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Archive for August 22nd, 2013

New Jobless Numbers Released

Posted by wlpo on August 22, 2013

The latest unemployment report for the Illinois Valley is a rough one.

La Salle County’s jobless rate in July was 11.3 percent, up a half of a percent from June.  Bureau County’s latest jobless rate is 9.1 percent, also up a half of a percent from June.  Putnam County’s unemployment rate was 9.8 percent, down from 9.9 percent in June.

La Salle and Putnam County’s unemployment rates are both higher than they were a year ago.

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Peru Schools to receive state money for Parkside construction

Posted by wlpo on August 22, 2013

The wait is often long for school districts wishing to receive state money for school construction projects.  The Peru Public School District was on the list when their middle school, Parkside was completed in 2009. 

Just Thursday Governor Pat Quinn’s office announced the district is getting $11,700,000.  The money is part of the Illinois Jobs Now! capital program. 

Superintendent Mark Cross was glad to hear it and says the money is potentially a wonderful thing.  The district issued $19.5 million in bonds for the new school.

Cross says the money will likely be put towards more building improvements, particularly at Washington School. 

          The Grand Ridge School District is also expected to receive $2.2 million for a building addition and renovations that haven’t been completed.

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Area counties to receive IEMA grants

Posted by wlpo on August 22, 2013

Between flooding and tornadoes, the Illinois Valley has experienced its share of disasters.  The county agencies in charge of responding during those tough times are receiving grant money. 

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency issues the grants to be spent on day-to-day operations.  

          La Salle County is receiving $38,000, Bureau County is receiving $22,000, and Putnam is receiving $14,000.

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Work to complete new LP sports complex running behind

Posted by wlpo on August 22, 2013

          A rainy spring has work on the LP High School sports complex running six weeks behind.  The project on Chartres Street will include a track, soccer field and tennis courts.

          Superintendent Steve Wrobleski says they might be able to use the tennis courts a few times this season but not the soccer field.  Fall is the season for girls’ tennis and boys’ soccer.  Wrobleski says no games were scheduled for the new sports complex this fall.

          It should be ready for girls’ soccer and boys’ tennis next spring.

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Architect Having Troubles Keeping Hall School Under Budget

Posted by wlpo on August 22, 2013

The look of the new Hall High School is changing to try and stay under budget.

According to the NewsTribune, the architect and construction manager for the 32 million dollar school had concerns that there was wasted space and a lot of outside extras that added more cost.  So the newest design moved large spaces like the gyms, cafeteria and auditorium together.  The design team also decided not to use brick on all the building and use some pre-cast concrete walls for the gyms and auditorium.

Designers are also looking at energy savings since geothermal well testing showed it would add another 750 thousand dollars to the school cost.

The Hall School Board also approved First Midstate Bank to start buying bonds for the school.

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Merger Of Cherry And Dimmick Schools A Step Closer

Posted by wlpo on August 22, 2013

In a unanimous vote, Cherry Grade School officials have decided to merge their district with Dimmick Elementary School.

According to the NewsTribune, about 60 people were at last night’s Cherry school board meeting and no one spoke out against the merger decision.  When surveyed earlier this year, 86 percent of respondents in Cherry said they preferred merging with Dimmick instead of Ladd.

School officials say there are still some things to be worked out including if Cherry and Dimmick students will be going to one high school or if they’ll be split up between L-P and Hall.  The state is still setting up rules for non-contiguous schools merging.

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Grand Ridge Shooting Victim Expected To Survive

Posted by wlpo on August 22, 2013

The Grand Ridge man who was shot and fell from the Sandy Ford Bridge Sunday night is expected to live.

28-year old Jeremy Wade is being treated at St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria.  Officials aren’t releasing his condition likely for security reasons.

La Salle County State’s Attorney Brian Towne says besides suffering facial injuries from being shot, Wade broke a hip falling into the Vermilion River from the bridge.  He says it’s an “incredible miracle” that Wade survived.

The man accused of shooting Wade, Richard Felton of Tonica is charged with attempted murder.  He’s in the La Salle County Jail on three million dollars bond.

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