McDonough County

Sheriff Starts New Program
9:21 am
Mon September 3, 2012

McDonough County Inmates Put to Work

Sheriff Rick VanBrooker
Rich Egger

Picking up trash for a few hours might not sound like an exciting activity, but if you're locked up you might jump at any chance to get outside for a while.

That is the thinking behind a jail inmate work program started by McDonough County Sheriff Rick VanBrooker. He considers it a good use of resources.

“The taxpayers pay for the inmates' medical, their food, this facility (the jail). This is a program where they can get something back from the system,” VanBrooker said.

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Claim amounts are down
8:51 am
Mon August 6, 2012

McDonough County Health Insurance Healthy

Alice Henry

McDonough County saw a number of very high health insurance claims last year. This year the trend has reversed; claims are down significantly.

Through the first seven months of the current fiscal year, claims are about $350,000 lower than at the same time last year.

Finance Committee Chair Alice Henry is breathing a sigh of relief.

She says, “Last year was such an anomaly with our costs being much higher than average. And so it looks like it's kind of equilibrating and getting back to more of an average year.”

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Seeks use of county's bonding authority
8:56 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Wesley Village Plans Expansion

Wesley Village in Macomb

Wesley Village plans a $6.25 million bond issue to pay for a number of projects. It would like to use McDonough County's bonding authority.

CEO Shelly Ward says the biggest project is expansion of physical therapy. It will triple the size of the department. The nursing home would offer outpatient physical therapy for the first time.

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Construction will begin in June
2:11 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

South Morgan Acres Permit is Approved

Hogs in a confinement facility

The Illinois Department of Agriculture has approved the permit for South Morgan Acres to be built in the northwest part of McDonough County.

The farm will be the home for up to 18,000 hogs. About 6,000 would be adults. The rest would be suckling pigs, many weighing less than 15 pounds.

Barbara Adams and her husband live less than 3,000 feet from the site. She says they already have one large hog farm about a mile away. She opposed construction of South Morgan Acres. The news the permit was approved made her “sick to her stomach.”

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Company sees long-term potential
2:54 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Element Power is Confident in Wind Project

The Cardinal Point wind energy project in northern McDonough County has been delayed by a number of factors. Element Power remains confident it is a “top-tier” project in Illinois.

Project Manager Scott Kozniar says the potential expiration of a federal tax credit for renewable energy is hampering big projects.

He says, “Essentially, that allows us to reduce the power price that we sell it into the utilities. So if that goes away, you'd see a, basically $20 increase in the cost of a megawatt-hour for the renewable power.”

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