Carthage, IL – Another possible sale of the former Robert Morris College campus in Carthage has fallen through. However, city leaders are hopeful they will find a buyer for the 13 buildings. Economic Developer Brenda Pyatt says a purchase option for an organization called DrugAwareness fell through. However, she says the college's Korean owner has recently become more willing to sell the property. Pyatt says there has been a slow but steady string of people interested in the campus.
Macomb, IL – Bond revenues will help Western Illinois University expand a heavily used building. The money is for the Donald Spencer Student Recreation Center and the plan was approved by the Board of Trustees during a teleconference meeting Thursday afternoon. $2 million in bonds will pay half the cost of the expansion. The other $2 million will come from existing funds and student fees. The addition will be built on the center's west side and will allow the university to create a larger weight room, a longer track, and make other improvements.
Fort Madison, IA – The Fort Madison City Council is still searching for ways to fill a more than $300,000 general fund deficit. After 4 workshops, City Manager Bill Kelly has given the council members a lengthy list of budget cutting options to consider. He says the council must balance the budget through cuts that will benefit the financial future of Fort Madison. No firm committments have been made at this point. Kelly says the council hopes to adopt a preliminary budget in one month.
Carthage, IL – Carthage's Assistant Police Chief is on administrative leave while the Illinois State Police finish an investigation. Mayor James Nightingale says the council granted the paid leave through next month if necessary. He says the investigation concerns a DARE pickkup truck Floyd sold the city after it had been rejuvenated, partly with donations. It also involves some guns Floyd acquired from a family that did not want them in the home of their elderly father. Nightingale says the investigation could be completed within a few weeks.
Keokuk, IA – The Keokuk School Board has approved several changes to the early retirement incentive offered by the school district. District employees can retire early if they meet certain age and employment requirements. The current incentive requires the district to cover the cost of an employee's health insurance, and to provide them with an additional monetary stipend. The school board has now reduced and capped what the district will pay for the health insurance and for the stipends. The board can adjust the caps at any time.
Fort Madison, IA – The timeline to close a factory in Southeast Iowa has been extended. BIC USA announced, last year, that the Sheaffer Pen facility in Fort Madison would close in May of this year. The company now says several departments will remain open beyond that deadline. Spokesperson Jill Klimack says about 40 union and non-union workers will need to stay on the job. Lee County Economic Development Director, Lowell Junkins, says the goal is to make these 40 jobs a permanent fixture in Fort Madison. Klimack says BIC must keep the departments open to meet the needs of customers.