Macomb

Water Rate Hikes Are Becoming a “Hardship”

May 2, 2012

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).”

One year ago, an estimated 3,000 partiers gathered on a two block stretch of Wheeler Street in Macomb to celebrate the approaching end of the WIU school year.

Broken glass littered the street, numerous arrests were made, and a crowd control team was needed to break up the gathering.

The scene was much different this past weekend. Police were there to keep an eye on things but there was not much to see. Several smaller parties were held, no arrests were made, and no citations were issued.

Rich Egger

Macomb won't be joining the list of Illinois communities going on the open market to buy electricity in bulk for consumers.

A 2010 Illinois law allows municipalities to engage in electric aggregation and presumably secure cheaper prices for residents and small businesses.

Residents of Ipava, Table Grove, and Canton voted in favor of such plans during the March election.

But Macomb aldermen feel there is no evidence of significant savings.

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.”

Districts Will Compare Notes on New Curricula

Apr 18, 2012

Next school year will be a year of transition for Illinois districts. Many will complete the transition to new Common Core standards adopted by the Illinois State Board of Education.

Macomb Superintendent Alene Reuschel said the change makes professional development more urgent for teachers.

She said, “Schools traditionally have their own kickoff meetings but this time we're going to come together as an education community. And because we're all facing many of the same challenges, especially in the Common Core.”

The City of Macomb sent a letter to businesses that sell package liquor to forewarn them an emergency order could be issued the final weekend of April.

The Wheeler Street block party - which has gotten out of control in recent years - has been held during the final weekend of  April.

Mayor Mike Inman said the order would not limit the amount of alcohol the businesses could sell but rather would restrict the sale of liquor in glass containers.

He said it's a matter of public safety.

The short film I Met Her in the Coffee Shop won the “Best of Fest” award at the inaugural Cornfed Film Fest in Macomb.

The plot for movie, by filmmaker Erik Hogan of Las Vegas, NV, is described as “A heartbroken dude gets hit in the face by love ... literally.”

Hogan said this is the first competition in which he entered the film.  He said the award will encourage him to enter it in other competitions.

He had not heard of Macomb before being asked to enter the Cornfed Film Fest.

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.

Manufacturer Finds Success in Niche Markets

Apr 9, 2012

The Macomb Pella Windows plant has kept production lines humming even through the recession.

Pella manufactures windows and doors with an eye toward new home construction. Information Technology Coordinator John Swanson said the company weathered the downturn by turning to new opportunities in construction of rental properties.

NTN Bower will continue to operate out of it current factory in Macomb while also expanding into a new $100 million facility to be built directly east of it.

“The new plant will be about 200,000 square feet and create 80 permanent fulltime jobs,” said Kunio Kamo, President, NTN Bower.

The company makes tapered and cylindrical roller bearings. Kamo said additional production lines will be installed in the new factory.

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.

City Council Questions Property Owner

Mar 27, 2012

The owner of the Pineapple Inn did not come away with support from the Macomb City Council in his effort to change the bed and breakfast into a lodging house.

Gil Johnson, who lives in Peoria, is seeking a special use permit for the change. The council has given the ordinance its first reading. It's scheduled to give the ordinance a second reading at next week's meeting.

At this week's committee of the whole meeting, aldermen voted to recommend denial of the permit on a voice vote. The vote came after fifth-ward alderman Dave Dorsett questioned Johnson.

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