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Around the Tri States: Barge hits Fort Madison bridge; Galesburg council approves Churchill sale

A weekly roundup of news from around the region.

Barge hits Fort Madison bridge

A barge struck the Fort Madison over the Mississippi River bridge on Thursday, May 9.

Traffic was rerouted for several hours while crews assessed damage to the bridge.

BNSF railway then certified the bridge was safe and traffic has resumed for both rail and vehicular traffic.

Galesburg council approves Churchill sale

Two years after the city of Galesburg acquired the former Churchill Junior High School, the building has been sold.

The Benedict Family Foundation for Addictions made a $100,000 offer for the nearly 90,000-square-foot school that was vacated by Galesburg District 205 as part of its facilities plan.

The city council unanimously approved the sale.

Churchill once was a potential site for a proposed community center in Galesburg, but that project has stalled.

The Foundation plans to renovate the space and rent it to non-profits.

But the city will keep the large lot of greenspace north of the building.

SRC completes Canton campus projects

Spoon River College unveiled improvements to its campus in Canton during an open house on Tuesday, May 7.

The new features include a greenhouse for the Agriculture Department, and renovations and upgraded equipment for the Vocational and Technical Education Center.

SRC also unveiled a display honoring the McPheeters Family Hands-On Learning Lab.

Lynn McPheeters donated $500,000 to the school to help support students entering career and technical education programs.

McPheeters was the first student to enroll in and graduate from the school when it was known as Canton Community College. He eventually began a career at Caterpillar, retiring as Vice President and CFO in 2005.

Ukraine documentaries coming to Capitol Theater

Two travel documentary filmmakers will present a program of their films and experiences in Ukraine amidst the ongoing war there.

“Ukraine: Films and Conversation –Two Filmmakers’ Experiences” will begin at 7 p.m. May 14 at the Capitol Theater in Burlington.

Robert Rose and Rick Ray both traveled to Ukraine at separate times and documented similar and different terrain as Russia’s war on Ukraine progressed.

Ray's "Be Safe: Stories from Ukraine" is being developed. His website,, has various clips of his experiences and productions from Ukraine.

Rose's four-part docuseries "My Summer in Ukraine" is being broadcast on weekend syndication in 185 TV cities on local TV stations (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, etc.) nationwide through May 19.

More content will also be posted and Raw Travel'sYouTube channel, as well as on their social media platforms @RawTravelTV.

Galesburg council picks deputy mayor

Ward Seven Council Member Steve Cheesman will serve as deputy mayor.

He was elected to the position by his fellow council members and would serve as temporary chairperson of the council if Mayor Peter Schwartzman was absent.

The council also approved an ordinance changing the length of the deputy mayor’s term.

Instead of appointing a council member to the position every year, it will now be every two years, coinciding with municipal elections.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  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.