Macomb, IL – Macomb residents will vote in contests for county, state, and federal offices this fall. Now, they will also be asked to decide a city referendum. The question seeks voter approval to make the half-cent local option sales tax permanent. It's currently due to expire at the end of 2008. The money it generates pays for street repairs and other infrastructure work. First Ward Alderman Charles Gilbert initially argued for increasing the tax to three-quarters of a cent, but other aldermen countered that the city should take things one step at a time.
Hamilton, IL – Hamilton is still a few days away from having its new water plant up and running. Water Superintendent, Tim Schilson, says the final tests on the 1,000,000 per day facility are nearly complete. He says two remaining components, a filter and a water pump, have passed one test and the results are pending on the second test. Schilson expects to have the final results later this morning. He says, if the pump and filter pass, the plant could come online by the end of the week.
Augusta, IL – The Southeastern District school board will decide next week whether to begin the school year Aug. 23 as planned. Superintendent Mike Owen says the district still needs to determine whether the part of the building that remained after the fire will be usable in time. He says the section with the cafeteria, ag shop and gymnasium shared walls with the part of the building that was demolished after the March 3 fire. An inspection by the Regional Superintendent of Education is scheduled next week.
Keokuk, IA – The deadline has passed to fill out the paperwork necessary to run for school board in Iowa. There will be just one contested race in Lee County. That race will be within the Keokuk School District. 3 seats on the board are open and 4 people, including 2 incumbants, have filed to be on the ballot.
President Julia Logan Board Member Tyler McGhghy Former Principal Tom Wemette Fire Chief Mark Wessel.
Current board member, Brian Richardson, will not seek another 3 year term.
Warsaw, IL – The Warsaw FFA Chapter is part of a multi-state monitoring program looking for a corn pest that could cause major crop losses. The western corn rootworm is learning to cope with crop rotation. In eastern Illinois and western indiana, the beetle has learned to lay its eggs in soybean fields. Thus, next year's larvae are ready to attack corn plants. FFA advisor Don Bumphrey says the pests can cost a farmer up to half of his crop. The students planted pheromone traps in 30 fields, but found few rootworm beetles so far.
Keokuk, IA – Very few residents weighed in on the Lee County Board of Supervisors' latest attempt to gather feedback on county office consolidation. There are more than 35,000 people living in Lee County. 25,000 are registered voters. The supervisors received just over 200 responses to the public opinion poll they ran in several local newspapers. About 20% were photocopies of the original survey. Chairman George Morgan says the poll was another attempt to gauge public interest, since taxpayers pay for county government.