State Briefs 3/17/09

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Galesburg considers wind power for water plant

GALESBURG – The city is hoping to power its new water treatment plant at Oquawka by wind and has hired a consulting firm to analyze the potential costs and eventual savings the proposal could create.

The city’s water utility costs more than $300,000 a year to power, about a third of the city’s overall energy bill. Preliminary analysis has shown that a wind turbine could provide about two-thirds of the energy needed to run the water utility, according to City Manager Dane Bragg.

However, the city would only begin to see the benefits of that once it had paid off the initial cost of buying and erecting a turbine or turbines. The length of time it would take before the city’s energy savings would surpass start-up costs is being assessed by Wind Energy Consulting and Contracting Inc.

The city paid the firm $2,600 earlier this month for a “preliminary economic analysis” of the plan, which indicated it would take up to 17 years for a turbine to begin paying for itself.

The city is constructing a new flood-proof water plant at Oquawka, which should be finished by the summer of 2010, and is part of a $20 million project to overhaul the city’s water infrastructure.

Galesburg Register-Mail

Peoria police officers accused in beating

PEORIA – Peoria police officers Andrew Smith and Gerald Suelter were arrested Monday evening in connection with the May beating of a Northwest Peoria man.

Smith, 29, and Suelter, 39, were booked on identical charges of four counts of official misconduct, aggravated battery, battery and mob action.

Bryce R. Scott was beaten early May 3 near Abington Street and Perry Avenue.

According to police reports, Scott led police on a chase after they were called to the home of Scott’s girlfriend. Police cars surrounded Scott after he stopped his car at the bottom of the Abington hill. When he did pull over, Scott claims he put his hands out of the window and complied with a request to get out of his car.

Within seconds, Scott was taken to the ground where he was pepper sprayed, stomped, kicked, shot with a Taser and punched. Video of the alleged misconduct was recorded by a digital camera inside the squad car of one officer.

Scott filed suit Jan. 13 in Peoria County Circuit Court, naming the city and six police officers as defendants.

Peoria Journal Star

Woman killed in house fire

SOUTHERN VIEW – A woman was killed in a house fire early Tuesday morning.

The woman, believed to be in her 50s, lived alone at the house in Southern View. She was rushed to Memorial Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead upon arrival. Her name has not been released pending notification of relatives.

Firefighters were sent to the home about 4 a.m. and arrived to find two Southern View police officers trying to force their way in through the front door. Smoke and flames were showing from the back of the house. One of the officers was on duty and the other was off duty, and they both live nearby.

Right inside the front door, rescuers found the woman lying on the floor. They pulled her out, and firefighters immediately started resuscitation efforts to revive the woman.

The fire apparently started near the stove in kitchen in the back of the house. It burned up through the finished attic of the single-story home, “so it got up in the walls behind the area that was finished and did significant damage to the roof area,” said Springfield Fire Department spokesman Division Chief Bob Reside.

State Journal-Register

Boy dies after allegedly being dragged by car

SPRINGFIELD – A 15-year-old boy who allegedly was dragged by a car Friday is dead, and a man identified as the car’s driver soon may face stiffer charges.

Charles D. Turner, 34, of Springfield, already has been charged with aggravated leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injury, a felony punishable by up to three to seven years in prison. Turner’s bond was set at $1 million during a hearing Monday.

Springfield Deputy Chief Clay Dowis said it will be up to the Sangamon County state’s attorney’s office to determine whether to bring additional charges against Turner.

Authorities said the youth is believed to have approached a car driven by Turner and begun arguing with a passenger, who opened the door. When the car sped off, the 15-year-old tried to hang onto the car door, but lost his grip and fell in the street.

State Journal-Register