WIUM Local
4:53 am
Fri July 21, 2006

Keokuk Rejects Utility Company Expansion

Keokuk, IA – The Keokuk city council has rejected Atmos Energy's plan to build a new office building along the Highway 61 bypass. The utility company had asked the city to rezone about 5.5 acres of land from residential to light industrial. The council voted unanimously against the rezoning. Potential neighbors spoke both in favor of and against the project. Keokuk's Planning and Zoning Commission had recommended the city reject the proposal. Company representatives told the city Atmos would try to keep the nearly $2,000,000 facility in Keokuk, but could not promise anything.

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WIUM Local
4:40 am
Fri July 21, 2006

4-H Fair Holds Attendance in Spite of Heat

Macomb, IL – McDonough County's 4-H Fair and Junior Show held its exhibitors in spite of steamy weather conditions this year. Youth Development Director Tessa Hobbs-Curley says almost all of those who registered showed up to exhibit their projects. The show combines 4-H projects, both livestock and other types of entries, with the Junior Show which is open to all youth whether or not they're in 4-H. Hobbs-Curley says in the General Show, visual arts projects including painting and sculpture are becoming more popular.

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WIUM Local
12:44 am
Fri July 21, 2006

Keokuk Borrows Millions For Streets

Keokuk, IA – Keokuk's multi-year, multi-million dollar street repair plan could get underway in about six weeks. The city council, during last night's meeting, formally approved the borrowing of three million dollars to begin the program. Mayor Dave Gudgel says this is a major step forward for improving the city. He hopes future councils will continue the proposed 12-year reconstruction plan. Public Works Director, Bill Richards, says work on High street, from 13th to 17th streets, could begin after Labor Day.

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WIUM Local
11:05 am
Thu July 20, 2006

Hamilton Could Join Distance Learning System

Hamilton, IL – Hamilton may connect to a distance learning system stretching across Western Illinois. The city has agreed, in principle, to place an antennae, on its water tower, that woudl connect the community to the Edunet system. Contract details must still be worked out. Carl Sandburg Community College operates the high-speed internet system, which covers over 3000 square miles. Edunet coordinator, Beverly Naslund, says the system allows smaller school districts to offer more courses through video conferencing.

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WIUM Local
11:03 am
Thu July 20, 2006

Hamilton Could Join Distance Learning System

Hamilton, IL – Hamilton may connect to a distance learning system stretching across Western Illinois. The city has agreed, in principle, to place an antennae, on its water tower, that woudl connect the community to the Edunet system. Contract details must still be worked out. Carl Sandburg Community College operates the high-speed internet system, which covers over 3000 square miles. Edunet coordinator, Beverly Naslund, says the system allows smaller school districts to offer more courses through video conferencing.

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WIUM Local
6:53 am
Thu July 20, 2006

State Hopes to Involve Small Businesses

Macomb, IL – The head of Illinois' main purchasing agency is trying to get more small companies to do business with the state. Central Management Services Director Paul Campbell came to Macomb Thursday to tout the Small Business Set Aside Program. He says the program allows some new contracts to be set aside specifically for the state's small businesses to bid on. He'd like to get more small businesses to sign up at www.sell2.illinois.gov because that would make the process more competitive, which would help the state, while also generating more money for small businesses.

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WIUM Local
6:45 am
Thu July 20, 2006

Vision Keokuk Project Needs Public Input

Keokuk, IA – The committee developing a long-range plan for Keokuk is looking for some public input on the project. The Vision Keokuk process started up about 6 months ago. Keokuk Area Chamber of Commerce President, Mark Smidt, says the goal is to create a 5-10 year plan for the city. he says the steering committee will be distributing surveys through service organizations, churches, and the local newspapers. Anyone can weigh in on the project. Smidt says several community meetings will be held within the next few months.

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Afternoon Edition
6:18 am
Thu July 20, 2006

Afternoon Edition

WIUM Local
4:59 am
Thu July 20, 2006

Downtown Districts Crucial To Iowa Communities

Keokuk, IA – In many communities in Iowa, the downtown districts are facing challenges from changing demographics and increased competition. These areas often contain niche businesses, restaurants, art galleries, and decorative landscaping. Sometimes, though, the downtown districts can include vacant lots, closed shops, and run-down buildings. Thom Guzman is the Director of the Iowa Department of Economic Development's downtown resource center. He told an audience in Keokuk that every empty downtown storefront can cost a city as much as $250,000 a year in sales.

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WIUM Local
4:29 am
Thu July 20, 2006

WIEDA Gets First Executive Director

Macomb, IL – Charles Bair is the first Executive Director of the Western Illinois Economic Development Authority. The 13-county group will assist and coordinate local economic developers. Bair says it will also add several development tools. The biggest two include the authority's $250 million bonding power and the ability to create new enterprise zones. Bair says the state had capped the number of such zones, but having them available now will make the western Illinois region much more competitive.

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