WIU now a Smoke Free Campus
Western Illinois University is starting it's second week of classes, with one major change, the university is now a smoke-free campus. The law went into effect as of July 1. Darcy Shinberger with University Relations says, "The Smoke Free Campus Act went into effect officially, July 1. It's a state-wide mandate, we have actually been planning this procedure and this act since the fall of 2014 semester, because we knew this was coming and we have spent the summer putting up signage and doing some advertising and such so when students, faculty and staff returned to campus this semester, they were aware that Western Illinois University, along with every other public university in the state of Illinois is now completely smoke free.
The smoking ban isn't just limited to your traditional cigarettes and cigars, other forms of smoking are also included. Shinberger ads, "The Smoke Free Policy covers any and all smoking devices, whether it emits smoke or a vapor.
University officials are hoping this smoking ban might help some smokers quit. Shinberger agrees, "I think that policys and anytime you enact something that's for the betterment of an individual's health, it certainly cuts down, or maybe give someone the impetus to quit".
On Friday after speaking with over 20 individuals, faculty and staff, not one of them admitted to being a smoker. Maybe the policy is already working.
The Department of Art at Western Illinois University will hold a special beneficial exhibition to feature recent works produced by multiple department professors from September 8-26. The gallery is open on Tuesday through Friday from 9am-12pm and 1-4pm at the University Art Gallery, located north of Sherman Hall on campus. The event is free and will be open to the public, along with a reception on September 10 from 4:30-6:30pm.
Two WIU students are among four arrested on drug related charges in Macomb last Friday. According to Macomb Police, students Laurence J. Sanders and William M. Kauck were arrested, along with non-students Robin Daniels of Springfield and Sterling Perez of Chicago, during an investigation into the sale of Illegal narcotics at their residence in North Charles Street. The sting was executed by the Macomb/McDonough County Combined Drug Unit and crack cocaine, cannabis, digital scales and drug paraphernalia were seized during a search of the residence. The accused have been individually charged with multiple accounts including the manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance. Macomb Police Chief Curt Barker and McDonough County Sheriff Rick VanBrooker expect that more arrests will be made in an ongoing investigation into the sale of crack cocaine in the area.
Macomb’s very own roller derby team gets a head start on their new season Sunday.
A scrimmage between the Macomb Bombshells and the Big River Brawlers of Burlington will be held Sunday, August 30th at 5:30pm. The Outskirts ,201 Shady Ln. in Macomb hosts all of the Bombshells home bouts and practices. Alicia Steele and Ashley McVeigh, or “Glitter Hitter” and “Mama McNasty” as they are known in the derby world said that they were looking to recruit more Bombshells; McVeigh added: “We’re always looking for someone, whether it be new recruits, or someone just looking to get back out there”.
For those who can’t skate, there is still room in the Bombshell organization. Steele told us “we need officials and other positions to keep us going and make these bouts happen“. Team members will be available after the scrimmage to talk to potential Bombshells, volunteers, and photo ops.
Doors will open at 5 at the Outskirts. Admission is $5.
Tattoo Blue's 3rd Annual Art Show is Saturday, August 29th in the Tattoo Blue Parking Lot. Over 30 artists will be displaying and selling their work, in several different mediums. Among the work to be displayed; paintings by local artists Josh Dixon and Edward Johnson, sculpture, woodwork, bottle art by Holly VanHootegem and the live painting of a street car. An expected highlight of this year's event is local resident David Caldwel's "art car". Event organizer Diego Perez calls "a moving canvas". Participating artists will make their mark on Caldwell's Ford Taurus, which he drives proudly. "My art car started as a joke." Caldwell says, "A couple of my friends and I were kidding about spray painting my car... Then we just did it. Now it's the rolling canvas of Macomb. I couldn't be more pleased to show the work of local artists every time I drive."
Perez says the art show has more than doubled the number of artists since the first year, as well as attendance. The event will also feature live music, face painting for the kids, food, giveaways and more.
The art show begins at noon on Saturday in the parking lot of Tattoo Blue. Tattoo Blue is Macomb's longest running tattoo establishment. In 2013 the business moved from the downtown square to 329 N. Lafayette Street, in the Yeast Printing building.
A candlelight vigil for Wendy Gilbert will be held tonight (Friday August 28 2015) in the parking lot of McDonough District Hospital at 10pm. Everyone is welcome. Bring your own candle.
Heroin addiction is a growing problem in Illinois. Overdoses have been on the
rise since 2011 in the state. Last year, 633 heroin overdose deaths
occurred in Illinois, up from 583 the previous year. This week, Illinois
Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed part of the state's Heroin Crisis Act that would cut funding that required Medicaid to cover all forms of addiction therapy. The governor has been looking for ways to address the states budget problems and the program can be very costly.
Among the layers of support provided in recovery is a shot the addict gets once
a month, The medication is expensive, about $1,000 per shot.
This shot helps ease the pain recovering addicts experience. However,
this medication could become unavailable due to the governors veto action. The governor released a statement this week saying "the State's Medicaid programs already cover multiple forms of medication necessary to treat alcohol and opioid dependence". Rauner says the state simple can't afford it. Critics say the veto will only make problems worse, claiming that addicts will stop seeking treatment and relapse without the methadone treatment.
The bill's sponsor has proposed an override of the governor's veto. The house will vote on the override next Wednesday.
The Macomb Polic Department will be conducting extra patrols throughout the city as part of the Labor Day Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over/Click it or Ticket crackdown. Patrols will be increased now through September 7th in an effort to reduce DUI and driving without a seatbelt over the Labor Day holiday.
According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, between midnight and 3am is the deadliest time on Illinois roadways. It's also the timeframe for the lowest level of seatbelt useage.
Statement from the police department, "The increased enforcement details conducted during these times raises the perception of getting caught and deters potential impaired drivers and potential unbuckled drivers."
The 13th annual Mud Volleyball Tournament hosted by University Housing and Dining Services will be Saturday, August 29th from 8am-7pm. The tournament will take place just east of Bayliss and Henninger halls. Included in the fun are live music, food and a 60 foot water slide. A goal of 5,000 dollars has been set to raise money for the Macomb Fire Department. Stop by the Bayliss Hall information desk to register. The cost is 5 dollars per person, due by noon Thursday, August 27th.
Peoria based heavy-equipment maker Caterpillar Inc. has announced it is laying off another 475 workers in its customer service operations, including 300 in the Peoria area. The company said Tuesday that the layoffs are a result of consolidation and quote "current business conditions"
In January the company laid off about 200 full time production employees at its East Peoria and Decatur facilities.
In May, Caterpillar laid off an additional 150 full-time employees in Decatur and 170 in East Peoria in response to weak demand for mining equipment.
Caterpillar's spokesperson said the company will provide resources to assist individuals impacted by the layoffs.
A Macomb man is behind bars on charges of possession of ecstacy and bath salts. The Macomb/McDonough County Combined Drug Unit arrested Derek M. Allen, age 23, of Macomb after they discovered MDMA and synthetic powdered drugs often refered to as "bath salts" after serving a search warrant.
According to Macomb Police Cheif Curt Barker and McDonough County Sherrif Rick Van Brooker, this is an ongoing investigation into the ongoing sale of controlled substances, and more arrest may be made.
Allen is charged with manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bail is set at 10,000 dollars cash.
Macomb's New Backroad Country 95.9 is on the air. The station went live at noon at noon on Wednesday. August 26th, 2015. “Backroad Country 95.9 is a tribute to our communities, small towns, and the people that make our area great! The area has needed a local presence in the country genre such as this!” said Kim Williams, Operations Director of Regional Media in Macomb.
Tony Jones hosts The Detour every weekday morning from 6am-10-am. Also partnered with Backroad Country 95.9, Nash Nights Live with Sean Parr, along with country star and radio host Kix Brooks with the American Country Countdown and Kicking it with Kix overnights.
The Blight Reduction Program could help clean up some of Macombs blighted property. Kevin Weihardt, with the Western Illinois Regional Council spoke about the program at Monday's Macomb City Council meeting.
According to Weihardt, 15 Illinois communities received $5.3 million in Blight Reduction Program funds. The smallest award was $280,000 and the largest was $525,000. About $30,000 per property is the average amount awarded.
Funds are awarded as a zero-interest loan, forgivable over a three-year term at 33 percent per year. The outstanding loan balance is due on sale, transfer, or unauthorized use of property.
Macomb would also need to submit an application to The Illinois Housing Development authority by Sept. 25th. The city would need to have a minimum of 10 residential properties not occupied by any mortgage holder or lawful occupant, or uninhabited and in need of demolition.
Funds could be used for purchase of properties and related expenses, demolition, "greening," and maintenance. A not-for-profit partner would oversee expenditure of funds.
Macomb Mayor Mike Inman recommended action be placed on the Tuesday, Sept. 8, council meeting agenda.
Today there are 1,627 American service members that are still unaccounted for from the Vietnam War. However the family of a Mt. Sterling man can finally have a little closure. The Department of Defense announced that the remains of a serviceman missing from the Vietnam War have been identified and will be buried with full military honors. Army major Dale W. Richardson of Mt. Sterling will be buried August 29th in Mountain View Arkansas. Richardson was assigned 2nd battalion, 34th Armor Regiment 1st Calvary division and was the passenger aboard a helicopter that made an emergency landing in Cambodia. After several years of investigation, scientists from the armed forces DNA identification laboratory were able to identify Richardson’s remains using circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools, matching Richardson’s DNA with that of his sister. For more information on the defense departments mission to account for Americans who went missing while serving our country, visit the the Department of Defense POW/MIA accounting agency website at www.DPAA.mil.
Former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich is currently serving a fourteen year prison term for corruption charges including trying to sell President Barack Obama’s old senate seat. In June, a three panel judge overturned five of his eighteen corruption charges. On Monday, the seventh circuit court of appeals refused Blagojevich’s request for a full court rehearing. Blagojevich’s lawyers are asking for more time to file an appeal with the US Supreme court to get more charges dropped before the former governors resentencing. The Supreme Court is his last chance, but the court only agrees to hear about 80 cases a year. No date has been set for the resentencing.
Every year, the Illinois department of health responds to over five thousand complaints of abuse and neglect in nursing homes. In an effort to curb elderly abuse, a new Illinois law will allow cameras in nursing home rooms. Governor Bruce Rauner signed legislation last week that supporters say will help prevent abuse and neglect of nursing home residents. The law takes effect January first 2016. The measure requires the resident and any roommate to consent to having a video or audio recording device installed. It would be up to residents and their families to pay for the devices. Attorney General Lisa Madigan pushed for the law saying that it would give families added peace of mind and be another line of defense for nursing home residents. In two thousand thirteen the department of health found one hundred and six allegations of abuse, neglect and theft of property by nursing home staff to be valid.