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Serving Ogle County since 1851

OREGON Republican Reporter

December 19, 2013 Volume 164, Number 1 - $1.00

Buried By Treys

Dear Santa

Spending Questions

The Polo Marcos were hot from the 3-point line when they defeated Oregon Dec. 16. B1

Area children send their Christmas lists to St. Nick. Special Section

Ogle County Sheriff ’s credit card spending is called into question. A7

County buys Spoor house

Christmas Festivities

Property is just north of judicial center on S. 5th By Vinde Wells Editor

Above, Kyle Cermak and Kyla Suter play their clarinets as the David L. Rahn Junior High Band performs I Saw Three Ships during the annual Christmas Concert Tuesday night. At right, Greg and Jen Cotovsky along with their 15-month-old, Rory, pose on their front porch at 904 Madison Street with some of their candy cane decorations and Santa decoration. They also have a snowman decoration and a variety of lights that blink in their windows. They were named the Oregon Park District Holiday Lights House Decorating Contest “Clark Griswold� winners. Photos by Chris Johnson

Weather delays Black Hawk tests By Vinde Wells Editor Early winter weather this month has delayed the final tests on the Black Hawk Statue. Frank Rausa, Sterling, who is heading up an effort to

repair the 102-year-old world renowned icon, said experts will likely return in early January to Lowden State Park, where the statue stands of a high bluff overlooking the Rock River. Three experts, a structural engineer, preservation

architect, and conservation architect, will be on the site to do further study of the repairs that are needed to reverse the effects of time and weather and preserve the statue. “They’re going to spend a couple of days doing some sound testing,� Rausa said.

“We just need a little weather cooperation.� The experts had planned to do the last tests early this month until several snowstorms and frigid weather prevented that. Turn to A2

Ogle County will soon own another piece of property near its judicial center. The county board voted 20-4 Tuesday to authorize board chairman Kim Gouker, Byron, to sign documents to purchase the house at 102 S. Fifth St., Oregon, for $99,500, and to enter into a three-year lease with the current occupant. The purchase of the house has been a long time in the making. “It’s a piece of property we’ve looked at ever since we built the judicial center,� Gouker said. The judicial center, which is next door to the house to the south, was completed in 2005. The county board purchased the property north of the house, where Jackass BBQ is located at 501 W. Washington St. (Ill. 64), last June from John Spoor for $150,000. The county leases that property to restaurant owner Andy Riegel. The board will purchase the house from Scott and Barb Spoor, and lease it to Robert Lowe, who currently has a law practice there. Lowe has a contract to buy the house from the Spoors

for $89,500 but is willing to forego the purchase if he can rent it from the county, Gouker said. Lowe will pay the county $300 a month rent for the property, pay the real estate taxes, and take care of maintenance, Gouker said. Gouker said an appraiser hired by the county valued the house at $89,500. Board member Lyle Hopkins, Polo, voiced his opposition to the purchase price. “If it was appraised at $89,500, I don’t think we should offer one penny more,� he said. Board member Greg Sparrow, Rochelle, disagreed. “If we were buying it just for a house I would agree with you,� he said. “It’s a vital piece of property for the further expansion of the judicial center.� Gouker said the Spoors were originally asking $129,000 for the house. He said the $300 rent Lowe will pay over the next three years will make up the $10,000 difference between the appraisal and the purchase price. Hopkins cast a no vote, along with board members Skip Kenney, Rochelle, Lee Meyers, Byron, and Pat Saunders, Polo. Voting yes were Gouker, Sparrow, Dorothy Bowers, Byron, Jerry Brooks, Oregon, Bobbie Colbert, Rochelle, Ron Colson, Mt. Morris, John Finfrock, Mt. Morris, Turn to A2

Active Shooter Drill held at Polo High School By Chris Johnson Reporter

Faculty, staff, and school officials in the Polo School District participated in the active shooter drill. “I applaud Polo for wanting to do this training,� Drought said. While direct confrontation with a shooter is not preferred, Drought said it may be necessary to prevent further loss of life. “Fighting back is an option to help save lives,� said Drought. “Since Sandy Hook there is more interest in learning how to deal with these situations.�

One year ago a lone gunman entered Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown Blanks were fired, books Conn. and killed 20 students were thrown and police and six adult staff members. officers were wrestled to the Since that tragedy, school ground during an exercise districts across the United Dec. 11 at the Polo High States have been taking School. measures to prevent a similar “Shootings can happen incident from occurring. anywhere,� said Rock Valley “During the class, the College police chief Joe teachers and faculty will learn Drought. “We need to develop practical measures they can plans on how to respond.� take during an active shooter Knowing what to do during situation,� said Drought. an active shooter event can They include how to help reduce the loss of life, he barricade a classroom, the said. best ways to flee the school, and how to fight back if needed. Drought said Rock Valley College has been offering these classes for five years. The course, titled Practical Responses to Active Shooters, required everyone to learn about active shooters and to get hands on demonstrations during the drill. “Our primary objective is to survive,� said Drought. “We are going to be firing blanks today because people ask what a gun sounds like. A classroom at the Polo High School is barricaded during Blanks are as close as we can the active shooter drill Dec. 11. Photo by Chris Johnson simulate to a real shooting

In This Week’s Edition...

Births, A4 Church News, A5 Classifieds, B6-B12 Entertainment, A6 Fines, B5

without real bullets.� The training instructs participants on how to a defend themselves or the life of another including the use of deadly force, Drought said. “You need to ask yourself ‘what if,’� said Drought. “You need to prepare mentally.� Drought said part of

preparing is getting rid of any thoughts that an incident “can not happen here.� “It can happen here, but hopefully we can prevent it,� said Drought. Two days after the class was held in Polo there was another school shooting in Colorado on Dec. 13.

“The purpose of this class is to build a database or plans. If we are prepared we can find ourselves acting instead of panicking,� he said. The responses available in a school include evacuation, lock down, prepare to fight Turn to A8

Polo Police Sergeant Sean Knight and Rock Valley College Police Chief Joe Drought demonstrate how to take down a gunman if a physical altercation occurs. Photo by Chris Johnson

Library News, A3 Marriage Licenses, A4 Public Voice, A8 Property Transfers, B4

Sheriff’s Arrests, B5 Social News, A4 Sports, B1, B2 Zoning Permits, B5

Deaths, B3 Hortense Ludwig, Michael McPherson, Joan B. Mock, Frederic A. Yoder