Macomb Local News

McDonough County Sheriff Nick Petitgout Visits AM Macomb

McDonough County Sheriff Nick Petitgout visited WLMD's AM Macomb program with Bill Schmalfeldt Friday, Feb. 21.


They discussed the ongoing battle against methamphetamine use and distribution in the area, as well as advice for people wanting to get off of the drug and treatment options available in the area.




WIU to Offer Second Cannabis-Related Minor

 Western Illinois University is ahead of the curve once again, with the announcement of a second cannabis-related minor, Cannabis and Culture, set to debut this fall through the WIU College of Arts and Sciences (CAS). Western recently announced the School of Agriculture's new Cannabis Production minor that will also begin in Fall 2020.

Western's Faculty Senate approved the latest minor at its meeting Feb. 18. The 18-19 credit hour interdisciplinary minor is comprised of courses from anthropology, botany, history, liberal arts and sciences, philosophy, religious studies and political science. The minor includes such courses as Cannabis Culture, Religion & Drugs, Contemporary Moral Problems, History of Drugs, Introduction to Public Policy and Ethno-botany, among others. An online version of the minor is also under review.

"This interdisciplinary minor lays the foundation for understanding the socio-cultural, historical and politics of cannabis use in the U.S. and around the globe," said WIU Interim Provost Billy Clow. "We're thrilled to be able to provide our students with new, progressive academic programs such as the new minors in Cannabis and Culture and Cannabis Production."

According to Anthropology Professor Heather McIlvaine-Newsad, co-creator of the new CAS minor, the cannabis industry, which is rapidly growing, needs individuals who not only have a broad-based education, but also who have an understanding of policy, as well as marketplace knowledge.

"This new minor will provide our students with educational opportunities that examine numerous aspects of the cannabis trade," Liberal Arts and Sciences Professor and co-creator Sarah Haynes added. "And our new minor is distinct within the state of Illinois. No other public or private institution in the state offers a minor of this type that addresses the cultural aspects of the cannabis industry and its global use."

For more information about the new minor, contact Haynes at or (309) 298-2214 or McIlvaine-Newsad at or (309) 298-1264.

Copy By: WIU News


League of Women Voters Hold Candidate Forum

Voting for McDonough County will be held Wednesday, February 26, at 7 p.m., for two men running for Illinois State Representative from the 94th District: Emiliano Vera from Bushnell and Scott Stoll from Rushville.


The winner of the primary election March 17 will go against Norine Hammond, Republican incumbent, in the fall. No other races are contested for the primary. The forum will be held in WIU’s Broadcasting studio room #301, in Sallee Hall, across from the Student Union on the WIU campus.


The forum will be live-streamed on channel 3 and on the News3 Youtube channel. Rebroadcasts can be seen daily on Channel 15 from February 28 through Election Day. The times vary daily. 


Moderators will be Rich Egger, Tri-States Public Radio news director, and Devon Brooks, WIU News3 director. The program will be directed by WIU broadcasting Instructor and News Director Emily Manley and staffed by WIU broadcasting students. For more information visit


WIU Interim President Martin Abraham visits AM Macomb


Dr. Martin Abraham, Interim President at Western Illinois University, visited with Bill Schmalfeldt on WLMD's "AM Macomb" program on Feb. 14.




Seven Arrested in Meth Sweep

McDonough County Sheriff Nick Petitgout and Macomb Chief Curt Barker report the arrests of following individuals: 


John W. Yates, 53, of Bushnell, IL 

Trenton L. Sealock, 25, of Bushnell, IL

Robert J. Musson, 39, of Bushnell, IL

Christopher C. Shipley, 23, of Bushnell, IL

Heather M. Hawkins-Barcroft, 33, of Bushnell, IL

Shawn T. Connelly, 45, of Bardolph, IL

Amanda S. Edwards, 40, of Bardolph, IL


On February 12, 2020 at 7:03 a.m. the McDonough County Sheriff’s Office, Macomb Police Department, and Bushnell Police Department located John W. Yates at 612 N. Harrison Street in Bushnell, IL.  Yates was wanted on McDonough County Warrant 20-CF-20 for Delivery of Methamphetamine. John Yates is lodged in the McDonough County Jail and needs $50,000.00 bond with 10% to apply.


Trenton Sealock was located at 1230 W. Main Street Apartment 4 in Bushnell, IL.  Sealock was wanted on McDonough County Warrant 20-CF-39 for Delivery of Methamphetamine.  


During a consent search of the residence, 1230 West Main Street, agents located methamphetamine and methamphetamine paraphernalia which lead to the arrests of Robert Musson, Christopher Shipley, and Heather Hawkins-Barcroft.  The three were charged with Possession of Methamphetamine under 5 Grams and Possession of Methamphetamine Paraphernalia. They were lodged in the McDonough County Jail in lieu of a bond hearing.  


Trenton Sealock is lodged in the McDonough County Jail and needs $50,000.00 bond with 10% to apply.  Sealock was also charged with Possession of Methamphetamine under 5Grams and Methamphetamine Paraphernalia.


Shawn Connelly was located at 210 South Race Street in Bardolph, IL.  He was wanted on McDonough County Warrant 20-CF-21 for Delivery of Methamphetamine.  Shawn Connelly is lodged in the McDonough County Jail and needs $100,000.00 bond with 10% to apply.


During a consent search of 210 South Race Street in Bardolph, IL, agents located a small cannabis growing operation, which lead to the arrest of Amanda Edwards.  Amanda Edwards and Shawn Connelly were charged with Cannabis Plant Cultivation 6-20 plants. They were also charged with Possession of Methamphetamine under 5 Grams and Methamphetamine Paraphernalia.


The following is the result of a 6 month investigation into illegal Methamphetamine sales in McDonough County.  More arrests are expected in the coming months. Once again we, Sheriff Nick Petitgout and Chief Curt Barker, would like to stress the importance of ridding our community of this dangerous drug.


The Bushnell Police Department assisted in the investigation and the arrests.


All subjects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.


WIU: Military Friendly School for 10 Consecutive Years

Western Illinois University's tradition of serving veterans and active members of the armed forces go back to the school's beginnings in the 1900s. Because of Western's enduring support of veterans and active service personnel, the University again been recognized for 10 consecutive years as a "Military Friendly School" by G.I. Jobs Magazine (Victory Media), achieving the highest recognition, the Gold designation for 2020-2021.

Western is the only Illinois public institution, and is one of 42 private and public institutions in the nation, receiving the Gold status.

"We are proud of our institution's long history of providing outstanding support for our veterans and active duty personnel. This most recent recognition from G.I. Jobs Magazine affirms our commitment and dedication to our heroic student-veterans and WIU's active members of the armed forces," noted WIU Interim President Martin Abraham.

In November 2019, for the 10th consecutive year, WIU was selected as a Military Times "Best for Vets College" by Military Times magazine. Western also ranked number one among all Illinois public and private colleges.

The University's Wright Residence, which serves as the Veterans Resource Center, provides streamlined services and resources in a centralized location to ensure all veterans, guard members, reservists and active duty personnel receive individual assistance. The center also sponsors a series of group seminars and workshops each year based on the current needs of its military student population.

The center has established partnerships with various campus and community organizations. Students gain direct access to a comprehensive array of services such as VA benefits, financial assistance, disability resources, health care, career development and personal wellness. The center also features computer access, a study/meeting room, a three-season porch and student-veteran peer assistants who work with student-veterans.

For more information about veterans' resources at Western Illinois University, contact Ron Pettigrew at or (309) 298-3505.


Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations


MDH Family Clinic Walk-In Services Announces 'Hold My Spot' Option

MACOMB – The McDonough District Hospital Medical Group recently announced a new option to schedule appointments to the Family Clinic.


The new ‘Hold My Spot’ option provides convenient services by MDH Family Clinic when scheduling appointments. Patients can stop by the clinic or call (309) 837-6937 to hold the next available appointment time. This allows patients to avoid sitting for an extended period of time in the waiting room.


The convenience schedules for walk-in patients are different from those who schedule an appointment time with the MDH Family Clinic primary care providers.


“At MDH we know your time is valuable. That is why we are excited to offer the Hold My Spot option for our Family Clinic walk-ins in order to decrease our patient wait times and maximize care for the community,” said Sarah Kosel, Office Assistant Trainer. “You can either call in at (309) 837-6937 or walk in and reserve an approximate time at the front desk.”


“MDH understands the lengthy wait time when you already do not feel well is something everyone would like to avoid. By using the Hold My Spot option to schedule an appointment time that is convenient for the patient, we can decrease wait times while being sure that all the needs of the community are met and they are seen in a timely manner,” said MDH Family Clinic Practice Manager Patti Kessel, RN.



MDH Family Clinic Walk-In Services Announces 'Hold My Spot' Option

MACOMB – The McDonough District Hospital Medical Group recently announced a new option to schedule appointments to the Family Clinic.


The new ‘Hold My Spot’ option provides convenient services by MDH Family Clinic when scheduling appointments. Patients can stop by the clinic or call (309) 837-6937 to hold the next available appointment time. This allows patients to avoid sitting for an extended period of time in the waiting room.


The convenience schedules for walk-in patients are different from those who schedule an appointment time with the MDH Family Clinic primary care providers.


“At MDH we know your time is valuable. That is why we are excited to offer the Hold My Spot option for our Family Clinic walk-ins in order to decrease our patient wait times and maximize care for the community,” said Sarah Kosel, Office Assistant Trainer. “You can either call in at (309) 837-6937 or walk in and reserve an approximate time at the front desk.”


“MDH understands the lengthy wait time when you already do not feel well is something everyone would like to avoid. By using the Hold My Spot option to schedule an appointment time that is convenient for the patient, we can decrease wait times while being sure that all the needs of the community are met and they are seen in a timely manner,” said MDH Family Clinic Practice Manager Patti Kessel, RN.



Three Arrested Following Early Morning Chase

McDonough County Sheriff Nick Petitgout reports the arrest of William N. Kimmel, 19, of Loami, IL, Mason E. Fuller, 19, of Ipava, IL, and Christopher M. Fernandez, 20, of Bardolph, IL.


On February 9, 2020 at 11:32 p.m. a resident in the 1400 block of East 1600th Street of rural Macomb Township reported a burglary and stolen vehicle to the McDonough County Communications Center. The victim reported to dispatchers that he just watched his truck leave northbound on East 1600th Street towards Bushnell. A notification was sent out to all the deputies.


A McDonough County Sheriff’s Deputy located the stolen vehicle, a maroon 2007 Chevrolet truck near the Bushnell Police Department. The deputy activated his emergency lights and conducted a felony traffic stop on the stolen vehicle at Ludwig Street and Illinois Route 41 in Bushnell. The stolen vehicle stopped long enough for the deputy to get out of his vehicle and then sped away. The deputy pursued the stolen vehicle.


Another McDonough County Deputy located the vehicle near Bardoplh, IL and the stolen vehicle drove through a field near the intersection of East 1800th and North 1300th to avoid the deputies. The vehicle then traveled north into Bardolph after it turned off its headlights and hit a ditch at the intersection of Hanna Street and Poplar Street. Both occupants of the vehicle fled on foot. At 12:12 a.m. after a short chase both suspects were apprehended by deputies and identified.


The driver, William Kimmel, was transported to McDonough District Hospital for an injury he sustained in the traffic crash. The passenger, Mason Fuller, was taken to the McDonough County Jail. Kimmel was released from the hospital after a few hours and transported to the McDonough County Jail. A third suspect was arrest, Christopher Fernandez, for his participation in the burglary and theft of the vehicle.


William Kimmel was charged with Burglary, Theft Over $500.00, Possession of a Stolen Vehicle, Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding, Resisting a Peace Officer, and Aggravated Reckless Driving. Kimmel was issued several traffic citations. Kimmel needs $50,000.00 cash bond 10% to apply.


Mason Fuller was charged with Burglary, Theft Over $500.00, Possession of a Stolen Vehicle, and Resisting a Peace Officer. Mason needs $20,000.00 cash bond 10% to apply.


Christopher Fernandez was charged with Burglary, Theft Over $500.00, and Resisting a Peace Officer. Fernandez posted $730.00 cash bond and was released from custody on 02/09/20.


The Bushnell Police Department assisted in the investigation.


All subjects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

(Photos/McDonough County Sheriff Facebook Page)







Former WIU President Jack Thomas named Central State University's President

Former WIU President Jack Thomas has secured a new job.


Thomas, who resigned from being Western’s President last June, will be the new President at the Historically Black College, Central State University. The announcement came during a reception at the Wilberforce, Ohio, college Friday, Feb. 7.


Current Central State President Cynthia Jackson-Hammond announced in September she would step down at the end of the school year. Jackson- Hammond will leave her position after eight years. Jackson- Hammond was Central State’s eighth president and the first woman to lead the institution. 


Established in 1887, Central State is located 20 miles east of Dayton and has about 2,100 students. 


The WIU Alumni Council approved a resolution asking the Board of Trustees to terminate Thomas' contract citing budget cuts and a 14 percent decrease in enrollment in the Spring 2019 semester.




Cannabis Production Minor to Launch at WIU in Fall 2020

According to Forbes, the cannabis industry is among the fastest-growing job markets in America. According to Leafly's 2019 Cannabis Jobs Count, cannabis directly employs more than 211,000 full-time workers in the U.S. And now Western Illinois University students interested in careers in what Leafly calls America's hidden job boom will have the opportunity through a new Cannabis Production minor set to debut at WIU in Fall 2020.

Western's Faculty Senate approved the new minor at its meeting Feb. 4. Offered through WIU's School of Agriculture, the majority of courses for the 18-19 credit hour minor will be offered through the school, with additional coursework offered through the Department of Biological Sciences.

A new course within the program, "Cannabis Biology and Production," as well as the minor itself, will assist with developing employees for the new Illinois industry in cannabis production, said School of Agriculture Director Andy Baker.

"We're excited to be a part of this flourishing industry and providing in-demand, and new, academic opportunities for our students," said WIU Interim President Martin Abraham. "Because of our many years of work in alternative crops, and the outstanding expertise of our faculty at Western, we are in a unique position to be at the forefront of cannabis studies."

Shelby Henning, horticulture professor in the School of Agriculture, will lead the biology/production course, which includes cannabis anatomy, physiology, breeding, propagation methods, management techniques, post-harvest processing, commercial production, crop rotations and product applications. 

"The U.S. Farm Bill of 2014 legalized industrial hemp for research by state agriculture departments and universities. School of Agriculture Professor Win Phippen, who leads our alternative crops program, has been conducting research on hemp for several years, and most recently, added a cannabis component to his research," noted Baker. "This new course and minor are perfect complements to our comprehensive agriculture degree program."

Other courses available in the minor, which already exist through the School of Agriculture and Department of Biological Sciences include crop sciences, introduction to horticulture, introduction to plant biology, genetics in biology and agriculture, pest management, plant structure, plant physiology, landscape construction and management, greenhouse and nursery management, plant breeding, crop improvement and hydroponic plant production.

For more information about the new minor, contact the School of Agriculture at (309) 298-1080 or


Capital Development Board Releases $8.9M for WIU Center for the Performing Arts Reboot

MACOMB, IL – Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that the Illinois Capital Development Board (CDB) will release $8.9 million to Western Illinois University to restart the Center for the Performing Arts (CPA) project on the Macomb campus.


 According to Interim Provost Billy Clow, the release of the $8.9 million will allow for an update by an architectural team. The $8.9 million is part of the reappropriated $89 million recently announced by Gov. Pritzker and the CDB. Construction could begin as soon as mid-Fall 2020, Clow added.


"We are greatly appreciative to Gov. Pritzker, the General Assembly and the Capital Development Board for releasing the funds to revise the original concept, and begin the process, which we are hopeful will finally lead to the fruition of the WIU Center for the Performing Arts in Macomb," said WIU Interim President Martin Abraham "We look forward to the day we can begin building this amazing facility that will benefit our students, faculty, and staff, as well as the region. Thank you to our legislators, businesses, alumni, friends, donors, the General Assembly and the governor for their continued support of Western."


The Center for the Performing Arts (formerly called the Performing Arts Center), which will support the academic mission and programs in the College of Fine Arts and Communication, will include an approximately 1,400-seat proscenium theatre auditorium, a 250-seat thrust stage, and a 150-seat studio theatre. There also will be dance, jazz, percussion and theatre rehearsal studios, and classrooms to facilitate the academic mission of the building, which complements numerous academic programs; dressing rooms adjacent to the theatres; a scenery/design workshop and a costume shop; a box office; administration offices and a loading dock that will accommodate semis and buses for professional touring companies and orchestras.


The CPA, which will be located on the southwest side of campus along Western Avenue, will connect to Browne Hall and consolidate performance spaces close to classrooms in Brown, Memorial and Sallee halls. Corbin Hall is adjacent to the center and includes a Fine Arts Floor for students to complete the living and learning aspect of an arts quad.


The CPA will also include several naming opportunities, including the performance venues, rehearsal spaces, the gallery, scene shop, lounges, VIP room, and green rooms. Individuals may also purchase naming rights to seats in the proscenium and thrust theatres.


In 2011, the WIU Foundation announced that Tate Lindahl, a retired WIU administrator, and Macomb resident, had arranged for a seven-figure bequest in his estate plans to assist in the maintenance of the center. In 2013, alumni Kenneth and Lorraine Epperson pledged a seven-figure gift for the center. The 5,000 square-foot iconic lobby will be named in their honor, and Herb and Nancy Strong of Macomb have funded the donation of the Herb and Nancy Strong Steinway Concert Grand Piano, which will reside in the center.


McDonough County Youth Awards

MACOMB-- The Youth Task Force of the McDonough County Community Quality of Life Advisory Committee is seeking to recognize the youth of McDonough County.   Nominations are open to all school-aged children enrolled in public or private schools.


Nominations are now being accepted from residents, organizations, school officials, teachers, and school staff who believe a student, a group of students, or a student organization which need to be recognized for  “their actions in the service of others demonstrating their commitment to improving the quality of life for residents of McDonough County.”


If you do not choose the on-line nomination format, nominations should be legible or typed and limited to a single sheet of paper.   Contact information should include name, address and telephone number of nominator for verification. The deadline to submit nominations is Friday, March 27, 2020. Nominees will then be given a notification the week of April 6th.

Notification will be given the week of April 6th. Awards will be presented at the local School District Awards assemblies this spring if applicable.  


CLICK HERE to use the online nomination format.



WIU Will Host Primary Watch Party, Feb. 11

MACOMB, IL – Several of Western Illinois University's student organizations and academic departments will host a New Hampshire Primary Watch Party at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11 in the Multicultural Center.

"The New Hampshire primary has traditionally played a critical role in shaping presidential nominations," said WIU Political Science Chair and History Interim Chair Keith Boeckelman. "We hope students will engage in the political process as election season moves to Illinois later this spring. This event will be a great opportunity for students and the community to learn about presidential nominations and New Hampshire's role, register to vote if they wish and watch the returns come in."

Boeckelman added that students will also be able to participate in a straw poll that will reveal who Western students want to be president.

One of the student organizers, Colton Markey, said the event is an opportunity for students to learn about the election process and to celebrate democracy.

"During the event, students will be able to engage with individuals who have studied the process, write letters to their home representatives and actively participate in civic engagement," he said.

The party is sponsored by the Multicultural Center, the WIU departments of Political Science and History, the Student Government Association, the Associated Students of Political Science and the Latin American Student Organization. The League of Women Voters will also be on hand to help register people to vote.


Illness Prevention & Preparedness Discussed

MACOMB, IL -- As recent news stories have reported, cases of the Coronavirus, as well as Influenza A and B, are on the rise around the nation. Western Illinois University is following policy and guidelines set forth by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), as well as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). In addition, Beu Health Center is posting updated information as it becomes available at, and information is being disseminated in the residence halls.

The IDPH is recommending that students and employees returning from China after Feb. 3 not attend school and/or work for 14 days. Students, faculty and staff who may be traveling abroad in the near future should keep in mind there may be restrictions in place that might ban re-entry into the United States. More information can be found at the CDC and the U.S. State Department .

According to Beu Chief of Staff Dr. Mike Waters, prevention is often the best medicine to avoid a virus. Viruses are spread mainly from person-to-person through coughing or sneezing. Tips to avoid the transmission any illness include covering a cough or sneeze with a tissue or sleeve; frequent handwashing; staying home when sick; and in the case of influenza prevention, a flu shot.

Seasonal flu symptoms develop quickly and include fever and a sore throat and/or coughing, body aches, chills, and headache. Reported Coronavirus symptoms are similar to the flu or respiratory illness, including fever, cough and shortness of breath. The symptoms of the common cold are generally much milder, develop more slowly and usually do not include a fever.

WIU-Macomb students who feel ill should contact Beu Health Center at (309) 298-1888 prior to coming to the health center. If an individual comes to the health center, Beu's healthcare providers will ask a series of questions as a precautionary measure. WIU-QC students and employees should contact their local health care provider.

For more information, contact Beu Health Center at (309) 298-1888. In addition, the IDPH has launched the Illinois Novel Coronavirus Hotline and email to answer questions. Individuals can dial (800) 889-3931 24 hours a day, seven days a week or email DPH.SICK@ILLINOIS.GOV to get answers and the latest information.


Fourth Annual Pre-Med Symposium Feb. 20 at Western

MACOMB, IL -- The Western Illinois University Centennial Honors College will host the fourth annual Dr. Jill Brody/McDonough Eye Associates Pre-Med Symposium from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20 in the University Union Brattain Lounge.


This event allows students to explore a wide variety of medical careers, including nursing, dentistry, veterinary sciences, optometry, ophthalmology, dermatology, anesthesiology, family medicine, and more. Participants will be able to meet medical school representatives from the area and regional medical schools, enjoy food and music, and hear about medical school experiences, and get advice from distinguished medical professionals.


The keynote speaker for this year's event is Dr. Melissa S. Willis, a 2008 WIU graduate and a professor at the University of Iowa School of Medicine.


The schedule for this year's event includes the Medical School Table from 5-6 pm. Then followed by the Keynote address by Dr. Willis, "Your Medical Career Can Start at Western Illinois University" at 6 pm. Lastly, there will be a Panel discussion by Dr. Karen Blakeley, Macomb veterinarian; Dr. Shea Trost, anesthesiologist; Dr. P. Lea Monahan, director of the WIU School of Nursing; and Dr. Nicholas D. Doll, WIU alumnus, and Macomb dentist.


Refreshments will be served and the President's International String Quartet will perform during the event. The event is open and free to the public. University and high school students interested in the study of medicine and those in classes addressing medical issues are encouraged to attend.


Along with Brody and McDonough Eye Associates, this year's symposium is sponsored by Dr. Amy High, Dr. Donald Dexter, Dr. Russell R. Dohner, Dr. Dennis and Virginia Samuelson, Dr. David Miller and Dr. Mary Kathleen Lockard, Dr. David Greathouse, the WIU Foundation, the WIU College of Arts and Sciences (CAS); the WIU departments of Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Health Sciences, and Social Work and CAS Dean Sue Martinelli-Fernandez.



'No Hate Crime, No Weapons': Macomb Police Announce 4 Arrests Following Early Sunday Morning Fracas

Four people were arrested Thursday in connection with an early Sunday morning disturbance on the 600 block of West Adams Street in Macomb.


During a press briefing Friday morning, Macomb Police Chief Curt Barker announced 22-year old Tevin Currie, 25-year old Joshua Wells, 21-year old Ryan E. J. Nowak and 22-year old Dennis Williams II, all of Kewanee, were arrested and charged with the incident which stemmed from a fight in front of a residence where a party was being held, after which a vehicle was caught on video allegedly being used in an attempt to frighten people involved in the fight, according to Barker.


Currie was charged with aggravated assault and reckless driving. Wells, who was seen on the video riding on the hood of the car as it left the scene the first time, was charged with mob action and battery. Nowak was charged with obstructing justice and Williams was charged with mob action.


Maccomb Police Chief Curt Barker holds a press briefing Friday morning, Feb. 7, announcing the arrest of four individuals in connection to an altercation in Macomb early Sunday morning, Feb. 2. (Photo by Bill Schmalfeldt)


Barker said Macomb police started getting messages on their Facebook page Sunday afternoon showing an individual apparently attempting to hit pedestrians with his vehicle. Since then, Barker said, investigators from the Macomb Police and McDonough County Sheriff's Office conducted over 30 interviews and developed the evidence leading to warrants being sworn for the four individuals. Nowak and Williams were arrested in Kewanee, Wells was arrested in Bloomington, and Currie was arrested in Columbus, OH.


Barker stressed that this was not a hate crime, there were no weapons involved and race was not an aggravating factor in the disturbance. Barker said that the alleged driver was not trying to hurt or kill anyone. "He was just trying to scare them," he said.


Barker thanked the McDonough County Sheriff's Office, the Office of Public Safety, McDonough County States Attorney's Office, Kewanee Police Department, McClean County Sheriff's Office and Columbus, Ohio, Police Department for their assistance in locating and arresting these four individuals.




WIU Associate directs 'Crimes of the Heart'

MACOMB, IL – The Western Illinois University Department of Theatre and Dance will present "Crimes of the Heart," by Beth Henley, at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 14-15, in Simpkins Theatre.


The show is set in Hazlehurst, MS, where the three Magrath sisters have gathered to await the news of their family patriarch, their grandfather, and his last hours. The sisters include Lenny, the oldest and unmarried, Meg, the middle child who left her hometown to fail at a singing career, and Babe, the youngest out on bail for shooting her husband.


The play depicts their troubles, which are serious, yet met with humor through their family coming together to keep Babe out of jail, while also being embroiled in a complicated love story between Babe and her lawyer. The show will leave its audience feeling touched as one watches the young characters escape their pasts to seize their futures.


Carolyn Blackinton, who is a WIU Associate, is directing the play “Crimes of the Heart”. Blackinton said, "I have wanted to direct this wonderful play for years and I am so blessed to be working with such a talent group of people. The design team has been fantastic and the actors have brought to life this very touching and funny play."

General admission tickets are $5; and free for WIU students with valid student identification. 


WIU Ag Expo This Weekend

MACOMB, IL – This weekend, Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 8-9, will mark the 50th annual Farm Expo hosted by Western Illinois University's Agriculture Mechanization (Ag Mech) Club, as well as the 100th anniversary of the School of Agriculture.

Admission to the expo is open free to the public from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Free parking for the event is located in Q-lot, adjacent to Western Hall.

"We hope to see many of our alumni come through the show to see some new additions to the show, as well as stay to attend our celebration dinner on Saturday evening. It will be a great weekend to celebrate the long standing success of the WIU School of Agriculture," said Ag Mech Club Advisor Jana Knupp.

There will be a "Kid's Corner," which will have bouncy houses, face painting, balloon artists and caricatures, all which are also free. This year's expo will have a new addition called "Grain to Glass" featuring samples of products from local breweries and vineyards. Guests may purchase sampling tickets or a full glass of their favorite beverage at the show.

The School of Agriculture's 100-year anniversary dinner will be held Saturday, Feb. 8. There will be a cocktail hour at 5 p.m. and dinner will be at 6 p.m. The anniversary dinner will be held in the WIU University Union's Heritage Room.
Free will donations will be accepted at the event.

Follow the Farm Expo on Facebook at For more information about the School of Agriculture, visit


Five WIU Broadcasting Students Named Finalists in NBS Competition

MACOMB, IL -- Western Illinois University students were recently named finalists in five categories of the 57th annual National Undergraduate Student Electronic Media Competition, held by the National Broadcasting Society (NBS).

The award winners will be announced during the March NBS convention in Los Angeles, CA, which will be attended by WIU Broadcasting and Journalism faculty Emily Manley and several students.

The finalists are:

Comedy Program Script: "Bored of Education"
Marcellus Angel, a senior broadcasting major, of Rock Island, IL

Video Newscast Segment: "Family Remembers Fallen Trooper Jerry Ellis"
Devin Brooks, a junior broadcasting and journalism major, of St. Louis, MO

Video Promos: "NEWS3 Promo": Zac Lueder, a freshman broadcasting and journalism major, of Chicago Heights, IL

Video Newscast (Live): "NEWS3 - Good Morning Macomb - Nov. 11, 2019"- Angel, Brooks, Lueder and Kelly Brown, a freshman broadcasting and journalism major and musical theatre major, of Rolla, MO

Web News Article: "Police react to death investigation of Tyler Smith” - Brooks

For more information about the WIU Department of Broadcasting and Journalism, visit


MDH Offers Heart Health Programs

As part of February being American Heart Month, MDH will offer a Heart Health program on Tuesday, February 25, free to the public. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Spoon River College Community Outreach Center, 2500 East Jackson Street in Macomb. A free heart-healthy dinner will be provided for those who RSVP to the program by February 21.

Featured speakers for the program are: Blessing Cardiologists Dr. Steven Krause and Dr. Jeffrey Cook, MDH Cardiopulmonary’s Peggy Jones, NP-C, and staff from the MDH Cardiac Rehabilitation department.


Blessing Health System is proud to provide west-central Illinois with convenient access to advanced heart care, and its team of specialists treat a wide range of heart and vascular conditions, including: arrhythmia, heart attack and strokes, heart failure, heart disease, and heart valve disease. 


Drs. Cook and Krause will highlight a new procedure performed at Blessing Health System - Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), a minimally invasive procedure in which the doctor positions a new heart valve via a catheter.


Dr. Krause will also detail a new procedure performed inside MDH, a Transesophageal Echocardiography (TEE). This diagnostic test consists of a doctor inserting a tube into the mouth and esophagus and uses an ultrasound to get a more detailed view of heart valves and chambers. 


FITNESS PROGRAMS AVAILABLE: MDH Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation offers various fitness programs for people of all ages.


SilverSneakers, one of the nation’s leading fitness programs exclusively for seniors, help qualified seniors get fit using appropriate weight training, flexibility, and stress relief techniques with guidance from MDH staff.


Prime & Fit, part of SilverSneakers, offers a fitness program for those 65 and under.


Commit to Get Fit is a newer program in which Staff from Cardiac Rehabilitation and the Diabetes Education Center, along with Exercise Science Interns from Western Illinois University, developed the wellness program with the intent to increase the overall well-being and knowledge of exercise for participants with one or more challenging health conditions.


Sessions are offered two times per week where each participant receives their own personalized workout plan as they learn more about exercise health benefits and strategies related to their specific health condition(s) and personal goals. The class is open to all ages and fitness levels, with exercise physiologists modifying the workouts to each individual’s needs. Individuals can sign up for only $39 per month. Sessions are offered Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-2 p.m. in the Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Department on the third floor of MDH.


For additional information on the fitness programs or inquire on signing up, call MDH Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation at (309) 836-1601.




WIU CBT Dean Interviews Set

WIU CBT Dean Interviews Set

MACOMB/MOLINE, IL -- Three candidates for the Western Illinois University College of Business and Technology (CBT) dean position will be on campus for interviews Feb. 10-11, Feb. 17-18 and Feb. 27-28, according to Russ Morgan, search committee chair.

The candidates include Hazel Marie, chair of the Youngstown State University (YSU) Department of Mechanical Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering; Geofrey T. Mills, dean of the Nicolais School of Business at Wagner College in Staten Island, NY; and Asai Asaithambi, graduate director and professor in the University of North Florida School of Computing.

Open sessions with administrators, staff and students on the WIU-Macomb and WIU-Quad Cities campuses are scheduled for Marie from 3-4 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10 in 121 Stipes Hall and from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11 in 222 Riverfront Hall in the Quad Cities; from 3-4 p.m. Monday, Feb. 17 in 121 Stipes Hall and from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18 in 222 Riverfront Hall in the Quad Cities for Mills; and from 2-3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27 in 121 Stipes Hall and from 10:30-11:30 a.m. in 222 Riverfront Hall in the Quad Cities for Asaithambi.

Marie has served as chair of the YSU Department of Mechanical Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering since 2012 and as a professor in the department since 2018. Previously, she was director of the College of STEM's Ph.D. program at YSU and in various instructional positions at the school. She was also a Ph.D. Research Fellow for the NASA Ohio Space Grant Consortium from 1997-2000, a teaching assistant in mechanical engineering at the University of Akron; a consulting engineer at Daniel H. Suchora PE and Associates in Youngstown, OH; and a process and materials engineer at GMC Packard Electric Division in Warren OH.

Marie received her Ph.D. from the University of Akron, her master's degree from Youngtown State University and her bachelor's degree from the University of Texas-Austin.

Mills has served as dean of the Nicolais School of Business at Wagner College since 2018 and as the associate dean of Kean University's College of Business and Public Management and director of the Global Business School and Global Initiatives from 2013-18 and as acting dean from 2017-18. Previously, Mills was the founding dean of the School of Management and Social Justice at Bath Path College in Massachusetts; dean of the School of Business at Mercy College in New York; dean of the Walter R. Davis School of Business and Economics at Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina; dean for academic support at Dubai Aerospace University; vice president for academic affairs at Notre Dame University-Louaize in Lebanon; vice president for academic affairs and dean of the school of business at Degree College of the American College of Greece in Athens and associate dean and interim dean of the College of Business Administration at the University of Northern Iowa.

Mills received his doctoral, master's and bachelor's degrees from the University of Illinois in Urbana, IL.

Asaithambi has served as the graduate director of the University of North Florida's School of Computing since 2018 and served as the school's director from 2011-15. He also serves as a research fellow at the Florida Institute of Education at the University of North Florida.
Previously, he was the department chair of the schools of computer science at the University of South Dakota, Saint Louis University and Lincoln University of Pennsylvania. Academically he has been a professor and associate professor in computer science and in mathematics and statistics.

Asaithambi received his doctoral degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his master’s and bachelor’s degrees from the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras.

Complete interview schedules and vitae are available at


WIU Hosts 47th International Bazaar Feb. 29

MACOMB, IL -- Western Illinois University will host the 47th annual International Bazaar from 5-10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 29 in the University Union Grand Ballroom.

The popular event showcases international education and the cultures of international students attending WIU.

Samples of authentic food from numerous countries will be sold for $1-$2.50 each. Food tickets will be available at the bazaar.

“I believe the bazaar is a wonderful display of the cultural diversity of WIU. The Bazaar provides students the opportunity to celebrate and share their cultures and heritage.” said Alecsus Sebben, International Friendship Club graduate advisor and graduate student in WIU's College Student Personnel program.

Music and traditional clothing from around the world will be showcased as well.

Cultures represented at this year’s event include Brazil, China, Egypt, Ghana, India, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia, the Peace Corps, Phi Beta Delta and the Office of Study Abroad and Outreach.

A Kids Craft Corner and an international marketplace, selling souvenirs and goods from all over the globe, will be open from 5-8 p.m.

Admission to the bazaar is $3 for WIU students; $6 for non-students; $2 for children ages 5-12 and children ages 4 and under are admitted free.

This year’s International Bazaar is sponsored by the School of Global Education and Outreach, the Council on Student Activity Funds and the International Friendship Club.

For additional information, email or visit


WIU Alumna to Present Workshop as Part of Black History Month

Western Illinois University alumna Tristen Johnson will facilitate a Women of Color Workshop, "Worth It: Guiding Principles for Women of Color at PWI's and Beyond," at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27 in the Multicultural Center.

Johnson graduated from WIU in 2012 with a double major in journalism and Afro-American studies. She is now the assistant director of multicultural affairs at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

During the workshop, Johnson will examine, explore and provide strategies on how to navigate a predominately white institution and a career after college. There will be interactive activities, discussions and more.   

"We are honored to have a WIU alum share her experience, research, ideas and passion with current students," said Carl Ervin, the Multicultural Center's program director. "Her empowering of students is deeply appreciated."

Johnson received her master's degree from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and is pursuing her doctoral degree at Illinois State University. Her research interest includes a focus on Black women professionals who work in diversity roles at predominately white institutions. She is the owner of The Tristen Johnson, LLC, where she provides diversity and inclusion trainings and other various workshops for organizations.

"Tristen Johnson is a well-known speaker," said WIU junior law enforcement and justice administration major from Evergreen Park, IL. "She has held workshops and spoke at our annual Beyond Beautiful Conference. Tristen has given many women space to share their stories and just a safe place to vent while also learning new life lessons."

The workshop is sponsored by the Gwendolyn Brooks Cultural Center, the WIU Women’s Center, and the Office of WIU Interim President Martin Abraham.


WIU Women's Center to Present 'The Vagina Monologues' Feb. 6-8

MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University's Women's Center will present Eve Ensler's "The Vagina Monologues" (TVM) as part of a V-Day campaign Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 6-8 in the Multicultural Center.

V-Day is a global activist movement to stop violence against women and girls that raises funds and awareness through benefit productions of Ensler's award winning play and other artistic works. In the past, the V-Day movement has raised over $120 million, educated people about violence against women, funded over 13,000 community-based-anti-violence programs and safe houses and crafted numerous campaigns.

The performances begin at 7 p.m. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. to allow guests an opportunity for refreshments and to watch a special performance. All performances will be held on the first floor of the Multicultural Center.

Tickets purchased in advance are $5 for students and $7 for non-students. Tickets at the door are $7 for students and $10 for non-students. Tickets can be purchased from the Women's Center in the Multicultural Center, suite 209, or from any V-Day team member.

All ticket proceeds benefit the Western Illinois Regional Council-Community Action Agency (WIRC-CAA) Victim Services.

For more information, visit or contact the Women's Center at (309)-298-2242.