State Briefs 9/24/08
Bush visit cost Peoria $38,000
PEORIA – A policy examining how much city services should be used to secure a visiting president of the United States or other high-ranking public officials will be explored in the coming weeks, the Peoria City Council decided Tuesday.
The policy came after a discussion about newly released information from city staff members showing that President George W. Bush's July 25 visit to Peoria for a private campaign stop in support of state Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Peoria, cost city taxpayers $38,252.
At issue is whether the city should pay for or bill Schock's campaign for Bush's visit, which was a private political fundraiser held at Weaver Farm. Schock is running for the 18th Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
A-large Councilman Gary Sandberg said since the federal government is being reimbursed by the Schock campaign for the use of Air Force One on its trip to Peoria, then the city should be reimbursed as well.
Schock's campaign manager last week said the federal government will be reimbursed for the use of Air Force One according to a governmental formula that has been in place since the 1980s. The manager also said that no campaign has ever had to pay for local police protection requested by the Secret Service whenever the president visits.
Journal Star, Peoria
Minivan hits duplex, 11 residents displaced
SPRINGFIELD – Eleven residents were displaced from a duplex after a hit-and-run minivan crashed into it early Tuesday.
Springfield police said the van, driven by Al Yates, 57, of the 1400 block of North Grand Avenue West, struck the building about 6:30 a.m.
A woman who lives at the duplex said she was asleep when she heard a loud noise and then a vehicle driving away. When she walked outside, she found damage to the duplex, as well as to the garage. No one inside the duplex was injured.
Police later found the license plate from Yates’ GMC Safari in the back yard. Officers were told by a neighbor that his uncle, Yates, had left his house minutes before the accident.
American Red Cross caseworkers met with the 11 displaced people and have provided them with emergency shelter assistance.
Children tie up 911 system for hours
LINCOLN – Two children with cell phones tied up the city’s 911 system by placing about 40 calls an hour Saturday.
Supervisor Mark Mann said that when first got word of Saturday’s incident, he called Sangamon County for advice. The 911 supervisor said that nothing could be done but to keep answering the calls.
Mann said that parents need to take the batteries out of cell phones if they’re giving them to their children as toys. Any phone with power will call 911. Even if a phone has no minutes, the one number it can still call is 911.
Mann also recommended locking the keyboard when a phone is in a purse or pocket. He said 911 has gotten calls where all they could hear was someone’s car radio playing.
Officer with his rights to refuse sobriety test, state’s attorney says
ROCKFORD – A Loves Park police officer charged with driving under the influence last month was well within his rights to refuse to submit to field sobriety testing and was not required by law to give a blood sample to investigators, said Winnebago County State’s Attorney Phil Nicolosi.
Loves Park police Sgt. Dave Jacobson was charged with driving under the influence in the early morning hours of Aug. 30. He was a key player in a July controversy between law enforcement officials and area hospitals over a state law that requires hospital staff to draw blood at the request of officers conducting DUI investigations.
Nicolosi said Jacobson’s arrest is a different situation.
“In his circumstance, he had the right to submit or refuse,” Nicolosi said of Jacobson’s decision to refuse field sobriety testing. “This didn’t involve an accident at all,” he said, adding that the blood draw question only comes into play when there’s an accident involving serious injury or death.
According to court documents, Jacobson, 51, was pulled over in his unmarked squad car by Illinois State Police at 12:45 a.m. Aug. 30. He is on administrative leave with pay. The police department is conducting an internal investigation, which they hope to conclude in the next couple of weeks.
Jacobson is scheduled to appear on the charges Monday in Winnebago County Court.
Rockford Register Star