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Archive for September 23rd, 2012

Higher Water Bills For Streator

Posted by wlpo on September 23, 2012

Water bills are going up in Streator.

The Illinois Commerce Commission has approved a rate increase for Illinois American Water Company.  The average bill in Streator is going up around two dollars and thirty cents a month.  The higher rates start October 1st.

The commerce commission says it could’ve been worse.  They say they okayed 16 million dollars less in revenues than Illinois American Water asked for.

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Illinois Court Rules On Religion VS. Morning After Pill Debate

Posted by wlpo on September 23, 2012

CHICAGO (AP) – An Illinois appellate court has ruled in favor of two pharmacists who objected to providing emergency contraception because they said it infringed upon their religious beliefs.

A lawsuit by Luke Vander Bleek and Glenn Kosirog challenged a 2005 executive order by then-Governor Rod Blagojevich requiring all pharmacists to fill prescriptions for the so-called morning-after pill. They argued they were protected by the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act. That law says health professionals cannot be punished if they refuse to offer a service because of their conscientious convictions.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Friday’s ruling applies only to the two pharmacists. But their lawyer, Francis Manion, says the precedent means the state cannot go after other pharmacists who similarly refuse to provide the pill.

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More Dire News For Illinois Teacher Pensions

Posted by wlpo on September 23, 2012

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – The pension system for thousands of Illinois teachers is officially lowering the forecast of how much money it will make on investments.

Instead of assuming an 8.5 percent rate of return, the Teachers’ Retirement System will now base its plans and projections on 8 percent growth. The prediction of less money in the future means the retirement system faces a bigger funding problem. The latest estimate is that TRS has only 42.4 percent of the money it needs for pensions in the decades ahead.

The retirement system’s executive director says assuming a lower rate of return is the prudent thing for long-term planning. The change also means the state’s annual contribution to the pension fund will increase slightly next year.

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Home Sales Up For Most Part In Listening Area

Posted by wlpo on September 23, 2012

Home sales are up in La Salle County, but the news isn’t great in all of the listening area.

According to numbers from the Illinois Association of REALTORS, 96 homes were sold in August in La Salle County, up from 79 the year before.  The median sale price of the homes was 70 thousand dollars compared to 86 thousand a year ago.

In Bureau County, 20 homes were sold last month, down from 28 the year before.  The median sale price of the homes was 50 thousand dollars, down from 77 thousand last year.

In Putnam County, 6 homes went off the market in August compared to 4 the year before.  The median sale price last month was a whopping 255 thousand dollars, compared to 72 thousand dollars last year.

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