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.

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.

Bushnell Makes Settlement Offer to ICC

Feb 16, 2012

Bushnell is willing to pay $40,000 to settle a case with the Illinois Commerce Commission over a gas leak that led to a house explosion at 519 N. Washington in November 2009.

The ICC investigation determined a  contractor damaged a gas line and a sewer line. That allowed natural gas to flow into the sewer and into the house. The resident reported the odor to the city. The natural gas ignited. No one was injured.

The ICC alleges the city did not respond properly. The commission cited the city for nine violations.

Illinois is known as the Land of Lincoln but it could just as easily be called the Land of Graft.

Illinois is the second most corrupt  state -- and Chicago is the city with the most public corruption -- according to a report released by researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago and  the Institute of Government and Public Affairs.

The report said there have been more than 1,500 corruption convictions in the  federal district dominated by Chicago since 2010.


The Lee County Board of Supervisors and the union representing employees of the Sheriff’s Office have each signed off on a new two year employment contract.

The deal includes a 3%wage increase on July 1and a 1.5%increase on July 1, 2013.

It also changes holiday pay calculations,requires quicker use of vacation time and increases deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums related to health insurance.

The new contract runs through June 30, 2014.



One local mayor says Lee County would be better off making his community the home of county government.

The Park Ridge Workshop complex in Montrose features more than 30,000 square feet of space.

The price tag for the three steel buildings has been reduced to $385,000.

Mayor Bob Reid says they could house the Lee County Conservation and Health Departments as opposed to a brand new building along Highway 61.

In fact, he says the buildings are large enough to handle all of county government, especially with expansion capabilities.

Quinn Names New Ag Chief

Feb 15, 2012
Photo by Sean Powers

Pending  approval by the Illinois State Senate, Bob Flider has been appointed as Director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

Flider served in  the Illinois House from 2003 until he lost his re-election bid in 2010. He served as mayor of Mt Zion from 1995 to 2003.

As a state legislator, the Democrat was a member of the House Agriculture and Conservation Committee.

Flider said he will work closely with agriculture  and agribusiness leaders to meet Governor Pat Quinn’s goal of  doubling Illinois' exports by 2014.

McDonough County Children Need Adult Advocates

Feb 15, 2012

The Court Appointed Special Advocate program  in McDonough County is looking for volunteers to look out for kids as they navigate through the juvenile court system.

Clarice Hetzler is the executive director of the Advocacy Network for Children. The organization runs the CASA programs in McDonough and Adams counties.

Hetzler said the program is less than a year old in the county. She said the program needs at least a dozen volunteers to go along with the seven volunteers who serve currently.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is indicating he wants the state to help more needy college students.  

Quinn will deliver his budget message on February 22. He is not releasing details yet, but said the state has to pay for priorities -- and he places higher education near  the top of his list.   

After a meeting with college and university  presidents, Quinn called for more money to go toward financial  aid. 

 "I think the Governor has to work with these leaders on investing in higher education, particularly scholarships for deserving  students,” Quinn said.

Lee County is looking into whether a construction project is damaging county roads.

Crews are working to raise the levee surrounding the Green Bay Drainage District.

Several residents told the Lee County Board of Supervisors, during this week’s meeting, that some gravel roads are being severely damaged by the heavy equipment needed for the project.

They say the contractor is using a shortcut instead of utilizing off-road opportunities.

Fort Madison residents can weigh in on the city’s spending plan next week.

A public hearing and the initial city council vote on the $25-million spending plan are scheduled for Tuesday, February 21.

City Manager Byron Smith says the budget could be considered status quo.

“I would not say bare-bone, but it is kind of basic for what we are doing,” says Smith.  “We did not propose any major staffing increases or decreases.”

Smith says money is available for employee raises and to expand nuisance enforcement.

IEPA Continues Scrutiny of Colchester

Feb 14, 2012

The latest demand from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency will require Colchester to cap the wells that used to provide the city's drinking water. Since 2005 the city has been buying its water from Macomb.

Mayor Danny Bice said the five wells are in Troublesome Bottom.

He said, “Those wells are just sitting there, you know. We're not ever going to fire them back up. So the EPA came in two weeks ago and did an investigation and we've got to cap them permanent to be in compliance.”

The Western Illinois Museum's first new exhibit of the year demonstrates how day-to-day life continued in this region during one of the nation's greatest challenges.

“Home Front: Life During the Civil War” will remain in display through May 26.

Curator Sue Scott and historian Bob Welch conducted the research for the exhibit, which is divided into four sections: agriculture of the period, home life, commemorating the war's soldiers, and the underground railroad.

Groups Air Pros and Cons of Consolidation

Feb 13, 2012

Two public meetings Sunday gave voters the chance to evaluate the pros and cons of a proposed consolidation of the Abingdon, Avon and Bushnell-Prairie City school districts.

The Committee of 10, which supports the consolidation, held its meeting Sunday afternoon at Avon High School.

Rushville will be required to spend little of its own money to replace more than 500 traffic control signs.

Mayor Scott Thompson said the county engineer has worked with the city on a grant application for nearly two years and the effort has finally paid off. The grant will cover 90% of the cost of replacing the signs and sign posts.

“It would have been virtually impossible for us to come up with the funds to do this on our own,” Thompson said. “Now we have the opportunity to do this, be compliant, and really for the cost of labor we're getting free signage.”

Joplin Tornado Tested Hospital's Staff

Feb 13, 2012

The tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri last year killed 161 people, injured nearly one-thousand and destroyed a quarter of the city.

A nurse who helped care for the injured says frequent drills and revisions to response plans saved lives.

Marilyn Welling works at St. John's Hospital. She said the city was preparing for a disaster drill when the tornado struck in May.

She said, “If you do drill and you have your command center, you have a plan in place that tries to be as comprehensive as possible, you can prepare. It will make a difference.”