Purdue University, Indiana’s Department of Agriculture and Indiana’s Economic Development Association are partnering with several counties to attract specifically ag-related revenues.The area counties have partnered before and now, will focus on finding ways to diversify farm revenues that all can benefit from. Jasper, Newton, Benton, White, Pulaski and Stark county leaders are working with the agencies to trigger more progressive results with farm revenues. The Purdue Center for Economic Development and the roup are playing leading roles.
The group’s focus will be on food, agri-business processing, forestry and even wood production. Energy and transportation and logistics will also be explored.
The city of Watseka is leaning on the expertise of some collegiate know-how in looking toward future development and growth opportunities. And it’s happening through network communication. Mayor John Allhands says two groups of university students are working on studies at no cost to the city.
The Watseka Academic Inspiration Awards opened a door with Purdue University. Engineering students working toward their MBA’s have an association with Robert Strickler, a WCHS grad from the 1950’s …
"These engineering grads are working on administrative matters that could help with communication within the community," Allhands said.
Improving the city website is one aspect of the study. Connecting with the area’s agricultural base is something that needs to be pursued, according to the mayor…"a team of award winners are brinstorming; they're former Inspiration award winners who want to give bach to their community."
Three teams of engineering students from Olivet Nazarene University (ONU) are also looking into a solar lighting system for enhancing the downtown area – extending to Cherry and Oak Streets. Two other lots were gifted to the city, that the mayor said could possibly become TIF development opportunities. The mayor said a city – Unit Nine school district partnership could also open doors for a community auditorium. The City Council is also pursuing more flood prevention measures at the Water Sewage Plant.
More than $5.6 million in grants and loans from the USDA are headed to Illinois. The village of Naplate will get $880,000 in loans and grants for water main replacements and sewer mapping. Mason City will get a $4.8 million loan to construct a new 21.4 million-gallon-per-day sewer overflow pump and overflow pond for water storage.
Local citizens in Watseka and Iroquois County can Step, STAND, Salute while showing "Character Still Counts" on Thursday, October 16. That's when the Tunnel to Towers Foundation 9/11 NEVER FORGET Mobile Exhibit arrives in Watseka for a weekend display. Several visitors are expected to show their patriotism while touring the exhibit at the downtown First Trust & Savings Bank parking lot.
The exhibit is a tribute to those lives lost in the September 11, 2001 attack on the United States. There's special recognition to the 343 New York City Fire department members who lost their lives making the ultimate sacrifice protecting others.
The City of Watseka and the Watseka Park District have partnered to bring the exhibit to the local area. Students, teachers, first responders and the public are invited to be part of an educational and learning experience while the 53-foot mobile trailer is on display Friday through Sunday. Several other notable events adn speakers will welcome visitors. The Watseka Masons and the Watseka Area Chamber of Commerce offer respective events. The Iroquois County Republican Women's Club also hosts its annual First Responder Celebration Sunday, honoring all area first response teams.
The mobile exhibit is expected to arrive via Route 24 from Indiana about 3 pm Thursday, according to Park District Executive Director Sherry Johnson. Citizens are welcome to greet its arrival by lining Route 24 on the east side of Watseka. Johnson said the city and volunteers are to be commended for the flags displayed along the main route throughout the city.
The mobile exhibit presenters will spend about three hours setting up the display. Tours will be available for students and teachers Friday. Public tours will be conducted Saturday and Sunday. Visitors are urged to be aware of local road closings and restricted parking near the exhibit display.
Drop, Cover, and Hold On. That's what emergency management officials want everyone to do for the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut. That’s scheduled October 17th at 10:17 a.m. to bring awareness about earthquake preparedness. Illinois sits between two active seismic zones: the New Madrid Seismic Zone and the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone. On September 30th, the United States Geological Survey reports seven earthquakes occurred in one day.