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Archive for August 19th, 2014

Deal being worked on to replace “albatross” in downtown Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on August 19, 2014

One of Ottawa’s oldest and tallest buildings could undergo major changes.

The city is working on a deal where the current owners of the Little City Building on West Madison Street will donate the building to the city so the city can then sell it to Larry and Karen Kiest of Ottawa for $49,000. They would like to turn the five-story building into a mix of retail and a boutique hotel. The sale will only happen if the city can get a federal loan to help pay to remove asbestos.

Ottawa Mayor Bob Eschbach says while it’s not a sure thing, this is the closest he’s gotten to someone fixing up the downtown eyesore. He says it’s structurally sound and just needs to someone imaginative to work with it.

The Little City Building is nearly 115 years old. It’s been sitting empty for over a decade.

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Resurfacing to begin Wednesday in Peru

Posted by wlpo on August 19, 2014

You’ll need patience and extra time if your daily drive includes Route 251 on the south side of Peru. Starting Wednesday, crews will be removing the old surface and laying new asphalt on Route 251 near the Route 6 interchange. The work area will span from the north end of the Illinois River bridge to just north of the Seventh Street overpass. The ramps will also be resurfaced.

During work hours, lanes will be closed and flaggers will be directing traffic. The work is being done by Advanced Asphalt of Princeton for about $669,000. The project is supposed to be completed by September 5.

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Crash near Newark kills a man from Plano

Posted by wlpo on August 19, 2014

The morning drive between Millington and Newark came to an abrupt halt due to a head-on crash near the La Salle and Kendall County Line.   A man was killed.

The Kendall County Sheriff’s Office says 56-year-old Raymond Boudreau Jr. of Plano was heading south on Fox River Drive around 6:30am Tuesday when he crossed the center line and crashed head-on with Susan Smith of Millington. Both were driving pickup trucks.

Boudreau was pronounced dead at the scene. Smith was taken to Valley West Hospital in Sandwich. Her injuries weren’t life threatening.  Sheriff’s deputies were investigating the cause of the crash.

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Man arrested for Ottawa home burglary

Posted by wlpo on August 19, 2014

More than a month after a break-in in a historic part of Ottawa, a man has been arrested. Rich Renfro of Ottawa is accused of stealing money from a house on Ottawa Avenue on July 11. He was arrested Monday on a warrant for residential burglary and was taken to the La Salle County Jail.

Renfro’s bond was set at $30,000. He returns to court next Thursday.


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Peru Police share driving tips for the start of the school year

Posted by wlpo on August 19, 2014

You might have a lot on your mind when bringing your kids to school, but don’t let that stop you from slowing down and paying attention.  The first day of school for Peru Public Schools is Wednesday. Peru Police Chief Doug Bernabei says you’ll see marked police cars in the morning and afternoon as officers trying to get the new school year off to a safe start.

Remember, when you’re in a school zone, the speed limit is 20 miles-per-hour. Bernabei says the fines are more severe if you’re caught speeding in a school zone.

Eventually the police officers will trade their marked cars for unmarked cars to make sure you’re following the rules.

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Mendota Council trying to tackle rundown buildings

Posted by wlpo on August 19, 2014

Where have you heard this before? A town in the Illinois Valley is trying to fix up rundown buildings in its downtown.

According to the NewsTribune, Mendota’s fire chief says several downtown buildings are in bad enough shape that they are a public hazard. He had a slide show for the city council Monday night that showed bowing walls, separating bricks and damaged roofs to buildings on Washington and Illinois Avenues and on the corner of Sixth Street and Sixth Avenue.

The city attorney is supposed to track down property owners.

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Mediation next step with IVCC negotiations

Posted by wlpo on August 19, 2014

As you could’ve probably guessed, salary and benefits are at the center of labor unrest at Illinois Valley Community College.

The teacher’s union and members of the IVCC negotiating team met Friday about a new contract but both are now asking for a mediator to get involved. Ray Roskos with the Illinois Federation of Teachers says the teacher’s union has no plans to strike.

The union’s contract has expired so professors, counselors and lab instructors are working under terms of the old contract.

No future negotiation sessions are planned until a mediator is brought in.

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Medical Marijuana proposal moves forward in Oglesby

Posted by wlpo on August 19, 2014

A medical marijuana cultivation center in Oglesby is a couple steps closer to happening.

The Oglesby City Council and Zoning Board of Appeals Monday night voted to include cultivation centers as a recognized business. The Oglesby Planning Commission will tonight to vote on a special use permit for the proposed cultivation center near Love’s Travel Stop. Green Thumb Industries out of the Quad Cities wants to grow the marijuana.

The state has the final say where a cultivation center goes in the Illinois Valley. They’re expected to start sifting through applications next month.

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Longevity earns IVCH state recognition

Posted by wlpo on August 19, 2014

What does Illinois Valley Community Hospital have in common with Wrigley Field? They both turned 100 years old this year.

IVCH along with the home of the Cubs were honored by the Illinois State Historical Society with a centennial award over the weekend. IVCH is one of 21 centennial award winners this year.

The hospital in Peru actually started out being called People’s Hospital.

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