Archive for February 2011
Matt Hutton, editor of the Daily Review Atlas, announced recently that the Review Atlas, the Galesburg Register-Mail and the Macomb Journal would all be printed in Galesburg instead of Peoria. This will result in some minor cosmetic changes to the papers. Hutton also announced that the Review Atlas will begin charging for obituaries.
I’m glad to hear that the local papers will be printed closer to home, but I’m more interested in hearing the story behind the “For Sale” sign on the Review Atlas building. Still no official word on that front.
Another local media change is the revamp of the Galesburg.com blog page. I’m not sure when this happened, and it may have been a while ago. The old page was so antiquated & unappealing that I rarely visited it. The new version is certainly a big step up.
In 2000, the fourteen West-Central Illinois counties that Neil Gamm once grouped under the aegis of Forgottonia had a total population of 334,800. Based on recently released data from the U.S. Census bureau, that population has now fallen to 324,389, a 3.1% decrease. Only two of the 14 counties had a population increase – Calhoun (a whopping +5, so essentially no change) & Schuyler (+ 355, a 4.9% increase).
We could cheer for Schuyler County, but I wouldn’t. The population increase there can be accounted for entirely by the number of inmates housed at the Rushville Treatment and Detention Facility for Sexually Violent Persons (average inmate population 352 in 2009).
The local papers have published several articles on the local census figures: Monmouth & Warren County census figures, Galesburg & Knox County census figures, official reaction in Knox County, population numbers for local school districts, Burlington’s population loss, and overall rural population decline in Iowa. The hardest hit counties of Forgottonia are right here at its heart – Knox, Warren, Henderson & Hancock. Henderson County saw the biggest percentage drop, down 10.7% to 7331. The 2008 flooding that devastated Gulfport & other communities played a big roll in that precipitous drop.
All of the Illinois counties that saw population increases (except Schuyler) included &/or collared metropolitan areas – Peoria, Springfield, Champaign-Urbana, Bloomington-Normal, Carbondale, Rockford, Vincennes (IN), Dubuque (IA), Paducah (KY), St. Louis & Chicago. It’s suburbanization at work. The jobs are in the larger communities, and that’s where the people go.
On January 27, the U.S. Senate voted 92-4 to end the practice of secret holds. Secret holds allowed one Senator to gum up legislation or the approval of a nominee – all anonymously. This was an enormous overstep of governance, and I’m glad to see that the practice has been stopped.
It’s interesting to note the Senators who voted against the rule change ending secret holds: