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Archive for December 27th, 2013

Local unemployment rates increased from November 2012 to November 2013

Posted by wlpo on December 27, 2013

Looking at area unemployment numbers, it would seem the job market is not improving.  The November unemployment rate for La Salle was 10.7%, a jump over the same time last year when unemployment was 9.8%.

Bureau County unemployment in November was 9 percent, compared to 8.6% in November 2012.  Putnam County unemployment was 9.8%, an increase over 9.1% in November 2012.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security says the Ottawa-Streator area added manufacturing, construction and transportation and warehousing jobs but lost retail and wholesale trade jobs.

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Woman taken to hospital after going into the Illinois River

Posted by wlpo on December 27, 2013

Entering the Illinois River is dangerous on a warm day, but a woman that somehow went into the river near Starved Rock State Park was able to get out of the water. 

The Utica Fire Department was called to the area near the dam around 3:20pm Friday for a woman in the water.  Utica Fire Chief Ben Brown says the woman was able to get out of the river on her own.  She was taken to by an ambulance to St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Ottawa.

Brown wasn’t sure how the woman got into the water.  The Oglesby and MABAS Water Rescue crews were called but were told to turnaround before arriving.

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Teenagers Blamed For Christmas Car Burglaries In Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on December 27, 2013

While most of you were opening presents, two teens are accused of breaking into cars in Ottawa.

Tiahmo Draine of Marseilles and a 16-year old boy from Ottawa were arrested Christmas morning accused of several car burglaries.  Detective Scott Harden says the break-ins were sporadic in the city.

Draine was arrested with burglary to a motor vehicle and taken to the La Salle County Jail.  The 16-year old was referred to Juvenile Probation.

If you notice anything missing from your car, the Ottawa Police Department does have property needing to be claimed.

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Longtime Ottawa Commissioner Dies

Posted by wlpo on December 27, 2013

Flags were flying at half-mast in Ottawa following the death of Commissioner Ed Whitney.

The 71-year-old died Thursday night in Peoria.  He was in the middle of his fifth term on the council serving as commissioner of Public Health and Safety.

Whitney was on the Ottawa City Council since 1995.  Before that he had retired as Ottawa’s police chief after being on the force for over two decades.

Mayor Bob Eschbach says Whitney “always voted his conscience, doing what he believed was best for the city.”

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People Lining Up To Sue Target

Posted by wlpo on December 27, 2013

CHICAGO (AP) – At least one Illinoisan has joined those suing Target after the retail giant disclosed hackers stole millions of customer accounts.

Chicago-area woman Chandra McPherson is the named plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit filed this week in federal court in Chicago. Similar lawsuits have been filed in other states.

The 31-page Chicago lawsuit seeks unspecified damages in one of the largest data breaches in U.S. history. A Target statement Monday said it “remains committed to sharing information about the recent data breach with all who are impacted.”

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Thief Or Thieves Steal Presents From Under Peoria Christmas Tree

Posted by wlpo on December 27, 2013

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) – It’s an act that might have made even Scrooge or The Grinch cringe.

One or more burglars broke into a Peoria home on Christmas Eve while the family celebrated at a relative’s place nearby. The thieves then made off with all the presents from under the family Christmas tree.

Sometime Tuesday evening, someone threw a concrete block through a sliding door to gain entry. The value of the presents taken, including electronic devices, was valued at more than $2,500.

Investigators say there were multiple footprints in the snow leading back and forth from the sliding door to a curb. But it wasn’t clear if they belong to one person or several.

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Gas Prices Jump Up Again

Posted by wlpo on December 27, 2013

If you’re looking for the cheapest gas in the Illinois Valley, it’s generally not found in La Salle-Peru right now.

The price at the pump at many stations in La Salle and Peru went up another dime to $3.29 a gallon.  According to, gas at some Streator stations was still going for $2.99 a gallon as of last night.  Gas prices in Ottawa, Mendota and Princeton sit at $3.19 a gallon.

The statewide average for gas right now is $3.41 a gallon.  That’s 14 cents above the national average.

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