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Local News 2.23.2018

Longtime Marion County Treasurer Denise Emal has decided to not run for re-election after her term ends.  An emotional Emal said she wanted to retire to spend more time with her grandkids and travel with her husband. She also says she’s enjoyed working with the public and her coworkers during her time in county government. Emal spent a total of 37 years in the department, including 20 as treasurer.  Current Deputy Treasurer Michaela Bigaouette has announced her plans to run for the office of treasurer in hopes of succeeding Emal.

New transportation legislation could mean a big win for local rural schools.  File 455 would provide funds for transportation that usually aren’t accounted for in school budgets. Rural schools have farther to drive and more miles to pick up and drop off students. This bill would account for the extra funds needed in those cases.  Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont and Pekin school districts are two on the list of those receiving additional transportation funds. Districts have varying transportation costs, and a flat $6,700 per student is not enough to cover transportation in rural areas.  Pekin principal Tim Hadley said the bill will provide much-needed relief to rural schools and allow more money to be funneled back into the classroom.