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Archive for March, 2015

Ottawa getting federal money to buy and tear down eyesore homes

Posted by wlpo on March 31, 2015

Do you have any rundown homes in your neighborhood? The city of Ottawa is getting state money to tear down abandoned houses.

The Illinois Housing Development Authority is giving Ottawa $280,000 in “Blight Reduction Funding” buy and then demolish vacant homes. The hope is to redevelop the property.

Ottawa Mayor Bob Eschbach says the problem with abandoned properties has increased since the recession forced homeowners to abandon their homes without being able to pay. He’s hoping the acquisition, demolition and redevelopment process will start later this year.

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Dozens of employers will be at IVCC Job Fair

Posted by wlpo on March 31, 2015

It’s time to update your resume. The 24th Annual IVCC Job Fair is Thursday, April 16th.

Sixty companies have signed up to be at the job fair. If you’re looking for a job, remember to dress in interview attire and bring at least 10 copies of your resume.

The job fair will run from 10 until 2. For more information click https://www.ivcc.edu/cs.aspx?id=2008

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Police Stop Car Carrying Pot, a Gun and Ammo

Posted by wlpo on March 31, 2015

Officers never know what they’ll find when they pull someone over. Early this morning, they found pot, a gun and ammunition.

State Police stopped a vehicle around 2:20 this morning on I-80 in Peru for improper lane  usage. The driver, Diamond Staples of Anderson, Indiana, turned out to be wanted for driving with a suspended license.  After searching the vehicle and it’s two  passengers, officers say they found less than 30 grams of marijuana, a firearm and  ammunition.

One of Staples passengers, LaNay Edmonds of Indianapolis, was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of cannabis. While the other passenger,  Timothy Crawford, got an unlawful possession of ammunition charge.

All three are being held in the LaSalle County jail.

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Unemployment rates trending in right direction

Posted by wlpo on March 31, 2015

Unemployment rates are improving across the board in the Illinois Valley.

According to state figures, La Salle County’s February unemployment rate was 7.5 percent, down a point from the month before and a full three points from a year ago. Bureau County’s latest jobless rate is 7.1 percent, down nearly a percentage point from January and over two percentage points lower than a year ago. In Putnam County, the February unemployment rate is 7.2 percent, down a half of a percent from the month before and a three-percent improvement from a year ago.

Illinois’ unemployment rate is 6.5 percent, almost half of what it was five years ago.

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Next election now just a week away

Posted by wlpo on March 31, 2015

A week from Tuesday, polls will be open for the Consolidated Election.

There are races for mayor in places like Utica, Oglesby, Marseilles and Princeton while cities like Ottawa and Peru have hotly contested elections for commissioner and alderman seats. There’s also a good chance your local school and library boards have candidates on the ballot.

Referendum wise, voters in the Waltham School District will vote on a nearly $7 million dollar referendum question for a school addition while Streator Elementary School voters are being asked to increase taxes to help avoid future cuts.

If you’re not sure where to vote, click here http://polling.lasalle.il.bhamaps.com/

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Midland High School goes on lockdown after threatening message found in bathroom

Posted by wlpo on March 31, 2015

There were some anxious moments at Midland High School in Varna.

School officials say a threatening message was found late Monday morning on a boy’s bathroom wall at the high school. The school immediately was put on lockdown and the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office was called.

Deputies searched the school and interviewed a few students but no weapons were found. The school remained on what’s called a “soft lockdown” for the rest of the day.

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Mendota Hospital officially becoming part of OSF network

Posted by wlpo on March 31, 2015

Mendota Community Hospital officially becomes OSF Saint Paul Medical Center Wednesday.

A blessing and dedication ceremony is happening Wednesday morning at the hospital. Monsignor Paul Showalter of the Catholic Diocese of Peoria is expected to be among the speakers.

The process of merging into the OSF network started last year. Margo Schmitz, the president of the Mendota Community Hospital Board of Directors has said the merger will allow the hospital to better serve the community.

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Update of weekend stabbing in Streator

Posted by wlpo on March 31, 2015

A stabbing victim is out of the hospital and the man who allegedly carried out the stabbing in Streator is out of custody.

Bond was set at $20,000 for 19-year-old Curtis Smith of Marseilles after he was arrested for felony aggravated battery. He’s since posted ten percent of the bond to be released.

Smith was arrested Saturday after being accused of stabbing a man at a home in Streator. The victim was flown to Peoria but had minor wounds and was released within a day according to La Salle County State’s Attorney Brian Towne.

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Easter Seals Telethon moving to Skydive Chicago

Posted by wlpo on March 30, 2015

For a fundraiser to last 35 years, it has to evolve over time.

The annual telethon for Easter Seals of La Salle & Bureau Counties is moving to Skydive Chicago this May. Taking advantage of the new venue, there will be a “jump for kids” where if you raise at least $500 towards the telethon, you can do a tandem jump for $50. There will also be food, music, kid’s activities, and raffles.

This year’s fundraising goal is $76,000. Over 500 children are helped each year by Easter Seals of La Salle & Bureau Counties.

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Oglesby prepping for major water main and road project

Posted by wlpo on March 30, 2015

There’s a planned water shutoff that will effect part of the main drag in Oglesby.

The shutoff is Wednesday from 7 until 5 on Walnut Street between Magnal and Field Avenue. That’s just east of Mr. Salsas.

The city plans to replace more than a thousand feet of water main along Walnut Street this year. They’re also looking to resurface the road.

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