Macomb Local News Archives for 2016-10

Report: About Two-Thirds of Illinoisans Live in "Child-Care Deserts"

new study shows Illinois has some of the highest numbers of so-called child care deserts in the country.

The Center for American Progress looked at statistics from eight states to compare the number of children under the age of five to the number of child care facilities. 

Report author Rasheed Malik, a policy analyst for the Center's Early Childhood Policy Team, says Illinois has about 8 million people either living too far away from child care centers, or they live near centers that are already at capacity, and can't take in any more children.

"For Illinois, that's about two thirds, and this is also a disproportionately rural phenomenon," he points out. Two-thirds of the rural child care deserts didn't have a child care center at all within the bounds of that zip code."

Chicago is the largest urban child care desert in the study, with 8 in 10 living without access to child care facilities. 

Malik says there are so many children under the age of five that there aren't enough child care centers to accommodate them. He says the city's Hispanic population is affected most.

Malik points out in the decades to come, children of color will become the majority, yet they're more likely to live in child care deserts.

"This is an opportunity for us to think about our future, future workforce, our future innovators," he stresses. "These children deserve the best start that we can possibly give them, and high quality child care and early education is one of the safest investments we can make as a society."

The study says helping families pay for child care may drive the market. If more families can afford to enroll their children, then more facilities will be built.


Regional Media Movie Review Inferno

Inferno is the third film adaptation of the book series from author Dan Brown that began with The Da Vinci code and continued with Angels & Demons. Inferno finds Professor Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) kidnapped from Cambridge, Massachusetts and taken to Florence, Italy. Having suffered a head injury, Professor Langdon is suffering from memory loss and wakes in a hospital where a kind doctor (Felicity Jones) helps him escape an attempt on his life. From there the two go on the run after finding clues that lead them into a race to stop a super-virius from killing half the people on the planet. Here is my review of Inferno. 


Gas prices not an issue in this election

Gasoline prices don’t seem to be much of a topic in this year’s election. We have seen periodic volatility in oil, and gasoline prices, since the early 1970’s. For the past decade or so, we have seen gas prices occasionally peak above four dollars a gallon. Remember the 2008 election, and all the chants of ‘Drill, Baby, Drill’, a call to increase production and drive down oil prices? Well, since 2008 we have done exactly that. New extraction technology has made the U.S. virtually self-sufficient in energy production. Harry Cooney, energy expert with GrowMark says that has brought us back down to todays two dollar a gallon gas.

Cooney says this doesn’t mean we won’t see some volatility, but OPEC no longer drives the price of oil in the U.S. So, should farmers looking to book their spring diesel supplies jump on current low prices? Cooney says maybe not, prices could go even lower by the end of the year.


Harry Cooney of Growmark.


Senator Kirk Raises Eyebrows with Debate Quip

The candidates for US Senate squared off in a televised debate in Springfield on Thursday. Incumbent Republican Mark Kirk is taking heat for a comment made towards Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth. She said that she was daughter of the American Revolution and proud her history serving the nation and would want to part of any decision to send troops into battle. Kirk quipped back…

Duckworth’s mother is from Thailand but her she traces her father’s family ancestors back to the earliest days of the country. 


Registered Voters Hit 7.9 million

The state of Illinois has hit a recent high in the number of registered voters. Illinois State Board of Elections reports that there 7.9 million registered and active voters in the state. The number is about 100,000 higher than in 2008 and the highest total since 1970, 


ISP Wants you Safe on Halloween

The Illinois State Police want everyone to have fun this Halloween weekend but they also need people to obey the law and be safe. That starts with keeping the costume to a minimum when behind the wheel according to ISP Master Sergeant Matt Boerwinkle.


Western Illinois Awards Centennial Honors Scholarship

Western Illinois has announced the winners of the annual Centennial Honors Scholarship. Kory Eaton of Somonauk, Illinois and Arianne Lennox of Erie, Illinois, have been chosen as the 2016 winners of a $10,000 scholarship. The Centennial Honors Scholarship is given each year to a student who scores over 30 on the ACT and maintains a grade point average over 3.0. Eaton hopes to study Computer Science when he attends Western Illinois University on this prestigious scholarshi while Lennox will major in Music Business. 


Report Says Illinois Has Made Huge Strides in Health Care for Children

The United States has reached a milestone when it comes to making sure that all children have health insurance, according to a new report by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families.

It shows 95 percent of the nation's children are covered and Illinois is one of the top states. 

Andrea Kovach, an attorney with the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, says the state has taken advantage of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, along with the navigator and enrollment assistance dollars, and that's helped families sign up for health insurance. 

"They've been able to enroll at churches and libraries and community centers," she points out. "There's been more enrollment fairs. 

"Every year that Illinois has taken advantage of those opportunities, it means another drop in the uninsured rate for children. "

Between 2013 and 2015 the number of uninsured children in Illinois dropped from 125,000 to 75,000. 

Joan Alker, executive director of the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, says the milestone can be attributed to health care reform. 

"There's just been so much activity in this area with new coverage options thanks to the Affordable Care Act that for kids it's really allowed them to build on the success we already had from Medicaid and CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program)," she states

Kovach says Illinois has shown a commitment to its children but there's still more work to be done. 

"We need to continue to make sure that there's in-person enrollment assistance in the languages that families in these communities speak," she states. "And we need to just continue protecting and supporting this long standing and bipartisan commitment that we have to make sure families are covered in Illinois. "

Illinois has one of the lowest uninsured rates for children, at 2.5 percent. The national average is nearly 5 percent. 


Horn Field Campus Haunted Trail

This morning Mindy Phieffer from WIU's Horn Field Campus came in to discuss their upcoming Haunted Trail. The event will take place Sunday, October 30.


The family friendly trail will take place from 6-7 PM, while the scary trail will go on from 8-10 PM. Admission is $5 per person. Youth under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.


Listen to my conversation with Mindy below:



4-H Zombie Run Changed From Saturday to Sunday

The 4-H Goal Diggers Club is hosting a Zombie Obstacle Course Run this Sunday. The date changed from Saturday to Sunday at 5:45 PM due to the Bushnell West Prairie Football Playoff Game. The event wil start at the Bushnell Prairie City High School Track. Check in is from 5-5:30 PM.




GLOW Halloween Event at Maple Avenue Christian Church

This morning Jason Seggelke from Maple Avenue Christian Church in Macomb came in to discuss the church's annual Halloween event, GLOW. It's set to take place on Monday between 5-7 PM at the Church on 1300 Maple Avenue. Listen below for more details about the event.





Macomb Police Department Teaming with Ameren to Light Up the Night

The Macomb Police Department is teaming up with Ameren for an event aimed at lighting up the night. According to a release from Ameren, Macomb Police officers will be out and about Tuesday evening to help residents replace 100 residential porch lights with energy efficient LED bulbs. The release states that leaving a porch light on makes neighborhoods safer and having an energy efficient porch light will help residents save money while helping to light up their neighborhood. Volunteers will meet tonight at 4:30 Pm at the Macomb Police Department. 


WIU Expanding Study Abroad Opportunities

Western Illinois University is doubling the opportunities available for students who wish to study abroad. According to a release from the WIU Office of Study Abroad and Outreach, the program which gave out 12 study abroad scholarships in the 2015-2016 school year will expand to 28 study abroad scholarships for the next school year. Study Abroad Director Andre Bideagaray says the program will offer full scholarships for students to spend a semester studying abroad as well as partial scholarships to send students on faculty led trips abroad. Scholarship applications are being accepted now and a contest for study abroad students will be launching soon in which students can win the funds for their study abroad program through an essay entitled "What inspires me to study abroad?" Students can call 309-298-1993 for further information. 


One Dead following Fulton County Accident

A Vermont man is dead following an accident in Fulton County involving an accidental deer strike. According to the Fulton County Sheriff's Department, 83 year old Leroy A. Selph was driving on U.S Route 24 in Fulton County just before 6 Am on Monday morning when a deer ran in front of his vehicle. Mr. Selph's vehicle struck the deer and then struck a retaining wall before over-turning and coming to rest on the edge of the highway. Mr. Selph was taken from the scene to Mason District Hospital in Havana where he was pronounced dead. The accident remains under investigation. 


Midwest Hospitals Team Up for Patient Safety

A new safety initiative, known as the Great Lakes Partners for Patients, is up and running and advocates say it will reduce infections and other adverse health issues for people who are admitted to the hospital. 

Danny Chun, vice president of corporate communications and marketing for the Illinois Health and Hospital Association, said it's a unique initiative by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). He added that Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan are collaborating to make sure patients get the best care possible while admitted.

"Hospitals that are in this program will be focusing on the best practices and ways to reduce what are called hospital-acquired conditions," he explained. "You know, things like infections, preventing falls, preventing things that should not happen to a patient in a hospital."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1.7 million hospital-associated infections cause or contribute to 99,000 deaths each year.

The CMS said efforts over the past several years to improve hospital safety have paid off with an estimated 2.1 million fewer patients harmed, 87,000 lives saved and nearly $20 billion in cost savings from 2010 to 2014.

Chun said preventing infections, falls, bed sores and adverse drug reactions are part of the program, but another focus is what happens to a patient once they're discharged.

Added Chun, "When you're about to leave the hospital, what are the things the patient and the family need to know about the followup? Getting the prescription drugs they need to get, the follow-up appointments with their primary-care physician."

More than 330 hospitals and health systems from Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin are expected to participate in the Great Lakes Partners for Patients.


Domestic Violence Awareness Month

This morning I spoke with Diane Mayfield, the Victim Services Director for WIRC- Community Action Agency in Macomb. Diane came in to discuss Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and some of the events and services her organization provides. Listen to my conversation with her below.



Report: Close All Youth Prisons

Children should not be kept behind bars, according to a new report that examines the ineffectiveness of youth prisons in Illinois and other states. 

The research from The Annie E. Casey Foundation pulls together evidence of the failings of youth correctional facilities and recommends they all be closed. 

Foundation president and CEO Patrick McCarthy says these prisons have high recidivism rates and do not improve long-term outcomes for youth. 

"These institutions fail at protecting the community, they fail at turning young lives around, they are unconscionably expensive, they're prone to abuse, they defy reform and the bottom line is we have alternatives," he states.

The report notes that systemic maltreatment has been documented in youth prison facilities in nearly half of states since 2000, including Illinois.

The report recommends a four R strategy: Reduce the pipeline of youth into youth facilities; reform the corrections culture that wrongly assumes locking up youth improves safety; replace youth prisons with rehabilitative services; and reinvest in evidence-based solutions. 

Elizabeth Clarke, president of the Juvenile Justice Initiative in Evanston, says Illinois already has started moving in that direction.

"Illinois has closed three of its state juvenile prisons and their detention has declined over the last 14 years in Illinois, so like the rest of the country, this is the direction we're moving in already," she points out.

Clarke says most of these detention facilities are in very rural communities and are out of sight, out of mind, but once the public is made aware of what happens there, and how ineffective they are, the public demands answers.

"Why are we paying over a hundred million statewide to support juvenile prisons that have poor outcomes?" she questions. "Why don't we take those very scarce public dollars and invest them in education and community alternatives that we know work more effectiv


29th Annual Diabetes Spotlight

This morning I spoke with Pam Hartzell, the Program Director at the Diabetes Health and Wellness Center at Memorial Hospital. She discussed Memorial Hospital's 29th annual Diabetes Spotlight, being held at Trinity Lutheran Church in Carthage. Listen to the interview below for details on the event and to register call Terri at 357-6817.



McDonough District Hospital Releases November Events Calendar

McDonough District Hospital has released it's latest events calendar for the month of November.

Download a copy of the MDH November events calendar here.  

Community First Aid Class

Tuesday, November 1

6:00 pm, Auditorium A, McDonough District Hospital, Macomb

FEE$32.00 Pre-registration is required.  

For more information or to register, contact MDH Outreach Services at (309) 836-1584.


Anger Management


3:30 - 5:00 pm, Health Services Building 1 Auditorium, lower level

Pre-registration is required. Insurance and financial assistance may cover costs depending on coverage.

For more information or to register, call MDH Behavioral Health Services at (309) 836-1582.


Seniors’ Day at Citizens

Thursday, November 6

8:30-11:30 am, Citizens Bank, Downtown Macomb

Topic: Hospice Display with information about Advance Directives

For more information, call MDH Hospice at (309) 836-1543.


Retirees Learning Institute

Friday, November 4

8:00 am -2:30 pm, Spoon River College Outreach Center; 2500 E. Jackson St, Macomb

For anyone 50 or over. Choose sessions from a variety of topics including health & fitness, finances and planning for the future.

Sessions with Speakers from MDH:

10:00 am – 11:00 pm, A Balanced Approach to Chronic Pain: Jen Balka, RN

11:15 am – 12:15 pm, Free Preventative Wellness Services; What is a Medicare Wellness Exam?: Richard Minter, DO

1:30 pm – 2:30 pm, What is Osteopathic Medicine and How it is Integrated into Family Medicine?: Brianne Wehner, DO

Fee: $20 (includes lunch) Pre-registration is required.

For more information or to register contact Spoon River College at (309) 833-6031.


Divorcing Parents Education Program

Friday, November 4

1:00-5:00 pm, Health Services Building 1 Auditorium

Cost: $60.00 payable at session

Pre-registration is required.

For more information or to pre-register, call MDH Behavioral Health Services at (309) 836-1582.


MDH Breast Cancer Support Group

Monday, November 7

5:30 pm, Auditorium B, McDonough District Hospital, Macomb

For more information contact MDH Outreach Services at (309) 836-1584.


Bereavement Support Group - New Horizons

Mondays, November 7 & 21

3:00 - 4:00 pm, Medical Arts Building, Conference Room, McDonough District Hospital campus, Macomb

This open discussion support group is for adults who have experienced the loss of a family member or significant other. For more information, call the MDH Hospice at (309) 836-1543.


Childbirth and Infant Care: Sibling Class

Saturday, November 12

10:00-11:00 am, Auxiliary Workroom, McDonough District Hospital, Macomb

This FREE one-hour class will help the "big brother" or "big sister" understand what it is like having a new baby in the family.

Pre-registration is required.                                                            

For more information or to register, call MDH Obstetrics Department at (309) 836-1570.


Community CPR Class

Tuesday, November 15

6:00 pm, Auditoriums A & B, Auxiliary conference room; McDonough District Hospital, Macomb

FEE: $32. Pre-registration is required.

For more information or to register, contact MDH Outreach Services at (309) 836-1584.


Childbirth and Infant Care: Cesarean Section Class

Thursday, November 17

7:00 - 9:00 pm, Auditorium B, McDonough District Hospital, Macomb

A one-evening class providing information about some common reasons for cesarean birth. This class is highly recommended for anyone who wishes to have their support person in the operating room.

Free. Pre-registration is required.

For more information or to pre-register call the MDH Obstetrics Department at (309) 836-1570.


Teddy Bear T (Ladies Night Out)

Monday, November 28

5:00-7:00 pm; Magnolias, 130 N Lafayette Street, Macomb

Cost: $15 plus a new Teddy Bear/stuffed animal

Bears/animals will be displayed on the Teddy Bear Tree during Festival of Trees, then donated to MDH pediatric patients after the event.

For more information, contact the MDH Foundation at (309) 836-1757.



State Warns Against Retail Colored Contact Lenses

Colored contact lenses, popular additions to many Halloween costumes, can be hazardous to your eyes. That was the message sent by Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti at a press conference on Thursday. Reporter Kim Howard files this report.... 


Regional Media Movie Review Ouija The Origin of Evil

Ouija The Origin of Evil is a 60's set prequel to the 2012 movie simply titled Ouija. The movie stars Elizabeth Reaser as a single mother of two girls who works as a fortune teller. To aid in the whole supernaturaly, talk to the dead act, mom buys a Ouija Board. However, this board and the family home, lead to the awakening of a demon that soon takes over the body of the youngest daughter, played by Lulu Wilson, who develops incredible powerw including a real ability to converse with the dead. Henry Thomas co-stars as a priest. Here's my review of Ouija Origin of Evil. 


Regional Media Movie Review Jack Reacher Never Go Back

Jack Reacher Never Go Back is the sequel to 2012 smash based on the novels by Christopher McQuarrie. Tom Cruise plays the title role, as a former head of the Military Police who is now a drifter who goes about solving crimes just outside of the law. In Never Go Back, Reacher returns to Washington D.C only to find that his friend, the new head of the Military Police, played Cobie Smulders, has been arrested on espionage charges. Knowing she's innocent, Jack breaks her out of jail and the two go on the run to find the men who set them both up and stop them from covering up a complicated crime. Here is my review of Jack Reacher Never Go Back. 


Macomb Flags of Love Seeking Volunteers

Veteran's Day is November 11th and Flags of Love is setting up 400 flags in Chandler Park in honor of local veterans. On November 11th at 7 Pm volunteers will gather at the gazebo for a moment of silence and a brief tutorial before heading out into the park to plant the 400 flags that will honor our veterans that day. If you would like to help place flags with Flags of Love simply show up at the gazebo in Chandler Park on November 11th. Coffee and donuts will be provided for volunteers that morning. 


Macomb Chamber of Commerce Welcomes Rockin' R Outfitters

The Ambassador Committee of the Macomb Chamber of Commerce welcomed new member Rockin' R Outfitters with a ribbon cutting on October 19th. Rockin' R Outfitters is now open at the former location of Horse Creek Outfitters, 8440 US Highway 136 West in Colchester. They have a wide variety of Boots, Shoes, Jewelry, hats and gifts. Congratulations to Rachel Anderson, the new owner of Rockin R' Outfitters, newest members of the Macomb Chamber of Commerce. 


WLMD Candidate Forum with State Representative Norine Hammond and Opponent John Curtis

On Wednesday night State Representative Norine Hammond and opponent John Curtis joined Sean Patrick for a pair of interviews regarding the race for State Representative in Illinois District 93.


Medicare Tackles Drug Costs

Changes to the Medicare Part B program, called the Medicare Part B Drug Demo, are designed to lower the expenses connected with chemotherapy by cutting prescription drug costs and encouraging physicians to use cheaper alternatives. 

Dr. Blase Polite, chairman of the American Society of Clinical Oncology's Government Relations Committee, said the plan could have negative consequences because some patients don't have alternatives; they need a particular drug at a particular time to effectively treat their cancer. He said that the plan is essentially a trimming back of Medicare coverage, which could hurt doctors and patients by cutting reimbursement costs.

"Not just the cancer doctors, but the eye doctors for people who have macular degeneration, the people with bowel disease going to the gastroenterologist, the rheumatologist, people with rheumatoid arthritis," Polite said; "all those folks are going to lose out under this thing."

The plan has garnered support from AARP and the Medicare Rights Center, who said taxpayers and Medicare recipients can't continue to pay for overpriced prescription drugs. According to AARP, in 2015 Medicare Part B spent $22 billion on prescription drugs, double the amount spent in 2007.

Polite said that the goal of the changes is to lower drug prices, but cutting reimbursements to doctors could force them into making impossible choices.

"We're going to give the medicine; that's what we do," Polite said. "So either we have to figure out a way to give the medicine somewhere else - and that means hospitals that can probably absorb the cost cut a little bit better - or I'm going to have to take it out of services for other patients. And no way do we see that this is actually going to help drug prices."

Currently, Medicare Part B pays providers based on a drug's average price plus an additional 6 percent. The proposed change would adjust the reimbursement to 2.5 percent plus a flat fee. 

Advocates have called it a thoughtful, measured approach to modernizing the way in which Medicare pays for expensive drugs. But Polite said he believes it will disproportionately hurt doctors with small offices. He said Congress can block the implementation of the changes. Polite urges voters to contact their local lawmakers to voice their concerns about the issue.


MOSAIC Partners in Possibilities Event

This morning Curtis and Erica from MOSAIC in Macomb came in to talk about their 5th Annual Partners in Possibilities fundraising event. It's being held next Wednesday, October 26, at the Spoon River College Outreach Center from 12-1 PM.


Check out the interview below for details.


Colchester Man Arrested on Drug Possession Charges

McDonough County Sheriff Rick Van Brooker has announced the arrest of a Colchester man on possession charges. According to a release from the Sheriff's office, 25 year old Dylan W. Prather of Colchester was arrested following a traffic stop in the area of 1450 North and 1800 East just after Midnight on Tuesday, October 18th. Probable cause to search Prather's vehicle led to the discovery of 21 grams of Marijuana packaged for delivery, a digital scale and a half a gram of methamphetimine. Mr. Prather was arrested and taken to the McDonough County Jail on multiple drug possession charges. 


A Gun Violence Victim in Illinois Every 8 Hours

Despite Chicago's reputation, Illinois comes in 40th overall in national rankings for gun violence, according to a new report.

The Center for American Progress found that in Illinois, someone is fatally shot every eight hours. Researchers looked at 10 different types of gun violence from 2005 to 2014, including suicides, homicides and mass shootings. Report co-author Chelsea Parsons, the center's vice president for guns and crime policy, said states with the strictest gun laws had the lowest levels of violence.

"What we found," she said, "is that the 10 states that have the weakest gun laws collectively have rates of gun violence that are more than three times higher than the 10 states with the strongest gun laws."

Gun-violence victims in Illinois are predominantly young African-Americans. From 2005 to 2014, more than 1,900 people younger than age 21 were killed. While African-Americans make up close to 15 percent of the state's total population, they account for about three quarters of gun-related homicide victims in the state.

The researchers found that laws requiring background checks, trigger-lock rules and training requirements coincided with lower rates of gun violence. Gov. Bruce Rauner signed legislation late this summer targeting people who purchase guns in other states with the intent of bringing them into Illinois to resell. Parsons said that, and tougher identification laws for gun purchases, are needed. 

"Making sure that all gun sales in the state are required to undergo a background check will help keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, who are not supposed to be able to buy them," she said.

From 2005 to 2014, the report said, twice as many people in Illinois were killed with guns than the total number of combat fatalities in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined. Illinois is one of the 21 states where more people are killed with guns than in car accidents.

The report is online at


WIU Take Back the Night

This morning I spoke with Candace Wilson from the WIU Women's Center to discuss their upcoming Take Back Event. It's a march and rally that aims to increase awareness about and end sexual assault. It starts up at 6:30 Thursday at lot N on campus.


Listen to my conversation with Candace below to find out event details.



Bounce for Breast Cancer Awareness Wednesday on WIU Campus

Western Illinois students are jumping, or rather bouncing, at the chance to raise money in the fight against Breast Cancer. Bounce for Breast Cancer Awareness is a unique fundraiser that will see students bouncing in bounce houses from 8 Am until 5 Pm to raise money for Linda's Fund, a Breast Cancer charity in memory of Linda Bainter, the mother of WIU VP of Advancement and Public Services Brad Bainter. There will be music, the Chubby's Food Truck will be on hand and all the money raised will go to the fight against Breast Cancer. Cheer on the 70 4-person teams of WIU students taking part in this unusual fundraiser, Boiunce for Breast Cancer Awareness on Wednesday from 8 Am to 5 Pm on the campus quad behind Stipes Hall. 


Western Illinois Student Receives International Scholarship

A Western Illinois University student studying abroad has been honored with an international scholarship. Francesa Hamm of Macomb, a Senior Political Science Major, was honored on Monday with with Bader-Wurttemburg Scholarship from the University of Manheim in Germany. Ms. Hamm has been studying abroad in Germany for over a month after attending the University of Manheim's International Summer Academy in order to further her German language studies. 


Tattoos To The Rescue

This morning on K100 I spoke with Angie LaFrance from ePITome Dog Rescue and Scott Miller from Tattoo Blue & Piercing to discuss their upcoming fundraising event, Tattoos To The Rescue. This Saturday you can get a $60 tattoo at Tattoo Blue & Piercing for only $40. There are nine different designs to select from for this deal. Proceeds go to ePITome Dog Rescue.


Listen to my conversation with Angie and Scott below to learn more about this awesome event for a tremendous cause!



LGBT Community Wants Candidates to Address Criminal-Justice Issues

With just over three weeks to go before the November 8 election, advocates backing a variety of issues are urging people to get out and vote. 

One issue that hasn't gotten much coverage in the presidential campaign, according to Isaiah Wilson external affairs manager with the National Black Justice Coalition, is the high number of people in the LGBT community - especially people of color - who are ending up in the country's jails and prisons. He said it's important to support candidates who will back legislation to improve people's lives. 

"We need to vote and use the powers that democracy gives us in this nation to really hold those in authority accountable," Wilson said. "So, that looks like electing folks who have committed to criminal justice reform, specifically addressing the issues that show up time and time again for our community."

Wilson cited a report from early 2016 called, "Unjust: How the Broken Criminal Justice System Fails LGBT People of Color." It found that that population faced greater challenges in accessing legal counsel, obtaining pretrial release, and getting a fair sentence.

Some strides have been made to protect the LGBT community, Wilson said, but there's still a long way to go. Whichever candidate wins the White House, he said, they need to make sure more protections are in place. 

"The Obama Administration has done more for LGBT equality than all of the former administrations combined," Wilson said. "So, it's important - whoever does get into office - that they are able to build on that when it comes to marriage equality, when it comes to even expounding upon the robust hate crime legislation that President Obama signed as soon as he got into office."

LGBT young people who are black reported that they are frequently singled out by police, Wilson said. And transgender women of color complain that officers frequently assume they are engaged in prostitution. 

Wilson said that it is important for LGBT people of color to be included in conversations about necessary changes in police culture and establishing trust between communities and law enforcement. 


Regional Media Movie Review The Accountant

Ben Affleck stars in The Accountant as a very brilliant man with a very scary set of skills. Though he may come off as awkward, Affleck's Christian Wolff is a highly intelligent man with Asperger's Syndrome. He has an ability to understand numbers well beyond the average person and this has made him extraordinarily valuable to some very dangerous people. When Christian is hired to uncook the books of a shady robotics company he finds himself in the crosshairs of hired killers aiming to take out him and the woman who discovered the accounting error played by Anna Kendrick. Here is my review of The Accountant. 



Breaking: Macomb City Administrator Out

After less than 9 months on the job the Macomb City Administrator Sue McLaughlin is out. In a release from the Mayor's Office, it was announced that the City and Ms. McLaughlin had come to a mutual agreement to end her employment contract. No other comment was offered in the release. McLaughlin accepted the position in February of this year. The job was McLaughlin's third City Administration position in three years having served the same position on an interim basis in Bloomington and after having been fired without cause from her position as Mattoon City Administrator. As Mattoon City Administrator McLaughlin was accused of having sold city property to her then fiance for less than the value of the property. Again, there is nothing in the release from the Macomb Mayor's office to indicate why McLaughlin and the City ended the contract, only that McLaughlin agreed to end her contract as of October 11th. More on this story as it becomes available. 


Update: Macomb City Council Agenda for Monday October 17th

Update: Monday night's City Council agenda will include vote on City Administrator Sue McLaughlin's exit agreement. The Mayor announced on Thursday that the City and Ms. McLaughlin had reached an agreement to end her contract with the City as of October 11th. The final terms of the exit agrement will be discussed and voted on during Monday night's City Council Meeting. 


The Macomb City Council Meeting is scheduled for Monday evening at 7 Pm. Click here for the agenda for Monday night's meeting:


Two Quincy Men Arrested in Drug Investigation

Two Quincy men have been arrested by the Adams County Sheriff's Department as part of an ongoing drug investigation. According to the Adams County Sheriff's Department, 49 year old Donald E. Davis and 50 year old John W. Bradley were arrested on Wednesday, October 12th, after a warrant was served on Davis in the area of the 700 Block of Oak Street. Several bags of methamphetamine packaged for sale were found on Davis's person. Bradley was accompanying Davis at the time and was arrested on a warrant for failure to appear in court. Bradley was searched when arrested and the search turned up marijuana. The search of Mr. Davis led to a search of Davis's home which contained evidence of drug use and sales. Both men were taken to the Adams County Jail where Bradley remains while Davis is currently out on bond. 


Table Grove Man Arrested on Cocaine Possession Charge

A Table Grove man has been arrested following a traffic stop that turned up cocaine. According to the McDonough County Sheriff's Office, 48 year old Jeffrey L. Taylor of Table Grove was arrested on October 12th after he was pulled over near the intersection of Highway 95 and East 2250th. A Sheriff's Deputy pulled over Taylor's vehicle after he ran a stop sign. During the stop the Deputy found Taylor's behavior suspicious and initiated a search of the vehicle which turned up a pipe along with a "foil" containing containing cocaine. Taylor was arrested and charged with Possession of Drugs and Drug Paraphenalia, Disobeying a Stop Sign and having no Registration Lamp. 


Fallen Soldiers 5K at WIU

This morning I spoke with Amanda from the WIU Foundation Office to discuss the upcoming Fallen Soldiers 5K event at WIU. Listen to my conversation with Amanda below for all the details on how to register for the event.



Children's Medication: Correct Dosage Required

When children get sick, parents and caregivers want to make sure they feel better, so they often reach for the cough syrup or pain killers without being conscious enough of just how much a little one should have. 

Dr. Carol DesLauriers, director of the Illinois Poison Center, said that in 2015, there were more than 8,300 cases of medication error in the state - most in children younger than five. She said liquid medications that are given to infants and toddlers are often the problem.

"The prescription label refers to a unit that's different than a syringe," DesLauriers explained. "For example, the label may say "give one teaspoon," and the oral syringe may only have milliliters. And a parent may not know how many milliliters are in a teaspoon."

A new study published in Pediatrics looked at medications given to more than 2,000 children under age eight, and found 84 percent of caregivers made one or more significant dosing errors. More errors were made with measuring spoons and with dosing cups than with syringes.

DesLauriers said there's a push by the Food and Drug Administration to require manufacturers to put dosage instructions in milliliters only. She said with some medications, giving just a little bit too much can cause serious health issues.

"Even something as simple as over-the-counter acetaminophen, which is used for pain and fever," DesLauriers said, "giving a little bit extra - especially if it's many times over the course of a few days if a child is sick - that can add up and cause real problems."

DesLauriers advised parents to make sure a dosing syringe is included when picking up liquid medications at the pharmacy, and write clear instructions on medication bottles if someone else will be giving it to the child. She also urged caregivers to never, ever use teaspoons and tablespoons to administer medications.

Additional information is available at


Steve Spurrier Interview

I had the chance to speak with college football legend Steve Spurrier this morning, as he made the national radio rounds to promote his new book, Head Ball Coach: My Life in Football. Spurrier talks about what he wants people to take away from the book, discusses his decision to step away from coaching at South Carolina exactly one year ago from today, talks about some of his biggest coaching influences, and looks back at a few of his fondest football memories. 


Listen to the conversation below


Moon Over Macomb Events

This morning I spoke with Macomb Downtown Development Director Kristin Terry and WIU RPTA Professor Dr. Jeremy Robinett about their partnership for October 15th's Moon Over Macomb Event.It kicks off Thursday the 13th with the Pumpkin Carving and Painting Contest, then continues Saturday with events going from 7 AM until 1 PM on the Square.


Listen to my conversation with Kristin and Jeremy below to learn about all of the activities going on. Also remember to stay updated with our Event Calendar.



Western Illinois University Honored for Efforts in Diversity

Western Illinois University has been honored for diversity. According to a release from WIU the school was awarded the Commitment to Diversity Award by the group Minority Access Inc. at the 17th Annual National Role Models Conference in Washington D. C. WIU was among 38 colleges nationwide that were honored for their efforts to maintain a diverse campus. Western Illinois President Jack Thomas accepted the award for the school and stated "Part of Western Illinois University's mission is to educate and prepare a diverse student population to thrive in, and make positive contributions to, our global society. Diversity is an integral part of Western's Strategic Plan, and providing equal access and opportunity to all students is a priority," Thomas said. "We are most proud to be recognized by Minority Access, Inc. for our efforts to provide an environment that is inclusive and welcoming to all." The criteria for selection for the Commitment award includes how the institution embraces diversity, the institution's past experience(s) with diversity, strategies for creating a more inclusive environment and statistical results of the institution's diversity strategies.


Same Day Voting A Go Again

For weeks there has been an uncertain outcome around the fate of same day voter registration in Illinois. The matter isn’t settled but Attorney General Lisa Madigan says that the issue won’t be back in court until after Election Day so voters will be able to sign up on November 8th and vote.

On Election Day you will want to make sure you’re headed to the right spot, in some places you will have to register and vote at specific place, in others you can sign up at your polling place. 


Senator Durbin concerned about current nature of politics in America

Senator Dick Durbin has compared GOP Presidential nominee Donald Trump to a leader of a banana republic after his threat to put Hillary Clinton in jail if elected President. Durbin is concerned in general about the nature of political debate across America...

Durbin was also critical of Trump's decision to bring Clinton accusers to the debate. He called it a new low in presidential debates. It really has reached a point now where it is all entertainment and theater.”


Winners Announced for Western Illinois Homecoming Parade Awards

Western Illinois University held its annual Homecoming celebration over the weekend, with a variety of activities planned for alumni, students and the community.

Winners of this year's events include:

Homecoming Queen: Megan Johnson, a senior recreation, park and tourism administration (RPTA) major from Oquawka, IL

Homecoming King: Jake Gardner, a senior art major from New Lenox, IL

Homecoming court: Phillip Richardson, a senior supply chain management major from Hazel Crest, IL; Taylor Windbiel, a senior forensic chemistry major from Hampshire, IL; Breannah Lamb, a junior family and consumer sciences major from Port Byron, IL; Alex Wyler, a senior construction management major from Plainfield, IL; Aaron Blakley, a junior accountancy major from Chicago, IL; Megan Hoenig, a junior RPTA major from Galesburg, IL; Aaron Terrile, a senior political science major from Chicago, IL; Colleen Huttner, a senior biology major from Lake in the Hills, IL; Sean Mathis, a junior computer science major from Chicago, IL; and Brenna Smith, a senior communication major from Evergreen Park, IL

Greek Organization First Place:

Paint the Town: Greek Team 3: Sigma Sigma Sigma, Sigma Chi, Pi Kappa Phi and Tau Kappa Epsilon

Boat Regatta: Greek Team 4: Phi Sigma Sigma, Delta Tau Delta, Delta Upsilon and Sigma Alpha Epsilon

Dec the Campus: Greek Team 3: Sigma Sigma Sigma, Sigma Chi, Pi Kappa Phi and Tau Kappa Epsilon

Variety Show: Greek Team 4: Phi Sigma Sigma, Delta Tau Delta, Delta Upsilon and Sigma Alpha Epsilon

Yell Like Hell: Greek Team 3: Sigma Sigma Sigma, Sigma Chi, Pi Kappa Phi and Tau Kappa Epsilon

Parade: Greek Team 1: Chi Omega, Alpha Sigma Tau, Alpha Gamma Rho and Alpha Sigma Alpha

Overall: Greek Team 3: Sigma Sigma Sigma, Sigma Chi, Pi Kappa Phi and Tau Kappa Epsilon

Greek Organization Second Place:

Paint the Town: Greek Team 2: Delta Zeta, Alpha Gamma Sigma, Theta Xi and Theta Chi

Boat Regatta: Greek Team 2: Delta Zeta, Alpha Gamma Sigma, Theta Xi and Theta Chi

Dec the Campus: Greek Team 4: Phi Sigma Sigma, Delta Tau Delta, Delta Upsilon and Sigma Alpha Epsilon

Variety Show: Greek Team 2: Delta Zeta, Alpha Gamma Sigma, Theta Xi and Theta Chi

Yell Like Hell: Greek Team 2: Delta Zeta, Alpha Gamma Sigma, Theta Xi and Theta Chi

Parade: Greek Team 2: Delta Zeta, Alpha Gamma Sigma, Theta Xi and Theta Chi

Overall: Greek Team 2: Delta Zeta, Alpha Gamma Sigma, Theta Xi and Theta Chi

Greek Organization Third Place:

Paint the Town: Greek Team 1: Chi Omega, Alpha Sigma Tau, Alpha Gamma Rho and Alpha Sigma Alpha

Boat Regatta: Greek Team 3: Sigma Sigma Sigma, Sigma Chi, Pi Kappa Phi and Tau Kappa Epsilon

Dec the Campus: Greek Team 1: Chi Omega, Alpha Sigma Tau, Alpha Gamma Rho and Alpha Sigma Alpha

Variety Show: Greek Team 3: Sigma Sigma Sigma, Sigma Chi, Pi Kappa Phi and Tau Kappa Epsilon

Yell Like Hell: Greek Team 4: Phi Sigma Sigma, Delta Tau Delta, Delta Upsilon and Sigma Alpha Epsilon

Parade: Greek Team 3: Sigma Sigma Sigma, Sigma Chi, Pi Kappa Phi and Tau Kappa Epsilon

Overall: Greek Team 4: Phi Sigma Sigma, Delta Tau Delta, Delta Upsilon and Sigma Alpha Epsilon

Residence Hall First Place:

Paint the Town: Bayliss and Henninger

Boat Regatta: Lincoln, Washington, Grote

Dec the Campus: Tanner

Variety Show: Bayliss and Henninger

Yell Like Hell: Lincoln, Washington, Grote

Parade: Corbin/Olson

Overall: Corbin/Olson

Residence Hall Second Place:

Paint the Town: Corbin/Olson

Boat Regatta: Bayliss and Henninger

Dec the Campus: Corbin/Olson

Variety Show: Corbin/Olson

Yell Like Hell: Corbin/Olson

Parade: Thompson

Overall: Bayliss and Henninger

Residence Hall Third Place

Paint the Town: Tanner

Boat Regatta: Thompson

Dec the Campus: Bayliss and Henninger

Variety Show: Lincoln, Washington, Grote

Yell Like Hell: Tanner

Parade: Tanner

Overall: Tanner

General Student Organization First Place

Paint the Town: Kappa Pi art fraternity

Boat Regatta: Campus Students for Christ

Dec the Campus: Unity

Variety Show: Casablanca Belly Dance Troupe

Yell Like Hell: N/A

Parade: Campus Students for Christ

Overall: Campus Students for Christ

General Student Organization Second Place

Paint the Town: Student Honors Association

Boat Regatta: Veterans Club/Sigma Pi

Dec the Campus: Campus Students for Christ

Variety Show: Picture Perfect Modeling Troupe

Yell Like Hell: N/A

Parade: Unity

Overall: Unity

General Student Organization Third Place

Paint the Town: Student Education Association

Boat Regatta: N/A

Dec the Campus: Picture Perfect Modeling Troupe

Variety Show: University Dance Theatre

Yell Like Hell: N/A

Parade: N/A

Overall: University Dance Theatre


Western Illinois Museum Upcoming Events

This Morning on K100 I spoke with Sue Scott from the Western Illinois Museum. She discussed two upcoming events the Museum is putting on.


On Saturday the 15th from 10 AM until 1 PM they will hold the Moon Over Macomb celebration, featuring a Back to the Future theme. The following Saturday, October 22, brings about the Hallo-Wine party. That will be held from 7-9 PM. Listen below for a rundown of both events.



WIU Marketing Club: Bounce for Breast Cancer

Sean Jamison from the WIU Marketing Club came in to discuss the club's upcoming Breast Cancer Awareness Event: Bounce for Breast Cancer. Listen to the interview below:



Two Injured in Hancock County Crash Friday

A Bushnell man suffered minor injuries in a crash in Hancock County over the weekend. 36 year old Christopher Michael Hopping spent the weekend recovery from injuries suffered when his 2005 Ford Mustang was struck by a 1992 Ford Taurus driven by 19 year old Blake Allen Coleman of Lomax, Illinois. Coleman had failed to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of Cr. 2150 and Cr. 2700 North in Hancock County. While Hopping was said to have suffered minor injuries in the crash, Coleman, who was also cited for not wearing a seatbelt had to be airlifted from the scene of the accident to the University of Iowa Hospital with serious injuries. There is no word on on Coleman's condition at this time. 


Illinois Pension Shortfall Tops a Trillion

The latest numbers from Moodys on the state's pension shortfall shows that the pension systems for public workers are underfunded by $1.2 trillion. Moody's believes the gap will expand in coming years, as the funds' annual investment returns are running well below expectations.


Candidates Aren't Addressing Hunger, Poverty

The presidential candidates in two formal debates and on the campaign trial have talked about jobs and the economy, immigration and keeping America secure, but advocates say the candidates aren't discussing what they'll do to end hunger and poverty in this country. 

Eric Miller, director of government relations for the Christian citizens' movement Bread for the World, says those issues have been avoided completely, and he says he can't understand that because they have an impact on so many people.

"You don't lose an election by addressing hunger and poverty in this country," he states. "There's 42 million Americans who are living in households where they're wondering where they are going to get their next meal day by day. 

"This is something that impacts all of us, no matter where you live, no matter what your racial background."

Miller says his group has been rallying religious leaders around the country to make their voices heard to national, state, and local candidates so hunger and poverty can be covered in the final presidential debate.

Miller encourages people to speak up before the election next month.

"Whether it's presidential candidates or the senatorial candidates or congressional candidates, letting them know that there's something that we want you guys to focus on and asking them very specific: 'If you're elected or if you're re-elected, what are you going to do to end hunger?'" he states. "'What are you going to do to alleviate poverty?' "

Miller says everyone should be concerned about poverty because if someone doesn't have enough to eat that person can turn to crime, and that has an impact on the entire country.

"So if a person is really unable to find affordable housing, if a person is unable to purchase food for themselves and their families, how are they going to help move themselves and their family out of hunger and poverty?" he asks. "All these issues are hunger issues, and we need to start addressing that and, more importantly, making these politicians aware."

The final debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is Oct. 19 in Las Vegas.


Rundown of Homecoming Events

WIU's Director of Alumni Programs Amy Spelman spoke with me this morning about all of the events that will be part of Homecoming Weekend. 



Relative Harmony Barbershop Quartet Interview And Performance

This morning I got to speak with the guys from Relative Harmony, the Macomb Prairieland Chorus Barbershop Quartet. They'll headline an October 22 show at Wesley United Methodist Church in Macomb. Proceeds from this show will go to Habitat for Humanity in Macomb. Admission is $10 at the door with the show starting up at 6:59 PM.


Listen to my interview with the group below. They also performed two songs when they stopped by, which will give you a sneak peak at what to expect during the show. 



Regional Media Movie Review The Birth of a Nation

The Birth of a Nation was written, directed by and stars Nate Parker in the role of Nat Turner, a slave who led a bloody 1831 rebellion. When Nat Turner was born a local medicine man marked him for greatness, stating that because he carried a mark on his chest that he would one day be a leader and champion of his people. Later in life Nat would become a preacher, being one of the few slaves allowed to learn to read and write. Turner's dedication to scripture and bearing witness to a series of violent injustices, are what led to his rebellion and the beginning of the end of slavery in America. Here is my review of The Birth of a Nation. 


Illinois "Champions" Honored by Juvenile Justice Initiative

An awards ceremony was held Thursday night to honor those who work tirelessly to defend the rights of young people in the Illinois criminal justice system. 

A lot of progress has been made in Illinois, said Elizabeth Clarke, director at the Juvenile Justice Initiative, including a recent law requiring that children under age 15 have a lawyer present when they are questioned by police, and that those sessions are videotaped. And according to Clarke, the number of juveniles incarcerated in the state has declined overall. 

"We've cut it back by two-thirds and have closed three of the eight juvenile prisons," she said. "We have gotten children out of the adult court; we've raised the age from 17 to 18. So 17-year-olds are tried in the juvenile court. We ended automatic adult prosecution for children charged with drug offenses."

Clarke emphasized the importance of keeping juvenile cases in juvenile court - and out of the adult system - because research has shown much better outcomes for young people and for society when they are. 

The Juvenile Justice Initiative has argued for Cook County to review all cases in which a child is incarcerated before their initial court date, and Clarke said it was a major milestone for the organization when the federal courts agreed. It meant that a young person arrested outside regular court business hours wouldn't have to be locked up all weekend. 

"The Chief Judge has agreed to come up with a plan to provide weekend review of the decision to place a child in detention," she said. "And it's my understanding that at least one county downstate - Madison County - is going to follow suit as well. And we're hoping that now the legislature will put that into state law. "

The annual awards ceremony will be held Thursday night at the Illinois State Bar Association. Those honored will be: Candace Jones, former director of the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice; Randolph Stone, director of the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic at the University of Chicago and founder of the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Project; and Larry Wojcik, whose law firm has donated 23,000 hours representing juveniles in court. 

Information about the event is available at


New Law Will Reduce Burden on Illinois Caregivers

More than 1.5 million people in Illinois are caregivers for family members, and a new law that goes into effect at the first of the year will help them balance their personal life, work, and responsibilities that come with helping a sick or elderly relative.

The Illinois Employee Sick Leave Act allows someone with employer-provided time off to use that to care for a family member. 

AARP Illinois worked to get the legislation approved and applauds the bipartisan support it received. The Associate State Director of Advocacy and Outreach for AARP Illinois, Lori Hendren, said the family dynamics have changed over the years and most adults work, leaving no one at home to take care of someone who becomes ill.

"Your 30s, your 40s, your early 50s, you may not think you're going to be a family caregiver," she said. "You take care of your child or your spouse but then, the conditions change and you may be taking care of multiple members, a father-in-law, a mother-in-law, even a grandparent who may be alive, or even a grandchild."

According to AARP, 60 percent of caregivers in the United States are working, and nearly all of them have full-time jobs. Its research indicates six in 10 say their caregiving responsibilities have compelled them to either cut back on hours, change jobs or quit altogether.

The law allows employees to use up to six months of accrued sick leave, and Hendren said this provides much-needed flexibility to those in the so-called "sandwich" generation.

"You have people who are trying to balance it all," she added. "This just helps them get one of those stresses, we hope, off their shoulders. They're able to continue working, they're able to continue their career and provide for their family, and now be able to give a little bit more time to that loved one."

Four other states (California, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Oregon), the District of Columbia, plus one county and 19 cities across the country have laws that guarantee workers the right to earn and use paid sick days. Most of the new laws have been adopted within the last three years.


Regional Media Movie Review The Girl on the Train

Based on the best selling novel of the same name, The Girl on the Train stars Emily Blunt as Rachel, a divorcee who spends her days drinking and riding the train back and forth from New York City to the suburbs. The train happens to go past and occasionally stop behind her former home where her ex-husband, Justin Theroux lives with his new wife Rebecca Ferguson and baby. On her many trips past her old neighborhood Rachel becomes fascinated by a new neighbor, Megan, played by Haley Bennett. Rachel begins assigning her traits and a story in her mind about Megan's perfect life, a perfection that is soon shattered when she first spots Megan cheating on her husband and then Megan is murdered. Did Rachel murder Megan while blackout drunk? Was it the jealous husband? The secret lover? Or another as yet unrevealed player in this deadly game. Here is my review of The Girl on the Train. 




Cash, a male black and white Boston Terrier and pug mix, has gone missing. He weighs approximately 23 pounds. He went missing on Bobby Ave. in Macomb and was last seen near Hidden Hills. 


If you have any information about the possible whereabouts of Cash, please call (309) 255-0206.


Street Closures for WIU Homecoming Parade Saturday

On Saturday October 8th 2016 at 10:30 a.m. Western Illinois University along with the City of Macomb will be hosting the Western Illinois University Homecoming Parade.  The parade is quite lengthy and will cause several traffic disruptions throughout town.  
Thru traffic on highway 136 will be detoured via Wigwam Hollow Road, University Drive and North Lafayette.  This detour will be in place at 10:00 a.m.
The Macomb Downtown Square will be closed at 8:30 a.m. and will only allow business owner and delivery drivers in until 10:00 a.m. for purposes of picking up or delivering goods.  Farmers Market Vendors will be allowed to set up in the parking spaces closest to the courthouse lawn.  Handicap vehicles will also be allowed into that area to watch the parade.  To access handicap parking enter the square from East Jackson Street.
At 8:00 a.m. West Washington and West Jefferson Streets will be closed to thru traffic from Johnson Street to Ward Street.  This will allow for staging of parade participants.
Carroll Street will be closed at 10:00 a.m. from Randolph to Sherman Ave.  Sherman Avenue will be closed North to Adams Street.  Adams Street will be closed from Sherman Avenue to Wigwam Hollow Road.
These closures will remain in effect until approximately noon.  Please avoid these areas while traveling in Macomb on Saturday for the safety of everyone involved.  The Macomb Community appreciates everyones cooperation in this matter.


2nd Annual Grin and Bear It 5K

The McDonaugh County Health Department is putting on the 2nd Annual Grin and Bear it 5k on October 15 at Veteran's Park in Macomb. All proceeds help fund a future dental day in McDonough County where adults 18 and older will be seen by a dentist and receive free dental care.


To promote and discuss the importance of the event, Jamie from the McDonough County Health Department came on Koop on K100 this morning. Listen to the full interview below.



For more information on the event and how to sign up go to the event website. If you need sign up forms, we have a limited number at our studio. Find us at 1034 West Jackson. 


Two Bushnell Men Arrested in Meth Busts

The McDonough County Sheriff's Office has announced a pair of meth-related arrests. According to a release from the Sheriff's Office, Joseph K. Simpson of Bushnell was arrested on October 1st, just after 1:30 Am, when the vehicle he was a passenger in was stopped for running a stop sign. When police approached the vehicle Simpson was seen by officers to attempt to hide what turned out to be a small amount of ICE, a form of Methamphetamine. Simpson is now in the McDonough County Jail. McDonough County Sheriff's then made another arrest for possession of the same unique form of meth. 40-year-old Joseph N. Fischer of Bushnell was arrested on a Henderson County warrant charging him with meth possession. Fischer was stopped while riding his motorcycle which was found to be carrying a scale with Methamphetamine residue on it. Fischer was subsequently charged with Meth Possession and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and was taken to the McDonough County Jail. There is no word if the two cases are connected though both men were carrying the same form of Methamphetamine called ICE which is commonly made in Mexico and differs from the so-called "Shake and Bake" meth common to the area. 


Young People's Involvement Can Brighten Rural America's Future

A nationwide movement aimed at improving the quality of life in rural America, including Illinois, says it's now focused on involving youth. 

The National Rural Assembly - a coalition of more than 500 organizations - calls its new effort Kids, Climate, Connection. 

In a nation with 50 million rural residents, Rural Assembly chairman Dee Davis says some families and communities are disenfranchised by isolation and poverty. 

He notes in many small towns, adults often say, "I think I'll be OK, but what about the kids?"

"We've got to create a different landscape," he stresses. "We have to create more opportunities for rural kids, and we've got to put them in a position where they can create their own opportunities."

Davis says the high rate of child poverty has rural America facing, in his words, "a lost generation of kids and families." 

He maintains addressing that problem is key to improving opportunities for young people and prompting them to stay in their rural hometowns.

Davis says the big challenge is creating innovative business opportunities that will make a difference. 

"More and more, what we're seeing is, jobs are portable," he points out. "People are going to live where they want to live. Your employment's going to be in the laptop you carry. 

"It's important that we begin to reimagine rural communities, so that young people have a real opportunity to make a difference there."

Davis says rural America offers a wealth of climate solutions, including wind and solar energy, while broadband-starved rural communities need better connection to the global economy.


Upcoming Community Events at Citizens in Macomb

This morning I spoke with Rochelle Seaver, the Vice President of Citizens in Macomb, about upcoming community events that the bank is holding. Listen below to what she had to say and remember to stay updated with our Event Calendar.



WIU Board of Trustees Budget Meeting Friday

The Western Illinois University Board of Trustees will meet on Friday to discuss the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget, Capital Budget Recommendations to be presented to state governance, and the Fiscal Year 2017 All-Funds Budget. The meeting, which is open to anyone who would like to attend, will take place at 8 Am on Friday morning in the University Unions Capitol Rooms on the Macomb Campus. A closed door meeting will follow on the 11th. A recommended FY18 operating budget increase of $9.9 million will be presented to Western's BOT for consideration. This recommendation is part of WIU's annual budget process and requests for state funding for salary increases, Quad Cities campus funding, health care professional education and engineering programs, deferred maintenance and financial aid for students. Western's current FY17 appropriated budget is $126 million.

A proposed FY18 capital budget request of $288.7 million will be reviewed by the board. In addition, $14.4 million in capital renewal funds will be reviewed for critical deferred maintenance needs.
 The operating and capital budget requests will be presented to the Illinois Board of Higher Education, the General Assembly and Gov. Bruce Rauner.

The Board will also review the Fiscal Year 2017 All-Funds Budget. The University's total operating budget for FY'17 is $237.3 million.

Other items on the Board agenda include the consideration of a new academic unit of instruction (Department of Liberal Arts and Sciences) and revision to vacation and sick leave regulations (second reading).
The Board will also hear reports on the Office of Sponsored Projects activities, Intercollegiate Athletics, Long-Term Planning and the FY17 Strategic Plan.


Frerichs suspends investment activity with Wells Fargo

The Illinois state treasurer announces the state will suspend billions of dollars of investment activity with Wells Fargo. Illinois Treasurer State Treasurer Michael Frerichs announced the one year suspension after recent headline making developments....

Frerichs says some of the Wells Fargo customers hurt the worst, are military personnel.....

Frerichs also ordered an audit to determine if Wells Fargo violated Illinois' unclaimed property laws.


Medical Marijuana Campaign Starts Today

A medical marijuana dispensary is highlighting the impacts they have seen and been told about by clients who are now using their product to manage pain. HCI Alternatives is placing billboards around the state to share the story of a number of clients who stopped using prescribed opiates after finding medical marijuana. HCI CEO Chris Stone says personal stories are the basis of all the billboards. 

A 2014 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that states with medical marijuana laws had a 25 percent reduction in fatal opioid overdoses.


4-H Week

With this week being 4-H week, I spoke with Beth from the local 4-H Chapter in McDonaugh County, as well as two students, Erin and Anna. Listen to my interview with them as they talk about all of the exciting activities and opportunities 4-H has coming up in the area.



AG Office Loses First Appeal In Same Day Registration Battle

The state won’t be having its request for another hearing on same day voter registration heard by a federal judge. The Illinois Attorney General’s Office was denied the opportunity by Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan. The judge refused to reconsider his decision that the same day option benefited Democratic strongholds. That flew against the argument from the AG that not allowing same day registration would unfairly deny some citizens voting rights. This isn’t the last step in the appeal process, another one can be filed to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.


Home Heating Assistance Ready to Go

At the first of the month families who have young children and need help heating their homes this winter can start asking for help with the bills. Illinois’ Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program or LIHEAP is now open and accepting applications.Gail Hedges says the program generally results in the state paying the utility directly. And as the program opens she urges people to sign up quickly.

You can visit Liheap for more info or contact a local social service agency and they will generally be able to provide you the information.


Illinois Ranks 13th for Saving Energy

Illinois has been ranked 13th for being energy efficient. The 2016 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard published by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) looked at efforts that states and utilities are making to reduce waste. 

Westin Berg is a research analyst and the lead State Scorecard author for the ACEEE, he said Illinois continued to generate high levels of electricity savings during the past year.

"They're pursuing sustainable transportation policies, have high electric vehicle registration rates, and have promoted reductions to vehicle miles traveled," he said. "And most of the states that are doing very well are keeping up to date on their building energy codes."

The report said several states joined California and Illinois this year in achieving top scores for building energy codes and compliance. Illinois is praised for adopting the most recent DOE-certified codes for both residential and commercial new construction, but overall the state dropped in rankings this year. In 2015, it was 10th.

Berg said over the past 10 years, they've found that many if not most innovative policies and programs that promote energy efficiency originate at the state level. He said the coastal states tend to score highest in the rankings.

"There are a number of states in the Midwest that are doing really well," Berg added. "Minnesota, certainly Michigan as well as Arkansas, have also set high standards and are doing very well."

California and Massachusetts both won the top spot in this year's ranking. Wyoming and North Dakota were last on the list. Berg said no state scored a perfect 50 out of 50 points, so there's still need for improvement across the nation.


Funeral for Macomb Fire Chief Andy Taylor Today

The Funeral for Macomb Fire Department Chief Andy Taylor will take place today, Monday, at 10:30 Am at The Crossing, 1600 West Jackson Street in Macomb. Macomb City Hall and Administrative offices will be closed from 9:30 Am until 12 Noon on Monday to accomodate staff members attending the funeral. A memorial service visitation was held Sunday at the Macomb Fire Station and attracted a large crowd who turned out to support Macomb Fire Fighters and the family of Chief Taylor. Meanwhile, Macomb Police are continuing to investigate what led up to the death of Chief Taylor which thus far is being ruled as self induced. More on this story as it develops at 


Home Caregivers say Relationships Threatened by Overtime Rules

The Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) holds a public hearing today about overtime rules for the Home Services Program. It's a state program that sends home-care assistants to help people with severe disabilities.

In May, the state put new rules into place limiting those workers to 35 hours a week per client, and not more than 40 hours a week total. After much public outcry and a class-action lawsuit, the state rescinded those limits - but Gary Arnold, manager of public affairs for Access Living, says Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration is trying to find a way to reinstate them.

Arnold says limiting hours of care is a hardship for workers who are already underpaid, and has a huge impact on those who need their help.

"What's going to happen is, you're going to see people being forced to go back into nursing homes because they're losing their support system in the community," Arnold warns. "And in the nursing home, it's going to cost Illinois a lot more money."

Gov. Rauner has said he believes there is overtime abuse in the home-health field. This summer, he also vetoed legislation that would have set a minimum wage of $15 an hour for home-care workers. 

Arnold adds the relationships that home-bound people have developed with those who help them are being threatened because the state has a budget that's in the red. 

"These are intimate jobs that are being done, and are very difficult jobs that are being done, and people don't just want anybody coming in," he explains. "They want the people who they trust and who they have these established relationships with."

Dozens of people with disabilities and home-care workers are expected to testify at the DHS hearing today.

Among the groups represented will be Access Living, Caring Across Generations, the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Chicago ADAPT, and SEIU Healthcare Illinois.