Macomb Local News Archives for 2017-10

Ameren Announces New Efficiency Technology Installed in Macomb

You have probably noticed large devices being added to power polls in neighborhoods across Macomb. Ameren has announced that these devices, called Intellirrupters, are now in place and will help reduce the frequency and duration of future power outages. In a statement released today, Ameren announced that more than 4500 customers already stand to benefit from the new technology which will indicate where power problems are occurring and how quickly power can be restored in affected areas. "The IntelliRupters we installed in the greater Macomb area re-route power when there is a problem, and minimize how many customers are affected by the power outage. It virtually instantaneous," said Chad Cloninger, division director for Ameren Illinois serving Macomb and McDonough County. “The grid is evolving and we're excited to provide this smart switching technology to our customers in McDonough County." The rollout of Intellirupters in Illinois began in 2012 and has since improved the overall efficiency for customers statewide by 17% and saved the company and consumers nearly $48 million dollars. 

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Are You Prepared for A Zombie Attack?

Are you prepared for a zombie apocalypse? The Illinois Emergency Management Agency wants you to be. On Halloween Patti Thompson with IEMA says they are using the light hearted approach to get people thinking about how they would survive a natural disaster or even zombies.

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Another thing to remember is to have enough food and water for a pet and keep back-up copies of important documents. With critical paperwork experts say leave a second copy away from home, storing it at work or with a relative in a different area.

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Woman Steps Forward to Name Sexual Harasser Inside Capitol

A woman has stepped forward and put her face behind the movement to out sexual harassment inside of Illinois politics. Today at a House legislative committee hearing Denise Rotheimer says Senate Democratic Whip Ira Silverstein harassed her. During her testimony, she says last year Silverstein would say uncomfortable things to her, message her on Facebook late at night even killed a bill for a while because he thought she had a boyfriend. Rotheimer claims she lost 20 pounds and her hair started falling out over the stress of the situation. She also says that she filed a complaint with Senate President John Cullerton and the Legislative Inspectors General Office. But that office hasn’t had an Inspector General since 2013. In a statement to media members Silverstein says about Rotheimer’s allegations; “what she is saying is false”. 

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Today's 4-H not just about cows and plows

4-H is not just cows and plows. That’s what Larry Haigh (hay) says when he describes 4-H. He’s the 4-H program coordinator for Ford/Iroquois County.
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In addition, 4-H continues to stress leadership development, which Haigh says was key when he was a young 4-H member and that experience played an important role in his career path. 

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State Representative Norine Hammond to Hold Open Office Hours

State Representative Norine Hammond has announced that she will have open office hours in the month of November across the 93rd District. In a release from Representative Hammond's office it was announced that open office hours will be held Wednesday, November 15th, from 10 Am to 11 Am at Havana City Hall located at 227 West Main Street in Havana. That same day open office hours will be held from 1 Pm to 2 Pm at the Mason City City Hall located at 145 South Main Street in Mason City. Then on Friday, November 17th, two more open office hours will be held. The first will be at the Rushville City Hall from 10 Am to 11 Am 221 West Washington Street in Rushville. Friday's second open officer hours will be from 1 Pm to 2 Pm at the Mt. Sterling Community at the YMCA at 1 Dot Way. Constituents are encouraged to stop in and share concerns and questions during these open office hours. 

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GOP will now have a primary battle for Governor

Governor Bruce Rauner has most likely had his focus on Democrat J.B. Pritzker in his re-election campaign. Now he faces a hurdle to get to November. State Rep. Jeanne Ives is circulating petitions to challenge Rauner in next year's GOP primary. Ives told supporters in an email that she is taking the first step towards restoring common sense in Illinois. Ives has tabbed former Quad Cities State Representative Rich Morthland as her running mate.

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Opioid crisis not slowing down in Illinois, rural areas hit hard

The state’s opioid epidemic showing no signs of slowing down. There were nearly 2,000 people who died from opioid related deaths in Illinois in 2016 and those numbers could reach close to 3,000 in the coming years, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. The agency’s Nirav Shah says they're focusing on prevention efforts.
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IDPH has received a federal grant to help combat the epidemic. The $2-million in funding is from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and will be utilized in 18 south-central Illinois rural counties for prevention and education efforts. 

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Agenda for Macomb City Council 10-30-17

COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
MACOMB CITY COUNCIL
MONDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2017
MACOMB CITY HALL
5:00 P.M.

ROLL CALL

PUBLIC COMMENTS

1. Discussion on the proposed Management and Operations agreement with the YMCA for operating Glenwood Pool in 2018.
Attached is a memo from CA Torreson for your review along with a copy of the
agreement. Discussion is planned.

2. Discussion on soliciting bids for the construction of 11 new bus stop pads and shelters.
Attached is a memo from Transit Director Nathan Cobb for your review. Discussion is planned.

3. Discussion on a resolution authorizing execution and amendment of downstate operation assistance grant agreement for the public transportation program.
Attached is a copy of the resolution for your review. Discussion is planned.

4. Discussion on an ordinance to amend Appendix A Use Matrix to add Special Use, S*, Recreation Center under Service Businesses Heading, to R-1 and R-2 One Family, R-3 Two, R-3A Limited Multiple, and R-4 Multiple Family Residential Districts.
A copy of the ordinance is attached for your review. Discussion is planned.

5. Discussion on an ordinance to amend Chapter 17, 

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Work on Macomb's Historic Downtown Completed with Tree Planting

The City of Macomb Downtown Development have announced that work on Macomb's historic downtown has been completed as of this morning at 9 Am with the planting of trees in the middle islands of the historic downtown square. The trees, donated by Macomb Beautiful, were planted today completing the lengthy project of repairing roads in the downtown square. The official end of the downtown square project will be Thursday, November 16th with a ribbon cutting presided over by Mayor Mike Inman. The ribbon cutting will be in front of Macomb City Hall at 11:00 Am on November 16th. 

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Quinn wants to return to Illinois political scene

Former Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is looking to make a political comeback. Quinn has confirmed he's entering the log jam race for the Democratic nomination for Illinois Attorney General. Quinn will discuss his quest this week with Cook County Democrats. He will face competition from six fellow Democrats, including former assistant U.S. attorney Renato Mariotti, who jumped into the race last week. Mariotti, a frequent television commentator, revealed he was entering the race during an appearance on MSNBC.

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Drive Sober on Halloween

Halloween parties now are as much for adult s as kids and those older ghosts and ghouls sometimes mix dress up with drinking. If those are your plans this weekend the Illinois State Police and the Department of Transportation wants you to beware that you better find a sober driver to bring you home.

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That’s IDOT’s Kelsea Gurski. Special enforcement activities will be going through the early morning hours of November 1st.

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One Person Killed in McDonough County Crash

One person was killed in a single car rollover crash in McDonough County. According to the Illinois State Police, 58 year old Virginia L. Jingst of Warsaw, Illinois, was driving a 2008 Ford F250 on Illinois Route 67 near County Road 2200 North when the truck left the roadway on the East side. Jingst is then believed to have overcorrected to get back on the road in the process crossed into the oncoming traffic lane before going into a ditch on the West Side of the road where the truck was said to have rolled several times before coming to a rest on its wheels. Jingst was rushed from the scene by airlift to OSF Hospital where she succumbed to injuries suffered in the crash. Two juvenile passengers, 12 and 13 year old kids, were unharmed in the crash. 

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Gov Dodges Bump Stocks Question

The legislature is still working on a possible ban on bump stocks. That’s the gun trigger modification that allows a semi automatic gun to act and fire more like a fully automatic one. They were used by the Las Vegas shooter. The original bill in the House banned more than just bump stocks, but a leaner bill just focused on that one item is being worked on. Where is the Governor on this? When simply asked if he supports a bump stock ban – Bruce Rauner says..

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A slimmed down bump stocks bill could come back up during the second half of the veto session.

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Governor Rauner Heading Out on Overseas Trade Mission

It’s another overseas trip for Governor Bruce Rauner. The Republican is off to Israel next week. The trade mission will incorporate officials from the University of Illinois as they go the Middle East to tout developments around the Discovery Partners Institute.

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The goal Rauner says is to try and capitalize on the expanding economy of Israel and lead innovators to Illinois.

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Macomb Chamber Welcomes New Member

The Macomb Chamber of Commerce and MYLO, Macomb Youth Leadership Organization, welcomed a new member to the Macomb Chamber on Friday. Affordable Shredding Inc held a ribbon cutting in front of their mobile shredding truck on Friday. Affordable Shredding offers mobile service to come to your business and shred sensitive but no longer necessary documents. You can find Affordable Shredding online at AffordableShred.com or via their mailing address, 211 East East Charles Street, Buffalo, IL 62515. 

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Regional Media BusinessCast McDonough District Hospital CEO Kenneth Boyd

Kenneth Boyd is the CEO of McDonough District Hospital which is celebrating several milestones among them, being named one of the Most Wired Hospitals for its continuing effort to update to the latest information technology for faster access to patient histories and other pertinent life-saving information. McDonough District Hospital is also being praised for the introduction of 3D Mammography which will allow for the earlier detection of Breast Cancer. Kenneth Boyd, CEO of McDonough District Hospital is in the spotlight this week on our Regional Media BusinessCast. 

Click Here to download the interview 

Click here to stream via the Regional Media Podcast Network. 

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Grassroots Movement to Put First Female Governor in Office

There's an effort underway to get more women to run for political office in Illinois. She Votes Illinois is a grassroots effort formed this year after no female candidates stepped forward to run for governor.

Liz Kersjes is co-founder and chair of the group and says that's a problem, especially amidst reports of rampant sexual harassment in statehouses across the country - including Springfield. She says issues that are important to women need to be placed at the center of the debate about who should lead the Democratic ticket for governor.

As to why more women don't run for political office, Kersjes says despite advances in equal treatment, women are still perceived by many as the weaker sex.

"Women can only, for example, apply for jobs if they feel they're 110 percent qualified, whereas men, the data shows, will apply for jobs if they're only 70 percent qualified," she notes.

Kersjes says candidates who want women to vote for them need to address topics such as sexual harassment, violence, equal pay, reproductive rights, education, healthcare, and LGBTQ issues.

Kersjes says her group and others are reaching out to women of all ages, engaging and training a new generation of women ready to move progressive policies forward that sustain and create better opportunities for women.

"Supporting women in Illinois to help gain them experience," she adds. "We're looking at building one-on-one mentorship programs, creating targeted job boards that help women find out about opportunities
to work on campaigns, for example, to get experience that way."

Currently, six women are serving as governors of U.S. states, along with mayor of the District of Columbia. Illinois has never had a female governor. The first female governor served in Oregon in 1909 - but only for a weekend. Arizona is the first state where a woman succeeded another woman as governor, and the first state to have had four women governors.

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Durbin targets actions favoring large banks and financial institutions

Senator Dick Durbin had a lot to say about the move by Senate Republicans to repeal mandatory arbitration clauses for banks and financial institutions that prevent class action lawsuits. After the credit rating company Equifax suffered a massive data breach, Durbin was less than impressed by the company's offer of free credit monitoring because they escaped liability under that agreement....
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Equifax has since dropping the binding arbitration demand. Durbin says a broad base of organizations are taking issue with efforts to take away their ability to sue....
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About 145 million Americans were impacted by the Equifax data breach.

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Comptroller Mendoza celebrates transparency vote

Illinois House members spoke with one voice on transparency with a unanimous vote to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of a bill requiring state agencies to issue monthly reports on bills they forwarded to the Comptrollers office for payment. Comptroller Susana Mendoza was pleased with the bipartisan victory..
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Current requirements call for a report once a year. The bill moves over to the Senate for an override vote.

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NRA Stands Up For Gun Rights

Efforts to ban trigger modifications on firearms moved out of a House committee this week but the NRA says its too broad of a bill. Todd Vandermyde with the NRA notes that many gun owners have made trigger modifications legally and this new bill would outlaw those.

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The modifications can increase the rate of fire but he says won’t turn them into machine guns. The bill is mostly targeted at banning the use and sale of bump stocks. That was the tool that the Las Vegas shooter used to modify his guns to shoot faster.

The Illinois State Rifle Association may be involved in negations about some of the bans or changes to gun laws.
 

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AG: Time for a Student Bill of Rights on Loans

The Attorney General in Illinois wants students to have better protections over their rights when it comes to their student loans. Democrat Lisa Madigan says one in four student borrowers are behind on payments or in default. A bill of rights would make loan companies accurately report all of the options students or former students have from loan forgiveness to repayment options.

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For a student loan bill of rights to become law it the bill needs to be overridden by legislature. Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed it already this year saying it was a good idea but it lacked a clear way to accomplish its goals. 

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DCFS cuts back on privatizing for intact program

The Department of Children and Family Services is rebooting its privatized child welfare program. The intact family services program was examined by the Chicago Tribune after a surge of child deaths. The agency revealed at a legislative hearing that the department is taking over some cases that were handed over to contracted nonprofits. 15 children died of abuse or neglect from 2012 to 2016 while their families were enrolled in the Intact family services program. Deaths surged after DCFS privatized the program, which is designed to keep families together when possible.

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IEMA promoting cybersecurity

Every day there is a new threat in the cyber world, but there are certain things you can do to better protect yourself. So says Patti Thompson with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.
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Thompson also recommends strong password protection—using letters, numbers and special characters and staying away from things like kid’s names or birth-dates. The IEMA website is located at “ready.illinois.gov” and has a section on cybersecurity.

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McDonough County United Way Announces Kids Comfort Bag Program

(Left to right: Steve Horrell, Lincoln School Asst. Principal; Pete Tarantola - Program Director, Big Brothers Big Sisters; Carrie Depoy - Program Supervisor, Center for Youth and Family Solutions; Jessica Heitner - Executive Director, McDonough County United Way)
 
McDonough County United Way, in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of McDonough County and The Center for Youth and Family Solutions, has created a “comfort bag” program for children who have been displaced due to serious domestic issues.  Using new or gently used duffle bags or back packs, bags are filled with various items that will bring comfort to children during transitional times in their lives.  
 
Jessica Heitner, United Way Executive Director, says, “Many kids in these situations have the clothes on their backs and nothing more.  What may seem like simple everyday items – a blanket, books, hygiene items – can bring so much comfort to these children during a stressful time.”
 
At this time, bags will be left with Macomb Public Schools as an additional outlet for assistance. The Department of Children & Family Services also offers similar bags.  All agencies involved hope to grow the program in the coming years and plan to provide bags to shelters, county offices, and police & fire stations in the future.
 
If you would like more information or would like to donate, please contact the McDonough County United Way office by email at mcdcunitedway@gmail.com or by phone at (309) 837-9180.
 

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Gun Bills All Over Statehouse

Lawmakers introduced a number of bills for the fall veto session that are in response to the mass shooting in Las Vegas. Many of the bills are focused on banning the sale or possession of bump stocks. A device that can be used to make a semi-automatic gun fire more like an automatic weapon. Democrat Marty Moylan says the bills are a responsible move - not an overreach.

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Some of the bills also include an outright ban of assault rifles. 

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Teenager Injured Driving a Lawnmower in Griggsville

A Griggsville teenager was injured while crossing the street on a lawn tractor on Tuesday. According to the Illinois State Police the accident occurred around 11:30 Am when 18 year old Dale Beaty was driving an MTD Lawn Machine on Washington Street when he attempted to cross Illinois 107. As Beaty was crossing he was struck by a truck driven by 79 year old Donald Mountain of Perry, Illinois. Beaty was taken from the scene by ambulance to Illini Hospital in Pittsfield with unspecified injuries. The accident remains under investigation. 

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Macomb Police Announce Open Range Day for Hunters

The Macomb Police Department will open the department shooting range to the public for one day only. According to the release from the Macomb Police Department the open range day at the Depoy Range at Spring Lake Park will be November 5th, from 9 Am to 3 Pm. The goal of the event is to give hunters the opportunity to site in shotguns or muzzle loaders. Macomb Police will supply targets for the open range day. Hunters are required to bring eye and ear protection and will have to sign a waiver to participate. Hunters under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult age 21 or older. 

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Genesis Garden Shelter Work Days

The Genesis Garden Cultivating Hope, Nurturing Dreams organization has been making progress on the shelter this fall. Groups from WIU have been volunteering, but there are a few more projects coming up that they could use your help. Upcoming projects include yard cleanup, drywall removal, interior clean up, and paint the side porch. Genesis Garden needs these projects completed before the 28th. If you are willing and ready to help out go to www.Genisis-garden.org or call 309-326-3076

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Small Fire Causes Brief Capital Evacuation

A small fire led to the brief evacuation of lawmakers at the capital in Springfield. Witnesses say the fire was minor and that the evacuation is standard procedure when the fire alarm in the capital is triggered. No injuries have been reported and the ongoing veto session is expected to continue this afternoon. 

 

A local Springfield reporter is reporting via Facebook live that the Capitol was evacuated. There is not much detail at this point but the local television station in Springfield is reporting that lawmakers were evacuated from the Capitol building in the last hour. Lawmakers are in Springfield for a veto session. A local Springfield TV station reported via a live Facebook video that there was smoke coming from the Capitol Building but that no one was hurt and that lawmakers were being evacuated temporarily. We have no more information at this time but we will update as soon as we get more information. 

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Durbin releases new report on Trump's handling of ACA

Senator Dick Durbin has unveiled an extensive report recapping what Durbin calls President Trump’s deliberate, year-long effort to undermine the Affordable Care Act.....
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Durbin hopes bipartisan efforts will undo some of the President's actions on Obamacare...
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Durbin says Illinois health care consumers should know that ACA open enrollment starts November 1 and lasts until December 15.

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Report: Children of Color in IL More Likely to Live in Poverty

There are disparities based on race when it comes to opportunities for Illinois children, and a new report sheds light on policies that can help rectify that.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation's "2017 Race for Results" report shows poverty, limited educational opportunities, and family separation are preventing children of color and those from immigrant families from reaching their full potential.

Anna Rowan, Kids Count Manager for Voices for Illinois Children, hopes lawmakers use the data to level the playing field for all kids.

"We want to really enact public policies that focus on child well being and put children at the center of the policies that we are enacting and the investments that we are making as a state," she explains.

African-American children in Illinois face the most significant barriers to success and are more likely to live in lower-income families. Hispanic children also struggle with poverty and are the least likely to live in a household with someone who has at least a high school degree. Additionally, early-childhood education enrollment rates for Hispanic children ages 3-to-5 lag
behind those of African-American, Asian and white children.

Report co-author Laura Speer, the associate director of policy reform and advocacy at the Casey Foundation, says the nation's future depends on child well-being, and that's influenced by their environments. She agrees that policies are needed that make communities more supportive and healthy.

"Those are things like increasing access to early child care and education and ensuring that students are ready for higher education," she notes. "We know this has a very high return on investment, so we need to make sure that's something that we invest in as a country."

Students in Illinois perform at about the national average for their demographic group in fourth-grade reading and eighth-grade math, but there are large achievement gaps between groups based on race.

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Brix Challenge for McDonough County Humane Society in Final Week Push

For the fourth year in a row Chris Brix is challenging McDonough County to raise money for the McDonough County Humane Society. Mr. Brix has once again promised to match up to $1000 in donations to the McDonough County Humane Society by the end of October. If you would like to help spend Chris's money, make a donation to the McDonough County Humane Society by the end of the month and help Chris spend up to $1000 to match your donations. Send your donations in the mail to The Brix Challenge McDonough County Humane Society P.O Box #7, Macomb, IL 61455. 

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Macomb City Council Committee of the Whole Agenda 10-23-17

COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
MACOMB CITY COUNCIL
MONDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2017
MACOMB CITY HALL
5:00 P.M.

ROLL CALL

PUBLIC COMMENTS

1. Discussion on changing the start time for the Macomb City Council and Committee of the Whole meetings.
Attached is a memo from CA Torreson with the recommendation from the General Government Committee for your review.  Discussion is planned.

2. 2017 Annual Report from Downtown Development Director Kristin Terry.
A copy of her report is attached for your review. Discussion is planned.

3. Consideration to award the bid for the Pierce Street building improvements. POWER TO ACT.

4. Other business.

Executive Session

To consider information relative to:

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

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

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

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

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


 

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NWF Challenge: Create a Million Pollinator Gardens

The monarch butterfly population has declined by 90 percent over the last 20 years because of pesticides, parasites and loss of habitat. They're considered a sentinel species, whose fate mirrors that of many insects.

An effort has been under way to expand all pollinators' range by creating 1 million pollinator gardens by the end of the year. The National Pollinator Garden Network has registered 650,000 gardens across the U.S. designed to attract bees and butterflies.

Mary Phillips, senior director with the National Wildlife Federation's "Garden for Wildlife" program, said it gives people a daily connection to the natural world, whether they create a garden in the city or the country.

"Monarchs are something people identify. It's an iconic butterfly that many of us have experienced in our childhood," Phillips said. "So that's been an amazing motivator to get people to focus and engage around the pollinator issue."

In Illinois, some examples of pollinator plants include asters, bee balm, native roses, purple coneflower, blazing stars, beard tongue, bellflowers, hollyhocks, snapdragons, sunflowers, foxglove, mints, goldenrod, larkspur and milkweed.

Nine-year-old Pennsylvania boy, Kedar Narayan created a cell phone app - a game called "Pollinator for a Pet" - to teach people about native-plant pollinator gardens. He said kids have a big role to play in this effort.

"Without our pollinators, we wouldn't have our crops. And lawns, they destroy the pollinator habitats, and lawns just kind of pollute everything - even the environment," Narayan said. "And our weed killers, they pollute the air and our water."

The National Wildlife Federation said one-third of the food Americans eat is pollinated by bees, butterflies, moths, beetles and certain birds and bats - a cycle that accounts for $29 billion of the nation's food production.

Register your pollinator garden at Pollinator.org.

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Duckworth puts holds on EPA nominees

This week, Senator Tammy Duckworth placed a hold on two of President Trump’s nominees to lead offices at the EPA – Bill Wehrum and Dr. Michael Dourson – claiming they each have a track record of putting corporate profits ahead of public safety. Wehrum has been nominated to lead the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation and Dourson, the EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. Duckworth is a member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. She released an op-ed piece claiming Wehrum has opposed the Renewable Fuel Standard, something she says it crucial to Midwestern economies. She says that standard supports more than 4-thousand jobs through biofuels usage and generates more than 5 billion dollars in economic impact. Duckworth, went on the offense with her voice instead of her pen when it came to Dourson. She pressed Dourson for answers about his past research that Duckworth says claimed petroleum coke (petcoke) is safe.....
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Duckworth says Dourson’s research on petcoke was used to justify not cleaning up petcoke storage facilities on Chicago's Southeast side, leading to the presence of black dust which has been tied to high asthma rates and respiratory problems.

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Quincy Veterans Home Site of Another Legionnaires Outbreak

A Quincy veterans home where 12 people died from cases of Legionnaires' disease in recent years, has seen the issue resurface. There are pair of new cases at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy. One victim has died, but state veterans affairs officials believe that was the result of other factors. Right now the department isn't certain of the cause of the two new cases. The water at the facility is being tested and officials are keeping close tabs on residents to ensure they don't contract the disease.

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State Loses 10k Jobs in September

The jobless rate in Illinois is holding steady. But the number of jobs in Illinois fell by more than 10,000. The Illinois Department of Employment Security reveals the unemployment last month stayed put at 5 percent. That mark is still lower than September of 2016, when the rate was 5.8 percent. IDES’s Bob Gough says that numbers were down in a few sectors.

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The state’s unemployment rate is 0.8 percent higher than the national average.

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Rural energy development roundtable planned

Illinois landowners might not have oil fields beneath corn and soybean fields. Still, many opportunities exist to earn some additional cash by generating energy on farms throughout the state. Some officials from Illinois and Minnesota ventured to Germany earlier this year to see the role on-farm power plays in that country's effort to become energy self sufficient, including Minnesota Director of Agriculture Dave Frederickson;

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Illinois Farm Bureau plans to host a Renewable Energy Roundtable on Tuesday, October 31st in Bloomington. Frederickson says his state will host the same two days later and worth the time for farmers and others to explore energy-generating opportunities;

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The Farm Bureau energy seminar will feature farmers from Germany and Illinois who are generating energy and income on their farms. Contact your county Farm Bureau to find out how to attend the Renewable Energy Roundtable. It will run from 11:30 a-m to 4:30 p-m on the 31st and include an Octoberfest-style lunch.

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Macomb Crimestoppers Announce Fugitive of the Week

In an announcement on their Facebook page, the Macomb Crimestoppers announced their latest Fugitive of the Week. Wendy R. Houston is being sought by the McDonough County Sheriff's Office on a charge related to Methamphetamine. Houston is described as 5 feet 9 inches tall, approximately 165 pounds, with brown hair and hazel eyes. You can see a photo of Houston with this story below. If you have any information about the whereabouts of Wendy R. Houston please contact Macomb Area Crimestoppers at 309-836-3222 or go to TipSubmit.com. Either way, you may remain anonymous and you may be entitled to a reward if your information leads to the capture of Wendy R. Hughes. 

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Regional Media BusinessCast Abram J Olson Country Financial

Abram J. Olson has been in business in Macomb for 2 and a half years at Country Financial where he sells Insurance. On this edition of the Regional Media BusinessCast we talk about the Insurance industry, misconceptions people have about their insurance. Abram also talks about the best piece of advice he's received after starting business here in Macomb and how well he's assimilated into the business community. Abram J. Olson is today's guest on the Regional Media BusinessCast.

Click Here for the Regional Media Podcast Network

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Regional Media Celebrity Interview Adam Scott from Ghosted on Fox

Adam Scott from Parks and Recreation is now Adam Scott from Ghosted, Sunday nights on Fox at 7:30 Pm after The Simpsons. Adam joined Sean Patrick today to talk about Ghosted, his co-star Craig Robinson and reminisce about Parks and Recreation. Adam joined .me on the K100 Morning Show on Thursday.

Click here for the Regional Media Podcast Network and our interview with Adam Scott

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WIU to Host OxFam Dinner

Western Illinois University will play host to the OxFam Hunger Banquet on November 8th. The event, aimed at raising awareness of the problem of Hunger and Food Security affecting areas across the globe, will take place at the University Uniion Heritage Room from 5:30 Pm to 6:45 Pm. The event is sponsored by the Western Illinois University School of Agriculture the University Center for Internatiobal Studies. Reservations are required by November 3rd to attend the event and can be made by clicking here

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New entry in Democratic AG race

Two's company, four's a crowd. The Democratic race for Illinois Attorney General continues to draw new candidates. Chicago attorney and Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners President Jesse Ruiz has entered the race. He has worked as a partner at law firm Drinker Biddle & Reath for over 20 years. He also has made an impact in the educational realm, having served as interim CEO of Chicago Public Schools and chairman for the Illinois State Board of Education. Senator Kwame Raoul, State Rep. Scott Drury, and former chief administrator of the Civilian Office of Police Accountability in Chicago Sharon Fairley are also running on the Democratic ticket. Republican attorney Erika Harold stands alone so far on the GOP side.

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State Sells Bonds To Pay Down Old Debt

The state of Illinois owes billions in unpaid bills and now its borrowing money to pay down some of that debt to avoid paying late fees and interest. The state went to the bond market this week to sell $1.5 billion to start getting out from underneath some of that debt. Governor Bruce Rauner says the state isn’t any closer to being fiscally responsible because the current budget isn’t balanced.

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Rauner says that part of the state’s debt can be fixed, saying he’s been proposing cuts to the current budget.

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Regional Media Celebrity Interview Anne Heche The Brave on NBC

Anne Heche has returned to television for new counter-terrorism based series The Brave. Heche co-stars with Mike Vogel in the series that takes us inside a secretive government organization that teams Navy Seals with intelligence teams on the most difficult missions in the war on terror. The timely new series airs on NBC on Monday nights at 9 Pm. You can hear the passion Anne has for this series as she talks with our Sean Patrick in the interview recorded for our all new K100 Morning Show on Wednesday. 

Click here for the Regional Media Podcast Network

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Global demand for soybeans 'exploding'; push coming from China

The global demand for soybeans should remain strong with most of that interest coming from China. So says trading expert Jim Bower with Bower Trading in Lafayette, Indiana.
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And Bower says that’s due to the country’s expansion in turkey, pork, chicken, beef, lobster, catfish and even shrimp production.

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Regional Media Celebrity Interview Tom Cavanagh from the CW Network FLASH

Actor Tom Cavanagh became a star on the shortlived but beloved romantic comedy series Ed. After that show, Cavanagh was offered lots of similar light comedy roles but remained highly selective of his projects, appearing on Scrubs in the recurring role of J.D's brother and then co-starring with his friend Eric McCormick on  another short lived but much liked series on TNT. That series didn't last long but that coming up short did lead Tom to his biggest role yet as Dr. Harrison Wells, aka The Reverse Flash, the series big villain. We talked to Tom about working on The Flash, his co-star Grant Gustin and what he told Gustin after DC Comics informed the world that they would not be bringing the DC TV Universe into the DC Movie universe. 

Click here for the Regional Media Podcast Network, part of the WLMD Stream of MacombNewsNow.com

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Duckworth Says She's Seen Obama Meeting Gold Star Families

Senator Tammy Duckworth is firing back at the President for his comments about what other Presidents haven’t done when it come to contacting family members of fallen soldiers. President Trump has said that then President Obama didn’t contact gold star family members. Duckworth told MSNBC the statement is false and she personally witnessed Obama meeting and consoling family members.

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The President is also fighting back against claims that he told one gold star family that the solider “must have known what he was signing up for.” Trump says on Twitter that part of the conversation was “fabricated”. That solider and 3 others were recently killed in Africa.

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Forbes List of Billionaires Includes Pritzker

Illinois has a very rich man as Governor but he’s not nearly as wealthy as a person that’s trying to run against him next November. Forbes magazine ranks Democrat gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker as 219th richest American, saying he’s worth $3.4 billion. Pritzker is among the richest people in Illinois, but hedge fund manager Ken Griffin is atop the state list. His personal wealth is pegged at $8.5 billion. 

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Macomb Announces Trick Or Treat Times

Halloween trick or treating in Macomb is a two night event. The City of Macomb announced today trick or treating in the city will last from 6 Pm to 8 on two nights, Monday, October 30th and Tuesday October 31st. Residents are reminded that if you are participating in the trick or treating festivities, be sure to leave your porch light on to indicate you are handing out treats. Trick Or Treaters are reminded to cross streets at crosswalks, look both ways before crossing any road, and make sure you are accompanied by an adult in case of emergency. 

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State's Bid In for Amazon HQ2

The state has submitted its bid to land the second world headquarters or HQ2 of Amazon. The web retailer right now is being courted by every major city in the nation and that includes a bid that centers around Chicago. Amazon is offering the possibility of fifty thousand jobs that pay more than a $100,000 a year. Governor Bruce Rauner says in the end each one of those Amazon jobs will create another opportunity for employment.

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Rauner says the Amazon bid process is wrapping up in a few days and then the state will share more details of what it offered to land HQ2.

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Archery Deer Season Underway in Illinois

The deer hunting season is here and conservation authorities are reminding hunters of some basic things to keep themselves safe. DNR Conservation Police Sargent John Williamson notes the archery season is underway in Illinois. If you haven’t been out to hunt yet, Williamson says it is best to get out and check those tree stands.

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Cross-bows are now legal for the archery season. The busy shotgun season opens before the Thanksgiving weekend.

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Jesse White Calls Graduated Licenses a Success

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White says the Graduated Driver's License has been a proven lifesaver for first time drivers. White believes stricter standards for younger drivers has played a lead role in cutting the number of teenage driver deaths by 51 percent in the past ten years. Illinois Transportation Department figures show That compared to 155 lives lost in that age group in 2007. That was the year before the graduated license program took effect. The graduated license program features nighttime driving restrictions, an increased required practice driving time with an adult before a teen can get a license and limits starting drivers to one passenger in the front seat. Cell phone use is prohibited, even with a hands free device, unless there is an emergency. 

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WIU Trick-or-Treating, Haunted Housing Event

WIU residence halls are offering Safe Trick-or-Treating, Haunted Housing  sponsored by university housing and dining services (UHDS). The program will start at 6pm and end at 8pm Monday, October 30, in conjunction with Macomb community evenings. Children 2 to 12 are invited to trick or treat and play games in a safe environment. Guides will be provided through the residence halls however, all children must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Participation residence halls include Bayless- Henninger (Enter through the Henninger Hall basement), Corbin-Olsen (Olsen Hall East Entrance), Lincoln-Washington (Grote Hall Entrance), Tanner Hall (North Door), and Thompson Hall (Main Lobby). In addition, residence assistance council members will be sponsoring “Haunted Housing” experience for adults and teens 6pm -11pm Friday through Saturday, October 27 through the 28thOctober 30 activities are free to the public; however haunted housing on October 27 to the 28th is $3per person or $2 and a donation of a nonperishable food item. Items will be donated to area food banks. So come out October, 27 through the 28th for Haunted Housing 6pm-11pm and October 30 for university hall trick-or-treating 6pm-8pm

 

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Lotto Ticket Back for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The Illinois Lottery is recognizing breast cancer awareness month with the re-launch of a scratch off ticket. The Illinois Lottery’s Acting Director Greg Smith says since the Ticket for the Cure’s creation more than 12 million dollars has been raised to support breast cancer programs.

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The three dollar scratcher is now for sale at your favorite lotto retailer.

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Central Illinois college hosting drone conference in November

Is it a toy or is it going to impact the bottom line of your operation? Farmers need to answer that question before moving forward with drone technology says GROWMARK’S Agronomy Information Services Sales Manager Brian Henze.
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Henze is participating in a drone conference next month, hosted by Heartland Community College and Scott Smigel.
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The conference is November 10th at Heartland’s Astroth Community Education Center in Normal. Advance registration is $69. You can register at “heartland.edu”.

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Emergency response test next month at Clinton Nuclear Plant

The Clinton Nuclear Power Station will be the scene of a first responder drill next month. On November first, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency has announced it will conduct an exercise to test emergency response plans for a potential radio-logical incident. Emergency response personnel from four counties will join the plant operator Exelon and the State of Illinois in conducting the four hour response test.

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WIU Take Back the Night March October 26th

Western Illinois University will be the site of a Take Back the Night Rally on October 26th. According to a release from WIU, the March from WIU's Sherman Hall to Chandler Park will begin at 7 Pm on Thursday, October 26th and will culminate at Chandler Park with a Survivors Speak Out event. In the days leading up to the March, people can purchase t-shirts to wear in support of the March at the University Concourse beginning October 23th throught the 25th. T-Shirts are going to be $5.00 for students and $8.00 for staff and members of the community. For more information about the Take Back the Night Rally, Thursday, October 26th, you can call 309-298-2242. 

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DNR Authorities Warning of Increased Deer Movement During Harvest

With harvest in full swing in Illinois, deer activity in rural areas has picked up and wildlife authorities are advising motorists to use extra caution.
DNR Conservation Police Sargent John Williamson indicates with the crops coming down, deer are much more active, especially in rural areas, and can be a major hazard for motorists.

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In the event of a car/deer accident and the deer dies, the driver of the car does have the option to keep the deer.

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In addition to increased deer movement, with farmers continuing the harvest, heavy machinery and slow moving vehicles will be on roadways for several more weeks. Always slow down and allow those vehicles plenty of space. 

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Dems look to Bustos to help engage rural voters

Not only will Western Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos face a challenge from Republicans in the 2018 election cycle, but she’s also been appointed by Democrats to help candidates with game planning, specifically in rural areas. Bustos was one of just 12 Democratic lawmakers last year that won in a district carried by President Trump.
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Bustos says she represents rural interests as the only member of Democratic Party leadership from the Midwest.
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In the 17th District, three Republican candidates will be running in the March primary—Galesburg businessman Mark Kleine along with Craig Cameron and Jon Schuh.

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U.S. EPA tightens use of controversial herbicide

The U-S Environmental Protection Agency announced stricter measures on the use of a crop herbicide that led to complaints in Illinois and dozens of other states. E-P-A says it worked with states, land-grant universities, seed and crop protection companies to examine the underlying causes complaints about a soybean crop protection product containing dicamba. The Senior Director of Commodities for the Illinois Farm Bureau, Tamara Nelsen, says the decision allows Illinois farmers and others to have access to the technology;

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E-P-A Administrator Scott Pruitt called the actions "...intensive, collaborative efforts..." with states and university scientists working together to find a solution. As of earlier this month, the Illinois Department of Agriculture had received more than 200 dicamba-related complaints.

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Sock Monkey Saturdays

Children and their parents have an opportunity to get creative with their hands. WIU is inviting people to come out to “Sock Monkey Saturdays” in the University Art Gallery.  There are designated themes on the days of the event.  The first theme is a “Popsicle Stick Party” on Saturday, October 14th. The second theme is “Make a Mask” on Saturday, November 11th.  All activities for both days will begin at 10 a.m. and end at noon. This event is free and open to the public. 

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WIU Students Host the "Chemistry Rocks" Webinar

The WIU Chemistry and Geology clubs are teaming up to host a “Chemistry Rocks” webinar. This event will show chemists experimenting with rocks and minerals. This event is free and welcome to the public to view the live broadcast. There will be a chance for people to engage in discussion and activities with the chemist experts. “Chemistry Rocks” will be take place in room 203 in Currens Hall on Tuesday, October 24th. The webinar will begin at 6 p.m. 

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WIU Celebrates "Love Your Body Day"

The WIU Women’s Center will take part in the celebration of “Love Your Body Day.” The National Organization for Women is sponsoring this special campaign. There will be numerous displays of “Body Myth” collages on the first floor of the Multicultural Center. This campaign is a message for women to be comfortable in their own skin. This event will take place on Wednesday, October 18th at 10 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. 

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Agenda for Next Macomb City Council Meeting Monday October 16th

The Macomb City Council Committee of the Whole will meet at 7 Pm on Monday evening at the Macomb City Hall. For a downloadable copy of the agenda, click here

 

AGENDA
MACOMB CITY COUNCIL
MONDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2017
MACOMB CITY HALL
7:00 P.M.

MEETING CALLED TO ORDER
PLEDGE
ROLL CALL

CONSENT AGENDA

1. Minutes of the Macomb City Council meeting held on Monday, October 2, 2017 and minutes of the Committee of the Whole meeting held on Monday, October 9, 2017.

2. Department Reports: Fire Department, Police Department

3. Accept and place on file Treasurer’s Report for September.

4. Consideration to approve a façade grant application from Terrill Title, 117 South Side Square, for window replacements on the second and third floors in the amount of $16,697.47.

5. Consideration to approve a Downtown Revolving Loan application from Drive Studio of Dance, 14 West Side Square, in the amount $7,770.00 for 7 years at 3% interest.

6. Consideration to approve a CDAP Revolving Loan application from Chicago Beef Factory, 202 West Carroll Street, in the amount of $15,000.00 for 7 years at 3.5% interest.

7. Consideration to approve the landscape plant materials for the downtown islands from Boehm’s Garden Center in the amount of $9,904.96.

PUBLIC COMMENTS

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

1. Consideration of an ordinance to amend the City fees for Alcohol Licenses, Rental Registration, Cemetery Services, Building Permits, Development Site Review and Plumbing Inspections by amending sections of the City of Macomb Municipal Code.
This ordinance will be presented for second reading and final approval.

2. Consideration of an ordinance to amend Section 17-927 of Chapter 7, Article VIII, Historical Preservation of the Macomb Illinois Municipal Code (metal awnings).
This ordinance will be presented for second reading and final approval.

3. Consideration of an ordinance to authorize the City of Macomb to lease property to be used as a Taxi Service Office – S & G Taxi.
This ordinance will be presented for second reading and final approval.

Agenda
October 16, 2017
Page 2

UNFINISHED BUSINES – Continued

4. Other unfinished business.

NEW BUSINESS

1. Consideration to authorize the solicitation of quotes for the City of Macomb’s property and casualty insurance.
Attached is a memo from CA Torreson for your review. Final action will be in order.

2. Consideration to authorize the Mayor to sign the documents for the City of Macomb’s electricity supply.
Attached is a memo from CA Torreson for you review along with a history chart of past electrical rates. Final action will be in order.

3. Consideration to authorize the Committee of the Whole Power to Act at their meeting to be held on October 23, 2017 to award the bid for the Pierce Street building improvements.
Attached is a memo from CA Torreson for your review. Final action will be in order.

4. Other new business.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

ALDERMANIC REPORTS

MAYORAL APPOINTMENTS

EXECUTIVE SESSION

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

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

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

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

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

COUNCIL ADJOURNMENT
 

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Illinois Livestock Industry Seeing Youth Return to the Farm

The Illinois Beef Association happy with a trend they are seeing. Young people are actually coming back to the farm says the organization’s Jill Johnson.
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Johnson is a native of Henry County and grew up on a Galva farm that included Hereford cattle, corn and soybeans. 

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Pawar drops out of Democratic Governors Race

Illinois voters won't make a final decision on their choice for Governor for more than a year, but already two top contenders are dumping millions of dollars of their own wealth into their campaign warchests. In that high stakes fundraising game, Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar is saying fold. After promising early polling numbers, Pawar says he's ending his bid for the Democratic nomination because he doesn't have enough money or resources to mount a successful statewide campaign.

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Report: Climate Change Bringing Severe Impacts to Midwest

Parts of the country along the coasts have been battered this year by Mother Nature, and a new report from the Midwest Economic Policy Institute warns that the threat of climate change extends much farther inland and could wreak havoc on transportation and infrastructure systems across the Midwest.

Study author Mary Craighead says policymakers need to understand the potential costs and consequences of climate change, and adds they need to be proactive to protect communities and the economy. Her report says the average air temperature has increased by more than 4 degrees since the 1980s, and there's been a 27-percent increase in the number of days of very heavy rain since the '50s.

"The higher temperatures and the stronger storms can reduce the lifespan of roads and bridges," she says. "They can cause railways to buckle. Flooding, obviously, is a huge issue that can impact the flow of traffic, the flow of freight, which can impact our economy."

Flooding is a key issue because there has been a steady reduction in ice coverage on the Great Lakes, and more frequent freeze-thaw cycles. Northern Illinois saw severe flooding from late-summer storms. Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner issued disaster declarations for four counties.

The study recommends limiting development in low-lying areas that already have experienced storm-related damage, and updating heat and rainfall standards used in the project-design process.

"It's just going to keep getting worse, so it's time we really need to stop debating it and start actually taking action and planning for it in the future so that we don't have to deal with the ramifications after the fact, we can actually plan for it ahead of time," she explains.

The study says national infrastructure needs are expected to top $2 trillion by 2025. It notes the state departments of transportation in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Minnesota have all pursued asset-management programs to address climate change and assess vulnerabilities.

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Kids Injured in Three Vehicle Crash in Mt. Sterling

The Illinois State Police have announced that two kids were injured a three vehicle crash involving a semi truck in Mt. Sterling. According to the release from the ISP, a 16 year old driver with a 12 year old passenger was turing left on US 24 to County Road 910 East, 1 mile east of Mt. Sterling when the vehicle driven by the 16 year old was struck by a Freightliner Truck Tractor Pulling a Semi-Trailer. According to the investigation, the truck driven by 28 year old Askhat Shermatov of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania failed to reduce speed and struck the 16 year old's vehicle in the rear. The collision caused the teenager's vehicle to be pushed into the westbound lane of US 24 where it was then struck by a Chevy S-10 truck driven by 37 year old Brandon Gallaher of Mt. Sterling. The unnamed 16 year old driver was taken from the scene by ambulance to Blessing Hospital. The 12 year old passenger was flown from the scene by Air Evac also to Blessing Hospital. Both were reported to have suffered serious injuries. Mr. Shermatov and Mr. Gallaher were not reported as injured at the scene. Mr. Shermatov was cited for Failure to Reduce Speed to Avoid an Accident. 

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Regional Media BusinessCast Brandon Deweese Pro Junkeez

Brandon Deweese is new to the business world in Macomb. His business, Pro Junkeez, a junk removal company, just got started earlier this year. On Today's Regional Media BusinessCast we talk to Brandon about the challenges of starting a new business, the reception he's had from other local business owners and what drew him to the idea of junk removal as a full time business. The business of hauling away unwanted items is pretty interesting and we want to wish Brandon the best of luck. You can learn more about Pro Junkeez at ProJunkeez.com. 

Click Here for the download link 

Click Here to Stream the interview. 

 

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Haunted Museum Tours

Western Illinois Museum presents it's Haunted Museum tour for the upcoming holiday season. Museum tours will be Saturday, October 14, 2017. Doors open at 11am and tours run continuously until 1pm.  Museum re-enactors will take you back to 1938 and see an old Elgin bike, football uniforms, radios and more.There'll be a cash bar with wine, beer, and soft drinks along with complimentary tasty treats. The museum is located at 201 S. Lafayette St, one block south of the Macomb Courthouse Square. Tours are free, donations are appreciated. Take a family friendly tour October 14, at the Western Illinois Museum. 

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Macomb Heritage Day

Macomb Heritage Day has officially been set for the dates of the 21st - 23rd of June, 2018. Check out the parade, car show, and many more events this upcoming spring. Anyone interested in becoming involved with the event or being a sponsor, contactJ.Armstrong@makeitmacomb.com or call 309-833-1315. For more information go towww.macombheritageday.com 

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Bustos challenger in Illinois' 17th has raised over $500,000 already

A GOP challenger in Illinois’ 17th Congressional District off to a strong start financially. Mark Kleine of Galesburg has raised $507,000 since the beginning of his campaign in late August. He says around $400,000 of that has come from within the district and he provided $100,000 of his own money to jump start the effort.
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Kleine is the former owner of John Deere implement dealer Kleine Equipment. Democrat Cheri Bustos of Rock Island has held the 17th District Congressional seat since 2013.

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Western Illinois Museum Holds Haunted Tours and Hallo-Wine

The Western Illinois Musuem (201 South Lafayette Street, Macomb) will hold two of its big annual events during the next two Saturdays. The events are free with a suggested $5 donation at the door.

 

On October 14 the museum welcomes in patrons of all ages for its Haunted Museum Tours. Those take place from 11:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event is set in 1938, with reinactors portraying the setting of Macomb during that time. 

 

On October 21, beginning at 6:30 p.m., the Hallo-Wine event will be held. This event will be very similar to the Haunted Museum Tours, only with a cash bar. 

 

For more information on these upcoming events at the Western Illinois Museum, listen to my interview with Sue Scott. 

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IDOT wants public input on rest stops

llinois Transportation officials are rethinking the layout and role of the state's highway rest areas in the Digital Age. IDOT's Kelsea Gurski says the agency has posted an online survey seeking public input...
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Gurski says the rest stops aren't just a convenience, they're a proactive life saver for drowsy drivers and those who would be in their path...
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The 20 question survey is available at idot.illinois.gov, is available through Sunday, Oct. 29. IDOT maintains a system of 30 rest areas and 11 welcome centers on highways throughout the state, serving more than 36 million visitors annually.

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llinois FFA prez not a farm kid

Illinois' FFA president enjoying his time in office. Joseph Birrittier was elected to the position last June and now represents 17,000 FFA members statewide. He doesn't live on a farm.
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After his one year term is up in June of 2018, he plans to enroll at the University of Illinois to study agriculture science education.

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Latinos Attend College, Still Struggle in Job Market

More Latinos are going to college, but they're losing ground in the labor market, according to a new report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.

Researchers found that more Latinos are getting education beyond high school, but only 21 percent have college degrees, compared to 32 percent of blacks and 45 percent of whites.

According to Anthony Carnevale, the center's director and the report's lead author, relatively few Latinos are enrolling in more selective colleges that have higher graduation rates.

"They're stuck in the middle," he states. "That is, they're in the two-year colleges in certificates more than degrees. And relative to their growing share of the population, they're actually losing ground."

Education isn't the only factor. The report says in Illinois, white women who have only a high school diploma, or who haven't graduated at all, still earn more than Latina women.

The research found Latinos generally have the lowest median income of all groups.

Carnevale notes that, for those with some post-secondary education, the pay gap gets smaller, but income still lags behind white workers.

"Irrespective of what major Latinos enroll in, what college they enroll in, whether they graduate or not, in the end, they always make less than whites," he points out.

The report offers some good news. It says since the 1990s, high school graduation rates have risen faster for Latinos than for their black or white peers.

Carnevale adds that more than 100,000 Latino students have test scores that could get them into some of the top colleges in the country.

"They've done their part," he stresses. "The issue is whether or not we will have the kinds of supports that are required for lower-income, minority families to make that leap into the college ranks, especially at the B.A. level."

In some high-wage occupations, the report says race-based earnings gaps between whites and Latinos with at least a bachelor's degree essentially vanish.
 

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Tax filing Extension deadline Oct. 16

If you filed for an extension on your income taxes for 2016, the next deadline is rapidly approaching. Michael Devine says that penalties will begin after October 16…

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Further information available at irs.gov

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WIU President Thomas to Hold Brown Bag Lunch Forums

Western Illinois University President Jack Thomas is inviting people to join him for a brown bag lunch. According to a release from WIU, President Thomas will host a series of Brown Bag Lunch conversations beginning Thursday, October 19th, from Noon until 1 Pm at the University Brattain Lounge. The informal conversations are an opportunity for President Thomas to sit down with members of the community, students and WIU staff to  discuss issues of the day related to the University. As mentioned, the first Brown Bag Lunch Conversation with President Jack Thomas will take place October 19th from 12 Noon to 1 Pm. 

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Macomb School Launches GoFundMe Page to Buy New Piano

A 41 year old grand piano utilized by students at Macomb Schools needs to be replaced and modern social media is giving them a chance to raise funds in a unique way. Macomb School District Superintendent John Meixner announced via twitter that school members had launched a GoFundMe page to raise the $11,000 needed to purchase a new grand piano for students to use and learn on for the next 40 years. Organizers of the GoFundMe campaign have launched a YouTube video to promote their campaign and give you a closer look at the history of the current piano and what replacing it will mean for students in the future. If you'd like to make a donation you can find the Macomb High School Piano Project GoFundMe page linked here

 

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WIRC Working with Hunters to Feed the Hungry

Hunters will have the opportunity to help out in the war on hunger. The Western Illinois Regional Council has announced a partnership that will allow local hunters to donate deer meat to people in need. The partnershiip between the WIRC-CAA and local meat lockers, part of the Hunters Helping the Hungry Program, means that hunters will have the opportunity to take recently hunted deer meat to local meat lockers to be stored and donated to people in need. Participating meat lockers include Blandinsville Locker Service, Prairieland Processing Service in Bowen, Bushnell Locker Service, and Vancil's Locker in Stronghurst. The program is open to hunters in McDonough, Hancock, Henderson and Warren Counties.If you would like more information on the Hunters Helping the Hungry Program please contact WIRC at 309-837-3941. 

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Rauner hoping to see computer upgrade cash freed up soon

Illinois Governor Bruce Raner says Comptroller Susana Mendoza's refusal to pay for information technology upgrades does not compute. As Mendoza continues to address a backlog of billions of dollars in bills, millions for the Governor's computer technology iniative remain on ice.... Rauner is calling for Mendoza to end the wait....
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Rauner says recent spending decisions by lawmakers make it more important to release the I-T funds....
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In the spring, Mendoza suspended 27 million dollars in payments for Rauner's Enterprise Resource Program.

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Governor Rauner Still Mum on Gun Control Talk

Gun control is again a topic up for debate in Washington after the Las Vegas mass shooting. But that conversation will be one that does not include the voice of Republican Governor Bruce Rauner. He says his focus includes issues important to the state of Illinois.

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Rauner so far will not say if he approves of changing the law that makes bump stocks legal in Illinois.

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New Endorsement for Pritzker

It’s another endorsement for the gubernatorial campaign of JB Pritzker. The Illinois Democratic County Chairman’s Association voted to endorse the billionaire and Julian Stratton for Governor and Lieutenant Governor. IDCCA President Doug House says the vote shows that Pritzker has created a strong grassroots campaign that leaves him the best prepared next November.

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House says he thinks the top issues in the coming election will be healthcare and creating and supporting jobs.

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Renewable fuels industry expressing concern with EPA administrator

The renewable fuels industry expressing some reservations with EPA administrator Scott Pruitt. The issue is lowering the renewable fuel standard or RFS. Bob Dinneen with the Renewable Fuels Association believes President Trump is supportive of ethanol and other bio-fuels, but that may not be swaying the EPA chief.
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Pruitt was confirmed as EPA administrator last February. He formerly served as Oklahoma Attorney General.

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World War II Soldier Returning Home

It's a long delayed homecoming but a Springfield hero is headed home. Army Staff Sgt. Michael Aiello  was killed in action in the Netherlands in World War II. He had taken part in Operation Market Garden, the failed attempt to invade Northern Germany. His great grand nephew, Brian Aiellio .is thankful Army efforts to identify him have trudged on...

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Sgt. Aiello served in the 401st Glider Infantry Regiment. He and fellow glider and airborne troops were deployed to seize bridges in the Netherlands and hold them until British armored units could reinforce their positions. Once Sgt. Aiello’s remains arrive in Springfield, he will be buried at Camp Butler National Cemetery in Riverton. There will be a public ceremony at Camp Butler at 10 a.m. Oct. 28.

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Drought Conditions Mean Illinois Trees Need More Water

Parts of Illinois still recovering from the 2012 drought and your trees likely need water. That is the message from University of Illinois Extension small farms educator, Doug Gucker, who indicates your tree could be showing signs of stress.

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Gucker says it is a good time to try and get your tree some water and there's a few easy, practical methods to do that.

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When using a sprinkler to water the trees, Gucker says a good way to measure how much water you've used is to put a soup can down and when it measures two inches, you know how long to run the sprinkler on other trees. 

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Senator Duckworth Signs on to Anti-Bump Stock Legislation

Bump stocks have gone from a term familiar to gun collectors and owners to a household name after the tragedy in Las Vegas. Senator Tammy Duckworth is expressing her concerns about the device essentially allows a gun to operate like an automatic weapon while remaining legal. Duckworth wants to see bump stocks off limits and she wants action not words....
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Duckworth is teaming up with Senators Dick Durbin and Diane Feinstein to draft legislation closing the bump stocks loophole. 

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Antibiotics in Restaurants' Food Chain Ranked

A new nationwide report by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) Education Fund ranks the top 25 restaurant chains for their antibiotics policies and practices.

At issue is misuse of antibiotics in meat production, which experts say puts human health at risk by breeding drug-resistant bacteria.

Shelby Luce, an Antibiotics Fellow at the Education Fund, says for the third year in a row, Panera and Chipotle were the only two major chains to get an A grade, because they reject routine antibiotic use through their entire supply chain.

Further down the list is Kentucky Fried Chicken. Luce says KFC earned the "most improved" grade.

"Going from an F grade to a B-minus for its newly announced commitment to no longer serve chicken raised with medically-important antibiotics in its U.S. locations by 2018," she states.

According to the report, 14 restaurants have taken action this year to curb routine use of antibiotics in their supply chain, compared to nine last year.

Luce says the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization both warn widespread overuse of antibiotics is pushing us closer to a time when medicines could no longer work.

"Right now, 70 percent of medically important antibiotics sold in the U.S. are for use in animal agriculture, and fast food restaurants are some of the largest meat purchasers in the world," she explains. "So, their policies can completely shift the meat industry, for the U.S. - and eventually, hopefully, globally."

The report says no new progress was made in reducing antibiotic use in beef and pork.

Luce says New England-based Dunkin Donuts moved up a grade to a D with its recent commitment to stop serving chicken raised with antibiotics by the end of 2018.
 

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Anti-Violence Groups Seeing Surge in Membership After Vegas

As the country mourns the loss of life at the hands of a gunman in Las Vegas this month, and the debate rages about gun control, some anti-violence groups are seeing an increase in membership.

Lee Goodman, an organizer with the group Peaceful Communities, said every time there's a mass shooting, more people decide they've had enough. He said while groups like his are happy to have more people on board, it's unfortunate that people have to join in the first place.

"Every time one of these things happen, we hear from more people who say, 'I feel awful that I didn't do anything before, but now I'm going to take action,'" Goodman said.

According to FBI reports, Stephen Paddock opened fire on country music fans in Las Vegas on October 1, killing 58 people and wounding around 500 others in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Paddock owned 47 guns, 23 of which were with him in his Vegas hotel room. A dozen of those were outfitted with bump stocks, which allow semi-automatic weapons to fire rapidly, much like automatic rifles.

Goodman said the nation needs legislation to limit who has access to weapons like these, but he doesn't feel that's the only solution. He said society has become numb to violence because of television and video games and the lack of empathy for others.

"[It is] Almost something we can count on happening with the regularity of the rising of the sun and the moon," he said. "And that's a terrible, tragic commentary of the times that we live in that people are so violent that the rest of us have to get accustomed to their violence."

Goodman said in the past, big cities such as Chicago were most likely to experience violence. And while the city does have a high crime rate, rural areas are seeing a spike as well.

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Sigma Alpha Episilon Fundraising for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals

The WIU male fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, is hosting their “WIN” event to raise money towards the Children’s Miracle Network. They have a schedule of events from Sunday, October 8th through Thursday, October 12th. Activities include volleyball, softball, flag football, and more. The fraternity will also have dum dum sucker drives at the County Market, Walmart, and Hy-Vee. The sucker drive will be Monday through Thursday from 3-6 pm each night. 

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Congressman Davis wants closer look at bump stocks

After the tragedy in Las Vegas, Congressman Rodney Davis wants a closer look at laws governing bump stock technology. That weapons modification was apparently used in the attack on the Vegas strip outdoor concert where 59 people were killed and more than 500 people were wounded. Bump stocks allow gun users to legally simulate a fully automatic weapon even though fully automatic weapons have been off limits to the general public for the last three decades. Davis has signed onto a letter to asking the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to review the law regarding bump stock technology. Davis says he hadn't heard of bump stocks until the Vegas incident. He says There is no place for politics in this debate or knee-jerk reactions, but I believe we can have a thoughtful, non-partisan discussion about the facts. To be clear, those who believe that gun control or one law is going to put an end to mass shootings are, unfortunately, severely shortsighted. As someone who experienced gun violence a few months ago, I know all too well that this is a much larger issue of hate, of mental illness, and of evil and we cannot lose sight of that.”

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Luke Bryan Concert Moved to State Fairgrounds in Springfield

Due to the rain and wet field conditions, the Luke Bryan concert originally scheduled to be at the Ayers Family Farm in Edinburg has been moved to the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield. The concert will be on the infield of the grandstands just north of the grandstand at the fairgrounds. The concert is still scheduled for Friday with the gates opening at 5 and the concert starting at 6.

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Western Illinois native returns home to open for Stapleton

Western Illinois native Margo Price returns home to open for Chris Stapleton. The concert was Thursday night at the TaxSlayer Center in Moline. Price says Las Vegas will continue to be on the mind of the music industry for many days to come.
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Price is a 2001 Aledo High School graduate. Her career took off last year—making appearances on such shows as Conan, Jimmy Fallon and Saturday Night Live.

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Macomb Public Works Announces Hydrant Flushing on Wednesday

The City of Macomb Public Works Department has announced that they will begin Hydrant Flushing e on Wednesday, October 11th. Hydrants across the city will be flushed between 8 Am and 3:30 Pm and will continue each weekday until all hydrants across the city have been flushed. During the hydrant flushing residents may experience water discoloration and loss of water pressure. Public Works officers advise that if water is discolored you should wait before using the water until it clears. If you wash laundry in discolored water, rust remover is available at the Public Works Office. Be advised also that if your water pressure drops below 20 PSI a boil order will be necessary and you are advised not to use hot water until pressure is restored and after you have run cold water through your system for 5 to 10 minutes. If you have any questions regarding hydrant flushing please contact the City of Macomb Public Works Department at 309-836-3916. 

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Regional Media BusinessCast Kelsey Boyer from Wesley Village

Kelsey Boyer from Wesley Village is our guest on this week's Regional Media BusinessCast. Kelsey joined us to talk about the unique history of Wesley Village in Macomb, what makes Wesley Village special and about Wesley Village's place in the business community in Macomb. You can contact Kelsey at Wesley Village by calling 309-833-2123 or go online to WesleyVillageMacomb.com.
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Click Here to Stream the Interview 

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Hallo~Wine

The Western Illinois Museum will hold its annual hallo-wine event on Saturday, October 21, 2017. Doors and cash bar open at 6:30 PM, program begins at 7 PM. Music, refreshments, and a hunting is by the museums re-in actors will be available to guest. The program location is 201 South Lafayette St. at the western Illinois museum, one block south of Macomb's Courthouse Square. This year's musical guest will be areas favorites Sally Weisenberg and Dan Berbarm, performing to 40 minute set at 7 o'clock and 8 o'clock. so don't forget to bring your dancing shoes. refreshments will be provided by Hy-Vee's catering, treats will also be served. For more information, visit the museums website at www.wimuseum.org contact the museum at 309-839-2750

 

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Columbia Missouri Man Arrested in Macomb on Methamphetamine Charges

McDonough County Sheriff Rick Van Brooker has announced the arrest of a Missouri man found with Methamphetamine during a traffic stop in Macomb. According to the Sheriff's Office release, 28 year old Travis L. Emmers of Columbia, Missouri was arrested on Wednesday, October 4th after a traffic stop in the area of Highway 67 North of Macomb. After speaking with Emmert during the traffic stop the Sheriff's Deputy callled for a canine unit to come to the scene. The canine unit investigation led to the discovery of more than 2 grams of Methamphetamine ICE, a Digital Scale and a Sawed Off Shotgun. Emmert was arrested and taken to the McDonough County Jail on Charges of Illegal Use of a Weapon, Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Drug Paraphenalia, and Driving While Suspended. 

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Bushnell Pink Warriors Make Donation in Honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Bushnell Pink Warriors have announced a major donation to McDonough District Hospital. According to a release, the Bushnell Pick Warriors have donated a check valued at $4000.00 to Linda's Fund, a Breast Cancer Charity at McDonough District Hospital. Linda's Fund provides financial assistance to breast cancer patients at McDonough District Hospital. The $4000.00 donation came from funds raised at last March's Cancer's a Drag, Drag Show put on each year by the Bushnell Pink Warriors. 

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Christian County Farm Owner Excited to Bring Country Music Superstar to Central Illinois

A Christian County family-owned farm has been working since January to bring country music superstar Luke Bryan to Central Illinois. The big concert will finally happen on Friday night. Cathryn Ayers is a part of the Ayers family hosting the concert on their farm. She says the family is honored to be the hosts of the event, but they also are thankful for how Luke Bryan is supporting agriculture.

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Gates for the event will open at 5 p.m. with the show scheduled to start at 6 p.m. at the Ayers Family Farm, located at 2535 North 800 East Road, about five miles north of Edinburg in Christian County.

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New entry in Democratic AG race

Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering is jumping into the Democratic field after last month's announcement Lisa Madigan wouldn't seek re-election. .Rotering ran a spirited campaign against Congressman Brad Schneider in the last year's Democratic primary. She landed more than 46 percent of the vote cast. She won a high profile battle with the NRA as Highland Park enacted an ordinance banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. State Representative Scott Drury and State Senator Kwame Raoul are also in the Democratic field.

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Davis Says Middle Class Wins Under New Tax Reform Plan

After another failed healthcare push, the U.S. House is now turning their focus to tax reform, and GOP members have unveiled their framework for how the new tax code may look. Central Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis says the goal is to make the tax code simpler, and put more money into the pockets of middle income families.

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Davis says the proposed tax code would also reduce the corporate tax rate, as well as reducing taxes on small businesses.

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Another lawmaker preparing to pack his bags

The exodus continues at the Capitol. Another experienced member of the General Assembly is calling it a career. Republican State Rep. David Harris of Arlington Heights has decided not to seek another term. That means half of the Illinois GOP's ten longest serving members won't be on the ballot next year. Harris joined Democrats in voting for an income tax increase over the summer, ending a multi-year budget stalemate. That vote made him a target of conservative activist and radio host Dan Proft, who is backing a primary opponent Katie Miller of Mount Prospect.

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Drought Having Minimal Impacts on Markets

Central Illinois is in a moderate drought but Doug Gucker, University of Illinois Extension small farms educator, notes the drought is very limited in a section that spans from Missouri to Illinois and Iowa.
Gucker says the localized drought is not impacting the markets because it isn't widespread.

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Gucker says this is going to leave a lot of Illinois farmers wondering why prices aren't reflecting their yield numbers this harvest season.

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West Prairie Middle School to Hold Fifth Annual Spooktacular 5K Fun Run/Walk October 21

West Prairie Middle School will hold its Fifth Annual Spooktacular 5K Fun Run/Walk on Saturday, October 21. The event features a 3.1 "around the horn" loop on a level surface through both the town and country. The event begins and ends at WPMS. 

 

Money from the event goes to the school's PBIS program. That stands for Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports. The program rewards students for positive behavior throughout the school year. 

 

The entry fee for the event before October 10 is $25 for adults and $15 for students k-12 (k-6 need to be with a parent). Children who are in a stroller are free. Registering before October 10 guarentees you a t-shirt. Registration after that date is $30 for adults and $20 for students. 

 

To register, stop by the WPMS office (600 S. Hun Street, Colchester) where you can fill out a form and bring your payment. The form can also be downloaded off the school's Facebook page. For more information visit the school's website or email principal Caitlin Watson at watsonc@wp103.org. 

 

Also be sure to listen to my interview with two students who've helped organize the event, Brayden DeCounter and Ava Kilburn. 

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WIU Board of Trustees Agrees to Sell Former Quad Cities Campus

On Tuesday the Western Illinois Board of Trustees announced that the University has agreed to sell the former WIU Quad Cities campus. According to a press release from the Board of Trustees the former campus on 60th Street in Moline was sold to DJL Associates, LLC of Rock Island, for $1.4 Million dollars. Western Illinois operated their Quad Cities campus on the 60th Street location from 1997 to 2014. In 2014 Western Illinois accepted a gift of 20 acres of land on the Moline riverfront from Deere & Company and built the brand new WIU Quad Cities campus which has operated since 2014. The next meeting of the WIU Board of Trustees is set for December 14th and 15th, 2017, 

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Keeping stored grain from spoiling

Harvest season means it’s once again time to store grain. GROWMARK’s Randy Houltaus says it’s important to keep the crop from spoiling and then also making sure the product comes out of the bin when it’s time. Among the tips he’s promoting is knowing the proper airflow rate.
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Holthaus says once you know the airflow rate, that will help you determine how long to run the fans. And he adds when to run the fans is determined by following Equilibrium Moisture Content charts. 

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Illinois Air Guard continues to help hurricane victims

You may have heard the phrase "Will it play in Peoria". Well the works of the Illinois river city's 182nd Airlift Wing are being well received in areas ravaged by recent hurricanes. Wing Commander Robbie Robertson says it's been a busy time in the weeks since their first C-130 cargo aircraft brought supplies to victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas...
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Robertson says his personnel put a wide array of day jobs aside to help hurricane victims...
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Two C-130s delivered items to St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands on Friday. The 182nd is also preparing to send about 15 security-force members to support airfield operations at Jose Aponte De La Torre Airport in Puerto Rico. Eight members of the 126th Air Refueling Wing at Belleville based Scott Air Force Base arrived in Puerto Rico last month. That unit is providing 24-hour voice and data communication to emergency responders.

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Governor Rauner gets flu shot

Governor Rauner is practicing what he preaches when it comes to preparing for the arrival of flu season. Rauner received his flu shot during a morning press conference with the Illinois Department of Public Health. He says he is no worse for wear....
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State Public Health Director Dr. Nirav Shah says there are no supply issues for the flu vaccine...
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Governor Rauner is urging everyone six months and older to get their flu shot. Flu season typically arrives in October and can last until March.

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Senator Dick Durbin reflects on Vegas tragedy

Senator Dick Durbin has weighed in on the tragic events in Las Vegas. After his colleague Connecticut Democrat Chris Murphy called for an end to what he called legislative indifference, Durbin isn't outlining any specific gun legislation but he believes its a time for action...
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Durbin also saluted first responders in his remarks on the Senate Floor...
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On Twitter, Durbin said "The notion that there’s no way to prevent gun violence is false—and without action to stop gun attacks, Congress is complicit in them. There’s a tendency in Congress to debate how the latest attack could have been prevented. But what are we doing to prevent the next attack??

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Some in IL Scramble to Meet DACA Deadline This Week

There's an important deadline this week for thousands of "Dreamers" across the state. Thursday is the last day to apply for renewal under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program, or DACA.

If your permit expires between now and March 5, said Laura Mendoza, immigration organizer with the Resurrection Project, a nonprofit helping immigrants in Illinois, you must apply to renew by Thursday's deadline. Since President Trump took office and vowed to deport more immigrants, she said, groups such as hers have been flooded with questions. Many people who have been in the United States for years are worried they'll be sent back to a country they barely remember - but also worried about the DACA renewal process.

"Some people have actually chosen not to go forward with their renewal even though they were eligible to renew," she said, "and it's because of that fear - that fear of not knowing what the government is going to do with their information."

The Obama administration launched DACA in 2012 to protect immigrants who came to the United States as children from deportation and to allow them to work or go to school. An estimated 800,000 have benefited from DACA, including 42,000 in Illinois.

Mendoza urged immigrants and those who are supporting them to get advice about the DACA renewal process only from trusted sources. She said it's also important to stay informed and involved in the immigration debate.

"This is the time that we need to make sure that our politicians are passing legislation that would be law that ... wouldn't be able to be taken away like DACA was," she said.

Mendoza said the Resurrection Project has posted informational videos about DACA renewals and other immigration issues on its Facebook page..

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Citizens October Community and Seniors Day Features Flu Shots and Retinopathy Screenings

Citizens Bank, a division of Morton Community Bank, will hold its monthly Community and Seniors Day on Thursday, October 5. The bank holds the event at its Downtown Macomb branch on the first Thursday of every month to provide beneficial services to senior citizens in the area. 

 

For this month, the list of services includes retinopathy screenings courtesy of the lions club and flu shots from MDH Home Health Care. To get all of the event details listen to my interview with Rochelle Seaver, Jack Schoonover, and Karen Kelso. 

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WIU to Host Coffee with a Cop Event Wednesday

Students and WIU employees are encouraged to attend coffee with a cop on Wednesday, October 4th from 9 Am to 11 Am at the University Union Concourse. The event. part of an initiative by the Department of Justice will feature representatives from the Macomb Police Department, the McDonough County Sheriff's Office and the Illinois State Police answering questions and interacting with attendees regarding issues related to law enforcement. The effort is intended to foster cooperation and understanding among members of the community and members of law enforcement. If you have any questions regarding Coffee with a Cop you can contact WIU OPS at 309-298-1949. 

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Two More Sexual Assaults Reported on WIU Campus

Two more students have reported sexual assaults in WIU dorm roooms bringing the number of reported sexual assaults on campus to 4 since the beginning of the new school year. According to the WIU Office of Public Safety Report on Saturday, October 1st, a female student reported to the Office of Public Safety that she was assaulted on September 16th by a male student who was known to her. Another sexual asault was reported on September 28th. Once again a female student reported having been sexually assaulted in a residence hall by a male who was known to her. The WIU Office of Public Safety is investigating both incidents and no other details are being released at this time. 

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September Closes Out With Plenty of Heat Records

Hot and dry is a good way of describing the weather in Illinois over the month of September. State Climatologist Jim Angel says it was the fourth driest August through September on record. Now about 80 percent of the state in listed as abnormally dry according to the US Drought Monitor. On top of the dryness, Angel says it’s was also remarkably warm.

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Angel says early warm weather this week will break and bring more seasonable temps to Illinois by the midweek.

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Illinois Lawmakers Team Up To Keep Students at Illinois Universities

Keeping the top students in Illinois is the theme of a piece of legislation put out by a pair of Illinois Senators.State Senator Chapin Rose teamed up with Senate Minority Leader Dan Brady to keep Illinois' top high school students in the state, going to Illinois universities. Outmigration of students is not a new problem according to the two....

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Sen. Rose hopes to keep students in Illinois through a variety of means including reforming the marketplace for education among Illinois universities.

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The two leaders are also looking at streamlining the application processes for students in Illinois to universities in the state. Sen. Rose indicates that part of the legislation has been well received by both families of their districts and the universities they have spoken with.

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Cost of Trump tax reform plan remains key question

How much will the Trump tax reform plan cost? That’s one of the key questions says Mark Gebhards, the Executive Director of Governmental Affairs for the Illinois Farm Bureau.
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Trump’s plan calls for three federal income tax brackets—12 percent, 25-percent and 35-percent, but it’s unclear at this time which incomes will fall into each tax bracket. As for the corporate tax rate, the Trump plan calls for a 15-percent reduction—from 35-percent to 20-percent.

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Lincoln Presidential Library captures memories of high school sports/extracurricular activities

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum has devoted much of its time and space this year to sports role in Illinois history. After launching the Cubs and Cardinals Rivalry exhibit, the Presidential Library is focusing on sports at the grass roots level. The Library's oral history program has teamed up with the Illinois High School Association to capture decades of memories of high school sports and activities like chess, debate and journalism. 54 interviews have been produced so far. Longtime school administrator volunteer Philip Pogue, who served with Fairbury Prairie Central and Greenville/Bond County among other stops, says local sports is truly local history...
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For more information, visit www.presidentlincoln.illinois.gov .

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Healthcare for Kids At Risk

Federal funding for some healthcare programs has expired, including the Children’s Health Insurance Program or CHIP. It covers around 180,000 kids in the state and Congress missed a deadline for reauthorization. Democratic Senator Dick Durbin says the problem can be fixed but CHIP is at risk of running out of funding in about 6 months.

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Meetings are underway on Capitol Hill to work on the problem according to Durbin and he wants to see reauthorization done by the end of the week.

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Macomb Police Investigating Shots Fired Incident

Macomb Police have announced that they are investigating a shots fired incident in the area of the 300 Block of West Adams Street. The incident happened at approximately 3:45 Am on October 1st when officers were called to the area regarding shots fired. A subsequent investigation determined that a fight had occurred and that one of the subjects in the fight had fired a gun several times, shooting into the air. No one was hurt in the incident. Several subjects were detained following the incident and Macomb Police are continuing to investigate. 

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Illinois' Food Insecurity Numbers Remain High

Even though there have been improvements in the economy since the Great Recession, 13 percent of Illinois residents are still living in poverty, according to new U.S. Census Bureau data, and 512,000 of them are children.

The overall cost of living, including housing and taxes, has risen steadily, yet Illinois' minimum wage has remained stagnant, with Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoing a plan this summer to increase it to $15 an hour.

Diane Doherty, executive director of the Illinois Hunger Coalition, says too many people in the state don't have enough to eat - and it isn't because they're out of work.

"They're not in jobs where their wages are adequate enough, so one of 11 people in the state of Illinois that are working participate in the SNAP program," she explains. "That continues to be way too high."

Doherty says threats by the Trump administration to cut federal nutrition programs such as SNAP will send more people into poverty if they become reality, and food banks across the state are already stretched thin trying to meet the high need.

Doherty points out many parents are working multiple jobs to make ends meet for their families, and older folks who should be enjoying retirement are forced to continue working.

"It just seems so unfair to me that people that have worked all their lives or they've raised their families - they've contributed so much to their communities, veterans who served their countries, put their lives on the line - and they're still suffering from hunger," she laments.

The Census Bureau report also found nearly 7 percent of Illinois residents don't have health insurance.

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