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Local Editorials

Enhanced airport could be draw for tourists

THUMBS UP ... to untapped potential. Peter Limberger has no intentions of starting an airline, but he would like to make charter flights more available from Peru. Limberger this winter purchased Davenport- and Muscatine, Iowa-based Carver Aero from Iowa entrepreneur Roy Carver Jr.

Limberger recently talked about some of his plans for the flight service he purchased, as well as some ways for Peru and Starved Rock Country to better capitalize on the resource it has in the Illinois Valley Regional Airport.

On top of stationing charter planes in Peru, Limberger would like to see a nice terminal with a restaurant that would not only be attractive to people flying in and out, but also for visitors in the Starved Rock Country area.

The idea is with two to three million visitors a year, the region already is attracting people. Now, businesses are trying to take the next steps to keep their attention, and maybe get them to stay a night or two, enhancing the revenue and tax dollars. Limberger's enhanced airport is just another way to try to tap into that.

THUMBS DOWN ... to cyber crooks. When “ransomware” disabled La Salle County governmental computer capabilities, the county did not pay the amount demanded by the people and/or bots that took the county system hostage. Instead, the county IT staff and vendors worked around the problem while notifying the FBI, which continues to investigate the matter along with county law enforcers.

You can protect yourself from various types of attacks. One of the main ways to avoid an attack or to avoid interaction with a criminal who wants to steal your personal information on your computer or to charge you for “fixing” your computer is to never open an email with an unrecognized address. Many scammers and crooks steal a user name of one of your friends or a trusted business, but then the letters or words after the @ sign in the email lead straight to a malicious source.

Connecting Point computer technician Matt Staats told Shaw Media pop-up notifications frequently alert users that their computer is infected and they must call a 1-800 number to resolve the issue. Staats said “scareware” frightens users into either purchasing a program to resolve the issue or paying a set fee to remove the notification. Best initial steps for avoiding that intruder include not clicking on a pop-up, never calling that phone number and immediately shutting down your computer — even through a hard shutdown, meaning pushing the off button or unplugging.

From a news standpoint, we’d love nothing more than to report an arrest of the bad guys who attacked La Salle County or any local victims. That doesn’t happen very often, however.

THUMBS UP TO ... a unique agreement with teachers. The Streator High School Board agreed to a five-year contract with its teachers that will change how they are paid, putting a focus on offering more courses that allow students to get college credits.

The district is doing away with step pay increases. In order to make more pay, aside from regularly negotiating raises, teachers will have to gain more education and certifications, which in turn expands the classes the high school is able to offer. The high school district has agreed to reimburse more for teachers furthering their education.

It works out to a win-in, because in order to teach dual credit courses, teachers must have a masters degree. These courses that allow students to get college credits in high school give Streator graduates a head start both academically and financially.

THUMBS DOWN TO ... springing forward. If events felt like they were jumping up on you Sunday, it might be because they were. We moved the clocks ahead one hour overnight Saturday, essentially losing an hour to our weekend — and we all could use that extra hour.

It's not all bad news, however. Daylight Savings Time means one more hour of daylight and is a sign spring is near. We're very close to putting another Midwest winter behind us.

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