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Archive for August, 2015

Heat threatens to shorten school days this week in the Illinois Valley

Posted by wlpo on August 31, 2015

The heat is back this week and schools are reacting.

The Midland School District has already announced that due to warm temperatures this week, they will dismiss early at 2:10 each day. At Fieldcrest, the district hasn’t announced any early outs but have sent a message to students saying if they do, it’ll be at 1 o’clock. They will try to make the early out decision by 10 in the morning.

High temperatures the rest of the school week are expected to be around 90.

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Tragedy strikes in Bureau County with one teen dead and three hurt

Posted by wlpo on August 31, 2015

A Mendota teenager is dead while three other teens were hurt after a hit and run in Bureau County.

Nineteen-year-old Jacqueline Martinez was pronounced dead Sunday morning at St. Margaret’s Hospital. She was taken there after she was hit by an unknown driver in a rural area of Leepertown Township just before one Sunday morning.

A 17-year-old boy was seriously hurt in the hit and run and was flown to OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria. Two other children were treated and released from St. Margaret’s.

Bureau County Sheriff Jim Reed wants anyone with information to call the sheriff’s office or the Bureau/Putnam County Crime Stoppers.

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Suburban woman hits it big with 50/50 win at Amboy Depot Days

Posted by wlpo on August 31, 2015

Every festival in the Illinois Valley has a 50/50 drawing but nothing comes close to the drama and cash involved with the Amboy Depot Days.

Kim Gerster of Carol Stream is this year’s 50/50 winner. Her share is just over $149,000, meaning nearly $300,000 worth of 50/50 tickets were sold this year for the Depot Days fundraiser. That broke last year’s record of $214,000 worth of tickets sold.

Randy Williams of Joliet also had his ticket pulled out which means he won the runner-up prize, a 2015 Chevy Cruze. Williams and Gerster weren’t at the festival when their names were called.

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Fair season continues with Tri-County Fair

Posted by wlpo on August 31, 2015

It’s Tri-County Fair week in Mendota.

The fair gets going Friday with a carnival and live music. On Saturday, there are two truck and tractor pulls, live music and fireworks. Sunday’s schedule includes two rodeos while Labor Day means a demo derby at the Mendota fairgrounds. Tickets to the grandstand events are $10.

For the complete Tri-County Fair schedule, you can click Tri-County Fair.

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Downtown roadwork planned in Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on August 31, 2015

Getting around downtown Ottawa will be a little tougher this week.

Starting Monday, crews are resurfacing the 100 blocks of Jefferson and Jackson Streets which run south of Washington Square between the downtown one-ways. There will be construction flaggers helping to direct traffic so be aware of them. The streets will open back up at night.

If it stays dry this week, the work should be done by Friday.

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State planning improvements for troublesome Peru intersection

Posted by wlpo on August 31, 2015

Work begins Monday to make a dangerous intersection in Peru safer.

A new right-turn lane for southbound traffic crossing the Route 251 bridge will be built to hopefully make it easier for drivers to see oncoming cars when turning off of Ben Samek, or Slough Road. The intersection was the site of a bad crash with injuries last month and a fatal crash last September.

The work zone south of the bridge will have flaggers and lane closures. Advanced Asphalt out of Princeton is doing the job and should be done by mid-November.

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Illinois will test security for meds

Posted by wlpo on August 30, 2015

Illinois will be the first state in the country to test out a pilot program that will put locking devices on some prescription painkillers to make it harder for people to abuse the drugs. The numerical locking devices will be similar to those used on gym lockers and will be placed on pill bottles. Governor Bruce Rauner signed the measure into law last week. It takes effect in 2016.

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Kickoff Dinner for Ottawa playground

Posted by wlpo on August 30, 2015

   You may have heard about the planned Ottawa-Kiwanis Project Inclusive Playground. Both the City of Ottawa and Ottawa-Kiwanis invite you to a complimentary dinner and presentation in the Knights of Columbus banquet facility Wednesday. 

    Kara Jones is the Project Public Relations manager. She said the “Kick-off” Party includes a social Hour at 5, Dinner at 6 then introductions and a Visual Presentation. The group has a goal of $250-thousand dollars. Everyone is invited to attend.

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Northview School grand opening Tuesday

Posted by wlpo on August 30, 2015

    A long construction project ends with a grand opening. Peru Elementary School Board is inviting the public to come see the Northview new addition and renovation Tuesday night. Superintendent Mark Cross says Northview now covers 80-thousand square feet and follows the opening of the state-of-the-art Parkside Middle School 6 years ago. Cross said the 2 projects have rebuilt the school district from the ground up at a cost of 32-million and without an increase in property taxes.

    The Northview Grand Opening will have a ribbon cutting at 5 Tuesday and the Open House till 7pm. Refreshments will be served. Students will enter the new Northview School on Wednesday, September 2.

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Illinois House debates a veto Wednesday

Posted by wlpo on August 30, 2015

The Illinois House is expected to debate Wednesday whether to override Governor Bruce Rauner’s veto of a bill that would send public sector labor impasses to binding arbitration.  Rauner has called it the “worst bill in Illinois history.”  He condemned senators who voted to override and he is now urging House members to uphold his veto.

Advocates on either side are speaking out.

“The arbitration process itself,” says, Keith Turney of the Fraternal Order of Police, “many times gets the parties to act in a more reasonable nature and prevent them from even going to arbitration.”  Republican commentator Dan Proft, speaking for the Illinois Opportunity Project said, ” The governor is the duly elected representative of the people, and the governor should be the one who is negotiating contracts with public-sector unions.”

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