Galesburg Register-Mail from Galesburg, Illinois on May 17, 1973 · Page 3
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May 17, 1973

Galesburg Register-Mail from Galesburg, Illinois · Page 3

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Galesburg, Illinois
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Thursday, May 17, 1973
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Oquawka Trustees Agree To Seek Bids on Project OQtJAWKA - The Oquawka Village Board (/Trustees, at a special meeting Wednesday night with engineer Sherman Smith, agreed to ask for bids on a proposed water system improvement project. Cost of the work was originally estimated at •61*0,000; most of the members of the previous village board had agreed to pay the full amount. Most of those trustees were replaced during village elections last month, and the new trustees, led by board president Joe Colley, have chopped off many of the proposed improvements to lower the cost. By deleting some proposals and altering others during earlier meetings, they brought the estimated cost to $360,000, and continued to study the package last night. "We cut out a few more water lines," Colley said after last night's meeting, "and of course that includes the (cost of) hook-ups and several hydrants that won 't be necessary now." Colley said he didn't know the exact dollar figure now, but estimated the project would still be in the neighborhood of $360,000. "We'll know that when the bids come in," he explained. Colley said the village will ask for two separate bids on the project — one including installation of water meters and one without. "We'll know where we stand then," he said. Colley had been opposed to installing water meters, but conceded this morning they might be necessary. "It is the only way you can tell how much water (each residence or business) is using," he said, adding "We still don 't know which way we're going to go on it." Jury Sets $960 Award In Oquawka Levee Case OQUAWKA—A Henderson County jury Wednesday awarded $960 in damages to an Oquawka property owner who claimed the village was responsible for damage to her Mississippi riverfront home. Mrs. Louise Campbell, Monmouth, had originally asked for $25,000 in damages she claimed resulted to her cottage and lot on Front Street, north of Schyler, after the village constructed a levee to prevent flooding. The lawsuit cited damage to the property and alleged inconvenience resulting from her inability to use the street or her carport. MRS. CAMPBELL and her husband, Clark, who is Warren County Educational Service Region superintendent, obtained a court order last year which forced the village to remove a section of the levee in front of their cottage. During process the village also took out another section south of the Campbells' property. But the Campbells were not satisfied, and have filed an appeal in a higher court asking that the entire levee along the village's riverfront be removed. The levee, including the section in front of their property, was replaced this spring during record floods, and village officials say they want to keep it up this time. "We'd like to cut it down to a reasonable level,, and push it to the outside (of Front Street) where it would still >give him (Campbell) 20-25 feet of street," village board president Joe Colley said today. Colley said the village would also seed down the dam to minimize blowing sand the Campbells have complained about. "We just can 't be spending $30,000 every year (to build and remove the levee) and that's about what it is," Colley added. ' THE DAMAGES were assessed against the village as a corporation, although the lawsuit was filed against both the village and the trustees individually. Attorneys for the village and the trustees argued that the village did not remove the levee as Campbell had asked because of a request from the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers that it be maintained if possible. Circuit Court Judge Patrick Murphy, during Tuesday s proceedings, threatened to have Campbell ejected from the courtroom and even jailed when he reportedly insisted on coaching his wife while she was on the witness stand. Board Delays Action on Request * ... A «T "J (Continued From Page 2) Burford for a variance in the setback requirement to construct a farm building in Rio Township. Burford said he wanted a 50 per cent reduction in the setback requirement to reconstruct a building which was destroyed by high winds two weeks ago. The board approved, conditioned on the results of a public hearing on the request. The board is expected to give a decision next Wednesday on the Midland Coal Co. request for modification of a conditional use permit to stripmine land in Victoria Township. The board has had the rehearing under consideration since it concluded several weeks ago. The firm protested that the conditions were not economically feasible and asked the rehearing, which opened last September. belts- big belts, little belts, skinny ones and fat, too . . . all of leather and with buckles for plain or fancy pants . . . $2.95 to $15.95 graduation gift certificates available calico cat monday & friday 10-9 weekdays & Saturday 10-5 '-.•^f Golesburg Register-Moil, Golesbirrg, 111. Thursday, Moy 17, 1973 % House Vote on No-Fault Auto Insurance Plan Prompts Angry Attack by Sponsor SPRINGFIELD (UPI) - The battered no - fault auto insur ance concept is being bounced around the Illinois House, prompting the sponsor of one no - fault measure to table his bill and predict in anger that the idea is "dead" this year. Rep. Bernard Epton, R- Chicago, blistered his colleagues and branded them "stupid" Wednesday after the House stripped his no - fault bill of a requirement that auto wreck victims have at least $500 in medical bills before they could sue for pain and suffering. Fuming, Epton chastised House members who accused him of pushing an insurance industry plan and chided others for letting his bill be "gutted" at the second reading or amendment stage. Then Epton tabled his own bill, leaving but one no-fault measure still before the House. But before he did, Epton unleashed a heated attack. "This is not an insurance industry bill. I don't carry water for anybody in this House. When I offer a bill, it's my bill," Epton said. Calls Them Clowns "The clowns who put words in my mouth are going to have to respond from noW on," Epton went on, his voice rising. "I won't take it from a freshman or a senior." Epton said later he was particularly irked by novice lawmaker Ronald Griesheimer, a fellow Republican from Waukegan, and Rep. James T. Londrigan, D- Springfield. Londrigan offered the amendment that wiped out Epton's $500 medical cost requirement. "They both said this is an insurance industry bill," Epton told newsmen. "It's an outright lie. They (insurance companies) , argued against this in committee because they wanted a figure between $1,000 and $3,000-not $500." Epton also said he was amazed at the apathy he said was largely to blame for the success of Londrigan's amendment. Of 176 House votes that could have been cast, only 103 were. Londrigan's amendment was adopted, 58-45. "I did everything but insult each House member personally to get them to pay attention," Epton said, "but even so no one knew what they were voting on." Few Pay Attention All during the debate on Londrigan's amendment, a steady murmur from a dozen conversations ort the floor all but drowned out the discussion. Seemingly, scant attention was paid to Epton's remarks. But when a preliminary vote sbowed Londrigan's amendment succeeding, Epton lost his temper and suddenly others listened. "By this vote-at the amendment stage—the House leaves itself no choice," Epton said. "The whole idea in committee was to put two concepts on the floor so the entire House could decide which way to go. "If you insist on gutting my bill," Epton said, "It will look exactly like Mr. Maragos' and I'll be forced to table mine." Epton referred to a bill offered by Rep. Samuel Maragos, D-Chicago. His bill, generally favored by lawyers, would impose no requirement of any kind before an injured motorist could sue for pain and suffering. This is the way present law reads. Bars Some Suits In the Senate, under- the sponsorship of President William C. Harris, R-Pontiac, is a no-fault bill that would bar pain and suffering suits until an auto crash victim has been permanently disabled 60 days. "This means," Epton said, "that if you're a writer with both hands in casts for 61 days, you could probably collect on a pain and suffering suit. But if you're a lawyer or psychiatrist who uses his brain to make a living, you'd probably have to be insensible to collect." Under Epton's bill before it was amended and tabled, a policyholder could have been paid for medical costs—however high—by his own company, regardless of who caused the accident. If the doctor bills were more than $500, however, the victim could sue for pain and suffering in any amount. If he won, he'd have to reimburse his insurance company for the amount of his medical bills. But Epton said he doubts any no-fault bill will pass this session "unless some rapid conciliatory steps are taken." Says No-Fault Dead "If the House is willing to kill my bill with only a $500 threshold, what will it do to the tougher Senate bill if it gets over here?" Epton asked. "And if Maragos' bill gets over there, the Senate will murder it, probably in committee. So I say no- fault appears dead this yeaf." Maragos said during debate on the Londrigan amendment he feared any threshold would be unconstitutional because it would be "an arbitrary impediment" to the right to sue. Epton said he doesn't think the courts would see it that way. Epton refused to blame the lawyers in the House for scuttling his bill. "There is an honest feeling among some of them we would be giving away the right to sue," he said, "so I don't mind their opposition to my bill. But I do object to the stupidity of the House in not listening and thereby limiting itself at this point to just one approach." The legislature two years ago passed a no-fault bill, but the Illinois Supreme Court struck it down. Walker: We'll Maintain Quality Mental Health Care By PAMELA REEVES SPRINGFIELD (UPI) - Appearing nonplussed as he stepped into a crowd of booing demonstrators Wednesday, Gov. Daniel Walker picked up a bullhorn and promised to maintain quality care for mental health patients — despite cutbacks in the number of mental health workers. "We are making some changes," Walker said, "but we are doing it with the firm resolve and intent to maintain and im­ prove care for mental patients." The group of 100 demonstrators, which included many mental health workers, listened to the brief talk, but continued to chant against the cutbacks when the governor had finished. Better Reception Inside Walker received a friendlier reception inside the St. Nicho- last Hotel, where he addressed some 500 persons at the 24th annual mental health luncheon. He again defended the cutbacks. He said the number of persons in the state's 27 mental health; facilities has declined by almost 12,000 since 1969, but the number of mental health workers has remained about the same. The personnel cuts being made, he said, will not result in fewer persons taking care of patients, but will eliminate those who are removed from direct patient contact. Among the cuts already made, Walker said, were 104 tradesmen (bakers, carpenters) ; 57 in research, 23 in public information and 25 in the central mental health office. Establish Grievance Centers Walker said he plans to set up grievance centers around the state to hear complaints from mental health employes. And he said he will appoint a number of ombudsmen to talk to workers. Most of those demonstrating Wednesday were members of the Coalition to Stop Mental Health Cuts. Group spokesman Robert Guy, a rehabilitation counselor at the Madden Zone Center in Hines, said the cuts being made "will in fact affect mental health care throughout the state. "We're not down here to protest layoffs per se, or to protect our jobs per se," he said. "We're talking about human dignity here. We want to maintain and improve the level of services." Answers Complaints Using a bullhorn provided by a demonstrator, Gov. Daniel and personnel cuts. Arriving at the St. Nicholas Hotel for Walker waded into a crowd of protestors Wednesday in the 24th annual mental health luncheon, the governor was Springfield to answer complaints about mental health budget met by about 70 poster-carrying demonstrators. UNIFAX Senators Reject Making Birthday Holiday in State SPRINGFIELD (UPI) - A bill declaring the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday a legal holiday in Illinois has been rejected by the Senate Judiciary Commit' tee. On a 6-4 vote with one member voting present, the committee Wednesday defeated the bill after some members objected to closing banks on Jan. 15 — the slain civil rights leader's birthday. "Do we have to make it a legal holiday?" asked Sen. James Soper, R-Cicero. "I just don't see why we should single out the banks and make them close when the other businesses are still going." But Rep. Harold Washington, D-Chicago, sponsor of the bill, said although there are "other ways to honor great men, if you remove the bank holiday you take something away from it." Last year the General Assembly approved a similar bill but it died after former Gov. Richard B. Ogilvie returned it to the lawmakers with an amendatory vote. Bonds Only Way to Pay Boad Costs (Continued From Page 2) The money is just not there." Since the governor has said repeatedly he will not allow any tax increase, he is left with increased bond spending as the only way to fund more freeways. Asked if he would approve such a bond issue, Walker refused to rule out the possibility. Depends on Money "I can't answer that question until I see the fiscal condition next year," the governor said. That answer indicated Walker does not want to rule out, at least for the time being, a freeway system more elaborate than the sharply curtailed plan he has approved. Several legislators noted that by holding out hope for the future, Walker also might provide members of his own party with an excuse for voting against the GOP plan. Whatever eventually comes of Walker's juggling act, however, one thing is clear: The original plan for 1,950 miles of downstate freeways promoted by then Gov. Richard B. Ogilvie is unlikely ever to go under construction. Walker Changes Insurance, Keeps Leahy at $30,000 78 south seminary, gale«burg phone 342-2212 SPRINGFIELD (UPI) - Gov. Daniel Walker has announced the state is switching insurance companies to obtain better service and lower rates on the health and life coverage it offers to its employes. Walker also told a wide-ranging news conference Wednesday that he has not changed his mind on supporting the Oakley Reservoir project near Decatur; that he is giving Mrs. Mary Lee Leahy a $30,000-a-year staff position in his administration, and that he hopes for a better relationship with Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley. Walker said the new state insurance program will be split between Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Chicago and Rockford and Crown Life Insurance Co. of Canada. The firms have a 15- month contract and will replace the old insurer, the Northeastern Life Insurance Co. of New York, Walker said. The governor said Northeastern, "to be charitable, did not do a very good job in (meeting) claims." Will Save Millions The new contracts will save a total of more than $5 million in premiums during the coming year, Walker said, with $4.77 million of the saving realized by the state. Some benefits will be increased but none will be cut, he said. Walker also said he has known for some time of a report by the Environmental Protection Agency that water in the proposed Oakley Reservoir might not meet quality standards. He said he knew of the report last week when he announced his support for the reservoir project and "that's why I placed the restrictions on my support that I did." Walker said at the time of his announcement that the project should not get a final state go -ahead unless he is assured that reservoir water will meet minimum standards. On the subject of his relation­ ship with Daley-often a rocky one in the past—the governor said he plans to have lunch with the mayor next week in Chicago. At that time, he hopes to discuss some of their differences of opinion, he said. But he declined to describe the appointment—or his confirmation Tuesday of Milton Pikarsky as a board member of the Chicago Transit Authority—as a "thaw" in the relationship. 'Had Our Differences' "We've had our differences; I'm sure we'll continue to have differences. We've had points of agreement; I'm sure we'll continue to have points of agreement," Walker said of his dealings with Daley. Walker also said Wednesday he has found a new task for Mrs. Leahy, who was rejected by the Senate last month as head of the EPA. She will See 'Walker'(Continued on Page 11) itfH! Sprhg into sryi £t Fine leather uppers in latest colors and patterns. Comfortable shoes at comfortable prices. Johnsonian Affordable fashion 'M D&EEE $14.99 $17.99 SHOE CENTER WAREHOUSE OPEN MON. & FRI. 9-9; TUE. thru THUR. 9-5:30 SAT. 9-6 120 E. MAIN ST. Ph. 343-0725

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