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Macomb Local News Archives for 2015-09

WIU investigating battery incident between student and instructor

Western Illinois University is investigating a battery incident between a student and an instructor.
 
Sometime Friday, Sept. 25th, the instructor and the student each filed separate reports with WIU's Office Of Public Safety. Both persons involved claim to be the victim. The incident took place at Knoublach Hall Friday morning. Few details about the incident were released to the media. A university spokesperson says altercations between students and instructors rarely, if ever, happen.
The report has been sent to the McDonough County State's Attorney's office. 

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Secretary Of State office to halt sending vehicle registration reminders

Motorists need to be extra vigilant about checking when their vehicle registration needs to be renewed.
 
Due to the current budget stalemate, Secretary Of State Jesse White's office is suspending the mailing of renewal reminders says spokesperson Henry Haupt, "The reason we are doing that is because it will allow us to save approximately 450,000 dollars a month, which we will then use instead to hold on to our ability to mail the actual vehicle registration stickers, titles, and license plates for a few months longer before our postage account is depleted."
 
Haupt urges motorists to sign up for electronic reminders via their website: cyberdriveillinois.com. These e-reminders will also let you go ahead and renew your registration online 

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Civil Rights activist to be honored this week

A local hero returns to Macomb this week to be honored. The City of Macomb and Western Illinois will welcome Rev. Dr. C.T Vivian. Dr. Vivian is a renowned civil rights leader, a recipient of a 2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom, and an alumnus of Macomb School District.
 
There will be a ceremony at 1pm Thursday renaming the library at Macomb-Senior High in his honor.
 
Dr. Vivian will serve as grand marshall of WIU's homecoming parade on Saturday. Vivian will also be honored during half-time of the Leatherneck football game. In addition, the university will rename it's dissertation fellowship and visiting professor programs after Vivian. 
 
The City of Macomb will recognize Vivian by renaming a portion of North Lafayette St, from University Drive to Carroll St. in his honor. A dedication ceremony will be held at 1pm Saturday at the newly renovated  intersection of Lafayette and Adams Street at 1pm on Friday. It will be Macomb's second C.T Vivian Way. 
 
C.T Vivian moved to Macomb with his family when he was in 1st grade. He graduated from Macomb High and attended WIU. Dr. Vivian later worked with Dr  Luther King during the civil right movement. 

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Canton Medical Cannabis Dispensary to open soon

Medical Cannabis is now legal in the state and the first medical cannabis dispensary is set to open in the area soon. Salveo Health and Wellness in Canton will open within the next few weeks.
According to Caprice Sweatt of Medical Cannabis Outreach can be used to treat a plethora of conditions; "There are 38 conditions on the list, Cancer, anyone who has had a cancer diagnosis can get qualified for the program. Whether it's
breast cancer, colon, prostate, or brain cancer. In this area there are a large concentration of MS patients. Parkinson's, Lupus, Krohn's Disease, spinal cord injuries. Any traumatic brain injury...The list goes on"
 
Other conditions that can be treated with medical cannabis include HIV, ALS, rheumatory arthritis, and more.
Those seeking more information about medical cannabis and Salveo can attend a free educational seminar at the Spoon River College Community Outreach Center in Macomb. The free seminar starts at 10 am. 

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Weekend traffic stop leads to cannabis arrest

A traffic stop over the weekend led to an arrest for possession of 230 grams of marijuana.
McDonough County Sheriff's Office reported the arrest of Brandon, X Thomas of Lansing, Illinois.
Saturday night a traffic stop was conducted by the McDonough County night patrol. During the stop the Kenzo, the Sheffif's offce canine  was deployed and alerted on the vehicle. Deputies seized 25 grams of cannabis from underneath the seat and another 205 grams hidden in the trunk of the vehicle. The cannabis was packaged in 3 separate vacuum sealed bags.
Three passengers, all from Chicago, were also arrested.
Thomas was lodged in McDonough County Jail pending his first court appearance.

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WIU Homecoming 2015 Schedule of Events

Friday, Sept. 25
? 1-3 p.m. ? Paint the Paws, Western Avenue and University Drive. Volunteers will paint Rocky's paws in gold on the two streets.
 
Saturday, Sept. 26
? 10 a.m. ? Paint the Town, downtown Macomb. Representatives of student organizations will paint the windows of downtown businesses to commemorate Homecoming.
 
Sunday, Sept. 27
? Noon ? Rocky's Boat Regatta, Everly Park, cardboard boat races around the park's pond.
? 4 p.m. ? Dec the Campus, Union Mall (behind the University Union).
 
Monday, Sept. 28
? 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. ? Homecoming kickoff, Union Mall area.
 
Tuesday, Sept. 29
? 6 p.m. ? Variety Show, Western Hall.
 
Thursday, Oct. 1
? 7 p.m. ? Yell Like Hell, Western Hall.
 
Friday, Oct. 2
? 2:30 p.m. ? The Jim and Betty Garner Alumni Legacy Patio Dedication and Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony, Alumni House. Everyone is welcome to attend.
 
? 4-5 p.m. ? Scavenger Hunt in the Leslie F. Malpass Library's Garden Lounge. Participants will be asked to decipher clues to find "Rocky," hidden somewhere in the library. Participation is free.
 
? 5 p.m. ? All Alumni Social, Alumni House, complimentary food, beer, wine and soda will be available, as well as a cash bar.
 
? 6-9 p.m. ? Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, University Union.
 
? 7 p.m. ? WIU vs. Fort Wayne Spirit Volleyball Game, Western Hall.
 
Saturday, Oct. 3
? 8 a.m. ? The "Old Stompin' Ground Runaround" 5K run/1.5 mile walk will be held, with registration beginning at 7 a.m., Alumni House.
 
? 8:30 a.m. ? 25-, 40-, 50-year reunion Recognition Brunch and Social, Alumni House.
 
? 10:30 a.m. ? Annual Homecoming Parade, around the Macomb Square, winding to the WIU campus. The Rev. Dr. C.T. Vivian will serve as Grand Marshal of the parade.
 
? Noon ? Alumni cookout held at "The Right Place" tent in its new location in Q-Lot. Everyone is welcome - no invitation or ticket necessary.
 
More food and an expanded beer garden will be available. Follow the signs to Right Place tent parking in Q-Lot. Be sure to enter the tent from the west to find eight WIU Purple tents and desserts, hosted by representatives from the University's four academic colleges, as well as from the WIU Alumni Association, the Centennial Honors College, Admissions and the School of Graduate Studies.
 
? 3 p.m. ? WIU vs. Southern Illinois University football game, Hanson Field. Tickets are $15 in advance.
 
In addition, Monday, Sept. 28-Thursday, Oct. 15 WIU departments or organizations are invited to share their Homecoming pride by recording a video from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday in Horrabin Hall, room 104 (the Interactive Media Lab). The opportunity is open to students, faculty, staff, academic departments, student organizations, alumni and the Macomb community.
 
For more information about WIU Homecoming activities or to register for any of the specific events, visit wiu.edu/alumni/homecoming.php.
 

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Macomb City Council Agenda for September 28th

Macomb City Officials are trying to fill four key leadership positions in city government. City administrator Dean Torrenson plans to retire at the end of this year. Other positions include that of public works director, community development coordinator, and downtown development manager.
These job searches will be among the topics discussed at tonight's Macomb City Council Committee of Whole meeting.
Other topics on the agenda, a discussion on the status of city property purchased on North Lafayette St. that used to be the old railroad offices in the early 1900's.The Macomb Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau will also present an event's report.
The meeting is scheduled for 5pm on the 2nd floor of Macomb City Hall. The public is welcome to attend.

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Illinois Secretary of State warns governor of discontinued services

Secretary of State Jesse White sent a letter to Governor Rauner saying the budget impasse could begin affecting his offices. In the letter sent yesterday, Secretary White says his office is getting to the point where bills are no longer being paid, and it will directly impact office services to the people. White said the situation has grown critical. He says computer and software vendors are discontinuing service, some of his offices are going into default on their leases due to lack of payment, the armored trucks used to transport money to and from state buildings have threatened to quit, and the utilities services that heat and light the capitol in Springfield have threatened to discontinue service.
The General Assembly has been at odds with Governor Rauner over a budget and have been operating without one since Jul
 

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WIU honors legendary athletic director

To kick off Homecoming Week Western Illinois University is honoring a legend. The Ray "Rock" Hanson Vintage Collection wiull be unveiled today at the University Bookstore. The collection will feature vintage Western logos that were in place during Hanson's tenure from 1926 through 1964.
Hanson is the longest serving Athletic Director at the university, where he also coached football, basketball and baseball. WIU's mascot Rocky is named after Rock Hanson. Hanson was also responsible for naming The Fighting Leathernecks. In addition to all of this Hanson was a Marine Corps Colonel who fought in World War I And World War 2. The public is invited to attend the unveiling today at 1:30. The bookstore is located inside the university union.

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WIU holds annual Founder's Day Celebration

Happy Birthday Western Illinois University. Yesterday WIU held it's annual Founder's Day Celebration. Faculty and staff were recognized for their acheivements, watched a short film presentation about the history  of the university and President Jack Thomas gave his State Of The University address, "The Echoes of Excellence".

In his address, Thomas spoke of the challenges the university faces with Illinois budget issues, but stessed the importance for continuing it's mission, "What will the echoes of excellence see? While the university has little to no control over the afforementioned developments, we must continue to move forward and focus on our high values in higher education".
President Thomas also said in his address that the University is lucky to be in the city of Macomb Mayor, Mike Inman says the feeling is mutual. Inman said, "It's something that we've known forever, and I think it's time we embraced it. For the most part I think we've done a great job at embracing our collaborative efforts. essentially, however the university is going, Macomb is going with them. We're hooked at the hip. We've been that way for over 100 years. We are proud of that fact."

Founder's Day honors the first day 229 students started classes at Western Illinois Normal and Training School on September, 23rd 1902. Today, what is now Western Illinois University has more than 12,000 students.

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Cuba man killed in deer related traffic accident

A Cuba man was killed this morning in a car accident involving a deer in rural Smithfield.
 
Ricky A. Windsor, 50, of Cuba, was the passenger in a vehicle driven by Timothy P. Myers, 39, of Cuba. Their vehicle was traveling eastbound on IL Route 95 near Seville Road around 7:36 a.m. Wednesday when it was struck by an airborne deer.
 
 The deer became airborne when it was struck by a vehicle driven by Samantha J. Ioerger, 34, of Pekin.
 
 Ioerger was traveling westbound on Route 95.
 
 She was uninjured and Myers was treated at the scene. The Fulton County Sheriff's Office says Windsor died upon impact with the deer.
 
Fulton County Sheriff's deputies were assisted by the Illinois State Police, Fulton County Ambulance personnel, Smithfield Fire Department, Cass Putman Rescue Squad and the Fulton County Coroner's Office.

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Prairie Land Conservancy fundraising event this Sunday

People of Western Illinois will have an opportunity to help out with the conservation of our land this Sunday, September 27th. Prairie Land Conservancy is holding it's Extending the Prairie Table Fundraiser. Program Assistant Megan Pierce talks about the organizations mission, "We are a conservation land trust, we're helping landowners protect the land that they love to preserve wildlife habitat, open space, natural areas, sustainable agriculture land in Wewst Central Illinois"
 
This is the 4th year for this fundraising dinner. Pierce says everyone is welcome to come enjoy some great food, drinks and entertainment, "we're celebrating the bounty and rich heritage of locally grown foods. We have partnered with local and regional farms. Our featured chef Mark Whyte of Whyte House Catering, Lake Hill Winery, and DeNovo Brewery out of Monmouth. All proceeds from this event will benefit Prairie Land Conservancy's land protection and stewardship programs.
 
 
For more information and tickets email Megan.pierce@frontier.com 

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Robbery Suspect Arrested

A Chicago man allegedly involved in a May robbery that took place in Macomb has been arrested. A person was robbed outside of the Ayerco gas station on May 28th. Cook County Police arrested Jamal McDaniel on September 19th. He is being charged with robbery and mob action, since 2 other people were involved in the crime. The others, Keianna Miller and Damenion Lewis, both of Macomb, were already in custody.  Macomb Police Chief Curt barker said the investigation has taken several months.

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Horn Field Campus Lodge and Libations event this Saturday

As of this year, Horn Field Campus has been a part of Western Illinois University for 50 years. It's a 92 acre outdoor educational facility just south of Macomb that includes woodlands, prairie, nature trails, a challenge course, and more including the famous Corn Maze in October. And while Horn Field Campus has been there since the 1960's, the buildings on the campus are over 80 years old. There is a campaign in effect to change that, with plans for a new building on the Horn Field Campus. Horn Field Campus program coordinator, Mindy Pheiffer says this weekends 2nd Annual Lodge and Libations aims to raise awareness and funds for the facility, "Saturday September 26th, will be our Lodge and Libations event from 5-7pm. It's our celebration of 50 years of Horn Field Campus being part of Western Illinois University. We get to look back at 5 decades and also look to the future. We've got a lot of great plans for what all we can do at Horn Field with an expanded facility"
 
The campus is not only used by the university but by other groups as well. High school groups, scout troops, church groups and other colleges have also used the facility. The new building will cost 750,000 dollars and will be constructed in honor of Frank Lupton, a retired WIU RPTA professor, who helped develop the campus into what it is today. 

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Deer Disease, EDH, reported in McDonough County

The State Departmentof Natural Resources is asking hunters and landowners to report possible cases of EHD in Illinois deer.
So far, DNR has received reports of 47 suspected cases of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, or EHD. There have been cases reported in McDonough, Hancock and Adams counties.  Spokesperson Chris Young urges the public to keep an eye out for any more, "we're asking deer hunters and farmers and landowners and others who might discover dead or dying deer to let us know. We do track the disease from year to year and we use these reports to help us establish trends, to see which years are worse than others".
EHD is a viral disease that causes a high fever in deer, but is not harmful to humans or pets. Infected deer are often found dead or dying near a water source. If you spot a sick or dead deer, call 815-369-2414

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Senator tries to bring death penalty back to Illinois

Will Illinois Bring back the death penalty? There haven't been any executions since 2000, when a moratorium was put in place by Governor George Ryan. Capitol punishment was eventually abolished in 2011. Democratic Senator Bill Haine said he intends to file legislation when the state reconvenes next month to restore the death penalty in limited instances. However, experts say that is unlikely. Robert Dunham with the Death Penalty Information Center says while it isn't an unlikely move, he doesn't expect it to gain any traction, "There have been legislators in other states that have abolished the death penalty who introduced bills to reinstate it and typically those bills have gone nowhere and generally they haven't even gotten hearings set up in committee,
There have been past attempts to bring back capital punishment in Illinois, but none of the bills have made it out of committee. A poll by the PEW Research Center earlier this year showed 56 percent of the public supports the death penalty, the lowest level it's reported in the last 40 years.
Senator Haine said he believes the death sentence should be used for heinous crimes, such as the murder of police officers and children.

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Walk To End Alzheimer's A Success

More than 200 people from McDonough County joined the Alzheimer's Association's Walk To End Alzheimer's on Saturday September 19th. This year the participant's were able to raise over 24,000 dollars to fund Alzheimer's care, support and research programs. 
Saturday's event took place at Veteran's Park in Macomb. The Walk To End Alzheimer's is the worlds largest event to raise awareness and funds. Alzheimer's is the sixth-leading cause of death in thenation and is a growing epidemic. In Illinois alone there are 210, 000 people living with Alzheimer's. For more information or to make a donation visit alz.org. 

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Illinois Attorney General urges internet safety for students

Illinois Attorney General Lisa madigan is urging schools to hold a "delete" day for students.
 
With most kids glued to their cell phones or laptops, Delete Day aims to raise awareness about safely using the internet and social media. Attorney general spokesperson Annie Thompson says clearly these lessons are needed, especially among younger students, "we conducted a survey recently and found that 60 percent of students in grade 3-8 are not really concerned about the amount of personal information that they put online, so we want schools to help us educate students about what they are posting online and who they are interacting with online"
 
The attorney general's office has plenty of resources online to help teachers get started. The website is ebully411.com

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Road Construction North of Macomb begins

The Illinois Department of Transportation announces that intermittent daytime lane closures on US 67 near County Road 1500 N, just north of Macomb, will begin Monday, Sept. 21 and continue until Friday, Oct. 2.
 
The lane closures are necessary for storm sewer and temporary widening work to be completed along US 67.
 
 Please slow down and use extreme caution while driving through all work zones.
 
 For IDOT District 4 updates on Twitter, follow us at https://twitter.com/IDOTDistrict4.
 
 

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Child passenger safety Week in Illinois

It's Child Passenger Safety Week and the Illinois Department of Transportation is focusing on the need for parents to use booster seats properly. Jessi Hopkins with IDOT says you need to ask yourself a few questions before moving your child from a booster seat to a regular seat belt.
They include: Is my child at least four feet nine inches?...can they sit all the way back against the seat?...and does the seatbelt cross their shoulder between the neck and arm?....
 
Hopkins advises all parents to make sure their car and booster seats are installed correctly at one of several clinics being held this Saturday. For locations and times visit buckleupillinois.org

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14th Annual Al Sears Jazz Festival in Macomb this weekend

The Al Sears Jazz Festival gets into full swing today and continues throughout the weekend. Bill Maakestad was one of the founders of The Al Sears Jazz Fest 14 years ago. Maakestad answers a question many people might be asking, "who was Al Sears?", "Al Sears was born in 1910 in Macomb, lived here for a few years but by the age of 16, was playing in New York City with jazz legends like Fats Waller and others. He ended up being the first chair tenor sax for the Duke Ellington Orchestra, which is widely considered the greatest jazz orchestra of all time".
 
The festival kicks off at 4:30 in the Western Illinois Museum with a performance from Semenya McCord. The public is invited to the Macomb Country Club for dinner this evening and live music from the Michael Stryker Trio and the Sally Weisenberg Trio.
 
Saturday the jazz fest teams up with the Gazebo Art Festival where 19 different artists will be displaying their work in Chandler Park Jazz performances throughout the day, including the Brazillionaires and the WIU Jazz Studio Orchestra. 
 
One of the highlights of this years festival takes place at WIU's Hainline Theatre Saturday Night with Al Chez and the Brothers Of Funk. Al Chez is best known as the lead trumpet on David Letterman's show for over 25 years. Maakestad says Chez is noted for his versatility, "He plays all kinds of music, it's big band jazz, straight from New York City, but the first two songs on their latest album are "radar Love" and "Immigrant Song", so they play everything from Zeppelin to Duke Ellington and they're gonna rock that place, i guarantee it"
 
For more on the 14th Annual Al Sears Jazz Festivalvisit searsjazzfestival.com
 

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Illinois State Treasurer urges families to save for college

In honor of College savings Month, Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs is urging family members to start planning early. Treasurer Frerichs says it's best to enroll in his office's Bright Start or Bright Directions savings plan while children are young. Frehrichs said, "If a young person knows that they have a college savings account, they are much more likely to go to school. So we encourage people to set one up for your kid, your grandchild, a neice or nephew, and let them know that you have chosen to invest in them, that you think they are college material".
 
Funds in both programs can be used for tuition, room and board, and more. More details are available at illinoistreasurer.gov
 

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Macomb Police and Fire Departments to raise money for Special Olympics with a Fire Truck Pull

The Macomb Police Department and The Macomb Fire Department aid in saving the lives of Western Illinos residents nearly every day. Now, they have found another way to give back. The two departments are teaming up for a Fire Truck Pull. Lt. Dave Burnham says, thats exactly what it sounds like. "Basically, it's a team of ten people, to see who can pull the fire truck the furthest, up to 12 feet, and the fastest. It's a fully loaded fire truck that the fire department provided for us"
 
The department sare looking for teams to come out to this event to show their strength and to make a difference. Burnham says the money raised will go to a good cause. "It all goes to Special Olympics, it does support our Special Olympics that are local"
 
To get your team registered contact Lt. Dave Burnham at 309-833-4505 ext. 8121.
Teams can also register the day of the event starting at 9am with the Fire Truck Pull at 10. The winning teams gets a trophy. Burnham says one of the teams you will have to beat is the Macomb Police Department itself. "We do have a team set up, the Macomb Police Department." He jokes, "We may have a bunch of injuries come Monday morning, but well just have to wait and see"
 
Tire Truck Pull is Saturday, September 26th in front of the Macomb Fire House

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Weekly Crop Report

Recent Rains have slowed corn harvesting a bit. Rainfall averaged more than one and half above normal last week, which is 8 inches above normal. State crop statistician Mark Schleusner says this left some feilds to wet to harvest. "61 percent of corn acres have reached maturity, 6 percent of acres have been harvested compared to 2 percent last year and 12 percent normally. The condition of the corn crop is unchanged from last week. 15 percent of acres are rated very poor to poor, 30 percent are pair and 55 percent are good to excellent condition."
62 percent of soybeans are turning colors and 32 percent are dropping leaves. The condition of the soybean crop also remained the same with 53 percent in good to excellent condition.

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Rail Safety Week In Illinois

This week is Rail Safety Week in Illinois. Police departments throughout the state are stepping up enforcement to promote rail safety awareness and education. Macomb Police Chief Curt Barker offers some tips on how to stay safe here in Macomb "we'll be focusing September 13th through the 19th, we'll be doing increased patrols around all of the railroad track crossings, ensuring that individuals are stopping where they should. One of the hot spots here in town of course is North Laffayette at the railroad crossing. It's a difficult intersection, with the way the lights are set up and the markings. We're trying to get everyone to make sure they stop back at the white line. Most of your crossing sare gonna have the white line and thats where everyone should stop".
 
Barker says these laws apply not only to motorists, but pedestrians as well. "In Illinois we have trsspassing anytime you are walking  on the railroad tracks. If you're in the easement for the railroad tracks you're in violation."
 
Last year Illinois ranked 2nd in the nation in vehicle collision fatalities and 5th in the nation in trespasser fatalities. In Macomb, railway accidents have declined over the past few years and Chief Barker hopes it will stay that way. "When I first got hired we would have one or two car/train accidents a year. Over the last twenty years we've been working with Burlington-Northern to make improvements. We've added crossing gates, we put a fence up, we've closed a couple of crossings. More importantly we focus on rail safety week, getting people to follow the law. I don't recall the last time we've had an accident. It's been several years.
 
For more information about Illinois Rail Safety Week, please visit illinoisrailsafetyweek.org 

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East Peoria Musician Gary Richrath, REO Speedwagon, dies

If you grew up in West Central Illinois in the 70's and 80's, there's a good chance that you are very familiar with the music of Reo Speedwagon. On Sunday, it was announced that the bands long-time guitarist Gary Richrath passed away at the age of 65. The cause of the death is unavaiable at this time. Richrath joined the band in 1970 and was responsible for many of the REO's most well known songs before leaving the band in 1989.  Richrath's last performace with REO Speedwagon was at a 2013 benefit concert in Bloomington that raised money for victims of the tornados that destroyed a large part of Washington, IL.

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State Treasurer visits WIU, fights for tuition assistance

Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs visited Western Illinois University Monday to stand with students and our local colleges, trying to urge Governor Bruce Rauner and the Illinois General Assembly to approve tuition assistance to thousands of college students in Illinois. Over 130,000 students in the state rely on the Monetary Award Program or MAP Grants. Prior to the beginning of the school year, these students recieved a confirmation letter saying the state will cover a chunk of their tuition. Since that confirmation letter arrived, Governor Rauner has vetoed the entire higher education budget, which included 370 billion in MAP Grant funding, leaving many students uncertain how they are going to pay for their education. 
 
Frerichs said he understands how important the program is to the students of Illinois...
 
Both Frerichs and Spoon River Community College President Curt Oldfield stressed the importance of higher education in our states economy. Oldfield says it's an investment in our states future....
 
Both WIU and Spoon River College are working with students who are supposed to receive MAP Grants, waiting and hoping until our state government resolves the issue.

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Lane closures near Galesburg

 The Illinois Department of Transportation announces that single lane closures on westbound I-74 at MM 62 in Knox County will be in place from Monday, Sept. 14 to Wednesday, Sept. 23.

 

The lane closures are necessary for pavement patching work to be completed. The left lane will be closed first, followed by the right lane.

 

Please slow down and use extreme caution while driving through all work zones.

 

For IDOT District 4 updates on Twitter, follow us at https://twitter.com/IDOTDistrict4.

 

For updated traffic information and views from dozens of traffic cameras in Peoria and surrounding areas, visit http://www.gettingaroundpeoria.com/.

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Macomb, WIU ranked for quality of life and education

The City of Macomb and Western Illinois University are getting some national recognition as a great place to live and get an education.
According to the website Realtor.com, Macomb is ranked third in the nation as the most affordable college town to live in. 
For the eleventh year in a row, WIU was ranked by US News and World Report as one of the Best Midwestern Universities and The Princeton Review also ranked WIU for the twelfth consecutive year.
In another recently released ranking, conducted by Niche.com, Macomb ranked 30th in the state of Illinois for Best Towns to Raise a Family.
Macomb Mayor Mike Inman said “The Niche.com ranking underscores what many of us here in Macomb already know and appreciate, Macomb is an absolutely great place to live and raise a family. We need to get the word out loud and strong,” 
Additional information is available on three nationally-recognized websites, Realtor.com, The Business Insider and Niche.com.

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Illinois Treasurer Frerichs at WIU Monday

Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs will visit the campus of Western Illinois University to meet 
with students, university and college officials and urge Governor Bruce Rauner and the Illinois General Assembly to approve the Monetary Award Program (MAP grants) for the hundreds of thousands of students that rely on it to pay for their higher education. Spoon River Community College President Curt Oldfield will aslo speak.A news conference will be held on Monday, 
September 14 at 2:30 p.m. at Western 
Illinois University, University Services Building, 320 W. University Dr., Macomb, IL 61455.

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Street Closure in Colchester on Monday (September 14th)

Colchester Chief of Police David Bland has announced the Fulton Street railroad crossing in Colchester, Illinois will be closed beginning Monday, September 14th for repairs. The crossing is scheduled to reopen Thursday, September 17th. 

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Kite Festival in Macomb this weekend

The skies over Macomb’s Veteran’s Park will be filled with the Red, White, & Blue on Friday, Sept 11th, at 4:00 p.m. as the three-day Macomb Kite Festival opens with an honor ceremony and patriotic mass ascension hosted by the Macomb Elks Lodge #1009. Friday’s event honors the sacrifices (big and small) made by our Soldiers, Veterans, and their family members – particularly their children. Speakers include Mayor Mike Inman and Elks Leader Rich Sample. Children in attendance will receive American flags courtesy of the Elks. There are over 2 million children with parents in the Military. 1.3 million are between 4-18 years old. Over 80% of these children and youth – 1,105,267 students – attend U.S. public schools. All members of the public are welcome and encouraged to come show their support while having a great time. Kite Festival attendees can sign cards to be shared with our military families. Military children are especially encouraged to be a part of this special event. Those wishing to honor loved ones who are or have served will be able to write a message on part of a kite tail to be attached to a giant lifter kite during the ceremony. Other features of this 3 day spectacular include demonstrations by the Precision Sports Kite Team 180GO! and other professional kite fliers from the Illinois Kite Enthusiasts Club. There will be a STEM lab exhibit with Ameren Illinois’s “safety village,” candy drops, kite ballets, free kite make & takes, raffles for kids, giant show kites, and fighter kites. Assistive kite activities ensure all who wish to fly a kite will be able to participate. A special treat included FREE hot dogs and lemon shake-ups for kids courtesy of “Squeezed to Please” on Saturday Sept. 12 from 11:00-1:00 pm for the first 600 kids 11 years & under. This event is made possible through the support of the Sky Climbers Kite Club, in partnership with the Macomb Park District, the Macomb Area Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, the McDonough County Kiwanis Foundation, The City of Macomb, Ameren Illinois, Macomb Elks Lodge #1009, WAVE: Western’s All Volunteer Effort, McDonough District Hospital, and many others in full cooperation with the Macomb Balloon Rally. For additional info or to view the schedule of events, visit macombkitefest.org, or contact Heather McMeekan, Festival Organizer at info@macombkitefest.org or (309) 333-8801.

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Tanya Tucker headlining veterans benefit in Macomb Sunday

This Sunday country music legend Tanya Tucker returns to Macomb for the first time since the early 90's. This time, it's benefiting a great cause, our local veterans. The 2015 Fall Cruise In and Concert starts early Sunday morning with the car show registration starting at 8am in Q-Lot on the WIU campus. Live music in the parking lot from Iron Orchard from 10-noon. Tanya Tucker takes the stage at 1pm. The events organizer Jay Smith of Texas Tranzplants says this year they are focusing not only on local military veterans, but also the children of the veterans. Smith says the funds raised will be earmarked for continuing education with scholarships, as well as medical equipment, and emergency funds all going to the Veterans Assistance Commissions of McDonough, Hancock, and Fulton counties. Smith points out that veterans in neighboring counties without a Veterans Assistance Commission office can utilize these three. Smith says last years event in Industry raised over 3000 dollars and he hopes this years event will raise even more. 

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LaHood wins election to replace Shock

Darin LaHood, Reublican Senator and son of former U.S Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, won a special election Thursday to replace disgraced U.S Representative Aaron Shock.

LaHood easily defeated Democratic candidate Rob Mellon in the reliably Republican territory that touches 19 counties in western and central Illinois. LaHood had an overwhelming advantage over Mellon with name recognition, party backing and campaing funds-LaHood's 1.2 million dollars versus Mellon 10,700 according to campaign finance record. LaHood says he plans to take office next week.

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McDonough District Hospital unveils new expansion today

McDonough District Hospital has been working to improve their facilities to serve the people of Western Illinois. Today, the hospital opens their new, improved emergency services. 
 
The new Emergency Services includes 10 large private treatment rooms, ambulance garage, spacious waiting area along with a pediatric waiting area, vending and the VIBE (Volunteers Interested in Benefiting Everyone) Comfort Room for families in crisis situation.
 
It will be easier for drivers to access the new emergency services department. Starting Friday, those needing to go to the Emergency Room will be able to use the new west entrance with Emergency signage. Enter through the sliding glass doors, continuing straight into the second set of sliding glass doors and into the Emergency registration area. The two-way drive, west of MDH, will open the same day allowing patients and visitors to enter and exit from both locations on Grant Street.
 
On Monday, September 14, Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation Services will open in their new location on the 3rd floor. The spacious, 3rd floor location has a great view and features including; new cardiac rehabilitation telemetry, a supported walking system, a fully-equipped ADL kitchen, private treatment rooms, pediatric waiting room and gym, hand/upper extremity exam and much more.
 
The renovations started in March of 2014. MDH has more upgrades coming within the next few months.

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Backroad Country 95.9 Maintenance

Backroad Country 95.9 will be undergoing some maintenance this afternoon (Thursday, Sept. 10). We apologize for any inconvenience. Thanks for listening

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Weekly Crop Report

CORN HARVESTING IS UNDERWAY IN ILLINOIS. 
 
STATE CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER SAYS IT WAS A PRETTY DRY WEEK…GIVING FARMERS PLENTY OF TIME IN THE FIELDS TO START HARVESTING.
 
 
39 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS ARE TURNING COLOR AND 12 PERCENT ARE DROPPING LEAVES. THE CONDITION OF THE SOYBEAN CROP HELD STEADY WITH 53 PERCENT RATED IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION. AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE FOR LAST WEEK CAME IN AT SIX PERCENT VERY SHORT…34 PERCENT SHORT…56 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND FOUR PERCENT SURPLUS.
 
 
43 PERCENT OF CORN IS NOW MATURE AND THE DRY WEATHER HELPED FARMERS HARVEST TWO PERCENT OF THE CROP SO FAR. THE CONDITION OF THE CORN CROP REMAINED THE SAME WITH 55 PERCENT IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION. 
 
 
22 PERCENT OF SORGHUM IS NOW MATURE AND THE THIRD CUTTING OF ALFALFA HAY IS 88 PERCENT COMPLETE. AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE DECLINED LAST WEEK AND NOW STANDS AT SIX PERCENT VERY SHORT…34 PERCENT SHORT…56 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND FOUR PERCENT SURPLUS.

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Macomb Balloon Rally Schedule of Events

MACOMB BALLOON RALLY IS HELD

VINCE GRADY FIELD ON THE CAMPUS OF 

WESTERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY IN MACOMB, IL

ALL EVENTS ARE WEATHER PERMITTING AND SUBJECT TO CHANGE

FREE PARKING AVAILABLE IN Q LOT


 

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2015

5:30pm - 6:30pm  - WIU's Jazz Studio Orchestra to Perform


 

6:00pm  - Balloon Flight - Half of the balloons fly in to Vince Grady field and the other half take off from the field



 

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2015

6:45am   - Competive balloon flights from three locations in Macomb to be chosen prior to the competition


 

6:00pm - Balloon Flight in to Vince Grady Field


6:00pm - 9:00pm -  Live music

                     by Fort Madison based  Rock Steady

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Special Election today

It's special election day. The 18th Congressional District of Illinois will hold a special election for the U.S. House of Representatives today.
 
The election will fill the vacancy that was created with the resignation of Republican Aaron Schock . On March 17, Schock announced his resignation, effective March 31, 2015. The announcement came following scrutiny surrounding Schock's potential misuse of campaign funds.
 
On the ballot is Democratic Candidate Rob Mellon, an Army veteran, educator and small business owner from Quincy and State Senator Darin LaHood, an attorney from Dunlap.
 
Illinois' 18th Congressional District covers central and western Illinois, including Hancock, McDonough, Adams, Pike, Brown, Schuyler, Scott, Cass, Mason, Menard, Sangamon, Logan, Tazewell, McLean, Woodford, Marshall, Stark and Peoria counties. 

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Cocaine Bust in Macomb

Two men were arrested over the weekend in Macomb for the sale of cocaine. On September 4th, Macomb Police arrested Sawyer Conrady and Timothy Hazen during the execution of a search warrant at 607. W. Adams St. An investigation by the Macomb/McDonough County Combined Drug Unit showed powdered cocaine being distributed from the residence. During a search, police seized 21 grams of cocaine as well as cannabis, digital scales and drug paraphernailia.
Conrady was charged with Manufacture/Delivery of a Controlled Substance, Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliverm, Possession of Cannabis, and Possession and Drug Paraphernalia.
Hazen was charged with Possession of Cannabis under 2.5 grams and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
Macomb Police Chief Curt Barker stated that there is still an ongoing investigation into the sale of cocaine and more arrests are expected.

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Mobile Veteran Centers coming to Spoon River College in September

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Mobile Vet Center (MVC) will be at the Canton Campus of Spoon River College on Tuesday, September 22 and on the Macomb Campus on Wednesday, September 23 from 9:00-4:00 both days. The mobile centers were established as a way to reach the underserved populations in rural areas, and this marks the third time the MVC has visited Spoon River College.

All veterans and their families are welcome to visit the mobile center while it is at Spoon River College.
 
“This event is not just for SRC students or employees. I cannot stress that enough,” said Rick Duvendack, veterans’ specialist in the financial aid office at Spoon River College. “This is a convenient way for all veterans in our communities to have questions answered or to learn about resources that are available to them.” Duvendack himself is a veteran, serving for more than 21 years, first in the Army and then retiring from the Air National Guard.

The mobile centers are equipped with confidential counseling space, an Internet satellite and onboard generator that allow Vet Center counselors to have real-time access to a Veteran’s VA records on a secure system, and a video conferencing system that allows face-to-face visits between the veteran and a Veterans Affairs Medical Center health provider.

John Mizer serves as a readjustment counseling technician and operator for the MVC. He is a Marine veteran who served in Iraq in 2005.

“We are set up to deal with a variety of concerns that veterans or their family members may have, such as addressing social and economic issues, helping with benefits, and aiding in adjustment to civilian life,” said John Mizer.

Some of the specific issues addressed include posttraumatic stress, alcohol and drug addiction, job counseling and referral, bereavement counseling, sexual trauma, and benefits counseling and referral. Services are also available for family members of veterans.

Spoon River College offers financial aid to veterans through the Illinois Veteran’s Grant, the Illinois National Guard Grant, the MIA-POW scholarship, the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program, and certification for GI Bill benefits. Veterans are also eligible for Pell grants and other Spoon River College scholarships. For more information, contact financial aid veterans’ specialist Rick Duvendack at (309) 649-7030 or visit www.src.edu and click on the Veteran’s tab located on the home page.

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Dickson Mounds shutting down

If you've been meaning to take the family to visit the Dickson Mounds Museum, you only have a few weeks left to do it. According to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Dickson Mounds, along with the rest of the Illinois State Museum System, will close on September 30th. All but three of the museums employees will be laid off on the same date. 
 
Dickson Mounds is located near Lewistown, Illinois. Local chiroprator Don Dickson discovered the Native American burial site on his family farm in the 1920's. The state of Illinois erected the museum on the site in 1972.  The museum has information describing the life cycles and culture of Native Americans living in the Illinois River valley over a period of 12,000 years since the last Ice Age.
 
A bipartisan legislative commission did vote against the closure, but the decision was ultimately up to Governor Bruce Rauner, who say's the Illinois just doesn't have the money. 

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DUI arrest in McDonough County

A single vehicle crash in McDonough County could mean a DUI and other cahrges for a Galesburg man. According to the Illinois State Police, 20 year old Cody H. Jones of Galesburgs' Honda Accord veered off the road, hitting a ditch and struck a utility pole early Sunday morning, Sept. 6th.
Jones was transported to OSF/St. Mary's in Galesburg with minor injuries.
Jones is being charged with DUI, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, illegal consumption of alcohol, no insurance, and no registration.

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Macomb City Council Agenda for Sept. 8

establish additional Go West bus stops in the City of
Macomb pursuant to Section 15-222 of the Municipal Code.
This ordinance will be presented for first reading. A copy is attached for your review.
3. Other new business.
Agenda
September 8, 2015
Page 3
COMMITTEE REPORTS
ALDERMANIC REPORTS
MAYORAL APPOINTMENTS
*Appoint Lin Stults to the Macomb Historic Preservation Commission
*Appoint Steve Horrell to the Macomb Liquor Advisory Commission
*Reappoint Belinda Carr to the Macomb Equal Opportunity Fair Housing Commission
EXECUTIVE SESSION
To consider information relative to:
a) Appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance or dismissal of
an employee of the public body or legal counsel for the public body, pursuant to Sec.
2(c) (1) of the Open Meetings Act.
b) Collective Bargaining matters between the public body and its employees or
representatives or deliberations concerning salary schedules for one or more classes
of employees, pursuant to Sec. 2(c) (2) of the Open Meetings Act.
c) The purchase or lease of real property for the use of the public body, pursuant to
Sec. 2(c) (5) of the Open Meetings Act.
d) The setting of a price for sale or lease of property owned by the public body,
pursuant to Sec. 2(c) (6) of the Open Meetings Act.
e) Pending or probable litigation, pursuant to Sec. 2(c) (11) of the Open Meetings
Act.
COUNCIL ADJOURNMENT 

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Macomb Balloon Rally this weekend

The 29th Annual Macomb Balloon Rally is this weekend. This year the fest will feature 22 hot air balloons. This year the 2 day event will feature a different format, modeled after the popular international Ryder's Cup golf tournament. The Macomb Balloon Rally is Friday Set. 11 and Saturday Sept. 12.

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MDH new expansion set to open

McDonough District Hospital has been working to improve their facilities and announced that their new expansion is set to open. Starting Friday, September 11th, those needing to go to the Emergency room will be able to use the new west entrance for easier access. 

The new Emergency Services also includes 10 large private treatment rooms, an ambulance garage, a more spacious waiting area along with a pediatric waiting area, vending and the VIBE Comfort Room for families in a crisis situation. MDH also announced that their improved Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation Services will open in their new location on the 3rd floor on September 14th. 
MDH President and CEO Kenny Boyd said in a statement: “Our staff at MDH thank you for your patience as we made these facility upgrades to provide the very best health care environment to serve our patients and the community”

 

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Sanders gaining in Iowa

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders spoke at a rally in Burlington, Iowa on Thursday. The Sanders organization has picked up steam in Iowa in recent months. Macomb resident Jordan Garnjobst was among the hundreds of Sanders supporters at the rally. He says he likes that Sanders is for the working class, "He can't be bought...and he's always been about the average Joe"
 
 
 
Robert Shouse of Macomb also attended Thursday's rally. He says he felt Sanders statements on climate change, tuition free education, healthcare, inequality, foreign policy, and overturning the Citizens United decision struck a chord with him. 
 
Sanders' Iowa director, Pete D'Alessandro, said Sanders now has 15 offices and 54 paid staff in Iowa, with more hires expected soon. A recent Des Moines/Bloomberg Iowa poll showed that Sanders is gaining on Hillary Clinton in the lead off caucus state.   

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WIU Mud Volleyball Tourney Raised $4.5K for Macomb Fire Dept.

WIU Mud Volleyball Tourney Raised $4.5K for Macomb Fire Dept.

MACOMB, IL — Western Illinois University Housing and Dining Services' annual Mud Volleyball tournament, held Aug. 29 this year, raised nearly $4,500 for the Macomb Fire Department's purchase of new radio equipment.

More than 84 teams took part in the event, which also featured a downhill water slip-and-slide.

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Colchester Labor Day Schedule

Thursday, September 3
4:30 – 6:30 p.m. Ham & Bean Supper – Served by the Colchester Lions Club – City Park Food Tent
6:00 p.m. Carnival Armband Night

Friday, September 4
8:30 a.m. Babaloo & Troy Roark – Main Stage
9:00 a.m.– 9:00 p.m. Pie & Ice Cream – Served by the Colchester UMC – City Park Food Tent
12:00 p.m. Craft Sales and Displays Open – City Park
1–3 p.m. Check-in for Cakes, Pies, Cookies Baking Contest – City Park Food Tent
3–5 p.m. Judging of Baking Contest
4:30 p.m. Johnny Cash Tribute Show – Main Stage
5:00 p.m. Fish & Chicken Fry – served by the Colchester Lions Club – City Park Food Tent
5:30 p.m. Auction of Baked Goods – City Park Food Tent Carnival Opens
6:30 p.m. Opening Ceremonies – Main Stage Welcome – Colchester Mayor, Lions President Introduction of the 2015 Labor Day Grand Marshals, Colchester Dist. Librarians
6:30 p.m. Crowning of the 2015 Labor Day Jr. Queen – Main Stage
6:45 p.m. Crowning of the 2015 Little Miss & Master – Main Stage
7:00 p.m. The On Stage Band – Main Stage
2015 Master of Ceremonies – Dean Reeverts

Saturday, September 5
6:30 a.m. Breakfast: Pancakes, Sausage, Biscuits & Gravy – Sponsored by West Prairie Unit 103 After Prom Committee – City Park Food Tent
7:00 – 7:45 a.m. 11th Annual Duane Beck Run/Walk – SIGN UP at Colchester Post Office
8:00 a.m. 11th Annual Duane Beck Run/Walk – START at Colchester Post Office
8:00 a.m. Craft Sales and Displays Open – City Park
9:00 a.m.– 9:00 p.m. Pie & Ice Cream – Served by the Colchester UMC – City Park Food Tent
10:00 a.m. Food Vendors Open
10:00 a.m. Sand Volleyball Begins – Sponsored by Teri Paul & Cyclone volleyball girls – next to FS property
12:30 p.m. Raymond Rossmiller and Dave Schwartz – Main Stage
1:00 p.m. Carnival Opens
2:30 p.m. Cross Country Boys – Main Stage
4:00 p.m. Daniel James Caldwell – Main Stage
5:00 p.m. Coal Miner’s Dinner (Oven-Baked Chicken and Trimmings) – Served by the Colchester United Methodist Church – City Park Food Tent
7:00 p.m. Bryce Dexter and the King Graffiti Band – Main Stage
8:00 – 11:00 p.m. Street Dance – KrossFire Light & Sound – Uptown at the Fire House
9:45 p.m. 16th Annual Fireworks Display – Uptown

Sunday, September 6
6:30 a.m. Breakfast: Pancakes, Sausage, Biscuits & Gravy – Sponsored by West Prairie Unit 103 After Prom Committee – City Park Food Tent
8:00 a.m. Craft Sales and Displays Open – City Park
9:00 a.m.– 9:00 p.m. Pie & Ice Cream – Served by the Colchester UMC – City Park Food Tent
10:00 a.m. Food Vendors Open
10:30 a.m. Community Church Service – Hosted by First Baptist Church – Main Stage
1:00 p.m. Carnival Opens (last day open)
2:00 p.m. Grand Parade – NEW PARADE ROUTE Theme: “Celebrating the Colchester Library: Doorway to Adventure”
3:00 p.m. Harmony – Main Stage
3:00 p.m. “Minute-To-Win-It” Teen Games – after Parade – Green & White Tent
5:00 p.m. WIU Jazz Studio Orchestra – Main Stage
5:00 p.m. Barbecue Pork Dinner – Served by Argyle Bible Church – City Park Food Tent
7:30 p.m. 34th Annual Variety Show – Main Stage
8:30 p.m. 2015 Parade Winners & Raffle Winners Announced – Main Stage

Monday, September 7
6:30 a.m. Breakfast: Pancakes, Sausage, Biscuits & Gravy – Sponsored by West Prairie Unit 103 After Prom Committee – City Park Food Tent
8:00 a.m. Craft Sales and Displays Open – City Park
9:00 a.m.– 1:00 p.m. Pie & Ice Cream – Served by the Colchester UMC – City Park Food Tent
9:00 a.m. Games for Kids and Face Painting – City Park
10:00 a.m. Elsenpeter Marionettes – Main Stage
11:00 a.m. Pedal Tractor Pull – Show Pavilion

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Manhunt continues near Fox Lake

Law enforcement officers are continuing to search for three men suspected of killing Fox Lake Police Lt. Joseph Gliniewicz. The suspects have been described only as two white males and one black male. The FBI, U.S. Marshals and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives joined in the hunt. More than 400 law enforcement officers raked through the heavy woods near Fox Lake on foot, all-terrain vehicles and horseback.
Authorities received a tip Wednesday night from a local woman, that turned about to be false, further complicating the manhunt.So far, police have found no witnesses, but they are reviewing surveillance tapes from area buildings.
Lt. Gliniewicz was found dead early Tuesday after calling in three suspicious individuals then requesting backup. 

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Colchester Celebrates Labor Day Weekend

If you're looking for something fun to do over the holiday weekend, you might consider Colchester. The city celebrates it's annual Labor Day festivities with a long weekend packed with activities.
Sunday's grand parade theme is Celebrate Colchester Library: Doorway To Adventure. The Library will hold an open house at 2pm Saturday to show the recently completed remodeling work. The work was partially completed with a grant from the state. The 100 year old bulding, at 203 Macomb Street has been the home of the Colchester District Library for 40 years. 
The Colchester Lions Club teams up with the city of Colchester and several members of the community to put on the Labor Day festivities. This year set to include a carnival, food, gun shows, a volleyball tournament, tractor shows, auctions, a street dance and much more. You can find a full schedule of events on our website, MacombNewsNow.com. Colchester's Labor Day celebration started Thursday and runs through Monday.

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Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

It's Labor Day Weekend and local and state police will be out in full force and offer a simple message and warning to motorists; "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over". 
Last year in Illinois, 16 people were killed in traffic crashes during the Labor Day weekend. The purpose of this enforcement campaign is to deter drunk drivers and prevent fatalities by increasing enforcement and maximizing awareness in an effort to save lives.
Throughout the Labor Day weekend, Illinois State Police and more than 250 local police departments and sheriff’s offices will conduct roadside safety checks and hundreds of hours of stepped-up impaired driving and seat belt enforcement details.
Illinois roads continue to be much safer than they were a decade ago. Motorists are buckling up at a higher rate than ever before, achieving a record 95.2 percent seat belt usage by front-seat occupants this year. Traffic fatalities remain on a steady decline. Traffic deaths reached 1,363 in 2005. Last year, 924 people were killed, the sixth consecutive year fatalities failed to reach 1,000.
Despite these improvements, drunk drivers still play a role in more than 300 highway deaths and even more serious injuries each year in Illinois.

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Ag Day at Leathernecks Season Opener


Ag Day at 2015 WIU Football Season Opener Sept. 3; Western IL-Based Band Madd Hoss Jackson to Perform

MACOMB, IL — Join the Western Illinois University School of Agriculture and the Fighting Leathernecks Thursday, Sept. 3 to celebrate the opening of the 2015 football season and the tradition of agriculture at WIU.

The WIU School of Agriculture and Western Illinois Athletics are sponsoring "Ag Day," featuring agricultural festivities from 4-6 p.m. just north of Hanson Field (in Q-Lot) at WIU. The Fighting Leathernecks will kick off the season opener at 6 p.m. vs. the Eastern Illinois Panthers on Hanson Field.

Ag Day events are open free to the public. Adults, children and FFA and 4H members who pre-order football tickets through the WIU School of Ag (at www.wiu.edu/ag/football) will receive discounted ticket prices. Adult tickets are $8 each and each ticket for a child (11 and under) or4H and FFA members is $5.

Tickets purchased through the WIU School of Agriculture will support WIU ag student organizations—$5 from each adult ticket and $2 from each child or discounted ticket will be donated to the ag student organization of the purchaser's choice. (For a list of ag student organizations, see www.wiu.edu/ag/football.)

Ag Day will include a variety of activities, including a "mini" WIU Ag Mech Club Farm Expo (in Q-Lot, sections A & B), and the mini "AgMech Show" will feature products from agricultural product vendors from across the region. Vendors can register for a product booth/table online at www.wiu.edu/ag/football/.

Music will be provided by western Illinois' Madd Hoss Jackson (Mt. Sterling, IL), and other activities will include: Barnyard Discoveries for Kids, face painting, 4H activities, pedal tractors and a photo booth. In addition, food will be served on site by the Tri-County Cattlemen and Pork Producers.

To purchase football tickets and/or to register as a vendor for the mini "Ag Mech Farm Expo," visit www.wiu.edu/ag/football.

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Colchester man returns to jail on drug charges

 

McDonough County Sheriff Rick VanBrooker and Colchester Police Chief Dave Bland report that a joint operation with the Illinois Department of Corrections Parole Compliance has led to the arrest of Steven D. Haskins, age 51, of Colchester

 

In the early morning hours of September 1st  the McDonough County Drug Unit accompanied a Parole Officer to 514 North Coal Street in Colchester.  During the compliance Methamphetamine and prescription medicine was seized by police.  It is also believed that evidence was destroyed by Haskins prior to allowing officers entry into his home.

 

Haskins was lodged in the McDonough County Jail pending his first court appearance.  He is charged with Felony Obstructing Justice, Possession of a Controlled Substance (Colonazepan), Possession of Methamphetamine under 5 grams, Possession of Cannabis Under 2.5 grams and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

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Macomb City Council update

 
 
Mayor Mike Inman announced that Andrea Keene has resigned her position as the city’s downtown development director during a city council meeting in Macomb on Monday. Keene has put in her two weeks notice and she will accept a position that will allow her to work at her home more often.  
 
City Council’s Personnel Committee will met in a closed session on Wednesday to review 23 applications for the position of city administer as Dean Torreson is schedule to retire next year.
 
The city of Macomb is proposing to enter an Economic Development Consulting Services agreement with Ehlers Inc., into creating a new senior living facility. Dean Torresson announced on Monday that city is looking into redeveloping the Lamoine Hotel on the square. The new site will contain 47 living units including 26 assistant living units and 17 Alzheimer’s units. The proposed facility will cost five million dollars to build. 

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Some Head lice resistant to common treatments

The kids are back in school and studies show that they may be more likely to be sent home from school for having head lice. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 12 million American school children between the ages of 3-11 contract head lice each year.
 
Normally, when a child is found to have head lice, they are sent home and parents give them a hair treatment. Now, a new study has found that lice in at least 25 states have developed a resistance to permethrin, the ingredient found in most of the over-the-counter remedies that are commonly used.
 
The American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents to consult a physician if they encounter a case that is resistant to the treatment.
 
Illinois parents can take comfort in knowing that the resistant head lice have yet to spread to the midwest.

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Redneck Fishing Tournament celebrates 10 years this weekend

The 10th Annual Redneck Fishing Tournament return to the Illinois River this weekend with events and entertainment running Saturday through Monday. The event takes place in Bath, IL, just south of Havana on the Illinois River. In addition to fishing, there are bands, charity raffles, food booths and a beer garden. 
 
Event Organizer, Betty Deford, says this tournament started a decade ago as a way to fight back against the invasive Asian carp that had choked local stretches of the Illinois River. The sound from boat motors causes the fish to propel themselves out of the water several feet. Boaters crossing a school of the fish might suddenly be pummelled by dozens of flying carp.
There are two heats on Saturday and again on Sunday during which teams motor up and down the river trying to net--no fishing poles allowed--or knock as many flying carp intp their boats. Every year, the tournament removes thousands of the invasive carp.
 
State and federal governments are spending millions of dollars trying to stem the carp invasion and keep them out of Lake Michigan, where they would decimate commercial fishing just as they've done along the Mississippi and Illinois rivers. 
 
You can find a full schedule of events at originalredneckfishin.com

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Meth Arrest In Bushnell

McDonough County Sheriff RickVanBrooker reports Charlie D. Yocum, 61 of Bushnell, Illinois was arrested on a federal warrant on August 27th, 2015 charging him with Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine in the Central District of Illinois. Yocum was transported to the Federal courthouse in Peoria, Illinois on August 28th for an initial appearance and was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal Service. Sheriff VanBrooker reports the ongoing investigation began over a year ago and stems from large amounts of Crystal Methamphetamine (ICE) being transported and sold in McDonough County and the surrounding area.
 
The McDonough Co Sheriff’s Office, Macomb Police Department, Bushnell Police Department and the Office of Public Safety (WIU) assisted in the investigation that led to Yocum’s arrest.
 
Yocum’s arrest was part of Operation Saddle Up, an ongoing federal-local law enforcement initiative that focuses on large scale methamphetamine manufactures and distributors in West-Central Illinois. This law enforcement partnership continues and is expected to net more meth related arrest in West Central Illinois.
 

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Early dismissal for Bushnell/Prairie City schools

Bushnell/Prairie City schools announced that they will dismiss at 1pm, Tuesday, September 1 due to the heat

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Early Dismissal For West Prarie due to heat

School will dismiss at 1pm Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for West Prarie School district due to the heat. 

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Schuyler-Industry Searching for new Superintendent

The search is on for a new superintendent of schools for Schuyler-Industry school district after 
Dr. Tami Roskamp unexpectedly resigned at the beginning of the school year. At a special meeting last Thursday, the school board and concerned parents heard a presentation from Diane Robertson, a representative from School Exec Connect, a firm that specializes in helping schools search for the right candidate.The initial cost for the firm will be around $8,500. The board is expected to make a decision as soon as possible. The board approved John Marshall as Emergency Interim Superintendent until a replacement is found. Some Shuyler-Industry parents expressed concern about the turnover rate at the schools. There have been over 20 turnovers of administration, faculty, and staff in the past 5 years.

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Conservation budget cuts in Illinois take effect soon

 
It seems these days budget cuts are having an effect on pretty much all areas of Illinois state government from education to infrastructure to social programs. Now you can add conservation to that list. Layoffs for 33 conservation police officers are set to take effect in September.
20 
 
20 conservation officers will be laid off based on seniority. The other 13 individuals just graduated from the Conservation Police Academy, but the positions they were hired for have since been eliminated. Out of the 33 laid off, 25 are veterans of the military.
 
House Bill 4104 is in the works, which aims to set a minimum staffing requirement for conservation officers in the state. Many are hopeful that some of the positions will be reinstated when the Illinois government reaches a budget agreement.

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WIU to offer free tickets to military

Western Illinois University will continue its long time tradition of being a military friendly school by providing free tickets to Leatherneck sporting events for military veterans.
WIU's athletic department recently announced that it will again partner with Veteran Tickets Organization (Vet Tix). Vet Tix provides free event tickets to current active U.S. military, veterans who were honorably discharged and to family members of troops who were killed in action. 
Since the foundation is non-profit, individuals and businesses can receive tax deductions for donating their tickets.
Leatherneck fans can help veterans by donating tickets that may go unused, or by purchasing tickets to be donated directly to Vet Tix. 
Veterans and current serving members of the U.S. military can sign up to request free or discounted tickets at VetTix.org.
Leatherneck fans who wish to donate can call 309-298-1190 or click the 'Donate Tickets' link under tickets at GoLeathernecks.com

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