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Archive for April 3rd, 2014

Peru City Treasurer wants more sales tax revenue

Posted by wlpo on April 3, 2014

Running a city the size of Peru is going to cost roughly $50 million between May and next April. It is budget season and Treasurer Gary Hylla says the budget, general fund included, looks good but he says the sales tax revenue hasn’t completely recovered from the recession and operation costs are growing faster than sales tax revenues.

Hylla explained the Fiscal Year 2015 budget to the city council Wednesday night. He wants to see a larger growth in sales tax or they’ll need another source of revenue which would be property tax.  Hylla says pensions are a big cost but the city is having no problem meeting the required payments.

The electric light fund is strong, so strong that Hylla would like to put some of it into secure investments. He says he doesn’t want to move the money to another fund because they would need that money to repair or replace electrical infrastructure if there were a disaster.

The budget still needs to be approved by the council.

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Deal with Chinese high school called a milestone for SBA

Posted by wlpo on April 3, 2014

An agreement between Saint Bede Academy and Kinglee High School in China will allow local students to spend a semester in China.  The deal was signed Thursday by St. Bede Superintendent Ted Struck and Wei-Chi Lee, the owner of Kinglee High School.

Struck called it a significant milestone in the history of the academy.  Six students from the Chinese school are already attending St. Bede. The school in China will also adopt some of the Saint Bede curriculum. Eventually this will include classes on religion. Members of St. Bede’s administration will also visit the school.  St. Bede students have been able to study Mandarin Chinese since 2010.

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Armed standoff ends after three hours near Streator

Posted by wlpo on April 3, 2014

A three-hour standoff in south Streator ends with a person being arrested for attempted murder.

Officers from Streator and Livingston County along with a hostage negotiating team from Bloomington went out to a rural Streator house Tuesday night. After almost three hours had passed, one person was taken into custody for attempted murder with a firearm, reckless discharge of a firearm and aggravated assault.

The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office hasn’t released the alleged gunman’s name.

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Ottawa judge issues public statement about his DUI arrest

Posted by wlpo on April 3, 2014

Circuit Judge Joe Hettel has issued a statement following his drunken driving arrest.

Hettel says “as a judge I have an ethical responsibility to respect and comply with the law and to conduct myself at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence.” He says his DUI arrest calls into question his compliance with those ethical obligations.

Hettel says he has reached out to the Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board and expects they’ll start investigating. He says he’ll comment more when his traffic case has concluded.

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Streator driver thrown from his vehicle during rollover

Posted by wlpo on April 3, 2014

A Streator man is in a Peoria hospital after a rollover south of Leonore.

Harold Carpenter was on a county road Wednesday afternoon when he drove off the road and into a mailbox. He then broke a power pole in half before rolling and finally stopping in a ditch. Carpenter was thrown from his vehicle.

He was flown to St. Francis Medical Center where is in critical condition.

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Annual Easter Seals Telethon returns for 34th year

Posted by wlpo on April 3, 2014

Operators will be standing by Friday night to help raise money for children and adults with disabilities.

The 34th Annual Easter Seals of La Salle and Bureau Counties Telethon is from 5-9pm at Ottawa High School. The goal this year is to raise $50,000 during the telethon.

You can watch the telethon live this year on Mediacom and Comcast public access channels along with a webcast at their website.  New this year to the telethon is live auctions for things like a prom package.

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Ottawa High School board meeting for first time since building trades vote

Posted by wlpo on April 3, 2014

The much maligned Ottawa High School Board of Education is meeting Friday morning.

The board is having a closed session meeting to “discuss student discipline matters with possible action to be taken”. That’s the only thing on the meeting agenda.

The board is getting together in the high school at 8 o’clock. No word on if the student discipline has anything to do with the recent building trades protest.

Over 100 students were given three-day suspensions for walking out of class.

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