April 24, 2014

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Virginia joins mutual aid network

By Leigh Morris
For the Star-Gazette
On a unanimous vote, Virginia’s City Council acted to join the Illinois Public Works Mutual Aid Network (IPWMAN).
Through IPWMAN, mutual aid is available from other counties, cities and townships for emergencies ranging from chemical spills to devastating storms and floods. In turn, Virginia may provide assistance when requested and when its resources are available.
IPWMAN mutual assistance is similar to the mutual aid agreements that long have been used by electric utilities when severe storms cause widespread service outages.

 
Beardstown School Board makes budget cuts

Brick Elementary School to close

By Sandra Haschemeyer
For the Star-Gazette
Brick Elementary School will be closed at the end of the school year following multiple budget cuts made at the Feb. 27 meeting of the Beardstown School Board. Along with the elimination of  one custodian, one secretary, one head cook, one cook, one part-time librarian, one clerical aide and one elementary administrator, the closure will save the district $187,467.

 
Beardstown City attorney resigns

City of Beardstown Attorney, Luke A Thomas, has tendered his resignation to the Mayor and City Council, effective March 10. Attorney Thomas indicated in his resignation that he was very grateful for having had the opportunity to represent the community in which he works, has lived, and in which many of his family members and employees continue to reside.

 
Safety grant may fund new siren

By Steve Capps
For the Star-Gazette
Beardstown may soon get a much needed upgrade to its early warning system. Fire Chief Darin Paul presented the city council with information regarding a rural development safety grant that would help pay for early warning sirens.
The city currently has only a single siren located atop the fire stationhouse. Many residents simply live or work too far from the fire department to hear the alarm when it sounds.

 
Consolidation opponents skip discussion

By Mike Kloppenburg
Star-Gazette reporter
The chairs in St. Augustine Hall in Ashland filled but half of the tables were conspicuously empty. Only one member of the A-C Central board and no A-C First member occupied the seats at the table reserved for them for a meeting to discuss and debate consolidation. Board member Jeremy Garner, a consolidation supporter and candidate for the consolidated school board, was the only A-C member in attendance. Three PORTA board members were in attendance. Garner said Scott Boston, another A-C board member and consolidation supporter running for the consolidated school board, had prior commitments out of town. No explanations were offered for the other board members.

 
Beardstown High Student Art Exhibit Thursday March 13

The Beardstown Middle/High School cafeteria commons will be transformed into an “open studio” with professional artists and a student exhibit Thursday, March 13, from 4-8 p.m.
Kathy Korte, Beardstown art teacher for grades 6-12 and coordinator of “An Inspiring Night in Homage to Great Artists,” invites everyone to attend. The event will also include activities for youngsters and a potato soup supper.

 
City of Beardstown Attorney tenders resignation

City of Beardstown Attorney, Luke A Thomas, has tendered his resignation to the Mayor and City Council, effective March 10, 2014. Attorney Thomas indicated in his resignation that he was very grateful for having had the opportunity to represent the community in which he works, has lived, and in which many of his family members and employees continue to reside. Read next week's Cass County Star-Gazette for full story.

 
Seven years for Depot burglar

By Michael Kloppenburg
The Ashland man who pleaded guilty in January to burglarizing the Depot Restaurant was sentenced to seven years in prison on Thursday. Gregory T. Hagen, 31, was sentenced on a burglary charge in the Depot break-in as well as a residential burglary charge and theft over $500 charge that stemmed from a separate incident.

 
An organizational meeting for the Beardstown Tiger nation Booster Club

An organizational meeting for the Beardstown Tiger nation Booster Club was held March 4th in the Beardstown Middle/High School auditorium.The newly-formed club is the result of recent cuts at the Beardstown Board of Education meeting held February 27th. The Board cut all middle school sports, high school clubs and organizations, high school assistant coaches, along with several other items. Brittney Taylor led the meeting and emphasized that she, along with Michele Quigley, Cathy Gibson and Amanda Baer were not to be considered officers, but were willing to help get the club organized. Also helping to organize the new club are Jason Brockschmidt, Josh Sorrells and Kim Watson.The first fund-raiser is set for an all day benefit to be held April 26 at the Round house. Several committees were formed to begin planning the events throughout the day. Many volunteers are still needed for all committees.The club is also selling t-shirts. The next meeting for the new club will be announced at a later date!

 
Consolidation discussed at A-C School Board meeting

By Mike Kloppenburg
Star-Gazette reporter

The debate over consolidation reached the A-C Central board room during the board’s meeting last week. Up until now, the board members have said little about the subject at recent meetings, preferring to convey their opinions through written statements. But with the decision going to the voters in less than a month, opinions were now expressed at the meeting.
Board member Dan Cuba spoke first, asserting PORTA is still on shaky financial ground and that PORTA had only solved their issues with the Illinois State Board of Education by borrowing $3 million.
Ashland resident Jennifer Fanning said she wanted an Ashland that residents could be proud of and said consolidation was a sure way to make sure that never happens.
“We will give away our town, kids, and future,” said Fanning on consolidation.

 
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