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THonline.com • Telegraph Herald • Thursday, August 4, 2011

tri-state

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Got a tip? Please contact us Ken Brown, City Editor kbrown@wcinet.com 563-588-5663 or 800-553-4801

Illinois treasurer shares insights on finances Rutherford discusses concerns about the state’s debt and his responsibilities at a roundtable discussion in Elizabeth. BY LAUREN EHRLER

TH staff writer • lehrler@wcinet.com

ELIZABETH, Ill. — Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford is clear about one thing — “no more debt,” and he wants to share his message with audiences large and small. Rutherford met with about a dozen local mayors, business people and community members for a lunchtime roundtable discus-

sion Wednesday in Elizabeth. He shared concerns and listened to people’s perspectives on the current financial state of Illinois. The Illinois State Treasury is independent of the governor and the Legislature, Rutherford Dan Rutherford explained, with the state treasurer’s main responsibility being to “invest the state portfolio in the most secure way possible.” “I can’t stop the Legislature if they want to go out and borrow $8.7 billion, like the governor wanted to,” Rutherford said. However, Rutherford does not feel helpless in his attempts to decrease borrowing. By speaking from his “bully pulpit” to the

media, lenders and bond agencies, Rutherford has been able to make Illinois’ financial problems known to the nation. “If you articulate with statistics, that can change the final vote,” Rutherford said. Rutherford asked members of the audience to share with him what they thought made Illinois less competitive in the job market. Complicated workers’ compensation, sales tax and the highest minimum wage in the nation all were mentioned. Local business owners also expressed that the region’s shared borders with Iowa and Wisconsin create unique challenges and additional competition. A native of Chenoa, Ill., population 1,800, Rutherford said he is familiar with small-town struggles.

hear the conversation

Video of the roundtable discussion with Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford, THonline.com

“I’m like a white deer in the forest in Illinois government. There’s not many like me,” Rutherford said. “I’m here on your side.” Mike Dittmar, mayor of Elizabeth, was pleased that Rutherford was able to stop in the village on his multi-day tour throughout northwest Illinois. “He came to listen to us. We don’t have a lot of state officials come up here in this area in the corner of the state,” Dittmar said. “He was one that was willing to do that and we’re very grateful he did.”

Jo Daviess to discontinue county’s WIC program State officials hope another provider will help assist the 417 clients the county can no longer afford to serve.

in her words

Peg Murphy describes the WIC program in Jo Daviess County, THonline.com

The program is available statewide. At the latest count, Jo Daviess County’s proBY ERIK HOGSTROM gram had 417 clients — mostly children. TH staff writer • ehogstrom@wcinet.com “I would love to see another provider take it over,” Murphy said. Illinois’ troubled state finances have GALENA, Ill. — The nutritional needs of moms and young kids could suffer as a impacted the budgets of local health detri-state-area county prepares to ax a pro- partments. gram. With state funding in short supply, The Jo Daviess County Health Depart- Jo Daviess County officials must focus on ment is discontinuing its Women, Infants the programs the health department is and Children nutritional pro- required to provide with funding from a gram in December because its county levy — programs safeguarding food funding sources have dried up. and water, septic systems and programs Half of the program’s funding combating communicable diseases. comes from the federal gov“We can’t raise the levy any more beernment; the county health cause of property tax caps,” Murphy said. department has provided the The WIC program is not a required proPeg remainder of the necessary gram for the Jo Daviess County Health DeMurphy funding. partment. Peg Murphy, the county Jo Daviess isn’t the first county to lose a health department administrator, hates program provider. “In November 2010, one of the providto see the program go. “Of the programs we provide, it’s prob- ers in Kane County discontinued proably the most research-based and has the viding WIC services,” said Januari Smith best outcomes,” she said. “We Trader, spokeswoman for just can’t afford it.” the Illinois Department of The health, nutrition and “I would love Healthcare & Family Services. prevention program aims to to see another “However, we had two other improve the diets of infants WIC providers in the county and children younger than provider take at that time and were able to 5 and pregnant, postpartum identify a third.” and breast-feeding women it over.” State officials have contactwho are at risk for nutritioned other program providers in related illness. The program PEG MURPHY, northwestern Illinois to see if provides supplemental infant JO DAVIESS they are interested in serving Jo Daviess County. formula, supplemental foods COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT “We continue to have conand health screenings. Staff members also provide ADMINISTRATOR versations and hope to make referrals to area health care more information available providers and agencies according to the about the new provider soon,” Smith family needs and individual situations. Trader said. Recent studies have shown that the proIowa or Wisconsin program providgram reduces fetal deaths, infant mortality, ers are not an option; federal regulations low birth-weight rates and iron-deficiency require that program participants be anemia in children and increases immuni- residents of the state where they receive services. zation rates.

Hanging around

JEREMY PORTJE • Telegraph Herald

A tire swing has a view of construction at Holy Trinity Church in Luxemburg, Iowa. The church’s steeple fell a year ago next week during an early morning fire caused by a lightning strike.

Wisconsin posts concealed-carry Web page Telegraph Herald

MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin Department of Justice has posted a “frequently asked questions” document to provide information on the state’s concealed-carry law that will take effect Nov. 1. Under the law, Wisconsin residents now will have the right to carry concealed weapons upon issuance of a permit. The law, which will

be primarily implemented by the Department of Justice, has raised a number of significant questions that are currently being reviewed. In order to provide the public with timely, accurate and useful information on the concealed-carry law, the Department of Justice created a concealed-carry Web page to serve as the primary conduit for providing information and guidance. The page can be accessed

by going to the Department of Justice’s home page and clicking on the action box titled “Concealed Carry Law.” On Monday, a “Frequently Asked Questions” document was posted to the Web page

to answer common questions about the concealed carry law. That document is available at www.doj.state. wi.us/dles/cib/Concealed Carr y/ccw_frequently_ asked_questions.pdf.

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I designed this page as a copy editing intern at the Telegraph Herald in Dubuque, Iowa.

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