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Local News Coverage:

  • Morning Edition: Mon.- Fri. 4:00am- 9:00am with Morning Edition Host and Reporter Emily Boyer.
  • Afternoon Edition: Mon.- Fri. 4:00- 4:30pm with News Director Rich Egger.

Local New Updates also at 5:35pm and 6:35pm Monday- Friday.

An overhaul of Iowa’s gun laws earlier this year included a controversial "stand your ground" provision. It means an individual who feels threatened has no duty to retreat before using deadly force for self-defense.

Gun rights groups consider the change a victory for gun owners, but the ripple effects of similar laws in other states have raised concerns among black Iowans. Some African-American residents of Waterloo are still grappling with what the "stand your ground" law could mean for themselves, their families and young people of color.

In the Washington Post, media columnist Margaret Sullivan wrote about what she called the false equivalency presidency of Donald Trump.  She wrote, "During the 2016 presidential campaign, the national news media's misguided sense of fairness helped equate the serious flaws of Hillary Clinton with the disqualifying evils of Donald Trump."

The Solar Eclipse in the Tri States

Aug 21, 2017
Rich Egger

More than 90% of the sun was covered by the moon at the height of Monday's solar eclipse in the tri states.  Overcast skies generally obscured the eclipse, though occasional breaks in the clouds gave people glimpses of the phenomenon. 

The State of Western Illinois University

Aug 17, 2017
Rich Egger

The President of Western Illinois University said it's time to put apprehension behind and move forward with enthusiasm and optimism. Dr. Jack Thomas made the remark during Thursday morning's State of the University speech, held just a few days before the new school year begins.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The Lee County Board will consider adding some new traffic signs around the Iowa Fertilizer Company plant near Wever. But the board is not willing to go any farther to address the company’s concerns about traffic safety.

Gov. Bruce Rauner has been drumming up opposition to the Democrats' new school funding plan, known as Senate Bill 1, by touting how much more money each district would receive under his plan. He points to Elgin U-46, the state’s second largest school district, as the biggest winner: That northwest suburban district would gain about $15 million if lawmakers approve Rauner’s amendatory veto.

So that district's CEO, Tony Sanders, must be rooting for Rauner's plan, right?

 

Wrong.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Crews have been working at the former Unitarian Church at the corner of 4th and High Streets in Keokuk. City Administrator Aaron Burnett said they are not tearing down the vacant building.  Instead, they are removing asbestos from it.

Rich Egger

The Buchanan Center for the Arts is in a building that dates back to 1870. The first floor was a commercial space when the building debuted; the second floor was the first "people’s library" in the state of Illinois.

A former inmate in the Lee County Jail has filed a federal lawsuit, claiming his civil rights were violated during a portion of his roughly ten-month incarceration.

Carter Staley/NPR Illinois

Between a new state pension plan and Governor Bruce Rauner's amendatory veto of the Democrats' school funding plan, some school districts would be in for a big hit in July 2020. The two changes would have a particularly significant impact on districts with high rates of teacher turnover and declining enrollment.

TSPR's Emily Boyer

The summer swimming season at Glenwood Pool wraps up this Sunday, August 13. The facility was closed for two days this week as the city addressed a recurring problem.

TSPR's Emily Boyer

A Democrat who ran an unsuccessful campaign for state representative in western Illinois will give it another shot. 

Curtis Bisbee

Fitness centers are devoted to physical health. But your mind needs to be kept healthy too. That's the premise behind a series of training programs to be held in Macomb. 

Carter Staley / NPR Illinois

Illinois school districts are due to receive state funds Aug. 10, but that can't happen until lawmakers either override Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto of Senate Bill 1 or come up with some other plan he will sign.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Christine Barnes said her first week as superintendent of the Keokuk School District has been a whirlwind, meeting new people and learning about the district. She said it's also been exciting for the new opportunity that lies before her.

TSPR's Emily Boyer

A third Republican has announced he wants to be McDonough County's next sheriff. Bryan Baca lives in Macomb and works for the Illinois Department of Corrections as the Operations Warden at the Illinois River Correctional Center in Canton.

File photo: Brian Mackey

Democratic Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza is urging Republican Governor Bruce Rauner to step up the pace in dealing with the state's debt.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Burlington City Manager Jim Ferneau is resigning. He submitted his two-month notice to the city on Friday, Aug. 4.

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Lee County plans to comply with an order from the Iowa Supreme Court that bans weapons from courtrooms or areas occupied by court employees. But the head of the county board said that should not be interpreted as a ban on weapons from all county buildings.

Image taken from NASA.gov

The upcoming phenomenon in the tri states region won’t quite be a total solar eclipse but it will come close. It will begin late in the morning on Monday, August 21.  At 1:15 p.m. in Macomb, the eclipse will reach its peak when 95.2% of the sun’s surface will appear to be covered by the moon.

Wikimedia Commons

The McDonough County Health Department said West Nile virus season has arrived.  The agency said there is no need for alarm but it wants people to be aware of the presence of mosquitoes carrying the virus.

Rich Egger

The city of Macomb recently acquired the rundown building at the corner of Jackson and McArthur Streets. The city is just starting the process of turning around the building but a local group is already considering whether it's a suitable site for its store.

TSPR's Emily Boyer

Western Illinois University has renewed the teaching contracts of more than 100 associate faculty members for the upcoming school year.

Western Illinois University’s received $6.8 million from the state this month. President Jack Thomas said all of the money went to the university's first priority, which is paying employees.

Ian Poellet / https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Burlington_Fire-Police_Station_-_Burlington_Iowa.jpg

The federal government is willing to pick up most of the expenses related to hiring more firefighters in Burlington if the city is willing to handle the rest of the cost.

After the first day of a special session on education, Democratic lawmakers and the Republican Governor Bruce Rauner appear no closer to resolving the dispute that could hold up money for school districts. Rauner continues to demand Democrats send him the funding plan so he can change it and remove additional money for Chicago teacher pensions.

A website that popped up this month asks a question as its URL: arethereanywomenrunningforilgovernor.com. It then very simply answers it with a bright red "NO." A group of professional women in the state are behind the effort to draw attention to the issue.

Three men face criminal charges for allegedly torturing an opossum while it was still alive. The attack was recorded and the video was posted online.

Courtesy

Jen Loeb became the first woman from Iowa to climb Mount Everest, reaching the summit in the spring of 2016.  She said it was her love for the outdoors that led her to take up mountain climbing just six years earlier.

Gov. Bruce Rauner is calling lawmakers back from their summer vacation to deal with a new school funding plan in special session starting Wednesday. The issue has turned into a showdown between the Republican governor and the Democrat-controlled legislature, with the fate of k-12 school children in the balance.

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