Keokuk, IA – Several U-S Coast Guard members that have been rescuing survivors of Hurricane Katrina are back in the tri-state region. A regional disaster response team, which included 8 Keokuk-based officers, spent two weeks in New Orleans conducting search and rescue missions. Chief Petty Officer Brett Wickett says that despite the harsh conditions, the team rescued about 500 residents. He says the disaster response team spent 10 to 12 hours a day in their boats searching for people, neighborhood by neighborhood.
Lee County, IA – Voter turnout was very low for school board elections in Lee County's 3 public school districts. About 8% of the registered voters within the Central Lee School District made it to the polls. In Keokuk, turnout was around 2% while it was just 1% in Fort Madison. Seven of the nine races on the ballot in the county were uncontested.
Central Lee District 1 Robert Bryant (Inc) - Unopposed
District 3 Bob Galle - 57% Brenda Knox - 26% Doug Hopp (Inc) - 17%
Macomb, IL – Illinois Poet Laureate Kevin Stein says he's been surprised to learn how much interest there is in poetry. The Bradley University English professor was named Poet Laureate in 2003. Since then, he's been asked to speak at numerous schools, libraries, and public forums. In fact, he will give a presentation in the Tri States Public Radio performance studio Thursday September 15 at 7:00 p.m. Stein says it's gratifying to realize there is so much interest in his craft. Stein also says he's been allowed to shape his role as Poet Laureate as he sees fit.
Carthage, IL – Charles Bair is the new Econonomic Development Educator for the Hancock County Extension Service. He'll work with the Hancock County Economic Development Association. Bair plans to work with a regional focus on business retention and expansion. He says attracting new businesses will be his third priority. Bair has worked for more than 30 years in manufacturing and finance before moving to Carthage. He says his first priority will be developing a work plan and meeting other economic development staffers in the region. Bair is under a one-year contract renewable annually.
Macomb, IL – After many months of discussions, Macomb aldermen have unanimously approved the city's new liquor code. It will go into effect October 1. Among other things, it will increase the cost of obtaining or renewing a liquor license. Bar and restaurant owner Roger Ward wishes the new code had been completed more quickly. But he also thinks the city did a good job of making sure license holders were involved in the process. Macomb resident Merv Roth, who's vocally anti-liquor, is glad that license fees will be increased.