LaHarpe, IL – The LaHarpe Carnegie Library staff will open a time capsule this weekend as part of the town's Summerfest activities. Director Monica Carpenter says the capsule was placed 100 years ago when construction began on the library building. Newspapers of the era report it contains pictures of the town's buidings and a telephone listing, among other items. The capsule will be opened about 11 a.m. Saturday, shortly after the town's Summerfest parade. She says a new capsule will be put in the cornerstone next spring at the anniversary of the opening of the library.
Keokuk, IA – The Keokuk School District has released its 2004-2005 report to the community. The document shows that student proficieny on state exams is improving. Assistant Superintendent Lora Wolff says more students are proficient in reading and math at most of the buildings, when compared to test scores from 2003-2004. She says two areas of concern are the high school graduation rate (81%) and the drop-out rate (4.4%). The district should soon find out if it is in compliance with the federal No Child Left Behind law.
Macomb, IL – Macomb's proposed new liquor code would put convenience stores and package stores under the same license category. Fifth Ward Alderman Tim Lobdell says he will vote against the new code if that change is included. Right now, package stores can sell hard liquor while convenience stores offer just beer and wine. The new code would allow convenience stores to also sell the hard stuff. Lobdell thinks it's a fundamental change that's inappropriate because the stores serve different types of customers. Aldermen are still reviewing the new code.
Macomb, IL – The McDonough County NAACP is keeping the heat on the City of Macomb. The August 8 city council committee meeting was attended by President Gregg Huston and others who he says were willing to share stories of police wrongdoing toward minorities. But with Mayor Mick Wisslead absent from the meeting, aldermen chose to wait another week before addressing the concerns. In addition, City Administrator Mike Hays says he and the police department have prepared responses to a list of questions submitted by Huston, but those are being reviewed by attorneys.
Fort Madison, IA – Iowa Senator Tom Harkin says there is about $15,000,000 in the federal budget to help schools districts improve their facilities. Since 1998, more than $116,000,000 has been awarded to over 250 Iowa school districts. Harkin says the money makes it easier for districts to pass bond issues for construction. The Fort Madison school district has received more than $1,900,000 over the years while the Keokuk school district has recieved over $1,500,000.
Lee County, IA – There will be just 2 contested races within Lee County during the September 13th school board elections. Three seats are up for grabs on the Central Lee school board. In Keokuk, two at-large seats are open, while the Fort Madison school district has three openings on its school board. A listing of the candidates for each seat is below.
Central Lee District 1 (3 yr. term) Robert Bryant (Inc.)
District 3 (3 yr. term) Doug Hopp (Inc.) Bob Galle Brenda Knox
Beardstown, IL – Beardstown city staffers are watching to see if a dredging job last spring will improve access to the Illinois River. Both the town's marina and the riverfront have become silted in since the mouth of the Sangamon River was shifted so it empties into the Illinois River just above Beardstown. The Corps of Engineers installed a silt trap at the mouth of the Sangamon. It's also dredged a channel back to the marina entrance. Beardstown Public Works Director Todd Harmeyer says small craft traffic has quadrupled this year at the marina.
Fort Madison, IA – U.S. Senator Tom Harkin says President Bush's decision to install a new U.N. ambassador through a Congressional recess appointment was unwise. The Democrat from Iowa says that without Senate approval, John Bolton will appear to be working directly for the White House. Harkin says Bolton will have a hard time accomplishing anything because he is already a lame duck ambassador. Bolton's term will expire in early 2007 because of the recess appointment. Harkin made his comments during a recent stop in Fort Madison.
Macomb, IL – McDonough County could have a new board member by next month. That person will replace Jim Gumbart, who resigned from the board for work-related reasons. Chairman Bob Harwick says Gumbart was a Republican, but was elected to the board as a Democrat. Harwick has asked the Democratic Central Committee for a list of possible candidates. He'll discuss the issue with others on the board. Harwick hopes to have a candidate named by early September. That person will have to run in the March primary election to retain office. Gumbart chaired the Finance Committee.
Rushville, IL – Rushville's annual "Arts In The Park" featured the paintings, photographs, and jewelry you might expect to find at such a festival. But there were also some unique attractions. Ramona Cook of Rushville uses pine needles, birch bark, gourds, and other materials to create items such as baskets, purses, and maracas. She says pine needle baskets are an old Native American tradition. Terry Williams of Springfield recycles old garden tools and bicycles to create colorful rain gauges. About 20 artists displayed their works this year.