Keokuk, IA – Keokuk is looking ahead to year 2 of its multi-year, multi-million dollar residential street repair program. The streets sub-committee will recommend a pair of projects to the full city council. Chairman Gary Stepp says South 14th Street, from Charles Street to South 16th Street, is in desperate need of repair. Stepp says the other project would be Timberline Drive. He says that road, which was built by a private contractor, was not constructed to city specifications Stepp says it is now falling apart.
Macomb, IL – Macomb's Spring Lake Park provides hundreds of acres for fishing, hiking, and other outdoor activities. It now appears the park might also be providing space for a predator. The park district has sent a letter to the city stating there is reason to believe a cougar has been on the property, which is maintained by the park district and owned by the city. Park District Executive Director Ray Peterson says a WIU student made a cast of a track she found this summer and had it examined by the biology department. Preliminary tests indicate it was from a cougar.
Colchester, IL – The West Prairie Water Cooperative is taking more sign-ups. Treasurer James Taylor says several people had inquired since the initial sign-up several months ago. He says maps of the Phase One water mains will be at banks and restaurants in the Colchester - Tennessee area so people can see if they are on on of the main lines. If they are, they can sign up for the same $300 fee as the original residents who asked for the water service. The co-op will serve all of Colchester and Tennessee townships and parts of several others.
The Tri States Region – Agri-giants such as ADM and Smithfield have grown to dominate food markets. But there's always been a place for smaller operations that grow organics or only sell locally. While those movements remain small, they are rapidly gaining popularity. Tri States Public Radio explored the issues during a two-part series titled "The Mainstreaming of the Backyard Garden." In part one, Don Johnson looked at the challenges facing the organics market and how "eating green" means more than just lettuce nowadays.
Fort Madison, IA – Restructuring at the Great River Regional Waste Authority has resulted in a handful of job cuts. Chairman Steve Ireland says the waste authority commission has eliminated a half dozen jobs. He says the move will reduce the overall payroll by around $300,000. Ireland says the public will not notice a change in service. Among the eliminated jobs was that of director. Former Director, Tim Yoder, was fired in August. The commission has also adopted a cell phone policy and a competitive bid process in recent months.
Keokuk, IA – The owner of the Southeast Iowa Redemption Center says Thursday night's fire is devastating to his company and to Keokuk. Brian Boyd says his building on South 7th Street is a total loss. He hopes some equipment may be salvagable. Boyd says the structure was used for both recycling and for storage. He found out about the fire roughly a half hour after it started. Boyd says the financial impact will be substantial. He says the structure was uninsured and the total cost could be $250,000.
Keokuk, IA – Firefighters battled an intense blaze in downtown Keokuk throughout the night. A fire broke out at about 7:30 in a warehouse along South 7th Street. The Keokuk Fire Department says the blaze was contained about about 4:30 this morning. Firefighters remain on the scene pumping water into the building, which is part of the Southeast Iowa Redemption Center. An investigation is underway into the cause of the fire, which did not cause any injuries. The blaze filled the sky with smoke to a degree that it looked as if a fog had settled in downtown Keokuk.
Macomb, IL – McDonough County board members have been briefed on what they might want to consider if they decide to do a comprehensive plan. Regional planner Lewis Hopkins of the University of Illinois told the eight board members who attended how a plan could help them plan growth and avoid problems. Hopkins says a plan should consider how the board would like to see the county expand. It should also include plans done by other groups including the City of Macomb and the Illinois Department of Transportation.