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Serving Ogle County since 1851 OREGON Republican Reporter October 10, 2013 Volume 163, Number 43 - $1.00 Team Qualifies Assessments Memorial Wall The Oregon Hawk Golf Team placed second at Regionals and advanced to Sectionals. B1 Ogle County’s 2013 property assessments are set. A11-12 A Memorial Wall honoring fallen soldiers was on display during Autumn on Parade. A3 Maxson’s restaurant to close at end of month By Vinde Wells Editor An Oregon icon will close its doors at the end of this month after more than 60 years in business. Maxson’s Riverside Restaurant and the Pride of Oregon Riverboat will serve meals for the last time on Oct. 31, owner Rich Wiesner said Tuesday. “The decision to close has been tremendously difficult, but we’ve come to realize that now is the best time for this to happen,� Wiesner said in a press release issued Monday afternoon. In a phone interview on Tuesday, Wiesner said he wants to retire, but hasn’t been able to find a buyer for the landmark restaurant. “I’ve had it for sale for a year now, and I haven’t had one person [buyer] come through here,� he said. “I’m 66 years old; I’m ready to retire.� Wiesner said he still hopes to sell the restaurant. “It’s a good location. It’s a good banquet facility,� he said. Wiesner, who is the restaurant’s fourth owner, has owned and operated it since mid-September of 1992 when he purchased it from the heirs of Rose Jones. John Maxson and his family opened the restaurant in 1952 and operated it until they sold it to John and Peter Tsioles in 1978. Jones purchased the restaurant from the Tsioles brothers in 1985. She added the riverboat, originally called the Rose of the Rock four years later. The paddle wheeler was built in Palatka, Fla. It was launched on the St. John’s River and sailed into the Gulf of Mexico, to Mobile, Ala., on its month-long trip to Oregon. Its route took it up the Mobile River to the TenneseeTombigbee Waterway, then on the Tennessee and Ohio Rivers, and finally up the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers to Ottawa, where it was dismantled and bought overland by semi tractortrailers to Oregon. The northbound lane of Interstate 39 was closed to traffic to allow the riverboat to be transported to Ill. 64, which was completely closed while the semis made their way to the boat launch on River Road. Once at Oregon, the vessel was reassembled and made its maiden voyage on the Rock River on Sept. 9, 1989. A fire destroyed the original restaurant building on March 27, 1993, but it was rebuilt and reopened in the summer of 1994. Tests on Black Hawk Statue are underway By Vinde Wells Editor Horrible Harry, an entertainer in the Harvest Time Parade, spits fire as the crowd watches. Photo by Earleen Hinton Rain fails to dampen AOP crowd Weekend event brings large crowd to town By Vinde Wells Editor Gloomy skies and a couple of rain showers just weren’t enough Saturday to put a damper on Oregon’s annual fall festival. Although the final numbers weren’t available Monday, Autumn on Parade Committee President Marseyne Snow said attendance was high for both days of the festival. “The Farmer’s Market was very busy, even on Saturday with the rain,� she said. “People didn’t leave when it rained. They took cover until it stopped.� Sunday morning’s bright fall weather more than made up for what Saturday may have lacked. By midmorning festival-goers filled the Farmers Market and Food Court around the Ogle County Courthouse. “It was packed on Sunday,� Snow said. “�I think the vendors did very well.� Festval-goer Penny Gentzel, Byron, said she comes to AOP every year. “I like to look at all the vendors,� she said Sunday. “And I can’t wait for the parade.� Vendor Kathy Benson, Elk Grove Village, was doing a brisk business Sunday at her booth selling fall-themed sweatshirts. She said AOP is one of her favorite events. “Everybody is so nice and friendly at this festival,� she said. “The weather is beautiful and the crowd is bigger today.� Sean Hall browsed a booth selling knitted afghans. He said he came up from the Quad Cities for AOP for the second time. “It’s a good festival,� he said with a grin. “I’m enjoying the weather.� Overall, Snow said, the festival went off without a hitch. “It went very well,� she said. “We had more than 500 runners for the 5K Sunday morning, which is more than we’ve ever had before. The kids’ Fun Zone was busy, the parade brought out a huge crowd, and the post-parade show was a highlight.� The South Shore Drill Team thrilled the audience with their precision and dexterity Sunday afternoon during the post parade show as well as at the Harvest Time Parade. In This Week’s Edition... A new feature, the zipline, made a hit with youngsters at the Fun Zone in the N. Fifth Street parking lot. “Awesome� was the comment most made as they emerged from the attraction wearing wide grins. Snow praised the efforts of the AOP Committee and everyone else who helped with the festival. “Once again, we couldn’t have done it without all the volunteers and the help from the City of Oregon, Oregon Park District, and Ogle County,� she said. (Turn to page A14 to more photos of the Autumn on Parade festival.) Ogle County’s most famous centenarian will be getting a 3-D full body scan this week. Structural engineers began work Tuesday to determine the condition of the Black Hawk Statue in order to decide what is the best way to help repair the 102-year-old concrete statue. Aldo De La Haza and Daniel Schultz, who work for the Dynasty Group, Chicago, used technology to take a look beneath the surface of the statue, which sits on a high bluff at Lowden State Park northeast of Oregon. De La Haza said his company has been hired to investigate the condition of the structure and do nondestructive testing. Their high-tech scanners allow them to see inside the concrete to assess the statue’s condition and to determine Delay by FDIC derails plan for a new building By Vinde Wells Editor Foot-dragging by a federal agency has prompted an Oregon bank to abandon plans for a new building. Roger Lehman, president of Harvard State Bank, said Monday that the lack of a decision from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) means bank officials no longer plan to purchase the Bemis Motor Company building at the corner of Fourth Street (Ill. 2) and Franklin Street to locate a new building for Community Bank of Oregon. “It’s not going to happen,� Lehman said. “It’s gone on for a year and a half, and the FDIC couldn’t give us a decision so we’ve The Southshore Drill Team performed a Post Parade withdrawn. You know how Show following the Harvest Time Parade on Sunday. the government is — they do Photo by Earleen Hinton Business Briefs, B5 Church News, A5 Classifieds, B6-B12 Entertainment, A6 Fines, B4 Library News, A3 Marriage Licenses, A4 Public Voice, A9 Property Transfers, B4 the amount and location of steel reinforcing. Another company will do scanning with rotating lasers to create an exact threedimensional model of the statue, he said. The findings will aid in determining what needs to be done to repair and preserve the statue which has been damaged by the ravages of time and weather. The statue, which is under the authority of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), has cracks and large pieces of its concrete surface have dislodged. The folded arms of the 50-foot monolith have been especially affected. The cost for the assessment and repairs has been estimated at $625,000. More than half the money for the project came from a $350,000 grant the IDNR received from the Illinois Department of Commerce Turn to A2 Sheriff’s Arrests, B3 Social News, A4 Sports, B1, B2 State’s Attorney, B3 what they want to. It’s not fair to [owner] Jay [Franklin]. It’s gone on long enough.� Harvard Sate Bank owns Community Bank of Oregon, which is located currently at the corner of Ill. 64 and Ill. 2 in the downtown. Lehman announced last year that the bank was in the process of buying the Bemis property, which is owned by Franklin. He said bank officials planned to demolish the Bemis building and build a new bank with a drivethrough window and ample customer parking. Franklin said Tuesday that he was unaware that bank officials are no longer planning to buy the property. “No one from the bank has let me know that,� he said. Franklin said he has a Turn to A2 Deaths, B3 Nancy L. Bell Kenneth C. Dummer Emilie P. 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