MACOMB – U.S. Cellular is offering up to $1,000 to local youth organizations through their Community Connections program. The program, now in it’s fifth year, provides sponsorship support to help pay for expenses for youth groups, like travel, equipment, and uniforms. The program is open to different academic and athletic groups that include children and teens up to 12th grade, including sports teams, STEM programs, school marching bands and dance squads.
The director of sales for U.S. Cellular, Illinois, Nakeita Stewart says, “We know there are thousands of kid-focused organizations and groups that are in need of financial support, and the Community Connections program is one way that we can help them achieve their goals. As a company, we have a longstanding commitment to kids and education, and we want to help provide them unique and meaningful experiences, something we know these groups can provide.”
To sign up to become eligible for the sponsorship funds, to view the official rules or for more information, visit www.uscellular.com/communityconnections.
The McDonough County Y-M-C-A is hosting their Circus Academy Spring Show. The shows are on Saturday April 6th at 6:30 p-m and Sunday April 7th at 1 p-m. The event is free and features aerial acts, clown skits, acrobatic feats and more that will be set to the music and theme of Mary Poppins.
The WIU Art Department will be hosting their monthly “First Wednesday” on April 3rd. One will be hosted from 1-3 p-m in the University Union Bookstore and another from 7-9 p-m in Garwood Hall, the Heating Plant Annex and the University Art Gallery. The event is free and open to all ages. The Union Bookstore event will be having a Silkscreen Demo hosted by Professor Susan Czechowski and the WIU Silkscreamers. The event in Garwood Hall will host a variety of activities including printmaking, painting and more. At the Heating Plant Annex, activities include packing tape sculptures, bracelet making and more. The Art Gallery will be open for the event and include an exhibition by Eloisa Guanlao.
MACOMB – The WIU School of Music, along with the Western Horn Institute, will be presenting the annual WIU Horn Festival from 9am to 5pm on Sunday, April 7th inside the College of Fine Arts and Communication (COFAC) Recital Hall. The Festival will be hosted by WIU Assistant Professor of Horn, Jena Gardner.
The Horn Festival will occur throughout the day and will feature guest clinicians, masterclass and performances. The Festival Horn Choir, an alumni choir and special guests are just some of the performers for the Festival. Guest artists for this year are pianists Kay Kim and Min Jung Seo and internationally-recognized hornist Gail Williams.
The recitals held at 2pm and 4pm are going to be open and free to the public. The Horn Festival Choir will have their recital at 1:15pm, alongside a faculty recital. At the 4pm recital, Williams will be performing, with Kim accompanying on the piano.
Registration for participating hornists is $25 in advance and $30 on the day of the recital. For more information on registration, visit wiu.edu/cofac/horn/.
(Original story by WIU News. Visit their website here.)
MACOMB – On Friday, March 29th, 2019, there will be a Vietnam Veterans Day reception that will go from 9am to 10:30am at the Macomb City Hall Community Room. The public are encouraged to visit, and Mayor Inman asks that “all citizens pay tribute to those who served
and to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom.” March 29th was the last day that U.S. troops were on the ground in Vietnam in 1973.
MACOMB – The WIU Equestrian Club is hosting their 2019 Equestrian Experience at the Livestock Center, located on 2201 Wigwam Hollow Road, on Saturday March 23rd, from 10am-3pm. The event will feature horse rides, food, games, crafts, raffle baskets, vendors, petting zoo, demonstrations, and a tack sale.
A portion of the proceeds from the event will go to Gigi’s Playhouse in the Quad Cities.
MACOMB – The annual Kathy Simmons Memorial 5K Walk/Run/Roll will be taking place on Saturday, May 4th, 2019 in Macomb. The Memorial 5K will be held by the WIRC-CAA Victim Services and is to help raise awareness and show support for victims/survivors of domestic violence.
Pre-registration begins now until April 19th at the cost of $30 and those who register early are guaranteed a T-Shirt. After the 19th, you can still register to participate for $35 and purchase of a t-shirt is separate. In-person registration begins at 7:30am at the Citizen’s Bank Plaza on the corner of Randolph and Washington streets in Macomb. The 5K will begin shortly after at 8 am. Registration fees can be paid online by credit card here, by check or by cash.
For more information, or to register, contact Becky Cox-Medina at (309) 837-6622 or email email@example.com.
WIRC-CAA Victim Services, based in Macomb, provides free and confidential services in a safe environment with knowledgeable staff members who are ready to provide emergency services, advocacy, counseling, professional training, and public education. For more information about WIRC-CAA Victim Services, visit wirpc.org or call (309) 837-6622. If you, or someone you know, are in crisis, a free 24-hour crisis line is available at (309) 837-5555. All proceeds will benefit those served by the Victim Services Program.
SPRINGFIELD, IL – A new headlining act has been announced for the Illinois State Fair Illinois Lottery Grandstand. Multi-platinum, alternative rock band Shinedown will headline the grandstand on Saturday, August 17th.
The band has sold over 10 million albums worldwide, earned 11 platinum and gold singles, and four platinum and gold albums. Shinedown will be promoting their new album Attention Attention, which has garnered acclaim from critics and fans.
Tickets for all of the State Fair’s concerts go on sale online via Ticketmaster on Saturday, April 20th at 10 am and in person at the Emmerson Building at the State Fairgrounds in Springfield on Monday, April 22nd. Ticket prices are as follows:
Sunday, August 11: Dan + Shay
Tier 3 - $25 / Tier 2 - $30 / Tier 1 - $35 / Gen Track - $35 / VIP Track - $55
Monday, August 12: The Traveling Salvation Show – A Tribute to Neil Diamond
Tuesday, August 13: Why Don’t We
Tier 3 - $20 / Tier 2 - $25 / Tier 1 - $30 / Gen Track - $30 / VIP Track - $50
Wednesday, August 14: Pentatonix with Special Guest Rachel Platten
Tier 3 - $45 / Tier 2 - $50 / Tier 1 - $55 / Gen Track - $55 / VIP Track - $75
Thursday, August 15: Old Dominion
Tier 3 - $30 / Tier 2 - $35 / Tier 1 - $40 / Gen Track - $40 / VIP Track - $60
Friday, August 16: Snoop Dogg w/ Dogg Pound, Warren G, DJ Quik, Twista, and Do or Die
Tier 3 - $25 / Tier 2 - $30 / Tier 1 - $35 / Gen Track - $35 / VIP Track - $55
Saturday, August 17: Shinedown
Tier 3 - $30 / Tier 2 - $35 / Tier 1 - $40 / Gen Track - $40 / VIP Track - $60
Sunday, August 18: Reba McEntire with Rachel Wammack
Tier 3 - $35 / Tier 2 - $40 / Tier 1 - $45 / Gen Track - $45 / VIP Track - $65
The Illinois State Fair will also be hosting Stage Side Parties again this year at $30 a ticket.
Fairgoers will be given access to a pre-show party that will include food, entertainment, giveaways and early entrance to the Grandstand concert. The Stage Side Party is only available to those who have purchased a concert ticket to attend that night’s concert – BOTH concert and Stage Side Party tickets will be required to enter the party tent. These tickets can be purchased via Ticketmaster once tickets are on sale. Stage Side Party tickets purchased on or before July 15, 2019, will also receive a parking pass for the concert date event.
MACOMB – MDH Behavioral Health Services will be hosting an event for families and children of McDonough County who have experienced the loss of a loved one. The Children’s Grief and Hope Retreat event will take place Saturday, May 4th at the Lakeview Nature Center.
The retreat is funded by the Fellheimer Trust of Wesley United Methodist Church and is free to children ages 6-18. Susan Denecke, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker of MDH Behavioral Health Services, will host the retreat and combine counseling and a variety of activities to help the children cope with the loss of a loved one.
Denecke states, “This camp will serve children who have experienced the loss of a loved one and expose them to resources that can help them cope with stress and loss. Two years ago, we held a similar event, inspired by a long running program in Galesburg. I wanted to bring something closer to home, so children who have experienced loss know they are not alone.”
For more information, call MDH Behavioral Health Services at (309) 836-1582. To learn more
about the full range of counseling services provided by MDH, including individual, group and family therapy, visit MDH.org/services.
ROCK ISLAND, IL - For the first time in four decades, the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union 25 hosted the trade’s top apprentices from across Illinois for the 2019 Apprentice Contest. The event was organized by the Committee On Training and Education (COTE), over 30 apprentices from 14 unions competed in the categories of plumbing, HVACR, pipefitting, welding and sprinkler fitting.
“It was a tremendous honor to host this year’s COTE Apprentice Contest in our state-of-the-art training center at Local 25,” said Matt Lienen, business manager. “This two-day competition gave our apprentices the chance to test their knowledge and skills and compete with some of the best apprentices from around the state of Illinois. We’re proud of their achievements and the impressive skills they displayed.”
Local 25 apprentice Carter Hagen took first in the plumbing contest. With the addition of a written test, participants had to compete in practical testing of their knowledge in the field. For plumbers, they had to deal with toilets, urinals, lavatories and showers (including the waste that comes with those areas), vents and water piping.
Three apprentices from Chicago Pipefitters Local 597, Bill Sprengell, Jared Walters and Alex
Lindemann, took away top honors in the HVACR, pipefitter and welder contest respectively. Jake Blaze joined the list of winners as the first-place sprinkler fitter from Chicago Sprinkler Fitters Local 281.
“This is a great event to promote the trades as being a sustainable career that’s rewarding, and to recognize the apprentices’ accomplishments because they invest five years of training as apprentices,” said Greg Harle, COTE chairman and Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 23 training director.
A list of winners is as follows:
1. Carter Hagen Local 25 - Rock Island (Pictured)
2. Jason Yager Local 137 - Springfield
3. Kendall Hansen Local 99 - Bloomington
1. Jared Walters Local 597 - Chicago
2. Bryce Stearns Local 23 - Rockford
3. Clint Lewellen Local 137 - Springfield
1. Bill Sprengell Local 597 - Chicago
2. Grant Johnson Local 23 - Rockford
3. Zach Corson Local 25 - Rock Island
1. Jake Blaze Local 281 - Chicago
2. Nathaniel Shaw Local 669 - Road Local
1. Alex Lindemann Local 597 - Chicago
2. Ryan Nesler Local 23 - Rockford
3. Jason Bontz Local 25 - Rock Island
Illinois winners will move on to the regional competition June 10-13 in St. Paul, Minnesota. To learn more about the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union 25, click here
The Yard Waste Site (Tower Road) will open to City of Macomb residents on Thursday,
April 4, 2019.
The Yard Waste Site's hours of operation will be Thursday through Sunday, 10 AM through 6 PM.
The City of Macomb Public Works has released the following PSA:
The “No Sticker” Spring Yard Waste Collection will begin Monday, March 25, 2019 through Thursday, May 2, 2019.
Yard waste must be placed in Kraft-type paper bags, marked cans or bundles. Bags, bundles or cans may not exceed 50 lbs. Brush and branches must be cut to 4-foot lengths and tied with twine only into bundles less than 2-feet in diameter. Bundles may not exceed 50 lbs. Bundles tied with wire will not be collected. Waste Management totes may not be used for yard waste.
MACOMB – Macomb citizens are being asked to assist in the Spring City-Wide Clean-Up that will be taking place from May 13th to the 16th this year, along with a second pick-up on Monday, May 20th.
Residents should place their refuse and trash on their curbside no earlier than 48 hours before their regular garbage pickup day. The Clean-Up will begin at 6am on your normal pick up day.
Due to some residents not placing their garbage out until after the crews have passed their residences, this causes delays in pick-ups. Mayor Mike Inman commented on the issue, “This is a beneficial service provided to the community. On-time placement of refuse and trash keeps the cost down and reduces the neighborhood unsightliness associated with the program.”
Residents are advised that refuse and trash should be placed in containers or bundles weighing
less than 50 pounds. Sturdy bags, including plastic trash bags, will be permitted containers for
this event only. “White goods” and bulk items are to be placed as close to the curb as possible.
Loose refuse and electronics are not permitted.
Other items not included in the pick-up are: Yard Waste, Liquid Waste (paint, motor oil,
thinner), Hazardous Waste (gasoline, propane, chemical wastes, insecticides/pesticides),
Electronics (TV’s, Computers, Fax/Copy Machines, Cell Phones, Stereo Equipment), Tires,
Batteries, Large Auto Parts, Construction and Demolition Debris, or Concrete Preparation.
MACOMB - The Annual Community Partnership Reception was held on Thursday, February 28th, 2019 at the Western Illinois Museum. During the event, Lin Stults and her business, Engraving by Lin were recognized by the Macomb Downtown Development with the Historic Downtown Legacy Business Enterprise Award.
Stults, a Macomb native, has worked on the square for over 40 years. She learned engraving at Arrasmith Jewelry and, since its closing, bought the equipment to continue her passion. Stults started her business, Engraving by Lin, in a small corner of Gumbarts. As years passed, Stults’ shop has tripled in sized and has added more to her repertoire: Engraved glass, plastic ADA signs, wooden plaques, cast plaques and laser engraving.
“We are very lucky to have this type of service right here in Downtown Macomb. Thank you, Lin
Stults for your dedication to the downtown,” stated Downtown Development Director Kristin
Engraving by Lin has joined 11 other businesses in earning the Historic Downtown Legacy Business Enterprise Award, which includes Purdum Electric, Diamond Den, Citizens Bank, Terrill Title, Sir Lawrence’s Barbershop, Dick’s Barbershop, Nelson’s Clothing Store, Pumo Insurance, Gumbart’s, and MidAmerica National Bank.
Western Illinois University History and Political Science Advisor Allison Ramsey has been named the February Academic Advisor of the month for February.
Ramsey was nominated for the award by six students and one administrator.
"Allison offered to meet up with me before school even started, and she has been amazing to work with ever since," said one student. "She genuinely cares about you and how you are and how you're doing in school and you can tell she loves her job because she makes it fun."
Another student called Ramsey "phenomenal to work with."
"She sets a standard for all other advisors," the student said. "She always puts her students first. I know firsthand she has stayed after her normal hours to help me schedule classes."
Each month, a WIU advisor is honored with a certificate and trophy. Award winners are decided by a committee that considers each of the applications for the month.
For more information about advising services at Western, visit wiu.edu/advising.
The Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) is constructing a 200-bed mental health and general medicine treatment center in Joliet. This facility will provide the most intensive level of care for incarcerated men and women with mental illness or who require longterm skilled nursing care.
IDOC partnered with the state’s Capital Development Board (CDB) for this major construction project. CDB secured a Design-Build team comprised of River City Construction and architectural and engineering firms, HOK and HDR.
IDOC was joined by Illinois Senator Pat McGuire, Representative Lawrence Walsh, Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk, and AFSCME Council 31 representatives for an official groundbreaking ceremony Monday morning.
The $150 million facility will provide services to both male and female patients. More than 400 people will work at the facility including physicians, nurse practitioners, licensed psychologists, and correctional treatment officers.
Construction of the Joliet Inpatient Treatment Center is expected to be completed in 2021.
Illinoisans are being encouraged to leave young wildlife alone as spring is rapidly approaching.
Spring is a busy breeding season and the Department of Natural Resources is reminding wildlife enthusiasts of the following:
• Birds often leave the nest before they can fly. These birds, known as fledglings, will live on the ground for a few days while they grow flight feathers; you may hear them making noises calling for their parents to feed them; it doesn’t mean they are in trouble. Keep children and pets away.
• Do not attempt to rescue fawns. Fawn deer often stay still to conceal themselves until they are old enough to keep up with their mother; the female deer may not stay near the fawns for fear of alerting predators to their presence. People should leave fawns alone and the mother will return.
• It is illegal in Illinois to feed wild deer. When deer congregate, it can facilitate the spread of disease and cause other unintended consequences.
• Wild birds and animals can become habituated to people when they are provided food, so don’t leave pet food outside at night, clean up under bird feeders, secure the lids on garbage cans to keep raccoons and other wildlife out, and don’t feed Canada geese and coyotes in urban/suburban areas. Nuisance animals can become dangerous to people.
• Handling wild animals can result in the handler being bitten. According to the Centers for Disease Control, wild animals that bite a person must be euthanized immediately to be tested for rabies
To learn more about potential wildlife conflicts, and keeping people, pets and wildlife safe, visit the new Wildlife Illinois website at https://www.wildlifeillinois.org/
Jen Wagoner recently earned her third Healing Hand award through the Grateful Patient Program at McDonough County District Hospital.
Most recently, Wagoner was honored for her professionalism, compassion, and expertise when delivering patient care.
Wagoner is certified in Vestibular Rehabilitation, A form of physical therapy that addresses inner ear or balance disorders for individuals with symptoms of unbalance, dizziness, vertigo, lightheadedness and more.
With this third award and donation, Wagoner is closer to her goal or purchasing specialized goggles that will enhance treatment for Vestibular Disorders at MDH.
Tanner Hall will once again be the stage for one of WIU’s most “hair-raising”
Event in its history, The Annual St. Baldrick’s Fundraiser.
The event challenges participants to shave their heads, volunteer time or donate money to give hope to infants, children and teens who fighting childhood cancers.
Each year a goal is set in place for fund raising and this year the mark is $10,000. Last year the organization raised more than $12,000.
The St. Baldrick's Foundation is volunteer-driven charity that awards childhood cancer research grants. More than 175,000 children worldwide will be diagnosed with cancer this year, meaning one diagnosis every three minutes.
This year, there are slated to be more than 30 heads shaved during WIU’s event. Also there will be activities for children, a photo booth and refreshments available.
For more information, or to donate to the WIU event, visit bit.ly/WIUSB19 or email JM-Stevenson@wiu.edu.
MACOMB – The Wesley United Methodist Church is now accepting free home repair applications for their 11th annual Streaming Waters Work Week. The service will be available to residents of McDonough County. The Church will be offering help to homeowners who cannot work due to financial or physical reasons during the week of June 3rd to June 7th.
Applications for the home repair projects are due Friday, April 19th. Forms can be found throughout McDonough County, including Wesley United Methodist Church, 1212 W. Calhoun St., Macomb, and on the church’s website, www.macombwesleyumc.com/ministry/missions. Applicants will be chosen based on the necessity of the repair, the homeowner’s financial need and their inability to do work. Types of work include building ramps; cleaning basements, garages and rain gutters; painting; repairing walls, fences and porches; and yard work. Roof repair is not offered.
Project chair, Carolyn Grove, said, “We have done work on more than 200 homes since Streaming Waters Work Week began in 2009. It’s a local mission in which neighbors help neighbors. Over the years, volunteers from other churches have joined us to make it a true community event. There’s a job for everyone, and we always need people with construction experience. It’s a lot of work, but it’s also a lot of fun.”
GALESBURG – The Knox County 4-H Public Presentations Contest was held last week on March 7th at the Knox Agri Center. All six members that participated from the Knox County 4-H Club earned blue ratings for their speeches and food demonstrations.
Advancing to the state competition for their speeches are Cooper Wilt with his speech “Stanley Kubrick,” Deora Inniss with her original work called “It’s Back,” Emma Hawkinson with her speech “The Life Skills We Should Love but Tend to Lose.” Receiving alternate state delegate was Blake Meeker for his speech “Horse Vital.”
Meeker’s “Bacon Wrapped Carrots” also gave him an award for the top food demonstration that used pork as a main ingredient. The state competition will be held on June 8th at the Richland Community College in Decatur, Illinois.
For more information about Know County 4-H and its programs, please contact 4-H Program Coordinator Nicole Nelson at (309) 342-5108.
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Manufacturer’s Association (IMA) has released a statement speaking about Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s projected graduated income tax proposal that would raise the corporate income tax by 13.5 percent while drastically increasing the tax rate for many small businesses by 60.6 percent if enacted.
Mark Denzler, president and CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers' Association said, "Today's massive tax hike proposal will further harm the state's manufacturing sector, which has already lost more than 300,000 jobs since the turn of the century. Illinois cannot afford to lose more of these good, high-paying middle-class jobs. Taxing and spending are not the answer to our daunting challenges. The governor's plan will vault Illinois to the 3rd highest corporate tax rate and 8th highest individual tax rate in the United States. Given that we already face the highest property taxes in the nation, the most glaring part of today's announcement is what is not included: there is no mention of property tax relief for job creators or curtailed government spending."
State Senator Jil Tracy (R-Quincy) also responded to Governor Pritzker’s income tax proposal. “Without guaranteed protections for middle class families, I am opposed to the governor’s $3.4 billion tax increase,” said Sen. Tracy. “This is the third consecutive tax increase since 2011. We need policies in place that protect taxpayers, rein in the growth of government spending, and ensure we don’t need more tax hikes in the future.”
MACOMB - The Western Illinois University Chapter of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi has begun their 6th annual book drive. The drive will run from now until Tuesday, April 30th, with a goal to collect 1,600 books. All of the books collected by the WIU Phi Kappa Phi chapter will be used to stock up the community's Free Little Libraries and children's books will be given to the United Way, the WIU Infant and Preschool Center and Edison and Lincoln schools. Adult books will be given to The Elms and the YMCA.
Last year, the Phi Kappa Phi chapter collected over 1,600 books and won the “Stock the Shelf” national competition. The win will be bringing a Free Little Library to Macomb. Free Little Libraries are freestanding boxes where anyone can donate or borrow books with the goal of promoting literacy throughout communities.
Anyone who would like to help the WIU Phi Kappa Phi can donate new or lightly-used books. The chapter is also accepting cash donations to be used for book purchases. Donations can be mailed to WIU Professor Robert C. Intrieri at 156 Waggoner Hall – WIU, 1 University Circle, Macomb, IL 61455.
(Orignal story via WIU news. Visit their website here)
CHAMPAIGN, IL – State Conservationist Ivan Dozier announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Services (NCRS) of Illinois will be offering funding for the following Landscape Conservation Initiatives: the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI) and the National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI).
Producers that have agricultural, pasture, or forest land in either of these project areas can apply for assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). By using the program, EQIP can implement different conservation practices that will decrease soil erosion and also improve both water quality and wildlife habitat.
To receive funds in these projects you must live in the following areas:
Clinton Lake – Includes portions of DeWitt, McLean and Piatt Counties.
Crow Creek West/Clear Creek – Includes portions of Bureau, LaSalle, Marshall, Putnam and
Upper Macoupin Creek – Includes portions of Macoupin County. Vermilion Headwaters-
Includes portions of Ford, Iroquois, Livingston and McLean Counties.
Douglas Creek Watershed – Includes portions of St. Clair County.
Crooked Creek-Bon Pas Watershed – Includes portions of Richland, Wabash, Edwards, and
Lake Vermilion Watershed – Includes portions of Vermilion County. Lake De Revey Watershed-
Includes portions of Vermilion County.
Painter Creek Watershed – Includes portions of Vermilion County.
Lake Bloomington – Money Creek Watershed – Includes portions of McLean County.
Blue Mound – Money Creek Watershed – Includes portions of McLean County.
The deadline to apply for funding this year are both April 19th and May 17th. NRCS also encourages producers to apply any time of the year as they accept applications passes the deadline dates. For more information, visit NRCS’ website: www.il.nrcs.usda.gov. Or for more information on EQIP, contact your local NRCS field office or visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/il/programs/financial/eqip/.
MACOMB – WIU Centennial Honors College will be hosting a community blood drive from 10am to 1:30pm on Friday, March 29th. The blood drive will be held in the Malpass Library Garden Lounge.
To be eligible to donate, you must follow the following guidelines: Potential donors must be at least 17 years of age (16 with parental permission form available through www.bloodcenter.org) and weigh more than 110 pounds. A photo I.D. is required to donate. For questions about eligibility, please call the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center at (800) 747-5401. Donors who last gave blood on or before 2/1/19 are eligible to give at this drive.
To schedule an appointment, please contact Roselyn Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.bloodcenterimpact.org and use the code 1120K to locate the drive.
MACOMB – Macomb High School will be hosting a community blood drive from 8:30am to 1:30pm on Wednesday, March 27th. The blood drive will be held in the high school’s Auditorium, 1525 S. Johnson Road, Macomb, IL.
To be eligible to donate, you must follow the following guidelines: Potential donors must be at least 17 years of age (16 with parental permission form available through www.bloodcenter.org) and weigh more than 110 pounds. A photo I.D. is required to donate. For questions about eligibility, please call the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center at (800) 747-5401. Donors who last gave blood on or before 1/30/19 are eligible to give at this drive.
To schedule an appointment, please contact Karen Morgan at (309) 837-2331 or visit www.bloodcenterimpact.org and use the code 1083 to locate the drive.
MACOMB – WIU Biological Sciences will be hosting a community blood drive from 10am to 1:30pm on Thursday, March 28th. The blood drive will be held in Room 202 of Waggoner Hall.
To be eligible to donate, you must follow the following guidelines: Potential donors must be at least 17 years of age (16 with parental permission form available through www.bloodcenter.org) and weigh more than 110 pounds. A photo I.D. is required to donate. For questions about eligibility, please call the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center at (800) 747-5401. Donors who last gave blood on or before 1/31/19 are eligible to give at this drive.
To schedule an appointment, please contact Dr. Thomas Vogel at (309) 298-2329 or visit www.bloodcenterimpact.org and use the code 1120H to locate the drive.
WASHINGTON – A House Appropriations subcommittee hearing took place today, March 6, 2019, and at the meeting Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) held the Department of Education and Secretary Betsy DeVos accountable for the lack of oversight about servicers who are contacted to overlook federal student loans and the payments of those loans.
Not long ago, the Office of the Inspector General at the Department of Education found that the Department failed to ensure that loan servicers were to work in the best interest of the student borrowers. This would lead to issues such as: leading students into inappropriate repayment plans; failing to offer students all of their options for repayment; pushing student borrowers into forbearance, where payments halt but interest continues to accrue; and incorrectly calculating the amount that borrowers owed each month.
Secretary DeVos has also taken steps to block efforts made by different states, like Illinois, to help protect consumers and borrowers. DeVos argued that states may not regulate student loan servicers and are pre-empted by federal law.
Congresswoman Bustos commented on the issue, “As the mother of a son with student debt, I know how intimately this issue impacts Illinoisans and their financial security. It’s unacceptable for Secretary DeVos to allow student loan servicers like Navient to take advantage of and prey on borrowers – Illinoisans deserve better than that. Secretary DeVos has clearly been asleep at the wheel and there are real human consequences due to the Department of Education’s stunning lack of oversight.”
MACOMB – Western Illinois University is partnering with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation for their “Shave to Save” event to help raise funds to stop childhood cancers. The event will be taking place on March 24, 2019 from 10am-2pm at WIU’s Tanner Hall.
The event is looking for support from across the area to not only help raise funds, but to also donate time to help at the event. You can be a shave, which means getting your head shaved and raising money at the event to help fund the cause. You can also form a team to help raise money, or if you don’t want to shave your head, you can donate money by yourself. St. Baldrick’s is also looking for volunteer barbers to help at the event.
For information on the event or to donate, visit https://www.stbaldricks.org/events/tannerhall or contact Jailyn Stevenson by either calling (309-298-3011) or emailing (email@example.com). Get involved today and help put an end to childhood cancer.
The office of State Representative Norine Hammond has released a press statement
regarding her urge to Gov. JB Pritzker to release emergency funding to Western Illinois
In her statement, she asks Pritzker to force fill the 6 vacant seats on WIU’s board, and
asked for funds to “reduce the negative impact not only on the University but on the
area”. She also said that she hopes the vacant positions are filled by the quarterly board
meeting scheduled for March 28th and 29th.
In a statement regarding the 132 layoffs of WIU employees from Friday, March 1, WIU
President Jack Thomas said that the reductions were necessary, but these ways can’t
keep up. The University has to grow as an institution, he said, and also emphasized that
recruitment and retention efforts are the responsibility of everyone connected to WIU.
Hammond additionally gave praise to the group of students who started the
#BuyIntoWIU movement, a movement that was centered around a petition that has
garnered thousands of signatures from faculty members, students, alumni, and area
locals. She ended the statement with this quote: “I, too, believe that better days lie
ahead for Western”.
MACOMB, Ill. – There will be a different name soon, but for now the great caring and personalized healthcare services that are provided will remain the same for patients.
As part of the ongoing marketing initiatives, McDonough District Hospital announced that they will rename the McDonough Medical Group.
The McDonough Medical Group will now be called the McDonough District Hospital Medical Group.
The MMG name was created to place the physician practices in the same group as the division of McDonough District Hospital. According to Interim President/CEO Brian E. Dietz, FACHE, eliminated the name ‘‘MMG’’ because branding all physicians and clinics under McDonough District Hospital Medical Group clarifies to patients who specifically provides the services.
“Patients would see the MMG name and think were in relation too McDonough District Hospital. By eliminating the MMG name, that will clear up any confusion and help the organization with any associated branding/marketing purposes,” said Dietz. “I anticipate changing our provider and clinical group to the MDH Medical Group name will help our branding and marketing objectives.”
A listing of the MDH Medical Group, clinics, and services include:
MDH Behavioral Health Services
MDH Bushnell Family Practice
MDH Convenient Care
MDH Ear, Nose, and Throat
MDH Family Clinic
MDH Foot and Ankle
MDH General Surgery
MDH Internal Medicine
MDH Obstetrics and Gynecology
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MACOMB – A meeting of the Western Illinois Regional Council (WIRC) and its CAA Board of Directors will take place on Thursday, March 7th at the Spoon River Community College Outreach Center, 2500 E Jackson Street, Macomb. The meeting will begin at 5pm and the agenda is as follows:
1. CALL TO ORDER
2. ROLL CALL AND DETERMINATION OF QUORUMS
3. CHANGES TO AND APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA
4. PUBLIC COMMENT
5. APPROVAL OR CORRECTION OF DECEMBER 13, 2018 WIRC & CAA JOINT BOARD MEETING MINUTES and CAA BOARD MEETING MINUTES OF JANUARY 23, 2019
WIRC & CAA Boards
6. FISCAL REPORTS Pritchard
7. PROGRAM REPORTS Informational
8. PRESENTATION ON GALESBURG’S HUD LEAD HAZARD REDUCTION PROGRAM
9. REQUEST FOR AUTHORITY TO SEEK EXPANSION OF CSBG SERVICES INTO KNOX COUNTY
10. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT Pritchard
11. EXECUTIVE SESSION: TO CONSIDER THE APPOINTMENT, EMPLOYMENT, COMPENSATION, DISCIPLINE, PERFORMANCE, OR DISMISSAL OF AN EMPLOYEE OF THE PUBLIC BODY OR LEGAL COUNSEL FOR THE PUBLIC BODY PURSUANT TO SECTION 2C1 OF THE OPEN MEETINGS ACT; THE PURCHASE OR LEASE OF REAL PROPERTY FOR THE USE OF THE PUBLIC BODY PURSUANT TO SECTION 2C5 OF THE OPEN MEETINGS ACT; OR PENDING OR PROBABLE LITIGATION PURSUANT TO SECTION 2(C)11 OF THE OPEN MEETINGS ACT.
12. OTHER BUSINESS
13. BOARD MEMBER COMMENTS
MACOMB – Last week, during the Annual Community Partnership Reception, Mr. Steve Horrell was awarded the Citizen of the Year Award. The reception was held last week on Thursday, February 28th at the Western Illinois Museum.
Along with the award, Horrell was recognized for his mentoring to the youth, support of the Big
Brothers Big Sisters Program, where is an active board member; his involvement in the
McDonough County Girls Softball Association, and his role as an educator, coach and school
administrator. Horrell was also recognized for his support of our veteran’s through the Flags of
Love project and his past service as a Trustee of the Macomb Park District Board. In addition,
Horrell was recognized for promoting professional collaboration between Macomb Unit School
District #185 and the Macomb community at large. He is also the Dean of Students at Macomb’s Lincoln Elementary School.
Mayor Inman stated, “We have many outstanding community members, but Steve really exemplifies community commitment and dedication to supporting and mentoring young people. Steve has had, and continues to have, a positive influence on the lives of literally thousands of children and their families. He is an excellent leader who truly cares about people.”
Community partners consist of the Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce, Macomb
Park District, Macomb Area Economic Development Corporation (MAEDCO), City of
Macomb- Downtown Development, and the Macomb Area Convention and Visitors Bureau
MACOMB – The Western Prairie Audubon Society is hosting a special presentation about Aldo Leopold, the author of A Sand Country Almanac and former University of Wisconsin professor. The presentation, titled “Birds and the Beginning of the 'Land Ethic'", will be presented by Aldo Leopold historian and landscape architect, Steve Brower.
Brower’s presentation will be about Leopold’s discoveries in nature, his adventures that brought him to restoration projects, and Leopold’s philosophy on “Land Ethic.”
The presentation will be held on Wednesday, March 13th at 7pm in the Macomb City Hall Community Room. The event is free and handicap accessible.
The Table Grove Fire Department has released a statement regarding its annual All-U-
Can Eat Breakfast. The event will take place at the Table Grove Firehouse on Saturday,
March 9, and is set to occur from 6 AM to 10 AM.
Those attending will have a choice of biscuits and gravy or pancakes, though both will
be served with sausage and bacon. Coffee, juice, or milk choices will be offered, and
will be included in the price of the meal. Carry outs are available for those who want the
food but are unable to stay for the event.
Adult tickets will cost $7 and children aged 12-and-under will cost $5. Come out for
some great food and support your first responders!
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) is reminding taxpayers to be careful of identity theft and tax refund fraud as criminals continue to perpetrate these crimes against citizens. Since 2015, Illinois has stopped more than $120 million in attempted identity theft and tax refund fraud. This is thanks to data analytics and partnerships with the IRS and other states facing the same issues.
“With technology and analytics, the Illinois Department of Revenue continues to thwart efforts by criminals to perpetuate tax fraud and identity theft,” said IDOR Director designate, David Harris. “Last year, these efforts kept an additional $37.2 million in tax dollars from falling into the hands of criminals. While IDOR will continue and intensify its prevention efforts, we emphasize to taxpayers that they are the frontline in the fight against identity theft and tax fraud attempts. By utilizing commonsense steps, taxpayers can reduce the likelihood of falling prey to many of the most common deceptions.”
IDOR is helping taxpayers protect their information and tax data by asking them to follow these guidelines: use security software with firewall and anti-virus protections, selecting automatic updates; be aware of phishing emails and phone scams that attempt to trick individuals out of personal information and money; and treat personal information as you would cash – don’t leave it lying around.
IDOR is also reminding taxpayers that if they receive an identity verification letter from IDOR, that they can now authenticate their information electronically through IDOR’s MyTax Illinois. It is a free online account management program.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Two U.S. Senators, Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL), are joining forces with U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) to introduce a Senate Resolution calling for immediate action from the United States and Congress to fix the challenge of climate change. The resolution is backed by the entirety of the Senate Democratic Caucus.
“Climate change is one of the gravest environmental, economic and national security threats of our time, and we’re already experiencing its devastating effects in Illinois and across the country,” said Duckworth. “Our military leaders have long understood that increased famine and drought caused by climate change is contributing to political instability across the globe – and we have spent tens of billions of dollars repairing our cities, communities and military bases that have suffered serious damage as a result of extreme weather. The costs of climate change are only going to get larger and I worry about the future world my daughters and every child of their generation will have to live in if Congress continues to deny the science of climate change instead of taking immediate action on this critical challenge. I urge my colleagues to stop playing political games and to recognize that the crisis ahead of us is serious and demands responsible solutions.”
“I’ve said for years: climate change is real, the science is clear, human activity is the cause, and we must act now. Our Republican colleagues must set aside politics and work with Democrats to address this crisis. And all sides must remember that we no longer can afford the absolution of time – the time to act is now,” Durbin said. “I’m proud of my Democratic Caucus colleagues for showing our resolve on this critical issue.”
The Senate resolution states that it is the sense of Congress that:
1. Climate change is real;
2. Human activity during the last century is the dominant cause of the climate crisis;
3. The United States and Congress should take immediate action to address the challenge of climate change.
WASHINGTON – Cheri Bustos (IL-17) has reintroduced the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Harassment Act today with the help of bipartisan legislation with Representatives Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Elise Stefanik (NY-21) and Morgan Griffith (VA-9). The act would void forced arbitration agreements that would prevent sexual harassment victims from getting help dealing with their aggressors.
During the press conference, former “Fox & Friends” anchor, Gretchen Carlson, joined the Representatives to back the act. She left “Fox & Friends” due to multiple cases of sexual harassment against Carlson when she work at the program.
“If we truly value workers and want to end sexual harassment in the workplace, we need to take bold and meaningful action now,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “Whether it’s on a factory floor, at a Main Street shop or in a corporate office, 60 million Americans have signed away their right to seek real justice and most don’t realize it until they try to get help. We need to change this and give workers a voice. Those who have been subjected to sexual harassment or discrimination in the workplace deserve an option to have their day in court. While there are plenty of good companies that take sexual harassment seriously and work to prevent it, this legislation will help root out bad actors by prohibiting them from sweeping this problem under the rug.”
“I am proud to have worked with Congresswoman Bustos to spearhead the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Harassment Act,” said Gretchen Carlson, a renowned author, advocate and television news anchor. “Forced arbitration clauses in employment agreements are not designed to achieve fair, expeditious or cost-effective resolutions for sexual harassment cases. They are often used by companies to demean and silence women and conceal pervasive sexual harassment while allowing sexual predators to operate with virtual impunity. I believe every woman and man should be entitled to have their claims adjudicated in a courtroom rather than behind closed doors where victims can never discuss what happened. I’m thankful for this bipartisan effort to make workplaces safer across our country.”
“Last fall, millions of people broke their silence about sexual misconduct, exposing a systemic problem with workplace harassment in almost every industry in America,” said Ally Coll Steele, President and Co-Founder of the Purple Campaign. “But this movement didn’t just reveal the extent of the problem—it also showed that existing laws have largely failed to address it. Congresswoman Bustos’ legislation is precisely the kind of policy change that is needed to protect workers from sexual harassment on the job. Currently, a majority of non-union employees are subject to boilerplate employment agreements that force them to give up their right to file a civil lawsuit in the event of harassment, making it literally illegal for them to access the legal system at all. By eliminating this practice in workplaces across industries, this bill represents a critical step forward and will go a long way toward creating the lasting change we need.”
“We support this bipartisan effort to remove forced arbitration provisions from worker contracts, which prevents those alleging sex discrimination and sexual harassment from getting the justice they deserve,” said Lisa Gilbert, Vice President for Legislative Affairs at Public Citizen.
The breakfast chain, Original Pancake House, will be soon opening a new branch in
North Peoria. The chain is based out of Portland, Oregon, and features a wide array of
different breakfast foods, along with its trademark pancakes that feature both national
and ethnic varieties.
Franchise Owner, Tom Jednorowicz, says the restaurant will be locally owned and
operated, stating that he hopes the restaurant is able to develop strong roots within the
North Peoria community.
Vice President, Director of Leasing of Cullinan Properties, ltd., Kathleen Brill said that
she hopes the restaurant will be an excellent complementary addition to the
development, and that she hopes it can fill the “breakfast void” in North Peoria.
Plaza at Grand Prairie will be the host of the restaurant, and it will be located west of
Starbucks. Groundbreaking will take place this Spring, with the hope being for an
opening sometime in October of 2019.