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Archive for October 8th, 2009

OHS teachers apologize for using war memorial

Posted by wlpo on October 8, 2009

If you’re ever planning a rally at Washington Park in Ottawa, avoid the war memorial. 

The Ottawa High School teachers have apologized to veterans for using a war memorial in Washington Park during a rally Monday afternoon.  The teachers have been on strike since September 30.

Marty Rue is the Superintendent of the Veterans Assistance Commission in La Salle County.  He says he was appalled when he saw the teachers using the memorial as a stage.

The teachers issued an apology Thursday, saying they didn’t intend to show disrespect to veterans.  They also say Ottawa High School teachers who are also veterans have apologized to the American Legion.

The teachers union and school board have scheduled the next negotiating session for Sunday afternoon.

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Water main break affecting parts of La Salle

Posted by wlpo on October 8, 2009

A water main break on Route 351 in La Salle has the water off to an area on the north end of town Thursday afternoon.

The affected area is between the State Police Headquarters to Machinery Maintenance and includes Gunia Drive and the Ator and Country Aire subdivisions.

The water will be off until it’s repaired.  Once it’s back on, there will be a boil order until further notice.

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New Negotiation Session Planned In Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on October 8, 2009

A new negotiations session is happening between teachers and the school board of Ottawa High School.

Board President George Hupp said late last night that he wants to meet with teachers Sunday from 2 until 6 at the high school.  Hupp says this will give teachers an opportunity to present a reasonable proposal to end the strike.  When asked if they’ll accept the invite, teacher’s union President Glenn Weatherford said “we’ll meet at any place, any time”.

The sides haven’t met face to face since last Thursday night. 

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Peru behind with NIMS

Posted by wlpo on October 8, 2009

If a major disaster hits Peru, the city’s ready with a disaster plan that’s been approved by city and emergency officials.  But the Federal Emergency Management Agency offers another kind of disaster response plan the city isn’t up to speed with, yet.
It’s called NIMS, or National Incident Management System.  Peru Fire Chief Jeff King is getting ready to tackle 54 pages of planning and protocol, all online.
King says the city is about five years behind and without it, they’ll start missing out on FEMA grants.  King told council members during Wednesday night’s informal meeting everyone will be required to take online training.
King says NIMSCASTS are for major disasters, like tornados, and situation where they would be receiving help from other communities and emergency responders.
He says getting caught up won’t happen overnight, but he’s hoping they can be where they need to in a year.  He says it will be a lot to do at first, but eventually it will just be annual training.
The city council plans on acting on two items related to NIMS at Monday’s formal meeting.

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War of Words Continues With Teachers Strike

Posted by wlpo on October 8, 2009

The teacher’s strike in Ottawa gets uglier by the day.

Prior to the board asking for a meeting, Union President Glenn Weatherford says  the board’s unwillingness to meet is “disrespectful to the community”.  Weatherford also says students are missing school because of the board not following the law, which he thinks is “appalling”.  Weatherford wants people to call the school board and demand they negotiate.

School Board President George Hupp meanwhile continues to say the teachers haven’t come up with a serious proposal yet.  Hupp says he can’t be at meetings that accomplish nothing, accusing teachers of dragging on meetings in hopes of the board getting tired and making a bad decision for the school and taxpayers.

The board and teachers haven’t met face to face since last Thursday.

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