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Archive for March 2nd, 2011

Ottawa School Board Upholds Suspension After Fight

Posted by wlpo on March 2, 2011

Despite a mother’s plea, there will be no change in an Ottawa High School student’s punishment after a cafeteria scuffle.

Pam Koziel asked the Ottawa High School Board to take her son off school probation and erase an already served three-day suspension from his record.   Koziel says security tapes clearly show her son was just sticking up for himself when the fight happened last month.

Ottawa High School Board President George Hupp says the board reviewed video of the incident and is affirming the administration’s decision to suspend Koziel’s son.   Her son is on probation for six weeks preventing him from taking part in extra-curricular activities.


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Local March of Dimes Signature Chef’s Auction one of the top 25 in the country

Posted by wlpo on March 2, 2011

What does the Illinois Valley have in common with Baltimore, Maryland?  Both communities managed to raise 134 thousand dollars during their most recent March of Dimes Signature Chef’s Auctions.   The events tied for 23rd out of 25 most successful Signature Chef’s Auctions held nationwide.  They beat out dinners held in Washington D.C. and San Francisco.

The Illinois Valley dinner was held in early November 2010 at Celebrations 150.  It was the 10th anniversary of the event in the La Salle.  Cathy Miller and the late Pete Miller of Miller Group Media were the honorary chairpersons.  Miller Group Charitable Trust has been a strong supporter of the event, acting as the presenting sponsor.  Miller Group Media includes AM 1220 WLPO, 99.3 WAJK, 96.5 the Wolf, The Newstribune and AgriNews.

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Governor Continues Push To Consolidate Schools

Posted by wlpo on March 2, 2011

Gov. Pat Quinn is defending his proposal to merge school districts, saying Illinois needs less administration and more education.

Quinn claims the state could save $100 million by cutting the 868 Illinois districts to about 300.  He says he would
use the savings to improve education.  Quinn says that at least 270 superintendents make more  than the governor. “I’m not sure we need so many of them,” he says.

Illinois has the third-most school districts in the nation behind Texas and California.  State officials say 200 districts
contain just one school.

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Ottawa Woman Charged With Battering A Child

Posted by wlpo on March 2, 2011

22 year old Heather Ferrario was indicted Tuesday for aggravated battery to a child.

She was arrested in February following an investigation by Ottawa Police and the Department of Children and Family Services.  Investigators say they 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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Local Veteran Reacts To Funeral Protest Ruling

Posted by wlpo on March 2, 2011

A veteran from La Salle says a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to protect protestors at soldier’s funerals is a “sad day for America”.

Jerry Bacidore led a group of veterans last year to Kansas to protest the Westboro Baptist Church’s tradition of protesting at soldier’s funerals.  He says Wednesday’s vote allowing Westboro to keep protesting is “another nail in the coffin of common decency” but shouldn’t surprise anyone.  Bacidore believes in the right to free speech and demonstrate.

He thinks the way to try to bring down the Westboro church is to charge them with hate crimes.  Church members usually have anti-gay messages at their protests.  Bacidore says challenging the church in court is tough because most of the members are lawyers.

The church views the deaths of U.S. soldiers as God’s punishment for the nation’s tolerance of homosexuality.

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Area businesses to participate in expo

Posted by wlpo on March 2, 2011

A showcase of Illinois’ homemade foods and wines includes a handful of local businesses.

The 13th annual Illinois Products Expo happens Saturday and Sunday at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.  Over 80 companies will be at the expo including August Hill Winery and Illinois River Winery of Utica, JAVA & Company Small Batch Recipes in Henry and Julie’s Corner Store in Lacon.

Department of Agriculture Director Tom Jennings says the goal is to build demand for Illinois-made products and “get grocery stores to stock them on their shelves”.

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