WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Carthage

Terry Newell of Crooked Creek Gallery

Supporters of The Legacy Theater in Carthage would like to install sound and lighting systems in the theater. They are off to a good start raising money for the project.

Rich Egger

In 1894, Grover Cleveland served as the nation's president, Coca Cola was sold in glass bottles for the first time, and Pullman workers went on strike in Chicago.  It's also the year the Carthage Public Library opened its doors.

Around the Region: 4th of July Fireworks

Jul 1, 2016
Western Illinois University

The U.S. celebrates a major holiday this weekend. With the 4th of July falling on a Monday this year, there's some variety on when celebrations are scheduled during the three-day weekend. 

Independence Day is often met with parades, picnics and marching bands. But, the most popular way to celebrate is by lighting up the night's sky with fireworks.

We've compiled a list of the best places to see free fireworks shows in the tri states region this holiday weekend.

West Central Illinois Fireworks shows:

Lewistown Fireworks:

Carl Sandburg College

The school is looking for ways to maintain a presence in Bushnell even after it closes down the building it owns.  The college will close the building on June 30 to save money.

The Carl Sandburg College auditorium in Carthage might soon have a new owner. Aldermen agreed to buy the building for $100.

Tourism & Marketing in the Tri States

Jul 12, 2015
Rich Egger

Macomb aldermen are contemplating whether to end the city's relationship with the Macomb Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and instead have the duties handled by City Hall.  It's an issue worth watching because of the economic impact of tourism.

Hancock County Academy Temporarily Moved

Dec 17, 2014
Screen cap of Google Maps Street View

The Hancock County Academy was forced to relocate in downtown Carthage after its home was damaged during a fatal fire last month next door at the Bentzinger Home Supply Store.

CEO Class Coming to Hancock County High Schools

Jul 2, 2014
TSPR's Emily Boyer

In an effort to grow business, Hancock County is targeting some of its younger residents.

Hancock County to Host Smithsonian Exhibit

Jun 9, 2014
Smithsonian's Museum on Main Street / Facebook Page

A national museum exhibit "Hometown Teams" is coming to Hancock County this year. It focuses on how sports have shaped America. 

Carthage Maps Out Goals

Jun 4, 2014
TSPR's Rich Egger

Carthage has developed out a strategic plan to boost economic development with the help of the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at Western Illinois University.

Rich Egger

Memorial Hospital will add a second building to its campus at the Route 336 interchange in Carthage.

Hancock County Sheriff Scott Bentzinger says a preliminary autopsy on William Clark, 63 of Sutter, Il. shows that he died of natural causes.

Carthage's Smelly Water Has Cost City

Sep 13, 2012

Carthage has spent a second consecutive summer dealing with discolored and smelly tap water.

While the water is safe, it was unsavory. The city used extra chemical treatment in an effort to reduce the problems.

Mayor Jim Nightingale says the has spent 52% of the budgeted amount for chemical treatment just one-third of the way through the city's fiscal year.

Kibbe Museum to Add Space

Aug 31, 2012

The Kibbe Museum in Carthage has found a solution to its growing pains.

It will build a new 40' by 60' addition to the east of the existing complex.

Storage space has been in short supply since the museum accepted an extensive collection last year that filled two semi-trailers.

It came from the Museum of Funeral Customs in Springfield which closed its doors for good in 2009.

Items from the collection have been stored in a building belonging to a local manufacturer. Mayor Jim Nightingale says that donation is coming to an end.

Carthage Alderman Resigns

Aug 29, 2012

Carthage is looking for someone willing to serve on the city council.

Second-ward Alderman Jim Fink resigned his seat on the city council this week. He had served in that capacity for two years.

He was forced to step down after moving outside the city limits.

Mayor Jim Nightingale says Fink has suggested a possible successor.

Nightingale says, “He has a person in mind, which I haven't talked to yet. But, hopefully, I'll have somebody on board by the second meeting in September.”

The mayor did not identify the candidate.
    

Carthage Puts Hearse on Block

Aug 28, 2012

The hearse was part of a collection the city's Kibbe Museum acquired last year  It was originally displayed at the Museum of Funeral Customs in Springfield. That museum closed for good in 2009.

The late 1960s Cadillac model was recently damaged when a volunteer backed it into a pole.

Mayor Jim Nightingale says the hearse was in storage. It was being moved to get access to a horse-drawn hearse when a volunteer backed it into a pole.
 

Carthage Drinking Water Has Odors

Aug 20, 2012

Carthage residents have been living with discolored and smelly water from their taps for two weeks.

City residents endured a similar occurrence last summer.

Second-Ward Alderman Gary Smith says the problem, and the culprit, are the same.

He says, “The really high temperatures and the low lake has caused the algae to be an issue in the lake. They're treating it but everything's working against us. It seems to be working itself out.”

The level of the city's lake is about eight feet below normal.

Carthage High-Speed Internet is on Hold

Aug 20, 2012

Carthage's effort to acquire high-speed Internet service is on hold.

Mayor Jim Nightingale still has confidence the i3 Group will follow through with the project. He says the snag legal and there are no technical barriers.

He says, “They were going to send us a contract and, I think, their legal department found there were some issues. And they wanted to get that corrected before they got a contract to us.”

Nightingale did not specify those concerns.

Carthage to allow Video Gambling

Aug 17, 2012

The Carthage city council has changed its position on gambling.

Aldermen have overturned a century-old ban on gambling to allow video poker machines. The state now allows these machines.

Mayor Jim Nightingale says the owner of a bar, the Wood Inn, asked for the change.

He says, “We're really not promoting gambling. Right now there's video poker machines in most of the bards and clubs that are licensed by Illinois. But they're supposed to be for amusement only.”

New Community Development Director for Carthage

Aug 3, 2012

Jim Lenz's  guest is Amy Graham,  Carthage's new community development director. They talk about her  30 years experience as an educator and prinipal and how she can draw upon it in her new position.

Graham caller herself a "people person."  She says those skills learned in dealing with students and parents will serve her well in her new position.  She says her role is as a facilitator to bring people together and to help them make connections whether to expand a business or for community betterment.

New Illini West High School Site Chosen

Aug 1, 2012

The Illini West School Board spent a year evaluating potential sites for a new high school.  It chose a location next door.  It is just east of the current high school's parking lot.

The 40-acre site is farmland that is currently covered by tall,  green and brown corn plants.

Those who were hoping for a central location will be disappointed.

But Superintendent Kim Schilson says such a location would come with some expensive problems to solve.

Carthage Starts Water Conservation

Jul 26, 2012

Carthage is being pro-active by encouraging water conservation by a combination of mandatory and voluntary measures.

Businesses are required to stop watering their lawns.

Second-ward Alderman Gary Smith says the city is concerned since the level at the city's lake has fallen by five feet recently.

He expects businesses will honor the ban. Smith says, “We've had good luck in the past and I think we'll probably not have any problem this time.”Businesses that ignore the order could be subject to fines.

Carthage will take some extra measures to make sure festivities this week don't become “too hot.”

The city is expecting larger than usual crowds for the Independence Day celebration. This year the city is also marking the 175th anniversary of its founding.

Temperatures will peak in the 90s for the rest of the week.

Carol Carr is a member of the celebration committee.  It will provide sites where people can escape the heat.

City Turns to Aeration to Solve Water Woes

Jul 2, 2012

Carthage is trying a new solution to a persistent problem last year-water discoloration. The city's drinking water was never unsafe, just unsavory. It was frequently a dull green. The city liberally applied chemicals to the water with little effect.

Second-ward Alderman Gary Smith says the three aerators will bubble air through the lake. The action will thoroughly mix the layers of water and reduce algae formation.

He says, “This is kind of an ongoing process. It might take a year to get the lake rehabilitated.”

City Will Soon Pay Less for Electricity

Jun 27, 2012

Carthage will pay less for electricity for city operations beginning next month. The city has signed a three-year contract with Ameren Energy Marketing at a bit more than 4.3 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Mayor Jim Nightingale says the city council solicited bids from several energy companies.  He says the response was overwhelming and frustrating.

He says, “Once a company contacts us their sales people just hound you to death.”

Carthage Residents Will Hear from City

Jun 18, 2012

Carthage residents will soon get a call from city hall. A new phone message system is being set up by city employees.

Second-ward Alderman Gary Smith says the system has been very easy to set up. He says the contact numbers for water service customers are being used for the initial test.

He says, “If we have a number that isn't one that they want called they can let us know. We're going to let residents use up to three numbers that they can have called. So a cell phone or home phone or whatever they want.”

Sewer System Might Lead to High Speed Internet

Jun 14, 2012

Carthage's route to high-speed Internet service might run underground. The city has been approached by multi-national company  I3 America. It says patented technology allows it to place fiber-optic cable in sewer lines.

The city and the company have agreed on a study by the company to be completed September 12th. Second-ward Alderman Gary Smith says the company has taken an initial look at the city's sewer system.

He says, “They're very interested. I think that they'll progress-that things will progress.”

Carthage Park Needs Modernization

May 29, 2012

The World of Wonder Park has provided outdoor fun for children in Carthage for nearly 20 years. It's started to show  its age. The board for the private park wants to give it a facelift.

Board Chair Natalie Cole says the park's wooden structures require a lot of maintenance and a lot of volunteers to provide it. There aren't enough people to do the work to keep up the park's appearance.

Carthage Water Pressure Will Increase

May 15, 2012

Carthage residents will see a significant increase in water pressure by October. It's the result of a number of upgrades to the water system. They cost about $1 million.

Second-ward Alderman Gary Smith is recommending residents who are concerned about their pipes and water heaters to have them checked.

He said, “It'd give you a little time to save a couple of bucks. Maybe have a plumber come check things out if you're worried.”

Carthage Will Rehabilitate Six Homes

Apr 30, 2012

Carthage will receive a $252,000 federal Community Development Block Grant to rehabilitate up to six homes.

Mayor Jim Nightingale said, ”It's a good program if the house is not in too bad a shape. You
just can't take a really old run-down house. There's not enough funds to fix those up.”  

The repairs can be fairly extensive. They can include electrical upgrades, plumbing, and weatherization.

The homes have not been selected.

The Western Illinois Regional Council will supervise the process.

The homes have not been selected.

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