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Archive for May 22nd, 2014

Peru Scouts to again place flags on graves

Posted by wlpo on May 22, 2014

This weekend will be filled with cookouts and parties but also tributes to America’s veterans. Members of the Peru Boy Scout Troop 123 and Cub Scout Pack 3709 are visiting Peru City Cemetery Friday to place flags on the graves of veterans.

Steve Ganze, a leader of Troop 123, says it’s a tradition that creates an impressive show Saturday morning and it leaves an impression on the boys. The scouts are also participating in the Memorial Day observance in Washington Park Monday.

Learn more by listening to an interview that’s available on the WLPO AM and FM news page.

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Area unemployment rates drop

Posted by wlpo on May 22, 2014

2008 was a miserable year for the economy. According to the Illinois Department of Employment Security the local unemployment rate is just now returning to a level as low as it was when the recession began.

April 2014 unemployment for the Ottawa-Streator area was 8.3%, the lowest it has been since 2008. It was also more than a full percent lower than April 2013.

La Salle County April unemployment was 8.7%, Bureau County unemployment was 8.3% and Putnam County unemployment was 8.7%.

IDES says the area gained jobs in transportation-warehousing-utilities but lost jobs in government, wholesale trade and retail trade.

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River rescue called to Vermilion River for an injured kayaker

Posted by wlpo on May 22, 2014

The water rushing over the rocks makes the Vermilion River a beautiful place to spend the afternoon. Just be careful if you get on the water. Oglesby River Rescue was called to the Wildcat Rapids around 11:45am Thursday for a man that hit his head on the rocks while kayaking.

Oglesby Fire Chief Ron Papurello says they were able to reach the man and his girlfriend by putting a boat in at the Buzzi Unicem property and going up river.

The man was taken to Illinois Valley Community Hospital.

Papurello says the man was wearing a life jacket but not a helmet and fortunately had a cell phone.

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La Salle man says police should not have used taser

Posted by wlpo on May 22, 2014

When is it okay for an officer to break out the taser? A man arrested last October in La Salle is suing the La Salle Police Department in Federal Court in Chicago because he doesn’t think an officer should have used a taser on him.

Gregory Kulis of Chicago is representing Christopher Leathers of La Salle. Kulis says he has witnesses indicating the officer had no reasonable grounds to use the taser. Kulis also says it left Leathers with a serious injury and that Leathers was forced to miss work.

The suit has been referred to the police department’s insurance company and is being handled by Chuck Hervas of Hervas, Condon and Bersani, P.C. of Itasca.

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Grocery store put on hold for Oglesby

Posted by wlpo on May 22, 2014

The brakes have been put on a much anticipated grocery store in Oglesby.

Mayor Don Finley says he received an email yesterday from County Market officials that said they’ve put plans for a store in Oglesby on hold due to lingering economic issues in Illinois. The message went on to say they still envision a County Market in Oglesby but just not at this time.

Finley says its surprising considering soil testing has already been done for the store and developers invested over $300,000 in the land along West Walnut Street. He plans to get aggressive again and see what other development can be brought to Oglesby.

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Judge apologizes for DUI and gets community service and probation

Posted by wlpo on May 22, 2014

A La Salle County judge busted for driving drunk will avoid jail time.

Circuit Judge Joe Hettel Wednesday pled guilty to DUI. In exchange for his plea other charges like using a cellphone while driving and failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident were dropped.

Hettel was arrested by Ottawa Police in March after he crashed into a parked car which was pushed into a power pole that caused power outages. He wasn’t hurt.

Hettel will be on non-reporting probation for two years and will have to do 100 hours of community service, pay a fine and blow into a device to start his vehicle.

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