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Macomb Local News Archives for 2016-09

Ken Jeong Interview

This morning I had a chance to speak with comedic actor Ken Jeong. We discussed a lot about his sitcom on ABC, Dr. Ken. The show is in its second season and airs Friday Nights at 7:30 PM. We also touched on the progress of Asian-Americans in the television and film industry, and discussed his favorite moment from The Hangover triology. 

 

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Macomb Police Investigating Death of Macomb Fire Chief

The Macomb Police Department is investigating the death of Macomb Fire Department Chief Andy Taylor. According to a release from Mayor Michael J. Inman's office, Police were called to a wooded area near the 300 Block of University Drive on Thursday after a pedestrian reported finding a man unconscious and unresponsive in the area. Upon arrival police found the body of Chief Taylor. There is no foul play suspected in the death, preliminary indications are that the death was self was self-induced. Chief Taylor was a (20) year veteran of the Macomb Fire Department, having been hired in October of 1996. He was promoted to Lieutenant and named the department’s Training officer in 2004. He was promoted to Captain of Operations in 2009. Taylor was appointed Fire Chief and had served with distinction, for (10) years, having been first appointed Chief in August of 2006. "Our prayers and unwavering support go out to Andy’s wife Margaret and their sons, as well as to his brothers, parents and extended family” said Macomb Mayor Mike Inman.”Our Fire Department has lost a well respected leader and our community has lost a dedicated public servant and friend.” More on this story as more information is made available. 

 

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Regional Media Interview: Angela Sarafyan from HBO's Westworld

Angela Sarafyan is one of the stars of HBO's highly anticipated new series Westworld. In this interview Angela and I discuss the unique series, a reimagining of the 1970's Western sci-fi mashup that starred Yul Brenner, her incredible co-stars including Sir Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Thandie Newton and James Marsden the incredible feeling one gets from walking onto Hollywood set for the first time. 

 

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IDPH Announces Three Deaths Related to West Nile Virus

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced on Wednesday that three Illinois residents who had contracted the West Nile Virus have died. According to the release from IDPH the three Cook County residents are the first Zika related deaths in 2016. The names of the victims have not been released. The IDPH is warning Illinois residents to be aware of the Zika Virus and to take precautions including wearing mosquito repellent and staying indoors between dusk and dawn. West Nile Virus is transmitted via the bite of a mosquito. Four out of five people who get contract don't show symptoms immediately. Symptoms may include nausea, headaches and muscle aches and in rare cases could lead to meningitis or encephalitis. 

 

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WIU Student Invents WIU Sticker App for IPhones

A Western Illinois University student is delighting WIU students and alums with a new IPhone app. Cameron Anderson, a Senior at Western Illinois, majoring in computer science, has as a side project created an app that allows the user to include WIU logos as stickers on text messages. Anderson came up with the idea as a side projet while he seeks his degree in Computer Science. The app is available via the Apple App Store and is available to anyone who has the IOS10 update on their IPhone. A preview of WIU Sticker App is available here

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Regional Media Movie Review Deep Water Horizon

Deepwater Horizon stars Mark Wahlberg as Mike Williams, an electrical technician aboard the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. Mike is among the many who survived the greatest oil rig disaster in American history in 2010 when Deepwater Horizon burst into flames following a catastrophic failure while beginning to drill for oil in the Gulf of Mexico. The movie tells the gripping real life story of the people who lived and died in this avoidable tragedy. Kurt Russell, Kate Hudson, and John Malkovich co-star. 

 

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McDonough District Hospital Offering First Aid Class

McDonough District Hospital will offer a Community First Aid Class on Tuesday, October 4th at 6 Pm in Auditorium A, in the lower level of McDonough District Hospital. The First Aid Course will cover Injury Assessment, Safety, and Injury Prenvention. The class will also address First Aid for Adults and First Aid for Children and the diffence between the two. Guidelines for the class will adhere with American Heart Association Guidelines. Pre-registration is required for the class and the cost of the class is $32.00. For more information contact McDonough District Hospital at 309-836-1584.

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Joliet Man Arrested in Macomb on Drug Charges

A 22 year old Joliet man is under arrest in Macomb following a stop by police and subsequent search on Friday night. According to the McDonough County Sheriff's Office, 22 year old William A Holmes was stopped by police in the area of Adams and McArthur Street just after 11:15 Friday night. During the stop Police requested consent to search Mr. Holmes and after being granted permission police found 5 "Hits" of LSD in a plastic bag inside a duffle bag. Mr. Holmes is being held at the McDonough County Jail awaiting a court appearance. 

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One Killed in ATV Accident in Macomb

The McDonough County Sheriff's Office has released the name of a man killed in an All Terrain Vehicle accident on Sunday. 56 year old Rodney D. Cramer of Macomb died from what was described as major chest injuries after crashing an ATV he was riding on private property in the area of 500 North and 700 East. Cramer was life flighted from the scene of the accident to Quincy where he eventually succumbed to his injuries. Colchester Rescue and McDonough District Ambulance assisted at the scene. 

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City-Wide Hydrant Flushing October 3rd in Macomb

The Macomb Public Works Department will be flushing fire hydrants city-wide beginning October 3rd and again on October 25th. The City of Macomb is warning residents that flushing hydrants can lead to water discoloration but does not represent a health hazard. Citizens should determine if water is clear before washing clothes during the hydrant flushing period. If you do have discolored water be advised that you should avoid using hot water until the discoloration clears and run cold water for 5 to 10 minutes to clear the line. Hydrant flushing will take place October 3rd and October 25 from 7 Am to 3 Pm each day. if you have any questions contact the Macomb Public Works Department at 309-833-2821. 

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WIU to Hold Music Library Book Sale

The Western University Library's Music Library Branch will hold a book sale October 3rd through the 5th. Featuring books of sheet music. Classical and Jazz CD's and other unique music items, the sale will help raise funds to the WIU Music Branch Library. Items for sale will range in price from a quarter to $3.00. For more information on the music book sale contact Mallory Sajewski at 309-298-1105.

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Western Illinois Students to Rappel Down Sallee Hall Tuesday and Wednesday

Western Illinois students seeking a unique thrill will be rappelling down the side of Sallee Hall on Tuesday and Wednesday. The event is being put on by the Western Illinois University Department of Military Science will go on from 10 Am until 3 Pm on Tuesday and Wednesday outside of Sallee Hall. People wishing to participate and rappel down the side of the building can check in with Department representatives any time between 10 Am and 3 Pm Tuesday or Wednesday. Further details on the event are available by calling Cpt. Harry S. Yoon at 309-298-1902. 

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Presidential Debate Live Tonight on WLMD

MacombNewsNow.com and 104.7 WLMD will carry tonight's debate between Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump live tonight beginning at 7 Pm. Listen in live at 104.7 FM or online by clicking the listen live tab here at MacombNewsNow.com. This is the first of three Presidential debates set to air live on WLMD this Presidential eletion cycle. Fox News Radio's Jared Halpern will anchor the live uninterrupted coverage of tonight's debate beginning at 7 Pm. 

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Downtown Issues the Focus of Macomb City Council Monday

The Macomb City Council Committee of the Whole will meet Monday night at 5:00 Pm with a pair of downtown projects on the agenda. In a release from the City it was announced that Downtown Development Director Kristen Terry will address the council this evening regarding the progress of the Downtown Alley Lighting Project which is aimed at getting more people to park in city owned parking lots downtown. Also on the agenda is recognition by the council for a set of sculptures that went on display in the downtown area over the summer. "Sculpting the Future of Macomb" went on display earlier this year and will be recognized tonight by the Macomb City Council. 

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Survey: Teachers Call Poverty a Big Obstacle to Education

A new survey has found that poverty, community violence and unstable housing are the largest barriers to good education for Illinois kids. 

The nonprofit group Communities in Schools asked teachers, principals and school administrators across the country about the obstacles that get in the way of educating children.

Executive Director Jane Mentzinger said students from low-income families are now the majority in the nation's public schools, and for them, the cost of school supplies, a pair of glasses or even food in the fridge can be a burden they carry with them to school every day.

"It's hard to think about your algebra test or your geometry test when you have some of those barriers," Mentzinger said. "What we're trying to do is connect schools and students primarily with some of those extra resources and supports that they need so they can overcome them."

The report found nearly 90 percent of teachers think poverty is the number one barrier to a child's education.

Mentzinger said the problem is seen in school districts across Illinois, and is especially prevalent in urban areas like Chicago, where 85 percent of public-school students live in low-income households.

She pointed out that teachers often blame poverty for disruptive behavior, chronic absenteeism and students' poor health. But, she said, children are very resilient, and if their basic needs can be mwr, they succeed in school. 

"What we know is that if we can keep kids on track and academically successful in first, second, third, sixth grade, we know that by the time they're going to get to high school, they're going to be able to stay in school and they're going to graduate on time," Mentzinger said.

According to the report, 1.2 million students drop out of school every year. And on average, each of these students will cost taxpayers roughly $292,000, as they are more likely to need community assistance.

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WIU Office of Public Safety Report

On Sept. 21 at 12:01 p.m. a student came to Mowbray Hall to report the theft of two prescription medications from his car. The incident is under investigation.

On Sept. 21 at 1:42 p.m. a University employee reported a broken window on the north side of Higgins Hall. Damage was estimated at $414 and the incident is under investigation.

On Sept. 21 at 4:45 p.m. non-student William Russ, 23, of Chicago, was arrested in Tanner Hall on a McDonough County warrant for theft. He was lodged in the McDonough County Jail at 5:19 p.m. pending bond.

On Sept. 22 at 1:59 a.m. Duncan Graham, 19, of 708 Bayliss Hall, was arrested in the 500 block of West Murray Street for driving under the influence of alcohol and possession of false identification. He was lodged in the McDonough County Jail at 3:21 a.m. pending bond.

On Sept. 22 at 10:20 a.m. a University employee reported damage to a stop sign near Bayliss Hall. No damage estimate was available.

On Sept. 22 at 12:07 p.m. a student reported damage to her car while it was parked in the Corbin Hall parking lot. No damage estimate was available and the incident is under investigation.

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WIU Fall Soldiers 5K Run/Walk Coming in October

Registration continues for the Western Illinois University fifth Fallen Soldiers 5k Run/Walk, which will be held Saturday, Oct. 22 at the WIU-Macomb campus. This year's event will have a new option for those wishing to walk a bit less than 3.1 miles: a one-mile walk (untimed).

Since the event's inception in 2012, more than $75,000 has been raised for the scholarship, which honors WIU alumni Capt. Derek Dobogai and Lt. Col. Robert Baldwin, who were both killed in the line of duty. 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 $25 (until Oct. 3), which includes a long-sleeve technical t-shirt and a "dog tags" finisher medal. After Oct. 3, registration is $35 (participants are not guaranteed a t-shirt or medal).

Hy-Vee will provide post-race granola bars and fruit, while Refreshment Services Pepsi of Macomb will provide water and Prairie Farms will provide post-race milk.

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IDOT Hiring Ahead of Anticipated Winter Weather

The Illinois Department of Transportation is hiring new staff to help with snow and ice removal. In a release from the IDOT, the call for applicants includes a special focus on hiring Veterans for the fully time and on-call positions. To apply for for work with the IDOT visit IDOT.Illinois.gov. A pre-employment physical, vision testing, and drug screening are required for potential employment with the IDOT. 

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Governor Rauner Celebrates Hunters on National Hunting and Fishing Day

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner celebrated hunting and fishing on Friday, National Hunting and Fishing Day. In a statement the Governor shared his vision of the IDNR Hunting and Fishing Safety Course as a model for similar courses in other states. The Governor went on to say “I know firsthand how important hunting and fishing are to our state and our economy,” said Governor Rauner.  “One of my favorite pastimes is fishing in Lake Sangchris and hunting doves in the fields of Central and Southern Illinois.  I want all young people in Illinois to have the same opportunities.”

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Regional Media Movie Review Storks

Storks features the voice of Andy Samberg as Junior, the soon to be head of the new CornerStore.com, a stork delivery service. Years ago, Storks gave up delivering babies in favor of delivering packages and Junior is their best deliveryman. He's all set to accept his promotion until he's told it is contingent on him firing Tulip (Katie Crown), a human baby who lost her locator years ago and could not be delivered to her family. Tulip sets the plot in motion after Junior fails to fire her and she accidentally fires up the baby making machine. Now, she and Junior must dodge co-workers and predators alike while delivering the baby safely and in time for Junior to claim his promotion. Kelsey Grammer, Jordan Peele and Keegan Michael Key co-star. Here is my review of Storks. 

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Regional Media Movie Review The Magnificent Seven

The Magnificent Seven stars Denzel Washington as Western lawman who is hired to take down a robber baron, Peter Sarsgard, who has taken over a small town through violence and intimidation with the intent of stealing gold from a nearby mine. Needing allies, Washington seeks out a ragtag band of badasses to whip the townsfolk into shape for a war with the with Sarsgard and his army of hired goons. Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke and Matt Bomer co-star. Here is my review of The Magnificent Seven. 

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McDonough County Sheriff Announce Arrest of Theft Suspect

The McDonough County sheriffs office reports the arrest of 23 year old Randee Keleshian of Industry. Her arrest comes after an investagation by detectives into the theft of money and medication at the residences where she was a caretaker. Keleshian is being charged with thelf over 500 dollars in relation to stealing 50 to 100 Vicodin pills. She is also facing charges of criminal neglect of an elderly person or person with disability. the investagation is on going and more charges are expected. All suspects are considered inocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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Fatal Crash in Hancock County Tuesday

On tuesday a fatal crash occured in Hancock county on counrty road 150 north. 53 year old Timothy Hallesy and Tessa Self both of Bowen each failed to yield and collided head on at the top of a hill. Self was trasported by helicoptor to Springfield Memorial Hospital with multiple injuries. Hallesy was not wearing a seatbelt and was pronounced died at the crash scene. An investagation in to the incedent is pending. All suspects are consided innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
 

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Three Arrested for Drug Offenses at Veteran's Park

On Monday, three local residents were arrested at Veterans Park on narcotics charges. 25-year old Tommy Frost of Colchester along with 20-year-old Mackenzie Brown and 19-year-old Jason Anders, both of Macomb, were picked up by Macomb Police while walking to a car at the park. Canines indicated the presence of narcotics, and police recovered a small amount of Cannabis, 2.6 grams of MDMA, and drug paraphernalia from the vehicle. Frost and Anders were charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance. Brown was charged with this as well, in addition to Possession of Cannabis Under 10 Grams and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. All three were lodged in the McDonough County Jail pending court appearances. All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

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Macomb Man Arrested for Domestic Battery

On Sunday, a Macomb man was arrested for domestic battery. Fulton County Deputies were called out to 104 E. Woods St. in Avon where it was determined that 28-year-old Byron Siekman of Macomb had attacked a family member and fled. A few hours later, deputies returned after being notified that he had returned. Siekman was found hiding and arrested on charges of domestic battery, resisting arrest, and obstructing police. He was lodged in the Fulton County Jail. All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

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15th Annual Al Sears Jazz Festival

This weekend, the Al Sears Jazz Festival will be returning to Macomb for their 15th year. With performances on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, it's bound to be a weekend full of music and fun, and this year's chair, Bill Maakstead think that it will be one of the best. Bill came in to talk with me this morning on Backroad Country 95.9, WNLF. Listen to the whole interview here and go to www.searsjazzfestival.com for a full schedule of events. 

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Another Round of West Nile Found in McDonough County

Another batch of mosquitoes has tested positive for West Nile Virus in McDonough County. The McDonough County Health Department, working with the Miller-Hunt virology lab at WIU, have found both a group of mosquitos and a dead blue jay that tested positive for the virus. Both samples were collected in the last month. Mosquitoes are still very active in the Fall, and with fall sports and other events, it's important to limit your risk of exposure. The Health Department is advising people to Reduce, Repel, and Report. Reduce outdoor activity between dusk and dawn and other peak times. Repel using proper clothing and appropriate repellent products. And Report any dead birds to your local health department through the middle of next month. 

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NASCIO Names Illinois "One of Most Improved" States for Tech

The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) Conference was going on yesterday in Orlando, FL, and Illinois received major recognition at the event. The Center for Digital Government has named Illinois one of the most improved states nationwide for technology and innovation. We currently sit in the top third of all 50 states in this category, but just 18 months prior we were down in the bottom quarter. Governor Rauner has linked this improvement directly to DoIT, or the Department of Innovation & Technology, the organization that Executive Order 16-01 created back in July. According to Rauner, DoIT is focused on streamlining technology, and adapting to fit the changing technological landscape, as well as simplifying the way that citizens can access the information that they need. 

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MDH President Named a "Grassroots Champion" for 2016

Macomb's own Kenny Boyd, the President and CEO of McDonough District Hospital, is being honored by the American Hospital Association for his work in educating elected officials on the key issues facing hospitals and their communities. Boyd has been named a "Grassroots Champion" for 2016, and is one of only 51 people to receive that award this year. The AHA picks one person from every state and the District of Columbia, and to have Illinois' "Champion" be somebody from Macomb is an exceptional honor for the community. Boyd has been President and CEO of MDH since 2011, and has been actively involved with the Illinois Health and Hospital Association since 2012. For more information on the AHA and the Grassroots Champion award, you can visit www.aha.org
For more info on Kenny Boyd and McDonough District Hospital, visit www.mdh.org

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Illinois Congress Members Honored by NFIB

A number of Congressmen from Illinois have been honored by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), with the Guardian of Small Business Award, given out biennially, for their support of the state's local businesses. The NFIB looks at the voting record of each Congressperson to determine their eligibility, and in this round of honorees, 9 total members of Congress from Illinois have been selected including Senator Mark Kirk and 18th District representative Darin LaHood. The award, which is the most prestigious honor given by the NFIB, requires recipients to have voted with NFIB members at least 70% of the time. 

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Declining Labor Force Causes an Unemployment Drop

Data released from last month shows that Illinois' unemployment rate has dropped about 1/3rd of a percentage point, down to 5.5%. Though a drop in unemployment is usually thought of as a good thing, this drop seems to be largely related to a diminishing labor force. A couple fields like Leisure and Hospitality gained jobs in August, but some major areas such as Manufacturing and Education dropped significantly, for a total loss of 8,200 jobs. Going beyond these numbers, nearly 20,000 people gave up looking for work, and essentially dropped the unemployment rate artificially. As of right now, Illinois' unemployment rate sits higher than the national average, which is holding at 4.9%. August is the forth consecutive month for the state where the unemployment rate and the total labor force has seen a decline. 

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Upcoming Road Closure - East Main St. Near Galesburg

The Illinois Department of Transportation has announced that East Main St. will be closed at the BNSF Railroad crossing near Galesburg from 6am Monday, September 19th to 7pm Wednesday, September 21st. This is necessary for crossing repair work to be completed, and detour routes will be posted. 

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Movie in the Park - Possible Rain Date

The Macomb Park District is having their final "Movie in the Park" for the season on Friday at 8:30pm. They'll be showing the Disney movie Inside Out. In the event of rainy weather, the movie will be pushed back to Saturday at 7:30pm, still at Veteran's Park in Macomb. Everyone is welcome to come out and there will be free popcorn and soda to enjoy. Go to www.MacombParkDistrict.com for more information.

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Free Range Yoga - Ribbon Cutting & Wellness Fair

The Ambassador Committee of the Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting yesterday to celebrate the recent expansion of Free Range Yoga at 118 North Lafayette in Macomb. This new "North Wing" houses personal and strength training as well as massage and yoga therapy. Free Range also has a free Wellness Fair and Open House coming up on Saturday from 1-3 where you can go for free health screenings, and have an opportunity to win raffle prizes and meet all of the Free Range teachers. Kindra Martin, a personal trainer, will be in to 95.9FM and 100.1FM Friday morning at 9 to talk more about this event. You can call 309-333-5069 for more info, or go to www.freerangeyoga.us/

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WPMS Holding 4th Annual "Spooktacular 5k"

The West Prairie Middle School is once again hosting their annual Spooktacular 5k event, coming up on Saturday, October 15th. Early registration is $25 for adults and $10 for students, but you can also register the day of the race for $5 more. You can run or walk this 5k, and the proceeds are going toward the Middle School's PBIS program, which rewards students for good work and behavior. To register, you can go to www.WestPrairie.org, visit their Facebook page, or pick up a form from the Middle School office. The goal for this year's event is 120 participants, and everyone who comes out is welcome and encouraged to dress up in their Halloween costumes, and there will also be free candy for the kids! 

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Educating Teens on the Dangers of Distracted Driving

This month, legal experts throughout the state are working toward educating high school students on the dangers of distracted driving. According to a new report from the National Safety Council, Illinois saw a 24% increase in traffic deaths over the past two years - one of the biggest jumps in the country. Illinois lawyer Jessica Hoerman is one of the speakers who will be going around to several schools sharing the dangers of not paying attention behind the wheel.
 
"As a lawyer, we see a bunch of cases that come in usually after the tragedy happens. It's good to be on the other side of it to help prevent any kind of tragedy before they happen. And getting out to speak to the kids is the best way I know how."
-Jessica Hoerman
 
According to the Illinois State Police, distractions such as cell phones and GPS systems are now some of the top causes of car accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that about 10% of teen drivers that are involved in a fatal crash were distracted while driving. Hoerman says that educating these younger drivers can help them to make better decisions when they get into a car, whether they're the driver or a passenger. 
 
"They have the power to make this socially unacceptable, and that's why I think it's so important that we get to the kids and that we have these conversations."
-Jessica Hoerman

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Ribbon Cutting - Contentment

Last week, the Ambassador Committee of the Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting for Contentment at 133 S. Randolph St #209. Contentment joined the Chamber in July of this year. Melanie Hamilton-Smith offers psychotherapy and counseling services, and you can call 309-331-5936 for more information. 

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Rail Safety Week

This week has been dedicated to rail safety according to the Illinois State Police, District 14. Illinois ranks 2nd in the nation for rail crossing fatalities, and fifth for railroad trespassing fatalities. Last year alone there were 140 motor vehicle collisions involving a train crossing, leading to 80 injuries and 31 fatalities. 23 further fatalities and another 18 injuries were the result of trespassing incidents. To help spread awareness, the ISP has partnered with local, state, and federal organizations to help get the word out and decrease the troubling numbers. Police will be out looking for rail crossing related offenses, and handing out information to citizens. Remember, it is not only illegal to stop your vehicle on the tracks, but also to stop it anywhere in the highway-rail grade crossing, which covers the entire distance between the protective arms and is usually marked by a white barrier on the ground. You can find more information on Rail Safety Week at www.illinoisrailsafetyweek.org 

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Stream Bushnell West Prairie Vs Havana Here

Bushnell-West Prairie is on the road against Havana tonight. Stream the game by clicking the below. 

Click the logo to stream the game

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WIU Releases Enrollment Numbers for Fall 2016

UPDATE (9/9/16)
Darcy Shinberger with University Relations clarified the number confusion. The numbers newly reported by WIU are referring to NEW Freshman enrolled, and are accurate as reported (SOURCE)
The number I brought in is referring to TOTAL Freshman enrollment, which hasn't yet been reported for this semester. I apologize for any confusion
-Tony
 
Earlier this week, Western Illinois University reported on it's enrollment for the Fall 2016 semester. As expected with the financial problems of the state, and the trend with other public universities in Illinois, enrollment is down. In total, enrollment is down about 6.5%, a difference of 721 students between the Fall 2015 and Fall 2016's enrollment data. At the Quad Cities Campus, the school has lost about 100 students since last year. Western does claim that its Freshman enrollment is staying strong, announcing that it's got 1,527 new freshman this year, a drop of only 8 students from last Fall's 1,535 total. However, in looking into the data records on WIU's website, the reported Freshman total for the Fall of 2015 is 2,282 students, which would make the actual drop a loss of 755 students. This means that instead of the reported 0.5% decrease in freshmen enrollment, that actual percentage is closer to 33% according to the numbers released by WIU. Despite all of this, there are still some promising numbers for the local university. Honors College enrollment is up 11%, and there's also an increase in the freshman-to-sophomore retention rate of about 1.5%. You can find WIU's press release HERE and you can find the data used for previous years HERE
 

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SRC Golf Tournament a Financial Success!

The Spoon River College Foundation recently held their 23rd Annual Golf Tournament at Wee-Ma-Tuk Hills Country Club in Cuba, IL. Overall, they had 24 teams compete, and raised a total of over $21,000. Besides the near 100 golfers, there were also about 70 businesses who donated prizes or sponsored the outing. All of the money raised will be staying in the area and going toward enhancing educational opportunities at SRC. Since 2000, the golfing has raised more than $250,000 for the Foundation, and with another successful year, they've already scheduled the 2017 one for Friday, July 28th. You can find out more about the outing and the SRC Foundation in general by visiting src.edu/foundation or by calling 309-647-6260

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2 Arrested for Meth Possession, North of Macomb

Two men have been arrested after a traffic stop just north on Macomb on U.S. Highway 67. As deputies pulled the vehicle over, an item, later determined to be a foil wrapper filled with methamphetamine, was thrown from the vehicle before being recovered by the deputies. 31 year-old William Kelly and 29-year-old Paul Bohlander, both of Milan IL, were arrested and charged with Possession of Methamphetamine under 5 grams. They are both currently being held in the McDonough County Jail in lieu of bond, and all parties are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

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Missing Bushnell Teen Found

McDonough County Sheriff Rick Van Brooker has reported that missing-Bushnell-teen Joshua Graybill has been found safe, and was returned to his home earlier in the week. The 14 year old was taken to McDonough District Hospital for treatment of dehydration, but is otherwise in good shape. The Sheriff's Office is sending their thanks to the Bushnell Fire Department, the JoDaviess County Sheriff's Office Bloodhound Unit, and all area citizens who aided in the search. 

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Air Pollution Causing Huge Spike in Asthma Attacks

A new report from the Clean Air Task Force is showing the effects of air pollution throughout Illinois. While pollution obviously isn't benefiting anyone, the negative effects haven't been entirely quantifiable until now. In this state alone, the report links air pollution directly to more than 27,000 summertime asthma attacks in children. Janice Nolen with the American Lung Association explains that more than 9 Million tons of methane and other pollutants are released each year by the oil and gas industries, contributing to the formation of ozone smog pollution.
 
"You've got pipelines and engines and equipment that have historically just sort of leaked some of these volatile organic compounds and methane, and have not been recognized as being the contributor that they are."
-Janice Nolen, American Lung Association
 
There's an interactive tool on oilandgasthreatmap.com which you can use to explore the threats that our communities could face due to this pollution. Currently, Illinois ranks eighth overall for the worst health effects related to oil and gas production in the country. The report goes on to say that these pollutants could form a vicious cycle if not stopped. The pollutants work toward exacerbating climate change, creating hotter temperatures and more stagnant air, which will in turn worsen ozone smog levels, and so on. National standards for new sources of methane and ozone pollution were recently finalized by the Obama administration, but Robin Garlish of Central Illinois says that these standards also need to combat existing sources. 
 
"The elevated smog, the methane, and the poor air quality levels in Central Illinois - it's killing us. We all need to demand stronger federal safeguards to limit toxic air pollutants."
-Robin Garlish
 

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Ribbon Cutting - Summer Moon Yoga

The Ambassador Committee of the Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting earlier in the week to celebrate the new flooring and recent expansion of Summer Moon Yoga, located within Make Fit Happen on the North Side of the Square in Macomb. For more information on Summer Moon Yoga, go to http://summermoonyoga.wixsite.com/home 

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McDonough Democrat Pledges $7.5k to MDH Women's Center

The McDonough Democrat has pledged $7,500 and presented the first installment of that money to McDonough District Hospital for the Dolores Kator Switzer Women's Center. With this donation, the McDonough Democrat will be recognized as Benefactor level of the MDH Business Honor Roll Giving Club. Once completed, the Women's Center will provide a new nursery, private suites, and modernized facilities to women in the area. The hospital is now just over $1.5 Million away from their $5.5 Million campaign goal. 

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ISP - Drive Safe This Weekend

Remember to be safe this holiday weekend. The Illinois state police are encouraging all motorists to play it safe this labor Day. They are advising the public to avoid the what they call the "fatal four". Speeding, driving under the influence, distracted driving, and failing to wear a seatbelt. The ISP is also asking the public to have a designated sober driver this weekend. They lastly want to remind area residences the "Dive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign continues through September 5th.  Reminder District 14 had 0 recorded fatalities last year and will be out in this year to try and continue that trend.

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MDH Honors Long-Term Employees

On August 25th the McDonough District Hospital honored 90 employee's at their annual awards ceremony. They recognized employee's for 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, and 45 years of service. All employees honored received a certificate, a monetary award, and a gift. Their most tenured employee is Connie Starbuck who works in a Nursing Support, she has been at the hospital for 45 years.

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