Macomb, IL – McDonough County's 911 Center is preparing to update its rural directory. The volume of maps was last updated in 1992. Board Chairman Bob Fitzgerald says the new book is designed for emergency responders to carry in their vehicles so they can find a rural address without having to use the dispatch center. He says the new one has one township on each page, with locations of homes indicated. It also will contain street maps for communities in the county.
Fort Madison, IA – Lee County will help an unincorporated community secure funding for upgrades to its water system. The Board of Supervisors will apply for federal money, through the state, on behalf of the Denmark Water Company. Denmark hopes to improve its drinking water system by replacing water lines, mains, and meters. Dan Eberhardt is with the Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission. He says the water company will also apply for a loan through the state. Eberhardt says the county will not assume any liability by applying for the federal grant.
Fort Madison, IA – Attendance at Lee County's new Community Outreach Center appears to be on the rise. The facility opened its doors in July for residents with mental health and other developmental disabilities. CPC administrator Jim Posz says attendance has been steadily increasing since then, with peak levels of more than a dozen consumers at one time. He says the Fort Madison facility is almost at capacity when that many residents show up. Posz says brochures and letters are still being used to promote the center, though the best method, so far, has been word of mouth advertising.
Macomb, IL – The brick entranceway to Macomb's Oakwood Cemetery will get a new life - and it won't cost the city a single dime. The city was preparing to tear down the entryway along LaFayette Street because it's crumbling and could pose a safety threat. But contractor Jack Laverdiere will donate the time and materials to reconstruct the columns and their sloping wings. Many of the original bricks will be used. He estimates the project will cost around $30,000. The entranceway was built by contractor Wilbur Wetzel around 100 years ago.
Macomb, IL – Halloween means all sorts of activities such as pumpkin carving, trick or treating, and making decorations. Others have a grand time getting frightened. One way of testing your will and courage is to go on the Haunted Macomb tour. Haunted Macomb started five years ago and included stops in cemeteries. This year, the tour takes visitors to three buildings in the downtown area - the McDonough County courthouse, the Old Bailey House, and the Lamoine Hotel. Reporter Alex Degman took the tour shortly before Halloween and he has a story to tell.
Fort Madison, IA – The head of the Great River Regional Waste Authority Commision is stepping down. Fort Madison Mayor Steve Ireland was planning on leaving the panel about 6 months ago to focus on his mayoral duties. Prior to making it official, a state audit was released that found improper or questionable spending was taking place at the Waste Authority. Ireland says he decided to stick around to help in the process of addressing the audit and reshaping the organization. Ireland feels recent changes and new rules have the waste authority moving in the right direction.
Keokuk, IA – Tens of thousands of Iowa residents have already taken advantage of early voting opportunities this year. With one week to go before the November 7th election, more than 200,000 absentee ballots have been requested in Iowa. The Secretary of State's office says roughly 2/3 of those have already been turned back in. Auditor Anne Pedersen says her office has been very busy as nearly 15% of Lee County's registered voters want to cast an absentee or early ballot.
Macomb, IL – A three-county environment group is asking residents to tell it where there's been extensive roadside dumping. Chad Bratz of the Tri-County Resource and Waste Management Council says a new state program will provide funding to have some of the dumps cleaned up. The state has provided more than $3 million in funding. Bratz says some of the roadside dumps have been used for years and are an environmental hazaard. One of the first western Illinois cleanups was near Aledo, where workers had to dig down more than 20 feet to reach all of the appliances and other trash.