Fort Madison, IA – Lee County will provide law enforcement assistance to another rural community. Donnellson has started the search process for a new police chief. While that is underway, Sheriff Buck Jones will serve as interim police chief. He says the agreement between Donnellson and the county, which has been approved by the Board of Supervisors, will require him to serve in an advisory role. Jones says the pay scale for the Lee County Reserve Officers, who are hired by the town, is still being finalized.
Hamilton, IL – Student-athletes in the Hamilton School District will have to stick to one sport per season, at least for the time being. The school board recently denied a student's request to play both football and volleyball this fall. Superintendent Jim Jackson says the policy was created in 1992, but was never included in any formal school handbook. He says a special committee is being formed to review the policy and see if it should be updated. Jackson says the panel should make its recommendation to the school board in time to take action, if needed, next spring.
Macomb, IL – Illinois now has a $1.5 million grant program to help dealers and farmers combat the theft of anhydrous ammonia. The fertilizer is essential to making one form of illegal methamphetamine. Martin Green of the Illinois Attorney General's office says the state will reimburse two-thirds of the cost of security measures. These could include locks for tanks, security cameras or other theft-prevention measures. Green says the program is focused on western and central Illinois, where more of the ammonia is used and where the "nurse tanks" are often left in the fields overnight.
Macomb, IL – Macomb and Ameren CIPS plan to team up on a tree replacement program. Nearly 80 trees that are near power lines will be removed. Right now, the trees could damage power lines, plus some of the trees have been damaged because they've been cut into "V" shapes or laterally pruned to make way for the lines. Ameren will probably remove the tops during December and the city will remove the trunks late in the winter. The company will pay the city $7,600, which the city will use to buy shorter trees that will not grow into the power lines.
Keokuk, IA – Voters in Southeast Iowa will have to make 2 more choices come November. Lee County Treasurer, Mary Koehler, will appear on the ballot as a nominated-by-petition candidate, after losing in the June Democratic primary. This sets up a rematch with Janet Strunk, who won the party's nomination with about 50% of the vote in a 3-way race. In Des Moines County, Chairman Ed Blow will appear on the ballot as a nominated-by-petition candidate as he tries to keep his seat on the Board of Supervisors.
Warsaw, IL – The Warsaw School District's budget for the current year will remain on display for a few more weeks. Superintendent Kim Schilson says the school board is expected to adopt the roughly $4,000,000 spending plan during its next meetin. She says several funds, including the education fund, are projected to run in the red. Schilson says taht is attributed, in part, to the rising and unstable cost of fuel and electricity. Schilson says the projected deficits could shrink if costs go down as the school year moves ahead.
Macomb, IL – Macomb's dispatching center is facing the cost of a major equipment upgrade. It's also receiving almost level income from the telephone surcharges that help support it. Emergency Telephone Systemn Board treasurer Charles Gilbert says within a few years, the center will have to either have a referendum on increasing the monthly charge, or finding some other revenue source. He says the surcharge pays about one-third of the center's operating cost. The City of Macomb and the county split the rest.
Macomb, IL – "Eyes Wide Open" is an exhibit of 105 pairs of empty boots with name tags on them. The display commemorates the 105 service men and women from Illinois who've lost their lives in Iraq. The exhibit was put together by the American Friends Service Committee and could be seen on the east lawn of Stipes Hall on the WIU campus on Wednesday. Those who oppose the war are glad the display was brought to campus. Other students considered the exhibit un-American and say the AFSC is using military deaths to further its political agenda, which is to end the war in Iraq.