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Archive for March 28th, 2013

Pensions brought up during LPHS candidate forum

Posted by wlpo on March 28, 2013

If you haven’t paid much attention to pension reform talks in Springfield, you probably should.  It will likely affect your tax bill.

L-P Board candidates Jim Quesse, Dr. Rose Marie Lynch and Rick Sipovic were all asked how the district will react if pension costs are handed down to local school districts at last night’s AM 1220 WLPO/NewsTribune forum.  Each candidate mentioned they would look at levying a tax to help defray pension costs.

Sipovic says teachers could also see changes in how their retirement and pensions are set up.

Lynch said in talking with State Representative Frank Mautino, she thinks pension costs will be shifted to schools.  She says best case scenario would be pension costs getting phased in instead of all at once.

To hear the L-P candidate’s forum in its entirety at the AM 1220 WLPO news page.


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Streator Company Awarded Job Of Building L-P Athletic Complex

Posted by wlpo on March 28, 2013

Vissering Construction out of Streator has the job of building a new athletics complex for L-P.

The L-P School Board last night approved the low bid of Vissering for just over $3.8 million dollars.  Vissering was the lowest of five bidders and the other four bidders were all from out of the area.

Board President Jim Quesse says there will be another million or so in costs for playing surfaces, signage and other equipment.  Add it all up and the project will be around a million under the initial estimate of $5.7 million.  The board is using a combination of bonds, capital project money and 100 thousand dollars from the city of La Salle to pay for the complex.

Workers hope to start moving dirt next month and have it ready for soccer games in the fall.  The complex is on Chartres Street north of the La Salle Post Office.

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Dwight inmates moved to Logan Correctional Center

Posted by wlpo on March 28, 2013

The cells at the Dwight Correctional Center are empty.  The last of the inmates were taken to Logan Correctional Center Tuesday.

The maximum security women’s prison was one of several prisons and detention centers closed by Governor Pat Quinn.

An estimated 1,080 inmates were moved out of Dwight to Logan according to Illinois Department of Corrections spokeswoman Stacey Solano.  Now those women are being kept with inmates from the women’s prison in Lincoln.

As for the roughly 350 people who worked at the Dwight prison, Solano says 12 retired or resigned, 19 selected layoffs, and the rest took jobs elsewhere in the department.  Employees begin at their new positions Monday.

By closing the prisons Quinn has said he’s saving money.  The union representing prison employees has said they’re against it for safety reasons.

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Area unemployment higher than in the rest of Central Illinois

Posted by wlpo on March 28, 2013

Looking for a job is challenging, especially here.  The February unemployment numbers from the Illinois Department of Employment Security show that the Ottawa-Streator area has the highest unemployment rates in central Illinois.

La Salle County’s February unemployment rate was 13.6%, more than a point higher than in 2012.  Bureau County unemployment was 12% and Putnam County’s was 13.2%, both an increase over January 2012.

The state says since last year, the area lost several hundred retail and manufacturing jobs.  Jobs were added in transportation and warehousing and leisure-hospitality.

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