Macomb, IL – It's no secret that Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream is popular, but the company's co-founders say they're interested in more than just the bottom line. Jerry Greenfield visited Western this week, where he said he and co-founder Ben Cohen want to know why business does not do more to help people. Greenfield said business is probably the most powerful force in our society. Greenfield said Ben & Jerry's workers have responded on an emotional level to certain efforts, such as the firm's work with the Children's Defense Fund.
Bushnell, IL – Bushnell city authorities will try a short and a long-term solution to the problem of a reddish color in the city's water. Mayor Steve Russell says it began showing after the city switched to a reverse osmosis treatment system. He says the different chemistry of the water is cleaning out the 66 blocks of cast iron water mains. The city is trying to get EPA permission to change the way it treats the water. It's also investigating a state grant that could help it replace the cast iron mains.
Keokuk, IA – Communities across the country use the month of February to highlight Black History Month and showcase the achievements of African Americans. Residents in the tri-state region have just a few more days to view a display othe African American history of Lee County. The walls of the Inertia Center in Keokuk are lined with newspaper clippings and photographs. The display was put together, in part, through the African American Historical Museum and Cultural Center of Iowa. It will be open in Keokuk until the end of the month.
Fort Madison, IA – The cost of water could be on the rise in Fort Madison. The city council has approved the second reading of a proposal to increase water rates. Residential and commercial rates could increase about 24%. Industrial and wholesale rates would also go up. City leaders say the new revenue will eventually be used for improvements to the city's water system. That could include building a new water plan, upgrading the current facility, or purchasing water from Keokuk by connecting a water line between the cities.
Rushville, IL – Rushville city and business leaders are preparing to woo up to 80 staffers who might transfer from Joliet to the new detention center near Rushville. Mayor Ron Shepherd says the Department of Human Services will send up to two busloads of contract workers to Rushville in early March. Shepherd says they'll be given breakfast as they tour the unopened prison. After lunch they'll be able to tour the Square and the town. In addition, a series of booths will be set up to highlight the town's recreation, education, business and other features.
Burlington, IA – The Burlington School District is working to find a site for a proposed new middle school. Business Manager Chris Van Meter says the district hopes to purchase a couple of acres of land along Sunnyside Avenue for about $150,000. The board could vote on the purchase Monday. Van Meter says the land would eventually be used to build a new middle school. Last May, fire destroyed Horace Mann Middle School. After that, Van Meter says the district decided to operate just two middle schools, Oak Street and James Madison.
Fort Madison, IA – City leaders in Fort Madison say if the Lee County Board of Supervisors creates one county seat, the seat should be in their city. The city council has approved a resolution filled with reasons why it feels Fort Madison would be the best site for the county seat. Mayor Steve Ireland says the city needed to speak up before the Board of Supervisors took action. The resolution goes much furture than a measure recently adopted in Keokuk.
Nauvoo, IL – Production of blue cheese in Nauvoo could begin in about one month. Plans to build a factory on the site of the Baxter Winery were stalled by zoning issues and concerns from neighbors. Spokesman Bob Hopp says the group negotiated an agreement to stay within an existing building for its artisan cheese production. He says any expansion will be done on another site. Hopp has begun remodeling the building, which once housed a gift shop and a glass blower. The firm will also line up the production equipment. He says the firm is contracting for a milk supply.