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Archive for August 12th, 2010

Lawmakers sound off on business and the economy during luncheon

Posted by wlpo on August 12, 2010

Higher health insurance costs, more cuts to state services and uncertainty for business owners are just some of the messages coming from state and federal lawmakers.

U-S Representatives Debbie Halvorson, a Democrat, and Aaron Shock, a Republican talked about national issues like the Estate Tax and healthcare reform while State Senator Gary Dahl, a Republican, and State Representative Frank Mautino, a Democrat, focused on state issues during a luncheon sponsored by the Illinois Valley Area Chamber of Commerce Thursday afternoon.

While Mautino thanked Congress for passing a bill this week providing money to states, Shock said the stimulus money wasn’t spent the best way it could have been and not enough went to shovel-ready projects.

Mautino says the federal money will help some state programs stay afloat for another year, but after that Illinois’ budget problems will likely worsen.

Dahl blamed lawmakers for the situation the state is in.  He said nothing has changed since Rod Blagojevich was removed from office.

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Jurors in Blago trial say they agree on 2 counts

Posted by wlpo on August 12, 2010

CHICAGO (AP) – Jurors in the corruption trial of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich say they have reached agreement on just two of 24 counts against him. The judge says he’ll tell them to go back and deliberate some more.

The jurors said Thursday they have not discussed 11 counts of wire fraud. They indicated they have discussed the remaining 11 counts and appear to be deadlocked on them.

The jury had sent a note to Judge James B. Zagel yesterday saying they were stuck, and Zagel had asked for clarification.  Zagel said he wants the jury to go back and discuss the wire fraud counts.

Blagojevich and his brother have pleaded not guilty to charges including trying to sell or trade an appointment to President Barack Obama’s vacated Senate seat.

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Two remain hospitalized after I-80 crashes

Posted by wlpo on August 12, 2010

A father and daughter from Princeton are still in the hospital, two days after a pair of crashes on Interstate 80.

Thomas and Corren Bolin were waiting in traffic that had backed up on I-80 near Utica Tuesday afternoon because of a crash involving two semis.

Police say they were hit from behind by a semi driven by Rex Davis of the state of Ohio.  Both Bolin’s were flown to St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria.

No tickets have been issued yet.  One person in the first crash was treated and released at an area hospital that day.

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Utica Cracking Down On People Without Posted Addresses

Posted by wlpo on August 12, 2010

Frustrated by a lack of action by some, Utica officials could start levying fines for people who don’t post their addresses.

The board voted last night to give Building Inspector Tom Brown the go ahead to start issuing warnings and possible fines after that to people or businesses that don’t mark their buildings with their address number.  The village has sent out notices about the need for address postings in the past with water bills but some people apparently still aren’t getting the message.

Mayor Fred Esmond says fines could be up to 500 dollars but it would be a last resort scenario.  The main reason the board wants addresses on all buildings is for the fire department.

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Dangerous Heat Setting In

Posted by wlpo on August 12, 2010

The National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory for the entire listening area from 11am Thursday through Friday at 7pm.

Afternoon temperatures are expected to be in the lower 90s causing heat index values of 100 to 105.  This creates a situation where heat illnesses are possible.

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