Rushville, IL – Rushville aldermen have approved drilling a new water well near the Illinois River. Mayor Ron Shepherd says the fourth well should insure a sufficient supply of water when the new detention center near town begins operation this summer. Shepherd says the three existing wells are aging, and do not produce as much water as they used to. Engineers have done a preliminary test that indicates the flow should be sufficient. The city's wells are along the Illinois River bottoms.
Macomb, IL – A personal crisis inspired an expert on speech communication to focus on a health-related issue. Dr. Daena Goldsmith is a professor at the University of Illinois. Her area of research interest is communication in personal relationships. Goldsmith's current focus is on how couples communicate after a healthcare crisis. She developed the idea after her father suffered a heart attack about 13 years ago. Goldsmith says she sometimes found herself speechless as she struggled to understand how to help someone while also respecting his ability to make his own decisions.
Macomb, IL – Chandler Park in Macomb is home to several monuments honoring soldiers. For a couple hours over the weekend, it hosted another tribute to troops. In this case, it was a rally calling for troops to be brought back home from Iraq. Around 150 people took part in the demonstration on a chilly early spring afternoon. They heard from a half-dozen speakers and signed petitions that called for troops to be brought back home. Those petitions will be sent to the White House and Congress. Peace-themed bumper stickers and buttons were also available.
Keokuk, IA – A roadmap for Keokuk's proposed street repair program is starting to take shape. Public Works Director Bill Richards and Street Department Manager John Wrieden gave the city's street committee their top priorities for repairs. The preliminary list includes streets in each ward and contains both thoroughfares and residential streets. Committee Chairman Gary Stepp says the repairs should not be limited to streets in 1 or 2 wards. Some of the streets on the preliminary list include Pioneer Lane, Blondeau from 1st to 4th, and 14th Street from Charles to Cedar.
Bushnell, IL – Bushnell city employees will become part of the part of the state's Illinois Municipal Retirement Plan May 1. Mayor Steve Russell says the city had funded its own plan, but switching to one from the state will give employees a better retirement. Russell says the city will have to match 11 per cent of its payroll for the first two years. Then the figure will slide downward to cover current costs. Employees will contribute 4.5 percent of their earnings, slightly more than they do now.
Macomb, IL – The Illinois Department of Transportation has narrowed the number of alignments being studied for Route 336 between Peoria and Macomb. The information was unveiled at public meetings this week, including one in Macomb. IDOT's Eric Therkildsen says the agency will review the comments collected and continue studying the corridors. He says most of the comments IDOT has received thus far support construction of the road, but adds there are some opponents. For example, the group "Citizens Against 336" thinks the state would be wasting money if it built the road.
Keokuk, IA – Some members of the Keokuk Police Department will be getting a pay hike. An arbitrator has ruled that the 19 officers and dispatchers in the police bargaining unit will receive a 4.5% pay hike in the fiscal year that begins in July. In his ruling, the arbitrator cited how hourly wages for the officers in the bargaining unit are far below other law enforcement officers in Southeast Iowa. Furthermore, he says over the last 7 years, the gap in hourly wages between the Keokuk bargaining unit and other Southeast Iowa law enforcement officers has also increased significantly.