Macomb Local News Archives for 2019-05

New Regulations for FOID Cardholders pass Illinois House

SPRINGFIELD – Yesterday, The Illinois House of Representatives passed legislation that would greatly expand regulations of firearm ownership in Illinois.  

Senate Bill 1966 (SB 1966), would reduce the length of time a FOID card is valid by half, from the current 10 year length to 5 years, and increase FOID card application fees by 400%, from the current $10 every 10 years ($1 per year) to $20 every 5 years ($4 per year).


The most controversial regulation in the legislation mandates fingerprinting for current FOID cardholders upon renewal of their card and new FOID card applicants. Illinois State Police (ISP) would then be responsible for maintaining the fingerprint database.


State Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) voted against SB 1966.


“Illinois already has some of the toughest firearm regulations in the nation, and this legislation makes them even more stringent,” said Rep. Hammond. “These proposed regulations on law-abiding gun owners are punitive and an invasion of their privacy. Increasing costs and adding more bureaucracy for gun owners will not make our communities safer. They will only limit gun ownership through fees and more red tape. I will continue to oppose these gun control measures because our constitutional right to keep and bear arms should be preserved and protected.”


The legislation considerably increases FOID card fees and firearm sale and transfer fees as well.


ISP would be allowed to charge an additional fee for background checks, which may cost over $25 per check. Background checks are required every time a firearm is transferred or sold. FOID cardholders renewing their card and new FOID card applicants must cover the cost of the mandatory fingerprinting as well, which the legislation caps at $30 per fingerprinting.


With the exception of transactions between family members or law enforcement, firearm transactions must go through a gun dealer who holds a Federal Firearms License (FFL), and that dealer is authorized to charge up to $10 for each firearm transferred or sold.


The House approved SB 1966 with a vote of 62-52 and now the legislation moves to the Illinois Senate for further deliberation.



Illinois Senate passes recreational marijuana bill

SPRINGFIELD, ILL.-- Yesterday, the Illinois Senate passed House Bill 1438, a controversial proposal to legalize the recreational use of cannabis. State Senator Jil Tracy (R-Quincy) issued the following statement about her vote on the proposal:


“Legalizing the recreational use of cannabis will lead to increased use, will decrease safety on our roads and sends the wrong message to our children. Additionally, cannabis is still a schedule I controlled substance and remains illegal under federal law. This is not the right time to take this drastic step at the state level. I voted no.”


The Senate voted 38 to 17 in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana. House Bill 1438 now heads back to the House for final legislative action.


Senator Tracy's full reaction to the bill can be heard here: 



Macomb Rotary Clubs Receive a $34,000 Rotary International Global Grant

The Macomb Rotary Clubs recently collaborated together to help their exchange student from Brazil raise funding for new hospital equipment.


The exchange student, Clara Castelli, is from Canela, Brazil and her hometown’s hospital emergency/obstetric equipment is pretty obsolete. Scott Coker and Pete Tarantola from the Macomb Centennial Morning Rotary Club learned of the unfortunate situation and wanted to find a way to help the hospital receive new equipment. Coker and Tarantola applied for and received a $31,000 Global grant from Rotary International with the Macomb Rotary Clubs contributing $3,000 to help with the new hospital equipment for Clara’s hometown.


“We are passionate about helping the needs of our exchange student’s town and country. We are very excited that our clubs collaborated together to help fund the equipment needed for the hospital, stated Pete Tarantola.”


Charity Hospital of Canela is a health care non-profit organization that’s been established in Canela for 78 years. The Hospital of Canela has a mandatory free hospital care system (SUS) and around 93% of its patients come from the Unified Health System.



WIRC secures a $40,000 Grant for Macomb to address abandoned properties

The Western Illinois Regional Council (WIRC) has secured a $40,000 grant for the City of Macomb for the purposes of acquiring and safeguarding abandoned residential properties. This funding was made possible through the Illinois Housing Development Authority’s Abandoned Residential Property Municipality Relief Program. 

WIRC provides technical assistance to local governments and elected officials facing complex community and economic development issues among communities found within the counties of Fulton, Hancock, Henderson, Knox, McDonough, and Warren.


2019 Senior Hall of Fame Awards

Springfield, IL – The Illinois Department on Aging is announcing its last call in accepting nominations for the 2019 Senior Illinoisans Hall of Fame Awards. These awards recognize adults, 65 years of age and older, and highlight the meaningful contributions they have made in Illinois.“As we close out the month of May - Older Americans Month - the time is now to nominate an older Illinoisan that has made a significant impact on their community,” said Paula Basta, Director of IDoA. “Don’t wait - I encourage everyone to nominate those special individuals who should be recognized for their notable service. Please help us honor those who help the principles of respecting yesterday, supporting today, and planning for tomorrow.”


Award nominations are now being accepted for the following categories: Community Service: is awarded to senior citizens that have shown support for the general public and community-based programs in their area or at large. Education: is awarded to senior citizens that have shown a dedication to instruction and the world of academia. Labor Force: is awarded to senior citizens that have a record of accomplishment in their employment or professional career. Lastly Performance/Graphic Arts: will be  awarded to Illinois senior citizens that have a commitment to health and the promotion of well-being or a record of accomplishment in artistic expression.


The Senior Illinoisans Hall of Fame was created by the Illinois General Assembly in 1994 to honor Illinois residents ages 65 and older for their personal achievements in four separate categories. Since then, 117 people have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. The deadline for nominations is this Friday, May 31ST, 2019. Eligibility is based on the nominee's past and present accomplishments. The candidate must be a current Illinois citizen, or a former Illinois citizen for the majority of their life. Posthumous nominees will also be considered. Nomination forms are available by calling the Senior HelpLine at (800) 252-8966 or by visiting our website


Attention: Periodic Outages Expected

Macomb, IL- To all of our listeners and subscribers, be advised. All 5 Regional Media Channels will be experiencing periodic outages today due to some technical upgrading to some of our equipment. No need to fear at this time, we understand your concern. We will update you when we are finished with the upgrade!


-Bubba Samuels


WIU PTAC Director Wins State Small Business Award

MACOMB, IL - It has been a successful summer break so far as Western Illinois University director of the Central Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), Theresa Ebeler, was presented with the Roger Luman Program Excellence Award at the Illinois Entrepreneurship and Small Business Growth Association (IESBGA) state conference this past weekend.

    “We are honored to be the first PTAC in Illinois history to receive this esteemed award,” said Ebeler.

    PTAC is a unit of the Illinois Institute of Rural Affairs (IIRA) at WIU receiving a business award for their outstanding and innovative practices, recognizing Ebeler and her faculty’s service on campus. The award was honored after Roger Luman, who was a managing director of the Turner Center for Entrepreneurship in the Foster College of Business Administration at Bradley University. He embodied his dedication to supporting small businesses and Ebeler has followed in his footsteps.

    “The HUBZone outreach event exemplifies how the University and the Illinois Small Business Network maximizes its resources for educational and economic development across the state,” said Ebeler.  

    Congratulations to Theresa Ebeler and the PTAC program on making history!


Flash Flood Warning in effect until 4:00am

The National Weather Service in the Quad Cities has issued a


* Flash Flood Warning for...


Hancock County in west central Illinois...


Henderson County in west central Illinois...


Warren County in west central Illinois...


McDonough County in west central Illinois... *


Until 400 AM CDT Wednesday.


At 753 PM CDT, Doppler radar indicated thunderstorms producing heavy rain across the warned area. Up to two inches of rain have already fallen across portions of the warned area since 6 PM CDT. Flash flooding is expected to begin shortly. 


Some locations that will experience flooding include...


Burlington, Macomb, Keokuk, Monmouth, Carthage, Oquawka, Nauvoo, Bushnell, Hamilton, Warsaw, Colchester, La Harpe, Roseville, Dallas City, Stronghurst, Kirkwood, Blandinsville, Augusta, Bowen and Industry.


Additional rainfall amounts of 1 to 3 inches are possible in the warned area through 1 AM CDT. People with interests along Bear, Camp, Troublesome, Cedar and Henderson Creeks, as well as the La Moine River, should monitor these waterways for rapidly rising water. Heed all road closures!


Severe Thunderstorm Warning Expires

The Severe Thunderstorm Warning for the local area has expired. 


Hammond Votes Against Legislation Expanding Abortion, Eliminating Statutory Rights Of Unborn

Springfield – State Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) voted against legislation that would greatly expand access to abortion and eliminate all independent rights of unborn children currently codified in state law. “This legislation codifies a radical expansion of abortion in Illinois, which is why I strongly opposed it,” said Rep. Hammond. “The unborn deserve protection in law, but this bill does the opposite. Those children’s lives are precious, even if state law refuses to recognize them. A clear majority of the people of western Illinois and the 93rd District value life. I will continue to stand up for life and oppose these extreme abortion measures.”


Senate Bill 25 mentions the proponents of the legislation as the “Reproductive Health Act,” which eliminates legal protections for the unborn currently in state statute. The legislation states, “A fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights under the laws of this State.” The legislation also states that those who become pregnant have a “fundamental right” to an abortion. Senate Bill 25 removes all criminal penalties against a doctor who performs an abortion when there is a reasonable possibility of survival of the child outside the womb. It also requires certain private insurance companies to cover abortion services.


“Illinois is already a national outlier in ease of access to abortion, but the majority party wants to take our state even further to the left on this issue,” Hammond continued. “A ‘fundamental’ right to an abortion is far outside the mainstream. With all of the critical issues facing our state and the end of the spring legislative session rapidly approaching, the Illinois House should not be spending its scarce time expanding access to abortion even more than state law already allows.”


Proponents of Senate Bill 25 are seeking to eliminate state regulations of abortion and increase ease of access to abortion. The legislation passed only with support from Democratic members of the Illinois House of Representatives. Opposition to SB 25 was bipartisan. There are only 4 days left in the spring legislative session.



Hammond Votes Against Graduated Income Tax Constitutional Amendment

Springfield – State Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) today voted against the constitutional amendment that would repeal Illinois’ flat income tax to allow state lawmakers to levy income taxes at a constant rate. Lawmakers supporting the constitutional amendment are seeking to raise state income taxes by billions of dollars a year on top of current tax revenue levels.


“Repealing our state’s flat income tax would empower the governor and majority party to raise taxes and spending by billions of dollars a year,” said Rep. Hammond. “That is not the direction our state should be going. I oppose the graduate income tax because our state needs to do more to get spending under control and protect middle class taxpayers from future tax hikes. The majority party’s tax hike proposal does neither.”


The graduated income tax constitutional amendment, SJRCA1, passed only with support from Democratic members of the Illinois House of Representatives. SJRCA1 is part of a proposal from Democratic lawmakers to help raise income taxes by $3 billion a year. The Democrats’ proposal to raise income taxes includes no protections for middle class taxpayers in the future or no restraints on state spending. Rep. Hammond is a co-sponsor of a constitutional amendment to protect middle class taxpayers from future tax hikes, HJRCA34, which would require a two-thirds majority vote from both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly to raise any existing tax or pass a new tax. The majority party has not called HJRCA34 for a vote.


“The majority party says this tax hike say it is needed to close our state’s structural budget deficit, but the truth is we can balance next year’s budget without any new taxes or fee increases,” Hammond continued. “Current tax receipts for state government are more than sufficient to meet the state’s obligations for the next fiscal year, yet the majority wants even more of your money so they can increase spending. We need to get spending under control so we can protect middle class taxpayers and give them tax certainty for a change.”


Since the governor unveiled his graduated income tax proposal in March, Senate Democrats have already changed the income tax rates. The number of taxpayers who receive a tax cut has gone down, while the number of taxpayers who will see a tax increase has gone up. The Illinois House has yet to vote on graduated income tax rates. Nationally, states have been trending away from a graduated income tax towards a flat income tax. Currently, nine states levy no income tax and nine states levy a flat income tax. In 2011, Utah repealed their graduated income tax and opted for a flat income tax. North Carolina did the same in 2014 and so did Kentucky last year. Twice in the last five years, Colorado voters rejected ballot referenda to adopt a graduated income tax.


Earlier during this month, Illinois House Republicans unveiled a balanced budget proposal that would balance the FY2020 budget without raising taxes on Illinois families and businesses. The budget proposal incorporates increased revenue revisions from the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA) and the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB).



Take a Hike

Galesburg IL, May 28, 2019:  Join University of Illinois Extension Master Naturalists and the Western Illinois Natural Group as they celebrate National Trails Day on June 1st. This event will start at 8 a.m. at Blackthorn Hill Nature Preserve, with the final hike beginning at Noon. Every year on the first Saturday of June, there is over 1 million people across the country that flock to their favorite outdoor area to hike, explore, learn about and celebrate nature. This year will mark the 26th year of celebrations thus far.


Extension Master Naturalists will host hikers, outdoor enthusiasts, and families at Blackthorn Hill Nature Preserve located at 1590 Angling Road Highway 4 in Alexis, Illinois. From the “Find the Animals” Trail to the Prairie Plant Identification Garden, Blackthorn Hill’s 110 acres of prairie and woodland offers something for everyone. The celebration of National Trails Day will include activities for all ages like guided hikes, food, demonstrations, and more. Guided hikes will leave at the top of every hour, and each hike will  highlight a specific part of the preserve.

Guided hikes schedule: 8 am Birding Hike, 9am Invasive Species Hike, 10 am Woodland Hike, 11 am Prairie Hike. Lastly at Noon the Butterfly and the Insect Hike.


Education stations will be positioned at the trailhead in the shelter. Come learn outdoor skills and how to be the environmental steward of your own backyard. Kids can participate in a wildlife scavenger hunt to find hidden silhouette shapes of wild animals along the trails. Find them all to win a prize! Can’t make it to Blackthorn Hill Nature Preserve? Check out the American Hiking Society for a trail event near you.



Tornado Watch Expires for 5/27/19

The Tornado Watch originally scheduled until 9pm tonight has expired. 


Flash Flood Warning Update

FLASH FLOOD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 7 AM CDT SUNDAY... The Flash Flood Watch continues for * Portions of Illinois, Iowa, and northeast Missouri, including the following areas, in Illinois, Bureau, Hancock, Henderson, Henry IL, McDonough, Mercer, Putnam, Rock Island, and Warren. In Iowa, Des Moines, Henry IA, Jefferson, Keokuk, Lee, Louisa, Muscatine, Scott, Van Buren, and Washington. In northeast Missouri, Clark and Scotland. * Until 7 AM CDT Sunday * Thunderstorms with heavy rainfall may produce flash flooding, as soils are saturated in the region. * Flash flooding is possible especially in urban areas and along small creeks and streams. In addition, the heavy rain may also lead to further rises on rivers that are already flooding. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... A Flash Flood Watch means that flash flooding is possible. Monitor forecasts and take action if flash flood warnings are issued or flash flooding develops.


First Mosquitoes Testing Positive For West Nile Virus Reported

Springfield – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) have confirmed the first mosquitoes to test positive for West Nile virus in Illinois are for 2019.  DuPage County Health Department staff collected the positive mosquitoes on May 21, 2019 in Wayne, Illinois. “The recent rains are leaving many pools of water behind, not only in sewer systems under streets and drainage ditches along roads, but in our own backyards,” said Acting IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  “As we start to see higher temperatures, we will start to see more West Nile virus activity. While we see West Nile virus in Illinois every year, it is important not to become complacent. It’s easy to take precautions to protect yourself by wearing insect repellent and getting rid of standing water around your home.”  


Monitoring for West Nile virus in Illinois includes laboratory tests for mosquito batches, dead crows, blue jays, robins and other perching birds. Also testing sick horses and humans with West Nile virus-like symptoms.  People who see a sick or dying crow, blue jay, robin or other perching bird should contact their local health department. That will determine if the bird will be picked up for testing. West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a Culex pipens mosquito, commonly called a house mosquito, that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected birds.  Common symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches. Symptoms last from a few days to a few weeks.  However, four out of five people infected with West Nile virus will not show any symptoms. In rare cases, severe illness including meningitis, encephalitis, or even death, can occur.  People older than 60 or individuals with weakened immune systems are at higher risk for severe illness from West Nile virus.The first mosquitoes to test positive for West Nile virus in 2018 were collected on May 25, 2018 in Cook County.  Last year, 74 counties in Illinois reported a West Nile virus positive mosquito batch, bird and/or human case. IDPH reported 176 human cases, which includes 17 deaths. Precautions to Fight the Bite include practicing the three “R’s” – reduce, repel, and report.


Reduce - make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens.  Repair or replace screens that have tears or other openings.  Try to keep doors and windows shut.Eliminate, or refresh each week, all sources of standing water where mosquitoes can breed, including water in bird baths, ponds, flowerpots, wading pools, old tires, and any other containers.

Repel - when outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a light-colored, long-sleeved shirt, and apply insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR 3535 according to label instructions.  Consult a physician before using repellents on infants.

Report – report locations where you see water sitting stagnant for more than a week such as roadside ditches, flooded yards, and similar locations that may produce mosquitoes.  The local health department or city government may be able to add larvicide to the water, which will kill any mosquito eggs.



Flags of Love in Macomb for Memorial Day

Mayor Inman and the Flags of Love Committee have announced that the Flags of Love will be displayed in Chandler Park on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27, 2019.


The flags will be set up from 6 am until 6 pm with the volunteer help of the Kiwanis Club, the Masonic Lodge #17, and community volunteers.

In the event of inclement weather and need to cancel, there will be a red ribbon on a pole on the southeast corner of Chandler Park.


Macomb Municipal Band Free Performance on June 6

The Macomb Municipal Band will perform on the front lawn of Macomb City Hall
on Thursday, June 6, 2019 from 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m. under the baton of Dr. Mike Fansler, the
band’s principal conductor.

This event is free and open to the public. Please bring your own lawn chairs and blankets.

“Bring your family and friends and join us for a delightful evening of music!” encouraged Mayor


Flash Flood Warning until 5:45pm for Hancock and Henderson Counties



At 1250 PM CDT, Doppler radar estimates between three quarters of an inch to one and a quarter inch of rain has fallen across the warned area. Flash flooding is expected to continue.


PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... Turn around, don`t drown when encountering flooded roads. Most flood deaths occur in vehicles. Excessive runoff from heavy rainfall will cause flooding of small creeks and streams, country roads, farmland, and other low lying spots.


Please report flooding to your local law enforcement agency when you can do so safely.


Flash Flood Warning in effect until 6:45pm for Southeastern McDonough Counties

The National Weather Service in the Quad Cities has issued a


* Flash Flood Warning for... Southeastern McDonough County in west central Illinois...


* Until 645 PM CDT.


* At 1245 PM CDT, trained weather spotters reported thunderstorms producing heavy rain across the warned area in Macomb. Up to one inch of rain has already fallen on saturated ground. Flash flooding is occurring or expected to begin shortly.


PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... Turn around, don`t drown when encountering flooded roads. Most flood deaths occur in vehicles.


Please report flooding to your local law enforcement agency when you can do so safely.


Tornado Warning in effect



At 1201 PM CDT, a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located over Colmar, or 11 miles southeast of Carthage, moving northeast at 40 mph.




SOURCE...Radar indicated rotation.


IMPACT...Flying debris will be dangerous to those caught without shelter. Mobile homes will be damaged or destroyed. Damage to roofs, windows, and vehicles will occur. Tree damage is likely.


This dangerous storm will be near...


Tennessee around 1210 PM CDT.


Colchester and Fandon around 1215 PM CDT.


Other locations impacted by this tornadic thunderstorm include Webster, Fountain Green and Plymouth.


PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... TAKE COVER NOW! Move to a basement or an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building. Avoid windows. If you are outdoors, in a mobile home, or in a vehicle, move to the closest substantial shelter and protect yourself from flying debris.


Torrential rainfall is occurring with this storm, and may lead to flash flooding. Do not drive your vehicle through flooded roadways.


Ribbon Cutting for Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center

The Ambassador Committee of the Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting today for Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center (1520 W. Jackson Street, Macomb) to celebrate their newly remodeled donor center and to advocate for the importance of donating in our area. 


For more information, visit


Tornado Watch in effect until 5AM Tomorrow

A Tornado Watch remains in effect until 5:00 AM CDT for central Illinois. 


Severe Thunderstorm Warnings expire

The severe thunderstorm warnings for the local area have expired. 


Tornado Warnings Expire

The tornado warnings in effect for local counties has expired. 


Outdoor Summer Activities For Families

Macomb, IL May 21, 2019: As the school year ends it is soon to be the lazy days of summer.

Homework and textbooks will vanish, while beach towels and sunscreen become the staple accessory. Parents will find themselves shuttling kids to swimming pools and perhaps a vacation of their own! As we transition from cool spring weather to hot summer temperatures and indoor air conditioning, remember there is a lot we can do outdoors in the summer. Plant Summer Vegetables Home vegetable gardening is returning as a popular outdoor hobby. Both baby boomers and millennials find time spent growing food as a rewarding experience. A vegetable garden doesn’t require a tiller or backbreaking labor. A couple of large containers on the patio will do for tomato or pepper plants.. Whether cooking in the kitchen or on the grill, you can pluck some basil or thyme to add flavor to my dish. For all those veggies that you don’t grow, visit your local farmers’ market to support local growers.


Make Art from Natural Materials

Nature art activities get the family outside and doing something creative. The act of making whether it is art or functional is incredibly rewarding for youth or adults. Use flowers to make a smiley face, or moss and pine cones to build a miniature landscape. Encourage your family to explore different textures and colors found in the surrounding environment. Use grapevines to make bracelets or crowns adorned with flowers and different leaves. During our county 4-H fair, a creative young girl made bookmarks and greeting cards out of pressed and pounded flowers. And of course, you can always send the kiddos on a scavenger hunt to gather materials for a bouquet.


Go for a Hike

Pack a Saturday picnic and hit the trails. Take breaks during your walk to listen for birds or rustling leaves.Come take a hike with University of Illinois Extension Master Naturalists as we celebrate National Trails Day on June 1 st . Master Naturalists will be hosting hikers, outdoor enthusiasts, and families at Blackthorn


Hill Nature Preserve located at 1590 Angling Road, Highway 4, Alexis, Illinois. Blackthorn Hill offers 110 acres of prairie and woodland with trails for all ages and skill levels.

Our celebration of National Trails Day includes activities for all ages, plus guided hikes, food,

demonstrations, and speakers. The event kicks off at 8 AM and the final hike begins at noon. Guided hikes will leave at the top of every hour, with each hike consisting of its own theme.

Guided hikes will include: 8 AM Birding Hike, 9 AM Invasive Species Hike, 10 AM Woodland Hike, 11 AM Prairie Hike, Noon Butterfly and Insect Hike


Education stations will be positioned at the trailhead in the shelter. Come learn outdoor skills and how we can be environmental stewards in our own backyards. Kids can participate in a wildlife scavenger hunt to find hidden silhouette shapes of wild animals along the trails. Find them all to win a prize! Can’t make it to Blackthorn Hill Nature Preserve? Check out the American Hiking Society for a trail event near you. Good Growing Tip of the Week: During a hike have family members pick out leaves of different shapes and preserve it as a memento of your adventure. Preserving a leaf can be as easy as placing it between two sheet of tissue paper and then inside a thick book.



Business and Labor Urge Governor and Lawmakers to Pass Legislation To Grow Data Center Industry

SPRINGFIELD - The business and labor communities are calling on the governor and lawmakers to pass legislation that would create more tax incentives for the state's data center industry. Which will result in bringing high-paying trade labor union jobs to Illinois, and create greater economic opportunities with additional revenue streams for our communities. It is a win-win for the state of Illinois and its workers.


The Senate has already unanimously passed legislation that could expand the economic growth and job creation numbers the state has seen already from the industry, all while protecting taxpayers if a company does not meet certain requirements. Data centers, which are critical infrastructure facilities that store, process and distribute large amounts of data for a wide range of industries, generated approximately $321.7 million in state and local revenue in 2017. Additionally, Illinois boasted 31,500 high-paying jobs within this industry, as well as $54.1 million in construction labor income for 820 workers. With the addition of incentives, Illinois expects to see those investment and job numbers grow.


A recent study published by Mangum Economics for the Illinois and Chicagoland Chamber Foundations found that tax incentives were an important factor in data center development and have been passed in 30 states, including neighboring states. The study found that from June 2017 to June 2018 Chicago's data center market lagged behind other states and only grew seven percent.


"In order for Illinois to compete with neighboring states, we need to invest in critical infrastructure that will in turn create more jobs and stimulate our economy," said Jack Lavin, president & CEO of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. "We have already seen the benefits data centers have brought to surrounding states. There is no reason Illinois should not enjoy those same opportunities." The study also found that data center locations depend on a number of criteria, such as the availability and price of electricity, environmental risks and access to water, all of which make Illinois a prime candidate.


All the state is missing are incentives that would make it better equipped to compete with neighboring states, such as Indiana, which strengthen their incentive package just this past week. By taking action to pass legislation in the last few days of session, lawmakers would be sending a message to both the business community as well as unionized labor, that Illinois is committed to growing in this high-performing industry and ensuring that we do not cede ground to other states.


"The creation of new data centers is an important step in providing good, high-paying jobs for union construction workers in all areas of the state. We encourage lawmakers to take action by passing legislation that will bring work to residents and opportunity to families across Illinois," said Alison Howlett Walters, executive director, Chicago Laborers District Council LMCC.


"It's crucial that the governor and lawmakers promote initiatives that provide employment opportunities for workers. Doing so will send a clear message to construction workers that there is work to be had in Illinois, which will only better our communities and the state as a whole," said Marc Poulos, executive director, Indiana, Illinois and Iowa Foundation for Fair Contracting and member of IUOE Local 150.


Providing tax incentives for data centers would further bring improved power grids and telecommunication systems to communities. Additionally, it would create thousands of new labor construction jobs, and promote "green" construction policies in not just urban areas, but underserved and rural locations as well.


"With the legislative session coming to a close, Illinois policymakers have the chance to strengthen our tech ecosystem by giving our rural communities a shot at the digital economy," said Tyler Diers, director of legislative relations, Illinois Chamber of Commerce. "Passing a data center incentive will help attract the capital investment and high-performance jobs that can put downstate Illinois on the path to an economic renaissance."



73 Local Leaders All Across 24 Counties of Iowa's Second Congressional District Endorse Rita Hart

Today, seventy-three local leaders from all 24 counties of Iowa’s Second Congressional District announced their endorsement of Rita Hart, lifelong Iowan, farmer, 20-year educator, and Democratic candidate for Iowa’s Second Congressional District. Leaders endorsing Rita today include former Iowa Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Agriculture Patty Judge, Iowa Senator Zach Wahls, Iowa Senator Joe Bolkcom, Iowa Senator Kevin Kinney, and former Iowa Democratic Party Chair Sue Dvorsky. The full list of leaders from every county in the district can be found below.

“Rita Hart understands the issues that farmers and rural Iowans face because she’s lived it her entire life,” said former Iowa Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Agriculture Patty Judge. “I know Rita will fight each and every day to deliver results for hard working Iowa farmers – she’s the farmer we need in Congress.”“Now more than ever, Iowans need someone in Congress to take on our toughest challenges and get the job done—and I know that Rita Hart is the one for the job because I’ve seen her work up close in the State Senate,” said Iowa Senator Joe Bolkcom. “Rita will work to strengthen and preserve Social Security and Medicare now and for generations to come.”


“As a 20-year veteran educator, Rita Hart understands the difference education makes and will work tirelessly for all Iowa families in Congress,” said former Chair of the Iowa Democratic Party Sue Dvorsky. “I know Rita will bring the same passion, energy, and commitment to Congress that she showed for her students and Iowa schools every day. There’s no one better than Rita to fight for more affordable college while providing more opportunities for vocational and skills training for Iowans.”I’m honored to have support and encouragement from Iowans across all 24 counties of the District as we build our grassroots campaign,” said Rita Hart, Democratic candidate for Iowa’s Second Congressional District. “These community leaders from every corner of the District are coming together because they understand the urgency of giving hardworking Iowans a voice in Congress who will put their interests first each and every time. Together, I know we can take on tough challenges and win.”


About Rita:

Rita Hart is a lifelong Iowan, farmer, and 20-year educator running for Iowa’s 2nd Congressional district. A graduate of North Iowa Area Community College and the University of Northern Iowa, Rita taught in the Calamus-Wheatland and Bennett Community school districts. After leaving the classroom, she led programs that facilitated career pathway opportunities for students with local businesses and served as an active volunteer in her eastern Iowa community. Rita is also a former member of the Iowa Senate where she represented a swing district and worked with both parties to deliver results for hard working Iowa families, small businesses, and farms. Rita and her husband Paul have five grown children. She and Paul live on their family corn and soybean farm near Wheatland, which they've owned and operated since 1986.


Full List of Local Leaders Endorsing Rita Hart Today:

Joan Amos, Former Chair of the Lucas County Democratic Party, Lucas County, Rep. Wes Breckenridge, Iowa House District 29, Jasper County, Sen. Joe Bolkcom, Iowa Senate District 43, Johnson County Fmr. Sen. Chris Brase, Iowa Senate District 46, Muscatine County, Nancy Camardo, Former Chair of the Wayne County, Democratic Party, Wayne County, Nancy Courtney, Des Moines County, Fmr. Sen. Tom Courtney, Iowa Senate District 44, Des Moines County, Sandy Dockendorff, Former Iowa Second District Democratic Committee, Chair, Susie Drish, Chair of the Jefferson County Democratic Party, Jefferson County, Cindy Drost, Former County Recorder, Mahaska County, Tom Drost, farmer and businessman, Mahaska County, Fmr. Sen. Bob Dvorsky, Iowa Senate District 37, Johnson County, Sue Dvorsky, Former Chair of the Iowa Democratic Party, Johnson County, Jeff Fager, Chair of the Henry County Democratic Party, Henry County, Ann Fields, Chair of the Marion County Democratic Party, Marion County, Sue Frembgen, Former Chair of the Scott County Democratic Party, Scott County, Rep. Mary Gaskill, Iowa House District 81, Wapello County, Bill Gluba, Former Mayor of Davenport, Scott County, Thom Hart, Former Mayor of Davenport, Scott County, Naseem Hesler, Former Mayor of Keosauqua, Van Buren County, Cathy Helman, Henry County, Dave Helman, Former Chair of the Henry County Democratic Party, Henry County, Larry Hodgden, Chair of the Cedar County Democratic Party, Cedar County, Barb Hood, Jefferson County Democratic Party Treasurer, Jefferson County, Rep. Dave Jacoby, Iowa House District 74, Johnson County, Becky Johnson, Former Co-Chair of Appanoose County Democratic Party, Appanoose County, Dr. Thomas Johnson, Former Co-Chair of Appanoose County Democratic Party, Appanoose County, Mark Jondal, Louisa County, Cheryll Jones, Chair of the Davis County Democratic Party, Davis County, Melinda Jones, Vice Chair of the Wapello County Democratic Party, Iowa Democratic Party State Central Committee Member, Wapello County, Fmr. Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge, Former LG & Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Monroe County, Sen. Kevin Kinney, Iowa State Senate District 39, Johnson County, Keokuk County, Washington County, Jim Krier, Keokuk County farmer and small businessman, Keokuk County, Mary Krier, Former Keokuk County Chair, Former Keokuk County Supervisor, Keokuk County, Rep. Monica Kurth, Iowa House District 89, Scott County, Eric Van Lancker, Clinton County Auditor, Clinton County Linda Larkin, Lee County, Rick Larkin, Lee County Supervisor, Lee County, DiAnne Lerud-Chubb, Chair of the Des Moines County Democratic Party, Des Moines County, Rick Lincoln, Clinton County Sheriff, Clinton County,Sen. Jim Lykam, Iowa Senate District 45, Scott County, Janet Lyness, Johnson County Attorney, Johnson County,Henry Marquard, Scott County, Rep. Mary Mascher, Iowa House District 86, Johnson County, Carol McGuire, Clinton County Democratic Party Vice-Chair, Fmr. Rep Phil Miller, Iowa House District 82, Jefferson County, Bill Morain, Decatur County Democratic Party Central Committee, Decatur County, Rep. Amy Nielsen, Iowa House District 77, Johnson County, Eric Palmer, Chair of the Mahaska County Democratic Party, Mahaska County, Molly Regan, Scott County Democratic Party Executive Committee, Scott County, Mary Jo Riesberg, Lee County, Bill Russell, Graceland University, Decatur County, Becky Schmitz, Jefferson County Democratic Party Vice-Chair, Jefferson County, Emilyne Slagle, Member of the Scott County Democratic Party Executive Board, Blue Grass City Councilor, Scott County, Michelle Smith, Chair of the Jasper County Democratic Party, Jasper County, Den South, Decatur County, Sharon South, Decatur County, Mary Stewart, Wapello County Democratic Party Secretary, Wapello County, Roger Stutsman, Johnson County, Fmr. Rep. Sally Stusman, Iowa House District 77, Johnson County, Megan Suhr, Member of the Knoxville City Council, Marion County, Annette Taylor, Henry County, Sen. Rich Taylor, Iowa Senate District 42, Henry County, Lee County, Jefferson County, Washington County, Rep. Phyllis Thede, Iowa House District 93, Scott County, Rita Vargas, Scott County Recorder, Scott County, Sen. Zach Wahls, Iowa Senate District 37, Johnson County, Cedar County, Muscatine County, Sally Walker-Jondal, Chair of Louisa County Democratic Party, Louisa County, Carole Waterman, Clarke County, Steve Waterman, Chair of the Clarke County Democratic Party, Clarke County, Janice G. Weiner, First Vice-Chair of the Johnson County Democratic Party, Johnson County,Lorraine Williams, Former Washington County Democratic Party Chair and owner of Café Dodici, Washington County,Rep. Mary Wolfe, Iowa House District 98, Clinton County, Fmr. Rep. and Sen. Frank Wood, Iowa House District 92, Iowa Senate District 42, Scott County






Freed: Director of Undergrad Admissions and Enrollment Services

MACOMB/MOLINE, IL -- Douglas Freed, a former director of the Transfer Student Success Center at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI, has recently been named Western Illinois University Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Enrollment Services, as of June 10.


Freed was the director of the Transfer Student Success Center at Wayne State University from 2015-2018. His role was to increase applications, admission and yield of new community college transfers, serving as the center's first director. He also promoted Wayne State as the number one transfer destination for Michigan community college transfers. Freed  created and implemented a transfer recruitment plan which developed new markets."We welcome Doug to the Division of Student Services and to our Western Illinois University family," Vice President for Student Services Ron Williams said. "Doug's many years of experience in admissions and enrollment management will continue to move Western forward. His knowledge and background in recruitment, as well as advertising and marketing, will serve the University well as we work to meet – and exceed - our enrollment and retention goals."


Previously, Freed was the dean of enrollment management at Delta College, University Center, MI from 2013-2015, which implemented a strategic enrollment management plan that resulted in exceeding the enrollment goal. Freed has also been the director of admissions, recruitment and enrollment development (2012-2013) and director of enrollment development (2002-2012) at Henry Ford Community College, Dearborn, MI. He served as director of advertising and marketing (1998-2002), marketing coordinator (1993-1998), assistant director of admissions (1989-1993) and admissions counselor (1986-1989) at Wayne State University. Freed earned his master's degree in public relations and organizational communication from Wayne State and his bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Michigan-Dearborn.


"I'm honored to serve as the director of Undergraduate Admissions at Western Illinois University, and continue the strong legacy of student success at WIU," Freed said. "I look forward to supporting our strong relationships with high schools and community college partners, engaging more students on both the Macomb and Moline campuses and collaborating internally to provide the best experiences for our students."


Bustos Strengthens Waterways in Energy & Water Appropriations Bill

Yesterday, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos helped pass a comprehensive Energy and Water funding bill out of the powerful House Appropriations Committee. 

Congresswoman Bustos successfully secured provisions in this legislation designed to strengthen the locks and dams along the Mississippi and Illinois rivers to increase flooding preparation, promote energy efficiency and ensure government productivity.

“A strong and modern water infrastructure is critical so the hardworking family farmers of our region – as well as our manufacturers and other businesses – have a place to move their goods to market,” said Congresswoman Bustos. “As we invest in the infrastructure of our nation, we cannot overlook the importance of having up-to-date locks and dams and a reliable waterway system. These improvements are crucial to having economic success in the Heartland, and I’m proud to support today’s legislation to bring these investments home.”

This piece of legislation will now head to the House floor for final passage. 



2019 Spring Wild Turkey Harvest Numbers are in for Illinois

Illinois turkey hunters harvested a preliminary statewide total of 15,189 wild turkeys during the 2019 Spring Turkey Season. 

Spring turkey hunting was open in 100 of Illinois’ 102 counties. The 2019 season dates were April 8-May 9 in the South Zone and April 15-May 16 in the North Zone.

4 local counties were among the top 5 in the northern zone. Fulton county recorded the 3rd most harvested turkeys in the state with 402 , while Pike had 381, Hancock with 344, and Adams trailing closely behind at 331. 

Other nearby counties like Knox recorded 263, Henderson had 142, and McDonough with 149. 

This year’s total of 15,189 wild turkeys is up compared with the 2018 statewide turkey harvest of 13,494. The statewide record total was set in 2006 when 16,569 turkeys were harvested.



MDH To Close Behavioral Health Unit

MACOMB, Ill. – During the McDonough District Hospital Board of Directors monthly meeting on Monday evening (May 20), discussion took place on the future of the Senior Behavioral Health unit.


After evaluating the finances and average number of patients daily, the Board voted unanimously to close the Senior Behavioral Health (SBH) unit. The SBH unit will no longer accept new patients after June 1, and will officially close no later than June 30. In doing the best to maintain a commitment to staff working in the unit, SBH staff have been given priority in applying for open positions within the hospital.


MDH contracted with Horizon Health to manage the Senior Behavioral Health unit starting when it opened in 2015.


This closing will not affect the outpatient Psychiatry or Behavioral Health Services that MDH currently offers.


According to MDH President/CEO Brian E. Dietz, FACHE, “The decision was based on the program’s inability to meet projected volume and financial goals necessary to support a viable adult geropsychiatric service. The quality metrics of the program were exceptional thanks to a very committed group of professionals, but the financial losses were far too great for the hospital to continue to underwrite. During this fiscal year alone, the Senior Behavioral Health program is projected to lose close to $700,000 in operational and facility costs. In summary, over the last four years, the initial projections regarding the demand for this program exceeded our actual experience and therefore created unsustainable financial losses to the hospital.”

Dietz did emphasize that MDH will continue to offer Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Services on an outpatient basis.


“The SBH unit will close in June, but MDH is committed to reallocate our resources and strengthen our outpatient offerings for Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Services. We will continue offering outpatient services and emergency access 24 hours a day/7 days a week.”


For more information on MDH Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Services, log onto


May 21st Declared "Crossing Guard Appreciation Day"

Springfield, IL-Gov. JB Pritzker has declared Tuesday, May 21, as Crossing Guard Appreciation Day in Illinois to honor of the men and women who help ensure the safety of students throughout Illinois as they walk and bike to school.


“Crossing guards are an integral part of creating safe routes to school for children,” said Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “Throughout the school year, they are a friendly face that can be found in rain, sun and snow, guiding our students to safety and providing parents with peace of mind.”


Roughly 420 pedestrians ages 8 to 14, on average, are hurt in vehicle-related incidents every year in Illinois. Without crossing guards, this number would likely be much higher.

Crossing guards not only serve as a visual reminder to motorists to slow down in school zones where children are crossing, but also help students learn safe pedestrian habits, such as looking both ways before stepping onto the road and walking bikes across the street.

To share your thoughts about what the crossing guard in your community means to you or to recognize a special crossing guard at your school, please visit IDOT’s Facebook page here



WIU Summer Arts Camp Schedule Announced

MACOMB, IL – This summer, Western Illinois will offer its annual art camp to students ranging from fourth graders to incoming college freshmen. 

"Art: Colorful Minds and Creative Hands" will be offered to students in ninth grade to incoming college freshmen from June 16-21 and to fourth-eighth grades from July 14-19. 

The June camp will teach metals, printmaking, painting and ceramics and the July camp will teach drawing, painting, airbrush, computer art and three-dimensional expression. 

The camps are specifically designed to stimulate and challenge campers in an intensive week of art study, under the guidance of WIU faculty and/or local artists. 

During their stay on campus, campers will enjoy extracurricular activities, such as swimming, indoor/outdoor games and movies. Classes and activities are held both on and off campus and meet Monday-Friday.

Campers have the option of staying on campus or commuting daily. The cost of the camp is $495 for those staying on campus and $350 for commuters. 


MidAmerica National Bank Secures Naming Rights at MDH

MACOMB, Ill. - MidAmerica National Bank recently pledged $30,000 to the Dolores Kator Switzer Women’s Center (DKSWC) at McDonough District Hospital. This commitment accompanies a previous $20,000 donation, now totaling $50,000 to secure naming rights to a private suite in the Obstetrics Department of the new women’s center.


A long-standing supporter of MDH, MidAmerica is a member of the Business Honor Roll giving club at the Ambassador level. 


“MidAmerica’s continued generosity and support of MDH demonstrates their commitment to bringing the best to the local community, including excellence in health care,” said MDH Foundation Leader Jill Cook. 


The DKSWC will expand, centralize, and enhance a comprehensive range of women’s services, including obstetrics, gynecology, and diagnostic imaging. The women’s center, anticipated to open this summer, brings a transformed setting promoting tranquility, health and healing.


For project updates, or to learn how to get involved in the project, visit


Rep. Hammond Renames Stretch of highway after Fallen Airmen

Macomb, Ill, -On Friday, The Illinois House adopted House Joint Resolution 73, which designates the portion of Old Highway 136 from E. 950th St. to E. 750th St. between Macomb and Colchester as the "Lt. Col. John Stein Memorial Highway."


Lt. Col. Stein died with five others in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on March 23, 2003.


The six were flying in an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter on a mission to rescue two injured children at the time of the crash. A career military officer, Lt. Col. Stein was a helicopter pilot with the 41st Rescue Squadron at Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, Ga. 


Lt. Col. Stein grew up in Macomb, Ill., and graduated from Macomb High School in 1981. He completed the Army ROTC program at RIT and received his commission the month he graduated. He served in Germany from 1986 to 1990 and subsequently was selected for an inter-service transfer to the Air Force.  He was assigned to Hurlburt Field, Fla., from 1990 to 1995 and later spent two years in Iceland.

Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) sponsored the legislation and asked for its adoption.


WIU Cadets Commissioned as Second Lieutenants

MACOMB, IL - - Three Western Illinois University Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) cadets were commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army during Commencement weekend. 

Major General Chris R. Gentry, the first army deputy commanding general-support, spoke to the cadets before the commissioning, and LTC Joan Sommers swore them in as second lieutenants. 

The three WIU cadets who took the oath of office of a commissioned officer include:

John Busby, of DeKalb, IL, received his bachelor's degree in law enforcement and justice administration. He will commission in the Army on active duty and will serve in Ordnance in Ft. Bragg, NC. Busby was pinned by his parents, Fred and Tracey Busby.

Austin Koontz, of Johnsburg, IL, received his bachelor's degree in law enforcement and justice administration. He will commission in the Army on active duty and will serve in Military Intelligence at Ft. Campbell, KY. Koontz was pinned by his father, Kent Koontz. 

Anthony Taylor, of Bushnell, IL, received his bachelor's degree in law enforcement and justice administration. He will commission in the Illinois Army National Guard and will serve in Military Police. Taylor was pinned by his father, Tony Taylor, and his wife, Carly Taylor.

For more information about WIU's ROTC program, visit


School Improvement Day for Macomb - May 17

Macomb School District 185 has released the following statement concerning School Improvement Day on Friday, May 17, 2019:


On Friday, May 17th there will be an early dismissal for grades K-12 in order for our staff to have school improvement activities.?On this date the junior high will dismiss at 12:00 p.m., the high school at 12:05, Edison at 12:25, and Lincoln at 12:40.?This is the reverse order from normal days.?MacArthur Early Childhood Center will not hold morning or afternoon classes on this day.


This is also a kind reminder that Online Registration is taking place for the 2019-2020 school year, please take the time to register your students in the month of May. Registration takes approximately 5 minutes to complete. Also, the last day of school will be Friday, May 24th and will be a full day.


Thank you for sharing your child with us this year, we hope you have a great summer!



Inselhaus Now Officially Classified as a Historic Site in Macomb

Mayor Mike Inman of the City of Macomb announced that the Inselhaus property on 538 N Randolph is a new Historical Site.


Inselhaus, German for island house, now has a descriptive plaque which displays its history on the east side of the property. The house was first built by Lumberman Frank and Ida Blount in 1902. Ownership of the property eventually shifted into the control of Karl and Dorothee Gossel. The couple originate from the German island of Fehmarn and restored the property in Macomb according to original blueprints, while also making it their own. Inselhaus received this unique plaque after being accepted as an applicant of the Historic Residential Home Plaque Program.


“The hard work of the Gossels has not gone unnoticed. Today we are celebrating the efforts of Karl and Dorothee to keep Macomb beautiful and rich with history.” said Mayor Mike Inman. “We value the grit and polish that Inselhaus represents; and encourage other property owners who feel their property has a historical significance to Macomb to apply to the Historical Residential Home Plaque Program. The Macomb Historic Preservation Commission has chosen a deserving applicant, and I’m excited to see more historical sites in the future.”


In 2017, the City of Macomb collaborated with the Macomb Historic Preservation Commission and the McDonough County Historical Society to initiate the City of Macomb Residential Plaque Program. The goal of this program is to recognize and increase the awareness of historic places in Macomb. It does this by identifying homes that have a rich and significant history here in Macomb through their location, architecture, materials, and historic association. This Residential Plaque Program currently recognizes up to four applicants a year.


For further information about the Historic Resident Home Plaque Program or the Macomb Historic Preservation Commission please visit, or the Office of Community Development at City Hall.


Illinois Sheriff's Association Scholarship Winner from Fulton County

Sheriff Standard announced today that the 2019 Illinois Sheriff’s Association Scholarship has been awarded to Sierra Wirebaugh from Canton High School.


Ms. Wirebaugh is a 2019 graduate of Canton High School and will be attending Illinois State University in the fall. She plans to pursue a degree in Social Work from ISU. Sierra has been active during her time at CHS on the Dance Team; Student Council; Marching Band; Symphonic Band; Math Team; and Scholastic Bowl. She has also been involved in her community as a volunteer with various organizations.


The ISA gives out over $53,000 in college scholarships every year to deserving students throughout Illinois. Ms. Wirebaugh is this year's recipient from Fulton County, IL. A full list of the ISA scholarship winners can be found here.


Spoon River College Offering Microsoft Publisher Class - May 21

Spoon River College Outreach is offering a class called MICROSOFT PUBLISHER LEVEL I on Tuesday, May 21st from 9-11am.


Microsoft Publisher can help you make flyers, brochures, newsletters, and registration forms. This class will familiarize students with the basics of the program and how to use it the more efficiently. Students will create a basic flyer, two-page brochure, and a registration form during their time in class. 


There is a fee to attend and pre-registration is required. Class will be held at the Spoon River College Outreach center located at 2500 E. Jackson Street Macomb. For more information or to register, call SRC at 309-833-6031. You can also check out other class offerings online at


New Literacy Program Established by Macomb Rotary Club

The Macomb Rotary Clubs collaborated with Lincoln Elementary School (Macomb School District #185) to bring the Accelerated Reading program. The Accelerated Reading program is computer-scored and uses comprehension quizzes to determine whether students have read a book.


The teachers collaborate with students to set personalized reading practice goals based on students reading levels. Students can select books within their reading range, read independently, and then take the short-computerized comprehension quizzes. After each quiz, educators and students are able to see progress toward reading goals.


“The accelerated reading program is vital for our students in our community to meet the goal of enhancing their reading comprehension, language, vocabulary development, and general knowledge,” stated Kristin Terry, President of Macomb Rotary Club.


The Macomb Rotary clubs received a Rotary District #6460 grant to help with reaching their goal to help start the Accelerated Reading program in the community.


President of Macomb Centennial Morning Rotary Club, Ted Renner, is glad they could help. “One of the six areas of focus for Rotary is supporting education and I saw this opportunity to make a difference.”



MDH Now Offering 2019-2020 School and Sports Physicals

McDonough District Hospital (MDH) is offering school and sports physicals for the 2019-2020 school year. School physicals are required for those entering kindergarten, 6th or 9th grades, while sports physicals are required each year before the competitive season begins.


There are three convenient MDH locations in the local area where you can schedule an appointment. These locations include:

-MDH Pediatrics | 833-1729

-MDH Family Clinic, offers extended hours Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. | 837-6937

-MDH Bushnell Family Practice | 772-9444


Julie Bartlow, a pediatric nurse practitioner and primary care provider at MDH, emphasized the importance of a regular visit with a primary care provider.


“School and sports physicals are a great opportunity for parents and providers to connect on an annual basis and discuss how their child is developing,” said Bartlow, CPNP-PCP, NNP-BC.


Additionally, physicals allow providers the opportunity to discuss healthy lifestyle habits as well as identify acute or life threatening medical conditions that require a treatment plan, such as uncontrolled blood pressure, cardiac issues, eating disorders, or certain lung conditions.


For more information on providers accepting new patients, log onto


IDOT Announces 2019 Airport of the Year Award Recipients

SPRINGFIELD – Six airports have been selected as winners of the 2019 Airport of the Year award by the Illinois Department of Transportation. The awards will be presented Thursday, May 9, at the Illinois Aviation Conference in East Peoria.


“Our vibrant aviation community strengthens the state’s status as the transportation hub of North America,” said Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “These awards recognize the tremendous dedication demonstrated by airports and heliports throughout Illinois. Sincere congratulations to the recipients.”

This year’s award winners:

• Quincy Regional Airport – Primary Airport of the Year
• Lake in the Hills Airport – Reliever Airport of the Year
• Rochelle Municipal Airport – General Aviation Airport of the Year
• Effingham County Memorial Airport – General Aviation Airport of the Year
• Cushing Field – Private – Open to the Public Airport of the Year
• Ann & Robert Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago – Heliport of the Year


The winners were selected as a result of their accomplishments throughout the year, including an outstanding partnership with IDOT and a strong commitment to customer safety and satisfaction. Among the award considerations are cooperation and coordination with the state, facility safety record, promotion of seminars and aviation events, and facility maintenance.


To learn more about aviation in Illinois, visit


Rives Elected to Second Term as President of NABCA

MACOMB/MOLINE, IL - Western Illinois University Senior Vice President for Strategic Planning and Initiatives Joe Rives was reelected president of the National Association of Branch Campus Administrators (NABCA) Thursday. His second two-year term begins July 1.


In his roles as senior vice president, Rives serves as the University's co-chair for the President’s Executive Institute, point of contact for Quad Cities economic development issues, corporate partnerships, leadership for University-wide planning and is responsible for institutional accreditation reporting to the Higher Learning Commission.


"All of us at NABCA are excited about the opportunity to work with Joseph Rives again as president," said NABCA Executive Director Joyce Gillie Gossom. “We look forward to supporting his strategic initiatives as we continue to move the organization to higher professional levels. Joe is the perfect person to further that progress."

NABCA is a professional organization committed to supporting the mission and goals of higher education professionals who work at a location that is separate from the parent campus. Rives was named vice president of the Quad Cities campus in August 2008. He joined Western's administration in 2005.


Original story by WIU News. Find them here.


Bustos Announces Contract Awarded for Peoria Air National Guard Fire Station

WASHINGTON - Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17), a member of the House Appropriations Committee, announced the award of a $7,828,000 contract for the construction of a new Fire Crash Rescue Station at the Peoria Air National Guard. This officially takes the Peoria Air National Guard off the table from losing funding as a result of the president’s emergency declaration.


Earlier this year, Congresswoman Bustos secured a verbal commitment from the Department of Defense that the Peoria Air National Guard should not be impacted by the president’s misguided national emergency declaration. Today’s announcement confirms that commitment. Last year, Congresswoman Bustos helped pass legislation to secure the funding to construct the fire house at the Peoria Air National Guard.


“Critical military construction projects should never be placed on hold because of politics,” said Congresswoman Bustos. “Having visited the facility in Peoria, I’ve seen the importance of the fire station firsthand – and I’m so proud we were able to protect the funding for the Peoria Air National Guard that we worked so hard to secure. I look forward to breaking ground and seeing this project through to its completion.”


NHTSA and FRA Launch Rail Crossing Safety Campaign

SPRINGFIELD - The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) relaunched a $5.6 million public safety awareness campaign – Stop. Trains Can’t. – urging Americans to take greater care at highway-rail grade crossings.


In 2018 alone, 270 people were killed at railroad crossings. Of those, 99 people died after the driver went around lowered crossing gate arms – a 10-year high. Every four hours in America, a person or vehicle is struck by a train at a rail crossing. Over the past five years, 798 people have died while trying to drive across railroad tracks.


“Road safety is NHTSA’s mission, and too many lives are lost every year when drivers disregard safety warnings at rail crossings,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator Heidi R. King. “Working with Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao and FRA, we want every American to understand the danger surrounding rail crossings and to act with safety in mind.  Trying to save a few minutes can cost you your life.”


Given their size and weight, neither freight nor passenger trains can stop easily to avoid cars or other vehicles on the tracks. Trains cannot swerve out of the way, and a freight train traveling 55 mph can take more than a mile to stop, even when emergency brakes are applied.


FRA Administrator Ronald Batory sat down with Todd Pollard, a locomotive engineer and conductor, who has witnessed trains colliding with motorists who try to go around lowered crossing gate arms. “We are pleased to collaborate with our colleagues at NHTSA to improve driver behavior at highway-rail crossings and reduce preventable injuries and deaths,” said FRA Administrator Ronald L. Batory. “Rail safety isn’t just about the safe movement of passenger and freight trains; it’s also about helping the American public be safe near railroad tracks.”


The campaign’s targeted advertising will run from Tuesday, April 16 through Sunday, May 12.  It includes video spots that will run on digital and social platforms, radio advertising, and social media messaging, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The new Stop. Trains Can’t. campaign video can be viewed here.


WIU Graduate Named Outstanding Agribusiness Woman of the Year

MACOMB - Knoxville (IL) High School agriculture teacher Mallory Swanson Tolley, a 2008 and 2014 Western Illinois University graduate, has been chosen as the Outstanding Agribusiness Woman of the Year. 

The award was presented by the Illinois Agri-Women organization. It is presented to a woman who works in agribusiness or agricultural education who has exhibited high standards of service, excellence and exceptional leadership skills in her job. 

Tolley received her bachelor's degree in agriculture education and her master's degree in education and interdisciplinary studies from Western. 

"Western Illinois University helped prepare me for my career because of the knowledge and experiences professors in the School of Agriculture were able to offer," said Tolley. "I love everything about agriculture and still enjoy learning new things every day.  I aspire to be a quality and effective teacher like those I had while at WIU."

For more about the WIU School of Agriculture, visit  

Original Story by WIU News. Find them here.


MDH Seeking Hospice Volunteers

MACOMB - The McDonough District Hospital Hospice is seeking volunteers willing to provide assistance and support to terminally ill patients and their families. The MDH Hospice provides comfort and compassionate care for the terminally ill and offers support for their families.


As an important component of The MDH Hospice team, volunteers visit patients at home, assisted living, or nursing care facilities, and support families according to individual circumstances.


Hospice volunteers must complete an application and background check, have reliable transportation, provide a copy of driver’s license, proof of auto insurance, and complete 8-10 hours of training provided by The MDH Hospice team.


The training will provide information needed to meet the special needs of terminally ill patients. The program will address all aspects of hospice care and share with you what a volunteer can do: listening, sharing, reading, and most of all, providing support. Volunteers do not administer medication or provide medical/personal care.


Hospice care is focused on care and comfort over cure of the disease. Volunteers are an important component of the hospice interdisciplinary team. Every volunteer visit makes a difference. In return for sharing their special talents and compassion, volunteers receive some of the many rewards that come from giving to others.


The MDH Hospice provides care within a large, multi-county area covering all of McDonough County and portions of Adams, Fulton, Hancock, Henderson, Schuyler, and Warren counties.


If interested in becoming an MDH Hospice volunteer, please contact Angela Gibbs or Julie Murphy by calling (309) 836-1543.


Tri States Public Radio Wins Murrow, AP Awards

MACOMB - For the 15th consecutive year, Tri States Public Radio at Western Illinois University has won a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA). 

The station's news department received the Murrow Award in the "Excellence in Sound" category for News Director Rich Egger's feature story "The Blind Swine," about a speakeasy at the Western Illinois Museum in Macomb. The story now moves on for consideration for a national Murrow Award. Tri States is in the small market radio division in Region 7, which covers Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan. 

The station's news department also received three Illinois Press Association awards this year. "The Blind Swine" earned first for "Best Light Feature" and "Best Use of Sound" and the story "Dark Days" received second for "Best Hard News Feature." "Dark Days" is a story about violations of the Illinois Open Meetings Act by the WIU administration and former Board of Trustees. 

"It’s an honor to be recognized by your peers, though winning awards is not the goal at Tri States Public Radio," Egger said. "Our goal is to report stories that of are of interest to the audience. I believe we’re accomplishing that through these stories and many, many more, all of which are truly collaborative efforts involving the entire news department; Jason Parrott, Emily Boyer and myself."

For more information about Tri States Public Radio, visit


Original story by WIU News. Find them here.


Appellate Court Reverses 2017 Sheriff's Office/Dayton Case

MACOMB – McDonough County is now facing financial issues as an Appellate Court has reversed the verdict against the McDonough County Sheriff’s Office and Officer Thomas Pledge from a wrongful death suit from 2017. This reversal will cost the county an extra $2.6 million.


The case, whose verdict was announced on March 27th, 2017, involved the death of Jill Dayton and the injury of Amanda Dayton Nehring due to Pledge’s high-speed pursuit of a DUI suspect. In the original case, trial judge Hon. Richard Gambrell reversed the jury’s verdict that was in favor of the Dayton family and entered judgement in favor of Officer Pledge and the Sheriff’s Office.


In the original case, Brian Dayton, individually and as special administrator of the estate of Jill D. Dayton, and Amanda Dayton Nehring filed a wrongful death and negligence complaint against Deputy Thomas Pledge and the McDonough County Sheriff’s Department seeking damages related to the high-speed pursuit, which led to the death of Jill and bodily injury to Amanda when Pledge’s squad car struck Dayton’s minivan.


For more background, on September 3rd, 2004, at around 11:30pm, Pledge responded to a call regarding an erratic driver operating an SUV. He located the SUV heading south on Route 67 in a rural area of McDonough County. He followed the vehicle for a few miles on the four-lane divided highway. After seeing the vehicle swerve a number of times, Pledge stopped the vehicle. As Pledge approached the vehicle, the SUV sped away. Pledge returned to his squad car and pursued. The SUV traveled southbound on Route 67 with its lights off. Pledge followed, reaching speeds as high as 110 miles per hour. As the SUV and Pledge entered Macomb and approached the intersection of Route 67 and University Avenue, near Western Illinois University, Pledge told dispatch he was traveling “100” miles per hour.


At the same time, a minivan, driven by Amanda Dayton, was traveling north on Route 67. Amanda’s mother Jill was navigating in the passenger seat. Amanda entered the left turn lane at the intersection of University Ave. and Rt. 67. As she did, the SUV Pledge was pursuing passed through the intersection, directly in front of the minivan. As Amanda continued her left turn, Pledge’s squad car entered the intersection and struck the passenger side of the minivan, killing Jill and severely injuring Amanda.


Now the reason why Pledge was in the wrong to pursue at such high speeds was he did not follow “Section 3.02”, which requires an officer to only pursue at high speeds if the officer has “reasonable grounds to believe the violator has committed or attempted to commit a serious felony.” Pledge has testified that the driver of the SUV “had not committed a felony involving an actual or threatened attack.”


During the Appellate case in the Third District Appellate Court, the Court also relied on the testimony of Dr. Geoffrey Alpert, a professor of criminology at the University of South Carolina. Alpert has studied police pursuits for over 30 years and has worked for the National Institute of Justice, which writes pursuit policies for police departments. Dr. Alpert’s testimony at the trial stated that Pledge’s “pursuit through an intersection was like ‘playing Russian roulette’.”


The court even reasoned that the McDonough County jury could properly have determined the “identity of the suspect was obtainable from the license plate number with the high-speed pursuit and that the officer’s decision to pursue the vehicle into Macomb, in violation of department policy, showed an utter indifference for the safety of others.”


In the Appellate Court’s published decision, they specifically rejected Judge Gambrell’s finding that there was “uncontradicted evidence” in the case. The Court found Gambrell’s decision “erred” to overturn the original jury’s decision. So, the original case’s verdict was reversed, with the Appellate Court awarding “post-judgement interest from the date of the final judgement, March 27th, 2017, to the date of satisfaction [i.e. payment]” by the County. This puts McDonough in financial issues as with interest, the verdicts now exceed $4.6 million. The McDonough County Sheriff’s Office previously disclosed that it has $2 million in insurance coverage for the collision.


So, what happens next is crucial for the County. How will McDonough be able to pay the large amount of money for the Dayton family? Will this reversal affect Judge Richard Gambrell’s possible re-election? And how will this look on the Sheriff’s Office part? I guess we have to wait and see.


Illinois State Police To Conduct Special Traffic Enforcement Patrols As Part of The Click It or Ticket Campaign

Illinois State Police (ISP) District 14 Commander, Captain Jon Dively, announced that ISP will conduct a Special Traffic Enforcement Patrols (sTEP) in District 14 during May. These sTEPs allow the ISP to focus on the fatal four violations which will contribute to to major traffic crashes and fatalities. Like for example driving under the Influence (DUI), not wearing your safety belt, speeding and texting while driving. The ISP will increase our daytime and nighttime patrols to ensure the safety of vehicle travelers through the enforcement of all traffic safety laws. Impaired driving is a factor with more than 30 percent of traffic deaths in Illinois. In addition, speeding is a factor in nearly 35 percent of fatal crashes; and, nearly 50 percent of vehicle occupants killed in traffic crashes were known to not be buckled up. This project is funded through the Illinois Department of Transportation. The phrase "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" will be the slogan for the "Click It or Ticket" campaign.  



SCC Launches Honors Program, Signs Agreement With WIU

Students attending the SCC this fall will have a program to boost their résumé upon graduation, whether their plan is to step into the career field or move on to a 4-year school. The college will launch its inaugural Honors Program this upcoming fall and will sign its first articulation agreement with Western Illinois University on May 7 at 3 p.m. This will occur In the boardroom of the West Burlington campus. Dr. Richard Hardy of the  WIU’s Dean of Centennial Honors College, is an SCC alumnus who has supported SCC’s program since its inception.


“He has been on board to support our students since he approached us months ago, during the Honors Program Committee’s planning stages,” says Dr. Janet Shepherd, SCC’s Honors Advisor and Director of Institutional Research, Planning, and Effectiveness. “The Committee is thrilled that this day for WIU and SCC to sign the articulation agreement is finally here.” SCC is proud to offer a program for students with GPAs of 3.5 or higher who will enroll in challenging courses, participate in regional and national conferences, network with President Ash as well as Board members, and engage in co-curricular activities intended to enhance their college experiences.


“We know SCC offers a quality education. The Iowa Department of Education employment statistics show that our students are successful, with 100% of our graduates in 13 career programs landing jobs within a year after their graduation in 2017,” Shepherd says. “What has been missing is a program for our students with exceptional GPAs to develop their full potential alongside classmates with the same passion for academia in courses developed for them.” From SCC, President Michael Ash, Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Carole Richardson, and Dr. Shepherd will be attendance at the articulation signing. They will be joined by WIU representatives President Jack Thomas, Interim Provost and Vice President William Clow, Senior Vice President for Strategic Planning and Initiatives Dr. Joe Rives, and Dr. Hardy.


SCC officials are in discussions with Iowa’s three regent universities and a handful of private colleges to enter into similar honors program articulation agreements.“We’re close to signing articulation agreements with a few more colleges,” adds Shepherd. “These articulation agreements are a testament to the quality of education students receive here at SCC and will open additional pathways for our graduates into four-year institutions.”SCC is now accepting applications for the Honors Program.


Students that are interested can learn more at



Honors College Advisor at WIU Wins National Advising Award

Macomb, IL – Academic Advisor Molly Homer, of the Centennial Honors College at Western Illinois University, has been recognized/awarded the "Outstanding Advising Award–Primary Advising Role Certificate of Merit" by the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA). Now she will be honored and presented with the award during the NACADA Annual Conference in the fall. According to NACADA, the award is presented to people who have demonstrated qualities with outstanding advising of students. The category in which Homer received the award includes individuals who spend over 50 percent of work time advising students and who have more than three years of advising experience. "I am thrilled and honored to be recognized by NACADA in this way," said Homer. "I feel privileged to work with Honors students and to be part of the wonderful advising community at WIU."


Homer has worked in the Honors College for nearly 16 years and was nominated for the award by Centennial Honors College Dean Rick Hardy, with supporting letters from Bill Knox, Bill Thompson, Jennifer Grimm and WIU senior Crystal Brooke. She was named the campus advisor of the year in 2018. "For many students, Dr. Homer's office is a safe haven from the anxieties and pressures associated with the high expectations of Honors students," said Hardy. "She puts students at ease, always encourages them to do their best and enjoys learning about their experiences. This is what good advising is about."Hardy said Homer also publishes a weekly "Honors E-Letter" that will showcase activities and accomplishments for those she advised. It will keeps students informed about upcoming campus events and opportunities for scholarships and awards. Homer's nomination for the award included input and quotes from several of the students she advises, calling her courteous, caring, compassionate, enthusiastic and committed.


"Dr. Homer plays a vital role in promoting the Honors program in a myriad of ways," said Hardy. "She never misses Discover Western recruitment events and has developed special Honors promotional programs at each of our 6-12 summer orientation and recruitment events. Dr. Homer has taken the lead role in our fall and spring on-campus recruiting events. This past year, some 179 eligible students joined the Honors College as a result of our on-campus recruiting."WIU academic advisors who also have been honored with the NACADA "Outstanding Advising Award–Primary Advising Role Certificate of Merit" include: Cheryl Hutchins (2014), Ember Keithley (2012), Dianne Fullenwilder-Bracey (2010), Gloria Coursey Barr (2004) and Julie Standard (2001). In 2005, Kathleen Miller garnered the "Outstanding Advising-Primary Role Winner" award, and in 2001, James Nielsen was honored with the "Outstanding Advising-Secondary Role Winner" award from NACADA. Jennifer Grimm won the Outstanding Advising Award – Primary Advising Role in 2017.



IDOA Recieves Over 350 Hemp Applications

Springfield, IL – At 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 30th, the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) announced that it would begin accepting applications for growers and processors of industrial hemp. A steady flow of applications began coming into the departments website with over 350 applications being received in the first two days. IDOA staff will immediately begin to review applications for the first step of the approval process.“We are extremely pleased with number of applications the Department received in the first two days the applications were made available to the public,” said John Sullivan, Director IDOA. “Pleased, but not necessarily surprised given the incredible amount of interest from potential growers and processors over the last several months. The IDOA staff worked tirelessly to ensure the rules and regulations were finished in time to plant hemp this spring—I appreciate their hard work. We predicted there would be a lot of interest, but the turnout has been phenomenal,” said Jeff Cox, Bureau Chief of Medicinal Plants at IDOA. “I’m thrilled with how smoothly the application process has gone so far and our staff has been working non-stop to review and approve the applications.” The chart below reflects the number of applications received and approved in the first 24 hours:








Licenses/Registrations Issued











Press Release -Public Meeting

Stronghurst, IL, May 1, 2019:  The community is invited to attend and participate in a meeting on May 15 at 6 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Henderson County Health Department in Gladstone, Illinois. The Henderson County Steering Committee has updated the Multi-Jurisdictional Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan and is hosting a public meeting to discuss the plan and gather final input from the public prior to submitting the plan to FEMA.


This plan will update the Hazard Mitigation Plan that was developed in 2010.  According to University of Illinois Extension Community Development Educator Carrie McKillip, the plan will reflect the numerous strides made in mitigation and preparedness since the 2010 plan was developed.  “After the floods of 2008, many systems and processes have been put in place that have enhanced preparedness of the jurisdictions. Some notable items have been the elevation and addition of pumps in the drainage district, floodplain buyouts and the creation of the Henderson County Community Organizations Active in Disasters,” McKillip said.  McKillip facilitated the development of the plan in 2010 and is the lead facilitator on the current plan update.


All residents of Henderson County as well as surrounding jurisdictions are encouraged to attend.  The meeting will give participants a chance to review jurisdictional project grids as well as mitigation goals and activities for the plan.  For more information, contact Cindy Brown, Henderson County Emergency Manager at 309-867-2780 or Carrie McKillip at 309-342-5108.