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Friends With Differences

Oct 10, 2018

I recently had the great pleasure of reconnecting with a former student of mine who graduated from WIU in 1989. Todd was a memorable student. He was one of an elite group of undergraduates to be chosen for an internship with the U.S. Supreme Court,  and went on to an outstanding legal career.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The Mississippi River continues to rise, affecting homes, businesses, and local governments in southeast Iowa, northeast Missouri, and western Illinois. And the latest projections show that it could be several weeks before the flood waters recede.

Santa Clara University's website has a piece that looks at the ways social media is changing journalism.  The broad categories are faster, clickier, and more personal.

Rich Egger

Dr. B.S. Kesavan became a much-beloved pediatrician during his four decades in Galesburg.  A stroke sidelined him a couple years ago. It left him wondering what he should do and how he might recover.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/arcticwarrior/4585572260/in/album-72157624008350924/

All-terrain vehicles (ATV) and similar four-wheel utility vehicles can now be driven legally on gravel roads in Des Moines County. The County Board cast the final vote, this week, in support of the new rule.

Courtesy photo

At the intersection of East Calhoun and Dudley streets in Macomb, in the northeast corner of the First Presbyterian Church is a magical cupboard. This cupboard doesn't hold clothes or shoes or forgotten treasures.  This cupboard is full of food and with it hope for a better tomorrow.  This month Loaves & Fishes is celebrating 25 years of keeping that magical closet stocked to serve residents of McDonough County.  This all-volunteer organization composed of twelve religious congregations scattered throughout the county provides food, and assistance with emergency housing, utilities, and medical bills to those in need.   

VIP Cinemas took over The Rialto Cinemas in Macomb in mid-June.  And almost immediately, Vice President Jake McSparin started hearing a common suggestion from customers.

Rich Egger

Almost everything the Western Illinois University Board of Trustees discussed during a closed door meeting on June 28, 2018 must be made public, according to the Illinois Attorney General's office, which found [.pdf] the Board violated the state's Open Meetings Act (OMA).

Shop Talk panelists Jasmine Crighton and Will Buss said their student reporters ran into a dead end as they tried to get information from Western Illinois University and its Office of Public Safety (OPS). The journalists are seeking details regarding a report filed by a woman who said she was followed by a man hiding in some bushes on campus.

Rich Egger

More members of the public are asking the decision-makers at Western Illinois University to restore funding to its public radio station. Half-a-dozen people used the public comment period during the September 28 Board of Trustees meeting to address the administration's plan to end appropriated funding for Tri States Public Radio on March 1, 2019.

Macomb Mayor Mike Inman has taken on another leadership position. He is the newly elected president of the Illinois Municipal League, which is a leading advocacy group for cities across the state.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Burlington's new trash collection system is already up and running, despite that fact that thousands of new trash carts have yet to be delivered.

An arrest has been made in connection with an incident Thursday morning that prompted a "soft lockdown" by the Keokuk School District.

Rich Egger

Tri States Public Radio filed a Freedom of Information Act request with Western Illinois University, hoping to gain more insight about how the administration came to the decision to zero-out appropriated funding for TSPR beginning March 1, 2019.

Si Se Puede!

Sep 26, 2018

Many cultural centers were established in the late 1960s and early 1970s in higher ed institutions. The main purpose was to serve as a haven for underrepresented students facing pressing social and political issues. Fast forward to 2018 and that is still the case, especially in a political climate that uses harsh and generalized rhetoric to describe the Latinx immigrant community.

Panoramic photo by Rich Egger

Western Illinois University began its 25th Annual Founders' Day celebration Monday afternoon with Lana Myers ringing a bell from the front steps of Sherman Hall.

Rich Egger

The McDonough County Health Department said its inspections have uncovered the same violations time and time again at El Rancherito restaurant in Macomb.  The problems include food temperature violations, cross contamination of food, and a lack of handwashing/sanitation.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

The Lee County Economic Development Group kicked off its "Lee County 2023" capital campaign this week. The goal is to raise roughly $1.5 million over the next five years to fund local economic development efforts.

The Iowa Board of Education Examiners has dismissed multiple charges of fraud against two Keokuk educators. The allegations were related to online graduate school courses completed by one of the teachers several years ago.

Nature Can Help Clear Your Mind

Sep 19, 2018
Courtesy

Over the past few years, I have occasionally written commentaries for Tri States Public Radio, but only when an issue bothered me so badly I was compelled to weigh in on it. Apparently, listeners appreciated the positive messages I try to convey as I was invited to contribute more commentaries, but this time I was given scheduled dates for them. One of those dates is today. 

Rich Egger

The state of Illinois just changed its school funding formula to what is called an "evidence-based model." Macomb School Superintendent Patrick Twomey said the new model is helping but it's not nearly enough.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Roquette America has purchased seven adjoining buildings in downtown Keokuk. The company said it is too early in the process to talk about how the properties might be used in the future.

In a piece for The Atlantic, Chuck Todd, moderator of NBC's Meet the Press, wrote journalists must fight back against what he called "the campaign to destroy the legitimacy of the American news media." He said the campaign against the media has its roots in the Nixon administration and achieved great success through the likes of Roger Ailes and his cohorts at the Fox News Channel.

Emily Boyer

Western Illinois University has received $9.5 million from the state of Illinois for capital improvement projects. But, that's just a drop in the bucket of what it would take to address the backlog of deferred maintenance.

Courtesy

A federal judge ordered the unsealing of documents related to the shooting death of Autumn Steele by Burlington Police Officer Jesse Hill. That is shining more light on what transpired at the scene of the shooting.

Wikimedia Commons

Even though the new school year is underway, many school districts in the region are still trying to hire teachers. Regional Superintendent of Education John Meixner said almost every district downstate has struggled to fill vacant teaching positions.

Positively Macomb

Sep 12, 2018

I’m a pessimist, and I've been feeling gloomy about the future of our region with the bad news from Western Illinois University.  There are fewer students, more jobs lost and the sudden, unexplained defunding of this NPR affiliate, Tri States Public Radio.  Faculty, staff and community members feel left out of the decision-making process. There is a rolling negative effect outside of the university campus on Macomb and the region and the people living here.

But I’ve been hanging around some optimists.  They have made me look beyond WIU to find the good things happening in our community.

Carrie Finch looked across the third floor courtroom of the Hancock County Courthouse in Carthage Wednesday morning and spoke directly to Antonio Sanchez.

"You changed our lives forever"” Finch said. "Because of you, an entire community lost its innocence."

The Shop Talk panelists look back at the events of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, when terrorists hijacked four commercial airliners in the U.S. Two of the jets took down the World Trade Center towers in New York City.  One plane was flown into the Pentagon.  Passengers on the fourth flight fought the hijackers and that plane crashed into a field in rural Pennsylvania.

Bruce Morton

Bruce Morton said he was born and raised in the Hancock County community of Bowen (2010 census: 494).  He couldn’t wait to leave and lived for 30 years near Phoenix, Arizona.  But he moved back to Bowen in 2007 and is glad he did.

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