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Archive for January 9th, 2014

Less to be appointed an Ottawa City Commissioner

Posted by wlpo on January 9, 2014

You’ll soon have a new city commissioner in Ottawa.  James Less will be appointed the Commissioner of Public Health and Safety during the January 21 council meeting.

Less fills a vacancy created by the death of Ed Whitney.  Whitney was in the middle of his fifth term when he died December 26.

Mayor Bob Eschbach says the council agreed to offer Less the position since Less ran for a council seat in 2011.  Less has been on the Plan Commission and Playground and Recreation Board since 2011 and was on the Tree Board before that.

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Hot dogs and hot chocolate to be served at Mckinley Park Saturday

Posted by wlpo on January 9, 2014

The weekend will bring an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors without facing dangerous wind chills.  In Peru you’ll find a Community Family Fun Day at McKinley Park.  It was Alderman Rodney Perez’s idea.

You’ll find ice skating and sledding from 12pm-3pm Saturday.  Hot chocolate and hot dogs will be served.  Perez says city employees have been trying to keep the ice in good shape.  Bring your own sled and skates.

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Industrial park and river front are key parts to economic development in Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on January 9, 2014

If you want to sell a house, you update the kitchen; if you want to sell an industrial park you put in a new rail spur.  Ottawa officials are ready to spend $4.5 million to upgrade their industrial park.  The area is one of their focuses for progress in 2014.

Economic Development Director Reed Wilson says new sewer and roads are part of their plan.

The Illinois riverfront is another place they’ll be marketing.  The city has 21 acres, including land that used to be Central School.  Wilson says they’ll be marketing property overlooking the river for private development.

They also want to bring more stores to the Interstate 80 area.  The old Kmart building is being turned to an RP Lumber.

Learn more by listening to an interview with Wilson at the WLPO AM and FM news page.

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Woman Killed In Bureau County Crash

Posted by wlpo on January 9, 2014

An investigation into a crash that killed a woman from Princeton has left a driver ticketed.  Carol Headley of Princeton was ticketed for allegedly not stopping at the stop sign at  Route 40 and North 1745th Avenue near Sheffield.

Police say Headley’s car was hit by a semi Wednesday evening.   The crash killed her 48-year-old passenger.  Headley was seriously injured and flown to St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria where she was last listed in critical condition.

The name of the woman that died hasn’t been made public.  The man driving the semi was from Iowa and uninjured.

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L-P Teacher Returns To School After Train Incident

Posted by wlpo on January 9, 2014

Five full months after being hit by a train, Matt Makeever is back teaching math at L-P.

Makeever missed the fall semester while recovering from a brain injury that had him in a coma for several days.  He says he doesn’t remember the accident but does remember while recovering being fearful that he couldn’t teach math ever again.  Makeever says the left side of his brain was severely injured and it’s that side of the brain where you process critical thinking and numbers.

Amazingly he’s done with all treatments and therapy for his brain and facial injuries.  Makeever says his collarbone is still sore every now and then so he’ll get that checked out this summer.

The 25-year old says he’s been overwhelmed by the support he’s gotten from the L-P community and truly believes it helped him heal.

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Downtown Utica Facing Handicap Accessibility Issue

Posted by wlpo on January 9, 2014

Downtown Utica has a lot of visitors but it’s not exactly handicap accessible.

According to the NewsTribune, the village is planning a meeting with downtown business owners to talk about requirements with the Americans with Disabilities Act and how much it’ll cost to be in compliance.  Mill Street used to be state owned and businesses didn’t need to worry about ADA compliance.  The village though has taken over maintenance of Mill Street and with that businesses need to be up to ADA code.

It’s possible businesses could get tax credits for making improvements.

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Wintry Weather Pushes Back IVCC Registration Deadline

Posted by wlpo on January 9, 2014

Thanks to Mother Nature, you have more time to register for classes at Illinois Valley Community College.

Spring semester classes start Monday and by IVCC policy, you need to be registered before the first class.  However with this weeks weather-related closings, the new registration deadline is next Wednesday.

The college is also offering extended hours this week and next with the bookstore, admissions office, and counseling and financial aid office.  Placement testing times have also been added at both the Oglesby and Ottawa campus.

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Random Drug Testing Around The Corner At L-P

Posted by wlpo on January 9, 2014

Starting next week, if you want to play sports or any extracurricular activity at L-P you’ll have to just say no to drugs.

The L-P School Board voted late last year to start random drug testing of all students involved in things like sports, band and theater.  Superintendent Steve Wrobleski says they’ll start randomly testing next week.

Each student will be assigned a number and numbers will be picked weekly to give a urine test at the school.  It’s possible some students will get tested more than once while others won’t get picked at all.  If a student fails the test, they would be suspended, have to seek treatment and write a letter of apology to their team or club.

Schools like St. Bede, Mendota, Hall, Ottawa and Streator  already have been doing random drug testing.  Around 80 percent of students at L-P are in extracurricular activities so they’d be eligible to be tested.

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