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Archive for December 2nd, 2010

Police pension reform could impact local towns

Posted by wlpo on December 2, 2010

A change could be coming affecting the way your city pays into the police pension fund.

State lawmakers this week approved pension reforms for local police officers and firefighters that cut benefits and increase city obligations.

Gary Hylla is the city treasurer for Peru.  He doesn’t think the reform will have a big impact on Peru.  He says they’ll have to request more on the tax levy for few years until they reach the level of funding the state wants.  Hylla believes they should be able to make up the difference by 2015.

The legislation would also change the retirement and benefit standards for police officers and firefighters hired after January 1.  Instead of retiring at age 50, they would have to work until they’re 55 to receive full benefits.  Those benefits would be less than what current officers will receive.

The bill heads to governor.

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State Senator Dahl says he’s stepping down

Posted by wlpo on December 2, 2010

State Senator Gary Dahl is leaving political office, but he’s not leaving politics.  Dahl, a Republican, announced Thursday that he’s resigning from the state senate next Friday.

Dahl says it’s time to move on and spend more time with his family and get back to his business, Double D Express.  He also says it doesn’t look things are going to change in Springfield soon.

When asked if he plans to stay involved with the Republican Party he says absolutely.

Dahl was elected into the senate in 2004 after beating Democrat incumbent Pat Welch.

Dahl’s replacement will be chosen by a vote of the Republican County Chairmen in his district.

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La Salle to host “Miracle on First Street”

Posted by wlpo on December 2, 2010

Christmas time means music, movies and bowling in downtown La Salle.

Kids and families can celebrate the season with Miracle on 1st Street Saturday in La Salle.

A breakfast with Santa is being held at the Lock 16 Visitor Center.  There will also be fire truck rides, carriage rides and story telling at the library.

You can stop by Trinity Catholic Academy for Christmas movies.  Bowling will be from 3:30pm until 7pm.

A parade from Bowling Alley to City Hall is at 5:30pm, followed by the tree lighting at 5:45pm.

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Streator Native Murdered In Washington State

Posted by wlpo on December 2, 2010

A man born and raised in Streator was murdered Tuesday in Seattle.

According to the Seattle Post, 58 year old Joseph LaMagno was attacked unprovoked while walking home from a grocery store in Seattle.  Investigators say a homeless man who was off his bi-polar and schizophrenia medication killed LaMagno with a hatchet.

The newspaper reports that the alleged murderer says he hears voices in his head saying people are giving diseases to him and his family.  He allegedly told police he heard LaMagno say he gave his sister a disease.

LaMagno was a 1971 graduate of Streator High School.

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No Layoffs For Marseilles City Workers

Posted by wlpo on December 2, 2010

Everyone likes a day off from work, but not so much if you don’t get paid for it.

Members of the Marseilles Police Department who are union as well as city employees covered by the Local Laborers 393 have agreed to furlough days in exchange for no one being laid off.  The Marseilles City Council approved the idea Wednesday night.

Union workers agreed to take a furlough day every two pay periods.

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Radium Girl Play Set To Open In Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on December 2, 2010

The tragic story of young women dying after working at radium dial plants in Ottawa is coming to the theater stage tomorrow.

“These Shining Lives” produced by the Rivendell Theatre group out of Chicago will be performed in Ottawa December 3rd, 4th and 5th at the OHS Auditorium.  The show features the “Radium Girls” who were young women working at clock and watch painting factories in Ottawa in the 1920s and 30s who became sick or even died from radiation.

Tickets are 20 dollars in advance or 25 dollars at the door.  Students with an ID get in for 5 dollars.  You can get tickets thru the Ottawa Visitor’s Center.

Proceeds go towards a Radium Girl monument.

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La Salle County Paying To Extend Police Communications

Posted by wlpo on December 2, 2010

Just like you experience dead spots with your cell phone, La Salle County Sheriff’s deputies have issues talking to one another around the Lake Holiday area.

The La Salle County Board is spending 121 thousand dollars to install a radio antenna for the sheriff’s department on an existing tower south of Serena.  Besides the equipment and installation cost, the county will pay the tower owner, Northern Border Pipeline 500 dollars to lease space on the tower.

Sheriff Tom Templeton says they’ve never been able to communicate back and forth in the northeast part of the county because of terrain and other land issues.  He told the board they did the right thing in approving the life safety issue.

Templeton says one communications tower in Utica isn’t enough for a county that’s over 11 hundred square miles.

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