Macomb, IL – The McDonough County Board has approved a $13 million dollar budget for the fiscal year that begins Thursday. The spending plan does not include using some of the public safety sales tax money to offset property taxes. Board Chairman Bob Harwick says the money was needed to allow an end-of-year balance of about $400,000. Without that, he says the county could end the year with only about four days of operating funds. Harwick says the county is expecting a major drop in farmland assessment values.
Macomb, IL – McDonough County is urging its supervisors to take a look at workplace conditions. Board member Alice Henry says the county's risk management plan suggests having ergonomic studies done for courthouse employees. Henry says making the workers more comfortable and efficient is the right thing to do. In addition, she says it could eventually cut the cost of the county's workers compensation insurance. The county budgeted about $700,000 for premiums in the new budget year. The insurance cost is adjusted yearly depending on the county's payout over the previous three years.
Rushville, IL – A Schuyler County man convicted of sexually assaulting and abusing children has been sentenced to nine consecutive terms of life in prison. However, 54-year old Richard Kitch remains at large. Police believe he fled to Korea and is now in Hong Kong. Authorities say his attacks on two children happened between March 2000 and March 2003. Kitch was arrested in March of this year. He was released after paying his $20,000 bond in cash. Authorities discovered Kitch had fled when he failed to appear for a court date in September.
Carthage, IL – Backers of a school convergence in Hancock County will have a little more time to polish their presentation. A hearing before the regional board of school trustees has been re-scheduleld for Dec. 8 at 6:30 in the Hancock County Courthouse. A Committee of Ten from the Carthage, LaHarpe and Dallas City districts wants to form a single high school district and maintain each town's elementary district. Committee member Pat Dietrich says she has seen no opposition yet. The new high school district would begin with almost 500 students.