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Archive for August 16th, 2013

Quinn signs bills banning hand-held phones in cars

Posted by wlpo on August 16, 2013

     SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Using a hand-held cellphone while driving in Illinois will be illegal on Jan. 1.

     Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation Friday aimed at reducing distracted driving. It requires motorists to use speakerphones or headsets that allow for one-digit or audio dialing.

     Illinois joins 11 other states and Washington, D.C. in banning hand-held phone use on the road.

     Texting while driving is already illegal in Illinois.

     Sen. John Mulroe (muhl-ROH’) — a Chicago Democrat and sponsor — says he wants motorists to “keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel.”

     The U.S. Transportation Department says drivers using hand-held devices are four times more likely to get in a crash causing injuries. Distracted driving caused 387,000 injuries and 3,000 deaths in 2011.

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Peru reschedules city council meeting

Posted by wlpo on August 16, 2013

          Money for a bike and walking path is available if Peru can receive a grant through the Illinois Department of Transportation.  The ITEP grant is also being pursued by La Salle and Ottawa.

          Peru Aldermen are considering if they should commit the money for the grant.  They held off voting on it earlier this week but they’ll be voting on it Monday.  The regular city council meeting that was scheduled for Wednesday has been rescheduled to Monday so they can take action.  They have until Tuesday to give their information to IDOT. 

          Last Monday, a couple of the aldermen questioned committing money to the grant when several years earlier they didn’t apply for a grant to replace their swimming pool.

          The city council meets at 7:30pm Monday.

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Tonica man to be recognized at state fair

Posted by wlpo on August 16, 2013

   A retired DNR employee from Tonica has been named a Volunteer of the Year in Illinois.

          Mark Walczynski will be at the Illinois State Fair Saturday to receive one of a handful of “Outstanding Volunteer of the Year” awards from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.  During his retirement he’s an adviser to the Starved Rock Foundation and historian for Starved Rock State Park.  He also wrote a book called “Starved Rock State Park: the First 100 Years” and has the proceeds going to the Starved Rock Foundation bookstore.

          Walczynski also finds the time to teach at Illinois Valley Community College.

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Ottawa Looking At Easier Way To Cross I-80

Posted by wlpo on August 16, 2013

As successful as they’ve already been, you can’t blame Ottawa for going after more grant money.

The city is now asking for a two million dollar state grant to make a pedestrian bridge over Interstate 80.  City officials think people biking or walking over I-80 on the overpass now are put at risk.

Ottawa tried for this same ITEP, or Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program grant a few years ago but were denied.  If they get it this time, the local match would be 400 thousand dollars.

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Nine People Vying For Pam Roth’s House Seat

Posted by wlpo on August 16, 2013

Voters living in places like Seneca and Sheridan should know after this Monday who their new state representative will be.

Republican county chairpersons in Grundy, La Salle, Kendall and Will County will interview applicants Monday according to La Salle County Republican Committee Chairwoman Susan Thornton.  Thornton won’t have all that much pull in the decision because not a lot of voters are represented by the 75th district.

Pam Roth announced last month she was going to resign this summer to move out of state after because her husband accepted a job in Texas.  Her term expires in January 2015.

Thornton says there are nine applicants to replace Roth with two of them living in La Salle County.  She won’t say who the candidates are.

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