TSPR Local

Local News Coverage:

  • Morning Edition: Mon.- Fri. 4:00am- 9:00am with Morning Edition Host and Reporter Emily Boyer.
  • Afternoon Edition: Mon.- Fri. 4:30- 5:00pm with News Director Rich Egger.

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

Bushnell Responds to Employees Complaints

Feb 23, 2012

Bushnell city employees are saying the city did not tell them how much this year's health insurance coverage would cost them.

This year's plan provides a $500 deductible. The city pays 80% of the next $7,000 is costs. Employees can pay up to $1,900 in health care. That's about $400 more than under the current plan.
Mayor Steve Russell said the city is asking employees to submit their questions-and complaints-to city hall in writing. The deadline is February 29th.    

Photo from Macomb School District website

We now know more about the resignation agreement between Daniel Watson and the Macomb School District.

The Board of Education during its February meeting approved the agreement. It breaks down as follows:

*$32,279.72 as compensation while he was still employed by the district during the current school year;

*$11,562.09 as front pay (minus deductions);

*A lump sum of $1,500.00 as compromise of claims.

State Representative Norine Hammond says Illinois could save about half the Medicaid money the governor targeted in his budget address.

Governor Pat Quinn wants to cut $2.7 billion from Medicaid spending for next fiscal year.

Hammond said Quinn signed a bill into law  about a year ago that tightened Medicaid eligibility requirements. The changes never took effect because the state needed a federal waiver first. The waiver request was denied.

State Faces Hard Choices for Budget Reform

Feb 22, 2012

In his budget address, Governor Pat Quinn, said three-quarters of Illinois'  pension burden is for people who don't work for the state. It covers some of the pension costs for teachers and others who are employees of local government bodies.

State Senator John Sullivan (D-47)  said the state must bring all the stakeholders to the negotiating table to find a long-term solution to funding pensions.

Four ordinances to regulate and control large and loud parties in Macomb are one step closer to being the law.

The proposals received first reading during the City Council's meeting on February 21. They cover issues such as nuisance parties, mass gatherings, and failing to disperse. They also provide new powers to the mayor in his role as liquor commissioner.

The ordinances were written by City Attorney Kristen Petrie. They are based on research she did on ordinances in other university towns in Illinois.

Slow Internet service limits opportunities for business and education in many rural areas.  Broadband Illinois is working to upgrade that service.

Spokesman Clayton Black said the first step is an online survey to provide a picture what is  currently available. The group is inviting residents, business owners, non-profits and schools to take this survey. It asks detailed questions about what current Internet service is available, how it's used and how it could be improved.

Photo from Macomb School District website

The Macomb School District has severed ties with the boy's head basketball coach who is accused of sexual abuse.

The Board of Education on February 20 approved a resignation agreement with Daniel Watson. Under the agreement, his resignation took effect December 19, 2011. He will be paid to cover the time period from mid-August to December 19.

Watson was placed on administrative leave in mid-August, just a few days after Illinois State Police announced his arrest.

Superintendent Alene Reuschel would not say how much money Watson will receive.

The Monmouth-Roseville School District originally planned to rely on a fund-raising campaign to come up with the money for a new building.  It will house a weight room and agriculture classes.

Superintendent Paul Woehlke said the estimated cost of the building is $500,000. He said the district will rely on a mix of donations and sales tax revenue to pay for it.

Woehlke said the Sports Boosters and FFA Alumni raised about $60,000. Another $10,000 came from other donations.  That money was spent on construction materials.

A study by the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs provides some new ideas on what can be done about the state's soaring pension expenses.

Report co-author Jeffrey Brown said it's important to look for savings while at the same time maintaining a retirement package that's competitive.

Warren County's AFSCME employees have a contract for the first time since November 30th 2010.

The county and the union did not hold regular negotiations for nearly two years.

The chairman of the county's finance committee, Mike Pearson, said the delay means it will be a while before employees realize their raises.

He said, “There will be some retroactive pay there so that'll take a few days or weeks to get distributed on a normal payday.”

Illinois lawmakers hope a report on the future of the Regional Offices of Education can be completed sooner rather than later.

A commission has been formed to complete the study. Its members were originally asked to submit recommendations by August.

But that would be too late for the next state budget because Illinois' fiscal year begins July 1.

It should be common sense that lying to police can get you in trouble. But an Illinois Supreme Court ruling says it can actually be a crime.

The case dates back to April 2007, when a LaSalle County Sheriff's deputy thought he recognized someone driving on a suspended license.

He got in his car and followed the woman home, but by the time he got there she was already going inside.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority Board is paving the way for a pair of projects in southeast Iowa.

During a meeting on Friday, the board signed off on a $1.6-million dollar award for the development of a large-scale fertilizer plant on 300 acres of land near Wever in northern Lee County.

The funding for Iowa Fertilizer Company will come through a forgivable loan, a loan, and tax benefits.

The company is a subsidiary of Orascom Construction Industries out of Cairo, Egypt.

Good Hope Discusses Water Rate Hike

Feb 17, 2012

The Good Hope village board is talking about raising rates, but not right away.

Board President Todd Danner has started the discussion. He said there is no immediate need for a rate hike but costs are rising. Water rates in Good Hope have not gone up since 2007.

He said, “It's just something we're slowly beginning the ball rolling on this idea. And whether it happens six months from now or next year, we really don't have a set time.”

Danner said the board will have the water system audited to provide a basis for setting future rates.

Keokuk’s mayor delivered his 3rd “State of the City” address during this week’s Recognition, Appreciation, and Participation Breakfast.

Job creation and finances were prominent topics during the nearly 30-minute speech.

Mayor Tom Marion decided to get the bad news out of the way early in his speech to about 75 people at the Keokuk Country Club.

He started off by looking at the city’s revenue situation, breaking down how much money comes in through property taxes, TIF districts and state and federal aid.