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Local News Coverage:

  • Morning Edition: Mon.- Fri. 4:00am- 9:00am with Morning Edition Host and Reporter Emily Boyer.
  • Afternoon Edition: Mon.- Fri. 4:00- 4:30pm with News Director Rich Egger.

Local New Updates also at 5:35pm and 6:35pm Monday- Friday.

A power outage affecting several thousand customers in and around Keokuk Wednesday night also knocked out the non-emergency phone lines for the Lee County Sheriff's Office. The outage took place the day after the county board chose to delay the purchase of back-up generators to protect those phone lines.

Rich Egger

Two dozen faculty members at Western Illinois University will lose their jobs as the university contends with declines in student enrollment and state financial support.  During a special meeting of Western's Board of Trustees on Thursday, Chair Cathy Early said the university is repositioning itself while remaining fiscally responsible.

Downstate Senator Sam McCann filed petition signatures on Monday to get on the fall ballot. Back in April he announced a run for governor for the newly created Conservative Party. 

The Libertarian Party filed a slate of statewide candidates on Monday, turning in more than 47,000 signatures to the Illinois State Board of Elections. That’s nearly double the required 25,000. 

While Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner celebrated the US Supreme Court’s decision in the Janus labor case on Wednesday, his chief opponent on the campaign trail was quick to criticize. J.B. Pritzker took to the podium in Springfield to do just that.


The man at the center of the case of public sector unions and fair share fees is a state employee from Springfield.  Mark Janus took his fight to the U.S. Supreme Court and on Wednesday, he was victorious.  The decision means non-union members won't have to pay those fees to cover activities like collective bargaining. 

McDonough County Jail

The owner of the Macomb Pet Land was in court Wednesday to hear the charges against her. Jessica Spangler faces nine counts of aggravated animal cruelty after police removed 41 dead animals and rescued 56 living animals from her pet store late last month.

Library of Congress

The Illinois Top 200 Project celebrates the state's bicentennial by allowing residents to vote on their favorites in a variety of categories. And the results show two of the state's top authors are from this region.

Tri States Public Radio

Construction is in full swing at the former Lamoine Hotel in downtown Macomb. Over the weekend, the front doors were open to the public for a few short hours to provide a glimpse of what is to come when the building reopens this fall as an assisted living facility with memory care unit.

Rich Egger

The Knox Prairie Community Kitchen (KPCK) provides free community dinners twice a month in Galesburg.  The dinners will continue but beginning in July 2018 they will be held at a new location: the First Baptist Church of Galesburg at 169 South Cherry Street.

The Higher Education Working Group started meeting last fall to identify ways to reform higher education in Illinois.  And the group continues to meet even after lawmakers adjourned their 2018 legislative session.

Burlington will not accept state funding to replace Cascade Bridge, which has been closed to vehicle traffic for years.

Tri States Public Radio

On the popular reality television show Survivor, contestants are sent to a remote location and put through a series of difficult physical and mental challenges. They fight to outwork and outsmart their opponents in order to earn the title of Survivor.        

There are 24 people from across the country trying to accomplish the same this weekend on a property located just outside of Macomb.

SIU President Randy Dunn avoided suspension Thursday, as trustees were split four-to-four on whether to place him on administrative leave.

In Illinois, somebody being paid minimum wage would have to work 99 hours a week to afford the average two-bedroom apartment. That means an individual would have to earn more than $20 an hour to be able to pay for that two-bedroom apartment.

Those statistics come from a June report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

Illinois’ average cost for a two-bedroom apartment is just above $1,058 a month. Illinois’ minimum wage is $8.25 an hour

The Keokuk City Council has approved the employment contract between the city and its new city administrator, Cole O'Donnell. O'Donnell's first day on the job is expected to be Monday, July 9.

The family of Autumn Steele this week announced that it had settled a wrongful death lawsuit it filed in November 2016 against the city of Burlington and Burlington police officer Jesse Hill for $2 million. The city, in response, said it would not comment on the settlement until the court approves it.

Courtesy WIU

Western Illinois University continues to bend the ears of state leaders regarding a major construction project planned for the Macomb campus: the Center for Performing Arts.

Illinois is losing residents, according to recent census estimates, and common explanations include high taxes, unfriendly business policies or the state’s growing pension debt.

An article from the watchdog group Better Government Association examines those claims. The BGA’s senior editor, Bob Secter, says they distract from a deeper look at demographic trends.

Illinois will soon mint commemorative coins to mark the state’s 200th birthday. They're the latest in a string of products the state is offering to mark its bicentennial year.

Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs hosted a several months-long contest, challenging designers to capture Illinois’ history on a single coin face. Submissions poured in from far and wide, but they were eventually whittled down to five finalists, whose designs were then voted on by the public.

Battling the EAB in Western Illinois

Jun 15, 2018

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has continued to spread through the tri states region.  Most recently the destructive insect has been found in McDonough County.

Illinois will host what could be the most expensive race for governor in U.S. history. The huge increase in campaign spending raises a lot of questions about the rise of big money in politics. Between now and the election, Illinois Issues will examine the impact in a series we're calling Money Machines.

The state of Illinois has a budget in place for next fiscal year, which will help public colleges and universities with their planning.  But the president of Western Illinois University said the state appropriation of $47.2 million for WIU falls short of what his school needs.

The debate continues over whether Illinois’ law allowing for taxpayer-funded abortions violates the state constitution. A trial judge dismissed the case last year but anti-abortion advocates are fighting back.  

Courtesy

Keokuk has reached an agreement with Cole O'Donnell to serve as its next city administrator, pending a final vote by the City Council. O'Donnell said he's excited for the opportunity to serve the city and its residents.

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The vote totals for the June 5 primary in Lee County are now official. The list of candidates receiving votes includes Democratic Congressman Dave Loebsack and Republican Governor Kim Reynolds as well as Daffy Duck, Mickey Mouse, and someone named Jim.

Macomb residents looking to flex their muscles can get a workout out at Veteran's Park.  About a half  dozen new workout machines were installed next to the park's playground. 

Watch the first Illinois Issues Forum from Springfield.  Our 2018 election coverage starts discussing the fiscal health of Illinois. 

Last year NPR Illinois toured the state in partnership with NPR member stations to hear how the two-year state budget impasse impacted communities in Illinois. The adoption of a budget provided some clarity for those affected but many challenges remain. 

This year, we aim to seek solutions to many of the fiscal problems that persist and discuss the prominent issues in the 2018 elections. 

Northern Public Radio

Keokuk has reached an agreement with Cole O’Donnell to be the next city administrator. O’Donnell would replace Aaron Burnett, who is leaving June 22 to take the same job with Mason City, Iowa.

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