Macomb Local News

WIRC Announces Grant Awards for Local Improvements

Macomb, Illinois, January 17, 2020 – Through grant applications prepared and submitted by Western Illinois Regional Council (WIRC), six communities have been awarded Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds by the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity.


Five of the awarded grants are for public infrastructure, and one grant is for housing rehabilitation.


Public infrastructure CDBG grants were awarded to the following communities: the City of Abingdon in Knox County ($450,000 for water system upgrades); the City of Bushnell in McDonough County ($500,000 for a new well); the City of Farmington in Fulton County ($500,000 for sanitary sewer upgrades); the City of Macomb in McDonough County ($500,000 for a water main replacement); and the City of Monmouth in Warren County ($500,000 for a water main replacement). The City of Colchester in McDonough County was awarded a $500,000 CDBG housing rehabilitation grant.


WIRC, based in Macomb, serves its member communities in the six-county region of Fulton, Hancock, Henderson, Knox, McDonough and Warren counties. WIRC Community Development staff assists local governments in addressing public infrastructure and housing needs by utilizing state and federal funding opportunities.


For more information, call WIRC at (309) 837-3941, find them on social media, or visit


Funding Received for Immigration Training at WIU

MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois DREAMers, a local not-for-profit organization, has obtained state funding through the Access to Justice Program, administered by The Resurrection Project, for two projects created through a partnership with Western Illinois University.

The funding will provide training for faculty and staff on how to better serve undocumented, DACA and students from immigrant backgrounds, as well as educate students about immigration and the lives of their fellow immigrant students

Six faculty and staff workshops will be led by WIU Political Science Professor Julia Albarracin, Associate Director of Admissions Melissa Telles and WIU College Student Personnel graduate student Marcy Olague-Jamaica, of Lisle, IL.

The sessions will be held from noon-1 p.m. in the Multicultural Center's DeRenzy Board Room, Thursday, Feb. 13, Wednesday, Feb. 19, Wednesday, Feb. 26, Thursday, March 5, Monday, March 16 and Thursday, March 26.

Class content will include:

• Current immigration policies and how people become undocumented

• DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and the differences with the DREAM Act

• Hardships faced by undocumented and immigrant-family students

• The rights of undocumented students and their families

• How to better serve undocumented, DACA and immigrant-background students.

The project also includes presentations in various classes by peer navigators to educate students about immigration. Albarracin and Olague-Jamaica will coordinate the presentations.

For more information, contact Albarracin at


Ribbon Cutting for Dustin Berg - Shelter Insurance

The Ambassador Committee of the Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting on January 16 for Dustin Berg - Shelter Insurance Agent (137 S. Randolph Street, Macomb), a Chamber member since November 2019. Shelter Insurance has been at the Downtown Macomb location for numerous years and has been dedicated to providing insurance and coverage options for a variety of personal and professional needs within Macomb and the surrounding area.

For more information: Call (309) 836-3000 or visit


Early Dismissal Friday for Macomb Schools

On Friday, January 17th there will be an early dismissal for grades K-12 in order for Macomb School District staff to have school improvement activities. 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. 


Also, a reminder that there will be no school on Monday, January 20th in observance of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday. 


WIRC-CAA's Wig & Turban Program Aims to Help Cancer Patients

MACOMB – Receiving a cancer diagnosis is a life-changing, emotional event.  Chemotherapy saves lives, but the treatment can cause hair loss due to side effects.  With the rising costs of healthcare, purchasing a wig or turban may not be financially f accessible for some individuals.  In order to help cancer patients to feel better about their situation, Western Illinois Regional Council-Community Action Agency’s (WIRC-CAA) Wig & Turban Program will provide free wigs and turbans for individuals suffering from this terrible disease.  


“A person may have a lot of money going out for treatment, and being able to get a wig and turban for free helps take some of the pressure off,” said Program Coordinator Teresa Cadle.  “Losing your hair is one of the hardest parts of chemo.”  


The only requirement for the program is the individual must have a cancer diagnosis; no paperwork is required.  Interested individuals are asked to make an appointment so they can browse in privacy. To obtain an appointment, call WIRC-CAA at (309) 837-2997 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.    


The Wig & Turban Program has been in place at WIRC-CAA for over 20 years and relies on donations from the public in order to provide these items to those in need.  Monetary donations can be mailed or brought to WIRC-CAA, 223 South Randolph Street, Macomb, Illinois 61455. The program also accepts new and/or gently used donations of wigs; turbans; brassieres; and silicone breast forms. 


WIRC’s Community Action Agency department provides efficient and diverse human services to help individuals and families help themselves.  WIRC-CAA offers a wide variety of programs designed to help those in need, including a clothing center, an energy assistance program, and a food pantry program. 




MDH Announces New Department Directors

MACOMB – McDonough District Hospital announced four new Department Director that were hired during the month of January.


Craig Fields began January 2 as the Director of Human Resources. Fields joined the MDH Senior Leadership Team, bringing 20-plus years of experience to the organization. Fields have worked for seven years as the Director of Human Resources at MSA Professional Services. His HR experience in health care includes four years with Genesis Health System and seven years with Iowa Health Home Care. Fields also spent time with the Principal Financial Group in Human Resources.


MDH announced the promotion of Kim Laird, MS, LCPC to Director of Behavioral Health Services/Psychiatry Clinic. She steps into the role following the retirement of Kay Lee, MDEd, CSA DC, LCPC who worked for 32 years at the hospital. Lee will remain on the registry with the organization.


Laird spent her entire career working in the area and then joined MDH in May 2007 as a Counselor within Behavioral Health Services. She also worked at the North Central Behavioral Health System, Bridgeway, and the Community Mental Health Center of McDonough and Fulton County.


Jimmy Rogers takes over as the Director of Plant Engineering, effective January 13. After a brief stint outside of healthcare for the past year, Rogers brings experience in facility management, security, life safety measures, and working with The Joint Commission. Rogers served as the Director of Facilities/Security at Mercy Medical Center in Clinton, Iowa, in charge of a 149 licensed bed hospital and oversight of the daily operations. Rogers also worked in a supervisory role during his time with the Capital Region Medical Center in Jefferson City, Missouri.


Later this month Albert Ferrabone joins MDH as the Director of Quality. During the past three years, he worked in Grand Rapids, Michigan, at the University of Michigan Health. As the Director of System Quality, Ferrabone oversaw a staff of 12 full-time in quality improvements. For three years he worked in the Chicago Health System, which followed 11 years at the SwedishAmerica Health System all in quality management and medical analytics roles.



Obituary for Vera Jean McCoy

Vera Jean McCoy, 84, of Macomb passed away at 5:55 a.m. Saturday, January 11, 2020 at St. John’s Hospital in Springfield.


She was born on September 19, 1935 in Macomb to Clair E. and Ruby Irene Robeson Butcher. She married Edward “Bud” McCoy on August 12, 1952 in Kahoka, Missouri. He passed away on January 13, 2013.


She was also preceded in death by her parents; step-mother, Blanche Butcher; daughter, Donna Davis; grandson, Jamie Davis and two sisters, Barb Rittenhouse and Shirley Ann Butcher.

Vera is survived by two daughters, Jackie (Kent) Oster of Macomb and Debbie (Stephen) Miller of Macomb; two sons, Ed (Jan) McCoy of El Paso , Texas and Mike (Tracy) McCoy of Macomb; fourteen grandchildren, Valerie (Josh) Peters, Marlena (Scott) Lee, Amanda (Matt) McCraven, Shanna (Aaron) Wilson, Jason Miller, Digger (Sarah) Oster, Amy (Trish) Oster, Abby (Allen) Wiseman, Buffy (Matt) Simmons, Lucas McCoy, Dustin (Judy) Foulk, Miranda McCoy, Ashley (Curt) Lynn and Brittiany (Wes) McCoy and 36 great-grandchildren.


Vera lived all of her life in Macomb where she worked for Western Illinois University in building services for 31 years before her retirement. She also worked at MDH in the laundry department and Sherwin-Williams.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, January 15, 2020 at Clugston-Tibbitts Funeral Home in Macomb with Reverends Dan Colvin and Mark Merrill officiating. Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday January 14, 2020 at the funeral home. Burial will be in Camp Creek Cemetery south of Macomb.


Memorials may be made to the Scotland Trinity Presbyterian Church. You may leave condolences and sign the guest book online at


Obituary for Robert A. "Bob" Bland

Robert A. “Bob” Bland, 87, of Macomb passed away at 6 a.m. Monday, January 13, 2020 at his residence surrounded by his family. He was born on July 9, 1932 the son of Lloyd and Grace Strader Bland. He married Norma Robinson on April 16, 1952 in Kahoka, Missouri. She survives. 


Also surviving are three daughters, Linda (Scott) Mahan of Girard, Illinois Debbie Bland (Gwen Davis) of Havana, Illinois and Mary (Aaron) Downey of Avon, Illinois; grandchildren, Jamie (Shannon) Ganschow, Shanna (Thomas) Phillips, Jessica (Jim) Wetzel, Chance Downey and Fiancé` Sydney Lovekamp; great-grandchildren, Addison, Lena and Elsah Ganschow and Isaac, Alyssa, Maya and Lola Phillips; sister, Mary Kay (Dale) Vogler and three nephews.


He was preceded in death by his parents, Lloyd Bland and Grace Bland Armstrong.

Bob graduated from Macomb High School. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather. He worked at Porcelain Products and farmed until he retired.


He is a member of Assembly of God Church and the Lamoine Trails Saddle Club. He enjoyed camping, fishing, dancing, horseback riding, playing cards and going to auctions. He loved  his family, his dogs and his horses. He never met a stranger. Anyone he met he knew everything about them within a short period of time. He was very caring, patient, compassionate and loving. He was always concerned about others. He had a generous heart and was loved by many.


The family appreciated the love and care that the staff at Fresnius Kidney Care of Macomb gave him. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, January 16, 2019 at the Macomb Assembly of God Church with Pastor Carl Redding officiating. Visitation will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. Thursday at the church. Burial will be at Forest Lawn Memory Gardens in Macomb.


The family requests in lieu of flowers that memorials be made to Fresnius Kidney Care, MDH Hospice or Macomb Assembly of God Church.

Clugston-Tibbitts Funeral Home in Macomb is in charge of arrangements.

You may leave condolences and sign the guest book online at


Local Program Helps Off-Campus College Students With Their Energy Bills

MACOMB – College can be an exciting time for many students, but for some, it can also include economic struggle.  Western Illinois Regional Council-Community Action Agency (WIRC-CAA), based in Macomb, wants college students to know they have programs that can help them.  One of their programs, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), can help income-eligible students living off-campus in Hancock, Henderson, McDonough, and Warren counties with paying their energy bills.  


A household may qualify to receive energy assistance if the gross income for all household members for a 30 day income period does not exceed the following levels: $1,561 for a one-person household; $2,114 for a two-person household; $2,666 for a three-person household; $3,219 for a four-person household.  For each additional household member, add $553.


People applying for assistance must provide the following information to document eligibility for the program: proof of gross income for all household members for a 30 day income period; a complete and current copy of the heating and electric bills; and social security cards for all household members. To obtain an appointment, call WIRC’s Community Action Agency department at (309) 837-2997.  Local outreach sites are available for filing an application. This season’s program ends May 31, 2020. 


WIRC’s Community Action Agency department provides efficient and diverse human services to help individuals and families help themselves, as well as providing services to survivors of domestic and/or sexual violence.  For more information, visit, find them on social media, or call (309) 837-2997. 



IDPH Investigating Legionnaires' Disease Cases at Two Chicago Nursing Homes

SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) are investigating cases of Legionnaires’ disease at two separate nursing homes in Chicago.  Two residents at Balmoral Nursing Home and one resident at Admiral at the Lake have been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease. The cases at the two facilities do not appear to be related. Residents at each of the nursing homes were at the facility for the entire 10 days before they started showing symptoms, also known as the exposure period. 


Balmoral Nursing Home has implemented water restrictions and installed water filters in certain areas of the facility.  IDPH has collected water samples for testing and is awaiting results. Water samples collected by the facility and tested by its consultant were negative for Legionella bacteria.  The facility has provided verbal and written notification to residents and employees. The facility is also conducting surveillance to identify other potential cases and to ensure appropriate testing and clinical management. 


Admiral at the Lake is in the process of informing residents and staff about the Legionnaires’ disease case and will work to identify other potential cases while implementing appropriate testing and clinical management.  IDPH environmental health staff conducted an onsite visit and is coordinating with CDPH and the Chicago Department of Water Management. The facility is implementing processes to reduce exposure and has hired, and been working with, a water management company.


Legionella bacteria occur naturally in the environment.  Water containing Legionella can be aerosolized through cooling towers, showers, hot tubs, and decorative fountains, and can cause Legionnaire’s disease, a serious lung infection (pneumonia) when inhaled.  Legionnaires’ disease is not passed from person to person. Outbreaks are most commonly associated with buildings or structures that have complex water systems like hotels, hospitals, long-term care facilities, and cruise ships. 


The bacteria can become a health concern when they grow and spread in human-made water systems, like hot tubs, cooling towers, hot water tanks, large plumbing systems, and decorative fountains. Most healthy people do not get Legionnaires’ disease after being exposed to Legionella bacteria. 



State Fire Marshall Opens Applications for Small Equipment Grant Program

SPRINGFIELD - The Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) today announced the application period is open for the Small Equipment Grant Program. All interested departments should send an application to OSFM no later than February 29, 2020. OSFM will award $3.5 million to eligible fire departments and ambulance services during this application period.


The Small Equipment Grant Program was established to provide grants of up to $26,000 for the purchase of small firefighting and ambulance equipment. This program is an innovative approach to a problem that has long caused difficulties for the fire departments and not-for-profit ambulance services in Illinois, particularly those that have hardships in generating the necessary revenue for small equipment. The purpose is to allow eligible applicants the opportunity to purchase small equipment that they may otherwise not be able to purchase. Most Illinois fire departments, fire protection districts, and township fire departments are eligible to apply. In addition, stand-alone, not-for-profit ambulance service providers are eligible to apply.


Fire department, fire protection districts, and township fire department applicants are required to have participated in the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) for a minimum of two years prior to applying.



Regular Macomb City Council Meeting

MACOMB-  The Macomb City Council met on Monday (Dec 23) at 5:15 p.m at City Hall to discuss a few items on the City Council’s agenda. 


The first item on the agenda to discuss was Downtown and Community projects. There are nine new places being developed in downtown Macomb, with a 96% occupancy rate. Downtown Director Kristen Terry reports there were various events downtown and in the Chandler Park area. She stated Dickens on the Square was a huge success, working with the Downtown Business owners who were pleased with the performance. There were 17 WIU students who interned with her coordinating during the Town and Gown event. Mayor Inman Stated that the efforts to involve WIU Students were huge during the event and paid off well. Alderman Moon mentioned encouraging budgeting for this event each year.


The second item on the agenda was pertaining to cannabis and drug paraphernalia in the town. This ordinance will be presented for a second reading and the final action as the Committee has been given Power to Act. City Attorney Kristen Petrie presented the ordinance for second reading and final action. All Alderman members voted to approve the ordinance to amend Chapter 16, Sections 54,57, 58, 59, and 60 of the Municipal Code of Macomb pertaining to cannabis and drug paraphernalia.  As a result, Mayor Mike Inman declared the motion to carried and the ordinance was approved.


Lastly, on the agenda for discussion, was the Ordinance to create Chapter 14, Article XIII entitled Adult-Use Cannabis Consumption Onsite Establishment of the Municipal Code of Macomb, pertaining to conditional use permits for adult-use cannabis consumption in public. Alderman G. Carper stated the city is controlling only granting or denying a license for a cannabis cafe. Mayor Mike Inman stated the subject will be placed on the agenda for a second reading, and the final action will be declared Monday, January 6, 2020 council meeting.



Spoon River College Offers Microsoft Word Classes

MACOMB – The Spoon River College Office of Community Outreach will be offering classes at the Outreach Center. Classes will be instructed by Erin Orwig.


Introduction to Microsoft Word will be held on Thursday (Jan 23) from 1-3 p.m. What is Word? How can you use it? This class will cover the basics of Word and the kind of documents you can create with the program. If people need to learn how to create a basic letter, write a paper, or create a quick flyer, this class will help you learn how to accomplish that goal.


Microsoft Word Level 2 will be held on Thursday (Jan 30) from 1-3 p.m. Once you know the basics of Word, master more advanced options such as inserting charts, shapes and smart art; tracking changes; and the mail merge wizard. This class is designed for students who use Word on a daily basis or those who have already taken Introduction to Microsoft Word. 


There are fees to attend and pre-registration is required. Classes will be held at the Spoon River College Macomb Outreach Center located at 2500 East Jackson Street in Macomb. For more information or to register, call Spoon River College at 309-833-6031 or sign up online at


Standing Up Against Racism Resolution

Mayor Mike Inman extends an invitation to the community to join the City/County leaders at 8:15 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 9 as they gather in the Macomb City Hall Community Room to sign a resolution that reinforces the community and county’s commitment to inclusion and diversity.


The resolution will be signed by Mayor Inman, McDonough County Board Chair Michael Cox,

WIU Interim President Martin Abraham, McDonough County NAACP President Byron Oden

Shabazz, Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lauren Merritt, MAEDCO

Executive Director Kim Pierce, Jan Rockwell of the Interfaith Alliance of Macomb, Kelly

Ingersoll of the Macomb Area Ministerial Alliance, Macomb Area Convention, and Visitor

Bureau Director Jock Hedblade, Macomb School Superintendent Mark Twomey and Regional

Superintendent of Education John Meixner. The signing will take place at 8:30 a.m.


This is a time for residents to come together as a city. This will be a chance for the county and community leaders to demonstrate that the community and region, is dedicated and committed to all of our residents, friends, and guests. There will be no more hatred and prejudice, and we will ensure that we have a welcoming, inclusive and diverse community.



Macomb PD Announces Emergency Contact Database


In a press release on Wednesday, January 8, the Macomb Police Department announced that it will be participating in the Secretary of State’s new emergency contact database initiative. It is said that this will help police and other emergency workers locate contacts should a person be in a situation where help is needed.


In the release, posted to the MPD Facebook page, the MPD says this is meant for people to voluntarily enter information into the database to be recorded as an emergency contact. It is primarily intended for, but not restricted to, guardians and caretakers, and people can enter information such as disabilities, special needs, or medicinal needs. 


This will be a big task for the Crisis Intervention Team in the MPD, and they would like the public to know that their officers have been well trained and are well-equipped to handle a variety of stressful situations. They would also like to inform the public that the registration process is relatively quick and easy, and the information can be found here:


Battle of The Brushes is Back in The Mac

The Battle of the Brushes will return Saturday, January 25, as the first event of the new decade will be held at the Macomb Arts Center. This is the third annual year for the fast-paint competition and fundraising event.


Throughout the evening, guests will observe adventurous artists create paintings within 30 minutes and will vote to determine the final round participants. Guests will also get to enjoy a variety of hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, a silent auction of various items, raffle prizes, and a live auction of the final round paintings. Guests can possibly get a picture with a surprise celebrity.


Doors will open at 6:30 pm, with the first round of painting beginning at 7:00. Tickets are $35 for one; 2 or more are $25 each. There is a $5 discount for MAC members. Tickets may be purchased through PayPal at or reserved by emailing or calling 309-836-2782. Tickets will also be available at the door.


There are still a few spaces open for artists who would like to engage in this fun and friendly battle. You don't have to be a professional (or even practicing) artist to join in the fun--just someone who enjoys seeing what you can create in 30 minutes with a brush, some paint, and a canvas!



WIU'S Cannabis Use Laws and Regulations

MACOMB - Cannabis use is now legal as of January 1, 2020. Only adults 21 years and older are allowed to possess or use recreational marijuana in Illinois. No individual regardless of age can have cannabis on Western University property. No use of marijuana is allowed on campus.  


Students under 21 years that are found with cannabis on or off-campus will be held under the Code of Student Conduct. Any employer at any time has the right to adopt a zero-tolerance policy even though it is now legal. Depending on the worksite and their rules, people need to be understanding and respectful. Driving under the influence of marijuana is still considered illegal.  


Sources say the government will come out with a breathalyzer similar to the alcohol breathalyzer already being used. Smoking cannabis in any public place, streets, or parks will be considered illegal. Each community has different rules and laws about the possession of cannabis. To be sure if you are following the rules and regulations in your community, check the local ordinance online.



Paul Mellema meets with Joe and Sansa from the MCAS!

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Check out Paul's meeting with Joe and Sansa from the McDonough County Animal Shelter! Always great when a friendly pup stops by the station, and we had a great talk with Joe as well! 


WIU Will Host Job Camp Fair Jan. 23

MACOMB - Western Illinois University students and Macomb community members will have a chance to think about summer next week as the University's Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration (RPTA) will host its annual Summer Camp Job Fair (SCJF) from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23 in the University Union Grand Ballroom.


This event is one of the largest job fairs in the country. This year, the SCJF will feature 50 camps from locations ranging from New Hampshire to California, with many camps from the Midwest. These camps represent various formats including overnight camp, day camp, and religiously-affiliated programs for individuals with disabilities. The camps come to WIU to recruit and interview students from all majors for a variety of summer camp positions.


"Attending the fair provides students of various majors with employment possibilities and networking opportunities with camp directors. Real-world skills can be developed by working in a summer camp job such as communication and leadership skills, creativity, collaboration, problem-solving and critical thinking. These are important skills that employers across all career fields seek in today’s college graduates." Owens said. "Additionally, WIU students would likely work with individuals from across the country and globe, as camps also engage international staff and campers."



Katie Ruebush Receives Healing Hand Award at MDH

MACOMB - McDonough District Hospital congratulates Katie Ruebush, DPT for receiving a Healing Hand award, an honor within the Grateful Patient Program at MDH.


Grateful Patients Virginia Diehl and Cathy Early recognized Ruebush for her dedication to her patients.


Diehl and Early shared, “Cathy went to Katie for a bicep injury, and Virginia after a hip and shoulder replacement. Katie took the time to make sure she understood our concerns. She was willing to think outside the box in order to facilitate each of our recoveries. Her interest, her sense of humor, and her positivity were motivating.”


The Grateful Patient Program provides an opportunity for patients and families to show their appreciation in honor of the excellent care they received. In addition to recognizing a Healing Hand, patients and families may make a financial contribution to support an area of care or direct their gift to a more specific cause. This gift was designated to the Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation Department.




No War With Iran Informational

Macomb, IL - Members of the community, including clergy, local officeholders, non-profit leaders, veterans, and everyday citizens, are gathering in a vigil for peace as an act of protest against the escalating threats of war with Iran. Demonstrators will meet at Chandler Park in Macomb at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 8. Speakers will begin promptly at 5:05 p.m.


The event is nonpartisan and calls on all citizens to make their voices heard in opposition to another deadly, expensive, and unnecessary war in the Middle East. Participants are encouraged to dress in multiple layers for the weather, bring their own signs & candles/cups, and stand together with other members of our human family.


All are encouraged to express their opposition directly to our leaders by calling Congressman Darin LaHood (IL-18) at (309-671-7027), and Senators Dick Durbin (217-492-4062), & Tammy Duckworth (217-528-6124). Additionally, all are encouraged to post on their social media accounts with the hashtag #NoWarWithIran.


Christmas Tree Disposal

MACOMB - Waste Management will offer pickup of live Christmas trees for Macomb customers through January 15, 2020, at no additional charge to the customer. Waste Management will pick up trees on the customer’s regular route day.


Christmas trees are to be cut into lengths of six (6) feet or less and placed at the curb for pickup and disposal. Trees placed at the curb are to be removed from the stands and have all ornamentation removed.


Contact: Public Works Department



New Minimum Wage Rates in Effect for 2020

SPRINGFIELD – Illinoisans rang in the New Year with a new, higher minimum wage, and the Department of Labor is encouraging employees to watch their paychecks to ensure that time worked in 2020 is paid at the new rate.


Governor JB Pritzker signed the new minimum wage law last February providing a path to a $15 minimum wage by 2025. Minimum wage earners received an increase of $1 to $9.25 an hour on January 1, which will be followed by an increase to $10 an hour on July 1. The minimum wage will then increase an additional $1 an hour each January 1 until it reaches $15 an hour in 2025.


“While we expect compliance by all employers regarding the new minimum wage, it is important that workers earning minimum wage are aware that the $1 increase should be reflected in their paychecks for any time they work after the first of the year,” said Michael Kleinik, director of the Illinois Department of Labor.


The last time Illinois increased its minimum wage was a decade ago in 2010 when it was raised to $8.25. Since that time, Cook County has put in place a $12 per hour minimum wage and Chicago’s minimum wage is now $13 an hour. More than 1.4 million adult hourly workers in Illinois currently make less than $15 per hour, according to the Illinois Economic Policy Institute at the University of Illinois.

The new law maintains provisions for employers to count gratuities to offset wages for workers such as food servers who regularly earn tips. Tipped employees may be paid 60 percent of the hourly minimum wage. These workers must still earn the minimum wage after receiving tips.


Workers who are under 18 years old and work fewer than 650 hours a year earn a minimum wage of $8 per hour beginning January 1, up from the old youth minimum wage of $7.75. The youth minimum wage rate will gradually rise to $13 an hour by Jan. 1, 2025.



Bushnell Prairie City Athletic Booster Club Donates to Linda's Fund

MACOMB, Ill. — The Bushnell-Prairie City Athletic Booster Club hosted Paint the Gym Pink on October 17 and raised $1,250 for Linda’s Fund at McDonough District Hospital (MDH).


The event featured a pink night volleyball game, apparel sales, and a silent auction


Since 2014, the B-PC Athletic Booster Club has donated over $10,000 to Linda’s Fund. Linda’s Fund provides financial support to breast cancer patients who are using the services of MDH and live in the MDH service area.



OSF St. Mary Requestiong Public to Limit Visits

GALESBURG— To protect patients, family members, and staff during this time of increased seasonal flu activity and other upper respiratory illnesses, As of January in the New Year,  OSF HealthCare St. Mary Medical Center will be asking the public to limit visits as a precautionary measure.


These guidelines are based on recommendations from the Illinois Department of Public Health:


• Visitors should be at least 18 years of age and older. This will minimize exposure of patients to children, who are known to be high risk for transmission of viral infections.


•Do not visit hospitalized patients if you are not feeling well, or particularly experiencing flu-like symptoms during the past week. 


• Remember to cough and/or sneeze into your arm or shoulder or use a tissue. Always avoid the spread of germs around patients. Avoid covering your mouth with your hands, as the germs can easily be passed through direct contact with surfaces or people.


• Also, make sure hands are washed before touching any patients in the hospital.

For more information visit