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News from the Illinois Valley

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Archive for June 22nd, 2014

Durbin speaks out on VA problems

Posted by wlpo on June 22, 2014

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois says whistleblowers in the Department of Veterans Affairs must be protected from firing and demotion. The Peoria Journal Star reports the Senate’s Number 2 Democrat made the remarks Friday during a meeting with veterans’ organizations in Peoria.

Durbin says the VA’s culture needs to change. He says the VA secretary should reassure employees they won’t be punished for telling their superiors about problems.

There’s been a growing public outcry over patients dying while awaiting VA treatment and mounting evidence workers falsified or omitted appointment schedules to hide frequent, long delays.

About 65 percent of VA senior executives got performance bonuses last year despite widespread treatment delays and preventable deaths at VA hospitals and clinics.

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Village under a boil order

Posted by wlpo on June 22, 2014

Electrical issues are forcing Mark officials to place the town under a boil order. Village Clerk Stacy Veronda told “Classic Hits 103-9 WLPO” news problems with electricity to the pump have resulted in little or no water pressure in Mark. The boil order went into effect around 9am today.

Meanwhile, a boil order has been lifted for the west side of Leonore.

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Hiker okay after fall at park

Posted by wlpo on June 22, 2014

Emergency responders have some tricky places to get to in Starved Rock State Park. Yesterday afternoon, it appeared they might have to work in the park canyons…however, it wasn’t to be.

Utica Fire Chief Ben Brown said they got the call about 4:15pm about an injured hiker. Brown said his men went to Illinois canyon but found no one. Next they went to Wildcat Canyon, about a mile and a half east of the Visitors Center. It’s there they found a hiker who had earlier slipped down under the falls. The 30-year old man from the Kankakee area declined medical treatment.

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Local farm organization celebrates milestone

Posted by wlpo on June 22, 2014

Some 300 people showed yesterday afternoon for a 100th anniversary gathering in north Ottawa. The LaSalle County Farm Bureau celebrated its milestone achievement with lunch outside, historical displays and the unveiling of a special mural. Past State president Phil Nelson and current county President Monty Whipple spoke to the group.

Whipple represents the 3rd generation in his family to be president of the county Farm Bureau. Despite the passage of time, Whipple says, some issues still remain important to farmers including roads. Transportation needs now, he said, would also include waterways and railroads.

Commemorative plat books will be available for a while in the Farm Bureau offices on the north edge of Ottawa.

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