Macomb, IL – An updated set of aerial photos is helping the McDonough County assessor's office find new construction to go on the tax rolls. Supervisor of Assessments Tammy Camp says some people voluntarily report when they build something. Others are more willing to tell her office only when they take down a structure. Camp says the photos not only show new construction, but whether something reported as being torn down actually has been. Camp says after appeals are resolved, staffers will compare old and new photos, section by section, to look for changes.
Macomb, IL – Water quality has been an issue in Macomb's northeast quadrant for several years. Now the city is hoping to resolve the problem. Aldermen will be asked next week to approve hiring McClure Engineering to draw up design plans and specifications for a water main replacement project. Those design plans will cost more than $30,000. In addition, the water main replacment work could cost close to $600,000. City Administrator Mike Hays says Macomb will seek federal grant money to help offset the cost.
Macomb, IL – Discarded electronic goods from eight western Illinois counties are being consolidated in Macomb for recycling. An EPA grant is helping the Tri County Resource and Waste Management Council with the project. Manager Eric Anderson says a truck collects the gear from drop-off centers and brings it to Macomb, where a full truckload goes to a Peoria de-manufacturer. Anderson says three other states have banned discarded electronics from landfills, and Illinois is expected to follow suit. The center also hopes to begin recycling discarded paint to keep it out of landfills.
Macomb, IL – A weekend bowling tournament to benefit the Big Brothers / Big Sisters of McDonough County brought out hundreds of bowlers. Program Coordinator Brian Todd says more than 13-hours of sponsored bowling raised more than $23,000 for the program. He says that is about what was raised during last year's bowling fundraiser. Todd says while the annual bowling event is the group's biggest fundraiser, it does not bring in enough to cover the organization's expenses for a full year. A "Texas Hold-Em" night is planned for November.
Macomb, IL – Some farm land is being removed from the expanded enterprise zone being proposed for McDonough County. Macomb Area Economic Development Corporation Director Kim Pierce says the decision is not a surprise. She says the state Department of Agriculture generally tries to protect farm land where possible. Pierce does not believe the change will effect economic development. The application to the state asks to extend thke life of the current enterprise zone by ten years and add parts of Bushnell and Colchester. The state will decide whether to approve the expansion.
Macomb, IL – Western's president is pledging to find the money for salary equity -- sooner rather than later. The school has been trying for years to bring its workers' pay in-line with what's paid at similar sized state universities. During the annual Founders' Day Celebration on Friday, President Al Goldfarb told employees the issue will be a top priority. Goldfarb said he wants to get it done within the next two years. Goldfarb said the university also faces a number of other challenges.
Oquawka, IL – Henderson County will hold its annual Heritage Trail Days on Saturday and Sunday. Events will be held throughout the county. One such event is an hour-long skit called "Aunt Dinah's Quilting Party." Narrator Sally Day says it's about Quaker women who made quilts that were displayed to relay messages to those on the underground railroad. Day says no one thought these women would be doing anything to help escaped slaves. That made it easier for them to accomplish their mission.
Macomb, IL – WIU Communication Professor Nathan Miczo spent the last year researching humor and its links to one's sense of security. He outlined some of his findings in the 13th annual Thompson lecture on the campus. He became curious about laughter while doing research as an undergraduate. His research shows there is a high correlation between a person's ability to be creative and a person's ability and willingness to play.
Hamilton, IL – The Hamilton School Board has approved the district's budget for the current fiscal year. Hamilton's total spending plan is about $4,850,000 for the fiscal year that began in July. About 75% of that is the educational fund, which pays for teacher salaries and day-to-day operations within the district. Superintendent Steve Breckon says for the first time in years, that fund is projected to end the year in the black. He says that is due to the voters shifting part of the property tax rate to the educational fund.