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.
FORT MADISON - SCHOOL
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.
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.
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.