Keokuk, IA – Southeast Iowa businesses could have more access to low interest loans for improvements and expansions. The Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission has been operating 2 regional revolving loan funds in Lee, Des Moines, Henry, and Louisa counties for more than 10 years. Executive Director Brian Tapp says the 2 funds total about $1,700,000, though that money has all been loaned out to local businesses. He says the regional planning commission will apply for $600,000 more from the federal government for a 3rd regional fund.
Rushville, IL – The Rushville Rotary Club will help restock the library of an elementary school that was destroyed by Hurricane Rita. Club Vice President Walt Stephenson says half of the 14 schools in Vermillion Parish west of New Orleans were destroyed. Stephenson says the state will replace buildings and textbooks, but library collections are far down on the priority list of goods to be purchased. He says the club contacted Rotarians in the region who put him in touch with the Seventh Ward school in Abbeville.
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.