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Archive for March 9th, 2011

Peru Wants Another Pothole Crew

Posted by wlpo on March 9, 2011

You don’t have to drive out of your way to find a street crew patching potholes.  In Peru, one crew has been doing that everyday and the public works superintendent would like to add another crew.

Gary Bleck says he wants to hire summer help early so they could have more employees available to patch potholes.  He sees road conditions worsening in the coming weeks.

The city is prepared to rent a heater at a cost of $1,500 per month for two months so they could have an extra crew.  The city already has one heater that is pulled behind a truck, keeping the patching material warm.

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School Consolidation Movement Could Be Slowed Down

Posted by wlpo on March 9, 2011

An amendment to a school consolidation bill calls for an 18 person commission to make recommendations to the governor and legislature about consolidation.  The amended bill passed out of a legislative committee Wednesday morning

The commission would include teachers and school administrators.  Governor Quinn had proposed consolidating 568 school districts without any public input.

Area Regional Office of Education Superintendent Rich Myers admits consolidation is needed but shouldn’t be forced through.  He says teachers and administrators need to be at the table when school consolidation is discussed.

Myers says the governor’s proposal is a double edge sword.  The state is cutting school transportation budgets by 45 percent yet transportation costs will go up if they’re consolidated into another district.

The amended bill would also slow down the process so consolidation couldn’t happen until 2013.

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Death Penalty Issue Is Personal With Area Lawmaker

Posted by wlpo on March 9, 2011

State Representative Frank Mautino sees eye to eye on a lot of things with Governor Pat Quinn.  The death penalty isn’t one of them.

The Spring Valley democrat was one of 54 representatives who voted against abolishing the death penalty.  Mautino doesn’t think the death penalty is a deterrent, but says heinous crimes deserve heinous punishment.  He says the 1991 kidnapping and murder of 6-year old Kahla Lansing of Spring Valley is why he is against abolishing the death penalty.

Jeffrey Rissley plead guilty to Lansing’s murder and is serving a life sentence at the Pontiac Correctional Center.

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Quinn Abolishes Death Penalty

Posted by wlpo on March 9, 2011

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Gov. Pat Quinn has abolished the state’s death penalty.

Quinn signed the law today abandoning capital punishment, two months after lawmakers voted to do the same and more than a decade after former Gov. George Ryan imposed a moratorium because of concern that innocent people could be put to death.

Illinois now joins 15 other states that have done away with the death penalty. The new law takes effect July 1.

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Blago asks to cancel trial

Posted by wlpo on March 9, 2011

CHICAGO (AP) – Impeached Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has asked a judge to cancel his spring retrial and immediately sentence him instead on the sole conviction from his first trial.

The request comes in a motion filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago early Wednesday.

The five-page filing says Blagojevich isn’t conceding any guilt, including on the conviction of lying to the FBI. That’s the only count jurors agreed on at his 2010 trial.

Wednesday’s motion says money woes prompted the latest request.

The government’s supposed to foot the legal bills for the broke ex-governor. But the motion complains Blagojevich’s lawyers haven’t been paid, undercutting his ability to mount a defense.

Blagojevich faces a maximum five-year prison term for the lying conviction. Several charges he’d be retried on carry a 20-year sentence.

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Heroin related charge for Ottawa woman

Posted by wlpo on March 9, 2011

An undercover drug investigation has nabbed a woman accused of selling heroin in Marseilles.

Officers with the drug team TRIDENT say Jillian Wawaerski of Ottawa sold heroin to people working with police a number of times before she was arrested last Thursday.

Police say the arrest came after she brought heroin to someone working undercover in the parking lot of a restaurant off of Interstate 80.

Wawaerski was arrested for unlawful delivery of a controlled substance and was taken to the La Salle County Jail.

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Oglesby to promote paperless billing

Posted by wlpo on March 9, 2011

When the budget is tight, any little bit of savings helps.  Oglesby officials think they could save money by promoting paperless billing while cutting back on postage costs.

Sign up information about paying your bills on the city’s website or by email will be sent out in April.

City officials say the electronic bill pay will help avoid late fees that can happen more easily when paying by check.

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Mautino pushing proposal to review workers’ comp claims

Posted by wlpo on March 9, 2011

Illinois needs to better examine the workers’ compensation claims being made by state employees that’s according to State Representative Frank Mautino.

The Democrat from Spring Valley is pushing a house resolution that would have the state auditor general review the way the state’s Central Management System handles claims.

Mautino says they need to have a system that provides for the injured worker but sifts through abuse.

Mautino thinks the proposal will receive unanimous support.  It’s already being co-sponsored by Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan and others.

The resolution will be heard before the House State Government Administrative Committee Wednesday.

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