Lee County, IA – A food tour set to take place in Lee County will highlight foods that are grown locally. The Buy Fresh Buy Local tour will take place Saturday, September 17th. Spokesperson Krista Perkins says the event will showcase opportunities to buy locally-grown fruits, vegetables, and meats. Perkins says buying food that is grown locally provides a boost to the regional economy. The tour stops are Dave's Old Fashioned Meats in Montrose, as well as Faeth Orchards and Kathy's Pumpkin Patch. Each site will be open from 8 AM until 6 PM.
Macomb, IL – A group of about 220 Hurricane Katrina victims is expected in central Illinois soon. The Salvation Army plans to house about 150 of them at its summer camp northwest of Peoria. Others will be placed at Illinois Central College or in part of a Peoria retirement home. Plans are for the evacuees to be transferred to longer-term housing arrangements if possible. Some will be seeking jobs. Salvation Army Captain Owen Thomas says the goal will be to move the evacuees back to the New Orleans area when it's safe to do so.
Macomb, IL – Two Macomb firefighters will help with the relief efforts in areas ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. Ryan Hotz and Dan Meyer will head south on Wednesday. They will be gone for at least 30 days. Hotz and Meyer say they will provide basic first aid and other assistance. They volunteered for the duty after the International Association of Fire Chiefs and FEMA put out a message seeking assistance from two-person teams from fire departments. The city will be reimbursed for their salaries.
Macomb, IL – The Western Illinois Regional Council will administer a grant to rehabilitate homes in four western Illinois towns. Coordinator Kevin Wiehardt says the program will replace roofs, heating systems, siding or plumbing to help stabilize neighborhoods and make the homes saleable for 30 or 40 years. The work will be done on homes occupied by the elderly, children or the disabled. Wiehardt says it will be harder to stretch the $1.47 million grant this year because of competition for building materials after Hurricane Katrina.
Keokuk, IA – Certain types of storage units may soon be prohibited in parts of Keokuk. The Keokuk City Council has approved the first reading of an ordinance that would prohibit the use of large tractor trailers for storage purposes in commercially-zoned districts. Mayor Dave Gudgel says the goal is to stop these containers from being located along the Main Street corridor. In the proposal's current form, the storage units would also be banned in areas several blocks from Main Street, due to current zoning boundaries.