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Archive for March 13th, 2014

Ottawa woman wins “Rock Star”

Posted by wlpo on March 13, 2014

The Illinois Valley’s newest “Rock Star” has been crowned and its Leslie Crum of Ottawa.

Crum beat out four other women last night to win the four-week singing competition at Starved Rock Lodge.  Crum finished the winning performance off with an A capella version of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man”.  She won a 500 dollar grand prize.

Amber McNeilly was runner-up.  “Rock Star” is sponsored by 99.3 WAJK, 96.5 the Wolf, Starved Rock Lodge, Euclid Beverage and MillerCoors.

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Illinois Valley unemployment remains high

Posted by wlpo on March 13, 2014

Local unemployment numbers are some of the highest in Illinois but there’s a silver lining.  January 2014 unemployment rates in La Salle, Bureau and Putnam Counties were a point or more lower from the same time last year.

La Salle County unemployment was 12.5% in January, compared to 13.5% in January 2013.

Bureau County unemployment was down from last January to 12.2% and Putnam County unemployment was down from last January to 12.2%.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security says the Ottawa-Streator area January rate was 12.2%, also an improvement over the same time last year.

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Utica’s attorney defends the village’s actions

Posted by wlpo on March 13, 2014

Utica’s village attorney is ready to go to court against opponents of a recently approved sand mine. Nearly 30 people have signed on to be plaintiffs claiming the Utica Village Board violated village ordinances, state law and due process requirements when approving special use permits and an annexation agreement with Aramoni, LLC. 

Attorney Herb Klein says the village “was extremely fair in the hearing process to all sides” and “the judicial system will have to play itself out”.

The opponents attorney Walt Zukowski says his clients want a judge to stop Aramoni from proceeding with their mine and want village trustees to hold a new hearing that follows proper process. 

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K of C reschedules Hunger Blitz food drive

Posted by wlpo on March 13, 2014

A few weeks from now you may start planning your Easter dinner plans.  Knights of Columbus members in Utica want to make sure everyone has a chance for a holiday meal.

The K of C’s annual Hunger Blitz food drive will be Saturday, March 29th.  It was originally scheduled Super Bowl weekend but was canceled because of the weather. 

K of C members will collect food from eight until four on the 29th at Illinois Valley Food & Deli, Hy-Vee, Walmart and Save-A-Lot.  You’ll be given a list of food as you enter the stores and just drop the goods off when you leave with K of C members.  Donations go to the Illinois Valley Food Pantry.  Cash donations will be accepted along with food. 

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At Least Two La Salle County Crashes Blamed On Icy Roads

Posted by wlpo on March 13, 2014

Patrick Kallas of Serena was on Route 52 Wednesday morning when he lost control on ice, went into a ditch and rolled his car.  He was taken to St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Ottawa. No tickets were issued.

Janice Gebauer of Sheridan was hurt after she lost control on the slush and ice Wednesday morning.  Gebauer was on a county road near Sheridan when she slid into a ditch and hit a guardrail.

She was taken to Valley West Hospital in Sandwich.

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Utica Tornado Anniversary Nearly A Month Away

Posted by wlpo on March 13, 2014

Do you remember where you were and what you were doing when the 2004 tornado ripped through Utica?

The tenth anniversary is coming up on April 20th and according to the NewsTribune, a remembrance ceremony will be held on Monday, April 21st.  The trustees decided against having the ceremony on the 20th because its Easter.

Eight people were killed in the Utica tornado as they sought shelter at the Milestone Tap.  A new sculpture donated by Steve Seaborn of Peru will be part of this year’s tornado remembrance.

The 10th anniversary ceremony will start a little after six in the evening or the approximate time the tornado rolled through Utica.

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La Salle Ready To Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

Posted by wlpo on March 13, 2014

You won’t find a pot of gold in downtown La Salle Saturday but you could collect a bag full of candy.  In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, the town’s holding an Irish Fun Day.

Follow the Irish music to downtown La Salle for the parade that begins at one.  Line up for the parade is at 12:15 at the Knights of Columbus.  The parade will travel south on Bucklin to First Street to Crosat Street and then take Second Street back to the K of C’s.

Mick Henneberry will share humorous Irish tales at La Salle Public Library at 2:30pm.  Those stories will be family friendly.  That night adults can enjoy storytelling by Tricia Kelly at the Hegeler Carus Mansion.

Throughout the day several downtown restaurants will be serve holiday related dishes.

Hear more about La Salle’s Irish Fun Day by listening to an interview with Mayor Jeff Grove at the WLPO AM and FM news page.

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No Major Flooding Worries Yet In The Illinois Valley

Posted by wlpo on March 13, 2014

Despite all the snow melt, there are no worries in the foreseeable future about major flooding on the Illinois River.

The river Thursday morning in La Salle sits at 22 feet and is expected to fall back below its 20 foot flood stage by Monday morning.  A Flood Warning is in effect until Monday.

In Ottawa, the Illinois River is about a half foot below flood stage.  It’s expected to continue falling.  A Flood Advisory is in effect for the Illinois River in Ottawa.

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