Keokuk, IA – Keokuk wants to know the impact its Main Street traffic signals are having on the city's downtown district. The first 13 Main Street intersections, from 2nd to 14th streets, have traffic signals. For years, the city council has went round and round as to whether they are all needed. Alderman Gary Stepp says the time has come to conduct a study by turning off 1/2 of them and seeing what happens. He says the study will likely take place this spring. He says it would focus on areas such as accidents, traffic flow, pedestrian travel, and retail sales.
Quincy, IL – A local legislative candidate says Illinois lawmakers must address the proposed statewide electric rate hike. Democrat Kelly Street says lawmakers should return to Springfield before the rate increase kicks in January 1. Street, who is running for State Representative in District 93, says it is too difficult for residents on fixed incomes to deal with an increase that could be as high as 55%. While there may not be an easy solution to the issue, Street says lowering the impact, by asking residents to finance the proposed hike, is not an answer.
Fort Madison, IA – A proposed Southeast Iowa training center for first responders is in line for several hundred thousand dollars. Southeastern Community College and Indian Hills Community College will use $550,000, from the state, to develop a Regional Emergency Response Training Center. SCC president, Beverly Simone, says $350,000 will be used to construct a skills-training building on 10 acres of ground along Fort Madison's Ortho Road. The rest of the state money will be used to develop a burn building in Ottumwa.
Macomb, IL – A special McDonough County Board committee found only 11 out of 186 applicants qualified for the owner-occupied tax exemption for last year. The exemption can be worth up to $500 against a tax bill. Committee member John Lawson says those who qualified will receive a certificate of error, which will get them their overpayments. He says many were not informed that they could apply, others were already getting the tax break, and one person was living in rental property. Lawson says the county will try to clarify and better-publish the procedure for getting the exemption.
Keokuk, IA – The investigation into who intentionally started a fire in downtown Keokuk, last week, is still underway. Detective Dustin Briscoe says the fire at the Southeast Iowa Redemption Center is being called arson. He would not release information as to how the fire was started or if any accelerant was used. Briscoe says the Keokuk Police Department is following up on a number of leads. Owner Brian Boyd says the building, along South 7th Street, was uninsured. The Keokuk Police Department and the State Fire Marshall's office are conducting the investigation.