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Archive for December 10th, 2013

No new contract for Mendota Elementary teachers

Posted by wlpo on December 10, 2013

Teachers with the Mendota Elementary School District appear ready to walk.

A fifth negotiating session with a mediator Monday night ended without an agreement between the teacher’s union and the school district.  Teachers have voted in favor of striking if it comes to that.

Superintendent Kristen School says once the union officially files impasse paperwork, each side has a 14-day window to provide their final offers that will include costs.  After the 14 days are up, Mendota teachers could go on strike.

The teachers’ contract expired in August.  Salary and benefits are the sticking points.

No new negotiation meetings are planned.

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Office Depot chooses Florida over Illinois for its headquarters

Posted by wlpo on December 10, 2013

Citing taxes and government incentives as factors in their decision, Office Depot says it’s putting its global headquarters in Boca Raton, Florida.  The announcement came Tuesday. 

Illinois and Florida lawmakers and governors had been trying to lure the recently merged Office Max and Office Depot to their respective states.  The company has call centers in Peru and Ottawa.

Office Depot Chairman and CEO Roland Smith says store locations, customer service centers, warehouses and distribution centers are not affected by the selection.

Smith says their decision took into account the cost to operate each headquarters location, lease obligations, tax implications, government incentives, and people-related costs.

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Effort underway to reduce the size of the Peru City Council

Posted by wlpo on December 10, 2013

Is it possible to get more for less when it comes to your city council?  A group of people in Peru think so and they’ve started the Peru At-Large Initiative- a petition to have a binding referendum on the March primary ballot asking you to cut the number of aldermen from eight to six.  They also want to change it so one aldermen is elected out of each of the four wards while two others are elected from anywhere in the city. 

Travis Nelson is one of the people collecting signatures.  He believes you can get more with fewer council members.

While your ward could end up with less representation, you would be voting for three aldermen instead of two.  He also thinks most of the aldermen aren’t busy with city stuff.

Nelson says he doesn’t know of any nearby towns using this style of government. 

They need about 320 signatures by next Monday to have the question on the ballot.

You can learn about it by listening to an interview that’s available a the WLPO AM and FM news page.

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Proposed Gun Range Sparks Debate In La Salle County

Posted by wlpo on December 10, 2013

Seems like anything that goes boom in La Salle County whether its a sand mine or gun range brings with it controversy.

The La Salle County Board last night voted to send back a request from John Miller in Sheridan to the Zoning Board of Appeals for reconsideration.  A majority of the ZBA voted against Miller’s request for a private gun range along Route 52 which he would use for firearm safety classes.

A neighbor has filed an objection against Miller’s plan and was represented by a lawyer at the ZBA meeting.  County board member Al Erbrederis argued for a new hearing since the petitioner didn’t have a lawyer and was “ambushed” in his words.

The zoning board next meets January 15th.

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Major Streator Employer Is Sold

Posted by wlpo on December 10, 2013

If you or someone you know works at US Foods in Streator, changes are coming.

Sysco Corporation based out of Texas bought US Foods Monday for $3.5 billion.  As part of the deal, US Foods will now be called Sysco and Sysco is taking on all of US Foods debt which is nearly five billion dollars.

Sysco President and CEO Bill DeLaney says his company “looks forward to welcoming US Foods’ talented employees”.  Neither company has said what exactly the merger means for the US Foods distribution center workers in Streator.

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Ice Odyssey Returns To Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on December 10, 2013

It’s time to get the ice and chainsaws out in downtown Ottawa.

The city’s 5th Annual Ice Odyssey is this Friday and Saturday.  On Friday, there’s a holiday bazaar and farmer’s market from 4 until 8 with a lighting of the Jordan Block tree at 5.  Saturday’s Ice Odyssey schedule includes the holiday bazaar, farmer’s market and a Reindeer 5K all starting at 8 in the morning.  Later in the morning and afternoon Saturday will have Santa making an appearance along with the main attraction of ice sculpting from 11 until 1 on Jefferson Street.

Find out more information about Ottawa’s Ice Odyssey by clicking

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Convictions In La Salle County Now Means Money For Neglected Children

Posted by wlpo on December 10, 2013

Anyone convicted of a crime in La Salle County whether it be a felony or misdemeanor will now pay a fee supporting abused children.

The La Salle County Board has established a ten dollar fee to benefit CASA, or Court Appointed Special Advocates.  The governor in August signed a law letting counties collect $10 to $30 fines on court convictions.  The La Salle County Board has decided to set the fee at $10.

CASA is a non-profit organization that provides court-appointed advocates for abused or neglected children.

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Winter Weather Advisory Issued For Early Wednesday

Posted by wlpo on December 10, 2013

If the bitter cold wasn’t enough for you there’s also more snow in the forecast.

A Winter Weather Advisory takes effect at midnight Wednesday for the Illinois Valley due to expected snow.  The forecast right now calls for most snow in the Illinois Valley to fall between 3 and 6 Wednesday morning.  Anywhere from 2 to 4 inches of accumulation is possible.

Snow is also in this weekend’s forecast.

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