Keokuk, IA – A coaliton of Lee County's elected leaders says one county supervisor should take personal responsibility for a budgeting mistake and leave office. The group, which includes the county attorney, auditor, recorder, sheriff and treasurer, says recent statements made by Supervisor Bob Woodruff are not true. The coalition says Woodruff should resign because he has failed to live up to his agreements and failed to tell the public the truth. The mistake involves about $400,000 in state aid Lee County did not receive for its Mental Health and Disabilities Fund.
Macomb, IL – The State of Illinois wants the Go West bus system to start charging a fare. State grant money helps support the system. Revenue from fares would allow the state to reduce the amount it needs to spend on it. The proposed fare would be 25-cents in Macomb. For routes outside the city the fare would be one-dollar. Students from Western Illinois University would not be charged a fare because they already pay a fee to support the system. The fare would not be implemented until next summer. The average weekly ridership for Go West is about 36,000 when school is in session.
Augusta, IL – The Village of Augusta is receiving a $74,000 Brownfields grant to assess a partially collapsed downtown building. Board president Sean Eifert says the board has also been told it's been targeted to receive money from a pool of fines paid to the EPA. Eifert says that money would provide what the village now cannot afford -- demolition of the old store building. He says the building collapsed about three years ago, but the owner did not have insurance, so the structure has not been removed.
Keokuk, IA – The Lee County Board of Supervisors has voted to create three larger rural voting precincts by combining several groups of smaller ones. County Auditor Anne Pedersen says the move should not have a major effect on how her office handles elections. The proposal calls for Cedar, Marion and Franklin townships to form one precinct, while Denmark, Washington and Green Bay townships combine into another. The third precinct would include Des Moines, Charleston and Van Buren townships.
Cartrhage, IL – Carthage aldermen approved two water main projects. City Clerk Katherine Graham says the jobs will be bid soon and repairs should be completed this summer. She says there were two breaks within a week, placing the work on an emergency basis. She says the city will try to shift allocations to cover the cost.
Rushville, IL – An open house in Rushville Sunday afternoon will show off restoration of a cabin in Scripps Park. The cabin was originally built for a caretaker for "The Virginia." That's the community building given to the city by the Scripps newspaper family. Restoration Committee member Bebe Reisch says it took more than $45,000 in donations to restore and furnish the two-bedroom cabin. She says a second cabin was used by members of the Scripps family when they visited Rushville. Reisch says the committee hopes to have the second cabin restored next year.
Keokuk, IA – The current economic climate has led to Iowa's 951 cities facing many of the same problems. West Liberty City Manager Chris Ward, who is with the Iowa League of Cities, says property taxes and rollback are the leading concerns expressed by city leaders. He says the League will focus on rollback and economic development when lawmakers return to Des Moines. Ward says cities are approaching a breaking point when it comes to funding cuts by higher levels of government.
Macomb, IL – A summer camp at WIU challenges the myth that young girls are not skilled in math. The camp is called Girls Plus. It's open to junior high girls from around the country who excel in math. Program Director Candace Rosene says the idea for the program came from a series of national tests more than 15 years ago. It showed some young women were choosing not to take math or science courses. Rosene says the last few years have seen a dramatic increase in the number of females taking math or science courses.
Macomb, IL – McDonough County elections worker Gretchen DeJaynes is the first entrant in the Republican primary for county clerk. DeJaynes has worked in the elections department for four years under County Clerk Florine Miller. Miller is retiring next year. DeJaynes says she has tried to learn all aspects of the office. She believes the clerk's office is now working well. She expects no further problems with tax extensions or accounting for social security payments.
Macomb, IL 61455 – McDonough County's ESDA Director is asking for a voluntary outdoor burning ban throughout the county. Steve Miller says the hot and dry conditions make outdoor fires extremely hazardous. He says it would be too easy for a fire to get out of control and threaten other structures. The ban will be in effect until further notice. He says there is no county penalty for violating the ban, but many towns and villages have provisions calling for ordinance violation fines for those who break the ban.