A bill aimed at fixing Illinois' pension crisis is before Gov. Pat Quinn. A spokeswoman for Senate President John Cullerton said Wednesday that the bill had been sent to the governor, who has said he will sign it "promptly." Once signed, the law would take effect in June. But unions say the plan is unconstitutional and have vowed to sue.
Washington Post Office Becomes a Hub
The post office in the central Illinois city of Washington is becoming a hub in the tornado-ravaged community as more than 1,400 people a day visit the facility to pick up their mail. The (Peoria) Journal Star reports people are visiting the brick building because daily mail service has been cut off to many homes and businesses. Rebecca Brummitt, a Post Office worker who's helping out in Washington, says some residents are grateful because "the mail was the only personal thing they had left."
Spring Valley Break-In
Illinois Valley Crime Stoppers and Spring Valley Police are looking for any information to help find the individual who allegedly broke into the Spring Valley Mini Market. Authorities say police were alerted to the mini Market Monday morning after an alarm sounded. Police say two cash registers were taken. Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers or the Spring Valley Police Department.
Tax Increases In the Area
Within La Salle County, Peru, Oglesby and Ottawa are all increasing their taxes. The City of Peru approved a tax levy on Monday to raise property taxes by 4.9%. Also on Monday, the City of Oglesby decided to increase the tax bill by 2.3%. Finally, the City of Ottawa raised taxes about a nickel per 100 dollars of the assessed valuation of residents homes. All of the new tax laws and levies will kick in at the beginning of next year.
Utica Sand Mine Hearings Continue
The Utica Sand Mine saga continues. On Tuesday evening, the Utica Board of Trustees and Planning Commission held another City meeting, regarding the proposed Sand Mine. Those in attendance mainly discussed the negatives of Aramoni LLC’s proposed sand mine. Aramoni LLC cannot start any blasting until the special use permits and variances are approved.
Federal Aid for Unemployed
Individuals and businesses who are out of work as a result of the November tornadoes and severe storms might be eligible for federal disaster aid. IEMA says this for counties declared disaster areas including LaSalle and Grundy. Assistance can include grants for temporary housing grants or loans to help with losses sustained during the November 17th storms. Those who wish to apply for federal assistance can do so by contacting the Illinois Department Employment Security.
Fatal Crashes Up from Last Year
Fatal crashes throughout the state are up in 2013 compared to last year, however our area is about even. In La Salle County, there were eleven fatal crashes which is the same amount as one year ago. In Bureau County, fatalities are down to four after seven were killed the same time last year. Putnam County has reported two fatalities from one incident. Overall, 927 people have died from car accidents as of Wednesday, that number up 28 from 2012.
Streator Comprehensive Plan Open House
Streator City Officials will be holding an open house next week to discuss the downtown strategic and comprehensive plan. According to City Enginner Jeremy Palm, the open house is next Tuesday evening at City Hall starting at 4:30 PM. Officials will be showing the first drafts of the city's comprehensive plan update along with the city's first downtown strategic plan. Discussion will also be on-going about the plans ideas and recommendations with city officials and the planning consultants.
George Lucas Foundation Donates Millions
The George Lucas Foundation will donate $25 million to an after-school program for children in Chicago over the next five years. The "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones" creator says the money will make it possible for underserved teens to participate the After School Matters program and learn career and life skills.