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How Some Small Towns Are Achieving 'Brain Gain'

When communities watch young people grow up, go off and never return, remaining residents and politicians often bemoan there’s been a “brain drain” — especially when such population loss means schools and businesses close.

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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.

Fort Madison, IA – Fort Madison is getting ready to make improvements to the wastewater treatment plant on the city's west side. The city council will hold a public hearing next week before deciding whether to borrow up to $2.1 million for the project. City Manager Bill Kelly says the work is needed because of changes in state regulations that will be implemented in about one year. Kelly says the city is also considering several options to provide more water for residents. Those include building a new water plant, renovating the current facility, and purchasing water from Keokuk.

Macomb, IL – McDonough County is changing its agreement with Macomb that covers support of the animal shelter. County Board Chairman Bob Harwick says the previous agreement had the city paying too much. Now each entity will contribute $27,000 per year. In addition, the budgeting process is being changed. Harwick says each year's budget will set aside a certain amount for eventual vehicle replacement. Beforehand, the cost of a new truck came out of one year's budget. Harwick says the change will make budgeting easier.

Macomb, IL – Rain did not stop more than 200 people from showing up for this year's "Relay for Life" at WIU. The event is usually held at Hanson Field, but was moved into the Student Recreation Center because of the weather. Cancer Survivor Kathy Little of Macomb was pleased with the number of college students who showed up to support the fight for a cure. She helped kick off the event by participating in the first lap of the relay, which is set aside for those who have survived cancer. The event raised more than $37,000 which will be given to the American Cancer Society for research.

Macomb, IL – Rain did not stop more than 200 people from showing up for this year's "Relay for Life" at WIU. The event is usually held at Hanson Field, but was moved into the Student Recreation Center because of the weather. Cancer Survivor Kathy Little of Macomb was pleased with the number of college students who showed up to support the fight for a cure. She helped kick off the event by participating in the first lap of the relay, which is set aside for those who have survived cancer. The event raised more than $37,000 which will be given to the American Cancer Society for research.

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Folk Weekend Live in Concert

Mari Black, 7:00pm October 13, 2018 - Vallillo/Holtz Performance Studio

Multistyle violinist and champion fiddler Mari Black is rapidly building a reputation as one of the most dynamic young artists of her generation. Her energetic playing, engaging stage presence, and commitment to bringing people together through music have made her a favorite with audiences across the country and around the world. Equally at home in a wide variety of musical traditions, Mari is the 2015/2013 U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion, 2014 Glenfiddich Scottish Fiddle Champion,...

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Flyover: Down the Mississippi River

Get Your Very Own Stand With The Facts T-Shirt

TSPR wins a Regional Murrow Award

Harvest Public Media

U.S. REP. ROGER MARSHALL'S OFFICE

Held up over disagreements over federal food stamps, the first draft of the 2018 farm bill arrived Thursday, bearing 35 changes to that program, including starting a national database of participants.

Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

As agriculture intensified in the 20th century, summers in the Midwest became wetter and cooler.  An MIT study published this month looked at whether vegetation from crop production, rather than greenhouse gas emissions that are an established source of climate changes, could have driven these regional impacts.

Ben Kuebrich/Kansas News Service/Harvest Public Media

A new, widely debated federal mandate requires truckers to electronically track the number of hours they're on the road — a rule that is meant to make highways safer. But there is a big difference between hauling a load of TVs and a load of cattle destined for meatpacking plants.

DARRELL HOEMANN / FILE/MIDWEST CENTER FOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING

Lawsuits filed in Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, and Arkansas against the makers of the herbicide dicamba will be centralized in the federal court in St. Louis.

Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

In the coming months, Congress will map out how it will spend upwards of $500 billion on food and farm programs over the next five years.  The massive piece of legislation known as the farm bill affects all taxpayers -- whether they know it or not.

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