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Archive for November 21st, 2013

La Salle County property taxes increasing

Posted by wlpo on November 21, 2013

A loss in property values means more money you’ll have to pay in La Salle County taxes.

The La Salle County Board yesterday passed its tax levy that includes a 2% property tax increase.  According to the NewsTribune, the tax rate is going up over 2 cents per $100 assessed valuation of a home.

In all, the county is asking for over $23 million in property taxes.  Republican board members Al Erbrederis, Walter Roach, Mike Sheridan and Charles Borchsenius voted against the tax increase.

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Credit Union Donation Puts IVCC Fundraiser Over Goal

Posted by wlpo on November 21, 2013

After two years of campaigning, Illinois Valley Community College has reached its fundraising goal to pay for enhancements inside the new Peter Miller Community Technology Center.

Financial Plus Credit Union of Ottawa gave the campaign a $2,000 check this week putting fundraiser over the $2.1 million goal.  Around 215  people and businesses donated to the technology center campaign.

Miller Group Charitable Trust got the capital campaign going in 2011 with a $1 million donation.  Miller Group Charitable Trust includes WLPO AM and FM, 96.5 the Wolf, WAJK, the NewsTribune, and AgriNews.

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Cherry And Dimmick Merger Takes Another Turn

Posted by wlpo on November 21, 2013

Getting the students of Cherry Grade School into the classrooms of Dimmick Grade School has turned out to be tougher than what was first proposed.

Cherry School officials originally wanted to annex their district into the Dimmick School District but those plans were stalled by a lack of support from other Bureau County school districts.

The Cherry School Board is taking a different approach.  According to The Newstribune school board Wednesday night approved a two-year agreement with Dimmick that will allow Cherry students to attend Dimmick for 290 thousand dollars next school year.

They’re putting a referendum on the March 18 ballot asking voters if they want to deactivate the school for the next two years.

Cherry Superintendent James Boyle says if the referendum fails the district would “be broke” and forced to dissolve and the students would likely end up at Ladd Grade School.

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Administrator At IVCC Announces Her Retirement

Posted by wlpo on November 21, 2013

An administrator is calling it a career at Illinois Valley Community College.

Vice President for Learning and Student Development Lori Scroggs is retiring as of March and relocating to Wisconsin with her husband.  She’s been at the college since 1995 when she started out as division chair for social science and director of development.

Scroggs got the vice president title just last year.

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Ottawa High Stepping Up For Tornado Victims

Posted by wlpo on November 21, 2013

High school students can do a lot of good when they put their minds to it.  Having incentives never hurts either.

Between now and next Tuesday Ottawa high school students are having a competition to see which homeroom can collect the most donations for tornado-ravaged towns like Washington and Coal City.  They’re collecting cleaning supplies and cash donations.  The Ottawa High School FFA Chapter is organizing the supply drive.

The homeroom with the most supplies will win a party of their choice.

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Seattle Sutton Makes Big Pledge To IVCC

Posted by wlpo on November 21, 2013

One of the Illinois Valley’s most successful business women is giving back in a big way.

Seattle Sutton of “Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating” is donating 10 thousand dollars to the nursing program at Illinois Valley Community College.  Sutton is a registered nurse.

IVCC President Jerry Corcoran has called the nursing program the flagship of the college.

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Latest Sand Mine Debate Heats Up In Utica

Posted by wlpo on November 21, 2013

When you’re talking about mining sand in La Salle County be prepared for long meetings and big crowds.

A standing room only crowd filled Grand Bear Lodge’s conference room last night as the Utica Planning Commission and Board of Trustees held a hearing on Aramoni, LLC’s proposal to annex 123 acres for a sand mine north of Love’s Travel Stop.  Once developer Steven Schuster was done explaining his plans and being drilled by the crowd, village officials decided to end the hearing for the night and restart it at 6 tonight back at Grand Bear.

Schuster says his group had intentions of turning the land north of Love’s into a warehouse development before the economy collapsed.  Soon after that they drilled down and found they were sitting on valuable silica sand which Schuster says has more value than a distribution center.

If they get permits and annexation approved, Schuster says they’d like to mine sand 24 hours a day, 7 days a week although blasting would only happen once every 7 to 10 days.  The developer has agreed to pay a 100 thousand dollar impact fee to Utica for increased costs of things like roads and fire protection.  Aramoni is also agreeing to fix nearby landowners wells if the sand mine negatively impacts their quality.

Utica Planning Commission member Willis Fry expressed frustration that he didn’t get revisions from the mine proposal until just before the meeting.  Schuster said they had been in talks with late Village President Fred Esmond but delayed moving forward while he battled health problems.

Trustee Matt Jereb is leery the developer eventually wanting to mine other property he owns in Utica south of Interstate 80.  Schuster says that won’t happen because the valuable silica sand isn’t on his other pieces of land.

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Peru Council to meet with retired Judge Balestri Friday

Posted by wlpo on November 21, 2013

An investigation into Peru city employees earning overtime for hours they didn’t work is moving along.  Retired Judge William Balestri was chosen Monday by the city council to investigate the allegations.

The city council will have a chance to talk privately with Balestri during a special meeting at 4:30pm Friday.  The discussion will happen during a closed session. 

City council members want Balestri to investigation and find out who approved the overtime hours and how much it cost the city.


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