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Archive for February 16th, 2011

Ottawa woman accused of injuring child

Posted by wlpo on February 16, 2011

A birthday party is probably one of the last places you would expect a child to be abused.  But a woman in Ottawa is suspected of abusing a child younger than 13 while at a child’s birthday party earlier this month.

Heather Ferrario was picked up by police after the La Salle County States Attorney’s office issued a warrant for her arrest Tuesday.

Ferrario was charged with aggravated battery of a child following an investigation by the Ottawa Police and the Department of Children and Family Services.  Police say investigators have a photo of the child’s injured face.  The child is staying with a guardian.

Ferrario was taken to the county jail but was released after posting bond.

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Raises For Ottawa Elementary Teachers

Posted by wlpo on February 16, 2011

Teachers, teaching assistants, secretaries and custodians with Ottawa Elementary schools are getting raises.

The Ottawa School Board approved new four-year contracts with a one percent salary increase in the first two years and a one and a half percent raise in years three and four of the contract.  Since teachers have been working without a contract since June, the current school year is year one of the new contracts.

Part of the contract also calls for teachers who didn’t get “step” salary increases recently because they were frozen, to get a yearly bonus between 275 and 375 dollars.

Superintendent Craig Doster says the district will save thousands of dollars by having the teacher’s agree to cap insurance coverage for retirees.

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After tax hike, Quinn budget offers more pain

Posted by wlpo on February 16, 2011

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is proposing a budget that would cut aid to the poor, skimp on many services and count on borrowing billions of dollars to pay overdue bills.

But spending would increase in some places as money from last month’s income tax increase is put to use filling holes in the budget.

The Chicago Democrat’s proposal would spare education any dramatic cuts. However, Quinn wants to promote consolidation of small districts and make schools pay a larger share of the cost of buses.

His plan was under attack even before he presented it in a speech to the General Assembly.

Republicans object to the idea of borrowing money to erase the backlog of old bills. Social service groups oppose cutting services further.

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College Board Ups Tuition

Posted by wlpo on February 16, 2011

The cost of attending Illinois Valley Community College is going up.

The IVCC Board of Trustees voted 5 to 1 last night in favor of a $7.77 tuition increase starting with summer semester.  Fee increases were also approved for 199 courses.  Board member David Mallery voted against the increase.

IVCC President Jerry Corcoran says the increase protects the school against an anticipated two percent drop in state funding for fiscal year 2012.  Even if the tuition passes, IVCC’s new tuition rate of $83.52 per credit hour is still well below the state average of $98.

By bringing tuition and fees up to 85 percent of the state average, IVCC qualifies for an equalization grant and levy that could be worth up to 3 million dollars.

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