Iowa game officials to oversee annual wild turkey survey

DES MOINES — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is seeking volunteers to participate in the state's annual wild turkey survey.

Each summer, the department asks for volunteers to participate in the July-August survey. The information is used to monitor trends and manage the state's turkey population.

Participants are asked to keep an eye out for wild turkeys as they work and play in Iowa during July and August.

Volunteers are asked to distinguish adult females from males and young poults. They're then asked to count the number of adults and young turkeys and make a note of the date and the county in which they were seen. That info is then reported to the Wildlife Bureau using at http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/2115256/IowaWildTurkeyReports using a computer or smartphone.

Items from old Muscatine library go on auction block

MUSCATINE — Over 100 items from an old library in Muscatine have gone on the auction block.

The items — including chairs, tables, bookshelves, and even a couple of plants — did not make the move from the old Musser Public Library to its new location on 2nd Street.

Now, the items can be found online, where the public can bid on them through July 20.

The public auction site can be found at publicsurplus.com.

Illinois agencies recovering a year after budget impasse

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A year after Illinois lawmakers ended a historic state budget impasse, social service agencies and other providers hardest hit by funding cuts said they're starting to recover.

The providers said some rate increases approved in fiscal 2018 and 2019 isn't enough to undo all the damage.

"There are definitely less services," said Judith Gethner, executive director of Chicago-based Illinois Partners for Human Service.

The impasse led to layoffs and those positions haven't been filled, Gethner said.

Gethner said the crisis has also left many nonprofits leery about spending to replace employees or restore programs. She said many of the organizations are having issues recruiting qualified professionals, who are willing to work in such an environment.

"We are finding ourselves stretched in a really horrific way," Gethner said.

Lawmakers resolved the impasse with a 32 percent income-tax increase, which passed over Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto. Illinois' overall backlog of bills stands at nearly $6.4 billion, according to the state comptroller's office.

Illinois to get $16M in federal money for community service

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Sixteen community service programs in Illinois will receive more than $16 million dollars in federal funding.

The federal Corporation for National and Community Service is distributing $11.6 million to help more than 900 AmeriCorps members conduct community projects and pay college costs and student loans after completing their service.

Democratic U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth of Illinois said in a statement that another $4.8 million in federal money will go to Serve Illinois . That's the commission that administers AmeriCorps in the state.

The money will go to 10 sites in Chicago and for projects in Belleville, Dixon, East St. Louis, Evanston, Ina and Peoria.

Duckworth says helping rebuild homes after a disaster or aiding education programs is just as critical an "American service" as military service.