West Burlington, IA – Iowa's Governor says increasing the price of cigerettes will have a positive impact on the health of Iowa's residents. Governor Tom Vilsck wants the Iowa Legislature to hike the tobacco tax by $0.80. He says the proposal is about saving lives. Vilsack says the tax increase could generate $129,000,000, which he says would be used on health care issues. That includes helping small businesses provide better health insurance, funding the mental health system, and putting money back into the Senior Living Trust fund.
January 12, 2006 – Rich Egger talks to Macomb-based writer Jeff Biggers, whose new book is "The United States of Appalachia: How Southern Mountaineers Brought Independence, Culture and Enlightenment to America."
West Burlington, IA – Iowa's Governor says the Fort Madison Penitentiary should remain in the city. A special committee, formed by Governor Tom Vilsack, is looking into the future of the maximum security prison. The panel was formed after 2 inmates escaped in November from the 165-year-old prison. The committee is considering 3 options: building a new prison, repairing the current facility, or simply leaving the sit along. Governor Vilsack says that no matter what the decision, the maximum security prison should remain in Fort Madison.
Macomb, IL – Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is trying to build support for a $3 billion capital spending bill. At a stop in Macomb, he outlined western Illinois projects. They could include a $30 million bypass taking route 336 around Macomb. Also listed were engineering and other work on four-laning Route 67 south of Rushville, and Route 34 east of Burlington. Blagojevich says the total project would create 230,000 jobs statewide, more than half of them downstate. He says the costs would be covered from the road fund and from re-establishing a now-unused lottery game.