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David Keohn / NET News

Sex Trafficking In Small Towns: "It Happens Virtually Anywhere"

"For most of our trafficking victims this is kind of where we're going to start," says Jamie Manzer, as she gives a tour of the SASA (Spouse Abuse Sexual Assault) Crisis Center, where she worked until recently.

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Carthage, IL – Carthage businessmen might add a play to their Monday night activities on the square. Tyrone Jacoby of the Chamber of Commerce says the performance will deal with Abraham Lincoln's visit to Carthage. He says the group should soon know whether the trial re-enactment will be ready by the first farmers market later this month. Jacoby says the merchants are trying to cross-promote Carthage activitiess with the more than 80,000 tourists who go through the Nauvoo visitors center each year.

Macomb, IL – Representatives from Pella Corporation were kept busy during the first day of handing out applications for the company's new plant in Macomb. The business says more than 800 cars came through its application distribution site at the former ShopKo building and more than 2,000 forms were given out. Pella says applicants came from Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Texas, and Washington state. Pella plans to distribute applications at the site for the remainder of the week. The company says its plant will initially employ around 250 people.

Macomb, IL – The parent company for Citizens National Bank is being acquired by a suburban Chicago company. The transaction between Citizens Central Bancorp and JGS Investments of Oak Brook should be completed by early next year. It's subject to shareholder and regulatory approval. Citizens Central Bancorp President and CEO Tim Fleming says his company's name will not change, there will be no loss of or change in personnel, and there will be no changes to accounts. He says both companies stand to benefit from the transaction.

Carthage, IL – The Carthage Chamber of Commerce is rescheduling its Farmers Market in hopes of bringing in more vendors and customers. Committee Chairman Dave Ard says last year's market got a late start with few vendors. He says the market is being moved to Monday evenings from 3 to 7 p.m. in combination with Chamber promotions. He says several stores have agreed to stay open late to take advantage of the crowds he hopes will fill the downtown square. Ard says they're trying to bring in between 10 and 15 vendors each week. The market begins May 23 at 3 p.m.

Niota, IL – Commercial fishermen in Illinois are going to the state for help with marketing and rules changes. President Kirby Morrison of the Illinois Commercial Fishing Association says a marketing grant could help his members sell more than the three million pounds per year they're now selling. In addition, he says a committee will approach the Department of Natural Resources to ask for an easing of some of the conservation regulations. He says the point system can cause someone to lose their livelihood for what would be a minor violation.

Fort Madison, IA – Iowa's ombudsman says Lee County Auditor Anne Pederson violated the state's open meetings law. In March of last year, Pederson gave reporters a recording of a Board of Supervisors closed door meeting from September 2003. But Ombudsman Bill Angrick says the Board of Supervisors is the legal custodian of the recording and should have been contacted about a request for the tape. The violation carries no penalty, but Pederson's name will be included in a published report from the state ombudsman.

Macomb, IL – Macomb is suing a pair of property owners who agreed to annex to the city and then failed to do so. The suit in McDonough County Circuit Court says Barbara and Eldon Morrison had indicated a willingness to be annexed when their property adjoined the city. The lawsuit says that promise was made in 1994. The lot now touches the city border, but the couple has refused annexation. The agreement was a condition of getting city water to the home on the south edge of Macomb.

Springfield, IL – The fund Illinois uses to pay repair costs for vehicles involved in accidents is empty. Now the governor's office wants the schools and other state agencies to take the custs out of their current budgets. Universities see this as a funding cut. They are concerned what other costs they might have to pay out of their current budgets. The Governor's office insists the cost will be small, and the money will not come out of appropriations slated for education.

Macomb, IL – WIU art students get a chance to see how their work stacks up against others in the annual juried student awards show. Every year the art department allows its students to enter up to three works. The jury commonly consists of artists from other colleges. The works of winning students are purchased by the university or independent buyers. Art work bought by the university will go on display at the University Union.

Macomb, IL – During this week's committee meeting, aldermen indicated support for increasing the city's water and sewer fee rates. First reading of the ordinance changes is scheduled for next week. The 5% water rate hike would generate an extra $92,166. The proposed 2.5% increase in the sewer rate would bring in an additional $38,250. Aldermen also indicated support for increasing the minimum water and sewer bills by 75-cents, bringing it to $2.75 The city is concerned that fund balances will be too low without the added income.

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Celebration Concerts

Don Stiernberg Trio, 7:00pm March 4, Vallillo/Holtz Performance Studio

While still in his teens, Don Stiernberg learned to play the mandolin from the innovative and influential virtuoso Jethro Burns. Jethro referred to Don as his "graduate student", hired him to play in his band, and guided him to a career as a professional musician which has already lasted for decades.

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Harvest Public Media

David Keohn / NET News

"For most of our trafficking victims this is kind of where we're going to start," says Jamie Manzer, as she gives a tour of the SASA (Spouse Abuse Sexual Assault) Crisis Center, where she worked until recently.

File: Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media

After court documents unsealed Tuesday raised questions about its research methods, chemical giant Monsanto said it did not ghostwrite a 2000 study on the safety of glyphosate, the active ingredient in its flagship pesticide Roundup.

Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media

This story is part of the special series United And Divided, which explores the links and rifts between rural and urban America.

Rural voters overwhelmingly chose President Donald Trump in the presidential election. But when it comes to the central campaign promise to get tough on trade, rural voters are not necessarily in sync with the administration.

Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

Farmers in the U.S. like to point out that their products feed people all over the world. And while this is a diverse country, the people working on farms and elsewhere in agriculture often don't reflect the nation's demographics. Changing that is becoming a priority, in hopes new people will bring fresh ideas to meet some of our food system's greatest challenges.

Joe Wertz/StateImpact Oklahoma

On a brisk and busy January morning at the Oklahoma National Stockyards, cattle arrive for auction in trailers pulled by pickup trucks — and leave in double-decker cars towed by semis.

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The Forgottonia Files

Tri States Public Radio introduces you to the people, the places, the rich history, and the ongoing struggles that make the Forgottonia region remarkable.