The latest local news

Colorado woman says valuable stamp was stolen during appraisal

WQAD News -

PARKER, Colo. -- A Colorado womans says a stamp that may be worth thousands of dollars was stolen while she was getting it appraised.

Jennifer Hall said the George Washington 2-cent stamp was handed down to her as part of a family heirloom collection.

She said she learned the stamp was more than 80 years old and that similar stamps were valued at more than $65,000 online.

"I got really excited," Hall said.

Not knowing much about stamp collecting, Hall decided to take the item to a respected stamp library, the Rocky Mountain Philatelic Library in southeast Denver. At the library, Hall said a man named John informed her the stamp collection wasn’t worth anything.

She said the man then picked up the stamp and left.

"He said, 'I'll just throw this one away because it's not worth anything.' And I said, 'No, it's my stamp.' He left and walked away from the table before I could get up and follow him," Hall said.

KDVR asked the staff at the library about the incident. The management explained the man has been terminated and they are cooperating with police, who are currently searching for him.

Hall said without the actual stamp, its value or liability can’t be determined.

Collection experts say whether you have stamps or coins, it’s important to have them evaluated at a certified appraiser or a dealer, not a collection library. Always put your stamps or coins in a book and photograph them before ever taking them to be appraised. It is also a good idea to create a recording of the appraisal.

SUV driver dies in crash with cement truck on Illinois Route 81

WQAD News -

CAMBRIDGE, Illinois -- The driver of an SUV died after colliding with a cement truck on Illinois Route 81, about a mile west of Cambridge.

The crash happened shortly before 12:30 p.m., Thursday, June 13, according to the Illinois State Police.  Both the SUV and cement truck were passing by E. 1000 Street in opposite directions when they "collided for unknown reasons."

The SUV driver died in the crash, said police.  The cement truck driver was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Police said Illinois Route 81 remained closed as of 4:30 p.m.

Developer to turn Galesburg’s old Bergner’s at Sandburg Mall into convention center

WQAD News -

GALESBURG, Illinois -- One of the anchor stores at the Sandburg Mall in Galesburg is being purchased by a local developer who plans to turn it into an convention center with a sports bar.

Keith Vaughn could be seen on Thursday clearing piles of retail fixtures removed from the walls and floors of the old Bergner's stacked up on the stripped out sales floor.

"As we started making more visits on site, you know we pictured all the fixtures gone, we pictured lots of people, lots of tables set up," said Vaughn.

Vaughn said he scooped up the 85,000 square foot space for a bargain and wants to turn it into the Western Illinois Convention Center.

"So we can have conventions, meetings, anniversaries, birthdays… we can offer and give the community whatever they would like," Vaughn said.

In one corner of the building, he said he plans to add a sports bar for convention goers and tourists to enjoy. As for the building itself, Vaughn said it is in good condition. The drop ceiling was installed in the last few years as well as a new roof.

There will be some work to do in the parking lots and on the building's exterior before opening sometime later this year.

"We’re going to update some landscaping, we’ll be doing some façade work," said Vaughn. "Changing some signs, of course it can’t be the Bergner's convention center, it’s going to have to be the Western Illinois Convention Center," he said.

Rock Island County Board considers selling Hope Creek Care Center

WQAD News -

EAST MOLINE, Illinois - The Rock Island County Board is "seriously considering" selling the county-owned nursing home, Hope Creek Care Center.

"It's scary. We shouldn't be in this place," said county board member Drue Mielke.

The decision to consider selling the nursing home comes after an outside agency was brought in to determine what it would take to turn the cash-strapped nursing home around.

At the Rock Island County Board Meeting on June 12, the firm gave a presentation to the board explaining what would need to be done for that turn around to be successful.

"There could be a turn around, but there are so many things that would have to align for this turn around to happen," said Mielke. "They're paying for things on credit cards. They're maxing out credit cards. Vendors are threatening to stop services," he said.

Mielke says selling the nursing home would be the most responsible decision the board could make.

"It's too complex. It's too complex for county government to run a nursing home. That's my opinion," said Mielke,

This is not the first time the board has considered selling the home.

Mielke said he has wanted to sell the home for the past four years.

He says when the idea was brought up in the past, he supported the idea of selling the nursing home, while others hesitated.

"If we knew it was time to sell, we should have just sold. But, it wasn't popular politically to sell four years ago," said Mielke.

When asked if it is politically popular to sell the nursing home now, Mielke said, "I think it's at that point where there in no other option."

County Board Chairman Richard Brunk says a decision must be made.

"I'd say our backs are to the wall, pretty much. The prudent thing to do would be to act sooner rather than later."

Now, the board has asked county administrator Jim Snider to solicit "Request for Proposals." It's a way to gauge interest in the facility from potential buyers.

Mielke said the goal of a sale would be to find a way to limit the impact to patients and staff at Hope Creek Care Center.

"We like Hope Creek. The workers are wonderful, the care is good, the facility is beautiful, but its so far in the red there is no way! We can't continue," he said.

The county board will re-visit the topic and discuss the consideration at their June 18 meeting.

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