Keokuk, IA – Keokuk hopes to use the postal system to encourage former residents to return to Southeast Iowa. The "Come Home To Keokuk" marketing campaign targets 1,500 former residents and those who graduated from Keokuk's two high schools or SCC. They will each receive 4 different postcards, over the next few months, asking them to consider moving back to Keokuk. Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Katie O'Brien, says the campaign targets younger adults looking to settle down.
Hamilton, IL – There is a new face on the Hamilton City Council. The council approved the appointment of Jim Repplinger to the Ward 3 seat during last night's meeting. He replaces Jesse Guymon, who resigned in December. Repplinger says he joined the council because he is interested in what goes on in Hamilton. Repplinger says the growth of Hamilton should be a top priority. He has been a teacher and coach for many years, including his current role as head coach of Hamilton High School's boys basketball team. Guymon resigned with more than 3 years remaining in his term.
Macomb, IL – Western Illinois University's Board of Trustees could soon have three new members. Bob Cook and Bill Griffin of Macomb and Steven Nelson of Moline were appointed by the governor. They need to be confirmed by the Senate. If that happens, each of their terms will run through January 17, 2011. Cook and Griffin each taught at Western before retiring. Nelson is an attorney who serves as an adjunct professor at WIU's Quad Cities campus. They will replace Lorraine Epperson, Bill Edley, and Dace Richardson.
Galesburg, IL – Knox College will receive more than $10 million from the estate of an alumnus. The gift from Walter Hobbs will be the largest the college has ever received. Hobbs was born in Nauvoo in 1904. He graduated from Knox in 1925 and later attended Northwestern University School of Law. Knox College says he practiced law for many years in Evanston and was a partner in the law firm of Shavesy and Hobbs. He died in 1989. His estate was then held in trust for the benefit of his wife, who died last month.
Macomb, IL – McDonough County board members want to make sure a hike in court fees will not be used for salary increases. The Finance Committee recommended a doubling of two fees as requested by Circuit Clerk Kim Wilson. However, board members are still angry with Wilson for increasing pay for some of her staff members by more than the county-recommended 3.3 percent. Board Chairman Bob Harwick said the committee will scrutinize future budgets from the circuit clerk's office to ensure that money from the fee increases is used only for computers and document storage equipment.
Fort Madison, IA – Next year's budget for Lee County could include lay-offs in one department. The Board of Supervisors recently told the Conservation Department to cut $100,000 from next year's budget. To do so, the department proposed moving the Roadside Management Program into the Secondary Roads Department. Chairman George Morgan says that will not save the county any money because another department would have to pay for it. He says, at this point, the Roadside Management Program will be cut from the budget, which means two Conservation Department employees will have to be let go.
Macomb, IL – Macomb aldermen are looking at more than $500,000 worth of construction projects - and that's just for starters. At Monday night's city council meeting, aldermen focused only on work that would be paid for through the half-cent sales tax. They agreed to give themselves power to act next week to authorize city staff to seek engineering proposals. City Administrator Mike Hays says timing is critical with road construction projects. Much of the work would involve surface treatment to streets such as Jana Rd, Penny Ln and Jamie Ln.
Macomb, IL – McDonough County is setting out its new Handicapped-Accessible voting machines for the public to try before balloting begins Feb. 27. County Clerk Florine Miller is especially interested in feedback from handicapped users. The machines have a touch-screen to vote with. There's also a set of headphones through which a synthesized voice reads the ballot. Voters can use a telephone dial-style keypad to navigate the ballot and cast their votes. The machine records the vote and prints on paper the results so voters can confirm their choices.