Versailles, IL – A home-grown youth program in the Village of Versailles is successful enough that it might continue into the fall. Village Trustee Randy Hester says the idea came from a Brown Deputy. Hester says he and others from the village board volunteerecd and the program has grown from three participants to around 13 every Wednesday in the village of fewer than 600 residents. Hester attributes the success to heavy involvement in planning by the children, who suggested a fund-raising program to help replace equipment borrowed from the school system.
Macomb, IL – A circuit court judge says a lot of progress has been made to debunk myths about sexual assault and abuse victims, but there's still room for a lot more progress. For example, in numerous cases sexual assault victims do not immediately report the crime. Judge Charles Reynard says it's incorrect to then assume there must be something wrong with his/her story. He says the victim is simply acting like a victim. Reynard says handling such cases requires good, strong teamwork between victim advocates, police, prosecutors, and the courts.
Keokuk, IA – Keokuk is once again looking for some state grant money so residents can rehabilite their homes. The city will apply for funds through the Department of Economic Development's owner-occupied home rehabilitation program. More than a dozen homes, near Kaiser and Kilbourne parks, have already been renovated using a previously awarded grant. Mayor Dave Gudgel says the housing rehab program can really improve the look of an entire neighborhood. The city will apply for $400,000.
Meredosia, IL – A Meredosia man is using an Illinois Arts Council grant to pass on the little-used craft of making wooden fish traps. Earl Edlin is teaching the craft to James Mashburn, who does river fishing for himself and for his church. Edlin learned the craft from an uncle who was in his 90S. He used that skill during more than 50 years of commercial fishing. Strips of ash are steamed and then formed into hoops and covered to make a cylinder. Edlin says when the river was better-stocked, he could get 80 pounds of catfish per day out of the traps.
Macomb, IL – The Macomb Park District's development plan does not include a price tag yet, but it does propose some significant changes to existing parks. Patton Park would become home to a mini-arboretum, a disc golf course, and a sledding hill. It would also have basketball courts and a dog park. Downing Park would get a water playground, a walking path, and a recreation center. The building could also serve as a community center. In addition, it would house the district's administration offices.
Keokuk, IA – Keokuk plans to future explore its options relating to extraterritorial zoning. Iowa law allows cities to extend their land-zoning authority up to 2 miles beyond their current borders. This means a city could designate what type of use would be allowed on certain plots of land. Keokuk mayor Dave Gudgel says the city council must consider extraterritorial zoning because interest in the city has skyrocketed with the creation of the Port Authority.
Carthage, IL – A fundraising campaign will determine whether the Carthage YMCA will remain open. The facility there has been a branch of the Hoerner YMCA in Keokuk, but is being spun off. Carthage Board Chair Tyrone Jacoby says if his group can raise $15,000 by Monday, it can keep the facility open for three months while it considers options. He says one avenue could include cooperation with the school district, the hospital or the park board. He says all three groups need what the Y can offer. Jacoby says the board will meet informally Friday to discuss progress.