Keokuk, IA – Civil War reenactors from across the country have come to Keokuk to fight a battle that first took place 144 years ago. The 19th annual Battle of Pea Ridge will be held in Keokuk's Rand Park this weekend. The two scheduled battles are set for Saturday at 3pm and Sunday at 2:30pm. Tourism Director Kirk Brandenberger says this year, the battlefield will be moved about 200 yards from its usual site. He expects more than 500 reenactors to take part in the weekend.
Macomb, IL – Macomb's Arbor Day ceremony will honor the man Mavis Park is named for along with the man whose back yard the park is in. The ceremony included the planting of three Black gum trees purchased by friends of the Mavis family. However, Mayor Mick Wisslead says a grove of flowering crabs will be planted at the north end of the park to be named the Howard E. Moon Grove. Moon's home adjoins the park, and it was once part of his backyard before the city purchased it in the late 1970s. Wisslead says Moon had helped clean up the area.
Fort Madison, IA – An already tight budget in Fort Madison is about to get even tighter. The city council has agreed to a proposal that resolves a $180,000 shortfall in next year's spending plan. It includes cutting travel and training budgets, eliminating mosquito spraying, switching phone services, and transfering money from other accounts into the general fund. Mayor Steve Ireland says these are simply bandages to get the city through the upcoming fiscal year. The council could vote, next week, on whether to start the process of establishing a list of volunteer firefighters.
Macomb, IL – Two ethanol plants will be added to western Illinois. Central Illinois Energy in Canton, Illinois, has completed its financing and plans to begin construction within a month. It will produce about 25-million gallons per year. A group of investors has also announced plans for a 100-million gallon per year plant to be located somewhere in Adams County. Spokeswoman Mary Holmes says the investors fhave taken options on several possible plots of land and are refining their business plan. Holmes says there is little danger in the near future of overproducing ethanol.
Hamilton, IL – Two Hancock County school districts may soon have new superintendents. The Hamilton School District has already hired Jim Jackson to replace outgoing superintendent, Steve Breckon, who is retiring at the end of June. School Board President, Rusty Dowdall, says Jackson stood out among the five candidates who were interviewed. Jackson previously served as the superintendent of the Grant Consolidated Community School District in Fairview Heights, IL. He signed a 5 year contract with the Hamilton School District that will pay him about $94,000 during the 1st year.
Keokuk, IA – An Iowa Congressman says the United States must commit to pulling troops out of Iraq, on its own terms. Jim Leach (R) says that must be done as soon as Iraq has a functioning and stable government in place. He says a hard deadline does not need to be set, though. Instead, he says a window of time should be established so the committment to leave is apparant. Congressman Leach, who voted against going to war in Iraq, made his comments during a recent stop in Keokuk.