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Archive for January, 2014

Big Tuition Jump Proposed At IVCC

Posted by wlpo on January 29, 2014

The price of an education at Illinois Valley Community College could be going up.

The IVCC audit/finance committee is recommending a 10 percent tuition jump starting with the summer semester.  Vice President of Business Services and Finance Cheryl Roelfsema says the increase is in reaction to no increase in state funding and lower property values.

If the full board approves the increase next month, the price per credit hour would go up from 93 to 103 dollars.  A full-time student at IVCC would pay over 33 hundred dollars per year.

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Lawmakers react to State of the State address

Posted by wlpo on January 29, 2014

The annual State of the State address was packed with Governor Pat Quinn’s goals for the next year, including an expansion of early childhood services and a minimum wage increase.  The Democrat also during his speech Wednesday emphasized what new jobs have been created.

State Representative Frank Mautino, a Democrat, says Quinn has some very lofty goals and he’s not sure if they’ll be met and thinks Quinn will need to explain that in his budget speech.  As for increasing the minimum wage, Mauntino wants to see how the state’s profitability and gross domestic profit is going, if they have a growing economy that can support it.

Republican Representative Tom Cross, a candidate for State Treasurer, says Quinn didn’t explain how he will lower unemployment and pay unpaid bills and that he felt like he was listening to a political speech.

You can hear more with Mautino and Cross by visiting the WLPO AM and FM news page.

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Power restored to Ottawa and surrounding towns

Posted by wlpo on January 29, 2014

It turned into a chilly afternoon for about 2,000 Ameren Illinois customers in La Salle County.  An equipment failure at a substation caused an outage that affected the north side of Ottawa, Earlville, Sheridan and surrounding area.  It started around 1:30pm Wednesday and had the La Salle County Courthouse on Etna Road closing early.

Stacey Shangraw of Ameren Illinois says service was restored shortly after 5pm.

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Gov. Quinn says he’s worked to ‘rebuild Illinois’

Posted by wlpo on January 29, 2014

     SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Gov. Pat Quinn says he’s worked to rebuild Illinois “one hard step at a time” since he took office five years ago.

     The Chicago Democrat marked his five years in office Wednesday during his annual State of the State address. It’s also the anniversary of when lawmakers removed his predecessor from office. Ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich is now serving a federal prison sentence for corruption.

     Quinn says he’s helped restore integrity to state government. He’s also heralding the legalization of same-sex marriage in Illinois.

     It’s the second time Quinn is giving a State of the State address during an election year. All of the Republican gubernatorial candidates challenging him are listening in person. They are venture capitalist Bruce Rauner, state Treasurer Dan Rutherford and state Sens. Kirk Dillard and Bill Brady.

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Gas Leak Forces Evacuation Of Ladd Grade School

Posted by wlpo on January 29, 2014

A gas leak at Ladd Grade School prompted the evacuation of the building.  Just before 9:30am Wednesday a 911 call went out about an odor at the school.  Ladd firefighters responded and confirmed a gas leak.

Students and staff were bused to the Ladd fire station.  An ambulance was called to check on the students.  School wasn’t cancelled.

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Rt 251 reopens after snowfall

Posted by wlpo on January 29, 2014

The snow has long stopped but a state highway in Bureau County was still closed Wednesday.   Route 89 between Cherry and LaMoille remained closed because of drifting snow.  IDOT hopes to reopen it by 5pm Wednesday.

Route 251 between Mendota and Peru reopened Wednesday morning after being closed since Sunday.

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Big Snow On The Way?

Posted by wlpo on January 29, 2014

Mother Nature isn’t letting up anytime soon.

Besides the ongoing cold temperatures, a couple more rounds of snow is possible before the week is over.  The National Weather Service says a half inch of snow is possible tomorrow with a few to several inches of snow likely Friday night into Saturday.

On a positive note, daytime high temperatures are expected to stay above single digits for at least the next week.

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Utica Sand Mine Hearing Drags Into Another Week

Posted by wlpo on January 29, 2014

Over 24 hours of testimony still isn’t enough time to produce an answer in Utica about a new sand mine.

According to the NewsTribune, Utica officials ended the fifth night of a sand mine hearing around one Wednesday morning without a vote.  A decision could come Wednesday, February 5 at 6pm even though trustees hinted they may add requirements before saying yes or no to Aramoni, LLC to mine sand north of Love’s Travel Stop.  Additional requirements could include homeowner buyouts and a tipping fee set aside for mine reclamation.

During Tuesday night’s hearing, the sand mine opponents attorney Walt Zukowski said the village had cut a terrible annexation deal with Aramoni and that the village would become a slave to the sand industry if they approved the new mine.

Aramoni lawyer Jim Andreoni argued that the mine will put $25 million into the village, schools and La Salle County.

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Semi Driver And Victims Named In Fatal I-88 Crash

Posted by wlpo on January 29, 2014

AURORA, Ill. (AP) – Charges have been filed against the driver of a semi that plowed into an Illinois State Police cruiser on Interstate 88 in Aurora, killing an Illinois Tollway worker and injuring a state trooper.

The Monday accident killed 39-year-old maintenance worker Vincent Petrella. State Trooper Douglas Balder is in critical but stable condition at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood.

Renato Velasquez of Hanover Park is charged with operating a commercial vehicle while impaired. The collision pushed the cruiser into the back of a tollway vehicle.

The tollway worker and trooper were hit while dealing with a stranded vehicle.

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West Gym Officially Has New Name At L-P

Posted by wlpo on January 28, 2014

The next time you go to a basketball game at L-P it’ll be inside the Dr. A.J. Sellett Memorial Gymnasium.

Several members of the late doctor’s family were able to attend Tuesday night’s official dedication.  Sellett was chosen as the gym’s namesake after a naming committee discussed people who have made an impact at L-P.  Superintendent Steve Wrobleski says the public opinion was overwhelming with Sellett getting the most votes by a wide margin.

Sellett was a member of the L-P School Board for over 20 years, serving three terms as board president.  He also was a volunteer team doctor for L-P athletics for over 40 years.

Sellett’s grandson Brian says his grandpa had three passions: his family, his medical practice and L-P High School.

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