Macomb Local News Archives for 2019-04

Governor Pritzker and IDOA Announce Availability of Industrial Hemp Applications

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) are now accepting applications for both growers and processors of industrial hemp. The applications can be found on the IDOA website homepage or by clicking on the Plants tab and going to Industrial Hemp.


Both growers and processers can apply as a business entity or an individual. Applications will be taken online, and applicants can pay the application fee with a credit card. The application fee is $100. License and registration fees are below:






Grower license




Processor registration





With the growing interest from both growers and processors across the state of Illinois, the Department are ready to begin reviewing and processing applications as they are received.


Gov. JB Pritzker stated, "As governor, I will ensure Illinois remains at the forefront of what it means to be a 21st century agricultural economy. Industrial hemp is a potentially billion-dollar industry that Illinois will now take part in. From farming and processing to sales and exports, this will have a massive impact on our state’s economy."


“Since the passage of the Industrial Hemp Act last year, no single issue has generated more interest at the IL Department of Ag (IDOA) from Illinois farmers, individuals and business owners than the growing and processing of industrial hemp,” said John Sullivan, Director IDOA. “Our staff has worked diligently to answer questions, complete the rule making process and provide a user-friendly application process—all in time to plant hemp this growing season. We are excited to watch this industry grow and provide job creation opportunities.”


U of I Extension to Offer Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Webinar

GALESBURG – The University of Illinois Extension Community and Economic Development center will be airing a live webinar on the Freedom of Information Act on May 16th, 2019 from Noon-1pm. Christopher Boggs, an Assistant Attorney General from the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, will bring updated information and tools required to implement this policy at the local level and how to avoid violations.


Supervising Attorney Christopher R. Boggs has been with the Public Access Bureau in the Office of the Illinois Attorney General since September 2012.  Prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office, Mr. Boggs served as a Post-Doctoral Legal Fellow in the Office of University Counsel for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Mr. Boggs has also previously clerked for Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s Office of Special Counsel, The Honorable Joe Billy McDade of the Central District of Illinois, and United States Senator Barack Obama. Mr. Boggs received his Juris Doctorate, cum laude, and bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


There is no cost to attend the webinar; contact Nancy Ouedraogo at more information.


IDPH Investigating Legionella Possibly Associated with Chicago Hospital

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) are investigating two cases of Legionnaires’ disease in patients that were possibly exposed at Mercy Hospital & Medical Center in Chicago. There are also reports of Legionella in the facility’s water system. The investigation is currently limited to the facility and the general public is NOT at risk for the disease.


The IDPH, along with the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), were onsite Thursday to evaluate the reported presence of Legionella in the hospital’s water system and collect environmental samples for laboratory testing. Both agencies continue to collect information and investigate. IDPH has provided the facility with information to give to patients and families about Legionella. Additionally, the facility is conducting active surveillance to identify other potential cases and to ensure appropriate testing and clinical management.


Mercy Hospital & Medical Center is working with a water management team, IDPH and CDPH to strengthen its water management practices. The facility has already put protective measures in place like flushing the water system, altering or replacing water fixtures, and placing filters on sinks. 

Legionella bacteria occurs naturally in the environment.  Water containing Legionella bacteria can be aerosolized through cooling towers, showers, hot tubs, and decorative fountains, and can cause illness when inhaled. Legionnaires’ disease is a serious lung infection (pneumonia) that people can get by breathing in small droplets of water containing Legionella bacteria. Legionnaires’ disease is not passed from person to person.  Outbreaks are most commonly associated with buildings or structures that have complex water systems like hotels, hospitals, long-term care facilities and cruise ships.  The bacterium can become a health concern when it grows and spreads in human-made water systems, like hot tubs, cooling towers, hot water tanks, large plumbing systems and decorative fountains.  
Most healthy people do not get Legionnaires’ disease after being exposed to Legionella bacteria.  People at increased risk are those 50 years of age and older, or those who have certain risk factors, such as being a current or former smoker, having a chronic disease, or having a weakened immune system. 
More information about Legionnaires’ disease can be found on the IDPH website and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.


IDNR Seeking Applicants for Illinois Conservation Police Positions

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) are seeking applicants for the position of Conservation Police Officer Trainee. The Department will begin the selection process with a written exam. The exam will be administered June 3rd, 2019 to June 6th, 2019, and June 10th, 2019 to June 13th, 2019. The IDNR have the intent to hire up to 20 officers in 2020.


Conservation Police Officer Trainee is a state employment position title for which CMS does not test on a regular basis, so those interested in the position are encouraged to apply and participate in the testing scheduled only from June 3, 2019 through June 13, 2019.  Interested applicants must take a completed CMS100 Application to the CMS Testing Facilities.  CMS100 applications mailed in to CMS in advance will not be accepted.  The Springfield CMS Testing Center will offer the test on Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  The Chicago CMS Testing Center will offer the test on Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  The Marion, Rockford and Champaign CMS Testing Centers will only offer the exam by appointment.


Interested applicants should complete a CMS100 employment application from the Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS), which can be found online through this link: Applicants should also review the hiring information contained on the IDNR Law Enforcement webpage:


Applicants who are seeking Veterans Preference Points or a waiver of the college degree requirement under PA 97-0948, and who have not yet established their status with the CMS Veterans Outreach Program, must submit their military documentation to CMS-VOP as soon as possible prior to testing to establish their veteran’s preference status.  Questions regarding establishing veteran’s preference status should be directed to CMS-VOP at 217-524-1313. Applicants who are currently employed as a full-time Police Officer with full law enforcement authority in the State of Illinois may be eligible to participate in a “fast-track” training process that would waive the 14-week Basic Law Enforcement Academy.


For more information on the IDNR Office of Law Enforcement and the Conservation Police Officer hiring process, review the detailed information available on the IDNR website at or contact Lt. Curt Lewis, IDNR Office of Law Enforcement, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271, phone 217-785-8407, e-mail


Correctional Center Inmates Graduate from WIU Entrepreneurship Program Monday

MACOMB – The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Western Illinois University, in association will the Henry Hill Correctional Center in Galesburg, IL, has been presenting business entrepreneurship workshops at the center for inmates.


The eight sessions were tailored to help the inmates start their own businesses when they are eventually released from prison. The sessions are to help the incarcerated to become self-sustaining as well as reduce the recidivism rates.


The first group of six class graduates were presented Monday, April 22 during a ceremony at the correctional center. During the ceremony, the graduates each presented the business plans they developed through the course work. 

The graduates included:

    • Derek Benevento
    • Randy Flood
    • Leroy Anderson
    • Jordan Carmody
    • Kenneth Hernandez
    • Daniel Falcon

The WIU Entrepreneurship classes were offered through a grant received by the SBDC. 

For more information about the SBDC, visit


Original story by WIU News. Find them here.


WIU Wind Ensemble to Present 52nd President's Concert

Macomb, IL -- The Western Illinois University School of Music will present the WIU Wind Ensemble 52nd annual “President’s Concert” at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 4 in the College of Fine Arts and Communication (COFAC) Recital Hall.


The Wind Ensemble will perform a program of historically significant composers from the 19th and 20th centuries including Hindemith, Grainger, Strauss, Reed and Wagner. The ensemble is conducted by the WIU Professor of Music and Director of Bands Mike Fansler. Graduate instrumental conducting student Andrey Cruz will guest conduct and WIU faculty artists Professor Bruce Briney, Assistant Professor Jena Gardner, Professor Eric Ginsberg, Associate Professor Kevin Nichols and Faculty Assistant Minjung Seo will perform. Guest "off-stage" contributors include Jordan Fansler, Allie Hulen, Cicely McCain and Frank Syrek. This performance is open free to the public.


PROGRAM Includes :

Symphony in B-flat (1951) - Paul Hindemith (1895-1963)

I. Moderately fast, with vigor

II. Andantino grazioso / Fast and gay

III. Fugue, rather broad


Colonial Song (1911/1921) - Percy Aldridge Grainger (1882-1961)


Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, op. 28 (1894-5) - Richard Strauss (1864-1949)/Trans. Mark Hindsley (1905-1999)


La Fiesta Mexicana (1949) - H. Owen Reed (1910-2013)

I. Prelude and Aztec Dance

II. Mass

III. Carnival

- Cruz, graduate conductor


Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral (1849/1938) - Richard Wagner (1813-1883)/Trans. Lucien Cailliet (1891-1985). For more info visit



Kids Health & Safety Day

In Monmouth, Illinois April 30, 2019 – OSF HealthCare Holy Family Medical Center, Warren County YMCA and American Cancer Society Relay For Life have teamed up for the annual Kids Health & Safety Day. The Kids Health & Safety Day is a free family/friendly fun day, held during Relay For Life from 3-5 p.m., Saturday, June 8 at Sunny Lane Field in Monmouth. All community members are welcome to this annual event. Participants will enjoy health and safety education from area organizations. Activities will include:  Touch A Truck – including EMS, fire, police vehicles, the OSF Life Flight helicopter, the Region 2 EMS Mobile Emergency Department Trailer and more.  Their will be giveaways that include free bicycle helmets, sunscreen and many more while supplies last. Their are also more fun activities to participate in like the obstacle course, bounce house, fitness activities and more.


The following organizations will be participating in the event: OSF HealthCare Holy Family Medical Center, OSF Children’s Hospital of Illinois, OSF Life Flight, Warren County YMCA, the American Cancer Society Relay For Life, Warren County Health Department, Monmouth Fire Department, Monmouth Police Department, Galesburg Hospitals’ Ambulance Service, Monmouth Area Chamber of Commerce, University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners, Knox County Child Advocacy Center & Paladin Children’s Center, CASA of West Central Illinois, Warren County Sheriff, Hy-Vee, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Regional Office of Education 33, Warren County Public Library, Young’s Lake, Buchanan Center for the Arts, Illinois Farm Bureau Ag in the Classroom, Jamieson Community Center, Wayne Pierce, and more!


“We are excited to consolidate Kids Health & Safety Day and Warren County YMCA Healthy Kids Day activities and the Relay For Life into a single, must-attend community event,” said OSF HealthCare Holy Family President Patty Luker. “Working with the YMCA and American Cancer Society, we are able really focus on engaging community partners so we can reach more people in a single day and continue building a healthy and safe community!” Kids Health & Safety Day  will be hosted Saturday, June 8th 3-5 pm Sunny Lane Field, Monmouth (during relay for life)




Amber Wood - Community Relations Coordinator, OSF HealthCare Holy Family Medical Center

(309) 734-1605 |

Candy Conard – Associate Executive Director, Warren County YMCA

(309) 734-3183 |

Sara Vancil – Event Co-Chair, American Cancer Society Relay For Life

(309) 457-6224 |


Gov. J.B. Pritzker to Deliver Keynote Speech During Business Day Luncheon Hosted by IMA and IRMA

Springfield - The Illinois Manufacturers' Association (IMA) and the Illinois Retail Merchants Association (IRMA) are proud to co-host the 2019 Business Day at the Capitol on Wednesday, May 1. This annual event is the largest gathering for business leaders in Illinois, who will visit with elected officials to discuss issues impacting jobs and economic growth.    


Gov. J.B. Pritzker will address approximately 400 business leaders during their annual luncheon, which will be followed by panel discussions on data privacy, cannabis, and the proposed graduated income tax. The cannabis panel will feature Rep. Kelly Cassidy and employment attorney Scott Cruz of Clark Hill PLC; the data privacy panel features national technology, privacy and cybersecurity expert Aaron Tantleff of Foley & Lardner LLP; and the graduated income tax panel will feature Jared Walczak of the Tax Foundation and Ralph Martire of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability.


Business leaders will meet with and encourage lawmakers to create a long-term path to economic growth through sound and disciplined fiscal policy and reducing the obstacles for growth for employers and employees. Business Day is hosted by Mark Denzler, president and CEO, Illinois Manufacturers' Association and Rob Karr, president and CEO, Illinois Retail Merchants Association.


This annual event will begin at 12 p.m., Wednesday, May 1, 2019 as Pritzker's remarks will be scheduled to begin shortly after noon. The  panels will take place from 1:15 p.m. - 3 p.m at the Abraham Lincoln Hotel and Conference Center (Ballroom)701 E. Adams Street Springfield.  




Memorial Tree Planting

Macomb, IL -- Western Illinois University-Macomb employees who passed away between March of 2018 and March of 2019,  will be remembered at 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 7 during a ceremony at the Memorial Tree Grove. The Memorial Tree Grove is  located on the southeast section of campus by University Village, which is near the West Pierce Street entrance. The ceremony will be open to the public.Michael Hott, facilities management, will be remembered.


The May 7 ceremony will mark the 16th annual planting in the Memorial Tree Grove, which was established in Fall 2003, following a recommendation by members of Western's American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 417, with support from the Civil Service Employees Council, the Council of Administrative Personnel, Faculty Senate and University administration. Employees will be granted release time to attend during their regularly scheduled work hours, subject to supervisory approval and the operational needs of the department.


The annual ceremony will include one tree planted in memory of all employees who passed away during the preceding year. Honorees include employees who die while either actively working, on disability, on workers compensation or on an approved leave from the University. To date, Western has honored 58 individuals.



WIU Places Second at Supply Chain Management Case Competition

MACOMB/MOLINE, IL - A team of Western Illinois University Supply Chain Management (SCM) students recently brought home second place at the 2019 American Production and Inventory Control (APICS) Iowa State University Case Competition. 

Team members included seniors Mariemma Mahar (Moline, IL), SCM major; Dylan Freeman (Rock Island, IL), management major; Anna Eckhardt (Bettendorf, IA), SCM major; and Thomas Killick, SCM major (Appleton, WI). The teams were given a case about Danfoss, a global equipment manufacturer, which also has a site in Ames, IA. All teams had 24 hours to solve a very complex case with the end goal of finding a way to increase revenue, and according to the judges it was a very tight race. 

"Our team was commended by the judges on the creativity and originality of the ideas," said Vitaly Brazhkin, assistant professor of SCM and advisor of the group. "From my perspective, it was a very successful performance. I use Iowa State University (ISU) as a benchmark. They have a huge SCM program that participates in many competitions regularly and offers a class on the competitions. I take understandable pleasure in seeing our team beat ISU for the third time and even on their own turf. 

Brazhkin said that the WIU team of students met for at least three hours, and sometimes more, every week this semester to prepare. 

"We have spent a lot of time on this case," said Killick. "Case competitions are really fun. We have learned a lot, and we definitely grew a lot as a team to prepare for this. It's a lot of blood, sweat and tears, but we came up with a solution that I'm really excited about."

Recently, Western's SCM program was named a Top 30 Program in the U.S. by renowned supply chain scientist Muddassir Ahmed. The program boasts a 95 percent job placement rate after graduation; hosts an annual SCM day, where students and more than 45 industry partners are connected; and offers many opportunities for resumé building with hands-on experience outside the classroom, including field trips to manufacturing plants and distribution centers, global professional conferences, study abroad opportunities, national and global case competitions, an SCM Student Association and a required internship.

For more information on WIU's Supply Chain Management program, visit


Original story by WIU News. Find them here.


WIU Students Attend Conference to Help Improve Illinois' Future

MACOMB – Three Western Illinois University students attended the Renewing Illinois Summit this past March. The event, hosted in Carbondale, IL by the Paul Simon Institute, allowed students from across Illinois to make recommendations for improving the state’s future. A total of 40 students, from nine Illinois universities, participated at the event.

Three students from WIU, Lexi Werle, a graduate student in political science from Macomb; Nashuba Hudson, a junior political science major from Chicago; and Kelly Rodgers, an MBA graduate student from Macomb, were able to attend the Summit.


A report on the students' findings is being finalized and will then be sent to the governor and other state officials. The report included findings on improving the attractiveness of higher education in Illinois. 

The students from across the state represented many of the major divides in politics from across the country, geographic and political divisions between northern Illinois and downstate communities and divisions between rural and urban communities. 

The students were accompanied at the conference by WIU Department of Political Science Chair Keith Boeckelman. Boeckelman said the conference was a great opportunity for WIU students.

"One of Illinois' major problems in recent years is out-migration, including the departure of the next generation of leaders," he said. "I believe that this summit can provide a blueprint for reversing this trend by attending to the voices of young Illinoisans." 

Werle said the experience allowed students from across the state to share their concerns and she learned that many of those concerns are the same.

"We all too often hear from our friends that they cannot wait until they can move out of Illinois, and we want to change that," said Werle. "This state can become a place where people want to be, but it will take a lot of effort. This is our state too, and we are ready to move it forward into something better than before."

Hudson said she was "grateful and honored" to represent WIU at the summit.

"I think it was a brilliant idea to bring future leaders together to meet and brainstorm on ways we can revive our state," she said. "As we discussed our state's budget crisis, our ways of governance, and most importantly higher education, students were able to compose the final report. We had great conversation with real substance, and I hope our thoughts are truly considered by the state leadership moving forward." 

Rodgers said she appreciated the conference as a way for students to voice their opinions on the direction the state is headed.

"Leading up to the summit, SIUC and Dr. Boeckelman provided us a variety of publications from which we could build our recommendations," she said. "The summit was over a period of two days - the second day was when we discussed policy and made our recommendations. We focused on three overarching topics: Governance, Budget and Higher Education. Out of the three, I preferred Governance and Budget the most, because of the discussions. Overall, the Renewing Illinois Summit was a wonderful experience and it is exciting to see others invested and as excited as I am about Illinois."

For more information about the WIU Department of Political Science, visit


Original story by WIU News. Find them here.


Worker's Memorial Day Event to be Held at Iowa State State Capitol

DES MOINES, IA – Iowa will be hosting their annual Worker’ Memorial Day ceremony on Monday, April 29th, at 11 am at the State Capitol’s West Terrace lawn. The event will pay tribute to workers who passed while on the job in 2018. In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held in the Wallace Building Auditorium at 502 East 9th Street in Des Moines.


“Workers’ Memorial Day is a day to remember and honor those Iowans who died in the workplace or while serving our country in the military last year. Workers’ Memorial Day is also a day when we renew our commitment to worker health and safety in the workplace,” said Iowa Labor Commissioner Rod Roberts.


During calendar year 2018, 26 Iowans died from injuries sustained while working.  Additionally, untold numbers of Iowans are injured from accidents in the workplace. The family and friends of the deceased have been invited to attend this annual ceremony.


Commissioner Roberts will be joined by Governor Kim Reynolds, Lt. Governor Adam Gregg, Director Beth Townsend, Iowa Workforce Development, President Mark Cooper, South Central Iowa Federation of Labor, and Secretary/Treasurer Charlie Wishman, Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. Also, state and local public officials, representatives from various labor organizations, and the public are invited to join us in a ceremony to honor and remember those who have lost their lives in work related accidents in 2018.


U of I to Offer Lawn Care Clinic in McDonough County

MCDONOUGH COUNTY- The University of Illinois will be offering a lawn care clinic at the McDonough County Extension office on Tuesday, May 21st. The clinic will begin at 5:30pm, will be outside and is free. In the event of inclement weather, the clinic will be moved indoors. The clinic will offer help on weed treatment and pollinator insect information. To register for the clinic, call the office at 309 342-5108 or sign up online at


Beloved WIU Professor to Participate in "Puck-It List" Event

MACOMB – Western Illinois University Theater and Dance professor Jason Conner has become beloved by almost all of the students who have taken his classes at WIU. Unfortunately, Professor Conner has begun to feel his, “time in Macomb may be waning.” So, Professor Conner has decided to do something, extravagant.


Conner will begin his “Fear and Loathing in Macomb: Puck-it List 2019” weekend long adventure, starting April 27th and ending on May 4th. He says he was inspired by “70’s Performance Art, Millennial Bucket Lists, Hunter S. Thompson’s misadventures in journalism, and the ‘in-character’ antics of Sacha Baron Cohen.”


His list is as follows in his words:

1. I will execute this entire “Puck-it List” wearing a Velour, Russian Gangster Track Suit, and pose as my alter ego, ‘?????? ???????.’ Aka – Younger Sodomov.
2. I will investigate Simpkins Theatre for paranormal activity. 
3. I will seek out initiation into a Greek social organization. 
4. I will visit an Amish Colony and negotiate the purchase of a live farm animal. 
5. I will pilot a high-performance automobile from Macomb to Beardstown and Beardstown to Macomb to bring back food truck tacos for an entire house of my hungover students. 
6. I will perform, record, and post a one-man re-enactment of the 2011 Wheeler Block Party. 
7. I will attempt a beer bong at E.L.E., on the condition three certified EMT’s are standing by to resuscitate me if/when I choke on my own vomit. 
8. I will “make it rain” off of the balcony in The Forum. 
9. I will partake in “Jay Connor Shots” at The Ritz with my friends, family, and strangers alike, toasting to "The American Dream." 
10. I will treat at least 3 random strangers to Susan’s, 1AM, street vendor, Chinese food, if they can rap the lyrics of any Wu-Tang Clan or Beastie Boys song.
11. I will lead a rendition of our National Anthem on the 2AM Black Line “Drunk Bus.”


Professor Conner has also encouraged others through his Facebook post to “add to the list” and for “anyone and everyone to develop their very own Macomb ‘Puck-It List 2019.’”


The Western Challenge Breaks Record, Exceeds Goal

MACOMB, IL -- The Western Challenge will be held for the third consecutive year,  in conjunction with the Western Illinois University's Purple & Gold Day April 24 - to break a fundraising record and exceeded its goal.Leatherneck pride was in full force on April 24, as this year's event set a record raising $188,759, with 897 donors. Last year's 24-hour online giving event set a record  raising $153,679, with 851 donors. Gifts streamed in for a variety of departments, programs, resources, scholarships and special projects, from the hours of the morning to the evening's end.


"This event shows the incredible pride and support that our alumni and friends have for Western Illinois University. We are so deeply appreciative of the 897 individuals for the opportunities they have created for our students and faculty, as well as their continued commitment to WIU," said Annual Fund Director Tim Hallinan. This year's event included 12 challenges and matches, which increased donor involvement for specific areas and departments on campus, such as academic colleges, University Housing and Dining Services and the Mascot Memorial Project.


"I offer my most sincere gratitude to those who donated or participated in Purple & Gold Day, as well as The Western Challenge. I also want to congratulate Tim Hallinan for his extraordinary efforts and initiative. His leadership of annual giving at Western, and the Western Challenge, is to be commended," said Vice President for Advancement and Public Services Brad Bainter. "It was a great day, and certainly one that gives us great hope and inspiration for Western's future. Our alumni and friends support our students, our programs, and our University. They believe in Western Illinois University, and events such as this demonstrate to our current and future students that Western is a place with people who will help them succeed."


WIU Professor's Book Offers Insight into Sri Lankan Terrorist Attackers

MACOMB, IL - - A Western Illinois University professor recently published the book, "Family Terror Networks," which offers expertise and insight into the horrific terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka over the weekend. That incident killed over 350 people and injured more than 500 others and included the attackers and cell members from several family terror networks, including two sets of brothers, as well as a husband and wife.


WIU Homeland Security Professor and terrorism expert Dean C. Alexander published a groundbreaking book that addresses the phenomenon of family-linked terrorism (e.g., ISIS families, the Boston Marathon bombers and the San Bernardino terrorists) and its implications, that provide insight into detecting and undermining this increasingly prominent feature of extremism.


The most recent terror attacks in Sri Lanka are the latest example of family-affiliated mass casualty terrorist incidents. Alexander said such terror networks must be countered with proper tools. One must comprehend the nature and features of family-affiliated terrorism; and simultaneously apply a six-stage model to predict the formation of possible family terror networks. Alexander's book provides the tools to achieve these goals.


This first monograph  discusses characteristics of family terror networks chronicles and case studies involving various kin relationships (e.g., brothers, husbands/wives and fathers/sons) embracing disparate extremist ideologies. Additionally, an analysis of the 118 case studies of family connected terrorism involving 138 examples of kin relationships) is shared. Alexander noted the 138 family ties discussed in the cases involved fairly equal amounts of husbands/wives (43/138 or 31%) and brothers (36/138 or 26%). These results are attributable to the bonds that coalesce during courtship and marriage. The frequency of brothers in this volume underscores the potency of sibling relationships, as well as the higher frequency of male participation in terrorism over females. Three other sources of family-terror connections contributed about 25% of such instances, namely: fathers/sons (15/138 cases or 10.87%), cousins (11/138 cases or 7.97%) and siblings (other than sister-si

ster, brother-brother) (9/138 cases or 6.52%).


Overwhelmingly, jihadism was the ideology connected to the 118 instances of families affiliated with terrorism that were analyzed. Jihadism was found in 85% of the cases with other precepts occurring comparatively rarely (15%). The non-jihadists associated with kin terrorism were aligned with mostly right-wing radicalism (e.g., sovereign citizens, militia and white supremacy).


The book proposes a six-stage model for predicting the formation of family terror networks. At Stage 1, a family member (F1) is exposed to a radical ideology and supports a movement associated with this extremist tenet. During Stage 2, the family member (F1) approaches another family member (F2) or multiple family members (F3–4) about the possibility of following the extremist ideology. At Stage 3, a family member (F2) or multiple family members (F3–4) accept, accept with reservations or reject the extremist tenets of their family member. In Stage 4, several options are conceivable. F1 takes part in a terrorist act or otherwise supports the movement. F1 and F2 carry out a terrorist attack or support the movement. Alternatively, F1 and F2 may leave extremism. Another path affords either F1 or F2 to remain enthralled by radicalism while the other's support ends. F3/F4 may follow any of the paths of F1/F2.


During Stage 5, assuming F2 has left radicalism (or never accepted it initially), F2 may try to directly influence F1 to leave radicalism or indirectly do so by reaching out for aid from others (e.g., law enforcement, religious and civic communities, friends, etc.). Alternatively, assuming F1 has left radicalism, F1 may pursue efforts to dislodge F2 from extremism along the same path mentioned in this stage. At Stage 6, F1 may decide to: leave extremism, protest F2’s efforts, leave the premises (assuming they live together), cease communications with F2, attack F2 or pursue other actions. Alternatively, F2 may decide to follow the same path mentioned in this stage. The family terror networks are likely to remain prevalent for the foreseeable future. Belief systems advocating political violence exist in some families. It is natural to share enthusiasm about newly found ideology, including extremist tenets, with easily swayed family members. The ability of family members to pressure others to support extremism remains strong.


The book is available at and other retailers. The volume has been featured in "PoliceOne," "Security Magazine," "American Security Today," "European Eye on Radicalization" and "The Jerusalem Post," among other publications. Since publishing on terrorism in 1991, Professor Alexander has published three other books on terrorism, including: "The Islamic State: Combating the Caliphate Without Borders," "Business Confronts Terrorism" and "Terrorism and Business." He has trained law enforcement and military personnel in the United States and abroad on terrorism and counterterrorism issues His insights on terrorism have been featured in domestic and international media.



World Champion Drum and Bugle Corps Phantom Regiment Return to WIU for Summer Training Camp

MACOMB, IL -- The two-time world champion Phantom Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps will return to Western Illinois University for a summer training camp.


The 150-member corps comprised of men and women ages 17-21 from around the country, along with a 50-member staff, which will roll back into Macomb Sunday, May 19. They will live, work and train at WIU Macomb campus through June 7. The members will live in the WIU residence halls and practice on Hanson Field, Vince Grady Field and the Marching Leathernecks practice field. All rehearsals will be  open free to the public and will be located on Hanson Field and other parts of campus. More information and up-to-date schedules will be available on the WIU Bands Facebook page. A free community performance will be held at 8 p.m., Friday, June 7 at Hanson Field (practice begins at 7 p.m. - the public is welcome).


WIU Marching Leathernecks Director Matt Thomas and Corps Executive Director Rick Valenzuela met in 2017 while judging a marching band competition, and resulted in the initial discussions about the Regiment calling WIU and Macomb its summer home. "We are so excited to welcome the Phantom Regiment back to campus and to our community," Thomas said.


The corps has been based out of Rockford, IL since its formation in 1956, but began scouting for a new training camp location in 2017. Valenzuela discovered WIU offered the robust array of facilities and services required to prepare his group to be nationally competitive. "We were literally blown away by the hospitality of not only the University, but the city and community overall," Valenzuela said. "We look forward to making many more positive memories at our spring training in Macomb again this summer."



''ASH'' Releases First Single as her WIU Graduation Approaches

MACOMB – A Western Illinois University senior is combining lessons learned in her college classrooms with a lifelong passion for music for her recently-released new single, "Fall Yourself Out of Love."

Ashley Asauskas, who performs under the name "ASH," is a psychology major, music minor from Homewood, IL. She wrote, produced, recorded and sang the song. Alumnus Drew Harris, audio engineered the song. “Fall Yourself Out of Love” is now available on national music platforms, such as Apple Music, iTunes and Spotify.

"ASH" will also perform during WIU's Coolchella event from 5-8 p.m. Tuesday, April 30 in the parking lot of Corbin Hall. She is one of five performers taking to the Coolchella stage in an event sponsored by the Corbin and Olson residence halls, University Housing and Dining staff and Inter-Hall Council. 

Asauskas will graduate from Western next month and plans to move to Oceanside, CA in July to continue pursuing a career as a singer/songwriter.  

“'Fall Yourself Out of Love' is my only song that has been released so far, but I am currently working releasing five more songs before July," she said.

"ASH" is working on the release of a music video, filmed in Brophy Hall, for "Fall Yourself Out of Love." The project includes several WIU students who are putting their academic lessons into real-world practice. WIU senior marketing major Tucker Lee created the album cover for the single and is working on the behind-the-scenes video of the “Fall Yourself Out of Love” music video. Senior musical theatre major Libby Crawford choreographed the video. Columbia University senior Haley Atherton filmed and is in the process of editing the video. 

In the classrooms of WIU, Asauskas said it was switching from music therapy to psychology as a primary major that had an influence on her creative process. She said her time in the music therapy program helped her develop a strong work ethic and drastically improve as a musician.

"Becoming a psychology major has challenged me intellectually and academically, and I will forever be grateful for that, but music has and always will be my passion," she said. “I started feeling my creativity and love for creating music come back to life."

But it was in the classroom of Courtney Blankenship, director of WIU's music business program, that Asauskas found herself inspired to move ahead with releasing her first song. 

"She has taught me so many crucial aspects of the music business that I would have never known if I didn’t take her classes. For instance, I learned a lot about artist development and what next steps I need to take to further launch my career," she said. "Her classes have been extremely beneficial in teaching me how to make things happen for myself."

Asauskas was one of 12 WIU students Blankenship took to the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Show in California. Blankenship received a $1,000 grant from the Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association (MEIEA) to help offset travel expenses for the group. 

In the few weeks remaining before graduation, Asauskas said she is researching jobs in California and wrapping up her educational time at Western.

"College for me was figuring out my life," she said. "Music has always fueled my soul – I have tried to think of a 'backup plan' but nothing else seems fitting. I’ve learned a lot at WIU, including music theory, which really helps when I’m creating my own music. I learned how to analyze a song, so it actually means something when I sing it. I also learned how to read and analyze more critically and understand things at a higher intellectual level."

To listen to ASH's song, visit, or search the song title on most song platforms. For more information about ASH, visit her Instagram account @ashfeyasow.


Original story by WIU News. Find them here.


WIU Student to Screen Short Film 'Evanescent' April 30

MACOMB – Western Illinois University senior broadcasting major and film minor, Thaddeus Fifer, of Chicago Heights, IL, will be screening his short film “Evanescent” on Tuesday, April 30th, in Simpkins Hall, room 220. The screening will begin at 5 pm.


"Evanescent" is the first short film written and directed by Fifer. It tells the story of a young man facing his inner demons after a fateful encounter with a stranger. The chilling car ride through the countryside reveals a great deal about both men and their true intentions. "The final destination is already determined, but only one of them knows that," said Fifer. 

"Evanescent" is the second short film released this academic year written and directed by film minors at WIU. In November 2018, junior political science major, film minor Sam Wheelhouse, of Springfield, IL, premiered "Undivided," a short documentary film on activism and social responsibility.

Both films are final projects of ENG 409, an independent study that film minors can take with Roberta Di Carmine, a WIU film professor and coordinator of the interdisciplinary film minor.


Original story by WIU News. Find them here.


Illinois Housing Development Authority Announces Application Deadline for the Hardest Hit Program

CHICAGO - The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) is announcing the wind down of the Illinois Hardest Hit program, a federally funded initiative that helps those facing foreclosure to stay in their homes. Homeowners who are struggling to pay their mortgages due to unemployment, underemployment or financial hardship are encouraged to apply for up to $35,000 in mortgage payment assistance before the program closes on April 30. Interested homeowners can apply online for free at and will be automatically linked with a local housing agency that will answer questions, prescreen for eligibility and assist homeowners in preparing the application and assembling the required supporting documentation.


“The Hardest Hit program leverages federal dollars to keep families, seniors and persons with disabilities from becoming homeless,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “I encourage homeowners struggling to make their mortgage payments to act now and apply before the deadline to ensure they receive assistance and can stay in their homes.”


Originally launched in September 2011, the Hardest Hit program provides up to $35,000 in forgivable assistance to homeowners who have experienced a 15% reduction in income due to a qualifying financial hardship. Hardships include unemployment or underemployment, decrease or loss of business income, loss of income due to disability or health-related event, or the death or divorce of a spouse or titleholder of the house. The program reinstates delinquent mortgages by paying all mortgage arrearage, fees and penalties, and will and makes loan payments on behalf of the borrower for up to 12 months. The assistance lets eligible homeowners stay in their home while they work to regain employment and financial stability. As of April 2019, 20,147 Illinois families have received mortgage payment assistance through the program.


“Not only do foreclosures impact families, but they impact the entire neighborhood. I supported the creation and funding of the Hardest Hit Fund because I believe that we still have work to do to address problems in the housing market and to bring stability back to our communities,” U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said. “I encourage anyone who is currently struggling to make their mortgage payments to apply before the deadline.”


The U.S. Department of the Treasury established the Hardest Hit Fund in 2010 to provide targeted assistance to families in states hit hard by the economic and housing market downturn. HHF is funded through the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and Illinois was initially approved to receive $446 million in 2010. IHDA, as the state housing finance agency, was chosen to administer these funds. In December 2015, President Obama signed the 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act (P.L. 114-113), which, through Senator Durbin’s leadership, transferred an additional $2 billion from TARP to the HHF program. After the completion of the two funding rounds, Treasury allocated $269 million in Hardest Hit Funds to Illinois, bringing the net funding received to over $715 million. As the state’s Housing Finance Agency, IHDA administers the program and used funds to create five foreclosure prevention and neighborhood stabilization programs to assist at-risk homeowners.


“While many states were recovering quickly from the housing crisis, Illinois was lagging behind,” said IHDA Executive Director Audra Hamernik. “As the administrator of the Hardest Hit program, I am proud to report IHDA has assisted over 20,100 homeowners across 101 of the 102 counties in Illinois since the program originated in 2011.”


Free applications for the program are available online through IHDA's Illinois Hardest Hit website until April 30, 2019:


Just Drive

Macomb, IL -- When you're behind the wheel, just drive.This week will be marked the Distracted Driving Awareness Week in Illinois, while April is designated as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The Western Illinois University Office of Public Safety (OPS) reminds the  community to join together to eliminate preventable deaths due to distracted driving.


According to the National Safety Council, everyday,  nine Americans die and 100 are injured in distracted driving crashes. Cell phones, dashboard touch screens, voice commands and other in-vehicle technologies pose a threat to everyone's safety."The consequences of those distractions are not worth the convenience they offer," OPS Interim Director Derek Watts said. "Ignore the distractions and just drive to keep us all safer on the roads."


Each day, 10 people are killed in distracted driving crashes, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). A recent survey by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety showed that while nearly 80 percent of drivers believe texting while driving poses a significant danger, 35 percent report doing so on a regular basis."Play an active role in keeping our roads safe by making a commitment to yourself and your loved ones that you will eliminate distractions while driving," Watts added. "When you're behind the wheel, just drive."



Hancock County, DEA to Accept Prescription Drugs at Drug Take Back Day Event

CARTHAGE – The Hancock County Law Enforcement agency will be taking back any unwanted prescription drugs at numerous sites across Hancock County, Illinois.


On Saturday, April 27th, from 10am to 2pm the Carthage Police, Dallas City Police, Hamilton Police, La Harpe Police, Hancock County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will allow the public to prevent pill abuse and to rid their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.


Citizens are asked to bring their pills to the different disposal sites across Hancock County. These locations include: Dallas City Hall at 120 W. First St, Dallas City, Hamilton Police

Department at 1010 Broadway, Hamilton, La Harpe City Hall at 207 E Main St, La Harpe,

and Hancock County Sheriff's Office at 98 Buchanan St, Carthage. The service is free and anonymous.


These sites cannot accept the following items: Liquids, needles or sharps. Only prescription pills and patches will be accepted.


Last fall Americans turned in nearly 460 tons (more than 900,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,800 sites operated by the DEA and almost 4,800 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 16 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in almost 11 million pounds—nearly 5,500 tons—of pills. This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows year after year that the majority of misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including someone else’s medication being stolen from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.


For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the April 27 Take Back Day event, go to


Illinois Ranks 9th Most Gambling Addicted State in WalletHub Study

With Americans losing over $100 billion through gambling each year and the Kentucky Derby soon to kick off, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2019’s Most Gambling-Addicted States as well as accompanying videos, along with its Kentucky Derby Facts & History infographic.

In order to call out the states where gambling addiction is most prevalent, WalletHub compared the 50 states across 20 key metrics. The data set ranges from presence of illegal gambling operations to lottery sales per capita to share of adults with gambling disorders. The results for Illinois are as follows:

Gambling Addiction in Illinois (1=Most Addicted, 25=Avg.):

  • 18th – Gaming Machines per Capita
  • 23rd – Lottery Sales per Capita
  • 9th – % of Adults with Gambling Disorders
  • 1st – Gambling-Related Arrests per Capita
  • 1st – Legality of Daily Fantasy Sports
  • 1st – Legality of Sports Gambling

For WalletHub’s full report, visit: For a video summary of the study, visit here.


IDPH Begins Work to Increase Vaccination Rates in Illinois

SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is taking steps to increase vaccination rates across the state, in response to Illinois’ seven measles cases and CDC reports of more than 600 cases across the country in 2019, 71 reported last week alone (at time of publication). These steps include increasing accessibility to vaccines, expanding outreach in communities with low vaccination rates, and educating the public on the importance of vaccines.


“We are taking the threat posed by a rise in measles cases very seriously and are committed to taking action to keep Illinoisans safe,” said Governor Pritzker. “Working across agencies and at all levels of government, we will be taking steps to increase vaccination rates and ensure all of our families are educated about the resources available to them. There is no more important responsibility of our state government than keeping Illinoisans healthy and safe, and addressing this threat is a top priority for my administration as we move forward.”


“IDPH is committed to taking action to keep our communities safe from measles and other preventable diseases,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “Vaccination is our best tool to protect our families and while overall vaccination rates for the state are strong, some specific communities have lower rates and remain vulnerable to disease outbreaks. Through a multifaceted approach that will include breaking down barriers to vaccination, targeted outreach, and education, IDPH is committed to increasing vaccination rates in every corner of Illinois and minimizing the threat of measles in our state.”

Public health officials are working with schools, community organizations, religious groups, parent organizations, and other stakeholders to identify opportunities to provide vaccinations. Steps will include, but are not limited to:


  • Mobile Units: IDPH will assist in providing mobile health units to neighborhoods with low vaccination rates to hold clinics and provide vaccinations.
  • Targeted Events: IDPH will identify events with high parent and children attendance and support vaccination clinics at these events. These can include county fairs and neighborhood celebrations.
  • Faith Outreach: IDPH will work with religious organizations to sponsor vaccination clinics after services, during vacation bible school, and near other religious gatherings.
  • Community Coordination: IDPH will work with community health workers and parent educators to help set up appointment times for vaccinations, provide or arrange transportation, and assist parents in filling out the paperwork.
  • Public Education: IDPH will work to combat misinformation about vaccines and increase education efforts through health events, marketing, and social media.

IDPH is also working with the Illinois State Board of Education to conduct a more in-depth data analysis that will inform additional actions. This qualitative and quantitative study will focus on schools at risk for outbreaks due to student vaccination rates of less than 95%. The study aims to understand why the school is experiencing a lower vaccination rate and identify who, specifically, is not being vaccinated. IDPH is currently working with local health departments across the state to meet and talk with school officials and health care providers in the community to learn about barriers that limit vaccination and identify additional opportunities to increase rates. Barriers already identified include:


  • Transportation: Some parents do not have a way to get their children to clinics for vaccinations.
  • Time: Health clinic hours may not fit with working parents’ schedule.
  • Paperwork: Vaccination requires the consent forms to be filled by the parent. Some parents may be overwhelmed by the paperwork and not fully understand how to fill it out.
  • Wait Times: While local health departments and providers may offer special vaccination clinics before the beginning of the school year, the wait times can sometimes be more than an hour.

IDPH continues to recruit and retain Vaccine for Children (VFC) health care providers. The federally funded VFC program provides vaccines at no cost to children who might otherwise not be vaccinated. IDPH is currently working across agencies and with the governor’s office to identify ways to help reduce the burden of the program on providers, and to help them be compliant.

Communities with low vaccination rates are at risk for disease outbreaks. If one person in a community is infected, the disease can spread to others who are not vaccinated. In communities where the overwhelming majority of people are vaccinated, there are fewer opportunities for the disease to spread, often called “herd immunity.”


Education and awareness are critical to increasing vaccination rates. With the extensive amount of misinformation circulating about the safety of vaccines, it is important for the public to understand that we have the safest vaccine supply in U.S. history and that vaccines offer the best protection against illness from vaccine-preventable diseases. IDPH is working to increase knowledge about vaccines through social media, its website, informational brochures, health events around the state, and more.


Vaccination protects you from illness, and also protects the community around you, especially those who are unable to be vaccinated, such as babies and people with weakened immune systems. Vaccination is a shared responsibility that we must uphold or risk turning back the clock to a time when measles was widespread, and thousands died each year.


Casa Latina Announces Calle Murray to be Held April 27

MACOMB – Western Illinois University’s Casa Latina Cultural Center will be hosting their 5th annual Calle Murphy celebration. The all ages event will be held from noon to 5pm Saturday, April 27th, at the Multicultural Center. The event is free and open to the public.


Calle Murray is a cultural festival to celebrate the Latino community on the WIU campus. The event will bring the Macomb community and WIU students together with the goal to engage in the history and culture of different Latino countries and cultures.


There will be servings of authentic food from a variety of cultures from across the world: Spain, Puerto Rico, Mexico, El Salvador and more. The event will also include live music by the Crooked Cactus Band and DJ Reckless.


The event is sponsored by Amplify, Casa Latina, the Calle Murray Planning Committee, CSAF, GBCC, LASO, Lambda Theta Alpha, Latin American Literary Society, Mariachi De Oro, the Montano family, Tradicion, WICMA and the Women's Center. 

For more information, email or


Original story by WIU News. Find them here.


Stuff the Bus 2019 Brings in More Than 5,700 Food Items

MACOMB, IL – The 13th annual "Stuff the Bus, Get Off Your Cans" food drive, held April 10, brought in 5,740 non-perishable food items and $1,122 in donations. The donations were given to the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry, from the Western Illinois Regional Council (WIRC) Community Action Agency along with the food pantry on the WIU campus. This event is put together each year by WIU students, faculty and staff volunteers, who collect  donations, staff tables at local grocery stores and deliver the donations to local pantries.


Last year's event collected up to 3,583 non-perishable food items and collected nearly $1,580. As part of this year's event, Buffalo Wild Wings held a fundraising event for Stuff the Bus April 8. The restaurant donated 15 percent of each food bill where diners presented a special voucher. The fundraising total from that event are still pending.


The events would not be possible without the help of Western Illinois University, Western Illinois University Housing & Dining, Go West Transit, Office of Student Activities, NTN Bower, Buffalo Wild Wings, Walmart, Hy-Vee, Jackson Street Market, Sodexo Management Team, University Union, Corbin-Olson Halls, Black Student Association, Graduate Association of School Psychology, Women’s Rugby Club, Sigma Sigma Sigma, National Association of Black Journalists, Golden Key International Honour Society, Chemistry Club, Phi Eta Sigma, Lambda Theta Alpha, WIU Equestrian Club, Gamma Phi Omega, Preeminent Ladies, Interested Gentlemen of Lambda Theta Phi, Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Alpha Psi Lambda, Latin American Student Organization, the WIU Food Pantry, Alpha Sigma Tau, Chi Omega, Lambda Alpha Epsilon, Sigma Lambda Beta, GBCC Dance Troupe, Zeta Phi Beta, Delta Zeta, Agribusiness Club, AMPLIFY, Alpha Sigma Alpha, Women in Business, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Pi Kappa Phi, Western's First Generation Society, the WIU Purchasing Office, the WIU Department of Theatre and Dance, Malpass Library, the WIU Department of Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History, Department of Music, Department of Management and Marketing, Department of Political Science, Department of Psychology, University Technology, the WIU Women’s Center, Kunes Country Auto Group of Macomb, Regional Media, Chicks on the Square, the Vitamin Lady at Middle Earth, Pro Edge Property Services, Engraving by Lin, Rubix Vaporizer’s and Smoking Accessories, Ayerco, El Rancherito, Rocky’s Bar and Grill, Max and Molly’s Bistro, Italian Express, the Jackson Street Pub, The Study, the Old Dairy, Sweet Shack, Ultimate Image Salon Studios, R&R Spa, Michael’s Salon, 309 Vapors, Chubby’s, Macomb Square Music, Sullivan Taylor Coffee House, The Nail Salon, Bronze-it Tan Center, Haymakers, Larry A’s and the Food Co-op. Since 2008, the WIU food drive has collected over 100,000 pounds of food.



WIU to Host Three Authors for Fred Ewing Case and Lola Austin Case Writers in Residence Event

MACOMB – The Western Illinois University Department of English will be hosting the Fred Ewing Case and Lola Austin Case Writer-in-Residence event on Thursday, May 2nd. The event will have appearances from a variety of writers from across the nation.


This year’s writers are poetry and fiction writers Peter Gizzi, Natalia Sylvester and Marianne Broyles. There will be a question and answer session at 3pm in the third-floor auditorium of Sherman Hall, as well as a reading by each author at 5pm in Taylor Hall in downtown Macomb.


Gizzi is the author of seven collections of poetry; most recently "Archeophonics," which was a finalist for the 2016 National Book Award. His honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Award, a Howard Foundation Grant and the Judith E. Wilson Visiting Fellowship in Poetry at Cambridge University. He teaches at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. 

Sylvester is the author of the novels "Chasing the Sun," which was named the Best Debut Book of 2014 by Latinidad, and "Everyone Knows You Go Home," which won an International Latino Book Award, the 2018 Jesse H. Jones Award for Best Work of Fiction from the Texas Institute of Letters, and was named a Best Book of 2018 by Real Simple magazine. She earned her BA in creative writing from the University of Miami and is now a faculty member of the low-residency MFA program at Regis University. 

Broyles earned her master's degree from the University of Memphis. She is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and currently lives in Nashville, TN, where she works as a psychiatric nurse. "Liquid Mercury Girl," published this year, is her second collection of poetry. Her first collection, "The Red Window," was published in 2008 by West End Press.


Original story by WIU News. Find them here.


Pulitzer Prize Winning Author, Ron Powers, to visit Quincy this Friday

Pulitzer Prize winning author, Ron Powers, will be visiting the Quincy, IL area this Friday, April 26th, 2019 for a presentation about his writing career and the challenges and obligations

of exploring family tragedy as a narrative theme.


The conversation with Mr. Powers begins at 8pm and costs $25 for Preferred Seating and $15 for General Admission. Doors open at 7:30pm for preferred seating/general admission.


There will also be a separate “Meet and Greet” with the author an hour earlier at 6:30pm. Only 100 tickets are available for this exclusive opportunity and they cost $75 each. The meet and greet includes a social hour with hors d’oeuvres, an opportunity to meet the author, a complimentary copy of Flags of Our Fathers, book signing, and preferred seating for his talk.


This event benefits the Transitions Foundation and is being sponsored by local businesses. 



Oakley Lindsay Center Box Office (217) 222-3209 

- OR - 

Order Online at (See Upcoming Events | $1 fee for CC processing)




Illinois schools receiving 5,000 trees from IDOT

Springfield — The Illinois Department of Transportation is  distributing 5,000 seedlings to schools all over the state during  this week in cooperation with Living Lands & Waters in honor of Earth Day on April 22. The “Trees to Schools” initiative helps offset  loss of trees removed or otherwise affected by construction and activities.


Each of the nine highway districts receives 550 trees to distribute to local schools. Schools that participate will use the trees to distribute them to students as a learning opportunity about the importance of trees to the environment. One tree can produce more oxygen in a single season as 10 humans consume in one year. Trees can absorb carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide and release oxygen in return. Trees also reduce erosion, filter chemicals, produce shade and provide habitat and food for birds and other animals.


The trees were provided for free to IDOT as part of Living Lands & Waters Million Trees Project. Varieties included red oak, swamp white oak, bur oak and redbud.

Since 2009, IDOT has distributed approximately 50,000 seedlings through Living Lands & Waters, a nonprofit environmental organization headquartered in East Moline.



Earthfest 2019 Event to be Held in Chandler Park

MACOMB – Western Illinois University’s Horn Environment Learning Project (HELP) will be hosting its annual Earthfest celebration on Saturday, April 20th, in Macomb’s Chandler Park. The event will go from 9am to 5pm. The event will be featuring performances from live bands, as well as eco-friendly activities and arts and crafts for all ages.


The event will also be hosting a variety of guest speakers throughout the afternoon. Those speaking include WIU Associate Professor of Agriculture Joel Gruver talking about worms, nematodes and sustainable farming; WIU English Professor Bill Knox delivering "Looking Through the Other End of the Telescope: Another Approach to Sustainability"; John Curtis talking about the benefits of small scale, sustainable farming; and Tim Howe talking about trees.


The schedule for this year’s event is as follows:

• 9 a.m. – 5K run

• 11 a.m. – Guest speaker 

• Noon – "TV Cinema"

• 1 p.m. – Guest speaker

• 2 p.m. – "Father Talljasper"

• 3 p.m. – Guest speaker

• 4 p.m. – "Amadeus Groove"

For more information about the HELP organization, visit


Original story by WIU News. Find them here.


Illinois Unemployment Rate Increased During March

CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced on April 18th, 2019 that the unemployment rate has risen +0.1 percent in the month of March. This brings Illinois’ unemployment rate to 4.4 percent. Also, nonfarm payrolls were down -2,800 jobs over the month based on preliminary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES.


“This administration has begun the hard work of restoring fiscal sanity to our state so that we can build a thriving economy for all Illinoisans,” said Deputy Governor Dan Hynes. “Governor Pritzker laid out a bold agenda that protects working families and makes the long-term investments needed to grow good-paying jobs in this state.”


The state’s unemployment rate is +0.6 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate reported for March 2019, which remained at 3.8 percent. The Illinois unemployment rate is up +0.1 percentage point from a year ago when it was 4.3 percent.


The number of unemployed workers increased from the prior month, +1.1 percent to 284,400, and was up +1.3 percent over the same month for the prior year. The labor force was about unchanged over-the-month but was up +0.1 percentage point over-the-year. The unemployment rate identifies those individuals who are out of work and are seeking employment.


Average payroll employment growth during the January to March three-month period was +4,400 jobs, with the largest gains in Manufacturing (+1,700), Professional and Business Services (+1,300) and Educational and Health Services (+1,100).


In March, the industry sectors with the largest over-the-month gains in employment were: Manufacturing (+1,400), Financial Activities (+1,400), Leisure and Hospitality (+1,200) and Other Services (+1,200). The industry sectors with the largest payroll declines were: Professional and Business Services (-4,200), Trade, Transportation and Utilities (-3,000) and Construction (-1,600).

Over-the-year, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +47,400 jobs with the largest gains in these industry sectors in March: Education and Health Services (+14,000), Manufacturing (+9,000), and Professional and Business Services (+8,400). The industry sectors with over-the-year declines were: Construction (-4,700), Information (-2,900) and Mining (-200). Illinois nonfarm payrolls were up +0.8 percent over-the-year as compared to the nation’s +1.7 percent over-the-year gain in March.


WIU Alum Creates New Scholarship Supporting LGBTQA Students

MACOMB – Western Illinois University alum, Molly Holmes, has started a new scholarship for LGBTQA students. Holmes main motivation for the scholarship is to make sure WIU LGBTQA students know they are valued, and they matter.


Holmes has established the Supporting LGBTQA+ Leathernecks Scholarship, which will be awarded each fall to an LGBT*QA student at Western. The scholarship is open to students who identify as LGBTQA+, are in good academic standing and who demonstrate financial need. Full details on the application and selection process are available from the LGBT*QA Resource Center.


As a student at WIU, Holmes was a peer health educator through Beu Health Center, a member of Unity and an assistant complex director in University Housing and Dining Services. "Western was pivotal in my development both as a student and as a professional due in part to mentors who valued me as a person, inclusive of my sexuality and gender," Holmes said. "I want everyone to have that experience and have it at Western."


Holmes, a queer-identified 2001 teacher education/health education graduate and 2004 College Student Personnel graduate, is the director of the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center at Northern Illinois University. In her role as director, she advocates for equity for all genders and sexual identities at NIU and within the surrounding area. Within the last academic year alone, she has developed over 20 tailored, department-specific trainings on LGBTQA+ inclusion and gender equity and has presented at two national conferences.


Holmes hopes the upcoming Western Challenge, which takes place on April 24 - Purple & Gold Day - will create visibility for this scholarship and will give it additional momentum to help more students, create awareness and uplift current LGBT*QA students.

"In times when enrollment is down across the state, this is an opportunity for the University to show support for underrepresented identities and show that Western is a place where everybody is welcome and valued," she added. "LGBTQA+ students count and matter to the Western community."

During the Western Challenge - and on any given day - individuals who wish to contribute to the new Supporting LGBTQA+ Leatherneck Scholarship can visit and select Supporting LGBTQA+ Leatherneck Scholarship.


Original story by WIU News. Find them here.


WIU Announces This Month's "Advisor of the Month" Recipient

MACOMB – The Western Illinois University’s Council of Academic Advisors Awards and Recognition Committee has announced this month’s Advisor of the Month. The recipient of the award was Christina Ramsey, of the College of Business and Technology.


"Every visit I have with Chris encourages me to try harder in all of my classes," said senior network technologies manor Jeff Swanson, of Chadwick, IL, one of Ramsey's nominators. "She shares insight into challenges of some classes and potential solutions. Because of her I have been able to maintain the highest GPA I have ever received." 

"I work in the Eastern Hemisphere, but it doesn't take long to receive a response from Christina," said WIU sophomore cyber security major Angel Raya, of Mackinaw, IL, a second nominator. "She is dedicated and helpful.  She even helped me secure a USCIS internship in Washington, DC for Summer 2019." 

Each month, a WIU advisor is honored with a certificate and trophy. Award winners are decided by a committee that considers each of the applications for the month.

For more information about advising services at Western, visit


Original story by WIU News. Find them here.


ETSB and CCB Meeting Notice

MACOMB – The Emergency Telephone Systems Board (ETSB) and the Communication Center Board will be holding a meeting on Tuesday April 30th, 2019 at the Macomb Police Department Training Room.


The ETSB will meet at 3pm with the Communications Center Board Meeting following directly after. The meeting will be about conducting business for both Boards.


WIU Broadcasting Students Win Nine INBA Awards

MACOMB – Western Illinois University students in the Broadcasting and Journalism Department were awarded nine state broadcasting awards during the state’s Illinois News Broadcasters Association (INBA) conference, held in Normal, IL, this past weekend. The department was notified earlier this month that WIU students had won either first or second place in news and sports categories in the competition. 

"The department is very proud of all of our students and the work they're doing," said WIU Broadcasting Instructor Jasmine Crighton. "WIU students this year won more awards than any of the other state universities. Our faculty works hard to provide lots of hands-on opportunities so students can practice their skills regularly. It shows in the recognition our students received in the SINBA competition."

This year's WIU award winners at the INBA conference were:
• Outstanding Soft Radio Program – Second place: Kyle O'Reilley, a junior broadcasting major, of Roscoe, IL

• Outstanding Radio News Reporting – First place: Emily Stieren, a junior broadcasting major, of Springfield, IL

• Outstanding Radio Sports Reporting: First place: Devin Christmon, a senior sports broadcasting major, of Springfield, IL

• Outstanding Radio Sports Reporting: Second place: MaKenzie Yearby, a junior broadcasting major, of Grandview, MO

• Outstanding Use of Sound – First place: Stieren

• Outstanding Hard Television Program – First place: Devin Brooks, a sophomore broadcasting major, of St. Louis, MO

• Outstanding Soft Television Program – Second place: Marcellus Angel, a junior broadcasting major of Milan, IL

• Outstanding Television News Reporting – First place: Brooks

• Outstanding Television Sports Reporting – Second place: Christmon

During the conference, Brooks was awarded the Ed Brown Scholarship and Stieren was awarded the Bill Miller Scholarship. 

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


Original story by WIU News. Find them here.


WIU Alumna Cast in International Tour of "Wizard of Oz"

MACOMB – Western Illinois University alumna, Hollyn Gayle (Beans), a 2017 graduate with a bachelor's degree in musical theatre, was recently cast as the understudy of Dorothy Gale and an ensemble member in an international tour of "The Wizard of Oz."

The tour will perform in China for 13 weeks this summer, playing in major cities like Shanghai and Beijing, and will carry into Bahrain for an additional week before Gayle returns to the U.S.


Gayle states that there are many things she is excited for with this opportunity. "While I’m excited to perform this iconic story all across China, I’m also looking forward to experiencing the Chinese culture and seeing their world renowned historical sites," said Gayle.

Before leaving for the tour, Gayle is fitting in one final contract as Bird Girl in "Seussical: The Musical." The show will play to thousands of local school children throughout the month of April.

Since graduating from WIU, Gayle has worked for six different Equity theatre companies. In Summer 2018, she performed the roles of Minnie Fay in "Hello, Dolly!", Violet in "Violet," and Celia in "As You Like It" at Ozark Actors Theatre. The latter two roles earned Gayle Best Actress Awards in the Broadway World St. Louis regional awards.


Gayle credits her education at WIU for helping her to get where she is today. “I am so thankful to WIU's Theatre and Dance department for giving me the one-on-one, individualized training I needed to grow and sharpen my skill set,” said Gayle. “Thinking back to my audition in New York for this tour, I can point out so many specific parts of my training that helped me succeed. The piece I auditioned with was one I had coached with my voice teacher since fall of my freshman year. I held my own at the dance callback because of the excellent dance training I received at WIU.”

For more information on the tour, visit To learn more about Gayle, visit


Original story by WIU News. Find them here.


WIU Accountancy Programs Receive IMA Endorsement

MACOMB - Western Illinois University's Bachelor of Business in Accountancy and Master of Accountancy programs both joined an elite group of accounting programs in the United States by receiving endorsement approval under IMA's (Institute of Management Accountants) Higher Education Endorsement Program. 

Only 45 schools in the Americas, and 75 worldwide, boast the endorsement from IMA. According to the website, IMA's Higher Education Endorsement Program is a stamp of excellence. It signifies that the accounting program provides the rigorous curriculum needed for students to prepare for the CMA exam and successful careers in management accounting. 

"One of our program's objectives is to provide students the knowledge and expertise to be able to sit for and pass certification exams to help them on the journey to successful careers in accounting, so this endorsement really validates our program and the preparation our students receive," said Amy Ford, CPA, CMA, accounting instructor.


"This endorsement recognizes Western Illinois University's accounting program and the commitment to academic excellence at WIU, as well as our students' personal growth," said Accounting Department Chair Gregg Woodruff.

Western offers both an undergraduate and master's degree in accounting, as well as an integrated five-year program in which students can earn both degrees in only five years. The accounting degree is also available fully online.


For more information on WIU's accounting department and degrees, visit


Original story by WIU News. Find them here.


McDonough District Hospital Offering Free Childbirth Classes

MACOMB – The McDonough District Hospital will be offering a range of free classes on both childbirth and infant care. The classes will begin in May and run through June.


The first is a series of classes that are a free 4-week L.A.T.E. Childbirth Instruction class that will start on Thursday evenings, running May 2, 9, 16, and 23. This four-class series will be held from 6:30-8:45 p.m. in Auditorium B located on the lower level of the hospital. The series will explain the stages of labor: Latent, Active, Transition, and Expulsion (L.A.T.E.), as well as breathing and relaxation techniques to make each phase of labor as manageable as possible.


On Saturday, May 4, from 10-11 a.m. MDH will offer a Sibling Class for future "big brothers" or "big sisters". Class instructors use interactive play and videos to help siblings see how important they are when welcoming a new baby. Milk and cookies will be provided, and children will have an opportunity to color a picture that will be placed on the crib of "their baby" after he or she arrives.


Additional classes for expectant families include a Breastfeeding Class (May 30), a Cesarean Section Class (June 6), and a Postpartum Care and Understanding Your Newborn (June 13).


The L.A.T.E. Class Series will also be offered in an 8-hour session on Saturday, June 1. Running 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., this class will provide the same information offered in the 4-week L.A.T.E. series. There will be several short breaks during the class, as well as a 30-minute lunch break.


MDH provides childbirth classes online as well. The internet-based program is a convenient

alternative for those who can’t attend an on-site class due to scheduling conflicts, time constraints or health issues.


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


Mississippi River Flooding Presents Unique Academic Opportunities to WIU-QC Students

Moline, IL- The Mississippi River has been right at the front steps of WIU's Quad Cities campus. Although the flooding presents challenges for the community, the WIU-QC professors are using the opportunity for educational purposes.


According to Rob Porter, a professor at WIU-QC, said the river and the flooding are a great object lesson on how flooding occurs. He also explains how land resources can be managed to accommodate flooding and promote healthy recreation. Students are able to see how low  floodplains without levees allow the river to flood horizontally, which can alleviate vertical flooding.With levees and flood control structures at work, the flooding will occur vertically. This is important  context of recreation and resource management to manage adjacent land to accommodate for horizontal flooding. Which is different than block the water out exacerbating vertical flooding. Examples of this are found just outside the QC campus buildings.


Ben Butterworth Parkway, the multi-use trail, the lawns on campus and detention basins are designed to withstand flooding. There is little infrastructure that can be damaged liked the surfaces of grass or  cement are durable and only required a bit of clean-up after a major flood. This case happen in downtown Davenport, IA. By designing and managing riverfront land as parks to accommodate flood waters, the need for levees was removed, wiched decreased vertical flooding and increasing outdoor recreation opportunities.


Another WIU-QC faculty member who had used the flooding as a learning opportunity is environmental studies Professor Roger Viadero. The flood waters rose to cover River Drive in Moline, which caused him  and Anshu Singh, a doctoral student in WIU’s environmental science program, to track the depth and speed of water in certain places that were rarely connected to the river. For example, on April 2, they measure the depth and speed of water at the curb in front of the WIU-QC campus. The flood water was 12 inches above the curb and had a surface speed of 1.1 mph. Five days later, the water was 34 inches deep, and average a velocity of 1.8 mph.As a point of reference, according to the National Park Service, the average surface speed of the Mississippi River ranges from 1.2 mph at its origin to around 3 mph in New Orleans, LA. Viadero also placed pins in the ground to mark how far flood waters extended onto the campus. Once the flood waters recede, Viadero and his students map the locations for comparison with any future flooding events.


"We know the Mississippi River is a great asset of the Quad Cities region," said Senior Vice President for Strategic Planning and Initiatives Joe Rives. "Its natural atheistic is a recruitment device to our University and is a wonderful teaching tool. In planning the campus, we knew that there would be times requiring flexibility, as the campus is built on the 100-500 year flood planes. We are thankful to former congressman Lane Evans for securing the funding leading to the construction of University Drive that keep the campus open during time of significant flooding. We also built the campus with flooding in mind through installation of retention basins and indigenous plantings that would live through flooding. These are also linked to our academic programs."

For more information about WIU's Quad Cities campus, visit


State Board of Education, Illinois State Police, join forces to educate teen drivers about Scott's Law

SPRINGFIELD – Sixteen Illinois State Troopers have been hit or lost their lives on the road thus far in 2019. The rate doubled compared to eight last year in 2018. The Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois State Police are now working together to ensure all drivers  have the information they need to protect those who protect us.


“Scott’s Law” is known as the “Move Over Law” that was named after Lieutenant Scott Gillen of the Chicago Fire Department. He was killed by an intoxicated driver while assisting at a crash site on the Dan Ryan Expressway. Scott’s Law mentioned that upon approaching any stationary vehicle with flashing emergency lights, including commercial trucks and cars, all approaching vehicles shall: reduce speed, change lanes if possible, and proceed with caution.


The Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois State Police created and distributed the below flyer to driver education programs, district and regional superintendents, and principals to post in classrooms and deliver to teen drivers and their families.


Click here or visit to view, download, and share the flyer.



Polley Named Vice President for Administrative Services

MACOMB – William Polley, interim vice president for administrative services, has been named vice president for administrative services at Western Illinois University, effective July 1. Polley has served as the interim vice president for administrative services since May 2018. He has also previously served as the interim associate dean of WIU's College of Business and Technology.


Polley came to WIU in 2005 as a faculty member in the Department of Economics and Decision Sciences. He has served as director and program advisor for WIU's MBA program and the graduate program in economics.


"Dr. Polley's extensive experience in economics and his business and management experience will help move the University in a positive direction," said WIU President Jack Thomas. 

As vice president for administrative services, Polley is the liaison on financial matters to various state and federal agencies, and to the many external constituencies the University serves. He also oversees the direction and leadership of Business Services, Document and Publication Services, Facilities Management, Human Resources, the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board Executive Institute and Media Resource Center, Public Safety, Purchasing, Risk Management and Emergency Preparedness. Polley will also oversee the insurance and state-mandated ethics programs, provide University coordination with legal counsel and serve as the administrative liaison to the Council of Administrative Personnel and the Civil Service Employees Council.


Original story by WIU News. Find them here.


Illinois Ready to Expand, Make Successful Medical Cannabis Program Permanent

SPRINGFIELD - As discussions at the Capitol continue on adult use of cannabis, Illinois is moving ahead with plans to expand and make permanent the help that medical cannabis has provided to thousands of people.
The Medical Cannabis Alliance of Illinois is fully supportive of House Bill 895, pending a vote in the Illinois House. The bill pushed by Rep. Bob Morgan – the former head of the state’s Medical Cannabis Pilot Program – would make the pilot program permanent and expand qualifying conditions for medical cannabis treatment.


MCAI is a trade association based in Springfield formed to represent cultivation centers and dispensaries licensed under the state’s Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program. MCAI also announces its new online resource to help people get access to the medical cannabis:


“Many people benefit every day from medical cannabis pain relief that they simply cannot get through opioids and other medications. Cannabis is changing lives for the better,” said Pamela Althoff, MCAI’s executive director. “Yet, too many Illinoisans don’t know if they qualify for medical cannabis help, or they hear misinformation about what our members can offer. We’re working to ensure Illinoisans who want to live healthier lives know their Road to Relief begins by visiting to find out everything they need to know about the program. We will work closely with Rep. Morgan and our other allies to make medical cannabis permanent and more expansive to help more people get the relief they deserve.”


Luther College Hosting Climate Justice Week

DECORAH, IOWA – The Luther College will be presenting Climate Justice Week from April 25th to May 2nd. It will explore various climate-related issues through lectures, performances and other events.


The week's events begin with a lecture presented by Jim Martin-Schramm, Luther professor religion and director of the Center for Sustainable Communities, titled "Luther's Path to Carbon Neutrality," at 9:45 a.m. Thursday, April 25, in Peace Dining Room. A lecture by Eric Baack, Luther associate professor of biology, and Jodi Enos-Berlage, Luther professor of biology, titled "What is in our water? Testing for disease-causing organisms in Winneshiek County's springs, streams and private wells" The lecture will be at 7 p.m. Monday, April 29, in the Decorah Public Library Meeting Room and will discuss research done in summer 2018 by a team of Luther faculty and students, and scientists from the U.S. Geological Service and U.S. Department of Agriculture. Luther's annual David J. Roslien Lecture on Science and Leadership will be presented by world famous climate scientist, James Hansen, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 1, in the Center for Faith and Life Main Hall. Hansen's lecture is titled "Shape Your Future: Energy, Climate and Human Rights." The lecture is open to the public with no charge for admission. A question and answer session and book signing will follow the lecture.


The Decorah Middle School will partner with members of the Luther community will participate in the Decorah Walk for Water, a water-awareness walk to the Upper Iowa River at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, May 2, beginning in the Olin parking lot on Luther's campus. Buckets of water will be collected and carried through town, emulating the effort it takes for most of the world's population to get their water. The walk is part of a fundraising effort, in concert with the ELCA group Water to Thrive, to build a well at a site in Tanzania.


The week's events will conclude with a performance by Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, hip-hop artist and Earth Guardians youth director, at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 2, in Bentdahl Commons on the Luther campus. Martinez's performance is open to the public with no charge for admission. The Luther Center for the Arts atrium will serve as a rain location.


Climate Justice Week is sponsored by the Center for Ethics and Public Engagement and the Center for Sustainable Communities. For more information on Climate Justice Week and a complete schedule of events visit


Master Gardeners to Hold Plant Sale Mother's Day Weekend

GALESBURG – The Knox County Master Gardeners will be holding their 21st annual plant sale on May 10th and 11th from 8am to 5pm at the Knox County Nursing Home Gazebo. The Gazebo is located on 800 North Market Street in Knoxville, IL.


The Master Gardeners will be offering information on plant selection, soil preparation, planting techniques, vegetable gardening, lawn care and composting. The Gardeners will also be hosting tours of their display gardens and will offer free literature on dozens of other garden topics.


“After a long winter, our sale is a fantastic way to launch your spring gardening,” said Chris Enroth, University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator. “Knowledgeable Master Gardener volunteers can advise you on the proper plants and the best way to care for them. The sale features divided varieties of perennials that are suitable for many types of conditions.”


Another focus are the plants native to the area. These plants and others that are pollinator-insect-friendly will help to preserve the threatened monarch butterfly population and will also support native bees and other pollinating insects.


All proceeds from the plant sale help the Master Gardeners maintain the historic gardens at the Knox County Nursing home as well as benefit the residents using horticultural programming.


House Defeats Measure to Prohibit Colleges from Asking About Applicants Criminal History

A measure which would prohibit any public or private college or university in the state from asking about or considering an applicant’s criminal history during the admissions process was defeated in the Illinois House of Representatives Friday morning.


The bill, sponsored by Chicago Democrat Mary Flowers, provided exceptions to comply with federal law and a state law that requires medical schools to check the criminal history of applicants, but that wasn’t assurance enough for many members, especially those who have colleges, universities, and community colleges in their districts. The measure was defeated on a vote of 40 in favor, 60 against. Supporters of the bill said It would not prevent campus officials from asking students who have already enrolled questions about past criminal acts. 


Opponents, like State Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) who appreciates Representative Flowers attempt to make higher education available to a larger pool of individuals, however, she wants to make sure that students who choose to stay in Illinois to go to college are safe.   Attached are comments from the representative during debate.  In addition to being concerned about the safety aspect, Hammond also believes there needs to be a common application among Illinois colleges.


Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce Announces Annual Golf Outing Event Details

The Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting the annual Macomb Area

Chamber of Commerce Golf Outing, presented by MTC Communications, on

May 31, 2019 at Macomb Country Club, 20 Hickory Grove.

The event kicks off with a shotgun start at 9 am. Check-in and breakfast are

served at 8 am. All-inclusive  pricing features 18 holes of golf with cart,

breakfast/lunch/snacks, mulligans, prize giveaways, networking opportunities,

and more. Entry fees will be  $110 for individuals or $440 for a foursome.

Registration received by May 13 will receive and early bird pricing of $100

for each individual.


The foundation will welcome all  businesses and organizations to

participate and sponsor the event. The golf tournament is the sole fundraising

activity in the Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce and is increasing in

popularity every year. All the proceeds will go to help the Macomb Area Chamber

of Commerce in their organization’s mission to promotes the growth of the

Macomb area and serves as a catalyst for the business, professional camp, educational

community’s efforts to enhance the economic climate, and the  quality of life.


The format for the tournament is a 4-player format with morning tee off.

Various hole contests and activities will be available throughout the event.

More information about the tournament, including online registration and

sponsorships will be added to the Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce

website at Follow the Macomb Area

Chamber of Commerce on Facebook and Instagram.


Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce Announces Annual Golf Outing Event Details

The Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting the annual Macomb Area

Chamber of Commerce Golf Outing, presented by MTC Communications, on

May 31, 2019 at Macomb Country Club, 20 Hickory Grove.

The event kicks off with a shotgun start at 9 am. Check-in and breakfast are

served at 8 am. All-inclusive  pricing features 18 holes of golf with cart,

breakfast/lunch/snacks, mulligans, prize giveaways, networking opportunities,

and more. Entry fees will be  $110 for individuals or $440 for a foursome.

Registration received by May 13 will receive and early bird pricing of $100

for each individual.


The foundation will welcome all  businesses and organizations to

participate and sponsor the event. The golf tournament is the sole fundraising

activity in the Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce and is increasing in

popularity every year. All the proceeds will go to help the Macomb Area Chamber

of Commerce in their organization’s mission to promotes the growth of the

Macomb area and serves as a catalyst for the business, professional camp, educational

community’s efforts to enhance the economic climate, and the  quality of life.


The format for the tournament is a 4-player format with morning tee off.

Various hole contests and activities will be available throughout the event.

More information about the tournament, including online registration and

sponsorships will be added to the Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce

website at Follow the Macomb Area

Chamber of Commerce on Facebook and Instagram.


Duckworth, Blackburn Resolution Recognizing Importance of Vaccines Passes Senate

Washington , D.C. – U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)  introduced and passed the bipartisan, bicameral Vaccines Save Lives Resolution, to recognize the importance of vaccines and immunizations in the United States. The resolution sends a message of unequivocal congressional support for vaccines and urges parents, in consultation with their health care provider, to follow scientific evidence and the consensus of medical experts in favor of timely vaccinations for the well-being of their children and surrounding communities. Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA-28) and Michael Burgess, MD, (R-TX-26) introduced companion legislation to the House of Representatives in the month of March.


“The recent measles outbreak is extremely troubling, especially as the mother of two young daughters,” Senator Duckworth said. “Vaccinations and immunizations have saved countless lives and are critical in keeping both children and adults safe from preventable deadly diseases. I’m proud to be working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to promote research demonstrating vaccines are safe, effective and vital to our nation’s public health.”


“As a mother and a grandmother, I want every child to have the best opportunities in life,” said Blackburn. “Doctors have told us time and time again that the science is clear: vaccines save and improve the quality of lives. It is shocking that there are Americans currently at risk due to an outbreak of measles. This is a dark reminder that we must do everything in our power to protect our young ones from dangerous, easily preventable diseases. This bipartisan group is dedicated to informing parents across the country about the overwhelming medical evidence proving that immunization plays a critical role in raising strong, healthy children.”


“The scientific and medical communities agree – vaccines are both safe and effective and there is no evidence to suggest that vaccines cause life-threatening or disabling diseases,” said Schiff. “Vaccines have saved millions of lives worldwide and prevented suffering for millions more. The importance of vaccinating your children, especially given the recent outbreak of preventable diseases, cannot be overstated.”


“Vaccines are one of the most successful products of medical innovation. Since Dr. Edward Jenner administered the first smallpox vaccine in 1796, Americans have benefited from vaccines and their ability to improve quality of life and eradicate disease,” said Burgess. “As a physician, I am grateful for their immense value and lifesaving potential. In the 21st century, Congress should be focused on investing in vaccines’ further development as safe and effective tools to protect Americans and people around the world from preventable suffering.”


The Vaccines Save Lives Resolution rejects unfounded theories about the dangers of vaccines and recognizes that scientifically sound education and outreach campaigns about vaccination and immunization are fundamental for a well-informed public. The resolution is supported by leaders in the medical community, including the American Medical Association, Adult Vaccine Access Coalition, Children’s Hospital Association, Every Child By Two, and March of Dimes.


Contact: Sean Savett (Duckworth),

Kathryn McQuade (Blackburn),




WIU Supply Chain Management Named Top 30 Program in the U.S.

MACOMB/MOLINE - Western Illinois University's Supply Chain Management (SCM) program was named a Top 30 Program in the United States by renowned supply chain scientist Muddassir Ahmed. To make the designation, Ahmed said he considered various criteria, including overall return on investment, school reputation and tuition costs. 

"Every program on the list is duly accredited to have successfully met an extensive review standard set by the governing regulatory body," said Ahmed. "Western Illinois University delivers an exceptional Supply Chain Management degree. The curriculum used allows the student to prepare for jobs in various leading SCM sectors. AACSB, a global accrediting body, fully accredits the program."

Western's SCM boasts a 95 percent job placement rate after graduation; hosts an annual SCM day, where students and more than 45 industry partners are connected; and offers many opportunities for resumé building with hands-on experience outside the classroom, including field trips to manufacturing plants and distribution centers, global professional conferences, study abroad opportunities, national and global case competitions, an SCM Student Association and a required internship. 

"On behalf of the faculty within Western's SCM program, we have worked very hard to build a strong reputation for a high-quality program. This includes actively engaging our industry partners and providing a rigorous and relevant curriculum, as well as offering experiences outside the classroom to help develop our students into strong supply chain professionals," said Assistant Professor Honey Zimmerman. "We are all very passionate about what we are doing in the program. We are so proud of our students, and we appreciate the recognition as a Top 30 Program in the U.S., which will help us as we continuously recruit high school and community college students into supply chain management.

"This announcement as a Top 30 SCM Program in the U.S., which came as a pleasant surprise to us, has added to the momentum we are feeling right now with the recent announcement of the supply chain degree now available completely online," added Zimmerman. "The reputation we have developed wouldn't be possible without the commitment of the faculty and the outstanding support from the University, alumni and industry partners."

For more information on the WIU SCM program, visit


Original story by WIU News. Find them here.


McDonough District Hospital Offering First Aid, CPR Classes

MACOMB – The McDonough District Hospital, alongside the Lifeguard Ambulance Service, will be offering a Community First Aid Class on Tuesday, May 7th at 6pm in Auditorium A. They will also be offering a Community CPR class on Tuesday, May 14th at 6pm in Auditoriums A & B and the Auxiliary conference room at MDH.


The First Aid course will cover injury assessment, various medical situations, and safety and injury prevention. The class will allow students to learn up-to-date first aid knowledge that will help individuals respond appropriately and confidently to an emergency situation that could save a life. The class will cover adult, child, and infant first aid techniques. The First Aid classes offered at MDH follow the American Heart Association guidelines and focus on remaining calm, performing proper first aid techniques, and obtaining medical assistance.


CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) is a life-saving technique to be used if someone would choke, stop breathing or experience cardiac arrest. This class offers adult, child and infant techniques for CPR and obstructed airway. Instruction for the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) will also be covered.


Pre-registration and a $40 fee are required for each course. A minimum of six (6) participants are necessary for each class to be held. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, anyone having special needs should give advance notice when pre-registering for the course. For more information or to register, please contact MDH Outreach Services at (309) 836-1584. To learn more about MDH Community Classes, visit


Macomb Flags of Love Announces Expansion Project

MACOMB ­- The Macomb Flags of Love Committee announced today that they are undertaking an expansion of the Flags of Love into a Memorial Brick project, in Downtown Macomb’s Chandler Park.


The Flags of Love Project was started in 1977 by Leland “Tweed” Mummert, the late Robert

Anstine, the late William “Bill” Wayland, and the late Kay Ruggles. To date, more than 800

United States of America flags are displayed and placed in Chandler Park during five holidays

(Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, and Veteran’s Day) to honor deceased

military veterans. The Flags of Love committee will be expanding the project to include

Memorial Bricks to honor and more permanently memorialize an Honorably discharged,

deceased veteran that has resided in McDonough County. The permanent bricks will be placed

on the South Side of Chandler Park near the Ruth Watts memorial fountain. The project will

include every veteran’s name that are already displayed on the Flags of Love. And, the project

will be built out, by those wishing to participate in the Memorial Brick project, beginning in

January 2019. The expansion was made possible, in late 2018, in part, by a sizable donation

from the V.I.B.E. (Volunteers Interesting in Benefiting Everyone) organization.


“We are currently at 852 flags and we are running out of space to display more flags”, stated

Marcia Lefante, Chairman of the Flags of Love and Memorial Brick Committee. “With the

Memorial Brick Project, we will be able to honor our deceased veterans every day and the Flags

of Love will continue to be displayed on the five holidays”, LeFante added.


For those wishing to participate in the Flags of Love Memorial Brick Project, more information

can be obtained by visiting the Macomb Flags of Love and Memorial Brick Facebook page.

Applications can be found at


Ameren Donates to McDonough County United Way

MCDOUNUGH COUNTY - Ameren Illinois recently donated $5,630 to McDonough County United Way continuing a long-standing relationship between the two organizations. Ameren was awarded as a platinum level sponsor at The McDonough County United Way’s Annual Awards Luncheon on March 28, 2019.


In addition to payroll contributions by employees, Ameren Illinois supports United Way via corporate donation each year, placing Ameren Illinois among United Way’s Top Five Donors.


McDonough County United Way Executive Director, Heather Jones says that “We are grateful to Ameren for their tremendous ongoing support. The generosity of individuals and corporations such as Ameren allows us to provide funding to our partner agencies. With the assistance of our partner agencies, we will continue to fight for the health, education, and financial stability of all individuals in our community”.


For more information about United Way contact Heather Jones at 309.837.9180 or by email at


Bustos, Wenstrup Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Legislation to Support Spouses of Injured Service Members

WASHINGTON – On April 10th, new legislation was introduced by Congress to support the spouses of servicemembers who sustain catastrophic injury. The Gold Star Spouses and Spouses of Injured Servicemembers Leasing Relief Expansion Act would extend home and automobile leasing protections in the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, allowing the spouses of catastrophically injured servicemembers to terminate property leases and automobile leases and Gold Star spouses to terminate automobile leases.


The legislation was created in a bipartisan effort between Representatives Cheri Bustos (IL-17) and Brad Wenstrup (OH-02). The inspiration for this legislation comes from testimony submitted by the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) last Congress during a markup of the Gold Star Spouses Leasing Relief Act – another piece of legislation introduced by Representatives Bustos and Wenstrup. In their testimony, PVA advocated that the same protections being offered to widows and widowers also be provided to the spouses of servicemembers who sustain catastrophic injury. As a result of injury, servicemembers may spend a significant amount of time in rehabilitation facilities – additionally, cars or property that they own may become inaccessible. Today’s legislation would eliminate this loophole and alleviate potential financial burdens for servicemembers and their families.


A companion bill will be introduced in the United States Senate by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Rob Portman (R-OH), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Thom Tillis (R-NC).


WIU Department of Engineering Technology Hosting Open House

MACOMB – The Western Illinois University Department of Engineering Technology will be hosting an open house on Friday, April 12th from 10am-12:30pm. The Department are expecting more than 75 high school students from across the region to attend.


Students will be meeting in Knoblauch Hall, room 105, at 10am. There students will be separated into groups to begin their tour of the engineering tech labs. Included on the tour are the labs that hold 3D printing, construction, surveying, welding, machining, plasma cutting and sandblasting, among others. The event will allow students hands-on experience with the different technology.


Students will be able to sit in on demonstrations of lab equipment and be able to make their own WIU sign. If you would like to attend, contact University Relations by calling (309) 298-1993.


Original story by WIU News. Find them here:


Arbor Day Foundation Names Macomb Tree City USA

MACOMB – Macomb was named 2018 Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation in honor

of its commitment to effective urban forest management. The community then received a Tree City USA Growth Award for demonstrating environmental improvement and a higher level of tree care. Macomb achieved Tree City USA recognition through  the program’s four requirements: a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least$2 per capita and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.


The Tree City USA program is sponsored through the Arbor Day foundation, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters. “We are grateful for this recognition and applaud our dedicated City Arborist. The Tree City USA communities see the impact an urban forest has in a community first hand,” said Mayor Michael Inman. “Recognition brings residents together and creates a sense of community pride, whether

it’s through volunteer engagement or public education,” Inman also added.Trees provide alot benefits to the community when properly planted and maintained. They help  improve the visual appeal of a neighborhood, increase property values, reduce home cooling costs, remove air pollutants and provide wildlife habitat.


During this year’s Arbor Day ceremony, a  tree planting will take place on Friday, April 26 th at 1:00 p.m. in front of Lincoln Elementary School, along Bonham Street. City Forester Skip Bowles will also plant a pecan tree sponsored by the Macomb Women’s Club and the Macomb Beautiful Association. The third-grade class from Lincoln Elementary School will participate in this event and the public is invited to attend. The rain date for this event will be Tuesday, April 30 th at 1:00 p.m.


More information on the program is available at

About the Arbor Day Foundation: The Arbor Day Foundation is a million- member nonprofit

conservation and education organization with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture, and

celebrate trees. More information can be found at


State Requests Joint Damage Assessment for Stephenson County

SPRINGFIELD -- The state of Illinois  will continue to seek more ways to support recovery efforts in northern Illinois following the devastating flooding along the Rock and Pecatonica Rivers. During this time, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) plans to initiate  steps for the disaster recovery, requested by a joint damage assessment with representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The information collected by these teams could be used to support an SBA disaster declaration.  


If approved, the SBA declaration would enable people and business in Stephenson County, and those in the contiguous counties, whoever applies for low-interest or long-term loans. “As we continue to watch rivers and streams fluctuate, finding available resources for communities and their residents has become a necessity,” said Acting Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau.  “As we look at the flood outlook for our state, we know that the road to recovery will be a long and difficult path, but the State of Illinois stands ready to help as flood victims begin to rebuild.”


To be eligible for an SBA declaration,  25 homes or businesses in a county must sustain major, uninsured losses of at least 40 percent. Initial local damage assessments indicate the number of damaged homes or businesses that should meet the required SBA requirements; however, the numbers will meet the threshold for funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The State Emergency Operations Center in Springfield remains activated in support of the flood response and recovery efforts throughout Illinois. To date, more than 650,000 sandbags have been prepositioned along rivers, levees and critical infrastructure to protect Illinois communities.



Illinois receives additional $15 million to fight opioid crisis; Illinois on track to receive $29 million more in 2020

 CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) recently announced that Illinois will receive an additional $15 million from the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to  opioid crisis across the state. Since September 2016, Illinois was awarded over $82 million in federal funding to expand the prevention and treatment of opioid use disorders . Illinois will attempt receive another $29 million in 2020.“With the additional funding, we’ll continue to work to ensure that all communities throughout the state have access to treatment for opioid use disorder,” said IDHS Secretary Designate Grace B Hou. “Through the expansion of medication-assisted treatment, increased number of recovery homes, additional substance use treatment at local jails and hospitals and the continuation of community outreach, Illinoisans will have more access to treatment than ever before.”


The new funding will strengthen and enhance the Illinois Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) to help continue the state’s efforts to prevent the misuse of prescription opioids, continue to support the availability of naloxone, and have a life-saving drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. “We’re excited to grow our programs that have shown success throughout the state,” said Substance Use Prevention and Recovery (SUPR) Director, Dani Kirby. “The influx of federal dollars has not only helped us to expand access to medication assisted treatment programs, but also to pilot new programs to find out which ones are bringing the most successful prevention, treatment and recovery efforts to Illinois residents.”


According to the CDC, expanding the access to the medication assisted treatment (MAT) is essential to an effective response for dramatic increase in opioid-related problems. MAT involves the use of a medication to treat a substance use disorder in tandem with counseling and social supports. These medications are similar to the medication for diabetes or asthma – they help people manage their disorder so that they can maintain their recovery. It is not the same as substituting one addictive drug for another. Once stabilized, patients will not experience compulsive thoughts and behaviors that come with a substance use disorder. As of March 2019, over 12,000 individuals with opioid use disorder have been served in Illinois through the federal Opioid Crisis Response Grants, which does not include individuals served through federal block grant funds, state funds or Medicaid dollars.Illinois Helpline for Opioids and Other Substances launched in December 2017, there have been over 11,000 calls and 21,000 website visits made to the Helpline. IDHS continues to expand prevention and outreach efforts and treatment and recovery services so all Illinoisans have access to these resources. The State Opioid Response Grant is one of four federal grants that the State of Illinois secured from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to battle the opioid epidemic. The State Opioid Response Grant is administered by the Illinois Department of Human Services’ Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery.

For more information about federal Opioid Crisis Response Grants or IDHS programs and initiatives, visit the IDHS March 2019 Opioid Crisis Response Update.


If you or someone you know is experiencing opioid use disorder or other substance use disorders, call the Illinois Helpline for Opioids and Other Substances at 1-833-2FINDHELP or visit



Duckworth Senators Ask Pentagon if Trump's Border Deployment Threatens Military Readiness

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator and combat Veteran Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), along with  Senate Armed Services Committee members Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), discussed concerns this week about the Trump Administration’s deployment of thousands of U.S. troops in the southern border  harming military readiness. Mentioned in a letter, the Senators asked Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan to reconcile the Trump Administration’s insistance that the border deployment could not affect readiness with warnings by Marine Corps Commandant General Robert Neller about the “unacceptable risk” and fiscal challenges posed by the deployment.


“We are extraordinarily distressed by the concerns raised by General Neller,” the Senators wrote. “We are particularly concerned about the cost and impact of the Southwest Border Operations and the border security funding transfers, given that they have not been authorized by Congress and because of previous assurances we have received that these factors would not impact readiness. These discrepancies require an explanation, and to the extent the southern border deployment is causing readiness concerns, they must be addressed immediately.”


The Senators questioned the deployment of 4,000 active-duty personnel and approximately 2,000 National Guardsmen to the southern border – which is almost estimated to a cost of at least half a billion dollars. They also expressed concerns with General Neller’s warnings whether the deployment would cause any budget gaps or have an impact on readiness.


During October of 2018, President Trump announced the deployment of active duty military personnel to the southwest border in response to what he called an “invasion” of several thousand  migrants fleeing violence and instability in their home countries. The deployment was extended by Acting Secretary Shanahan in January 2019 for an additional nine months. Duckworth has been a vocal critic of the deployment, calling it “a waste of taxprayer dollars and a complete misuse of our military".


In the letter, the Senators asked Acting Secretary Shanahan to provide a staff-level briefing on the matter within seven days as well as a written explanation of how he will address the concerns raised by General Neller no later than April 22, 2019. A copy of the letter is available here.


Secretary of Army calls Rock Island Arsenal Facility "Game Changer" for Army Sustainability

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, in the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee hearing regarding the FY2020 army budget, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) advocated  the efforts of the Rock Island Arsenal Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence and the army Sustainment Command to the Secretary of the army, Mark Esper. The army turns their attention towards modernization efforts made by Bustos. She pushed the Secretary on the role that the Rock Island Arsenal can play in those efforts – especially when it relates to manufacturing and the prepositioning of military assets.


“The Rock Island Arsenal is on the forefront leading our military into the future,” said Bustos, a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense. “Not only are their operations vital to our regional economy, but their efforts play a major role ensuring our men and women in uniform are ready to serve around the globe with the most advanced equipment. In Washington, I’ll always be a tireless advocate for the Rock Island Arsenal and look forward to seeing their abilities continue to grow as we work to move our military forward together.”


Bustos asked about the Army’s modernization effort which analyzes future threats, what steps needed to be taken, or technology needing to be developed – to meet those challenges. Specifically, she focused on an effort like the next generation combat vehicle – designed for close combat situations – which is assembled at the Rock Island Arsenal. Additionally, Bustos discussed how the army sustainment command can support both current and future needs of the Army when it comes to the prepositioning of assets given the role they play in providing logistical support. The prepositioning of assets plays a major role in military readiness by ensuring resources are ready for use in locations around the world if conflict occurs.



Last year in April, Congresswoman Bustos supported the Army’s $30 million investment in advanced manufacturing capabilities at the Rock Island Arsenal’s Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center. She then fought to include an amendment last May in the National Defense Authorization Bill that would create a Center of Excellence for Advanced and Additive Manufacturing at the Rock Island Arsenal, leading to new advanced manufacturing techniques and 3D printing technologies. Congresswoman Bustos also traveled to South Korea in July of last year where she was able to see the first-hand the role the Rock Island Arsenal plays on a global scale.


Watch Congresswoman Bustos by clicking HERE or below:




WIU Mom's Day to be Held April 13

Western Illinois University will host a series of activities for Moms' Day, Saturday, April 13 at the WIU-Macomb campus.


Activities will include:


• 10th Annual Donna Phillips Memorial 5k Fun Run/Dog Walk - Brophy Hall, east entrance


Parents can check in at 8:30 a.m. The 5k run will start at 9:30 a.m., the 5k dog run begins at 9:35 a.m. and the dog walk begins at 9:40 a.m. Proceeds benefit the WIU Department of Kinesiology and its student organizations.


• A Day at the Lake

Argyle Lake State Park, Colchester, IL


Enjoy the first blooms of spring and the peace and serenity of nature at Lake Argyle. The one- to two-mile hikes will begin at the park visitor center.


For more information, call the park visitor center at (309) 776-3422.


• Chair Massages

Spencer Recreation Center, Staff Conference Room

9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.


Licensed massage therapist offering soothing chair massages on-site for $1/minute; cash, check, debit, credit or Rocky Dollars are accepted.


• Moms' Day Bags Tournament

10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

On the lawn between Q-lot and the East entrance to the Rec. Center


Cost: $10 per team. All proceeds will be donated to the Greater Peoria Honor Flight.  


To register your team, visit

For more information, contact Steve Wallace at

• Get Ready to Zumba

1 p.m.

Spencer Student Recreation Center, Fitness Studio West


Join us for Zumba class.


• Big Pink Volleyball

Spencer Student Recreation Center

2-4 p.m.


Big Pink Volleyball is a nice event for family members to  bond. If you can do that, you can play. It's a great way to have fun and make memories to last a lifetime. The event is free, and no registration is required. Teams will be put together by the recreation center and require moms to participate.


• Moms' Throw-a-thon

3:30 p.m.

HPA 111 in the Heating Plant Annex


Attend a pottery/clay workshop with Professor Ian Shelly. Participants will take part in a team building exercise to warm their hands up and then will work on the pottery wheel. The clay will wash out but casual attire is recommended. Smocks or aprons are not provided.


• Bowling

4-6 p.m.

Digger's City College Bowl (off-campus)


Inter-Hall Council is hosting an evening of bowling. The event is first come first served. The cost of bowling, shoe rental, pizza and a free drink is provided for the first 50 people.


• Battle of the Brushes 2

Doors open at 6:30, event begins at 7 p.m.

WCI Arts Center, 25 East Side Square, Macomb, IL


Tickets are $35 for one and two or more tickets are $25 each. Purchase in advance through PayPal at, or reserve through or 309-836-2782


Become one of 12 artists to create paintings in just 30 minutes and vote to determine the winners. Guests will also enjoy hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, a silent auction and raffle prizes. In addition, all of the paintings created during the Battle will be available for purchase during the event. All proceeds from the event will go to support the WCI Arts Center.


• Choral Masterworks Concert

7:30 p.m.

COFAC Recital Hall


Immerse yourself in the beautiful music of the Choral Masterworks Concert. Admission is free.


• UUBingo

Grand Ballroom, University Union Second Floor

8 p.m.


Bingo will be free and is open to all students and family members. There will be multiple games to participate in and prizes for winners. Free popcorn is provided.


For more information about Moms' Day, visit


University Relations, Western Illinois University


Phone: 309-298-1993


Editor's Note: A high-resolution, publication-ready image/photo supporting this story is available for free editorial use at If you need assistance, please email



Duckworth, Durbin Help Re-Introduce Bill Allowing Workers to Receive Paid Sick Days

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) joined Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and 30 of their Senate colleagues in re-introducing the Healthy Families Act, which could ensure workers that are able to earn paid sick leave. So now they can stay home when they are ill, care for a sick family member, obtain preventive medical care, seek assistance related to domestic violence, stalking or sexual assault.


“No one should have to choose between caring for a sick child or family member and missing a paycheck, or even losing their job,” Duckworth said.“And it’s about time we offered hard working Americans a basic level of paid sick leave so they aren’t forced to miss out on wages or infect their own coworkers with contagious illnesses when they get sick. These are just a few reasons why the Healthy Families Act is so important, and I’m proud to join Senator Murray in introducing it.”


“When someone is ill, or caring for a sick family member, they shouldn’t be breaking their back to get to work because they’re afraid of missing a bill or losing their job,” Durbin said. “It’s long past time to offer some sort of basic promise that workers can earn paid sick days, and the Healthy Families Act is a reasonable step forward. I’m proud to join Senator Duckworth to reintroduce this bill.”


The Healthy Families Act would apply to all businesses with at least 15 employees, and would not impact those already providing paid sick leave as long as they are meeting the standards outlined in the Healthy Families Act. Workers would be eligible to receive 56 hours or seven days of paid sick leave per year.


In addition to Duckworth, Durbin and Murray, the legislation is co-sponsored by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), Bob Casey (D-PA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ed Markey (D-MA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-MA), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Bernie Sanders (D-VT), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Tina Smith (D-MN), Tom Udall (D-NM), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Ron Wyden (D-OR).



April 9, 2019

Contact: Evan Keller (Duckworth),

Joe LaPaille (Durbin),




Macomb Community Theatre's Next Show

MACOMB – The Macomb Community Theatre will be presenting You Can’t Get There from Here, a comedic play by Pat Cook, about a bed and breakfast known for its eccentricity.

The play will be performed at the Macomb Community Theatre on April 26th and 27th, and on May 3rd and 4th. The doors open at 7pm with the play starting at 7:30pm. Doug Menke will be directing, with Kim McDaniel being the stage manager and Roy Roth producing.

A quick synopsis: The Mavis Garner Bed and Breakfast is not the sort of place you’d find on a freeway or even a map. That’s because they get most of the customers from cars disabled when they hit the pothole on Main Street. Scandal-sheet reporter Arthur Lyman decides to do an expose on the pothole “scam” and checks into the bed and breakfast. During his stay he’s fined eight times, dragged across town by the local watchdog and fired from his job. What else could he do but fall in love with one of the proprietors! When his boss shows up and takes over the story, he’s treated to scenes from Shakespeare, slipshod seances and a witch who can’t keep her hexes straight.

For more information, visit their website here.


Kathy Simmons Memorial 5K Walk/Run/Roll Information

MACOMB – The 4th annual Kathy Simmons Memorial 5K Walk/Run/Roll will be happening on Saturday, May 4th. The 5K is to raise awareness and show support for victims of domestic violence. Kathy Simmons, the namesake for the 5K, was a victim of domestic violence that resulted in her death in 2003.


Registration will begin at 7:30am the day of the race starting at 8am. The race will begin Citizen’s Bank Plaza on the corner of Randolph and Washington streets in Macomb. The 5K is open to all ages and open to early registration, which starts April 19th for $30. Same day registration is $35. To register or for more information, contact Becky Cox-Medina at (309) 837-6622 or email You may also register here.


IDPH Warns of New Emerging Multi-Drug Resistant Fungal Infections

SPRINGFIELD - There is an emerging multidrug-resistant fungus called Candida auris (C. auris) that is causing healthcare-associated infections around the world, including the U.S. and in Illinois. While this infection is still rare in the U.S. and most people are at low risk of getting infected, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) are encouraging Illinoisans and health care providers to become aware and have the tools they need to stay safe.


C. auris can be highly resistant to antifungal drugs, meaning that medications used to treat Candidal infections often do not work against it.  However, most C. auris isolates in Illinois have been treatable with all antifungals. Symptoms of C. auris infection may not differ from those of other infections, and they vary depending on the part of the body that is infected.  People can also have C. auris on their body without developing an infection or any symptoms.  Even without symptoms, it is possible to pass C. auris to other people.  People concerned that they may have a fungal infection or healthcare-associated infection should talk to their health care provider immediately.


People who get C. auris or other Candidal infections are often patients sick from other medical conditions.  There is increasing evidence that the spread of C. auris may be particularly high in post-acute and long-term care facilities, especially long-term acute care hospitals and skilled nursing facilities that take care of patients on ventilators.  Patients at higher risk for developing C. auris infection are those who require invasive medical care, including ventilators for breathing support, feeding tubes, central venous catheters, and also broad-spectrum antibiotics.


There are steps individuals can take when receiving medical treatment, whether it is in a hospital, a long-term care facility, or a clinic to help protect themselves from infection. 

• When a doctor, nurse, or other health care worker enters the room, observe as they clean their hands. 
• Patients and loved ones should make sure their hands are clean as well. 
• Patients should feel comfortable inquiring if medical equipment was cleaned after being used on another patient (e.g. stethoscope or blood pressure cuff).
• Check if the room and surfaces have been cleaned with the appropriate disinfectant
• Ask what steps the facility is taking to reduce the transmission of healthcare-associated infections.


“Our top priority at IDPH is keeping Illinoisans healthy and safe and we are working hard to ensure residents have the information and resources they need in response to all emerging health threats,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  “Fungal infections caused by C. auris, and similar infections, have the potential to cause serious illness, are often resistant to standard medications, and continue to spread in health care settings.  There are steps physicians, health care facilities, and individuals can take to avoid infection and prevent the spread of disease, and IDPH encourages all Illinoisans to get educated and stay safe.”


The IDPH and local health departments are working with health care facilities to implement and maintain infection control practices to reduce transmission (cleaning and disinfecting environmental surfaces and shared equipment, hand hygiene, gloves, gowns, etc.).  Public health officials are conducting surveillance for clinical cases and also screening individuals (swabbing the skin of patients/residents) in health care facilities where clinical cases have been found.  These steps allow us to identify patients who may have come in contact with C. auris. In an effort to reduce further spread, public health officials have been in more than 100 health care facilities to actively investigate every clinical case to identify any possible exposures.


Duckworth, Senators Introduce New "Clean Water" Acts

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) delivered remarks at the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies’ 2019 Water Policy Conference, detailing the importance of ensuring every American has access to affordable clean water. Duckworth went on to outline her agenda for water policies in the 116th Congress, stressing the need to view access to clean water as not just an environmental or health priority, but as a matter of justice, fairness and equality, too.


“Every American has a right to clean water, no matter their zip code, the color of their skin or the size of their income,” Duckworth said. “You don’t need to be a policy wonk, or a Democrat, to get why this issue’s important: no elementary-schooler should be scared to drink out of their school fountain at recess. This is a matter of justice, and it’s a crisis that I will never stop working to end—one bill passed, one water fountain tested, one child saved at a time.”


As ranking member of the Senate Environment & Public Works Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water and Wildlife, Duckworth has been outspoken about the need to reduce human exposure to toxic poisons like lead and has introduced several pieces of legislation addressing the issue. In September of last year, U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-IN) and Congressman Dan Kildee (D-MI) joined Duckworth in introducing the Get the Lead Out of Assisted Housing Act. The legislation would protect families from lead exposure by requiring the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) to inspect for lead service lines, create a grant program to address lead contamination and allow a cross-check for lead in water when remediating a home for lead found in paint.


Duckworth also introduced the Get the Lead Out of Schools Act with U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) to ensure periodic testing for lead contamination in drinking water at schools while also providing schools with additional resources to monitor lead levels and replace outdated water infrastructure systems.


WIU Faculty, Students and Alumni Compete in Battle of the Brushes 2

MACOMB - The West Central Illinois Arts Center will host the Battle of the Brushes 2 this Saturday, April 13th from 7-10pm. The event will be held at the center on the eastern side of Macomb’s square with doors opening at 6:30pm.


Eleven of the 12 artists participating are WIU faculty members, alumni or students. Artists include theatre design graduate student Amina Alexander, of Jamaica; WIU alumni Bethany Barr; WIU alumni Colby Fayhee; theatre design graduate student Kaitlin Findley; David Garrison, of Burlington, IA; theatre design graduate student Rebecca Holcomb; Last year’s winner WIU Assistant Professor Steven House; theatre design graduate student Anthony Karpinski; WIU Department of Theatre and Dance Chair Tammy Killian; Sam Myerson; graduate student Janice Rockwell and Assistant Professor of Theatre and Dance Josh Wroblewski. Also involved will be an RPTA class taught by WIU Assistant Professor Jeremy Robinett, as organizers will be working with the class for a project.


Each artist will have 30 minutes to create a design in the competitive event. Hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, a silent auction and raffle prizes will be available. In addition, all of the paintings created during the battle will be for sale.


Tickets are $35 each, or two or more for $25 each and can be purchased in advance through Paypal at Tickets can also be reserved through or by calling (309) 836-2782. Proceeds from the event will benefit the WCI Arts Center.


For more information about the artists, visit


Original story by WIU News. Find them here.


Jen Wagoner Receives Dual Healing Hand Awards

MACOMB – McDonough District Hospital’s Jen Wagoner, MPT, CVR, has received her

third Healing Hand award in a month, bringing her total to five since the program began.


Wagoner, who received her Certificate of Vestibular Rehabilitation from Duke University and

the American Physical Therapy Association in 2017, earned the Healing Hand awards

through the Grateful Patient Program, most recently for her expertise in vestibular (inner ear)

physical therapy and her exceptional and encouraging attitude.


The Grateful Patient Program at MDH provides an opportunity for patients and/or families to

show their gratitude and appreciation in honor of the excellent care received. In addition to

recognizing a Healing Hand, patients and/or families may make a financial contribution to

support an area of care or direct their gift to a more specific cause.


These latest awards were accompanied by donations designated specifically to help reach

the goal of purchasing specialized goggles which will enhance the treatment process for

vestibular disorders at MDH.


Vestibular rehabilitation is a form of physical therapy that addresses inner ear or balance

disorders for individuals with symptoms of imbalance, dizziness, vertigo, lightheadedness,

gaze instability, and/or motion sensitivity.


Wagoner shared, “Vestibular rehabilitation can have such an impact because dizziness is not

a normal part of aging, and some vestibular disorders can even be treated in as quickly as

one to two physical therapy sessions. I am very thankful for the support we have received so



To learn more about the Grateful Patient Program at MDH, please contact the MDH

Foundation office at (309) 836-1757 or visit


FHWA Calls for Safer Driving, Safer Work Zones

WASHINGTON - Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Brandye L. Hendrickson today was

joined by local officials, construction workers, and families of highway work zone victims at the

kickoff event for the 2019 National Work Zone Awareness Week.


“Safety is everyone’s responsibility, so please focus 100% on driving, be sober, be considerate of road workers and other road users and, please, obey the posted speed limits,” said U.S.

Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.


During a ceremony held at the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge replacement project,

Hendrickson emphasized the importance of driving safely through work zones.


“As the weather gets warmer, highway workers are heading outdoors to improve our roads and

keep us moving,” said Hendrickson. “We all need to do our part and drive carefully, so that we

can help keep everyone safe wherever construction is under way.”


Officials said the campaign’s theme, “Drive Like You Work Here,” underscores the importance

of drivers staying alert and making safety a priority while driving through work zones. In 2017,

the most recent year for which data are available, there were 799 fatalities in work zones, which is a two-percent increase from the previous year.


Fatal work zone crashes involving large trucks or buses increased from 189 in 2016 to 222 in

2017. Speed was a factor in 29 percent of fatal work zone crashes that year, and 80 percent of

work zone crash victims were drivers or passengers – not highway workers. The issue is especially meaningful for the state of Illinois, which ranks sixth highest in the nation for work zone fatal crashes and deaths. According to data from the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse, there were 27 work zone deaths in the state of Illinois in 2017.


National Work Zone Awareness Week – supported by the Federal Highway Administration

(FHWA) and other transportation partners at the start of construction season each spring – raises awareness of safety measures taken on roads all over the country.


FHWA works with state and local transportation officials to promote improvements in work

zone planning and design, increased law enforcement near work zones, enhanced worker

training, and heightened awareness among drivers. Since 2005, FHWA has awarded more than

$50 million in grants to develop work zone safety guidance and training and support the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse, which is dedicated to providing the transportation construction industry and the general public with comprehensive information to improve motorist, worker, and pedestrian safety in roadway work zones.


For more information on this year’s National Work Zone Awareness Week, visit


OSF HealthCare Holy Family Medical Center Receives National Recognition for Performance Leadership

MONMOUTH – The OSF Holy Family Medical Center in Monmouth has received national recognition for excellence among all rural hospitals in the nation. The Chartis Center of Rural Health and the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) cited Holy Family, as well as two other rural OSF Hospitals, for overall excellence in outcomes, reflecting top quartile performance among all rural hospitals in the nation.


OSF Holy Family was also honored in the Patient Perspective category. President of the OSF HealthCare Holy Family Medical Center, Patty Luker commented on the honor, “This national recognition is really an honor and we are excited to let our Mission Partners and community know the excellent care that is provided at OSF Healthcare Holy Family Medical Center. Our Mission Partners work tirelessly to ensure that our patients receive the best quality, outcomes and experience and being recognized for our efforts on a national scale is very rewarding.”


The other two rural hospitals who were recognized were OSF Saint Luke Medical Center in Kewanee and OSF Saint Paul Medical Center in Mendota. Michael Topchik, national leader of The Chartis Center for Rural Health said, “We commend this year’s recipients who are working diligently to provide quality care within their communities."


Symphony Orchestra Masterworks Concert April 12 at WIU

MACOMB - The Western Illinois University School of Music will present the Symphony Orchestra Masterworks Concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 12 in the College of Fine Arts and Communication (COFAC) Recital Hall. The concert will also feature guest pianist William Kinderman. Kinderman is a professor of musicology and faculty affiliate, Germanic Studies, at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The Symphony Orchestra, conducted by WIU Associate Professor of Music Richard Hughey, will perform Mozart’s "Overture to Die Zauberflöte," Beethoven’s "Piano Concerto No. 1 op. 15, C Major," featuring Kinderman, and Stravinsky’s "Suite from Firebird”.


The performance will be free and open to the public.


Original story by WIU News. Find them here.


WIU Faculty, Students and Alumni Compete in Battle of the Brushes 2 April 13 at WCI Arts Center

MACOMB - The West Central Illinois Arts Center will be hosting Battle of the Brushes 2 this Saturday, April 13th from 7-10pm. The event will be held at the center on the eastern side of Macomb’s square with doors opening at 6:30pm.


Eleven of the 12 artists participating are WIU faculty members, alumni or students. Artists include theatre design graduate student Amina Alexander, of Jamaica; WIU alumna Bethany Barr; WIU alumnus Colby Fayhee; theatre design graduate student Kaitlin Findley; David Garrison, of Burlington, IA; theatre design graduate student Rebecca Holcomb; Last year’s winner WIU Assistant Professor Steven House; theatre design graduate student Anthony Karpinski; WIU Department of Theatre and Dance Chair Tammy Killian; Sam Myerson; graduate student Janice Rockwell and Assistant Professor of Theatre and Dance Josh Wroblewski. Also involved will be an RPTA class taught by WIU Assistant Professor Jeremy Robinett, as organizers will be working with the class for a project.


Each artist will have 30 minutes to create a design in the competitive event. Hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, a silent auction and raffle prizes will be available. In addition, all of the paintings created during the battle will be for sale.


Tickets are $35 each, or two or more for $25 each and can be purchased in advance through Pay Pal at Tickets can also be reserved through or by calling (309) 836-2782. Proceeds from the event will benefit the WCI Arts Center. 

For more information about the artists, visit


Original story by WIU News. Find them here.


WIU Faculty Member Developing Prostate Cancer Detection Device

MACOMB, IL – A Western Illinois University Department of Chemistry faculty member has co-founded her own biotechnology company to develop a prostate cancer detection device prototype.


Assistant Professor Erica McJimpsey, co-author of the book, "The Beginning of Time Plan for your Life," launched the company McJimpsey Biotechnologies, Inc. at WIU of 2018. The medical device helps detect prostate cancer in the early stages. After approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it will now be marketed at hospitals, clinical laboratories and medical groups.


McJimpsey said the idea for the device "came from God" while she was doing a fellowship as part of her postdoctoral research. McJimpsey is an evangelist that  attributes her success to a higher power.


After the device is fully developed, McJimpsey will plan to to apply for research funding that can allow her to hire WIU students to perform research for the company or work at paid internships.


McJimpsey came to WIU in 2015 as a visiting professor and now she has  transitioned to an assistant professorship on campus the following year. She teaches a variety of classes, including chemical calculations and courses in the area of analytical/bioanalytical chemistry.


She received her bachelor's degree in chemistry from Chicago State University and her doctoral degree in analytical chemistry from the University of California, Davis (UCD). As an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, she performed postdoctoral research in the field of microbial detection, among other bio-defense studies. She was also a recipient of the National Research Council (NRC) Postdoctoral Research Associate Fellowship, and conducted postdoctoral research at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the area of prostate cancer metrology.


Before starting her research at the NIST, McJimpsey had been working on bio-defense projects. She shifted into the field of biomedical research during her post doctorate at the NIST. "I had to learn new techniques because I hadn't done that kind of research before my time at the NIST," McJimpsey said.


McJimpsey’s  current research interests include early stage breast cancer detection, prostate cancer health disparities among African American men, quality assurance analysis of dietary supplements, faith healing and music therapy as it relates to the cellular glycoproteome.


For more information about the WIU Department of Chemistry, visit


Copy By: WIU News


Illinois EPA Clean Water Initiative Bonds Finish Successful Pricing Following Triple-A Rating and Green Bond Designation

      Plans continue to build on the solid 30+ year foundation of the State Revolving Fund

SPRINGFIELD . Also following a triple- A rating from both Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor’s Ratings Service. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Illinois Finance Authority (IFA) have completed bond pricing of the Illinois EPA State Revolving Fund revenue bonds. This is the first “Green Bond” deal Illinois has issued in a long time.

The Illinois EPA’s Wastewater and Drinking Water Loan Programs have made nearly $9 billion in low-cost loans more available to local governments investing in wastewater and drinking water capital projects. Local governments use these funds for a variety of projects, including new drinking water or waste water infrastructure construction which upgrades rehabilitating existing infrastructures, stormwater-related projects that benefit water quality, and other projects that protect the quality of Illinois’ rivers, streams and lakes. By updating these systems, it will improve safety and enable compliance with current federal standards.

Proceeds from the bond sales are combined with federal funds and  loan repayments to provide an fair revenue stream to support large and small community infrastructure needs throughout Illinois. A U.S. EPA survey ranked Illinois as the fourth highest state in terms of  needs for water infrastructure improvements, which doesn’t include the vast need for stormwater infrastructure, which is also available through the Initiative. Over the next 20 years, Illinois will have a $32 billion need for such projects.

“The Illinois EPA is excited to work with the Illinois Finance Authority to help sustainable water infrastructure projects,” said Illinois EPA Acting Director John J. Kim. “These projects will make a significant contribution to improving water quality in Illinois. Through the issuance of these Green Bonds, we are reaffirming our commitment to financing Illinois’ clean and safe drinking water projects.”“We are delighted to partner with Illinois EPA to float the first Illinois Green Bonds, especially during Water Week, when our nation focuses its attention on the unique need for drinking water and clean water utilities,” said Chris Meister, Executive Director of the Illinois Finance Authority. “These AAA-rated bonds will lower costs for local governments to build these essential water projects, while saving Illinois citizens money. Financing these projects also will support the goals and objectives of Governor Pritzker’s Executive Order of Climate Change. The IFA had a highly successful bond order period on its $450 million Clean Water Initiative financing. Over the past two days, the IFA received a variety of orders from both individual and institutional investors. Moreover, the IFA received strong investor interest from specific “green bond investors” based upon the joint initiative of IEPA and the IFA in creating a “Green Bond” designation for this financing.”


The State Revolving Fund has expanded low interest funds available to local communities to replace or update old systems at no added cost to state taxpayers. To learn more about Illinois EPA’s State Revolving Fund Loan Programs, visit To download the preliminary official statement of this transaction, go to


Kim Biggs:        217-558-1536 (IEPA)



Chris Meister: 312-590-1044 (IFA)




Hammond's Bill Increases Penalties for Texting While Driving

In Macomb,  Assistant House Minority Leader Norine K. Hammond hopes to make drivers think twice before using their phone while driving. She’s  sponsored legislation in response to a case in her district that involved a texting driver that caused an accident where a man lost a limb. The man who was hit because the driver was distracted. The man suffered the loss of his leg and the driver who was breaking the law was only fined $75.

House Bill 2386 at the start of the 101st General Assembly by Representative Hammond. The legislation increased penalties is for people who uses  electronic communication devices while operating a motor vehicle. The violation results in an accident causing great bodily harm to any person. The consequence of this illegal action will be the suspension of a driver’s license for one year and a fine of $1,000, if Hammond’s bill becomes law.

Hammond stated, “Texting, and all forms of distracted driving can be deadly. It is my hope that the threat of an increased fine and a suspended driver’s license will make Illinoisans realize how serious the risk is when you don’t have your eyes on the road. If you text and drive and injure someone, by causing bodily harm, you will have to pay a price for your decision. It’s my intent to make people think twice before they pick up their phone.” House Bill 2386 passed out of committee and now awaits a vote in the House.


Bustos Announces $1.4 Million Investment in Knox County Health Center


WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) stated that the Knox County Health Department will receive up to $1,427,754 in federal funding from the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Health Center Cluster Program. These grants will help community-based health care organizations provide primary care for underserved communities. Congresswoman Bustos is a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, including the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Subcommittee which oversees HHS.

“Access to affordable health care is crucial for hardworking families across our region – especially for those living in rural areas,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “I’m pleased these federal dollars will support Knox County’s efforts to provide quality care, and I’ll continue to be an advocate for the health care needs of those living in our communities.”

“Grants like these play a crucial role in our ability to serve the people of Knox County,” said Michele Fishburn, Public Health Administrator of the Knox County Health Department. “We are thankful for Congresswoman Bustos’ continued support of organizations like ours and her commitment to ensuring our patients have the resources they need.”

Congresswoman Bustos serves an  almost entirely rural region and has been a longtime advocate for the health of rural Americans. She also fought to include several of her provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill to improve health care in rural communities. These provisions included her bipartisan Rural Health Liaison Act, which creates a new positions at the U.S. Department of Agriculture to better serve the health needs of rural America; and the Addiction Recovery for Rural Communities Act, which equips communities with the resources they need to combat the opioid epidemic that has disproportionately hit rural America.



April 5, 2019

Sean Higgins – 202-594-6927



Congress Passes Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization

WASHINGTON – On April 4th, Congress passed a long-term reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019 (VAWA). The VAWA legislation was first passed by Congress and signed into law in 1994 and, like previous reauthorizations, this bill makes improvements based on the recommendations of law enforcement, victim service providers and other experts. The bipartisan bill will now head to the Senate.


The bipartisan legislation reauthorizes the Violence Against Women Act and makes vital improvements to address gaps in the current law by:

  • Improving the services available for victims and survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking;
  • Expanding the housing protections and financial assistance available for victims and survivors;
  • Closing loopholes to help prevent “intimate partner” homicides, by prohibiting persons convicted of stalking or dating violence from possessing firearms; and
  • Investing in tools and resources for law enforcement and evidence-based prevention programs that make our communities safer.


Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) commented on the vote, “As a reporter, I uncovered shocking stories of abuse that made me realize the importance of giving law enforcement and victim advocates the tools they need to keep women and families safe. Too many Americans, including one-in-three women, experience domestic violence – which is why I voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act today. Our work cannot stop until all women, children and families are safe from violence – and this legislation will strengthen current law and take critical steps to ensure women in Illinois have the resources they need to seek justice, receive care and rebuild their lives.”


WIU English Students Present Research at Sigma Tau Delta Convention

MACOMB - Four students from the Western Illinois University Department of English presented their original research at the international Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society convention in St. Louis, MO.  Over four days, March 27-30, English major, chapter president and graduating senior Desiree Steele, of Elgin, IL; English major and junior Emma Dayhoff, of Washington, IL; English major, chapter secretary and junior Kaylee Gundling, of Coyne Center, IL; and English major, chapter vice-president and junior Apryl Moore, of Chicago, IL, presented juried papers and fielded questions from the audience and attended panels of other English majors from among the 900 chapters of Sigma Tau Delta around the world. Only 60-70 percent of papers are accepted annually for presentation at the convention.

Steele presented, "Gender and Sexuality in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild," a revised version of a paper she wrote for English Professor Chris Morrow’s Popular Forms of Literature course. "Attending the Sigma Tau Delta convention was an amazing opportunity to meet others interested in Game Studies and New Media, and to see what sorts of research projects they are working on," said Steele. "I believe that this opportunity has helped me begin to make connections with the people I will work with as a scholar." In the fall, Steele plans to pursue a master's degree in English, focusing on the field of Game Studies, and she has been accepted to the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.

Dayhoff presented, "Life Got in the Way," an original piece of creative nonfiction supervised by English Assistant Professor Barb Lawhorn. "Presenting at the Sigma Tau Delta convention was an educationally rewarding experience that I would recommend to aspiring English majors and minors. It was a very welcoming and supportive environment, and I learned a great deal from attending all kinds of panels," said Dayhoff.

Gundling presented, "Director’s Cut (Abridged)," an original piece of fiction also supervised by Lawhorn. "I had a great time sharing my work and hearing the works of others from around the country," said Gundling. "Meeting so many other people who are excited and passionate about English was a brilliant experience."

Moore presented, "The Sadomasochism and Meaning of Addie Bundren in Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying," supervised by English Professor David Banash. "I really enjoyed talking to students from other chapters and learning how differently we each interpret the same novels. It's also interesting to see the discussions that come up without the pressure of a classroom setting," said Moore. During the regional caucus, Moore was elected to serve on the Board of Directors as the 2019-2020 Midwestern Student Representative and will represent the interests of the 150 chapters at four-year colleges and universities in the region. "I'm looking forward to working with the other elected student leaders in the organization," said Moore. "It's a wonderful opportunity to share the concerns and ideas of my constituents, and to promote student involvement in Sigma Tau Delta throughout the Midwest."

All four students received College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research Grants for their trip, as well as funding from the Office of Student Activities and the WIU Department of English.

For more information about the WIU Department of English, visit


Original story by WIU News. Find them here.


NRCS News - Nat'l Volunteer Week & Earth Team

CHAMPAIGN, IL – The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is recognizing the volunteer efforts of their Earth Team across the U.S. With their theme, “Volunteers Improve Today for Tomorrow”, which runs during National Volunteer Week (April 7th-13th), shows gratitude towards their Earth Team volunteers for their services to conservation.


The Earth Team is the USDA’s volunteer workforce whose 40,000 plus members, over the last year, donated over 380,000 hours of volunteer work nationwide by providing farmers and landowners resources to help with conservation of their lands. In money terms, they gave over $8 million in aid.


Earth Team volunteers help the NRCS conservationists provide private landowners and others with a range of services, from conservation technical assistance, to teaching and generating awareness about conservation through community projects. Earth Team volunteers are invaluable as they expand NRCS’ efforts to help protect and conserve the nation’s natural resources. Volunteers dedicate their time and talents to various conservation activities, from helping farmers prevent soil erosion, protecting water resources and watersheds against flood damage, to improving the condition of grazing land, and enhancing wildlife habitat.


Last year Illinois Earth Team volunteers donated 2,183 hours of service. “Our volunteers are valuable in every aspect of conservation. We are especially proud of our NRCS team down in southern Illinois from the Edwards, Lawrence, Richland, Wabash, and Wayne Counties District Group. They recruited the best and most productive volunteer of the year,” says Ivan Dozier, a state conservationist from Champaign. If you have a high school student who needs to log in some volunteer hours this summer, your local NRCS Service Center might be your best and closest option—especially if they have an interest in agriculture or environmental sciences.


To learn more about the Earth Team Volunteer Program visit: or call 888-526-3227. For more information on NRCS, visit


Bustos Stands Up to Labor Secretary on Behalf of Workers, Organized Labor

WASHINGTON – Yesterday in a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing to review the president’s FY 2020 Budget Request for the Department of Labor, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) stood up for workers’ rights and safety to Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta.


“I strongly believe in an efficient government – but gutting regulations that protect hard working men and women across Illinois is just plain wrong and no way to accomplish that goal,” said Congresswoman Bustos, a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. “The safety of our workers cannot be compromised and should always be our top priority. Our labor unions play a fundamental role keeping workers safe and I’ll continue to do everything in my power to enable their ability to strengthen our workforce and keep our workers out of harm’s way.”


Specifically, Congresswoman Bustos focused on Secretary Acosta’s priorities related to budgets for both  Occupational Safety and Health Administration, along with the Office of Labor-Management Standards. Congresswoman Bustos was curious why the Department of Labor cut funding for worker safety, while at the same time increasing funding to investigate labor unions and flat-lining funding to workforce development programs.




The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is responsible for overseeing worksite safety and enforcement. Earlier this year, the Trump Administration rolled back the Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses rule that required most employers to submit reports of all workplace injuries to the Department of Labor electronically each year. Striking this rule weakens protections for workers by limiting the ability to track data on how many workers are injured on the job and how they occurred. On the other hand, the Office of Labor-Management Standards is responsible for auditing and investigating unions and has received an increase in funding.


CLICK HERE for a video of Congresswoman Bustos questioning Secretary of Labor Acosta




WIU Food Pantry School Drive

WIU Food Pantry School Supply Drive to be Held April 8-May 3


MACOMB, IL – The Western Illinois University Food Pantry is made to hold a school supply drive from April 8 - May 3.


Donations will be taken to a number of locations on campus:


• Sherman Hall- outside of the Office of Admissions

• Malpass Library- 2nd floor entrance

• Tillman Hall- Outside room 312 and by the 1st floor elevator

• Garwood Hall- various locations throughout the building

• WIU Food Pantry- Thursdays noon-5 p.m., Saturdays 11 a.m.-2 p.m.


Supply donations will benefit WIU students in the upcoming school year.


For more information, contact



McDonough District Hospital: MDH removes interim title, announces Brian E. Dietz, FACHE, as President/CEO

MACOMB - The McDonough District Hospital Board of Directors removed the interim title and announced Brian E. Dietz, FACHE, as the hospital’s President/Chief Executive Officer. Dietz joined MDH in late June 2018 through the search firm B.E. Smith on an interim basis following the departure of Kenny Boyd. The change goes into effect immediately.

“I’m extremely pleased to announce the hiring of Brian Dietz as our permanent President/CEO. He has 40 years of history in helping hospitals maintain and improve the quality of care for their patients, while also helping them improve their financial performance,” said MDH Board of Directors Chairman Rick Iverson, M.D. “As our interim CEO the last nine months we have already begun to see those same results here.”


“From the first day I arrived in Macomb and began working at McDonough District Hospital, I have felt it an honor and privilege to be entrusted with such an important community asset. For the last nine months I have found this to be a comfortable community to live in with a great hospital to guide through some very challenging times in health care,” said Dietz. “I want to particularly thank the MDH Board of Directors, medical staff leadership, and tremendously talented departmental leaders for their support and enthusiasm in participating to position MDH for a very successful future we can all be proud of.”

Dietz has met with numerous regional health care organizations exploring potential clinical partnerships to better serve the area’s residents while maintaining MDH’s independent affiliation. With Board of Directors approval, MDH brought in the Halley Consulting Group last fall to evaluate the formerly named McDonough Medical Group (now MDH Medical Group) operations under the guidance of an interim Vice President for Ambulatory Services, and B.E. Smith for interim staffing for the Vice President/Chief Financial Officer position, with the objective of working towards permanent hires.

Dietz represents MDH on the Macomb Area Economic Development Corporation (MAEDCO) Board of Directors. Now being officially named as the hospital’s President/CEO, and his initial evaluation of MDH operations complete, Dietz expressed his commitment to become even more involved within the Macomb community.


Dietz earned his bachelor’s degree from Frostburg State University and a master’s degree in Healthcare Administration (MHA) from The George Washington University. He has also served as an adjunct faculty member for The George Washington University in the capacity of preceptor for graduate student residents in Health Care Administration. Prior to joining McDonough District Hospital, Dietz worked with B.E. Smith as an interim CEO with INTEGRIS Bass Baptist Health Center in Enid, Oklahoma. He also spent four years as the CEO at Saint Francis Healthcare in Wilmington, Delaware. He oversaw a full-service community hospital with net revenues in excess of $166 million.


For more information on MDH, log onto


Mayor Celebrates AmeriCorps, VISTA and Senior Corp Programs at WIU

MACOMB – Macomb Mayor Mike Inman held a reception on Tuesday, April 2nd, to honor those who serve through the AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps VISTA and Senior Corps programs and the work they do, locally and nationwide.


Joined at the reception by Karen Mauldin-Curtis, director of the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps State Programs at WIU/IIRA, and Gisele Hamm, director and Linda Lee Blaine, coordinator of the MAPPING the Future of Your Community program and local AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) at WIU/IIRA. Mayor Inman started the event by reading a document stating that Tuesday as National Service Recognition day.


Given the many social challenges facing communities, county and city leaders are increasingly turning to national service as a cost-effective strategy to meet local needs. For more than 15 years, the Peace Corps Fellows/AmeriCorps State Program and the AmeriCorps VISTA Program have served Macomb and McDonough County, in partnership with local and regional agencies providing health education and outreach, youth mentorship, leadership development, community and economic development planning, transportation, housing and volunteer recruitment.

The Peace Corps Fellows and AmeriCorps program is celebrating its 25th anniversary and the WIU program has placed more than 150 returned Peace Corps volunteers in AmeriCorps service assignments throughout the state, over the years.


Inman also praised the work of students from the WIU programs who are currently working in Macomb City Hall and throughout the community. Currently, the Peace Corps Fellows Program has AmeriCorps State members serving with the Downtown Development and Community Development offices, the Western Illinois Museum, the McDonough County Health Department and Wesley Village. VISTA volunteers are serving at Macomb City Hall and at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Warren and McDonough Counties.


More information about the National Service Recognition Day is available at For more information about the Peace Corps Fellows/AmeriCorps program contact Mauldin-Curtis at, call (309) 298-2706 or visit  For more information about the AmeriCorps VISTA program contact Linda Lee Blaine at or call (309) 298-2647.


Original story by WIU News. Check them out here.


OPS Receives Tier 1 Accreditation

MACOMB – The Western Illinois University’s Office of Public Safety (OPS) has received Tier 1 Accreditation from the Illinois Law Enforcement Accreditation Program (ILEAP), joining 34 other police agencies (OPS being one of the 6 of which are collegiate police departments) in the state in gaining accreditation.


Tier I accreditation requires the department to meet 69 separate ILEAP standards regarding administration, operations, personnel and training, which are designed to follow best practices in policing. As part of the accreditation process, two ILEAP assessors visited campus to review OPS policies and procedures, inspect facilities and speak with OPS personnel. In addition, feedback was sought from members of the public regarding the Office of Public Safety's services to the University. 


OPS Interim Director Derek Watts says, “I would like to extend our sincere gratitude to recently-retired Director Scott Harris for his vision of having OPS become an accredited police agency, and to Sgt. Curt Bilbrey for his efforts and diligence in managing the accreditation process. Because of the countless hours that Curt put into the process, the assessors noted that OPS' documentation and files were the best they had seen."


Western's Office of Public Safety started as Campus Safety and Security in 1956, replacing the security guard era. The department employs 24 full-time officers and operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week from Mowbray Hall on the WIU campus. In addition to routine patrol, OPS dispatches officers to the street on foot and bicycles, as well as in the residence halls nightly. Officers also perform such duties transporting money from campus buildings to local banks; providing security to athletic events and concerts; providing traffic control; providing transportation to the hospital; conducting building safety checks; hosting educational and safety-related programming; and supervising student patrol and emergency medical services on campus.


Original story by WIU News, check them out here.


MDH Auxiliary Accepting Applications for 2019-2020 Health Career Loans and Scholarships

MACOMB – The McDonough District Hospital Auxiliary is now accepting applications for health career loans and scholarships for the 2019-2020 school year.


The MDH and its Auxiliary have established funds to help students who are in any health care-related field with finances. The loans and scholarships are also available to McDonough District Hospital employees who wish to expand their skills through additional course work, job-related seminars, or professional certification programs.


Those interested can also apply for additional funding through the MDH and Auxiliary loan program. Upon completion of education, loan recipients may repay their loan in full or if

employed by MDH in the newly qualified position may apply a portion of their salary or hourly

wage (typically $1 per hour worked) toward repayment of the loan.


Scholarships available include: The Ruby Teel Health Career Scholarship, Gabbert Nursing

Scholarship, Gayle and Ron Peterson Nursing Scholarship, Donna M. Twomey Nursing

Scholarship, Maxine Simeral Scholarship, Helen Meek Scholarship, Haldon and Hazel

Curless Nursing Scholarship, Carolyn J. Baumann Nursing Scholarship, and Ruth Dexter

Scholarship in Nursing. Applications for these scholarships may be made in conjunction with

the Auxiliary scholarships.


For more information, call (309) 836-1577, or pick up an application in the Human Resources

department on the lower level of the hospital. You may also download an application from

their website at Please submit completed applications no later than June 1,



Illinois Sheriffs' Association Announces Scott's Law Initiative

The Illinois Sheriffs’ Association has announced the 2019 Officer Safety and Scott’s

Law Safety Initiative.


Scott's Law Chapter 625 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes (ILCS) 5/11-907(c), mandates that

upon approaching a stationary authorized emergency vehicle, when the authorized

emergency vehicle is giving a signal by displaying alternately flashing red and blue lights or

amber or yellow warning lights, a person who drives an approaching vehicle must:


  •  proceed with due caution, yield the right-of-way by making a lane change into a lane not adjacent to that of the authorized emergency vehicle, if possible, with due regard to safety and traffic conditions, if on a highway having at least 4 lanes with not less than 2 lanes proceeding in the same direction as the approach vehicle.


  •  proceed with due caution, reduce the speed of the vehicle, maintain a safe speed for road conditions, if changing lanes would be impossible or unsafe.


Sixteen (16) law enforcement officers have been hit while conducting traffic stops on the side

of the road in 2019. Illinois has had 4 traffic related officer fatalities already in 2019.


From April 12-19, 2019 Sheriffs across the State of Illinois will be participating in a traffic awareness campaign specifically aimed at Scott’s Law and distracted driving violators. The ISA urges all motorists to obey all the rules of the road and stay focused when driving.


WIU Events Raise Awareness for Sexual Assault Awareness Month

MACOMB – Western Illinois University will be observing Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) this April with a variety of campus events taking place throughout the month to help bring awareness to the issue.


This year’s schedule includes:

• Sexual Health and Violence: Wednesday, April 3 in Stipes Hall 107 from 6-7 p.m.

• Domestic Violence Against Women: Prevalence and Impact on Victims and the Community – Friday, April 5 in Stipes 121 from 5-6 p.m.

• The Clothesline Project: Friday, April 19 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on the Multicultural Center Lawn – Co-sponsored by WIRC-CAA Victim Services and the WIU Women's Center. 

• Denim Day: Wednesday, April 24 – Denim Day - For the past 20 years, Peace Over Violence has run its Denim Day campaign on a Wednesday in April in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The campaign began after a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court where a rape conviction was overturned because the justices felt that since the victim was wearing tight jeans, she must have helped the person who raped her remove her jeans, thereby implying consent. The following day, the women in the Italian Parliament came to work wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim. Peace Over Violence developed the Denim Day campaign in response to this case and the activism surrounding it. Since then, wearing jeans on Denim Day has become a symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes about sexual harassment, abuse, assault and rape. In this sexual violence prevention and education campaign, we ask community members, elected officials, businesses and students to make a social statement with their fashion statement by wearing jeans on this day as a visible means of protest against the misconceptions that surround sexual violence.

• Feminist Action Alliance Tabling: Wednesday, April 24, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. - tentatively scheduled for outside the Union. WIRC Victim Services business cards with denim ribbons will be given away. This is in acknowledgement of Denim Day.

• The Invisible War: Tuesday, April 30, 4 p.m. in the University Union Sandburg Theatre. Co-sponsored by the Veteran's Resource Center and the Army ROTC and the WIU Women's Center, the Invisible War is "an investigative documentary about the epidemic of rape of soldiers within the U.S. military." 

• The WIU Women's Center is sponsoring a three-part Men's Outreach Program: Masculinity. Awareness. Networking. While the topics don't specifically address sexual assault or violence against women, they will likely come up as discussions about toxic masculinity will be held.  Below are the program details:

      - Wednesday, April 10: Screening of "The Bro Code: How Contemporary Culture Creates Sexist Men" at 7 p.m. in the Multicultural Center

      - Wednesday, April 17: "Are You a 'Real' Man?: Societal Impacts on Masculinity" at 7 p.m. in the Multicultural Center

      - Wednesday, April 24: "Masculinity Trap: How Sexism Impacts Boys and Men" at 7 p.m. in the Multicultural Center

For more information on any of the programs, contact the WIU Women's Center at (309) 298-2242.


Original Story by WIU News. Visit them here.


WIU Broadcasting Students Named Finalists for Nine State Awards

MACOMB – Multiple Western Illinois University students in the Department of Broadcasting and Journalism have been named finalists of the Students in Illinois News Broadcasters Association (SINBA) competition. The students have won either first or second place in either the news or sports categories of the competion.


This year's WIU finalists include:

• Outstanding Soft Radio Program: Kyle O'Reilley, a junior broadcasting major, of Roscoe, IL

• Outstanding Radio News Reporting: Emily Stieren, a junior broadcasting major, of Springfield, IL

• Outstanding Radio Sports Reporting: Devin Christmon, a senior sports broadcasting major, of Springfield, IL, and MaKenzie Yearby, a junior broadcasting major, of Grandview, MO

• Outstanding Use of Sound: Stieren

• Outstanding Hard Television Program: Devin Brooks, a sophomore broadcasting major, of St. Louis, MO

• Outstanding Soft Television Program: Marcellus Angel, a junior broadcasting major of Milan, IL

• Outstanding Television News Reporting: Brooks

• Outstanding Television Sports Reporting: Christmon


Awards will be given to the students later this month at the Illinois News Broadcasters Association (INBA) conference in Normal, IL.


Instructor Jasmine Crighton praised, “I'm very proud of the work our students are doing in Broadcasting and Journalism. Our department sees their commitment and dedication all year, but it's nice to see it also recognized by broadcast professionals."


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


Original Story by WIU News.  Visit them here.


Display Planned for The Clothesline Project

MACOMB – The Clothesline Project Display that is dedicated to bringing awareness to violence against women and children, will be held on the lawn of Western Illinois University’s Multicultural Center from 9 am-3 pm Friday, April 19th.


The event, sponsored by the WIU Women’s Center and the Western Illinois Regional Council-Community Action Agency's Victim Services, will be displaying T-Shirts that have been decorated at WIU by survivors of violence. The shirts will be added to the Victim Services’ Clothesline Program collection and will be displayed throughout April in the five-county region served by WIRC-CAA. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Month.


To schedule a t-shirt making session for a group or organization call the Women’s Center at 309-298-2242.


Original Story by WIU News.  Visit them here.


National Day of Service Celebration - 4/2/19

MACOMB – National Recognition of Service Day is tomorrow on Tuesday, April 2, 2019.


Macomb will celebrate and thank the AmeriCorps volunteers that have served and continue to serve in the local community. City hall will host a gathering in the Community Room from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM.


Mayor Mike Inman will be reading a proclamation and briefly speak about the positive impact the AmeriCorps program has on the community. Light snacks and beverages will be provided. This event is open to the public.


#NeckUp: The Mini-Fest Returns To Macomb

This Saturday, #NeckUp: The Mini Fest will be held at The Ritz on 215 N Randolph St. This event will feature live music from bands such as Formerly The Fox and Concrete Monster. It will also feature electronic DJs Such as B-Chapz and Slosh, Rappers CHISongwriter and DJ Famous and live art and photography. Entry for this event is $5 Dollars without western apparel and 3 dollars if you wear leatherneck gear.