Macomb, IL – A $65,000 state grant has helped furnish a new type of computer lab at Macomb High School. The computers are loaded with professional software like that used in business and industry. Facilitator Emily Platt says students teach each other how to use the software, then apply it to projects for community service. She says some of the projects include an on-line newapaper, animated video or building design. Students work in teams to help build communication skills.
Macomb, IL – Macomb aldermen have read the writing on the wall regarding political signs. City law allows just two signs in a home's yard and the city recently sent letters to violators. But that move was met with some resistance. A petition was circulated urging the city to reconsider its stance, and several people addressed the city council concerning the issue this week. Opponents of the rule say it's unconstitutional to limit the number of signs. Aldermen decided it's best to suspend the rule and review it after the November election.
Macomb, IL – Illinois State Representative Rich Myers is questioning efforts in the legislature to extend a rate freeze on electric power. The Colchester Republican says rates have been frozen at pre-1992 levels. He fears that if utilities cannot afford to purchase power on the open market, the state might have to step in to guarantee continued electricity. He says when California had to buy power to augment supplies, it cost that state millions of dollars. Myers also says the threat of the extension has lowered the bond ratings for Ameren and Commonwealth Edison.
Fort Madison, IA – Lee County is working to identify potential disasters or threats so it can do a better job of preventing them. The county is updating its pre-disaster mitigation plan, which was developed in 1999. Emergency Management Coordinator, Steve Cirinna, says this plan won't serve as an emergency response outline. Instead, he says the pre-disaster mitigation plan will focus on how Lee county can reduce the impact of specific disasters, before such an incident takes place.
Beardstown, IL – A graduate history student from WIU spent the summer researching Abraham Lincoln's time in Beardstown. Seth Norburg sought material from the Library of Congress and Cass County Historical Society, among other places, to learn more about who Lincoln dealt with, and what his thoughts were, when he practiced in what was then the Cass County seat. Norburg says one of the more interesting letters was from Lincoln to a Beardstown-based attorney, asking him to monitor the local newspaper for mention of Lincoln.
Macomb, IL – Some Macomb residents say there are rampant zoning violations in their neighborhoods and they want the city to do something about it. C.T. Weiss told aldermen Monday night that at least six single-family homes in his neighborhood have been sold in the past couple years to landlords who then rented them out to more people than the law allows. Weiss said these landlords are clearly breaking the city's zoning ordinances but continue to do so because they know the city is either afraid or unable to act upon these violations.
Fort Madison, IA – Entering and exiting Fort Madison Community Hospital could soon become much safer. City Manager Larry Dinwiddie says several accidents, including one fatality, have taken place at the entrance to FMCH in recent years. The current layout requires drivers to cross 2 lanes of Highway 61 to enter the facility from the south or exit it and travel north. To address the safety concerns, Dinwiddie says the hospital entrance will be moved so it is directly across from Ortho Road. He says a frontage road will be built and a new traffic signal will be added.