Macomb, IL – Illinois National Guard troops based in Macomb returned to western Illinois after spending the past year in Iraq running convoy security and other security patrols. They arrived home in time for the holidays, though the hour of their return was not exactly ideal. The troops arrived at the Macomb Armory shortly before 3:00 a.m. Sunday. Despite the pre-dawn hour, hundreds of people packed the building's gymnasium to greet the soldiers. Two members of the unit received the Purple Heart during the brief homecoming ceremony.
Keokuk, IA – More than 14 months ago, the 224th Engineer Battalion was mobilized as part of the global fight against terrorism. The nearly 500 members of the Fairfield-based unit are now back home with their families after spending the past year in Iraq. The troops were welcomed home during ceremonies held throughout southeast Iowa Saturday. In Keokuk, Wright Fieldhouse was filled with family members, friends, and supporters. Mayor Dave Gudgel said the community will do its best to remember the work done by the soldiers.
Macomb, IL – A new summer camp for high school students will emphasize both leadership and the global nature of modern business. The week-long session is sponsored by the Western Illinois Center for Entrepreneurship. Director Siddiq Shah says it will include features of other leadership camps, including communication, team-building and problem solving. However, he says one full day will be devoted to global business and resources. The week-long camp will include business, academic and political guest speakers.
Keokuk, IA – Nearly 500 soldiers will be honored across Southeast Iowa tomorrow morning. Welcome home ceremonies for the Fairfield-based 224th Engineer Battalion will be held in 5 communities at 11 AM. Mayor Dave Gudgel says the homecoming ceremony in Keokuk for Company C, Detachment 1, will last about 30 minutes. He says the ceremony at the high school will include live music, a choir, and several guest speakers. The buses carrying the soldiers to Keokuk from Fort Sill, Oklahoma, will travel north on the Highway 61 bypass and then turn south on Highway 218.
Nauvoo, IL – Navoo might require diapers on horses being used for the horse tours of town. Mayor John McCarty says when the nuisance committee met recently, the residue from numerous horse-drawn tours of the town was the first issue brought up. McCarty says horses being used by the LDS tours of Nauvoo are already being diapered, but others are not. He says it's hard to sell a town as a tourist destination when the streets aren't clean. McCarty says the committee will work up a draft ordinance requiring the diapers on horses pulling vehicles in the town.
Macomb, IL – Illinois Army National Guard troops based in Macomb will return home this weekend, though the time of their homecoming is not quite what families and friends had hoped for. The troops are scheduled to arrive at the Quad Cities airport at 11:30 p.m. Saturday. They will then be bused to Macomb and arrive at the armory sometime between 2:00 and 3:00 Sunday morning. Suzanne Fuhr of the Bravo Battery Family Support Group says a brief ceremony will be held and then the soldiers will be released to their families.
Macomb, IL – Students across the country are needing a greater amount of time to complete their undergraduate studies. For example, Western Illinois University reports just 31% of freshmen entering in 2000 completed their Bachelor's degree in four years. That figure is similar to what's being seen across the nation. There are numerous reasons why it's taking longer to complete a degree. Some students work part-time jobs or serve in the military, both of which cut into class time. In other cases, more courses are required to complete certain degree programs.
Keokuk, IA – The Lee County Democratic Central Committee still faces possible penalties for inaccurate campaign finance disclosures. The committee is accused of failing to file accurate financial reports in October of last year and January of this year. The Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board's Executive Director, Charlie Smithson, says the reports showed the Central Committee spent and received no money during the last 6 months of 2004. The organization eventually amended its reports to show money was spent, during that time, on campaign advertisements.