TSPR Local

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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More Growth In Future?
7:48 am
Mon January 30, 2012

IA Governor Praises Lee County Growth

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad says a trip through Lee County shows his economic development policies are working.

The Governor and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds spent several hours talking to executives at employees at Pinnacle Foods and at Siemens on Friday.

They also toured both facilities and even participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a nearly 18,000 square foot expansion at Pinnacle.

The company spent roughly $20-million to build a new production line, which led to the creation of about 65 new jobs and the retention of several hundred more.

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Increase in mainstreaming
7:45 am
Mon January 30, 2012

Illini West Exceeds State Benchmark

Illini West High School is exceeding a state standard for special education students.

The State of Illinois wants schools to place at least half of their special education students in general education classes for half the school day.

Just two years ago, the high school had only 30% of those students in regular classes. The district rate is up to 56%

Superintendent Kim Schilson said the district decided to start evaluating special education students during their first semester at the school.

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Line Included on Income Tax Forms
11:19 am
Sun January 29, 2012

Illinois Pursuing On-Line Sales Taxes

The State of Illinois is again making an effort to get more people to pay taxes they owe for on-line purchases.

It was an unwelcome surprise for many when they filled out their income taxes last year.  Illinois' forms specifically asked filers to come clean about how much they'd shopped on-line.

The requirement to pay state sales taxes on Internet purchases is nothing new but it wasn't well known.

Calling attention to it changed that somewhat. Illinois received an extra $11 million last year after adding the high profile line on the forms.  

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Victims Are a Macomb Teen and a Saudi National
11:00 am
Sun January 29, 2012

Two Killed in Western Illinois Car Crashes

The wintery weather is blamed for two fatal crashes in western Illinois.

One of the crashes happened on McDonough County Road 2000 East, just north of County Road 1700 North near Bushnell.

Illinois State Police said 14-year old Remington Neeley of Macomb was killed when the car she was riding in went out of control due to the snowy conditions Friday evening. The Chevy Impala left the road, became airborne, and struck a grain bin.

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12 Homes Could Be Improved
12:36 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

Carthage Will Seek Home Rehabilitation Grant

Carthage is working with the Western Illinois Regional Council to secure a grant for home rehabilitation. The city hopes to secure at least a $250,000 grant.

Mayor Jim Nightingale said the city has successfully applied for federal Community Development Block Grants on three occasions. He said the program does more than spruce up a home.

He said, “It seems like it gives people a little bit more pride and they tend to keep their homes up after they get these improvements. So I think it's a big plus for our community.”

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Union Seeking Raises
11:17 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Keokuk School District Proposing Wage Freeze

The Keokuk School District is proposing some major language changes in a new contract with its teachers.

The initial offer from the district to the Keokuk Education Association calls for a freeze in the base pay for new teachers.

It also seeks no movement on the salary schedule for experience or education.

The district also wants KEA members to start using direct deposit.

The most significant changes, though, come in the area of insurance.

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One Request So Far
10:45 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Keokuk Events Could Require Permit

Special events including alcohol can now be held at any public location in Keokuk.

An application for such events is now being developed.

The proposed application would be fairly simple.

It requires the name of the organization holding the special event, contact information, date, time and location.

Mayor Tom Marion says the idea is to help city staff keep track of event requests.

“(It would) give us advance notice so everything can be considered prior to the event itself,” says Marion, “because it would give us at least 60 days before the event.”

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