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.

Lee County is projecting a slight decrease in its upcoming property tax rate.

The Board of Supervisors has spent the last few weeks putting together the county’s spending plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

The latest draft shows a $0.13 decrease in the rural property tax rate, from $11.03 to $10.90.

There would be an even larger cut to the urban tax rate from $9.00 to $8.62.

This would mark the second Lee County budget in a row to feature a reduction in both property tax rates.

Keokuk’s mayor is optimistic the state will come through with funding for its hospital.

A delegation of city and county leaders joined representatives of Keokuk Area Hospital in a trip to Des Moines to meet with two key lawmakers in the field of health care.

State Representative Dave Heaton (R-Mt. Pleasant) chairs the Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee in the House while State Senator Jack Hatch (D-Des Moines) leads the same committee in the Senate.

Mayor Tom Marion says the goal of the meeting was to share information.

Parents, educators and legislators in Illinois will be better able to compare school performance thanks to a new state law signed by Governor Pat Quinn.

Until now, the report cards that are supposed to indicate how well schools are performing were often more than a dozen pages long and proved to be confusing to read.

They will be revised under the new law.  By the fall of 2013, they'll be slimmed down to two pages with colorful graphics.

State Senator Kim Lightford (D-Maywood) said they will also contain more information.

The Illinois Supreme Court said it will allow cameras into trial courtrooms.

Illinois was in the minority of states in not allowing broadcast media to cover trials.

Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Kilbride said Illinois media outlets will have to follow several pages of rules. Even then, there is no guarantee the technology will be allowed for all trials. The state's 23 circuit courts can decide if they want to allow cameras and microphones.

The Monmouth-Roseville School District is committing to improving the literacy of Spanish-speaking students over the next few years.

The district will add a second bi-lingual kindergarten class next fall.

Superintendent Paul Woehlke said the goal is to help Latino students with both their Spanish and English language skills.

He said, ”Both (classrooms) will be teaching literacy in Spanish to the Hispanic students so they learn their native language literacy first.  And research says that's the better approach to a bi-lingual program.”

The competition is expected to be stiff for a manufacturing plant that Caterpillar reportedly plans to move from Japan to somewhere in the US. Galesburg Mayor Sal Garza said that is why the city is asking mayors, village presidents, and other leaders from five counties to write letters in support of the region.

“It's become highly competitive and these kind of projects are very scarce,” Garza said. “So we understand that we really do have to collaborate.”

He thinks it strengthens the bid for this project and perhaps others down the road if the region bands together.

Community leaders in Burlington are looking for volunteers to help improve the city.

The Imagine Our Future campaign started out with about 1,800 ideas for making the Burlington area a better place to live, work and play.

A committee reduced that number to 100 before the public had the chance to cut the list to 30.

Campaign Co-Chair Matt Shinn says that is when the process became very difficult.

But he says about 28 of the 30 entries could be lumped into one of five areas.

Teachers in two southeast Iowa school districts are looking for pay raises.

The Keokuk Education Association and the Burlington Education Association have each made their initial contract offers for next year to their respective districts.

Keokuk’s teachers are seeking a $1,000 increase in the base pay for new faculty to $31,745.

The salaries for veteran teachers would increase accordingly based on experience and education.

They are also looking to change two pieces of language from the current contract.

It took a while but Macomb will finally receive money for a much-needed project on the city's northeast side.

Mayor Mike Inman said the city applied about a year ago for a Community Development Assistance Program (CDAP) grant to finish a water main project along East Carroll Street. He said the state has notified the city that the more than $300,000 grant has been awarded.

Inman said people generally don't give much thought to water main projects until there is an issue with their service.

Big Brothers/Big Sisters Needs Volunteers

Jan 23, 2012

The “Big Brothers/Big Sisters” program for McDonough and Warren Counties has plenty of children who need an adult role model.  There aren't enough adult volunteers to match with the children.

Board member Dan Yoder and program director Kim Lampitt said volunteers fill a gap in the life of a child.  She said most children are nominated by a school teacher.

She said the program has 46 active matches. There are 15 children on the waiting list for an adult mentor.

Illini West High School in Carthage will switch to an eight-block class schedule for the 2013-2014 school year.

Classes will meet five times every two weeks. Students will take four classes each day.

Teachers might have the most to learn during the transition.

Superintendent Kim Schilson said they will have to adapt to teaching 90-minute periods.

The district will offer teachers a great deal of professional development to ease the transition.

US Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) has  suffered a stroke and remains sedated at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

His neurosurgeon believes the 52-year old senator has a very  good shot at making a full mental recovery.

Northwestern  neurosurgeon Dr. Richard Fessler said Kirk suffered a  "dry stroke,"  in which sections of the right side of his brain were  deprived  of blood.

McDonough County Road Weight Limits are Posted

Jan 23, 2012

The McDonough County Highway Department is posting road weight limits until April 14th. The department's website calendar will show what days the limits are in effect. On those days, haulers will need permits to haul legal limits that are over the load limits.

County Engineer Tom Hickman said the limits are one way to reduce damage to the roads.

He said, “The freeze-thaw cycle is why I do this. Because when the road base freezes and then thaws out, it gets soft and it comes apart if you put too much weight on it.”

An Illinois legislator has introduced a proposal that would ban drivers from using their cell phones. 

It's already illegal to text when you're behind the wheel, and some local ordinances only allow drivers to use hands-free devices for their phones.

Representative John D'Amico (D-Chicago) wants to go beyond those limitations.  He introduced a measure that would ban motorists from using mobile devices at all.

D'Amico acknowledged the idea might be unpopular with drivers who have become accustomed to making calls from the road, but he is standing by the proposal.

Organizers hope the recent temperature dip will make it easier for people to watch the bald eagles soar above Keokuk’s riverfront this weekend.

Lee County Conservation Director Tom Buckley says the warmer weather this winter has provided more hunting locations for the eagles.

He says they have been able to travel up and down the Mississippi River because of the open water.

Buckley says as the river starts to freeze, the eagles will start to congregate below Keokuk’s Lock & Dam because the moving water keeps that area open for hunting.

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