Macomb Local News Archives for 2017-06

Some Lottery Sales Suspended This Week

Your chance to buy in to the nation’s biggest lottery games is running out this week, at least in Illinois. The state’s budget problems have pushed both Powerball and Mega Millions sales out of the state. Powerball sales will be cut off tonight (Thursday at 9 p.m.) and Mega Millions sales will stop at 9:45 Friday night. An official with the lottery commission that oversees the games says sales won’t begin again until the state passes a balanced budget.

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State Budget Battle: "Enough is Enough" for IL Senior Advocates

With $15 billion in unpaid bills, Illinois faces the prospect of being the first state to go three straight years without a balanced budget.

Advocacy groups on all sides are calling on state lawmakers to stop the bickering and break the gridlock that affects residents of all ages and walks of life. AARP Illinois has been gathering petitions and will deliver more than 10,000 signatures to members of the General Assembly and Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Gerardo Cardenas, communications director for the group, said their message is simple: Fix this mess.

"And urging them to, number one, come up with a plan that delivers a balanced state budget; and number two, to hold them accountable if they don't," Cardenas said.

The state is supposed to have a balanced budget in place by July 1. If it doesn't happen, S&P Global Ratings say Illinois will probably lose its investment grade status and become the first U.S. state on record to have its general obligation debt rated as "junk."

The state currently owes $800 million in interest and late fees alone.

Cardenas said the lack of a budget affects the state's roads and traffic lights, because there's no money to repair them. He added that many college students can't get grants, and seniors who receive home-care services or programs like Meals on Wheels are going without.

"Community agencies and social service agencies that, because they haven't been paid in two years, they have to make tough choices, like cutting hours for the clients, laying people off - which of course, impacts unemployment across the state - or shutting down," he said.

On Tuesday, Senate Democrats unveiled their plan to solve the state's budget woes, but have not come to an agreement with Republicans yet.

The online petition demanding action from lawmakers is available on the AARP website. More information is available here.

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Higgins Hall Implosion Set for Saturday

The fate of the vacated Higgins Hall will no longer be in limbo come Saturday. At 9 AM on July 1, Western Illinois University and the Macomb community will say goodbye to the dorm building that housed students for fourty-six years. 

 

While some may view the occassion as a somber one, the university is looking at it as a celebration. With that in mind, WIU will hold a tailgate in Q-lot from 7-8:30 AM (gates open at 6:30). A speech by Associate Vice President of Student Services John Biernbaum will follow at 8:45, before Higgins finally comes down at 9. 

 

To discuss the event and what Higgins meant to the school and the community, WIU Director of Residential Facilities Joe Roselieb came on K100 this morning to discuss. You can access the full interview here

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Regional Media Movie Review Baby Driver

Baby Driver stars Ansel Elgort, the dying heartthrob of The Fault in Our Stars, as Baby, a driver for a crime boss nicknamed Doc (Kevin Spacey). Doc's forte is bank robbery using a different set of criminals on each with only Baby as a regular member of his crew, always the driver. Among the criminals Doc utilizes are Bats (Jamie Foxx) and Buddy (Jon Hamm). Baby's life is changed forever when he meets and falls in love with Debora (Lily James from Cinderella) and attempts to leave his criminal days behind him. Here's my review of Baby Driver... 

Click the poster for the review 

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Illinois universities watching budget talks closely

Illinois' state universities could get new salt in their wounds. The Higher Learning Commission warns lawmakers that a continued lack of funding could lead to public colleges and universities being stripped of their accreditation. Southern Illinois University System President Randy Dunn talks about the consequences...
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Dunn says universities don't just need cash, they need answers...
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The commission is concerned because the lack of a budget has sparked increased tuition, delays in state grants, layoffs and canceled capital projects.

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Mendoza worries about lack of budget

Illinois lawmakers and Governor Bruce Rauner are now less than two days away from worst case scenarios if they don’t reach a budget agreement. Illinois State Comptroller Susana Mendoza says cash strapped schools may have to make difficult decisions....
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Mendoza is also concerned about social service agencies hitting a new low...
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Mendoza says even the court ordered autopilot state government will fall nearly $200 million short in August without a state budget.

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Illinois State Trooper Killed in Crash in Farmer City

The Illinois State Police have announced that Trooper Ryan Albin was killed on Wednesday in an accident on Interstate 74, not far from Farmer City, Illinois. Details of the crash have not been released as of this writing. Trooper Albin, along with canine trooper Biko, were patrolling in the area of Mile-Marker 155 when they were involved in a crash at approximately 3:10 Pm. Trooper Albin was rushed from the scene to a nearby where he tragically succumbed to his injuries. Biko suffered only minor injuries in the crash and is expected to fully recover. Trooper Albin was an 11 year veteran of District 6 in Illinois stationed in Pontiac. Illinois State Police Director Leo P. Schmitz said of Trooper Albin “Our hearts are heavy with grief as we mourn the loss of Trooper Albin,” stated Director Schmitz.  “I extend my deepest sympathy to Trooper Albin’s family, friends, and co-workers.  I pray that those who cared for and loved him find the strength they need during this most difficult time.  No further words can express the pain and loss we are all feeling.” The crash remains under investigation. 

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Macomb Area Convention and Visitors Reveals Winners of 2017 Heritage Days Parade Awards

The Macomb Area Convention and Visitors Bureau has announced the winners of the 2017 Heritage Days Parade awards. Winners are honored for their themed entries in this year's Heritage Days Parade. 1st place was awarded to Pella Corporation, 2nd Place went to Project Dance, and 3rd Place was awarded to the Macomb Park District. The annual Mayor's Award was bestowed upon Wesley United Methodist Church and J B & D Siding and Window. 

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Carthage's Legacy Theater Welcomes in The Browns

The Legacy Theater in Carthage hosts The Browns this weekend, for Friday night and saturday matinee shows. Shelly, Michaela, Adam, and Andrew Brown make up the Iowa based gospel group, that will be doing a Fourth of July centric show this weekend. The Browns have performed over 30 shows at the Americana Theatre in Branson, MO along with shows at Dollywood Theme park stages and singing on over 10 Royal Carribean and Carnival cruise ships. 

 

To attend the show, check out the Legacy Theater website or call the box office at (217) 357-9479. For more about this and other shows at the Legacy Theater, listen to my interview with Ada Barr of the Legacy Theater. 

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McDonough County Health Department Leading Emergency Response Exercise Thursday

If you see a large group of emergency responders rushing about the campus of Western Illinois University on Thursday afternoon don't be alarmed, it's an exercise. The McDonough County Health Department has announced that they will be simulating a response to a disaster on the campus from 1 Pm to 3 Pm on Thursday afternoon. The simulation will demonstrate how well the county first responders set up an emergency clinic and will include participation from the WIU Office of Public Safety, Beu Health Center, McDonough County Hospital, Macomb Police Department, Macomb Public Works, Macomb Public Works, Macomb Fire Department, McDonough County Emergency Services and Disaster Agency, and numerous county volunteers. If you would like more information please contact the McDonough County Health Department at 309-837-9951. 

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U-of-I Extension offering advice when purchasing Dwarf trees

The University of Illinois Extension offering advice when purchasing a Dwarf tree. One of the aspects that advertisers promote is quick growth with almost instantaneous results. Horticulture Educator Martha Smith says those claims need to be taken with the appropriate grain of salt…
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Smith notes there are several varieties of Dwarf trees and she says it’s best to do some homework before making a purchase.

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New Sales Tax Rate in McDonough County Begins July 1st

The Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce is reminding everyone that a new sales tax goes into effect on July 1st. As of July 1st the the School Facility Occupation Tax goes into effect in McDonough County. Overall sales tax in McDonough County will rise to 9% on July 1st on taxable items. Items exempt from sales tax in the county include unprepared food intended for home consumption, prescription and non-prescription medicines, licenced and titled vehicles, boats and RV's, and farm equipment, parts, and inputs including fertilizer and seed. 

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Rep Hammond Child Support Legislation Moving Forward

Macomb State Representative Norine Hammond's bill to require cellphone companies in Illinois to cooperate with requests for location data from Children and Family Services without a subpoena has been moved forward from committee. There is no word on when HB2812 might go to a vote of the full house but the bill, seen as controversial by some, would if passed require cellphone companies to reveal location information of mother's or fathers who are delinquent on child or spousal support payments upon the request of the Department of Children and Family Services unit known as the Child and Spousal Support Unit, without requiring a subpoena. Previously cellphone companies have revealed location information in such cases but not without a court order. HB2812 would remove the necessity of a court order and compel companies to reveal the information upon request. Representative Hammond spoke with reporters in Springfield about the bill earlier today and assured that the bill not reveal such things as real time GPS location of a spouse or custodial guardian that owes child support.... 

Click here for audio. 

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City of Macomb and WIU Annouce Final Plan for Independence Day Celebration

The City of Macomb Downtown Development and Western Illinois University have finalized plans for the annual Independence Day Celebration in Macomb. In a release from the City of Macomb, finalized plans to celebrate Independence Day on Monday, July 3rd were announced with a schedule including live music, food vendors and, of course, a fireworks show.

 

Events for the Independence Day Celebration will be centered on the Q Lot on the campus of Western Illinois University beginning at 6 Pm with gates opening at 5 Pm. The July 3rd date will be convenient for anyone who has the July 4th Holiday off from work allowing them to stay late for the fireworks and fun. You can see the official Macomb Independence Day Celebration flyer below with a list of events that includes a performance by the very popular Bryce Dexter and the King Graffitti Band and, most importantly, the presentation of colors. Fireworks will begin in the Q Lot on the Western Illinois University campus at 9:30 Pm. In case of rain events would be moved to Tuesday, July 4th. 

 

For more information on the event, check out Sam Kuperman's interview with Macomb Downtown Development Director Kristin Terry.

 

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Update Macomb Park District and Macomb Library Teaming for Little Lunchers Program

The Macomb Park District is teaming up with the Macomb Public Library for a program they are calling Little Lunchers. In a release from the Park District the program is an opportunity for kids who want to combine their love of being outside with their love of reading. The program will provide a free lunch for the kids and books to read outside in Chandler Park. The event will take place Thursday, July 29th from Noon until 1 Pm. If you would like more information please contact the Macomb Park District at 309-833-4562. In case of rain on Thursday, Little Lunchers will be moved to the Community Room of Macomb City Hall. 

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Pekin Illinois Man Finally Sentenced on Child Pornography Charges

A Pekin, Illinois, man is finally headed to prison for receiving and possessing child pornography. The United States Department of Justice announced on Tuesday that 55 year old Darin E. Eldridge of Pekin was sentenced following an investigation conducted by the United State Secret Service in early 2016. The investigation turned up evidence that in 2016 a computer in Eldridge's home had received child pornography via a peer to peer file sharing network and stored the images on his computer. A forensic examination of the evidence identified the images. Eldridge was initially arrested in April of 2016 and will now spend the next 6 and a half years in prison followed by 10 years of supervised release. 

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Western Illinois Regional Council Meeting Thursday June 28th

There will be a meeting of the Western Illinois Regional Council on Thursday, June 29th at Macomb City Hall. In a release from the WIRC it was announced that the meeting will take place at 5 Pm in the Community Room at Macomb City Hall. Click the graphic below to read the agenda for Thursday's WIRC meeting. 

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Macomb Park District Closes Ball Fore and Glenwood Pool Due to Monday Storms

Weather has closed both the Ball Fore Family Entertainment Center and the Glenwood Park Pool on this Monday. The Macomb Park District stated that due to the rain, cooler temperatures and the potential for thunderstorms this afternoon that both facilities were forced to close. The National Weather Service states that a thunderstorm will be making its way through the area throughout the afternoon with another smaller storm system trailing it this evening bringing rain and possible thunderstorm. 

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Duckworth expresses concerns about Senate GOP health care plan

U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth continues to describe the Senate GOP's health care overhaul plan one with devastating effects....

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Much of Duckworth's concern is centered on medicaid....
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During a Duckworth teleconference on the health care debate, Citizen Action Illinois Co-Director Lynda DeLaforgue warned of a double whammy, saying the American Health Care Act combined with the continued lack of a budget in Illinois could lead to deep cuts in federal health care funding in Illinois.

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More county fairs relying on alternative sources of revenue

Although the state has been offering less premium reimbursement for county fairs, the impact hasn’t been that significant in many parts of Illinois. That’s because corporate sponsors have stepped up says Roger Grundstrom, who president of the Mercer County Fair Board.
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Grundstrom says they received reimbursement for last year’s fair through a stop-gap budget. He’s unsure about premium reimbursement for this year’s fair because of the current budget stalemate in Springfield.

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Madigan makes non budget demands

After months of taking issue with Governor Rauner bringing non budget issues into the state's budget discussion, House Speaker Mike Madigan has joined in....
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During a meeting of the four legislative leaders, Madigan revealed he wants Governor Bruce Rauner to sign a school funding reform plan that the Governor has said he'll veto. Madigan also said he wants legislation passed that would regulate workers compensation insurance rates and force the Rauner Administration to abide by procurement regulations in advance of a large contract for Medicaid managed care services. House Minority Leader Jim Durkin accused Madigan of moving the goal posts and says there won't be further meetings of legislative leaders until there is a balanced budget plan from House Democrats. Madigan says that will be provided soon.

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Illinois Leaders Fight Trump Policies at Conference of Mayors

Hundreds of mayors representing cities in Illinois and across the nation tackled big issues like climate change, jobs, immigration and health care at the 85th annual U.S. Conference of Mayors, which wraps up Monday in Miami Beach, Fla.

The biggest issue at the conference has been climate change, with the leaders vowing to limit their cities' carbon emissions, despite President Donald Trump's decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Accords.

Mayor Stephen Hagerty of Evanston said his city council just signed a three year contract to purchase renewable energy.

"Regardless of what we're doing at a federal level, the cities have a lot of control over helping us reduce that carbon footprint - from pushing renewable energies to figuring out better modes of transportation, and reducing energy that way," Hagerty said.

The mayors also discussed municipal policies on immigration, such as whether local police must inform federal immigration agents when undocumented people are picked up for minor violations. They heard from the Secretary of Labor about matching applicants to the 6 million jobs that are unfilled right now in the U.S. And they analyzed the impact of the large cuts to Medicaid proposed in the GOP health care plan, which may be headed for a vote this week.

Hagerty said the mayors also looked at President Trump's proposed budget, which would kill the $3 billion Community Development Block Grant program and zero out $300 million in funding for the Great Lakes Restoration project. He said many aren't happy with the recommendations.

"Mayors have to get the job done," he said. "And so, when we see funding being proposed to be taken away at the federal level, yes I think there's general consensus that we need to push back and fight for residents every day."

On this last day of the conference, the mayors are expected to vote on and release a series of policy goals, and hear the new president of the Conference of Mayors, Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans, lay out an agenda for the coming year.

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Harry Potter Turns 20 Years Old on Monday Share Your Memories of the First Book Here

A worldwide phenomena began on June 26th, 1997 when the world first met the boy wizard Harry Potter. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, or it's American title Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone, was released in book stores 20 years ago on Monday, June 26th, and MacombNewsNow.com wants you to share your memories of the first time you picked up a Harry Potter book and what J.K Rowling's creation meant to you. Leave your memories in the comments section and we will share them with everyone on Monday. Or you can email your Harry Potter first time story at spatrick@regionalmedia.info. 

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Pastor Claudia McCain Retired from First Baptist Church

Those who attend First Baptist Church in Macomb are already well aware that Pastor Claudia McCain her retired on May 28th and already stepped down as the Pastor of the church. For those who only know Pastor McCain from our morning feature "Up with the Son" on K100, weekday mornings at 6:20 Am, however may be hearing this for the first time. In a couple of weeks Pastor Claudia will deliver her final "Up with the Son" and we cannot thank her enough for her sweet, touching storytelling with a message that reminds us all what God means to so many people, stories she credits to her wonderful secretary, but her ability to bring such stories to life on the radio can't be overlooked. I caught up with Pastor Claudia McCain to talk about her retirement, her love and history here in Macomb and at Western Illinois University, and what brought her from a life in Academia to becoming a Pastor. 

Click here for our MacombNewsNow Podcast interview with Pastor Claudia McCain. 

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MacombNewsNow Feature Facebook Vs Snapchat

Jonathan Furman of Furman Transformations, a consulting firm, has been tracking the ongoing war between Snapchat and Facebook for some time now. The battle over eyeballs on social media is a mega-money game that both Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel are eager to win, especially after Spiegel decline a $3 Billion dollar offer from Zuckerberg to purchase Snapchat in 2013. Jonathan Furman joined me for a conversation about the battle between Facebook and Snapchat for MacombNewsNow.com. 

Click here for this MacombNewsNow.com Feature Podcast. 

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Durbin calls on Republicans to force debate on health care repeal

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin is complaining about a lack of sunlight. He's attacking the Senate GOP leadership for its handling of the health care repeal bill...
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Durbin called for a small sampling of Republicans to force open debate....
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Durbin says the vast majority of Republicans as well as Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price have no idea what is in the bill

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First day of session uneventful

If you were looking for fireworks or House of Cards level drama, you didn’t find it in the Illinois General Assembly on day one of the special session. The Illinois House spent less than 20 minutes in session before moving to committees and private caucuses. The Senate was in session for about half of that time. Democrats decided that state representatives will meet in Committee of the Whole meetings. If there's one person who has no interest in such meetings, it's House Minority Leader Jim Durkin....
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With lawmakers tied up in the committee of the whole meetings, a potential budget deal likely won't happen until next week.

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Energy expert says now is good time to evaluate fall propane needs

It’s never too early to lock in prices for fall and winter propane needs. That’s what GROWMARK’s Harry Cooney is telling farmers as they think about the grain drying season.
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Cooney says fortunately for farmers, grain drying hasn’t been a big issue the last several years.
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Cooney says now is the time for end users to secure some prices for the fall and he recommends producers talk with their local FS member cooperative about meeting future needs.

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Agenda for Monday's Macomb City Council Committee of the Whole Meeting

The Macomb City Council Committee of the Whole will meet Monday night at 5 Pm at City Hall. Topics for the night's agenda include the potential partnership with a private company to provide ambulance service in Macomb and the appointment of Nathan Cobb as Transportation Director for the city. The full agenda is listed below. 

 

COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
MACOMB CITY COUNCIL
MONDAY, JUNE 26, 2017
MACOMB CITY HALL
5:00 P.M.

ROLL CALL

PUBLIC COMMENTS

1. Discussion on a proposal for the Demand Response.
Transportation Director Nathan Cobb will be present to update the council.
Discussion is planned.

2. Discussion on change orders for the Downtown Square revitalization.
City Administrator Torreson will update the council and distribute information at the meeting. Discussion is planned.

3. Discussion on partnering with a private company to provide ambulance service for McDonough County.
City Administrator Torreson will provide information at the meeting. Discussion is planned.

4. Discussion on an ordinance to amend Section 1-13 of the Municipal Code to provide for lower administrative ticket fines for two code provisions.
This ordinance had first reading last Monday night and further discussion is planned.

5. Discussion on an ordinance to amend Section 15-53 of the Municipal Code of Macomb to create subsections and provide for lower administrative fines for these subsections.
This ordinance had first reading last Monday night and further discussion is planned.

6. Other business.

Executive Session

To consider information relative to:

a) Appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance or dismissal of an employee of the public body or legal counsel for the public body, pursuant to Sec. 2(c)(1) of the Open Meetings Act.

b)Collective Bargaining matters between the public body and it’s employees or representatives, or deliberations concerning salary schedules for one or more classes of employees, pursuant to Sec. 2(c)(2) of the Open Meetings Act.

c) The purchase or lease of real property for the use of the public body, pursuant to Sec. 2(c)(5) of the Open Meetings Act.

d)The setting of a price for sale or lease of property owned by the public body, pursuant to Sec. 2(c)(6) of the Open Meetings Act.

e) Pending or probable litigation, pursuant to Sec. 2(c)(11) of the Open Meetings Act.

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Shoplifters Face Stiffer Penalties than Employers Who Steal Wages

Retail employers steal as much from their workers as shoplifters steal from stores, according to a new report.

The progressive policy group Demos compared minimum wage theft data from the Economic Policy Institute with shoplifting data from the Global Retail Theft Barometer.

Between 2013 and 2015, Demos found employers underpaid or otherwise skimped on wages worth $15 billion each year. Shoplifters stole $14.7 billion in merchandise each of those years.

Report author Amy Traub says retailers get a slap on the wrist for committing wage theft.

"A retailer that's stealing millions of dollars in wages from its employees often faces a lower risk of punishment - and really, a lighter penalty - than a shoplifter who nabs a pair of shoes off the shelves of the store," she points out.

The highest civil federal penalty for wage theft violators is repaying the stolen wages and an equal amount in damages. The penalty for repeat wage theft offenders isn't much higher, with a maximum of $1,100.

The report notes shoplifters who steal more than $2,500 in merchandise can face felony charges.

Last year, a bill was introduced in Congress to tighten wage theft laws. The Wage Theft Prevention and Wage Recovery Act would compensate wage victims with three times their stolen wages, increase civil fines for repeat offenders and make it easier for employees to act on wage theft.

However, Traub notes the bill has stalled completely.

"This seems like it should really be a bipartisan issue," she states. "We should all be united - especially a president who campaigned on doing the right thing for working Americans - around ensuring that employers don't steal money out of their employees' paychecks."

The report also says retailers spend far more money protecting their stores from theft than the Department of Labor spends enforcing wage laws.

In 2015, retailer security spending was almost $9 billion. That's 39 times greater than the Department of Labor's entire Wage and Hour Division budget of about $227 million.
 

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Regional Media Movie Review Transformers The Last Knight

Transformers The Last Knight picks up the story of Mark Wahlberg as Cade Yarger as he's attempting to defend the remaining Autobots from a worldwide Army charged with capturing or destroying all Transformers. Meanwhile Optimus Prime has gone home to what remains of Cybertron intent on confronting his creator, a move that leads to Prime going from ally to enemy of humanity. 

Click the poster for my review of Transformers The Last Knight. 

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Macomb Hy Vee Donates $1000 to Master Gardeners

Macomb Hy Vee has awarded the McDonough County Master Gardeners $1000.00. The award is part of a company-wide initiative called Hy Vee's One Step Program. The program in conjunction with One Step Russet Potatoes is awarding more than 150 grants to community gardens across the midwest. The donation from the Hy-Vee One Step Program went to the McDonough County Master Gardeners which works in partnership with the University of Illinois Extension. 

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McDonough County Sheriff Arrests Two on Meth Charges

McDonough County Sheriff Rick Van Brooker has announced a pair of arrests on Methamphetime charges. According to a release from the McDonough County Sheriff, Heather M. Oyler, 33, of St. Augustine, IL and Donald M. Friday 21 of Bushnell were arrested Wednesday night following a traffic stop in the area of the 2200 Block of Illinois Route 41 in Prairie City. Deputies upon stopping Oyler, the driver of the vehicle for having a loud muffler then observed what they determined to be criminal activity and called for a canine unit. The subsequent search turned up Methamphetimine paraphenalia. Oyler was charged with Driving While Suspended, Driving without Insurance, and Loud Muffler. Friday faces charges of Methamphetimine Possession over 5 Grams under 15 Grams, Possession of Drug Paraphenalia, and Possessing Contraband in a Penal System. 

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Interview Nikki Grey from Macomb Convention and Visitors Bureau Talks Heritage Days

Heritage Days gets underway tonight in Macomb and Nikki Grey with the Macomb Area Convention and Visitors Bureau joined our Ali Weston today on K100 to talk about all the events you can enjoy beginning tonight in downtown Macomb as part of Heritage Days. Remember while you are at Heritage Days to #TrySomething and tag K100 on Facebook. We want to see you #TrySomething this summer and we will have prizes attached so stay tuned! Check out Ali's interview with Nikki Grey and get some ideas for your #TrySomething this weekend at Heritage Days. 

Click here for the Interview

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One Person Injured in McDonough County Crash Wednesday

A tractor trailer truck crashed into the back of a vehicle in rural McDonough County on Wednesday. According to the McDonough County Sheriff's Office Steven Dee Burton of Tennessee was traveling Westbound on US 136 approaching 850 East of McDonough County when his 1994 International Truck Tractor failed to reduce speed and struck the back end of a vehicle driven by Wendy S. McKeever of Colchester. McKeever was taken from the scene by ambulance and there is currently no update on her condition. Burton was cited for Failure to Reduce Speed to Avoid an accident. The accident remains under investigation by the McDonough County Sheriff crash unit. Assistance was provided at the scene by Colchester Fire and Rescue and by the McDonough County Ambulance service. 

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McDonough District Hospital to Hold Special Meeting on EMS Privatization on Monday

McDonough District Hospital Board has announced a special board meeting for Monday night, June 26th, at the Spoon River Community Outreach Center at 5:30 Pm. Board members will be on hand for this special meeting to hear presenatations and recommendations regarding privatizing the hospital EMS program. 

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Rep LaHood Introduces Legislation to Aid Restoration of Abandoned Mines

Congressman Darin LaHood has introduced legislation intended to restore access to abandoned mines. In a statement to the press Representative LaHood said “While mining is an important part of Illinois’ economy, abandoned mines continue to present safety dangers and missed opportunities for new development. That is why I have introduced this bill, which would protect third-party groups from frivolous lawsuits when they attempt to clean up or re-purpose these abandoned mines. No group should be punished for wanting to help out their local community in this way,” stated LaHood. “I look forward to seeing this bill move forward with bipartisan support.” LaHood's bill states that there are more than $10 billion dollars worth of abandoned mine sites nationwide, $156 million in the state of Illinois and over $17 million in the 18th District alone which includes McDonough County and much of the Regional Media listening area. Those numbers are the estimated cost of the Earth moving necessary to reclaim the abandoned mine sites. Currently these sites are under the purview each state from the so-called Abandoned Mine Liabilities Fund which is supported by funds from the Coal industry. With so much work needed to reclaim abandoned mines private groups were once encouraged to help with the work but liability currently prevents private interests from getting involved, according to Representative LaHood. 

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Rep Hammond Releases Statement Regarding Statehouse Special Session

Representative Norine Hammond has released a statement regarding the special session underway in Springfield intended to continue negotiations over the state budget. 

 

“On June 15, the Governor issued a proclamation calling the General Assembly back to Springfield on June 21 for the purpose of considering legislation that addresses a comprehensive state budget as well as economic and structural reforms. Today, as the House and Senate go into Special Session, I want to renew my pledge to the citizens of the 93rd District: I remain ready and willing to debate, negotiate, compromise on, and pass a comprehensive, balanced budget.

This budget must include adequate funding for our state universities, MAP grant recipients, human services, among so many other state agencies and programs. Negotiating and compromising on a comprehensive budget is not a simple task. This task, however, is attainable. In fact, it is not only attainable, it must be accomplished before the end of this fiscal year.

I know, as so many individuals and businesses that I’ve spoken with have told me, that you are all counting on Springfield to do what is right by the state and pass a comprehensive state budget. Again, I am ready and willing, as I have been for the entirety of this impasse, to work with all of my colleagues in the House, negotiate, and compromise in order to accomplish this task.”

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Abingdon Man Arrested in McDonough County After Obstructing Officers

An Abington, Illinois man was arrested in McDonough County on Tuesday afternoon. 40 year old Daniel R. Stevenson of Abington was stopped by McDonough County Sheriff's in the area of the intersection Highway 41 and Highway 136 just after 2 Pm on Tuesday. Deputies stopped Stevenson's Ford Escape after spotting that the vehicle had a homemade license plate. Upon approaching the vehicle and asking Stevenson to roll his windows down and identify himself, Stevenson declined and told Deputies that he was a "Sovereign Citizen." Deputies then observed that Stevenson had a knife resting on his leg. After attempting to negotiate with Stevenson to step out of his vehicle and put the knife down deputies took measures to break Stevenson's back windown before the suspect finally surrendered to officers. Stevenson was then placed under arrest and taken to the McDonough County Jail where he faces charges of Resisting/Obstructing an Officer, Driving While License Suspended and Driving without Registration. 

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Macomb Police Officer Derrick Wiley Talks Blue Line Ball

The Blue Line Ball in honor of our Macomb Police Department is taking place August 5th from 5 Pm to 12 Midnight. Tickets are on sale now as are raffle tickets wherein you could win a Springfield Armory AR-15 Rife or a Springfield made Pistol. details on both the Ball and the raffle. Macomb Police Officer Derrick Wiley came on K100 this morning to discuss the Blue Line Ball and the raffle. Listen to his conversation with Sam Kuperman here.

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Illinois Convenience Stores Concerned about Potential Loss of Mega Millions and Powerball

Unless lawmakers and Governor Rauner hammer out a budget agreement, it will take a drive out of state to buy tickets for those massive multi-state lottery jackpots in the Mega Millions and Powerball games. Bill Fleischli with The Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association and the Illinois Association of Convenience Stores is hopeful a budget deal can be struck by month's end....
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The state reported nearly $100 million in Mega Millions sales and $208 million in Powerball sales last budget year. It's not clear how much revenue the state gets from multi-state lottery sales. 

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Wear and tear of lock and dam system on display in Quad Cities

The aging lock and dam system continues to show its wear and tear. A prime example is on display in the Quad Cities at Mississippi River Lock and Dam 15 in Rock Island where an emergency repair had to be completed a few weeks ago says Aaron Dunlop with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
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Dunlop says without the temporary fix, barge traffic could have been shut down.
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Dunlop says the permanent repair will cost $15-million, which they’re hoping to receive in next year’s budget. Lock and Dam 15 was constructed in 1931.

 

Click here for photo attribution

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Amended Agenda Released for the McDonough County Board Meeting Wednesday

The McDonough County Board has released their recently amended agenda for Wednesday evening's Board meeting. 

 

AGENDA FOR THE JUNE 21, 2017
MEETING OF THE MCDONOUGH COUNTY BOARD

1.      Minutes of the May 17, 2017 meeting of the McDonough County Board

2.      Report of Nigel Graham, Public Defender, for the month of May, 2017

3.      Report of Sales tax collected in March, 2017

4.      Report of County Treasurer Graves on the Balances and Investments

5.      Report of Circuit Clerk Wilson for the month of May, 2017

6.      Report of County Clerk DeJaynes on Warrants Issued in Vacation

7.      Report of Transfers of Appropriations or Monies if needed

8.      Report of Finance Committee

9.      Report of General Claims Committee

10.  Appoint Lee Calvert to replace Robert Shouse

11.  Appoint Andrea Keene to Workforce Innovation Board of Western Illinois**

12.  Sheriff, Treasurer, Circuit Clerk and County Clerk Six Month Reports

13.  Prevailing Wage Ordinance

14.  Agreement for Professional Services
15.  Local Agreement for Federal Participation Section 17-00000-00-PP
16.  McDonough County Health Care Plan Document effective 07-01-17
17.  IMRF Resolution
18.  Resolution to Amend FY 2017 McDonough County Recorders Automation Fund Budget
19.  Resolution to Amend FY 2017 McDonough County Document Storage Fund Budget
20.  Contribution to CEO Program-Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship

21.  Adjourn to Executive Session pursuant to Chapter 5 Illinois Compiled Statutes Section 120/2 (C) (1) and (2) (Only if needed)

22.  Public Comment

23.  Adjourn   

 

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Jessica Butcher Named COAP WIU Employee of Year

A big congratulations goes out to Jessica Butcher of Western Illinois University. Jessica has been awarded the Council of Administrative Personnel WIU Employee of the Year for her work as Assistant to the Vice President of Student Services. Jessica has served her position since 2008 at Western and has been praised for her willingness to go above and beyond to help students in need. Butcher has also been involved in a great deal of community outreach at the university working on the Community University Partnership Program and has aided many students as part of the First Year Experience Program. Butcher has work at Western Illinois University since 2002 when she joined the staff as Assistant Director of Student Development and Orientation. A big congratulations to Jessica Butcher from all of us at Regional Media Virden Broadcasting. 

 

Amended, our apologies for giving the incorrect name in the original title for this article. 

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Macomb Police Warn of Rash of Bicycle Thefts

The Macomb Police Department is advising bike owners to lock them up. According to a release from the Macomb Police Department bicycle thefts are up in recent weeks. While Macomb Police are investigating the thefts they are warning bicycle owners to purchase and use bike locks. Police recommended places such as Farm King, BikeShop or Wal-Mart. 

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Macomb Police Holding Gun Raffle for Blue Line Ball

The Macomb Police Department is now selling raffle tickets as part of the first ever Blue Line Ball sponsored by the Macomb F.O.P. Buy your tickets at the Macomb Police Department for the chance to win a Springfield Armory Colt AR-15 Rifle or an Armory Pistol. Tickets to win the Rifle are $20.00 while tickets for the Pistol are $10.00. Winners will be announced on August 5th at the very first Blue Line Ball. You can get more information by messaging the Macomb Police Department on Facebook or by purchasing your tickets at the Macomb Police Department. 

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Macomb Man Arrested for Cocaine Possession

The McDonough County Sheriff's Office reports the arrest of a Macomb man on a Cocaine possession charge. According to a release from the McDonough County Sheriff, 47 year old Joseph E. Howard of Macomb was arrested on June 16th, just after 7:30 Pm, McDonough County Sheriff's Deputies pulled over a vehicle for a traffic violation in the area of 13420 Highway 41. After observing what they believed to be criminal activities in the vehicle Deputies called for a canine unit which turned up one gram of Cocaine in Howard's pocket. Howard, the passenger in the vehicle was arrested at the scene and taken to the McDonough County Jail. He is charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance (Cocaine-Under 5 Grams). 

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Ali Interviews Mary Murphy of So You Think You Can Dance

Mary Murphy, from FOX's So You Think You Can Dance, called in this morning to promote the show. This was especially neat, given that our own Ali Weston is a SYTYCD superfan! We did not tell Ali that Mary would be calling. We only told her that a special guest would be on with us. 

 

We had some technical difficulties initially (which were clearly intentional to build suspense). Once we got that sorted out Ali had the chance to interview Mary by herself, which she was stoked about! 

 

Listen to the full interview here.

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HyVee Brings Back Mega Produce and Back Room Sales

The Macomb HyVee is bringing back two of its most popular sales starting this Thursday. The company -wide Mega Produce Sale will feature a variety of produce discounts. The Back Room Sale has returned due to popular demand. This sale will feature a variety of items that can also earn customers Fuel Saver Rewards Points. 

 

To learn more about these sales, listen to my interview with Adam from HyVee here.

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Special Session Starts Wednesday

Governor Rauner in the past has said he sees little value in calling special sessions for lawmakers but now he’s changed his mind. The Governor will have the legislature back in Springfield starting next week. Rauner will have them reconvene on June 21. He’s now standing behind a package of Republican budget and reform bills.

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Republicans have filed a number of bills for consideration but they did not put their weight behind a tax increase or revenue bill to balance the budget they want passed. Instead they are relying on the Democrat sponsored tax bill to stand alone.

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Jobs Lag In Illinois

The state’s unemployment numbers are falling but the Department of Employment Security isn’t willing celebrate. Illinois’ jobless rate is four point six percent, but IDES’s Bob Gough says we are lacking in total job creation.

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Nationwide unemployment is four point three percent.

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Bustos: President Trump's $1-trillion infrastructure plan not based in reality

Western Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos not impressed with President Trump’s $1-trillion infrastructure plan. She’s looking for specific details, but says the public-private partnership, which the plan calls for, will be tough for rural areas to accomplish.
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Bustos, a member of the House Ag Committee, remains critical of President Trump’s budget plan, which calls for closing the Peoria Ag Research Lab. Bustos says she is satisfied with President Trump’s choice for U.S. Ag Secretary—calling Sonny Perdue “a good man

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Update on City of Macomb Downtown Construction

The City of Macomb Public Works has announced that the ongoing downtown revitalization project is on schedule. Backfilling on the traffic islands on the northwest and southwest islands will be completed and the debris will be cleaned up in time for Heritage Days, June 22nd to the 24th. Work will then continue on June 26th with continued work on the sewer system in the southeast quadrant. The continuing revitalization project will be completed August 15th, 2017. 

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Planning for Renewables Called Key

As more Americans realize the need to transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy, there's a need to plan those changes carefully or environmentalists say we're just trading one problem for another.

Joe Kiesecker, the lead scientist for the Nature Conservancy's Global Lands Program, says land-use needs are going to grow because another 9 billion people will be on Earth by 2050, and the amount of energy needed to meet everyone's needs also is increasing rapidly.

He urges policymakers to consider the amount of land needed because he says even a renewable-energy future is not necessarily a green one.

"The harsh reality is that renewable energy has a much larger land footprint," he says. "And so if we're not careful, if we don't plan, we might change one conflict for another, that's climate change for land-use conflict."

The Illinois General Assembly passed The Future Energy Jobs bill late last year. It includes updating the state's renewable portfolio standard, expanding efficiency programs, and preserving net metering for rooftop solar projects. It also allowed Exelon's Clinton and Quad Cities nuclear power plants to remain in operation.

Kiesecker says, for example, rooftop solar makes more sense than setting aside fields to hold panels. He adds that the key to success is identifying the right energy mix and where to place it.

"We need to go big and we need to go early. So we need to be planning for energy at larger spatial scales, more regional scales, instead of looking and planning for a single wind turbine or a wind farm or a single oil and gas well."

Kiesecker says the point is, we need to be proactive, not reactive. He details that in his book called "Energy Sprawl Solutions: Balancing Global Development and Conservation."

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Lakeview Nature Center Postpones Nature's Fireworks Event to July 8th

Lakeview Nature Center and the Macomb Park District have announced that due to forecasted thunderstorms for tonight that their "Nature's Fireworks" event has been postponed. The event has been rescheduled for July 8th and if you'd like more information about Lakeview Nature Center and "Nature's Fireworks" you can contact Lakeview at 309-836-2887. Stay tuned to our Regional Media stations as we will hopefully get someone from Lakeview Nature Center on the air to talk about "Nature's Fireworks" and remind you of the new date. 

#TrySomething #TryNature

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Illinois State Police Investigating Recent Crash In Montgomery County

Illinois State Police (ISP) are Investigating a recent accident between a truck and a train in Montgomery County.
ISP say that 43-year old Matt Hughes from Hillsboro, IL was driving his pickup truck eastbound on Beelers Trail approaching a railroad grade crossing at about 10:45 AM yesterday. Hughes didn’t slow down; as he tried to make it pass the railroad tracks he drove right in front of a train and was hit. The train stuck the passenger side of Hughes truck causing him to be seriously injured. He was transported to a Springfield hospital where he is now recovering from his injuries. Officers with the ISP Traffic Crash Reconstruction Unit are investigating the crash, no further information has been released at the time.
 

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Illinois Farmers Not Happy With The President's Recent Decision

Illinois farmers are not happy with President Trump’s recent decision to limit agricultural trade opportunities with Cuba.
The Illinois Beef, Corn Growers, Pork Producers, and Soybean Growers Association issued a joint statement after Trump decision  to try to persuade the President to take a different approach. Illinois farmers say they want the freedom to sell food to people who need and use it, and that they believe having this opportunity helps benefit them as well as the Cuban economy. Illinois Farmers say they will remain supportive of the Illinois Cuba Working Group’s efforts and are thankful for Illinois General Assembly’s unanimous support.

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Regional Media Celebrity Interview Burt Ward Robin from Batman!

Few people in the world knew the great Adam West as well as Burt Ward. Having played Robin to Adam West's Batman on the legendary 60's TV series, Ward spent years not just on TV with Adam West but decades as friends and cohorts traveling to fan conventions, sharing family get togethers and becoming like brothers over the years. In this interview Burt talks about meeting Adam West for the first time, the joy that pierces the sadness of his loss because the memories are so, so cherished, and his line of dog food called Gentle Giants which is helping dogs live twice as long as they would on any other dog food. You can get Gentle Giant Dog Food, a product endorsed by Adam West more than once, by going to http://www.gentlegiantsrescue.com/

 

Click here for my interview with Burt Ward

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Mega Millions and Powerball appear headed out of state

Unless lawmakers and Governor Rauner agree to a budget by month’s end, you’ll have to head to other states to play Mega Millions or Powerball. The Multi-State Lottery Association voted to remove Illinois from the Powerball and Mega Millions lotteries due to the extended budget crisis.

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Macomb Man Arrested on Burglary Charges

Macomb Police have announced the arrest of 34 year old Steven R. Slayback of Macomb. Slayback is accused having stolen tools from a business in Prairie City, Illinois, where he was an employee. According to Macomb Police a series of thefts led the owner of the business to contact Macomb Police whose investigation traced back to Slayback who was arrested on Thursday. The tools have been recovered and are in the process of being returned to the unnamed business owner. 

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Regional Media Movie Review Cars 3

Cars 3 features the voice of Owen Wilson back in the role of Nascar racer Lightning McQueen. This time Lightning has become the older statesmen of racing that Paul Newman was as Doc Hudson in the original Cars. With younger Cars passing him up it looks like Lightning's career might be at an end. Then he meets Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonso) and the two go on a journey together that is the bulk of the story. Here's my review of Cars 3. 

Click Here

 

 

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Illinois Leaders Urged to Lead Nation in Juvenile-Justice Reform

How to keep young people who have broken the law from reoffending is the topic of an all-day forum in Chicago today.

This past session, State Rep. Laura Fine of Glenview introduced legislation to raise the minimum age for juveniles sent to adult court from 18 to 21 but it didn't gain any traction. She says Illinois is home to the first juvenile court in the nation and needs to take the lead on providing more help to kids who have run into trouble with the law.

She says the state needs to find ways to reduce the youth prison population in a cost-effective way that does not compromise public safety.

"Let's look at what's worked elsewhere and figure out what can work best here that will be better for our communities and save the taxpayers' dollar," she says.

Speakers at the conference include judges, state's attorneys, public defenders, researchers, advocates and the director of the Cook County Sheriff's Justice Institute.

Fine says research has shown young adults are more similar to adolescents than fully mature adults, and that most other state systems have taken that into account.

"How do we really address the issue instead of just incarceration? Because this is something that could really be pivotal for so many young lives?" she asks.

A report by the Illinois Juvenile Justice Initiative found that more than 4,000 young adults were sent to Cook County Jail in 2013 for low-level offenses. It recommended using juvenile alternatives for young adults such as counseling and diversion programs in order to reduce reoffending.

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Macomb Park District Announces Splash Day for the Opening of Glenwood Pool Friday

The Macomb Park District has announced that Glenwood Pool will be opening on Friday for a little relief from the heat and Regional Media and K100 are teaming up to give you a fantastic deal! For the opening day of Glenwood Pool, 12 noon until 5 Pm, you can get in for just $1.00. It's Splash Day and The Macomb Park District, Today's Best Hits K100, Hy Vee, and Pepsi Refreshment Services will all be on hand to deliver some deals. $1.00 meals from Hy Vee and Pepsi will be handing out samples. We may also have some K100 Swag but you will need to be on hand to win that. The Park District will have contests every hour starting at 1 Pm. Do not miss out on what is going to be an epically good time Friday from Noon to 5 at Glenwood Pool. 

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Peoria Man Found Guilty for Child Pornography

Peoria County Man sentenced to 20 years in prison for possession of Child Pornography.
61 year old Richard L Sills of Mapleton Il was will spend 240 months in prison for receiving and possessing Child Pornography. Sills plead guilty January 27 of this year after investigators found a computer within his residence that had a file sharing program used to download files containing child pornography. This case was a part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to put a end to child exploitation and abuse. For more information about Project Safe Childhood visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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The Randolph Street Rendezvous Pop-Up Concert Series Is Happening Tonight!

The Macomb Park District is teaming up with the Macomb Area Convention & Visitors Bureau to bring you Macomb’s first Pop-Up Concert Series. The Randolph Street Rendezvous Pop-Up Concert series will take place tonight in Glenwood Park. This free event will have live music from Prima Materia and free food and drinks supplied by Hy-vee.  The event will begin at 7pm and end at 10pm. 

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Flags of Love Extended Through Thursday Evening

Flags of Love will continue for another day. The City of Macomb announced that they will keep the flags surrounding the Chandler for second day as weather prevented some people getting the chance to truly enjoy this gorgeous patriotic site. Volunteers will be needed tonight at 6 Pm in Chandler Park to help take the flags down from the park. If you can help, just show up at Chandler Park tonight a little before 6 Pm, find a member of the Macomb Rotary Club and they should be able to tell you where you can pitch in and help out. 

 

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WIU Professor Jennifer McNabb Named Chair of the History Department

A big congratulations goes out to Professor Jennifer McNabb who has been named this week as Chair of the Western Illinois Department of History. McNabb, who has been the interim chair of the department since August of 2016, has been a WIU Professor since 2005 when she joined the staff as an assistant professor. College of Arts and Sciences Susan Martinelli-Fernandez released a statement on the appointment saying ""I am delighted Professor McNabb is assuming the continuing position of chair of the Department of History," said Martinelli-Fernandez. "Her well-known and respected leadership at Western Illinois University, and her professional organizations, as well as her outstanding teaching and scholarship, are a winning combination for success. McNabb has already initiated a number of recruitment, retention and advancement initiatives that I look forward to coming to fruition over the coming years." In her time at Western Illinois University Professor McNabb has won multiple awards, published in numerous journals and in the 2017-2018 school she will be participating in a video series/podcast called The Great Courses where she will do a series of lectures on The Renaissance. Congratulations again to Jennifer McNabb the New chair of the Western Illinois University History Department. Keep up the good work. 

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Latest Illinois pork tour leads to $3-million in international sales

The numbers are in for the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s latest pork tour. The event brings in international buyers says the agency’s Bobby Dowson.
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The tour was last week and Dowson says some nice business was generated for the Illinois pork industry.
Click Here
Among the tour stops are breeding farms, the Chicago Board of Trade and Mercantile Exchange along with the University of Illinois. 

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Adams and Wigwam Hollow Road Westbound Lanes Reopened

Despite a rainy afternoon crews working on the Westbound lanes of Adams and Wigwam Hollow Road completed the clean up and reopened the lanes this afternoon. Traffic is back moving in the area though resurfacing work continues along Wigwam Hollow. 

 

Earlier.... 

Trouble with the asphalt coating, something described on the Macomb Police Facebook page as an oil spill, has caused a road closure in Macomb. According to a release from the City of Macomb Public Works Department work on Wigwam Hollow Road and West Adams Street in Macomb will include the closure of the Westbound lanes in that area. Westbound traffic traveling from Wigwam Hollow Road to Meadowbrook and Georgetown are rerouted around Robin Road. There is no word yet how long the closure will be in place. If you have questions please contact that City of Macomb Public Works Department at 309-833-2821. 

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Congressman Darin Lahood Releases Statement on Today's Shooting in Virginia

Macomb's Congressional Representative Darin Lahood was among the many horrified by the shooting that took place this morning that injured House Majority Whip Steve Scalice. Below is a statement released today by Congressman Lahood. 

 

“I am relieved to hear that my friend and colleague Steve Scalise is in stable condition, and am continuing to monitor any news on the three other staff and security members who were shot in this morning’s attack. While I was not at the practice this morning, I want to thank and commend the first responders and the Capitol Police officers on site who helped bring an end to this horrible act. Without them, I worry that the situation would have been far worse. As members of both parties come together this morning in solidarity against this senseless act, my thoughts and prayers continue to go out to the families of all those affected.”

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Breaking President Trump Live Talking About Washington Shooting

President Donald Trump is speaking live regarding this mornings shooting that injured the The House Majority Whip Steve Salice... 

 

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University of Illinois Extension in Macomb to Host Growing Crops for Homebrewers

The University of Illinois Extension is set to highlight an emerging crop market. Hops, though traditionally grown in the northwest can be successfully cultivated in the midwest. With the continuing to emerge market of home brewers and new breweries across the midwest the need for Hops is growing fast. On July 14th the University of Illinois Extension is set to host "Growing Crops for Homebrewers." Hosted by Extension Small Farms and Local Foods Educator Grant McCarty, the event is actually a two day event that begins with an educational talk with Grant at the University of Illinois Extension Office at 3022 West Jackson Street from 6 Pm to 8 Pm. That talk will be followed the next day, July 15th by a tour of the Hallowed Hops Field Day at the Hallowed Hops Farm near Lewistown. Separate registration is required for each event. You can attend Grant McCurdy's talk by clicking here. And if you would like to tour the Hallowed Hops Farm and get a hands on look on what it takes to grow Hops you can register for that tour by clicking here. If you need additional information about growing Hops or attending these events in July contact the University of Illinois Extension at 309-342-5108. 

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Senator Duckworth Takes Stand Against Privatizing Air Traffic Control

Senator Tammy Duckworth says the nation's air traffic control system should remain a public enterprise. She expressed her opposition to President Trump's proposed privatizing of air traffic control towers while questioning Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao....
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Moving governance of air traffic control from the FAA to a private corporation would increase the nation's budget deficit by 46 billion dollars over the next decade.

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Emerging Corn Crop Feeling Impact of Dry June

The emerging corn crop doesn’t look very well in certain parts of the state. Chad Bell farms in Viola in Western Illinois. He describes what his conditions look like.
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He’s hoping for some relief soon.
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The last measurable rainfall for Bell occurred 19 days ago—only two-tenths of an inch. 

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Westbound Traffic Being Rerouted on Portion of Wigwam Hollow Road in Macomb

Trouble with the asphalt coating, something described on the Macomb Police Facebook page as an oil spill, has caused a road closure in Macomb. According to a release from the City of Macomb Public Works Department work on Wigwam Hollow Road and West Adams Street in Macomb will include the closure of the Westbound lanes in that area. Westbound traffic traveling from Wigwam Hollow Road to Meadowbrook and Georgetown are rerouted around Robin Road. There is no word yet how long the closure will be in place. If you have questions please contact that City of Macomb Public Works Department at 309-833-2821. 

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Flags of Love Wednesday in Chandler Park in Macomb

Wednesday is Flag Day and in Macomb we are celebrating with Flags of Love. Beginning at 6 Am in Chandler Park, members of the Macomb Rotary, city staff and volunteers will begin placing flags all around Chandler Park. The flags will stand from 6 Am to 6 Pm. Stop by and see this remarkable sight of the American flag covering Chandler in honor of our country, and the heroes who've given their all under that flag. 

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Rep Bustos Rips President Trump's Budget Proposal Over Ag Cuts

Don't count Quad Cities Congresswoman Cheri Bustos among those impressed by President Trump's budget blueprint. Bustos is expressing concerns about funding for the Department of Agriculture....
Click here
She says the budget plan will also mean fewer jobs in already struggling small towns. Bustos also is expressing concerns about proposed deep cuts in the crop insurance program. 

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Leaders Urged to Maintain Health Insurance for IL Kids

Children in Illinois are doing better than in recent years, and advocates are calling on state and federal leaders to avoid reversing those gains.

The 2017 KIDS COUNT Data Book by the Annie E Casey Foundation ranks Illinois 19th overall, with families doing a little better economically, and shows gains in health and education. It says 95-percent of children in the U.S. now have health-care coverage, a historic high.

The report credits key provisions of the Affordable Care Act, as well as investments in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program.

Anna Rowan, the Kids Count manager at Voices for Illinois Children, says providing more families with health insurance is key to a child's overall well-being.

"Particularly children of color, African and American and Latino children where we reduced the percentage of uninsured children from six percent to three percent over a five-year period," she explains.

Even though the financial picture for families is slightly better, four percent of the state's low-income children live in a household where no adults work, six percent of those families have only one adult working, and 17 percent experience food insecurity.

Rowan says lawmakers need to make sure those children keep health insurance because the money spent on medical bills could go toward putting food on the table.

"If we're talking about having a healthy state and a productive state, this really needs to be a continued part of the conversation and we want to protect the progress that we've made and then continue to lessen disparities, not cause them to grow," she says.

When it comes to education, Rowan says the higher-education system in Illinois is struggling because there's a possibility of a third year without a state budget.

"The MAP program that we have here in Illinois, which allows low- and middle-income students better afford college in Illinois has seen reductions," Rowan adds. "We've seen large numbers of students in Illinois leaving the state for school."

The report ranked Illinois 13th in the nation in education, Rowan says that's due to the expansion of early-childhood education. Fewer than half of three- and four-year-olds are in a Pre-K program.

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Save 50,000 Lives with Solar? It's Possible, says Study

Thousands of Americans die prematurely from air pollution-related diseases associated with burning coal, and a new study from Michigan Technological University says transitioning to solar power would save more than 50,000 American lives each year.

Joshua Pearce, electrical engineering professor and the report's lead author, said in addition to being a public health issue, investing in solar would be profitable as well.

"You also produce electricity that has value," Pearce said. "And so, let's say that we did this on a truly distributed case, and everybody just put up solar on their rooftop - so they were offsetting residential electricity. The American public would make $2 million for every life they saved."

He acknowledged there would be sizable up-front costs from replacing the coal energy infrastructure with solar - it's been estimated at $1.5 trillion. But Pearce said there is a good economic case to be made.

U.S. coal production has seen an uptick since President Trump began eliminating environmental regulations on the industry.

Pearce's team tapped geographic data to determine the number of deaths due to coal-powered plants, then scoured national data for regional electricity prices and ultimately found that switching to solar could turn a big profit for every life saved.

He argued that switching to solar should be a no-brainer and offered as an example a hypothetical scenario in which terrorists killed 50,000 people and said they were going to do it again next year. He said Americans would be outraged.

"But instead, if you were part of an industry that we knew was going to kill 50,000 Americans next year - and your motive was simply to make money - we completely let it go," Pearce said; "even though we know it's a fact that 50,000 Americans lose their lives."

The World Health Organization says millions die across the globe each year due to air pollution, which is the largest contributor to non-communicable disease such as stroke, cancers, chronic respiratory illnesses and heart disease.

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National Weather Service Warning About Heat Index Today, Cooling Centers Open

The National Weather Service has released a Special Weather Statement for the entirety of our regional media listening area. The Heat Index will likely top 100 degrees this afternoon meaning that though actual temperatures may top out in the 90's the Feels Like temperature due to the humidity will feel much hotter. If you are going to be outside today be sure not to be outside for prolonged periods of time and drink a lot of water. Wear a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses but most importantly find ways to stay cool. If you or someone you know needs a place to cool off both cooling centers are available at Grand Prairie of Macomb from 8 Am to 9 Pm and at Western Illinois University. Hours and locations for WIU cooling centers are below. 

Corbin and Olson commons will be open from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. today (June 9) through Sunday, June 18 for anyone in need of a place to cool off. Drinking water refilling stations are available in each residence hall.

The University Union is open from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday; and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday. A drinking water refilling station is located near the University Union Bookstore entrance.

Burger King is open in the University Union from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday; 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Sunday.

Sodexo will also have food available for purchase in the Corbin-Olson Dining Center (hours subject to change): 7:15-8 a.m. breakfast, 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. lunch, and 4:45-5:30 p.m. dinner

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Tickets on Sale Now for First Annual Macomb FOP Blue Line Ball

Tickets are on sale now for the 1st Annual Blue Line Ball to raise money and show support for our local police officers and police charities. According to the Macomb Police: Fraternal Order of Police this first of its kind of event in Macomb will take place Saturday, August 5th from 5 Pm to Midnight at the Grand Ballroom on the campus of Western Illinois University. The evening includes dinner, dancing and an auction to help raise money for police charities in Illinois. If you'd like to get your tickets now follow this link to MacombFOP.com or find the Macomb Fraternal Order of Police on Facebook here.

 

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Marengo blast injures two, could have been worse

A Northern Illinois explosion rocks a neighborhood. Two homes were destroyed as entire block was wiped off the map in Marengo. 50 more homes were damaged. No one was home in the residences that were destroyed. Four people were rescued from the second floor of a residence next door to the destroyed homes. Two people were treated for minor injuries and have been released from the hospital. The cause of the blast appears to be accidental. City officials are now warning of door to door home repair scam artists targeting the area.

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Macomb Waste Collection Moved Up Due to Heat

The City of Macomb Public Works Department has announced that waste pick up in the city will happen one half hour earlier beginning Tuesday, June 13th. With temperatures on the rise and the heat index expected to make things feel even warmer than the actual temperature, the Public Works Department has made the decision to move up the waste collection time from 6 Am to 5:30 Am in order to help waste management employees get out of the heat quicker. Residents are encouraged to get their carts to the curb the night before in order to accomodate the earlier pick up time. The earlier pick up time will remain effect until further notice. Anyone with questions regarding the new 5:30 Am waste pick up time in Macomb can call Public Works at 309-833-2821. 

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Celebration of Life Ice Cream Social to Honor WIU Professor Gil Belles

Western Illinois University announces tribute to late Professor Emeritus Gill Belles. Professor Belles, who was tragically killed in a May 25th car accident, will be remembered by friends and colleagues at a Celebration of Life and Ice Cream Social on Thursday, June 15th. Belles was a beloved and respected Professor in Recreation, Park and Administration Department at Western Illinois University for over 28 years and remained a fixture of the department as a Professor Emeritus and earning numerous rewards for the minds and lives that he helped to shape in his time. All are invited to celebrate Gill Belles on Thursday, June 15th from 1 Pm to 3 Pm in the WIU College of Fine Arts Recital Hall. For more information you can contact WIU at 309-298-1993. 

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McDonough County Health Department Tips for Kids and Petting Zoos

Petting zoos are a fun and often educational family experience but parents and kids need to beware of certain precautions that should be taken. The McDonough County Health Department wants parents to take care to avoid getting sick when taking kids to outdoor animal events. In a release from the Health Department, experts are offering tips on how to enjoy animal events from rodeos, to petting zoos to state fair competitions while staying healthy. 

 

Tip Number 1: Locate the hand washing stations. Make sure after the kids have had their fun petting the animals that they wash their hands soon after.

 

Tip Number 2: Keep your food and drinks away from the animals. It might seem fun to offer the animals at an outdoor show a treat but remember it's not just potentially unhealthy for you, the wrong food could be unhealthy for the animal as well.

 

Tip Number 3: Don't allow children to put their hands in their mouths after touching animals. Yes, getting a child to keep from sucking a thumb or simply putting their hands to their face for whatever reason but the chances of a child getting sick from animal contact, while minimal, still remain. Wash hands immediately after petting animals.

 

Get more tips by contacting the McDonough County Health Department at 309-837-9951.

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Humane Society of McDonough County Holds Annual Wine, Whiskers and Whimsy Event Saturday June 17

The Humane Society of McDonough County will hold its annual Wine, Whiskers and Whimsy fundraiser Saturday June 17. The event, which raises money for various local Humane Society programs, will be held at Taylor's Hall at 121 S. Randolph St. from 5-7 PM. Tickets are $25. With that money you get wine provided by The Wine Sellers, the chance to hear various musical performances and access to a silent auction. Ticket sales are limited and can get tickets from Bonnie at (309) 833-5154, as well as from the Macomb Chamber of Commerce. 

 

For more details on the event and where that money goes, listen to my conversation with Amy Betz of the Humane Society. 

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Law enforcement: Be cautious of door to door home repair contractors

Law enforcement urging caution when dealing with door to door home repair contractors. In a recent incident in Madison County, an elderly woman was approached by two men claiming they were there to do repair work authorized by a family member. Scammers will commonly use the scheme in which they say they need entry to the house for one reason or another. While one is talking to the victim, the other disappears and begins stealing items from the home. Madison County Sheriff's Department Captain Mike Dixon says this is becoming a more common scheme.

 

Click Here

 

Police recommend never letting anyone into your home you are not expecting ahead of time, and to report any suspicious visits to proper authorities.

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Tractor-trailer length bill wins approval in Springfield

The trucking industry picked up a win during the spring legislative session in Springfield. House Bill 683 dealt with tractor-trailer length on secondary roads and was supported by Don Schaefer with the Midwest Truckers Association.
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And Schaeffer says the ten foot differential created problems for truckers in certain jurisdictions.
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The bill was approved in both the House and Senate and the governor is expected to sign the measure. 

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MacombNewsNow Editorial Remembering Adam West TV's Batman

Growing up I found my comfort very often in television and one of the shows that had the greatest impact on my sense of humor and delight in the absurd and the fun was the 60's "Batman." The outsized colorful characters, the embracing of camp but with a genuine love of mystery, suspense and bang-pop-ooof aided fight scenes, delighted me in a way that has stayed with me from a teenager in early 90's to the 41 year old man I am today.

 

I grew up with Adam West in a way that older generations did but slightly different. The Adam West I discovered through his work on Batman, his little seen cop show parody "Lookwell" and his voice work on the animated series "Family Guy" revealed a man with a strong sense of the absurdity in himself and in the conventions of television drama, an area where he'd attempted to find success but was forever shut out of because people only ever saw him as the camp version of the Caped Crusader.

 

Adam West was a master of the absurd twist of a phrase, a talent he used to make Batman seem earnest rather than silly or foolish. West's earnest approach to the cartoonish villainy Batman and Robin fought on a weekly basis are that show's most indelible quality. But it was his work on "Family Guy" where West parodied himself by playing Mayor Adam West of Quahog, Rhode Island, a non-sequitir spouting lunatic who somehow kept getting re-elected to a position far out of the grasp of his ever slipping sanity, that made Adam West one of my true heroes. Whiile rarely the subject of the plot of a "Family Guy" episode, West became the show's secret weapon, it's ultimate scene stealer who once turned a creepy obsession with pulled Taffy into a joke that has never left my mind simply by the way he said the word Taffy. 

 

Few of you may know that Adam West may never have made it to "Family Guy" had it not been for a failed NBC TV pilot of his own called "Lookwell." The series was created by Conan O'Brien who'd come to recognize West's incredible talent for self-parody and helped to cast him as Ty Lookwell, a former television detective, long forced off television, who decides to try his hand at being a real life detective after he receives an honorary badge from his local police department.

 

If you can find the one episode of "Lookwell" that was produced you must see it and what you will see is a show that was so far ahead of it's time that it really is no wonder that it failed."Lookwell" was to be Adam West's comeback, his payback for having to have sat on the sidelines and watched as Batman returned to the big screen without him and became a greater success than it had ever been when he was wearing the cape and cowl. It wasn't meant to be but when a young Seth MacFarlane saw the pilot for "Lookwell" he knew one day he needed to work with Adam West and the idea to cast him as himself as the Mayor of Quahog was born. 

 

Adam West died on Saturday at the age of 88 years old and for this 41 year old child of television the loss weighs heavy but not nearly as heavy as the joy I will always feel when I look back on what Adam West brought to my life and the lives of so many other fans through his more than 60 year career. 

 

One of the highlights of my career came when I had the chance to speak with someone who knew Adam West better than most anyone, his old TV partner Robin, Burt Ward. Click the link below to listen to my interview with Burt Ward, TV's Robin and listen to the joy in his voice as he talks about his 50 plus year partnership with Adam West. 

Click Here 

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Flags of Love to Be Celebrated in Chandler Park on Wednesday

Wednesday, June 14th, the nation celebrates Flag Day and Macomb is no exception. The City of Macomb has announced their annual Flags of Love, this Wednesday, beginning at 6 Am. Flags of Love is a Macomb tradition in which members of the Rotary Club and fellow volunteers place flags throughout Chandler Park in honor of America. The flags will be on display from 6 Am to 6 Pm on Wednesday. If you'd like more information on you can take part or help out with Flags of Love at Chandler Park this coming Wednesday contact Mayor Inman's office at 309-833-2558. 

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Illinois State Police Investigating Car Vs Tractor Accident in Brown County

Illinois State Police are investigating a car vs tractor accident in Brown County Sunday afternoon. According to a release from the Illinois State Police, 24 year old Enrique Tellez, and 56 year old Barbara Childers, both of Versailles, Illinois were were driver and passenger respectively, in a 2007 Chevrolet Malibu when the vehicle struck a Unit 2000 New Holland TS100 Tractor driven by 20 year old Cullie McCurdy of Rushville,  on Illinois 99 Northbound, a quarter of a mile north of CR Brown County Road 1200 East. Preliminary investigation indicates that Tellez became distracted by his cellphone leading to the vehicle striking the tractor from behind. No one was badly injured in the crash though McCurdy did suffer minor injuries and was taken from the scene to Passavant Hospital. Tellez stands charged with Failure to Reduce Speed to Avoid and Accident and Using an Electronic Device While Driving. The investigation of the case is ongoing with the Illinois State Police working alongside the Brown County Sheriff's Office and the Versaille Police Department. 

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Breaking 60's Batman Adam West Has Died at 88

THE MAN WHO WILL ALWAYS BEEN KNOWN AS T-V'S "BATMAN" HAS PASSED AWAY. ACTOR ADAM WEST WAS 88 AND DIED AFTER A SHORT FIGHT WITH LEUKEMIA. HIS CAMPY, OVER THE TOP STYLE MADE HIM A PERFECT CHOICE FOR THE 1960'S SHOW BASED ON THE D-C COMIC. BUT HE HAD NO PROBLEM MAKING FUN OF "BATMAN." IN 2009, DURING THE RECESSION, WEST STARRED IN A VIDEO CALLED "BATMAN GARAGE SALE" FOR THE SERIES "FUNNY OR DIE."

 

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Western Illinois Opening Doors as Cooling Centers This Weekend

More community leaders are stepping up to help on what is expected to be a very hot weekend. As mentioned in a previous post Grand Prairie of Macomb announced they would be open as a community cooling center this weekend and throughout the summer. Now, Western Illinois University is letting everyone know that you can cool off on campus as well. According to a release from WIU Corbin Hall, Olson Hall, and the University Union will each be opened up for the next 7 to 10 days for area residents in need of a cool down. Hours are listed below. Stay safe and stay cool. 

 

Corbin and Olson commons will be open from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. today (June 9) through Sunday, June 18 for anyone in need of a place to cool off. Drinking water refilling stations are available in each residence hall.

The University Union is open from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday; and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday. A drinking water refilling station is located near the University Union Bookstore entrance.

Burger King is open in the University Union from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday; 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Sunday.

Sodexo will also have food available for purchase in the Corbin-Olson Dining Center (hours subject to change): 7:15-8 a.m. breakfast, 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. lunch, and 4:45-5:30 p.m. dinner
 

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Regional Media Movie Review The Mummy

The Mummy stars Tom Cruise as Nick, an adventurer, soldier, archaeologist, thief and all around charming rogue. Nick finds trouble when he and his colleagues, including New Girl star Jake Johnson, uncover an ancient Mummy's tomb that bestows a deathly curse on Nick. Can Nick beat back the ancient evil of the Mummy known as Ahminek (Sophia Boutella)? That's the story of "The Mummy." Here's my review. Click Here

 

 

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Grand Prairie of Macomb Opening as Cooling Center This Weekend

With the heat rising in Macomb this weekend the need to cool off becomes a health issue, especially for the elderly. Grand Prairie of Macomb has announced that their facilty at 1307 Meadowlark Lane in Macomb is going to open up as a cooling center for those in need. With temperatures expected to rise into the 90's this weekend Heatstroke is a legitimate threat. Those who need a place to cool down can go to Grand Prairie of Macomb between 8 Am and 10 Pm on any hot day this summer where you need to cool down. Symptoms of heatstroke include dizziness, headache, confusion, rapid pulse and weakness. Grand Prairie is also offering water and you can buy a visitors meal ticket for $5.00. 

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Macomb Downtown Development Director Kristin Terry Discusses Downtown Sculpture Exhibition

Macomb Downtown Development Director Kristin Terry came in studio today to discuss the new Downtown Sculpture Exhibition. Macomb received the new public artwork, that will be up in the city through May 2018.

 

Eight different sculptures have been placed throughout various locations in Macomb. These locations include, Macomb Fire Department Station #1, McDonough County Sherriff Department (S. MacArthur-E. Jackson St.), Bus Transfer Station (N. Randolph), Westen Investment (N. Lafayette St.), Mummert Building (N. Lafayette St.), City Hall, FYI Yogurt green space (E. Carroll St.), and Macomb Public Library (S. Lafayette St.). 

 

The program, which is in its second year, is based off of sponsorships. It does not use any public tax money, despite common misconceptions regarding that. 

 

You can listen to my full conversation with Kristin Terry here.

 

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MacombNewsNow Feature Where Were You When?

Monday, June 12th marks the 30th anniversary of President Reagan's historic declaration at the Brandenberg Gate to then Russian Premier Mikhail Gorbachev regarding the Berlin Wall: "Mr. Gorbachev," said the President, "Tear down this wall." The speech has gone down in history as a landmark moment in world history as President Reagan's Berlin Wall speech. MacombNewsNow 104.7 WLMD and MacombNewsNow.com wants to know where were you when you when the President called for an end to the Berlin Wall. 

 

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Western Illinois Congresswoman Bustos Reacts to Comey Testimony

As heard on Thursday on MacombNewsNow 104.7 WLMD and streaming here at MacombNewsNow.com, former FBI Directoor James Comey testified before the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday morning and discussed among a number of topics, his relationship with President Trump, his firm belief that Russian hackers did in facts hack the 2016 though not affecting the outcome, and his firing from his post last month. Western Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos is among many in Washington D.C who is reacting with alarm to the former director's testimony. Representative Bustos released the following statement Thursday afternoon. 

 

“With each passing day, we are getting closer and closer to understanding the full extent of President Trump’s ties to Vladimir Putin and his potentially illegal attempt to derail a federal investigation. The testimony of former FBI Director James Comey is deeply disturbing and damages the trust that all Americans expect from our President. While I firmly believe we need a truly independent, bipartisan investigation to uncover the truth, I am hopeful that today’s testimony will help advance Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s case so we can get to the bottom of this mess.

“Hardworking families across the heartland want Washington to focus on creating jobs and growing the economy. But instead, all we’re getting is one scandal after another from President Trump.”

 

Stay tuned to MacombNewsNow 104.7 WLMD, Fox News Radio and MacombNewsNow.com for continuing coverage of the fallout from the former FBI Director's testimony and President Trump's reaction. 

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NBA Slam Dunk Champion Glenn Robinson Will Talk NBA Finals With Sam Kuperman on MacombNewsNow.com and K100

Glenn Robinson, known to Indiana Pacers fans as GR3 will join our Sports Director Sam Kuperman to preview the NBA Finals. Robinson is the 2016-2017 NBA Slam Dunk champion and is promoting his new shoe, the All City 5, which is available at WayofWade.com. Glenn went head to head with both the Cavaliers and the Warriors this past season and will let you know if he thinks the Warriors can complete their historic undefeated playoff run. Come back to MacombNewsNow.com later this morning to hear the interview or tune in to K100 at 9:45 Am this morning for a little NBA Finals talk. Koop on K100 airs each weekday morning from 6 Am to 10 Am on K100. 

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Gary's Ride For Veterans Raising Money for Vets and Their Bikes This Weekend

Saturday beginning at the Outskirts in Macomb, 201 South Shady Lane, 8 AM will mark the start of the 1st Annual Gary's Ride for Veterans, in honor of Gary R. Gray. Proceeds from the ride will go to Foundation 14, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting Veterans and their love of motorcycles. We were lucky enough to catch up with Gray Havens for more on this remarkable local fundraiser. 

 

MacombNewsNow: Tell us about the inspiration for Gary's Ride for Benefit, where did the idea to do this come from? 

 

Gray Havens: The idea for the benefit ride came from my dad having an undying love for his Harley Davidson; we feel this is one of the best ways to honor his memory! He was a Vietnam Veteran himself and the group receiving the proceeds from the ride are a a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to supporting our veterans and their passion to ride motorcycles.

 

MacombNewsNow: Who was Gary Gray for those who might not have known him?

 

Gray Havens: Gary Gray was a member of 101st Airborne. Gary was born on December 19th, 1950 in Pittsfield Illinois. He married Pam on May 16th, 1987. Together they had two children, Cody Gray and Kelsey Havens. Gary also had three grandchildren; Delilah Gray (7 years), Quinlee Gray (2 years) and Abel Havens (3 months). Some might have known him from his years as being a drug and alcohol counselor, or from working at Whalen Manufacturing. Others might have known him from his joy of just being out riding his motorcycle. We are an organization that is committed to supporting our military veterans and their passion for riding.

 

MacombNewsNowTell us about Foundation 14 and why they were chosen to benefit from this event.

 

Gray Havens: Foundation 14 is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to supporting our veterans and their passion to ride motorcycles. From custom modifications to their Right-to-Ride program, fundraisers, and community service they do everything they can to get veterans on the road. This group was chosen to receive the profits from my dad’s benefit ride because of their passion for helping vets out there get back on the road. An organization like that will forever change lives! The power of two wheels on the open road is endless!!

 

MacombNewsNow: How can people get more information and how can they take part and help raise money?

 

Gray Havens: People can get more information by finding our event page on fb “Gary’s Ride for Veterans” or “Foundation 14” to get in touch with the group receiving the proceeds from the ride. Anyone and everyone is more than welcome to join us on the ride, June 10th at The Outskirts in Macomb Illinois. Registration for the Ride and Bike show starts at 8:30AM. Bike judging will start at 9:00AM, judging will wrap up at 10:00AM followed by announcing winners for each class.. Kickstands up at 10:30AM.

Cost for the ride Bike Show Entry fee
Bike show- $15
Bike show and ride- $20

Bike Ride Entry Fee
Single- $10
Double- $15
Car- $10
Passengers- $5 per person

ALL proceeds are going to Foundation 14.

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Macomb Police Honor Guard Cardinals Tickets Winner Gives Tickets to Local Veteran

On Thursday our Sam Kuperman on K100 was joined by Lt. Jason York with the Macomb Police Honor Guard to talk about the Honor Guard presenting the colors at this Saturday's St. Louis Cardinals game against the Philadelphia Phillies. You can listen to the interview by clicking HERE. Lt. York brought along 5 pairs of tickets that we gave away on K100 while the Honor Guard gave away one more par via the Macomb Police Department Facebook page and that's when something cool happened. Carrie Gonzalez of Macomb was named the winner of the Like and Share contest but when she revealed she would not be able to attend the game she asked that the tickets be given to a local veteran. Thus, the tickets were awarded local veteran Thomas Eddington who picked up his tickets at the police station the same day. Congratulations to Thomas and a big thank you and congratulations to the Macomb Police Honor Guard. 

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WLMD's Sean Hannity Wins Freedom of Speech award

MacombNewsNow.com 104.7 WLMD and MacombNewsNow.com are proud to announce that Sean Hannity, whose radio show airs weekday afternoons from 3 Pm to 6 Pm on MacombNewsNow. 104.7 and streams live at MacombNewsNow.com, has been honored with the The Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech. The award handed out by industry magazine Talkers is bestowed each year on the broadcaster who exemplifies the idea of Freedom of Speech in talk radio. You can hear Sean Hannity each weekday from 3 Pm to 6 Pm weekdays on MacombNewsNow 104.7 WLMD and MacombNewsNow.com. Congratulations Mr. Hannity. 

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Interview Actor David Oyelowo Talks About his New Movie A United Kingdom

David Oyelowo is best known for his Golden Globe nominated performance in "Selma." In that Academy Award nominated film Oyelowo portrayed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and was almost universally praised by critics for his powerful performance. Oyelowo's latest effort is called "A United Kingdom," the remarkable true story of the romance at the center of the founding of the Kingdom of Botswana. Oyelowo portrays King Saretse Khama who traveled to London in the 1950's to study law and fell in love with a fellow student, a white woman named Ruth Williams. The romance threatened to derail his ascenscion to his rightful throne while also battlig the cultural mores of the era which frowned up the interracial coupling. Our Sam Kuperman talked with David Oyelowow about the movie, his career and more. "A United Kingdom" is available on-demand and on DVD and Blu Ray. 

Click here for the interview.

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Fireflies An Indicator of Trouble for Farmers

Lightning bugs are a sure sign of summer, but they also serve as an important indicator for farmers. If you see them, it’s time to scout your fields says Kelly Estes with the Illinois Natural History Survey.
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Even though populations have been low the past couple of years, Estes says corn rootworm still remains one of the top corn pests in Illinois.
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Estes says she’s also been receiving scattered reports around the state of army worm in both wheat and corn.

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McDonough County Sheriff Announces Three More Arrests in Operation Icemelt

Three more people have been arrested as part of the McDonough County Sheriff's ongoing methamphetimine crackdown known as operation Icemelt. 25 year old Jackson W. Agans and 29 year old Samantha M. Walters, both of Avon, Illinois, were arrested after suspicious behavior led police to investigate their vehicle as it sat in a driveway in the area of East 2250th and North 2000th in McDonough County. Further investigation of the occupants of the vehicle led officers to call for a canine search of the vehicle which turned up 43 grams of Methamphetimine and a 38 calibur, unloader, Derringer under the driver's seat. Amid the Police investigation of the vehicle another vehicle driven by 28 year old Joshua V. Decker of Bushbell arrived at the scene and interfered with Police. Decker was arrested at the scene after police uncovered that he was driving on a suspended license and had a pair of outstanding warrants from Fulton County. Deputies also noted that Decker was arrested while carrying clear plastic baggies containing methamphetimine residue. Agans stands charged with Possession with Intent to Deliver 15 to 30 Ounces of Methamphetimine, Walters also faces a charge of Possession with Intent to Deliver 15 to 30 Ounces of Methamphetimine along with a charge of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm. Decker faces charges of Drive While License Suspended and Possession of Methamphetimine under 5 Grams along with two outstanding unrelated warrants from arrests in Fulton County. All three suspects were taken to the McDonough County Jail to await disposition. 

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Live Now on MacombNewsNow.com and 104.7 FM Former FBI Director James Comey Testifies

Tune now to MacombNewsNow 104.7 WLMD for live coverage of former FBI Director James Comey testifying before the House Intelligence Committee regarding the investigation of Russian hacking of the 2016 election and President Trump's alleged conversations with the FBI Director regarding the investigation and the FBI treatment for former Trump official General Michael Flynn. Listen live on MacombNewsNow 104.7 WLMD or stream the event live by clicking the logo below. Stay tuned following the former Director's testimony for live coverage from Fox News Radio's Jared Halperin and live coverage of the White House reaction from Jon Decker. 

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K100 Will Talk with A United Kingdom and Selma Star David Oyelowo Today

Actor David Oyelowo received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actor for his portrayal of Dr. Martin Luther King in the movie "Selma." This week David's latest movie, "A United Kingdom," co-starring "Gone Girl" star Rosamund Pike, has been released on DVD. The story tells the incredible true story of King Seretse Khama of Botswana who, after studying law in London as a young man, fell in love with a fellow student, played by Ms. Pike, a white woman. As he battles societal in prejudice in London he also battles tradition and British rule in his home country. The film is directed by Amma Asante who received praise for her 2013 release "Belle." We will talk with actor David Oyelowo today on MacombNewsNows.com with our interview going live at 11 Am and highlights from the interview on the All Request Lunch Hour on K100 from Noon to 1 with myself and Ali Weston. 

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2nd Annual Downtown Macomb Sculpture Exhibition Begins Today

Downtown Macomb is getting a little more beautiful. City of Macomb Development Director Kristin Terry announced on Wednesday the start of the second annual Downtown Macomb Sculpture Exhibition will begin today, Thursday. Eight new works of art will be install in eight different downtown locations with plans for the exhibits to remain in place through May of 2018. Locations to see the new exhibits include the Macomb Fire Station #1, the McDonough County Sheriff's Department, Western Investment, the Mummert Building, Macomb City Hall, the greenspace around FYI Frozen Yogurt, and the Macomb Public Library. Artists from New York City, Chicago, Kentucky and Missouri have contributed exhibits for this years event with the installation of the exhibits beginning today, Thursday, June 8th.

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Work on Outer Ring of Macomb Downtown Square Will Lead to Brief Traffic Restrictions

Macomb Downtown Revitalization will lead to some road closures downtown through Friday. According to a release from the City of Macomb while work on the sewer system in the alleyway on the southwest corner of the square, between Chubby's and Louie's Diner has been completed, work on the outer ring of the square is now underway and will lead to traffic restrictions in the area. Work should be completed on this portion of the project by Friday with plans for the full downtown revitalization work to be done by mid-August. 

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Governor Rauner warns of special session

Governor Bruce Rauner says lawmakers may be returning to Springfield sooner, rather than later and not by choice as the state's budget disaster rolls on.....
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Despite the threat, Rauner says there is some work going on in the General Assembly toward a budget deal...
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Despite his claims the school finance restructuring bill is a bailout for Chicago schools, Rauner told a reporter in Peoria when it comes to a possible delayed start to the school year because of the budget impasse "we won't let that happen".

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Attracting and Retaining Young Workers Businesses Biggest Problem

Businesses across the country and right here in McDonough County are telling the business and social media site LinkedIn about their biggest struggle: attracting and keeping young employees. The social media business site posted a report on Wednesday stating that the question most business executives are asking is how their corporate or business structure plays a role in  bringing young people to their company. MacombNewsNow.com reached out to Martin Kral director of the Career Development Center at Western Illinois University and asked several questions about what Western students are telling him about the corporate and business structure they look for in a potential career and which industries have proven most effective in attracting the next generation of employees. 

 

MacombNewsNow: What, if any role does a positive corporate culture play in helping a student determine where they'd like to work?

 

Martin Kral: This seems to be a growing issue with younger hires. They are looking for like minded organizations that align with their views, ethically, morally, professionally. They would rather take a lesser salary and be with an employer that has the same values system that they do. New hires also are looking to organizations that foster and nurture professional development, provide mentoring / guidance, and a positive / flexible work environment.

 

MacombNewNow.com: As someone who helps students in deciding what career they are interested in or what job they have an interest in, what advice do you have for companies hoping to attract the next class of Western Illinois grads?

 

Martin Kral: Employers need to look at the individual and their accomplishments rather than just the graduates degree/major. Employers obviously will want new hires to have related experiences (internships) but they also need to look a candidates transferable skills (things that they have learned at other jobs, in the classroom, community service, student organizations) as highly marketable skills.

 

MacombNewsNow.com: What industries are currently showing the most growth in interest from the Western Illinois students you deal with?

 

Martin Kral: Business (Accounting, Supply Chain Management, Sales/Marketing, Finance, Management) IT/CS, Health Care (Nursing, SLP) Law Enforcement, Construction, Agriculture, The Sciences, Social Services.

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Galesburg Man Dies in Tragic Accident While Saving Boy from Drowning

Update: Despite initial reports that Malik A. Williams of Galesburg was the father of the boy who fell into the water near River Drive in Moline new information indicates that he is not in fact the boys' father. 

 

A Galesburg father is dead following a tragic accident. 25 year old Malik A. Williams of Galesburg was fishing with his 6 year old son in the 5400 Block of River Drive in Moline, Illinois when the boy fell into the river. Williams dove into the river to save his son who was eventually rescued by a passing motorist. Motorist, Van Thang of Moline, responded when he heard screams near the river. Mr. Thang managed to save the 6 year old child but by the time he'd gone back for the father he was unable to locate Williams. Moline Police announced on Thursday that the search for the body of Malik Williams has, for now, been suspended unitl further notice. The Moline Police are continuing to investigate the incident. 

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Macomb Police Honor Guard Presenting Colors for St Louis Cardinals This Weekend

The Macomb Police Department Honor Guard is heading to St. Louis this weekend. The Honor Guard will once again honor America prior the Cardinals game this weekend against the Philadelphia Phillies. The Guard has previously presented colors at a Cardinals game in April of 2016. You can find out which game the Honor Guard will be taking part in and win tickets to that game by tuning in tomorrow morning to Koop on K100. Lt. Jason York will join Sam Kuperman live in studio just after 7 Am and he's bringing tickets to give away on the show! Tune in to K100 tomorrow morning, just after 7 Am for the chance to win. A big thank you and congratulations to the Macomb Police Honor Guard from all of us at Regional Media and MacombNewsNow.com

 

Listen below for the complete interview with Lt. York. 

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Watchdog Group Trying to Save Landline Service in Illinois

Even though the Illinois General Assembly resoundingly supported legislation that would kill traditional home phone service in Illinois, the Citizen's Utility Board is hoping to convince Governor Bruce Rauner to veto the bill. The deregulation bill would allow AT&T to stop offering traditional landline service once the FCC gives final approval. Jim Chilsen of the Citizens Utility Board says he is hopeful the Governor will step in.

Click Here 

The legislation would also allow AT&T to eliminate the low-cost "Consumer Choice" local calling plans. Chilsen says this legislation does nothing to mandate AT&T make telecom-related improvements.

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Comey To Tell Committee that President Trump Asked for Loyalty

Tomorrow beginning at 9 Am you will hear live coverage of Former FBI Director James Comey's testimony before the House Intelligence Commttee on MacombNewsNow 104.7 WLMD and streaming here at MacombNewsNow.com. Today, Fox News reports that Comey, in a preview of his opening statement, is prepared to tell the committee that in a private Oval Office meeting President Trump asked Comey for 'Loyalty' and that he responded that he would only provide honesty. Tune in to MacombNewsNow 104.7 WLMD or stream here at MacombNewsNow.com starting at 9 Am, Thursday morning with live anchored coverage from Fox News Radio hosts Jared Halperin and Tonya J. Powers and live post-hearing coverage from the White House with correspondent Jon Decker. 

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Lane Reductions on IL 95 in McDonough County

Resurfacing work in McDonaugh County will lead to lane restrictions on IL 95. The Illinois Department of Transportation on Wednesday announced that resurfacing work on IL 95 between McDonough and the City of Marrietta in Fulton County will cause lanes to be reduced and speed limits restricted. The resurfacing work is expected to take about two week. 

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Interview: Dawn Piper on Why More Stressed Execs Turning to Yoga

This article is not a paid advertisement. Rather, a recent article on the social media business site LinkedIn talked about how more and more corporate executives are interested in articles on Yoga and stress. This got me thinking, who better than our good friend Dawn Piper from Free Range Yoga and Wellness right here in Macomb to talk about why people in high paying, high stress job are more and more seeking out Yoga. I spoke with Dawn via email today. 

 

A recent article on LinkedIn showed that more corporate executives are taking an interest in yoga. What do you think is driving this interest?

 

We live in a culture where it's like we are racing downhill with no brakes. We are over-stimulated, over-stressed, and way under on our self care to buffer that stress. It's no surprise that so many people feel pulled apart and out of control.

I find it interesting (and sad) when I talk to groups of professionals, so many of them are living in physical, mental, and emotional pain. Their bodies hurt: they have "bad backs, bad knees, bad shoulders" or their spirits hurt: they are "depressed, have panic attacks, or completely stressed out".  And they just accept it - "I'm ____ years old - of course I'm going to be in pain." And I think, "why?" living in pain is not inevitable. You can live your life and feel good, you can ask any of our students at Free Range. You can feel better!

We go through most of our lives in our heads and our bodies willingly go along with us - we tell our bodies to get up from a chair and our legs do what we ask, until we get to a certain age - which is different for all of us. Then when we tell our bodies to lift us from a chair we start to notice we are we are straining, or using our arms to push ourselves up, or compensating with our backs. Our bodies are no longer operating optimally. This brings up a lot of fear of aging and anger, but really it makes sense, if we don't care for our body along the way, how can we expect it to do what we need? If we stopped getting oil changes, how long would our cars last? Depending on the style of yoga, it can be wonderful to help people get their strength and stamina back.

Corporate executives, like the rest of us, are steeped in stress. With yoga, they can bring more balance into their lives, incorporating breath work, meditation, and movement to help them become their best. Yoga improves concentration and helps you to make better decisions. It puts you into a place of growth instead of depletion (you know those workouts that make you feel worse afterward?) When you leave a yoga class you should feel lighter, more whole, more centered, more fully you and that can equal success for corporate executives. And it helps combat the stress hormones that are flooding their bodies on a daily basis which helps them have better health, lower their blood pressure, and reduces their chances for heart attack and other stress-related illnesses.


Here in Macomb, you have a diverse clientele have you noticed any shift in the kinds of people taking up yoga for the first time?

 

Definitely. Just recently I've noticed an increase in the number of corporate executives in high-stress jobs coming to my private Yoga Therapy sessions. These are people who are ambitious, driven, and also, stressed out, in pain, and sick of it. I'm able to help them notice their compensatory patterns they repeatedly do, change these patterns, and most times get out of pain - physical, mental, and yes, emotional - and feel better, many times for the first time in years. They'll say things like, "I didn't realize I was holding my breath and now I'm breathing again" or "I went to sleep last night for the first time in 6 years and slept a full 9 hours. I feel GREAT!" 

In group classes, I see lots of professionals who are ready for a change because they are under so much stress - job, family, relationship, money, whatever. And they want to find a way to move that doesn't hurt and that's what we give them. We help people gain true strength without strain or breath-holding and we help them honor the body they are in, with as little ego as possible. We start to lighten up on ourselves - and it feels very freeing when we can grow, but let things unfold more in their own time, practicing more kindness for ourselves.

 

What benefit might yoga have for people with high stress jobs?

 

Yoga can help center them and help them to find more of their own power. It can help them be present to the moment they are in without living in the past or future. Yoga gives you a clearer perspective on life and helps you deepen your relationship with your best self. You realize that you don't have to stand on your head or wrap yourself up like a pretzel to do yoga, you just have to be willing to meet yourself where you are and keep practicing. At Free Range we talk a lot about taking baby steps because we can't change everything at once and likely don't need to. Yoga helps us become more refined and a better version of ourselves. It helps us to be more calm, less reactive, and to realize that when we fall, we can dust ourselves off and try again. Yoga helps us become more resilient and kinder to ourselves and in turn, to others.

After yoga classes, we pause for a minute and notice how different we are at that moment than when we started the class. It's amazing how much tension we carry around with us and very freeing when we realize we have new ways we can be. It's awesome how good yoga can help you feel, but don't just take my word for it, find a class and try it for yourself. No matter how young or old you are, you can feel better, and we can help.

 

Dawn Piper, owner and E-RYT 200
Free Range Yoga and Community Wellness Center
118 and 122 N Lafayette St.
Macomb, IL 61455

www.freereangeyoga.us
309-333-5069

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Durbin Continues Attack on GOP Health Plan

Senator Dick Durbin continues to blast the health care repeat bill from Congressional Republicans. He told colleagues on the Senate Floor that the bill would would jeopardize medical services in rural communities across the country. Durbin says they are often a main economic engine in smaller, rural areas...
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Durbin says the House passed health care plan would cut funding for Illinois' Medicaid program by $40 billion. He believes pink slips and closures wouldn't be far behind...
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Durbin notes in rural Illinois communities, half of all children get their health care through Medicaid.

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Brain Freeze Shaved Ice Sets Up Shop in Macomb

Brain Freeze Shaved Ice will be in Macomb throughout the summer serving their twenty-seven flavors of shaved ice. The Augusta-based food truck business will be open in Macomb Wednesday-Friday from 3-9 PM in the Elbe Auto Sales West Lot near Pizza Hut on East Jackson St. The Brain Freeze truck (pictured above), is green with purple lettering and yellow stripes across it. There is also a large shaved ice sign above the truck. 

 

Jodi, one of three business owners with Brain Freeze, came in studio to discuss more about her business and why they are excited to be in Macomb. 

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First Christian Church of Macomb Kicks Off Summer Fun Days This Saturday

The First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Macomb will hold its first of three Summer Fun Days this Saturday, June 10. The event, called Circus Fun, will take place at the McDonough County YMCA from 1:30-4 PM that day. 

 

Saturday's event gives kids the chance to learn and take part in basic circus acts. Registration can be completed online or at the YMCA Saturday. Children who have completed 1st-5th grades are invited to participate. 

 

Additional events this summer include a "Let's Get Messy," day on July 22 and a "Summer Splash Down," on August 12. For more information on Circus Fun and all of the Summer Fun Days, listen to my interview with Rev. Kelly Ingersoll.

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Governor Rauner States Budget Negotiations Continuing Despite End of Session

Governor Bruce Rauner held a press conference in Springfield on Tuesday to talk about the continuing to turmoil surrounding the lack of a state budget. Illinois lawmakers left Springfield last week after failing for the the third straight year to approve a state budget but Governor Rauner told reporters on Tuesday that despite the end of the latest session, budget talks are continuing. Our Kim Howard was on hand and offers this report. 

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Applicator training center opens for fertilizer and chemical industry in Illinois

A new training resource will soon be available for those ag businesses that apply fertilizer and chemicals in Illinois. Jim Taylor reports.
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Congressman LaHood Says Proposed Cuts to Department of Ag Are Too Deep

Central Illinois Congressman Darin LaHood says a 20-percent cut to the U.S. Department of Agriculture budget runs too deep. And one of the casualties in President Trump’s budget plan is the Peoria ag lab. LaHood says a joint effort is already underway in Illinois to keep the facility open.
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And LaHood says the Peoria ag lab is more than just a central Illinois issue.
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LaHood says Illinois’ entire congressional delegation has signed a letter sent to the President pushing to keep the lab open. 

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Lost Cats in Fandon

We received a message this morning about two lost cats in Fandon. They have been missing for two weeks and may be trying to get to their original home in Macomb near Georgetown. The yellow male is named Yeller and the brown female is named Cleo. They are fixed and microchipped. 

 

If you have any information on the whereabouts of these cats call (773) 330-7297. 

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MacombNewsNow 104.7 Will Have Live Coverage of James Comey Testimony Thursday

Former FBI Director James Comey will testify before Congress on Thursday. Comey is expected to address issues related to his leaving the position of FBI Director as well as the state of the ongoing investigation of Russian intervention into the U.S election in 2016 at the time he left as FBI Director. MacombNewsNow.com and WLMD 104.7 FM will have live coverage on the radio and streaming of the Former Director Comey's testimony beginning at 9 Am on Thursday morning. Fox News Radio's Jared Halperin will host with full reaction and analysis from Fox News Radio immediately following the former director's testimony. Stream Thursday's coverage here at MacombNewsNow.com by clicking the streaming link here

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Congressman Darin LaHood Weighs in on Illinois Budget Mess

701 days without a budget. 14-and-half-billion dollars in unpaid bills. Those are the numbers in Springfield as state lawmakers move past another adjournment date. The next key day on the calendar is July 1. That’s the start of the state’s new fiscal year says Mark Gebhards—Illinois Farm Bureau’s Director of Governmental Affairs and Commodities.
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Former State Senator Darin LaHood of Dunlap now serves in the U.S. House, representing Illinois’ 18th Congressional District. He places much of the blame in Springfield on what he calls “a legislature dominated by Chicago.”
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Because the May 31st adjournment date has passed, it will now take a two-thirds majority vote in the Illinois House and State Senate for a state budget to be approved.

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Blagojevich Fails in Court Again

Another legal defeat for former Governor Rod Blagojevich. The 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals rejected his request for another resentencing. He has exhausted virtually all of his legal options. One of the last options would be to ask his former TV boss, former Apprentice host and President Donald Trump for clemency.

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Groundbreaking Begins on Illinois Executive Mansion

Work on the Illinois Executive Mansion continues to move forward. First Lady Diana Rauner took part in a groundbreaking ceremony at the Springfield landmark. She says all indications are the mansion will be restored in time for next year's Illinois Bicentennial Celebration....
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So far, more than $13 million of the $15 million repair cost for the ailing mansion has been raised through private donations.

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State Rep. Butler is seeking a new Constitutional Convention

State Representative Tim Butler is leading the charge for a new Illinois Constitutional Convention. If lawmakers approve Butler's legislation, a question would be added to the 2018 Illinois General Election ballot asking Illinois residents if a state Constitutional Convention should be called. Butler believes the timing is right.....
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Butler says the state's 200th birthday next year is the perfect opportunity to revamp the state constitution.....
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The last state Constitutional Convention was in 1968. It led to the state's fourth and current constitution. 

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Attorney General Urges Education Secretary to Stop Delaying Student Loan Forgiveness

Attorney General Lisa Madigan made a statement today that she will be working with attorneys general and other state officials to put an end to the US department of Education from delaying its program to cancel federal student loans for Illinois students. According to a press release Madigan sent a letter to US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today urging that the department to review applications and work to forgive loans. In the letter Madigan wrote “Relieving these hard-working Americans of their fraud-induced student debt will free them to participate more fully in their local economies.” Madigan’s office runs a free Student Loan Helpline to provide student borrowers with free resources about repayment options. More information can be found on her website http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/

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Macomb Public Works Construction and Road Closures Starting Today

Macomb Public Works has announced new projects that will lead to temporary street closures. According to a release from Macomb Public Works beginning Monday, June 5th, North White Street from East Jackson to Piper Street will be under construction. Work in the area should take approximately two weeks, weather permitting. Also beginning on Monday, June 5th, Wigwam Hollow Road from West Jackson to Adams Street will be closed for construction. The Intersection at Adams will be part of the closure. This project is also scheduled to last two weeks, weather permitting. 

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Quincy Man Arrested on Methamphetimine Charges

Illinois State Police and Quincy Police have announced the arrest of a Quincy man on Methamphetimine related charges. 51 year old Larry Michael Beebe of Quincy was arrested on Thursday, June 1st at approximately 2:00 Pm at his home on Granview. Beebe was arrested as part of an ongoing investigation into ICE Methamphetimine, a crackdown that began back in April. During the arrest Beebe attempted to run from police and was found to be carrying a bag of methamphetimine once captured by pursuing officers. Beebe is charged with Unlawful Delivery of Methamphetimine and Unlawful Possession of Methamphetimine. 

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Macomb City Council Agenda 06-05-17

Tonight's Macomb City Council meeting agenda will include the consideration to award an Electric Pump Contract to Springview Hills lift station #3, consideration to approve a facade grant to Nostalgia Decorating, and the continuing consideration to approve a CDAP Revolving Loan application from Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins. Click below for a full copy of tonight's agenda. The Macomb City Council meets tonight at  7 Pm at Macomb City Hall. 

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DNR Offers $100 Bounty for Black Carp Caught in Illinois Waterways

Illinois and several other states want to rid waterways of a fish that threatens others and could be on the verge of entering the Great Lakes. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources seeks help from the state’s commercial fishermen. The agency wants black carp out of Illinois waterways—a species of the invasive Asian carp says IDNR’s Kevin Irons.
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Irons says there are several different species of the Asian carp.
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Those that catch a black carp, can contact Irons at 217-557-0719 or kevin.irons@illinois.gov to collect the $100 bounty. Groups such as Illinois Farm Bureau are watching control efforts closely, since efforts to control black and other Asian carp have the potential to disrupt the river navigation system.

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Illinois State Police Release Crime Statistics for Memorial Day Weekend

The Illinois State Police have released their Memorial Day Weekend enforcement statistics. According to the Illinois State Police the holiday weekend, from May 26th through the 29th, Illinois State Troopers issued 5585 traffic citations and 4597 written warnings statewide. On the drunk driving front State Troopers made 80 arrests for driving under the influence over the holiday weekend. Finally, in seatbelt enforcement numbers 576 people were cited while cellphone users were cited more than 300 times. 

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Hancock County Man Arrested on Drug Charges

A Hancock county man is under arrest following a brief chase with police in Hamilton, Illinois. According to a release from the Hancock County Sheriff's Office, officers attempted to arrest Chad Riddle of Hamilton on Friday at approximately 8:45 Am. Upon seeing police Hamilton fled the scene in a black 1999 Mercedes leading to a chase which ended in an accident when Hamilton's vehicle made contact with a police vehicle. Hamilton then attempted to flee on foot before officers took him into custody. Officers were attempting to serve a warrant on Methamphetimine charges and a subsequent search of Riddle's vehicle is likely to lead to more charges. Hancock County Sheriff's Deputies were assisted by Hamilton Police in making the arrest. 

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Most Illinoisans Ignore Signs of Stroke

About 1 in 3 American adults experience a symptom consistent with a warning or mini stroke, but very few - 3 percent - take the recommended action, according to a recent survey from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association.

Cardiovascular disease is responsible for about a third of all deaths in Illinois and 13 percent of all hospitalizations.

Dr. Jin-Moo Lee, director of Stroke Services at Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, says 35 percent of respondents report having experienced at least one sign of a warning stroke, and those who did were more likely to wait, rest or take medicine than call 911.

"The treatments for stroke have to be implemented within the first several hours, and so it's really important to recognize the signs and symptoms of a stroke so that patients can show up to the emergency room," he says.

Signs of a stroke include sudden onset of weakness or numbness on one part of the body, severe headache, only being able to see out of one eye, and difficulty speaking.

Three in four strokes strike those age 65 and older, and the risk of having a stroke more than doubles each decade after age 55.

Keeping blood pressure in check, a healthy balanced diet, and getting enough exercise are top ways to ward off strokes.

Lee says strokes are caused by a blockage of an artery in the brain that cuts off blood flow. He says many people suffer a mini stroke, which is a stroke that reverses itself, and the symptoms go away, but he says that doesn't mean everything is OK.

"These symptoms are transient," he explains. "They come and go. Many people think that they're benign.

"However they're usually a warning sign that another stroke will occur. So capturing someone before that stroke occurs is really important so that prevention measures can be taken. "

Strokes are the second leading cause of death in the world, and number one cause of adult disability.

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Regional Media Movie Review Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman returns Gal Gadot to role of Wonder Woman she assumed in "Batman Vs. Superman" to tell the origin story of Diana Prince. Here we find Diana, a Princess on her home isle of Themiscyra, home of the Amazons. Themiscyra was created by Zeus as a hidden paradise but that paradise meets the real world when a World War 1 spy, Steve Trevor, crashes on the island and informs the Amazons of the horrors of the war. Diana elects to take Steve back to the War as long as he agrees to take her to where the fighting is the worst. She believes she will find the Amazon's greatest enemy, Aries, The God of War, there. Here's my review of "Wonder Woman." 

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Regional Media Movie Review Captain Underpants The First Epic Adventure

Just hours after seeing “Captain Underpants: The First Epic Adventure” I am still wondering why I didn’t like the movie? It’s a pleasant enough film. The animation is okay, the voice acting is good enough with Thomas Middleditch, Kevin Hart and Ed Helms creating a satisfying chemistry as the main leads. So why am I so down on the film?


“Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie” stars Thomas Middleditch and Kevin Hart as Harold and George, middle school troublemakers who’ve started their own comic book. That comic is called “Captain Underpants” and it chronicles the adventures of a caped hero in nothing more than tighty whiteys who fights crime while also being very, very stupid.


George and Harold’s nemesis in the film is their middle school principal Mr. Krupp (Ed Helms). Mr. Krupp hates anything that brings joy. When Mr. Krupp discovers the boy’s making comic books during recess he destroys their latest issue while vowing to catch them as they play their next epic prank, leading to, of course, a montage of the boy’s myriad misdeeds.


Mr. Krupp vows that the next time he catches George and Harold in a prank he will put them in separate classes, something he and they believe will kill their lifelong friendship. Naturally, the boys can’t resist another prank and when the weasily brown-nosing Melvin (Jordan Peele) catches the prank on camera, the boy’s face the prospect of separation.


In their desperation George uses a cereal box ring to hypnotize Mr. Krupp and it works. After briefly trying out the principal as a chicken, they decide to convince Krupp that he is Captain Underpants and that’s where the plot kicks in. Though he has no actual superpowers, Mr. Krupp still tries his hand at crime fighting, having read a few of the boys’ comics off-screen, leading to all sorts of disasters, especially when a nerdy, picked on scientist decides to become a super-villain.


Looking back over the first paragraph of this review it occurred to me that my adjectives tell the story here. ‘Pleasant enough,’ ‘the animation is okay,’ ‘the voice acting is good enough.’ Everything in “Captain Underpants: The First Epic Adventure” could be fairly described as adequate and while adequate in this case meant I wasn’t actively disliking the film, that’s certainly not the experience I was hoping for from this adaptation.


I’ve never read the book that “Captain Underpants: The First Epic Adventure” is based upon but I know enough incredible people who have and who swear by its genius. These are people who read it to their children and felt the same delight that those children felt as they made their way through those unique adventures. The movie feels like a weak tea version of the book I have heard so much about.


I went into this film looking to be delighted and came out quite mildly amused. I didn’t laugh during “Captain Underpants: The First Epic Adventure.” I regarded the film with full attention and I was never put off by it, even the potty humor is of the most mild, inoffensive sort, but I don’t go to the movies simply to pay respectful attention, I want to be engaged and delighted by a film like this and it just never happened.


Would I have found the film more engaging if I had read the book? Maybe, but I doubt it. There is simply nothing special here. As I said before, everything in the film is adequate. Each aspect of the film achieves being just above average and nothing falls notably below average. “Captain Underpants: The First Epic Adventure” is remarkably ordinary. If you seek a remarkably ordinary experience for yourself and your kids, “Captain Underpants: The First Epic Adventure” is the movie for you.

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Macomb Area CrimeStoppers Fugitive of the Week

Macomb Area Crime Stoppers has released the name of their fugitive of the week. Police are seeking information regarding Todd A. Dixon, 6 feet tall, white male, approximately 185 pounds with brown eyes and a tattoo on his right hand. Dixon is wanted on methamphetimine releated charges. If you have any information on the whereabouts of Todd Dixon please contact Macomb Area Crimestoppers at 309-836-3222. Information that leads to the capture of Todd Dixon could earn you a cash reward. 

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Bustos has issues with cuts to ag & transportation in Trump budget plan

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos has two main problems with President Trump’s budget proposal—cuts to transportation funding and funding for agriculture.
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Bustos says she’s especially surprised by the cuts in ag spending because small rural areas are where President Trump had much success in his November victory.

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Only in Illinois can you celebrate horseradish and rhubarb on the same weekend

You just may be in Illinois when one part of the state celebrates horseradish and the other celebrates rhubarb…..on the same weekend. Aledo in western Illinois, will usher in its 26th year of the Rhubarb Festival this Friday and Saturday says organizer Pam Ricke.
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Collinsville—just outside of St. Louis, is celebrating 30 years of the International Horseradish Festival this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

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U of I report shows middle class shrinking in Illinois

Any way you slice it, the middle class continues to shrink in Illinois. That’s the finding in a report finished by a University of Illinois expert in urban development and local economies. Robert Habans (hay-bins) says defining the middle class can be a moving target.
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Habans research found that middle income households made up nearly 60-percent of Illinois in the 1970s to just under 50-percent in 2015.
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And Habans says although there has been some growth in the percentage of upper income households, it hasn’t outpaced growth in the lower income demographic.
Habans says the complexion of the middle class is also changing because of the declining manufacturing base. Those jobs in middle income households are being replaced by service sector jobs—like health care, professional services and retail. 

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Sixth Annual Youth Assistance Program Golf Outing Will Be Held Saturday

The Youth Assistance Program of McDonough County will hold its Sixth Annual Golf Outing on Saturday, June 3. The event will raise money for the Youth Assistance Program, which helps out school-aged area youth in need of funds to participate in extracurricular activities. 

 

The Golf Outing, which is held in memory of William "Bill" Kelso, will take place at the Gold Hills Golf Course. The event tees off at 9:00 AM Saturday. To learn more about how to get involved with the event and the Youth Assistance Program, listen to my interview with Glenn Daugherty below. 

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Illinois State Police Warns of Phone Scam Using the Illinois State Police Name

Illinois State Police are warning people about a new fundraising phone scam. According to the ISP, scam artists have been calling people across the state claiming they are raising money for a cause related to the Illinois State Police. ISP is warning people that phone calls, specifically those related to the phone number 312-789-5176, are part of the scam though citizens should be wary of any call from any number soliciting money or your financial information. Illinois State Police state that they do not call people to solicit money for the department and that any call soliciting money on behalf of the Illinois State Police should be reported to the office of the Attorney General at 1-800-243-0618. 

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Three Years and Still No Budget in Illinois

Morale is sagging in Illinois as the state enters its third year without a state budget. House Speaker Michael Madigan didn't call for a budget vote and pledged to work with his rival,Governor Bruce Rauner....
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"We've worked with him, we want to continue to work with him on the budgetmaking, and we're going to do that through the month of June"
Rauner wasn't so diplomatic....
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"We've seen a complete dereliction of duty, a tragic failure to serve the people of Illinois"
A budget vote now need a three-fifths majority to pass.

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Op-Ed State Representative Norine Hammond Reacts to Illinois Budget Failure

It is, indeed, entirely unacceptable that Illinois is poised to enter a third year with no State Budget in place.  We need a balanced budget right now!  We cannot let the perfect be the enemy of the good.  We also cannot let the bad pass as good just to drop a mission accomplished banner and pat ourselves on the back.

Without a real balanced and austere solution, we will soon begin to see irreversible damage done to our schools, institutions of higher education, social service providers and the businesses and vendors that provide goods and services to our State.  What we cannot do, though, is repeat the mistakes of the past.  Passing an unbalanced budget only causes further damage to a state that is already fiscally insolvent.

However, if we recognize in a bipartisan way that our State is at the brink of disaster, we can begin to address the problem in a meaningful way.  The Senate’s tax increase proposal does little to address the systemic problems that got us here.  The notion that we can dig out without a combination of some new revenue and some reforms is simply naive.  We need a coordinated effort in June by members of both parties to work together and turn this situation around.  We cannot allow the State to go into the new fiscal year beginning July 1st without a compromise, balanced budget in place.

A lot can happen in a small amount of time in Springfield if we truly work on this problem together, recognizing each others’ priorities.  It’s going to take hard work and a very real commitment by both sides to do so.  So let me be clear- I continue to be committed to putting aside my ideology in recognition of these challenges, but we must avoid “magical thinking” if we hope to dig our way out.  Anyone who tells you this can be fixed without sacrifices is lying to you.  Make no mistake- there will be sacrifices if we want the games to end.  There will have to be resolve to break the bad habits that got us to this tragic condition.  Stop the games, stop the politics and let’s work together to get this done.

Rep. Norine Hammond
State Representative, 93rd District
 

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Macomb State Senator Tracy Reacts to Third Year of No Budget in Illinois

Another legislative session ends without a budget deal between Republicans and Democrats. Macomb based State Senator Jill Tracy spoke to reporters after today's failure to reach a budget agreement and expressed disappoinment that once again the two political parties could not reach a compromise.

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