Rushville, IL – The detention center in Rushville could open a bit sooner than planned. It was hoped the facility would be ready for the beginning of the state's fiscal year, which is July 1. But State Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville) says he's been told by the Department of Human Services that the residents will be moving into the facilty by the middle of next month. The center will house sexually violent offenders who've served their prison time but are considered too dangerous to be released. The program is being moved to Rushville from Joliet.
Carthage, IL – Carthage's public librarians are supervising the move of their 35-thousand item collection down the block to a new home. Librarian Susan Hunt says they've hired professional library movers to haul the books to the former Marine Trust building on the Carthage Square. The building has been remodeled and upgraded. Hunt says within about three years the library hopes to finish remodeling on the second floor and to put part of its collection there. She says this will free up first-floor space for more books or different activities.
Colchester, IL – West Prairie Water Cooperative has received more than $2.2 million in loans and grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development. Board president George Dixon of Colchester says the only thing that's hindering construction is waiting for $350,000 in Community Development Assistance Program funds from the state. He says those could be released by August. Dixon says refinery damage from Hurricane Katrina has sent the price of plastic pipe skyrocketing.
Keokuk, IA – One Southeast Iowa lawmaker says this part of the state fared very well during the 2006 legislative session. Iowa lawmakers worked the past 5 months with the knowledge that some major changes are in store for the state. Despite all of the politics surrounding the session, State Representative Phil Wise (D-Keokuk) says Southeast Iowa gained a lot this year. He says his main regret, though, is that nothing was done to help small businesses provide health insurance coverage for their employees.
Macomb, IL – Macomb police expect to receive permission soon to begin a fund-raising campaign. The department's drug dog is being retired to to medical reasons. He'll become the pet of his trainer, Patrolman Ken Neavear. Chief Michael Galloway says he learned about the problem after the budget was prepared for the current fiscal year. He says a committee will be formed to examine and implement different fund-raising activities. He says the first activity will probably be a golf outing.
Macomb, IL – A teacher at a western Illinois high school is accused of sexually assaulting a student. Prosecutors have charged 26-year old Matthew Gale with six counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and four counts of criminal sexual assault. Gale has been a special education teacher at West Prairie High School for the past couple years. The McDonough County Sheriff's Department says Gale engaged in sexual acts with a 16-year old girl five times during a six-month period. It's believed some of these happened at the school while others took place at his home in Macomb.
Macomb, IL – More college students are hanging up their land line phones for the last time and dialing out on cellular devices. That decision is affecting the pocketbook for WIU and other colleges and universities. Some universities, such as WIU, provide dorm rooms with land line service for local calls at a one-time charge per semester. The schools make a small profit off this fee as well as the charges for long-distance calls. But the increased use of cell phones is cutting in to the overall profit.