Keokuk, IA – The Keokuk City Council will vote next week on whether to make its annual payment to the Lee County Narcotics Task Force. Police Chief RL Dobson says Keokuk's share, about $15,000, is due now. Much of the Task Force's money comes from a federal grant. Keokuk, Fort Madison, and Lee County split the cost of the cash match for that funding. If approved, Keokuk's share will have to be transfered in from the general fund, because the city did not budget for the expense. The council appears to be in favor of paying the bill with the general fund money.
Burlington, IA – Musician Patrick Hazell is well known around the region for playing the blues. But he's also grabbed the spotlight the past couple years for ringing the bells. He's conducted a half-dozen Hawkeye Valley Bell Projects in his hometown of Burlington and has also overseen a bell project in a Russian city. Dozens of volunteers help Hazell with the Burlington ringings. He hopes the performances inspire people to ring the downtown bells more often. The latest version of the Hawkeye Valley Bell Project was held on a warm, humid early autumn evening.
Macomb, IL – Macomb police believe they're responding to more calls about fights than in years past. Chief Mike Galloway says his department has broken up 55 fights on Friday and Saturday nights this school year. He says the department is keeping tabs on the calls this year because it also sensed a rise in fights last school year. Galloway is not sure why there have been so many altercations. The department will meet with the Community-University Partnership Program to seek solutions. Galloway says many of the fights occur outside the town's bars.
Carthage, IL – Three Hancock County agencies are planning a dental clinic that could open next year. A recent survey of health needs showed that dental care for low-income residents was one of the major needs. The health department's Melita Finney says there are no dentists in the county who accept medicare payments. The health department is planning with the hospital and the mental health center for further grants to support the clinic. They are also working with dental schools to find a recent graduate who would establish the clinic.