Classic Hits 103.9 WLPO

News from the Illinois Valley

Archive for January 22nd, 2015

Fertilizer warehouse and barge terminal proposed for Peru

Posted by wlpo on January 22, 2015

A fertilizer warehouse and barge terminal will have Peru’s city limits expanding west.  Northern Partners Cooperative of Mendota and national agriculture company, CHS want to use approximately 20 acres of land near the Peru riverfront for a grain barge loading facility.

They also plan to build a fertilizer warehouse that can store 47,000 tons and be used for product blending.

Peru Mayor Scott Harl says the project has been in the works for three years, but remained a secret until Wednesday.  He is excited because of the property tax dollars it will generate for the city and the Peru Public School District.

The project is proposed for land south of American Nickeloid Company.  The land would need to be annexed into town.  Harl says the facility would have its own road off of Rout 6, west of the new Casey’s and would not add to the truck traffic on Water Street.

The companies want to begin construction early in 2015 and have it completed in the spring of 2016.  They expect to hire eight new workers.

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Four local enterprise zones among many being considered by state officials

Posted by wlpo on January 22, 2015

The more a city can offer a company, the better its chances of attracting new businesses and jobs. Cities in Illinois, many local, have acres of undeveloped land included in Enterprise Zones to entice businesses looking for various tax breaks.

The state only allows so many to exist and for a limited time. Four local zones are among 67 existing and new zones state officials will consider in 2015. Only 49 will be approved according to David Roeder with the Department of Commerce and Economic Development.

The enterprise board will consider the vacancy rate of industrial or commercial buildings in an area and the availability of career skills programs at area high schools.

The Bureau-Putnam Area, Illinois Valley, Ottawa Area and Streator Area zones are the local zones being considered.

Companies in an enterprise zone may not have to pay sales tax on building materials or utilities.

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Former Peru woman finds success with a popular Chicago blues band

Posted by wlpo on January 22, 2015

A woman who may have played the violin and saxophone next to your child in the Peru Washington School Band or the Illinois Valley Youth Symphony Orchestra has gone on to perform in a blues band that’s earning respect of fans in the independent music world.

Kim Kozel sings and plays violin and sax for Honey and the 45s, a Chicago based five-piece. The group played their first show five years ago at the 9th Street Pub in La Salle and since they’ve played at the Chicago House of Blues, Metro and Lincoln Hall.  Kozel says it feels amazing to be on the same stage and in the green rooms where so many talented people have been.

Honey and the 45s has also opened for nationally known acts, but they will be the headliners when they play at Westclox in Peru and 9th Street in La Salle Saturday night. Kozel expects her parents, who still live in Peru, to be in the audience. The group has released one full-length album and an EP. Kozel says the next step is to sign with a label.

You can learn more about the band by listening to an interview that’s available at the Classic Hits 103.9 WLPO news page.

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Wednesday’s snowfall contributes to many minor accidents

Posted by wlpo on January 22, 2015

Careful walking out to your car Thursday morning because sidewalks and roads are slick. Roads aren’t as bad as they were Wednesday morning.

The brief snowfall contributed to many minor accidents. The La Salle County Sheriff’s Department handled at least nine. In most cases, people weren’t able to slow down to avoid the crash.

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An increase in skip days at LPHS could be linked to a change in exam policy

Posted by wlpo on January 22, 2015

Perfect attendance or not, students at LP High School are required to take final exams each semester. While that was most likely the rule when you were in school, for about 15 years students were allowed to skip exams if they had perfect attendance.

The policy ended with the start of the current school year and the attendance record shows it. Students were truant 172 times during the 2013 fall semester when the exam incentive was in place. This past fall semester, the first semester without the incentive, students were truant 316 times.

Superintendent Steve Wrobleski included the information in his State of the District presentation to the school board last night. Wrobleski says they expected an increase and he thinks the number of students skipping will level off in a couple of years.

This past fall also saw more instances of students cutting class and arriving late.

A few of the school board members seemed surprised at the numbers, though they were the ones who decided to end the exam policy.

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