A late Saturday afternoon house fire in La Salle remains under investigation. According to the La Salle Fire Department, crews were called out to the fire on the 2300 block of Saint Vincent’s Street. Officials say the fire started on the porch but quickly spread to the rest of the house, where 75% of the house burned. Firefighters are calling the house a total loss and said it took about 30 minutes to extinguish. Utica, Peru and Oglesby were called in to assist. No injuries were reported and the cause has yet to be determined.
Bridge Work Begins on Route 6
Yesterday morning, bridge replacement work began on US Route 6 between Marsailles and Seneca. Julia Messina from IDOT says the replacement will cost around $275 thousand, and should be done by July 15th, weather permitting. Messina also says there is a detour posted that will use Illinois Route 71 and Interstate 80 to get drivers to the Seneca Interchange.
Concealed Carry Extension
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is asking the U.S. Supreme Court for more time to decide whether to appeal a lower court's order saying citizens should be allowed to carry concealed guns. Madigan already got one extension to challenge the ruling. The federal appeals court ordered the ban be lifted by July 9th.
Marseilles FEMA Town Hall Meeting
FEMA will be holding another town hall meeting in Marseilles this week for residents affected by April's flood. Marseilles City Officials say the meeting will take place Wednesday at 7pm at the Marseilles Lions Club. Officials say a FEMA representative will be there to offer flood victims an opportunity to ask questions concerning their individual disbursements and what other support may still be available.
Petition Against Sand Mine
Over the past few months, more and more concerns have arisen about Mississippi Sands trying to build a sand mine near Starved Rock. Currently there is a petition circling La Salle County that is asking Governor Pat Quinn to step in. The petition currently has over 1500 signatures on it, and warns that the building of the mine will have repercussions on Starved Rock, and the health of animal and people as well. The petition was created by a local woman in La Salle County, and is currently not being backed by the Sierra Club, who is the main environmental agency trying to stop these sand mines.
June Crop Report
Farmers across La Salle County are nearly completed with their planting for the 2013 season. According to La Salle County Farm Bureau President Monty Whipple, farmers throughout the county have been taking advantage of drier conditions to complete their planting. Across the state, the Illinois Department of Agriculture reports that 99 percent of the corn has been planted with 94 percent of the corn emerging. 90 percent of soybeans are planted, which is up 28 percent from last week.
Streator Road Projects Update
Summer road work continues throughout Streator. According to City Engineer Jeremy Palm, sidewalk construction continues in the South Otter Creek Road project between the 500 and 700 blocks. Bazore Street remains closed between Johnson and Walnut Streets for bridge reconstruction over Prairie Creek. Other general roadwork continues on East LaRue from Sterling to Shabbona Street. Asphalt surfacing will be taking place on several streets including Vermilion from Bridge to Kent, Monroe Street from Bridge to Main, Elm Street from Bloomington to Park and East Morrell from Bloomington to Shabbona.
Fee Increases at Woodland
Students and parents of Woodland School will see an increase of certain student fees for the upcoming school year. At last night’s meeting, school board members approved raising student fees to the average amount charged by area schools during the 2012 fiscal year. The increase does not include raising lunch fees but does raise the amount charged for driver’s education to $110 dollars to help offset a lack of state funding for the program.