Macomb, IL – Macomb's second ward alderman is furious over what he perceives as a lack of code enforcement in his neighborhood. Ken Zahnle lives near the WIU campus, where numerous students also live. He thinks some landlords are ignoring rules on how many students can live in a house, but adds the landlords have no motivation to obey the law because the city takes no action against them. Zahnle points out that neighborhood residents have raised concerns for the past few months but nothing has been done.
Montrose, IA – One Southeast Iowa community will soon be looking for a new mayor. Tony Sciumbato will step down as mayor of Montrose, effective this Wednesday, after a little more than 1 year in office. He did not give a reason in his letter of resignation, dated January 25, other than to say that it was not an easy decision and that much thought went into it. Sciumbato's letter goes on to say that many agendas being started in Montrose will be better accomplished with a new mayor. He says he will be available to help mayor pro-tem Jeff Junkins until a new mayor is in office.
Keokuk, IA – Two students face expulsion after a gun was found at Keokuk High School. Superintendent Jane Babcock, through a press release, says allegations surfaced at around 1:15 Monday afternoon that a student had a weapon at the school. She says that School Resource Officer Broc Galbreath and Principal Dave Keane found a gun with no ammunition. Babcock says the incident involved 2 high school students, but says at no time were other students or staff in danger. She says a school board meeting will be held and the students will be expelled for a period of not less than 1 year.
Rushville, IL – Mayor Ron Shepherd says the council will purchase new signs for the town's entrances that make it clear the limit is 15-mph in the alleys. Shepherd says some people have been driving 30 mph in the alleys, and that created a danger to residents. He says once the signs are up, police will emphasize patrolling the alleys for violators.
Carthage, IL – Voters in Hancock County's April balloting will vote on a half-cent sales tax to help support public safety. County clerk Kerry Asbridge says the measure, if approved, could raise about $120,000 per year to help support courts, the probation system, and law enforcement. He says spending for public safety is responsible for more than 90 percent of the increase in the county's general fund over the past 15 years, while the county board has little or no control over the increase in spending. The board approved putting the issue on the ballot by an eight-to-seven vote.
Quincy, IL – The Village of Bowen has applied for a HUD grant that could get it a senior housing development. Deb Pflasterer of the University of Illinois Extension says a county-wide survey showed the need. She says the application will go to the West Central Illinois Area Agency on Aging, which would supervise construction if the grant comes throuigh. A similar project is scheduled to begin construction this summer in Carthage. Pflasterer says the survey showed the need for three such units if funds are available.
Burlington, IA – The Burlington School District plans to open 2 new school buildings by the fall of 2009. Business Manager Chris Van Meter says the district is still trying to acquire the final 8 acres of the land needed for its new middle school. Van Meter says the architectural designs should be completed and presented to the board next month. Once approved, the construction bid process could begin. Van Meter says the district is ready to seek bids for construction of the new North Hill Elementary School.
Carghage, IL – The Carthage city council will schedule a meeting next month to explain its plans for a Tax Increment Financing district. Mayor James Nightingale says his understanding is that most of the taxing districts favor the proposal. However, he wants the meeting so the city can answer any questions or concerns. The council is proposing a district that would stretch from the development area on the east side of town, through the business district to the water tower in the northwest portion of town.