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ROCK FALLS | WATER SYSTEM SHUTDOWN
Answers won’t come easily City’s search for cause of failure ongoing, complex BY PAM EGGEMEIER email@example.com 800-798-4085, ext. 570
ROCK FALLS – Nine days after a wastewater infrastructure failure took down the city’s water supply service for 18 hours, an investigation continues into the exact cause of the failure.
Everyone from the city engineers at Willett, Hofmann & Associates to a multitude of subcontractors involved when the plant was built Mayor Bill Wescott have been called “We may to examine the lift Says never know station. exactly what T h e a n s w e r s happened” might not come quickly, or at all, city officials say. “We may never know exactly what happened,” Mayor Bill
water treatInside ment facility. Lyndon The city had was without struggled for water Friday years to meet after a main i n c r e a s i n g l y break, A4 strict federal regulations at the old facility. Rock Falls was under court order to put a new sewage system in place by December 2011. In 2004, the city and its engineers started working toward that end. They worked with the Illinois attorney general’s office and state regulators to reduce
Wescott said. “We’re conducting a thorough investigation, and the good, the bad, or ugly, we’ll let people know.” The sheer number of suppliers and subcontractors used on the nearly $30 million water reclamation project could make it more difficult to put together the puzzle pieces. Willett, Hofmann engineer and Vice President Matthew Hansen estimates that number to be well into the 20s. The raw sewage pump station went online July 28, 2011, followed the next day by the waste-
WEEKEND FEATURE | LOCAL SCHOOLS
‘We’ve waited so long’
the fines assessed until the new facility was built. The city’s engineers have been responding to whatever officials need from them. This is somewhat new territory for some of the people at the engineering firm as well, Hansen said. “With sanitary sewer systems, you can expect to be dealing with backup and wet-weather situations, but I’ve never seen anything like this on this scale,” he said. ANSWERS CONTINUED ON A4
DIXON | CRUNDWELL AFTERMATH
Crundwell returns not all in yet Farmland, bank accounts to increase Dixon’s recovery BY MATT MENCARINI firstname.lastname@example.org 800-798-4085, ext. 529
Photo submitted by Jeff and Melanie Reis
Jeff and Melanie Reis of Sterling play with their daughters (from left) Lena and Lily in August at Sinnissippi Park in Sterling. The road to parenthood was long and bumpy for the couple. They battled Melanie’s ovarian disease, failed fertility treatments, a dead-end domestic adoption journey, and a painful miscarriage before having Lily and adopting Lena from Ethiopia. Today, the Reises could not be more happy.
Couple blessed with miracle baby, adopted orphan BY JENNY YOUNG email@example.com 800-798-4085, ext. 565
STERLING – “Elmo! Elmo!” shouts a curly-haired toddler. Wearing a big smile and Elmo pajamas, Lena runs to the television and dances to a favorite “Sesame Street” song. Meanwhile, her bouncy baby sister, Lily, giggles and plays with toys on the floor.
Their mother, Melanie Reis, 30, of Sterling, never imagined such a scene in her living room. After battling ovarian disease, failed fertility treatments, a dead-end domestic adoption journey, and a painful miscarriage, Melanie’s dreams finally came true. She and her husband, Jeff, 31, are the parents of a little
VOLUME 6 ISSUE 26 44 Pages
Today: 29/10 For the forecast, see Page A11
Ethiopian princess and a miracle baby.
‘The worst look he had ever seen’ Melanie suffers from polycystic ovary syndrome and endometriosis. She and Jeff always wanted a family but struggled to conceive. And their efforts to adopt within the United
Area mechanics open Lonnie’s Affordable Auto Repair in Rock Falls. See Page C1
States led nowhere. When Melanie finally became pregnant in November 2011, the couple were overjoyed – until a devastating appointment knocked the wind out of them. The ultrasound technician listened for the baby’s heartbeat. No thumping. No more life inside Melanie. COUPLE CONTINUED ON A9
Decorating tips Simple home décor tips from the pros Also inside USA Weekend: Braised chicken with tomatillos Vote for top star of Make A Difference Day
DIXON – More money from the assets of former Comptroller Rita Crundwell are coming to Dixon. Crundwell, who was arrested in 2012 for stealing nearly $54 million from the city over two decades, had a 20 percent interest in the Humphrey Family Partnership, which controls about 347 acres of farmland near Dixon, said Jason Wojdylo, chief inspector of the U.S. Marshals Service’s asset forfeiture division. Two known Crundwell bank accounts also contained about $19,000 combined, he said. Crundwell’s share of the farmland is now owned by the federal government, Wojdylo said, the result of her assets being seized soon after her arrest. CRUNDWELL CONTINUED ON A5
Midwinter blues Thought it was cold outside, it was hot inside Rosbrook Studio in Dixon for the Midwinter Meltdown earlier this month. See for yourself. PAGE C12
Index Births................ C5 Markets .......... A12 Business........... C1 Nation ............ A11 Classified .......... D1 Obituaries ......... A4 Comics ............. B8 Opinion............. A6 Community ..... C12 Scoreboard .... B12 Scrapbook ....... C3 Crossword Saturday ........... D5 Sports .............. B1 Support groups .. C5 Crossword Sunday ............. C8 Travel .............. C10 Dear Abby ........ C6 Weather.......... A11 Lottery .............. A2 Wheels ............. D8
! s 36 7EEKEND
COMMUNITY WATCH 3TREET DRIVING WHILE LICENSE SUSPENDED GIVEN NOTICE TO APPEAR IN COURT Corrina L. Cody OF 3TERLING PM 4HURSDAY AT &IRST !VENUE AND 3IXTH 3TREET FAILURE TO YIELD GIVEN NOTICE TO APPEAR IN COURT James A. Cesarek OF 2OCK &ALLS PM 4HURS DAY AT &IRST !VENUE AND 3IXTH 3TREET NO INSURANCE GIVEN NOTICE TO APPEAR IN COURT
Were we in
Ogle County Lee County Sheriff Sheriff Andrew Swift OF #RES VIOLATION ISSUED CITATION
Thomas L. McLain OF !MBOY PM 4HURSDAY Getting it right IN !MBOY VIOLATION OF ORDER OF 7E CARE ABOUT ACCURACY PROTECTION HELD AT ,EE #OUNTY AND WE WANT TO CORRECT *AIL ERRORS PROMPTLY 0LEASE CALL Shawntai E. Royer OF MISTAKES TO OUR ATTENTION 2OCK &ALLS PM 4HURS AT OR DAY PETITION TO REVOKE PROBA EXT OR . TION n MOB ACTION POSTED Correction BOND AND GIVEN NOTICE TO APPEAR IN COURT 4INA 2AJNOWSKI IS AN !LL Dixon Police William E. Zolper OF STATE AGENT IN 3TERLING (ER -ENDOTA PM 4HURS 17-year-old boy FROM LAST NAME WAS MISSPELLED $IXON PM 4HURSDAY IN DAY EXPIRED DRIVERS LICENSE IN THE h)TS -Y ,OGOv CON THE BLOCK OF 7EST 3ECOND POSTED BOND AND GIVEN NOTICE TEST FORM ON PAGE ! OF TO APPEAR IN COURT 3TREET POSSESSION OF DRUG &RIDAYS EDITIONS Dale A. Milliman OF PARAPHERNALIA ISSUED CITY 7E REGRET THE ERROR /REGON AM 4HURSDAY ORDINANCE CITATION ,EE #OUNTY WARRANT FOR THEFT Ronald S. Mangini OF $IXON PM 4HURSDAY ON FAILURE TO APPEAR PETITION TO REVOKE /GLE #OUNTY WARRANT 7EST 3ECOND 3TREET UNLAW Sterling Police FUL POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED FOR CRIMINAL DAMAGE TO PROP Curtis L. Nelson OF ERTY HELD AT ,EE #OUNTY *AIL SUBSTANCE UNLAWFUL POSSES 3TERLING AM 4HURSDAY Nicole A. Burmeister SION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA AT %AST 4HIRD 3TREET AND TH HELD AT ,EE #OUNTY *AIL OF $IXON AM 4HURSDAY !VENUE SPEEDING POSTED WARRANT FOR CONTEMPT POSTED DRIVERS LICENSE AS BOND BOND AND GIVEN NOTICE TO Michael H. Kobbeman Morrison Police APPEAR IN COURT OF 2OCK &ALLS NOON 4HURSDAY Brandon C. Davis OF Pamela F. VanZuiden AT 7EST &OURTH 3TREET AND OF #AMANCHE )OWA &EB 0OLO AM 4HURSDAY !VENUE * NO INSURANCE GIVEN PARKING ON CROSSWALK ISSUED WARRANT FOR FAILURE TO APPEAR NOTICE TO APPEAR IN COURT PETITION TO REVOKE n THEFT /GLE CITATION Troy M. Hernandez OF #OUNTY WARRANT FOR CRIMINAL Brent Fischbach OF 3TERLING PM 4HURSDAY DAMAGE TO PROPERTY HELD AT -ORRISON 4UESDAY CENTRAL IN THE BLOCK OF 7EST &IFTH BUSINESS PARKING ORDINANCE ,EE #OUNTY *AIL
POLICE & FIRE
TON PM 4HURSDAY ON %AST &LAGG 2OAD DRIVING WHILE LICENSE SUSPENDED NO INSURANCE TAKEN TO /GLE #OUNTY *AIL AND HELD IN LIEU OF BOND Sage Gutierrez OF $E+ALB 4HURSDAY AT $E+ALB #OUNTY *AIL WARRANT FOR FAIL URE TO APPEAR ON A CHARGE OF SPEEDING APPEARED IN COURT ISSUED RECOGNIZANCE BOND AND GIVEN NOTICE TO APPEAR IN COURT
State Police Jessica M. Wolfe OF 3TERLING PM 4HURSDAY AT !VENUE ! AND %AST 3EV ENTH 3TREET IN 2OCK &ALLS NO VALID DRIVERS LICENSE NO INSURANCE ISSUED ) BOND AND GIVEN NOTICE TO APPEAR IN COURT !RRESTED AT THE SAME TIME WAS Redric W. Brooks OF $IXON /GLE #OUNTY WARRANT FOR FAILURE TO APPEAR HELD AT 7HITESIDE #OUNTY *AIL Timothy J. Hicks OF 2OCHELLE AM 4HURSDAY AT STATE 2OUTE AND 7OOD LAWN 2OAD IN /GLE #OUNTY NO VALID DRIVERS LICENSE ISSUED
) BOND AND GIVEN NOTICE TO APPEAR IN COURT Whitney A. Swank OF "LOOMINGTON AM 4UESDAY ON )NTERSTATE IN ,EE #OUNTY NO VALID DRIVERS LICENSE n EXPIRED SPEED ING ISSUED ) BOND AND GIVEN NOTICE TO APPEAR IN COURT Dylan M. Hobbs OF $IXON PM 4UESDAY AT 'ALENA !VENUE AND "OYD 3TREET IN $IXON ,EE #OUNTY WARRANT FOR FAILURE TO APPEAR CONTEMPTNONPAYMENT HELD AT ,EE #OUNTY *AIL !RRESTED AT THE SAME TIME WAS Brian J. Henrikson OF $IXON NO VALID DRIVERS LICENSE n EXPIRED ISSUED ) BOND Elizabeth N. Hildebrand OF 3TERLING PM 4UESDAY AT 3ECOND !VENUE AND -ILLER 2OAD IN 3TERLING DRIVING WHILE LICENSE SUS PENDED ISSUED ) BOND AND GIVEN NOTICE TO APPEAR IN COURT Scott E. Jacobson OF -ILTON 7IS PM -ON DAY AT )NTERSTATE AND STATE 2OUTE IN /GLE #OUNTY DRIVING TOO FAST FOR CONDITIONS ISSUED CITATION Bradley M. Stagner OF 3T ,OUIS PM -ONDAY ON )NTERSTATE IN ,EE #OUN TY DRIVING TOO FAST FOR CONDI TIONS ISSUED CITATION
Two hurt Tuesday in 2-vehicle crash 4!-0)#/ n 4WO WOMEN WERE INJURED 4UESDAY IN A TWO VEHICLE CRASH ON 4AMPICO 2OAD A QUARTER MILE SOUTH OF !RCH 2OAD )LLINOIS 3TATE 0OLICE TROOPERS RESPONDED TO THE SCENE AT PM !N 356 DRIVEN BY #HERYL - &OLEY OF $EER 'ROVE WAS SOUTHBOUND ON 4AMPICO 2OAD WHEN IT STRUCK A SNOW EMBANKMENT IN THE ROADWAY 4HE VEHICLE ROLLED COMING TO A REST ON ITS WHEELS IN THE ROADWAY &OLEY AND A PASSENGER IN HER VEHICLE *ESSICA & 3PRUILL OF 4AMPICO WERE TAKEN TO #'( -EDICAL #ENTER BY 4AM PICO AMBULANCE "OTH WERE TREATED AND RELEASED
BIRTHDAYS (APPY BIRTHDAY TO $IANA (OSLER *EFF 0AGE ,EWIS %PPERSON 3TEPHANIE &RITZ $OUG ,AIR 3ANDRA 2OYER +ELLY .ULL AND *USTIN 3HUMAN ALL ON 3ATURDAY (APPY BIRTHDAY TO #HAD )VEY $ON 'EORGE $ANNY "USHAW $ONNA #OX "RIAN (ARPER *ASON 6AN,ANDUIT $AVE -ATZNICK AND 3ARA -C#UE ALL ON 3UNDAY
Rock Falls man arrested on robbery, drug charges BY CHRISTI WARREN CWARREN SAUKVALLEYCOM EXT
ROCK FALLS â€“ A Rock Falls man was beaten and robbed outside the home of an acquaintance who was jailed after the inci-
dent, police say. The victim suffered minor injuries to his face, but required no medical attention, according to a Rock Falls police news release. Rock Falls Commander Tammy Nelson said
Joseph Queen, 21, of Rock Falls, beat up the man Thursday night and took his wallet and $700 that he was carrying. Police responded to a call about the robbery about 7:30 p.m. in the 1100 block
of West Sixth Street. After talking with the victim, Nelson said, police obtained a search warrant for Queenâ€™s home to look for the items taken from the victim. Nelson said they found
the items, along with marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Queen was arrested just after 2 a.m. on charges of robbery, possession of
Serving the area
marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was taken to the Whiteside County Jail, where he remained Friday on a $50,000 bond.
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36 7EEKEND s !
THE PEOPLEâ€™S VOICE
Zythoff has big, surprisingly vulnerable heart F ebruary is American Heart Month, and you know what that means: Myriad stories of folks surviving heart illness and then dramatically changing their lifestyle. Or, more inspiring yet, tales of folks winning heated battles with ailments of the ticker by taking control of things like diet and exercise. This is not one of those stories. But its message might be even more important. If you know the Rev. Ken Zythoff, the longtime minister of Bethel Reformed Church who retired about a year and a half ago, youâ€™ve likely seen him riding his bike. Or perhaps rototilling his or a neighborâ€™s garden. Maybe youâ€™ve seen him and his wife, Sally, strolling through Kilgore Park. But about 3 years ago, that last, seemingly innocent activity triggered a massive heart attack in Zythoff who, by sheer appearances, isnâ€™t the first guy youâ€™d tag for such a harrowing experience. Letâ€™s get this out of the way. Yes, this is a column about people. And Iâ€™m looking forward to telling you all about why Zythoff is a super-awesome guy. In a minute. Because this also is an column, allow me to interject my humble opinion. Oh, and I get to use juvenile tricks for emphasis. Letâ€™s see, ... where is the ... aha! WHAT HAPPENED TO ZYTHOFF COULD HAPPEN TO ANY OF US. With caps lock disengaged, allow me to explain. Zythoff looks the same today as he did the day he had about a 20-minute window before ... well, letâ€™s not think about that. He has always been
christopher HEIMERMAN Heimerman is the Night News Editor at Sauk Valley Media. He can be reached at cheimerman@ saukvalley. com or 800-798-4085, EXT
active. He hasnâ€™t exactly overhauled his diet. The heart is sort of like the emotion itâ€™s so often associated with â€“ it does not discriminate. All it takes is the right combination of any assortment of factors, and youâ€™re a target. In Zythoffâ€™s case, itâ€™s in the family, and his cholesterol level was slightly above the recommended level. But for his father, perhaps the factor was that he was a smoker. Then thereâ€™s gender. Age. Race. Diabetes. Stress. You know, to name a few. So have your annual check-up, folks. Set it up now. Iâ€™ll wait. Nice work. Moving along. Zythoffâ€™s brush with death was a roller coaster. Shortly after admission to CGH Medical Center, he was told that he was having â€“ not that he had, or was about at risk of having â€“ a heart attack. Then medical personnel told Zythoff that the issue had resolved itself, and they left a couple of nurses in the room to keep tabs on him. â€œWithin a few minutes, they were basically sprinting down the hall with me in the gurney,â€? he said. â€œLiterally running,â€? Sally interrupts. â€œI was trying to call our sons, and they were yelling â€˜Code Blue!â€™â€?
Ken Zythoff talks in his Sterling home about his heart attack and how it has changed his approach to everyday life. They prepped him for a catheter, and he was told that his left anterior descending artery (while hard to pronounce, not too scary of a term) was a widow maker. (OK. Is anything scarier than that?) It gets the term because, when a heart attack is born there, only 10 percent of sufferers cheat death. But Sally isnâ€™t a widow today, despite the fact that cardiologist Dr. Paul Maxwell would later tell her that her husbandâ€™s attack was an 8.75 on a scale from 1 to 10. Naturally, Zythoff would point to divine intervention to explain why heâ€™s still here with us. Whether you believe in that sort of thing or not, whatever intervened made the right call. Weâ€™re all better off with him here. Even in retirement, Zythoff volunteers as a police chaplain, as well as at the hospital. He also has helped many, many folks struggling with thoughts of suicide to find and embrace the will to live. And on a perceivably lighter note, when he sees someone he wouldnâ€™t classify as a spring chicken shoveling snow, he pitches in.
Do you hear voices? Not yet? Then click on this story at saukvalley. com to hear the whole conversation with the Rev. Ken Zythoff and his wife, Sally. That reminds me. Take it easy with the shoveling. Just last week, Dr. Maxwell told me, he had six male patients whose vigilance resulted in heart attacks. Back to Zythoff. Heâ€™s got a beautiful family: a charming wife and three sons, all married with children, running his grandkid total to eight. Heâ€™s the sort of upbeat, funny guy youâ€™d think the good Lord would be remiss to take away from us. But that Guy works in
Photos by Michael Krabbenhoeftfirstname.lastname@example.org
The Rev. Ken Zythoff, a 35-year Sterling resident who retired about a year and a half ago, is a heart attack survivor. The former minister at Bethel Reformed Church rides his bicycle regularly and is building a cedar strip canoe. mysterious ways. Iâ€™m sure youâ€™re awesome, too. But donâ€™t trust that being super-great will keep you around. I emphasize again: Get a
check-up. After all, there are 11 other months in a year, and tens of thousands of illnesses that can get you if youâ€™re not vigilant.
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! s 36 7EEKEND
OBITUARIES Jessie Smith STERLING â€“ Jessie Smith, 91, of Sterling, died peacefully Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014, at his home. He was employed at Northwestern Steel and Wire Co. for 35 years, retiring in 1983. He also was owner and operator of Bargain Exterminators for 24 years. Jessie was born July 13, 1922, in Moultrie, Ga., to Curtis and Frances (Holten) Smith. He served in the Army during World War II. He married Barbara Lula (Hereford) Smith on Nov. 2, 1942, in Rossville, Ga. She preceded him in death on July 18, 2010. Survivors include two daughters, Phyllis (Robert) Simpkins of Sterling and Frances (Charley) Riney of Rockford; four sons, Phil Smith, Curtis J. (Joan Leblanc) Smith,
and Ernest Eric Smith, all of Sterling, and Karl (Gwen) Cole of Chicago; 23 grandchildren; 43 great-grandchildren; and 12 great-great-grandchildren. He also was preceded in death by one son, Dwain Hereford; one brother, James Smith; one grandchild, Rebecca Hereford; and one great-grandchild, Xavier Smith. Visitation will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at Schilling Funeral Home in Sterling. The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Monday at Macedonia Baptist Church in Sterling, with the Rev. Cooper and the Rev. Roger Carlson co-officiating. Burial will be at Oak Knoll Cemetery in Sterling. A memorial has been established. Visit www.schillingfuneralhome.com to send condolences.
Albert A. â€˜Alâ€™ Fantuzzi HARMON â€“ Albert A. â€œAlâ€? Fantuzzi, 78, of Harmon, died Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, at KSB Hospital in Dixon. He worked for Ford Motor Co. in Detroit. He was born March 29, 1935, in Oneonta, N.Y., the son of Amando and Angeline (Romanelli) Fantanzzi. He was a veteran of the Marines, serving during the Korean War. He married Helen Willis on July 17, 1972, in Tucson, Ariz. Survivors include his wife of Harmon; five
stepchildren; numerous stepgrandchildren and step-great-grandchildren; and one step-great-greatgrandson. He was preceded in death by two brothers and one sister. Cremation rites have been accorded. Memorial services will be at a later date at Harmon United Methodist Church. Mihm-Jones Funeral Home in Amboy is handling arrangements. Visit www.thejonesfh. com to send condolences.
Evelyn L. Johnson STERLING â€“ Evelyn L. Johnson, 96, of Sterling, died Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, at Four Seasons Living Center in Morrison. Evelyn was born Jan. 31, 1918, in Walnut, the daughter of Eugene Moodie and Ella Christensen. She married Leland Johnson on June 20, 1953, in Rock Falls. He preceded her in death on February 18, 1967. Survivors include five children, Jim, Nelda, Cheryl, Dana, and Darin; one sister, Edith; one brother, Elmer Jr.; 16
grandchildren; 18 greatgrandchildren; and 14 great-great-grandchildren. She also was was preceded in death by her parents; one daughter, Lynn; one son, Rod; and one sister, Edna. Cremation rites have been accorded. No services are scheduled at this time. McDonald Funeral Home & Crematory in Rock Falls is handling arrangements. Visit www.mcdonaldfuneralhomes.com to send condolences.
FUNERAL SERVICES FOR THE WEEK Todayâ€™s visitations: John P. Bauer FORMERLY OF 3TERLING AM AT 3ACRED (EART #ATHOLIC #HURCH IN 3TERLING Edward J. Forder OF 3TERLING AM AT TH !VENUE #HURCH OF #HRIST IN 3TERLING Justin Weems OF 0OLO AM PM AT &INCH &UNERAL (OME IN -OUNT -ORRIS Janice L. Point OF /RE GON PM AT &ARRELL (OLLAND 'ALE &UNERAL (OME IN /REGON Todayâ€™s funerals: John P. Bauer FORMERLY OF 3TERLING AM -ASS AT 3ACRED (EART #ATHOLIC #HURCH IN 3TERLING Mary J. Bierman FORMER LY OF 0ROPHETSTOWN AM AT :ION ,UTHERAN #HURCH IN "ELVIDERE Edward J. Forder OF 3TERLING AM AT TH !VENUE #HURCH OF #HRIST IN 3TERLING John P. Golick OF 3TER LING AM -ASS WITH FAMILY PRESENT FROM AM AT 3T -ARY #ATHOLIC #HURCH IN 3TERLING Justin Weens OF 0OLO
PM AT &INCH &UNERAL (OME IN -OUNT -ORRIS David Deter OF -ORRISON GATHERING OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS PM AT -C$ON ALD &UNERAL (OME IN 2OCK &ALLS Janice L. Point OF /REGON PM AT &ARRELL (OLLAND 'ALE &UNERAL (OME IN /REGON Sunday visitations: Jessie Smith OF 3TERLING PM AT 3CHILLING &UNERAL (OME IN 3TERLING Lucy J. Ege OF $IXON PM AT 3T 0AUL ,UTHERAN #HURCH IN %LIZA BETH Elizabeth L. â€œBettyâ€? Puckett OF 3TERLING PM WITH THE ROSARY RECITED AT PM AT -C$ONALD &UNERAL (OME IN 2OCK &ALLS Sunday funerals: Lucy J. Ege OF $IXON PM AT 3T 0AUL ,UTHER AN #HURCH IN %LIZABETH Monday funerals: Elizabeth L. â€œBettyâ€? Puckett OF 3TERLING AM -ASS AT 3T -ARY #ATHOLIC #HURCH IN 3TERLING Jessie Smith OF 3TERLING AM AT -ACEDONIA "AP TIST #HURCH IN 3TERLING
Lucy J. Ege ELIZABETH â€“ Lucy Jane Ege, 69, of Dixon, passed away Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, at KSB Hospital in Dixon. Lucy was born May 13, 1944, in Elizabeth, the daughter of Herman and Lenore (Spoerl) Ege. She worked in a Kreider Services workshop in Dixon for many years. She was a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Elizabeth. She enjoyed watching TV and collecting stuffed animals and dolls. She also enjoyed going out to lunch and the movies. Most of all, Lucy cherished working and being able to be around her coworkers and friends. Lucy is survived by her brother, Walter (Shirley) Ege of Elizabeth; two
sisters, Eileen (Richard) Corwin of Durand and Virginia Thompson of Freeport; and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents. Visitation will be from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Sunday and the funeral at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Elizabeth, with the Rev. Harvey Nicholson officiating. Burial will be at Elizabeth Cemetery. Law-Jones Funeral Homes are handling arrangements. Memorials may be made Kreider Services; Attn: Becky Reilly, 500 Anchor Road, Dixon, IL 60121. Visit www.lawjonesfuneralhome.com to send condolences.
Obituary information All obituaries, including death notices, are due by 2 p.m. Sunday through Friday if sent via email, obituaries@saukvalley. com or fax, 815-625-9390. Obituary corrections and clarifications will appear in the Corrections
box on Page A2 the next publication day after we are notified of an error. Receipt of all obituaries must be confirmed by phone. For more information, call 800-798-4085, ext. 530 or 502.
Main break results in water outage Tower completely drained BY DAVID GIULIANI DGIULIANI SAUKVALLEYCOM EXT
LYNDON â€“ Village residents found themselves without water shortly after noon Friday. About 6:30 a.m., a water main broke at Fourth Street and Sixth Avenue, which led to a villagewide outage when the water tower was completely drained, Village Clerk Shelly Moore said. The situation was expected to last into the evening â€“ at least. â€œWe have contacted everyone,â€? she said. â€œWeâ€™re fielding one phone call after another.â€? The village water utility serves 280 customers. After it is restored, Moore said, the village plans to issue a boil order to residents. Kathleen Stone, who campaigned for village president last year, said she called village hall to ask about the problem because her children were expected in town
over the weekend. â€œThe woman asked, â€˜Why do you want to know? Are you going to call the EPA?â€™â€? Stone said. Last year, village trustee Les Williams called the Illinois EPA to find out about the status of one of the villageâ€™s wells, which isnâ€™t operating. The EPA said the city had to wait until after the spring thaw to test it. Other village officials criticized Williams for asking the EPA instead of going to them. Stone supports Williams. Stone said she told the woman, â€œWhy do I need to call the EPA? Iâ€™m calling the town. She was accusing.â€? Stone was referred to Moore who, Stone said, answered her questions. Lyndonâ€™s outage occurred 8 days after one in Rock Falls that shut down its system because of a sewer blockage. The cutoff lasted less than a day.
Interfaith Peace group to discuss utilitarianism STAFF REPORT NEWS SAUKVALLEYCOM EXT
STERLING â€“ Sauk Valley Area Interfaith Peace Action will meet at 7 p.m. Monday at Wesley United Methodist Church, 2200 16th Ave. A previously scheduled meeting on Jan. 27 was canceled because of
bad weather. The featured speaker Monday will be James Jaeger of Sterling, who will discuss â€œUtilitarianism â€“ a political alternative for our times.â€? The public is invited. An open discussion will take place after the program. Light refreshments will be available.
Water main breaks in Rock Falls unrelated to shutoff ANSWERS
CONTINUED FROM A1
The wastewater and water situations are regaining some sense of normalcy. From the wastewater side of things, all four pumps at the lift station are running. By dayâ€™s end Tuesday, the pumps had been taken out, examined and cleaned, after being submerged in 190,000 gallons of raw sewage that had backed up at the station. â€œThe pumps are all back in and the motors running,â€? Wescott said. â€œThere are no more problems there.â€? As a safeguard, workers were staffing the lift station around the clock to make sure everything was running smoothly. â€œOur primary concern was to get everything up and going again, and make sure there wouldnâ€™t be a repeat of anything that had failed,â€? City Administrator Robbin Blackert
In Memory of 5/25/33, passed on 2/3/14 Gone but not forgotten. Missed dearly, Janice
said. â€œThe pump station is working like itâ€™s supposed to â€“ alarms, generators, pumps, everything.â€?
Citizen questions Wescott says he has fielded many questions as to what exactly happened on Feb. 13. A few came from Rock Falls resident Troy Ebenezer during the Feb. 18 City Council meeting. Ebenezer wondered why, after the noon power outage, no one was in place at the lift station to check to see whether the equipment was back online. â€œWhen the outage occurred, a couple of sewer workers were outdoors working, and two more were off-site,â€? Blackert said. â€œEverything in the new plant worked immediately. There was no neglect on the workersâ€™ part.â€? With the integration
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technology now used in water and sewer plants, it is no longer general practice to continually man those stations, Wescott said. â€œA large percentage of cities our size donâ€™t man sewer or water plants 24/7,â€? the mayor said. â€œThe alarm systems notify the people responsible.â€? Blackert went on to explain that all of the failsafes at the pumphouse are on the back end of the system. City officials find it perplexing that multiple levels of alarms and the generators failed. â€œThis was a double failure,â€? Blackert said. â€œWeâ€™re very concerned as to why the alarms and generators failed.â€? Despite the failures at the pump station, a bright spot was that everything functioned properly at the new treatment plant, including its alarms. Ebenezer also asked city
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officials why water from the Rock Falls Armory wasnâ€™t used. Wescott said the Armory was willing to help, but by the time the first sergeant went through the proper channels of command, donations had been made by Walmart, the Sterling Kroger and Culligan of Dixon. â€œWeâ€™ve used their water before for special events, but they have to go through headquarters in Springfield,â€? Wescott said. â€œCommand told him to exhaust all available supplies first.â€? By that time, Walmart had offered four semis full of bottled water, not only filling the need faster, but making it easier for residents to use.
Water main breaks still a problem On the water side, 18 homes, in different loca-
tions, had frozen service lines after the water was restored. Officials say they believe that situation was probably related to having had the water shut off for a long period of time. Water main breaks continue in Rock Falls, as is the case in many other cities in winter weather conditions. Those are unrelated to the water being shut off. Since Nov. 1, the city has had 14 water main breaks, including an incident that forced 63 people out of Civic Plaza II. Now that thawing season is here with a vengeance, officials expect the water main breaks to continue. â€œWeâ€™ll continue to have problems with the water side,â€? Wescott said. â€œAll of those main breaks have boil order potential.â€? Despite the inconvenience experienced by
Rock Falls residents, city officials say they are surprised by how understanding people have been. â€œIt obviously is a situation you would rather not go through, but this has turned out to be one of the most positive experiences Iâ€™ve had since Iâ€™ve been at City Hall,â€? City Clerk Eric Arduini said. â€œPeople could have been negative, but instead, most of them are saying â€˜thank you.â€™â€? Now that the crisis has passed, city officials donâ€™t plan to let up on the investigation end, Blackert said. â€œThese modern systems are very high-tech, so this could take some time,â€? she said. â€œWe could try to pacify people, but we want to get to the root cause. Weâ€™re going to put forth every effort to determine what it was.â€?
Saturday, February 22, 2014
36 7EEKEND s !
Government likely to try to sell farmland this year CRUNDWELL
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In September, Dixon settled a lawsuit with its former auditors and a bank for $40 million, and in December received $9.4 million from the auction of Crundwellâ€™s assets, including her horses, real estate, and belongings. After attorneyâ€™s fees from the lawsuit were deducted, the city has received $39.4 million in settlements and restitution. For the past 2 years, each of the five shareholders of the land has received an income of $5,000, Wojdylo said, after the mortgage on the land and expenses were paid. Dixon has already received a $5,000 payment, he said, and the city could soon receive a second $5,000 payment, for the 2013 calendar year. The family hires others to farm the land, Wojdylo said, adding that the acreage is spread out, not contained in a single 347acre plot. In theory, the federal government, and as a result Dixon, is entitled to 20 percent of the income for as long as the family partnership owns it. But Wojdylo said itâ€™s likely the
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Former Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell arrives for a hearing at the federal courthouse in Rockford on Aug. 29, 2012. Money from two bank accounts and from farmland partially owned by Crundwell still could be returned to the city of Dixon. Crundwell is serving a term of nearly 20 years in federal prison for stealing more than $53 million from the city over two decades. government will try to sell its share this year rather than staying involved and having an equal responsibility to maintain the land as a business asset. But selling off the governmentâ€™s share could be difficult because the land isnâ€™t contained in a single lot and because the government has only one of five votes in the partnership. Among its options, the
government could put its share up for sale, Wojdylo said. He wasnâ€™t sure what the interest in a one-fifth share of 347 spread-out acres would be. The rest of the partnership could also buy out the governmentâ€™s share, he said, or the government could transfer ownership of its interest to
the city of Dixon. If the rest of the partnership were going to buy the governmentâ€™s onefifth share, all 347 acres would be appraised, Wojdylo said, and the sale price would be set at a fifth of the total value. Because the acreage isnâ€™t a single parcel, its value can vary depending
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on soil type, among other factors. Dixon also will eventually receive money from two other bank accounts, Wojdylo said, one containing about $18,000 and another with $1,000. A transfer is underway
for the $18,000 from an account Crundwell had at Dixon Federal Credit Union, said Randall Samborn, a U.S. attorneyâ€™s spokeman. Money from the other account could take longer, Wojdylo said, because it had been willed to Crundwell as a transfer on death registration, which means more legal steps must be crossed. The Marshals Service continues to look for other assets it can seize, Wojdylo said, and tries to identify whether more are available. He said some money from a retirement fund could be seized as well. After Crundwellâ€™s 2012 arrest, documents taken from City Hall showed personal loan agreements that Crundwell had made with Dixon Fire Chief Tim Shipman and his wife and with former City Engineer Shawn Ortgiesen and his wife. On Friday, Samborn said he had no new information about the loans and that the matter was still pending. That also was the case in June 2013.
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Opinion ! s 36 7EEKEND
EDITORIAL | OGLE COUNTY
Board correct to take control of tow fund T
his weekâ€™s decision by the Ogle County Board to exert more control over the Administrative Tow Fund was absolutely correct. The tow fund was established in the fall of 2011, in the first year of Sheriff Michael Harnâ€™s term. A county ordinance established a new $350 fee to be assessed against all drivers who had to have their vehicles towed at the behest of the sheriffâ€™s department. Public documents obtained by Sauk Valley Media through a Freedom of Information Act request showed the Administrative Tow Fund collected $210,400 between October 2011 and November 2013, and had withdrawals of $158,132. Records also
showed revenue sources besides the tow fee. The tow fund ordinance gave Sheriff Harn discretion over how that money was spent â€“ a decision that the Ogle County Board apparently lived to regret. Harn spent $22,947 of tow fund money to buy a 2013 Dodge pickup truck and $5,437 for â€œfoldable frisbeesâ€? and other handout items. He paid $4,000 in tow fund money to Bob Coine to run the departmentâ€™s Facebook page, $700 for a tent for the fair, and $170 for flowers for Secretaries Day. Harn also decided to spend tow fund money to buy print ads last month in Ogle County Life and the Rochelle News Leader, at $1,008 each, to tout the fact that his
What we think
limited tow fund expenditures to â€œthe purchase, Kudos to the Ogle County Board for making repair, or maintenance of police vehicles, vehicle improvements in how money from the equipment, or fuel.â€? Administrative Tow Fund is to be monitored Purchases of vehicles must have the advice and and spent. Greater supervision by more consent of the board. elected officials should make for a wiser, And, a board committee will review monthly more professional use of the funds. reports on tow fund department had returned differently about them. spending. a combined $1.3 million However, he also used Before the vote, the to the county by being the sheriffâ€™s department board eliminated the under budget the previcredit card to pay for sheriffâ€™s control over ous 2 years. Harn is a can- thousands of dollars of spending decisions by didate for re-nomination â€œtrainingâ€? meals at local removing wording that in the March 18 Republi- restaurants. He made would have allowed the can primary, and he has personal purchases on sheriff to continue spendtwo opponents. the county credit card ing money at his discreBy creating a fund that and reimbursed them tion. The vote on that was off budget and had directly to the credit card amendment was close: little oversight, the Ogle company. 12-11. County Board asked for Taken together, the Bruce McKinney, a trouble. questions about Harnâ€™s board member from Had Harnâ€™s tow fund spending decisions Rochelle, proposed the expenditures occurred in prompted an appropriate amendment, stating, â€œIt a vacuum, perhaps board response. needs to be back under members would have felt By a 22-1 vote, the board the control of the county
board and county treasurer.â€? That is the key to the entire problem regarding the tow fund â€“ a lack of accountability over how this new revenue stream was spent. Stories by Sauk Valley Media and our sister Ogle County Newspapers publications shed light on the administrative tow fund and raised questions. Pressure by the public helped prompt remedial action by the county board. Now, the tow fund will be operated in a more professional manner. With greater accountability should come wiser decisions on how that money is spent. And thatâ€™s the way it should be. After all, itâ€™s the pubicâ€™s money.
THE READERâ€™S VOICE
Thanks city for leadership during crisis
One thing everyone should remember is the worker is worth every penny, and maybe more than he is paid, if he is doing his job. The job, or spoke, may not be by itself. Maybe some of the owners should take the place of the workers, or spokes, that they believe are being overpaid. Most would not know how, or last long if they did. Then they could throw away the wheel, and not have to pay anyone.
DON and SHERYL NOBLE Rock Falls
We, the people of Rock Falls, owe a big thank you to our mayor, sewer department, and water department for fixing our problem so quickly. Also, thanks to Culligan and Walmart for the water, and thanks to the people with the portapotties. Thanks to all the volunteers and people behind the scenes. All of this was set up and started in a matter of hours, and the problems were solved. This shows that leadership is very important, and emergency actions were put into place. We bring people together, and things get done. We have a few elderly neighbors, and everyone was checked and rechecked, and we got through just fine. Thank you, again.
Police office no place for partisan politics JAMES E. DIXON Dixon
The articles in the Telegraph on Tuesday, Feb. 18, regarding the race for the Lee County sheriffâ€™s position gave me cause for concern. A current Dixon police officer is seeking the Republican nomination for sheriff with the active support of a Dixon police lieutenant. The articles include the apparent agreement of the Dixon police chief to the political positions they are using in their challenge to the incumbent. Not withstanding the disclaimer by the lieutenant that he is acting individually, the letter and articles leave little doubt that there is an effort by the leadership in the department to influence the partisan race for sheriff. I donâ€™t think our police department should be giving the impression that it involves itself in parti-
I endorse Mike Rock for Ogle County stateâ€™s attorney.
Beware of dirty politics before election GINNY MORRIS Harmon
Smearing Dan Rutherfordâ€™s good reputation with unprovable insinuations just before the primary election is the rottenest of dirty politicking. If Mr. Rutherford does not win the primary, watch the allegations fade away. We can shrug our shoulders and say, â€œAh, well, BOB DE ARVIL thatâ€™s Illinois politics.â€? Chana But it shouldnâ€™t be. And In January 2013, the we, as voters, can work to Ogle County Board voted change that. unanimously to affirm Mike Rock as stateâ€™s attorney. Mike brought to the position 20 years of legal experience, 10 of which included serving as a prosecuting attorney in BOB MUSCHAL Ogle County. Heâ€™s a seaMorrison soned litigator with more than 30 jury trials and Excuse me, I should have hundreds of bench trials said â€œclimate change.â€? Climate change sciento his credit. Mikeâ€™s expertise con- tists agree there is clitributed to the sentencing mate change. Of course, of three important felony they have no vested cases in Ogle County. Heâ€™s interest in promoting cliproved to be a fair and mate change. They do firm prosecutor, seek- not depend on climate ing the maximum pun- change for their income. People who doubt cliishment for violent and repeat offenders while mate change are burying utilizing diversion pro- their heads in the sand. I grams when appropriate. am not burying my head in Mike has received the the sand. There is too much endorsement of three durn snow in the way. I would also propose a former Ogle County sheriffs and maintains a great statistic that will prove the rapport with the deputies methodology of the cliand officers throughout mate changers. One hundred percent of all Imams the county. As a family man, Mike agree that Mohammed understands fiscal respon- is the true prophet. One sibility and carries that hundred percent of all understanding into the Roman Catholic priests office. The collection of agree that the pope is the court-ordered fines has representative of Christ increased by more than on the earth. One hun$90,000 over the past year, dred percent of rabbis and $40,000 was returned believe in the teachings of to the county board during the Torah. One hundred the last budgeting process. percent of all atheists Mike is to be commend- agree that the conclusions ed on his reputation, hon- reached above are wrong. esty, professionalism and I know that 100 percent integrity. He willingly of all atheists who are shares his time and tal- offended by the religious ents within the commu- practices of the faithful nity to help advance civic are wasting their energy. goals and advocacy work. Get over it.
Rock for Ogle stateâ€™s attorney Joe Heller, Heller Syndication
san politics, let alone the impression that it wants to take control of the county sheriffâ€™s office. The Dixon commissioner of Public Safety or the Board of Police and Fire Commissioners should act to protect the reputation of the police department. It has been a nonpartisan force operating without political influences and, consequently, has had the highest standing in our community. Letâ€™s not compromise the high standards and reputation of our police department. I also donâ€™t believe any local citizen, whether living in or outside the city, should want a sheriff who was beholden to or otherwise under the influence of the cityâ€™s police authorities. The office of the sheriff should be independent. John Varga is an excellent public servant. He is experienced and efficient â€“ and independent. Letâ€™s keep the Lee County sheriffâ€™s office that way.
Get educated and cast vote in March primary AMANDA NORRIS Sterling
One of our most important duties as citizens of the United States is to participate in the political process. It is vital that
we take this duty seriously. We must take the time to educate ourselves on all candidates who are running and where they stand on the issues that are most important to us. Many people never miss voting in a general election, but very few actually vote in the primary election. Ninety-five percent of the U.S. House of Representatives, state senators, and state representatives are determined in party primaries. And, since only 5 percent of registered voters generally vote in primary elections, every primary vote carries tremendous weight. So, donâ€™t let a handful of voters deny you the opportunity to select the best possible candidate. Now is the time to begin educating yourself on your choices for the March 18 primary. The Sauk Valley Tea Party has invited both candidates for Lee County sheriff, John Varga and John Simonton, and David Hale who is challenging Adam Kinzinger for the 16th Congressional District seat, to answer your questions face to face. All three candidates have graciously accepted this invitation and will join us at the Loveland Community Building in Dixon at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. This meeting is open to the public, and we
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Jennifer Baratta Jim Dunn Sheryl Gulbranson Larry Lough Trevis Mayfield Jeff Rogers
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
encourage every registered voter in Lee County and the 16th District to meet and question these candidates. Then, please, continue to educate yourself â€“ visit candidate websites, research their stance on the issues at hand, and fulfill your duty as a citizen by voting in the March 18 primary election.
Pay workers $10 an hour; theyâ€™re worth it GERALD L. BORK Mount Carroll
Are you worth $10 an hour? There are a lot of Republicans and business people who would probably say you are not. They base their assumptions on how much profit you are making for them. I believe there are few working people that are not worth $10 an hour. The job they are given may not bring in that much by itself, but each spoke in a wheel has a purpose. One wheel on a car is not worth the whole value of the car, but the car is not worth much without four wheels. A store or company owner or manager will not make much of a profit without the workers. Some of these would like to pay the workers little or nothing. Sometimes greed slips in.
â€œIâ€™m used to writing the most unpopular stories in the world. I donâ€™t care what everyone else thinks. News is news.â€? Susan Schmidt, reporter, The Washington Post, 1998
1UOTES BROUGHT TO YOU COURTESY OF
Of course, like-minded people agree
3HARE YOUR OPINIONS Mail: The Readerâ€™s Voice Sauk Valley Media 3200 E. Lincolnway, P.O. Box 498 Sterling, IL 61081 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 815-625-9390 Website: Visit www.saukvalley.com Policy: Letters are to be no more than 300 words and must include the writerâ€™s name, town and daytime telephone number, which we call to verify authorship. Individuals may write up to 12 letters a year.
OPINIONS EXPRESSED IN LETTERS AND COLUMNS ARE THOSE OF THE WRITERS AND DO NOT REPRESENT THE VIEWS OF SAUK VALLEY MEDIA.
Saturday, February 22, 2014
36 7EEKEND s !
Good decisions begin with good information “T
rust but verify” is a Reaganism that should serve individuals as well as superpowers armed with nuclear weapons. People generally can trust their government, and they usually can depend on the media (despite a long-standing political strategy designed to make you think otherwise). Most – though not all – of those folks involved in both work on behalf of the public interest. But such trust should be tempered with skepticism, and it should be questioned and challenged regularly. People should consider many sources of information, and different points of view, in determining what’s best for them. How do they do that? Three words: Knowledge is power. PUBLIC ACCESS LAWS are designed to put information – power – in the hands of the people. That’s you. Those statutes give you a legal right to attend meetings of government bodies and inspect records kept by government offices. If you don’t trust poli-
ticians to give it to you straight, and you don’t believe the news media will protect your interests ... well, you can do it yourself. Although news reporters regularly use Illinois’ Open Meetings Act and Freedom of Information Act, those are called public access laws for a reason. Journalists have no more rights to attend meetings and inspect records than you do. You should take a personal interest in making sure your rights in that regard are protected – and expanded.
AMONG BILLS FILED in the current Illinois Legislature are two that could affect your access to government information. One, House Bill 4268, would require public bodies to have a hearing on public employee contracts before approving them. The other, Senate Bill 3072, would block the public – and the press – from getting access to 911 recordings. Both are issues with a history in the Sauk Valley. THIS NEWSPAPER has, during this editor’s ten-
larryLOUGH Larry Lough is executive editor of Sauk Valley Media. Contact him via email at llough@ saukvalley. com.
ure, been pretty aggressive in pushing government bodies to release publicly – before voting to approve – tentative contracts with their employees. We objected loudly in 2009 when the Sterling City Council withheld details of a renegotiated contract with firefighters. Both sides refused to release their agreement after negotiations ended on the Friday before Labor Day. When city council members voted on the deal the following Tuesday, they did so without telling the public what was in the contract revisions. In fact, no one said a word when the mayor asked for “discussion” before the vote to approve. In 2012, the Sterling School Board voted on a new contract with teachers. The meeting agenda called it “a two-year col-
lective bargaining agreement with the Sterling Education Association.” But the superintendent refused to make the contract public – even the day after it was approved – calling it “a preliminary first draft” of a contact. But the board never took another vote once a final contract was drafted. It was made public a couple of weeks later. That kind of nonsense will stop if House Bill 4268 becomes law. It would require, before any such contract was approved, a government entity to publish the agreement on its website and, within 14 days of posting it, conduct a public meeting to discuss the negotiated deal. Why should you care? Because the largest part of your property tax dollar goes to support your local public school district. And the largest part of its budget is used for the pay and benefits of teachers as provided in that contract. Maybe some people don’t mind being told that how their tax dollars are spent is none of their business. Maybe they should.
THIS COMMUNITY has had a healthy discussion in recent weeks about a
911 recording that this newspaper obtained from state police under the Illinois’ Freedom of Information Act. That recording revealed the conversations in November that a state police dispatcher had with motorists who reported a man in distress lying along Interstate 88. Although at least three drivers told the dispatcher the mile-marker near to where the man lay, waving for help, police couldn’t find him. He froze to death overnight. The recording raised many questions for people who read the transcripts in the newspaper: Did police try hard enough to find the man? Was police procedure adequate to address the situation? Was it followed? Why didn’t the dispatcher tell one of the callers to stay at the scene to show police where to find him? That is the value of making 911 recordings accessible: They allow the public – and the press – to monitor the performance of public safety forces in their official duties. SB 3072 would deprive the public of those recordings, which are
government records relating to how effectively public employees are serving the community. Maybe some people think the performance of police and fire departments is none of the public’s business. But we suspect that most of the public is keenly interested in the subject. Or they should be. WHO DO YOU TRUST to look out for your interests? If you believe the only person you can really trust is yourself, you ought to be interested in having the information you need to make intelligent decisions on matters that affect your life and that of your family and neighbors. That includes the decisions you make about who you elect to public office. Information obtained from public access laws – whether school budgets or police activity logs – can help you to make those decisions. Twentieth century philosopher John Dewey observed that it’s difficult to interest the public in the public interest. It shouldn’t be. Knowledge is power.
THE READER’S VOICE
Don’t approve of abortion? Don’t have one STEVEN A. LOPEZ Sterling
After reading the letter sent in by Charles Becker [“Abortion still heinous, godless,” The Reader’s Voice, Feb. 8], I had to pick the pencil back up. Becker started by
assuming this generation is opposed to [abortion rights], and future generations will look down on the “godless” act of abortion. That isn’t true. This current generation is the most secular generation we’ve had, and it’s reasonable to predict the coming generations will only continue to be more secular. For this reason, it doesn’t matter how “godless” the act is to people.
He then states his idea on life is supported by facts. It isn’t. You have to determine what kind of life you’re describing. You say life begins at conception, even when we know it isn’t a mammalian organism immediately. It’s simply a cluster of unconscious cells. When it comes to specifying life, the biggest factor is consciousness. So there’s the question: Is a
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fetus conscious? Or, is it, like every other unconscious thing, just an arrangement of cells? The answer to that, I’m sorry to say, Mr. Becker, is contrary to your position. We have no evidence supporting the consciousness of an embryo. Then Becker added in a comment against homosexuals, objecting to their deserved rights, and ironically claim-
What do you think? Let us know. Write your own letter to the editor and send it to: letters@saukvalley. com ing it’s our leader’s fault that life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness are in jeopardy. Have you ever thought that maybe the reason our freedom is in jeopardy, is because of
people who oppose it as you do? Your religion is yours; it’s not a code that the rest of us must live by. If you have an issue with abortion, don’t have one. If you have an issue with gay marriage, don’t marry a gay person. But please, don’t infringe on others’ lives simply because you wouldn’t live that way yourself.
! s 36 7EEKEND
CRIME IN THE SAUK VALLEY | SEX OFFENDERS
Why are some offendersâ€™ photos missing? Local police explain absence on state website BY DAVID GIULIANI DGIULIANI SAUKVALLEYCOM EXT
Illinois requires registered sex offenders to have their photos on the stateâ€™s database. Most do, but not all. As of mid-week, Whiteside and Lee counties each were missing photos for six offenders on the state sex offenders website (www.isp.state. il.us/sor), which is run by state police. Whiteside Countyâ€™s section included 124 offenders, while less populous Lee County had 73. According to the state police website, local law enforcement agencies must take photos of offenders in their jurisdictions when they register. They must then forward the pictures to state police. The state police website says offenders lack photos on file for two reasons: local agencies didnâ€™t take their pictures during registration, or they never forwarded them to state police. According to their website, state police try to ensure that all sex offenders have photos attached to their information. Sean Black, a spokesman for the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault, said no one had called his
group about photos not appearing on the state website. â€œWe hope the agencies resolve that issue,â€? he said. â€œThe website loses some of its functionality without the pictures. Obviously, when people go on it, they want to see the picture and the address.â€? If pictures are not posted, the public is advised to call local law enforcement agencies to inquire about such problems, according to the state police website. Sauk Valley Media did just that, and hereâ€™s what it found out:
Dixon Three sex offenders living in Dixon had no photos. One of them got his photo taken for his initial registration a day before Sauk Valley Media called, Police Chief Danny Langloss said. As for the two others, Langloss said in an email, â€œWe will resend them today, since [state police] donâ€™t have them.â€?
Unincorporated Lee County A couple of offenders were without photos in unincorporated parts of Lee County â€“ the Sheriffâ€™s Departmentâ€™s jurisdiction. One offenderâ€™s photo was forwarded to the state police a couple of weeks ago, Sheriff John FREE KITCHEN DESIGNS BY Jocelyn Lilly, Kitchen Design: 815-266-1354
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&ACEBOOK BARS CONVICTED SEX OFFENDERS FROM ITS WEBSITE BUT PLENTY OF THEM USE IT ANYWAY )N A SPOT CHECK OF RECORDS EIGHT SEX OFFENDERS IN 7HITESIDE #OUNTY AND ONE IN ,EE #OUNTY ARE ON &ACEBOOK &ACEBOOK HAS A FEATURE IN WHICH PEOPLE CAN REPORT SEX OFFENDERS ON THE WEBSITE 4HE COMPANY REQUIRES DOCUMENTATION VERIFYING THAT A USER IS A CONVICTED OFFENDER %XAMPLES OF DOCUMENTATION INCLUDE A LISTING IN A NATIONAL SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY A COURT DOCUMENT OR AN ONLINE NEWS STORY ! FEW YEARS AGO THE STATE ENACTED A LAW THAT PRO HIBITS SEX OFFENDERS FROM SOCIAL MEDIA SUCH AS &ACE BOOK )T APPLIES TO THOSE WHO COMMITTED SEX OFFENSES AND WERE CONVICTED AFTER *AN 4HEY MUST REFRAIN FROM ACCESSING OR USING A SOCIAL NETWORKING SITE WHILE ON PROBATION PAROLE OR MANDATORY SUPER VISED RELEASE
(ERE ARE WHERE SEX OFFENDERS WITHOUT PHO TOS LIVE WHITESIDE COUNTY s 4WO IN 3TERLING s /NE IN &ULTON s /NE IN 0ROPHETSTOWN s /NE IN -ORRISON s /NE IN UNINCORPORAT ED 7HITESIDE #OUNTY
Varga said. â€œWhy itâ€™s not there, Iâ€™m not sure,â€? he said. â€œThe other one is being sent today.â€?
Ashton Another offender without a photo lives in Ashton. â€œIf we have to take a photo, we will,â€? Police Chief Darrell Farringer said. â€œIâ€™m all for it.â€?
Sterling Two sex offenders in Sterling lack photos on the website. One of them has moved to Wisconsin, where he
offenders, was aware of a man convicted in DuPage County who now lives in Fulton. She said a photo was taken and that local schools had it. After an interview, Borgman called back to say she had re-sent the information to state police, saying the agency told her it updates its website every Friday.
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at the time, or an officer assumed we had a picture.â€?
was convicted in the first place, said Claudia Garcia, who handles the registrations for the Sterling Police Department. She was informed about that development by a parole officer. She said she thought the other agency would remove the information from the website. The Wisconsin sex offender website showed the man had, in fact, moved to Madison. As for the other offender, Garcia said, â€œI would guess he came in here to register and our booking machine wasnâ€™t working properly and was unable to take a photo
Morrison A man convicted of a sex offense in Missouri lives in Whiteside Countyâ€™s seat. Chief Brian Melton was aware of that man. â€œHe was registered through the state probation or parole system,â€? Melton said. â€œIâ€™ll do a little research on this. If I need to take a photo, I will.â€?
Fulton Renee Borgman, the Fulton Police Departmentâ€™s employee in charge of tracking sex
A man convicted in Iowa lives in Prophetstown. No photo was on the state website. Police Chief Mike Fisk was familiar with the offender. â€œProbation did call in November about the address where he would be living. They wanted to take a look at it,â€? he said. As for the lack of a photo, the chief said, â€œI think we can get that fixed.â€?
Unincorporated Whiteside County The Whiteside County Sheriffâ€™s Department said it would check the one convicted sex offender in its jurisdiction whose photo is not on the website.
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