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Around the Tri States: Lee County teen detained after school threat; Galesburg asking for public transportation feedback

A weekly roundup of news from around the region.

Lee County teen detained after school threat

A 15-year-old student in southeast Iowa has been detained on felony charges of threats of terrorism.

The Lee County Sheriff’s department said in a release they received information Thursday morning from a suicide hotline that indicated there would be a shooting at Central Lee School.

Schools were placed on lockdown and the suspect was identified shortly thereafter.

The student is being held at the Southeast Iowa Juvenile Detention Facility.

Galesburg asking for public transportation feedback

A public transportation survey is currently available for citizens to provide feedback on public transportation services in Galesburg and Knox County.

Residents are encouraged to participate in the survey to share their thoughts, suggestions, and concerns regarding public transportation including routes, schedules, and accessibility features.

The city said the survey is a crucial tool for gauging public opinion and shaping the future of transportation in Galesburg and Knox County. It’s available through April 12.

Low turnout, few local races in primary election

With only a few local contested races and the presidential candidates already decided, turnout was low in west central Illinois for Tuesday’s primary election.

For instance, just 14% of Galesburg’s nearly 17,000 registered voters cast ballots according to unofficial election results. That's down from 23% in the last general primary election.

There were two contested Republican primaries for Knox County board.

In District 1, Fred McGunnigal beat Tammy Weiss with 72% of the vote. He’ll face Democrat Tracy Robertson in November. In District 3, Sam Larson edged Mark Varnold with 52% of the vote and will go up against Democrat Kimberly Thierry.

There will also be contested races in Districts 2, 4, and 5 in November.

Sandburg to acquire welding simulator

 Students in Carl Sandburg College’s welding program will soon be able to use a welding simulator to learn their trade.

Sandburg got a $89,509 dollar grant from the Illinois Community College board to buy the virtual reality equipment.

The simulator will give the students experience of using actual welding torches but in a controlled environment. It will also save the welding program money.

Sandburg was one of 12 community colleges in the state that received funding to implement virtual reality equipment and software into existing career and technical programs.

Local foods grant awarded to farm in Quincy

A western Illinois farm will receive funding through the state’s inaugural Local Food Infrastructure Grant program.

Terripin Farms in Quincy will receive $150,000.

Terripin Farms will use the money to create a value-added processing and storage facility. The farm’s owners say this will help them and many small farmers generate less waste and create value-added products.

In all, more than $2 million in grants were awarded to 19 recipients from across the state.

The program received 247 applications for more than $23.5 million in projects.

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.