Macomb, IL – Democrats have now chosen a candidate to run for state representative in western Illinois' 94th District. The district's Democratic county chairmen met in Macomb Thursday night and agreed to slate Gail Russell. He lives on a farm south of Biggsville and is co-chairman of the Henderson County board. He's been on the board for eight years. Russell says if he's elected to the statehouse, he'll work to make healthcare more affordable for the self-employed.
Burlington, IA – Des Moines County Democrats named Jeff Heland as their nominee for the Board of Supervisors. He's likely to be unopposed in November. County Democratic Chairwoman Stacey Wachter says Heland, Ben Diewold and board chairman Ed Blow all received less than 35 percent of the vote in the primary. That's why the party had to hold a special convention this week to choose its candidate.
Lewistown, IL – The Fulton County Board is expecting a sharp upswing in strip mining. It's formed an ad hoc committee that will try to protect the interests of the county and its residents. Board member Doug Manock chairs the group that will try to work with mining applicants. He says the applicants are likely to work with the committee because its support might help them get their state mining permit. Manock says the committee has now real power but can make recommendations to the county board and to the state's Office of Mines and Minerals.
Fort Madison, IA – Lee County and the State of Iowa are combining on a $5 million incentive package to lure a well-known company in the wind power industry. Siemens wants a new factory for manufacturing wind turbine blades and is looking at several sites around the country. One of those is the former Wabash National building between Fort Madison and Montrose. The state's share of the incentive package is $2 million. The rest of the money will come from local and private sources.
Macomb, IL – McDonough County will pay one of its employees for 1,700 hours of comp time. It's also updated personnel regulations so the situation can not come up again. Board Chairman Bob Harwick says mainenance worker Scott Adair began accumulating the extra hours in the late 1980s. He says much of it came in the late 1990s when Adair worked evenings to supervise installation of an energy-saving system in the courthouse. Harwick says it's time to square the books and move on.
Macomb, IL – Eight years ago, the Macomb Park District bought an 80-acre site on University Drive. The property has been largely unused since then, but now - for the first time - the park board has given its stamp of approval to a plan for the land. Half of the property will be used for ball diamonds, including those for youth baseball, adult softball, and girls fast pitch softball. The other half of the site will contain soccer fields and possibly a football field. That open space could also be used for special events.
Keokuk, IA – Keokuk might expand its ban on the use of large storage containers. It's already illegal to park a trailer in a commercially zoned district and store goods inside of it for an indefinite amount of time. Now, the city council is looking to extend that ban into residential neighborhoods. Alderman Bill Olmsted says many of these trailers are parked in yards or along the streets and damage the city's image. Olmsted says some exemptions might be established. For example, trailers could be used if a construction project is underway or someone is moving.