Illinois

Factors contributing to health need improvement
3:16 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

McDonough County Residents Health Ranks High

Amy McCallister and Lynette Cale of the McDonough Co. Health Dept.

McDonough County residents rank among the healthiest in West-Central Illinois.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has ranked counties on the health of their residents in each state for the last three years.

McDonough County has improved its ranking in life expectancy and quality of life. The county moved up from seventh to sixth in Illinois this year. The county also moved up in the ranking for factors that contribute to a healthy life from 32nd to 28th in the state. They  include the obesity rate, economic conditions and alcohol and tobacco use.

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Colchester rates have risen 125% since 2002
2:31 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

Water Rate Hikes Are Becoming a “Hardship”

Colchester Mayor Danny Bice

The mayor of Colchester says the rise in water rates from the city's supplier, Macomb, is becoming a “hardship” for residents.

Macomb will raise the water rates for Colchester 5% effective August 1.

Mayor Danny Bice says water rates have skyrocketed since the city started receiving its water from Macomb about nine years ago.

He says, “Sooner or later there has to be a stopping point on the water increase. Because it's (gone) up 150% since we hooked on (to Macomb service).”

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Some will expire in 2013
3:27 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

Enterprise Zones in Illinois Near End

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.

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Grant will also improve energy efficiency
5:32 pm
Mon April 30, 2012

Carthage Will Rehabilitate Six Homes

Carthage Mayor Jim Nightingale

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.

Switches monitoring firm
2:30 pm
Wed April 25, 2012

Carthage Hopes to find Landfill Solution

Carthage City Hall

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.”

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Beardstown cites wear and tear
2:48 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Rentals of Senior Center Will Cease

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.

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Free Book distribution
8:13 am
Mon April 23, 2012

World Book Night Comes to Macomb

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.

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Free Book distribution
8:13 am
Mon April 23, 2012

World Book Night Comes to Macomb

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.

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Birds offer cautionary tale
9:09 am
Fri April 20, 2012

Earth Day Celebration Brings Birds of Prey to Macomb

Red-tailed hawk

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.”

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General Fund Projections down
6:57 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Carthage Budget Might Require Cuts

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.

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