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Archive for June 4th, 2013

Garden tours and plant sales this weekend in Utica

Posted by wlpo on June 4, 2013

           It has been a cool and wet spring but the flowers are still blooming in Utica.  You can tour gardens and buy plants and items for your yard at the annual Utica Garden Faire and Walk.  It’s Saturday and Sunday.

          You’ll find the plant sale and vendors set up downtown along with a ticket booth.  Tickets for the self-guided tour are $8 each.  You’ll receive a map and be able to stop at the gardens on your own.  Gardeners will be on hand to explain what they’re growing and how.

          It runs from 9am-4pm Saturday and from 9am-3pm Sunday.

          You can learn more about it by listening to an interview at the AM WLPO 1220 news page.

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Ottawa Eyeing Large Nature Preserve Along Fox River

Posted by wlpo on June 4, 2013

The city of Ottawa will soon extend its city limits 253 acres to include a new forest preserve.

Ottawa Mayor Bob Eschbach and members of The Conservation Foundation Tuesday morning announced a plan to turn land along the east side of the Fox River and south of Interstate 80 into the Dayton Bluffs Preserve.  Eschbach says the land was almost turned into a housing development but the recession hit.

The conservation group says the future preserve has over 160 species of native plants, fossils and some significant Native American archeological sites.  Through private grant funds, the Conservation Foundation has already worked out a deal to buy the acreage for 2.1 million dollars.  They’re still raising money another 150 thousand dollars for a three-year restoration effort to get rid of invasive species, clear some trees out, turn farmland into forest and make walking and biking trails.

The city plans to annex the land this summer and maintain the trails, parking and picnic areas.  It should be open for public use sometime next year.

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Area pastors to perform free wedding ceremonies Saturday

Posted by wlpo on June 4, 2013

          It’s easy to spend nearly $20,000 on a wedding ceremony even in the Illinois Valley.   Couples wishing to be married can receive a ceremony at no cost Saturday thanks to three local pastors.

Pastor Paul Bladen of Deer Park Community Church will be officiating wedding ceremonies at Ottawa’s Washington Park.  He was part of it last year when eight couples were married.

 Bladen says he does it for the privilege and honor of performing someone’s marriage ceremony.

 Carl Hardie from the Ottawa Church of Christ and retired minister Ralph Demming will also perform ceremonies. 

If you know a couple that would like to be married, they need to get a marriage license from the La Salle County Clerk’s Office for $30.  Ceremonies will be performed between 1-6pm at the park.  You don’t need to make an appointment.

You can learn more by listening to an interview with Pastor Paul Bladen at the AM 1220 WLPO news page.


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Is Starved Rock The 8th Wonder Of The World?

Posted by wlpo on June 4, 2013

What do Starved Rock State Park and Niagara Falls have in common?  They’re both nominees in a tourism contest to be named the “8th Wonder of the World”. is asking you to vote once a day for the “8th Wonder of the World”.  Besides Starved Rock, Cahokia Mounds, Galena’s Main Street and Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch in Rantoul represent Illinois.  National nominees include: Badlands National Park; Empire State Building; Bellagio Fountains in Vegas; the St. Louis Arch; Golden Gate Bridge; Mt. Rushmore; the Ocean City Boardwalk and the Hollywood Sign.  Some other interesting nominees include a Bass Pro Shop’s store in Missouri, Wisconsin Dells, the I-80 Truck Stop in Iowa and Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee.

To vote, go to  You can vote up until September 30th.

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Marseilles Flood Assistance Center Closing

Posted by wlpo on June 4, 2013

A disaster recovery center set up in Marseilles after the record flooding will close after today.

The FEMA run center has offered a “one-stop” information center for victims of April’s historic flooding.  It’s set up in the training room of the Marseilles Fire Station.

Despite the recovery center closing, Marseilles flood victims can still apply for flood assistance through July 9th.  A link to a website to apply for flood assistance is

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Peru Searching For Sewage Backup Solution

Posted by wlpo on June 4, 2013

A fix to sewage backups in Peru homes won’t be free but homeowners won’t be left with the total bill.

The Peru City Council last night approved a plan to reimburse homeowners that have their home’s footing tile separated from the sanitary sewer and who also install a sewer ejector.  The city will pay for half or up to 3 thousand dollars of the cost.  Homes with backup problems are given top priority.

Up to 100 homes in Peru could be reimbursed under the new program.  Sewer improvements have to meet city specifications and be done by a licensed plumber.

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Sheriff’s Deputy Allegedly Takes Down Cocaine Deal In Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on June 4, 2013

Deputies in La Salle County say they caught a cocaine dealer in the act.

Timothy Wheeler of Ottawa was arrested Monday morning on a felony charge of possession of a controlled substance.  He’s accused of having nearly 10 grams of cocaine after a deputy saw him attempt to sell the drug in Ottawa.

Wheeler was taken to the La Salle County Jail.

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