Macomb, IL – The McDonough County Board has voted to make its $43,000 allotment to the county's transit system. However, one board member believes the bus routes should be trimmed. LeRoy Brown says the routes going through the south part of Macomb are underutilized and tear up the streets. He says the routes should only run between campus, the downtown and the shopping area on the east side of Macomb. The county has a tax levy that provides the $43,000 for support of Red Cross transportation.
Keokuk, IA – The Lee County Jail could be in line for some much needed improvements. The Board of Supervisors has agreed to use $500,000, which was set aside for capital projects, to upgrade the county jail. The focus will be on replacing the 3 temporary housing trailers that have been in place for nearly 10 years. Chairman George Morgan says a recent inspection by the state has prompted the need to speed up the process of replacing the trailers. They hold a total of 24 inmates. Morgan says part of the money will be used to hire an engineering firm to come up with designs.
Rushville, IL – Rushville aldermen propose a tight budget for the fiscal year that begins next month. Mayor Ron Shepherd says the council has agreed to only appropriate about 98 percent of the income it expects. Unspent money would go into a reserve fund. Shepherd says previous budgets have called for more outgo than income. He says aldermen agreed to forego a sewer rate increase until the city's finances are in better shape. The city's proposed total appropriations for next year are about $3.9 million, with general fund spending of almost $1.3 million.
Macomb, IL – The owner of the historic Moses King Brickyard in Colchester remains in the hospital, more than one month after she was involved in an unusual and serious car crash. A group of volunteers is now working to make sure the site is maintained while she continues to recuperate. The group will hold a fundraiser Saturday (April 22) at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Macomb from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The event will feature live music and a silent auction.
Macomb, IL – Sustainability was the focus of the third Environmental Summit at Western Illinois University. Organizer Bill Doe of the WIU Institute for Environmental studies says the goal is to use fewer resources and to recycle more. He says the concept is beginning to catch on more as businesses find it can improve their profitability. The summit included booths of different environmental organizations, workshops on energy use, conservation and recycling. Chad Pregracke of Living Lands and Waters was the keynote speaker.
Chicago, IL – Former Illinois Governor George Ryan and his co-defendant Larry Warner have been found guilty of all charges against them. Ryan promises to fight the verdict. WIU Law Enforcement professor Barry Anderson believes the appeal process will be unusually long and intricate. The jury deliberated for ten days before reaching its decision. Jurors say there was no single piece of evidence that led to the verdict. The jurors say they had reached their decision on Thursday, but some of them wanted to think over some lingering questions before announcing the verdict.
Macomb, IL – Macomb's $18.2 million spending plan for next fiscal year contains no major new initiatives. The budget, which goes into effect May 1, was unanimously approved by aldermen Monday night. City Administrator Mike Hays says it's basically a maintenance budget. He says the closest thing to a new program is a $2,000 stone refurbishment plan for the cemetary. Also at the meeting, aldermen agreed to increase cemetary burial fees. In addition, they chose to hike water, sewer, and trash collection rates. They decided to maintain the six-bag limit for trash.