Hamilton, IL – The Hamilton School Board has ratified the district's new contract with its teachers. The new 2 year deal runs through August 18, 2007. The district and the teacher's union released some of the details of the deal through a joint press release during Monday's special board meeting. The statement says the teachers will get a $600 wage hike during each of the next 2 years. Superintendent Steve Breckon says the exact language of the contract will not be released until after the teachers formally approve the deal.
Monmouth, IL – The Western Illinois Economic Development Partnership is joining forces with the University of Illinois Extension. The partnership has been a combination of Warren and Henderson county economic development workers. Board Chairman Robin Johnson says working with the University of Illinois will add both funding and expertise. The partnership board will continue to govern efforts. Extension will take over day-to-day supervision. The partnership offices will move to the Patton Block Center in Monmouth.
West Point, IA – One Southeast Iowa community believes increasing its housing market will increase its population. West Point Mayor Paul Walker says the population of his community, about 980, is gradually decreasing as younger families move away. In response, the town has purchased about 12 acres of land that it plans to develop into at least 24 affordably priced homes. Before construction can begin, Walker says a developer must be contacted and the property must be annexed into West Point. The city borrowed the money to buy the property on the southern end of town.
Macomb, IL – Students have returned to Western Illinois University after a summer of working jobs or internships, or simply enjoying some time off. But for one student, the summer months were spent in a much different part of the world. Thom Koschwanez went to Niger and Benin to report on daily life in those African nations. He spent some time there on his own a year ago and decided he wanted to return for a closer look. Koschwanez proposed going as a summer class and ended up receiving some money from the university to write features about what he saw.
Macomb, IL – An installation piece now on display at Western's art gallery focuses on contaminated water and how it affects children. The piece is called "All About Water." It was created specifically for the W.I.U. Art Gallery by New York artist Mary Giehl. She wants to motivate her audience to think about the 4,000 children who die each day because of unclean water. Giehl says the installation ties into Western's campus theme for the new school year, which is "Global Challenges and Personal Responsibility." The piece will remain on display until September 22.