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Archive for August 17th, 2012

Smith says House didn’t wait to hear evidence

Posted by wlpo on August 17, 2012

CHICAGO (AP) – Former state Rep. Derrick Smith says he’s saddened members of the Illinois House voted to remove him from office.

The Illinois House voted 100 to 6 on Friday to expel Smith after he was charged with bribery earlier this year. Smith told reporters gathered at his attorney’s Chicago office on Friday afternoon that his former colleagues didn’t “wait to hear all the evidence.”

Smith says he looks forward to his day in court so he can clear his name. He gave a brief statement but not take questions.

Smith’s attorney, Vic Henderson, called the proceedings in Springfield a “sham.” Henderson says he advised Smith not to attend the vote because they didn’t want to “dignify” the proceedings.

Smith has pleaded not guilty. A trial date has not been set.

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Oglesby City Council could take action on ambulance deal Monday

Posted by wlpo on August 17, 2012

After weeks of tension, a decision on if the Oglesby Ambulance Service has to change the way it operates should come Monday night.

The Oglesby City Council meets at 7 and the highlight of the agenda is voting on a wage and salary ordinance for the ambulance service.  The council put on file the ordinance two weeks ago which cuts hours and pay for the ambulance director and caps the total hours at 995 for all part-time ambulance workers.

Mayor Don Finley and Commissioner Paul Danekas want the ordinance change because some part-time ambulance workers put in over a thousand hours which automatically makes them eligible for a pension.  Commissioner Tom Porter and ambulance employees don’t think the current system should be changed.

Before the council votes on the ambulance issue, they also will talk about a letter from the city’s ambulance board.

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Peru to finish power plant demolition

Posted by wlpo on August 17, 2012

The fence surrounding the partially demolished Peru power plant on Water Street has been removed but the plant is still standing.  The company hired to demolish the building went broke and left town according to Peru Mayor Scott Harl.

Harl says the city will go through the legalities to get the property back and finish the demolition.  Harl says he noticed the fence was gone Thursday.  He says the company working on the building, Global, had told the city they were taking a two-week break.  They don’t seem to be returning.

The old power plant was deeded to another demolition company more than a year ago.  A Unified was to have the asbestos removed, the valuable metal scrap removed and the building razed.  They went broke.  That’s went it went to Global.

Harl says the demolition is almost complete and the asbestos has been completely removed.  He says removing the asbestos cost between $400,000-$500,000 . The city hasn’t had to pay for anything yet.  He thinks they can have the rest of the building torn down for less than $100,000.

A new fence should be in place by Sunday.  Harl hopes they can finish the project before winter.

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Morris Movie Theater searched for bombs

Posted by wlpo on August 17, 2012

Friday is a busy day for movie theaters; maybe that’s why somebody felt the need to call in a bomb threat to a national cinema chain.

The Orpheum Theater in Morris was included in threat made to Carmike Cinemas’ Cinemas Corporate off in Georgia Thursday night.  A bomb squad searched the building Friday morning before the theater opened.

Carmike says all of the affected theaters were search and local police departments and the FBI were contacted.  Federal investigators are looking into it.

Carmike owns the Peru Mall Cinemas.  They weren’t affected.

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Caterpillar Workers Could Face Temporary Layoffs

Posted by wlpo on August 17, 2012

EAST PEORIA, Ill. (AP) – Caterpillar is planning to temporarily idle its East Peoria plant for a week.

The company hasn’t said how many workers will be affected by the shutdown that will likely take place in November or December.

Executives say the move’s necessary to keep production of track-type tractors in line with demand.

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Special Session Today To Talk Pensions

Posted by wlpo on August 17, 2012

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Illinois lawmakers are returning to Springfield with instructions to work on the state’s massive pension problem, although there’s no sign that a breakthrough is on the horizon.

Democratic legislative leaders are concentrating on a proposal that would address only part of the problem. Republicans reject that as insufficient, but they also reject a more comprehensive version that gradually shifts some pension costs to schools.

Gov. Pat Quinn called for today’s special session. He says it can be successful if everyone is willing to compromise.

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Mendota Man Gets Nearly 30 Years In Shooting

Posted by wlpo on August 17, 2012

Shooting and injuring a father and his 8-year old daughter has a rural Mendota man off to prison for a long time.

38-year old Jesus Rosas was sentenced to 28 years in prison yesterday in Ottawa court according to the NewsTribune.  He pled guilty to two counts of aggravated battery.

According to prosecutors, Rosas was hosting a Labor party when he got into an argument with Hector Sandoval.  He eventually shot Sandoval as he was trying to get away.  Rosas then continued to fire at a van that Sandoval was in and he hit Sandoval’s daughter in the arm with a gun shot.

After getting out of prison, Rosas will be deported.

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Beer Truck Driver Hurt In Tonica Still In Hospital

Posted by wlpo on August 17, 2012

The beer truck driver who got was hurt in a crash near Tonica remains hospitalized.

Donald Loberg of Wisconsin was listed in fair condition as of yesterday at St. Anthony’s Medical Center in Rockford.  He was initially taken to IVCH after another truck driver pulled into his path from the shoulder on Interstate 39.  The other driver was ticketed but wasn’t hurt.

The Tuesday morning crash closed a lane of I-39 for over five hours because of spilled beer.

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