Burlington, IA – The country's leading poet returned to his home state for a reading over the weekend. Ted Kooser was named Poet Laureate of the United States in 2004. His collection of poetry, "Delights and Shadows" received the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Kooser says his responsibility as Poet Laureate is to introduce and promote poetry throughout the country. Kooser was born in Ames and currently resides in rural Eastern Nebraska. He writes a weekly column, American Life in Poetry, which runs in newspapers across the country.
Keokuk, IA – Wildlife and nature lovers are expected to flock to Keokuk this weekend. The 22nd annual Bald Eagle Appreciation Days will take place Saturday and Sunday throughout the city. Keokuk Tourism Director Kirk Brandenberger says the city is the winter home for the largest concentration of bald eagles on the Mississippi River. He says more than 6000 visitors are expected to travel to Keokuk to watch the majestic birds as they fly above the river. Brandenberger says the total attendence, though, could be down, compared to recent year.
Macomb, IL – McDonough County Sheriff Mike Johnson says a Republican Primary Candidate is accusing him of improper spending. Johnson recently had his name put on his patrol vehicle at a cost of $250. He says Rick VanBrooker has been referring to that as improper spending. Johnson says he did it to increase awareness and show that he's actively patrolling. VanBrooker stresses he's never called the spending a mis-appropriation. He does however believe it was pointless and useless.
Macomb, IL – McDonough County's Circuit Clerk is defending her award of higher than usual pay hikes to members of her staff. Kim Wilson alloted 10% to two members of her staff, with 6% hikes to others. This was after the county board had alloted enough money from the total budget for a 3.3% increase. Wilson says the money for the larger-than-suggested increase came from money alloted for two long-term employees who left and were replaced by entry-level employees. Some positions are also supported by fee income.