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Archive for July, 2013

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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Another Opening Act Added For Brantley Gilbert Show

Posted by wlpo on July 29, 2013

At this rate, the next Concerts for a Cause show could turn into a country music festival.

Midwest-based country/rock group The Cal Stage Band has been added to the Brantley Gilbert show this Saturday at the Illinois Valley Municipal Airport in Peru.  Also on the lineup is Craig Campbell.

Gates open at 4 with tickets on sale now for 43 dollars at Lou’s La Grotto and Wyanet Carpet.  Proceeds from the latest Concerts for a Cause show will go to the Peru Little League.

Go to for the latest information on the Brantley Gilbert show.

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Cooking school tickets on sale Thursday

Posted by wlpo on July 29, 2013

Some people cook because it’s dinner time, others cook because they love to.  If you get a thrill from trying new recipes you’ll enjoy 815 Life Taste of Home Cooking School. 

The live-cooking demonstration will be November 16 at LP High School’s auditorium led by Chef Guy Klinzig. 

          Tickets go on sale Thursday.  You can order them online by going to or in-person at the Hy-Vee in Peru. 

The $50 Gourmet Ticket includes a VIP ticket and Special evening with the chef.  Standard VIP tickets are $30.  Premium and first row balcony seats are $20.  General admission is $12.  Handicapped accessible seating will be available.

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Lamps says he won’t seek a fourth term as treasurer

Posted by wlpo on July 29, 2013

          The man that oversees tax collection in La Salle County says he won’t be running for another term.  County Treasurer Don Lamps announced Monday that he won’t run for a fourth term.

          Lamps has been the treasurer since 2002.  He says during his time he’s modernized and streamlined tax collection and distribution.

          Lamps is a Republican.  His term ends November 30, 2014.

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U.S. Acting Ag Director to visit IVCC

Posted by wlpo on July 29, 2013

A farm bigwig will be visiting Illinois Valley Community College Tuesday. U.S. Department of Agriculture Acting Deputy Secretary Michael Scuse is participating in a roundtable discussion and touring the campus. 

He’s expected to talk about President Barack Obama’s Climate Change Action Plan, USDA’s renewable energy efforts and the need to pass a Farm Bill.

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Pilot able to walk away after crop duster crash

Posted by wlpo on July 29, 2013

If you were following the story of the crop duster that crashed, the pilot is okay.  La Salle County Sheriff’s Deputies say Ernie Smith of Forth Worth, Texas was spraying fields near Leonore early Monday morning when his crop duster helicopter went down in a cornfield.  Smith walked away with minor injuries.

Smith was flying for Henderickson Flying Service in Rochelle.

The Federal Aviation Administration and Sheriff’s Office are investigating.

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Local Officers Accept The “I-80” Challenge

Posted by wlpo on July 28, 2013

If your day includes driving on Interstate 80, don’t be surprised to see a heavy police presence.

The state police district in La Salle is taking part in an 11-state traffic enforcement called “I-80 Challenge.”  Troopers in Illinois and elsewhere are trying to make the rest of the month fatality free on Interstate 80.  This after a study was done showing the last week of July as being the deadliest time of the year on I-80.

Lt. Randy Ness says it’s a team effort keeping the interstate safe.  Members of the Bureau and La Salle County Sheriff’s Department are helping with I-80 patrols and also IDOT with reminders of buckling up and not texting while driving on their message boards.

Ness says he’s really not sure the last week of July is a bad time for driving on I-80 other than maybe a lot of people are traveling on vacations.

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Time To Raise Money For Special Olympics

Posted by wlpo on July 28, 2013

If Elvis were alive, he may show up at Celebrations 150 this Thursday night.

The 11th Annual Starved Rock Area Special Olympics fundraising auction has a theme of “Viva Las Vegas”.  Between 6 to 9 Thursday night there will be raffles, a silent auction, food and live music.  Cowboy from 96.5 the Wolf will be master of ceremonies.

Tickets for the fundraiser are 30 dollars a person and available by calling Cheryl De Paepe or clicking

Miller Group Charitable Trust will match dollar for dollar the first 6 thousand dollars in contributions.  Miller Group Media includes WLPO AM and AM, 96.5 the Wolf, 99.3 WAJK, NewsTribune and AgriNews.

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Local Trucker Facing Potential Prison Sentence

Posted by wlpo on July 28, 2013

A La Salle truck driver who was allegedly driving drunk when he snarled traffic Thursday afternoon faces seven charges.

Mark Slimko was arraigned Friday in La Salle County court for felony DUI and six other traffic charges including failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident and driving uninsured.  His bond was set at 20 thousand dollars.

Slimko was arrested after he crashed into an SUV Thursday afternoon at the intersection of Joliet and Third Streets in La Salle.  Officers say his blood alcohol level was more than two times the legal limit.

Two women in the SUV he hit were treated and released at Illinois Valley Community Hospital in Peru.

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Process To Replace Roth Is Underway

Posted by wlpo on July 28, 2013

Are you looking for a new job?  How does being a state representative sound?

Applications are being accepted through August 6th to fill out the remaining term of Republican Pam Roth of Morris.  Roth announced a few weeks ago she was going to resign later this summer to move out of state after because her husband accepted a job in Texas.

Republican county chairpersons in Grundy, La Salle, Kendall and Will County will interview applicants August 19th according to La Salle County Republican Committee Chairwoman Susan Thornton.  Roth’s term runs through January of 2015.

Thornton won’t have all that much pull in the decision because only voters in places like Seneca and Sheridan are represented by the 75th district.

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