Macomb, IL – McDonough County's Health Department will expand its education programs during the coming five years. I-Plan Coordinator Marci Roberts says the committee that studied the county's health problems decided an aging population will guide activities in the new five-year health plan. Roberts says continuing problems from the previous plan included obesity and heart disease. She says the department will work with other agencies on educational activities to combat those problems. Roberts says the committee also determined there's a need to improve access to health care.
Macomb, IL – The City of Macomb is prepared to grow a little larger. Aldermen have approved agreements to annex four pieces of property once they're contiguous to the city. All four parcels are to the west and located along the new water line to Colchester. The properties include the 4-H center and some homes. Macomb hopes to improve its census figures as it adds property to the west. No one spoke on the annexation plans during a public hearing held at the city council's latest meeting.
Keokuk, IA – The Lee County Board of Supervisors is trying to distance itself from recent comments made by one of its own members. Supervisor Larry Kruse recently wrote a newspaper article that said by receiving excessive vacation time, an employee in the county recorder's office clearly violated state code. The County Board has adopted a resolution that says Kruse was acting in an individual capacity, not as a representative of the Board, when he wrote the letter.
Macomb, IL – McDonough County has until the end of next month to pick the handicapped-accessible voting machines it plans to use. County Clerk Florine Miller says the machines must be in use by the March primaries. However, the state has only certified one machine so far, and Miller believes it's slow and cumbersome to use. She plans to look into other possible machines in the hope that one of them might be approved before the end of next month. A state grant is expected to pay the estimated $5,000 cost of each machine. The county is required to have one for each precinct.
Macomb, IL – The McDonough County NAACP believes it's making some progress with the City of Macomb now that the group and the city have agreed to start holding regular meetings. Chapter President Gregg Huston will organize the first one. He will likely be joined by a couple aldermen, the mayor, and the city administrator. In addition, the city spent an hour addressing the NAACP's concerns Monday night. The city told Huston its officers have participated in three diversity training sessions in the past nine months.
Keokuk, IA – The Keokuk City Council will soon discuss a major restructuring of the police department. The department currently operates three, eight-hours shifts, but Chief R. L. Dobson would like to switch to a pair of 12-hours shifts. He thinks that will put more officers on the street while also giving them a little more time away from the job. He says the final details are being worked out. The 12-hour shifts would be tried for one year to determine whether the change is successful. The council is expected to discuss the idea during an upcoming workshop.
Good Hope, IL – For decades, the Conservation Expo in Illinois has offered farmers, engineers, and the general public a chance to learn about land improvement practices and equipment. But instead of bringing people to a convention center or lecture hall, the expo is held in the field to provide a first-hand look at what's being done. 14 conservation practices were demonstrated at Conservation Expo 2005, which was held on the farm of Jerry and Leslie Lewis near Good Hope.
Macomb, IL – Reflecting on 50 years of life inspired one area artist to document his achievements in an unconventional way. WIU Associate Professor of Art Bruce Walters viewed the event as an opportunity to reflect on the significant accomplishments of his life. He created the art piece in book form: "One Hundred Things I Have Done in 50 Years." He hopes the work will convey his enthusiasm for each new day. Part of the piece was displayed in last year's WIU Faculty Art Show. The complete exhibit is on display through next month at the Midcoast Fine Arts Gallery in LeClaire, IA.
Nauvoo, IL – Nauvoo's City Council and Chamber of Commerce are working together to revise guidelines for transient businesses. Chamber President David Miller says his organization originally asked for the business regulations. However, he says the city has been having problems getting some of the merchants to renew. He says the chamber believes some guidelines are necessary. Miller says a committee is researching how other towns in the region deal with the problem. The chamber plans to have recommendations to the aldermen by next month.
Hamilton, IL – Three Hancock County school districts have selected consultants to prepare a reorganization feasibility study. Former superintendents and consultants Lynn Hartweger and Bob Rogers will prepare the study which will outline various ways the districts could merge, including consolidation or convergence. Hamilton superintendent Steve Breckon says Rogers and Hartweger have done such studies previously. A state grant is expecated to cover the cost of the study. It's to be completed by March of next year.