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Archive for December, 2013

New laws to combat handicap parking abuse

Posted by wlpo on December 30, 2013

Have you ever seen a driver with a disability placard and think it seemed fishy that they had one?  A few new state laws are geared at cutting down on people taking advantage of the system.

Any driver found to be misusing a disability parking placard will now pay a $600  fine instead of $500.  Also if the legit owner of a disability parking placard lets someone else use their permit, they can be fined $1000.

Beginning Wednesday, doctors or nurses who falsify a disability parking application, they can be fined $1000, double what the penalty is now.

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Local athletes to compete in Special Olympics events Saturday

Posted by wlpo on December 30, 2013

You might be sick of the cold and snow but the athletes competing at the Starved Rock Area Special Olympics think differently.

The Cross Country Ski and Snowshoe competition is Saturday at the Bureau County Fairgrounds in Princeton.  86 athletes will compete.  Opening Ceremonies start at 9:45.

Other local athletes will be at a speeding skating competition Saturday in Franklin Park and on January 14 at an Alpine Skiing competition.

Gold medalists will advance to the Illinois State Winter Games in Galena.

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Peru is expecting new businesses in 2014

Posted by wlpo on December 29, 2013

Other than people catching a bus ride to the casinos, you don’t see a lot happening at the old Peru Kmart.  That could change over the next few months according to Peru’s Economic Development Direct Bob Vickery.  He says the new year should be a busy year for new business in Peru.

Vickery says he gets a lot of questions about the Kmart property and thinks you’ll see a free-standing store on the northeast corner.   He also says you could hear an announcement for a new store using nearly half of the building.

The old Holiday Inn on May Road is close to being demolished.  Vickery says a hotel developer is interested in the land.  

As for new business that would create something other than retail jobs, he says a company interested in Water Street would create jobs along with a potential agriculture development.  Vickery won’t say where it would go or what it would do.

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Two quakes shake Oklahoma City area today

Posted by wlpo on December 29, 2013

The U.S. Geological Survey says a 4.1 magnitude earthquake rattled an area about 30 miles north-northeast of Oklahoma City early Sunday and was followed by a smaller quake hours later in the state. There were no reports of any injuries or damages from either temblor.
 
     Geophysicist Randy Baldwin at the USGS National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colo., said the larger quake at 2:14 a.m. CST  
 
     Baldwin said Oklahoma has sporadically recorded several minor quakes in recent months but those are without any discernible pattern.

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Peru man is okay after rollover

Posted by wlpo on December 29, 2013

A Peru man was treated and released after his SUV left eastbound Route 6 yesterday morning coming to rest in the front yard of a funeral home. Peru police say Dave Wagner’s SUV went off the road and overturned in the front yard of Ptak’s Funeral Home. He had to be removed from the vehicle. The housing supervisor at IVCH told WLPO AM and FM news, Wagner received treatment and was released.

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Freezing Rain advisory is now in effect

Posted by wlpo on December 29, 2013

The National Weather Service has issued a freezing rain advisory until 2 this afternoon. It covers the northeast quarter of the state and includes LaSalle County, but not Bureau or Putnam.   A Wind Chill Advisory goes in  effect at 9 tonite.  After enjoying sun and mid-40’s temperatures Saturday,   freezing rain and snow showers are possible until 3 this afternoon.  The Wind Chill Advisory affects the state from the Wisconsin border to Bloomington and from the Quad Cities to about Joliet. Chicagoland is excluded. It won’t be till Saturday that the Illinois Valley will have a daytime high of close to thirty degrees.

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Peru mayor picks fire and police chiefs to lead the public works department for now

Posted by wlpo on December 28, 2013

In a few days, Peru won’t have someone to oversee the public works department unless the city council makes a special appointment.

Sean Mikos’s last day as superintendent and city engineer is Tuesday.  The city council Monday could appoint Police Chief Doug Bernabei and Fire Chief Jeff King to temporarily be co-superintendents.  King and Bernabei wouldn’t be paid extra for the appointments.

Mikos became the superintendent and city engineer in August but announced earlier this month he was leaving.

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SUV overturns in front of a funeral home in Peru

Posted by wlpo on December 28, 2013

The front porch and sign at the Ptak Funeral Home in Peru needs to be replaced.  An SUV went of the road and overturned in the funeral home’s front lawn just before 7am Saturday.

Dave Wagner of Peru was heading east on Route 6 when he went off the road.  He had to be removed from the SUV and taken to Illinois Valley Community Hospital.  His condition wasn’t available.

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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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