Salle, police are asking for your help in catching them.

Police were called to Hometown National Bank Tuesday afternoon after the men tried cashing a check that employees thought could be stolen.  After not getting their cash fast enough, police say they ran out.

          Police were looking for a 2005 blue Nissan Quest mini van.  It was last seen heading east on Interstate 80 from Route 351 shortly after the men left the bank. 

          The men were described as Hispanic.  One man was wearing a University of Texas cap.

          If you have information, call the La Salle Police Department or Illinois Valley Crimestoppers.

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More trails and roads reopening at Starved Rock State Park

Posted by wlpo on May 8, 2013

Are you planning a visit to Starved Rock State Park?  You’ll be able to use most of the trails again except for the ones east of Wildcat Canyon to Ottawa Canyon.

The main road into the park will reopen Thursday.  You can already reach the main parking area and boat ramp.

Most of the trails at Matthiessen State Park are open except for the lower Dells and the mountain bike and horseback trails.

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Food drive will help local pantries prepare for summer

Posted by wlpo on May 8, 2013

Children in low-income families rely on their schools for breakfast and lunch and when summer vacation arrives, they often rely on their local food pantry instead.

          The annual food drive by the U.S. Postal Service couldn’t arrive at a better time.  The Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is Saturday across the country.

Donna Hess Executive Director of the Illinois Valley Food Pantry says they could use anything but especially soup, peanut butter and cereal.

          All you have to do is leave your donation by your mailbox and off-duty and retired letter carries will pick it up and bring it to your local food pantry.

Learn more about the food drive by listening to an interview available at the AM 1220 WLPO news page.

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J.A. Happ Released From Hospital

Posted by wlpo on May 8, 2013

St. Bede grad J.A. Happ was released from a Tampa hospital around 11 this morning.

According to the Toronto Blue Jays, Happ left the hospital on crutches and a brace on his right knee.  Initially the team said Happ suffered a head contusion and cut on his ear.

Happ was hit in the left side of his face by a line drive last night.  He was taken off the field in a stretcher.

Happ told AM 1220 WLPO Sports Director Lanny Slevin that he’s doing well and thanks everyone for their support and thoughts.

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Wait Begins For Federal Flood Relief

Posted by wlpo on May 8, 2013

The price tag of flood damage in La Salle County is well into the millions.

La Salle County Emergency Management Director Connie Brooks says they’ve submitted nearly 9 million dollars in governmental infrastructure damages.  That includes over 500 structures in the county being assessed for damage.  Nearly half of the flood damaged structures are in Marseilles.

Brooks and state assessment teams visited impacted cities like Marseilles and Utica earlier this week to verify flood damage reports.  This information will be sent eventually to the federal government in hopes of getting federal flood assistance.

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Ottawa Hands Out Raises To Appointed Officials

Posted by wlpo on May 8, 2013

After three years of no raises, appointed city workers in Ottawa are finally getting a little more cash.

The Ottawa City Council put on file a new contract for nearly 30 appointed city workers that giving most of them over a 2 percent salary increase.  Mayor Bob Eschbach says police captains are getting 5 to 6 percent raises to bring them above the pay scale of police sergeants.  Also building inspector Mike Sutfin and Nancy Stissler who’s setting up a countywide transportation system got extra bonuses.

City workers covered by unions also got pay increases with their new contracts.

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La Salle Adds Full-time Parks And Rec Director

Posted by wlpo on May 8, 2013

You’ll notice a few changes at La Salle City Hall.

Newly elected City Clerk Carrie Brown was unable to be sworn during last night’s city council meeting due to a medical reason but the newly appointed deputy clerk and administrative assistant Beth Swingel was at city hall.  Swingel’s position was created by the city council last night.

Former clerk Virginia Kochanowski was hired as an independent contractor to train the new women.  Meanwhile Don Baldin was appointed to be the full-time Parks and Rec Director.  He had been part-time.

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