This week, the Alton Education Association once again is meeting with the Alton School District and a mediator to find a solution to an ongoing standoff that could result in a teachers' strike.
The AEA rejected the district’s Oct. 27 proposal and filed a 10-day intent to strike notice, with a 95 percent vote of support for filing the notice.
The rejected offer included a $1,000 increase for certified staff, 25 cents per hour for non-certified staff, and salary increases retroactive to July 1, 2015 (year one) and step movement on salary schedule and longevity pay (year two).
The district is battling financial difficulties, due in part to declining property tax rates. Union representatives say a plan by the district to implement a restructuring based on grade levels as opposed to location in the 2016-17 school year as a cost-cutting measure would result in the loss of jobs for teachers.
Man with sex offender past found in park
After a visitor to Riverfront Park turned in a backpack found in the park and police checked the contents, it led to the arrest of James Baxter, 47, a convicted sex offender.
Baxter was found asleep under a picnic table at the park, where he claimed to have been living for several days. He was charged with sexual predator presence in a park and failure to register as a sex offender, both felonies.
As of Wednesday, he was being held on $150,000 bond.