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Carthage Alderman Resigns

Aug 29, 2012

Carthage is looking for someone willing to serve on the city council.

Second-ward Alderman Jim Fink resigned his seat on the city council this week. He had served in that capacity for two years.

He was forced to step down after moving outside the city limits.

Mayor Jim Nightingale says Fink has suggested a possible successor.

Nightingale says, “He has a person in mind, which I haven't talked to yet. But, hopefully, I'll have somebody on board by the second meeting in September.”

The mayor did not identify the candidate.
    

Wyatt Earp was born in Monmouth on March 19, 1848. The birthplace of the famous lawman has been maintained to the present day.

Earp is best remembered for the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. The board of the Wyatt Earp Birthplace faces a very different kind of fight.

Audie Durand is the volunteer curator for the site. Each year it hosts a re-enactment of the famous gunfight. This year the board wasn't sure it could afford it.

She says, “Even as late at June 1st we were having to decide whether or not to have the shoot-out on August 4th.”

Carthage will take some extra measures to make sure festivities this week don't become “too hot.”

The city is expecting larger than usual crowds for the Independence Day celebration. This year the city is also marking the 175th anniversary of its founding.

Temperatures will peak in the 90s for the rest of the week.

Carol Carr is a member of the celebration committee.  It will provide sites where people can escape the heat.

Owner Larry O'Hern had one year to complete the permitting process for Shamrock Acres.  He did not meet the deadline.

The facilty would have housed up to 18,000 hog at a time. It would have been built in southeastern McDonough County.

Warren Goetsch is the bureau chief of environmental programs for the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

He says, “We had issued an additional information request, I believe it was around the 7th of November, and did not receive a response.”

The oak tree planted in Macomb's Chandler Park this year has a plaque at its base. The plaque honors the late Bob Swanson.

Swanson was a nurseryman who grew his beyond his profession into volunteering to  plant trees in Macomb.

He was one of the original members of the city's Tree Board 20 years ago.

Former Mayor Tom Carper appointed him at that time.

Colchester will have to find $100,000 to pay for the design of a large-scale sewer upgrade. It's hoping to get some help to prevent dipping into its reserves.

The city's new budget does not have enough revenue to pay for the project.

The state turned down the city's application for a grant last year. The grant would have covered the design cost.

Mayor Danny Bice hopes the EPA will change its mind.

Another rejection would leave the city few options.

The West Prairie School District has chosen a popular device as its next leap in classroom technology.

High school students will each receive an Apple iPad3 next school year.

Superintendent Jonathan Heerboth said the district has been studying the available wireless devices. He said the district wanted them to be light-weight, robust and have great battery life. The availability of software tipped the balance toward the iPad.

The Hancock County Economic Development Committee has formed three task forces composed of 25 volunteers each.

They are looking for ways to encourage future economic development in the county.

An initial meeting of selected three priorities; job creation, vocational training and entrepreneurship and encouraging residents to shop at local businesses. Each task force will hold an initial meeting in the next few weeks. They will then meet on a quarterly basis.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.

McDonough County reported 280 cases of child abuse and 21 cases of child sexual abuse in 2010, the most recent year statistics are available.

Participants at the “Hands Around the McDonough County Courthouse” rally against child abuse promised each other they would fight child abuse.

Diane Mayfield is the Victim Services Director for the Western Illinois Regional Council  Community Action Agency.

The Illinois commission charged with reviewing the operation of the state's regional offices of education says the governor is wrong to try to shift funding to local government.

The Streamlining Illinois' Regional Offices of Education Commission has concluded its study. It wants funding for the offices to come from the state's general revenue fund.

Governor Pat Quinn wants to pay for the offices out of the Corporate Personal Replacement Property Tax which the state collects then passes along to local governmental bodies.

The Avon School District has been looking for a partner. Last month, voters turned down a three-district consolidation measure the would have combined Avon, Abingdon and Bushnell-Prairie City.

Avon Superintendent Dan Oakley had been in discussions with his counterparts in Abingdon and B-PC on two-district consolidation.

He said the Avon School Board weighed proposals from each of the other districts.

Oakley said the board preferred Abingdon's  proposal because it would house the junior high in Avon.

Western Illinois University is known for Sherman Tower and its climbing tower. It might soon be known for a water tower. Talks between WIU and Macomb are ongoing.

Mayor Mike Inman said, “We're hoping to partner with the university on branding the water tower with the university's mascot and logo  That, obviously, will be an agreement between us and them but their intention is to underwrite that.”

The project is part of routine maintenance to repaint the tower inside and out this year.

“Pretty Girl” is the name for a playful cat at the McDonough County Animal Shelter. She has called the shelter home since November. Like too many other cats there, she hasn't had a “bite” for adoption.

The Humane Society of McDonough County is hoping a March promotion will encourage more adoptions of cats.

Society board member Kathy Chambers said the group hopes to team up with the county to offer discounted adoption fees on cats for the month.

Carthage is working with the Western Illinois Regional Council to secure a grant for home rehabilitation. The city hopes to secure at least a $250,000 grant.

Mayor Jim Nightingale said the city has successfully applied for federal Community Development Block Grants on three occasions. He said the program does more than spruce up a home.

He said, “It seems like it gives people a little bit more pride and they tend to keep their homes up after they get these improvements. So I think it's a big plus for our community.”

The newest flood map from the Federal Emergency Management Agency expands the flood plain in Carthage. FEMA has been taking advantage of satellite photography and GIS technology to update its flood maps.

Mayor Jim Nightingale said some residents will be surprised by the results.

He said,  “There's a lot of questions on this, you know.   It's a big part of the center of the city and I think there's people that didn't think they were in a flood plain, which they are.”