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Archive for November 25th, 2015

Unemployment in the Illinois Valley Edges Lower, Lags Behind State

Posted by wlpo on November 25, 2015

While unemployment is down across the state and country as a whole, the numbers are dipping slower closer to home.

According to the preliminary data released by the state today, unemployment in the Illinois Valley is 0.2% lower than this time last year. That rate is 3.5 times slower than the state and national numbers. Illinois Department of Employment Security Director Jeff Mays is thankful for the growth but says too few Illinoisans are feeling the economic turnaround.

As of October in the Illinois Valley, Putnam County leads the way with 5.8% unemployment, followed closely by Bureau at 6%. La Salle reportedly has unemployment of 6.6%. The last time rates for the Ottawa-Streator area were this low was back in 2007.

Statewide unemployment is much lower, at 5.3%. The unemployment rate also stands even lower than that at just 4.8% nationwide

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Two young boys accused of damaging city Christmas display in Streator

Posted by wlpo on November 25, 2015

A combination of police work, surveillance video and the power of Facebook has led to a couple of boys getting arrested for damaging Christmas displays in Streator.

Tuesday afternoon Streator Police put up video and pictures of two boys accused of damaging several “Light Up Streator” decorations along with damaging a sign at Plumb Pavilion in City Park. The just recently installed surveillance cameras in the park.

After pictures of them were shared on Facebook, Streator Police arrested two boys under the age of 13 for criminal damage to property and criminal damage to state supported property. The boys will have dates in juvenile court.

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Holiday gas prices continue to head down in the Illinois Valley

Posted by wlpo on November 25, 2015

Fears of a gas hike before Thanksgiving at least so far appear to be unfounded.

According to, you can fill up for $1.67 in Peru, and a $1.69 Utica and La Salle stations. Gas in Ottawa sits at $1.84 a gallon with Streator and Spring Valley selling for just under a $1.80 a gallon. Mendota is at the high end in the Illinois Valley with the cheapest gas at $1.95.

The average price of gas statewide is $1.99, that’s down almost a full dollar from last Thanksgiving.

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Numbers up for opening weekend of firearm deer season

Posted by wlpo on November 25, 2015

The opening weekend of firearm deer season in the Illinois Valley proved to be a better one for hunters this year than last.

Hunters in Bureau County shot down 714 deer last weekend, nearly 40 more than a year ago. In La Salle County, 547 deer were shot down, seven more than last year’s opening weekend. Hunters in Putnam County gunned down 252 deer last weekend, a dozen more than last year.

Over 57,000 deer were gunned down statewide last weekend, about 6,000 more than a year ago.

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