FatWallet Adding 100 Jobs

fw-logo-fbRemember online retailer Fatwallet.com.

They used to be in Rockton until Illinois taxed them into Wisconsin.

Over the years things have been so good for Fatwallet they are adding 100 new jobs.

WIFR has more:

Fat Wallet plans to add 100 emplyees as it gets ready for its busiest time of the year.

The website is known for providing coupons, deals and cash backopportunities to customers for hundreds of retailers.

The openings are a mix of customer service employees, content curators, and online bargain hunters.

The company has also hinted at a possible move to the Ironworks complex.

Kinzinger Ending Birth Right Citizenship For Illegals By Amending 14th Amendment, Issue Of The Day

Rep. Adam Kinzinger(R-IL)

Rep. Adam Kinzinger(R-IL)

Congressman Adam Kinzinger this week in an interview with 1430 WCMY in Ottawa said that he was against the idea of ending birth right citizenship for illegal immigrants children by amending the 14th amendment because it was the “Issue of the day”.

The Illinois Republican is a supporter of Jeb Bush’s presidential run and has been a major supporter of amnesty for illegal immigrants.  Following the Supreme Courts ruling nationalizing same sex marriage Kinzinger also came out against any attempt at amending the constitution to reverse that ruling.

Kinzinger said that he was of the opinion that the constitution under the 14th amendment gives birth right citizenship to children of illegal immigrants.  This is a position supported by Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly as well as several establishment Republicans.

The counter train of legal thought backed by best selling author and syndicated talk show host Mark Levin is that the authors of the 14th amendment, backed by their own words during debate on the amendment, never intended for the citizenship clause of the 14th amendment to cover illegal immigrants.  Levin and others argue that Congress can under both section 5 of the 14th amendment and under Article I section 8 powers use their authority to make clear that illegal immigrants cannot grant just by being present within the United States citizenship to their children.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has taken an all of the above approach to ending birth right citizenship for the children of illegals, while the issue has been brought to a head by Donald Trump and his immigration plan which includes ending birth right citizenship.

Partial transcript:

Kinzinger: I understand peoples concern with it and Id’ be open to having a debate. From what I understand the constitution is clear that that is what that refers to being born in the United States. In my mind I’m not eager to amend the constitution for the kind of issue of the day.  We saw that when we made alcohol illegal then made it legal again. For me I support having a debate about birth right citizenship but I’m ver hesitant to say lets repeal the 14th amendment and move on. But I think it should be a hearty debate we have in the future.

Kinzinger: Durbin Political Shill For Supporting Iran Nuke Deal

Rep. Adam Kinzinger(R-IL)

Rep. Adam Kinzinger(R-IL)

Speaking with 1440 WROK’s morning show this week Illinois congressman Adam Kinzinger took issue with Illinois Sen. “Little” Dick Durbin over his support of the Iranian nuclear weapons deal. Congressman Kinzinger has been a vocal opponent of the deal and said that Duribn was being a “political shill” in supporting the deal, and by extensions President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, that gives the worlds leading state sponsor of terrorism over $100 billion, allows the Iranian regime to inspect its self, and paves the way for the Islamo-Nazis to acquire a nuclear weapon and the Intercontential ballistic missiles necessary to deliver them to our shores.

Partial transcript:

Kinzinger: Our own Sen. Dick Durbin has said he’s studied this deeply and he supports it. Now is anybody surprised by that, no. He’s a political shill. He’s carrying the water for the President and unfortunately I think most Democrats are gonna do that.

This in effect ends the nuclear non-proliferation treaty for the world…This now gives every county in the world the, in essence, implicitly the right to enrich as much uranium as they want because thats exactly what we’ve given to our worst enemy.

 

LaSalle County SA’s SAFE Unit Legal Problems Costing Taxpayers

Brian Towne

Brian Towne

LaSalle County States Attorney Brian Towne’s dubious use of a special SAFE unit within his office to conduct drug related traffic stop along I-80 is costing the taxpayers of LaSalle a lot of money.

Not only are the people whom Towne’s officers, who are not permitted under state law to make traffic stops(only assist in investigations and serve warrants), stopped challenging Towne’ and his unit in court; where Towne is losing, badly.  Those challenges are also prompting lawsuits against Towne and his office which are costing the taxpayers to both litigate and settle.

David Giuliani with the Ottawa Times has uncovered a 2013 settlement over Towne’s SAFE unit that cost over $3,000 steaming from a 2012 SAFE stop that resulted in a Oregon state man having his belonging rummaged but no charges ever being filed against him.

This SAFE Unit and the fact that courts are probably going to toss nearly everything it ever did plus Towne’s habit of using Civil forfeitures in conjunction with these SAFE stops, are an outrageous abuse of power and the cost to the taxpayers Towne is going to rack up defending himself is going to me absurdly high.

The November 2016 election cannot get here soon enough so we can get rid of this guy.

Marseilles Elementary Deficit $600,000

esd-150-marseilles-exterior-entrance-lrgAnother school district is out with its budget deficit for the coming school/fiscal year.

This time around it is Marseilles elementary whose deficit is $600,000 reports 1430 WCMY.

The taxpayers across this state are so screwed.

Sherrard School District Settles 2nd Lawsuit This Week For $90,000 To Cover Its Mistakes

sherrard-high-school-signIn one week the Sherrard school district has agreed to settle lawsuits brought against the district by parents of students that have cost taxpayers $95,000 and $90,000 respectively.

On Tuesday the board settled lawsuits stemming from the districts poor behavior towards a little girl and her service dog for $95,000.

On Thursday the board forked over $90,000 to settle with a family to right wrongs it committed in response to the discovery of a tobacco pipe and subsequent improper expulsion of a high school student.

Earlier this year a junior at Sherrard high school asked for help from school officials to remove a foreign lock from his gym locker.  After doing so school staff found a tobacco pipe in the locker, the student claimed to have never seen nor no knowledge of the lock or the pipe.  Within days the school board moved to have the student expelled for the pipe, despite a drug test being negative.  However, the students family was only given 5 hours notice of the hearing, and has subsequently been reluctant to turn over a security camera video that may show the person(s) responsible for planting the pipe and lock.

A Judge ruled in July that the expulsion hearing was conducted in a highly improper manner and allowed the student to return to classes which is what the Earl family has wanted all along.

With the settlement both side hope to have a clean slate with each other and they can move forward.

Just like with the McGuire service dog settlement the Sherrard school boards president said that the district was making no admission of guilt in either case.  This makes nearly $200,000 the school district has had to pay out for its poor decisions in the span of a few days.  This doesn’t included the school districts legal fees which have to bee$150,000 or so, best estimate, just for these two cases, and there are still several others left unresolved. The taxpayers in Sherrard have been hosed the last 15 months or so because of the actions of the school board and now departed Superintendent Dr. Sam Light, I truly hope the districts new Superintendent can get this place straightened out.

Also at Thursday nights school board meeting the board agreed to reverse a different expulsion on another student that USofArn.com has had to report on, that case just like the McGuire’s and the Earl’s is replete with examples of Dr. Light and the school district acting way out of line.

QC Online has more:

On Thursday, school board president Leslie Anderson said the settlement is designed to offer both parties a fresh start.

“Let’s clean the slate,” she said. “Let’s move forward in a positive direction and put the distractions aside.

“The settlement is not an admission the district did anything wrong,” Ms. Anderson said. “It was an economic decision, just like we had with the McGuire case.”

On Tuesday, Ms. Anderson announced Sherrard school officials had agreed to pay $95,587.63 to settle a lawsuit by Colin and Brandi McGuire, of Coyne Center, who alleged the district prevented a service dog named Jasper from accompanying their epileptic daughter, Kellsey, to school. Citing a “hostile environment,” the family enrolled the girl in Jordan Catholic School in Rock Island.

As in the Earl settlement, 75 percent of the McGuire settlement — $73,500 — was designated for attorney costs. The remainder was designated for tuition, travel costs and damages.

On Thursday, Ms. Earl said their settlement was “kind of a new beginning” for her son, but that money could not fix what was taken from him.

“All along, all we ever wanted was for him to be able to complete his education,” she said. “We knew that our son had been wrongfully accused of something. We never wanted to take it this far.

“There’s no amount of money in the world that can give us back what they took away from our son,” Ms. Earl said. “He missed his prom. He missed his junior year of baseball. There are colleges that we have letters from; he missed out on those opportunities.”

Illegal Immigrant Business Owner Deported Multiple Times Pleads Guilty To Illegally Entering Country

Gustavo Villalpando-Bolanos

Gustavo Villalpando-Bolanos

This is unbelievable and just goes to show how messed up things are with our immigration system.

50 year old Gustavo Villalpando-Bolanos is a Mexican citizen, who has been deported three times since 1986.  Prior to his second deportation in 1999 Bolanos was convicted of conspiracy to harbor and transport illegal immigrants, an aggravated felony, in California, and served time in federal prison.

According to Quad Cities Online, Bolanos re-entered the country again more than 12 years ago and started a local Mexican restaurant chain in Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa.  Mr. Bolanos was deported a third time in 2010, and yet some how came back.

He was apprehended in Rock Island, Illinois this spring as part of a nationwide crackdown on illegal immigrations with criminal convictions and pleaded guilty earlier this month to yet again illegally entering the country, a felony, and is scheduled to be sentenced in November.

Given the number of times this guy has already snuck across our southern border it is probably going to take Donald Trump’s border wall to get Bolanos to learn to stay out.

Walker In Iowa: Take China To The Woodshed

Gov. Scott Walker

Gov. Scott Walker

With China’s economy collapsing and the US stock market in chaos Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Wednesday in Onawa, Iowa said that China needed to be taken to the woodshed.

The Communist Chinese government has been behind several cyber attacks against the US government recently.

The Quad City Times has more:

At the conclusion of his talks with people, Walker answered media questions about his assertion Monday that President Barack Obama should cancel an official state visit with the president of China. He contended nixing the trip would not hurt trade with states like Iowa or Wisconsin.

Walker called for the state visit to be canceled after U.S. stocks tumbled Monday, in part, due to China’s slumping economy. He also said Obama shouldn’t be offering a state visit to the leader of a country behind cyber attacks in the United States. He said Americans are worried about the cyber security threats.

“We have to take China to the woodshed. This is a responsible way to send a message,” Walker said.

Marseilles Man Announces Bid For 76th House Seat

Rep. Frank Mautino(D-Spring Valley)

Rep. Frank Mautino(D-Spring Valley)

Democrat state Rep. Frank Mautino, who is recovering well from esophagus cancer, has said that after 24 years in Springfield he is ready to step down and take over as state Auditor General, when that position becomes open at the start of the year.

This week a 23 year old Marseilles man announced he would run for the Republican nomination in 2016 in the 76th district.  Should Mautino become Auditor General, which would require 3/5 votes of the House and Senate, which Democrats have, Democrats in LaSalle, Bureau, and Putnam counties would pick a replacement to serve the remainder of the term, this person would also likely run for a full term in 2016.

The Ottawa Times has more:

Jacob Bramel, 23, of Marseilles, announced his candidacy for 76th District Illinois House of Representatives — which is currently held by Democrat Frank Mautino, of Spring Valley.

An active duty U.S. Air Force veteran from 2010 to 2014, Bramel will run as a Republican.

In Bramel’s announcement, he spoke out against House Speaker Mike Madigan and called for tighter spending without raising taxes, among other items.

Oregon School Deficit $770,000

Hawk_white__red_border__blue_backgroundAnother local school district has come out with how bad its budget deficit is for the coming school/fiscal year.

This time it is Oregon whose deficit is $770,000.

The Dixon Telegraph has more:

Superintendent Tom Mahoney told the school board at its Aug. 17 meeting that he expects an overall deficit of $765,176 in the district’s four main funds when the fiscal year ends June 30.

The largest shortfall – $816,508 – is projected in the education fund. Salaries and most expenses are paid from there.

The operations and maintenance fund shows a projected deficit of $83,476.

The transportation and working cash funds, however, show positive balances of $44,576 and $90,232, respectively.

Facing a projected deficit of $1.1 million at the end of 2014-15 school year, the school board made $415,000 in staff cuts last spring, but Mahoney said the effect was minimal.

“Even though $415,000 was cut, revenues reduced by the same amount,” he said.

Quit Publicizing The #WDBJ Killers Snuff Video

erf776dy5cwe3ldupzjtOn Wednesday morning Vester Lee Flanagan, who went by Bryce Williams, walked up on Roanoke, Virginia TV station WDBJ reporter Alison Parker and her cameraman Adam Ward as they were doing a live interview with a woman  from the local chamber of commerce and shot them in cold blood killing Parker and Ward and wounding the other woman. Flanagan was a former reporter with the station.

By the afternoon Flanagan was dead of a self inflicted gunshot wound after having been confronted by police who had launched a statewide manhunt for the brutal assassin.

Vester Lee Flanagan

Vester Lee Flanagan

During the manhunt Flanagan faxed a lengthy manifesto to ABC news claiming that he murdered his two former co-workers in a fit of racist anger steaming from the Charleston, South Carolina church shooting. In the manifesto Flanagan shows a kinship and affinity towards the Columbine and Virginia Tech school shooters. Flanagan railed about an apparent parnoid perception that everyone else around him was racist towards him because he was black and gay.

Within hours of the shooting Flanagan posted briefly on social media a video taken by him as he walked up on Parker and Ward and shows him taking aim at Parker and firing the first shots at her.

All day it has been infuriating to see blogs, news sites, and more big and small tripping over themselves to show that video.

It is a snuff film.

And the glee, the urgency so many have shown, to air every bit of that video, again taken by the killer, is revolting.

When 89 WLS’ Jonathon Brandmeier, who for some unknown reason has his crappy show syndicated, aired at the end of his show Wednesday that snuff video in its entirety I wanted to throw up.

That is classless, it is tasteless, it is unprofessional and unethical.  It is offensive to the families of the victims, it is beneath decent people, and there is no reasoning or justification for that despicable kind of behavior.

I’ve sent the messages to Brandmeier and WLS that he should be fired over this and I encourage others to do the same.

But he wasn’t the only one to do it, the list is long but websites and people you know, and many more you don’t all did the exact same thing.  They put out for the world to see, one racist nuts act of homicidal rage, and they were ecstatic, happy, glad, more than willing to oblige in doing something that should have made them recoil in horror at the mere notion of, and that is showing that bastards snuff video.

Every last one of you who have done so needs to be ashamed of yourselves. You should know better than to have done something so patently and obviously wrong.

One still frame from the video, is all that should have ever seen the publics eye from that video.

Those of you on the blogosphere, on radio like Brandmeier, on TV, on the web, air port radar, wherever, start repenting.

 

Dixon Mayor Arellano: Even DOUBLE Pension Payments Not Enough

Mayor Liandro Arellano

Mayor Liandro Arellano

Okay you know Illinois pension mess is bad when the city of Dixon could make double pension payments and still be looking at a gigantic unfunded pension liability.

But that’s exactly what Dixon Mayor Li Arellano and the city council are faced with.

1460 WIXN has more:

Dixon is in the same boat as every other community in the state and that is struggling to make pension payments to city employees.  The city has been making double payments to the pension system, yet, the city is still dealing with a severly underfunded pension account.  Dixon Mayor Li Arellano says the figures that are being batted around are mind boggling and frustrating.

The mayor said the issue the city is facing is making sure to not only keep the promises the city has made, but also the promises it will make in the future.  Recently, as was reported the city held a special meeting of the city council and other government employee representatives.  The city laid out the details and said changes to the system needed to be implemented very soon.

China’s Economic Collapse Cause Morrissey To Cancel EB-5 Visa Giveaway Trip

Larry Morrissey

Larry Morrissey

Poor Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey, he had his bags all backed to fly back over to Communist China to hand out more EB-5 visas to any wealthy Chinese investor willing to put $500,000 into the Amerock building hotel redevelopment project.

And then China’s artificial stock market and economy collapsed, which in turn is bursting the imaginary stock bubble here that has been created by the Federal Reserve’s $5 trillion quantitative easing shenanigans.  With China’s economy in the toilet, its currency devalued, and its wealthy, not so wealthy all of a sudden Morrissey and his pals had to cancel their trip WTVO/Fox39 reports.

Good.

Hillary In Iowa: Old And Busted Investing In Infrastructure, New And Hot Investing In Farms

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton at a Des Moines Iowa area community college of Wednesday offered a new twist on an old Democrat Party play.

Instead of investing in infrastructure, i.e President Obama’s stimulus, Hillary is offering to invest an unspecified amount of money on farmers, agriculture, and “Green energy”.

Did I mention Hillary was saying this in Iowa.

From the Quad City Times:

Clinton’s plan for agriculture and rural communities includes investing in federal agriculture and small business programs, promoting clean and renewable energy programs and achieving comprehensive immigration reform.

Clinton’s plan stresses four main points:

• Spur investment in the rural economy by creating a national infrastructure bank, funding programs designed help small, rural businesses and simplifying regulations on small banks.

• Increase agriculture production and profitability by increasing funding for programs designed to help aspiring farmers, ensuring strong federal crop insurance programs and achieving comprehensive immigration reform for immigrant agriculture workers.

• Promote clean energy and environmental stewardship by strengthening the federal mandate for the amount of corn-based ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply and funding programs that encourage farmers to use conservation practices and provide loans for bio-processing plants.

• Expand opportunities for rural residents by expanding tele-health programs to improve health care access, ensuring access to substance abuse prevention and treatment programs and investing in early childhood education and programs designed to lower the cost of college and reduce student debt.

A summary of the proposals distributed by the Clinton campaign does not list a cost for the programs or how they would be funded.

Bustos Will Back Iran Nuke Deal

Rep. Cheri Bustos(D-IL)

Rep. Cheri Bustos(D-IL)

Illinois Democrat congresswoman Cheri Bustos on Wednesday made public her decision to back  President Obama’s terrible nuclear weapons deal with Iran.  This is a deal which paves the way for the Islamo-Nazi regime to get a nuclear weapon, allows them to police themselves for violations, gives the worlds leading state sponsor of terrorism some $150 billion, and could potential lead to us having to defend Iran from any possible Israeli strike designed to keep the terrorist regime from acquiring Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Bustos defended herself by saying that this no good deal was the best way forward towards keeping Iran for getting a nuclear weapon.  Hogwash, this deal paves the way for World War III.

QC Online has more:

U. S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-East Moline, said Wednesday she will support the nuclear agreement with Iran because it is “the best path forward to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.”

Rep. Bustos said that “after weeks of thought and consultation” she decided that “with this agreement, Iran’s stockpiles of enriched uranium will be reduced and the country will be opened up to strict transparency and monitoring, including robust on-the-ground nuclear inspectors. Pathways to a nuclear weapon will be blocked and enforced by the United States and the international community.”

“I have no illusions about the regime in place in Iran. And the United States, our allies, and the world community must stay vigilant and alert in the months and years ahead. Should Iran ever violate the agreement, sanctions should be re-imposed and a military response should not be taken off the table.

“In reaching this decision, I carefully and thoroughly reviewed and examined this agreement. I dedicated myself to listening to and asking questions of experts, and hearing from people across Illinois to determine whether it will make our country, our allies and the world safer and more secure.

“I attended classified briefings with Secretary of State Kerry, Secretary of Energy Moniz and other Administration and White House officials, spoke with National Security Advisors and U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power, held listening sessions with constituents in our region, and studied the details of the agreement. While the agreement is not perfect, it is the right step for our national security and the security of the global community.”

Opponents Of Rockford Housing Project Offer Alternative, Rehab Poor Neighborhoods

1613_logo-lrgThe opponents of the New Towne Dr. housing project on Rockford’s east side, Together Rockford, have come up with an alternative idea for Mayor Morrissey, the Rockford Housing Authority, and HUD to consider, rehabbing poor neighborhoods.

WIFR has more:

One of their top options include purpose-built communities, which looks at revitalizing high-poverty neighborhoods and works on finding a solution.

Winnebago County Board Member Eli Nicolosi was at the meeting, and says it really helps get the ball rolling.

“I think that’s what Together Rockford is kind of coming and saying. They’re saying, ‘Hey, we want a seat at the table, we’ve got some ideas here on behalf of the community.’ Not just one side of town, but all sides of town. We want to bring that to the table as well. We think these plans will work, and we want to move forward with the housing issues,” said Nicolosi.

Sherrard School District Settles Service Dog Lawsuit For $95,000

Kellsey and Jasper at Sherrard school, photo provided by McGuire family

Kellsey and Jasper at Sherrard school, photo provided by McGuire family

At Tuesday nights school board meeting the Sherrard school board voted to settle a lawsuit brought by the McGuire family against the district over the treatment the McGuire’s daughter Kellsey and her service dog Jasper received.  A state administrative hearing officer had previously ruled that the district had created a hostile environment for Kellsey, who has epilepsy , and Jasper.

The Sherrard school district has agreed to pay $95,587 to the McGuires to settle their claims against the district, over $75,000 of that will immediately go to pay for lawyers and legal fees, the McGuire’s say that the rest of the funds will be set up to create an education trust fund for Kellsey.

As per the hearing officers ruling and state law the Sherrard school district will have to continue to pay for Kellsey’s private education at Jordan Catholic.

In a press statement the McGuire family Tuesday night said, “As a family we followed the proper channels and the system failed us. We went to the principal first, met with the superintendent, had mediation meetings and finally asked our school board time and time again to do the right and just thing not only for our daughter but for the residents in the Sherrard school district. We then decided to take a stand and fight back. This entire effort has not been solely for our own child’s benefit but for the next child with a disability, the next person being denied their rights, and the next person bullied by the government they finance. The need for parents to advocate for their children is so very important and the importance of ensuring access to education for all students cannot be understated. No money from this settlement will benefit Colin or Brandi McGuire. We will set up a trust account for our daughter so that she continues to get the very best education that she deserves in a school that was willing to meet her needs.”

Jordan Catholic yearbook with Kellsey and Jasper

Jordan Catholic yearbook with Kellsey and Jasper

The McGuire’s say that since Kellsey and Jasper left the Sherrard school district they have both been happy and thriving at their new school.

Best estimates are that the Sherrard school district spent in excess of $130,000 fighting the McGuire’s in court in addition to the $95,000 from the settlement and the tuition for Kellsey that Sherrard will have to pay; this has been one very expensive legal fight over a service dog and the bad attitudes of some adults involved. And this is only one of several lawsuits pending against the Sherrard school district and Superintendent Dr. Sam Light.

A big reason for the settlement happening now is due to the fact that Sherrard superintendent Dr. Sam Light is leaving at the end of August to take the Superintendents position in Lincoln County Georgia.  It was from all media reports at the time that it was solely  Dr. Light’s insistence on appealing the hearing officers ruling that continued to drag out this case.  He was attempting to argue that state law on this matter didn’t say what it said, namely that the school district had to pay for the McGuire’s legal bills.

Because of this whole episode the McGuire’s are working with their state Sen. Neil Anderson(R-Moline) on SB2136 that would seek to prevent other school districts from doing what Sherrard did.

Rockford City Council Hits Register Star For Pushing Mayor’s Agenda On East Side Housing Project

Larry Morrissey

Larry Morrissey

Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey is one of the few people in Rockford that supports the proposed low-income housing project on New Towne Dr. near Rockford University.

At Monday’s city council meeting alderman let the Mayor and the Rockford Register Star have it as it has been learned via a FOIA request from WTVO/Fox39 that Morrissey had emailed the newspapers top staff members to get them to print editorials and stories favorable to the controversial housing project. Over the weekend the Register Star did just that writing an op-ed effectively telling those opposed to the housing project to shut up and listen to the likes of Rockford Housing Authority President Ron Clewer and the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, which has threatened to pull federal money from Rockford if the New Towne project is blocked.

Clewer, Morrissey and other supporters of the New Towne project have continually tried to paint those opposed to the housing project as racist.  Morrissey did so on 14440 WROK a few weeks ago, in between his trips to China to hand out EB-5 visas to anyone willing to fork over $500,000 for the Amerock hotel project.  Clewer has caught flak over a T-Shirt that played off of the “racism” of the New Towne opponents.

The supporters of the New Towne project badly, badly want it to go forward, and cannot stand the fact that their is opposition, intense opposition from Rockfordians.  The City council is against this project, so to is the Winnebago County board, as are residents who live near the proposed site.  Opponents have repeatedly said that a better alternative is for the RHA and city to make use of all of the abandoned and foreclosed homes in the region and to have those currently living at the Fairgrounds Valley housing project, which is scheduled to be demolished, spread out over the whole of the city and surrounding areas so that poverty and crime are not concentrated in one spot as it currently is in Rockford.

The Register Star, one of the only newspapers in Illinois to endorse the reelection of Pat Quinn as Governor, and other backers of the New Towne project like to say that opponents should listen to those who live at Fairgrounds and would be moved to New Towne as well as others.  In reality the Register Star, which has rightlfully earned the nickname the Red Star, wants everyone to simply nod their head in approval at the latest Big Dig project of the Mayor’s and his supporters.  Like the Riverwalk that no one uses, the bus station to nowhere, or the Amerock hotel that will never be completed unless a bunch of wealthy Communist Chinese can be conned into giving up $500K each for EB-5 visas, the New Towne housing project is a gigantic boondoggle that will almost instantly become an eyesore for the city as a whole.

Hence why residents and every other city lawmaker not named Morrissey are throwing up roadblocks to this endeavor left and right.

The Register Star has been a dying newspaper for years, shrinking coverage and circulation area, declining revenue, and this latest episode with the Mayor requesting they write pieces favorable to the New Towne project could well spell the end of the Star as a newspaper, now it can come clean as Mayor Morrissey’s press arm and willful partner in trying to smear Rockford residents as racist simply because they disagree with Morrissey and Clewer’s latest attempt to spend a large sum of our money, grow government, and have a nice new shinny building to put their names on.

Is State Rep. Smiddy Trying To Bankrupt The East Moline School District?

Rep. Mike Smiddy

Rep. Mike Smiddy

It appears that Democrat state Rep. Mike Smiddy is attempting to bankrupt the East Moline school district given his actions the last few months.

So far this year the district has spent $14, 000 on legal bills related to accusations Smiddy has made against the district. In addition to another $5,000 the district had to pay to have an indoor air quality test done at one school building again because of accusations originating with Smiddy.

In May of this year Smiddy sought to have the state of Illinois force a performance audit on the district and have the IL Auditor General go over the districts finances that would have cost between $180,000 and $360,000 to have done all because Smiddy thought the district didn’t follow the rules in 2013 when the district bought a building for $3.9 million to house administrative offices and some buses. Rep. Smiddy withdrew those requests in June.

Also this year, it has been learned via a Freedom of Information Act request, Smiddy filed complaints with the Rock Island Regional Office of Education and the Illinois State Board of Education alleging that black mold and asbestos was present inside Hillcrest Elementary school.  Those complaints are what prompted the district to have to spend $5,000 for the air quality testing.  The results of those test were completely negative.  Had Smiddy gotten his way, as an email exchange with the state board of education shows was focused on shutting down Hillcrest Elementary, the district would have been forced to close the school and either send large sums of money cleaning it up or tearing it down and possibly building a new school.

Rep. Smiddy told QCOnline that he pursued the health complaints against the district because of a similar allegation made about the school building to OSHA. Smiddy  has also lodged complaints about this district concerning its special ed and english language programs.

So why would one state Representative try to force one K-8 school district with 2,500 students to spend what could have easily been a million dollars or more?

Simple the person originating the complaints against the East Moline school district is his wife Deb, who is a teacher at Hillcrest and is President of the East Moline Teachers union.

As Smiddy’s spats with Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner over the last 8 months have shown he is a solidly pro-union Democrat lawmaker who is apparently taking every bit of gossip coming from his wife as gospel and is using his power and influence as a state lawmaker to make life miserable for the East Moline school board and administration.

As QCOnline reported Monday school officials toured Hillcrest with Ms. Smiddy and others and for a second time found zero black mold or anything else for that matter, confirming the findings of the indoor air quality testing done earlier.

The Smiddy’s seem to have an ax to grind against the district and Ms. Smiddy clearly doesn’t like working in the building she has been assigned and thus they are clearly trying to punish the district and soak the taxpayers at the same time.

This is an outrageous abuse of ones power that needs to be stopped immediately.

Rep. Smiddy and his wife appear to like to toss frivolous and unfounded claims against the district and for that I’d recommend that the East Moline School Board and their lawyer look into having some kind of injunction or restraining order placed on Mike Smiddy to keep him from using his office to damage and tarnish the district(not to mention needlessly costing the taxpayers money).  I would say the same for both Smiddy’s but given Deb’s position as head of the teachers union I just don’t see a way to make such an injunction or restraining order stick.

 

Soil Under Rockford Public Library In Downtown Contaminated, Building May Be Torn Down

Rockford Public Library on Wyman St.

Rockford Public Library on Wyman St.

The Rockford Public Libraries main branch in downtown Rockford on Wyman St. has got a problem underneath its foundation in the form of contaminated soil from over 50 years ago when the site was home to Rockford Gas, Light, and Coke.

The Rockford Public Library and ComEd are in discussions about how to clean up the contaminated soil, which Rockford city attorney Patrick Hayes says is seeping but does not pose any health risks at this time.

One option is for the building to be torn down and either rebuilt or have the site turned into green space. Another is to put the building on stills while the contaminated soil around the foundation of the building is removed.

Either way Rockford alderman tell WIFR that they are suggesting that the library look into finding a new permeant home downtown.

No matter what this issue is going to get expensive very quickly for all involved.