West Burlington, IA – Elite athletes from across the midwest could soon be training in Southeast Iowa. West Burlington's Great River Medical Center has been named USA Triathlon's first regional training center. The triathlon is an olympic event that combines a one mile swim, 25 mile bike ride, and 6 mile run. Hospital spokesperson Craig Borchard says GRMC has been working for nearly 20 years for this distinction. He says 9 staff members are USA Triathlon-certified coaches. Athletes from across the Midwest will be able to train at the hospital's rehabilitation center.
Fort Madison, IA – The Fort Madison city council must decide how to divide a portion of the money generated by the city's hotel/motel tax. City leaders crafted Fort Madison's current budget with the hope that the city's bed tax would generate about $116,000. City Manager Bill Kelly says early projects show that number appears to be low. Kelly says the city could end up receiving as much as $150,000 during the fiscal year that ends in June.
Canton, IL – Spoon River College students will pay about seven percent more for in- or out-of-district tuition this fall. SRC President Robert Ritschel says the move will partially compensate for falling state support. In addition, he says full employment in the region will keep college enrollment from increasing. He says this means a fairly level budget for the coming year. Ritschel says the board also approved a $2 per credit hour fee increase that will go to broadening and improving the range of activities at the college. He says students asked that the activity fee be increased.
Macomb, IL – It's no secret that Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream is popular, but the company's co-founders say they're interested in more than just the bottom line. Jerry Greenfield visited Western this week, where he said he and co-founder Ben Cohen want to know why business does not do more to help people. Greenfield said business is probably the most powerful force in our society. Greenfield said Ben & Jerry's workers have responded on an emotional level to certain efforts, such as the firm's work with the Children's Defense Fund.
Bushnell, IL – Bushnell city authorities will try a short and a long-term solution to the problem of a reddish color in the city's water. Mayor Steve Russell says it began showing after the city switched to a reverse osmosis treatment system. He says the different chemistry of the water is cleaning out the 66 blocks of cast iron water mains. The city is trying to get EPA permission to change the way it treats the water. It's also investigating a state grant that could help it replace the cast iron mains.
Keokuk, IA – Communities across the country use the month of February to highlight Black History Month and showcase the achievements of African Americans. Residents in the tri-state region have just a few more days to view a display othe African American history of Lee County. The walls of the Inertia Center in Keokuk are lined with newspaper clippings and photographs. The display was put together, in part, through the African American Historical Museum and Cultural Center of Iowa. It will be open in Keokuk until the end of the month.
Fort Madison, IA – The cost of water could be on the rise in Fort Madison. The city council has approved the second reading of a proposal to increase water rates. Residential and commercial rates could increase about 24%. Industrial and wholesale rates would also go up. City leaders say the new revenue will eventually be used for improvements to the city's water system. That could include building a new water plan, upgrading the current facility, or purchasing water from Keokuk by connecting a water line between the cities.
Rushville, IL – Rushville city and business leaders are preparing to woo up to 80 staffers who might transfer from Joliet to the new detention center near Rushville. Mayor Ron Shepherd says the Department of Human Services will send up to two busloads of contract workers to Rushville in early March. Shepherd says they'll be given breakfast as they tour the unopened prison. After lunch they'll be able to tour the Square and the town. In addition, a series of booths will be set up to highlight the town's recreation, education, business and other features.