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Archive for July 30th, 2013

Opposition Continues Towards Route 71 Sand Mine

Posted by wlpo on July 30, 2013

Perhaps seeing the inevitable is happening, opponents of a proposed sand mine near Starved Rock State Park are changing their approach.

The Sierra Club has set up on online petition not to oppose Mississippi Sand or Archer Daniels Midland from hauling sand but to make sure the Ottawa City Council puts in plenty of restrictions before approving ADM’s expansion plans for hauling sand.  The environmental group wants the city council to adopt nine restrictions to ADM’s permit including: requiring asphalt roads; not allowing uncovered storage of sand; limit hours of operation from 7 to 7 Monday thru Friday and 7 until noon on Saturdays; and having ADM install air monitors at schools, daycares and homes within 2 miles of their barge facility on the Illinois River.

The Ottawa City Council is expected to vote on ADM’s requests next Tuesday night.  To check out the Sierra Club’s petition, click http://stopthestarvedrocksandmine.wordpress.com/2013/07/10/adm-petition/

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Matthew Makeever Making Progress After Train Accident

Posted by wlpo on July 30, 2013

The long road to recovery continues for L-P math teacher Matt Makeever.

According to family members, the 25-year old underwent three procedures Tuesday at St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria.  The surgeries included work on a feeding tube and a tracheotomy.  Family members say Makeever had a restful night Monday and opened his eyes three times when verbally asked to by a doctor. 

Makeever has been in Peoria since July 20th when he was hit in the left side of his head by part of a train along the La Salle riverfront.  You can follow his progress by clicking http://www.caringbridge.org/

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Entries being accepted for Bureau County Fair

Posted by wlpo on July 30, 2013

          The 158th Bureau County Fair is three weeks away and if you have something you would like to enter, you’ll need to do so by Monday August 12.  Entries can be hand delivered to the fair office in Princeton or sent by fax or email.

Late entries or changes will be charged a late fee, and will be accepted only if the superintendent of that department deems there is still room left in the show for additional entries. 

The Bureau County Fair runs August 21-25 in Princeton.       

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Madigan, Cullerton file lawsuit over halted pay

Posted by wlpo on July 30, 2013

     CHICAGO (AP) – The leaders of the Illinois House and Senate are filing a lawsuit challenging Gov. Pat Quinn’s halting lawmaker pay over the state’s pension gridlock.

     House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton explained their move Tuesday calling Quinn’s action “purely political and unconstitutional.”

      Earlier this month, Quinn cut $13.8 million for legislators’ paychecks in the state budget through his veto power. Lawmakers failed to come up with a solution to the state’s nearly $100 billion pension crisis and when a pension panel blew past another deadline, he moved to stop their pay.

      Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka has said she has no choice but to withhold their paychecks and cited a previous court case.

      Madigan’s spokesman says the lawsuit was filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County.

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USDA official visits the Illinois Valley

Posted by wlpo on July 30, 2013

U.S. Department of Agriculture Acting Deputy Secretary Michael Scuse and local people involved in agriculture were talking at Illinois Valley Community College Tuesday afternoon.

Topics for discussion included the president’s climate change action plan, renewable energy efforts and the need to pass a Farm Bill.

Scuse says there is a great deal of frustration and anger about the lack of a farm bill and the farmers have a right to be upset.

Scuse also meet with Ottawa Mayor Bob Eschbach to announce that Ottawa is receiving a $99,000 Rural Business Enterprise Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to maintain curb appeal in the 200 block of West Main Street.

Scuse says streetscape projects are important for attracting small businesses.

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80s Hit-maker Booked For Ottawa Riverfest

Posted by wlpo on July 30, 2013

If you grew up listening to 80s music the #1 hit “On the Dark Side” was a staple of the decade.  John Cafferty was the singer and will bring that song and others to Ottawa Riverfest this week.

Cafferty is a late replacement for former Toto lead singer Fergie Frederiksen who has health issues.  Cafferty along with Streator’s own Kevin Chalfant and a former guitarist of Lynyrd Skynyrd will perform Saturday, August 3rd at Riverfest at 8:30.

Cafferty will open up for Cheap Thrill Saturday night which features former members of Cinderella and Collective Soul.  Riverfest concerts are free.

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Ideas Floated Around For Ottawa Riverfront Development

Posted by wlpo on July 30, 2013

Could Ottawa be home to its own version of Millennium Park?  A planning consultant says it’s possible.

An overflow crowd showed up at Ottawa City Hall last night to talk about what to do with the old Central School and Jordan Block properties.  Ferhat Zerin of Gingko Planning and Design says the land is big enough to have just about anything developed when you treat it as one single piece of riverfront property.

Some ideas brainstormed at last night’s forum were a venue for live music like a small amphitheater, outdoor restaurants and retail, a bike park, more boat launches, a beach area, and downtown skywalk.  Zerin says the riverfront of Ottawa has so much history and potential that people should think big and be bold in their ideas.  Other suggestions included extending Ottawa’s Riverwalk to loop around and connect up with the I & M Canal.

Developers plan to have another public forum in late September where they will have drawings of what people’s ideas would look like along the riverfront.  If you have some ideas of what should be built along the Fox and Illinois River in Ottawa, send them to the city planner Tami Huftel.

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