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Archive for March 21st, 2016

Oglesby’s new boat launch opens before its entirely finished

Posted by wlpo on March 21, 2016

Ready or not, Oglesby’s boat and canoe launch opened to the public today.

According to the NewsTribune, Mayor Don Finley says even though the city is still waiting for grant money to finish the launch, it’s opening to accommodate any of you eager to get on the river. He says its kayak season and people are anxious.

The state awarded Oglesby a $152,000 grant back in 2014 to build a launch along the Vermilion River and north of Lehigh Park with the plans to also include a parking lot.

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City okays formation of Peru Public Library taxing district

Posted by wlpo on March 21, 2016

Feeling that the Peru Public Library should ease up on its tax revenues, the majority of the Peru City Council wants a change in how the library operates.

The council approved the idea of the library becoming its own taxing district. Right now the library uses state law to claim the maximum tax rate and gets their taxes from the city’s property tax levy. Alderman Dave Potthoff says the library will still get tax dollars but by becoming their own taxing district, they’ll need a taxpayer elected board of directors. Potthoff thinks that could lead to the library scaling back on what they ask for from taxpayers.

According to Potthoff, the Peru library had $436,000 in the bank last year compared to $230,000 two years before. He also says salaries have gone up by 27 percent.

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Hundreds of families turn to food pantry for holiday meal

Posted by wlpo on March 21, 2016

Have you got your Easter dinner plans all squared away? Nearly a thousand people received their holiday meal from the Illinois Valley Food Pantry.

The pantry’s annual Easter meal distribution was this past Saturday. Executive Director Donna Hess says they fed over 370 families. She says the number of people getting meals from the pantry on Easter has gone down a little.

After any holiday, the food pantry always can use your help in restocking their shelves. The pantry on Marquette Street in downtown La Salle is open Monday thru Friday. It will be closed this Friday though for Good Friday.

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Visitation Limited at some Illinois Valley Hospitals due to Increased Flu Activity

Posted by wlpo on March 21, 2016

Even though it’s officially Spring, the threat of a winter illness is still hanging around.

Princeton’s Perry Memorial Hospital on Monday became the latest to announce that visitors to the hospital will be limited to those over 18. The hospital made the move after the state’s Department of Public Health said flu activity is increasing across the state.

They’re not the only hospital showing extra caution. Similar visitor restrictions are still in place at Illinois Valley Community Hospital and OSF Healthcare in Ottawa, Streator, and Marseilles.

In addition to being over 18, Perry is limiting visitors to two at a time and asking those with respiratory illnesses not to visit.

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Ottawa Man Hospitalized after “Blackout” and Crash

Posted by wlpo on March 21, 2016

Losing focus when you’re behind the wheel can have serious consequences.

Larry O’Brien was going west on Madison Street in Ottawa Friday afternoon when he “blacked out,” according to police. The 79-year old O’Brien’s car then passed through the other lane and into a yard before hitting a car parked in a driveway.

O’Brien was taken to OSF St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Ottawa. His three passengers were not injured in the crash.

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Spring Valley pastor being treated in Peoria after crash

Posted by wlpo on March 21, 2016

A Spring Valley pastor is listed in serious condition while being treated at a Peoria hospital.

The Rev. Robert Spilman was flown to OSF St. Francis Medical Center Thursday night after a two-car crash on Route 6 in Bureau County. The other driver wasn’t hurt. According to the NewsTribune, Spilman crashed into a trailer that was being backed into a driveway.

Spilman is the pastor at Nativity of Our Lord Church in Spring Valley.

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Oglesby man wins big at Home Garden & Lifestyle Show

Posted by wlpo on March 21, 2016

Mike Windsor of Oglesby is starting the new work week off by having $3,500 to spend at 40 Illinois Valley businesses.

Rod Thorson drew Mike’s name Monday morning on Classic Hits 103.9 WLPO. Windsor was one of over a thousand attendees who visited the Illinois Valley Home Garden & Lifestyle Show yesterday at Celebrations 150.

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State grades financial practices of Illinois Valley schools

Posted by wlpo on March 21, 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Most school districts across Illinois are spending more than they’re taking in and dipping into reserves or borrowing to stay afloat.

The State Board of Education has released school financial reports to gauge the financial health of school districts. In La Salle County, Ottawa Elementary, Milton Pope, and Wallace schools are on the “Early Warning” list for finances while Streator Elementary is on the “Watch” list.

In Bureau County, Hall High School is on the “Early Warning” list while Cherry Elementary and Princeton Elementary are on the “Watch” list. It’s not all bad news however.

Illinois Valley school districts receiving financial recognition include the Putnam County School District and Dalzell Elementary, LaMoille Schools, Ladd Elementary, Malden and Ohio Schools, Princeton High School in Bureau County.

Several schools in La Salle County are getting “recognition” status for their finances including L-P, Dimmick, La Salle Elementary, Mendota Elementary and High School and Ottawa High School.

For the statewide report, click School District Finance Reports

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Lostant driver arrested after crashing on bridge over the Vermilion

Posted by wlpo on March 21, 2016

A man from Lostant is lucky to be okay after deputies say he made the decision to drink and drive.

La Salle County deputies and Tonica paramedics were called just before 4:30 Sunday morning to the bridge over Vermilion River in Lowell. Nile Kaenan lost control of his car and hit the bridge’s guardrail.

He was taken to Illinois Valley Community Hospital in Peru where he was treated and released. Kaenan was arrested for DUI, speeding and driving uninsured and taken to the county jail.

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Yearly county health rankings are released

Posted by wlpo on March 21, 2016

The healthiest county in the Illinois Valley is also the county with the smallest population.

According to the annual county health rankings, Putnam County is the 8th healthiest county in Illinois out of 102. Bureau County is considered the 26th healthiest county while La Salle County is ranked 40th.

Counties were ranked on things like the number of adults who are obese, who excessively drink and smoke along with how many people are uninsured and how many children live in poverty. Putnam County has the highest number of obese adults while La Salle County leads the way in adult smokers and alcohol related driving deaths. La Salle and Putnam County are tied with the highest number of adults who excessively drink while La Salle and Bureau County have the same percent of kids living in poverty.

To check out the rankings, click County Health Rankings

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