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News from the Illinois Valley

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Archive for November 7th, 2016

How Much Does that Office Make? Know When You Vote

Posted by wlpo on November 7, 2016

You may know a lot about the candidates you’ll vote for, but how much do you know about their jobs?

The offices up for grabs carry some pretty big salaries. According to the Illinois Comptroller’s Office, the 38th District State Senator made nearly $89,000 in 2015 while the 76th District State Representative made about $1,000 less.

Even when it comes to county races, the money can be pretty big. The La Salle County States’ Attorney was the highest paid office in the county in 2016, with a base salary of more than $160,000.

Most of the other offices in La Salle County are in the five-figures, but still substantial. The County Board Chairman, Auditor, Recorder, and Circuit Clerk all had base salaries of $66,000.

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County Board Balance Could Tip with Elections

Posted by wlpo on November 7, 2016

The LaSalle County Board may look quite different depending on the results at the polls.

The 29 seats on the board are currently held by 17 Republicans and 12 Democrats. However, seats held by 4 Republicans and 3 Democrats are up for grabs.

One seat that will definitely have a fresh face is the District 1 seat held by Stephen Abel. Abel didn’t seek re-election this year, meaning that his seat will either go to Republican Curtis Faber or Democrat Larry Beck.

Eight board members are also running unopposed today. Stay tuned to Classic Hits 103.9 WLPO for live Election Night coverage starting at 8:00 Tueday.

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Peru mayor orders flags to be lowered in memory of Don Baker

Posted by wlpo on November 7, 2016

By executive order, Peru Mayor Scott Harl has ordered all city government properties to fly flags at half staff in honor of the city’s longtime Mayor Donald Baker.

The order includes not only city hall but also parks and the library. The flags will fly at half-staff through the time services are held for Baker.

Funeral service announcements have yet to be announced. Baker died Monday morning.

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Holiday Preview Party Set for Ottawa’s Reddick Mansion

Posted by wlpo on November 7, 2016

If all the election talk just has you looking forward to the holidays, you’ll want to make plans to be in Ottawa later this month.

The Reddick Mansion Association will be holding their third annual Holiday Preview Party on Friday, November 18th. Volunteers are putting in more than 200 hours to set up holiday decorations in the mansion’s more than 20 rooms.

This year, there’s also a new twist to the party. The “period rooms” will be lit only with candles and Christmas tree lights.

If you’d like to check out the party, a donation of $10 is suggested.

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Deer hunter who fell near Putnam has been identified

Posted by wlpo on November 7, 2016

If you’ve been following the story of a deer hunter who fell near Putnam, he’s from the suburbs.

Fifty-year-old William Swanson of Homer Glen was found hanging upside down, about 15 feet above the ground Saturday while deer hunting. He was hanging helplessly for nearly two hours before someone heard him yelling.

Conservation Police Sgt. Phil Wire says a bolt broke in the hunter’s tree stand, causing a leg to get tangled up. While he was hanging upside down, his cellphone fell out.
Swanson was taken to St. Margaret’s Hospital with a leg injury and according to Wire, broken blood vessels in his face and eyes. He has been released.

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Longtime Peru mayor passes away

Posted by wlpo on November 7, 2016

Peru has been a city now for 165 years. Donald Baker was mayor for more than a quarter of that time.

The 87-year-old has died according to the NewsTribune. Baker was mayor for 44 years until he was defeated by current Mayor Scott Harl in 2009. Baker ran unsuccessfully against Harl and others in 2013.

During his time in charge, Peru saw a mall open, retail stores spring up north of Interstate 80 along with the construction of the Illinois Valley Regional Airport and Peru Municipal Building. The lake along the Peru’s far east side, Baker Lake is named in his honor.

You’ll hear more details as they become available.

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Annual “Food for Fines” event begins at several Illinois Valley libraries

Posted by wlpo on November 7, 2016

Whether you owe a fine to a library in La Salle, Bureau or Putnam County, you can pay your debt with a can of corn or box of instant potatoes.

Once again area libraries are accepting food donations to pay off library fines. The 7th Annual “Food for Fines” runs this year from Monday through the 19th of November. Each canned or boxed food item you donate counts as a dollar towards your debt. You can get up to $25 of fines wiped out.

Libraries taking part include: Graves-Hume in Mendota; Jacobs Library at Illinois Valley Community College; La Salle Public Library; Peru Public Library; Oglesby Public Library; Princeton Public Library; Putnam County Library District and Richard Mautino Library in Spring Valley.

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Slide at Starved Rock leaves a Peoria woman hurt

Posted by wlpo on November 7, 2016

A Peoria woman may have broken her ankle in a fall Saturday at Starved Rock State Park.

Utica paramedics were called out Saturday afternoon for a 61-year-old woman who tried jumping down to a lower part of the Tonti Canyon trail. She slid on the sandstone and suffered a possible broken ankle.

The woman was taken to Illinois Valley Community Hospital in Peru.

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Fall colors reach their peak at Starved Rock

Posted by wlpo on November 7, 2016

Fall Colors Weekend was a few weeks ago but you can still plenty of color at Starved Rock State Park.

According to the latest fall color report, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources says fall color has reached its peak at the state park in Utica. With the lack of frosty weather, the park is still offering up a lot of yellow and orange tinted leaves.

The best view for fall colors at Starved Rock is from overlooks like Lover’s Leap.

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Major construction projects kick off new work week

Posted by wlpo on November 7, 2016

Some high-traffic areas in the Illinois Valley are now construction zones.

Route 71 is closed between Route 178 and Route 23.  The work includes slope stabilization along Route 71 near Kaskaskia Canyon in Starved Rock State Park.  The construction work and closure could last a month.

To cater to tourists, the construction zone will reopen to traffic on weekends from Friday afternoon through Sunday night.  You’ll also still be able to get to homes, businesses, trails and parking lots.

In Streator, the Route 23-Northfolk Southern Railway crossing will be closed for up to seven days.  The company is repairing the crossing.  Detours will use stretches of Bronson, Shabbona, Baker, First, and Fourth Streets.

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