Thursday, Apr 24, 2014
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yesqcy - City/Firefighters labor contract must be voted on again - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
Very true, everyone has to have a first time. But what about the city attorney and the rest of the council? Nobody?
Mizzougrad - Quincy City Budget hearings and Council meeting - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
Your right, the pensions that the city chose to underfund for years because they could, and now it's all our fault. For someone in business, don't understand how you do not understand the concept that you close a station, you don't just reassign the firefighters, because then there are no savings. You close a station because you want to lower the number of firefighters, period. You know…
topdown - Quincy City Budget hearings and Council meeting - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
Once again, I will ask you: Do you understand business at all? The City can't print money. The police and fire pensions have thrown the entire system so far out of whack that the City can't make "want to" decisions; it is a "have to" situation. You can cry the blues all you want about the poor, poor firefighters, but their greed over the years has contributed greatly to this mess, so what…
topdown - Quincy City Budget hearings and Council meeting - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
I haven't read a single comment about laying off firefighters, except, perhaps, from your Chief. You are paid, and paid very well, to do a job. If you don't like it, quit. People will line up to take your spot. No one is complaining about the services you provide. The problem is cost. Why is it so hard to understand that the City coffers are not a bottomless pit? Your pensions have…
topdown - Quincy City Budget hearings and Council meeting - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
Your condescending attitude is just plain insulting. Thousands and thousands of small business owners have suffered in this economy over the past decade or so. Should we all "reinvent" ourselves? What an idiotic statement! It is patently obvious to me from the comments you have made in different discussions that you have lived a life of privilege and have never given an honest day's work in…

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Illinois preps for possibility of wolf population

3 months, 3 weeks ago From Associated Press

The wolf was believed to be a lone male expelled by a pack in Wisconsin. The hunter who shot him in northwestern Illinois, allegedly keeping his skull as a trophy, was the first person in the state ever prosecuted for shooting a wolf under federal endangered species laws.

The incident, resolved in 2013 when the hunter pleaded guilty and paid a $2,500 fine, comes amid evidence of a modest but perceptible uptick in the number of wolves roaming across the Wisconsin border into heavily populated and widely farmed Illinois.

Illinois' own once-thriving wolves were hunted to extinction by the 1860s. But since the first confirmed sighting in the state in 150 years, in 2002, wolf sightings have gone from rare to regular - with at least five in the last three years.

"We used to joke with our counterparts in Wisconsin that, `Yeah, one day your wolves will be coming to Illinois,'" said Joe Kath, the endangered species manager at Illinois' Department of Natural Resources. "Well, we've reached that day."

That has state wildlife officials contemplating another day - still way off - when there are so many wolves in Illinois they'll have to ask residents to decide if they want to encourage the growth of a wolf population or strictly limit it, possibly through hunting or trapping.

"It's too early to ask the question, but it's not too early to prepare for a time when the question might have to be asked," said Kath. That preparation, he said, has already begun, including by drafting plans on how to manage wolf packs should they become established.

The North American wolves, known as gray or timber wolves, have proven resilient.

Their numbers in the lower 48 states fell to a few dozen by 1970 but dramatically rebounded with federal protections and wildly successful reintroduction programs in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming.

In Wisconsin, which shares a 150-mile border with Illinois, wolf numbers went from few to none in the 1970s to more than 800 today.

The core of Wisconsin's wolf population is in its forested north. But, explained Kath, of their own accord, the wolves have moved south. There's even one pack near Beloit, Wis., only miles from Illinois.

Several shootings of wolves have occurred in JoDaviess County, which hugs the Wisconsin border in the northwestern Illinois. That's where Earl Sirchia, of Elgin, killed the wolf that drew the scrutiny of federal prosecutors.

In another case from 2011 in the same county, Jason T. Bourrette and his friend Perry Vesely, both of Hanover, were hunting on Crazy Hallow Road when they saw what they thought was a coyote - which are legally hunted year around - tossing a mole up and down in its jaws, according to police reports.

After Bourrette shot and killed it, Vesely cursed and said, "Ya know, this could be a wolf,'" he told an investigator later. In the interview, he added about wolves, "I'm sure sooner or later we're going to have a pile of them down here, I'm afraid."

Both men were charged under state conservation law, but the charges were later dismissed.

Sirchia, who had faced a maximum one-year prison sentence, pleaded guilty months before his trial in Chicago was set to start. He was accused of taking the wolf's skull, and he allegedly had a photograph taken of himself with the dead wolf - a picture investigators later used in evidence, said Timothy Chapman, the assistant the U.S. attorney in Chicago who handled Sirchia's case.

No one answered repeated calls to a residential phone number for Sirchia. His Bartlett-based attorney, Robert J. Krupp, hung up when a reporter called and mentioned the case.

Earlier in 2013, the U.S. government declared victory in a four-decade campaign to rescue the gray wolf and lifted the federal protection in the Great Lakes area, including far-north Illinois. The state protection remains, meaning killing wolves anywhere in Illinois remains prohibited.

Enough wolves are roaming into Illinois that hunters today need to at least entertain the possibility that the animal in their sights they think is a coyote might actually be a wolf. Wolves are taller and have blockier muzzles.

But could wolves become commonplace in Illinois years or decades from now? It is possible, said Kath.

There is plenty of Midwest wolves' favorite food: White-tail deer are abundant in Illinois. On the other hand, only 14 percent of Illinois land is suitable habitat for wolves, which prefer forests, a 2013 Southern Illinois University Carbondale study found. The northwest, west-central Illinois and the southern tip of the state were deemed most suitable.

And then there's wolves' lousy and, by most accounts, undeserved reputation as bloodthirsty. (See "Little Red Riding Hood.") That points to the main factor in wolves' future prospects in Illinois: Humans.

"It's really not that they can't survive in Illinois. They could," said Kath. "The question is, will the general public allow them to survive?"


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