Macomb, IL – Illinois State Representative Mike Boland wants owners held responsible for their aggressive dogs. He's introducing a bill which would make it a felony for a person's dog to attack and injure someone. Boland says current law requires that a dog be adjudged vicious in court before the owner can face charges. He says the bill he's proposing would apply from the first attack. He's also considering allowing fines under the law to go toward local animal shelters or humane societies. The bill would apply only to dogs which had not been neutered or spayed.
Macomb, IL – A sales tax referendum could appear on the ballot in Macomb next year. The city will seek permission to continue the half-cent sales tax that pays for infrastructure improvements such as street and sewer repairs. Mayor Mick Wisslead says the tax is set to expire in 2008. Wisslead hopes voters recognize how much has been accomplished with the $700,000 raised by the tax every year. The mayor thinks the sales tax is more fair than the property tax because it allows everyone who shops in town to contribute to maintenance of the infrastructure.
Macomb, IL – Even though Christmas is over for another year, blood collection agencies hope people are still in the mood to give. Jenny Garner of the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center says patients need blood every day of the year. But donations typically slow down during the summer months and again from Thanksgiving through mid-January. Garner says another challenge that's developed in recent years concerns who is allowed to give blood. She says blood collection agencies are coming across more potential donors who are either permanently or temporarily prohibited from giving.
Hamilton, IL – Hamilton's mayor says the city accomplished a lot this year. 2005 was a year of change within Hamilton's city hall. Following the municipal elections in April, the city had a new mayor, new clerk, and 3 new council members, though 1 alderman has since resigned. Mayor Steve Woodruff says despite the learning curve for the newcomers, the city made a lot of progress in 2005. Woodruff says his main goal for 2006 is to clean up the city. He plans to hold several city clean-up days and also focus more on dilapidated homes and buildings within the city.
Carthage, IL – Hancock County Sheriff John Jefferson will seek a third term in office. Jefferson says he's enjoyed the first two terms and wants to continue in public service. He says the major change during his tenure has been the increased number of methamphetamine manufacturing labs in the county, with a consequent reduction in the number of marijuana arrests. He says this has required extra training for deputies in meth cases and for safety education for those at the site of a clandestine meth lab.