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Archive for August 22nd, 2011

La Salle hires park engineer, park committee leader disagrees

Posted by wlpo on August 22, 2011

Someday you’ll be able to enjoy La Salle Rotary Park and its ball fields and running paths, but first it needs to be completed.

The city council Monday hired RHMG of Mundelein for engineering work.  They weren’t the first choice of Gary Gearhart, the president of the park development committee.  Gearhart was backing King Engineering of La Salle.  He says King has been there from the beginning of the project along with a couple of others who have gone down to Springfield and helped the city receive a pair of state grants.

The second of those grants will go to pay RHMG.  The $800,000 grant requires a $400,000 match.  Gearhart had said he could raise the match through donations, but now he wonders if that will be possible since the council hired an out-of-town engineer.

Mayor Jeff Grove says he wishes Gearhart’s concerns were brought up during the meeting.  Grove says he liked the company those choice because he liked the organization and that they would communicate weekly with the city.

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Former Streator Doctor Will Never Get License Back

Posted by wlpo on August 22, 2011

Any hopes of convicted sex offender Joseph Cichon wanting to be a doctor when he gets out of prison are dashed by a new state law.

Governor Pat Quinn signed a law saying the license of any health care worker convicted of a sex offense or violent crime against their patients is permanently revoked without a hearing.  Cichon of Streator was sent to prison after pleading guilty in 1991 of sexually assaulting young girls who were his patients.  He also admitted to filming and taking pictures of them.  He’s one of 11 former doctors in Illinois that are affected by the new law.

Cichon is eligible for parole in late 2043.  He would be 92 year years old.

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Budget In The Red For L-P

Posted by wlpo on August 22, 2011

More expenses than revenues means dipping into the savings.

The L-P School Board put on file last night a tentative budget for the 2011-2012 school year.  The budget calls for 10.2 million dollars of revenues and 12.9 million dollars in expenses.  Superintendent Steve Wrobleski says he is being conservative with revenues and more liberal with expenses.

With less state money, the budget includes a 147 thousand dollar deficit in the transportation budget and a 268 thousand dollar deficit in the operations and maintenance fund.

The L-P Board separately put on file a new budget for the Area Career Center.  Director Mary Stauffer says they’re keeping tuition the same for the second year in a row despite a budget deficit of nearly 19 thousand dollars.  The career center serves nine area high schools.

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L-P Test Scores Fall Short

Posted by wlpo on August 22, 2011

For the third year in a row, L-P isn’t meeting No Child Left Behind standards for test scores.

The school failed to meet Annual Yearly Progress in reading, math, and science and is now on academic watch status in the state and implementing a curriculum restructuring plan to appease federal regulations.  While Math test scores went up nearly a percentage point, reading and science test scores went down over a percentage point.

Faculty member Jeremiah Farrell says L-P isn’t alone in struggling to meet test standards.  He says only 5 of 55 school districts that are similar to L-P met AYP.  Farrell says the five that made enough progress have far fewer low income students than L-P.

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Morris man dies following motorcycle crash

Posted by wlpo on August 22, 2011

You’ve heard the slogan- start seeing motorcycles.  A man from Morris is dead after a crash with a car Sunday morning.

Investigators say 58 year old Owen Stuckey was on Route 47 in Morris when a car pulled out from Main Street.  Stuckey was taken to Morris Hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly after.  He wasn’t wearing a helmet.

It remains under investigation.

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Marquette names new basketball coach

Posted by wlpo on August 22, 2011

A graduate of Marquette High School has been tapped to be the new head boys basketball coach.  Mike McDonald used to coach at Wallace and was involved with Marquette’s youth program last year.

Announcement of his hiring was made Monday afternoon.

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Alzheimer’s Walk raises more than $25,000

Posted by wlpo on August 22, 2011

Any time you hold a fundraiser and 60 more people sign up than you expected, you have to be pleased.  And organizers of the Walk to End Alzheimer are delighted at the turn out for yesterday’s event at Baker Lake in Peru.

They were hoping for 180 participants but ended up with more than 240.  They raised more than $25,000.  The top individual fundraiser was Pat Acuff who collected $1500 while the top team Home-Instead raised nearly $2500.

Proceeds go to the Alzheimer’s Association.

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Woman Drowns In Streator

Posted by wlpo on August 22, 2011

For the second time in less than a month, there was a drowning in Streator.

The La Salle County Coroner’s Office says 33 year old Jennifer Lenda of La Grange Park drown Friday while in a swimming pool on the east end of Streator.  She was found floating unresponsive.

Deputy Coroner Ed Taylor says alcohol played a roll in the drowning.  Foul play though isn’t suspected.

The investigation continues.

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Streator Cyclist Remains Critical

Posted by wlpo on August 22, 2011

The situation hasn’t improved for a man from Streator who was hurt after falling off his bicycle.

Jeff Robinson remains in critical condition at St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria.  He was flown to Peoria after falling from his bike last Wednesday evening and hitting his head on the pavement.  Officers think he passed out on his bike.

Robinson suffers from a medical condition which apparently caused him to pass out.

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Area Trucker Killed In Crash

Posted by wlpo on August 22, 2011

A man from Flanagan died after crashing his semi in the wee hours of Thursday morning.

49 year old Douglas Rooker was driving on Interstate 74 east of Le Roy when he drove off the interstate for unknown reasons.  He ended up going through the median and stopping in a creek.  Rooker was pronounced dead about an hour later by the McLean County Coroner.

Preliminary autopsy results showed Rooker died of injuries from the crash.

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