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Archive for November 19th, 2013

La Salle moving forward with plans to improve well field

Posted by wlpo on November 19, 2013

Flooding along the Illinois River hasn’t put La Salle’s well field underwater yet, but city officials don’t want to risk it any longer.  They’re moving ahead with plans to have the casings on their seven wells raised by three feet. 

Public Works Director Jeff Bumgarner says the water level came within one foot of the top of the casings during the last major flood. 

They’re also getting a backup power source for the well field.  Bumgerner says it’s something they need in case it would ever loose power.  The improvements would also put them into compliance with the Illinois EPA.

The project at one time was estimated to cost $383,000. 

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Marathon and half marathon planned for May

Posted by wlpo on November 19, 2013

La Salle County has long been a destination for hikers and lovers of nature.  An area tourism bureau is trying to make it a place for runners with a Starved Rock Country Marathon.  Plans for the 26-mile race and half marathon were announced Tuesday.

Bob Navarro is the President and CEO of the Illinois and Michigan Canal Heritage Corridor Convention and Visitors Bureau.  He says the marathon should draw serious runners as it will be a certified and qualifying course.

Navarro says they’re waiting until January to reveal the race course which won’t be flat.  It will start and end in Ottawa.

The marathon will be on Saturday, May 10.  You can register at

If you’re not a runner, Navarro says they’ll need several hundred volunteers to help during the marathon.

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HAZMAT crew responds to Sheridan Prison

Posted by wlpo on November 19, 2013

A strange black and white powder triggered a red flag at the Sheridan Correctional Center.  The powder was found in a letter in the prison’s mailroom Tuesday afternoon.  The administration building at the prison was evacuated and while a HAZMAT crew tested to figure out what it was.

Spokesman for the prison Tom Shaer says they the powder was some type of drug but nothing hazardous.  A sample was taken by an Illinois State Police detective for more testing.   Two mailroom employees were isolated and examined as a precaution.

Things were back to normal by 4pm and the inmates were not affected.

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Peru to buy back taxes for Econo Lodge

Posted by wlpo on November 19, 2013

The days of renting a room at the Econo Lodge in Peru are long over but the city is trying to make the motel, or at least the land it occupies, valuable again.

The city is buying the back taxes on it for $25,538.  The city council approved the purchase Monday night.  Alderman Rodney Perez is against it.

This is similar to what the city did with the old Kings Inn Motel just down the road.  They bought the building and are taking bids to have it demolished.

Alderman Dave Potthoff says the money for the back taxes is coming from the city’s motel-hotel tax fund.  Eventually they would like to see it torn down.

The Kings Inn was originally a Holiday Inn and the Econo Lodge was once a Howard Johnson.  Both are included in a TIF district but haven’t attracted any buyers.

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Dana Tornado Details Released

Posted by wlpo on November 19, 2013

The tornado that damaged homes in Dana had winds of up to 135 miles per hour.

Survey crews from the National Weather Service were in Dana yesterday looking at the aftermath of Sunday’s storms.  The weather service says the tornado that hit Dana started near Minonk before rumbling through Dana and ending about 12 miles later in Long Point in Livingston County.

The Dana tornado is considered an EF-2 on the 0 to 5 scale of storm strength.

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Wife Becomes Victim Of A Murder-Suicide

Posted by wlpo on November 19, 2013

An Oglesby woman who was shot last week by her husband has died.

76-year old Catherine Herrick died Sunday in Peoria after being shot in the head according to Peoria County Coroner Johnna Ingersoll.  Herrick came down with a type of pneumonia after last Tuesday’s shooting.

Oglesby Police were called to the home of Catherine and Donald Herrick last Tuesday afternoon.  79-year old Donald Herrick died after apparently shooting himself after shooting his wife who survived at the time.

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New Location For Utica Sand Mine Hearing

Posted by wlpo on November 19, 2013

When you host a meeting about sand mines in La Salle County, make sure you prepare for a large crowd.

A public hearing in Utica about a proposed sand mine north of the Love’s Travel Stop in Waltham Township has been moved from the Utica Village Hall to the Grand Bear Lodge conference room.  It will still start at 6.

Aramoni, LLC out of Oak Brook wants to mine sand but the property has to be annexed into the village of Utica first.  Utica trustees could vote on the annexation Wednesday night along with special use permits, variances and zoning changes that are needed.

The sand company says their project will bring 30 jobs.

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Oglesby Looking For An Economic Development Person

Posted by wlpo on November 19, 2013

Do you know anyone with an economic development background?

According to the NewsTribune, the Oglesby City Council is going to hire a part-time economic development director.  The hire will work 30 hours a week with the salary determined later.

City Clerk Becky Clinard used to be economic development director but gave it up for her current job.  Mayor Don Finley says he wants the new economic director to go after grants and be aggressive making contacts.

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