Macomb, Il – Grants to help recycling will go to two operations in the western Illinois region. Disposal Pro of Carthage will receive $50,000 to extend recycling into rural areas of Hancock County. Owner Barry Cozart says the money will also allow the firm to hire and retain local workers. The Tri-County Resource and Waste Management Council will receive $63,000 to create an electronic waste collection recycling facility in Macomb. It will collect computers, televisions and other items from at least seven western Illinois counties.
Carthage, IL – The Extension Service in Hancock County has been without a Community Economic Development Educator since January. Deb Pflasterer with the Extension Service says a search committee is looking for someone who can work with businesses and local governments. It also wants someone who can cooperate with other development staffers in the county. She says the county position should complement the work of others and there should be no overlap. Four candidates are scheduled to be interviewed Monday. Pflasterer says a choice could be announced by mid-month.
Galesburg, IL – When the U.S. Senate returns from its August recess, it will be asked to approve the appointment of John Roberts to the Supreme Court. The debate could become heated, though that's nothing new. Knox College political science professor Lane Sunderland says there were numerous battles over nominees during the 19th century. But he believes the most contentious hearings happened during the 20th century, including those for Louis Brandeis, Robert Bork, and Clarence Thomas. Sunderland is an expert on the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Constitution.
Macomb, IL – Congressman Lane Evans believes workers and farmers in his district will be hurt by the president's decision to sign the CAFTA bill into law. The Central American Free Trade Agreement is similar to NAFTA. Supporters say it will open international trade by leveling the playing field for exporters. Democratic Congressman Evans says that like NAFTA, CAFTA will cost American workers jobs. He does not believe the bill will strengthen young democracies in Central America. He does believe American farmers will be hurt because of unfair foreign subsidies on foreign goods.
Fort Madison, IA – A new line of communication appears to have opened in the recent war of words between elected leaders in Lee County. The Board of Supervisors used its public workshop to discuss a few budget cutting efforts with the county's five other elected leaders. The coalition has objected to the board cutting the workweek for some workers, increasing insurance costs for others, and limiting the spending authority the elected leaders currently have. Both sides say the meeting was a good first step.
Bardolph, IL – The village of Bardolph has its first new storm siren in 80 years. Village Board President Tom Ford says the old siren was not reliable. It also did not have the battery backup that the new $13,000 siren has. The new one will also be triggered from the county dispatch center by radio. That eliminates the cost of a telephone line.
Hamilton, IL – The Illinois Department of Transporation may make changes to a tricky stretch of Highway 136 between Keokuk and Hamilton. Hamilton Mayor Steve Woodruff says a DOT representative told the city that the agency would look into the how a merge lane just before the southeast entrance to Hamilton is labeled. He says the need for an improvement is apparant. Woodruff says the state has discussed painting arrows on the road, setting up larger signs, or even moving the merge lane.
Macomb, IL – The world's largest retailer is giving up its battle against a small western Illinois town. Wal-Mart is voluntarily withdrawing its lawsuit against Macomb. The retailer filed the suit in an attempt to have a liquor license created for its store on East Jackson Street. The battle began nearly two years ago when Macomb aldermen voted against creating the license. The company petitioned the state for a rehearing but was turned down. Wal-Mart then filed its lawsuit about one year ago, saying the city had no good reason to deny its application.
Des Moines, IA – Iowa's governor says the state's new anti-meth legislation is producing positive results. Governor Tom Vilsack says the number of clandestine meth labs found across the state during the last three months is down 75%. That includes a nearly 90% drop in July, according to preliminary reports. Vilsack says the measure allows more law enforcement resources to be used for local security. Iowa's law is considered the toughest in the nation. Keokuk Police Chief RL Dobson says the number of meth labs in Lee County is also down during that time.
Rushville, IL – Rushville's mayor is trying to find specialists for a newly-formed committee. Ron Shepherd says it's hard to find people with expertise in construction, history, finance, or architectural design in a small farming community. He's seeking members for the Rushville Historic Preservation Committee. It will guide those who seek help restoring buildings authentically. It will also evaluate structures and sites in the town to recommend which should be preserved or refurbished.