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Archive for December, 2014

Cold snap allows Oglesby to open its ice rink

Posted by wlpo on December 31, 2014

Getting the itch to put the ice skates on?

With cold weather settling in, the Oglesby Parks Department has opened the city ice rink. The rink is on Walnut Street, just east of city hall.

It’s free to skate and you can play hockey on the rink as long as no ice skaters are around.

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Dangerous intersection near Marseilles getting attention

Posted by wlpo on December 31, 2014

A troubled intersection that saw a mother and daughter killed in a crash is getting safety upgrades.

The La Salle County Board is looking to spend over $600,000 for better lighting, pavement markings and new signage at the intersection of the Morris Blacktop and County Highway 15, or Nate Fleming Road. The county will use $350,000 of its Motor Fuel Tax Funds with the rest of the money coming from the federal government.

The intersection is just south of the Interstate 80 interchange in Marseilles. Lorraine McNeil and her daughter Kathleen Wilcox both of Ottawa were killed at the intersection in 2011 after McNeil pulled out in front of a semi that didn’t have to stop.

La Salle County Engineer Larry Kinzer says the new improvements should help drivers know that north and southbound traffic at the intersection doesn’t have to stop.

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La Salle looking to prevent replay of frozen water pipes

Posted by wlpo on December 31, 2014

The ground under Lafayette Street in La Salle isn’t frozen, yet. The frigid cold temperatures last winter left many of the homes in the 12 and 13 hundred blocks of Lafayette Street without running water.

That shouldn’t happen this winter according to City engineer Brian Brown. He believes the main froze during the frigid weather because it’s too shallow and a nearby water valve was broken in the closed position.

To play it safe, the city has sent letters to the people who were affected by the frozen main. Brown says they’re asking them to take the temperature of their water once it has been freezing for a while. Once the water temperature dips below 35, they’ll be asking people to let their water drip. Brown says the city will adjust the water bill so they are only charged for their normal usage.

The water main and sewer lines are scheduled to be replaced next spring.

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Another Illinois Valley hospital responding to flu outbreak with visitor restrictions

Posted by wlpo on December 31, 2014

Add St. Margaret’s Hospital to the list of Illinois Valley hospitals reacting to the flu.

The hospital in Spring Valley announced Tuesday they are restricting visitors because of widespread flu activity. No visitors under 18 are allowed and patients can only have two visitors at a time. If you’ve been coughing, sneezing and show other signs of illness, you’re asked to stay home.

The same restrictions are in place at Illinois Valley Community Hospital and St. Elizabeth Medical Center.

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State still “evaluating” applications for medical marijuana cultivation centers

Posted by wlpo on December 31, 2014

Despite rumors you may have heard, the state hasn’t yet picked where medical marijuana cultivation centers and dispensaries will be located.

State Representative Frank Mautino says he’s been in touch with decision makers at the Illinois Department of Agriculture and they’re telling him no licenses have been granted. In Mautino’s district alone companies in Peru, Oglesby, Ottawa, Spring Valley, Princeton, Hennepin and Mark are all vying for one cultivation center license. The Illinois Valley will also likely only get one dispensary license.

If you think you qualify for medical marijuana based on a health condition, you can sign up by clicking

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Auction clears space for the Peru Public Works Department

Posted by wlpo on December 30, 2014

A 1975 fuel truck sold for $1,700 while a 1985 van sold for $400 during an auction held by the Peru’s Public Works Department.

The auction held last week was a way for the public works department to clean house and make a few dollars.

Police Chief and Public Works Administrator Doug Bernabei was happy with the results. He says most of the items were sold and picked up. They made an estimated $13,000. The most valuable item was a 1999 one-ton pickup that sold for $6,100.

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Pair indicted for Cedar Point robbery

Posted by wlpo on December 30, 2014

Two men accused of a robbery at a house in Cedar Point have been indicted. Michael Gadd and Austin McAdams of La Salle are charged with aggravated robbery and residential burglary. The grand jury met Tuesday.

Gadd and McAdams are accused of breaking into the house during the early morning hours of December 18 and using airsoft guns to rob the people that were home.

Both remain in the La Salle County Jail with their bond set at $500,000.

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Garbage man thanked for putting out a fire in Peru

Posted by wlpo on December 30, 2014

You never know who could be your hero. For Marian Cichy of Peru, her hero was the garbage man.

Jamie Levi of Illinois Valley Waste Services was on his route near Cichy’s house on December 16. While he went from house-to-house collecting trash, flames began to shoot out from Cichy’s gas stove.

Cichy was able to get Levi’s attention. Using two fire extinguishers, Levi was able to put out the fire before the fire department arrived. Levi was thanked by Peru Fire Chief Jeff King and the city council Monday night.

Going beyond the normal job duties wasn’t new for Levi. Cichy says Levi always carries her garbage cans back to the house because he knows it would be difficult for her to do while using a wheelchair. Cichy says Levi is her angel.

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La Salle County trying to target rundown buildings for demolition

Posted by wlpo on December 30, 2014

Know any rundown, abandoned homes in rural La Salle County? They may soon be demolished.

The La Salle County Board has passed a vacant building ordinance that could pave the way for them to buy vacant homes and tear them down. Director of Environmental Services and Land Use Mike Harsted says a home in Dayton and one west of Streator should be the first to come down. He says they’ve tried fining the property owners but nothing has worked.

Property owners of buildings that are picked to be torn down will have the chance to appeal. Harsted says the only reason for the new approach is constant complaints about the rundown homes.

The county plans to use money from fees collected at the county landfill to help buy and demolish homes.

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La Salle County Board asking for a little more property tax money in 2015

Posted by wlpo on December 30, 2014

It takes a lot of money to run a county, even one with a smaller population like La Salle County.

The La Salle County Board has passed its tax levy for 2015. They’re asking for nearly $24 million in property taxes. That’s about $640,000 more than they asked for this past year.

What this mean’s for the county’s part of your tax bill is that you’ll pay $11 more for a home valued at $100,000.

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