State Briefs 5/22/09
Pekin police investigate possible garage arsons
PEKIN – The Pekin police and fire departments are investigating a string of garage fires as possible arsons.
The fires in question occurred on the 1400 blocks of Lake, Hazel and Loretta streets in Pekin between March 9 and 23.
On March 9, Pekin firefighters responded to 1410 Lake St., where they extinguished a garage fire, said Pekin Police Public Information Officer Mike Sanders. On March 16, firefighters responded to 1401 Hazel St. on a report of a structure fire and discovered and extinguished another garage fire. Then, on March 23, firefighters were again dispatched to the same area, this time at 1418 Loretta St., on a report of a garage fire.
Pekin Fire Chief Cuck Lauss said that all three fires took place between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. and that there were no electrical outlets, heat sources or flammable liquids near where the fires started.
Food fight leads to cancellation of breakfast for graduating seniors
METAMORA — A breakfast for graduating seniors, scheduled for Friday, was canceled in the aftermath of a food fight this week at Metamora Township High School.
District 122 Superintendent Kenneth Maurer said a decision has not been made about whether all 221 candidates from the Class of 2009 will be allowed to participate Sunday in the high school's formal graduation ceremony.
The minute-long disturbance occurred during a lunch period Tuesday, which was the final day of instruction for seniors. No major injuries were reported.
Maurer said about 75 students, including 60 seniors, took part in the prank that was a violation of the student activity code. Several underclassmen were suspended up to 10 days.
Maurer said students who were found in violation of the school's extracurricular activity code would not be allowed to participate in the IHSA state series in their spring sports.
Peoria Journal Star
Postal Service considers moving jobs from Quincy to Springfield
SPRINGFIELD – The U.S. Postal Service is looking at relocating some mail processing operations from a Quincy distribution center to Springfield as the agency tries to cut costs in the face of declining demand and rising financial losses.
Jim Mruk, a spokesman for the Great Lakes Area office in Chicago, said Friday results of a feasibility study should be ready this summer. A public meeting in Quincy also would be required, as well as approval by the central Illinois, regional and national offices of the U.S. Postal Service.
He said the feasibility study is to determine whether processing of “collection mail” — mail left in drop boxes — could be moved to Springfield without affecting delivery times from Quincy. He added that it is too soon to tell how many Quincy employees might be affected, but that they would be offered transfers to other stations, including Springfield.
Postmaster General John Potter said in an update earlier this week that the agency faces a $6.5 billion loss this year, despite the elimination of 25,000 jobs so far in 2009. He said even cost cutting and borrowing could leave the post office with a $1.5 billion loss.
One killed in two-car crash
BELVIDERE — A two-vehicle collision Friday on Illinois 76 north of Illinois 173 killed one driver, according to the Boone County Sheriff’s Department.
A Toyota sedan traveling north on Illinois 76 was struck about 11:30 a.m. by a semi hauling milk when the car attempted to turn left into a business.
The driver of the sedan was pronounced dead at the scene. The victim’s name is being withheld pending notification of the family.
The driver of the semi was transported to SwedishAmerican Medical Center/Belvidere with injuries that were not life-threatening.
Rockford Register Star