Virginia, IL – The Cass Rural Water District will receive more than $1.8 million to begin work on a countywide district. Congressman Ray LaHood says the funding shows the role of the federal government in helping infrastructucture projects in areas where local units of government don't have the ability to pay for them. The district will receive $1.33 million in grant money and a loan of l$468,000 from the Department of Agriculture's Rural Development. LaHood says the funding will mesh with a previous $750,000 grant to the City of Virginia for a water treatment plant.
Rushville, IL – County Clerks in western Illinois will receive grants to buy new handicapped-accessible voting machines. However, some are concerned about the on-going costs of running the devices. Hancock County Clerk Kerry Asbridge estimates it could cost up to $1,000 per year per machine for ballot coding, programming and maintenance for the machines. In McDonough County, Clerk Florine Miller says she's not yet figured the cost of running the handicapped-accessible machines. She is, however, weighing whether to continue leasing the ballot-counting machines at $28,000 per year.
Augusta, IL – Fire heavily damaged a Hancock County high school on Friday, but no students or teachers were injured. Augusta Fire Department Public Information Officer Don Arnold says the call from Southeastern High School came into the department shortly before noon. He says the south part of the building was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived. At least part of the roof collapsed. Principal Todd Fox says 184 students attended classes at the school. There were nine classrooms in the red brick part of the building where the fire occured. It's believed it was built in 1920.