The Pantagraph from Bloomington, Illinois on February 4, 2005 · Page 1
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The Pantagraph from Bloomington, Illinois · Page 1

Bloomington, Illinois
Issue Date:
Friday, February 4, 2005
Page 1
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I FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2005 50 Cents Do evolving headlight bulbs Bloomington Library lined book sale continues at Crossroads Center I A3 provide too much light? Home - "'tiirii f y it yrr 1 WA Social Security reaction cautious By Greg Clma BLOOMINGTON President Bush's State of the Union address proposal to partly privatize Social Security drew mixed reviews in Central Illinois. Bloomington resident Margaret Todd, 68, said privatization "should have been done a long time ago." She said she prefers more private control of the funds, and said the money would be better in a program similar to a 401(k). "I like to' be more in control of my tax dollars," Todd said. But while 26-year-old Kelli Wright of Normal said Social Security needs to be changed and she doesn't oppose privatizing the system, she expressed uncertainty whether Bush's plan is "the way to go." Rob Glover, executive director of the Financial Centre in Bloomington, said he has seen problems with Social Security for about a decade, and "something has to give." Many unsure of plans Numerous people interviewed Thursday evening said they did not know what the president's proposal means for their future benefits, taxes or coverage,. The proposed change would let Americans born after 1949 divert 4 percent of their wages into new personal-investment accounts, which reduce guaranteed benefits but give people a chance to increase their returns on the money. Participation would be voluntary, and the accounts would start in 2009. People could choose from some stock and bond funds, which could earn more or less than the guaranteed benefits. Glover said three options to change the system include: increasing payroll taxes, raising the retirement age or imposing a means test to adjust benefits based on recipients' other financial assets. SEE REACTION BACK PAGE I Bush's proposals stir worries among politicians Page A7 INSIDE ABBY D3 CLASSIFIED C4 COMICS B8 CROSSWORD D6 HOROSCOPE D4 LOTTERY A2 MOVIES D6 OBITUARIES A9 OPINION A10 SCOREBOARD B5 STOCKS C2 Weather TODAY'S FORECAST Sunny to partly cloudy, mild. High 47 Low 31 . For complete weather information, see Today's Weather on the back page. Copyright 2005 The Pantograph A PULITZER NEWSPAPER INI Jill I III SZbSS'TjOOOl" 5 sections, 84 pages "Hie last GOTOHI "Hi' Associated PressSETH PERLMAN Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, left, received congratulations from the Rev. Jesse Jackson, right, and Jackson's son, U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., a Chicago Democrat, second from right, after his State of the State address Thursday at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield. Blagojevich plan By Phil Davidson SPRINGFIELD The possibility of McLean County becoming home to the world's largest wind farm received a boost Thursday from Gov. Rod Blagojevich. An official connected with the company that wants to build the renewable energy complex near Arrowsmith said comments by the governor during his State of the State speech could mean construction would Hamilton: Inquiry of racial-profiling claim didn't exist Bloom ington's attorney looked at case for city By Greg Cima BLOOMINGTON Though Bloomington police administrators hailed an outside inquiry into the department's response to racial-profiling allegations last fall, the city manager-said Thursday the outside investigation never existed. Bloomington Detective Michael Johnson claimed he was stopped by off-duty Master Sgt. Greg Beoletto on Sept. 13 in a case motivated by racial profiling. Johnson complained the city's response was inadequate and deeply degrading. City attorney Todd Green-burg said the city completed a separate, two- or three-month internal examination earlier two years have been a very good start, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich i)h Sir get under way next year. In Thursday's address, Blagojevich said he would submit a plan to the Illinois Commerce Commission next week that will ask utility companies to produce 8 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2012, and 75 percent of that would come from wind power. "(Blagojevich's plan) really is a great opportunity for the state to push things along and get things moving," said Bob Crowell, business development this week, but he declined to provide the results or reveal any action taken in the wake of the inquiry saying they involved personnel matters. "We're going to take appropriate actions in-house, but we're not going to make any announcements about it," Green-burg said. Police officials, however, said this week they believed the external investigation was only suspended. On Nov. 8, Bloomington Police Chief Roger Aikin issued a prepared statement in which he welcomed the investigation by Danville Police Chief Carl Alexander and Urbana Police Chief Eddie Adair into how the city handled Johnson's complaint. Aikin said then it would "maintain public confidence," according to Pantagraph reports. Aikin couldn't be reached for comment Thursday SEE INQUIRY BACK PAGE V ft' " i (A ' s n. S 3. I Sa - 9 r could benefit wind farm director for Texas-based Zilkha, a wind energy company. "It makes some of these projects that have been under development throughout the state more likely to happen." With 400 megawatts of generating capacity, the Arrowsmith Wind Power Project would be home to the ; world's largest wind farm in terms of the amount of electricity generated, Crowell said. The project would install up to 267 giant windmills over ap Bloomington still plans to have hockey at arena By M.K. Guetersloh BLOOMINGTON The East Coast Hockey League's decision Tuesday to move Bloom-ington's franchise to Phoenix was expected following the city's vote last year to sever ties with Bloomington Partners. The move doesn't mean the downtown arena won't have a hockey team, however, city officials said. The hockey franchise, owned in part by Hollywood producer Barry Kemp, originally moved from Ontario, Calif., to Bloomington in May 2004. Kemp was one of five members of Bloomington Partners, a management group hired to run the arena. In November, the council voided its contract with Bloomington Partners in favor of an agreement with Bloomington-Normal Arena Management, which is headed by local developer Larry Hundman. . As part of Bloomington Part- but there's still more to do. " 0 0 0 Lawmakers: Address short on key details By Kurt Erlckson ' SPRINGFIELD After two years of squabbling with the General Assembly and the state's business community, Gov. Rod Blagojevich adopted a more conciliatory tone Thursday as he outlined his vision for the coming year. In a 47-minute State of the State speech, he avoided bashing state bureaucrats and lawmakers and handed an olive branch to business owners who have been hit hard by tax and fee increases. "The last two years have been a very good start, but there's still more to do," Blagojevich said. Observers were struck by Blagojevich's largely positive remarks, but said his speech was devoid of key details that could help guide debate this spring. "Maybe there is an effort to be more amenable in working with us. I'm hoping that's the case," said Senate Minority Leader Frank Watson, R-Greenville. "The problem was: He talked about all these great things, but he didn't talk about specifics on any of the issues," said state Sen. Larry Bomke, R-Spring-field. Unlike his 2004 State of the State speech, in which the Chicago Democrat focused almost solely on eliminating the Illinois State Board of Education, Blagojevich employed a more shotgun approach to promoting his agenda for the coming year. SEE GOVERNOR BACK PAGE proximately 21,000 acres leased from landowners. The wind farm is expected to remove only about 150 to 200 acres from crop production, he said, and will be constructed on farmland in Arrowsmith, Cheney's Grove and Dawson townships. Construction of more than 250 turbines will create approximately 200 to 250 construction jobs and will require approxi-; mately 20 to 25 full-time employees, Crowell said. The project has support from "The ECHL continues to have a strong interest in Bloomington and would welcome inquiries from prospective owners." Brian McKenna ECHL commissioner ners' agreement with the city, the management group was required to provide a hockey team for the city's $37 million downtown arena. With Bloomington Partners out, the team was not going to play at the arena anyway, said City Manager Tom Hamilton. "This does not mean we won't have hockey at the arena, not by a long shot," Hamilton said. S WES State of the State highlights Gov. Rod Blagojevich's third State of the State address touched on the following: Workers' compensation: Crack down on fraud; change billing procedures so insurers and hospitals communicate directly rather than through worker. Business regulations: Find ways to simplify and update regulations; create a one-stop shopping Web site for businesses dealing with state regulations. Energy: Require power companies to generate more electricity from wind; encourage creation of wind-turbine farms. Education: Eliminate a rule barring the children of illegal immigrants from joining public preschool programs. Health care: Pass medical malpractice reforms to lower doctors' insurance premiums and keep them in the state. Transportation: Support a congressional plan to build an airport in Will County south of Chicago. Children: Make it illegal for minors to buy violent and sexually explicit video games; help businesses report new employees so the state can more easily track down parents who owe child support. Veterans: Increase staffing to help Illinois veterans apply for and receive better benefits from the federal government. SOURCE: Associated Press Central Illinois lawmakers. State Rep. Dan Brady, R-Bloomington, said he was happy the governor acknowledged wind farm potential in his speech. "I'm glad that he's on board to try and push it," Brady said. "Not only is it going to mean more jobs in our area, but it's going to mean a lot for energy usage in our state. I'm happy it will be right there in our back yard in McLean County." SEE WIND BACK PAGE Tom Hamilton Brian McKenna In a letter sent Thursday to Hamilton, ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna said Bloomington was open territory for expansion or relocation of another ECHL team. "The ECHL continues to have a strong interest in Bloomington and would welcome inquiries from prospective owners," McKenna said in his letter. By authoring the team's move, the ECHL gave the city flexibility in deciding what hockey league would be a better fit for the community, Hamilton said SEE HOCKEY BACK PAGE

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