Macomb, IL – An event this week at WIU celebrated rice and the culture that surrounds it. Students, faculty, and members of the community gathered in the University Union Lamoine Room for "A Culture of Rice: An International Feast." Presentations offered information about the history of rice and the geography of rice. There were also paintings on rice paper, dances, and a presentation on the fashion trends in India.
Macomb, IL – The three new trustees at WIU were on-campus recently for a briefing and meetings with campus constituencies. Steven Nelson is an attorney in Moline. Bob Cook and Bill Griffin are retired professors from the Macomb campus. All three believe much of their focus in coming board meetings will be on developing the Quad Cities campus, where they believe much of the university's growth will occur. Cook says a state grant for planning a performing arts center is a good indication that construction funds will come.
Macomb, IL – Last fall, the Chicago White Sox won the World Series for the first time since 1917. Baseball fans got a chance to share in the celebration when the World Series trophy came to Macomb. It was on display for several hours at the US Cellular store on East Jackson Street and was later displayed at Western Hall. The trophy stands two feet tall, weighs 30 pounds, and is donned with 30 flags representing each team in Major League baseball. Fans began lining up outside the the US Cellular store more than an hour before the trophy was scheduled to go on display.
Hamilton, IL – Hamilton is a step closer to identifying the flood risk faced by some of its residents. The city's current flood plain map has been in place for neary 25 years. About 5 years ago, the city started working to upgrade that document. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has unveiled its new preliminary flood insurance rate map. The primary focus is on the areas where Railroad and Chaney creeks branch into the city. FEMA spokesperson Eric Kuklewski says this map will show residents the flood risk facing their properties.
Macomb, IL – Macomb aldermen are beginning their budget process with a hole to fill and a request from police for more officers. The first draft of the budget shows expenses outpacing revenues by $188,000, and Mayor Mick Wisslead says capital requests have already been pared down through staff meetings. In addition, Police Chief Mike Galloway says he would like to increase the department's authorized size from 26 sworn officers to 28. Galloway says there is a transition of two to six officers every year so he doubts there will ever be 28 officers on staff.
Macomb, IL – Illinois Transportation Secretary Tim Martin spoke in Macomb to drum up support for the governor's proposed capital spending bill. Martin told the audience the bill would provide more than $2 billion for road projects including four-laning part of Route 34 and a bypass around Macomb. Martin said unless the state buys bonds fund the capital spending bill, it could lose much more money that was allotted to it in the most recent federal transportation bill. He said unless the state provides the match money, it will have to leave federal dollars on the table.
Monmouth, IL – The Western Stoneware pottery factory in Monmouth will close in a few weeks. The move will put about 40 employees out of their jobs. Owner Jim Hutchins says most pottery comes into this country from overseas. He says labor costs are part of the reason. In addition, he says where are fewer small stores which will sell his wares. He says fewer bulk purchasers are already used to going overseas for shoes or apparel or other items. Thke firm was formed in 1906 with the consolidation of seven smaller pottery makers.