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News from the Illinois Valley

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Archive for March 20th, 2015

FBI has launched investigation into Congressman Aaron Schock

Posted by wlpo on March 20, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Associated Press is reporting that the Justice Department is formally investigating whether Rep. Aaron Schock committed crimes with his office expenditures and business dealings.

The government is convening a federal grand jury in Springfield and the FBI has started issuing subpoenas to compel people close to the Republican congressman to testify.

Schock abruptly resigned earlier this week following a list of revelations about his business deals and lavish spending on everything from overseas travel to office decor in the style of “Downton Abbey.”

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Tax assessment dispute ending between IVCC, Putnam County and Marquis Energy

Posted by wlpo on March 20, 2015

After almost four full years, Illinois Valley Community College is dropping its property tax assessment suit against Marquis Energy and Putnam County.

Fran Brolley with IVCC confirmed the news Friday morning with Classic Hits 103.9 WLPO. He says board members and President Jerry Corcoran will make official statements at the April 9th board meeting.

IVCC filed a suit in April of 2011 over differing opinions on tax abatement and the assessed value of Marquis Energy’s ethanol plant in Hennepin. Since then thousands of dollars was spent in legal fees.

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Seneca farmer officially confirmed as Illinois Department of Agriculture

Posted by wlpo on March 20, 2015

A La Salle County farmer you might know is officially the head of the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

Phil Nelson of Seneca was confirmed by the Illinois Senate Thursday as the new director of agriculture. Governor Bruce Rauner appointed him to the post earlier this year.

Nelson served as the Illinois Farm Bureau President from 2003 to 2013. He grows corn, soybeans and alfalfa near Seneca.

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Senator Rezin tackling potential problems with fracking

Posted by wlpo on March 20, 2015

Do you think “frack” sand mining will or already is negatively impacting the Illinois Valley?

Senator Sue Rezin is pushing a bill to study the effects of frack sand mining in and around La Salle County. Rezin wants the Illinois Department of Transportation to study the effects of mining when it comes to things like conditions of roads and bridges.

The law would require IDOT to provide results of their study back to lawmakers by January 1st of 2017.

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Ottawa and Streator holding simultaneous St. Baldrick’s fundraisers

Posted by wlpo on March 20, 2015

If you’re planning to be in Streator or Ottawa Saturday and could use a haircut, how about shaving it all off for a good cause?

The annual Ottawa St. Baldrick’s fundraiser is inside Jeremiah Joe Coffee from 10 until 2. Meanwhile the annual Streator Elks St. Baldrick’s head shaving event starts at noon. Dozens of shavees will raise or donate money before getting their locks chopped off.

The St. Baldrick’s organization raises money to find cures for childhood cancer.

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Spring Valley Democrat pushing bill regarding safety at bus stops

Posted by wlpo on March 20, 2015

Do you worry about your kid’s safety at their bus stop?

State Representative Frank Mautino is backing a new law that requires schools to tell parents if registered sex offenders live within 500 feet of a school bus stop. Right now sex offenders can’t live within 500 feet of a school, park or playground but there’s nothing in law saying they can’t live close to a bus stop.

Mautino says there are 185 registered sex offenders in La Salle County and 38 in Bureau County.

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Gas prices shoot up in the Illinois Valley

Posted by wlpo on March 20, 2015

Gas prices have went up in the last week in the Illinois Valley.

Last week you could get unleaded in places like Mendota, Ottawa and Streator for as low as $2.09. Prices Friday are anywhere from 13 cents to 30 cents higher in the same cities. Ottawa actually has the lowest gas in the Illinois Valley with some stations selling for $2.22 a gallon.

Peru stations are selling anywhere from $2.33 to $2.49 a gallon which is 20 cents more than a week ago while in Princeton the going rate is $2.25 to $2.39 a gallon, at least a dime higher than last week.

The statewide average for unleaded is $2.56 a gallon, up 19 cents from a week ago.

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