Illinois Governor Pat Quinn said it's time for state lawmakers to "step forward" and rescue the state's Medicaid system, even if requires some painful decisions.
The Democratic governor wants lawmakers to approve his plan for filling a $2.7 billion hole in the system. It includes reducing services for the poor, cutting payments to health-care providers, and raising cigarette taxes by $1 a pack.
Hancock County is applying for a $125,000 grant to write a comprehensive plan. The federal government set the money aside for 41 counties in Illinois that were declared disaster areas after the flood of 2008.
The state Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is administering the $6 million grant pool.
The Western Illinois Regional Council is writing the grant application at no cost. Executive Director Suzan Nash said the plan would dovetail with recent efforts to spur the county's economy.
Principal Ryan Horner says the Revere C-3 School District has been around for more than 85 years. He says it was a K-12 district until 2002 when the high school consolidated with the Clark County R-1 School District.
Revere C-3 currently serves about 18 K-8 students. Horner says that number was at 29 earlier this year, but families left the district for a variety of reasons.
There is currently no one enrolled in kindergarten or fifth grade.
Next school year will be a year of transition for Illinois districts. Many will complete the transition to new Common Core standards adopted by the Illinois State Board of Education.
Macomb Superintendent Alene Reuschel said the change makes professional development more urgent for teachers.
She said, “Schools traditionally have their own kickoff meetings but this time we're going to come together as an education community. And because we're all facing many of the same challenges, especially in the Common Core.”
The trial of former Macomb High School teacher and boys basketball coach Daniel Watson will not take place until the last week of May. He is charged with one count of aggravated criminal sexual assault and a count of official misconduct related to an alleged relationship with a student who was 17 years old at the time. He faces another charge of official misconduct for alleged public indecency on school grounds.
(This story was written by reporter Geoff Norfleet)
This year marks the beginning of the War of 1812, and Western Illinois Museum curator Sue Scott says although there were no major battles in what was then known as the Illinois Territory, the area does have its connections to the War.
For example, Western Illinois was known as the Military Tract. Millions of acres of land had been set aside to be given to the veterans of the War of 1812. Each vet was eligible to receive 160 acres.