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News from the Illinois Valley

Archive for January 22nd, 2014

Emergency sales tax rules inspired by a Putnam County case

Posted by wlpo on January 22, 2014

If a business wants to take advantage of a low sales tax rate it will have to put some of its operations in that town.  New emergency sales tax rules filed Wednesday by the Illinois Department of Revenue clarify that sales taxes must be paid in the town where the bulk of the business happens.

The rules came after the Illinois Supreme Court ruled in November that the Village of Mark shouldn’t be receiving the sales taxes from Hartney Fuel Oil because the company was really doing business in Forest View, though what was happening was legal.

IDR says businesses that artificially sourced sales to a town where that not really selling anything takes money away from fire and police departments that are providing services to the real location.

The emergency rules will last for 150 days.  The department is working on permanent rules.

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Dangerously cold wind chills in store

Posted by wlpo on January 22, 2014

It’s a perfect evening for staying home.  The National Weather Service has issued winter weather and wind chill advisories for the Illinois Valley.

Strong winds will cause wind chill values to dip as low as -26.  Blowing snow will also caused visibility problems for drivers.  The wind chill advisory is from 9pm Wednesday through 10am Thursday.  The winter weather advisory is until 4am Thursday.

The weather has caused of number of events to be cancelled and even school start times.  You can find a list of cancellations and delays by clicking on the red banner.

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New name and menue for Starved Rock Lodge

Posted by wlpo on January 22, 2014

The visitors you bump into at Starved Rock State Park come from all over the world.  The people running the restaurant at the lodge have notice and have unveiled a new name and menu that goes beyond your typical Illinois Valley dinner.

The renamed dining hall, “Elements” now serves dishes that are outside of the box like duck corn dogs and drunken goat macaroni and cheese according to Starved Rock Lodge and Conference Center Marketing Director Kathy Casstevens.  Chicken and steak remain on the menu.  The changes came with the addition of David Jones as the food and beverage director.  Barry “Bear” Brooks is still the chef.  The menu will also be offered in the Back Door Lounge.  Brunch will still be served on Sundays.

You can learn more about the new name and menu by listening to an interview that’s up at the WLPO AM and FM news page.

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Blowing snow causing problems on local highways

Posted by wlpo on January 22, 2014

Blowing snow was causing whiteout conditions Wednesday evening.  A number of people went off the road on Route 251 between Peru and Mendota.  Avoid that stretch of road if possible.

There were also complaints about visibility on Route 17 between Wenona and south of Streator and Interstate 39.  Roads are also slick.  Slow down and watch out for cars and the people handling the crashes.

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Ottawa out of the running for a new warehouse

Posted by wlpo on January 22, 2014

After several months of preparing for a new business, Ottawa Mayor Bob Eschbach says the city is no longer in the running.  

Eschbach began asking the city council in October to consider expanding the I-80 TIF district for a possible new warehouse and headquarters building on the east end of Champlain Street.  

The council Tuesday night moved ahead with expanding the TIF even though they will not be get the new business.

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Be Ready To Pay Up If You Want Medical Marijuana

Posted by wlpo on January 22, 2014

If you want to use medical marijuana you’ll have to be fingerprinted, undergo a background check and pay $150 a year for a special photo ID.

The state health department has posted nearly 50 pages of proposed regulations online and opening an informal public comment period.

A new state law legalized medical marijuana in a four-year pilot project with some of the strictest standards in the nation.

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SUV Slides Into Train In Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on January 22, 2014

It’s not unusual for trains to stop traffic in Ottawa.  A backup yesterday afternoon though wasn’t really the trains fault.

Noon-hour traffic was stopped on northbound Route 23 in Ottawa after Kenneth Eike of Ottawa slid into a moving train.  Eike wasn’t hurt but his SUV had to be towed from the scene.

Traffic was stopped for about 45 minutes.

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Another Wind Chill Advisory Issued For The Illinois Valley

Posted by wlpo on January 22, 2014

The cold weather is going to get worse before it gets better.

A Wind Chill Advisory is in effect from 9 Wednesday night thru 10 Thursday morning.  It’ll feel like 20 to 30 below with the wind chill overnight.  Wind gusts will be as high as 35 miles per hour.

Regular high temperatures won’t get above freezing for at least another week.

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