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Archive for September, 2009

Teachers Take Fight To Youtube

Posted by wlpo on September 30, 2009

In a video posted Wednesday, 20-year teacher Debbie Riordan-Turner says “right is on their side” when it comes to the stalemate between teachers and the school board. Riordan-Turner calls the board’s one percent salary increase offer “unacceptable” saying it doesn’t match what’s happening at surrounding school districts.

When it comes to health insurance, Riordan-Turner says the board is asking teachers to contribute over 2,000 per year for family coverage which means salary decreases for some teachers. She calls it unfair.

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Spring Valley School Put On Lockdown

Posted by wlpo on September 30, 2009

Lincoln Elementary School in Spring Valley was put on lockdown Wednesday afternoon after a domestic situation near the school.

According to Spring Valley Police, a woman came to the school just before noon yesterday asking school officials to call police since she was battered by Elmer Jensen. When officers tried talking to Jensen at his house, he refused to come outside. Police then called in the county tactical team for help since it was thought Jensen had a gun and already had a prior domestic incident three years ago where he used a gun.

As the tactical team was coming together, officers were put inside and outside the school. Jensen finally talked to police on the phone and came out of his house without incident. He was then arrested for domestic battery and more charges could be filed. Jensen was taken to the county jail.

Police say they found an unloaded gun in Jensen’s house but it belongs to the alleged victim.

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Petitions circulating for a possible Peru Library referendum

Posted by wlpo on September 30, 2009

Don’t be surprised if someone asks you to sign a petition regarding the Peru Public Library levy.
A couple of people have picked up petitions from the city clerks office to hold a backdoor referendum in hopes of reducing the impact of a public library tax levy increase.
The city council made the referendum possible by approving an ordinance on the levy Monday night.
The city has no other choice but to go along with the library board’s request to increase the levy. It’s estimated the increase will drive up the property taxes on a home worth $150,000 by $85 for the library portion of the tax bill.
The referendum would allow for the abatement of the working cash portion of the levy, reducing it by $112,000.
The petition needs to have 688 signatures of registered Peru voters and must be returned to the city clerk’s office in 30 days from this past Monday.

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Illinois Commerce Commission revisits transmission line route

Posted by wlpo on September 30, 2009

Ameren’s plans to run nine miles of high powered transmission from Ottawa to Wedron is on hold.
After a strong push from opponents called the Fox River Alliance along with last month’s vote by the Ottawa City Council to rescind its support of this power line route, the Illinois Commerce Commission voted Tuesday to reopen to talks for the Ottawa to Wedron route. The 24 miles worth of Ameren lines from La Salle and Wedron isn’t affected and can go forward.
Some opponents claimed they were told by Ameren another route was going to be picked so they were blindsided when the city agreed to go up Champlain Street along the Fox River, through Dayton and Skydive Chicago and ending at Wedron. The biggest concerns brought up were Ameren’s plans to tear down a swath of trees along the Fox River and interfere with Skydive Chicago. The Skydive owner even mentioned they may close if Ameren went ahead with their power lines along his property.
A new hearing on the power lines will be scheduled sometime next month.

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Volunteers needed for Plum Island work

Posted by wlpo on September 30, 2009

Willing to get your hands a little dirty?
The Illinois Audobon Society is looking for volunteers to help plant trees and put up fencing on Plum Island on the Illinois River at Starved Rock. Volunteers will meet at the park’s boat launch area on Saturday, October 10th to sign in and be taken to the island. Work will include planting trees, driving fence posts and putting up fencing to keep deer away.
The planting on the 10th will finish a tree reforestation project at Plum Island that started in 2005.

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OHS teachers strike after talks fail

Posted by wlpo on September 29, 2009

Differences about health insurance have the teacher’s union and school board at Ottawa High School unable to reach a new teacher’s contract. Teacher’s say they’re on strike starting Wednesday morning.
Negotiations broke down after a four-hour long meeting Tuesday.
On the school’s website, the board says they’ve offered a one percent salary increase for each year of a two or three year contract, no insurance contribution from the teaching staff for single coverage, and an insurance contribution by the teachers for family coverage of 172 dollars per month in year one.
The next negotiating session has yet to be scheduled. In the meantime classes and all school related activities are cancelled.

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Utility work to close block of 11th Street

Posted by wlpo on September 29, 2009

Maintenance work will have a block of 11th Street in La Salle closed to traffic Wednesday.
Ameren crews will be working on 11th between Bucklin and Lafayette Streets starting at 7am. There will be a detour for as long as the work lasts.
Ameren officials hope the work is done in a day.

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Committee suggests Peru put old electric building up for sale

Posted by wlpo on September 29, 2009

A piece of Peru’s history could be going up for sale. The old electric plant on Water Street isn’t used for generating power or much of anything and that has the electric committee thinking it should be sold.
Electric Committee Chairman Ron Wren told the council Monday night they could maybe sell the pieces of what’s left inside. The over century old building is of no use to the city.
The committee also thinks they should have five old generators tested to see if they’re still any good. The generators were considered ruined after a fire at generator building a few years ago. Wren suggested they be sold but no one else on the council agreed. He’s not saying yet how much it will cost to have them tested. It’s expected to take a few months.

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IVCC Reacts To Possible OHS Strike

Posted by wlpo on September 29, 2009

Because of the impending strike at Ottawa High School, Illinois Valley Community College is moving evening classes out of the high school starting tomorrow night.

Some classes are moving to Marquette High School and others will be moved to IVCC. You can check a list of affected classes on IVCC’s website.

The Early Entry College dual credit courses that meet at Ottawa High during the day are cancelled until further notice.

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Area Woman Lifeflighted After Crash

Posted by wlpo on September 29, 2009

Two women were hurt last night after a crash south of Marseilles.

Sabrina Terrell of Marseilles was lifeflighted to Good Samaritan Hospital after she lost control of her car and slammed into a tree. Her condition is unknown. Her passenger, Audra Lieske, also of Marseilles was taken to Ottawa Regional Hospital.

The accident happened just after eight last night.

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