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Serving Ogle County since 1851

OREGON Republican Reporter

May 29, 2014 Volume 164, Number 24 - $1.00

Headed for State

Campfire Tips

Concerts Begin

The Oregon boys track team finishes strong at Sectional May 23. B1

State Fire Marshal offers safety tips for outdoor fires. B6

The Kable Concert Band will play June 4, and The Jimmys perform June 6. A8

Sheriff hired as district’s maintenance supervisor By Matt Mencarini Sauk Valley Media

Retired General Bruce Vanderkolk addresses the crowd gathered at the Oregon Memorial Day Service on May 26. Also pictured is Oregon Mayor Tom Stone, a veteran of the Vietnam war. Photo by Sarah Zuniga

Good crowd for ceremony Memorial Day service was well attended

Eichman said Harn was asked about how he would be able to balance his time between June and the end of his term. Eichman said Harn assured the district it wouldn’t be a problem. Harn lives in Forreston, where two of the district’s schools are located. The other school is in German Valley, in Stephenson County. On May 20, the Ogle County Board approved a “forensic examination� of the Ogle County Sheriff’s Department’s tow fund. In December, Sauk Valley Media reported that the tow fund, which isn’t in he county budget, had been used to pay for vehicle repairs and purchases, in addition to flowers for Secretary’s Day, a tent at the Ogle County Fair, and a $4,000 fee for the department’s Facebook page to be managed, among other expenses. In February, the Ogle County Board restricted the tow fund’s uses and revenue sources and transferred it to the treasurer.

Mt. Morris approves incentives for new Sullivan’s grocery store

By Lori Fagan Around 150 participants and spectators were on hand for the Memorial Day parade and observance in Oregon on May 26. The tribute began with members from the VFW Post 8739 and American Legion Post 97 placing wreaths at veteran memorials on the Ogle County Courthouse Square. The VFW and American Legion then led the parade with a color guard to the Riverside Cemetery, site of the ceremony, They were joined by a color guard from Boy Scout Troop 52, Girl Scouts, and the Oregon High School Band. Boy Scouts, along with Cubs from Pack 81, Tigers, Wolves and Webelos marched behind the color

Starting on June 2, Ogle County Sheriff Michael Harn will be working two jobs. Harn’s term as sheriff ends Nov. 30, but for the next six months, he’ll also have a full-time responsibility to the Forrestville Valley School District. The school board unanimously hired him May 21 as the district’s maintenance coordinator. Harn is also the village president of Forreston. His current term expires in 2017. The job at the school district pays $17 an hour, and Harn will be expected to work 40 hours a week, said district Interim Superintendent Jane Eichman. Harn will be in charge of buildings and grounds maintenance for the district, which includes two elementary school buildings and a combined junior and senior high school, Eichman said, adding that he’ll also be supervisor of the district’s

custodians. Harn was elected Ogle County sheriff in 2010. He lost a close primary election to Rochelle police officer Brian VanVickle in March. Harn’s annual salary as sheriff is $87,000. If he works 40 hours a week for the school district from June 2 through November, he will make about $61,000 between the two jobs. Harn didn’t respond to requests for comment. In April, Sauk Valley Media reported that in the month after the election, Harn had been present at the department only three times, according to a longtime member of the department who spoke on the condition of anonymity, compared to “three or four� times a week in his first three years as sheriff. Harn had been calling in to the department and was available through email, the source said in April. During the interview process for the maintenance coordinator position,

By Vinde Wells Editor

John Tuttle speaks during the Monday morning ceremony. Photo by Sarah Zuniga

guard. Girl Scouts were represented by Brownie Troops 757 and 1137, Junior scouts in Troop 3113, and Cadets from Troop 3503. Once the group arrived at Riverside Cemetery, members of the Oregon

High School band played the National Anthem, under the direction of Andy Eckardt. Retired General Bruce Vanderkolk started the ceremony. “We remember the brave men and women who made Turn to A2

The Mt. Morris Village Board made it official Tuesday night and approved an $858,170 financial incentive agreement with Sullivan’s Foods for a new, expanded grocery store in the village. The board approved the agreement by a 4-1 vote, with trustee Don Sorenson casting the only no vote. Voting yes were Mary Francis, Jan Hough, Tim Harvey, and Jon Murray. Trustee David Hoffman resigned from the board earlier this month. Under the terms of the agreement, the village granted Sullivan’s financial

incentives to remain in the community and build the new store. The incentives include an annual payment to Sullivan’s of $50,000 for each of the next 12 years, for a total of $600,000; a real estate tax abatement totaling $140,000, and sales tax rebates for 12 years estimated at $118,170. Francis, who is Finance Committee chairman, explained that the real estate tax abatement has a total amount rather than a specific number of years because property values fluctuate. She said only the village’s portion of Sullivan’s tax bill will be abated. The Sullivan family, which owns the grocery store, will continue to pay property taxes to other

taxing bodies. Sullivan’s paid $1,239 to the village in property taxes in 2013 for the store and two adjacent parcels that they also own. The total tax bill on the three parcels came to $8,266 last year. Once the new store is completed the taxes are expected to increase. Currently the store pays approximately $40,000 in sales tax to the village each year. Francis said for the first six years the store is in operation, the village will rebate back to Sullivan’s 100 percent of the sales tax over the $40,000, and 50 percent for the second six years. Store owner Scott Sullivan thanked the board and Turn to A2

Kayakers are paddling entire length of Rock River By Chris Johnson Reporter Three college students paddled into Oregon May 22 about halfway through their journey down the Rock River. Jake Boucher, Aledo, 20, Garrett Feik, Aledo, 20, and Jon Gress, Pekin, 22, are kayaking the entire 320 mile length of the Rock River. “We kind of decided, me and Garrett live where it dumps into the Mississippi,� said Boucher. “We thought we could ride it all the way home.� Gress and Boucher are students at Maranatha Baptist University in Watertown, Wis. The 320 mile journey will help raise money for their

school. They began paddling on May 13 in the marshes of Wisconsin. When the trio arrived at Oregon Park East May 22, they were greeted by staff from the Oregon Park District. They were welcomed to town and were helped with their portage around the dam, by a pair of kayakers that joined them on their trip from Byron to Oregon. “Some dams are more difficult to get around then others,� said Feik. “This one is easy.� The park has a path from the river’s edge about the dam that winds down to below the dam. Having the path made for a

In This Week’s Edition...

quick portage. Throughout their journey the trio is camping along the river. “We have campsites marked out,� said Boucher. “We also asked the landowners along the river and they have been welcoming to us,� said Feik. Last Thursday the kayakers were on a 17 mile leg of their journey. They had a cabin to stay in that was arranged by Frank Schier, Rockford, who is the founder of the Rock River Trail Initiative. The men were glad to have a roof over their head for the night. “We have been working Garrett Feik and Jake Boucher are two of three kayakers who are paddling the entire hard paddling the river,� said length of the Rock River. Here are Feik and Boucher after they portaged around the Boucher. Oregon dam at Oregon Park East. Photo by Chis Johnson

Church Bells, A5 Classifieds, B8-B12 Entertainment, A6 Fines, B6 Library News, A3

Marriage Licenses, A4 Oregon Police, A7 Public Voice, A8 Property Transfers, B6 Sheriff’s Arrests, B7

Social News, A4 Sports, A11, A12, B1, B2 State’s Attorney, B5

Deaths, B5 Gladys B. Ludewig, Emil M. Schaefer