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Around the Tri States: Former city council member sentenced on meth charges; Street repairs to begin in Macomb

Jane Carlson
Tri States Public Radio

A weekly roundup of news rom around the region.

Former Galesburg city council member Lindsay Hillery has been sentenced to 180 days in the Knox County jail for possession of methamphetamine.

The charges stem from a May 2021 traffic stop, during which police found a cigarette container in Hillery’s purse that had less than a gram of meth.

Hillery testified at a trial the drugs were not hers, but she was found guilty.

She will also be on probation for two years following her release from jail, according to Knox County State’s Attorney Jeremy Karlin.

Hillery formerly represented the Third Ward, but resigned in July of last year.

Street repairs to begin in Macomb

The city of Macomb said on Friday that the start of its 2022 Road Improvement Project has been pushed back to September 6. It had announced earlier this week that the work would begin on Monday, August 22.

Pavement improvements are planned for ten streets:

· Dudley Street
· West Calhoun Street
· West McDonough Street
· West Piper Street
· West Murray Street
· North Charles Street
· East Franklin Street
· North East Street
· East Wheeler Street
· North White Street

The city is using money from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to pay for the work.

Public Works Director Alice Ohrtmann said more road improvements will be done next summer. She said those will be paid for with remaining ARPA funds plus revenue generated from the city’s infrastructure sales tax.

Her department is currently compiling a list of streets for next year’s work.

New school year begins without COVID restrictions

The new school year is underway in Macomb. Opening day was a bit different compared to the past couple years.

Classes began without any pandemic-related restrictions -- no masking was required, there were no social distancing rules, and there was no screening for COVID-19.

“I have to tell you, I’ve been a superintendent for 17 years now and I feel like this is my first year all over again. I’ve never been more excited for a school year to start,” said Superintendent Patrick Twomey.

He acknowledged the virus is not completely gone, and that masks are still optional. But Twomey said that for the first time in nearly three years, kids will experience school the way it’s supposed to be.

IDOC employment workshop in Galesburg

The Illinois Department of Corrections is currently seeking correctional officers, nurses, wardens, office associates, and social workers at more than 30 locations statewide.

IDOC will host a workshop in Galesburg for anyone interested in learning about those career opportunities on Tuesday, Aug. 23, at the The Hub, 143 E. Main St. Prospective applicants can also join the workshop virtually from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The event, sponsored by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) and the Illinois Worknet Center, will teach participants about the department’s application process. There will be a question and answer session after the presentation. IDOC recruiters will be on hand to answer questions and help individuals apply on the spot.

Email for more information.

Lane closures on Illinois 97

Pavement patching began this week on Illinois Route 97 between U.S. Route 150 and County Road 1290 North, east of Knoxville.

Intermittent daytime closures will be necessary during the work, according to the Illinois Department of Public Transportation.

The project is expected to be complete in September.

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