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Archive for January 29th, 2015

Big money being played on gaming machines in the Illinois Valley

Posted by wlpo on January 29, 2015

Many in the Illinois Valley like games of chance and the numbers are there to prove it when it comes to video gambling.

According to the Illinois Gaming Board, over $258 million was wagered in La Salle County on video gambling machines in 2014. Payouts were over $238 million.

In Bureau County over $42 million was pumped into video gaming last year with over $39 million paid out. In Putnam County just under $4 million was gambled with the payouts totaling over $3.5 million.

Streator leads the pack in the Illinois Valley with over $51 million wagered in video gaming machines last year. B&R Café in Streator saw the most action with $10.7 million played in its five machines. That was enough for the city to make over $189,000 as part of its share of the revenue.

Both Peru and Ottawa saw over $30 million played in video gaming machines last year while over $20 million was gambled in La Salle and Princeton. Even a village the size of Naplate had over $12 million wagered with video gaming.

Statewide, gamblers wagered $8.2 billion into video gaming machines in 2014. The state’s take of the revenue was around $164 million.

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Unemployment rates show improvement over December 2013

Posted by wlpo on January 29, 2015

In a year’s time the local unemployment rates have dropped nearly four percent. The Illinois Department of Employment Security Thursday released December’s unemployment numbers.

December unemployment in La Salle County was 7.8 percent, down from 11.5 percent in December 2013.

In Bureau County, unemployment was to 7.4 percent, down more than three percent from last December.

Putnam County unemployment declined by four points from December 2013 to 7.1 percent last month.

The Ottawa-Streator area unemployment went from 11.1 percent in December 2013 to 7.7 percent in December 2014.

The area saw new construction jobs, but loss jobs in government, manufacturing, and information.

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Name released in fatal crash outside of Mendota

Posted by wlpo on January 29, 2015

An Earlville man is dead after overturning his car east of Mendota.

La Salle County deputies got a call just after four Wednesday afternoon about a car on its top on North 42nd Road. The only person in the car, 50-year-old Kipp Hardin of Earlville was pronounced dead at the scene.

The crash is still under investigation by the La Salle County Sheriff’s Office and La Salle County Coroner’s Office.

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Updated: driver hurt in Putnam County rollover crash

Posted by wlpo on January 29, 2015

A crash before sunrise in Putnam County sent a woman to the hospital. The Putnam County Sheriff’s office says Amy Scruggs of Spring Valley was heading north on Route 89 around 5am Thursday when she claims she swerved to avoid another car. Her car rolled once into a field.

Scruggs was taken to Illinois Valley Community Hospital in Peru. Deputies say she had her dog with her and it wasn’t hurt.


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Sinkhole dispute in Peru now part of a lawsuit

Posted by wlpo on January 29, 2015

About a month after noticing that a sinkhole had formed along the curb of her yard, Pamela Ajster of Peru had standing water in her basement. In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in La Salle County, she claims the city is responsible for the damage to her basement and she’s asking for up to $50,000.

The sinkhole was reported late last July. City crews filled the hole in several times before the basement flooded on August 22. City workers returned to work on the sinkhole after the flooding and City Clerk Dave Bartley told Ajster the city was responsible for the problem. The city’s response fell short according to Ajster.

The city provided a dumpster and a couple of summer workers to clean the basement. She also gave the city a list of damages but in late September was told the city wouldn’t be covering anymore of the costs.
The dispute began to play out during city council meetings.

The city’s attorney thought Bartley should never have accepted responsibility and sent Ajster’s damages to the city’s insurance. The city’s insurance said Peru isn’t liable.

Ajster is represented by Tim Gatza of Armstrong and Surin. Classic Hits 103.9 WLPO left a message yesterday with Mayor Scott Harl.

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Video gaming up and casino action down in Illinois

Posted by wlpo on January 29, 2015

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – More and more video gaming machines are popping up in the Illinois Valley. That’s because the state and local governments saw tax revenue from video gambling more than double last year.

The state made nearly $165 million in 2014 from video gambling, up from roughly $75 million in 2013. Cities got nearly $33 million, an increase from $15 million.
As of December, there were more than 19,000 video gambling machines at bars, truck stops and fraternal organizations across the state.

While video gaming is on the rise, your spending less cash at casinos. The Illinois Gaming Board says revenue from casinos fell nearly $87 million in 2014 from a year earlier.

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