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Archive for January 15th, 2014

Peru J.C. Penney not among the 33 scheduled to close

Posted by wlpo on January 15, 2014

A department store chain that has had a store in the Illinois Valley for decades is closing 33 stores.

J.C. Penney announced Wednesday that it is also cutting 2,000 jobs.  Their store at the Peru Mall will remain open but two other stores in Illinois are closing.

The closings are a way to save money.  The chain earlier this month said it was pleased with its holiday results but didn’t give numbers.  The cuts should save more than $65 million annually.

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Local contestant to compete in beauty pageant

Posted by wlpo on January 15, 2014

72 women will compete this weekend for the Illinois County Fair Queen pageant.

Lauren Passini of Standard is representing the Marshall-Putnam Fair while Ashley Simmon of Geneseo is representing the Bureau County Fair.  La Salle County doesn’t have a fair queen contestant.

The county fair queen will be crowned Sunday and will preside over the Illinois State Fair this summer.

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New home construction remained slow in 2013

Posted by wlpo on January 15, 2014

You’re more likely to be building a new garage than new house.  New home construction remains slower that it was ten years ago at least in Peru.  Six new home permits were issued in 2013 in Peru.  While the number seems low, it was actually more than in 2011 and 2012. 

Building and Zoning Officer Jeff King recently issued the annual building report and he’s already focused on what’s happening this year.  He says a residential development by former State Senator Gary Dahl includes nine large lots.  City officials have already approved some of the early plans for the subdivision. 

2013 brought a couple of large commercial projects, most notably additions to Hy-Vee and James Hardie.  Permits were also taken out for a new Casey’s General Store.  Construction of the store will be this year. New commercial construction was valued at $12 million.

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Water Tower Issue Has Tonica Folks Boiling Water

Posted by wlpo on January 15, 2014

It could be a day or two before water service is back to normal in Tonica.

Crews Wednesday were repairing a damaged pipe in the village’s water tower.   A boil order is in effect while they make the repairs.

A village official says the boil order should be lifted by Friday at the latest.

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Report Finished On Peru Payroll Controversy

Posted by wlpo on January 15, 2014

You’ll have to wait a couple more weeks to get the goods on a payroll investigation involving the city of Peru.

The city hired retired Judge William Balestri to look into claims that some city workers were paid for overtime hours they never worked.  Balestri has wrapped up his investigation and has made his findings available to members of the Peru city council.

However Alderman Rodney Perez says the findings will be kept under wraps until the council votes to put the report on file at their January 27th meeting.

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Sand Mine Hearing Restarting In Utica

Posted by wlpo on January 15, 2014

If you’re eagerly waiting for a decision on a proposed new sand mine north of Utica, you could get an answer Wednesday night.

After 15 hours of talk spread out over three nights last year, the Utica Planning Commission and Trustees will restart the Aramoni, LLC sand meeting Wednesday at 6 inside Grand Bear Resort.  Aramoni is a  developer out of the suburbs who owns land north of Love’s Travel Stop in Utica.  They’d like to mine sand on part of that property.

So far they have faced heavy resistance, especially from people owning farmland near the proposed mine.  Union members are in favor of the sand mine proposal, saying it’ll bring high-paying jobs to LaSalle County.

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Ottawa “Plunge” Raises Thousands For Make-A-Wish Foundation

Posted by wlpo on January 15, 2014

The third annual Penguin Plunge in Ottawa was a record-breaking success.

The fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish Foundation raised over $72,000, far exceeding the goal of $60,000.  The money raised will help Make-A-Wish grant wishes to 12 children.

Cash was raised by individuals and teams who plunged into the chilly Illinois River on January 4th at Heritage Harbor in Ottawa.

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Drug Dealing Arrest Made Near Ottawa School

Posted by wlpo on January 15, 2014

You’re never allowed to have heroin but if you are caught with it near a school, the charge becomes more severe.

Danielle Lawrence of Ottawa was arrested Thursday after allegedly selling less than a gram of heroin to someone working undercover for TRIDENT.  She was arrested in the 1100 block of Columbus Street which is less than a thousand feet from St. Columba School.

Lawrence was taken to the La Salle County Jail.

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