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News from the Illinois Valley

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Archive for March 19th, 2014

Rummage sale to benefit staff at LPHS

Posted by wlpo on March 19, 2014

You’re often asked to donate to a school booster club or foundation.  Normally that money goes to a student activity, but an upcoming fundraiser at LP High School is different.  Proceeds from a rummage sale will benefit the teachers and staff.

Sue Marshall is a guidance councilor at LP.  She says they decided to hold the rummage to help out staff members that were experiencing hardships.  The items being sold were donated by the staff.

The rummage sale is Saturday, March 29 from 8am 2pm in Sellett Gymnasium.  Marshall thinks there will be a lot of baby items.  They’ll also have a few furniture items donated by Steinberg’s Furniture.

Learn more about the rummage sale by listening to an interview that’s available at the WLPO AM and FM news page.

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IV Food Pantry is asking for Easter donations

Posted by wlpo on March 19, 2014

While some families get ready for Easter by dying eggs and buying new dresses for the children, hundreds of people struggle to even have a meal for the holiday.

Help the Illinois Valley Food Pantry stock up for the Easter distribution by donating instant potatoes, green beans and canned fruit.  They could also use corn muffin mix, pork and beans and small hams.

You can leave donations at the pantry on Marquette Street in La Salle.  Easter distribution will be Saturday, April 12 from 10am until 2pm.  If you would like to sign up to receive food, the deadline is April 9.

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Peru alderman takes payroll investigation to the FBI

Posted by wlpo on March 19, 2014

The Peru payroll issue isn’t over for Alderman Rodney Perez.  An investigation into overtime pay for two Public Works employees ended in January with Mayor Scott Harl receiving a scolding from retired Judge William Balestri.  The La Salle County State’s Attorney’s office, using Balestri’s findings, said last month they didn’t think a crime was committed.

Displeased with the handling of the investigation, Alderman Rodney Perez in late January took the investigation to the Illinois State Police District 5.  After not receiving a response from them, he another and Peru resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, brought it to the FBI office in Chicago.

Perez says they spoke with an agent on February 12 and an investigation was opened.

A spokeswoman for the FBI yesterday told Classic Hits 103.9 WLPO News they did not have public information regarding the investigation, meaning that there were no charges at this time.

Harl is accused of allowing former Public Works Superintendent Gary Bleck to approve overtime pay for the General Foreman of Public Works.  Two employees received the pay for hours they didn’t work.  The total in overtime pay and benefits was approximately $35,000.

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Voter turnout fairly low across the Illinois Valley

Posted by wlpo on March 19, 2014

Congratulations Putnam County voters, you led the way in voter turnout for the primary election Tuesday.

Putnam County had a 47% voter turnout compared to 21% in Bureau County and 19% in La Salle County.  Over 7 out of 10 ballots cast in La Salle County were for the Republican party.

Peru had a couple of hot button referendum issues which drew a 32% voter turnout.

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Unrest Continues At Ottawa High School

Posted by wlpo on March 19, 2014

The protest at Ottawa High School continues after hundreds walked out of class on Tuesday.

Many students are upset that the Ottawa High school board voted to cut Building Trades Instructor Dave Keely.  Keely was unsuccessful Tuesday morning in asking students to go back to class.  Instead many spilled outside the main entrance of the school where they were joined throughout the day by adults and members of the Ottawa Police Department.

One parent says seniors have been warned by administrators that if they continue to protest they could be banned from graduation.  There have also been threats of getting kicked out of extra-curricular activities.

There are fears of arrests if they choose to protest again on school property.

A message was left for Ottawa High Superintendent Matt Winchester.  He hasn’t returned the call.

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