Friday, December 19, 2014

Lawmaker wants investigation of St. Louis prosecutor - Yahoo News

 

A Missouri lawmaker is calling for an investigation of St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch, saying he "manipulated" the grand jury in the Ferguson case. McCulloch said in a radio interview on Friday that some witnesses obviously lied to the grand jury.

State Rep. Karla May is pushing for a state investigation, saying she believes McCulloch helped sway the grand jury into the decision not to indict Ferguson officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was black and unarmed.

McCulloch, who convened the grand jury in August, was interviewed Friday by KTRS Radio in St. Louis. It was his first interview since he announced the grand jury decision on Nov. 24.

"Clearly some were not telling the truth," McCulloch said.

He made reference to one woman who claimed to have seen the shooting. McCulloch said she "clearly wasn't present. She recounted a story right out of the newspaper" that backed up Wilson's version of events, he said.

McCulloch did not return messages left with his office by The Associated Press on Friday seeking comment about May's allegations, and whether he would pursue perjury charges against any witnesses who may have lied.

Read more by clicking on the following:  Lawmaker wants investigation of St. Louis prosecutor - Yahoo News

Email phishing scams escalate | The Rock River Times

 

For each legitimate confirmation email that will be sent by online retailers, there will be just as many that are fraudulent. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is issuing an alert to consumers warning of “phishing” scam emails that may hit their in-boxes.

“The scammers target individuals posing as major online sellers like Amazon, eBay and airlines,” said Dennis Horton, director of the Rockford Regional Office of the BBB. “Because consumers are anxious to receive confirmation of their purchases, they more easily fall into the trap of opening phishing and other malicious emails.”

The criminals are out to get personal and financial information to use for identity theft and other illegal activities. As an example, the Amazon phishing emails have a subject of “Your order on Amazon.com” and return address of “amazon.com” and use actual Amazon graphics, making them appear real. The email also has an attachment that, when opened, installs a Trojan virus that creates a process that will harvest banking information, email logins and social media accounts.

Horton also suggests employers warn their employees not to open attachments from major retail sites.

“Trying to stay ahead of their Christmas shopping, employees try to get some purchases done during the work day,” Horton said. “However, doing so can put your company at risk for a security breach. Because it’s difficult to monitor this kind of activity, it’s important to make sure your company’s computers have reliable email filters that will prevent spam, protect in-boxes and check for suspicious content.”

Following are some tips to avoid becoming a victim of a cyber-crime:

• If you are expecting a confirmation receipt, log into your account and check for confirmation there.

• Be cautious of emails that contain attached files.

• Don’t respond to unsolicited emails.

• Don’t click on links in unsolicited emails.

• Avoid filling out forms contained in email messages asking for personal information.

• Make sure that all links in an email match.

• If you are requested to act quickly or are told that there is an emergency, it may be a scam.

• Install anti-virus software and keep it up to date.

• Install a personal firewall and keep it up to date.

If you might have been tricked by a phishing email, do the following:

• File a report with the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov/complaint.

• Visit the FTC’s Identity Theft website. Victims of phishing could become victims of identity theft; there are steps you can take to minimize your risk.

• Forward phishing emails to spam@uce.gov — and to the company, bank or organization impersonated in the email.

For more about scams, visit www.bbb.org.

Email phishing scams escalate | The Rock River Times

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Taxpayers Want Voters to Decide on New N. Boone Schools Stadium

NOTE DEADLINE IS 12-29-2014

BOONE COUNTY (WIFR) -- A backdoor deal, that's what a group of taxpayers is calling the North Boone School Board's decision to use money from a sales tax referendum, to build a new sports stadium. The group is pushing an effort to let voters decide.

Pages of signatures sit in front of former North Boone school board members Glen Gratz and Tom Kinser. They're part of a group that's trying to collect nearly 500 signatures to get a referendum put on the April 7th ballot.

"My philosophy on the school board was when you went for major capital improvements, that it should be done by voter referendum," said Kinser.

Kinser believes taxpayers should vote on using $4.5 million dollars to build a new sports stadium. The school board has already approved the move.

Money from last year's one percent sales tax referendum would pay for the stadium and that's a concern for some people. In 2013, the district said those funds would likely be used to pay down debt.

Kinser said, "It could either keep property taxes from going up as much, it could keep them flat or it could keep them low."

Kinser and Gratz both admit the old stadium needs work, but they think taxpayers should make the call; a new stadium or more property tax relief.

"At least not do it in a rush without the public voting on this amount of money," said Glen Gratz.

The district will use about $116,000 every year, of the $450,000 they get from the sales tax every year, to pay off debt.

The board also just voted to use a $12.5 million state grant for debt. The district says that $12.5 million was a game-changer and they didn't expect to get that money so soon, when they were initially discussing using the sales tax revenue for debt.

If you're interested in signing the petition to get a referendum on the ballot, you can visit Curves in the Countryside Square Mall in Poplar Grove, Northern Illinois Computer Exchange at 142 W. Main St. in Capron, and Angie's Salon at 115 S. 4th St. in Capron. Group members will also come to your location if you can't make it to any of the above businesses.

Click the attached link for more information from the taxpayer group.

Taxpayers Want Voters to Decide on New N. Boone Schools Stadium

Voter's Information Guide

North Boone Consolidated Unit School District 200

Voter Information Guide: Board of Education’s Decision to Issue $4.5 million in New Bonds

Background:

At the November 24, 2014 meeting of the North Boone Unit School District 200 (NBCUSD 200) Board of Education (BOE), a resolution was passed by a vote of 5-2 to “Declare the intention to issue $4,500,000 Working Cash Bonds for the purpose of increasing the District’s Working Cash Fund.”  The BOE intends to use the majority of these funds to finance a new sports facility with the remainder funding unidentified repair projects.  The specific amounts that would be designated towards the expenses were not identified nor were specific repair projects.  It was estimated that the expected interest rate on this money would be 4% with a term of 20 years.   Based on standard amortization tables, total Bond and Interest (B & I) repayment totals would be approximately $6,500,000.

The BOE was able to pass this resolution and begin this process because of the recently enacted 1% Sales Tax Increase for Boone County Schools that has resulted in a new revenue stream of approximately $450,000 annually for NBCUSD 200.  Based on the discussion among the BOE during this meeting, there seemed to be a consensus to use approximately $100,000 of that revenue for property tax relief (abatement of taxes for annual payments on the Transportation/Administration Building) with the remaining amount to support the repayment of these new bonds totaling $4,500,000.

According to Illinois State Law, the BOE may proceed with this action unless 10% (498) of the voters within NBCUSD 200 sign a petition that this decision should go to all of the voters of NBCUSD 200 at the April 7, 2015 election.  These petitions must be filed within 30 days of the BOE publishing their intentions.  Since the notice was published on November 30, 2014, the petitions would need to be submitted by December 29, 2014.

Issue:

The District 200 voters that have provided this information see this issue as neither “for” or “against” the construction of a new stadium or unidentified building repairs.  The issue is one of tax payer rights – who should commit NBCUSD 200 to major capital projects – 5 members of the BOE or a majority of the nearly 5,000 registered voters of NBCUSD 200. At an estimated price tag of $6,500,000, this proposal would add $1,300 of debt to every voter in the taxing district.   This decision will affect property tax rates for the next 20 years and will minimize the flexibility future BOE’s will have.  We believe that all voters should have a voice to vote “yes” or “no” to major capital initiatives within NBCUSD 200.  We also believe that the expression of these rights should not divide the community, but strengthen it as decisions become “owned” by the voters because everyone was a part of the process.

Action:

If you agree that decisions of this magnitude should be decided by the all of the voters, then help us by either signing an existing petition or help us circulate them.
http://reboot.rebootillinois.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/vote-cartoon.jpg 

Above is from: image

 http://www.wifr.com/news/headlines/Taxpayers-Want-Voters-to-Decide-on-New-N-Boone-Schools-Stadium-286274401.html

UPDATE: First Responders Settling Ambulance Dispute in Poplar Grove

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North Boone Fire leaders say they need to clear the air as they continue to fight to expand their ambulance services.

The North Boone Fire District No. 3 and Capron Rescue Squad say they're working on an agreement, avoiding a legal dispute determining who can offer ambulance service in Poplar Grove.

Capron Rescue Squad has been the ambulance authority in North Boone District 3 since the late 50's, but this year North Boone decided to buy a and operate an ambulance out of its Poplar Grove station- a move than met much resistance from Capron Rescue.

Capron filed an injunction against North Boone Fire District 3 earlier this year, but dropped the lawsuit earlier this week when both sides agreed to discuss North Boone's role in offering ambulance services moving forward.

Those discussions have yet to take place but are scheduled for January 8th of next year.

"It's a little disturbing that we got so much friction from the Rescue Squad," said North Boon Fire District No. 3 board president Ray Morse. "They want us to come to a joint agreement where we'll be happy, they'll be happy and we can work together and that's all we wanted to do is work together."


BOONE COUNTY (WIFR) – A plan to put more ambulances on the road, which could mean quicker responses in emergencies, has been put on hold.

The Capron rescue squad filed an injunction to stop the formation of the North Boone Fire Protection Number Three’s Ambulance Squad. Capron Rescue says the fire district needed to put a referendum on the ballot which didn’t happen.

"We're not against the fire department starting ambulance service the way the law is interpreted by our lawyer they need to go to referendum before starting an ambulance service. We felt they didn't do that, they didn't take the proper steps,” said Capron Rescue Squad Board President Owen Costanza.

The Capron Rescue Squad has been around since the late 1950’s and is funded through taxes. The board’s president, Owen Costanza says people who live within the Fire District would have to vote whether to pay an additional tax for that new ambulance service. However, when it comes down to it, Costanza says his squad has no problem handling the nearly 70 runs each month.

Terry Logan’s bar, The Stumble Inn is right next to one of the stations and say she doesn’t think there are enough calls to warrant the need for two companies.

"I don't know exactly how much these folks are utilized but without knowing that, I just don't see another, I just don't see the need,” said Logan.

We spoke with the fire chief who didn’t want to comment.

We’re told the Capron Squad is willing to work with the Fire District and Costanza says he has a standing offer for the Fire District to have an ambulance assist the squad when they’re overwhelmed with calls. The Capron Squad already works with three other ambulance services for those situations.

UPDATE: First Responders Settling Ambulance Dispute in Poplar Grove

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Belvidere Daily Republican: Belvidere AGREEMENT for train station

 

BELVIDERE - An intergovernmental agreement with the Illinois Department of Transportation to build a new passenger railroad station near downtown has been referred to city council for action.
Aldermen, sitting as a committee of the whole, approved that step Monday night (Dec. 8) in a 9-0 vote.
This is a $2.643-million project that will be paid for entirely by IDOT, according to the agreement. The only possible city exposure would be cost overages, and any design, environmental and construction activities not included in the breakdown of costs.
Once the agreement has been approved design of the station will be done. Construction of the platform and at least a shell of the depot must be done by October 2015.
Public Works Superintendent Brent Anderson told the committee the city will pay for the work up-front, and be reimbursed by the state. City Attorney Michael Drella assured officials that "if they (state) stop paying, we stop work."
"Our exposure will be somewhat limited," Anderson said.
The project also includes a 150-space parking lot that will utilize the existing lot across Whitney Boulevard from city hall. The location of the depot has been moved slightly so it doesn't encroach on the Boone County Historical Museum property.
Here is a breakdown of the overall cost:
Preliminary engineering, $30,000; environmental, $10,000; final design, $100,000; construction project management, $60,000; parking lot, $200,000; platform, about 500 feet long, $419,375; and the depot, $1.454 million. The contingency fund, for unexpected expenditures, will be $369,655.
Alderman Ron Brooks said he saw in the agreement that IDOT could pull out of the project if the work isn't funded.
"Yes, that's typical," Anderson replied.
Belvidere will be a stop on the new train service that will link Rockford with the city of Chicago.
SURVEY FINDS VIOLATIONS
Also Monday the committee was informed by Anderson that the Environmental Protection Agency had conducted a field survey of the city's water system. The survey was conducted Nov. 19, with two violations of state standards being found.
One of them was the need to conduct a cross-connection survey of the 7,770 customers of the water system. The purpose of the study is to "identify improper plumbing arrangements that may allow contamination of the water supply through backflow or back siphonage conditions, and to require those improper plumbing arrangements to be eliminated."
Such a survey should be conducted every two years, he said, with Belvidere last doing one about four years ago.
The other violation was having a "significantly outdated" emergency management plan. That plan is to include the following items:
1. Identification of potential natural and human-caused risks to the water system.
2. Identification of personnel responsible for response actions, notification procedures and public/press relations should such an emergency occur.
3. Measures for averting or avoiding emergencies and the means for implementing the emergency response plan. An emergency management plan must be prepared and kept updated.

(5) Belvidere Daily Republican

How much does a dog adoption from Boone County Animal Shelter Cost?

 

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Above is from:  http://www.boarddocs.com/il/boone/Board.nsf/files/9RJSQE67E370/$file/BCAS%20Staff%20Report%20December%202014.pdf

Carie L. Poirier appointed Public Defender for Boone County

---PRESS RELEASE---


JOSEPH G. McGRAW
Chief Judge
For Immediate Release
-STATEOFILLINOIS
CIRCUIT COURT
SEVENTENTH JUDI CAL CIRCUIT
December 10, 2014
WINNEBAGO COUNTY COURTHOUSE
400 WEST STATE STREET, SUITE 215
ROCKFORD, ILLINOIS 61101
PHONE (815) 319-4800
Contact: Thomas R. Jakeway
Trial Court Administrator
Phone- 815-319-4806
Email- tiakeway@wincoil.us
MEDIA RELEASE
ATTORNEY CARIE L. POIRIER SELECTED
AS BOONE COUNTY PUBLIC DEFENDER
ROCKFORD, IL - Joseph G. McGraw, Chief Judge of the 1 i 11 Judicial Circuit Court, is
pleased to announce that the judges of the I i 11 Circuit voted to select local attorney Carie L.
Poirier as Public Defender for Boone County, Illinois
. The vacancy in this office will be created
as result of the planned retirement of current Boone County Public Defender Azhar J. Minhas.
Ms. Poirier will take her oath of office and assume duties as the Boone County Public Defender
on Friday, January 9, 2015.
Commenting on the selection, Chief Judge Joseph G. McGraw states, "Ms. Poirier is a talented
attorney with extensive trial experience and an established presence in Boone County. I am
confident that her administration will build upon the high quality of legal representation being
provided by the Boone County Public Defender's Office. We look forward to her service as a
key stakeholder in our criminal justice system."
Ms. Poirier completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Illinois and received her
Juris Doctor from Northern Illinois University College of Law in 1997. Her legal career has
been dedicated to service with the Boone County Public Defender's Office. She has been
employed in the Boone County Public Defender's Office since November 1997 and currently
holds the position of First Assistant Public Defender.
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