2017-09-29 13:45:00 by Jennifer Hollimon - Intern
McDonough County United Way announced the hiring of their new Executive Director, Jessica Heitner. She is replacing Cayla Nord, who left the position back in April of this year. Heitner’s new duties include her focusing on event planning, fundraising, and continuing the growth of United Way. Heitner says she is excited for the opportunity to join with board members who care about the community and helping out people in need.
2017-09-29 13:14:00 by Jennifer Hollimon - Intern
The WIU Board of Trustees met at 8 am this morning to discuss the budget recommendations for Fiscal Year 2019. The board approved both operating and capital budgets for the year. There was an approval to increase the operating budget to $15.6 million. That budget will help support cost increases and postponed maintenance. The board also approved the capital budget request of $358 million. This will help renovate multiple buildings on campus. These recommendations will be presented to the Illinois Board of Higher Education. The next Board of Trustees meeting will be on December 14th and 15th on the WIU campus in Macomb.
Macomb Police have put out a statement regsarding road closures and detours related to the Western Illinois University Homecoming Parade on Saturday.
Western Illinois University will be having their Homecoming Parade traveling through the streets of Macomb on Sept 30, 2017. Be aware that this will alter travel ways and parking throughout the city that day from 5:00 a.m. to approximately 1:00 p.m.
The parade participants will be lining up on W. Jefferson St. On Sept 30, 2017, expect W. Jefferson St. to be closed, from Ward St. to Randolph St., beginning at 7:00 AM.
Parking will be temporarily prohibited on W. Jefferson St., but will be reinstated after the event has ended. Residents on W. Jefferson St. should expect an increase in traffic. It may be difficult for residents to exit their driveways. We suggest using the alleyways behind houses, if one exists, or park your cars a block away, on Washington St. or Piper St., if you expect to leave before, or during the parade.
A detour of Hwy 136/67 will start at 9:30 a.m. routing traffic around on West University Drive to Wigwam Hollow Road until the event is concluded. The bypass will be closed from the intersections of Johnson and Jackson Street to Lafayette and Calhoun Street intersection.
Also at 10:00 A.M. the intersection of Wigwam Hollow will be closed for traveling east on Adams St. Southbound traffic will also be prohibited from the intersection of Murray St. and Western Ave. during the parade.
Local traffic trying to commute across town is advised to travel east and west on Grant Street to avoid the congestion the parade provides.
We apologize for in advance any inconvenience or disruption this provides in your weekend travels.
McDonough County Sheriff Rick Van Brooker has announced the arrest of a Bushnell man on Meth and Weapons charges. According to a release from the Sheriff's Office, 21 year old Drake L. Tafflinger of Bushnell was arrested on Wednesday following a traffic stop. Tafflinger was pulled over by police while on his motorcycle in the area of Blaine Street and East Hail Street in Bushnell for several traffic violations. Police observered Tafflinger throwing away a small case containing syringes and approximately 3 grams of Methamphetamine. Shotgun shells were then found on the motorcycle itself and a sawed off shotgun belonging to Tafflinger was found hidden in a tree. Tafflinger was arrested and held at the McDonough County Jail on charges of Meth Possession, traffic violations, Driving under the influence and the illegal possession of a weapon by a felon.
Illinois State Treasurer Mike Frerichs among those who hope lawmakers in Springfield will override a veto of a bill that would get more money into the hands of state residents. Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed House Bill 302 which would require insurance companies to pay out benefits to the loved ones of policy holders after they die. Frerichs says there are hundreds of millions of dollars owed to Illinois residents.
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is announcing his support of Attorney General Lisa Madigan's joint lawsuit against President Trump in his attempt to rescind the DACA program for young undocumented immigrations. Madigan joined 15 of her Attorney General colleagues in the lawsuit. White says DACA program "Dreamers" are displaying the values that we in the United States consider so important: getting an education, working hard, raising families and contributing to their communities,” White said, and noting that Dreamers receive background checks, attend colleges and universities, have work authorizations and serve in the United States Military.
Kathy Waters, President of the Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce was Sean's guest on the latest MacombNewsNow Podcast. The Macomb Chamber is teaming up with Downtown Macomb and the Spoon River Outreach Center for Business Institute 2017 on Friday October 13th. Business Institute 2017 is a one day event for business owners or future business owners who want advice on best practices for running a business. Workshops and featured speakers will go on for most of the day with a luncheon and featured speakers. Registration is open now at $25.00 per ticket until October 3 and $30.00 per ticket from October 3rd through the day of the event. We also took a few minutes to talk about the remarkable teaming of Macomb High School students and local business owners as part of the Macomb Youth Leadership Organization. Stream or download our interview with Kathy Waters, President of the Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce on the MacombNewsNow Podcast.
As older folks in Illinois age and make more trips to their local hospital or to see a doctor, questions may come up about their health care options and insurance coverage.
Courtney Hedderman, the associate state director for advocacy and outreach with AARP Illinois, says many seniors spend sleepless nights worrying about their own health or other family members and don't always know where to turn to get answers. So next month, AARP Illinois is hosting "Medicare 101" informational sessions around the state.
"What is happening?" she asks. "What could happen? What does it mean for myself and for my family? People are absolutely interested, engaged and desperate for information."
If you can't make it to one of the informational sessions, she says AARP's website covers many Medicare basics, including costs, information about inpatient hospital care and nursing-home facilities, along with hospice and home health care. It also mentions deductibles and co-payments.
Hedderman says AARP's Illinois Web page has information and links to the Senior Health Insurance Program in Illinois.
"There are individual counselors who can help people compare and contrast plans, give them additional information and allow them to make the most informed decision on what coverage they should have," she explains.
AARP's Medicare 101 sessions are being held during the month of October, starting October 11 at a couple of public library branches in Chicago, and in Maywood on the 14th.
Severe drought is a term Illinois hasn't heard in a long time but the National Weather Service in Lincoln says by the later fall days, we might be hearing a lot more of it. Meteorologist Chris Miller indicates there could be areas of Illinois that reach severe drought status later this fall if we don't see rain.
Beginning today MacombNewsNow.com is launching a new series of podcasts called The Regional Media BusinessCast. Each week we will sit down with a local business owner to discuss the history of their business, what makes their business special or unique and what advice do they have for other business owners or future local business owners. In our very first episode we spoke with Colby Fayhee. For the past 4 years Colby has owned and operated Lincoln Tattoo in Macomb.
Democratic Gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker has a tenacious ally in his corner. Comptroller Susana Mendoza announced her endorsement Wednesday morning at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 193 Headquarters in Springfield. Pritzker loves having Mendoza on his side, especially after seeing the video where Mendoza repeatedly confronts an ex con hit and run driver... Click Here
Mendoza says Pritzker can help undo the damage left behind by the state's two year long budget drought that ended this summer.... Click Here
Mendoza also joined Pritzker in Chicago to announce the endorsement there Wednesday afternoon.
Tuesday's decision by Senate Republicans to scrap a vote on a healthcare plan to replace Obamacare may have reduced interest in scheduled protests. However, Organizing for Action decided to go forward with a rally outside the State Capitol. Katie Lancaster believes some of the issues could resurface sooner rather than later, under a "new umbrella".... Click Here
President Trump has launched a new tax reform discussion with a pledge to simplify the tax code. .
Update: The Illinois State Police have released the name of a man who was killed in an bicycle versus vehicle crash in Henderson County on Wednesday. 79 year old Hatter D. Hensley has been identified as the bicycle rider who died in the accident in the area of Carmen Road near 1100 Road in Henderson County,.
A bicyclist is dead following an accident in Galesburg according to the Illinois State Police. According to a release from the ISP, 57 year old Shawn Marie Dunne of Burlington, Iowa was driving southbound on Carmen Road near 1100 North in Henderson County when she changed lanes to pass a bicyclist which was also traveling southbound on Carmen. Dunne later told Police that the bicyclist made a sudden and unnannounced left turn in front of her vehicle leading to the crash. The bicyclist died at the scene. Ms. Dunne was taken to a nearby medical center after complaining of chest pain. A passenger in Dunne's vehicle was unharmed. The Illinois State Police are continuing to investigate the crash and are withholding the name of the deceased until family members have been informed.
One of the most polarizing and revolutionary figures in American publishing, Hugh Hefner has died at the age of 91 years. People Magazine reports that the founder of Playboy Magazine passed away at his home in California surrounded by family on Wednesday. The cause of death is listed as natural causes. Hefner was born in Chicago, Illinois on April 9th, 1926. He founded Playboy Magazine in 1953 and became a nationwide smash by publishing nude photos of Marylin Monroe. Hefner turned Playboy into a powerhouse of publishing not only by capitalizing on nude models but also publishing short stories by well known authors and conducting in-depth interviews with celebrities and politicians. While his legacy will be debated there is no doubt that Hefner was one of the most well known publishers of all time. Hugh Hefner, dead at 91.
Governor Bruce Rauner now has a difficult choice on his hands. House Bill 40 is now on his desk. It would prevent abortions from becoming illegal if Roe V Wade is overturned by the Supreme Court and expands abortion coverage to Medicaid and state worker health insurance recipients. The bill passed in May, but bill sponsor, State Senator Don Harmon, held the bill until Monday morning. What happens next is unclear. Rauner says he will have open ears before making his final decision.... Click Here
Rauner, who is pro choice, told a political action committee during the 2014 election campaign he would support similar legislation but this past spring threatened to veto House Bill 40.
On Tuesday 14 students from Macomb High School met up with their business leader partners to begin job shadowing in partnership with the Macomb Chamber of Commerce. The Macomb Youth Leadership Organization is leading the effort in partnership with the Chamber and Macomb High School in order to get students exposed to the operations of a local business. MYLO students will be attending meetings, visiting job sites and get to know more about available careers in Macomb in the fields that they are interested in. It's the second year for the program and if you would like to know more about it you can get in touch with the Macomb Chamber of Commerce at 309-837-4855.
While crop insurance has received most of the attention in discussion on a new Farm Bill, there are other important issues at stake. One of those is the Rural Economic Development Loan & Grant Program says Kim Leftwich of the Coles-Moultrie Electric Cooperative in Mattoon, Illinois. Click Here
The current Farm Bill expires in 2018.
McDonough County Sheriff Rick Van Brooker has announced that a Burlington, Iowa man is the latest person caught in Operation ICEMelt. According to a release from the Sheriff's Office, 45 Year old Kelly E. Mitchell was arrested on Tuesday as part of the seven month undercover operation called Operation ICEMelt, aimed at combating the Methamphetamine problem in our area. Mitchell was arrested by members of the Southwest Iowa Narcotics Task Force on a pair of outstanding warrants from Des Moines County. Evidence against Mitchell including evidence of Heroin, Crystal Meth and Marijuana were in part gathered by the West Central Illinois Drug Task Force and the McDonough County Sheriff's Office.
One of Macomb's favorite business owners, Cathy Early will chat with Western Illinois University alums prior to the Western Illinois Homecoming Parade on K100. Continuing a yearly tradition, tune into K100 at 9 Am on Saturday to hear Cathy get you ready for the Homecoming activities by talking with the people who will be taking part and are responsible for Saturday's festivities. The show runs from 9 Am to 10 Am live on K100, 100.1 FM here in Macomb. The WIU Homecoming parade will begin at 10:30 Am.
The hot weather has broken in most of Illinois. The daily highs of the 90’s have been put in the rearview mirror with many in the state feeling high temps in the 70’s today. But the very dry weather isn’t going anywhere. The extended forecast has no sign of significant rain and State Climatologist Jim Angel says a developing weather pattern in the Pacific may keep it dry here through October.
Gov. Rauner is weighing in on the controversy over NFL player protests during the national anthem. Last weekend's protests didn't score points with him.... Click Here
However, Rauner isn't following in the footsteps of President Trump, who says NFL players who protest during the anthem should be fired.... Click Here
Rauner is a part owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The City of Macomb Public Works Department has announced that Milling and Overlaying work will begin October 2nd in the area of the Hidden Hills Subdivision. According to the release from the Public Works Department, road closures in the Hidden Hills Subdivision will be intermittent beginning on the morning of October 2nd, weather permitting. Also, there will be no parking on the street during the time of the road work. United Contractors Midwest is in charge of the project.
Regional Media Macomb will launch the brand new Regional Media Business-Cast on Thursday afternoon. The new podcat which will be available for stream or download at MacombNewsNow.com every Thursday and each week will profile a member of Macomb's business community. The first guest on the very first Regional Media Business-Cast will be Colby Fayhee, owner of Lincoln Tattoo in Macomb. Colby will talk about getting started in the tattoo business, his background. and his approach to business. You can hear the very first episode of the Regional Media Business-Cast on Thursday, September 28 at MacombNewsNow.com.
Those who fight for the rights of Illinois' young people are being honored at an event next week. The Juvenile Justice Initiative will hold a celebration Oct. 5 to highlight progress in the state and those who have helped accomplish it.
Attorney Mark Hassakis, a member of the initiative, said a young person's brain hasn't fully developed, even by age 18, so he or she shouldn't be judged in court the same way as adults. Many in the legal system are starting to recognize that, he said, and laws are being passed to help keep kids out of jails and prisons and in alternative programs instead. Illinois' financial problems have ended up being positive for juvenile-justice reform, he said.
"A lot of the bills that were introduced and a lot of legislation that has passed in the last five years is neutral, cost-wise, and it actually can be saving, sometimes, to the state," he said. "It's been a really good time for many people to sponsor and push through legislation that's very beneficial to everybody."
Those being honored at the reception include Illinois Supreme Court Justices Anne Burke, Rita Garman and Mary Jane Theis, along with Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, founder of Enlace Chicago, and Pastor Ron Taylor of the United Congress of Community and Religious Organizations.
Mike Rodriguez, a 22nd Ward Chicago committeeman and also a member of the initiative, said it's important that Illinois state leaders stand up for young people, who aren't often able to make their own voices heard.
"Thousands of kids are arrested every year, and there's really no conviction or anything of that nature, but the arrest stays on their record," he said. "So, we've led efforts to automatically expunge the record of young people."
The Oct. 5 reception is open to the public, at DLA Piper, 444 W. Lake St., Suite 900, in Chicago. More information is online at jjustice.org.
Several members of the Democratic Party in Illinois have announced their candidacy for governor. State Senator Daniel Biss of Skokie is among those in the race. He says division between upstate and downstate voters in Illinois needs to change if the state hopes to move forward.
The massive data breach of the Equifax has impacted millions of people across the nation, and a Central Illinois congressman expects hearings on the matter. The hack happened earlier this year, with hackers gaining access to names, mailing addresses, phone numbers and social security numbers. U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis of Taylorville says Equifax, and the other credit reporting bureaus get sensitive information, and they must do a better job of protecting it.
If you see suspicious activity, you are advised to report it to your financial institutions immediately. Some financial experts have also suggested putting a freeze on your credit reports as a way to protect yourself.
As WIU Homecoming Week 2017 continues, this will be a very busy week both on campus and throughout the community. To provide more insight on the upcoming events and what you can expect this week, Western Illinois University Alumni Director Amy Spellman came into the studio to discuss Homecoming. You can listen to my interview with her here.
Macomb Mayor Mike Inman has been elected as Vice President of the Illinois Municipal League. The Illinois Municipal League made the announcement on Monday that elections had been completed and that Macomb's Mayor had been elected Vice President of the group that represents the interests of municipalities statewide. Mayor Inman has been a member in good standing of the IML since 2011 when he was first named Vice President of the organization not long after having been elected Mayor of Macomb. In a statement, Mayor Inman expressed excitement at the chance to represent the interests of municipalities across the state of Illinois. The IML is headquarted in Springfield and regularly lobbies on behalf of more than 1200 municipalities in across Illinois.
Governor Bruce Rauner has been crunching the numbers on what it will take the state to pay overdue bills and he doesn't like what he sees..... Click Here
Rauner says a review of the current spending plan will be needed to move forward.... Click Here
6 billion dollars in state bonds are expected to go to the market next month and close by mid November.
ABATE typically focuses on preventing Illinois from adopting motorcycle helmet requirements, but they have other safety issues in mind too. They are expressing concerns about drivers who lose their licenses yet continue to get behind the wheel. 29-year-old Justin Heath of Springfield was killed and his girlfriend 23-year-old Samantha Clardy was seriously injured when their motorcycle was struck in May by Doris Fisher. Fisher has been unable to drive legally for 14 years, but ABATE says she was behind the wheel thanks to the help of her daughter. Josh Witkowski, public relations coordinator for ABATE, is calling for Sangamon County Sheriff Wes Barr to arrest Fisher's daughter....... .. Click Here
Witkowski believes charging Fischer's daughter will send a message to others... Click Here
Clardy has undergone extensive surgeries and faces at least three more as her recovery continues.
McDonough County Sheriff Rick Van Brooker has announced the arrest of a Roseville man who bit a police officer. 40 year old Jeremy Weir of Roseville was arrested after he was found passed out in the area of 1550th road near the Blandinsville-Tennessee Blacktop. Upon regaining consciousness, Weir attempted to get into his vehicle and flee. Unable to locate his keys, Weir managed to lock himself inside the vehicle forcing police to break the window to prevent him from leaving the scene. It was after breaking the window that Weir grabbed the arm of an officer and bit the officer's thumb, breaking the skin. Weir had to be tasered in order to be taken into custody. A subsequent search of a nearby barn turned up pill bottles with Weir's name on them and including a pill bottle that had methamphetamine residue on it. A syringe was also found during the search along with a loaded .22 Calibur Pistol. Weir is charged with Obstructing a Police Officer, Methamphetamine Possession, Possession of a Controlled Substance, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm and Unlawful Possession of Hypodermic Syringes.
The Illinois State Police and the West Central Illinois Task Force made 9 arrests last week in connection to a methamphetamine ring in Adams County. According to the release, the two month investigation that included Quincy Police and Adams County Sheriff's Officers, along with the ISP and members of the WCIT, ended late last week with 9 arrests, 8 Federal indictments, and the seizure of illegal weapons, several pounds of Marijuana and several more pounds of Methamphetamine ICE. Arrested on three separate occasions but all related to the same investigation were 40 year old John B. Varley of Quincy, 60 year old Everett J. Humphrey of Quincy, 33 year old Ryan Robinson of Denver Colorado, 31 year old Jason Ballard of Peoria, 30 year old Everett Humphrey III of Quincy, 22 year old Colton D. Parsons of Quincy, 32 year old Lashawn E. Standbridge of Quincy, 24 year old Casey W. Lierly of Fowler, Illinois and 31 year old Kyle J. Bergman of Quincy. Eight of the suspects face Federal Indictment for trafficking in controlled substances while Everett Humphrey Jr. was arrested and is being held at the Adams County Jail.
The new inclusive playground at Alton's Gordon Moore Park will be more than just a new play facility for kids in the Riverbend. Alton Parks and Recreation Department Director Michael Haynes says the playground will be a "National Demonstration Site."
They're called anchor institutions: organizations like hospitals and universities that have developed deep roots in their communities. And they're finding new ways to improve local economies and create opportunities for more low-income residents, according to a new report by the Funders Network.
Nitika Nautiyal, executive director at the group Chicago Anchors for a Stronger Economy, or CASE, said the idea is to connect large corporations with small, local businesses. She cites BMO and Com Ed as examples of big businesses that can help communities by focusing on local products and employees.
"We really think that it's potential for them to localize their supply chain here and give opportunities to smaller businesses, who we really think are the engines of job creation for the communities where these jobs are needed," Nautiyal said.
Since CASE formed in 2014, Nautiyal said, they've worked with 450 businesses, shifting $15 million in revenue towards these smaller companies and creating 180 new jobs, including many in minority- and women-owned businesses. She said that's just scratching the surface.
Charles Rutheiser, senior associate with the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Center for Civic Sites and Community Change, said when the core business aspects of universities and hospitals can be deployed in partnership with communities, there are better outcomes in health and education.
"Anchor institutions are a new and important chapter in the long history of approaches to community development in the United States," Rutheiser said. "These institutions can partner, invest and act in new and different ways, without sacrificing their bottom line."
He added the Casey Foundation is exploring ways to expand the anchor category to include other types of businesses with community connections - from for-profit companies and sports teams, to libraries and museums. Rutheiser said the next step is to translate these best practices into policy, so that more places can support anchor-based community development.
The Illinois Department of Insurance reports rates for the lowest priced plans on the state's health care exchange could be on the rise. Proposed rates submitted to federal officials show rates would jump by 16 to 37 percent. That would boost the average cost of the lowest-priced silver plans by 35 percent statewide. The department's analysis says the lowest-priced bronze-level plans would increase by 20 percent and that the lowest-priced gold plans would increase by 16 percent. Rates will be finalized in October.
Before help arrives, what should farmers do if an accident occurs on their farm? Click Here
That’s Amy Rademaker, the Rural Health and Farm Safety Specialist for Urbana based Carle Foundation Hospital. Click Here
She says farmers should also have a first aid kit available at all times in their work/farm truck. Carle is promoting an itemized list of what should be in the kit at “carle.org” and then typing “farm safety” into search box.
2017-09-22 12:19:00 by Jennifer Hollimon - Intern
The Illinois State Police is teaming up with local, state, and federal agencies to promote Rail Safety Week. Rail Safety Week is scheduled to take place from Sunday, September 24th until Saturday, September 30th. This program is for people to learn rail safety awareness and to help prevent railroad crossing deaths. During the week, the ISP will be at different railroad crossing locations informing people about how to be safe around trains and train tracks.
State Sen. Kwame Raoul is the second Democratic entry in the race for Illinois Attorney General. It's an open contest after Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced last week that she won't seek a fifth term. Raoul was appointed to the Senate in 2004 to fill the vacancy left by then-state Sen. Barack Obama's election to the U.S. Senate.
The agriculture industry seeking flexibility when it comes to hours of service trucking regulations, especially when it comes to hauling grain and livestock. Don Schaefer is with the Midwest Truckers Association. Click Here
The Midwest Truckers Association represents truckers in 15 states, including Illinois.
The state recorded its first death in connection with the West Nile virus. The Illinois Department of Public Health says this week a person in Kankakee died after testing positive for the virus that is typically brought on by a mosquito bite. Public Health Chief Medical Officer Doctor Jennifer Layden says most anyone who winds up bitten and infected with the disease won’t be very ill, but for some it’s a different story.
A change in China’s ethanol blend policy could provide a boost to corn prices. It’s all about demand says trading expert Doug Werling Click Here
Werling says bottom line is that demand for corn will increase with stocks peaking and as those stocks draw down, that should help push price.
A shooting at Mattoon High School leaves at least one person injured with another taken into custody. Several shots were reportedly fired at the school around 11:45 this morning. There's no word on the extent of injuries or the identity of the victim. Students were sent to the Coles County town's Riddle Elementary School for pickup by their parents.
The words “local government” are big words in Illinois. That’s because there are nearly 7,000 units in the Land of Lincoln, most of any state in the nation. The Illinois Farm Bureau offers a resource for the local taxpayer—to help them understand or get involved in the local government process. It’s called LINK—Local Information, News and Know-How says Kevin Rund, Senior Director of Local Government for IFB. Click Here
LINK is distributed electronically at the county farm bureau level or the latest edition can be accessed by going to “ilfb.org” and type the word “LINK” in the search box. Topics addressed in the last release included such issues as local government accountability, landowner rights, rural development and strategic planning.
The Illinois State Police have announced the arrest of a Quincy man on Methamphetamine Possession charges. 47 year old Troy M. Owsley Sr. was arrested on Wednesday at his home in Quincy after a warrant was served on his home by members of West Central Illinois Task Force, the Quincy Police Department and the Adams County Sheriff's Office. Inside the home officers located Methamphetamine, Digital Scales, and Packaging Materials leading to charges of Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Deliver. Owsley was taken to the Adams County Jail to await disposition.
Central Illinois Congresman Rodney Davis sponsoring legislation aimed at encouraging private businesses to help their employees pay off student loan debt. Click Here
Davis says it’s not just an important issue for the country’s younger generation, it’s an issue for the financial stability of the country. Click Here
Davis says student loan debt will be a key issue as lawmakers look at federal tax reform in the coming weeks.
With the support of the American Cancer Society, Macomb will be hosting its 2nd annual Festival of L.I.F.E. (Live It Fully Everyday) on October 7, 2017 at Veterans Park. The event will run from 1-9 p.m., as event organizers aim to reach their goal of raising money for the American Cancer Society. The Festival of L.I.F.E. combines this fundraising with a mix of fun, food, and keynote speakers. You can sign up for the event here.
L.I.F.E. stands for live it fully everyday. That is the motto that cancer survivors, like Sarah Mann, live by. Mann is the organizer of this event, and is currently fighting her fifth bout with cancer since 2003. With the help of the Macomb Park District, she has brought this event back to Macomb (it used to be orchastrated through WIU as Relay for Life). You can learn more about this event and Sarah's story by listening to my interview with Sarah, as well as Rachel Lenz of the Macomb Park District.
Now that a judge in Cook County has ruled that a court can't set bail amounts that people can't afford, advocates want that order implemented across the state, and they're calling for federal lawmakers to do the same.
In an attempt to reduce jail population, Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans issued a general order to judges, telling them to set a bail amount that is affordable.
Ibie Hart, chair of the Mass Incarceration Task Force, says there are more than 4,000 people in Cook County's jail who have been ordered released but remain in custody because they lack access to the money needed to pay their bonds.
"We really want that to be implemented," Hart states. "We want judges to abide by that in order to give people a chance to be seen as humans and living their lives while they await their trial."
Evans' order comes after a recent federal court decision in Houston that found incarcerating people before their trials solely because they cannot afford to pay bond violates both the equal protection and due process clauses of the U.S. Constitution.
John Powe, leader of The People's Lobby, worries judges won't easily agree to switching to a non-monetary bail system, and says high bail amounts impact mostly poor people. He says the court system isn't living up to the legal principle of "innocent until proven guilty."
"Just to be, in some cases, proven to be innocent in the end," he states. "In the meantime, they've lost their job, they're separated from their kids. You know, it's just unacceptable."
There have been recent court rule changes in other states, including New Jersey, where there's been a 36 percent drop in the jail population. Between Jan. 1 and May 31 of this year, judges in that state imposed monetary bail only nine times.
Senator Dick Durbin is speaking out against the latest version of what he calls Trumpcare. Durbin accused his Republican colleagues of trying to ram through the latest effort to repeal and replace Obamacare without sufficient analysis..... Click Here
Durbin says there is opposition from the medical community to the latest concept, Cassidy-Graham.... Click Here
Durbin is also calling for extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provides health insurance coverage for more than nine million children and pregnant women nationwide.
The sudden pending opening in the Attorney General's office has set off a flurry of activity. Chicago Tribune columnist Rick Pearson reports one of Chicago Alderman Ed Burke's two lawyer daughters is circulating petitions to run for the Democratic nomination for A-G now that Lisa Madigan has announced she won't seek another term. Burke informed the Cook County Democrats his daughter was circulating petititions but wouldn't identify which one. State Representative Elaine Nekritz, a Northbrook Democrat, who recently announced she was leaving the General Assembly, is also circulating petititons. There is also word State Rep. Scott Drury could leave the race for Governor and run for Attorney General instead. Reports out of Chicago also indicate former Comptroller and one time Democratic rising star Dan Hynes could rise from the political ashes and make a run for A-G.
On a day when an earthquake shook Southeastern Illinois and a major quake has caused destruction in Mexico City, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency is asking residents to prepare for a potential earthquake with a statewide drill one month from now. On Oct. 19 at 10:19 a.m., Illinois will join other states and countries in practicing three simple actions that could save your life in a major quake: drop, cover and hold on. Next month's drill is dubbed The Great ShakeOut earthquake drill. Southern Illinois has two seismic zones, making it the biggest area of concern. A half million people took part in the drill last year. 300,000 people are signed up so far this year. Schools, businesses, government agencies, families and others can register to participate in the drill at www.shakeout.org/centralus.
Internet retail giant Amazon is looking for a location to build a second headquarters. It’s seen as a huge opportunity to land thousands of high paying white collar and technical jobs. Governor Bruce Rauner and others from Chicago are working on a bid to bring them to the city. But Rauner says he will also be working to see that other parts of the state are being supported.
The labor dispute between AFSCME represented state workers and Governor Bruce Rauner has gone quiet of late and it will remain that way a while longer. A court decision that blocked Governor Rauner from imposing labor terms has been on appeal for sometime, but it appears oral arguments won't occur until early next year. AFSCME has been working on an expired contract since mid 2015.
Ameren Illinois working to keep all farmers safe out on the fields. The utility’s George Justice says some power lines can contain so much energy that you don’t have to touch it to feel the effects of the electricity in the line. Click Here
Justice says all farmers or anyone looking to dig should always call 8-1-1 because it could save lives. Click Here
Calling the Julie 8-1-1 system is free. This is National Farm Safety Week.
Mayor Mike Inman has announced that the Flags of Love Committee will meet this Thursday, September 21st at 4:30 Pm at the Macomb Armory at 135 West Grant Street. The meeting will address the future of the Flags of Love Program and discuss special plans for next year's Veteran's Day which will mark 40 years of the Flags of Love Program. If you would like to volunteer with the Flags of Love Committee you are invited to attend this meeting. The Flags of Love Committee will also be electing new committee officers and there will be discussions regarding the Veteran's Memorial Brick Project at Chandler Park during this meeting as well.
Macomb Public Works has announced that work will begin on Wednesday on a street milling and overlay project on South Randolph Street. South Randolph Street from Washington Street to Grant Street will be closed intermittently on Tuesday while work is underway. On Thursday, September 21st, the road will be closed to parking for the day while work is finished on the project. If you'd like more information on this project you can contact the Macomb Public Works Department at 309-833-2558.
The Governor returned from an overseas trip that took him to Japan and China to reinforce trade relationships and to build new ones. Bruce Rauner says today that he didn’t want to travel overseas until the state had a budget. Rauner says though he heard plenty about Illinois troubles but there are companies that are looking to the bright spots that Illinois has to offer.
National Farm Safety and Health Week underway and the message from a youth ag safety specialist is to not have extra-riders on the tractor. Marsha Salzwedel is with the National Farm Medicine Center in Wisconsin. Click here
Salzwedal says there are many ways to nurture a young child’s interest in farming—including Lego’s, barn sets, toy tractors, gardening and even video game simulators.
The McDonough County Sheriff's Office on Monday morning announced that they had arrested a Macomb man on Methamphetamine Possession charges. According to the McDonough County Sheriff's Office release, 40 year old Christopher R. Bigsby of Macomb was stopped by police on Friday at approximately 11:30 Pm for speeding on Highway 67 and 1500 North. Bigsby was found to have been driving without a valid drivers license and in the process of arresting Bigsby on that charge the arresting Deputy uncovered a glass pipe that tested positive for Methamphetimine residue. Bigsby was arrested and charged with Driving While suspended and Possession of Methamphetimines less than 5 grams. Bigsby was arrested and taken to the McDonough County Jail to await disposition.
The second annual Macomb/McDonough County Out of the Darkness Suicide Awareness Walk will take place Saturday, September 23 at Glenwood Park in Macomb. Participants can register here, or at the event at 9 a.m. that day at the Glenwood Park Stone Shelter. The opening ceremony will kick things off at 10 a.m., followed by the walk around the park.
The goal of the event is to raise $15,000 towards suicide awareness, which will be distributed at both the local and national levels. Participants are invited to bring a photograph or collage of a loved one lost to suicide to share with the Memory Displays at the event.
The agriculture industry seeking flexibility when it comes to hours of service trucking regulations, especially when it comes to hauling grain and livestock. Don Schaefer is with the Midwest Truckers Association. Click here
The Midwest Truckers Association represents truckers in 15 states, including Illinois.
The majority of forward-facing car seats aren't being used properly, despite the strong emphasis on education on the topic, and a desire by parents and caregivers to keep children safe.
Safe Kids Worldwide has launched a campaign called "Take Time to Tether" to encourage everyone to use the strap on the back of a forward-facing car seat that secures the top of the seat to an anchor. Since 2001, every car seat has included the tether, but Lorrie Walker with Safe Kids said a 2016 study showed 64 percent of children were in seats that didn't have the tether attached.
"There's a hook on the end of this special strap that holds the top of the car seat behind the child's head firmly against the vehicle seat so that the child doesn't pitch forward when you stop suddenly or have a crash," Walker said.
She said the good news is that education works. During research, Safe Kids found parents and caregivers who were told about the importance of the strap were very likely to use it.
The organization offers free lessons on how to properly install car seats and use the straps properly. To find a local site, go to SafeKids.org.
Walker said people often are shocked to learn how much that tether can help prevent serious injury. And she added that it reduces the distance a child's head can travel when the driver slams on the brakes or is in an accident by 4-6 inches.
"And if you think about that in a small car, the child could hit the back of the driver's seat, could hit the console, and could hit other passengers who are also riding in the vehicle," she said.
The Take Time to Tether campaign coincides with Child Passenger Safety Week, which runs through September 23.
Like farmland values, cash rental rates are declining slightly statewide, but there’s still a lot of variability says Ray Brownfield, owner and managing broker of Land Pro LLC. Click Here
The highest cash rent average in Illinois is $289 per acre in Logan County and the lowest at $71.50 in Johnson County. The statewide average at $218 per acre.
Sources reported late this morning that Attorney General Lisa Madigan would not seek another term. Now her father's office confirms the news. House Speaker Michael Madigan's office has released a statement on Lisa Madigan's decision to not seek a fifth term as AG. Throughout her life as an individual and as a public servant, Attorney General Lisa Madigan's achievements have been the result of her determination to fight for her convictions and to stand up for what she believed was right. I've always been proud of her desire to fight for those who need help the most, which has driven her sense of duty as a person and as Illinois' attorney general. “It has been my privilege to watch her fight for the people of Illinois and do the right thing every day. She has authored tougher laws against criminals who prey on children and victims of sexual assault, fought for homeowners faced with losing their homes, and worked to ensure a more open and transparent state government. “No father could be prouder of his daughter's personal and professional accomplishments, and I look forward to watching her continue her commitment to helping people in a new capacity.”
The Interfaith Alliance of Macomb is holding a Community Unity Celebration in Chandler Park on Tuesday, September 19 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The event comes as a response to the recent events in Charlottesville and much of the hateful rhetoric that has publically come to the forefront.
Interfaith has organized this event to be "a family-friendly event to promote peace, celebrate diversity and foster understanding." Organizers of the event have made it clear that politics are not a factor in the event.
The celebration will include music and children's activities, fellowship and speakers, as well as a candlelight closing. The event also features a statement of unity, that attendees are encouraged to sign.
For more information on the Community Unity Celebration, listen to my interview with Kelly Ingersol of the First Christian Church of Macomb, who is one of the event organizers.
Illinois employment security officials report the jobless rate has hit the five percent mark. Unemployment inched up by two-tenths of a percentage point to 5 percent last month. Employment Security Director Jeff Mays says “The Illinois economy is stuck in neutral with hardly any growth over the past several months”. The biggest employment gains made during the month were in Trade, Transportation and Utilities, Education and Health Services and Construction. Leisuire and hospitality saw the biggest job losses ahead of Professional and Business Services and Manufacturing. The Illinois unemployment rate compares to a national mark of 4.4 percent. Unemployment is still down from a year ago, when the rate was 5.8 percent.
A new report says if Illinois wants to attract and keep businesses, it needs to lose its reputation for having an open door to out-of-state attorneys bringing big litigation cases.
A Harris poll that ranks states on their lawsuit climate, including unfair litigation and large verdicts, has ranked Illinois near the bottom. Curt Mercadante, with the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, said these big cases clog up the courts for local residents who may need them.
He added Illinois doesn't need another reason for residents or businesses to leave, because the state is facing major financial problems.
"Certainly it can't afford to have businesses looking at the state and wincing when they consider coming there," Mercadante said. "And so any time a state can do something to improve the ability to attract new businesses, it means jobs."
Illinois has been ranked among the bottom five states for the last 10 years.
According to the 2017 Lawsuit Climate Survey, 85 percent of senior company attorneys and other executives said a state's lawsuit environment is likely to impact important business decisions at their company - including where to locate or expand.
Mercadante said Illinois struggles to keep businesses from choosing to set up shop in some of its neighboring states, such as Indiana.
"What these executives are saying is legal climate is clearly, absolutely one of those factors that we look at," he said. "And so all things being equal, you look at Indiana and you look at Illinois, the legal climate is something that clearly tilts in the favor of locating, or expanding, in Indiana."
Mercadante said nearly 30 percent of all asbestos lawsuits in the entire country are filed in Madison County, and more than six-in-ten of Cook County's cases are from out of state.
"Plaintiffs' attorneys from around the country know that these are very friendly jurisdictions in terms of friendly to the plaintiff's attorney," Mercadante said. "And so they bring all their lawsuits to Cook and Madison counties and taxpayers are footing the bill - largely supporting out-of-state plaintiffs."
According to the report, South Dakota ranked first for having laws in place that keep out-of-state attorneys from clogging up local courts with lawsuits. Missouri and Louisiana were the only states scoring worse than Illinois.
Wounded combat veteran and Senator Tammy Duckworth believes her successors in the battlefield in the war on terror deserve a new gameplan. She is expressing disappointment over her colleagues failure to plan a new Authorization for the Use of Military Force. She says the current plan, which was enacted with the start of the nation's war in Afghanistan, the longest war in the country's history, is outdated.... Click Here
Duckworth says it's crucial that the nation's current leaders send a message to today's troops... Click Here
Critics say the authorization is too broad and paved the way for the Iraq War as well as the battle against ISIS in Iraq and Syria without sufficient Congressional input.
Many surveys show consumers want to know more about where food comes from, how it’s produced, and who produced it. The Food and Agricultural Road Map – or FARM Illinois – held an event this week in Chicago to explore what it called, “From seed to shelf,” and how Illinois food companies and farmers can improve transparency. Tyler Strom serves as the managing director for FARM Illinois;
FARM Illinois aims to keep the state - and Chicago in particular - as a major regional, national and global food hub. You can find more information online at farmIllinois - that's one word - farmillinois-dot-org.
A local Farm Bureau “Adopt a Legislator” program brought Chicago State Senator Laura Murphy to three downstate farms this week. Western Illinois State Rep. Dan Swanson helped with part of the tour. Click Here
Swanson is involved in a family farming operation near Alpha in Henry County.
The Red Ox has announced that it will be hosting a First Responders Appreciation Day on Monday, September 25th. Members of the Macomb Police Department, Macomb Fire Department, EMS workers, and volunteer rescue squads across McDonough County are invited to attend and enjoy Pork Chop Sandwiches, Burgers, Fries, Cole Slaw, Macaroni and Potato Salads from 11 Am to 3 Pm on September 25th.
Dave and Jackie Thompson have been named the Grand Marshalls for the 2017 Western Illinois University Homecoming Parade. Dave, a 1972 graduate of Western and Jackie, a graduate and former University employee are being honored for their commitment to WIU not just as graduates but as community supporters who have two fully funded scholarships to Western. Most recently, Dave and Jackie have helped to fund the statue memorial for war hero and longtime WIU Coach Ray 'Rock' Hanson. The statue will be debuted outside the WIU Football stadium at 2 Pm on September 29th. The Western Illinois Homecoming Parade will take place on September 30th at beginning in Macomb Square at 10:30 Am.
There's been lots of talk about the impact of the extended state budget crisis on Illinois colleges and universities. Now that money is flowing again and MAP grant dollars are going out to students, new trouble arises, a decline in international students. The University of Illinois at Springfield has depended on international students for its continued growth. Chancellor Susan Koch reports fall enrollment is down by 8.69 percent and a decline in students with visas has played a huge role.... Click Here
The University of Illinois moving forward with revisions to its farmland management policy. The school has acquired around 10,000 acres of farmland through various gifts over the years, but moved to an open bid format for cash leases back in 2004. U-of-I College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences Dean Kimberlee Kidwell wanted to see that changed—using a “best candidate” approach instead. Click Here
Illinois Farm Bureau president Rich Guebert Jr expressed support for the revisions earlier this summer.
Kidwell says the policy change also means the most qualified applicants for U-of-I farmland will be offered operating contracts at a predetermined rate based on local market conditions.
Quad Cities Congresswoman Cheri Bustos has drawn national attention for her ability to succeed as a Democrat in a district that heavily supported Donald Trump for President last fall. While she isn't exactly aligning herself with the President, she finds common ground with the President on a key issue, improving the nation's infrastructure..... Click Here
Bustos works closely with the infrastructure situation as a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
Macomb Police are urging Macomb businesses to be on the lookout for fraudulent checks. According to the Macomb Police Department a suspect was captured on surveillance entering local stores wearing a polo with the business named Environmental Pro on it. The suspect then wrote checks from an account for Environmental Pro which is a business that doesn't exist. The checks are fraudulent and the Macomb Police is warning local businesses not accept any check from Environmental Pro. If you encounter someone passing checks from the account for Environmental Pro please contact the Macomb Police Department at 309-833-4505.
Illinois State Police say there was a steep drop in fatal traffic crashes over the Labor Day weekend this year compared with last year. State police released figures Tuesday showing five fatal traffic crashes this year, compared with 19 last year, and five fatalities this year compared with 23 in 2016. State police handled nearly 200 crashes during the holiday weekend. Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz says it was one of the safest Labor Day travel weekends in the last six years.
The Illinois State Police have announced the arrest of a Missouri man on Methamphetimine Possession charges. On September 12th, the West Central Illinois Task Force and the Adams County Sheriff's Office arrested 54 year old William J. Ryan of Hannibal Missouri in the area of Illinois Route 57, South of Marblehead. Ryan was arrested following a traffic stop that led to his vehicle being searched by an Adams County k9 Unit which detected the presence of Narcotics and then turned up Methamphetimine ICE and Drug Paraphenalia. Ryan was arrested and taken to the Adams County Jail where he was being held pending disposition.
For the second time in this young school year a student has reported having been raped on the WIU campus. According to the latest WIU Office of Public Safety Report, the sexual assault occurred on September 9th in an unnamed residence hall. The woman reporting the assault claimed to know her assailant. The incident is under investigation according to Western Illinois University officials.
Wizard World Comic-Con has announced that they will bring their convention to Peoria this November. According to a release from Wizard World, stars such as Holly Marie Combs from Charmed, Gareth David-Lloyd from Torchwood, and Craig Parker from Spartacus and The Lord of the Rings, are just some of the Comic-Con staples who have already been announced as participants at Wizard World Comic Con this November in Peoria. Wizard World gatherings bring together thousands of fans of comic books, cosplay and internet celebrities to sell comic collectibles, meet and greets and other items for hardcore fans. The Peoria Civic Center will play host to Wizard World Comic-Con in Peoria on November 3rd through the 5th.
The Bushnell-Prairie City FFA has announced that they will be holding a Pork Burger Lunch on Saturday, September 23rd. According to a release from the Bushnell-Prairie City FFA, the Pork Burger Lunch will take place in the parking lot of the Bushnell Banking Center from 10:30 Am until 1 Pm. The goal of the event is to help pay to send members of the FFA, Future Farmers of America, to the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis in late October.
The Illinois State Police have announced another meth related arrest in Adams County. Aocording to the ISP, 28 year old Jerome M. Mason was arrested on Monday, September 11th, at 7:30 Pm in the area of 808 Main Street in Quincy. Mason was arrested after members of the West Central Illinois Drug Task Force and the Adams County Sheriff's Office executed a search warrant on Mason's residence at 6027 Hickory Grove Road in Quincy which turned up Methamphimine, a Marijuana Growing Operation and other Drug Paraphenalia. Mason was arrested and taken to the Adams County Jail to await disposition.
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has delivered a blunt assessment of his time behind bars, saying he takes it “one day at a time” 5 1/2 years into a 14 year prison term. Chicago tv station WMAQ has begun airing two hours of interviews with Blagojevich, who is spending his days at a Colorado lockup. Blagojevich says his career change has been humbling.... Click Here
Blagojevich still takes issue with his 14 year sentence, which was upheld after some of his corruption convictions were thrown out by Judge James Zagel... Click Here
He continues to express hope for exoneration.
Just like Illinois farmers, Texas farmers also want a strong crop insurance program in a new Farm Bill. And Texas Farm Bureau’s Gene Hall says they want special attention paid to cotton. Click Here
Hall told the RFD Radio Network today that the cotton crop was going to be one of the strongest ever in Texas, but damage from Hurricane Harvey lowered the crop estimate from 2-million bales down to 1.6 million bales.
At least 143-million people have been victimized in a sweeping security breach. The credit-reporting bureau Equifax was hit by hackers earlier this year. The Better Business Bureau is offering some advice if you have been impacted by the breach. The stolen information includes names, mailing addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses. BBB spokesman Shellie Kreter (KRAY-tur) says freezing your credit is one of the more reliable ways to protect yourself from identity thieves from establishing new lines of credit in your name.
Seniors and those with disabilities can apply for heating assistance starting October 2nd. Low income household’s that meet the following guidelines in Hancock, Henderson, McDonough, and Warren County are eligible for help in paying heat bills this winter through he Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Seniors (60+) and disabled individuals can apply starting October 1st. families with children 5 or under and disconnected households can apply starting November 1st. the general public can apply starting December 1st. The Western Illinois Regional Council Community Action Agency in Macomb administers the program in the four county areas. Call 309-837-2997 or come to the office at 233 South Randolph in Macomb to schedule an appointment.
The Expanding Culture Diversity Project is hosting panel discussions on Charlottesville Set, Wednesday, September 13 at Western Illinois University, Union Lamonie room, 7-9pm. Panelist will include history professor Tim Roberts, history professor Peter Cole, Centennial Honors College Associate Director F. Erick Brooks, and School of Law Enforcement and Justice Administration Chair Jill Myers. The panel will be moderated by College Student Personnel Program Coordinator and Educational Studies Professor Tracy Davis. This event will be open free to the public and will use the recent events in Charlottesville, VA as a framework to provide space for WIU students, faculty, staff, and community members to talk about the event. Opportunities for audience questions and answers will follow the discussion. This event is free to the public, held at WIU’s University Union’s, Lamonie Room 7-9pm Wednesday, September 13.
President Trump's proposed budget would cut nearly a billion dollars from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. That could hobble hurricane tracking and prediction.
The administration wants to cut NOAA funding by more than a sixth - which would hit the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center.
Former NOAA chief of staff Renee Stone is now the chief of staff at the Natural Resources Defense Council. She says those agencies' predictions save countless lives - compared with those who died in past storms such as the one that hit Galveston, Texas in 1900.
"The hurricane that hit Galveston, no one knew that was coming and thousands of people died," she says. "In Harvey, it was still a disaster but they were able to make a lot of decisions that helped keep a lot of people safe."
Budgets passed by the House and Senate include smaller cuts to NOAA. Stone says the Trump budget reductions seem tied to the agency's research into climate change.
Before coming to office, Trump described climate change as a hoax designed to weaken the U.S. economy. His position seems to have shifted some, and local officials in Texas and Florida cite higher sea levels and warmer ocean waters as contributing to damage from storms.
Stone says even if you set the climate issue aside, it makes sense to invest in the complicated and expensive job of predicting where hurricanes are going.
"No matter what you believe about climate change, we've experienced a huge number of disasters in the last several years," she adds/ "Wouldn't it be nice if we knew seven days out or ten days out what the hurricane would do with greater accuracy?"
NOAA does not have a permanent director currently. The job is being filled by a deputy. Stone says right now the agency is "all hands on deck" - totally devoted to the job of tracking the current storms. But she says the weather predictions people see on the evening news are the result of a lot of costly scientific work.
"A lot of research, a lot of hard work, a lot of cutting-edge technology goes into that forecast," explains Stone. "And these budget cuts really threaten that."
The McDonough County Community Quality of Life advisory committee has announced the recipients of the annnual Quality of Life Awards. This years focus for the awards was on honoring retired K-12 educators. The list of recipients will ring a lot of bells for those whose lives and memories were shaped by their education across McDonough County in recent decades and they include:
Raymond (Ray) H. Krey Jr.
The group will be honored at the Community Quality of Life Awards on Tuesday, September 19th at 4:30 Pm at the Wesley Village Community Center located at 1200 East Grant Street in Macomb. The public is invited to attend at a cost $10.00 per ticket. If you would like to make a reservation please call 309-833-4577.
September 11th 2017 marks 16 years since the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. At that time our current Mayor of Macomb, Mike Inman was working at a location that is now this very radio station but at the time was an adjunct of the Illinois State Police District Office. The Mayor was in this building on the morning of September 11th, 2001 watching as the rest of the world watched one of the most tragic and terrifying moments in modern American history. The Mayor and I spoke briefly about his memory of that day as well as disaster preparedness, a hot button topic with hurricanes in the south and wildfires to the west and north. We also spoke about parking, Western Illinois University and tonight's City Council meeting. Click below for the latest MacombNewsNow.com podcast with Macomb Mayor Mike Inman.
As another hurricane made landfall this weekend in the United States the threat of once flooded cars making their way back to the marketplace is growing. Experts say that flooded cars can hide mechanical issues and be an expensive problem for the future buyers of those cars. Secretary of State Jesse White is urging buyers to be aware of what the condition of the
car is that they are buying.
Trade continues to have the attention of Illinois farmers. They responded to a call to action last week concerning “KORUS”—the Korean-U.S. Trade Agreement, according to Mark Gebhards, the director of Governmental Affairs for the Illinois Farm Bureau. Click Here
Illinois Farm Bureau President Rich Guebert also authored a letter to the Illinois congressional delegation last week lobbying for continued support of the five-year-old agreement with South Korea.
MACOMB CITY COUNCIL
MONDAY, SEPTEMER 11, 2017
MACOMB CITY HALL
1. Consideration to award the bids for the South Randolph (Jefferson to Grant) and Hidden Hills (all streets except Joseph) street projects. POWER TO ACT.
2. Discussion on the Franchise Amendment Agreement with Comcast.
A copy of the amendment is attached for your review. Discussion is planned.
3. Discussion on an ordinance to amend Sections 15-214 and 15-216 of the Municipal Code of Macomb to amend the location of the restricted parking and handicapped parking for the Downtown Square.
This ordinance had first reading last week and further discussion is planned.
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.
The Illinois State Police have announced the arrests of a pair of Adams County residents on charges that they were trafficking in Methamphetimines. According to the ISP, 37 year old Jennifer L. Daugherty of Mendon and 31 year old Dustin K. Parsons, residence unknown, were arrested on September 6th following a traffic stop by the Quincy Police Department in the area of 2nd and Main Street in Quincy. The two suspects were part of an ongoing investigation of the trafficking of Methamphetimine from Missouri into Illinois. The two were pulled over at approximately 11:32 Pm and a K9 Unit search of the vehicle led to the discovery of more than 50 grams of ICE Methamphetimine. Daugherty was arrested on charges of Possession of Methamphetimine and Possession with Intent to Deliver Methamphetimine while Parsons was charged with Possession of Methamphetimine. Both suspects were taken to the Adams County Jail to await disposition.
Senator Tammy Duckworth isn't impressed by a report card on the nation's infrastructure. She believes now is the time for Congress to act on recomendations from the Blue-Green Alliance, which represents the nation's largest labor unions and environmental organizations.... Click Here
Duckworth says improving the nation's infrastructure could serve as the elixir for many ills.... Click Here
The clock is ticking when it comes to a free and open internet in the United States, and watchdog groups are gearing up for what could be a lengthy court battle if regulators put an end to net neutrality.
In May, the Federal Communications Commission proposed rolling back an Obama-era rule regulating internet service providers like utilities, meaning providers can't limit access to any website. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai wants to quash regulations treating Internet Service Providers as utilities, saying it hampers innovation and investment.
Jim Chilsen, director of communications for the Citizens Utility Board, said there's a misconception of what net neutrality is, and who would it impacts.
"A lot of times, this gets portrayed as this battle between these big tech companies - between AT&T and Amazon, or Verizon, or Comcast and Netflix," Chilsen said. "And it actually, in the end, it's going to hit the little guy, consumers like you and me."
Chilsen said if net neutrality rules are rolled back, it could drive small tech companies and internet providers out of business; meaning if consumers are unhappy with the services a large ISP provides, there would be nowhere else to turn. He said if the FCC decides to pull the plug on safeguards that are in place, watchdog agencies like his will take the issue to court.
He said Illinois residents already are being socked with high property and income taxes, and every increase in a utility bill hurts, especially for those on a fixed income.
"Consumers get nickeled and dimed," he said. "A $90 million rate hike for a company may seem like a small rate, and the per-customer rate hike may be small, but these little cuts take a toll."
More than 22 million people commented on net neutrality during the FCC's public comment period, and Chilsen said an overwhelming majority were in favor of keeping protections in place.
The Citizens Utility Board is holding a series of town hall meetings, including events in Carbondale and Champaign this week.
Mt. Calvary Church of God in Christ is once again holding its Back to School Celebration. The free K-12 event will take place Saturday (September 9) outside the church from 2-6 p.m. The day features food, a bouncy house, lawn games, and a raffle. Following the event, there will be an indoor revival from 6-8 p.m.
In addition to the activities surrounding the celebration, Mt. Calvary is holding blood and voter registration drives that same day. Those will begin at 1:30, with identification needed to take part in both of those drives.
The church is located at 1500 East Pierce in Macomb. To learn more about this event and what the Mt. Calvary Church of God in Christ has to offer, listen to my interview with Assistant Pastor Alan Henderson.
The annual Gazebo Art Festival will take place tomorrow (Saturday, September 9) in Macomb at Chandler Park. The event opens up at 9 a.m., and will have excitement for the whole family taking place all day. In addition to viewing local art, patrons can participate in this year's new addition of the chalk walk.
The Gazebo Art Festival will be one of several local events going on in downtown Macomb Saturday afternoon. To learn more about what this year's festival has to offer, check out my interview with event organizer Alene Reuschel.
To say that the 2017 take on Stephen King’s Magnum Clown Opus IT is better than the 1990 mini-series is an understatement. The mini-series was a punishing nearly four-hour mix of a pretty good kids’ story and a nearly impossible to watch adult story. Jettisoning the adult story in favor of focusing on the far superior kids’ story from King’s novel, the 2017 IT crafts a tightly wound, creepy horror flick that plays on some serious issues about grief and abuse while delivering the kind of machine tooled jump scares that modern audiences go to the movies for.
Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed an executive order creating the Governor’s Opioid Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force. Task force members will focus on strategies that lean on prevention and treatment. In the Dixon area, residents and authorities felt shock waves when three residents died from heroin overdoses in a matter of days. After three heroin deaths in a matter of days, Dixon started a so called safe passage program. Dixon Police Chief Danny Langloss says the results have been dramatic..... Click Here
That task force will be headed up by Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti and Illinois Public Health Director Dr. Nirav D. Shah.
Illinois farmers being encouraged to utilize a resource called the nitrogen rate calculator. Jean Payne is president of the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association. She says the calculator aims to find the “maximum return to N” or MRTN Click Here
Payne says the calculator is a good way for farmers to verify if they are over applying or even under applying nitrogen. The easiest way to access the calculator is to type in “nitrogen rate calculator” in any search engine.
Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza is telling Illinois school districts, the check is in the mail. 541 million dollars in general state aid payments are being distributed to districts across the state. Typically, that money would have been shipped out in early August, but was delayed by the recent school funding debate. Another 264 million dollars is being shipped out Friday for the September payments to schools.
The USDA has revised net farm income figures upward for the 2017 marketing year, but the impact will be minimal in Illinois—because most of the gains were made in livestock sector. Click Here
That’s Illinois Farm Bureau senior economist Mike Doherty. He says those farmers that cash rent have basically had a breakeven year. Click Here
The 2017 USDA farm income forecast also predicts real estate debt to reach a historic high in 2017 driven by continued demand for cropland combined with anticipated low interest rates and strong crop yields.
Support your local hero’s by attending the 6th annual Fallen Soldiers 5k run. Proceeds from the race will go towards the Fallen Soldiers 5k scholarship fund at Western Illinois University. Register before September 25th and you will receive a free t-shirt, finisher medal and $10 off of your registration fee. If not, race day registration is $35 dollars. The race will begin October 14th at 8:30. Participants are to meet at the Spencer Student Recreation center until the race kicks off. For more information please contact Digger Oster at 309-298-1800
Seal coating in the parking area of West Carroll and North McArthur will cause the closing of public parking areas including a portion of the Macomb City Hall parking lot. The closure will take place Saturday, September 9th. There is no timetable for the work or how long it will last. If you have any questions contact the Macomb Public Works Department at 309-833-2821.
The members of the Friends of Argyle will be hosting its Argyle Lake State Park, Lake Exploration event Saturday, September 28th from 10am to 2pm at Argyle State Park. There will be a multitude of activates being offered at the event, from lake education activates, fishing, kayaking, to pontoon boat rides. The Friends of Argyle will be providing refreshments and loaner fishing pools for those in attendance. Meet at the bait shop near the lake for this event. If you have any questions, call the visitor’s center for specific program information at (309)776-3422.
Children of undocumented immigrants, the so-called Dreamers, who live in Illinois aren't going to see action by the state protect them when it comes to immigration reform.
Gov. Bruce Rauner said he's not getting involved with President Trump's plan to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, despite a request by Chicago's mayor to establish an "Illinois Bill of Rights" for undocumented immigrants. Also at odds with the governor on the issue is Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who joined a multi-state lawsuit on Wednesday aimed at keeping DACA going.
The governor, speaking at a health center in Lawndale on Wednesday, said he doesn't think the issue should be handled individually by states.
"I do not believe this challenge for these children can be addressed on a state-by-state basis, I think that would not be correct," Rauner said. "We need a comprehensive immigration reform that should be done at the federal level, for the entire nation, and should be done by Congress."
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Trump's decision to end legal protection for 800,000 immigrant children "contradicts" the assurances he gave before he was elected, and said that will come back to haunt him.
Chicago is a sanctuary city for immigrants, and Emanuel said he wants the state to offer protection as well.
"Given what President Trump is now talking about, I would like the state of Illinois to follow Chicago's lead and have state aid open to Dreamers," Emmanuel said
Madigan joined 14 other states and the District of Columbia in filing suit to block Trump's decision on DACA, calling his move "fundamentally unfair" and illegal.
The Illinois Farm Bureau and Illinois Pork Producers Association teaming up for a tree-buffer program. IPPA Executive Director Jennifer Tirey says the buffers serve as windbreaks and provide other environmental benefits for hog farmers. Click Here
Hog farmers can apply to participate in the program through October 7th at “ilpork.com.”
What does a cool and dry season mean for the Illinois pumpkin crop? It’s actually not that bad says John Lyons with Indian Creek Farmstead near Petersburg. Click Here
Lyons also grows gourds and squash on his farm. The operation includes five buildings and he calls the enterprise “Agritainment”—including retail, barnyard, wagon rides, food and beverage, school tours and special events such as weddings and family gatherings.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has allocated $100,000 to Western Illinois University to study the Bobcat population of West Central Illlinois. According to a release from Western Illinois University, the grant will be used to place and track camera traps that will be used to estimate the population of Bobcats in West Central Illinois throughout the winter when the tracking of the population is easier. Phase one of the project will begin this winter with the placement of the cameras in forest areas and the capture and the capture of Bobcats that will then be fitted with tracking devices. Phase two will follow over the next two years with the analayzing of the data gathered by the cameras. A student research assistant will be added to the team which will be headed up at WIU by Biological Sciences Assistant Professor Chris Jaques who will be working with teams from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources on the project along with the Illinois Bobcat Foundation and Furbearers Unlimited.
A Chicago teen was arrested in Macomb on charges of kidnapping a Lyft driver. According to the Western Illinois University Office of Public Safety, 19 year old Torey Evans of Chicago forced a Lyft Driver to drive him from Chicago to Macomb on Sunday, September 3rd. After being released, the Lyft Driver informed police who then arrested Evans at Bayliss Hall on the WIU campus on charges of Kidnapping and Unlawful Restraint. Also arrested was 18 year old Telonda Isom who was arrested for Obstruction of Justice while Evans was being arrested. Both were held at the McDonough County Jail pending disposition.
Senator Tammy Duckworth is offering a blistering critique of President Trump's decision to end the DACA program, which gives young undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship.....
"Make no mistake—this decision is not about "rule of law," as Attorney General Sessions claims. This is a gut-wrenching betrayal of American values that leaves nearly 800,000 of our neighbors vulnerable to deportation and will tear families and communities apart. DREAMers are doctors, teachers, students and Servicemembers. They have mortgages and jobs. They know only one nation: the United States of America, which is where they were raised. To end a program that allowed these patriots to come out of the shadows and more fully contribute to this country is irresponsible and heartless. Congress must act NOW and pass legislation to make DACA the law of the land."
Soybean farmers throughout various parts of Illinois dealing with a couple of late season pests. GROWMARK Agronomy Services Manager Tim Laatsch says if not treated, yield can be impacted. Click Here
Laatsch says there are many different insecticides that can be used for both grasshopper and stink bug control, but he encourages farmers to carefully read label directions especially as it relates to the pre-harvest interval.
When it comes to the debate over the fate of young undocumented immigrants in the DACA program, one of the staunchest defenders of the program's "Dreamers" has been Senator Dick Durbin. Durbin joined Republican colleague Lyndsey Graham of South Carolina to call for passage of the Dream Act, to ensure nearly 800-thousand DACA beneficiaries could remain in the U.S. He accused the President of an about face.... Click Here
With the program set to end in six months, Durbin says DACA backers don't have the option of delays..... Click Here
Graham said he always believed DACA was an overreach by President Obama, but he also equally understands the plight of the Dream Act kids who often know no other country than America.
Macomb Park District will host its 3rd annual Kite Fest celebration, this Saturday, September 9th. The day will hold tons of activities and a free raffle for all kids who participate. There will be multiple giant kite displays and a precision kite flying show performed by Kite Team “180 Go!.” Anyone 17 years and younger will receive free hot dogs and Lemon Shake-ups curtesy of Squeeze to Please. This event is free to the public and will be held at Macomb’s Veterans Park at 10am. For more information, please visit macombparkdistrict.com.
Bradley University Department of Art will be presenting the documentary film “Eva Hesse” by Marcie Begleiter Thursday, September 7th. The screening will be shown at the Horowitz Auditorium, located in the Caterpillar Global Communications Center on Bradley University’s campus, from 5-7pm. The screening is free and open to the public. Eva Hessa (1936-1970) was well known for her pioneering use of abstract mediums such as, latex, fiberglass, and plastics. Her works are heavily associated with postmodern and postminimal art movements and is regarded as one of the most influential artist of the 1960’s. Again, the screening will be free to the public and will be shown at the Horowitz Auditorium, located in the Caterpillar Global Communications Center on Bradley University’s campus, from 5-7pm.
As the White House prepares a major announcement on DACA-the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, Senator Dick Durbin says DACA's "Dreamers" should be allowed to remain on American soil... Click Here
Durbin is hopeful President Trump won't end the DACA program when he makes a major announcement on the issue today... Durbin discussed the issue with the President on Inauguration Day.... Click Here
Durbin took part in Belleville's Labor Day Parade.
A Western Illinois farmer in a key ag leadership role wants to see upgrades to the lock and dam system. Ron Moore of Roseville serves as president of the American Soybean Association. Click Here
Moore will finish up his term as ASA president in December.
High volume fracking has come to Illinois, and environmental groups are gearing up for a battle.
Late last week, the state Department of Natural Resources granted Kansas-based Woolsey Companies a permit to begin fracking at a site in White County, despite cries from environmental groups that the plan was faulty. They're taking the agency to task, saying demanding so little transparency in the permitting process is a gift to potential polluters.
Don Carlson, executive director at Illinois People's Action, said fracking endangers drinking water, increases heavy truck traffic and sets a terrible precedent, because Illinois should be expanding solar and wind energy instead.
"What happens to the chemicals and the injection fluid that's going to be pumped back into the ground?" Carlson asked. "There are questions that have been raised on the containment of those toxic chemicals. How will it affect fresh water in the area of the frack?"
Fracking is the process of injecting chemicals deep into the ground to force natural gas out. Pennsylvania and Oklahoma are seeing negative impacts as a result of the process, including an increase in the number of earthquakes in Oklahoma that critics say are linked to the fracking process.
Illinois has the most stringent rules and regulations in the nation when it comes to fracking, and Mark Sooter, vice president for business development at Woolsey, said those will keep state residents safe.
"We feel that it's necessary to have good rules and regulations and that, by us complying with those, we will be able to protect the concerns that people might have about the environment," Sooter said.
Woolsey plans to drill an exploration well in White County by the end of this year, and Sooter said they'll decide at that point if they want to build more wells.
Carlson said it comes down to the state supporting a private corporation to make money over the needs of the people of Illinois. He said state officials should instead focus on making Illinois a greener placer to live.
"With the increase and the desire to have renewable energy sources - solar power and wind power - fracking is no longer even necessary to meet our energy needs," he said.
Fracking in Illinois has been opposed by groups such as the Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Food and Water Watch and Southern Illinoisans Against Fracturing our Environment.
As the Farm Progress Show packed up and moved on from Decatur this weekend the planning for the next show has already begun. But it’s not for the next show in Iowa; it’s about the return show in 2019 according to Show Manager Matt Jungmann.
The American Red Cross is putting out a call for donors, as Hurricane Harvey caused a chain of events that has led to a shortage of blood. Joe Zydlo, spokesman for the American Red Cross, says he's hoping the public will respond as they have in the past, and come to the aid of those in need not only now, but over the long-haul.
The Farm Progress show has wrapped up in Decatur but the impact of more than a hundred thousand visitors and exhibitors is felt much further than just around Macon County. Show Manager Matt Jungmann says all those visitors each night needed a place to stay and eat and that takes a lot of hotel rooms.
The fertilizer industry has a big presence in Illinois and a major part of their reach is through transportation—all forms—says the Fertilizer Institute’s Chris Jahn. Click Here
And Jahn says the fertilizer industry is among those pushing for major investment in the aging lock and dam system. Click Here
Jahn, a native of Wyoming, spoke recently at GROWMARK’s annual meeting in Chicago.
McDonough County Sheriff Rick Van Brooker has announced another arrest in the ongoing Operation Icemelt. 35 year old Brandon D. Jackson of Prairie City, Illinois was arrested this morning at his residence after a search warrant was served on the home. Jackson was arrested on the scene on three counts of Delivery of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Methamphetimine with Intent to Deliver and Possession of Drug Paraphenalia. Sheriff Van Brooker says that more arrests will be coming as part of Operation Icemelt, meanwhile Jackson remains in the McDonough County Jail awaiting disposition.
I must be getting soft as I get older because movies like A Boy Named Po never used to get passed my ironic armor. As a younger critic, a movie like A Boy Named Po with a premise that reads like a Lifetime Movie and a cast lacking star power would have been one I would dismiss without a glance. Admittedly, I used to be kind of arrogant and quite snobbish. It could be I have become more evolved and mature or it could be that director John Asher’s inspired by true events movie is actually so good that I had no need for my emotional armor. Click the link below for the radio review and click the picture for the full written review of A Boy Named Po.