Keokuk, IA – A recreation facility for Lee County residents with mental health and other developmental disabilities should open this summer. After more than 1 year of discussions and delays, the Lee County Board of Supervisors has approved the development of a community outreach center. CPC administrator, Jim Posz, says this facility will improve the quality of life for those who take advantage of its services. Burlington-based Hope Haven Area Development Center will manage the facility at 1717 Ave. H in Fort Madison.
Carthage, IL – Carthage's Industrial Development Corporation is doing infrastructure studies on the land near where Route 336 will pass the town. Economic Developer Brenda Pyatt says the first study will look at what utility improvements are needed and where the lines should be installed. She says there will also be a study of whether the existing sewage treatment plant can handle growth. A second study by the town's engineer will divide the 150-acre parcel into individual lots along projected streets.
Carthage, IL – The Hancock County dental clinic for public aid patients has opened to a full schedule of appointments. Melita Finney of the county health department says the clinic opened Friday. She says staffers have booked patients through June and into July. She says the department sought grants to open the clinic because public aid patients had to drive up to two hours to find a dentist who would take public aid assignments. Finney says the department hopes to get other grants which will allow the clinic to be in operation for more than the current two days per week.
Macomb, IL – Spoon River College is continuing to pursue the idea of developing new campuses in Macomb and Rushville. The college's current Macomb campus is in the old Macomb High School building. SRC Board Chairman Dave Maguire says the facility has served the college well but it's time to move on. He says it's landlocked and lacks adequate parking. It's not known how soon the college could relocate. It'll need to come up with some of its own money in addition to obtaining state funding for a new facility.
Keokuk, IA – The Keokuk City Council is looking to expand its ban on certain storage units. 8 months ago, the council prohibited the use of large tractor-trailers for storage in commercially-zoned districts, primarily the entire Main Street corridor. The city is now exploring its options when it comes to preventing these trailers from being parked on streets or alleys in residential areas. While the proposal is still in its early stages, it appears to have been placed on the fast track, due ot several council members voicing complaints about these structures in their wards.
Augusta, IL – Advanced English class members at Southeastern High School in Augusta have compiled a book of their reactions to the fire that destroyed much of the school. The 14 seniors were taking an English classs through John Wood Community College. The essays were part of a class assignment. The instrucator suggested publication. The collection is being sold at different places within the district. Proceeds after publication cost will be given to the school.
Keokuk, IA – For the past two weeks, the buzz words in Lee County have been "port authority." City, county, and economic development leaders say the Southeast Iowa Regional Economic and Port Authority will revitalize the local economy. At the same time, some questions and concerns about its powers and impact have surfaced. To hear Jason Parrott's feature on what a port authority actually is and the possible impact on the region, click on the audio link above.
Macomb, IL – Spoon River College is reviewing whether to drop a couple of its programs. During this month's meeting in Macomb, Board of Trustees members were told that enrollments have been low for automotive and agriculture classes. Chairman Dave Maguire says the programs need to adapt to current industry standards so that enrollments increase or the board will be faced with the decision of eliminating them. Maguire says staff will work with the departments during the next year and then decide whether they should be continued.
Macomb, IL – Like many states, Illinois is facing a nursing shortage. It's also dealing with a shortage of educators to teach and train new nurses. The state hopes recently passed legislation will address the issues. The measure will create a state nursing center. It will also provide money for nursing educator scholarships, plus it will allow merit - in addition to financial need - to be considered in awarding scholarships. In addition, the measure will provide money for nursing school grants and to forgive the student loans of those who choose to become nurse educators.