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News from the Illinois Valley

Archive for June, 2014

Jobless rates in the Illinois Valley heading in right direction

Posted by wlpo on June 27, 2014

May was another positive month for local unemployment numbers. La Salle County’s May unemployment was 8.9 percent, more than one point lower than in May 2013.

Bureau County unemployment also experienced a decline from the same time last year. May unemployment was 7.4 percent, down from 8.2 percent last May. Putnam County May 2014 unemployment was 8.2 percent, down more than two percent from last May.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security says non-farm payroll was down 575 from one year ago. There were gains in transportation-warehousing-utilities and other services.

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Man takes life during warrant arrest

Posted by wlpo on June 26, 2014

Whether it is a traffic stop or serving a warrant, nothing is routine for law enforcement.

La Salle County Sheriff Tom Templeton says 27-year-old Joseph Sipple shot and killed himself Thursday afternoon after deputies were trying to arrest him on a felony warrant for possession of stolen property.

Templeton says deputies ran into Sipple at a home south of Sheridan just before 3pm.  He allegedly ran near a garage on the property where deputies asked him to surrender. Sipple allegedly refused to surrender, took out a pistol and took his own life.

An autopsy on Sipple is planned for Friday. The death remains under investigation.

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Local wine wins Best in Show at state competition

Posted by wlpo on June 26, 2014

The next time you buy a local bottle of wine, it might be award winning. The judges at the 2014 Illinois State Fair Wine competition this month were good to two local brands.

Illinois Sparkling Company won Best of Show for their Franken’s French Hybrid Brut. Their Dollface Rose also won the Governor’s Cup Rose category.

Mark Wenzel owns Illinois Sparking Company and August Hill Winery in Utica. His August Hill brand earned the Governor’s Cup White with their Vignoles.  They also won recognition in the Label and Packaging competition.

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Garage sale to raise money for Dalzell Fire Department

Posted by wlpo on June 26, 2014

Do you have a student that will be moving out at the end of the summer? You might find them something nice at the First Annual Spring Cleaning Garage Sale for the Dalzell Fire Department.

They will have clothing, furniture, electronics, books and household items on sale at the fire department.

The sale is from 4-8pm Thursday, from 8am until 3pm Friday and from 9am-3pm Saturday.

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Ottawa hospital responds to possible Medicare penalties

Posted by wlpo on June 26, 2014

If St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Ottawa has problems with patients coming down with infections or injuries while at the hospital, it comes as a surprise to hospital officials.

The Chicago Tribune put out a story last week that six Illinois hospitals including St. Elizabeth in Ottawa are at risk of having Medicare payments cut this fall because of patient infections and injuries while under their care. They used information from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. If true, St. Elizabeth could face thousands of dollars in penalties.

Brianne Riley is a spokeswoman with St. Elizabeth in Ottawa. She says they haven’t seen the official reports yet.
Riley says they’ve had only three patients with catheter-related urinary tract infections in the past 2.5 years and no patients with “central line” infections during that same period. Based on that, Riley says “we are puzzled at being placed on the penalty list”.

The potential penalties are part of new federal health law, or Obamacare.

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Catholic churches merging in Henry

Posted by wlpo on June 26, 2014

More catholic churches are merging in the Illinois Valley.

As of Tuesday, St. Mary and St. Joseph Churches in Henry will merge into one parish named after St. John XXIII. The St. Mary’s building will become the parish home.

Bishop Daniel Jenky announced the name change the same day St. John XXIII was made a saint by the current pope. St. John XXIII led the catholic church between 1958 and 1963.

Father Tom Mizeur will still be the catholic pastor in Henry after the merger.

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Applications are due to compete in Bureau County Fair Queen Pageant

Posted by wlpo on June 26, 2014

Time is running out at your chance to become royalty.

Saturday is the deadline to apply for a spot in this year’s Bureau County Fair Queen Pageant. Besides some obvious rules like having to be a girl between 16 and 21 years old, some of the other rules include never having been married, abstaining from public displays of affection with boyfriends during fair week and only having one piercing on each ear lobe.

If there aren’t ten contestants from Bureau County, the pageant will also take applications from La Salle, Putnam, Henry, Whiteside, Marshall, Stark and Lee Counties. Last year’s queen was from Geneseo.

Pageant applications are available on the Bureau County Fair website.

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La Salle County Highway Department announces road repair projects

Posted by wlpo on June 25, 2014

The Peru Bottom Road and Richards Road in La Salle County are rough rides but repair work is starting Friday.  The La Salle County Highway Department is applying a chip seal followed by a micro-surface to the Bottom Road, also known as County Highway 63 and Richards Road, also known as County Highway 5.

You’ll still be able to take the roads during the work but you could encounter delays or loose rocks. The work should be done in one week weather permitting.

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Wheaton woman’s body found in Grundy County

Posted by wlpo on June 25, 2014

The search is over for a woman who went missing after a weekend boating accident in Grundy County.

The body of 24-year-old Emily Hendricks of Wheaton was found Wednesday in the Illinois River between Morris and Seneca near Grist Island Head. She had been missing since Sunday.

Grundy County Coroner John Callahan says an examination was performed Wednesday afternoon.

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Pest treatment will close part of Starved Rock

Posted by wlpo on June 25, 2014

A beautiful, tall and healthy ash tree can be destroyed by beetles in just a matter of years. An infestation of emerald ash borers at Starved Rock State Park is being attacked Thursday.

Officials with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources will be closing a portion of the park so an area can be sprayed. They’re using an experimental biological insecticide to treat two zones where ash trees are severally infested.

You won’t be able to reach the Lone Point Shelter/Illinois Canyon area and Parkman’s Plain. The rest of the park, including the Lodge, will be open.

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