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Archive for February 19th, 2015

Landowners group, ComEd and Illinois Farm Bureau file appeal to RICL decision

Posted by wlpo on February 19, 2015

Nearly three months after a plan to build a direct current transmission line from Iowa to Grundy County received approval from Illinois Commerce Commission, several groups are fighting the decision in court.

The Illinois Landowners Alliance, Illinois Farm Bureau, and ComEd Tuesday filed an appeal of the ICC decision giving a certificate of public convenience and necessity to Rock Island Clean Line. The project wasn’t given the power of eminent domain.

The appeal was filed in the Third District Appellate Court in Ottawa.

Laura Harmon is the Senior Council for the Illinois Farm Bureau. She says the farm bureau doesn’t believe Clean Line Energy should be able to take farmland out of production for transmission lines that aren’t needed.

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Scheduled for for annual Midwest Morel Fest announced

Posted by wlpo on February 19, 2015

Whether you do it for the thrill of the hunt or because you enjoy the taste, mushroom hunting is a popular spring activity in the Illinois Valley.   Mushroom hunting has grown into a full weekend of activities in Ottawa where organizers are getting ready for the 5th Annual Midwest Morel Fest.

Plans for this year’s festival were unveiled Thursday at Ottawa City Hall. The festival will be May 2 and 3 and based in the Jordan Block. Saturday will include the Morel University seminar that gives you an introduction to mushroom hunting.

You’ll also be able to shop at the craft and food market, buy mushrooms during a mushroom auction and sample beers during a Home Brew Fest. The big hunt is Sunday, May 3 and includes cash prizes.

Tickets to participate in the hunt and related programs are available through the Ottawa Visitors Center.

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Round up of the Illinois Valley’s lowest temperatures

Posted by wlpo on February 19, 2015

How low did the temperature go where you live?

According to the National Weather Service, it was -13 degrees at one point Thursday morning near Sheridan. A weather spotter in Streator reported a temperature of -11.  It got as cold as -7 in Oglesby and Ottawa while the thermometer dipped to -6 in Peru and Grand Ridge. La Salle and Marseilles bottomed out at -5.

At the coldest point Thursday morning it felt like -20 to -25 degrees with the wind chill.

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Plans for new movie theater in Peru move forward

Posted by wlpo on February 19, 2015

Plans for a new movie theater in Peru received a thumbs up from the planning commission. The building would be the new home of Carmike Cinemas after they leave the Peru Mall at the end of the year.

Developers DMAR, LLC and Access, LLC Wednesday night brought their drawings for a new 10-screen cinema before the planning commission and zoning board of appeals of Peru. The building will go up directly north of Hy-Vee on Plaza Drive. You would pull into the parking lot off of Plaza or from a new road that would have to be built. The new road would run east to west and connect to North Peoria Street.

Kevin Heitz of Chamlin and Associates and Gregory Schaapveld of Shive-Hattery Engineering presented the plans. Schaapveld says the new building will have 1,690 seats and at least one large auditorium with 330 seats.

The final plat received a favorable recommendation from the planning commission. It still needs approval by city council.

Wednesday night’s hearing didn’t address the development agreement the city is negotiating with the developer and Carmike.

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L-P wants your thoughts about bullying on social media

Posted by wlpo on February 19, 2015

It’s not an easy topic to talk about but its affecting a lot of people, especially kids.

Hoping to jumpstart a conversation, L-P is hosting a town hall meeting Thursday night on bullying and specifically cyber-bullying. L-P Superintendent Steve Wrobleski says a big change in trying to stop bullying is a new state law where administrators can request a student or their parent provide social media passwords if the district thinks a student is breaking a rule like cyber-bullying.

The meeting starts at 6 inside Matthiessen Auditorium.

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City Council approves selling Peru Rail

Posted by wlpo on February 19, 2015

Peru Rail isn’t a long rail line but it connects the industrial corridor north of Interstate 80 to a rail system that leads to Zearing and ultimately out of the region.  By the end of Thursday it should be the property of Peru Industrial Railway. The city council Wednesday night approved the sale. An intent-to-sell agreement was reached in October.

The city bought the line in the early 1990s as a way to attract industry, but the rail line is in poor shape and needs expensive upgrades which could be done by the new owner. The city has also been unable to get liability insurance coverage for it.

Alderman Rodney Perez was the only aldermen to vote against the sale. He thinks they should have talked with James Hardie and is concerned that the new owner will raise the rates and force James Hardie to start trucking their product and laying off workers.

Alderman Dave Potthoff thinks selling the rail so it can be upgraded is another marketing tool for Peru.

The sale price is $1.25 million and the city retains all utility easements.

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New Pluto images released on anniversary of Tombaugh discovery

Posted by wlpo on February 19, 2015

As an ounce of Clyde Tombaugh’s ashes continues hurdling towards Pluto in a spacecraft, NASA released new images of the planet’s moons 85 years after the Streator native discovered Pluto.

The pictures were taken from the New Horizons spacecraft which is still over 100 million miles away from Pluto. The craft is traveling at over 36,000 miles per hour and is expected to make a close fly-by of Pluto in July.

You can check out the latest images by clicking http://www.nasa.gov/nh_new-horizons-spots-small-moons-orbiting-pluto/#.VOVoBvnF9qo

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