Macomb, IL – Illinois State Police say cell phones are helping them catch drunk drivers. District 14 Sergeant Mike Inman says the agency is receiving an increasing number of calls from motorists with information about others who might be driving while impaired. Inman says anyone who spots erratic driving should dial 911 or contact the nearest law enforcement agency. Inman says motorists should not chase down someone who might be driving while drunk. He suggests pulling over and making the cell phone call.
Macomb, IL – Macomb and its insurance company will not pay for the damage caused to a home by a blocked sewer. Larry and Melanie Rawlins told the city council that raw sewage filled all the rooms on their home's lowest floor in late September. They say the smell permeated all three floors. Larry Rawlins says it cost more than $7,100 to clean up the mess and he thinks the city should pay the bill. But the insurance claim was denied. The city says it had no prior knowledge of the blocked sewer and thus has no liability.
Keokuk, IA – The mayor of Keokuk says 2006 could be a year of progress and expansion for his city. 2005 was a mized bag for the city of Keokuk. Residents saw the completion of 7 more blocks of Main Street, a new community foundation and cultural district, and several new business developments. Keokuk's citizens also experienced difficulties due to budget cuts, job loss, and business closures. Mayor Dave Gudgel says the efforts from the entire community in 2005 could result in a banner year for Keokuk in 2006. He has many goals for Keokuk next year.
Cuba, IL – The school superintendent who created the "Green" high school building for the Cuba, Ill. school district will retire at the end of the year. Janice Spears used about $2.7 million in local funds and several grants to build an energy-efficient high school that generates some of its own electricy from solar panels. Spears says the building has been a healthier structure and one which has made its occupants more comfortable. In addition, it has atrimmed utility costs. The old building was responsible for about 70 percent of the district's utility bill.
Carthage, IL – The Hancock County Board will appoint a coordinator for the county's ambulance service. It will also hire a half-time billing clerk and levy the full 10 cents per hundred dollars allowed by voters several years ago. Health and Miscellaneous Committee Chairman Kenneth Nudd says the coordinator will work with First Responder units at LaHarpe, Warsaw, Hamilton and near Plymouth to insure they have trained volunteers and that equipment meets standards. Nudd says the county plans to evaluate what it's done after two years to see what changes are needed.
Hamilton, IL – The Hamilton School District will address life-safety issues within its school buildings over the next decade. The Hamilton School Board has approved the district's 10 year life safety report for the junion and senior high school buildings. Superintendent Steve Breckon says a safety inspection must be done every 10 years to determine if the district needs to bring its buildings up to code. The projects identified within the report must be addressed within 1 year, 5 years, or 10 years, based on the need for compliance.
Hancock County, IL – The future of winter sports at several Hancock County high schools remains in question. The Hamilton and Warsaw school boards are looking at the futures of their winter sports programs. Superintendent Kim Schilson says the Warsaw School Board has agreed to create a Warsaw-Hamilton wrestling program and a Warsaw, Hamilton, Nauvoo Colusa girls basketball team. She says the board is also open to discussion with the two other districts about boys basketball.
Rushville, IL – The Schuyler-Industry school board is weighing changing the length of class periods at the Industry building. All elementary students in three grades will be going there. Superintendent Matt Plater says shortening the class periods would be one way to accommodate the up to 40 minutes lost on busing students between Rushville and Industry. He says trimming the class length could keep the district from having to eliminate some of the classes while shortening the day. He says the new schedules would still meet state instructional requirements.
Macomb, IL – McDonough County Clerk Florine Miller says the state has approved the handicapped accessible voting machines she plans to use. Federal rules require the new machines by the March primaries. Miller says the Diebold machines will work with the county's present Accuvote system and should make it easy to come up with totals quickly. She says the new machines do maintain a paper trail for verification in case of a contested election. Miller says a $133,000 federal grant will cover most of the cost. She hopes to have one machine in each precinct.