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Archive for April, 2014

West Nile virus surveillance to begin in La Salle County

Posted by wlpo on April 30, 2014

Can you spot a blue jay or a robin? The La Salle County Health Department wants your help for a special kind of bird watching. Starting Thursday they’ll be taking dead birds for West Nile virus surveillance.

It’s become an annual program. West Nile virus is spread by mosquitoes and can sicken people, birds, horses and other animals.

The health department will take dead robins, sparrows, crows, wrens and other area birds that have no obvious cause of death.

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“Strip” lawsuit will cost La Salle County taxpayers

Posted by wlpo on April 30, 2014

The total price tag for the Dana Holmes-La Salle County settlement is 485 thousand dollars.

According to the NewsTribune, the county paid $355,000 to Holmes and five other people who complained of mistreatment at the La Salle County Jail. The county also shelled out over $130,000 for legal representation.

The county’s insurance will cover about $64,000 of the cost with taxpayers footing the rest of the bill. That means about $6 per property tax bill.

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2014 “Concerts for a Cause” season starts with country show

Posted by wlpo on April 30, 2014

Lou’s LaGrotto’s “Concerts for a Cause” series is going country again.

Concert organizer Merry Noonan has announced her first concert of 2014. The Sunday, July 13th show features two up and coming country artists, Thomas Rhett and Cole Swindell.

Rhett’s debut album “It Goes Like This” has reached number two on the country chart with the song of the same name reaching number one.

Swindell’s self-titled debut album has reached number two on the charts with his song “Chillin’ It” climbing to the top spot.
Ticket information for the show will be announced at a later date.

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New Facebook page and revamped website for Ottawa government

Posted by wlpo on April 30, 2014

Some cities are slower to change than others, especially when it comes to social media.

You can now follow happenings with the city of Ottawa government on its new Facebook page. Just search City of Ottawa Illinois Government.

Besides joining the Facebook age, Ottawa officials have also revamped their city website to make it more user friendly. You can make payments on the site along with getting permits, check out maps and follow what the city council has been up to.

The web address is still www.cityofottawa.org.

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La Salle County Sheriff’s Department investigates shooting

Posted by wlpo on April 29, 2014

Northern La Salle County is typically quiet after dark but not Monday night. La Salle County Sheriff’s deputies want your help in solving a drive-by shooting that happened around 9:30pm at a home in Adams Township.

No one was hurt but the house was damaged. If you know anything about the shooting, call the La Salle County Sheriff’s office.

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Spring Valley gets new council member

Posted by wlpo on April 29, 2014

For the first time in a long time, the Spring Valley City Council isn’t made up of all men.

According to the NewsTribune, Debra Baltikauski is now a 3rd Ward alderwoman. She was unanimously approved Monday night to replace the late Mark Actis.

Baltikauski has lived in Spring Valley’s 3rd Ward for 32 years. Her first order of business was to suggest street repairs in her part of town.

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Corn and soybean planting underway in Illinois

Posted by wlpo on April 29, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Dry weather last week helped Illinois farmers with their corn crop.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture says 32 percent of the expected corn crop has been planted. That’s just 1 percent shy of the average for this time of year, but well beyond the 5 percent that had been planted a week ago.

A handful of farmers have also started planting soybeans. The Agriculture Department says 2 percent of that crop was planted last week. A week earlier none of the soybean crop was in the ground.

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Building Trades backers get their meeting with school board

Posted by wlpo on April 28, 2014

Normally Kingman Gym has raucous crowds for basketball games. Monday night it was because a few hundred folks wanted to tell the Ottawa High School Board in person they’re not happy.

After over a half-dozen people spoke about the importance of building trades, the alleged bullying atmosphere by administrators, and what could be done to come up with money for building trades, Board President Timothy Creedon tried to wrap up the regular meeting to move into closed session but was drowned out by the crowd wanting a statement. Creedon at first said he couldn’t say anything because nothing was on the agenda but eventually said the board respected the crowd by letting them speak and the board has a made a decision and there will not be building trades next year.

Before the crowd left, many chanted “save our trades” and Inga Carus of Carus Corporation got the last words in telling the board they’re inviting kids to move away taking away building trades. She also told administrators they should be ashamed of themselves for punishing students who walked out after hearing Dave Keely was being cut.

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“Take Back the Night” event scheduled for Tuesday in Princeton

Posted by wlpo on April 28, 2014

It’s not fun to talk about but domestic violence and sexual assaults happen in the Illinois Valley. Freedom House of Princeton is there to help victims and they could use your support Tuesday night.

The domestic violence shelter is hosting a sexual assault awareness event called “Take Back The Night”. Victims of domestic violence and survivors of sexual abuse will tell you about their plight through words and art.

Shirts designed by survivors will be on display as part of the “Clothesline Project”. Organizers will also have a “Silent Witness Project” featuring silhouettes of people murdered by domestic violence.

“Take Back The Night” starts at 6pm inside the Nelson Chapel on Elm Place in Princeton. Donations will be accepted to help the non-profit Freedom House.

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Bureau County man receives state recognition for volunteering

Posted by wlpo on April 28, 2014

You volunteer to share knowledge and what you love with others.  If you get a thank you for it, that’s a bonus. AmeriCorps member Ronald Happach of Sheffield has been recognized for his time tutoring and mentoring at the Illinois Youth Center in Kewanee.

Happach is a winner of the 2014 Governor’s Volunteer Service Award.  Happach used to teach industrial education at Sauk Valley College. He was one of 23 people to receive the honor.   

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