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Serving Ogle County since 1851 OREGON Republican Reporter December 26, 2013 Volume 164, Number 2 - $1.00 Tournament Results New Building The Oregon Lady Hawks finished third after loosing to Prophetstown in the semifinals, B1 The Ogle County Board will begin seeking bids on a new $4.1 administration building. A2 Owner of proposed wind farm pulls the plug Apex terminates the Baileyville Wind Farm By Vinde Wells Editor The termination of a longstanding plan for building a wind farm in northwest Ogle County has officially ended wind development in Ogle County — at least for now. Ogle County Zoning Administrator Mike Reibel confirmed Dec. 20 that he recently received a letter from an official of Apex Clean Energy informing him that they have discontinued development of the Baileyville Wind Farm. “It’s over. It’s done,� Reibel said. “We have withdrawn from the PJM Interconnection queue and removed our meteorological towers, and are in the process of formally terminating our land leases,� read the letter from Karlis Povisilis, Apex Director of Project Development. PJM Interconnection, headquartered in Valley Forge, Pa., is an organization for marketing wholesale electricity. Although no wind towers were ever constructed, the Baileyville Wind Farm was the longest existing wind energy project in the county. Reibel said he knows of no other wind developers who are currently active in the county. The Baileyville Wind Farm has been plagued by lawsuits in both state and federal courts ever since the Ogle County Board granted its request for a special use permit eight years ago. The board granted thenowner Navitas-Gamesa the special use permit needed to build the Baileyville Wind Farm on Dec. 20, 2005 after much heated debate. Opponents of the wind farm almost immediately filed lawsuits against the county and wind farm in both Ogle County and federal courts, blocking the project for several years. The lawsuits were settled in 2011, allowing the project to proceed, and the special use permit granted remained valid. However, as lawsuits were settled, more court challenges were filed. Apex Wind Energy, based in Charlottesville, Va., bought the wind farm from NavitasGamesa in 2011. The plan called for 40 windmills to be built over 5,000 acres in Maryland and Leaf River Townships. The wind towers were to be 400 feet tall and each built on a 16-foot concrete base. The developers met with local property owners to secure long-term leases on the land where the towers would be constructed. The county board approved a second special use permit on Aug. 21, 2012 to allow the installation of underground cables on property leased to the wind farm in Maryland Township.The cables would have connected to wind turbines. That special use permit spawned another federal lawsuit. Reibel said the county Planning and Zoning Committee’s Jan. 14 agenda will include possible action to revoke both special use permits “just to close the whole matter out.� He said he hopes the withdrawal of Apex will settle lawsuits still pending in state and federal court. Rain, sleet, snow...few traffic woes for Ogle By Vinde Wells Editor Despite three storms bringing freezing rain, sleet, and snow in four days last week, the Ogle County Sheriff’s Department had few weather-related problems to deal with. “We had no power outages and no bad wrecks. I think it was the fewest problems related to a storm since I’ve been sheriff,� Ogle County Sheriff Michael Harn said Monday morning. Freezing rain and drizzle Dec. 19 left a slippery glaze on roadways throughout the county. That was followed by more of the same in the evening of Dec. 20, topped off by 5 to 8 inches of snow Saturday night into Sunday morning. The most snow fell in the northwest corner of the county, Harn said. The icy roadways put several cars in the ditch in the earlier storms, he said, but that was the worst of the problems. Very few incidents occurred over the weekend. “I think everybody took the weather predictions seriously. They planned ahead and got where they were going before the storms started,� he said. With more freezing rain predicted in the late afternoon Dec. 20, all county offices closed at noon. Harn said because the storm was predicted to begin about the time county employees would be headed home from work, the offices were shut down early. “Due to the weather predicted we wanted everyone to get home safely and in a timely manner,� he said. “The storm began later than expected.� The decision to close the offices was made jointly by Harn, county board chairman Kim Gouker, county engineer Curtis Cook, and presiding judge Robert Hanson. Harn said although the roads were plowed, salted, and clear after the storms, drifting snow would continue to cause icy spots on Monday. “The winds are picking up and the north-south roads are drifting,� he said. “Drivers need to use caution because with the winds and cold the roads will still be treacherous.� Demand was high for salt By Chris Johnson Reporter An ice storm last Thursday Ice followed by blowing snow made travel on area roads difficult late Saturday night and the threat of another and early Sunday morning. This photo was taken on Pines Road near the intersection ice and snowstorm over the with Ridge Road. Photo by Earleen Hinton weekend led to a high demand for salt in Ogle County. Basler’s Ace Hardware in Oregon had customers lined up waiting for shipments of salt to arrive. “We had 40 to 50 customers it easier on police officers to When the law goes into waiting in line for the salt,� enforce,� said Oregon Police effect Jan. 1, Illinois joins 11 said owner Jeff Basler. “We Chief Darin DeHaan. “There other states and the District of Turn to A2 is now no difference in zones Columbia in banning the use and the law is more clear cut. of hand-held devices while Drivers can still use bluetooth driving. By Chris Johnson devices and anything hands Fines for violating the new Reporter free.� law start at $75. He said drivers in the area The bill adds additional Motorists in Illinois will will face a learning curve for penalties drivers can face if need to adjust to a significant the law. they are using a phone while change in the law when the People are used to being driving and cause an accident. new year begins next week. on their cell phones while If the accident causes great House Bill 1247 prohibits driving,� he said. “Overall it bodily harm, the driver can the operation of a motor is easier on everyone because be sentenced up to one year vehicle on any road in Illinois there is only one rule.� in prison. A fatal accident can while using a mobile phone. It is still illegal to text while result in a one to three year The bill makes exceptions driving. sentence. for hands-free devices, “Distracted driving is Previously the law only including headsets that can not only dangerous — it’s allowed for drivers to be initiate a call using a single deadly,� said Illinois Governor charged with traffic violations. button or a voice command. Pat Quinn in an Aug. 16 press The change comes a year release. “Too many Illinois Officers who see a driver after Illinois restricted cell families have suffered because holding a cell phone up to phone use in construction and of accidents that could have their ear can pull the vehicle school zones. been prevented. These new over without any other traffic “The new law will make laws will save lives.� offenses. New cell phone law takes affect with the New Year Talking on the phone while driving prohibited Man guilty of selling heroin By Vinde Wells Editor Christmas Baskets Stan Eden and Gig Bellows add bread to the VFW Christmas food baskets at the Oregon VFW on Dec. 21. The baskets were delivered to local families and individuals in need. Photo by Chris Johnson In This Week’s Edition... Agriculture, A7 Birth, A4 Church News, A5 Classifieds, B7-B12 Entertainment, A6 An Ogle County jury found a Rockford man guilty last week of a felony drug charge. Jay Moore, 39, was convicted Dec. 18 of unlawful delivery of a controlled Fines, B4 Library News, A12 Marriage Licenses, A4 Oregon Police, B3 Public Voice, A10 substance in a public park, a Class X felony, and resisting a peace officer, a Class A misdemeanor. “I am proud of my office’s successful prosecution of this individual who came into our county to distribute heroin,� said Ogle County State’s Property Transfers, B5 Sheriff’s Arrests, B5 Social News, A4 Sports, B1, B2 State’s Attorney, B4 Attorney Mike Rock. “This case will send a message to heroin dealers throughout the area.� The case stemmed from an investigation a year ago by the Rochelle Police Department and the Ogle County Sheriff Turn to A2 Deaths, B3 Janet E. Guist, Jason A. Miller, Terry Olson, Brian J. Strite 0UBLISHEDEVERY4HURSDAYBY/GLE#OUNTY.EWSPAPERS ADIVISIONOF3HAW-EDIAsWWWOGLECOUNTYNEWSCOM


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