GALENA-After hearing public comments both for and against, the Jo Daviess County Board voted 11-6 Tuesday evening, Jan. 10, to deny a request from four school districts-Galena, Stockton, Warren and East Dubuque-to increase the school facilities sales tax from the current half cent to a full cent. Board members following the recommendation of the county's executive committee to deny the request were Randy Jobgen, Dane Jackson, Ron Mapes, Kim Monk, Marvin Schultz, Dan Sheridan, Ron Smith, Merri Berlage, William Cooper, Richard Dittmar and Bernece Hill. Those voting against the denial were Margie Montelius, Steve Rutz, Terry Stoffregen, Don Zillig, Gerald Bennett and Don Hill. In 2009, after voters approved the tax in a referendum, the county board denied the proposed school facilities tax before reconsidering and passing it at one-half cent instead of the full penny proposed. Now, after the state passed an amendment to the County School Facilities Tax in August 2011, the schools asked the county board to increase the tax to a full penny. For a complete report of the board's decision, see the Jan. 18 Gazette. Wednesday, January 11, 2012
JO DAVIESS COUNTY-A few weeks ago, there was a fire in Elizabeth, and the Red Cross was there. Northwest Illinois Chapter Emergency Services Director Frank Bruscato, Scales Mound, was there at the fire, offering immediate relief to a family that had lost everything.
And he's looking for others to help.
"That's our mission right now, to get more volunteers," he said.
CHICAGO - Amtrak has completed a report requested by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) that evaluates possible Northwestern Illinois routes between Chicago and Dubuque, Iowa, via Rockford, Ill. This "Feasibility Report on Proposed Amtrak Service" is also in response to a July 2006 town meeting held in Rockford and hosted by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) who was joined by Congressman Donald Manzullo (R-Ill.), Amtrak and IDOT representatives, labor officials and community leaders from Boone, Winnebago, Stephenson, Jo Daviess, DeKalb and Ogle Counties.
In the report, the approximate cost of upgrading the railroad infrastructure to accommodate passenger train speeds is up to $62 million, dependent on the choice of routes. Not included in this figure are any capital costs for railcars and locomotives, nor what are assumed to be the local costs of providing stations.
GALENA TERRITORY-The Galena Territory Association (GTA) held elections Saturday, Feb. 24 to fill three seats on its board of directors. Bill Kimball, Liz Mitchell-Laubhn and Nancy Willet will take the seats held by Bob Strahlman, Linda Connor and Bernie Martin. Charles Kveton was also on the ballot, but was not elected to the board. The new board members are allowed to serve for three years and to serve another term if they are re-elected.
According to Joe Mattingly, executive director of the Galena Territory Association there were 1309 ballots cast out of 3270 properties that are members of the association.
GALENA-District librarian Carolyn Gephart welcomed Hispanic families of the Galena School District at A Night of Books on Tuesday, Feb. 20 in the Galena High School learning center library. The evening showcased the 216 new non-fiction bilingual books purchased through a $3,000 grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Illinois State Library under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act.
GALENA-After the prolonged subfreezing spell we endured in February, most Galenians-other than skiers and operators of skiing facilities-are probably hoping for an early spring.
By a coincidence, a change the federal government made in 2005 fits perfectly with that eager longing. One of the first annual intimations of summer is the emergence, as regular as that of Punxatawney Phil of the Underground Rodent Weather Bureau, of the inevitable " Spring Forward, Fall Back" mnemonic to remind us of longer daylight and warmer days ahead, and of the need to set our clocks ahead one hour in recognition of daylight saving time. Tuesday, February 27, 2007
JO DAVIESS COUNTY-Blackwater North announced late last November its plans to open a facility in Mt. Carroll. The facility, which provides training for law enforcement and military courses, will offer a number of courses over the coming months.
The facility currently has seven flat ranges, one Known Distance (KD) Range, one Unknown Distance Range, one Climbing/Rappelling/Shooting Tower, and many other training areas. All the ranges on this 80-acre facility were being refurbished and outfitted to provide the same training as the main Blackwater Training Center in Moyock, NC.
JO DAVIESS COUNTY-It would seem one phone hassle isn't enough.
Along with the implementation of the new area code overlay-in which now callers must dial the area code, every call-phone services were beguiled last week as long distance services appeared to shut down.
GALENA-On Friday, March 2, St. Matthew Lutheran Church, 127 S. High St., Galena, will host the Galena United Churches World Day of Prayer, beginning at noon.
The United Churches of Galena will join with men and women in 170 countries to observe the annual event. The service has been written by women of Paraguay, exemplifying the theme, "United Under God's Tent." Tuesday, February 27, 2007
GALENA-The staff of the Galena/Jo Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau recently attended the 2007 Governor's Conference on Tourism, entitled "The Future Is Ours," from Feb. 7-9 at Chicago's Palmer House Hilton, along with more than 600 other tourism professionals from around the state.
The conference, celebrating its 20th year in 2007, featured leading industry experts on the topics of unique industry trends, new media technology, marketing to growing travel segments and more, along with seasoned speakers on the topics of Web design and customer service.
GALENA-In Galena, accidents happen. When they do, police are usually the first on scene.
The Galena Citizen's Police Academy will hold its first meeting March 1. The 10-week course, offered through the Galena Police Department, is meant to give people a better understanding of how law enforcement operates, from telecommunications systems, to the jail, and even to accident investigations.
GALENA-Residents and visitors alike are invited to get out of the cold, win prizes and see a replica of the three-time World Series Champion Paul Newman-Carl Haas Champ Car at Galena's eighth annual Business Showcase from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, March 3, at the Galena Convention Center, U.S. 20. Admission is free.
The late-winter event, sponsored by the Galena Area Chamber of Commerce, brings more than 60 area businesses, agencies and non-profits under one roof. Attendees can sample free food and beverages and register for more than $1,000 in door prizes.
JO DAVIESS COUNTY-Few things are more universally despised than the new area code overlay.
Effective Feb. 17, the Illinois Commerce Commission's new overlay is meant to supplement the telephone number supply in Illinois.
It's also forced everyone making a call-on a cell phone or land line-to dial more than just seven numbers when they make a call. There will also be a new area code popping up for new phone numbers in Galena.
Judge William Kelly is allowing voters to decide on the Elizabeth Township Public Library's referendum for expansion. The library board gave the judge a new proposal, this time exempting Guilford Township from the plan, at a Wednesday, Feb. 14 hearing.
"We are up and moving," said Norma Schwirtz, treasurer and spokesperson for the Elizabeth library board.
GALENA-For the second year in a row, Fried Green Tomatoes received the "Best of Taste" Award as voted by Galena Art & Recreation Center (ARC) "Taste of Galena" attendees.
Serving up Surf and Turf Napoleon, Fried Green Tomatoes pleased the palates.
"I'm proud to be part of such a first class event for the Galena ARC. It's a special honor to be chosen 'Best of Taste' among so many great restaurants!" said FGT owner Fred Bonnet. Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Voting assistance will be available at all polling places in Jo Daviess County for voters who are either temporarily or permanently physically incapacitated or over the age of 65 at the April 17 consolidated election, according to Jo Daviess County Clerk Jean Dimke.
"If you wish to go to the polls but need assistance," Dimke noted, "arrangements can be made so you can vote from your car if you call this office (815-777-0161) no later than Monday, April 16. Absentee voting is another choice for someone who is physically unable to go to the polls." Tuesday, February 13, 2007
ELIZABETH- In the aftermath of Jo-Carroll Energy's acquisition of electric and natural gas distribution assets from Interstate Power and Light Company (IP&L, an Alliant Energy Company), rates are going up.
Rates for electric accounts in the acquired territory will increase an average of approximately 13 percent as compared to December 2006 bills from IP&L. The specific increase for each account varies based on a variety of factors such as the number of kilowatt hours used and the class of service for the account (e.g. residential, commercial, industrial). This is the first rate change for these customers since 1984. Rates for existing Jo-Carroll Energy members already are adjusted on a regular basis to reflect cost fluctuations, and thus will not be subject to this increase. Tuesday, February 13, 2007