Havana, IL – The Mason County Board has learned that FEMA will have the county's flood plain maps updated and computerized. However, County Clerk William Blessman says the county might have to pay for an engineer to document the condition of the 20 miles of levees. Blessman says the map update should have a minimal cost. The county will work with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources on the project. However, he says gathering documentation on levee construction standards and maintenance could take a while.
Niota, IL – Illinois commercial fishermen are working with the Department of Natural Resources to change some of the fish and game regulations. Kirby Morrison heads the Illinois Commercial Fisherman's Association. He says The point system used against a license is sometimes unfair to commercial fishermen. He says his group wants serious violations to be strongly enforced. However, he says things such as being assessed nine points because a registration number falls off a boat is over-harsh. Twelve points can get a license revoked for up to three years.
Hamilton, IL – A Hancock County man has joined the race for Illinois Lieutenant Governor. His name will not appear on the ballot in November, but Randy White says he is committed to winning. He says he and gubernatorial candidate, Randy Stufflebeam, are using the internet and the telephone to run as independents through a write-in campaign. White says he is pro-life, pro-family, and pro-marriage amendment. White says the other candidates for governor and lieutenent governor in Illinois are heavily involved in corruption and big money politics.
Keokuk, IA – Some changes have taken place on the Keokuk School Board. Former high school principal, Tom Wemette, took his seat on the panel last night. He was joined by Board President Julia Logan and board member Tyler McGhghy in taking the oath of office. The trio was elected to the board earlier this month. As soon as the new school board was seated, the panel voted in a new president. Jim Vandenberg will replace Logan, who served in that capacity for the past 3 years. Vandenberg says he is excited about the opportunity, though he did not anticipate being selected president.
Macomb, IL – Expenses will once again outpace revenues for the Macomb School District. The new budget calls for spending of around $21 million with income falling short of that mark by about $900,000. Board of Education President Bill DeJong says the district has been in the red for several years. Various cuts have allowed the district to keep the reserve fund at about $5 million, but DeJong says there might not be enough money to last beyond the next three or four years unless the state does something more to help fund public education.
Macomb, IL – Western's president says one of the challenges in the year ahead is to complete a university-wide technology strategic plan. Al Goldfarb told a large crowd at the annual Founders' Day Celebration Luncheon that work is already underway to provide state-of-the-art technologies. He said Western is developing plans to provide wireless access to all academic buildings on the Macomb campus and is planning innovative technology for the new campus to be built in the Quad Cities. He added WIU will explore ways of bringing its two campuses together through enhanced technology.
Keokuk, IA – The Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor in Iowa says every resident should have access to quality health care. Agriculture Secretary Patty Judge says one way to accomplish that is by opening up the coverage pool that is currently availalbe to state employees and lawmakers. Judge says too many children are without coverage... and a greater push is needed to make sure kids, who are eligible for state or federal health insurance, are actually signed up and receiving coverage.
Hamilton, IL – The Hamilton School District's new budget contains funding for technology and curriculum upgrades. The school board has approved the roughly four million dollar spending plan for the current fiscal year. Superintendent James Jackson says the budget is basically balanced, though spending could slightly exceed revenues by the end of the year, due to some new programs. He says the district has spent $50,000, this month, to upgrade several computer labs.