As the Christmas travel season approaches, gas prices are continuing a downward trend. According to Triple-A in Chicago, crude oil prices continue to be below $100 per barrel which keeps costs down at refineries. Prices are below $3 at most Ottawa and Streator stations while stations in La Salle-Peru, Mendota and Princeton remain between $3.04 and $3.09 a gallon for unleaded gas. The average price for unleaded gas in Illinois is $3.27 while the national average sits at $3.20.
Mendota Elementary School Update
It is still up in the air on whether or not the Mendota grade school teachers plan to strike. Last week, the teachers approved an intent to strike notice during an another mediated negotiation session regarding their contracts. According to Superintendent Kristen School, the School Board is still working in mediated sessions to come to an agreement with the teachers. School says if a new contract is not agreed upon by the end of the winter break, the teachers can strike if they chose too.
Peru Bans Leaf Burning on Holidays
Peru residents are now banned from burning leaves on holidays. City Clerk David Bartley says that city council voted to approve an ordinance change that does not allow for the burning of leaves on federal holidays. Bartley says this change stems from complaints this past Thanksgiving that people burning leaves were bothering other residents outside celebrating the holiday or deep frying a turkey.
Oglesby Tax Rate Up
Residents in Oglesby will see their taxes go up next year. According to Mayor Don Finley, council members approved a 10 percent tax increase. Finley noted that declining taxable values in Oglesby was a main factor in the tax going up.
Last Minute Flu Clinic at La Salle County Health Department
The La Salle County Health Department will be offering a last minute flu clinic tomorrow afternoon. According to Leslie Dougherty, from the Health Department, the clinic will take place from 1-4pm tomorrow. Dougherty says this is the perfect time to get flu shots before the holidays. For more information residents can contact the Health Department.
Habitat Search in Streator
The local chapter of Habitat for Humanity is looking for a family to live in Streator. Habitat for Humanity of LaSalle, Bureau and Putnam Counties is taking applications for families to live in a home that is currently being built in Streator. Applicants must be eligible and go through a vetting process to be accepted. Once chosen, the family will take over the mortgage payments of the home.
Archer Daniels Moving to Chicago
Agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland is expected to announce today it'll move its global headquarters to Chicago. Two people with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press the deal calls for relocating 60 to 75 employees from Decatur, and doesn't involve tax incentives. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak before the official announcement. ADM said in September it would move its headquarters and about 100 employees to a location with better international access.
Republicans claim a secret deal is killing a contract with a company that has successfully cleaned up the Medicaid rolls in Illinois. An arbitrator has ruled the contract between Governor Pat Quinn and Maximus will end April 30th. Much of the work Maximus has been doing to remove ineligible people from the Medicaid rolls will eventually be shifted to state employees. Quinn says there was no "backroom deal."
State Criminal History Access
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart's request to gain access to a state criminal history data base he says will help him prevent potentially dangerous people from obtaining permits to carry concealed weapons has been turned down by the Illinois State Police. State Police Director Hiram Grau says he is prohibited by federal law from allowing local law enforcement from gaining access to what is called the Law Enforcement Agencies Data System. Earlier this year, Illinois became the last state in nation to pass a law allowing people to legally carry concealed weapons.