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Archive for July 17th, 2013

Man indicted for death of his son

Posted by wlpo on July 17, 2013

 Almost a year after its death, the father of an infant that died from head injuries and internal bleeding has been indicted.

Raymond Fisher of Streator faces charges of involuntary manslaughter and aggravated battery.  He was indicted by a grand jury Tuesday but has been held in the La Salle County Jail since late June.

The six-month-old died on August 29, 2012 in St. Francis Medical Center, one day after Streator Police received a report about an unresponsive baby boy.

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Water main breaks near the Oglesby four-corners

Posted by wlpo on July 17, 2013

A water main break is never convenient but one in Oglesby is close to one of its busiest intersections.

North Columbia Avenue is closed from Walnut to Florence Street while the major water break it is repaired.  Homes in that area may have low water pressure but a boil order hasn’t been issue yet.  The break was discovered Wednesday afternoon.

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La Salle plans to spend millions of dollars on water system

Posted by wlpo on July 17, 2013

While getting a glass of water is as easy as turning on the faucet, getting the water to your faucet is complicated.

Improvements to La Salle’s well field, the water tower on Civic Road, and a booster station has city officials planning to borrow several million dollars.  A recent water-needs study outlined things that need work. The total price of upgrades and repairs is between $4.4 and 5.2 million.

Items like the aging water tower were not a surprise. Mayor Jeff Grove says he disagrees with the study’s suggestion that they add three wells, but he agrees they need to raise the ones they have.

Grove thinks they’ll apply for a low-interest state loan soon. He says they shouldn’t need to raise water rates.

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IVCC Working With A Budget Deficit

Posted by wlpo on July 17, 2013

How much does it take to run a community college?

The Illinois Valley Community College Board of Trustees approved a tentative budget last night of nearly 42 million dollars.  The budget has almost two million dollars more in expenses than revenues.

The new budget includes seven million dollars in expenses and revenues with the ongoing Peter Miller Community Technology Center project.  President Jerry Corcoran says the center will have “minimal impact” on the college’s budget while giving IVCC space to grow enrollment.

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Wallace Township Hopes Third Time’s The Charm For Tax Referendum

Posted by wlpo on July 17, 2013

While it’s not cheap, having access to an ambulance when needed is essential.

The Ottawa City Council and Wallace Township Fire Protection District continue to work towards a 5-year agreement for Ottawa to provide ambulance service to Wallace.  The city council placed on file an agreement Tuesday night that has Wallace paying 50 thousand dollars for the first year of the contract and over 526 thousand dollars total through the life of the contract.

The agreement gives Wallace the option of opting out if they can’t pass a tax referendum in April to help them pay Ottawa.  The fire protection district has tried to pass a tax referendum two years straight but voters have said no.

Ottawa averages 200 to 250 ambulance calls per year to Wallace.  Right now Wallace patients pay per call.

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Football Players Urge Teachers To Settle Contract Dispute

Posted by wlpo on July 17, 2013

Coming off an 11 win season, hopes are high again for Ottawa High School football.  The growing question mark is will the team even take the field?

Over a dozen varsity players gathered outside the Ottawa Knights of Columbus Hall Tuesday as some of their teachers met inside to talk contract negotiations.  The teacher’s union could possibly vote to authorize a strike within a week or two.

The teacher’s strike in 2009 forced that year’s Pirate football team to forfeit its last four games of the season and miss out the playoffs.

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Important Dates With Ottawa Teachers Negotiations

Posted by wlpo on July 17, 2013

If you’re keeping tabs of what’s going on with the possible teacher’s strike at Ottawa High School, this Friday marks an important day.

That’s when the teacher’s union and school board must turn in their last contract offer to a federal mediator.  If the sides can’t agree by July 26th, the contract offers become public.  If there’s still no contract on or before Friday August 9th, teachers can choose to strike.

Ottawa Superintendent Matt Winchester  says the sides have agreed on 39 parts of a new contract but big issues are unresolved like wages, teacher insurance contributions, post-retirement health insurance benefits and potential employee contributions to the Teacher’s Retirement System.

Contract negotiations started in May of last year.

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