Posts Tagged ‘Warren County’
I regret to report that 12/31/2011 will be the final business day for Warren County Pharmacy in County Market.
I wondered before Warren County Pharmacy opened whether Monmouth could support four pharmacies. I’m sad to see my suspicions born out and another locally owned & operated business close its doors. The Gracey’s are good people, and I wish them well in the future.
OK, can someone tell me why this article about the recent addition of 80 acres to the Northwestern Illinois Agricultural Research and Demonstration Center in Monmouth was printed in the Aledo Times Record, and why this article about the new Monmouth underage club AfterDark was printed in the Galesburg Register-Mail? Better question … why was there nothing in the Review Atlas regarding these rather newsworthy local events???
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.
I was rather critical of the idea of a private school opening up in Roseville when the idea first floated. The anger underlying the criticism in that post stems from my belief that private schools take away from public education. The passion in that anger stems from my belief that quality public education is essential to the success and well-being of our country.
My anger has cooled with time and the knowledge that there have not been major shifts in local school enrollment. I was correct in my assumption that the initial interest in the new school was largely fueled by the anger over District 238 closing Roseville Elementary. While over a hundred residents showed up for the initial informational meetings, only three students were enrolled when the school first opened (per the WCN post linked above, enrollment is now up to four). I’m sure that the reality of paying thousands of dollars in tuition annually made a lot of Roseville residents realize that the 14 mile bus ride to Monmouth isn’t so bad. Some students at United & other nearby rural school districts spend 2-3 hours on the bus every school day!
I also know that for one Roseville Christian student, the small class size & personalized educational environment has been a true blessing. For that student’s sake, I hope this educational experiment succeeds. However, I wonder how it can possibly be sustainable with so few students. We’ll just have to see what the future brings for Roseville Christian School.
If some Roseville residents want to contribute to the degradation of public education in Warren County and spit in the faces of their fellow villagers who can’t afford a private education for their children … by all means, start a new private Christian school. However, in doing so they should know & accept that they’re part of the problem, not the solution.
I’m sure this movement to open a Christian school spawns from anger over the impending closure of Roseville Elementary School and not a fervent desire for religious education. I understand that anger, but the M-R 238 administration & school board had to deal with the cold hard facts and do what’s best for the greatest number of students. The two deficit-reduction scenarios that had R.E.S. staying open would have resulted in 250-350 more Monmouth students being bussed to Roseville than vice versa. The accepted scenario results in 17 more Roseville kids bussed to Monmouth than vice versa. Given those numbers, if someone can explain how keeping R.E.S. open would be fair, I’ll buy the Brooklyn Bridge from them.
Willits Primary and Roseville Elementary will close for the 2010-2011 school year. Many programs, including the enrichment program that my daughters participate in, will be cut. The United CUSD #304 also had to make some painful financial decisions recently.
The decision to close two schools was a painful one for everyone involved, and I know that Roseville residents are particularly angered by the closure of R.E.S. The anger over these school closings & program cuts should not be directed at Superintendent Paul Woehlke or the M-R CUSD #238 school board. I think they made the best play that they could with the cards they were dealt. If folks want to be angry, be angry at the politicians in Springfield that couldn’t pay the state’s bills even before the current economic crisis struck. Be angry at the Wall Street investment bankers and their wildly speculative financial schemes that precipitated the financial meltdown in 2008. There lies the root cause of these school closings.
Superintendent Paul Woehlke recommended that CUSD 238 close Willits & Roseville Elementary to make up for significant budget shortfalls in the district. The creation of a county-wide school district may not be far off, especially with huge cuts looming in the state budget. The CUSD 238 school board votes on the issue Tuesday, March 9.