Macomb, IL – The Western Illinois Regional Council will administer a grant to rehabilitate homes in four western Illinois towns. Coordinator Kevin Wiehardt says the program will replace roofs, heating systems, siding or plumbing to help stabilize neighborhoods and make the homes saleable for 30 or 40 years. The work will be done on homes occupied by the elderly, children or the disabled. Wiehardt says it will be harder to stretch the $1.47 million grant this year because of competition for building materials after Hurricane Katrina.
Keokuk, IA – Certain types of storage units may soon be prohibited in parts of Keokuk. The Keokuk City Council has approved the first reading of an ordinance that would prohibit the use of large tractor trailers for storage purposes in commercially-zoned districts. Mayor Dave Gudgel says the goal is to stop these containers from being located along the Main Street corridor. In the proposal's current form, the storage units would also be banned in areas several blocks from Main Street, due to current zoning boundaries.
Colchester, IL – The rapid rise in petroleum prices had a bit of an impact on the annual show hosted by the Argyle Antique Gas Engine Association. Vice President Steve Ingles believes the higher prices made it too expensive for owners of antique cars and tractors to haul in as many of their collectibles as they had in the past. He says in recent years around 400 antiques have been displayed. This year the figure was around 320. But Ingles says attendance was still strong. He says the flea market was packed and people also showed up for events such as the garden tractor pull.
Macomb, IL – The colors of the rainbow will be aglow in the skies over Macomb this weekend. The 19th annual Macomb Balloon Rally will be held Friday and Saturday. This year's theme is the Macomb Monster Mash. Balloon pilots will try to hit a Halloween-shaped target with styrofoam skulls on Saturday. In addition, the popular balloon glow will be held Saturday night. The hot air balloons will light up Vince Grady Field beginning at 7:30 p.m. 29 balloonists are expected to participate in this year's rally.
September 1, 2005 – Western Illinois University English professor Karen Mann and Philosophy & Religious Studies professor John Simmons join Rich Egger to talk about the John Hallwas Liberal Arts Lecture, which will be presented by Mann on September 7.
Burlington, IA – Burlington residents have several options to choose from to fill several open seats on the city council. Nine candidates returned their nominating petitions to the city clerk's office in time to run for three open city council seats. With that many candidates, a primary election will be held October 11th to narrow the field to six for the November general election. The three incumbants are each seeking re-election. Four former city council members are also in the race. The three council seats each carry a four year term.
Macomb, IL – A paint recycling program will begin soon in Macomb. Chad Bratz of the Tri-County Resource and Waste Management Council says equipment is being installed and a grant has purchased a truck. The vehicle will be used to collect paint and electronic goods from drop-off points in seven western Illinois counties. Bratz says the paint will be mixed and then sold in five-gallon buckets. He says the goal is to keep paint out of landfills. The electronic goods will be recycled in Peoria. The operation is housed in Macomb's Business and Technology Center.
Pike County, IL – Illinois was home to the first U.S. town founded by an African-American. That former slave's name was Frank McWorter - or Free Frank as he became known. The town's name was New Philadelphia and it was located in western Illinois' Pike County. The town faded into the prairie many years ago. Archeologists are now digging through the site, seeking artifacts that might provide some clues into what life was like in antebellum New Philadelphia.