Macomb, IL – Candidate for Illinois governor Bill Brady wants to improve the state's climate for business. Speaking in Macomb before going to a fundraiser, the Bloomington Republican state senator called for improving the transportation infrastructure, including building roads, keeping Amtrak and improving the waterways for barges. Brady says the state must show fiscal restraint to improve its financial integrity. He also called for revamping the workers compensation laws and changing the regulations on medical malpractice.
Keokuk, IA – A member of the Keokuk Police Department has been let go. Keokuk Police Chief Tom Crew says Officer Jason Dunagan was relieved of duty Friday morning. Crew says he received a letter from the city attorney stating that it was the city's opinion that Officer Dunagan was unable to fulfill the duties required of a Keokuk police officer. Crew says the letter did not detail how the decision was reached, other than it was reached after an investigation into an accident involving Dunagan in early October.
Hamilton, IL – A small Hamilton producer of hot pepper products will use its Opportunity Returns grant for a regional marketing campaign. Mary Wills says M&G Foods has been growing peppers for several years and now employs two people. The peppers are grown near Hamilton. The firm produces hot sauce, salsa and pepper jelly, and what Wills describes as a sweet sirup "with a little bite to it." She says the Grandpa G's brand will first work toward a regional market to include Fort Madison and Beardstown. Later she wants to try marketing the products in Chicago.
Macomb, IL – McDonough County is preparing a first-ever emergency plan for its buildings and employees. Board member Wayne White was assigned the task when the board realized there was no plan. White says The September 11 attacks, and an anthrax scare in the sheriff's office brought home the need for a plan. He's written it for all county-owned buildings. It covers five most-probable occurrences, including bomb threats, fires and tornados. White says his draft will go to the county board for additions or alterations.
Fort Madison, IA – The service at Lee County's 2 driver's license divisions does not seem to have been impacted by fewer hours of operation. In the past, residents could get a driver's license in both Keokuk and Fort Madison 5 days a week. Now, the Fort Madison facility is only open Mondays and Wednesdays and the Keokuk station is only open Tuesdays and Thursdays. There is no service on Fridays. Treasurer Mary Hoenig says this has not had a major impact on the number of licenses issued. The true impact of the move will be seen at budget time.
Carthage, IL – Carthage city leaders will be negotiating with a manufacturer this week: they want a replacement for a storm siren that blew off its mounting. Mayor James Nightingale says the siren near the high school blew off during the summer. He says the city believes it was installed improperly or it would have stayed on the pole. Nightingale says the manufacturer is offering a limited warranty on the job, but the mayor believes it is too limited. He says the city spent almost $50,000 on the siren and it should have stayed in place.
Macomb, IL – Those who live and work near a Macomb bar are raising some issues as a new owner prepares to take over the establishment. The tavern The Dog Pound on North LaFayette is being sold to a businessman who wants to convert it into an "ultra-lounge" named Detox. Among other things, it would feature live music. Barbara Houck does not like that idea. Houck says she's lived in that area since before any bar was located there. She told aldermen this week that bands create too much noise. She says the music can be heard even when all of her windows are closed during the winter.