Macomb 91.3fm - Galesburg 90.7fm Keokuk 89.5fm - Burlington 106.3fm
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

TSPR's Top Ten Stories of 2022

TSPR Top Ten.jpg
Jane Carlson
Tri States Public Radio

Our small but mighty news team reported on a wide range of stories in 2022 across our coverage area.

We narrowed down the top ten stories of the year by evaluating their impact and importance to our region, as well as the quality of the reporting.

Help us continue providing local coverage by supporting TSPR and non-profit journalism.

1. CO2 Pipeline. Navigator Heartland Greenway has proposed building a pipeline that would pump CO2 from biofuel plants in five states to a storage site in central Illinois. Rich Egger reported on the project throughout the year. The pipeline’s proposed path would take it through portions of our region, where there is a great deal of opposition. But one person who said he is neither for nor against the project is McDonough County ESDA Director Edgar Rodriguez. However, Rodriguez said he wants more public safety assurances from the company.

2. Hospital closures. The area saw two hospital closures in 2022. Galesburg’s Cottage Hospital suspended operations in January, just days before it was set to lose Medicare participation over numerous violations. Jane Carlson covered how Galesburg became a one-hospital town, and how other providers stepped up to serve the area. Then, Blessing Health closed the Keokuk hospital in October, taking 147 jobs with it. Will Buss covered the city’s shock at the closure and the efforts to secure another 24-hour medical provider in town.

3. Macomb murders. There were two murders in Macomb this year just a few months apart -- and both involved people in their early 20s. Dylan Lovato, 23, faces four counts of first-degree murder in the March shooting death of Ivan Almanza, 23, in a Macomb apartment; and a McDonough County jury found Brandon Whiteman, 21, guilty of fatally stabbing Dalton Rose, 21, in the neck, in downtown Macomb in July.

4. Funding for CPA. Talk of a Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of Western Illinois University goes back decades, but state funding never came through. Until this year. In October, Gov. JB Pritzker came to Macomb to announce $119 million for the CPA, which is now under construction and is expected to open in 2024, as Rich Egger reported.

5. Deputy killed. A car chase that started in Galesburg one morning in late April ended with the death of a Knox County sheriff’s deputy on U.S. Route 150 just south of Alpha. Nick Weist was a graduate of Western Illinois University. He was the first officer from the Knox County Sheriff’s Department ever killed in the line of duty, as Jane Carlson reported. Now elected officials are planning to rename a stretch of the highway after the fallen deputy.

6. Bernie in Burlington. Labor issues dominated headlines across the country in 2022. Among the fed-up workers were those at CNH in Burlington, who have been striking since their last contract expired in April. Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont visited Burlington to rally for the cause. Jane Carlson was there. TSPR also covered rail workers’ fight for paid sick leave and better work-life balance this year.

7. Galesburg Public Library. The people of Galesburg have been dreaming of a new public library for decades. That dream is now becoming a reality. City and library leaders officially broke ground on the new library in the 200 block of West Main Street, and construction is now well underway. Jane Carlson covered the groundbreaking on a brutally cold spring day. The library also celebrated meeting its local fundraising goal.

8. Weird Harold's. A Burlington business celebrated 50 years in existence in November But not just any business – a record store that has changed with the times. Rich Egger chronicled the history of Weird Harold’s in this story, alongside music over the decades in an ever-changing industry.

9. Uncle George. In February, the news department got word from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency that the remains of a western Illinois man killed at Pearl Harbor had been identified more than 70 years after his death. Navy Fireman 1st Class George Franklin Price was from Dallas City. Jane Carlson talked with some of “Uncle George’s” family members for an initial story; then a few months later, she and Rich Egger covered Price’s funeral in his hometown.

10. Murals. This year saw an explosion of new public art across the region in the form of murals. Rich Egger chronicled the trend with a story about new murals in Burlington, Keokuk, Macomb, and Monmouth. TSPR also had stories about the Macomb Beautiful Association’s new downtown mural; the unveiling of a mural honoring C.T. Vivian in Macomb; and an intricate mural highlighting the growing diversity of Monmouth.

Tri States Public Radio produced these stories.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Jane Carlson is TSPR's regional reporter.