TSPR Local

State of the State
1:41 pm
Wed February 1, 2012

Moving Illinois Forward

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn delivered his State of the State speech to the Illinois General Assembly Wednesday. Here is the text of the full speech:

President Cullerton, Speaker Madigan, Leaders Radogno and Cross, Attorney General Madigan, Secretary White, Comptroller Topinka, Treasurer Rutherford, Members of the General Assembly, distinguished guests and fellow citizens of Illinois, I'm here today to report to you on the state of our state.

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Younger volunteers are needed
9:09 am
Wed February 1, 2012

Summit Will Be Key to County's Economic Vitality

Jerry Bartell

The Hancock County Economic Development Committee will host a county economic summit March 29th.  It hopes the summit will be the first step to reduce decades-long trends of job, business and population losses.

Committee Chairman Jerry Bartell said the county was home to about 30,000 people at the beginning of the 20th century.  He said the county population is down to about 19,000 people.

He said,  “But another alarming figure that got my attention was the fact that we lost 20% of our sales tax-paying businesses since 2000.”

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District Counters Teacher Contract
4:56 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

Burlington Technology Plan Approved

Keeping up with new technology could require the Burlington School District to do more than just purchase equipment.

The school board unanimously approved the district’s latest technology plan.

The 12-page document focuses on hardware, content, access, professional development and support.

Superintendent Jane Evans says the district has consistently worked to add and/or upgrade its technology at each building.

She says that will require a review of Burlington’s staffing levels to see if additional employees are needed in the area of technology support.

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Council Picks Six
3:16 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

Burlington Narrows City Manager Search

The Burlington City Council has narrowed the list of potential city manager candidates to six.

Burlington is narrowing the field in its search for a new city manager.

The city council met behind closed doors for nearly an hour Monday night to discuss the candidates.

The panel emerged with a list of six finalists.

Interim City Manager Dan Luttenegger says the names of the candidates are expected to be made public later this week.

That would allow time for them to be notified.

Luttenegger says the finalists will visit Burlington on Friday, February 17 and Saturday, February 18.

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Police & Fire Systems Underfunded
2:18 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

Galesburg Looking to Improve Pension Funding

Galesburg Mayor Sal Garza said the city is developing a strategy to avoid the same pension system headaches plaguing the state.

Illinois has billions of dollars in unfunded pension liabilities. While Galesburg's obligations are nowhere near those amounts, Garza is concerned that the police and fire pension systems are receiving less than 60% of what they should be getting from the city.

The city's IMRF (Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund) is at 90%, and Garza would like to bring the police and fire systems up to that level.

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Leaky sewer lines
12:35 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

Colchester Faces Expensive Sewer Repairs

Colchester will have to make repairs to sanitary sewer lines in the southwest part of the city and repairs at storage lagoons to make sure it meets IEPA regulations.

Leaky sewer lines allow an influx of storm water and ground water into the sewer system. The extra water and waste overloads the system.

Engineer John Calise, of Benton and Associates, said, “Not only do we have some problems locally with basement back ups and some of the transportation of the wastewater out to the lagoons. But the lagoons themselves are also overloaded with regards to too much wastewater.”

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91 year old director
7:22 am
Tue January 31, 2012

New Director to Draw on Vast Experience

Bob Livingston

Carthage's new Community Development Director brings a lifetime of experience to the job.

Bob Livingston spent over five decades in the plumbing business in his home state of Pennsylvania. Since moving to Illinois, the 91 year-old has helped bring rural water service to Henderson County. He was a VISTA volunteer with that county's Economic Development Corporation for three years.

He said between his business experience and his work on the water district, he feels well-prepared for the new job.

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Heritage Days
8:30 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Macomb Wants to Re-energize Summer Festival

Chandler Park, where much of the action takes place during Heritage Days

Macomb's mayor hopes the city can “reinvigorate” its annual Heritage Days celebration.

Heritage Days is held the final weekend of June. It typically begins on Thursday at 5:00pm and concludes on Sunday morning with the fly-in and pancake breakfast at the airport.

Mayor Mike Inman said the Heritage Days committee is considering whether to extend the festival to include more activities on Sunday.

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Massive Backlog of Bills
7:19 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Civic Federation Issues Gloomy Budget Forecast for Illinois

Illinois legislators face more bad budget news. 

A report from Chicago's Civic Federation said the massive backlog of unpaid bills is about to get much worse.

Illinois is expected to owe more than $9 billion by this summer. The figure is expected to continue rising and could hit nearly $35 billion within five years.

Civic Federation president Laurence Msall said the state must  act quickly.

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Stete funding uncertain
3:18 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

School Districts Prepare for Possibility of More Cuts

Supt. Jonathan Heerboth

Illinois public school districts are preparing next year's budgets. It's a difficult undertaking with state aid still up in the air.

The legislative session will begin several weeks later than usual. It's not known when the governor and the lawmakers might agree on education funding.

General State Aid to school districts was cut 5% for the current fiscal year.

West Prairie Superintendent Jonathan Heerboth said the cuts for next year could be worse.

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