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Archive for February 16th, 2016

Gambling machines spark debate in La Salle

Posted by wlpo on February 16, 2016

Despite a healthy debate, the La Salle City Council doesn’t appear willing to say no more video gaming machines.

Alderman Jerry Reynolds initially proposed preventing any more machines from opening in La Salle but later pulled his motion since one alderman and the city attorney were absent last night. Reynolds who actually works at a gaming parlor in downtown La Salle said there’s only so much gambling money to go around and more competition could deplete the gambling income of existing businesses.

Alderman John “Doc” Lavieri said competition is good while fellow aldermen Boo Herndon and Diz Demes seem to say the problem if there is one lies with the stand alone gaming parlors that have filled many empty storefronts in the Illinois Valley.

La Salle has 23 places with video gaming right now and three of those places are gaming parlors. One more parlor and two gas stations want to also get into the video gaming mix but the city doesn’t have the needed state liquor licenses available right now.

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Boil order extended near Baker Lake

Posted by wlpo on February 16, 2016

More homes have been added to a boil order in La Salle.

A boil order is in effect for the 100 block of Gunn Avenue, much of the 1300 block of Chartres Street and a home apiece in the 1200 block of Creve Couer and Chartres.  The boil order is because of a water main break that happened Tuesday.

When the boil order is over, you’ll hear it on Classic Hits 103.9 WLPO.

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Plans move ahead to make students walk to school safer in Spring Valley

Posted by wlpo on February 16, 2016

While $3,500 is a chunk of change, you could argue its worth spending to keep children safe walking to and from school.

According to the NewsTribune, the Spring Valley City Council has decided to transfer that amount of money from its motor fuel tax fund to help pay for flashing crosswalk lights on Route 6 and Richards Street along with new sidewalks leading to JFK Elementary School. The city received a “Safe Walks to School” grant to cover $77,000 of the project.

An engineer for the city says the plans are approved by the state and bid letting should happen soon.

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Cost of hotel stays in Oglesby are getting pricier

Posted by wlpo on February 16, 2016

Shacking up at a hotel in Oglesby will soon start costing a little more.

According to the NewsTribune, the Oglesby City Council is looking at raising its hotel-motel tax from 4 to 5 percent. The tax also known as a pillow tax brought in nearly $62,000 last year.

Oglesby Mayor Don Finley says the tax increase keeps Oglesby in line with how other towns tax overnight hotel guests. The new revenue will help pay for city promotions.

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Standalone ER at Former St. Mary’s Hospital in Streator Gets Unanimous Approval

Posted by wlpo on February 16, 2016

The City of Streator is one step closer to once again having an emergency room.

The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board on Tuesday unanimously approved OSF Healthcare’s plans for a so-called “freestanding ER” at the old St. Mary’s Hospital.

OSF Healthcare says the appropriate staff is already in place and receiving patients while the building transitions from an urgent-care center to an emergency facility.

Plans for the site will be announced in the near future. The site does still need to be licensed by the Illinois Department of Public Health before it can begin operating

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Gas leak in Peru causes evacuations

Posted by wlpo on February 16, 2016

A couple homes not far from the Peru Fire Station were evacuated Tuesday morning after a gas leak.

Firefighters were called to 5th and Grant Streets just before 11 o’clock after an outside contractor was digging and hit a gas line. The crews were working on a sewer line repair.

Just to be safe, a couple homes closest to the leak were evacuated. They were let back in their home at around noon.

Ameren crews hung around the scene after firefighters left.

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Mendota woman remembered at NIU shooting anniversary

Posted by wlpo on February 16, 2016

While many were going out to dinner celebration Valentine’s Day, others gathered at Northern Illinois University to mark the eight anniversary of a campus shooting that left five students dead.

Thirty-two-year-old Juliana Gehant of Mendota was one of the victims. She was a junior at the time of the shooting, majoring in Elementary Education. She had served 12 years in the U.S. Army and Army Reserves.

Family members of Gehant and the other victims gathered Sunday at the NIU campus as bells rang at 3:06 p.m., the time a gunman opened fire in a lecture hall classroom.

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Volunteer guides needed at La Salle mansion

Posted by wlpo on February 16, 2016

If you’re a history buff, there’s a volunteer opportunity right up your alley.

Volunteer guides are needed at Hegeler Carus Mansion in La Salle. You’d be responsible for leading guided tours of the mansion.

Volunteer training is going on this Thursday night from 6 until 8 at the mansion. There’s a $20 fee for new volunteers to pay for a training manual.

You can register for training by clicking Hegeler Carus Mansion Volunteer Sign Up

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Meeting at Midland will talk about need for a new school

Posted by wlpo on February 16, 2016

Midland Schools have structural issues and money is needed to fix them.

A community summit is planned this Saturday to talk about the planning process of a referendum. You can learn about the school board’s recommendation for a new elementary school or an alternate option if the tax referendum fails.

The elementary building in Lacon is closed for the rest of the school year because of lead and mold concerns. Saturday’s summit is at the middle school in Sparland.

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La Salle City Council thinking about putting a stop to new gaming parlors

Posted by wlpo on February 16, 2016

Does it seem like in some towns you can’t go a block without seeing a gambling parlor? Tuesday night the La Salle City Council will ask itself if enough is enough.

The council has on its agenda possible action on limiting the number of Video Gaming locations. As of January, La Salle has 94 machines in 23 different establishments. Each business is allowed up to five gaming machines.

Over a million dollars was wagered in those 94 machines last month. The city’s revenue from the gambling is a little more than $12,000.

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