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Archive for September 9th, 2013

Pastors to offer free wedding services in Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on September 9, 2013

While some couples need to have large, expensive wedding ceremonies, other couples like to keep it short and sweet, especially if they don’t have a lot of money.

Three pastors are again offering their services free-of-charge for couples wishing to marry.  The short but religious ceremonies will take place Saturday in Washington Park in Ottawa.

Pastor Paul Bladen of Deer Park Community Church is one of the officiants offering the free services.  Bladen would like more pastors to offer it.

Pastor Carl Hardy and Reverend Ralph Demming will also be participating.  Couples still need receive a marriage license from the La Salle County Clerk’s office by Thursday.  They will not be performing civil unions.

Bladen says he will also allow couples to renew their vows.  If you think it’s time to take the leap, the services will be offered from 1-5pm Saturday.

You can learn more about the services by listening to an interview available at the WLPO AM and FM news page.

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Peru continues contract with TEST

Posted by wlpo on September 9, 2013

The way the water plant and wastewater plant are operated in Peru will remain.  Total Environmental Services Technology, or TEST, has operated and maintained the plants since 1993 and will continue thanks to a rider on their contract.

The city council approved the rider Monday night despite criticism because the service wasn’t put out for bit.  Alderman Mike Sapienza gave a passionate explanation for why he was supporting the contract, saying that he believes in going out for sealed bids, but he also believes that you shouldn’t always take the lowest bid.

He also gave examples of TEST employees helping the city at no cost during the flooding in April and the Westclox fire in 2012.

Alderman Rodney Perez was the only aldermen to vote against it.  He says he thinks TEST does a great job but he believes the city should go out for bids on large projects.

This is the fifth time the contract has been extended.  The city will pay TEST about $572,000 in 2014.  The cost will increase by 1.5% each year.

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Controversial Sand Mine Still Waiting To Start

Posted by wlpo on September 9, 2013

When Mississippi Sand begins mining east of Starved Rock State Park is still anyone’s guess.

Mississippi Sand Vice President Tom Greco told the La Salle County Board Monday night he can’t give them a definitive start date, only saying they have received all their state permits and are in the process of getting a construction permit from the county.  While he didn’t mention it, a lawsuit by opponents like the Sierra Club is also preventing Mississippi Sand from getting started.

Greco says some of the opposition has had a “loss of accuracy” and many safety steps have been forgotten or overlooked by opponents.  He says one big misconception is that the mine will have a major impact of traffic on Route 71.  Greco says Mississippi Sand won’t affect traffic and they’ve already committed to limit truck activity during busy days at Starved Rock.

Ottawa activist Farley Andrews spoke after Greco and urged the board to reconsider their options for sand mining.  He argued silica sand mining is a detriment to farmland and public health.

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Staying At La Salle County Nursing Home Gets Pricier

Posted by wlpo on September 9, 2013

The cost of staying at the La Salle County Nursing Home is going up.

The cost of a private room at the nursing home in Ottawa is going up from $137 to $140 a day.  The semi-private room rate jumps from $132 to $135 a day.  Last year the rates only went up two dollars a day.

The new rates go into effect December 1st. They include basic room and board and food.

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Princeton man arrested for a heroin-related charge

Posted by wlpo on September 9, 2013

          Princeton is known for its old-fashioned downtown and the Red-Covered Bridge, not heroin.  But heroin is what police say a man was selling.  Matthew Mesik of Princeton was arrested Friday after his home was searched by members of TRIDENT.

          Mesik was charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to delivery.  He was being held in the Bureau County Jail with his bond set at $40,000.

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Man Dead After Jumping From Moving Car In Marshall County

Posted by wlpo on September 9, 2013

A Chillicothe man apparently jumped to his death out of a moving vehicle while in Marshall County.

Deputies say 26-year old Zachary Crawford was pronounced dead after jumping out of a vehicle in Hopewell, south of Sparland on Route 29.  Investigators say Crawford jumped after a brief argument with his driver.

The Marshall County Sheriff’s Office says no foul play is suspected.

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Drought Conditions For Most Of Illinois Valley Area

Posted by wlpo on September 9, 2013

Did you get any rain over the weekend?  A big chunk of the listening area remains in a drought.

According to the National Weather Service, far southwest La Salle County, all of Putnam County and central and western Bureau County is in a moderate drought.  Places like La Salle, Peru and Spring Valley are just considered abnormally dry right now.

Things aren’t going to get any better this week.  The seven-day forecast is calling for little to no rain for most of the listening area.

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Motorcycle Group Makes Large Donation To Marseilles Memorial

Posted by wlpo on September 9, 2013

A lot of motorcycles roll in and out of Marseilles on the weekends.  A group of bikers Saturday came to town with a big fat check.

Members of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association rode into Marseilles with a 20 thousand dollar check written to the Marseilles Mideast Tribute Committee.  That’s the committee who helps maintain the Middle East Conflicts Memorial Wall along the Illinois River.

Committee members plan on using the donation for daily maintenance of the wall and for adding onto the wall in the future.

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Final Day To Support Earlville Drive-In

Posted by wlpo on September 9, 2013

Did you vote yet? Today is the last day to help “save” the Earlville Drive-In.

Honda is running a contest where you can vote once a day for the Earlville Drive-In to be one of five drive-ins across the country to get digital projectors.  Many drive-ins and older theaters like the Majestic in Streator face the possibility of closing unless they can raise 80 thousand dollars or more to switch from projector to digital film.

Illinois only has a dozen drive-ins left.

To vote, go to

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Opposing Schools Come Together For Ailing Walnut Teen

Posted by wlpo on September 9, 2013

Even though St. Bede and Bureau Valley football players battled it out on the field Friday night, the players and fans in the stands were united for a cause off the field.

Around seven thousand dollars was raised between the schools and their fan bases for Bureau Valley student Cora Peters.  Peters is battling a rare form of cancer called Synovial Sarcoma which attacks the joints.  The teen was first diagnosed in 2009.

The money raised at the St. Bede and Bureau Valley football game will help send Peters on a vacation to Hawaii before her next set of scans.

You can follow the teen’s progress in battling cancer by clicking

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