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News from the Illinois Valley

Archive for January, 2015

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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Starved Rock Lodge gets new management

Posted by wlpo on January 28, 2015

The sights and sounds of Starved Rock State Park haven’t changed but the people running the lodge at the park has. Karl and Amy Trimble became the new concessionaires of Starved Rock Lodge and Conference Center January 7.

The Trimbles are overseeing the lodge, restaurant, bar, gift shop, and café. The state still owns the building.

Amy Trimble is the President-CEO while her husband, Karl Trimble, is the Vice President. He works for Uninim Corporation in Oregon, Illinois where they live. They say they plan to move to La Salle County.

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LPHS band and Oglesby choir to perform in Peoria

Posted by wlpo on January 28, 2015

Some local musicians are hitting the road for a big gig this weekend. The LP High School Symphonic Band and the Oglesby Washington Choir were chosen to perform Saturday at the Illinois Music Education Conference in Peoria. The audience will included music directors from all of Illinois.

Christine Adelmann is the director of the Oglesby Washington Choir and the wife of LP Band Director Kyle Adelmann. Adelmann thinks it will be a good experience.

The Oglesby choir will perform in a concert with the Lincoln Park Chamber Singers, a high school group.

The LP Band will play four pieces. With their concert scheduled to begin at 8:15am, the band is driving down Friday night.

Kyle Adelman says it has been many years since the LP Band has performed at the conference, if they ever have.

Learn more by listening to an interview that’s up at the Classic Hits 103.9 WLPO news page.

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Fence ordinance under review in La Salle

Posted by wlpo on January 28, 2015

A white vinyl fence will give your front yard privacy and security and arguably, it will look nicer than a chain-link, but the white fence technically isn’t an option if you live in La Salle.

The city’s fence ordinance is complicated according to Building Inspector Chris Covert, the man that has to enforce it. He plans to work with the public works superintendent and city attorney to revise the ordinance to clarify the fee structure for getting a fence permit. Covert also wants to change the rule requiring front yard fences to be chain-link because he says the rule has been broken all over town.

He also wants to create different standards for fences on commercial properties.   As the ordinance stands, residential and commercial fences are required to follow the same six-foot height guideline and he knows many business fences are higher.

If you have suggestions for the ordinance, let them know.

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Streator Salvation Army looking to expand

Posted by wlpo on January 28, 2015

As the need for help from organizations like the Salvation Army grows, the need for more space for groups like the Salvation Army also grows.

Members of the charity in Streator say they have officially bought the old Tomasello Shoe Repair Store next door to them on South Bloomington Street. They bought the building for its appraised value of $46,000.

Plans to expand the Streator Salvation Army office have been in the works for over a year.

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Lawsuit victory against Ameren has Peru electric customers getting a rebate

Posted by wlpo on January 28, 2015

Thanks to a lawsuit win, you’ll get a rebate on your electric bill if you live in Peru.

The city of Peru through their wholesale electric supplier the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency sued Ameren for overcharges. The city settled for $566,000 which will be given back to Peru bill payers by way of a lower usage rate for January through April electric bills.

Peru Mayor Scott Harl says the process took a long time but he’s happy to put the rebate money back into the pockets of customers.

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Firefighters in Mendota and Troy Grove prepare to say goodbye to one of their own

Posted by wlpo on January 28, 2015

Large crowds are expected to pay respect to a longtime Mendota firefighter killed while walking across a street.

Visitation for 62-year-old Tom Mahaffey is Wednesday at Holy Cross Church in Mendota with a mass Thursday morning at the church. Mahaffey died Sunday at St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria after getting hit by a car while off-duty.

Members of the Mendota and Troy Grove Fire Departments will serve as honor guard and pallbearers.

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