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Archive for August 6th, 2013

IVCC Inches Closer To Technology Center Fundraising Goal

Posted by wlpo on August 6, 2013

As the Peter Miller Community Technology Center continues to take shape at Illinois Valley Community College, a major donation has been made for the building.

James Kozel of California has donated 20 thousand dollars to the technology center’s capital campaign.  Kozel is a 1971 graduate of IVCC.  He graduated from L-P High School in 1969.

After his time in the Illinois Valley, Kozel moved to California and received a master’s degree.  He went on to work in various positions in the title and escrow industry.  Kozel’s now in the software sector.

IVCC President Jerry Corcoran says the technology center capital campaign has now reached $1.8 million of its $2.1 million dollar goal.  It’s supposed to be ready for classes next year.

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No Strike This At Ottawa High School

Posted by wlpo on August 6, 2013

No need to worry about another teachers strike at Ottawa High School.

Teachers and the board of education have tentatively agreed to a new three-year contract.  The contract includes no base salary increases and no longevity or step salary increases until the final year of the contract.  Teachers will get a $713 stipend this school year and either a stipend or step increase of 17 hundred dollars in year three of the deal.

The teacher’s will contribute 12 percent towards their health insurance this school year and 14 percent next school year.  They have been paying 10 percent of the cost.

Teachers have also agreed to reduce the district’s pension contributions if the state shifts more of the pension burden onto local schools.

Ottawa High School teachers have been working without a new contract since last August.  They went on strike in 2009 for nearly a month.

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Ottawa Council Sets Up Final Vote On Sand Terminal

Posted by wlpo on August 6, 2013

Despite some opponents wearing surgical masks to drive home their belief in the dangers of silica sand air quality, the Ottawa City Council unanimously voted to put on file a request for Archer Daniels Midland to ship out sand.

The council will officially approve or deny ADM’s conditional use permit and annexation request August 20th.  The mayor and commissioners who spoke on the ADM issue last night all say the mine ADM wants to haul sand for is already approved so they can’t stop it. Commissioner Wayne Eichelkraut says what they can do is pick the least disruptive spot for the sand to be shipped and that’s on Route 71 not on the east side of town making trucks drive thru downtown.

Eight people spoke against ADM’s request, many from out of the area and part of a group called “Frac Free Illinois” who were wearing the protective masks in protest.

Ashley Williams of Ottawa gave the council a copy of an online petition “signed” by 16 thousand people wanting Governor Pat Quinn and Attorney General Lisa Madigan to stop the Mississippi Sand development.  Some of the people supporting the petition come as far away as Argentina and Bahrain.

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Escape artist pulls off locked coffin skydive

Posted by wlpo on August 6, 2013

     OTTAWA, Ill. (AP) – An escape artist has parachuted safely to the ground after freeing himself from handcuffs and a locked coffin while it was falling from 14,500 feet in the air.

     Anthony Martin waved to a crowd after landing softly Tuesday in a field in Serena.

     He says after freeing himself, he watched the box plummet to the ground. He first performed the stunt 25 years ago.

     The 47-year-old Wisconsin man was locked in the casket with his hands cuffed to a belt and his right arm chained to the inside of the box.

     Two skydivers held the outside of the box to help steady it as Martin tried to escape from it.

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No Foul Play With Fisherman’s Death Near Hennepin

Posted by wlpo on August 6, 2013

A man from the suburbs was found dead near Hennepin after a fishing trip.

Conservation Police Sgt. Robert Frazier says 56-year old David Hornback of South Elgin was pronounced dead Sunday night in a fishing boat tied to the banks of the Illinois River.  Frazier says he died of a medical condition and there was no foul play.

Rescue crews found Hornback after his family reported him missing Sunday evening.  Hornback had left early Saturday morning by himself on his fishing trip.

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Demolition Begins For Closed Ottawa School

Posted by wlpo on August 6, 2013

The wrecking ball arrived at the old Central School in Ottawa.

Demolition began Tuesday morning on the elementary school along Ottawa’s riverfront.  The building hadn’t been used in several years after being heavily damaged by flood waters.  River City Demolition of Peoria is doing the job for $248,000.

Mayor Bob Eschbach says demolition should take 6 to 8 weeks.  The city is taking suggestions from the public on how to develop the land.

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Classes Will Start On Time In Marseilles Despite Flood

Posted by wlpo on August 6, 2013

Trailers known as modular classrooms will be used this school year in Marseilles.

The Marseilles Elementary School District has ordered 10 mobile classrooms to use when school starts August 21st.  Several classrooms at the school are still unusable after the record flood in April.

The trailers are costing the school district around 150 thousand dollars.

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“Coffin Jump” Attempted In Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on August 6, 2013

Imagine the terror of being handcuffed, chained and locked inside a wooden casket that is dropped out of an airplane at 14,500 feet. That’s the scenario that Anthony Martin of Wisconsin faces today when the 47-year-old escape artist takes to the sky above Ottawa.

Martin says he hopes to be free of the coffin after about 40 seconds of free fall, at around 7,000 feet. He’ll then drift away from the coffin and fly his parachute to a farm in Serena.

Since his first escape from handcuffs at the age of 10, Martin has wriggled his way out of straitjackets, ropes, chains, jail cells, coffins and a cage submerged under water.

Today’s jump is being done thru Skydive Chicago.

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