Keokuk, IA – An Iowa Congressman says the United States must commit to pulling troops out of Iraq, on its own terms. Jim Leach (R) says that must be done as soon as Iraq has a functioning and stable government in place. He says a hard deadline does not need to be set, though. Instead, he says a window of time should be established so the committment to leave is apparant. Congressman Leach, who voted against going to war in Iraq, made his comments during a recent stop in Keokuk.
Macomb, IL – Faculty from a law enforcement institute in Russia have visited WIU's law enforcement department and other state police agencies. WIU department chairman Stephen Reinhart says the exchange will be with St. Petersburg University, which has more than 7,000 students, all studying some branch of law enforcement. WIU students will go there this fall, while two graduate students from the Russian institution will enroll at WIU. Reinhart says police in Russia are slowly working away from being a centralized institution with all guidance coming from Moscow.
Keokuk, IA – Lee County now has a standard plan in place for responding to major emergencies. The Board of Supervisors has adopted the National Incident Management System, or NIMS, for use by the county. Emergency Management Coordinator, Steve Cirinna, says the federal government designed the program in response to the Sept. 11th attacks on the east coast. He says NIMS establishes a clear chain of command, standardizes names for equipment and personnel, and creates a universal language for certain operations.
Macomb, IL – Bushnell alderman and the MAEDCO board are discussing to decide whether the town will join. Mayor Steve Russell says the Macomb Area Industrial Development Corporation has included Bushnell in some of its activities. He says if the town were to join, that would be ramped up somewhat. The two organizations have been discussing what each could do for the other. Russell says MAEDCO should decide by June whether the town would be allowed to join. He says aldermen will talk about joining at a future council meeting.
Macomb, IL – Glenwood Pool in Macomb continues to show its age and aldermen say it's time to get serious about replacing it. The park district says repairs are now needed to the pool's recirculation system. The price tag is an estimated $15,000. City council members on Monday night endorsed the idea of splitting the cost with the park district. They'll take an official vote next week. However, aldermen also say they don't want to spend much more on Glenwood. Alderman At-Large Dennis Moon says given the pool's age, it might be time to move toward building a new facility.
Montrose, IA – The Lee County Conservation office will lose a couple of employees this summer. The Lee County Conservation Board has voted to lay off 2 of the department's workers, effective July 1. The move is in response to the Board of Supervisor's decision to cut the $100,000 roadside management program from next year's budget. Conservation department director, Tom Buckley, says that with a staff of 11, losing 2 will be tough to overcome. Buckley says the 2 employees know they will be out of a job. There appears to be several unresolved issues, though.
Rushville, IL – Rushville will not proceed with a proposed bike path this year. Mayor Ron Shepherd says the city council heard from Department of Natural Resources staffers outlining avilable grants. He says the city had been considering a three-mile trail between Schuy-Rush and Scripps Parks. He says state grants could pay up to 80 percent of the cost, but the city would not be able to come up with its match money this year. He says the grants will likely be available in future years. Aldermen could consider the issue when the city's finances are in better shape.
Bath, IL – Many sporting competitions are about winning and losing. But The Redneck Fishing Contest was less about who won or lost and more about trying to get rid of an annoying invasive species -- the Asian carp -- or at least removing as many of the fish from the Illinois River as possible. Reporter Don Johnson hooked a winner with his entertaining, informative, and funny story about a fishing contest in which no fishing poles were allowed. The Redneck Fishing Contest reeled in two awards in the Illinois Associated Press Broadcasters Association Journalism Excellence Contest.