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Run Through Western Illinois Will Honor Fallen Service Members, First Responders

A day-long run through western Illinois will honor and remember the state's fallen military service members and first responders.

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Springfield, IL – Illinois State Senator Rick Winkel of Champaign plans to revise and re-introduce a plan to change how schools are funded. Winkel says efforts came to a sudden halt this session. However, he's working to revise the proposal and place greater emphasis on including property tax relief. He says this proposal is more similar to one former Governor Jim Edgar proposed in the 90s. Winkel believes he can hold committee hearings during the summer and have a bill ready for introduction this fall.

Rushville, IL – The Schuyler-Industry Community Unit School District will continue the appeal of a detachment petition. Last month the Regional Board of School Trustees approved the petition, which seeks to have 15 students and about $2 million in property moved from the Industry district to the Macomb district. Schuyler - Industry School Superintendent Matt Plater says members of the new board agreed they can not afford to lose the property or the students. The Industry school board had agreed to fight the detachment, but that board goes out of existence at the end of this month.

Galesburg, IL – Illinois' junior U.S. Senator is not hopeful on the future of Amtrak passenger rail service. In addition, he has not yet decided whether he will support the Central American Free Trade Agreement. Obama says while Democrats are uniformly supportive of Amtrak, they will have to convince some Republicans to join them. He says the GOP has targeted Amtrak as a source of budget savings. On CAFTA, Obama says free trade is ghenerally beneficial as long as it's structured fairly.

Macomb, IL – McDonough County's jail administrator is hoping a bill that passed the legislature gets signed quickly. Chief Deputy Rick Manser says the measure would require the Department of Public Aid to pay all medical bills over $500 of inmates who are medicaid eligible. Currently, the county has to pay all costs up to $2,500. Manser says that figure is easy to reach, especially if an inmate must be hospitalized. He says he prescription cost for some inmates can easily reach $500, especially with some psychotropic drugs.

Macomb, IL – The city worked to negotiate a better deal with Burlington Northern Santa Fe, but it now appears inevitable that the crossings at Clay, Campbell, and Madison Streets will be closed. The city says it did manage to negotiate a bit more money out of the railroad. It will receive $150,000 instead of $145,000. In addition, most of the city's remaining crossings will be upgraded to concrete within the next five years. The city council will be asked to approve the agreement Monday night.

Keokuk, IA – The Keokuk City Council approved the final two readings of a proposal to increase sewer rates by ten percent. The goal of the rate hike is to put more money into the sewer department, which is operating in the red. The minimum bill will increase from $9.77 to about $10.75. The measure received the needed five votes, even though it looked as if the council would not have enough members in attendance to approve it. Several council members showed up toward the end of the scheduled workshop prior to the meeting, which meant the council would not have to postpone the rate hike.

Macomb, IL – Western Illinois University plans to cover salary increases next fiscal year with no help from the state. The new WIU budget allots $56.4 million to WIU. That's the same amount as in the current year's budget. President Al Goldfarb says that means pay hikes will come from within. The major revenue source will be increased tuition income. The legislature did re-appropriate $4 million in planning funds for a performing arts center, but that money has not yet been released by the governor.

Burlington, IA – State Senator Tom Courtney (D-Burlington) says Iowa residents might want to get accustomed to the split in state government. Courtney believes few of the incumbents up for re-election next year are vulnerable. Courtney serves in the Senate leadership as Democratic whip, which means he is involved in candidate recruitment. The Iowa Senate is evenly divided with 25 members from each party, while Republicans hold a 51 to 49 edge in the House. Courtney says next year's session will have a major impact on how the public views the work of the legislature.

Springfield, IL – In a party-line vote, the Illinois legislature has adopted a $54.5 billion dollar budget for the coming fiscal year. The document skimps pension funding, but has more money for schools and a bailout of the CTA. It also includes more funding for developmentally disabled facilities and dump site clean-up. Republicans were shut out of the development process, and dislike the underfunding of the state's pension plans. The budget also includes $160 million skimmed from specific funds and used to bolster the general fund.

Macomb, IL – Rick VanBrooker of Macomb believes he has the experience needed to run the McDonough County Sheriff's Department. VanBrooker has spent 19 years in law enforcement, including the past dozen as a Hancock County sheriff's deputy. He plans to draw on that experience to battle meth, which he believes is the biggest crime problem facing McDonough County. VanBrooker is not releasing details of his plans for the office. He says those will come later. The current McDonough County sheriff is Mike Johnson, who is a Democrat.

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Folk Weekend Live in Concert

Mary Flower, 7:00pm April 27, 2019 - Vallillo/Holtz Performance Studio

Mary Flower’s immense finger picking guitar and lap-slide prowess is soulful and meter-perfect, a deft blend of the inventive, the dexterous and the mesmerizing. Her supple honey-and-whiskey voice provides the perfect melodic accompaniment to each song’s story.

An internationally known and award-winning picker, singer/songwriter and teacher, the Midwest native relocated from Denver to the vibrant Portland, Oregon music scene in in 2004. She continues to please crowds and critics...

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Symphonies are back

We know you have missed listening to symphonies weeknights at 10pm.

Thanks to the generosity of our listeners and program suppliers we are able to bring back 10pm symphonies beginning April 1, 2019.

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Harvest Public Media

U.S. REP. ROGER MARSHALL'S OFFICE

Held up over disagreements over federal food stamps, the first draft of the 2018 farm bill arrived Thursday, bearing 35 changes to that program, including starting a national database of participants.

Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

As agriculture intensified in the 20th century, summers in the Midwest became wetter and cooler.  An MIT study published this month looked at whether vegetation from crop production, rather than greenhouse gas emissions that are an established source of climate changes, could have driven these regional impacts.

Ben Kuebrich/Kansas News Service/Harvest Public Media

A new, widely debated federal mandate requires truckers to electronically track the number of hours they're on the road — a rule that is meant to make highways safer. But there is a big difference between hauling a load of TVs and a load of cattle destined for meatpacking plants.

DARRELL HOEMANN / FILE/MIDWEST CENTER FOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING

Lawsuits filed in Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, and Arkansas against the makers of the herbicide dicamba will be centralized in the federal court in St. Louis.

Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

In the coming months, Congress will map out how it will spend upwards of $500 billion on food and farm programs over the next five years.  The massive piece of legislation known as the farm bill affects all taxpayers -- whether they know it or not.

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