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Archive for September 25th, 2014

Area unemployment rates show declines

Posted by wlpo on September 25, 2014

An 8.8 percent unemployment rate is high, but it is an improvement over the same time last year. The Illinois Department of Employment Security says La Salle County’s August 2014 unemployment was 8.8 percent, down from 11.1 percent last August.

Putnam County’s unemployment rate also declined from 9.7 percent to 7.8 percent last month. The decline in Bureau County was slight, going from 9.2 percent in August 2013 to 8.9 percent this August.

For the Ottawa-Streator Area, gains were made in the transportation-warehousing-Utilities sector but jobs were lost in the manufacturing and government sectors.

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Police say a Mendota man had a large amount of cash during a traffic stop

Posted by wlpo on September 25, 2014

You can pay for a college education or buy a spacious house with $120,000, but rarely do you have that much in cash.

Police with the drug group TRIDENT say William Lawler of Mendota was pulled over near Mendota Wednesday for following too closely and improper lane usage. Officers say they found $120,000 while searching Lawler’s car.

Lawler was released with a couple of traffic tickets.  He wasn’t arrested on drug charges, though police say a dog detected narcotics.

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Tiskilwa driver thrown from his car in rollover crash

Posted by wlpo on September 25, 2014

A crash on a rural road can be just as serious as one on a busy highway. Miguel Austin was in serious condition at St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria after rolling his car four times on a rural Bureau County road Wednesday. Sheriff’s deputies say he was thrown from his car as it overturned.

The crash is under investigation.

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Gas in the Illinois Valley among the lowest priced in Illinois

Posted by wlpo on September 25, 2014

Will October bring under three dollar gas? The price continues to go down at most pumps in the Illinois Valley.

You can find gas for $3.03 a gallon in Peru now with Oglesby and La Salle stations selling for $3.05 a gallon. The price in Peru is the second lowest in the state, only behind $2.88 gas being sold in Chillicothe. Gas in Ottawa continues to be higher with the price of unleaded anywhere between $3.27 to $3.39 a gallon.

The statewide average for unleaded gas in Illinois is $3.54 a gallon, down about a nickel from last week.

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Grueling Spartan Race returns to Marseilles despite rash outbreak a year ago

Posted by wlpo on September 25, 2014

Want to challenge yourself physically? Sign up for the Reebok Spartan Race this weekend in Marseilles.

Thousands of people are expected to take on the military-style obstacle course. Waves of 250 runners will tackle the eight-mile course every 15 minutes. Organizers think the fastest time to finish the course should be an hour and 20 minutes.

You can race either Saturday or Sunday. It’s at The Cliff’s Off-Road Park on 2625th Road in Marseilles.

Last year several competitors complained of getting a rash during the Spartan Race. Race organizers say they’ve changed the course to try and stay away from potential problems this year.

For more information you can click http://www.spartan.com/events/?event_id=164/chicago-super

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La Salle School closed week after rat sighting

Posted by wlpo on September 25, 2014

A week after a teacher said she saw two rats in her classroom, the cleaning continues at Jackson School in La Salle.

Superintendent Dan Marenda sent a letter to preschool parents saying they’re taking the appropriate procedures to make sure its okay for students to eventually return to Jackson School. The district has brought in a professional cleaning service and has also reached out to State Representative Frank Mautino and Senator Sue Rezin to deal with what Marenda calls an “unusual occurrence”.

While the cleaning continues, four preschool classes normally held at Jackson are moved to Northwest and Lincoln schools.

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Stiff competition for medical marijuana growing in Illinois

Posted by wlpo on September 25, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) – It’s not the just the Illinois Valley that’s gone gung ho for growing and selling medical marijuana. More than 350 groups have applied to be the first to legally grow or sell medical marijuana in Illinois.

The state received 158 applications for cultivation centers and 211 applications for dispensaries. Only 22 cultivation centers and 60 dispensaries will be allowed.

Peru has led the way in the Illinois Valley with a half dozen companies receiving the go ahead to apply for a cultivation center license. La Salle, Oglesby, Princeton and Ottawa are also competing for a cultivation center. At least one company also applied to have a dispensary in Ottawa.

The Illinois Department of Ag expects to announce the winners of the licenses by the end of the year with medical marijuana finally available to patients next spring.

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