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Thursday, October 17, 2013
SERVING ROCK FALLS, STERLING AND THE SURROUNDING AREA SINCE 1854
Morrison sewer bills on the rise Sterling has lower rates than others BY DAVID GIULIANI firstname.lastname@example.org 800-798-4085, ext. 525
MORRISON – Morrison residents might suffer from sticker shock next month when they open their sewer and water bills. Residents who use 4,000 gallons in a month will see a 40 percent increase in the sewer portion of their bills. The city plans to use the extra money to pay for a new wastewater treatment plant. That increase is just the start. The city expects big increases
the next 4 years. By 2017, the Comparing new plant should be fully opersewer rates ational, Mayor Everett Pannier said. Here’s a comparison of The 4,000 gallons will cost monthly water rates for a resi$47.65, considerably higher dent who uses 4,000 gallons than Dixon’s rate of $26.19 and in a month: Sterling’s $17.20. Rock Falls Dixon $26.19 is still higher at $54, but that Morrison $47.65 should change soon. Rock Falls $54.00 Pannier said the city will likely raise rates by a similar percentSterling $17.20 age next year. Note: Dixon and Sterling meaAfter 4 years, the rates will sure their sewer bills in cubic likely level off, the mayor said. feet, but Sauk Valley Media “Over the years, we’ve been translated that into gallons. pretty low,” Pannier explained. “Because we have been so low for so long, you’ll find us higher week. Members Harvey Zuidethan other towns.” ma and Leo Sullivan were The council unanimously absent. approved the new rates this The plant and pump sta-
tions are expected to cost $23 million. The city needed to increase its plant capacity and upgrade to comply with state and federal regulations. Officials decided that it was better to build a new plant rather than renovate the existing one. The plant will be on a former farm in south Morrison, near the Morrison Institute of Technology. In Rock Falls, the city completed its wastewater treatment plant 2 years ago, complying with a court order. Residents are charged $25.50 a month to pay down the debt for the plant, pump station and lift stations, among other charges on their bills.
“Barring losing a chunk of the population, that $25.50 should stay put for the foreseeable future,” City Administrator Robbin Blackert said. For the next 20 years, the city will have payments of $1 million a year for the plant, Blackert said. The city, she said, got a relatively good deal on the $27 million plant, most of which was paid for with interest-free loans. Smaller towns such as Morrison have a bigger burden because they have to spread out the costs of new plants among far fewer customers, Blackert said. SEWER CONTINUED ON A4
RAISING THE FLAG AT STERLING PARK
Congress votes to end shutdown Bipartisan measure reopens government
Randy Burger, a Sterling Park District employee, gets ready to raise the American flag after replacing the rope on the flagpole Wednesday afternoon at Propheter Park.
Morse wants to withdraw guilty plea Drunken driver blamed in death of pedestrian BY CHRISTI WARREN email@example.com 800-798-4085, ext. 521
MORRISON – A Rock Falls man wants to withdraw his plea of guilty to aggravated DUI in the death of a pedestrian. Chad E. Morse, 42, was sentenced on Sept. 11 to 14 years in prison, the maximum sentence. He had pleaded guilty in July to aggravated DUI for the November 2011 death of 33-year-old Brad E. Nitsch,
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also of Rock Falls. Two filings made last week by Morse’s new attorney, Maureen Williams of PeoChad E. ria, seek to Morse change that. In a motion to reconsider the sentence, Williams contends the “sentence imposed was excessive and did not reasonably consider all mitigating circumstances” and that “the defendant was denied effective assistance
of counsel.” Additionally, Williams filed a motion to withdraw the plea of guilty and vacate the judgment, asserting that the defendant “did not enter the guilty plea voluntarily and knowingly” and that he “was denied effective assistance of counsel.” Asked whether she had evidence to support the claims in the motion, Williams said it was just guesswork until she thoroughly reviews the case. “I have to put those in there to cover my bases until I get the transcripts,” she said. “You have to kind of
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just guess. “In order to withdraw the guilty plea, you have to claim that it was not knowingly made or voluntarily made.” Whiteside County State’s Attorney Trish Joyce said her office was considering a motion to dismiss the defense motions, based on the lack of specifics. “There are no facts provided, no affidavit attached to the motions – there’s nothing indicating what these allegations are based on,” Joyce said. MORSE CONTINUED ON A4
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WASHINGTON (AP) – Up against a deadline, Congress passed and sent a waiting President Barack Obama legislation late Wednesday night to avoid a threatened national default and end the 16-day partial government shutdown, the culmination of an epic politiPresident cal drama that Barack Obama placed the U.S. economy at risk. The Senate voted first, a bipartisan 81-18 at midevening. That cleared the way for a final 285144 vote in the Republicancontrolled House about 2 hours later on the legislation, which hewed strictly to the terms Obama laid down when the twin crises erupted more than 3 weeks ago. The legislation would permit the Treasury to borrow normally through Feb. 7 or perhaps a month longer, and fund the government through Jan. 15. More than two million federal workers would be paid – those who had remained on the job and those who had been furloughed. At the White House, Obama hailed the Senate’s vote. The White House embraced the bill, worked out by the Senate’s two party leaders, saying in a statement it would “protect the full faith and credit of the United States and end the government shutdown.” Republicans had other concerns. “We fought the good fight. We just didn’t win,” conceded House Speaker John Boehner as lawmakers lined up to vote on a bill that includes nothing to eradicate or scale back Obama’s signature health care overhaul. LEGISLATION CONTINUED ON A2
Today’s weather High 60. Low 38. More on A3.
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COMMUNITY WATCH Were we in
ERROR? Getting it right 7E CARE ABOUT ACCURACY AND WE WANT TO CORRECT ERRORS PROMPTLY 0LEASE CALL MISTAKES TO OUR ATTENTION AT OR EXT OR Corrections 4HERE ARE NONE TODAY
FIRE & POLICE Sterling Police Eric J. Pettorini, OF 3TERLING AM 4UESDAY AT 3ECOND !VENUE AND %AST &IFTH 3TREET 7HITESIDE #OUNTY WARRANT FOR FAILURE TO APPEAR POSTED CASH BOND Drew T. Rowley, OF 3TERLING AM 4UES DAY AT ,OCUST 3TREET AND ,YNN "OULEVARD SPEEDING POSTED CASH BOND Cody E. Cooper, OF 3TERLING PM 4UESDAY AT &IRST !VENUE AND ,E&EVRE 2OAD NO INSURANCE GIVEN NOTICE TO APPEAR IN COURT Kaitlyn L. Hanabarger, OF 3TERLING PM 4UESDAY AT %AST &OURTH 3TREET AND &IFTH !VENUE DRIVING WRONG WAY ON A ONE WAY STREET POSTED DRIVERS LICENSE AS BOND
Fire doused at storage facility
/GLE #OUNTY *AIL Austin D. Luepkes, OF /REOGN PM /CT IN THE BLOCK OF 3OUTH TH 3TREET OPERATING A VEHICLE WITH AN EXPIRED REGISTRATION ISSUED CITATION Mark S. Elliott, OF /REGON PM /CT AT THE INTERSECTION OF 4HIRD AND &RANKLIN STREETS DISOBEYING A STOP SIGN ISSUED CITY CITATION Isaias Martinez, OF -OUNT -ORRIS PM /CT IN THE BLOCK OF 7EST 7ASHINGTON 3TREET ISSUED CITATION FOR OPERATING AN UNINSURED MOTOR VEHICLE AND CITY CITATION FOR OPERAT ING A VEHICLE WITH AN EXPIRED REGISTRATION Wesley D. Newman, OF %LDORADO PM /CT IN THE BLOCK OF %AST 7ASHINGTON 3TREET OPERATING A VEHICLE OVERWEIGHT ON REGIS TRATION ISSUED CITATION Sidney C. Barber, OF -OUNT -ORRIS PM /CT IN THE BLOCK OF 7EST 7ASHINGTON 3TREET OPERATING A VEHICLE WITH AN EXPIRED REG ISTRATION ISSUED CITY CITATION
Deputy chief: Cause unknown BY MATT MENCARINI MMENCARINI SAUKVALLEYCOM EXT
STERLING â€“ Alert citizens quickly spotted a fire at a local storage facility Wednesday evening, helping keep damage to contents to a minimum, local fire officials said. Bystanders saw flames coming from a back unit of Lincolnway Mini-Storage and called 911 at 7:33 p.m., said Rock Falls Deputy Chief Bill Milby. Fire crews arrived on scene, 4505 E. Lincolnway, and put out the fire at its source within 15 minutes, Milby said, with ancillary fire and smoke extinguished within 45 minutes.
Ogle County Sheriff
Clayton R. Beach, OF /REGON 4UESDAY WARRANT FOR DRIVING UNDER THE INFLU ENCE POSTED BOND AND GIVEN NOTICE TO APPEAR IN COURT David Byerley, OF &RANKLIN 'ROVE 4UESDAY Dixon Police WARRANT FOR SPEEDING POSTED Christopher L. Howard, BOND AND GIVEN NOTICE TO OF $IXON PM APPEAR IN COURT 4UESDAY IN THE BLOCK OF Edward Dietrich, OF -ONROE !VENUE 7HITESIDE 3T #HARLES 4UESDAY AT STATE #OUNTY WARRANT FOR FAILURE TO 2OUTE AND "ECK 2OAD IN APPEAR n THEFT LESS THAN #RESTON FAILURE TO YIELD AT AN TAKEN TO ,EE #OUNTY *AIL INTERSECTION ISSUED CITATION Bobbie A. Blumhoff, OF 0OLO PM 4UESDAY IN THE Oregon Police BLOCK OF .ORTH 3UMMER Mary Salstrom-Porter, (ILL 2OAD DOMESTIC BATTERY OF "ROOKLYN .9 AM TAKEN TO /GLE #OUNTY *AIL 3EPT IN THE BLOCK OF .ORTH &OURTH 3TREET SPEED Lee County Sheriff ING ISSUED CITY CITATION Katherine L. Petrusa, Zachary A. Holocker, OF /REGON PM 3EPT OF $IXON PM 4UES IN THE BLOCK OF .ORTH DAY WARRANT FOR FAILURE TO $AYSVILLE 2OAD SPEEDING APPEAR n CONTEMPT POSTED ISSUED CITY CITATION BOND AND GIVEN NOTICE TO Alex A. Herritz, OF APPEAR IN COURT *ANESVILLE 7IS AM Christopher David Shaw, /CT IN THE BLOCK OF OF #RESTON PM 3OUTH &OURTH 3TREET NO VALID 4UESDAY WARRANT FOR FAILURE SAFETY TEST ISSUED CITATION TO APPEAR n COMPLIANCE JoAnne R. Reisner, DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF /AK 0ARK AM POSTED BOND AND GIVEN /CT AT THE INTERSECTION OF NOTICE TO APPEAR IN COURT TH AND 7EBSTER STREETS DISOBEYING A STOP SIGN ISSUED CITATION (APPY BIRTHDAY TO $ONALD Sean O. Zeman, OF $E7AELE +ATIE +RONE AND /REGON PM /CT OUTSTANDING WARRANT TAKEN TO 7AYNE 3QUIRE *R ALL TODAY
CONTINUED FROM A1
â€œThe compromise we reached will provide our economy with the stability it desperately needs,â€? said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, declaring that the nation â€œcame to the brink of disasterâ€? before sealing an agreement. Senate Republican
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Leader Mitch McConnell, who negotiated the deal with Reid, emphasized that it preserved a round of spending cuts negotiated 2 years ago with Obama and Democrats. As a result, he said, â€œgovernment spending has declined for 2 years in a rowâ€? for the first time since the Korean War. â€œAnd weâ€™re not going back on this agreement,â€? he added.
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Firefighters work at the scene of a fire Wednesday evening at Lincolnway Mini-Storage, 4505 E. Lincolnway, in Sterling. The cause of the fire is still being investigated. The fire started in a Milby said he had no single unit and spread to definitive cause of the the units on each side of fire, and that there was it as well as to one on the no power source to the opposite side of the long, storage unit. There were single-story storage build- reports of a vehicle leaving, Milby said. ing the fire scene, he No injuries were reported. added.
Nearly 20 minutes after the fire had been put out, the storage unitâ€™s charred contents were spread out on the ground. They consisted mostly of furniture and boxes. The fire spread to the particle board walls of the units on either side, but damage to the contents of those units appeared to be minimal. There was smoke and water damage to the other units, Milby said. The Illinois State Fire Marshal will investigate the fire. In addition to the Twin City Joint Fire Command, made up of the Sterling and Rock Falls Fire Departments, the Sterling Police Department and the Whiteside County Sheriffâ€™s Department responded.
Measure serves as temporary truce
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Only a temporary truce, the measure set a timeframe of early next winter for the next likely clash between Obama and the Republicans over spending and borrowing. But for now, the government was lurching back to life. In one example, officials met to discuss plans for gearing back up at the Department
of Housing and Urban Development, where 307 employees remained at work during the partial shutdown and more than 8,000 were furloughed. After weeks of gridlock, the measure had support from the White House, most if not all Democrats in Congress, and many Republicans fearful of the economic impact of a default.
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