Fort Madison, IA – The Lee County Sheriff's Department's reserve officer unit is growing. The Board of Supervisors has approved the appointments of 2 new reserve officers. Sheriff Buck Jones says reserve officers can perform almost all of the duties of a certified officer. He says the unit, which will now include 11 officers, has been invaluable to the sheriff's department. Jones says the reserve officers are especially important during large events when extra security is needed.
Rushville, IL – Rushville aldermen have finally approved a $3 million spending plan for the budget year that began in May. Mayor Ron Shepherd says it's within $100,000 of being balanced after the finance committee cut more than $700,000 from the last draft. He says they have eliminated new equipment purchases, trimmed utilities and cut wherever else possible. The plan does cover drilling of a new city well and some sewer construction.
Keokuk, IA – The public library in one Southeast Iowa city is losing state funding. The Keokuk Public Library has lost its state accreditation for the fiscal year that began July 1. Library Director, Emily Rohlfs, says losing this designation will impact the library. Rohlfs, who has been on the job for about 1 week, says the library lost its accreditation because the facility is no longer open on Saturdays. The library had to cut its hours of operation to make up for budget cuts in recent years. Rohlfs says the library can regain its accreditation if Saturday service is restored.
Macomb, IL – The new McDonough-Hancock Regional school superintendent is planning some expansion. Gary Eddington says he's applied for grants that would extend teaching to pre-schoolers in day care centers. Eddington says the grant could possibly reach children in home care centers with just few children to "add an educational component to their day care day." Eddington also expects more involvement by the state and his office in home schooling. He says Illinois has fewer requirements than many other states. Eddington replaced Bob Baumann as the regional superintendent.
Bushnell, IL – Two Bushnell-area groups will try to convince the state a different Route 336 corridor should be chosen. Aldermen have approved a mission statement with Citizens for a Responsible Alignment. Both groups want the state to avoid the north pair of a series of three alignments suggested by the state. They believe it unnecessarily divides farmland. The city wants the Macomb-Peoria route to pass as close to Bushnell as possible. However, if a close route is not chosen, the aldermen would like a four-lane link between the town and an interchange on Route 336.
Fort Madison, IA – Lee County's new community outreach center opened for business this afternoon. Residents with mental health and other developmental disabilities are eligible to use the facility at 1717 Ave. H in Fort Madison. CPC Administrator Jim Posz says the community outreach center will have a positive impact on those who utilize it. Burlington-based Hope Haven Area Development center will operate the facility. It includes a kitchen area, computer and internet access, and table space for games and crafts.
Macomb, IL – Macomb city council members have approved the low bid for a road improvement project, although one alderman has some concerns about the contractor. The work will be done on East University Drive from Route 67 to Bower Road, and on Bower Road from University to Route 136. The low bid of $537,921 was submitted by Laverdiere Construction. The company also did last year's upgrades on Grant Street. Alderman At Large Dennis Moon is not satisfied with the way that project turned out so he voted against awarding the bid for the latest project.