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News from the Illinois Valley

Archive for April 24th, 2014

March unemployment rates show a decline

Posted by wlpo on April 24, 2014

Local unemployment rates show signs of improvement but remain high compared to other parts of Illinois.

According to the Illinois Department of Employment Security, La Salle County unemployment in March was 11.2%, slightly lower than it was in March 2013.

Bureau County March unemployment was 9.5% and Putnam County March unemployment was 10.6%- both rates showing declines from the previous March.

The Ottawa-Streator area unemployment rate was 10.8%. The area gained jobs in the transportation-warehousing sector.

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Fire damages a Peru business

Posted by wlpo on April 24, 2014

A fire that badly damaged an insurance office in Peru was an accident. Dark smoke poured from the back of Suarez and Associates while firefighters cut holes into the roof and side of the building.

The office closed at 12pm Thursday and the fire was discovered around 1:30pm by Peru Fire Chief Jeff King. King says he was passing by and noticed smoke. Soon firefighters from Peru and surrounding towns were working to put the fire out.

King says surveillance video shows the fire starting in a box used to catch cigarette butts outside the back. He believes a butt caught the box on fire and it spread to the building.

He recommends you use a material that won’t burn to hold cigarette butts.

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Hygienic Institute celebrates 100th Anniversary

Posted by wlpo on April 24, 2014

For many children growing up in the Illinois Valley, getting immunized meant walking up the cement stairs to a big old house on the hill next LP High School. The big old house is gone but the Hygienic Institute continues to be a place for area children to get their shots and physicals.

The Hygienic was established 100 years ago this month by F. W. Matthiessen and his son-in-law doctor according to Hygienic Director Lorene Munson. The early focus was on sanitation as a way of preventing disease and it was located in a house owned by LP High School up until the mid 1990’s.

Eventually the La Salle County Health Department would be created and would take over a lot of the Hygienic’s responsibilities, but Munson says the Hygienic adapted by having doctors and nurses.

The Hygienic is still a popular place for children to receive immunizations and school physicals. You are encouraged to bring your children to the Hygienic, now on Chartres Street north of the La Salle Post Office, for an open house Sunday. There will be cake, old photos and kid’s activities from 1-3pm.

Learn more by listening to an interview with Munson at the WLPO AM and FM news page.

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Hall High School grad part of dramatic fire rescue in Chicago

Posted by wlpo on April 24, 2014

Here’s a story to make you proud to be from the Illinois Valley.

Spring Valley native and now Chicago firefighter Mark Cavaletti was at the center of a dramatic rescue this week. Cavaletti carried a 73-year old man out of his burning south side home Tuesday morning. The man was trapped inside after six others were able to escape.

Firefighters also were able to save a pit bull and her six puppies.

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