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Emily Boyer

Transition Underway at WIRC after Nash Retirement

Suzan Nash's name is synonymous with the Western Illinois Regional Council . She came to the Macomb-based organization as an intern in 1977. She was named its executive director in 1981 and led the organization until March 1, when she retired.

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Keokuk, IA – A Lee County employee might have to give back vacation time. The Board of Supervisors might soon act on a recommendation from two of its members that an employee in the recorder's office give back more than 129 hours of vacation time. A report from Supervisors Larry Kruse and George Morgan says the employee was earning too much vacation time after switching from part to full-time status. Kruse says this was the lone case where an error like this took place after employees switched job status.

Springfield, IL – Illinois might soon have a ban on the so-called "Yo-Yo Water Balls." The toy is like a water-filled marble on a rubber string. Consumer groups says the toy has caused more than 300 injuries. They say it is a choking hazard and can cause eye injuries. The bill would provide a $1,000 fine for those who sell the toys. The bill has been sent to the Governor for action.

Raritan, IL – On May 13, 1995, an F-4 tornado whipped through parts of western Illinois. The National Weather Service says since the advent of Doppler radar, this has been the most violent tornado to impact its Quad Cities service area, which covers 20,000 square miles in three states. Public Radio's Rich Egger talked to some of the survivors from Raritan, which was the town hardest hit by the storm. He shares their stories during the 6:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. newscasts Friday on Tri States Public Radio.

Macomb, IL – The value of Illinois farmland has dropped about 10 percent yearly for the past three years. Now it's about to fall even more. The Illinois Department of Revenue is issuing a lower productivity index on some farmland. The index rates the potential of the more than 700 soil types in the state. McDonough County Supervisor of Assessments Tammy Clamp says the change might cut the income of taxing bodies with a lot of rural property. Her office is preparing letters to notify landowners of the coming change.

Carthage, IL – Closing procedures for Carthage's landfill might help the expansion of housing in that part of the city. Mayor James Nightingale says original plans called for trucking collected groundwater from near the landfill to the sewer plant for treatment. Now he says aldermen are considering extending a sewer line to the landfill site. He says that could eliminate trucking costs. It could also allow homes near the fill to gain access to the city sewer plant and could allow the extension of other services as well.

Springfield, IL – A group of southern Illinois lawmakers is pushing a package aimed at changing the state's medical malpractice system. The bills would limit damage payouts to $250,000 in suits against physicians and $500,000 in suits against hospitals. Kevin Conway of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association says the bills would curtail the ability of people to seek redress. Supporters believe the measures would cut medical malpractice insurance costs.

Macomb, IL – McDonough County will cut down on the amount of compensatory time for employees that it carries forward. Board Chairman Bob Harwick said some employees had accumulated 1,600 hours, or more than three fourths of a year. He says that's too much of a liability to carry on the books. Harwick says department heads will be asked to set up records to track compensatory time they award and keep the county's payroll office informed. He says if the amount of comp time gets too large, the county will buy it out from the employee.

Keokuk, IA – Students in the Keokuk school district might have to pay more money to get their drivers licenses. The school board discussed the creation of a drivers ed fee. Principal Dave Keane suggested $100, with reduced levels for lower-income students. He says the idea is to bring more money into the classrooms. Drivers education now takes up to one-fourth of the school's education budget. Keane says Keokuk is the only Iowa school district in the area not charging a fee. The board will discuss the proposal at its next meeting.

Macomb, IL – Macomb aldermen are not ready to jump on board yet with plans to close some rail crossings. City staff and Burlington Northern Santa Fe have reached a tentative agreement to shut down the crossings at Clay, Campbell, and Madison Streets. BNSF would pay the city $145,000 and make improvements to the remaining crossings. But aldermen say they should have been included in the negotiations and they feel the city is not getting enough out of the deal. They're also concerned about the impact the closings would have on the remaining crossings and other nearby streets.

Rushville, IL – Rushville is having to adjust its current budget because of the state's decision not to open the newly-built juvenile prison. Mayor Ron Shepherd says the main gap in the budget is the $125,000 per year the city is spending in payments on the cost of preparing the site. He says Rushville is seeking a state grant to help cover what it spent to attract the prison. He says the city council's Finance Committee has been asked to trim from three to five percent from the budget's line items to help bring the document into balance.

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Celebration Concerts

Joe & Vicki Price, 7:00pm April 8, Vallillo/Holtz Performance Studio

In a world where words like "legend" get thrown around entirely too lightly, it's good to know that there are a few people still worthy of the word's original intent. And when it comes to music in Iowa, Joe Price stands as one of the art's legendary practitioners.

But no man lives by bread alone, and Price has two great loves in his life. It's the rare man that gets to mix two passions together and make a life out of it, but Vicki Price makes that easy. The pair married in 1987,...

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Spring Issues and Ale

Join TSPR for a pint and conversation on issues that affect You! We have events in Keokuk and Macomb this spring.

Harvest Public Media

File: NET Nebraska

The North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, has been very good to many Midwest agriculture producers. That’s why many farmers and ranchers are nervous about President Donald Trump's promise to either completely dismantle, or at least renegotiate, the free-trade agreement between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.

File: Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

Though there have not been any U.S. cases of the strain of avian flu that has killed more than 140 people in China this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's head veterinarian says the agency is making preparations to combat the deadly virus in case it reaches North America. 

USEMBASSY_MONTEVIDEO/FLICKR

President Donald Trump's pick to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture, former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, testified in a confirmation hearing before the Senate Agriculture committee today, but remains far from the head job at USDA.

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.

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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.