Wigwam Hollow Road is split in half.
On one side of the bridge over the Lamoine River, the road stretches uphill, past a few sorority and fraternity houses, all the way to West Jackson Street. On the other side, the pavement also climbs and disappears over a hill. But in the middle, it’s an alarming scene.
Water rushes over the bridge — so high that not even the guardrails are visible. The yellow and black striped, rectangular signs at the bridge’s corners are being overtaken by water. They’ve become short stubs poking out of chocolatey, gray, pushing water.
A small crowd gathers to take photos. Many more filter in and out, stopping to look at the scene, some getting out to walk to the water’s edge.
A large jungle gym, already toppled on its side, lurches loose and begins floating further on its forced … Read More »
With the school year coming to a close and an increasing number of students graduating, end of the year celebrations are more than likely to arise.
One of the most popular end-of the year celebrations among students at Western Illinois University has been the Wheeler Street Block Party.
After a couple of years of police interference, arrests and new city ordinances, the once intense enthusiasm for the infamous party seems to have dramatically diminished.
Wheeler Street resident and current Western student Kelly Benignetti explained why she believes the excitement for the party has decreased.
“Honestly, after what happened last time, I feel like people are just too scared to see if they were to do something, what would happen to them,” Benignetti said.
Another Wheeler Street resident, Sarah Clancy, a junior who experienced the chaos of Wheeler in the previous years, reiterates Benignetti’s
“I haven’t … Read More »
Students may find that their valuables may not be as safe as they thought they were.
Last Sunday night on April 14 at 1:20 a.m., Caden Miller, 19, of 505 Higgins Hall, was arrested in L-Lot for two counts of attempted criminal trespass to a vehicle and illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor.
Director of Office of Public Safety (OPS) Scott Harris explained the procedures OPS has been conducting.
“What has happened in the last couple of weeks is that there’s been periodic thefts and damage to vehicles,” Harris said. “So, the officers here at Public Safety and Student Patrols have been checking those lots, such as L-Lot, as often as possible.”
“Just that night alone three different officers alone checked that particular lot,” Harris added. “One of our officers, Officer Jim VanVlymen, decided to sit and park in L-Lot for a while … Read More »
The end credits have rolled on the second annual Cornfed Film Fest.
The festival wrapped up on Sunday afternoon with a closing reception and awards presentation at the West Central Illinois Arts Center.
The three-day fest included screenings of 23 student, short and feature-length films at venue around the courthouse square. Nancy Crossman, one of the organizers of the event, said attendance at this year’s Cornfed was about on par with last year’s.
“It was probably not as good as we would have liked, but it wasn’t bad,” she said. “Our attendance is probably very close to last year, maybe a little bit more, and that’s great. We hope that next year we have even more.”
Documentaries received several awards Sunday. The Best of the Fest award went to filmmakers Markus Zetler and Justin Lubke for “Class C: The Only Game in Town,” about … Read More »
Western Illinois University took a step in joining the global Relay For Life movement last Friday, April 12, at the Donald S. Spencer Recreation Center Students, campus organizations, fraternities and sororities camped out in the recreation center for a night of food, games and fun in an effort to support cancer awareness. The overnight event took place from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Phi Sigma Sigma member Jamie Eller Brock explained the importance of this event for the community and for Greek life.
“It’s a great way for us to give back to the community,” Brock said. “It’s just kind of nice for us all to get the chance to hang out as well. It’s not that often where all the Greeks and campus organizations are just kind of together mingling and talking to one another.” Relay For Life is a … Read More »
March 1, 1983 is a day that holds a special place in the heart of retiring Western Illinois University advisor and broadcasting professor, Pat Stout. What was just any other day for others was the day that Stout began his 30-year journey at Western.
“I was working back in the Quad Cities at the public radio station of Augustana College when I found an ad in Broadcasting Magazine for Western,” Stout said. “So I applied to Western and they hired me to be the operations manager of the public radio station here.”
Stout has experienced many substantial changes in the world of broadcast journalism over the past three decades.
“Close to around the time I came to Macomb, many broadcasters were using video recording rather than film, which was a big change for me,” Stout said. “And now, a lot of it is … Read More »
Lincoln Elementary School students are tumbling over a new Web-based library with hundreds of picture books presented in an interactive format.
TumbleBooks program was purchased in March with a $500 grant from the Macomb Education Foundation.
Through a link on the Lincoln Elementary School page on the Macomb School District website, www.district185.macomb.com, children can access TumbleBooks from school or from home. There is no password required to access the program. The user-friendly TumbleBooks interface allows children to select a book with large, easy-to-read text and animation.
Bess Thompson is a third-grade teacher at Lincoln Elementary and applied for the MEF grant to receive TumbleBooks. She said the interactive nature of the Web-based library makes reading fun for reluctant readers.
Children can also learn better reading fluency by listening to the narrator of the books.
Click on the TumbleBook’s “Language Learning” button, and Books available in … Read More »
In September, more than 1,000 issues of the Western Courier were stolen after a controversial SGA story was headlined. This past Friday, it happened again.
“They weren’t at the Union at any of the racks, they weren’t at the library, and I believe some of the residence halls they were taken from,” said Garrick Hodge, Western Courier Managing Editor.
Staff at the Courier reported the incident to police to try to prevent this from happening again.
“I don’t think that most people know that stealing the Courier is a theft,” said Hodge. “It says on Page Two of our News section ‘one copy per student.’ We made sure to put that in there.”
Although no one was caught for the September theft, this case had a different outcome. On Sunday, an individual went into OPS and turned themselves in.
“Someone came into our office and … Read More »
A local non-profit early childhood learning center has received the top prize in the student submission category for the 10th annual Environmental Summit at Western Illinois University.
Catch A Star Learning Center’s 167 children, ranging in age from six weeks to 12 years old, collected and recycled cell phones, inkjet cartridges and toner cartridges, then turned them into cash — the center’s staff box the items and ship them to Pennsylvania — that goes back to the learning center.
Catch A Star Director Kimberly Hare and other staff accepted the award during the Environmental Summit’s reception Wednesday night at the West Central Illinois Arts Center, 25 E. Side Square. The center received a plaque and $250 to spend on a sustainability-focused project.
Catch A Star, 424 W. Piper St., has been recycling since 2003. In 2012, they collected 256 cell phone, 583 inkjet … Read More »
Macomb Mayor Mike Inman issued an official proclamation Monday declaring Wednesday, April 3, “General Alexander Macomb Day.” A birthday party for Macomb’s namesake will be held from 3 to 4:30 p.m. today at Chandler Park.
There will be children’s activities, a presentation of flags by Boy Scouts Troop 315 and the General Macomb Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and a guest speaker. Dr. Eugene Watkins, site supervisor of Old Fort Madison in Iowa, will speak about the War of 1812 in the Macomb region. Ukulele Macomb will lead a Happy Birthday sing-a-long and cake will be served.
The party is sponsored by the city of Macomb, the Western Illinois Museum and the Macomb Public Library.
-McDonough County Voice Newspaper
To celebrate the grand opening of the new Macomb Transit Center at 701 E. Pierce St., an open house and tour will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. Monday, April 1.
The public is invited to attend, according to a news release. During the open house, buses will run continuously to and from the Macomb Transfer Center, which is next to the Macomb Train Station, and the Sherman Hall front parking lot to the transit facility.
The facility houses the administrative offices, dispatch centers, driver training, bus and van storage, fueling station, a vehicle wash building and vehicle maintenance center for the McDonough County Public Transportation Program, which includes Western Illinois University’s Go West transit system.
The $13.8 million grant-funded project involved the renovation of a former manufacturing facility on East Pierce Street in Macomb.
A portion of the building was demolished, and … Read More »
Erica Borggren, director of Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs, stopped at Western Illinois University Thursday afternoon to give a keynote presentation for Women’s History Month. She spoke on “Changing Roles of Women in the Military and Issues Facing Female Service Members and Veterans.”
Before her speech, Borggren answered questions for members of the local media. Questions included below are those from both the McDonough County Voice and Tri-States Public Radio.
For the first time, females are allowed on the front lines, is that correct?
What happened in January was a directive from the Department of Defense and is actually the continuation of really a gradual evolution of women serving more and more in combat roles and really, in the last decade, proving their medal in combat roles. It was a recognition of that reality, really.
How will that change the military?
Ninety-three percent of military … Read More »
About a month ago, members of the new fraternity Pi Kappa Phi set out to find a location for their fraternity house and 901 West Carroll Street stood out. However, many concerns have been raised by neighbors, including noise and parking.
“There seems to be no other plan for people who come for chapter, or social occasions, or overnight, or weekend guests, or what have you,” said one resident.
Pi Kappa Phi has been on campus for four months now. President Michael Quigley says their motto is being ‘men of class.’
“We pride ourselves on trying to be the different fraternity on campus,” said Quigley.
Despite a Planning Commission presentation and an appearance at Monday night’s Committee of the Whole meeting, residents in the area don’t seem to be changing their mind.
“Many, many times people come before us with a great agenda of how … Read More »
To another packed house, Mayor Mike Inman devoted just over a minute to address the city’s situation with Steve Wailand at the beginning of Monday’s 5 p.m. Committee of the Whole meeting.
The city and county were given a legal ultimatum last week. It turns out, the Liberty Justice Group of Chicago already sent a letter asking City Clerk Melanie Falk and County Clerk Gretchen DeJaynes to respond and resolve the issue surrounding February’s election by last Friday at 5 p.m. In the letter, the group asks — ahead of legal action — that the Second Ward seat on Macomb City Council be awarded to Steve Wailand. See Wednesday’s issue for a full story.
Mayor Inman Responds to Wailand in Disputed Election
I must admit, the concept of being bald never really appealed to me. That is, until I realized that it could help make a difference in a child’s battle with cancer.
Large groups of Western Illinois University students participated in the St. Baldrick’s fundraiser at Tanner Hall on Sunday in an effort to help raise thousands of dollars for cancer patients, especially children.
In fact, one woman in front of me while at the check-in table proudly announced that she had raised $1,350, an impressive feat compared to my lousy $50 (but hey, I still got a T-shirt).
After the registration process, I allowed a volunteer to shave my beautiful locks of hair (just kidding, my hair was already short to begin with), with a few friends watching and cheering me on.
Following the process, my first thought was the obvious, “holy crap, I’m … Read More »
The local newspaper has moved to a different location in downtown Macomb. Formerly in the old Lamoine Hotel at 203 N. Randolph St. along the east side of Chandler Park, the office for the McDonough County Voice and Choice has relocated to 26 W. Side Square. Interruptions of services aren’t anticipated, but the staff would like to thank the community in advance for its patience and understanding during this time of transition.
Phone contacts for the office remain the same, as do the email addresses that changed in December. If you have any immediate concerns or questions, please feel free to contact Editor Jackie Smith at jsmith@McDonoughVoice.com.
Sincerely, McDonough County Voice staff.
-McDonough County Voice
Local families looking for Easter egg hunts have a few options in Macomb.
Western Illinois University’s Chi Omega sorority will be holding an event on Sunday, March 24, at the Stone Pavilion in Glenwood Park from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be a coloring contest, face painting, pictures with a live bunny and a hunt for Easter eggs.
Also, several Easter egg hunts will be held on Friday, March 29, at the Macomb Public Library at 235 South Lafayette. Children up to three years old are invited to participate in a hunt from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Two other hunts will be held later in the morning for older children. Children from 4 to 6 years old can attend a hunt from 11 to 11:30 a.m., and children from 7 to 10 years old can attend a hunt from 1 … Read More »
Nearly a month ago, WIU student Steve Wailand thought he had won Macomb’s second ward city council seat, but not in the eyes of the city.
Though Wailand received 51.52 percent of the total votes, he has not been officially declared as the winner of the second ward.
Wailand says he has approached the City Clerk for clarity. He was told that he needed 50 percent plus one vote in order to win the election.
Steve has since found there is no such statement in the special charter, and is quite frustrated.
“My aggravation has only further enhanced with the election officials stating that the majority wasn’t enough, and that the majority actually meant fifty percent plus one,” says Wailand.
Wailand’s next option is to take his case to court. Until that decision is made, Wailand plans to run again for the position.
-News3 WIU TV
The Macomb City Council is expected Monday to vote on awarding a nearly $565,000 contract to Laverdiere Construction.
The company was the low bidder for culvert replacements on McArthur, Dudley and Summit streets.
Aldermen will also vote on offering two-year contracts to the Macomb Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and to the Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Development Corporation. In accordance with state guidelines for spending hotel/motel tax income, the majority of which must be dedicated to tourism, 80 percent of the tax revenues would be paid annually to the MACVB, 10 percent would be paid to the chamber and the city would retain 10 percent.
The council will hold a public hearing and first reading on a proposed ordinance creating a restaurant liquor license with Sunday sales for Larry A’s Pizza at 1506 E. Jackson St.
Pizzeria owner Larry Aurelio said … Read More »
The annual New Music Festival at Western Illinois University provides a rare opportunity for our community and region to hear new music and meet recognized composers and performers. The events of the festival provide an opportunity to experience and understand the music of our time.
The festival brings together some of the university’s fine performing faculty, guest artists, faculty and student composers, and student performers in lectures, concerts, and workshops that explore many exciting facets of today’s new music world.
The festival’s directors are WIU composition faculty James Caldwell, Paul Paccione, and James Romig.
For additional information please contact Dr. James Caldwell via email at J-Caldwell@wiu.edu or visit the website at http://www.wiu.edu/cofac/newmusicfestival/
Concert I – Monday, March 4 – 7:30pm
Concert II – Tuesday, March 5 – 2:00pm
Concert II – Tuesday, March 5 – 7:30pm
New Music Festival 2013 is made possible with support from the … Read More »
Police now believe the 911 call that alleged sight of a person with a firearm on West Murray Street Wednesday to be a prank — an announcement that came five hours after emergency crews first responded.
The incident unfolded in the 500 block of West Murray just east of the Western Illinois University campus in Macomb.
During a news briefing at about 11:15 p.m. Wednesday, Macomb Police Chief Curt Barker said an emergency phone call was placed by a woman at about 6 p.m. Wednesday evening. The caller, Barker said, gave the address of the house and told the dispatcher there was a person in the residence with a firearm.
“In the background, you could the male subject saying, ‘Are you calling the police? Are you calling the police?’ and then the phone went dead,” Barker said, adding that the 911 system — … Read More »
Twelve of them smiled and sauntered across the stage — putting weeks of work and knowledge of current events to the test — before a nearly filled Fellheimer Auditorium this weekend, and only one of them walked away with the title and a $5,000 scholarship.
The preparation had started in January and, after the 54th annual Miss Macomb Scholarship Pageant Sunday, some contestants admitted that while the experience of vying for the crown was ultimately rewarding, the pressure was at times stressful.
But some of that pressure — it’s what Miss Macomb 2013 Rayni Lasley said was her favorite part.
“I like the interviews, which I don’t know if that counts (as a part of the pageant event) since it was earlier today,” the 21-year-old said after she’d won the title. “But I feel like when you have that 10 minutes, it’s kind … Read More »
The Macomb Board of Education will announce the school district’s next superintendent during a special board meeting set for 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Macomb-Junior Senior High School library, according to a press release issued Monday afternoon.
Following the meeting, those in attendance will have an opportunity to meet and speak with the new superintendent.
The finalists for the position are Dr. Chad Allaman, superintendent at Central School District #51; Dr. Chet Lien, superintendent at Rockridge School District #300; and Dr. Patrick Twomey, superintendent at Havana School District #126.
The new superintendent will replace Alene Reuschel, who will retire in June.
—Lainie Steelman/The Voice
At universities and high schools across the state on Saturday, high school students flexed their mental muscles at the Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics’ regional competitions. One of 21 regional contest sites, Western Illinois University welcomed mathletes from Macomb, Pittsfield, United, West Central, Illini West, Alleman and Virginia school districts.
Working with paper and pencil — and in some instances with a calculator — in teams of two or eight and covering algebra, geometry and pre-calculus, 50 Macomb Senior High students participated. On May 4, they will advance to the state competition on the University of Illinois campus.
For the Macomb Senior High’s math teachers and students, the competition about more than solving problems.
“I do this a lot to just to hang out with friends and then also for the math,” said Abraham Matlak, an MHS senior who has competed for … Read More »