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Archive for December 4th, 2015

Traffic Fatalities Up in State, Bureau, Putnam Counties, Down in La Salle

Posted by wlpo on December 4, 2015

With one month left in the year traffic deaths may be up statewide, but they’re lower in the Illinois Valley.

There have been 21 deaths across La Salle, Bureau, and Putnam counties stemming from 20 crashes. That is six fewer deaths on three fewer crashes.

The drop is due to La Salle where there have been 10 fewer deaths from seven fewer crashes. Bureau County deaths and crashes have almost doubled; up to seven from the four there were last year. Putnam County had one crash resulting in a death where they had gone all of 2014.

Statewide traffic deaths are on the rise again this year. There have been 51 deaths which a nearly 6% increase from the same time last year.

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New Bill Allows St. Mary’s to Operate as Stand-Alone E.R.

Posted by wlpo on December 4, 2015

Governor Rauner signed into law today a bill that will allow St. Mary’s Hospital in Streator to operate as a stand-alone emergency room.

It was announced earlier this year that Peoria-based OSF was going to take over the hospital, and in-patient services were going to be eliminated which also meant the elimination of the emergency room.

State Senator Sue Rezin said without this legislation the city would be 30 miles from the nearest emergency room. Rezin, who was the sponsor of the bill, went on to say this measure would keep jobs, doctors, and technology in Streator.

The bill went into law as soon as it got the governor’s signature, which Rezin says will “ensure the health of citizens in the area is not put in jeopardy.”

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Chain reaction crash in Spring Valley sends one driver to St. Margaret’s Hospital

Posted by wlpo on December 4, 2015

A fender bender at one of Spring Valley’s busiest intersections sent one driver to the hospital.

Luz Cardoso and Terry Stone of Spring Valley were stopped late Thursday afternoon at a red light at the intersection of Dakota and Spaulding Street when Patricia Dzierzynski also of Spring Valley came along. Dzierzynski is accused of rear ending Cardoso who was then pushed into the back of Stone. Cardoso was taken to St. Margaret’s Hospital while the other two refused medical treatment.

Dzierzynski was ticketed for driving too fast to avoid an accident.

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Small crowd hears about multi-year, multi-million dollar EPA cleanup in La Salle

Posted by wlpo on December 4, 2015

Contamination that’s built up in La Salle since 1858 could cost upwards of $185 million to clean up.

Due to issues with arsenic and lead, the Environmental Protection Agency wants to soil test thousands of homes in La Salle that could cost $112 million and take 15 years. The rest of the cost would be excavating contaminated soil on the current Carus Chemical property along with a larger chunk of land along the Little Vermilion River that used to be the M & H Zinc site.

Besides the property their plant sits on, Carus Corporation also owns the majority of acreage that includes a slag pile. Fred and Cynthia Carus also own a piece of the old M & H site while the rest is owned by a realty company called La Salle Acres. Demaree Collier of the EPA says these landowners will be expected to foot at least part of the multi-million dollar bill.

After testing about 128 homes near the contaminated site, Collier says no immediate health risk was found. However samples did show 26 of the homes had at risk levels of cancer at or above unacceptable levels.

The EPA hopes to start its cleanup plan next year. The public still has a chance to provide input through next Friday.

To comment or find out more about the project, click M & H Zinc Superfund Site

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Big holiday weekend planned in Peru

Posted by wlpo on December 4, 2015

Festive cheer will be all around Peru this weekend.

Things get going with a Christmas Parade Saturday at 1:30. The parade starts at 11th and West Streets and heads south on West Street to 4th or Route 6th before ending up at the municipal building on Fulton. After the parade, the city Christmas tree will be lit inside the municipal building along with Santa handing out treats and the Parkside Choir performing.

Then on Sunday in Peru, you can have breakfast with Santa from 7 until noon at the Peru Fire Station. Santa will then take to the air with a two o’clock fly-in at the Peru airport before the Christmas lights are turned on at the airport.

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Pearl Harbor Day ceremony planned in Peru

Posted by wlpo on December 4, 2015

Before the Christmas parade and lighting of the tree at Peru City Hall, area veterans will remember U.S. service members that were killed during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

A Pearl Harbor Remembrance Parade steps off from the Peru River Rescue Station on Water Street Saturday at around 11:30. Participants march to the South Shore Boat Club where there will be a ceremony and the Peru Municipal Band will perform.

A Pearl Harbor survivor from Streator is expected to attend.

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December gas prices holding under two dollars a gallon

Posted by wlpo on December 4, 2015

So far, so good for falling gas prices in December.

According to, you can fill up in La Salle for a $1.66 a gallon. Gas in Peru can be found for $1.71 a gallon while stations in Oglesby have it for $1.75 a gallon. Unleaded in Ottawa, Streator, Princeton and Mendota ranges from $1.82 to $1.87.

The average price of gas statewide is $1.99, that’s actually up two cents from last Friday.

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