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Archive for July 11th, 2013

State and local tourism officials celebrate 2012 numbers

Posted by wlpo on July 11, 2013

La Salle County isn’t home to Disneyland but it has Starved Rocked State Park and that’s enough to put tourism dollars into the local economy.

New numbers from the U.S. Travel Association show that American visitors spent nearly $169 million in La Salle County in 2012. 

Kathy Casstevens-Jasiek, the Marketing Director at Starved Rock Lodge explained the park’s appeal before of a group of state and local tourism officials Thursday.  She says it’s because they offer the perfect blend of family fun and rich history.

Tourism-related tax receipts totaled nearly $13 million in La Salle County last year.  1,280 jobs in La Salle County were related to tourism.  

Casstevens-Jasiek was also given the Illinois Office of Tourism’s Land of Lincoln Award.

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Culvert work to close an area of N 31st Road

Posted by wlpo on July 11, 2013

          It’s hard to drive anywhere around Ottawa without finding road work.  Beginning Monday, a stretch of North 31st Road in Wallace Township north of Ottawa will be closed.

          The closure will be west of the intersection with East 16th Road.  Workers will be replacing a culvert.  A detour will not be posted.

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Barge and sandbags to be used to keep water level up in Lake DePue

Posted by wlpo on July 11, 2013

There’s plenty of water in Lake DePue now but action is being taken to make sure water levels remain high enough for the pro-national boat races later this month.

To do this a 100-foot long barge is being brought Friday to the channel separating the lake from the Illinois River.  The barge will be sunk and with the help of sandbags, it should maintain the water levels.

Village President Eric Bryant says they received permission to build the dam Wednesday. He says that as of  Thursday morning water levels were 10 inches above the require five-foot needed for racing.

Last summer a dam was built and water was pumped into the lake to make the lake level high enough to allow for safe racing.

Bryant would like to see a permanent dam so they can control the level of the lake water not only for the races but also for duck hunting.

The boat races are July 26 through the 28th.

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Chickens Being Debated In Utica

Posted by wlpo on July 11, 2013

The debate of whether not to allow chickens in residential neighborhoods is popping up in another Illinois Valley community.

According to the NewsTribune, the Utica Village Board is debating changing its ordinance to allow chickens, specifically egg-laying hens in village neighborhoods.  Two women are asking to allow chickens in Utica for 4-H projects and fresh eggs.  The village board said it needed more time and didn’t act on the women’s request.

Just a few years ago the La Salle City Council had a hot debate over chickens in the city and eventually allowed them.

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Parade Planned To Celebrate Fight Against Cancer

Posted by wlpo on July 11, 2013

By now you’ve probably heard about all the good work “Cops 4 Cancer” and “Boob-a-Palooza” have done in the Illinois Valley.  People involved with the charities are celebrating their years of dedication with a parade.

The parade starts this Saturday afternoon at 1.  The parade will follow the L-P Homecoming parade route through Peru and La Salle.  Following the parade there will be a car cruise and live music at Al’s Bella Vista in La Salle.

One of the parade floats will be dedicated to 20-year old Stephanie Soberri of Oglesby who died last week after a battle with cystic fibrosis.

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Gas Prices On The Rise

Posted by wlpo on July 11, 2013

You may wake up this morning to a case of sticker shock at the gas pump.

Many stations in La Salle and Peru raised the price of unleaded from $3.39 to $3.59 a gallon.  Ottawa is now among the cheaper places to get gas in the Illinois Valley with most spots selling for $3.42 a gallon according to

The average price at the pump in Illinois is $3.80 a gallon.  The nationwide average is $3.53 a gallon.

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