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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.

Monmouth Narrows Search for New Chief

Jan 19, 2012

The finalists for the Monmouth police chief will be put through their paces this weekend.

City administrator Eric Hanson said the field of over 30 original applicants has been reduced to five. The Illinois Chiefs of Police will conduct assessments of the five.

He said, “Everything from how they would manage personnel to media to specific police incidents that they might have to handle. So it's a gamut of exercises that they put them through to gauge their knowledge and skill set.”

The assessment will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday in Monmouth.

WVIK Augustana Public Radio

Moline, IL – Western Illinois University pulled out all the stops to celebrate the opening of the first building for its riverfront campus in the Quad Cities. The ribbon cutting ceremony featured Governor Pat Quinn, a balloon drop with confetti, more money for the QC campus, an honor for a past president, and a new ice cream flavor.

The Ceremony

Governor Quinn said 1,400 students currently attend Western in the Quad Cities. But now with more space the university plans to increase enrollment to 3,000. The governor said that will boost the local economy.

Fort Madison is moving ahead with a proposed rental inspection program.  City Manager Byron Smith says the idea is to make sure apartments, duplexes and rental homes are safe.

He says inspectors could look for smoke detectors, malfunctioning doors and windows and overloaded electrical outlets, among other items.

Smith says the program would also address a key need for cities like Fort Madison.

The Burlington School District believes it has a permanent home for one of its programs.  The district’s alternative high school serves about 100 non-traditional students.

These are students who are not able to attend regular classes for a variety of reasons (arrest, behavior, having a baby, etc.)

Superintendent Jane Evans says they are required to complete a similar course-load as students at Burlington High School.

Keokuk Mayor Tom Marion says the city council needs to reach a decision, soon, on whether to rebuild about 12 blocks of Grand Avenue.

He says the design work is complete so the next step is to put the project out for bid so work could begin this year.

Marion says moving ahead with Grand Avenue will not impact the surfacing of several streets around Wells-Carey Elementary School.

These streets have been gravel for more than a year to allow some subterranean sewer work to settle.

Keokuk borrowed about $3-million to rebuild Grand Avenue several years ago.

Two Southeast Iowa lawmakers believe the state’s fuel tax will eventually increase.

State Senator Gene Fraise (D-Lee County) and State Representative Jerry Kearns (D-Keokuk) do not foresee an increase during an election year.

The two recently spoke to members of the Keokuk Area Chamber of Commerce during a legislative luncheon.

Fraise says a proposal gaining support in Des Moines would increase the fuel tax by four cents/year for two years.

It would take effect next year.

West Prairie Will Implement New Technology

Jan 13, 2012

The West Prairie School District will use “one-on-one”technology starting next year.

The district has been preparing for the next advance in classroom technology by building a high-capacity wireless network.

Superintendent Jonathan Heerboth said new technology will take advantage of the wireless network by connecting students to resources through tablet devices.

Illinois Republicans are amping up their push to repeal Illinois' income tax hike, which increased from 3% to 5% one year ago.

Republican legislative leaders marked the one-year anniversary of the increase by stacking $1,000 worth of groceries. They said that's the average amount Illinois families are paying in additional taxes since the increase.

"It's real money out of people's pockets, and we can't forget that," said Senate Minority leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont).

The Southeastern Community College Board of Trustees has released a statement in response to the SCC Higher Education Association's vote of no confidence in President Beverly Simone.

Illinois regulators have  given Ameren Illinois permission to raise natural gas rates by about $32 million.

The Illinois Commerce  Commission said it will allow rates to rise by 1.2%  to 5.4%, depending where customers live. The rates would go up starting this month.

The Citizens Utility Board said it will appeal the decision.  Board executive director David Kolata pointed out the decision comes just  as Illinois faces the first real cold weather of winter.

CUB complained the rate increase is $2 million more than an administrative  law judge recommended last fall.

Hancock County Board Chairman David Walker has ”mixed feelings” about a proposal to reduce the size of the board.

District Two Republican Delbert Kreps has suggested reducing the size of the board from 15 to nine members. He said the change would save the district money. He also said the change would reduce the power of the board chairman since the whole board would take the place of the individual committees that conduct county business. Kreps believes the chairman doesn't keep the board informed on financial matters.

Carthage's Dollar General store will move to a new location. The site is at the intersection of Highway 136 and 1st Street. It's zoned P-1.

Mayor Jim Nightingale said, ”P-1's a very flexible zoning. But it wasn't covered under retail so they had to amend the P-1 to include retail.”

The city council chose to amend the zoning ordinance rather than re-zone the property. The change will give the council greater flexibility in the future.

The new site currently belongs to Prairieland Investment Group. The property is part of the former Robert Morris College campus.

The relatively warm weather in recent weeks has benefited Keokuk's new water tower.

The City of Macomb and its workers are preparing to pay more for a key employee benefit.

The plan calls for the city and workers to each contribute an added 6.5% to the Health Insurance Trust Fund beginning February 1.

City Administrator Dean Torreson said the increase is necessary to prevent the fund from being vulnerable in the event costly claims need to be paid out.

“Our goal here is to keep a good cash balance in our Trust Fund,” Torreson said.

An organization known as Residents for a Better Richmond has filed a class-action lawsuit in the Iowa District Court for Washington County.

B-PC Schools Announcement

Dec 15, 2011

Bushnell Prairie City school district will be dismissing school early all this week at 2:00pm.<\p>

Oak Brook, IL – The Tri States Public Radio news department picked up a half-dozen awards during an annual awards banquet and ceremony.

Morning Edition host Alex Degman received First Place in the "Best Hard News Feature" category of the Illinois Associated Press Broadcasters Association contest. He was honored for the story Wet Fields, Busy Businesses. It explains how last fall's wet conditions impacted agriculture-related businesses.

Galesburg, IL – Galesburg's mayor is worried about new state legislation moving its way through the Illinois House. Under State Rep. LaShawn Ford's (D-Chicago) proposal, prison inmates would be counted in their home towns instead of where they're incarcerated.

Macomb, IL – Waste Management reports the collection of municipal solid waste, or MSW, increased by 2.5 percent in 2009 compared with 2008 levels.

WM's Municipal Marketing Manager, Dave Schaab, says that's a good sign.

He says a trash collection report is one of the strongest economic indicators. When more waste is collected in an area, in this case western Illinois, that means more people are staying home. But at the same time, they're buying things close to home.

Macomb, IL – Robert F. Kennedy Jr says the Bush administration's environmental policies are causing direct harm to Illinois residents. Kennedy made his comments at WIU, where he spoke to a full house at Western Hall.

Kennedy says the president and his cronies rolled back environmental protections for rivers. He feels fish populations in Illinois have been contaminated as a result of this.

Kennedy says the mercury in Illinois' waters would be eliminated if utility companies spent just 1% of their plant revenue on pollution control.

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