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Archive for May 16th, 2016

Frustrated with city leaders, co-presidents of swimming pool group in Peru resign

Posted by wlpo on May 16, 2016

Do you still hold out hope for a city pool in Peru or is it time to move on? Two women leading the charge for a new pool are moving on.

Debbie Noonan and Anita Kapinski turned in their resignations Monday night to the Peru City Council as co-presidents of the Friends for Peru Pool Committee. Noonan and Kapinski say “Mayor Harl and council members have stated a swimming pool is a luxury that they can’t afford, we felt it was a necessity”. The city council plans to send Noonan and Kapinski a thank you letter.

Friends for Peru Pool Committee member Claudia Mikyska says the committee will continue raising money despite losing their co-presidents. She says they have raised over $100,000.

The city pool at Washington Park was closed after the 2009 summer.

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Bureau County leads the way for Illinois Valley turkey hunters

Posted by wlpo on May 16, 2016

The number of turkeys taken down by Illinois Valley hunters this season was only one bird less than the year before.

Hunters using shotguns or bow and arrows brought down 331 turkeys this past season which ended Sunday compared to 332 the season before. Bureau County hunters led the way taking down 157 turkeys compared to 137 in La Salle County and 37 in Putnam County.

Statewide over 15,000 turkeys were gunned down nearly 500 more than the season before.

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PR Firm says Mautino Plans to Meet Deadline set by Board of Elections in Campaign Spending Inquiry

Posted by wlpo on May 16, 2016

A PR firm hired by Auditor General Frank Mautino has said he plans to “attempt to resolve” questions that have been raised about his campaign spending during his time as the 76th District State Representative.

In a statement released by Ryan Keith of RK PR solutions, Mautino will be “working with his team to amend his campaign reports.” The statement also said he plans to comply with the July 1 deadline set Monday by the Illinois State Board of Elections.

The board narrowed its review of Mautino’s spending to two areas. Those areas include a bank’s campaign reimbursements that do not have any further explanation and hundreds of thousands of dollars for gas and repairs at a single service station.

Mautino served as state representative for the Illinois Valley for 24 years before being appointed auditor general last fall.

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Schools Tell Lawmakers “There’s Nothing Left to Cut” Monday at School Funding Conference

Posted by wlpo on May 16, 2016

Superintendents and lawmakers met Monday at Illinois Valley Community College to talk about the effects a budget impasse would have should it continue into the fall.

The news conference was led by Mike Struna and Dan Marenda, the Hall High and La Salle Elementary superintendents, respectively. Marenda called out state lawmakers, saying that among other things they had “abandoned higher education this year.” Struna explained the cuts he’s had to make at Hall, along with further cuts he is proposing to the board this week, before saying “we have nothing left to cut.”

The conference brought lawmakers from both parties to the table as well. 76th District State Representative Andy Skoog said his goal isn’t just to get more money allocated to Illinois Valley schools, rather to get more money put into education as a whole.

State Senator Sue Rezin brought up a bill currently in Springfield that would use more than $13 billion to “fully fund” schools for next year. She said the bill would “pass unanimously” if there were a vote but blamed Democratic leaders in Springfield for the lack of a vote.

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Woman with ties to La Salle and DePue allegedly caught dealing heroin

Posted by wlpo on May 16, 2016

The latest alleged heroin dealer busted by the drug group Tri-Dent lives on the east side of La Salle.

Twenty-four-year-old Coryssa Pelszynski who used to live in DePue was arrested at her home in La Salle on Thursday for unlawful delivery of a controlled substance. She’s accused of selling heroin to undercover informants several times in Bureau County.

Pelszynski was taken to the jail in Princeton with her bond set at $50,000.

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Pothole patching and shoulder work planned in the Illinois Valley

Posted by wlpo on May 16, 2016

Be on the lookout for construction workers Monday.

Crews are doing shoulder work on Route 178 between Lowell and Route 71. Shoulder work is also being done on Route 6 from Route 47 east to the Will County line.

In Bureau County, crews are patching potholes on Interstate 180 and painting on Route 6 from Route 40 to the Henry County line and on Route 34 from Sheffield west to the county line.

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Thousands of pounds of food donated to annual mail carrier drive

Posted by wlpo on May 16, 2016

The arms of Illinois Valley mail carriers could be sore today after hauling around donated canned goods and boxed food.

Saturday was the U.S. Postal Service’s 24th Annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. In Bureau County, over 19,000 pounds of donated food was collected along mail routes. Those donations will go to the Bureau County Food Pantry.

In La Salle County, over five thousand pounds of food is expected to go to the Illinois Valley Food Pantry. That haul is down quite a bit from last year.

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April video gambling numbers are out

Posted by wlpo on May 16, 2016

Business is steady when it comes to video gambling in the Illinois Valley.

Well over a million dollars was once again wagered in video gaming machines in April in La Salle, Peru, Ottawa and Streator. The most action was again in Ottawa with $1.8 million going into machines and $1.4 million being paid out. Streator was close behind Ottawa with $1.6 million played in machines last month and $1.2 million coming back out.

In Peru, $1.5 million was wagered last month with $1.1 million being paid out. La Salle machines saw $1.2 million played last month with $870,000 cashed out.

Statewide, $371 million was wagered last month with $275 million paid out.

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Illinois Valley officers cracking down on seat belt use

Posted by wlpo on May 16, 2016

Memorial Day is still a couple weeks away, but you should expect to see more police presence on the road leading up to the holiday.
Peru Police and other law enforcement groups are kicking off another “Click It or Ticket” enforcement where they will be on the look out for people not using seat belts. In the past, “Click It or Ticket” patrols have included nightly seat belt checkpoints.

The majority of extra patrols will be at night since that’s when most people don’t buckle up. Remember in Illinois you’re required to buckle up even as a backseat passenger.

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School superintendents in the Illinois Valley making push for funding

Posted by wlpo on May 16, 2016

You’ve been hearing for awhile how schools are struggling without state aid. Find out just how much your child’s school is struggling Monday morning at Illinois Valley Community College.

School superintendents from a five-county area including La Salle, Bureau and Putnam Counties have called an 11 o’clock news conference at IVCC to talk about the impact not having a state budget is having on school districts. The superintendents call it an “imminent crisis.”

School superintendents in the Illinois Valley have formed a group called “Vision on Issue and Choices in Education, or V.O.I.C.E.”

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