Macomb Local News Archives for 2019-09

Love Your Body Day Oct. 17 at WIU

MACOMB, IL -- The Western Illinois University Women's Center will celebrate Love Your Body Day from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17 in the Multicultural Center.

Love Your Body Day (LYBD) is a campaign that challenges the message that a person’s value is best measured through their willingness and ability to embody current beauty standards. The national campaign is sponsored by the National Organization for Women (NOW) Foundation.

"For our event this year, we want to focus on loving your whole body, including your mental health," said Megan Counter, WIU Women's Center graduate assistant. "LYBD is all about celebrating being a happy and healthy you in the face of beauty standards imposed by the media and popular culture."

The event will kick off with a talk by a WIU Counseling Center representative, then students will perform dances, spoken word and other demonstrations that are meaningful to them and their body positivity. The event will conclude with a Zumba session with Joey Fonseca.

This year's program includes the following self-care stations:
• 6 p.m. – Self-care
• 6:30 p.m. – Mental wellness
• 6:45 p.m. - Body positivity
• 7:15 p.m. - Zumba

For more information about the event, call the Women's Center at (309) 298-2242.


Rep. Hammond Appointed to Firearm Task Force

Macomb – House Republican Leader Jim Durkin has appointed State Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) to the House Firearm Public Awareness Task Force. House Speaker Michael Madigan announced the creation of the Task Force in a letter earlier this month. The Task Force is composed of 12 House Democrats and 12 House Republicans, with members of the Task Force being appointed by their caucus leader.


“State government has a responsibility to keep our communities safe while protecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners,” said Rep. Hammond. “I am a staunch advocate for keeping dangerous criminals off the streets of our communities, but I fear that this Task Force will be used to punish law-abiding gun owners and make firearm ownership more costly and onerous for these individuals. That’s wrong. I hope that my Democratic colleagues in the majority will look into the root causes of gun violence, rather than limiting the rights of Illinois’ law-abiding citizens. I will continue to support the Second Amendment in the General Assembly and oppose legislation that limits the ability to exercise our Constitutional rights.”


According to Speaker Madigan, the purpose of the task force is to “review the issue of gun violence and make recommendations designed to reduce violence.” The House Democrat who will head the Task Force told one media outlet that members of the Task Force will examine the possibility of amending Illinois’ concealed carry law, regulating rifles, and drafting a “comprehensive, statewide omnibus bill” to regulate firearms.


Most of the Democratic appointments to the Task Force supported one measure this past legislative session to make firearm ownership more costly and onerous. The measure, Senate Bill 1966, would increase FOID card fees by 400% and require FOID cardholders to submit their fingerprints to the Illinois State Police. Rep. Hammond opposed that legislation.


“With veto session rapidly approaching in October and November, the majority party will look for more opportunities to limit our Second Amendment rights,” Rep. Hammond continued. “A clear majority of residents in western Illinois and the 93rd District support the Second Amendment and safe, responsible gun ownership. I urge gun owners and advocates to remain vigilant and speak out as the General Assembly debates gun control legislation.”


WIU Fall Career and Internship Fair Oct. 8

MACOMB, IL – A Fall Career and Internship Fair will be held in the Western Illinois University Union Grand Ballroom from noon-3 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 8.

The event is being put on by the Student Development and Success Center and is open free to students and all academic majors. More than 60 companies will be recruiting during the fair for candidates both full-time employment and for internships.

A complete list of companies attending the fair can be found at

Professional attire is required for the fair and attendees are also encouraged to meet with a Student Development and Success Center staff member to have their resume reviewed before the fair.

For more information about the fair, email


Tornado Watch Expires for select counties














UPDATED Tornado Waning until 11pm




BUREAU                PUTNAM


HENRY IL              MERCER                ROCK ISLAND


HANCOCK               HENDERSON             MCDONOUGH



CEDAR                 CLINTON               JOHNSON


DES MOINES            HENRY IA              JEFFERSON
LEE                   LOUISA                VAN BUREN



CLARK                 SCOTLAND



Tornado Watch in effect until 11PM Tonight


ADAMS                BROWN               BUREAU
CASS                 DE WITT             FORD
FULTON               HANCOCK             HENDERSON
HENRY                KNOX                LA SALLE
LIVINGSTON           LOGAN               MARSHALL
MASON                MCDONOUGH           MCLEAN
MENARD               MERCER              PEORIA
PUTNAM               ROCK ISLAND         SCHUYLER
STARK                TAZEWELL            WARREN


"We Care" Campus Clean-Up Oct. 1-2

MACOMB, IL – As part of Homecoming Week 2019 at Western Illinois University, Facilities Management is seeking volunteers for "We Care," a campus beautification project, happening Tuesday-Wednesday, Oct. 1-2 from 3–5 p.m.

On Tuesday, volunteers will plant purple and gold mums at the Alumni House and Alumni Plaza, and on Wednesday, volunteers will mulch the Q-Lot berm. All tools and materials will be provided, along with refreshments.

For more information, contact Tara Heath at


WIU College of Arts and Sciences to Host Third Annual College Day Oct. 18

MACOMB, IL – The Western Illinois University College of Arts and Sciences will host its third annual College Day event from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18.

The event is an opportunity for high school students and their families to experience lectures and demonstrations in multiple academic areas in the College of Arts and Sciences and a chance to meet faculty and students, learn about careers in multiple majors and to tour the WIU campus.

Registration will begin in the University Union Grand Ballroom and attendees will have an opportunity to meet faculty and students in programs they are interested, attend special events in those programs and take a campus tour. Lunch will be provided, as well as coffee and doughnuts during registration.

This year's schedule includes:

• 8:30-9:20 a.m.: Registration and informal meetings with faculty

• 9:25-9:40 a.m.: Formal welcome and walk to class

• 10-10:50 a.m.: First class or special event

• 11-11:50 a.m.: Second class or special event

• Noon-12:50 p.m.: Lunch – University Union Grand Ballroom

• 1-2 p.m.: Campus tour, leaving from the Alumni Plaza, outside the University Union

• 2:10-3 p.m.: Informal visits with department chairs and students

Free parking is available on campus in Q-Lot.

For more information about the event, visit


WIU School of Ag Hosting Open House for Prospective Students Oct. 4

MACOMB, IL – The Western Illinois University School of Agriculture will host its annual Fall Open House for prospective students and their parents, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4 in the University's Livestock Center. High school students and transfer students are welcomed to learn more about the University's agriculture program.

This event, sponsored by Alpha Gamma Rho alumni, is open free to the public. Registration includes a complimentary lunch.

School of Agriculture faculty and current students will be on hand to answer questions and to lead tours of the WIU-Macomb campus, the University Farm and WIU's agriculture facilities.

The Fall 2019 Ag Open House schedule includes:

• 9-9:45 a.m. - Registration and Student Fair

• 9:45-9:50 a.m. - Welcome by WIU Ag Vocators

• 9:50-10 a.m. - Welcome by WIU School of Agriculture Director Andrew Baker

• 10-10:10 a.m. - Welcome from Undergraduate Admissions

• 10:10-10:20 a.m. - Alumni guest speaker, 2007 graduate Bryn Jensson, of Smithfield Foods

• 10:20-11:20 p.m. - Farm Tour

• 11:30-Noon - Student Panel

• Noon-1 p.m. - Lunch with faculty at the Livestock Center

• 1 p.m. - Depart Livestock Center - Optional walking tour of campus to follow

To register for the event, visit

All participants should park at the WIU Livestock Center (located at 2201 Wigwam Hollow Rd.)

For more information, contact the School of Agriculture at (309) 298-1080. Follow the WIU School of Ag on Facebook at, on or on instagram at WIUAg.


Free Flu Shot Clinics Scheduled for WIU Students

MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University's Beu Health Center will offer seasonal flu shot clinics for Western students in October.

Flu shots are free for WIU students; however, they must present a valid WIU ID card.

Scheduled flu shot clinics will be offered from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in the University Union Concourse on Thursday, Oct. 10; Tuesday, Oct. 15; Wednesday, Oct. 16; Tuesday, Oct. 22 and Wednesday, Oct. 30.

For more information, contact Beu Health Center at (309) 298-1888.


Illinois EPA's Driving a Cleaner Illinois Program Awards Grant to Triad CUSD #2 for All-Electric School Bus Project

SPRINGFIELD – Governor JB Pritzker and Illinois EPA Director John J. Kim announced today that the Agency has issued a $650,000 grant award to Triad Community Unit School District #2 in Troy (Madison County) for an all-electric school bus pilot project. The pilot project funding will go toward the purchase of three all-electric school buses and the necessary charging infrastructure.


“We are pleased this funding will be used to incorporate zero-emission transportation for the Triad Community Unit School District, improving air quality for the District’s students and surrounding community,” said Director Kim. “This award furthers our goal of utilizing the Volkswagen funds to generate environmental and public health benefits for the areas of Illinois most affected by mobile source emissions.”


Leigh Lewis, Triad Superintendent of Schools stated “This is great news to start our school year! It is inspiring to think that in the future Triad students will be able to share that they were the first to ride an all-electric bus to school. These funds will definitely allow our district to move progressively forward in providing more environmentally-friendly student transportation to and from our schools. We are equally excited about the potential impact this can have toward student learning and the broader community benefits that will be created as a result of this project.”


The grant award is funded by Volkswagen Settlement dollars provided through the Driving a Cleaner Illinois Program.  Illinois EPA announced the second opportunity for Volkswagen funding in April 2019, which was designed to replace existing diesel school buses with new all-electric school buses in Priority Area 2, which includes Madison and St. Clair Counties. The Notice of Funding Opportunity was provided through the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act webpage.


“For many school districts, the cost of upgrading their transportation fleet is out of reach due to financial limitations,” said Richard J. Mark, chairman and president of Ameren Illinois. “The funds from the Illinois EPA will serve as a catalyst that will enable Triad to provide a cleaner, healthier transportation option for its students, and a new way to educate the entire community about the benefits of electrification. We’re pleased to assist the District in bringing this opportunity to the region.”


“The Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC) is pleased that Triad school district will be receiving 3 electric school buses, serving Metro East area students with quiet zero emission buses that will replace dirty diesel school buses,” said Susan Mudd, Senior Policy Advocate at ELPC. “Utilizing Illinois Volkswagen settlement funds on this transformative technology is a smart move, allowing Metro East residents to experience the future of cleaner transportation. Ameren Illinois support for the school’s purchase and setup of these buses demonstrates a commitment to protecting children’s health and making good use of batteries for the electric power grid.”


The Driving a Cleaner Illinois Program was designed to improve air quality in the state primarily by removing old diesel engines from service. Illinois EPA announced the first round of Volkswagen Settlement funding in December 2018, which included an all-electric school bus pilot project in Cook County. The funding is part of the State’s allocation of $108 million received from the multi-billion-dollar Volkswagen Settlement after it was discovered Volkswagen installed emissions cheating software in certain diesel vehicles. The Illinois EPA’s Driving a Cleaner Illinois webpage contains additional information on the Volkswagen Settlement and the Driving a Cleaner Illinois Program: .


Flash flood Warning In effect until Saturday Morning

Macomb, IL--The National Weather Service in Quad Cities has issued a

* Flash Flood Watch for portions of Illinois, southeast Iowa,
and northeast Missouri, including the following areas, in
Illinois, Bureau, Hancock, Henderson, Henry IL, McDonough,
Mercer, Putnam, and Warren. In southeast Iowa, Des Moines,
Henry IA, Jefferson, Lee, Louisa, and Van Buren. In northeast
Missouri, Clark and Scotland.

* Through Saturday morning

* Tropical moisture moving into the area will bring a risk of
heavy rain. Rainfall rates of 1 to 1.5 inches an hour are

* If storms move over the same areas excessive rainfall is
possible. Such rainfall would quickly result in flash flooding
that may be significant.


Clayton Receives Town & Gown Award; Wright: Honorary Alumnus

MACOMB, IL -- To recognize their service to Western Illinois University and/or the Macomb community, WIU retiree Stan Clayton, former broadcast engineer for Television Services at WIU, and McDonough County area veterinarian Dr. Kenneth Wright received the 2019 Town & Gown Award and the 2019 Honorary Alumni Award, respectively, during the annual Town & Gown celebration Sept. 26, hosted by the WIU Alumni Association.

Clayton: Town & Gown Award

Clayton started at Western in October 1991 as an electronics technician in the University Union, where he was responsible for sound equipment and television repair for the Union, sound for Leatherneck home football games and cable television maintenance in the residence halls. He was reclassified as an electronics technician I in January 1998. Clayton joined University Television (UTV) in August 2001 as a broadcasting engineer. In addition to his duties in UTV, Clayton has assisted in the maintenance of the campus' carillon, and he also helps set up sound systems for University events, including graduation, holiday events and more.

Clayton's nominator, Joe Roselieb, noted, "Stan is a remarkable human being and one of the things I admire most about him is his loyalty to WIU. During some difficult times at Western, Stan was affected. But it was during this time that his character truly shined through. He didn't complain or blame. Instead, he remained an advocate for WIU, remained positive and still provided guidance.

"Stan's generosity and character has been described as not being in it for glory or recognition, but because he loves what he does and enjoys helping people," Roselieb added. "We often think of these types of awards going to someone who may be in the spotlight, but for Stan, it's the opposite. He's the person behind the scenes making sure things work and work well."

Clayton is a familiar face around Macomb as he as organized and managed the sound for numerous community events for more than 30 years, including Heritage Days and Fourth of July, and for summer festivals in neighboring communities, as well as for the Rams Training Camp. He extends his service and expertise to the community, including running the sound for Maple Avenue Christian Church. Clayton has also served as a local television and electronics repair person for many years.

"Stan is an example of someone who gives back to his community and truly believes in public service," said Amy Spelman, director of Alumni Programs. "As his nominator said, Stan's character is beyond compare. He has a positive attitude, is always willing to help. Stan truly does bleed purple and gold (and orange and black) and he has made a significant impact at our University and in our community."

Previous recipients of the Town & Gown Award include Joe Roselieb (2018), Duke Oursler (2017); John Nelson (2016), Tom Claudon (2015), Todd Lester (2014), Bill Howard (2013), Tom Carper (2012), Mick Wisslead (2011), Lin Stults (2010), Jerry Cremer (2009), John Maguire (2008) and Charles Gilbert (2007).


Wright: Honorary Alumni

Wright, a longtime Blandinsville veterinarian, grew up in Macomb – literally next door to the Western Illinois University campus – and in 2007 he and Betty, his wife of 44 years, decided to donate his boyhood home to WIU and make it a permanent part of the WIU campus. The Wright House at 333 N. Ward St. has served as the WIU Veterans Resource Center since 2009.

In addition to donating his boyhood home to Western, the Wrights also established the Kenneth T. and Betty L. Wright Scholarship for qualifying students entering Western as freshmen who graduated from a Hancock, Henderson or McDonough county high school.

"We are so pleased to award the 2019 Honorary Alumni Award to Dr. Ken Wright," said Amy Spelman, director of Alumni Programs. "Now that he's an 'official' alumnus of WIU, his new school colors of purple and gold certainly fit the legacy he has left at Western Illinois University."

Wright is a graduate of Western High School, which was located in Simpkins Hall, just across the street from his home in 1956, and he attended Western for two years before transferring to the University of Illinois, where he earned his degree in veterinary medicine. While attending the University of Illinois, Wright still came back to Macomb each summer and took courses at Western, returning to Urbana in the fall. When he graduated with his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1962, he came back to west-central Illinois to join the Blandinsville practice of Dr. C. M. Rodgers. When Rodgers retired in 1973, Wright purchased his current building on the east end of Blandinsville on Route 9 and has been in private practice since. Like her husband, Western holds a special place in Betty’s heart: her mother and her mother's six siblings all graduated from Western Illinois State Teacher's College.

"We are honored by and grateful for Ken's and Betty's many contributions to WIU over the years," said Brad Bainter, executive officer of the WIU Foundation and Wright's nominator. "Because of Ken's father's service in the U.S. Navy, it's fitting that the Wright House is serving our student-veterans. It's truly a place they can call home thanks to the Wrights' generosity and their affinity for WIU."

This is the 23rd year for the WIU Honorary Alumni Award presentation. Previous recipients include LaVern McEntire (2018); C. Don Weston (posthumously, 2017); Jeff Mabrey (2016); Garry Johnson (2015); John Biernbaum (2014); Dan O'Neill (2013); Lisa Ward (2012); Al Goldfarb (2011); Gil Belles and Marion Blackinton (2010); Bob Anstine (2009); Jack Stites (2008); Bill Brattain (2007), Marilyn Johnson (2005); Donald Dexter (2004); Mark Martin (2003); Mel and Judy Kerr (2002); Charlene Callison (2001); Ed Holzwarth (2000); Donald S. Spencer (1999); Laura Kent Donahue (1998); Cathy Early (1997); Dick Miller (1995) and Dennis Iversen (1994).


WIU-QC Engineering Open Houses

MOLINE, IL - - The Western Illinois University-Quad Cities School of Engineering will host High School Engineering Expos Friday, Oct. 4; Friday, Oct. 18; and Friday, Oct. 25 at the QC Riverfront campus.

Each open house will be from noon-2 p.m. and will showcase the various labs and facilities available on campus.

High school juniors and seniors are invited to attend. Interested school groups can bring up to 40 students to the program, where activities will include learning about WIU engineering programs and internships, touring the labs, project demonstrations and lunch.

To learn more or register a group, contact the School of Engineering at (309) 757-4785 or visit Reimbursement for bus travel can be made through the School of Engineering.


Wind Ensemble Concert Saturday at WIU

MACOMB, IL -- The Western Illinois University School of Music will present a Wind Ensemble Concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28 in the College of Fine Arts and Communication (COFAC) Recital Hall.

The Wind Ensemble, conducted by WIU Director of Bands Mike Fansler, will perform works by Shostakovich, Stanhope, Revueltas and Schuman. Also featured on the program will be Edward Gregson’s "Tuba Concerto," with soloist and WIU Assistant Professor of Tuba James Land.

This performance is open free to the public, and will be live-streamed on the School of Music’s YouTube channel and Facebook Live.


Festive Overture (1954/1965) - Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975)/trans. Donald Hunsberger

Folksongs for Band Suite No. 3 (1996) - David Stanhope (b. 1952)
I.   Droylsden Wakes
II.  Lord Bateman
III. Three Ships & Lisbon

Tuba Concerto (1976) - Edward Gregson (b. 1945)
I.     Allegro deciso
II.    Lento e mesto
III.   Allegro giocoso
- Land, tuba

Sensemaya (1938/1980) - Silverstre Revueltas (1899-1940)/arr. Frank Bencriscutto

Chester: Overture for Band (1957) - William Schuman (1910-1992)

For more information, call the COFAC Recital Hall office at (309) 298-1843 or visit


#BreakfastWithBubba: #IllinoisRailSafetyWeek With Officer Hamer

Macomb, IL-- Its #IllinoisRailSafetyWeek and with the amount of railroad intersections in Macomb, this is a great time to educate those who are undereducatd about our rail system. No need to fear, Officer Hamer joined Bubba on The Morning Show to hand out some tips and ways to stay safe! Audio below!




Rep. Bustos Issues Statement On Attempt To Cover Up Whistle Blower

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) released the following statement after the House passed a resolution calling on the Administration to cease any action to withhold a whistleblower complaint made to the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community and to cease actions to discredit the whistleblower publicly:


“Today, for the world to see, we learned in his own words that the President of the United States used the full weight of the most sacred office in the land to coerce a foreign leader in a way that undermines our democracy and threatens our national security.


I support the House Intelligence Committee’s search for the truth in this impeachment inquiry.


Republicans and Democrats must demonstrate that, together, we stand for law and order and that this exploration must be fair, evenhanded and unrushed.


As the Intelligence Committee investigates this sad chapter in our nation’s history, I call on my colleagues in their critical roles to keep their focus on the important work at hand to bring down the cost of health care, rebuild America’s infrastructure and reinvigorate the American dream for families in every corner of our country.”


State Announces Start of Winter Energy Assistance Program

Springfield – The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) today announced that seniors and people with disabilities can begin applying for winter heating assistance on October 1st  through the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP).


Customers must bring all required documentation when applying for assistance, including:

• Proof of gross income from all household members for the 30-day income period beginning with the date of the application.
• A copy of their current heat and electric bills issued within the last 30 days (if they pay for their energy directly).
• A copy of their rental agreement (if they are renting) showing that utilities are included, the monthly rental amount and landlord contact information.
• Proof of Social Security numbers for all household members.
• Proof that their household received TANF or other benefits, such as Medical Eligibility or SNAP, if receiving assistance from the Illinois Department of Human Services.


The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)  is a state and federally funded energy assistance program for families with low income in which heating bill payments are made on behalf of eligible households. HEAP applications are processed through a network of 35 local administering agencies around the state. 


A single-person household can qualify with a monthly income of up to $1,561; a two-person household up to $2,114; a family of three can earn up to $2,666; and a family of four can earn up to $3,219. Benefits are paid directly to energy vendors on behalf of eligible households. The exception is households whose heating costs are included in their rent.


Disconnected households and families with children age 5 or under can begin applying for HEAP assistance beginning November 1st . Individuals not eligible for priority enrollment can apply beginning December 1st .


Applicants will be served on a first-come, first-served basis until funding is exhausted.


Starting October 1, 2019, the Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) applications will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis each month until available funding per county, per utility, and priority enrollment group is met.  PIPP applications are taken from October 1- December 31, or until funding is exhausted.  Some Local Adminstering Agencies (LAAs) may take PIPP applications starting in November or December due to available funding.


For a complete listing of LIHEAP’s local administering agencies and additional information about the program, go to, or call the LIHEAP toll-free hotline at 1 877 411-WARM (9276).





IDHS Launches New Video Campaign to Promote Illinois Helpline for Opioids and Other Substances

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) announced today the launch of a new statewide video campaign to bring awareness to the Illinois Helpline for Opioids and Other Substances. The Illinois Helpline connects individuals struggling with opioid use or other substance use, and anyone affected by the disease, directly with treatment and recovery options.


“Our goal with this video campaign is to continue to reduce stigma by sharing stories of individuals who are in recovery and how substance use disorder can affect us all,” said IDHS Secretary Grace B. Hou. “Through their eyes, we also hope you can see that those affected by substance use disorders can and do have full and rewarding lives.”


The videos feature individuals who share their stories of recovery and organizations from across the state who are providing treatment and recovery services for opioid and other substance use disorders. The video campaign will include TV spots, transit posters, social media ads, and billboard postings across major media markets in Illinois. The videos will also be posted on the IDHS YouTube page


“We are excited to launch these new videos across the state and connect even more individuals to the Illinois Helpline for Opioids and Other Substances at 1-833-2FINDHELP and,” said Dani Kirby, IDHS Director of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery. “We hope these stories resonate with Illinois residents and they can see the Helpline as their first step to recovery.”


The IDHS Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery (SUPR) continues to implement strategies targeted at reducing the effects of substance use disorders in Illinois. Since the launch of the Illinois Helpline for Opioids and Other Substances and, IDHS has received over 16,700 calls and over 40,000 website visits.


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


You can view the videos here:
Help is Here: The Illinois Helpline for Opioids and Other Substances
Help is Here: Laura and Alex’s Story
Help is Here: Rex’s Story
Help is Here: Diana’s Story
Help is Here: Laurie’s Story


Illinois State Museum to Return Artifacts to Australian First Nations

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois State Museum will return 42 culturally significant objects currently in its collection to Australian First Nations after ten months of consultation with the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) and Aranda and Bardi Jawi communities. AIATSIS, based in Canberra, Australia, partnered with the communities to research, identify, and request the unconditional repatriation of secret/sacred, ceremonial, and secular artifacts from museums around the world.


Significantly, the Illinois State Museum is the first institution in the world to repatriate artifacts as part of the Australian Government’s Return of Cultural Heritage Project, which aims to return Australian Indigenous materials from overseas.


“Not only is this exciting from the standpoint of getting to be the first to return culturally significant items as a part of this program, this repatriation will serve as a model of successful collaboration and best practices for other museums,” said Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, Director of the Illinois State Museum. “It will allow us to lead a meaningful movement and demonstrate the importance of continuing the Return of Cultural Heritage Project to bring colonial objects from international institutions back to their communities of origin.”


The Australian objects were collected by University of Chicago linguistic anthropologist Gerhardt Laves, who worked with Australian Aboriginal communities between 1929 and 1931. Laves was the first person trained in modern linguistic fieldwork to record Australian Indigenous languages. His field notes, which are curated at AIATSIS, have preserved a wealth of detailed information still used today by linguists and Aboriginal speakers.


The Australian artifacts were transferred from the University of Chicago to the Illinois State Museum in 1942 for incorporation into the museum’s rotating exhibit series on international cultures. Australian objects were last exhibited by the museum in 1981.


The Illinois State Museum removes objects from its collection through a process called “deaccessioning,” wherein a curator makes a formal request to the board of directors and provides justification for the removal. Deaccessioning for the purpose of repatriation is a widely accepted practice in museums. At their September meeting, the museum’s board of directors unanimously approved the deaccession request. The objects will be returned directly to Aranda and Bardi Jawi representatives and reincorporated into their traditional cultural practices.


Aranda and Bardi Jawi representatives will travel to the Illinois State Museum Research & Collections Center in Springfield in October to take custodianship of their items that were collected from their ancestors almost 100 years ago. 


“Returning these items – it’s just the right thing to do,” Catlin-Legutko said. “We’re pleased to host representatives from Aranda and Bardi Jawi next month to complete this repatriation.”


The Illinois State Museum’s extensive collections and research activities provide the foundation for exhibitions and public programs that tell the story of the land, life, people, and art of Illinois. The Illinois State Museum is headquartered in Springfield.  ISM facilities are located in Springfield, at the ISM-Dickson Mounds near Lewistown, and at the ISM-Lockport Gallery in Lockport. For more information on the ISM, go online to


WIU Food Pantry Hosting Personal Care Drive Through October

MACOMB, IL – The Food Pantry at Western Illinois University will host a personal care product drive from Oct. 1-25.

The event will benefit all students, staff and faculty in need, and collected items will be available at the food pantry beginning Thursday, Oct. 31.

The drive is collecting donations of new toothbrushes, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, hair care products, soap, deodorant, baby and infant care items and other personal care items.

Donation locations will be available at the following locations:

• Sherman Hall – Office of Admissions

• Browne Hall – Room 122

• Currens Hall – Outside room 214

• Tillman Hall – First floor entrance and room 312

• Knoblauch Hall – Second floor elevator, outside room 232

•  Malpass Library – Second floor entrance

For more information about the drive, email or


WIU Symphony Orchestra, Featuring Shumate, to Perform Friday

MACOMB, IL -- The Western Illinois University School of Music will present a Symphony Orchestra Concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27 in the College of Fine Arts and Communication (COFAC) Recital Hall.

The Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Associate Professor Richard Hughey, will perform music by Händel and Rossini, featuring soprano Assistant Professor Penelope Shumate. Also featured on the program will be "Symphony No. 1in G Minor," by Vassili Kalinnikov.

This performance is open free to the public, and will be live-streamed on the School of Music’s YouTube channel and Facebook Live.

For more information, call the COFAC Recital Hall office at (309) 298-1843 or visit


Overture to Giulio Cesare in Egitto, HWV 17 - Georg Friedrich Händel (1685-1759)

Venere bella from Giulio Cesare in Egitto, HWV 17 - Georg Friedrich Händel
- Penelope Shumate, soprano

Overture to Il barbiere di Siviglia - Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868)

Cavatina: Una voce poco fa from Il barbiere di Siviglia - Gioachino Rossini
- Penelope Shumate, soprano

Symphony No. 1 in G Minor - Vassili Kalinnikov (1866-1901)
Allegro moderato
Andante commodamente
Scherzo: Allegro non troppo
Finale: Allegro moderato

For more information about the WIU School of Music, visit


WIU's Graduate Psychology Programs Host Open House Oct. 25

MACOMB, IL –  Western Illinois University’s Department of Psychology will host and open house for the Clinical, Experimental and School Psychology graduate programs from 1-4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25 in Waggoner Hall, room 171.

Western’s psychology graduate programs have been successfully graduating professionals who find jobs in mental health centers, businesses and schools for the last 50 years.

The event will include a gathering of faculty, current graduate students and staff discussing and sharing opportunities for graduate education and training in the three sub-disciplines of psychology at WIU. Prospective students interested in learning more about psychology graduate programs and careers are welcome to attend. 

The open house will include:

• Meeting in small groups with program coordinators to discuss coursework, hands-on experiences and admission requirements

• Connecting with current faculty on research and applied experiences

• Speaking with current graduate students about their experiences and advice

• Asking questions of graduate school staff concerning financial aid and graduate assistantships

• Exploring career paths available with graduate training in psychology.

Those interested in attending the event should RSVP to Amy Walen by Monday, Oct. 21 at

For more information about the WIU Department of Psychology, visit



DKSWC Community Open House Set for October 2

MACOMB, Ill. – McDonough District Hospital will offer members of the Macomb community and surrounding area a first-look at the new Dolores Kator Switzer Women’s Center. The Community Open House is scheduled for Wednesday, October 2, from 4-6:30 p.m.


Those attending the Open House are encouraged to park in the main lot, Valet Services will be provided. There will also be light refreshments served during the event.


As the ongoing construction of this project nears completion, MDH will showcase the obstetrics/gynecology and diagnostic imaging areas of the DKSWC.


The DKSWC will strengthen comprehensive women’s health services in the region. This has been a highly anticipated facility renovation and expansion to meet obstetrics, gynecology, and diagnostic imaging needs.


Obstetrics patients choosing MDH for their delivery will enjoy modernized private suites and three labor/delivery/recovery rooms. The renovation of the existing space transforms the nursery into a calming and comforting environment.


In addition, the DKSWC offers a recovery area for postsurgical gynecological patients, a separate OB waiting room, and an area for visiting children to play.


More than just obstetrics and gynecology, the DKSWC also offers a separate and tranquil waiting area for diagnostic imaging patients. Modernized imaging suites feature 3-D mammography, ultrasounds, DEXA bone density scan, and stereotactic breast biopsy for patients of all ages.


For more information on the Dolores Kator Switzer Women’s Center, visit or call (309) 836-1757.


Voting, Registration Rates Increase Among WIU Students

MACOMB, IL – Voting among Western Illinois University students increased from 15.2 percent to 30.3 percent between the 2014 and 2018 midterm elections, according to the National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement (NSLVE).

The national study, conducted by the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education at Tufts University, reported voter registration among WIU students increased from 66.7 percent in 2014 to 73.1 percent in 2018.

The voting level in 2018 was 25.4 percent among undergraduate students and 41.4 percent among graduate students.

"I am pleased to see that Western Illinois University students are becoming more involved in the political process and making their voices heard," said WIU Departments of Political Science and History Interim Chair Keith Boeckelman. "One of the many benefits of a WIU education is that our students become informed and engaged citizens, and these results are one indication of that engagement."

Nationwide, the voting rates at college campuses participating in the study doubled, on average, between the 2014-18 midterm elections. Nationally, higher education institutions averaged a 19.7 percent voting rate in 2014 and a 39.1 percent rate in 2018.

The study breaks down election-related statistics in a variety of ways, including education level and class year, gender, race/ethnicity and field of study.

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


CyberSercurity Luncheon Scheduled for October

MACOMB, IL 9/23/2019–MTC Communications has teamed up with BKD - CPA & Advisors to teach community businesses about the myths and realities of addressing cybersecurity concerns for their organization. BKD will discuss how hackers target organizations and what theycan do for protection with the help of BKD’s Cybersecurity Risk Assessments Tool, which is in compliance with FFIEC and Annual Training for Board of Directors.


MTC Communications would like to invite local businessesto the Cybersecurity Luncheon on Tuesday, October 8th from 11: 30 a.m. - 1: 00 p.m. at the Spoon River Outreach Center's Mid America National Bank Conference Hall. MTCCommunications is pleased to partner with BKD CPA Firm, Accountants, and Financial Accounting's Cybersecurity department and Director of Cybersecurity Rex Johnson for this event. Rex has over 25 years of experience in IT and provides services to companies in the health care, financial services, not-for-profit, education, telecommunications, retail, and manufacturing industries.


Join MTC Communications and BKD to learn about the risks and vulnerabilities that come with embracing the digital transformation and how you can protect yourself using reputable steps that minimize risk and impact. We'll discuss cyber threats that are present through conducting business online, the Dark Web and it’s uses, and what your organization can do for protection. Please register for this event with the Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce to aid us in our planning at or via email at For event specifications, please contact MTC Communications.


Mayor Inman Announces Testing & Repairing of ESS

Macomb, Il--The city of Macomb will be working on its emergency siren system from now until Friday, September 27th for repair and testing. 


The siren will not sound off during unpleasant weather, so there is no confusion between testing and alarming. Please disregard any sirens once activated. 


The Director of Emergency Service and Disaster Agency (ESDA), Edgar Rodriguez,  will issue a statement at the conclusion of the operation. The ESDA would like to thank the citizens of Macomb for their patience and understanding at this time.



Chicago, IL Ranks in Top 10 for Best Coffee Cities in WalletHub Study

With National Coffee Day around the corner and the U.S. coffee industry currently valued at $48 billion, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2019's Best Coffee Cities in America as well as accompanying videos, along with its list of top coffee deals and discounts offered by retailers during the holiday.

To determine the best local coffee scenes in America, WalletHub compared the 100 largest cities across 14 key indicators of a strong coffee culture. The data set ranges from coffee shops, coffee houses and cafés per capita to average price per pack of coffee.

Top 20 Cities for Coffee Lovers
1 Seattle, WA   11 Philadelphia, PA
2 New York, NY   12 Atlanta, GA
3 San Francisco, CA   13 Denver, CO
4 Portland, OR   14 Las Vegas, NV
5 Los Angeles, CA   15 Orlando, FL
6 Chicago, IL   16 Minneapolis, MN
7 Washington, DC   17 Oakland, CA
8 Miami, FL   18 Tampa, FL
9 San Diego, CA   19 Pittsburgh, PA
10 Boston, MA   20 Austin, TX


Best vs. Worst

  • Houston has the lowest average price for a pack of coffee, $3.51, which is 2.3 times lower than in Honolulu, the city with the highest at $8.20.
  • Fremont, California, has the highest average annual spending on coffee per household, $221.21, which is 3.4 times higher than in Cleveland, the city with the lowest at $64.53.
  • Gilbert, Arizona, has the highest share of households that own a single-cup/pod-brewing coffee maker, 26.08 percent, which is 2.9 times higher than in Detroit, the city with the lowest at 9.11 percent.
  • New York has the most coffee shops, coffee houses and cafés (per square root of population), 1.2212, which is 19.3 times more than in Laredo, Texas, the city with the fewest at 0.0633.
  • Portland, Oregon, has the most coffee and tea manufacturers (per square root of population), 0.0207, which is 41.4 times more than in Riverside and San Bernardino, California, the cities with the fewest at 0.0005. 

To view the full report and your city’s rank, please visit:


Guest Recital Wednesday at WIU

MACOMB, IL - The Western Illinois University School of Music will present a guest recital, featuring  Golden Lund, tuba, and pianist Younjung Cha, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25 in the College of Fine Arts and Communication (COFAC) Recital Hall.
Lund is tuba instructor at Augustana College, and an adjunct professor of low brass at St. Ambrose University. Cha is piano faculty and a staff accompanist at St. Ambrose University.
This performance is open free to the public.


Sonatine - Jacques Castérède (1926-2014)
I. Défilé (parade)
II. Serenade
III. Final

"Lieder Eines Fahrenden Gesellen" (Songs of a Wayfarer) - Gustav Mahler (1860-1911)/arr. Perantioni/Yutzy
I. "Wenn mein Schatz Hochzeit macht" (When My Sweetheart is Married)
II. "Ging heut' Morgen über's Feld" (I Went This Morning over the Field)
III. "Ich hab' ein glühend Messer" (I Have a Gleaming Knife)
IV. "Die zwei blauen Augen von meinem Schatz" (The Two Blue Eyes of my Beloved)

"Alien Loop de Loops for Tuba" and electronic recording - Howard J. Buss (b. 1951)


Fantasiestücke - Robert Schumann (1810-1856)/trans. Floyd Cooley
I. Zart und mit Ausdruck (Tender and with Expression)
II. Lebhaft, leicht (Lively, Light; Nimble)
III. Rasch und mit Feuer (Fast and with Fire)

Tuba Concerto - Martin Ellerby (b. 1957)

For more information, call the COFAC Recital Hall office at (309) 298-1843 or visit


Latinx Heritage Month Celebrated at WIU

MACOMB, IL – Latinx Heritage Month 2019 will be celebrated at Western Illinois University through Oct. 17, sponsored by the Casa Latina Cultural Center. 

Numerous events are planned as part of the commemoration, including:


• Wednesday, Sept. 25, 1 p.m.: "Comadreando" – Casa Latina


• Wednesday, Oct. 2, 7 p.m.: Latinx Woman Empowerment Panel – Casa Latina, presented by Gamma Phi Omega and the WIU Women's Center. 

• Tuesday, Oct. 8, 5 p.m.: Activismo 101 – Sandburg Theatre, presented by the Latin American Student Organization (LASO).  

• Wednesday, Oct. 9, 4 p.m.: Bring Your Own Tortilla (BYOT) - Multicultural Center lawn - Meat will be provided and vegetarian options will be available. The event is sponsored by Casa Latina. 

• Thursday, Oct. 10, 5-7 p.m.: "Las Voces De Ellas" – Multicultural Center, presented by L.A.L.S.

• Thursday, Oct. 17, 5 p.m.: Redefining Latinx Standards" – Multicultural Center, presented by AMPLIFY. 

For more information, contact Casa Latina at (309) 298-3379.


#ForMacomb Press Conference To Be Held Wednesday

Macomb, Illinois – A press conference will be held on Wednesday, September 25th at 10:00 a.m. in the Macomb City Hall Community Room, located on the first floor, to provide information regarding the #forMacomb Day of Service to be held this Saturday, September 28th.  



WIU-QC Founders' Day Celebration Sept. 24

MOLINE, IL -- In 1899, a bill to establish Western Illinois University (then called Western Illinois State Normal School) was passed by the state legislature. Macomb was selected in 1900 as the location for the new normal school in west central Illinois, and on Tuesday, Sept. 23, 1902, Western Illinois State Normal School opened its doors for the first official day of classes on the new campus.

Faculty, staff, students and community members are invited to celebrate Western's founding at the WIU-QC Founders' Day event Tuesday, Sept. 24 in the Building C atrium on the WIU-QC campus. 

The program will begin at 8 a.m., and the ceremonial ship's bell will be rung in memory of Edwin DeCamp, who first rang the school bell Sept. 23, 1902 to signal the start of classes at Western Illinois State Normal School.  Following the bell ringing there will be the presentation of colors by the East Moline American Legion Post 227 Color Guard and the National Anthem will be performed by Hope Bruner. Acting President Martin Abraham and Senior Vice President for Planning and Strategic Initiatives Joe Rives will provide remarks, while WIU Trustee Greg Aguilar will provide the keynote address.

"I'd like to invite all members of our Quad Cities University community, as well as area residents, to join us to celebrate Western's very beginnings," Abraham said. "We should all be proud of our long history and the strides we've made over the years. And while the University has certainly evolved throughout the years, what hasn't changed is Western's commitment to higher education and preparing our students to be successful graduates."

A light breakfast will be served beginning at 7:30 a.m. The Sept. 24 program is open to the public. Individuals may register for the event by calling (309) 762-8843 or by emailing



MDH Announces Upcoming Flu Shot Clinic Dates

MACOMB, Ill. - The single best way to protect against the flu is to get vaccinated each year. McDonough District Hospital Home Health Care is sponsoring community flu shot clinics at various locations throughout the month of October. The schedule, in chronological order, is as follows:







October 2

10-11 a.m.

Lafayette Square

100 W. Jefferson St., Macomb

Thursday, October 3

9-11 a.m.

Citizens Bank

A Division of Morton Community Bank Member FDIC

127 S. Side Square, Macomb


October 7

10-11:30 a.m.

Courtyard Estates

1201 N. Cole St., Bushnell


October 9

9-10 a.m.


11 a.m.-12 p.m.


3-4 p.m.

Table Grove State Bank


Farmers and Merchants State Bank of Bushnell


Macomb City Hall

121 S. Broadway, Table Grove


484 East Main St., Bushnell



232 E. Jackson St., Macomb


October 11

10-11 a.m.


2-3 p.m.

YMCA Senior Center


Grand Prairie Assisted Living

400 E. Calhoun St., Macomb


1307 Meadowlark Ln., Macomb

Wednesday, October 16

9-10 a.m.


11 a.m.-12 p.m.



1:30-3 p.m.

Colchester Senior Center


Blandinsville First Christian Church


Bushnell Recreation & Senior Center

114 W. Depot St., Colchester


230 W. Washington St., Blandinsville



300 Miller St., Bushnell


October 18

9-11 a.m.

American Legion

221 E. Washington St., Macomb



The Centers for Disease Control recommends age appropriate vaccination for the flu. Two flu vaccines will be available, one for ages 18-64 and another for ages 65 and older. MDH will offer flu shots to anyone 18 years of age or older. Anyone under the age of 18 should contact their primary care provider. Participants are asked to wear a short sleeve shirt as all shots are given in the upper arm.


There is no out-of-pocket charge to the Medicare Part B recipient. Persons with Medicare Part B must present their Medicare card, and MDH will bill for this service. The flu shot is $35 for those ages 18-64, and for anyone 65 and older it’s $60. Participants may pay with cash, check, or credit card, including Mastercard, Visa, and Discover.


For more information about the MDH Home Health Care sponsored community flu shot clinics, go to “Classes & Events” on the MDH website or call MDH Home Health Care at (309) 836-1544.



Park N Cruise Cancelled Due to Weather

MACOMB-Due to the forecasted inclement weather for Saturday, September 21, 2019 Park N’
Cruise in Downtown Macomb has been cancelled from 12:00pm-3:00pm. “We had a great
season and look forward to 2020,” stated Kristin Terry, Downtown Development Director.

The Party on the Square will be held regardless of weather conditions on Saturday, September
21, 2019 from 6:00pm-11:00pm and in the event of inclement weather the event will be held at
The Café located 8 West Side Square.


Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce Hosts the 2019 Legislative Luncheon

MACOMB, ILLINOIS — The Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce will host the 2019 Legislative Luncheon, presented by Comcast NBCUniversal, on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 at The Whytehouse, 127 East Carroll Street, Macomb. Check in begins at 11 am, with a buffet lunch served at 11:30 am, the noon featured speakers will include State Senator, Jil Tracy, 47th District and State Representative Norine Hammond, 93rd District. Speakers will discuss topics directly tied to the local, regional, and state economy and climate. 

Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce members may register before September 30 for $30 per person. Member registration after September 30 is $35 per person. Non-Chamber member registration is $40 per person. The final deadline to register for this event is October 9. Refunds will not be issued after October 9. 


Registration and payment options are available online at or reservations with check can be mailed to:


Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce 

214 N. Lafayette St. Macomb, IL 61455 



All event questions can be directed to the Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce by calling the office at (309) 837-4857 or via email to



Congresswoman Bustos' Request For FEMA Disaster Declaration Approved

WASHINGTON – Today, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved Congresswoman Bustos’ request for a Major Disaster Declaration for the State of Illinois, which triggers the release of federal funds to communities impacted by severe storms and flooding between February 24 and July 3, 2019. Twenty-seven counties in Illinois are now eligible to apply for Public Assistance (PA) program grants so far.


Eligible counties include: Adams, Alexander, Bureau, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Fulton, Greene, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Jackson, Jersey, Knox, Madison, Mercer, Monroe, Morgan, Pike, Randolph, Rock Island, Schuyler, Scott, St. Clair, Stephenson, Union and Whiteside.


“Throughout 2019, communities have felt the devastation of severe storms and record flooding across Illinois and our Congressional District,” Congresswoman Bustos says. “I’m pleased that many counties are eligible for the funding they need. It is my hope that additional Illinois counties will be included in the declaration in the coming days and weeks in order to provide relief to all of those impacted by this unprecedented weather.”


Betz Named WIU September Employee of the Month

MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University Database/Marketing/Technical Program Coordinator for the Center for Best Practices in Early Childhood Education Amy Betz has been named the Al and Elaine Goldfarb Civil Service Employee of the Month for September 2019.


Betz began working at WIU in November 1992 as a faculty assistant in the center. Her position was transitioned to Civil Service in February 2019.

Betz's nominator said she maintains a high level of professionalism in her work, which can sometimes be difficult.

"She is compassionate while communicating the necessary rules and regulations that define the Illinois Early Learning Intervention System," said her nominator. "She goes over and above to achieve project goals and she is a friend to all of her colleagues."

In August 2010, the Goldfarbs established an endowment to permanently fund the University's Civil Service Employee of the Month award. The Goldfarb endowment is used to fund a $100 award for the recipient of the Civil Service Employee of the Month, as well as a plaque.

The WIU Foundation provides a $500 stipend for the Civil Service Employee of the Year. Western faculty, staff and administrators, as well as community members, wishing to nominate a civil service employee for the monthly recognition should contact Civil Service Employees Council (CSEC) representative Christine Staley at


WIU's Yager Named Advising Administrator of the Year

MACOMB, IL – Michelle Yager, director of Western Illinois University's Advising and Academic Service Center, has been named the 2019 Illinois Academic Advising Association (ILACADA) Advising Administrator of the Year.

ILACADA believes academic advising is an integral part of the higher education mission and that it fosters a lasting appreciation of the value of a college education among students.

Yager was nominated for the award based on her leadership and leading the Advising Leadership Team on WIU's campus. The committee was created to help in the professional development of all of WIU's academic advisors.

"Without Michelle being the visionary in bringing this programming idea to our campus, and assembling a team to do it justice, WIU would not have been able to improve the services our advisors provide to all WIU students now and in the future," her nominator said.


Yager said she accepted the award on behalf of all of WIU's academic advisors.

"I was surprised and left speechless when I was told of this honor, but let me clarify, this is not a one-person award," she said. "It represents all the incredible WIU academic advisors from every college, department and program. Anything we've accomplished was done as a team by dedicated professionals."

Through the award, Yager will receive a $250 stipend to use for the next ILACADA state conference.

For more information about the WIU Advising and Academic Service Center, visit


#ForMacomb Community Project Scheduled for Sept. 28th

MACOMB, IL -- When the Rev. Ben Ellefritz of The Crossing Church in Macomb started thinking about how he could make a difference in his home community, he thought that this was something that was bigger than just himself and that other people may wish to also get involved. As a result, the community-wide effort, #ForMacomb, was born and the inaugural volunteer event will take place Saturday, Sept. 28 in Macomb.

"The City of Macomb belongs to the people of Macomb. However, due to perhaps a myriad of factors, some of our residents may wonder if they need to be elsewhere. While these personal feelings are rooted in very real experiences, we believe this is also an ideal time to help our community and share what our community is about," Ellefritz explained. "What if we could draw everyone's attention to the good things that Macomb has to offer? Instead of hearing, 'Macomb has nothing,' what if we heard, 'I love living in Macomb.' We love Macomb and the people that call this place home, so how do we get everyone to see what we see, to love what we love, to give back, improve and lend a hand in restoring faith in our great community? That's where #ForMacomb comes in."

According to Ellefritz, the goal of #ForMacomb is to change the narrative. With the community movement, Ellefritz – who established the #ForMacomb Committee, which is comprised of individuals from Western Illinois University and across Macomb – wants to highlight the great things Macomb has to offer and elevate the ideals that have brought the community this far.

Registration for the community-wide day of action – which includes projects at WIU – will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 28 in The Crossing parking lot (West Jackson Street, Macomb), with volunteer jobs beginning at 9 a.m. To register, visit More information is also available at

Following the projects, most running through 12:30 p.m., volunteers, community members, University members and any area resident, are invited to join together in Chandler Park for a BBQ from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Community service tables will also be a part of the picnic so that individuals can sign up for additional opportunities available throughout the city.

"#ForMacomb aims to unite different groups of people who have historically been separate: from WIU students to local children to nursing homes and businesses. A united Macomb is a thriving Macomb," he added. "#ForMacomb is not about making Macomb look better; it’s about bringing people together, united in a love for the community we all share."


Grammy Award Winning Country Artist Joe Diffie to Perform in Pekin, IL

Pekin, IL--Country Legend Joe Diffie will be performing an outdoor show on Friday September 20th with Matt Miller and Katelyn Smith with proceeds from the event will go to benefit St. Jude Runs.


This is Joe Diffie’s 4th year being involved with St. Jude Runs in Central Illinois. This will be the first year of hosting the event at the Avanti’s Dome in Pekin. The gates will open at 5P and the show will start at 6P. 


Joe Diffie has earned twelve #1 Country Hits including “Home,” “Pickup Man,” “Third Rock from the Sun” and “John Deere Green.” He has earned over 20 top 10 singles, has released 13 albums and has garnered sales exceeding 6 million. Joe Diffie has won a Grammy Award, CMA Awards, and was once honored as Humanitarian of the Year by the Country Music Broadcasters.
Find out more about Avanti’s Dome and upcoming events by visiting or by following them on Facebook.


Unemployment Tax Rate Table Remains the Same for 2020

DES MOINES – Today, Iowa Workforce Development officials announced that the unemployment tax rate table will remain unchanged for 2020. Tax rates will be the second lowest allowed by law.

Iowa Law requires Iowa Workforce Development to establish the tax table, which determines the unemployment tax rate for eligible employers each year. The unemployment insurance rate table trigger formula is primarily based on the trust fund balance, unemployment benefit payment history and covered wage growth. The formula is designed to enable the trust fund to keep pace with potential liabilities as covered unemployment and wages grow. Based on this formula, the contribution rate table will remain in table 7 of 8 possible tables in 2020.


 “The unemployment insurance tax rate for Iowa's employers will remain in Table 7, the same table it has been since calendar year 2018,” said Director Beth Townsend, Iowa Workforce Development. “Remaining in Table 7 for the third year ensures unemployment taxes remain low for most Iowa employers.  This contributes to a favorable business environment as well as contributing to sustained economic and job growth around the state."


Iowa Workforce Development is the state agency charged with collecting unemployment insurance taxes from employers and operating Iowa’s unemployment insurance payment program for workers. Through a network of IowaWORKS centers, the agency also connects job seekers with opportunities and employers with workforce solutions.


Spoon River College To Hold Community Blood Drive

Macomb, IL - Spoon River College will host a community blood drive from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm on Thursday, October 3 at 208 S. Johnson St., inside the Student Lounge.


To donate, please contact Kristy Boggs at (309) 833-6084 or visit and use code 1113 to locate the drive.



MDH Offers Stroke Prevention L.I.F.E. Course

MACOMB, Ill. – McDonough District Hospital Cardiopulmonary staff will host a L.I.F.E. (Learning is ForEver) Course focusing on Stroke Prevention. The course is set for Wednesday, October 2 from 2-3:30 p.m. in Auditoriums A & B, located on the lower level of MDH.


The course presents guidelines for preventing a stroke as well as recognizing the signs and symptoms. Additionally, participants will learn about screening tests available and see a demonstration of the imaging used to detect the risk of stroke from carotid artery disease.


Attendees of this class will have the opportunity to learn at least one way to reduce the risk of having a stroke from Jill Foster, Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer, Registered Vascular Specialist, and Certified Respiratory Therapist; and Peggy Jones, Certified Nurse Practitioner.


Pre-registration and a $5 fee are both required for each course. Online registration is available at For more information or to register by phone, please call (309) 298-1911. To learn more about the MDH Community Calendar, visit or follow on Facebook at McDonough District Hospital.


L.I.F.E. is an organization dedicated to providing high-quality, low-cost, and enjoyable adult-education experiences. The Macomb L.I.F.E. program, organized by the Western Illinois University Study Abroad Department, is affiliated with the national organization Road Scholar: Elderhostel Institute Network (EIN). It is independently administered by area residents who develop the courses, select the teachers, establish the fees, and promote the curriculum.


City-Wide Hydrant Flushing Begins Oct. 1st

Macomb, IL--

The City of Macomb Public Works Department will begin flushing fire hydrants throughout the City on Tuesday, October 1, 2019.  We will continue to flush our entire water distribution system throughout the fall. 


Fire hydrants will be flushed on weekdays between the hours of 7:00 am and 3:30 pm.  


Please be advised that flushing may cause some discoloration of water.  This does not represent a health hazard. However, customers are cautioned to determine if the water is clear before washing clothes (or any other processing) as staining may occur.  If you experience discolored water, avoid using hot water until discoloration clears and run your cold water for approximately 5-10 minutes to clear your service line. 


If you do have any laundry damaged by discolored water, avoid drying the clothes. Rust remover can also be picked up at the Public Works building located at 233 Center Street between the hours of 7:00 am to 3:30 pm.


Please also be advised that if the system pressure in the area of your residence drops below 20psi during flushing you will be issued a “boil order”.   This is a precautionary measure in order to assure your safety, and the “boil order’ will be lifted once water samples have satisfactorily passed analytical testing at an independent laboratory.


Please report extended discoloration, and any concerns to the Water Treatment Plant at 309-836-3916.


The Public Works Department regrets any temporary inconvenience you may experience; however, the flushing program is necessary to maintain a good water supply for both firefighting and domestic consumption.



WIU Jazz Studio Orchestra Live This Friday @ COFAC

Prairie Calling - Buennig

Incident @ Perkins - Chris Merz

Blue in a Red State - Chris Merz

Rhythm JOnes - John Mills

Jeep's Blues - Duke Ellington and Johnny Hodges/trans. David Berger

Isfahan from The Far East Suite - Duke Ellington/trans. David Berger

For more information, call the COFAC Recital Hall office at (309) 298-1843 or visit


Nonviolent Communication and Community Dialogue Workshops

Macomb, IL -- Western Illinois University Professor Emeritus J. Q. Adams will facilitate two workshops for the WIU community, "Cutting Through the Clutter: Using Nonviolent, Compassionate Communication to Create and Sustain Community Dialogue," Wednesday, Sept. 25 on the Macomb campus.


Two sessions will be held, from 3-5 p.m. and 6-8 p.m., at the WIU Multicultural Center (MCC). Walk-in registration will begin at 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Members of the Macomb community are also welcome to attend. Workshops were held Aug. 1 for Chamber of Commerce and MAEDCO members and Sept. 12 for the Macomb community. 


As part of the workshop, Adams will introduce Nonviolent Communication (NVC) as a workable model, process and practice based on recognizing and meeting participants' needs, as well as the needs of others encountered during everyday life. They will encourage participants to consider how understanding universal human feelings and needs can help lead to sustained dialogue among members of the Macomb community.


The NVC model Adams explores with participants was developed by psychologist Dr. Marshall Rosenberg in the 1960s and has been successfully used by mediators throughout the world. It is based on Rosenberg's conviction that all humans, whatever their learned cultures and values, have the capacity to interact with compassion and empathy if they understand their own and others' needs. Adams will introduce the NVC process to workshop participants and will provide opportunities for participants to develop strategies that can serve as the basis of empathy, effective communication and cooperation.


NVC involves four clearly defined steps: making non-judgmental observations, recognizing everyone has feelings and needs, connecting individual needs with those of the people with whom we interact and making doable requests of each other so everyone's needs are met. The process includes listening without judgment and listening deeply enough to hear and accurately acknowledge each other's feelings and needs. According to Adams, this process is based on human beings with the same basic needs. Like for example, listening can lead to understanding and compassionate conversations in which each person's dignity can be respected and everyone's needs can be met. 


Adams joined Western's faculty in August 1988. A major focus in his teaching and consulting has been the changing demographics in the USA and the larger world. His ongoing commitment to education encompasses continual study of the scholarship in his field so the goal of education -- a viable, thriving society where every person's dignity is respected -- can be reached. 


The workshop is sponsored by the Moving Macomb Forward committee, which is comprised of community and University officials, including the WIU Multicultural Center, the Office of the WIU President, WIU Admissions, City of Macomb elected officials and employees, McDonough County NAACP, McDonough County Sheriff and Macomb Police departments, MAEDCO and the Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce. 





Walmart Hosts Free Wellness Event in Illinois Stores on Saturday

Bentonville, Ark., Sept. 17, 2019 – Walmart has a warm heart for helping customers save money and live better/healthier lives. The retailer is now inviting customers to Walmart Wellness Day, where they can receive free health services and resources along with information on better heart health. This event will be hosted Saturday, Sept. 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time at Walmart stores with pharmacies in Illinois.  


Walmart hosts quarterly wellness events in more than 4,500 stores to making health care more affordable and accessible, according to a news release.  Since 2014, Walmart has conducted more than 3 million free screenings during wellness events.


Since its first Walmart Wellness event in 2014, Walmart has provided more than 4 million free screenings to people across the country. These screenings have helped customers discover underlying issues like high blood pressure and diabetes that they now can manage – and in some cases, these screenings have saved customers’ lives.  




Organ, Piano Performance Sept. 21 at WIU

MACOMB, IL -- Keyboard music from the Baroque and 20th century will be presented by Western Illinois University Organ Instructor Linda Andrews and guest pianist Anna Wagner at 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21 at the First Presbyterian Church, 400 E. Carroll St., in Macomb. 

Their program will include Baroque partitas by Johann Sebastian Bach and Johann Pachelbel. Organ music by French composer Olivier Messiaen, and Canadian composer Gerald Bales will complete the first half of the program. "Piano Sonata in A minor," by Sergie Prokofiev, will conclude the program.  Additionally, the two musicians will play an organ/piano duet. 

Andrews has been organ instructor at WIU since 2012, and is also organist for First Presbyterian Church, a position she has held for 25 years. She holds degrees from WIU and Northwestern University.  An active member of the American Guild of Organists, she currently serves as dean of the WIU chapter.

Recently, she was the instructor for Pianos, Pipes, Pedals and Pizza, in Pekin, IL, a program designed to teach children and adults about the pipe organ. Andrews has presented numerous solo organ recitals, has participated in WIU sponsored LIFE programs and has been a featured organ soloist with the McDonough Choral Society.

Wagner was professor of piano for 40 years at the University of Music in Vienna, Austria, where she taught "Basics in Song Interpretation" in the Department of Voice and Music Theater. Upon her retirement, she was awarded the Medal of Honor.

Wagner has performed concerts, presented master classes and recorded for TV, radio and CDs. In Macomb, she has also participated in WIU sponsored LIFE programs and performed as a guest recitalist. 

Wagner is also a professional photographer and the Arts Center in downtown Macomb is currently featuring her exhibit, "Discovering Macomb – The Photographs of Anna Wagner," through Oct. 19.


WIU Receives Centennial Award

MACOMB, IL -- Western Illinois University recently received an Illinois Centennial Award for the University's 120 years of service, and many accomplishments.

The Illinois State Historical Society annually recognizes schools, churches and corporations that have "operated in the Prairie State for 100 or more consecutive years," providing cultural and economic support to the people and communities around them. Western was founded as a normal school (or teacher training college) in 1899, and officially opened for the first day of classes Sept. 23, 1902. Western Illinois State College became known as Western Illinois University July 5, 1957.

Over the years, Western has had a multi-faceted impact –  including the 130,000 graduates it has produced, in a wide variety of fields – and has achieved distinction in ranking among the best Midwestern colleges and universities. English Professor Emeritus John Hallwas, who also serves on the Society's Board of Directors, nominated Western for the Centennial Award.

"It is an honor for our institution to be recognized by the Illinois State Historical Society, particularly as we are ready to celebrate Founders' Day," said WIU Acting President Martin Abraham. "We're proud of our long history and accomplishments over the years. Thank you to the Illinois State Historical Society for this award."

The University will celebrate Founders' Day Monday, Sept. 23 on the Macomb campus and Tuesday, Sept. 24 on the Quad Cities campus.


WIU Announces $10 Million Bio-Fuel Federal Research Grant

Macomb, IL – The Western Illinois University School of Agriculture announced today that Agriculture Professor Win Phippen is the recipient of a $10 million federal grant to investigate the use of the alternative crop, Pennycress, as a new cash cover crop in the Midwest. 


The U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) grant will allow Phippen to further refine Pennycress as a new winter-annual cash cover crop for use by the biofuel industry. Researchers from Illinois State University, the Ohio State University, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, and the University of Minnesota will join Phippen's team to refine this high-yield oilseed crop. Phippen, who has been with the School of Agriculture and the director of the School's Alternative Crops Program since 2000, has been growing Pennycress, and investigating its use as a biofuel alternative, for 10 years. 


"Pennycress is unique among cover crops as it can generate income, which incentivizes farmer participation. Integration of Pennycress into existing corn-soybean rotations extends the growing season on established cropland and avoids food crop displacement, all while yielding up to two billion gallons of oil annually," Phippen explained. 


The goal is to produce 50 billion gallons of biofuel in the next 25 years. The integrated Pennycress crop program will work toward commercializing the crop within five years, according to Phippen. Research will focus on improving Pennycress genetics (germplasm) for plant breeding and preservation, agronomic management, ecosystems and supply chain management for post-harvest seed control. 


"The integration of Pennycress as a cash cover crop will positively impact producers' profits, decrease soil erosion and nutrient runoff, which protects water systems, support pollinating species (bees and other pollinators), suppress weeds, diversify the nation's energy sources and contribute to rural economies," Phippen said. "We're very excited to further refine this powerhouse crop as an alternative for our Midwest farmers. I am most appreciative of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's faith in my research, and I look forward to leading a team of researchers with a solid background in alternative crop research."


Phippen's integrated program optimizes off-season Pennycress oilseed production by overcoming production and supply chain bottlenecks, with the goal of commercially launching Pennycress as a cash cover crop in 2021. CoverCress, Inc., of St. Louis, MO, is working closely with Phippen and his team for some of the breeding and post-production side of the research. Trial Pennycress planting in Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin and Minnesota will begin this month, with the first harvest anticipated in May 2020. The alternative crop is planted immediately following a corn harvest. After harvest, Pennycress storage will be tested, along with the quantity and quality of oil extracted, and the shelf life of Pennycress oil. The oil and meal will be further studied to determine uses for fuel, feed and food applications. 


"This grant is a phenomenal coup for Dr. Phippen and the School of Agriculture. We were lucky to hire Win 19 years ago to lead an alternative crops program, which at the time was still relatively new," said School of Agriculture Director Andy Baker. "His work and dedication to alternative crops is most deserving of this grant. Not only does this grant and research put our School and his program further on the map, it provides learning opportunities for our students that they will not find anywhere else."


U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary Scott Hutchins said the $77.8 million in NIFA research grants, which have been awarded to eight U.S. universities, are aimed at integrating sustainable agricultural approaches covering the entire food production system.


"Investing in high-value research that promotes sustainably intensified agricultural practices, while addressing climate adaptation and limited resources, ensures long-term agricultural productivity and profitability and provides unprecedented opportunities for American farmers and producers," said Hutchins, who leads USDA’s Research, Education and Economics (REE) mission area. "USDA continues to support our nation’s farmers through investments that help strengthen our rural communities."


This research investment is part of a new program within NIFA's Agriculture and Food Research Initiative's (AFRI) Sustainable Agricultural Systems program, the nation’s leading and largest competitive grants program for agricultural sciences.



WIU LEJA Ranked Best Criminal Justice Degree Program

MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University's School of Law Enforcement and Justice Administration's (LEJA) online degree is ranked sixth out of 50 schools across the U.S. as the best online criminal justice degree program by Western is the only Illinois institution included in the rankings.

Students majoring in LEJA can obtain their degree by taking classes on WIU's main campus in Macomb or the Quad Cities branch campus, online or a combination of both. WIU's School of LEJA began offering it bachelor's and master's degree programs online several years ago to accommodate working criminal justice professionals, actively deployed military students and non-traditional students.

The School of Law Enforcement was established 50 years ago, in 1979, and boasts more than 13,200 alumni around the globe, and nearly 2,000 students are currently enrolled as LEJA majors and/or minors. The School of LEJA currently offers three Bachelor of Science degrees: Law Enforcement and Justice Administration, Fire Protection Services and Emergency Management, as well as a Master of Arts in Public Safety Administration.

"We're pleased to be recognized as a top online criminal justice degree program," said Jill Myers, director of the School of LEJA. "It's important to provide classes and degree opportunities for individuals who want to earn their degree, but due to job and family commitments cannot enroll as a traditional, on campus student. We have many professionals who want to obtain or complete their undergraduate degree, or earn their master's degree, to advance in their respective field.  By offering our programs in an online format, we give them the opportunity to continue their education without leaving their community or their jobs."

In addition to the online degree opportunities, WIU's School of LEJA also partners with the Illinois Department of Corrections and community colleges to offer a seamless transition toward their degree and career success.

For the online criminal justice degree ranking, analyzed such data as type of degree or degrees offered, career possibilities, available financial aid and online support services.'s online degree rankings emphasize accessibility, affordability and quality of education.

According to, WIU makes it high on the list due to the fact that it offers both an online undergraduate and an online graduate degree in law enforcement and justice administration. Western also offers an integrated BS/MA criminal justice program that allows students to apply undergraduate credits toward a graduate degree.

For more information on WIU LEJA's degree programs, visit



Electroacoustic Music Macomb 2019 Sept. 18 at WIU

MACOMB, IL - The Western Illinois University School of Music will present Electroacoustic Music Macomb 2019, curated by Hong-Da Chin, assistant professor of theory and composition, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18 in the College of Fine Arts and Communication (COFAC) Recital Hall.

This performance will feature a composition by retired School of Music Professor James Caldwell, in addition to compositions by Carter John Rice, Carolyn Borcherding, Rob McClure, Jason Bolte and Mike McFerron.

This performance is open free to the public, and will be live-streamed on the School of Music’s YouTube channel and Facebook Live.


"Let Me See Your Face" for flute and live electronics (2013) - Rice (b. 1989)
- Music instructor Jeiran Hasan, flute

"Vesper" for fixed media (2017) - Borcherding (b. 1992)

"Lingering Garden" for fixed media (2015) - McClure (b. 1984)

"Change in the Summation" for fixed media (2006) - Bolte (b. 1976)

"An Interrupted Memory" for fixed media (2009/10) - McFerron (b. 1970)

"Mechanism IV" for reed trio and electro-acoustic media (2002) - Caldwell (b. 1957)
 - Assistant Professor Emily Hart, oboe
 - WIU music student Morgan Miller, clarinet
 - Assistant Professor Brisa de Paula, bassoon

For more information, call the COFAC Recital Hall office at (309) 298-1843 or visit


Illinois Is 2019's 10th Most Diverse State in America


Illinois--With Hispanic Heritage Month in full swing and the leadership in Fortune 500 companies still dominated by Caucasian males, the personal-finance website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of 2019’s Most & Least Diverse States in America as well as accompanying videos.

To determine where the most idea and identity exchanges have occurred at the highest level in the U.S. — and where the population is relatively more homogeneous — WalletHub compared the 50 states across six key categories: socio-economic, cultural, economic, household, religious and political diversity.

Diversity in Illinois (1=Most Diverse, 25=Avg.):

  • 16th – Income Diversity
  • 11th – Educational-Attainment Diversity
  • 12th – Racial & Ethnic Diversity
  • 11th – Linguistic Diversity
  • 23rd – Industry Diversity*
  • 21st – Household-Type Diversity
  • 17th – Household-Size Diversity
  • 7th – Religious Diversity

*Includes civilian employed population aged 16 and older

For the full report, please visit:


IDHS Celebrating Recovery Month in Illinois

As declared by Governor JB Pritizker, Illinois will consider the month of September as Recovery Month for those that have substance abuse disorders and bring awareness to the situation. 

The Illinois Department of Human Services has partnered with other providers throughout the state to help recognize that #RecoveryBelongs. The campaign began on social media as the IDHS used their platform to promote the inclusion of recovery in communities and the continuum of healthcare providers during the International Overdose Awareness Day. IDHS Secretary, Grace B. Hou thanks the providers for hosting events and celebrate individuals in long term memory while acknowledging the work of prevention, treatment, and recovery support services. 

“In 2018, over 2,000 people died from an opioid overdose in Illinois… Although we’re seeing some positive trends resulting from our prevention and recovery strategies, we need to continue to fight against this disease as aggressively as possible,” said Hou. 

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


Homecoming Kickoff Event: Paint the Paws, Friday, Sept. 27

Macomb, IL – Western Illinois University students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends are all invited to participate in Paint the Paws Friday, Sept. 27, to kick off Homecoming week 2019 "Rocky on Broadway - The Leathernecks are a Tough Act to Follow." Homecoming activities will be held Friday, Sept. 27 – Saturday, Oct. 5.


Paint the Paws is a tradition at WIU where the University community repaints more than 200 Rocky paws along University Drive and Western Avenue. Hosted by the WIU Alumni Association, this event signifies the path leading alumni and friends back home to Western. 


On Friday, Sept. 27, the WIU Alumni Association will host two Paint the Paws shifts; the first beginning at 1 p.m. and the second at 3 p.m. First-shift painters should check in at Western Hall by 12:45 p.m. and second-shift painters should check in by 2:45 p.m. Supplies will be provided. 



SRC offers Microscoft Publisher Class

Macomb-The Spoon River College Office of Community Outreach is offering a class called Introduction to Microsoft Publisher on Tuesday, October 1st from 1-3pm at the Spoon River College Macomb Outreach Center. 


Publisher is a desktop publishing software. You can use Publisher to create brochures, flyers, menus, business cards, certificates, and etc! During the course, people will learn the basics of using Microsoft Publisher. Instructor is Erin Orwig.


There is a fee to attend and pre-registration is required. Classes will be held at the Spoon River College Macomb Outreach Center located at 2500 East Jackson Street in Macomb. For more information or to register, call Spoon River College at 309-833-6031 or sign up online.


International Day of Peace Celebration Sept. 19 at WIU

MACOMB, IL – A celebration of the International Day of Peace will be held at Western Illinois University from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday Sept. 19. 

The International Day of Peace ("Peace Day") is observed around the world each year in September. Established in 1981, by a unanimous United Nations resolution, Peace Day provides a globally shared date to commit to peace above all differences and to contribute to building a culture of peace. 

"Every year, the WIU community comes together in September to celebrate the International Day of Peace. This year, we encourage everyone to come out and chalk their favorite message of peace on the sidewalks. We will have a table at the University Union on Thursday, between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., where participants can pick up chalk," said WIU Political Science Professor Julia Albarracin. 

The Peace Day celebration is sponsored by the WIU Department of Political Science, the WIU College of Arts and Sciences and the Peace Corps programs at WIU. 


WIU Miracle Jeans Day Oct. 8

MACOMB, IL -- Take that five spot in your wallet, and spend it on a cause that's "for the kids."

On Tuesday, Oct. 8, Western Illinois University employees are invited to participate in the WIU Dance Marathon's (DM) fourth annual Miracle Jeans Day, with proceeds of the event going to St. Louis-area Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.

Approval has been granted for WIU employees in all departments to participate in the special "wear jeans day," if they choose. For a minimum donation of $5, WIU employees can put their professional attire aside to wear jeans to work. Register at or by check (payable to WIU Dance Marathon) or cash.

On Sept. 20, members of the WIU DM will hand out informational packets to all campus departments. Donations may be placed in the packet or made online. Packets, and donations, will be picked up Oct. 4. On Miracle Jeans Day (Oct. 8), participants are asked to post photos on social media, with the hashtag #WIUDM.

More information about Miracle Jeans Day is available at The event is part of the student organization's year-round effort to raise money for Children's Miracle Network hospitals, St. Louis Children's Hospital and SSM Health Cardinal Glennon. The year-long event culminates DATE, with the 12-hour Dance Marathon, which honors the 12-hour shifts of doctors and nurses, as well as children who are unable to stand. 

Western's Dance Marathon is entering its seventh year on the WIU campus, with this year's goal set at $175,000. Donations are welcome, and may be made by visiting URL or emailing Last year's event raised more than $160,000.

The $160,000 raised during the 2018-2019 Dance Marathon pushed Western's six-year total to close to $600,000. The 2018 event raised $135,000; the 2017 event raised $123,000; the 2016 event raised $70,800; the 2015 event raised $53,000; and the inaugural event in 2014 raised $22,000.

Additional details can be found on the WIU Dance Marathon Facebook page.


'STUPID F****** BIRD,' Comes to Hainline Theater Stage Sept. 25-29

MACOMB, IL – The Western Illinois University Department of Theatre and Dance will present "STUPID F****** BIRD," a play written by Aaron Posner and directed by WIU Theatre Professor Bill Kincaid, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, Sept. 25-28 and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 29 in Hainline Theatre. The production's traditional music will be replaced by music written by WIU Master of Fine Arts graduate student Austin Roach, of Wasilla, AK, and freshman musical theatre major Valerie Cambron, of Lexington, KY.

"'Bird' takes the idea of a love triangle and extends it into something like a love hexagon," said Kincaid. "Almost everyone wants someone they can't have, and when someone gets who they want it can have devastating consequences. This re-imagining of Chekhov's classic 'The Seagull' brings the love hexagon brilliantly and vividly into the present, with character types and dialogue straight out of today's youth culture."  

The play is about an aspiring young director who rampages against the art created by his mother's generation. A young actress also wrestles with an aging Hollywood star for the affection of a renowned novelist. The play outlines the timeless battle between young and old and past and present in search of "the true meaning of it all."

The production is rated "R" for language and adult situations.

Tickets are $15 for general admission, $13 for senior citizens and youth and free for WIU students with valid identification.

For more information, contact the theatre box office at (309) 298-2900 or visit



WIU Founders' Day Set for September 23rd

MACOMB/MOLINE, IL -- In 1899, a bill to establish Western Illinois University (then called Western Illinois State Normal School) was passed by the state legislature. Macomb was selected in 1900 as the location for the new normal school in west central Illinois, and on Tuesday, Sept. 23, 1902, Western Illinois State Normal School opened its doors for the first official day of classes on the new campus.

Faculty, staff, students and community members are invited to celebrate the founding of Western at the 26th annual Founders' Day Celebration Monday, Sept. 23 at Sherman Hall, where classes were held for the first time 117 years ago.

The 2019 Founders' Day Celebration will begin at 1 p.m. on the front steps of Sherman Hall with the ceremonial bell ringing by Lana Myers, a retired University employee and granddaughter of Edwin DeCamp, who first rang the bell Sept. 23, 1902 to signal the start of classes at Western Illinois State Normal School. Following the bell ringing, the National Anthem will be performed, along with the presentation of colors by the WIU ROTC Color Guard and a performance of Western's "Alma Mater."

Acting President Martin Abraham will round out the celebration with a brief keynote to recognize WIU's history and traditions, followed by an informal reception on Sherman's front lawn. The Sept. 23 program is open free to the public. [Rain location: Sherman Hall Auditorium]

"I'd like to invite all members of our University community, as well as area residents, to join us on the front steps of Sherman Hall on Sept. 23 to celebrate Western's very beginnings," Abraham said. "We should all be proud of our long history and the strides we've made over the years. And while the University has certainly evolved throughout the years, what hasn't changed is Western's commitment to higher education and preparing our students to be successful graduates."

A Founders' Day Celebration will also be held at the WIU-QC campus at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24 in the Building C atrium. The program will begin with a breakfast at 7:30 a.m., with a short program to follow at 8 a.m. Additional information regarding the WIU-QC Founders' Day event will be posted in a separate release.


WIU Food Pantry Announces Fall Operation Hours

MACOMB, IL – The Western Illinois University Food Pantry has announced expanded hours for students, faculty and staff to access free, non-perishable food items this weekend.

The pantry will be open from 9-11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14.



During the Fall 2019 semester, the pantry is open from noon-5 p.m. on Thursdays and from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturdays, except during home football games, when the hours change to 9-11 a.m. on Saturdays.

The WIU Food Pantry is located in the former ticket booth near Q-Lot, adjoining Hanson Field. Food is available to all individuals with a valid WIU identification card, regardless of income.
Students who volunteer as part of the WIU Food Pantry organization are provided the opportunity to practice knowledge and skills they learn in class, acquire volunteer hours, participate in service learning, and build their resume. All WIU students are welcome to join.
Monetary and food donations are accepted. If donating food, check the expiration date to ensure it is safe for consumption. Each dollar donated will provide five meals to those in need.
To contact the pantry, email

Monetary donations can be mailed to Emily Shupe c/o WIU Food Pantry at 140 Knobaluch Hall, 1 University Circle, Macomb, IL 61455.


WIU Offering Study Abroad in Germany Course in Spring 2020

MACOMB, IL – The Western Illinois University departments of Anthropology and History will offer the Spring 2020 Study Abroad course "Germany North to South: A Cultural and Historical Journey" from May 19-30, 2020.

The three-credit hour course is being led by WIU Associate Professor of History Ute Chamberlin and Sociology and Anthropology Professor Heather McIlvaine-Newsad and is open to graduate and undergraduate students during the Spring 2020 semester.

The course will include travel to the cities of Berlin, Dresden and Nuremberg, Germany. The program cost includes round-trip air fare from Chicago, in-country transportation, lodging, entry fees to scheduled sites and some meals. It does not include WIU tuition, the cost of a passport and personal expenses.

The application deadline for the program is Nov. 10 and upcoming interest meetings will be held:

• Monday, Sept. 23 – Noon-1 p.m., Morgan 322
• Wednesday, Oct. 9 – Noon-1 p.m., Morgan 322
• Thursday, Oct. 31 – 1-2 p.m., Morgan 208

For more information, visit, or contact McIlvaine-Newsad at, Kim McDaniel at or Chamberlin at


Chamber Of Commerce Holds Ribbon Cutting for New Fleet of Buses

Macomb, IL--The Ambassador Committee of the Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting on September 13 for McDonough County Public Transportation (MCPT), owned by the City of Macomb, as they recently announced that five transit buses will be replaced in the Go West fleet. The five new 35-foot, 24,000-pound New Flyer Excelsior Clean Diesel buses will begin service in Macomb this month.


The new buses, manufactured in Anniston, Alabama, will replace high-mileage aging buses that were in service for more than 20 years. With the purchase of these five new buses, the average age of the Go West fleet will be reduced from 16 years to 10 years. The five new buses will offer several benefits to the environment and passengers: particulate emissions will be reduced by 90%; NOx emissions will be reduced by 95%; noise during operation will be reduced; and accessibility for disabled passengers will be enhanced thanks to an improved step height, expanded front door, and an improved entry ramp ratio that meets the industry’s highest standards. With a reduction in weight and fuel costs, MCPT can expect lower operating costs. Each Excelsior bus will have the capacity for up to 32 seated and 33 standing passengers, including two wheelchairs.

Funding for the purchase of the five buses was provided by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) through a 2014 State Capital Bill and was obtained with grant writing assistance from the Western Illinois Regional Council (WIRC). WIRC also provides administration to the MCPT program.


Each bus cost $413,301 and has a service life expectancy of 12 to 15 years. In addition to the new buses, the entire Go West fleet is now equipped with tablets that will be utilized to record passenger counts and also provide automated voice stop announcements. Data from the passenger counting software will allow route usage analysis and will also be able to provide ridership data to economic development entities to aid in attracting potential businesses that are considering opening a location in Macomb.

The City of Macomb and Western Illinois University (Go West Transit) have partnered since 1999 to provide fare-free, fixed-route transportation to the WIU campus and Macomb community.

Information: MCPT Transit Director, Nathan Cobb at (309) 837-7433 or visit


Florida Governor Planning to Poach Illinois Businesses

Illinois--Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is on a mission. The Sunshine State Gov. is planning several trips to the Land Of Lincoln to convince businesses to migrate to Florida. According to Census Bureau data from 2011 to 2017, Florida was one of the states where the most Illinois residents moved to, second only to Wisconsin and Indiana. Cole Lauterbauch has more on the story.






DOI Helps Illinois Life Insurance Consumers Collect More than $15 Million in 2019

Chicago — The Illinois Department of Insurance can help people find out if they owe millions of dollars in life insurance. So far in 2019, IDOI has helped a lot of consumers find and collect more than $15 million from lost or unclaimed life insurance policies.


An estimated 1-in-4 life insurance policies go unpaid when an insured person dies because family members aren’t aware a policy exists,don’t know which company issued it, and they can’t find the paperwork. “Insurance companies have a duty to pay Illinois consumers who are the rightful beneficiaries of life insurance policies” says IDOI Director Robert Muriel.  


“We encourage everyone to use the policy locator to search for unclaimed life insurance benefits. If your loved one paid to protect your tomorrow, you deserve to have the money you’re owed.” It’s already the law in Illinois that insurance companies must attempt to locate the beneficiaries of deceased policyholders when life insurance proceeds remain unpaid, but IDOI will  make it easier for consumers to search on their own. 



Emergency Telephone Systems Board And The Communications Center Board Meeting Scheduled

Macomb, IL-- The Emergency Telephone Systems Board And The Communications Center Board will be holding meetings tuesday, the ETSB meeting starts at 3 p.m. and the CCB will hold theire meeting immediately after. Both Meetings wil take place at the Macomb Police Department Training room. The subject matter of the scheduled meetings is 'to conduct business'



Fulbright Scholar Teaching Portuguese on WIU Campus

MACOMB, IL – For the second consecutive year, Western Illinois University is hosting a Fulbright Scholar to teach a foreign language on campus during the Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 semesters.

This year's Fulbright Exchange Program Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) is Gustavo Primo, of Brazil. He is teaching beginning Portuguese each semester and is hoping to conduct some lectures at the Multicultural Center during the coming year.

"The application process started last August; it was a long process," said Primo. "Hundreds of Brazilians applied, but only 20 were selected."

Primo's campus residency was made possible by an agreement from the WIU Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, the School of Global Education and Outreach and the Fulbright Foundation. Foreign Languages and Literatures Chair Luciano Picanço and Jeff Hancks, executive director of the school, made the application for the FLTAs.

"It is a pleasure to receive another FLTA in our campus," said Picanço. "But it is especially a pleasure to receive Gustavo Primo, a teaching assistant with plenty of experience, not only in teaching language, but also somebody so aware of the interconnections between language and culture. He will be a real asset this year in the promotion of diversity and multiculturalism at Western Illinois University and the region."

Hancks said his office works hard to "bring the world to the WIU campus," and initiatives like this program are an important part of the efforts.

"We're very honored that the Fulbright Commission decided, for the second consecutive year, to send an FLTA fellow to WIU," he said. "We're excited to have Gustavo on our campus, and I am confident his students will benefit greatly from his expertise in teaching the Portuguese language, and through his public presentations, the wider campus community will be able to learn more about the rich Brazilian culture." 

Prior to coming to Western, Primo received his master's degree in literature at a federal university in São Carlos, Brazil. He said he chose WIU as his service location because it was a smaller town and he grew up in a small town. This is his first visit to the United States.

"I was looking at all of the support there is for international students at WIU," he said.

While Primo is on campus, he is taking classes in American culture and joining a few campus clubs.

"I'm trying to get involved on campus and getting to know people," he said.

Over the weekend, Primo served as a crew member for the Macomb Balloon Rally and had his first hot air balloon ride Friday night.

The Fulbright program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Funding for the FLTA program was increased in 2001 to meet the growing need for instruction in languages that are less common in the classroom. The program is now used in more than 50 countries and supports the instruction of more than 30 languages.

Since 2001, more than 3,200 FLTA program participants have benefitted from the opportunity to experience the U.S., while about 80,000 U.S. students have increased their knowledge of foreign languages and cultures.

For more information about the program, contact Hancks at (309) 298-1929.


Illinois Educational Funds Reaching Administrators, Not The Classroom

There has been a worry in Illinois when it comes to education, and it does not seem to be reaching a solution. Illinois is one of the top states in the Midwest when it comes to spending the most on student’s education; however, there is not enough academic success in comparison to other states in our region. 

The Illinois Policy Institute believes that our decline in academic success has been an issue for the past four years due to public schools choosing to employ more administrators than focusing on teachers and recruiting students. At the top schools in our state, their administrators are making almost $100,000 per year within an additional $3 million in pension benefits once they have reached retirement. All public school districts student and teacher enrollment has dropped 2%, yet the administrators enrollment has increased by almost 2 %. 

Director of budget and tax research for IPI, Adam Schuster, understands that Illinois educational system is going bad if it continues spending their educational funds on administrators. 

“It’s time to do what’s best for students across the state… Lawmakers have the power to help every student reach their full potential by ensuring education dollars make it to the classroom,” said Schuster.  

Of the 852 school districts we have, there should not be a decline in our education systems. We have been considered a “mediocre” states because of this decline. IPI provided some improvements that our state officials and supporters should consider including: 

  • School districts serving 1,000 students are likely to have an average composite ACT score two points higher than those at districts serving only 300 students, despite similar geographic location, population demographics and state aid.

  • Similarly, small districts that increase student population to 1,000 boost the average student’s performance on the SAT by 48 points; biology ECA pass rates by 10 percentage points and ISTEP eighth grade pass rates by 8 percentage points.

  • School district consolidation is possible through existing legislation. House Bill 3053 passed unanimously out of the House of Representatives during the 101st General Assembly.

  • HB 3053 would have created a commission responsible for making recommendations to reduce the number of districts by at least 25%. It would not consolidate any schools, just districts. Recommendations would go directly to voters in affected school districts, so no changes would be made without local approval. 

For the full analysis, click on this link.


WIU Equal Opportunity and Access Director Interview Set

Macomb/Moline, IL - -An interview for the Western Illinois University Equal Opportunity and Access director position will be held Wednesday-Thursday, Sept. 11-12. Stephanie Kinkaid,  who is the interim director of intercultural life and Title IX coordinator at Monmouth College, has been selected to interview. 


An open session with Kinkaid will be held from 11-11:50 a.m. in the University Union Lincoln Room Sept. 11 and from 1:30-2:20 p.m. in the Riverfront Hall, room 103, Sept. 12 on the Quad Cities campus.


Kinkaid has served as interim director of intercultural life since June 2019 and Title IX coordinator at Monmouth College since 2016. Prior to that, she was also the assistant director (2014-16) and the program coordinator (2011-14) of the Wackerle Career and Leadership Program and administrative assistant to the Vice President for Student Life (2007-11) at Monmouth College. She has served as executive director of the Cameron (IL) Christian Care Center (2006-07); residential coordinator/case manager of Bridgeway (2001-06), in Galesburg, IL; executive director of Kindercare in Sleepy Hollow, IL, and of First Friends Daycare in Genoa, IL, (1999-01) and parents as teachers director and preschool teacher for Northeast Nodaway School District in Parnell, MO, (1997-99). 


Kinkaid earned her bachelor's degree in public relations from Illinois State University and her master's degree in college student personnel from Western Illinois University. Kinkaid is more than qualified for the director’s position.



Western Illinois University Ranks #11 in 'Best Midwestern University' Rankings

Macomb, Il--MACOMB/MOLINE, IL – For 15 years running, Western Illinois University has once again been recognized as a "Best Midwestern University" by U.S.News and World Report.

In the U.S.News and World Report 2020 rankings, of the 33 Midwestern public universities in the top tier, Western is ranked 11th in the 2020 Midwestern rankings. Western is also listed 61st of 162 public and private colleges and universities on the top tier list of "Best Regional Universities." Western is one of just three Illinois public universities appearing in the top 70.

Along with the "Best Midwestern" ranking, Western has been acknowledged by U.S.News as a "Best for Veterans School" (Midwest - #38), Best Value School" (Midwest - #49) and "Top Performer on Social Mobility" (Midwest - #49). Western is also recognized in rankings for being a top public school, graduation rates (six-year), freshmen retention rates, undergraduate business programs, undergraduate engineering program, least debt (class of 2017), highest proportion of classes under 20 students, most international students, economic diversity and campus ethnic diversity.

"I'm happy that Western has once again been highly ranked by U.S.News for the terrific academic degree programs, resources and support that we provide our students," said WIU Acting President Martin Abraham. "Our faculty, staff and administration are dedicated to ensuring our students' success. They believe in our students and are there to provide the guidance and knowledge necessary to flourish after they graduate from WIU."

The institutions appearing on the U.S.News Best Colleges ranking represent a full range of undergraduate majors and master's programs. The rankings are based on several diverse measures: graduation and retention rates, social mobility, faculty resources, expert opinion, financial resources, student excellence and alumni giving.

In addition to the U.S.News designation, Western was recently recognized earlier for the 16th consecutive year by The Princeton Review as a "Best Midwestern College," and as among the best of the best, according to the 2019 Washington Monthly College Guide, which again recognized WIU as a "Best Bang for the Buck" Midwestern school, as one of the top master's degree granting institutions in the nation and as one of America's best four-year colleges for adult learners. Western, at number 8, is in the top 10 of Midwestern colleges and universities in the "Best Bang for the Buck" rankings. In addition, WIU is also the highest ranked Illinois public master's institution in the Washington Monthly's Top 200 Master's Universities category. This is the seventh consecutive year Western has been highly ranked in the Washington Monthly College Guide.


Credit: WIU News


Western Illinois University Ranks #11 in 'Best Midwestern University' Rankings

Macomb, Il--MACOMB/MOLINE, IL – For 15 years running, Western Illinois University has once again been recognized as a "Best Midwestern University" by U.S.News and World Report.

In the U.S.News and World Report 2020 rankings, of the 33 Midwestern public universities in the top tier, Western is ranked 11th in the 2020 Midwestern rankings. Western is also listed 61st of 162 public and private colleges and universities on the top tier list of "Best Regional Universities." Western is one of just three Illinois public universities appearing in the top 70.

Along with the "Best Midwestern" ranking, Western has been acknowledged by U.S.News as a "Best for Veterans School" (Midwest - #38), Best Value School" (Midwest - #49) and "Top Performer on Social Mobility" (Midwest - #49). Western is also recognized in rankings for being a top public school, graduation rates (six-year), freshmen retention rates, undergraduate business programs, undergraduate engineering program, least debt (class of 2017), highest proportion of classes under 20 students, most international students, economic diversity and campus ethnic diversity.

"I'm happy that Western has once again been highly ranked by U.S.News for the terrific academic degree programs, resources and support that we provide our students," said WIU Acting President Martin Abraham. "Our faculty, staff and administration are dedicated to ensuring our students' success. They believe in our students and are there to provide the guidance and knowledge necessary to flourish after they graduate from WIU."

The institutions appearing on the U.S.News Best Colleges ranking represent a full range of undergraduate majors and master's programs. The rankings are based on several diverse measures: graduation and retention rates, social mobility, faculty resources, expert opinion, financial resources, student excellence and alumni giving.

In addition to the U.S.News designation, Western was recently recognized earlier for the 16th consecutive year by The Princeton Review as a "Best Midwestern College," and as among the best of the best, according to the 2019 Washington Monthly College Guide, which again recognized WIU as a "Best Bang for the Buck" Midwestern school, as one of the top master's degree granting institutions in the nation and as one of America's best four-year colleges for adult learners. Western, at number 8, is in the top 10 of Midwestern colleges and universities in the "Best Bang for the Buck" rankings. In addition, WIU is also the highest ranked Illinois public master's institution in the Washington Monthly's Top 200 Master's Universities category. This is the seventh consecutive year Western has been highly ranked in the Washington Monthly College Guide.


Credit: WIU News


Macomb Rep. Hammond Receives "Voice of Senior Care Award" for Support of Illinois Seniors

On tuesday, Septembet 10th, the Illinois Health Care Association (IHCA) awarded State Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) with the “Voice of Senior Care Award.” The award was created as a way for the IHCA to show their appreciation to legislators who advocate for state programs that assist Illinois’ senior community. In a letter announcing the selection of Rep. Hammond as a recipient of the award, the IHCA stated:


“This year, the Illinois Health Care Association Public Policy committee has chosen Rep. Hammond to receive the Voice of Senior Care Award for her diligent effort and support in recognizing the underfunding of Skilled Nursing Facilities. Equally important, Rep. Hammond has continued to help providers and residents in her community who have struggled with the delay in the Long Term Care Medicaid pending application process. Beyond this, Rep. Hammond was an avid spokesperson for quality care and seniors this past spring and we thank her.”


The IHCA is a non-profit organization comprised of more than 500 licensed and certified long term care facilities and homes/programs for the developmentally disabled throughout the state.


“I’m grateful for this award from the IHCA because state government made important improvements in programs for Illinois seniors this past legislative session, but there is still more work to be done,” said Rep. Hammond. “Advocating for our senior community is one of my top priorities in Springfield. I’m proud that in this year’s budget, we were able to increase funding for programs that assist seniors who live in nursing facilities and in their homes. I look forward to continue supporting our seniors so they can have peace of mind and get the services they need from state government.”


2019 IHCA Award


This past legislative session, Rep. Hammond supported the Fiscal Year 2020 state budget, which increased funding for vital services for Illinois seniors, including the Long Term Care (LTC) program and Community Care Program (CCP). The LTC program assists seniors in receiving in-home assistance. The CCP program assists seniors who are living in nursing facilities.


School Visitation Law Promotes Parental Involvement in Education

Springfield – It’s back-to-school time and the annual ritual of parent-teacher conferences will begin again. In Illinois, even a busy job should not prevent parents or guardians from attending important school meetings.


Since 1993, Illinois has  a law which provided unpaid leave for employees to attend school conferences or classroom activities of their children when such activities cannot be rescheduled during non-work hours. The School Visitation Rights Act stresses the importance of and promotes the involvement of parents in their children’s schooling.


“While many employers are supportive of providing time for this important task, the School Visitation Rights Act provides an important protection to ensure that a parent’s job is not an impediment to attending important school meetings,” said Michael Kleinik, director of the Illinois Department of Labor, which enforces the law.


More details about the law can found on IDOL’s Fact Sheet, including the following:

• The law applies only to employers with 50 or more workers in Illinois

• The employee needs to have worked at the job for at least six months and at least half-time.

• The time can only be taken if the employee has used all other accrued leave (for example, vacation and personal) time except for sick or disability leave.

• The employee must provide a written request for seven days in advance – 24 hours in advance in an emergency.

• The employer can, but is not required to pay for this leave time.

• The employee can be granted up to eight hours during the school year – no more than four hours on a given day.





School of Music Annual Scholarship Concert Sept. 13 at WIU

Macomb, IL -- The Western Illinois University School of Music will hold the annual Scholarship Concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept.13 in the College of Fine Arts and Communication (COFAC) Recital Hall.


The concert will include some of the best student ensembles from the WIU School of Music, including the University Singers, the Jazz Studio Orchestra, the Wind Ensemble and the Symphony Orchestra. The concert will raise money for music scholarships within the WIU School of Music.


Admission to the concert is free and donations will be accepted at the door. Donations can also be made online or by texting "WIUMUSIC" to 41444. 



McDonough County Soil & Water Hosting Fall Fish Sale on Sept. 30th

On Monday, September 30, 2019, McDonough County Soil & Water will be hosting their annual Fall Fish Sale at the USDA building on 1607 West Jackson Street in Macomb, IL. 

There are a variety of fish available for customers to pre-order, buy, and pick up at the district office; however, the deadlines for the Fall Fish Sale are quickly approaching. All buyers must order their fish in advance before Monday, September 23rd. The deadline for ordering Triploid Grass Carp (sterile) is on Friday, September 13th. 

For more information, or to have a fish sale order blank emailed to you, please call (309)-833-1711 (ext. 3), or stop by the office during regular business hours.



September is National Preparedness Month in Illinois

Springfield – National Preparedness Month is recognized every September as a way to promote family and community disaster and emergency planning.  The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), and local emergency managers, are encouraging Illinoisans to take time to prepare for potential emergencies at homes, at work, and in the community. Having a plan that includes where to go and how to communicate during disasters, building an emergency supply kit and learning lifesaving skills could help your family, friends, neighbors and employees during a disaster.


“A disaster can strike at any time and anywhere: When you are at home, at work or while you are traveling on vacation,” said Acting IEMA Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau. “Today, preparedness is more than building a kit. Community resiliency is achieved when neighbors help neighbors plan for and respond to emergencies.  Building a culture of preparedness is the cornerstone of disaster preparedness".


Five steps to Disaster Preparedness:

• Save Early for a Disaster:  Can you afford a disaster or emergency?  According to the Federal Reserve, 40-percent of Americans do not have $400 in savings. Operation Hope is a non-profit that provides pre-disaster preparedness planning.  They work with adults, youth and disaster survivors to equip them with the financial knowledge and tools to create a secure future. These programs and services are offered at no cost to a client.

• Learn Lifesaving Skills: Every day citizens can be first responders. This is a great time to learn lifesaving skills such as CPR and first aid techniques, in order to provide immediate aid until help arrives.

• Make a Plan for When a Disaster Strikes: Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area, and know how you will contact one another and reconnect if separated. 

• Teach Youth how to Prepare for Disasters: Disaster planning, response, and recovery efforts should take into account the unique needs of children, who make up roughly a quarter of the U.S. population.  Get kids involved in building their own emergency kit. Make sure to include your child's favorite stuffed animals, board games, books or music in their emergency kit to comfort them in a disaster.

• Get Involved in Community Preparedness: Check in with your neighbors to see how you can help each other before, during and after a storm. You can also bolster your community’s resilience efforts by joining a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). 


 During large-scale disasters, IEMA uses the Ready Illinois website, Facebook and Twitter pages to provide information about the incident, including shelter locations, road closures, safety information, photos and more.



State Board Announces 2020 Teacher of the Year Finalist

The top 10 finalist for the 2020 Illinois Teacher of the Year were announced by the Illinois State Board of Education this week heading towards the “Those Who Excel” Banquet where they will announce the winner. 

The State Superintendent of Education, Dr. Carmen Ayala, will name the recipient for the award, but it will not be an easy choice as all nominees are all deservant of being the 2020 Illinois Teacher of the Year. Dr. Ayala understands what it means to be an educator, referring to them as a bridge between students and their futures. 

“Teachers inspire, connect, and transform… one of the gifts of having a career in education is the privilege to work alongside and learn from educators who bring creativity, compassion, and courage to their schools everyday,” said Ayala.  

Here are the 2020 Illinois Teacher of the Year finalist: 

  • Tanya Katovich, a chemistry teacher at Hoffman Estates High School in Township High School District 211 in Palatine.

  • Jennifer C. Leban, a sixth-through-eighth-grade creative technology teacher at Sandburg Middle School in Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205 in Elmhurst.

  • Eric Combs, a sixth-through-eighth-grade band instructor at Richland County Middle School in Richland County CUSD 1 in Olney.

  • Joe Ruffolo, a physics teacher at West Leyden High School in Leyden High School District 212 in Northlake.

  • Debra Nicholson, a math teacher at Rich Central High School in Rich Township District 227 in Matteson.

  • Tamara Kuper, a sixth-through-eighth-grade math, art, career and life skills teacher at Aviston Elementary School in Aviston Elementary School District 21 in Aviston.

  • Maggie Moore, a biology teacher at Hononegah Community High School in Hononegah Community High School 207 in Rockton.

  • Helen Brandon, a sixth-grade math and science teacher at Bloomington Junior High in Bloomington Public Schools District 87 in Bloomington.

  • Michael G. Murakami, a seventh-grade math teacher at Whiteside Middle School in Whiteside School District 115 in Belleville.

  • Daniel W. Hartman, a fifth-grade teacher at DuBois Elementary School in Springfield Public School District 186 in Springfield.


'Zombie' Free Speech Policy Bites Satirical 'pot' Brownie Event

Macomb,IL--An event that used a play on word to draw an audience was immediately snuffed out due to a 'zombie' policy that was declared dead 16 years ago. 


More than 16 years after Western Illinois University announced it was “immediately” eliminating its free speech zone, students are still feeling the bite of a zombie policy — one the university declared dead long ago but still lives on in university speech codes.


According to a news release from FIRE or The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, Earlier this year, student Dylan Crowl and other members of the student group Young Americans for Liberty gathered in an open area of campus to encourage students to join the group. They also held out a sign promoting “Free ‘Pot’ Brownies” — a literal pot full of brownies (sans marijuana, as the use of quotation marks made obvious). The students took the opportunity to discuss their views on the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana, which the Illinois legislature was debating at the time.


Illinois subsequently legalized recreational use of marijuana.


Within minutes, the students were stopped by two members of the WIU Police, who told Crowl that the officers were “going to give [him] an education” on the repercussions of bringing marijuana to campus. At least one of the officers noted his personal disagreement with the policy positions advocated by the students and asked them to remove the word “pot” from the sign. Crowl refused.

The officers further explained that they “came out here because people thought you were handing out actual THC brownies and, anyways, you’re outside of the free speech zone right behind the Union.”


FIRE contacted WIU in June regarding the continued use of free speech zones. WIU responded that it would have the policy removed from their website "as soon as possible.” However, as students returned to class in August, the policies remained.


The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to defending and sustaining the individual rights of students and faculty members at America’s colleges and universities. These rights include freedom of speech, freedom of association, due process, legal equality, religious liberty, and sanctity of conscience — the essential qualities of liberty.


WIU Enrollment Reaches Lowest Decline Since 2015

MACOMB/MOLINE, IL – Western Illinois University's Fall 2019 total new student (freshman, transfer and graduate) enrollment is 2,071, which is the institution's lowest decline since Fall 2015. Western's total Fall 2019 enrollment is 7,624 [Macomb: 6,432; Quad Cities: 1,192], according to 10th-day data released by WIU's Institutional Research and Planning. Total undergraduate enrollment is 5,958 and total graduate enrollment is 1,666 (Fall 2018 enrollment figures are available at


Acting President Martin Abraham commented on the decline, stating "While this fall's total new student enrollment has not decreased as dramatically as the last few years, I'm still disappointed in the size of the decline this fall. We must – and we will – stop this trend. Western is a phenomenal school, with outstanding academic programs and extracurricular opportunities, along with great faculty and staff, all at a terrific value, We cannot change what has occurred the past few years. What we can do is to get better and do better, and we will. Our students deserve that; the residents of Illinois deserve that."


The grade point average (GPA) of the incoming freshman class has increased to 3.40 (compared to 3.31 in Fall 2018). Retention (new freshman fall-to-fall enrollment) has also increased, to 67.5 percent from 65.3 percent in Fall 2018.


Abraham noted that while increasing the number of new students is important, it's vital that the University retains its current students. 

"I am pleased we've seen retention rates increase over the past few years; however, we can do better. We will implement new, and expand upon current, early intervention initiatives to ensure our students' success," Abraham said. "We will be more proactive. Our goal is to graduate our students, preferably in four years, and without debt."


Flags of Love Brick Memorial Dedication Ceremony

Macomb, IL--The Macomb Flags of Love & Memorial Bricks Committee, through an all-volunteer effort, has recently completed the installation of the Memorial Bricks located in Macomb’s Historic Chandler Park. There will be a formal Dedication Ceremony for the Flags of Love Memorial Bricks on Patriot Day Wednesday, September 11, 2019 At 5:00PM.


The Flags of Love Brick Memorial, is located on the SOUTH side of Chandler Park, immediately adjacent to the Veteran’s Memorial and the Ruth Watts Memorial Fountain. The Dedication Ceremony will be held, rain or shine. The Dedication Program will include the Honor Guard from Macomb American Legion Post #6, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #1921 and Sons of the American Legion; remarks by Macomb Mayor Michael Inman; the Western Illinois University Marching Leatherneck Band, under the direction of Dr. Mike Fansler; the Macomb Kiwanis Club; Kermit Short, Command Sergeant Major (Ret’d); Dr’s. Bruce Briney and John Cooper, WIU School of Music and Jim Percy Master of Ceremonies. 


Bustos Statement on President's Plan to Defund Critical Military Construction Projects

Moline – Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17)  who is a member of both the House Appropriations Subcommittees on Defense and Military Construction , just released the following statement after President Trump announced his plans to defund $3.6 billion in military construction projects:


“The president’s plan to steal billions of dollars from our military undermines their ability to keep us safe and jeopardizes our national security. More than 200 times on the campaign trail, President Trump promised the American people that Mexico would pay for his wall. Now, instead of working toward bipartisan immigration solutions, he’s raiding military funds for an expensive, ineffective vanity project that will not secure our border. I’ll continue reaching across the aisle to bolster our military, protect critical projects in Illinois and keep our communities safe.”




Congresswoman Bustos will be in Galesburg and Moline TOMORROW

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) will host her fourth economic roundtable and discussion tomorrow at 10 a.m. in Galesburg, focusing on growth in the economy and creating good-paying jobs for midwestern families. 


Bustos is focused on issues important to rural communities and growing the local economy, so she plans these events throughout Illinois 17th Congressional District. Representatives from the Galesburg Chamber of Commerce, Carl Sandburg College, the city of Kewanee, Knox County, Knox County Farm Bureau, and other community leaders will join Bustos in these discussions. 


Later, Bustos will travel to Moline to participate at West Music at 3:30 p.m. for her 92nd annual “Cheri on Shift”. This job-shadowing event is a moment for the Congresswoman to tour the store and talk about music education. She has held this event since becoming apart of Illinois 17th Congressional District, so she gets a chance to hear the comments and concerns of men and women that are working hard. 


The Galesburg Economic Roundtable will take place at Carl Sandburg College in Building D , beginning at 10 a.m., followed by “Cheri on Shift” in Moline, IL at the West Music store around 3:30 p.m. The Congresswoman is doing her best to leave an impact on her district and encourages Galesburg, Moline, and other 17th district citizens to express themselves about their well being and finanical stability. 



#BreakfastWithBubba: Praisefest Interview with Kathy Yaste

Macomb, IL--With Praisefest approaching quickly, Morning Show host Bubba Samuels brought in Kathy Yaste, the creator of PraiseFest, to update the community on the upcoming additions to the event and say thank you's to those involved in the event. Check out the sound clip below!



Grandstand Revenue and Tickets up at 2019 Du Quoin State Fair

Du Quoin, IL – The DuQuoin State Fair may have just ended, but it’s clear that the 2019 event was a major success. The 2019 Grandstand sold nearly 15,800 tickets this year, 26% higher than last year’s total of just over 12,500. Revenue from the grandstand entertainment also increased over 2018. Between the musical acts, racing and monster trucks $356,795 was generated, generating $97,000 more than last year, a 37% increase.


“The Du Quoin State Fair is an economic engine for Southern Illinois, and I’m happy to see that the fair grew dramatically compared to last year,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “MK and I enjoyed spending time at the fairgrounds, and it’s wonderful that so many people came to enjoy the vendors and performers, as well as support a time-honored tradition that uplifts the entire region.”


“These early numbers show not only the success we had this year, but our potential to grow in the future,” said Josh Gross, Du Quoin State Fair Manager. “We’ve already started working on 2019’s lineup and have no doubt it will be bigger and better.”



An official wrap-up of the 2019 Du Quoin State Fair is underway. Attendance numbers for this year’s Du Quoin State Fair are still being calculated and are expected to be released shortly.  


Special Deer and Turkey Hunt for Hunters with Disabilities

Love Park, Ill. – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) will host a three-day deer and turkey hunting event for hunters with disabilities Nov. 14, 15 and 16 at Rock Cut State Park in Winnebago County.Only 20 hunting blind sites will be available for the event this year due to ongoing work on the Rock Cut State Park Road Improvement Project, which will prevent the safe access to and use of an additional blind sites normally open for the hunt. 


For the 2019 event, a total of 20 hunters with disabilities will be eligible to participate. Each hunter can bring a hunting partner with them, or a partner will be provided upon request. Any unfilled hunter spot may be filled by standby hunters each morning at 5:30 a.m. All participating hunters have to complete a Hunter Safety Education course to participate. Applications for eligible hunters with disabilities will be mailed out in September. 


To be eligible for the drawing for the 20 available hunting blinds, a completed application must be returned to the Rock Cut State Park site office by Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. Eligible applicants must have a Class P2A disability card, a valid FOID card, 2019 State Habitat Stamp, and a Hunter Education course certificate. 


Each shotgun hunter will be assigned a preconstructed ground level hunting blind comprised of a plywood platform surrounded on three sides with plywood walls. IDNR staff and volunteers will be on hand to provide transportation and other assistance required.


IDVA and IDPH Responding to Single Case of Legionnaires' Disease at Manteno Veterans' Home

MANTENO – This afternoon, the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) learned that a case of Legionnaires’ disease was identified in a resident at the Manteno Veterans’ Home (IVHM) and notified all residents, families, and staff. The resident is being treated and is in stable condition.

“Nothing matters more than providing the utmost care for our veterans,” said Linda Chapa LaVia, Acting Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs. “Our staff has taken swift action. We will continue to monitor this case and be diligent in our efforts to communicate with our resident heroes, their families, and our valued staff.”


At the time of diagnosis, IVHM immediately implemented its response plan as part of its water management program. A thermal treatment response has been completed on the entire building to provide an enhanced level of protection for all residents. The water system has been flushed aggressively, and the resident’s sink, the ice machine, and the community shower in the resident’s wing have been taken out of service as a precaution in accordance with IHVM’s water management plan. Further water testing has been ordered in addition to IVHM’s regular water testing, and the home has instituted extra vital signs checks on all residents.


Water use is restricted and bottled water will be delivered for all staff and residents. Legionnaires’ disease is a serious lung infection (pneumonia) that people can get by breathing in small droplets of water containing Legionella bacteria and it is not spread from person to person.


IVHM has alerted all residents, family, and staff about the case of Legionnaires Disease at IVHM. IDPH is assisting with the response, providing guidance on clinical testing, and infection prevention, along with conducting an onsite environmental health investigation to safeguard everyone at the facility.


In 2018, Illinois reported 512 cases of Legionnaires’ disease statewide with 251 confirmed to date in 2019. IDVA follows its water management plan and CDC recommendations to protect the health and safety of its residents.


All IDVA illness notifications may be found at For more information on Legionnaires’ disease, please visit


WIU's "Stuff The Bus 2019" Planned for November 6th

Macomb, IL--Sodexo will be changing the date and time for their annual “Stuff The Bus 2019” event to Wednesday, November 6th, 2019 to collect items closer to the holidays. 


The canned goods and other grocery items will be donated to the Western Illinois University Food Pantry, the Salvation Army, the WIRC-CAA, and Loves & Fishes, Etc. as a part of this year’s event. 

Usually, the food drive would be held during the Spring, but Sodexo decided that the month of Thanksgiving would be better time to provide goods to these non-profit organizations. “Stuff the Bus 2018” brought in 5,740 non-perishable food items and $1,122 in donations. 


If anyone is interested in joining the planning committee, or any other additional information, please contact Sodexo at (309)-298-1982 or by email at



Fallen Soldiers Night at Macomb McDonald's Sept. 5

MACOMB, IL -- Western Illinois University's Fallen Soldier 5K committee and the Macomb McDonald's will host Fallen Soldiers Night at McDonald's Thursday, Sept. 5 to raise funds for the WIU Fallen Soldiers Scholarship Fund.

From 5-7 p.m. Sept. 5, 15 percent of each order -- using the attached coupon (also available in Sherman Hall 303, the Veterans Resource Center and the Student Recreation Center) -- at the Macomb West Jackson Street McDonald's locations will be donated to the scholarship. 

Each year, Western pays tribute to members of the armed forces, along with two of its own fallen soldiers, Capt. Derek Dobogai and Lt. Col. Robert Baldwin, at the annual Fallen Soldiers 5K. The seventh annual run/walk will be held Saturday, Sept. 21. The event will begin with a ceremony at 8:30 a.m. in the WIU Donald S. Spencer Student Recreation Center, with the race beginning at 9 a.m. in front of Western Hall on University Drive. 

Since 2012, the WIU Fallen Soldiers 5K Run/Walk has raised more than $112,000 for the WIU Fallen Soldiers' Scholarship Fund, which honors the two alumni who were killed in the line of duty. With close to 500 participants, the WIU event is the largest race in McDonough County. Dobogai, who graduated from Western in 2003 with a bachelor's degree in law enforcement and justice administration, was among the 14 U.S. soldiers aboard a Black Hawk helicopter that crashed Aug. 22, 2007 in northern Iraq. Baldwin, who earned a bachelor's degree in industrial technology from WIU in 1993, was killed Sept. 21, 2010, when his Blackhawk UH-60 helicopter carrying international troops crashed during combat operations in the Zabul province of Afghanistan. 

Race registration is $35. New this year, WIU student registration is $10 through race day.For more information, to register and/or to become a race sponsor, visit or email


Farm2Fork Fundraiser Scheduled for September 19th

Macomb, IL--The WIU Sustainability Committee and WIU Catering by Sodexo are hosting a Farm 2 Fork dinner. They are raising money to install solar-powered lighting and charging stations at a bus stop in town that is frequented by both local patrons and WIU students.



Appetizers - Bacon Popcorn, Cheddar Basil Bites, Fruit Bruschetta Salad - Kale Salad with Honey Vinaigrette

Entree - Your choice of Chicken Roulade, Grilled Pork Chops, or Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

Sides- Au Gratin Potatoes and Roasted Vegetables

Dessert - Apple Crisp with Cinnamon Whipped CreamDrinks - Infused Cucumber Mint Water and Chilled Apple Cider Punch


The food is being locally sourced through the Macomb Food Co-op. Local vendors will be showcasing their products. WIU students will be assisting with all aspects of this event including meal prep, cooking, serving, and presenting.


$35 for General Admission Tickets$8 for WIU Students/children under 18


To register visit:


Wallet Hubstudy: 2019 Best and Worst Cities to Drive in

With gas prices rising over the past six months, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2019's Best & Worst Cities to Drive in as well as accompanying videos.

To determine the most driver-friendly places in the U.S., WalletHub compared the 100 largest cities across 30 key metrics. The data set ranges from average gas prices to annual hours in traffic congestion per auto commuter to auto-repair shops per capita.

Best Cities for Driving   Worst Cities for Driving
1 Raleigh, NC   91 Honolulu, HI
2 Orlando, FL   92 New York, NY
3 Lincoln, NE   93 Los Angeles, CA
4 Tampa, FL   94 Seattle, WA
5 Winston-Salem, NC   95 Washington, DC
6 Birmingham, AL   96 Newark, NJ
7 Corpus Christi, TX   97 San Francisco, CA
8 Boise, ID   98 Philadelphia, PA
9 Charlotte, NC   99 Oakland, CA
10 Greensboro, NC   100 Detroit, MI

Best vs. Worst

  • Winston-Salem, North Carolina and Fort Wayne, Indiana, residents spend the fewest annual hours in traffic congestion per auto commuter, 9, which is 18.2 times fewer than in Boston, the city where residents spend the most at 164.
  • Gilbert, Arizona, has the fewest car thefts (per 1,000 residents), 0.56, which is 24.4 times fewer than in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the city with the most at 13.69.
  • San Antonio has the lowest average gas price, $2.36 per gallon, which is 1.8 times lower than in San Francisco, the city with the highest at $4.13 per gallon.
  • Corpus Christi, Texas and Reno, Nevada, have the lowest average parking rate, $1.00 per two hours, which is 34.4 times lower than in New York, the city with the highest at $34.40 per two hours.

To view the full report and your city’s rank, please visit: