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Archive for February 5th, 2014

Budget Delay Doesn’t Sit Well With Local Senator

Posted by wlpo on February 5, 2014

Your state senator isn’t happy with being called down to Springfield this week to do nothing more than agreeing to let Governor Quinn push back his budget address by five weeks.

Republican Sue Rezin says the last two days in Springfield were a total waste of time and taxpayers money.  Although the legislature has agreed a lot in the past to delaying the governor’s budget address, Rezin says the governor should’ve been ready this month and the delay hurts agencies dependent on state funding.

Rezin didn’t vote at all on the bill to give the governor more time.  Democrat State Representative Frank Mautino voted in favor of giving the governor more time to come up with a budget.

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Peru closing parts of Rt 6 for snow removal

Posted by wlpo on February 5, 2014

There are two ways to get rid of snow- let it melt or move it.  Since it won’t be warming up anytime soon, the Peru Public Works Department plans to close several streets for snow removal.

The closures will begin Thursday night.  Route 6 will be closed from Calhoun to West Streets, Peoria Street will be closed from 5th to 3Rd and West Street will be closed from 5th to 3rd between 7pm and 1am.

Snow removal will continue Friday night on Route 6 from West to St. Louis from 7pm until 1am.

Public works co-superintendent Jeff King says they would like you to move your car out of those areas.  Car traffic will not be allowed during those hours.  Trucks will be allowed through but he encourages truck drivers to take an alternate route if possible. 

The snow will be dumped at Centennial Park.

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From First Street to I-80, La Salle’s development is included in comprehensive plan

Posted by wlpo on February 5, 2014

Land use is large part of La Salle’s updated comprehensive plan.  As the city works on the road map for development they’re taking suggestions from people in town and consulting firm, Lakota Group.  Lakota Group Vice President Nick Kalogeresis explained the updated plan to the planning commission and small crowd Tuesday night.

He emphasized concentrating retail and commercial development on First Street specifically between Bucklin and Hennepin Streets.  He also thinks downtown businesses and older neighborhoods could benefit from a venture fund.

He’s impressed with La Salle’s green space and proximity to two rivers and the I and M Canal.  He suggests the city try to develop the Illinois Riverfront.

Keeping heavy industrial operations such as sand mines north of Interstate 80 was another suggestion.  He also thinks the main roadways like Fifth and Joliet Streets would benefit from landscaping.

You can see the suggestions by visiting the city’s website.

Another meeting for the comprehensive plan is Tuesday, March 18 at city hall.

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La Salle County has plenty of road salt

Posted by wlpo on February 5, 2014

There hasn’t been a winter like this in awhile and but there is plenty of more salt to go around.

La Salle County Engineer Larry Kinzer says they’ve used about 6,000 tons of salt this winter.  He says they have more coming and have been helped with some salt left over from last year’s mild winter so he thinks they’ll be alright.

Equipment wise, Kinzer says the cold and snow has caused breakdowns and minor equipment issues but nothing major so far.  He says the biggest challenge is just the size of La Salle County with his department responsible for 371 miles of road.

The county’s policy is to start plowing after two inches of snow has fallen.

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New Ambulances Coming To Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on February 5, 2014

When you call for an ambulance, you want it to be reliable.  The Ottawa Fire Department is ordering two, brand new ambulances.

Fire Chief Jeff Newbury says the 2014 models cost about $158,000 apiece.  They’ll save some money by trading in a 2005 ambulance with over 70,000 miles.

Newbury says two ambulances will be designated for 911 calls, another will be used for non-emergency hospital transfers and the fourth serving as a backup.

Newbury says they haven’t had a new ambulance since 2008.

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Cattle Escape After Semi Overturns On I-80

Posted by wlpo on February 5, 2014

One of the many vehicles that crashed because of the snow was semi carrying cattle.

State Police say Dale Bramhall of Indiana was eastbound on Interstate 80 between Princeton and Spring Valley early Wednesday morning when he rolled into the median.  Many of the cattle he was hauling were able to escape the trailer.  Efforts to recapture all the cattle weren’t all that successful because of low visibility.

There have been reports of some of the cattle being killed after running onto the road.  Use caution driving I-80 in the area between Princeton and Spring Valley.

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CVS Pharmacy Pulling Plug On Tobacco Products

Posted by wlpo on February 5, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama is praising CVS Caremark for its decision to stop selling tobacco products at its drugstores.

Obama says CVS is setting a “powerful example,” and says the decision will help his administration’s efforts to reduce tobacco-related deaths and disease and bring down health care costs.

CVS, the nation’s second-largest drugstore chain, will phase out cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco by Oct. 1, a move that will cost it about $2 billion in annual revenue.

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Winter Weather Advisory Continues

Posted by wlpo on February 5, 2014

A Winter Weather Advisory continues until noon.

The main issue Wednesday morning is blowing and drifting snow with wind gusts kicking up to 25 miles per hour.  Another inch of snow will fall before tapering off to flurries by late Wednesday morning.

Once the snow heads out, frigid temperatures set in with wind chills Wednesday night and Thursday reaching 20 below.

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Income Tax Drop Means Lost Revenue In Illinois

Posted by wlpo on February 5, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Illinois is expected to see a $1.58 billion drop in revenue if the state’s income tax increase rolls back as planned.

Officials from the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability told lawmakers yesterday the preliminary revenue forecast for the next fiscal year will be $34.4 billion. That’s down from $36 billion this year.

The drop in revenue reflects an expected decrease in the state’s income tax. The temporary hike is scheduled to drop from its current 5 percent to 3.75 percent next January. Some Democrats want the tax increase extended but many Republicans oppose it.

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Support Heart Health Awarness And Win YMCA Passes

Posted by wlpo on February 5, 2014

Even if your favorite team isn’t Hall or Ottawa, go ahead and wear red every Friday this month.

February is American Heart Month and the La Salle County Health Department is encouraging you to wear red on Fridays to show support for heart health.  Also in February, if you share a “Heart Healthy” post from the health department’s Facebook page you’ll be entered in a drawing to win passes to the Ottawa, Peru, Streator and Mendota YMCA’s.

Winners will be drawn Friday, February 28th.

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