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Archive for June 19th, 2013

Decision Delayed On Sand Mine Related Permit

Posted by wlpo on June 19, 2013

If you’ve followed the permit process of Mississippi Sand at all, you know nothing happens fast.

After three hours of discussion, the Ottawa Planning Commission Wednesday night voted to continue its discussion on a barge terminal permit to Monday night.  Archer Daniels Midland is asking for a conditional use permit to unload sand from Mississippi Sand on their property along Route 71.  While the planning commission didn’t vote on that request, they did agree to zone the property as rural.

Some planning commission members felt uncomfortable voting on a permit for ADM feeling they didn’t have answers to concerns like truck traffic and sand polluting the air.  Commission member Debby Reagan responded by saying these complaints are just repeats of other meetings and it’s unfair to drag it on further.

When Wednesday night’s hearing got off topic, Ottawa City Attorney Keith Leigh tried reigning in the planning commission saying they were questioning things that were beyond their responsibility, saying they’re a planning commission, not the EPA.  He told the commission they’ve never acted that way with any other applicant.

The planning commission has 30 days to make a recommendation on the conditional use permit.  The Ottawa City Council has the final say in whether ADM gets its permit to haul silica sand and if they’re allowed to annex into the city.

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School board approves organ restoration proposal

Posted by wlpo on June 19, 2013

          To say the Aeolian pipe organ at LP High School is a little dusty would be an understatement.  The organ that has been inside of Matthiessen Auditorium since 1929 will soon undergo the first stage of its restoration.

          Using money from donations, insurance, and the school district, the district is hiring JL Weiler, Inc. to rewire, clean and repair it.  The organ has suffered water damage. 

Superintendent Steve Wrobleski says the main electric cable for it will be replaced and brought up to code.  The company will also see what parts from a similar organ may be used to restore LP’s. 

          The work is costing $36,000.  Board member Dennis O’Keefe voted against it Wednesday night.

Wrobeski says so far they’ve had about $13,000 in private donations and he’s hoping to have a capital campaign to pay for the next stage of the restoration. 

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Armed police officers could be coming to IVCC

Posted by wlpo on June 19, 2013

          You’ll often find a police officer on duty at high schools and soon you could find one at Illinois Valley Community College.   College leaders are talking with the Oglesby Police Department and La Salle County Sheriff’s office about having an officer patrolling campus.

           The IVCC Board of Trustees Tuesday night gave President Jerry Corcoran the go-ahead to get proposals.  They would like to have an armed officer on campus for at least 20 hours a week. Corcoran says other community colleges are doing it.

            The college already has a contract with a private security company.

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History is an important feature of Seneca Shipyard Days

Posted by wlpo on June 19, 2013

You’ll find food stands, carnival rides and music this week in Seneca.  The annual Seneca Shipyard Days began Wednesday.  And while it’s a time to have fun, it’s also a time to honor the people who built LST’s and the World War Two veterans who served on those ships.

You’ll be able to view three ship replicas including a mini LST that will be under a tent throughout the festival.  Tours of the Hogan Grain Elevator will be Saturday.  It’s the only standing grain elevator on the I and M Canal.

The festival wraps up Saturday with fireworks.

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

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Dogs not allowed in La Salle parks

Posted by wlpo on June 19, 2013

The park might seem like the ideal place for walking your dog, but don’t.

La Salle officials want remind you to leave your dogs at home when visiting their parks.  They’re worried about dogs not getting along and dog waste.

A dog park will be opening soon at the new La Salle Rotary Park.

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Lumber Company Confirms Kmart Purchase

Posted by wlpo on June 19, 2013

Its official, RP Lumber has bought the old Kmart property in Ottawa.

RP Lumber V.P. of Corporate Development Jason Plummer says they closed on the property last week.  He didn’t release details of the purchase.

Plummer says they’ve been looking at Ottawa for awhile now and says the town represents a “good trade area” and “great community”.  He says RP Lumber has a history of buying old box stores in other towns.

Plummer says they will likely use at least some of the existing building although he admits a little “TLC is needed”.  The purchase doesn’t include the nearby strip mall with a tattoo shop and alcohol store.

Plummer thinks you’ll see some activity for the new RP Lumber store within a few months.

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Arrest In Lake Holiday Involves Samurai Sword

Posted by wlpo on June 19, 2013

It’s not everyday you get a police report involving a samurai sword.

La Salle County deputies were called to Lake Holiday last night for a fight.  They arrested Bryan Meyer of Lake Holiday for two counts of aggravated battery and one count of aggravated assault.

Meyer’s accused of hitting a man and woman with a tire checker, or small bat.  He also allegedly threatened the woman with a samurai sword.

Meyer was taken to the La Salle County Jail.

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Controversial Sand Mine Back In The News

Posted by wlpo on June 19, 2013

The latest hurdle for controversial sand mine to clear will be at a meeting tonight in Ottawa.

The Ottawa City Council and Ottawa Planning Commission will hold a joint public hearing and meeting to discuss proposals from Archer Daniels Midland to transport sand for Mississippi Sand.  ADM is asking for a conditional use permit for a barge fleeting operation along Route 71 and also requesting to annex the property into the city of Ottawa.

Groups like the Sierra Club have been successful in delaying Mississippi Sand from mining east of Starved Rock State Park.  The sand company has been going through the permit process for over a year and a half.

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