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News from the Illinois Valley

Archive for March 22nd, 2011

Area Fire Chief Retiring

Posted by wlpo on March 22, 2011

After responding to a tornado and plenty of fatal falls at Starved Rock, Utica Fire Chief Dave Edgcomb is ready to call it a career.

Edgcomb is retiring from the Utica Fire Department May 16th.  He’s been the village’s fire chief for over 13 years and has been a firefighter for 30 years serving in Oglesby and Peru before moving on to Utica. Edgcomb says he isn’t getting any younger and this feels like the right time.

Looking back at his time, Edgcomb is proud the Utica Fire Department has modernized its dispatching service, worked towards having a full-time EMS staff and settled into a new fire station.  He says he won’t miss the paperwork that comes with the chief’s job.

Current assistant chief Gary Gbur will take the chief’s job when Edgcomb retires.

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LPHS to name next superintendent

Posted by wlpo on March 22, 2011

New leadership for LP High School will be announced soon.  Superintendent Craig Carter will be leaving the district at the end of the next school year.

The school board is holding a special meeting at 5pm Wednesday to name Carter’s replacement.  Carter came to the district in 2005.

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Write-in mayoral candidate hopes you’ll learn his name

Posted by wlpo on March 22, 2011

Here’s your spelling lesson for the day- spell the last name of Ottawa Mayor Candidate Arthur Foltynewicz.

The 45-year old carpenter needs you to spell it correctly on the April 5th election ballot for him to have a shot at becoming mayor.  Foltynewicz is running as a write-in candidate which means his name won’t be on the ballot.  Voters will have to right his name on the ballot and must spell it exactly right for the vote to count.

Foltynewicz says he was thinking about moving to Tonica and by time he decided to stay in Ottawa, it was too late for him to be on the mayoral ballot.  So he went with the write-in campaign.

He’s challenging three-time incumbent Bob Eschbach.

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Open house at La Salle Fire Station

Posted by wlpo on March 22, 2011

You can get a close-up look at La Salle’s two ambulances without having a medical emergency.

They’re holding an open house from 5pm-7:30pm Wednesday at the fire station.  The La Salle Fire Department expanded their service to include two ambulances at the beginning of the month.

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Student Protest At Bureau Valley

Posted by wlpo on March 22, 2011

Students at Bureau Valley High School have staged a sit-in at the school to protest letting go of three teachers.

As the school board announced the firings of coach Eric Bryant, English teacher and golf coach Duane Price and math teacher Leslie Banister, students began staging a protest that had them sitting in the football bleachers this morning.  After the Bureau Valley administration came out to talk with them, the students took their protest to the auditorium and commons area.

Senior Bethany Dean says the school board failed to give a reason why the three teachers were let go and says administrators are giving mixed signals of whether the decision is based on finances or job performance.

Dean says her and other students plan to continue to the protest all day today.

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No Raises For Oglesby Workers

Posted by wlpo on March 22, 2011

Public works employees in Oglesby will have to wait a year for a raise.

Nearly 20 workers covered by the IBEW are getting a new three year contract that has no pay raise in year one but a two percent raise in year two and a three percent raise in the final year of the deal.  In exchange for raises, the city workers will start paying more for their family insurance coverage starting with a seven percent increase this year.

The new contract also has a stipulation that city retirees who work another job can’t still be covered by city insurance.

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