Illinois

Enterprise Zones in Illinois Near End

May 1, 2012

The legislation that established Enterprise Zones in Illinois was passed in the mid-1980s. Many are nearly at the end of their 30 year lifespan.

Enterprise zones abate the property taxes on improvements for up to 10 years. The zones also offer a state sales tax exemption on building materials that are purchased in the state and are used in an enterprise zone.

Carthage Will Rehabilitate Six Homes

Apr 30, 2012

Carthage will receive a $252,000 federal Community Development Block Grant to rehabilitate up to six homes.

Mayor Jim Nightingale said, ”It's a good program if the house is not in too bad a shape. You
just can't take a really old run-down house. There's not enough funds to fix those up.”  

The repairs can be fairly extensive. They can include electrical upgrades, plumbing, and weatherization.

The homes have not been selected.

The Western Illinois Regional Council will supervise the process.

The homes have not been selected.

Carthage Hopes to find Landfill Solution

Apr 25, 2012

Carthage is hopeful a switch of contractors will lead to the end of its responsibility for the old municipal landfill.

Indianapolis-based American Environment will take over monitoring the site. The company was the low bidder at $43,000 per year. It will also try to find a way to bring groundwater pollution levels into compliance with federal EPA regulations

Mayor Jim Nightingale hopes the firm brings " some new ideas out there that down the road we can present them to the EPA and get us out of the landfill business.”

Rentals of Senior Center Will Cease

Apr 24, 2012

Beardstown will no longer  rent out the Golden Age building for special events.

The city has charged a $50 rental fee for the building's use. City Clerk Brian Ruch said the low fee has made it very popular for parties and special events.

He said, “Over the last few years it's being rented out quite often. The extra traffic is (creating) wear and tear on the building.”

Events that have already been booked will be allowed.

Ruch said the building was built in the late 1990s but is showing signs of advanced age.

World Book Night Comes to Macomb

Apr 23, 2012

Devotees of the written word will share their passion and free books April 23rd. It's the first World Book Night in the United States.

Macomb is one of 5,000 U.S. communities chosen to take part. The city's public library and New Copperfield's Book Store were selected as distributors. World Book Night is sponsored by a consortium of book publishers and authors who donate the books.

Linda Cox of New Copperfield's said “book givers” each have 20 books to give away.

World Book Night Comes to Macomb

Apr 23, 2012

Devotees of the written word will share their passion and free books April 23rd. It's the first World Book Night in the United States.

Macomb is one of 5,000 U.S. communities chosen to take part. The city's public library and New Copperfield's Book Store were selected as distributors. World Book Night is sponsored by a consortium of book publishers and authors who donate the books.

Linda Cox of New Copperfield's said “book givers” each have 20 books to give away.

Macomb's Earth Day Celebration will bring the public close to nature with several birds of prey on display.

Veterinarian Drew Kaiser is head of the Raptor Rehabilitation Center in Quincy. He will bring a red-tailed hawk, a kestrel, a barn owl and a screech owl to the event.

People love to watch the magnificent birds.  However, he says we are not their best friends.

He says, “80% of the time the trauma that we see are man-made. Whether that's your posts, telephone poles, fences, automobiles, things like that.”

Carthage Budget Might Require Cuts

Apr 17, 2012

Carthage Mayor Jim Nightingale said budget projections for the general fund next fiscal year are lower than he would like.

He said, “That's something that we will have to address and present to the council. I think there's some items we're going to have to reduce the expenditures.”

Nightingale likes to see between $250,000 and $300,000 in the general fund. The projections are closer to $260,000.

He said the overall budget will be $1.2 million.

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.

McDonough County employees have expressed interest in a wellness program during a meeting of the employee health insurance committee.

Finance committee chair Alice Henry said  the county is interested in offering such a program. She said the county will start small to make sure the interest will continue.

She said, “We're going to start very economically and being to build interest in wellness. So, we'll start with some paycheck stuffers.”

Those items would include flyers on healthy eating and exercise.

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.

Monmouth Will Replace Troublesome Water Main

Apr 12, 2012

Monmouth will disrupt traffic downtown for about six weeks while it  replaces an old water main.

The work will take place near the southeast corner of the town square. It will involve two-and-a-half blocks of blocks of South First Street and a block of First Avenue.

City Administrator Eric Hanson said the city has repaired leaks in the main many times. He said the renovations of several nearby buildings prompted the project.

Carthage Considers Warning System

Apr 11, 2012

Carthage residents might soon depend on a high-tech warning system during emergencies.

Fire Chief Gary Smith is proposing the city purchase a phone messaging system, primarily for use during emergencies. He says it would come at a “nominal cost.”

He said, “It would allow us to make one phone call that would go out to all the residents of Carthage, up to three different phone numbers for each residence.”

Macomb Plans to Catch-up on Street Projects

Apr 11, 2012

Macomb hasn't had the money to keep up with needed street work the past few years. Mayor Mike Inman said passage of a half-cent sales tax last year will allow an the city to complete several projects this construction season.

He said,“It'll come out of that, almost without exception, the half-cent sales tax. Folks that voted for that will get to se some of the fruits of their vote come to pass this summer.”

The city will budget $1.25 million for the fiscal year that starts May 1st.

Former Teacher Faces Additional Charges

Apr 10, 2012
Courtesy Macomb School District

Daniel Watson, a former teacher and boys basketball coach at Macomb High School, faces two more charges stemming from an alleged relationship with a female student who was 17 years old at the time.

He was arrested last August on a charge of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. He has been charged with another count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and a count of official misconduct.

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