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Archive for January 9th, 2013

Peru moving forward with plan for a sewage diversion structure

Posted by wlpo on January 9, 2013

Peru’s west side wastewater plant is nearing capacity and that has city officials preparing to have an underground diversion structure put in at North Peoria Street and Midtown Road.

Mike Perry with Chamlin and Associates says all you would see is a manhole but below ground would be a chamber that would redirect sewage bound for the west side plant towards the east plant.

Perry explained to the city council Wednesday night that the east side plant could handle an extra million gallons per day of capacity.  He says building a diversion structure would free up capacity at the west plant which is important if the city wants to attract new developments.  Everything north of Interstate 80 flows to the west plant and most big growth would happen there.

Perry says the actual structure would cost about $50,000 but there would be some other costs, all much less expensive than expanding the west side plant, which would cost several million dollars.

The next step is for the city to receive a permit from the Illinois EPA.  That’s expected to take three months.  He thinks construct would take another three months.

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Ottawa hospital announces plans to eliminate jobs during a consolidation of services

Posted by wlpo on January 9, 2013

Jobs are being cut at an area hospital.  OSF Saint Elizabeth Medical Center in Ottawa announced Wednesday that 34 employees were being affected by what they’re calling a consolidation of services over the next several months.

Hospital President and CEO, Robert Chaffin says that reductions and consolidation will lower their overall operational costs and that jobs aren’t being eliminated immediately.

The hospital says the consolidation and job cuts are a way to “improve efficiency and better position itself for significant payment system reform.”

Employees with Behavioral Health CHOICES and Ottawa Regional Medical Center are also affected.  The hospital says employees will be offered retention and severance packages and the possibility of transferring within OSF.

As this happens, the hospital is preparing for OSF myHealth, an online place for people look up their medical records.

They say the time frame for the new electronic medical record and consolidations hasn’t been finalized, but it could happen this summer.

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IVCC Choir preparing for next season

Posted by wlpo on January 9, 2013

Songbirds, the Illinois Valley Community College Choir is looking for members.  It’s directed by Norman Engstrom who says he likes to work with different types of music.

The choir is open to everyone, not just IVCC students.  Their next rehearsal is Monday from 6 to 8 p.m. in Room D 223.

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Ice Fishing Deaths Near Henry

Posted by wlpo on January 9, 2013

Two area men are dead after drowning while ice fishing.

The Marshall County Sheriff’s Office got a call last night from family members concerned that 68-year old Gary Hyatt of Lacon and 62-year old Thomas Marchesi of Toluca hadn’t come home from ice fishing.  Deputies went out to a farm pond outside Henry and found a truck and hole in the ice but no fisherman.  Firefighters arrived and found Hyatt and Marchesi dead under the ice.

Their deaths are considered accidental drownings.

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Major Cuts Planned For Streator Elementary Schools

Posted by wlpo on January 9, 2013

Can you imagine grade school without gym, art or music?  It may come to that in Streator.

The Streator Elementary School Board held the first of a series of meetings last night talking about a three-year reduction plan that would eliminate art, music and P.E. next school year because of budget deficits.  The budget cuts could also make some teachers part-time and lead to closing one of Streator’s four elementary schools.

Because of an expected large crowd, next Tuesday’s regular school board meeting will be held in the gym at Oakland Park Elementary.

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Pension Talks Will Continue In Springfield

Posted by wlpo on January 9, 2013

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Illinois lawmakers who failed to win reform for the state’s $96 billion pension deficit last night before the end of the lame-duck General Assembly’s session say they’ll start anew today.

Gov. Pat Quinn says bond houses are likely to downgrade the state’s credit rating as early as today – the day a new Legislature is sworn in. Quinn hoped the House would OK a bill reducing the state’s financial burden through greater employee contributions and less-generous benefits. It didn’t even get a vote.

Rep. Elaine Nekritz  a Northbrook Democrat – says she will start over with a bill similar to the failed one. Senate President John Cullerton will do the same with his plan.

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New Illinois Legislature Includes Three Politicians Facing Charges

Posted by wlpo on January 9, 2013

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – When a new General Assembly takes the oath of office later in the day, its ranks will include three lawmakers facing criminal charges.

Former state Rep. Derrick Smith heads back to Springfield. The Democrat was arrested on bribery charges and expelled last year, but voters put him back in office.

Sen. Donne Trotter faces gun charges for allegedly bringing a weapon to an airport. And Rep. La Shawn Ford is accused of federal bank fraud charges.

Historians say it’s been decades since so many sitting lawmakers were facing charges.

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