Fort Madison, IA – Several major road construction projects in Lee County will be delayed because of a lack of money. The county will still resurface 7.5 miles of the Charleston Blacktop during the upcoming fiscal year. Other projects, such as Airport Road, 255th Street, and Chalk Ridge Road, have been pushed back in Lee County's latest 5-year road plan, which the Board of Supervisors has approved. County Engineer Dennis Osipowicz says the multi-year delays result from too many Iowa counties borrowing from a road fund that is now in the red.
Macomb, IL – McDonough County now has a sub-committee that will investigate whether it should create the position of manager or administrator. Board Member Linda Jani will head up the group, which is expected to report by midsummer. Jani says she expects to talk to other county board members to find out their opinions on the post. She says some counties are in the process of hiring a county administrator, while others are eliminating the position. She says the major qualification will be a thorough understanding of county government.
April 10, 2007 – The panelists talk about video blogger Josh Wolf, who spent 226 days in prison before being released after reaching a deal with prosecutors. Wolf agreed to turn over uncut video from a protest in San Francisco - video which he's also now posted on his website - but he refused to testify before a grand jury about what happened at the protest or who participated in it.
Keokuk, IA – The Keokuk School District will balance next year's budget by cutting staff. The School Board approved the district's $27,000,000 spending plan for the upcoming school year during last night's meeting. The property tax rate will remain at just over $18.25. The new budget contains a shortfall of roughly $500,000 when new money is compared with added expenses. The board also resolved that, last night, by authorizing a plan that could eliminate as many as 12 full and part-time positions.
Macomb, IL – Macomb is moving forward with plans to seek a new energy supplier. Aldermen will be asked next week to allow the city to request proposals from suppliers. Mayor Mick Wisslead believes there are 12 or 13 entities in Illinois registered to serve as energy suppliers. The mayor says it's impossible to guess whether state lawmakers will do anything to roll back or freeze electric rates. He says the city is not willing to wait when it stands to save around $50,000 over a 13 month period. Wisslead also says the state had 10 years to do something about the situation.
Fort Madison, IA – Lee County will have a couple of options to choose from when it comes to providing transportation for certain residents. CPC Administrator Ryanne Wood says 2 companies have shown an interest in providing services for the county's residents with mental health and other developmental disabilities. They are Ottumwa-based 10-15 Regional Transit Agency, which is currently serving Lee County, and Burlington-based SEIBUS.
Beardstown, IL – Beardstown's mayor has been in Washington calling for stricter immigration enforcement. Bob Walters says the federal government should close the borders; then take action against firms which entice illegal aliens into the country with promises of employment. He says the legal immigrants have been contributors to the community, but the illegal ones cause problems. He says in his town some of the undocumented aliens use different names when dealing with different agencies, making it hard to track problems. He says he spoke with staff members in the office of Sen.
McDonough County, IL – Voters in a multi-township district in McDonough County will be asked to approve a referendum next week. It seeks to increase the tax levy beyond what P-TELL allows. The measure concerns four townships - Mound, Bushnell, Prairie City, and Macomb (that's Macomb Township, not the City of Macomb Township). The state required the townships to create a single multi-township entity, which means the assessor will have much more ground to cover. The money generated by the proposed tax hike would be used to increase the assessor's salary from around $12,000 to $18,000.
Macomb, IL – The Western Illinois Regional Council will try something new as it attempts to make more people aware of the problem of sexual assault. The WIRC will hold a mock rape trial on April 11 at the McDonough County Courthouse. It will begin at 7:00pm. The information used during the mock trial will come from an actual trial in Pennsylvania. WIRC Victim Services Director Diane Mayfield says the mock rape trial will be open to the public. It will also be interactive because members of the audience will be chosen to serve as jurors.