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Macomb Local News

Rep Hammond Child Support Legislation Moving Forward

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

Click here for audio. 

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

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

 

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Macomb Park District and Macomb Library Teaming for Little Lunchers Program

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

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Pekin Illinois Man Finally Sentenced on Child Pornography Charges

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

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Western Illinois Regional Council Meeting Thursday June 28th

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

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

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

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Duckworth expresses concerns about Senate GOP health care plan

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

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

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More county fairs relying on alternative sources of revenue

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

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Madigan makes non budget demands

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

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Illinois Leaders Fight Trump Policies at Conference of Mayors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Pastor Claudia McCain Retired from First Baptist Church

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

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

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MacombNewsNow Feature Facebook Vs Snapchat

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

Click here for this MacombNewsNow.com Feature Podcast. 

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Durbin calls on Republicans to force debate on health care repeal

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

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First day of session uneventful

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

ROLL CALL

PUBLIC COMMENTS

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

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

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

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

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

6. Other business.

Executive Session

To consider information relative to:

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

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

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

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

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

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Shoplifters Face Stiffer Penalties than Employers Who Steal Wages

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

However, Traub notes the bill has stalled completely.

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

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

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

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Regional Media Movie Review Transformers The Last Knight

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

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

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Macomb Hy Vee Donates $1000 to Master Gardeners

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

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McDonough County Sheriff Arrests Two on Meth Charges

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

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

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

Click here for the Interview

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One Person Injured in McDonough County Crash Wednesday

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

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

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

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Rep LaHood Introduces Legislation to Aid Restoration of Abandoned Mines

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

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Rep Hammond Releases Statement Regarding Statehouse Special Session

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

 

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

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

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

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Abingdon Man Arrested in McDonough County After Obstructing Officers

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

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Macomb Police Officer Derrick Wiley Talks Blue Line Ball

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

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

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

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

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

 

Click here for photo attribution

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Amended Agenda Released for the McDonough County Board Meeting Wednesday

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

 

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

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

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

3.      Report of Sales tax collected in March, 2017

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

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

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

7.      Report of Transfers of Appropriations or Monies if needed

8.      Report of Finance Committee

9.      Report of General Claims Committee

10.  Appoint Lee Calvert to replace Robert Shouse

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

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

13.  Prevailing Wage Ordinance

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

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

22.  Public Comment

23.  Adjourn   

 

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Jessica Butcher Named COAP WIU Employee of Year

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

 

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

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Macomb Police Warn of Rash of Bicycle Thefts

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

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Macomb Police Holding Gun Raffle for Blue Line Ball

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

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Macomb Man Arrested for Cocaine Possession

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

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Ali Interviews Mary Murphy of So You Think You Can Dance

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

 

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

 

Listen to the full interview here.

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HyVee Brings Back Mega Produce and Back Room Sales

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

 

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

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Special Session Starts Wednesday

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

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

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Jobs Lag In Illinois

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

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Nationwide unemployment is four point three percent.

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

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

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Update on City of Macomb Downtown Construction

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

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Planning for Renewables Called Key

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#TrySomething #TryNature

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Illinois State Police Investigating Recent Crash In Montgomery County

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

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Illinois Farmers Not Happy With The President's Recent Decision

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

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Regional Media Celebrity Interview Burt Ward Robin from Batman!

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

 

Click here for my interview with Burt Ward

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Mega Millions and Powerball appear headed out of state

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

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Macomb Man Arrested on Burglary Charges

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

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Regional Media Movie Review Cars 3

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

Click Here

 

 

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Illinois Leaders Urged to Lead Nation in Juvenile-Justice Reform

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Peoria Man Found Guilty for Child Pornography

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

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

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

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Flags of Love Extended Through Thursday Evening

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

 

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WIU Professor Jennifer McNabb Named Chair of the History Department

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

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

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

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Adams and Wigwam Hollow Road Westbound Lanes Reopened

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

 

Earlier.... 

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

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

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

 

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

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Breaking President Trump Live Talking About Washington Shooting

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

 

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

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

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Senator Duckworth Takes Stand Against Privatizing Air Traffic Control

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

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Emerging Corn Crop Feeling Impact of Dry June

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

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

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

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Flags of Love Wednesday in Chandler Park in Macomb

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

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

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

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Leaders Urged to Maintain Health Insurance for IL Kids

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Marengo blast injures two, could have been worse

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

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Macomb Waste Collection Moved Up Due to Heat

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

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

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

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McDonough County Health Department Tips for Kids and Petting Zoos

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

Click Here

 

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

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