Macomb Local News Archives for 2019-06

Walk-ins for MDH Family Clinic Start July 1st

MACOMB, Ill. – Starting Monday, July 1, the McDonough District Hospital Family Clinic will offer walk-in services. MDH Family Clinic is located on the second floor inside Health Services Building 2.

 

The same extended hours and days of operations - and the same walk-in services offered at the former MDH Convenient Care - are now available at MDH Family Clinic.

 

Any patient 18 months and older needing medical care or treatment for uncomplicated minor illnesses, injury and skin conditions can visit MDH Family Clinic for walk-in appointments Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. and Friday-Sunday 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

 

The cost of a walk-in visit is typically less than an Emergency Room visit. Patients may be asked to pay any insurance co-pay at the time of service.

 

 

 

For questions or additional information on walk-in services, call MDH Family Clinic at (309) 837-6937 or log onto www.MDH.org.

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Safety Tips For Amusement Park Riders

SPRINGFIELD -- It's finally summer and carnival and fair season is nearing its peak. That means lots of fun for people and lots of work for the amusement ride safety inspectors of the Illinois Department of Labor.

 

The Department Of Labor issued these tips for Carnival and Amusment park Goers today:

 

READ and follow all posted rules, height and age restrictions.

 

EXPLAIN why children should not stand up, unlock or loosen restraints or exit a ride while it is in motion.

 

DON'T pressure friends and children into going on a ride if they are afraid.

 

LISTEN to the ride operator's instructions.

 

USE the safety equipment provided such as seat belts, lap bars and shoulder harnesses.

 

KEEP hands, arms, legs, feet and head inside the ride at all times and hold onto provided handles.

 

STAY seated until the ride comes to a complete stop.

 

LOOK for the ride or attraction's current permit-to-operate sticker issued by the Illinois Department of Labor

 

REPORT unsafe conditions, accidents or rides and attractions without operating permits by calling the Illinois Department of Labor at 217-782-9347.

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Macomb's Municipal Band To Perform On Independence Day

MACOMB – The Macomb Municipal Band will kick off the Independence Day celebration with
a concert at the show-mobile in the Q Parking Lot on the Western Illinois University campus on
Thursday, July 4, 2019 from 5:30 p.m.–6:30 p.m. The band will perform under the baton of
Director Bernie Potter.


This event is free and open to the public. Please bring your own lawn chairs and blankets.
“Bring your family and friends and join us for this patriotic musical performance!” encouraged
Mayor Inman.

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IDPH Investigating Legionella Outbreak

SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is investigating four cases of Legionnaires’ disease in individuals who were at Advocate Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, two of whom were patients within the past two months.

 

The investigation is currently limited to this hospital.

 

IDPH is working with the hospital to collect information and further investigate these cases, including an on-site visit by IDPH this week to test the facility’s water. The hospital is working with IDPH to strengthen its water management plan and implement multiple control measures.

IDPH has recommended the facility provide information to potentially impacted patients and families about Legionella.

 

Additionally, IDPH recommended that the facility conduct surveillance to identify other potential cases and to ensure appropriate testing and clinical management.

 

 

 

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Brooks Wins Broadcasting Scholarship

MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University junior Devin Brooks been named one of five winners of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Mid-America EMMY Foundation Walter Cronkite Scholarship. 

 

 

Brooks, a broadcasting major, from St. Louis, MO, is a student reporter and anchor for NEWS3, the student-produced newscast in the WIU Department of Broadcasting and Journalism.

He is pursuing an emphasis in news and performance, and is minoring in sociology. 

 

This summer, Brooks is an intern at WREX in Rockford, IL, and last summer he interned at WGEM in Quincy, IL.

 

Brooks also serves as an officer of the National Broadcasting Society, and works as a student assistant for Tri-States Audio Information Services. Brooks recently won first place from the Illinois News Broadcasters Association for outstanding television news reporting.

 

"I'm honored to receive this incredible scholarship and this wouldn't be possible without thanking the teachers who've cared and pushed me to do my best, and take advantage of every opportunity," said Brooks. 

 

The Walter Cronkite Scholarship is merit-based and is given to students who demonstrate the potential to join the broadcasting profession and contribute to its future. The Mid-America regional includes Illinois, from Champaign to Urbana and south to Paducah, KY, and all of Missouri and Arkansas, as well as Shreveport, LA. 

 

Brooks will be recognized during a ceremony at the 43rd Mid-America Emmy gala in Branson, MO, Oct. 5..

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The Age To Buy Tobacco Goes Up On Monday

Chicago, IL-- The new law to raise the age to purchase tobacco will go into effect July 1st according to lawmakers. 

 

The new law, which Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed earlier this year, was designed to discourage young people from smoking or using other products that contain nicotine by raising the age limit to buy those products from 18 to 21. Supporters of the measure said smoking leads to higher health care costs that could be picked up by taxpayers and the more smoking is reduced, the more taxpayers will save down the line.

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Bustos Makes Statement on Fulton County Shooting

 

 

Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos released a statement today on the recent shooting of a Fulton County Police Officer. The statement read as follows:

 

“This tragedy is a heartbreaking reminder of the danger our law enforcement officers face as they work to keep our communities safe. I send my deepest condolences to the family of the Fulton County Sheriff’s deputy whose life was taken far too soon. As the wife of a sheriff, my heart aches to hear about these senseless acts of violence. I join the community and families across Illinois as we mourn this loss – Deputy Chisum was a hero and we must never forget his sacrifice.” 

 

Troy Chisum, a Fulton County Sheriff’s Deputy, was shot and killed last night while investigating a domestic violence dispute. Chisum was 39 years old. 

 

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Locals Selected for Livestock Ambassador Team

 

Two Knox County natives, Katelyn Engel and Levi Meadows, have been named to the Illinois

 4-H Livestock Ambassador Team. In total, there were only ten selected to this team out of countless applications.

 

“The team is lucky to have two members as passionate about livestock as these two,” Said 4-H Youth Development Educator, Shelby Carlson, “I’m excited to see how they can learn and grow as advocates and leaders.”

 

Both of our local appointees are involved in Knox County leadership groups, and both as well have shown livestock for 4-H for several years. To add on to their list of accomplishments, the two have competed on the livestock judging team for their respective counties.

 

Members on the 4-H Livestock Ambassador Team serve a two year term. The group meets periodically throughout the year both face-to-face and through net technology to discuss planning events such as the Youth Livestock Conference. 

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No Special Pick Up For Storm Debris

Due to the localized nature and limited scope of damage from the winds experienced during the
Tuesday, June 25 storm event, there will be no special city pick-up of limbs or debris.

 

City crews will be out picking up debris from streets, sidewalks, and ROW’s. Yard waste from private
property left on city parkways will not be collected.


Storm debris from private property may be disposed of by:
City of Macomb Yard Waste Site

 

OPEN:
Thursday – Sunday 10:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. (No Charge)


Waste Management Yard Waste Program
Limbs and branches not to exceed 3 inches in diameter may be bundled and tied with
twine; such bundles shall be no longer than 4 feet in length and 3 feet in diameter not to
exceed 50 lbs.
 

Small yard waste material may be placed into cans or yard waste bags.
 

A yard waste sticker ($1.50) is required for bundles, bags or cans.

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*Update* Suspect in Avon Shooting Apprehended

AVON — A man accused of shooting and killing a Fulton County Sheriff’s deputy Tuesday has been arrested, authorities said Wednesday.

 

Nathan Woodring, 42, of Avon was implicated in the death of Troy Chisum, a deputy who reported to a rural residence east of the village regarding a battery and a disturbance.

 

Police engaged in a standoff of 19 hours with Woodring, who barricaded himself inside the residence, on the 5200 block of Troy Road.

 

The shooting took place about 2 p.m. Tuesday. Early Wednesday morning, Woodring was taken into custody without incident.

 

The announcement of Woodring’s arrest was made during a news conference at Avon Village Hall.

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Concrete Monster On #BreakFastWithBubba

Macomb, IL-- Homegrown Band Concrete Monster Came in tto hang out with Bubba Monday Morning and let me tell you, It was a fun time for everyone. The band came to talk about their upcoming perfomance at Heritage Days in macomb and came to premiere their song "Go" for the world to hear!

 

Audio Below:

Keep Up with Concrete Monster and All of their adventures via Social Media or on their website!

 

Facebook: Here

Twitter: Here

Spotify: Here

Apple Music: Here

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*BREAKING NEWS* ACTIVE SHOOTER IN AVON, OFFICER DOWN

Avon,IL- An active shooting is taking place in Avon, IL. There is an an officer reported down and the Illinois State Police are calling a code Red. This is happening near 5250 E Troy Rd and there are now 6 deputies on the scene. 

 

This is a devoloping story, Stay tuned for more information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Formerly The Fox Interview On #BreakfastWithBubba

Macomb, IL-- Canton Jam Band Formerly The Fox graced the studio with Bubba Samuels on Breakfast With Bubba to talk about their upcoming Performance at Heritage days and also talked about the history of the band. This band has a wonderful amount of Rock and equal amount of psychodelic vibrations that is soothing to the audio palette of anyone looking for new music.

 

 

For more new music from Formerly The Fox, or to keep up with the band, check them out on social media and all streaming services!

Facebook: Here

Twitter: Here

Spotify: Here

Aple Music: Here

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MDH Bushnell Family Practice Offering Sports Physical Clinic

BUSHNELL, Ill. – A sports physical for $10 on the 10th.

 

The McDonough District Hospital Bushnell Family Practice will offer a special clinic for sports physicals on Wednesday, July 10. The clinic will run from 1-4 p.m. inside the Bushnell Family Practice, located at 1150 North Cole Street in Bushnell.

 

Dr. John Arnold and nurse practitioner Carrie Helle will perform the sports physicals. No insurance will be billed and payment is by cash or check only.

 

Students are required to have a sports physical each year before the competitive season begins.

 

For more information, contact MDH Bushnell Family Practice at (309) 772-9444.

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Street to be Closed for Storm Sewer Lining

Weather permitting the 200 Block of W. Fisk St. will be closed from 7:00am-7:00pm on Tuesday June 25, 2019 for a storm sewer lining company.  

 

The Public Works Department apologizes in advance for any inconvenience the temporary street closing may cause.

 

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MDH Announces July Schedule of Events

Macomb, IL--McDonough District Hospital releases its newsest schedule of events for the month of July. 

 

 

All Events are as follows:

 

Chronic Pain Management Group

Mondays

1-2 p.m., Health Services Building 1, Auditorium, lower level; Macomb

Sessions run through an 8-week course. For a free screening or more information, call MDH Behavioral Health Services at (309) 836-1582.

 

Anger Management

Tuesdays

3-4:30 p.m., Health Services Building 1, Auditorium, lower level; Macomb

Pre-registration is required. Insurance and financial assistance may cover costs depending on coverage.

For more information or to register, call MDH Behavioral Health Services at (309) 836-1582.

 

Childbirth and Infant Care: 4-Week "L.A.T.E." Childbirth Instruction Class

Thursdays, June 27, July 11, 18, 25

6:30-8:45 p.m., McDonough District Hospital, Auditoriums A & B; Macomb

This class will meet one night a week for four weeks. Free. Pre-registration is required.

For more information or to register, call the MDH Obstetrics Department at (309) 836-1570.

 

Forget-Me-Not Support Group

Monday, July 1

6-7 p.m., Health Services Building 2, Multipurpose Room, lower level; Macomb

Free. Support group for anyone affected by loss during pregnancy or the loss of an infant. This group meets the first Monday of each month, for more information call MDH Public Relations at (309) 836-1557.

 

Suicide Support Group

Monday, July 1

7-8 p.m., Health Services Building 1 Auditorium, lower level; Macomb

This open discussion support group is for anyone who has been affected by suicide. The group meets the first Monday of each month. For more information, call MDH Behavioral Health Services at (309) 836-1582.

 

Divorcing Parents Education Program

Friday, July 5

1-5 p.m., Health Services Building 1, Auditorium, lower level; Macomb

This class will cover the stages adults go through in the process of divorce and common emotions and behavior that children frequently display during a divorce; parents will also learn ways to help children cope.

Fee: $60 per person. Pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, call MDH Behavioral Health Services at (309) 836-1582.

 

Bereavement Support Group - New Horizons

Monday, July 15

3-4 p.m., McDonough District Hospital, Private Dining Room, MDH Cafeteria, lower level; Macomb

This open discussion support group is for adults who have experienced the loss of a family member or significant other. For more information, call the MDH Hospice at (309) 836-1543.

 

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WIU Ag Professor Researching Wild Hemp with Help of Foundation Grant

MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University School of Agriculture Professor Win Phippen will log numerous miles this summer as he begins an effort to harvest and study wild hemp plants from each of Illinois' 102 counties. 

Phippen has undertaken a yearlong research project to evaluate the hemp strains for THC levels. The project is being paid for by a grant from the University Research Council, funded by the WIU Foundation. 

After being issued the only permit from the Illinois Department of Agriculture to harvest wild hemp, sometimes called "ditch weed," for research, Phippen will take cuttings from three-five plants in each county. Because Phippen holds the permit, he is the only person allowed to do the harvesting. 

"This project addresses concerns of high THC hemp being grown in the wild," he said. "We are going to try to get plants from at least 25-30 counties, but we will do the best we can."

In an effort to increase the number of cuttings he and his students are able to study, Phippen is asking WIU alumni to help with the project. He asks anyone who has found wild hemp growing in their county to notify him by email. He is looking for GPS coordinates for the plot in order to make the most effective use of time during the plant's harvest period July 12-26. 

He has already identified plants in McDonough and Warren counties. 

Phippen will bring the cuttings back to the new School of Agriculture greenhouses, north of campus, and plant them. He will also evaluate each plant's THC level, and other plant characteristics.  

"We will grow the plants and collect the seed, then make the 'clean' seed available to producers looking for seed from ideal Illinois growing conditions," he said. 

The wild industrial hemp is grown for the CBD oil in its leaves and flowers. CBD oil is not an illicit drug and is now available in the mainstream market. Industrial hemp was legalized in August 2018, and since permits for growing became available May 1, 421 applications, representing 15,563 acres of Illinois farmland have been approved. 

Those who refer Phippen to wild low THC plants will have the honor of naming the seed variety. 

To contact him about the location of wild industrial hemp, email WB-Phippen@wiu.edu. 

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WIU Ag Professor Researching Wild Hemp with Help of Foundation Grant

MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University School of Agriculture Professor Win Phippen will log numerous miles this summer as he begins an effort to harvest and study wild hemp plants from each of Illinois' 102 counties. 

Phippen has undertaken a yearlong research project to evaluate the hemp strains for THC levels. The project is being paid for by a grant from the University Research Council, funded by the WIU Foundation. 

After being issued the only permit from the Illinois Department of Agriculture to harvest wild hemp, sometimes called "ditch weed," for research, Phippen will take cuttings from three-five plants in each county. Because Phippen holds the permit, he is the only person allowed to do the harvesting. 

"This project addresses concerns of high THC hemp being grown in the wild," he said. "We are going to try to get plants from at least 25-30 counties, but we will do the best we can."

In an effort to increase the number of cuttings he and his students are able to study, Phippen is asking WIU alumni to help with the project. He asks anyone who has found wild hemp growing in their county to notify him by email. He is looking for GPS coordinates for the plot in order to make the most effective use of time during the plant's harvest period July 12-26. 

He has already identified plants in McDonough and Warren counties. 

Phippen will bring the cuttings back to the new School of Agriculture greenhouses, north of campus, and plant them. He will also evaluate each plant's THC level, and other plant characteristics.  

"We will grow the plants and collect the seed, then make the 'clean' seed available to producers looking for seed from ideal Illinois growing conditions," he said. 

The wild industrial hemp is grown for the CBD oil in its leaves and flowers. CBD oil is not an illicit drug and is now available in the mainstream market. Industrial hemp was legalized in August 2018, and since permits for growing became available May 1, 421 applications, representing 15,563 acres of Illinois farmland have been approved. 

Those who refer Phippen to wild low THC plants will have the honor of naming the seed variety. 

To contact him about the location of wild industrial hemp, email WB-Phippen@wiu.edu. 

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Communications Board Agenda Published

The agenda for the Mcdonough County Communications Board has been published for the public. The Board meeting will consist of the following agenda items: Sikich audit presentation,Treasurer’s 6 month Report & Approval, Approval of Minutes from May 28, 2019, and the introduction of the new Director

 

The Mcdonough County communications board will be meeting this Tuesday at 3:00pm at the Macomb Police department.

 

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Duckworth, Durbin, Bustos Secure Grant Extension for Quad Cities Amtrak Route

Washington D.C- The Illinois Department of Transportation has received confirmation from the Federal Rail Association that they will get a six month extension for federal funding for the Quad Cities to Chicago rail project to give local stakeholders needed flexibility to finalize an agreement. The funding is now extended to November 30, 2019.

 

“I’m pleased that the FRA agrees with us about the importance of this critical Illinois transportation initiative,” U.S Senator Tammy Duckworth said. “The Chicago-Quad Cities passenger rail project is an important component of Illinois’ dynamic transportation system. I look forward to continuing to work with Federal, state and local stakeholders to make sure this project is completed as quickly as possible.”

 

“In 2010, I was proud to secure federal funding for the Quad Cities to Chicago Amtrak route, which will benefit commuters, schools, and businesses in Illinois,” Senator Dick Durbin said. “Since then, the region has waited patiently for this to become a reality while Governor Rauner refused to commit to the project. I’m glad Governor Pritzker backs this important project and committed state funds to getting it done, and that FRA granted this federal funding extension.”

 

“The completion of a rail line from Moline to Chicago would help grow the local economy, create jobs and connect folks from across our state with new opportunities,” Congresswoman Cheri Bustos said. “We must work to get this project across the finish line as soon as possible and this news from FRA is another step forward in making sure it becomes reality. I will continue fighting to make sure these funds are protected for this important project.”


 

Duckworth received a commitment from FRA Administrator Ronald Batory Wednesday to provide IDOT with flexibility to finalize agreements to advance the Chicago-Quad Cities passenger rail project at a Commerce, Science and Transportation committee hearing. Also on Wednesday, Duckworth, Durbin and Bustos wrote to DOT urging for an extension.

 

The grant amendment extends the deadline for Illinois to use $177 million in Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) funding that was secured in Fiscal Year 2010.

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Fire Marshals Encourage Safety This Summer

Springfield, Ill. – Summer is here and that means many Illinoisans will be outside enjoying summer activities. The Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) wants to remind residents to be safe this summer.

 

Barbecues are all the rage this summer, but sometimes, even controlled pits can get out of hand. Here’s some tips to keep you safe while Grilling this summer!
 

• Propane and charcoal grills should be only used outdoors. The grill should be placed away from the home or deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. Keep your grill clean by removing grease and fat build up from grates and trays below. Never leave your grill unattended!

 

• Children and pets should always remain at least three feet away from the grilling area!

 

• Before starting a campfire, make sure to check to see if it is permitted at the site. Clear away any dry leaves and sticks, overhanging low branches and keep fires at least 25 feet away from any structure or anything that can burn.

 

• Avoid burning on windy, dry days! Keep the campfire small making it easier to control. Watch children and pets closely while the fire is burning. Never let children or pets play or stand too close to the fire.

 

• Never leave a campfire unattended. It only takes a few minutes for it to spread and cause damage.

 

• Always have a hose, bucket of water, or shovel and dirt/sand nearby and make sure it is completely out before leaving the site.

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Bushnell-Prairie City BoE Approves Amended Budget

Bushnell- The Bushnell City board of education decided to approve the amended budget for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year on Wednesday. Superintendent Kathy Dinger mentioned the budget hearing prior to a  school board meeting held earlier this year and she noticed that there isn't many changes needed for the budget.

 

In comparison to 2018, less parents called teachers to see how their children were doing in school. In order to better engage students, the school board decided to have a training conference that would make students become more active in classrooms. The school board made adjustments like giving students early dismissal on Wednesdays. The school board also approved the student/parent handbook for the upcoming school year.

 

They also voted for the Illinois Muncipal Retirement Fund and free attendance from students that dont live in the district. The next school meeting will be held July 17 at 6 p.m in the Bushnell-Prairie High School libary.  The original story by Tabi Jozwick can be found here https://www.mcdonoughvoice.com/news/20190621/bushnell-prairie-city-boe-approves-amended-budget

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WIU Professor Lands Philip Taft Prize

WIU Professor Peter Cole used wordsmith skill and historical knowledge to nab one of the country's oldest and most prestigious prize in labor history , the Philip Taft Prize.

 

Peter Cole's book, "Dockworker Power: Race and Activism in Durban and the San Francisco Bay Area, has been honored with the Philip Taft Prize in Labor and Working-Class History. There were 45 books nominated for the prize.

 

"I am deeply honored to have my book awarded the country's oldest and most prestigious prize in labor history," said Cole. "The list of previous books to win includes many of the most important in my field. As a cute side note, the other book with which mine shared the prize was authored by one of my professors from my undergraduate days. Somehow that seems fitting." Says Cole.

 

This week, he will return to South Africa to be part of three events centering on his book, including one at the Durban Literary Festival Saturday, June 22.

 

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Reception To Be Held For Jack Thomas

MACOMB, IL -- A reception for Dr. Jack Thomas, president of Western Illinois University, will be held from 3-5 p.m. Tuesday, June 25 in the University Union Lamoine Room. A brief program will begin at 4 p.m. Thomas, who has served as WIU's 11th president since July 2011, will step down June 30. 

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Boris Jonhson, Jeremy Hunt in runoff for UK Prime Minister

London- The next prime minister of Britain will be selected between Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt as their both in a race to lead the Conservative Party. Johnson is a former secretary/mayor  of London. He received up to 160 votes which put him in the lead to become the party’s next leader. Johnson recently tweeted that he was more than honored to receive half the votes from party lawmakers. Hunt was also a former secretary and received up to 77 votes which put him second in running.

 

Hunt said on twitter “I know I’m the underdog, but in politics surprises happen”. The winner of this election will be decided on July 22 and that person will become the new Conservative leader/prime minister. Odds are against Hunt as many doubt that anyone can beat Jonhson who is only 55 years old. He is described as quick witted and has a nice way of connecting with voters. Some mistrust him for his performance in the office and his misleading offensive comments. Historian Max Hastings said “ Boris will say absolutely anything in order to please his audience. Boris would have told the passengers on the Titanic that rescue was imminent”.

 

Hunt is considered more experienced but is less exciting as he considers himself the “serious candidate”. Both Jonhson and Hunt promise to lead Britain out of the European Union. Brexit was originally scheduled on March 29, but was postponed twice already. Hunt’s plan is to go through with Brexit by running educational publishing firms which will give him more experience to negotiation with the European Union. Some think neither candidate has a realistic plan for the Brexit agreement. The original story by the Assoiated Press can be found here https://www.mcdonoughvoice.com/zz/news/20190620/boris-johnson-jeremy-hunt-in-runoff-for-uk-prime-minister

 

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Spoon River Ranks #18 in New Survey

Spoon River College was recognized by a survey that ranks the best Online community colleges in the nation. The rankings include a nationwide Best Overall Community College ranking and 38 state-specific rankings, featuring a total of 423 schools. Spoon River Ranked #18.

 

Since 75% of online college students live within 100 miles of their school’s campus, the 2019 Online Community College rankings by state are an especially valuable resource for prospective community college students (1). Many students may choose to stay in state because of tuition discounts, familiarity with the school, or flexibility for classes that may have hybrid, in-person requirements.

 

Northwest Iowa Community College (IA) topped the national list with a score of 96.85%, followed by Bismarck State College (ND), and Foothill College (CA). The state with the most community colleges that qualified for the rankings list was North Carolina, with 35 schools.

 

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Board Meeting Cancelled

The ETSB Meeting has been canceled on June 25, 2019. The Communications Board meeting could start at 3:00pm. 

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Governor Pritzker Takes Additional Steps to Assist Farmers Hurt By Record Rainfall and Flooding

SPRINGFIELD, IL – With near-record flooding and a serious delay in the planting season, Governor JB Pritzker has convened appropriate members of his cabinet to ensure that Illinois farmers can access all available state resources, including pooling efforts and resources between the Illinois Department of Agriculture and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. 

“Agriculture is the backbone of our state and to see our grain and livestock farmers and farming communities having to make these tough decisions is heartbreaking,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “I know farmers have had to make difficult planting decisions this year due to extreme weather conditions—I’ve instructed my staff and agencies to provide assistance to help ease the pressures felt by farmers across Illinois.” 

Governor Pritzker recently spoke with USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Director, William Graff, to ensure that Illinois is high on the federal authority’s agenda when the FSA State Emergency Board (SEB) is scheduled to meet on June 27th. At that time, the board can recommend to the Governor that an agriculture disaster declaration be declared, which would allow the Governor to request additional federal assistance for farmers in counties that have been impacted by flooding and excessive rain.

“Farmers need to contact their local county FSA offices and report their planted acres as soon as possible—certainly before July 15th,” said John Sullivan, Director IDOA. “The sooner the planted and ‘prevent plant’ acres are reported, the sooner the federal government can best determine the extent of losses to farmers and producers.” 

“This is one of the worst floods to inundate our state in more than a quarter of a century,” said Acting IEMA Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau. “The flood of 2019 has impacted more than 40% of state's population, outside of Cook and the collar counties. In the weeks to come, as the water recedes, we will begin to see the damage of this flood. County damage assessments will be a critical tool in qualifying for federal disaster dollars. As we move forward, IEMA will continue to work with county emergency managers as they work to identify the true cost of this great flood.”

In addition to taking initial steps to secure federal assistance, IDOA and IEMA are also undertaking several other initiatives:

• IDOA will offer a $400,000 cover crop incentive program for farmers who, due to the lateness of planting, have filed Prevented Planting claims which means those acres will lay fallow this year. Cover crops reduce nutrient runoff, conserve soil and prevent soil erosion, and is an alternative to chemical weed control. Local county soil and water conservation districts will assist to administer the program.

• IDOA’s website www.agr.state.il.us now has a “Flood Assistance” tab with links to available State and Federal flood assistance resources.

• IEMA has launched a comprehensive flood recovery website (www.Illinois.gov/2019Floods) designed to address the needs of those impacted by severe flooding. From emergency housing assistance to replacing SNAP benefits or agricultural aid, countless state agencies have come together to offer help to those in need.

• IEMA will continue to facilitate coordination between the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers and local levee districts to evaluate the health and integrity of levees throughout the state.

• IEMA will work with local governments to identify projects and programs dedicated to local mitigation and remediation.

• IEMA continues to work to enhance communication networks in rural Illinois through the deployment of Starcom technology and IPAWs messaging to alert residents of impending threats to health, safety and property. 

• IEMA, through the State Emergency Operations Center, will facilitate the removal of debris, access to roads/rivers, and availability of necessary resources to address agribusiness logistical concerns.

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Board of Commissioners Meeting Tonight

The Board of the Commissioners of the Macomb Airport Authority will hold a meeting on June 20 that will take place at 5:30 pm.this is an open meeting and the agenda is posted in the Macomb Airport main terminal building. Only one item is on this meeting's agenda, review and accept the Audit Report for the 2018 calendar year.

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U.S. Senators Introduce Disaster Legislation

Washington D.C- As of  June 13, U.S senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth have brought back the Fairness in Federal Disaster Declarations Act. The purpose of this bill is to reforge the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s disaster declaration process to make greater transparency and more equitable for more communities in the states.  This bill was introduced in 2012 after FEMA was denied for federal assistance. Gov. J.B. Pritzker discussed the disasters that happened in the 34 of 102 counties in Illinois that including floods or tornadoes.

 

Duckworth said “As Americans, it’s our responsibility to support one another in times of need, especially when our communities are devastated by disasters and severe weather. Unfortunately, the current FEMA foruma fails to provide many smaller, rural communities in Illinois with resources to rebuild and recover”. The plan of action is to calculate  the cost of assistance when it comes to these disasters. It’s possible that insurance coverage could be reduced to 10 percent. FEMA deducts insurance held by the government to take into consideration any disasters that occur over the year.

 

Sen. Durbin mentioned how he witnessed severe flooding over the weekend which put more stress on Illinois farmer. Flooding will affect farmers which hurts the agricultural markers such as Mexico to China. The purpose of the bill is to consider local assessable tax base, median income, and local poverty rate in case unpredicted  disasters occur.The original story by Jared Dubach can be found here:https://www.mcdonoughvoice.com/news/20190618/us-senators-introduce-disaster-legislation

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Landlords ask for Lower Assessments

Macomb- A large amount of landlords have discussed with City township assessor Deanna Crawford about properties that are sitting around vacant or their disrepair. The landlords discuss with Crawford that these properties should have lower assessments because they aren't being used.  Crawford said “I have toured some of the rental properties. It started off with those near the university, but now its in all four quadrants. The next step for Crawford is to review other properties before looking any further into more rental properties.

 

In other news, City Township Supervisor Angela Markley has 19 general assistance cases delivered to her at the end of May. She mentioned that 16 came from the city township and the other three came from other townships. So far two applicants were denied and eight are still pending as of now.

 

Markley will prepare an annual external audit to send a copy of the annual treasurer report to the auditors. Now other local townships are interested in participating in Township Day in September to give more information on this branch of government.

The original story by Patrick Stout can be found here:https://www.mcdonoughvoice.com/news/20190618/landlords-ask-for-lower-assessments

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Flags of Love Paving Project Nearly Complete

Macomb- There are some improvements that are nearly done as the Macomb Flags of Love project will be ready to launch by July. In the Macomb Square by the memorial fountain are at least 850 bricks honoring fallen veterans. Macomb Flags of Love project is about the city of Macomb having numerous flags that each represents a fallen veteran.As of January 2019, the community thought it would be nice to add new features  to this years Flags of Love. So now instead of multiple names on bricks, each veteran will get their own name installed on one brick . It’ll take some time putting names on each brick but the process will be ready by the end of this month.Until the pavement is finished their will be a plywood sheet covering  the memorial fountain until Heritage Day is over. City administrator Scott Coker said “ the city’s remaining task are to finish  the Flags of Love pathway. We have to make sure the names are correct before displaying them at the event”.

The original story by Spencer Foust can be found here: https://www.mcdonoughvoice.com/news/20190618/flags-of-love-paving-project-nearly-complete

Image result for macomb flags of love

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Increase To Illinois Higher Education Is A Move In The Right Direction

Springfield—Higher education officials are relieved to see a budget increase for next year, plus a new capital program for repairs and new construction. The FY 2020 state budget includes $154 million in new dollars for higher education in Illinois, or an 8.2 percent increase over the current fiscal year, for an operations and student assistance total of $2.05 billion. “It’s definitely good news for colleges and universities,” said Nyle Robinson, interim executive director, Illinois Board of Higher Education.

 

“We’re especially gratified to see this level of funding for the Monetary Award Program,” said Eric Zarnikow, executive director of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC).

“This is the largest appropriation that the program has ever received for a single year, and it’s going to allow ISAC to serve more students and make up some of the purchasing power that the program has lost over the years. Overall, this budget for higher education is going to make college possible for more Illinois students.”

 

The $13.9 million increase for community college operations and adult education programs represents an increase of 5 percent over this year. “The Illinois Community College System thanks the Illinois General Assembly and Gov. JB Pritzker for recognizing the important role that community colleges play in educating the workforce of the future and growing our economy,” said Brian Durham, executive director, Illinois Community College Board. “Additional operating support and new capital dollars will allow community colleges to continue to offer high quality, affordable programs and services throughout the state.”

 

A $50 million increase in MAP funding to $451 million, a historic high for the annual appropriation for a statewide grant program that helps make college possible for low income students. An increase of $10 million for AIM HIGH grants, bringing the appropriation to $35 million to support eligible students attending Illinois public universities. The budget will increase state support for ISAC’s college access and outreach services as federal funding for these programs declines, ensuring that students and families statewide will continue to have access to one-on-one mentoring and assistance with the college-going and financial aid process.

 

“We anticipate that the funding for this program over the six years of the program will allow dozens of projects at the state’s colleges and universities. Some of these projects have been on the list for a decade,” said Robinson. “This would stop the decay in facilities and allow modernization to prepare students for the economy of the future.” This  program would fund 72 projects at colleges and universities, and 91 at community colleges. Capital Renewal money will help address deferred maintenance projects that were postponed due to diminishing state funding.

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Bustos Announces USDA Rural Development Funding for the Village of Vermont

Washington –  Congresswoman Cheri Bustos ,who is a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, has just announced $25,000 in federal funding from the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Development program for the Village of Vermont. The USDA Rural Development loans and grant assistance program is designed to forge partnerships with rural communities and fund projects that bring housing, business guarantees, services and other critical utilities to rural America.

 

These federal dollars will be used to purchase new police vehicle equipment for the Village of Vermont’s police department. The new police car and additional equipment will help keep the community safe and will allow officers to respond in a timely manner to calls within Fulton County, as the department provides backup service to the Sheriff's Office.

 

“To grow our economy, we need continued investment in our rural communities and these federal Rural Development dollars help do just that,” said Congresswoman Bustos, a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee. “As the wife of a sheriff, I know firsthand how hard our officers and first responders work to keep communities safe. I’m pleased that today’s investment will help law enforcement officers continue to protect and serve the people of Vermont.”

 

“Today’s announcement is great news for the Village of Vermont and will help the police department keep our citizens safe,” said Josh Mercer, Village of Vermont President. “Thank you to Congresswoman Bustos for supporting our local law enforcement and being a partner in securing these funds for our community.”

 

 

 

 

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Illinois Department of Public Health Expands Newborn Screening

Springfield – The Illinois Department of Public Health  is rolling out a test today for adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) for all newborn babies statewide.  ALD is a rare hereditary disorder that affects the brain, nervous system, and adrenal gland. It affects approximately 1 in 20,000 births.

“Babies born with adrenoleukodystrophy have normal brains at birth.  However, progression of the disorder without treatment can be fatal,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  “By adding ALD to the Illinois newborn screening panel, every baby born in Illinois will be tested for ALD.  Babies who test positive for this disorder can then receive therapies during the early stages of the disease.”

 

Early diagnosis of babies with ALD can lead to potentially life-saving interventions like adrenal steroid replacement or stem cell transplantation.  These therapies are only effective during a small window, which is often missed at times. Through universal screening and early diagnosis, treatment options can be evaluated by the baby’s health care providers and initiated during some cases before symptoms develop.

 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services added ALD to the national Recommended Uniform Screening Panel in February 2016.  Implementing ALD screening required the purchase of new equipment, development of new test methods, Clinical Lab Improvement Amendments lab test validation, and computer system modification to provide laboratory results and facilitate follow up tracking. Illinois is now the 14th state in the U.S. to screen for ALD.  Additional information can be found on the dph.illinois.gov website.

 

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Duckworth, Durbin & Fischer Introduce Legislation to Help Midwestern Farmers by Reforming Small Refinery Waiver Program

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin have joined Senator Deb Fischer  in introducing bipartisan legislation to reform the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) small refinery exemption program, which the Trump Administration has abused to exempt oil refineries from having to use legally required levels of biofuel as required by the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The RFS Integrity Act of 2019  for the first time will make applications for small refinery exemptions (SRE) public and create more certainty for rural America by requiring SRE applications to be submitted by June 1st, instead of year round. As a result, they’ll make sure EPA properly accounts for exempted gallons in the annual Renewable Volume Obligations it sets each November.

 

“Farmers across Illinois and throughout the Midwest are hurting and ethanol plants are idling while this administration is abusing the small refinery exemption program to undermine the bipartisan Renewable Fuel Standard,” said Duckworth. “I am proud to work with Senators Fischer and Durbin to introduce this bipartisan legislation to bring much-needed transparency to the waiver process and prevent it from being misused to benefit billion dollar oil companies at the expense of hard working Americans.”

 

“So-called ‘small’ refinery waivers are being abused by the Trump Administration and they act as a restriction on E15 and biodiesel. Already in the midst of a reckless trade war, this is another blow to Illinois corn and soybean farmers,” Durbin said. “It’s time for the EPA to be more transparent with the process for issuing these waivers.”

 

Senator Fischer said “the bipartisan solution we are putting forth today builds off of the recent victory on year-round E-15 sales. In the past, EPA has issued small refinery exemptions after the Renewable Volume Obligations have already been determined. That’s unfair, and it hurts our farmers and ethanol producers. This bill would shine a light on what’s been an obscure exemption process and help promote economic growth in rural America,”. Waivers issued by the EPA under the SRE program are intended to help small refineries. However, under the Trump Administration, the EPA has undermined the original intent of the RFS by creating dozens of waivers that include large and profitable oil companies like Exxon and Chevron as well as an oil refinery owned by former Trump White House Advisor and billionaire Carl Icahn.

 

The bipartisan legislation will address this by requiring the EPA to report to Congress  on the methodology it uses when granting small refinery exemptions, which is a process that has been repeatedly carried out behind closed doors with virtually no congressional oversight. The bill will also require EPA to obligate gallons lost under SREs to ensure farmers and the biofuel industry are not harmed when waivers are granted.

 

Duckworth and Durbin have been long-time advocates for the Renewable Fuel Standard, which supports a $5 billion biofuel industry in Illinois that employs more than 4,000 people, and for recent policy changes to allow drivers to fuel up with gasoline that is blended with up to 15 percent ethanol (E15) throughout the year. Last week, they joined Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) in writing  to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to urge him to stop abusing so-called “hardship” waivers. Duckworth has also recently asked the EPA Office of Inspector General to launch an independent investigation into whether top EPA officials violated the law by inappropriately exempting a number of oil refineries from having to use legally required levels of biofuel, which has driven down prices of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINS) to multi-year lows.

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WIU Alumna Wins National Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship

Macomb, IL -- Western Illinois University alumna Nicole Walker, who is a May graduate with degrees in forensic chemistry, foreign languages and cultures. She has been awarded an $8,500 national fellowship from The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.

 

Walker, a member of the WIU Phi Kappa Phi chapter and the Centennial Honors College, will use the award to pursue a doctoral degree in the fall. She was accepted to all seven of the prestigious graduate programs that she applied to, but will study at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Walker was named the winner of the WIU chapter's $500 Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship this year. The honor qualified her to compete for the national award.

 

"WIU has been fortunate to have Nicole Walker on our campus these past four years," said Associate Professor of Chemistry Brian Bellott, a member of the executive board of WIU's chapter of Phi Kappa Phi. "Nicole is an outstanding student who is actively engaged in the classroom, research lab and community. She has earned numerous awards and accolades for all that she has done here at WIU. I wish her the best in her graduate school endeavors."

 

The national Phi Kappa Phi office awards 50 fellowships each year.  Walker was also named the University's recipient of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois' Student Laureate Award for 2019 and graduated summa cum laude. She was named one of only 11 Illinois honorable mention award winners in the prestigious Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program. She was also president of the ACS Chemistry Club and the WIU Chapter of Golden Key International Honour Society.

 

Walker was also involved in the Women in Science Club, Research Inspiring Student Excellence (RISE), the Blue Key National Honor Society, Phi Eta Sigma, is a chemistry ambassador for WIU and the recipient of a Centennial Honors Scholarship and works as a desk assistant at Lincoln, Washington and Grote halls. She was named the Organic Chemistry Student of the Year and won outstanding student awards during her freshman, sophomore and senior years.

 

During her sophomore year, Walker was one of just a few college sophomores nationwide selected for the Summer 2017 Research Experience for Undergraduate Students (REU), where she conducted research in chemistry at the University of Kansas.

 

This is the third year in a row a WIU student has won a PKP national fellowship. In 2017, alumnus Nicholas Breslin won the fellowship and is using the award to pursue his doctoral studies at Michigan State University, and in 2018, Jillian Escobar won a fellowship and is using it to pursue her doctoral degree in audiology.

 

Since its creation in 1932, the fellowship program has become one of the society's most visible and financially well-supported endeavors, allocating $345,000 annually to deserving students for first-year graduate or professional study. The selection process for the Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship is based on the applicants' evidence of graduate potential, undergraduate academic achievement, service and leadership experience, letters of recommendation, personal statement of educational perspective and career goals and acceptance at an approved graduate or professional program.

 

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Severe Thunderstorm Warnings expire

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH THAT WAS EFFECT UNTIL 2 AM CDT SUNDAY

FOR THE FOLLOWING AREAS: BURLINGTON, CARTHAGE, FAIRFIELD,

GENESEO, HENNEPIN, KAHOKA, KEOKUK, KEOSAUQUA, MACOMB, MEMPHIS,

MONMOUTH, MOUNT CARROLL, MOUNT PLEASANT, OQUAWKA, PRINCETON,

AND STERLING HAS EXPIRED.

 

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Severe Thunderstorm Warning in effect

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH 362 REMAINS VALID UNTIL 2 AM CDT SUNDAY FOR THE FOLLOWING AREAS IN ILLINOIS THIS WATCH INCLUDES 9 COUNTIES IN NORTH CENTRAL ILLINOIS BUREAU PUTNAM IN NORTHWEST ILLINOIS CARROLL HENRY IL WHITESIDE IN WEST CENTRAL ILLINOIS HANCOCK HENDERSON MCDONOUGH WARREN IN IOWA THIS WATCH INCLUDES 5 COUNTIES IN SOUTHEAST IOWA DES MOINES HENRY IA JEFFERSON LEE VAN BUREN IN MISSOURI THIS WATCH INCLUDES 2 COUNTIES IN NORTHEAST MISSOURI CLARK SCOTLAND THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF BURLINGTON, CARTHAGE, FAIRFIELD, GENESEO, HENNEPIN, KAHOKA, KEOKUK, KEOSAUQUA, MACOMB, MEMPHIS, MONMOUTH, MOUNT CARROLL, MOUNT PLEASANT, OQUAWKA, PRINCETON, AND STERLING.

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The "Oliver" Production will be held July 12-14 at WIU Showcases Talent of Local Students

Macomb, IL – The College of Fine Arts and Communication at Western Illinois University just announced the second season of SummerStage, with performances of "Oliver!" Friday-Saturday, July 12-13 and Sunday, July 14, in the Hainline Theatre.

 

Friday and Saturday productions are at 7:30 p.m. and the Sunday performance will be at 2 p.m.This summer's production is directed by Assistant Professor of Theatre and Dance Hadey Kamminga-Peck. The cast is made up with students in fourth grade through high school, as well as local adults.

 

"This is my first production with SummerStage, and I am simply astounded by the talented people who have joined us on this production," said Kamminga-Peck. "'Oliver!' is a fascinating show that confronts a lot of serious issues, many of which are still present today, and this cast and crew have dived into the script and this story with such open minds and hearts - it delights me to work with them every night."

 

Music Professor Matt Bean is the show's musical director, Theatre and Dance Associate Professor Heidi Clemmens is the choreographer and Faculty Assistant Dan Schmidt is the stage manager. The production is sponsored by Citizen's Bank, a division of Morton Community Bank, with support from the Performing Arts Society.

 

"Oliver!" is a Tony and Olivier Award-winning show, also winning an Academy Award for best picture. Oliver is a malnourished orphan in a workhouse who becomes the neglected apprentice of an undertaker. He escapes to London and finds acceptance among a group of petty thieves and pickpockets. Tickets, $20 for general admission and $15 for senior citizens and students, are available by calling (309) 298-2900.

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BREAKING: Jack Thomas Steps Down Amid Unrest

 

 

Amid unrest surrounding his presidency from both the Macomb community and the WIU Alumni Association, WIU President Jack Thomas has stepped down, effective June 30th.

 

Thomas released the following statement:

 

“I have informed the Board of Trustees that June 30, 2019 will be my last day as President of Western Illinois University. At this pivotal time in our history, I believe the University would best be served by new leadership. 

 

It has been a privilege serving as President, Provost, and as a member of the Illinois Board of Higher Education during this historic period. Despite the difficulties our state has faced with regards to the budget and loss of population, our University remains resilient. We are a world-class University, and during my final days as President, I will work to ensure everything is in place for the new leadership to begin the next chapter in Western's history.

 

During my tenure, the University has been challenged in unprecedented ways, and we have weathered recent storms. I am pleased that we made the difficult decisions and implemented the necessary changes to ensure the University's viability. 

 

Without a doubt, I have had to make some difficult decisions – including ones that have sometimes been very unpopular, but nevertheless were always made with the best interests of the overall University's future at heart. These decisions were made necessary due to a decade of decreased state appropriations (from $56.2 million in FY 2011 down to $47.2 million in FY19), the two-year, unprecedented statewide budget impasse, and enrollment decline due to the large outmigration of high school students from the state of Illinois, demographic shifts in the state, population decline in the region that we serve, and challenges with economic development. Through it all, we continue to transform students' lives, participate in outstanding research, achieve a tremendous level of student, faculty and staff success, and positively impact the communities in which we live, serve and learn.

 

Working together, we have established 17 new degree programs, including the University's first Ph.D. program, diversified our students, faculty and staff, enhanced our online and non-traditional course offerings, built Phases I and II of the Quad Cities Campus, implemented Western Commitment Scholarships, greatly increased aid for all students at the University, beautified our campuses, increased the overall academic profile of our students, increased the University's rankings, significantly grown the Centennial Honors College, focused on serving military members, and so much more.

 

I am very pleased that our advocacy efforts are bearing fruit. We are slated to receive increased state operational funding (5% over FY19), as well as capital funding for the new Science Building ($94.5 million), re-appropriations for the Center for Performing Arts ($89.0 million) and Quad Cities campus ($9.0 million), funds for capital improvements ($29.0 million), and just announced, funds for Macomb campus electrical distribution ($3.3 million).

 

Over the past eleven years, we have received widespread recognition for the excellent, quality educational experience we provide. We increased Western's national rankings in US News and World Report and the Princeton Review as a Best Midwestern University, GI Jobs Magazine as a Military Friendly Institution, Military Times Edge Magazine as a Best for Vets University, and the Washington Monthly College Guide as a "Best Bang for the Buck" Midwestern school. We are also recognized as one of the top master's degree granting institutions in the nation, and as one of America's best four-year colleges for adult learners.

 

Our reputation has also been enhanced as we produced a Rhodes Scholar finalist, a Truman Scholar finalist, a Goldwater Scholar winner, and multiple Fulbright Scholarship recipients.

 

We have achieved many other honors as well. For its commitment to a diverse campus, Western Illinois University was recognized by Minority Access, Inc. with a national award. Additionally, the US Department of Education showcased the University in its report, "Fulfilling the Promise, Serving the Need," due to Western outperforming our peer institutions in enrolling and graduating Pell Grant recipients. 

 

Our programs have received national recognition. The Master of Accountancy program boasted the state's highest exam pass rate of any Illinois public university. All of the Western Illinois University School of Nursing students who took the required National Council Licensure Exam in 2017 passed. Further, the Department of Physics ranked first in the nation by the American Physical Society's list of the average number of master's degrees awarded per year between 2015-2017, and our School of Engineering has been recognized for one hundred percent placement of its students. These are just a few of the accomplishments we have achieved together.

 

As I reflect, I wish to thank the board members, faculty, staff and students for all of their support throughout the years. It has been an honor advocating tirelessly for Western Illinois University through my interactions with national and world leaders, governors, legislators, and leaders of multiple constituencies. However, first and foremost, I am grateful for the time I have had as President and Provost in interacting with the great students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members who make up the Western Illinois University family. It is our people who make this University great, and it has been a privilege serving you.

 

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It Takes a Village to Create Public Art

 

Macomb, IL – A group of Western Illinois University faculty and students along with the Macomb community began working on a wall mural on the side of The Old Dairy restaurant Thursday afternoon.

The project, expected to take about two days minimum to complete. This project is being led by WIU Art Professor Bill Howard and Art Professor Emeritus Mike Mahoney. It received a financial boost from a Performing Arts Society grant.

 

Howard and WIU Associate Professor of Art Duke Oursler have made a massive effort over the last several years to create a variety of public art projects in Macomb. They worked on placing the painted "Rocky" dogs throughout the city over several years, to raise money for scholarships for WIU art students, and with the placement of large sculptures in and around the downtown area.

 

"We have always been talking about murals," said Howard. "We want Macomb to be an arts destination. We wanted to marry the mural project to the community."

 

Howard met with the Macomb Downtown Development Director Kristin Terry and Macomb Area Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Jock Hedblade to join forces on the project. The mural has alot of  historical Macomb figures portrayed, such as Al Sears, and Macomb landmarks, such as the "EAT" sign on the former Maid Rite restaurant on East Jackson Street.

 

Howard designed and sketched the original idea for the mural and then the drawing was projected onto the wall and traced. Community volunteers began filling in the drawing with paint at noon Thursday.

Mahoney, a portrait painter, was hard at work painting the historical faces of Macomb, and WIU art student Ashley Derry, a senior, of Macomb, was high atop a ladder adding her own splash of color.

 

"I wanted to be a part of it because I think it’s a really good idea for the community," she said. "And, while I've been working on it, I've learned a lot of Macomb history I didn't know." Volunteer Sonja Schmidt showed up with a new paintbrush in her hand Thursday afternoon and was excited to begin painting flowers.

 

"I just thought it would be fun to be a part of this; it's a great idea," she said. "I live in Macomb and anything we can do to beautify it…I support that." Oursler weaved between scaffolding to add a tan color to the piece. He said he and Howard has worked for eight years to bring a more artistic flair to Macomb."When people think Macomb, we want them to think art," he said.

 

Terry said the mural is a three-year plan that finally came together with the help of the PAS grant and from The Old Dairy owners, Mark and Emily Gamage, who paid to have the wall cleaned. Emily said she is proud to be a part of the public art project because it creates a "positive vibe" for the community.

 

Howard has a second wall mural painting planned this summer, near the Sports Corner @124 restaurant, just off the Macomb square. He said it will be WIU Athletics-themed, again with historical figures incorporated.The Painting will continue until 7 p.m. today (Thursday, June 13) and from 2-7 p.m. Friday.

 

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Duckworth, Durbin Help Introduce Legislation Directing Trump Administration to Meet Standards Set by Paris Climate Agreement

Washington, D.C – U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth  and Dick Durbin  joined Senators Jeanne Shaheen , Bob Menendez and Tom Carper , as well as 39 of their Senate colleagues, last week in introducing legislation directing the Trump Administration to meet the standards established by the historic Paris Climate Agreement and mitigate the long-term damage caused by the administration’s anti-environment actions. The International Climate Accountability Act would prevent the President from using funds to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord and develop a strategic plan for the country to meet its commitment under the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

 

“Climate change isn’t some made-up hoax or some far-off nightmare – climate change is real, and it is here,” Duckworth said. “Climate change is one of the gravest environmental, economic and national security threats of our time, and we’re already experiencing its devastating effects in Illinois and across the country. Our military leaders have long understood that increased famine and drought caused by climate change are contributing to political instability across the globe – but it seems that our President does not. I’m proud to join my colleagues in advocating for the U.S. to meet the standards that were agreed to by nearly 175 countries to protect our environment for future generations.”

 

“Withdrawing the United States from the Paris Climate Accord will go down as one of the worst decisions of the Trump presidency,” Durbin said.“America should be leading the world when it comes to reducing carbon emissions and becoming more energy efficient. Our bill sets to reverse the Trump Administration’s retreat from the Paris Accord and fight its anti-environment policies.”

 

International Climate Accountability Act makes clear that the Paris Climate Agreement is critical to strengthening international cooperation to reduce global greenhouse emissions and hold high-emission nations accountable, and recognizes the important role the Agreement plays in protecting and advancing U.S. economic interests and foreign policy priorities around the globe. The U.S. joined the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015 with nearly 200 other nations. In 2017, Donald Trump announced his intention to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement – making the United States the only country to reject the climate accords.

 

 

 

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Ground Breaking for Memorial Brick Project

The Macomb Flags of Love Committee celebrated the groundbreaking for the Macomb Flags of Love Memorial Brick project which is located on the south side of Chandler Park in Downtown Macomb area. The expansion of the Flags of Love represent features over 850 American Flags, flown during five holidays like Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, and Veteran’s Day. The Flag’s of Love Project started up in 1977 by Leland “Tweed” Mummert, the late Robert Anstine, the late William “Bill” Wayland, and the late Kay Ruggles.

 

The Memorial Bricks Project started in January 2019 through the support of current members and a sizeable donation from the Volunteers Interesting in Benefiting Everyone (V.I.B.E) Organization, in 2018. Also, this project could not have been done without Jack Laverdiere, owner of Laverdiere Construction. Jack will be donating his time towards the foundation of the memorial bricks. It will be a permanent memorial to recognize any deceased Honorably discharged veterans that have resided in McDonough County. All veterans displayed on the Flags will be included in the Memorial Brick Project.

 

The bricks are being placed on the South Side of Chandler Park near the Ruth Watts memorial fountain. “Today marks a special day as we officially break ground on the Memorial Brick project. Once completed it will be a wonderful addition to Chandler Park and honoring our deceased veterans of McDonough County,” stated Marcia Lefante, chair of the Flags of Love committee.

 

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Bustos Receives Champion of Agriculture Award

Washington – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) received the American Agri-Women (AAW) Champion of Agriculture Award. In recognition of her work to promote farm exports, Congresswoman Bustos was presented with the award by Ardath DeWall, a dairy farmer from Shannon, Illinois; and Jeanette Lombardo, President of AAW.

 

Congresswoman Bustos serves on both the House Appropriations and Agriculture Committees. Last year, she helped pass a robust Farm Bill which included her legislation to help new and beginning farmers, improve rural health delivery and crack down on the opioid epidemic that’s ravaging our communities. Congresswoman Bustos has also led the charge for stable trade policies – introducing bills to expand agricultural trade with Cuba and mitigate the financial damage for the farmers resulting from the president’s reckless trade war.

 

“I’m humbled to receive the Champion of Agriculture Award and I want to thank the American Agri-Women for this honor,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “Between the president’s reckless trade policies and the historic flooding across the country, our farmers are hurting right now and need stable leadership from Washington. As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, I’ll continue to give a voice to the growers and producers in our district as they navigate this tough farm economy.”

 

“Congresswoman Bustos is a strong advocate for rural communities in Illinois’ 17th Congressional District and always fights for our farmers,” said Ardath DeWall of Shannon, Illinois. “In Congress, she’s been a tireless champion fighting to expand our markets and grow the agricultural economy. On behalf of American Agri-Women, I’m proud to present her with this award today in recognition of her great work on the House Agriculture Committee.”

 

 

 

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IDNR Accepting Applications for OSLAD and LWCF Grant Programs

Springfield, Ill. – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) announced that applications will be accepted for grants through the Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) and the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) grant programs beginning July 1, 2019.

 

The OSLAD program is a state-financed grant program that will provide funding assistance to local government agencies for acquisition and/or development of land for public outdoor recreation areas. OSLAD is a matching program that provides any payment (for development projects only) that is 50 percent of the grant award amount. The local agency must demonstrate and possess the ability to finance  remaining costs of any approved project prior to receipt of the remaining grant funds. This program is funded through a percentage of the state’s Real Estate Transfer Tax.

 

The LWCF is a program that utilizes federal dollars to acquire land to be used for outdoor recreation.   This program provides up to 50 percent of the certified market value of property acquired to be developed into outdoor recreation areas. No advance payment is allowed on acquisition projects. LWCF is funded nationally by revenue from offshore oil and gas leases. Both programs are managed by the IDNR with concurrent application due dates, equal grant maximums and similar general rules.The application period will open July 1 and applications must be submitted to the IDNR by 5:00 p.m. August 19, 2019. The Notice of Funding Opportunity can be found at

https://www.illinois.gov/sites/gata/Pages/default.aspx.

 

 

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The WIU Board will Meet June 13-14 in Macomb

Macomb/Moline, IL - The Western Illinois University Board of Trustees will hold their regular quarterly meeting Friday, June 14 in Macomb. The WIU Board's  meeting will begin at 9 a.m. Friday in the Brophy Hall gymnasium on the WIU-Macomb campus.

 

The Board shall convene in a closed session beginning at 7 p.m.Thursday, June 13 for the purpose of considering matters provided for in 5 ILCS 120/2c. The closed session will be held in the Sherman Hall 205.

 

The Board will also have a closed session at 8 a.m. Friday, June 14 for the purpose of considering matters provided for in 5 ILCS 120/2c. The closed session will be held in the Brophy Hall 215.

 

During the June 14 open meeting, the Board will consider the Academic Program Review recommendation, vote to elect a trustee to the State Universities Civil Service Merit Board, and will consider purchases of $500,000 and over, the FY20 Preliminary Spending Plan, tenure recommendations, approval for the WIU Columbarium, election of officers and the presidential assessment and evaluation.

 

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Illinois State Museum Announces New Director

Springfield, Ill. – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has announced the appointment of Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko as director of the Illinois State Museum. The appointment is the result of a nationwide search by a special committee of the State Museum Board. “We’re extremely excited to have Cinnamon on board as the new director of the Illinois State Museum,” said Colleen Callahan, director, IDNR. “She brings with her a wealth of experience, knowledge and energy and we can’t wait for her to take the reins of the Illinois State Museum.”Catlin-Legutko returns to her Midwestern roots following a highly successful term as the president and CEO of the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, Maine. At the Abbe, she diversified financial base, strengthened community involvement, including successful collaboration with the native Wabanaki people.

 

Before her service at the Abbe Museum, she led the General Lew Wallace Study and Museum to the nation’s highest honor for museums and libraries when it was awarded a 2008 National Medal for Museum Service by the Institute of Museum and Library Service and the White House. Catlin-Legutko is a graduate of Purdue University and the University of Arkansas.

Catlin-Legutko has served on the Board of the American Association for State and Local History and currently serves on the American Alliance of Museums Board of Directors. She has lectured and written extensively on museum best practices, including diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility in museums, and is a nationally recognized leader in the museum field.

 

“We are very pleased to have Ms. Catlin-Legutko lead the Museum as we strive toward greater inclusiveness and expand our service to Illinois citizens and beyond,” said Dr. Lorin Nevling, chairman, Illinois State Museum Board. “We will celebrate our 150th anniversary in 2027 and much remains to be done prior to that time. The Board of the Museum is eager to work with Director Catlin-Legutko to assure a brilliant future for the museum.” The Illinois State Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. The Museum is located at 502 South Spring Street in Springfield on the Capitol Complex. Admission is $5 for adults ages 19-64 and is free for youth, seniors, and veterans.  In addition to the Springfield Museum, other public Museum facilities are found at the Dickson Mounds Museum in Lewiston and the Lockport Gallery in Lockport.

 

 

 

 

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State Rep. Norine Hammond Opposes Reproductive Health Act

Macomb – Moments ago, Governor Pritzker signed into law legislation expanding abortion in Illinois. State Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) publicly voiced her opposition to the legislation when the Illinois House of Representatives voted on it this past May 28.

 

“The governor’s signing of legislation expanding abortions in Illinois is tragic,” said Rep, Hammond. “This legislation represents a radical expansion of abortion in Illinois, on top of our state’s extremely-permissive abortion laws. The people of our communities strongly believe that the unborn deserve protection in law. As your State Representative, I will continue to oppose these radical abortion laws and advocate for the unborn.”

 

The legislation, Senate Bill 25 (SB 25), referred to by proponents as the “Reproductive Health Act,” eliminates legal protections for the unborn currently in state statute. The legislation states, “A fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights under the laws of this State.” The legislation also states that those who become pregnant have a “fundamental right” to an abortion. The “fundamental right” status prohibits state interference with abortion, which will likely nullify the parental notification statute for abortions performed on minors.

 

SB 25 removes criminal penalties against a doctor who performs an abortion when there is a reasonable possibility of survival of the child outside the womb. SB 25 provides a broad and expansive definition of “fetal viability,” which will allow for late-term abortions under certain circumstances. The legislation repeals the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975, the Abortion Performance Refusal Act, and the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.

 

SB 25 also requires certain private insurance companies to cover abortion services. Through the passage and signing into law of House Bill 40 in 2017, which Rep. Hammond opposed, state statute allows for the taxpayer funding of abortion. .

 

SB 25 passed only with support from Democratic members of the Illinois House and Senate.

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IDNR Accepting Applications for New Boat Access Development Program

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) today announced applications will be accepted for grants through the Boat Access Area Development grant program beginning on July 1, 2019.

 

The Boat Access program is a state-financed grant program that provides funding assistance to local government agencies for acquisition and/or development of land for public boat and canoe access areas in Illinois.

 

This program can provide up to 100 percent reimbursement funding assistance on approved development project costs and 90 percent reimbursement on land acquisition costs.

 

The local agency must demonstrate and possess the ability to finance the costs of an approved project prior to receipt of grant funds. This program is funded through a percentage of the state’s marine motor fuel tax and canoe registration fees.

 

The program is managed by the IDNR. The application period will open July 1 and applications must be submitted to the IDNR by 5:00 p.m. on August 19, 2019. The Notice of Funding Opportunity can be found at here

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Local Brewery Receives Money

 

The soon to open, Macomb-based brewery, Forgottonia Brewing, competed in last year’s Downtown Macomb Retail Competition, and won. Their prize was a total of $28,000 in winnings, and today, Mayor Mike Inman and Downtown Development Director, Kristen Terry, presented the company with a check for $3,500 of the earnings. 

 

(Photo courtesy of City of Macomb)

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Duckworth, Hastings Urge DoD to Drop Insensitive Forms

 

Antiquated Document Raises Concerns

Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth and Congressman Alcee Hastings introduced a bill today in an attempt to force the Department of Defense to review in-use documents containing racially and otherwise insensitive information. The Office of Management and Budget implemented standards on racial terminology more than 20 years ago, but it appears the DoD has not listened, as a piece of documentation containing racially insensitive language has surfaced. 

 

In her statement on the bill, Duckworth pointed out that the issue arose due to the mailing of an outdated form to a deceased serviceman’s family contained the word “negroid” as a classification of race. Duckworth and Hastings expressed “shock” at the use of the word, while also calling it “un-excusable” that the term is still in use more than 20 years after it was mandated the word cease in its use. The main purpose of the bill, is to require the DoD to study its in-use forms and periodically submit reports with information on those forms which contain insensitive information to the House and the Senate Armed Services Committee. Senators Ron Wyden, Patrick Leahy, Ed Markey and Amy Klobuchar have joined Duckworth and Hastings in the sponsorship of the bill. 

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Illinois 21st on WalletHub List

 

Land of Lincoln Receives Middle of the Pack Distinction

In a study done to determine the quality of all 50 states in the U.S., WalletHub found Illinois 21st. Illinois received its highest marks (6th in both) in safety and quality of life, while receiving its lowest (45th and 46th respectively) in affordability and economy. As the economy continues to recover from decades of frivolous and, at times, illegal spending, the state could see a rise on lists like this. Illinois also received a middle of the pack 24th ranking on health and education (one category). A much more positive and fun note about the state from this list, Illinois was 5th in restaurants per capita, making it truly one of the best places to eat in America, if nothing else.

 

A few other interesting notes and takeaways from the list: first, only one state that could be considered Southern cracked the top-25, Florida, at #21. California and New York were 49 and 50 respectively on the affordability list, while Alabama and West Virginia came in at 1 and 2. The least safe state was interestingly Alaska, North Dakota was rated as the best economy, and New Yorkers were given the distinction of having the best quality of life. For health and education, Vermont was deemed #1, while New Jersey was deemed safest.

 

Now, obviously, this is onlyl one of undoubtedly hundreds of these kinds of lists, most of which simply use data from the Census Bureau, but it’s always interesting to read these and see where your state stacks up. https://wallethub.com/edu/best-states-to-live-in/62617/ has the rest of the rankings as well as the methodology for selecting the list in the way they did. 

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Officials Caution Residents Concerning Rivers And Lakes

Springfield, IL-- Illinois officials and DNR are advising those who are recreating in the wilderness near Lakes and Rivers to be very cautious. With the massive amounts of flooding and high temperatures in the coming future, Blue-Green Algae is in "bloom". While most blue-green algae are harmless, some can produce toxic chemicals that cause sickness or other health effects in people and pets, depending on the amount and type of exposure.

 

People who plan to recreate in or on Illinois lakes or rivers this summer are advised to avoid contact with water that:

• looks like spilled, green or blue-green paint;
• has surface scums, mats, or films;
• is discolored or has green-colored streaks; or
• has greenish globs suspended in the water below the surface.

 

People are also advised to keep children and pets out of the water. Do not allow pets to drink from the water and do not allow them to lick their fur after swimming in water containing a blue-green algae bloom. If you or your pet has contact with water you suspect may have a blue-green algae bloom, rinse off with clean, fresh water as soon as possible.

 

 

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WIU Alumni Council Calls for Presidents Resignation

MACOMB, Illinois-- The Western Illinois University Alumni Council has made the decision to call for University President Dr. Jack Thomas to resign from his position by June 30, 2019.

 

In a resolution made public on Monday, June 10, 2019, the council bullet points several reasons why they are asking for President Thomas to resign, saying the university has been "severely impacted in recent years by declining enrollment, funding shortfalls, arduous negotiations with collective bargaining units, and the departure of several senior leaders." They go on to say the university has been moving too slow and indecisive in addressing issues and that stakeholders have publicly feuded to the detriment of public relations and internal morale.

 

The Council wants President Thomas to resign by June 30, and if he doesn't, they want the Board of Trustees to terminate his contract.

The council also puts forward a plan of action, also outlined in the aformentioned resolution. They call for investments to be made into pullling in new students and recruitment.

 

The resolution passed with a 15-2 vote. It's signed by Alumni Council President John Sanders.

 

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WIU Board to Meet June 13-14 in Macomb

Macomb/Moline, IL -- The Western Illinois University Board of Trustees will have its regular quarterly meeting on  Friday, June 14. The WIU Board’s meeting will be held in Macomb and begin at 8 a.m. Friday in the Brophy Hall gymnasium on the WIU-Macomb campus.

 

The Board shall convene in a closed session beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 13 for the purpose of considering matters provided for in 5 ILCS 120/2c. The closed session will be held in the Sherman Hall 205.

 

The Board shall also convene in closed session at 8 a.m. Friday, June 14 for the purpose of considering matters provided for in 5 ILCS 120/2c. The closed session will be held in the Brophy Hall 215.

 

At the June 14 open meeting, the Board will consider the Academic Program Review recommendation, vote to elect a trustee to the State Universities Civil Service Merit Board, and will consider purchases of $500,000 and over, the FY20 Preliminary Spending Plan, tenure recommendations, approval for the WIU Columbarium, election of officers and the presidential assessment and evaluation.

 

 

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Illinois Extension to Hold Garden Walk

 

 

The Knox County Master Gardeners (A University of Illinois extension) has announced its 2019 Garden Walk event. The event will take place Saturday, June 15th, from 10 AM to 2 PM in Galesburg.

 

The event will take place over four sites, the Carl Sandburg State Historic Site, the Carl Sandburg Community College Garden, the Knox County Fairgrounds, and the Knox County Nursing Home. The event is free of charge to all those who attend.

 

Throughout the 4 sites, there will be door prize drawings done, and each person will be allowed one entry per site. Each of the four sites will host unique activities for attendees. The Historic Site will host a garden scavenger hunt, the Community College Garden will host cooking and gardening demonstrations, as well as giving children a chance to grow their own seeds, the Fairgrounds will give attendees a chance to explore display gardens and their monarch way-stations and lastly the Nursing Home, where attendees will have the chance (while supplies last) to take home their own Lenten Rose. Each site will also provide children the opportunity to hunt for special, hidden, painted rocks.

 

A rain date is set for June 29th. For more details on the event, check out https://web.extension.illinois.edu/hkmw/, or the Three Rivers Horticulture Facebook Page. Bring the whole family out to Galesburg for what is sure to be an exciting event!

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Illinois Agencies Assist Formerly Incarcerated Individuals at Summit of Hope

Springfield – The Illinois Department Corrections (IDOC), is in partnership with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, Illinois Department of Public Health, Illinois Department of Employment Security, Illinois Prisoner Review Board, and Illinois Treasurer’s Office, is connecting formerly incarcerated individuals with services to help them reintegrate back into the community successfully. Hundreds of people returned to attend the Summit of Hope at the Illinois State Fairgrounds Wednesday. The expo brought local service providers to guide and assist parolees and probationers. At the one-stop event, men and women could get a free haircut, receive a health screening, learn how to secure housing, open a bank account, and obtain substance abuse counseling.

 

“Our goal is to end the cycle of incarceration by setting returning citizens up for success,” said IDOC Acting Director Rob Jeffreys. “The Summit of Hope gives men and women the tools they need to be responsible, law-abiding members of our community.”The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) provided attendees information to help them pursue new professional licenses or restore licenses that lapsed due to incarceration. The Department also spoke about the importance of financial literacy and provided educational materials on bank accounts, loans, and budgeting skills.

 

“As the principal regulator of Illinois’ licensed professions, it is the Department’s goal for Illinois residents to obtain their licenses and successfully practice in their chosen profession while continuing to protect the public,” said IDFPR Secretary Deborah Hagan “By communicating this through outreach and education, we hope to increase the number of licensed professionals, create an environment conducive to economic success, and to reduce recidivism.”  IDOC hosts multiple Summits of Hope across the state each year. The next event will take place in Maywood, Illinois on June 19, 2019.

 

 

 

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IEMA Provides Safety Tips for Flood Related Power Outages

Springfield - As flooding persists throughout the State of Illinois, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and local emergency managers are encouraging those in the impacted areas to prepare for potential impacts from the prolonged event. Residents should prepare for potential power outages, road closures, flood damage, and more. Below are some safety tips for power outages and flooding. Take time to prepare yourselves, your families, and your businesses.

 

Power Outage Preparation: Take an inventory of the items you need that rely on electricity, including personal medical equipment. Talk to your medical provider about a power outage plan for medical devices powered by electricity and refrigerated medicines. Find out how long medication can be stored at higher temperatures and get specific guidance for any medications that are critical for life. Plan for batteries and other alternatives to meet your needs when the power goes out.Sign up for local alerts and warning systems, including Wireless Emergency Alerts . Monitor weather reports for the latest forecast information. Check on your neighbors – make sure they are safe and prepared. Determine whether your home phone will work in a power outage and how long battery backup will last. Review the supplies that are available in case of a power outage. Have flashlights with extra batteries for every household member. Have enough nonperishable food and water. Use a thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer so that you can know the temperature when the power is restored. Throw out food if the temperature is 40 degrees or higher. Keep mobile phones and other electric equipment charged and gas tanks full.

 

Many residents impacted by floods are turning to portable generators as a result of power failure or to help power flood fighting equipment. Be aware that generators can cause dangerous hazards such as, carbon monoxide poisoning, fire and electrocution.Here are some safety tips: Do not use a generator indoors or in partially enclosed spaces- including homes, garages, and crawl spaces - even those areas with partial ventilation. Using fans will not prevent carbon monoxide build-up in the home. Do not place the generator in front of open windows. Do not assume that you are safe. Be aware that carbon monoxide fumes emitted by gasoline, propane, diesel or gas engines can be fatal. As carbon monoxide is odorless, people are not aware of its presence. Install carbon monoxide detectors/alarms with battery back up in central locations on every level of your home to alert you of dangerous levels.

Learn more about how you can prepare by visiting www.Ready.Illinois.gov.

 

 

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Illinois EPA Accepting Applications for FY20 Medication Takeback Program

Springfield —Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting applications for the Fiscal Year 2020 Medication Takeback Program. This program will provide funding to communities or organizations for  safe disposal of opioids and other harmful medications collected from residents.“To date, the Illinois EPA Medication Takeback Program has already removed 20 tons of unused medication in fiscal year 2019,” said Illinois EPA Director John J. Kim. “This program not only properly disposes of medication to protect our water resources, but it also assists communities in addressing the opioid crisis, and we look to do even more in the next fiscal year.”

 

For the FY19 program, there were 104 community partners in the Medication Takeback Program, and the Illinois EPA is seeking to expand upon those partnerships. Communities and organizations interested in being part of the Medication Takeback Program should complete and submit the application available online. Applications must be submitted by June 15, 2019 for collections beginning on July 1, 2019. Application Instructions are also available on the EPA website.

 

Medication should always be used as directed and stored properly to avoid accidental poisoning or other complications. Illinois EPA reminds residents that the improper disposal of unused or unwanted medications creates the potential for harmful chemicals to end up in lakes, rivers, streams and groundwater. Medications should NOT be flushed down the toilet or poured into a sink.Additional information on the safe disposal of medicine and a list of existing collection locations can be found at the link below.

https://www2.illinois.gov/epa/topics/waste-management/waste-disposal/medication-disposal/Pages/default.aspx.

 

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NRA Supported Case Calls for Suspension of Illinois FOID Act

Fairfax, Va. - Grassroots Illinois-based Second Amendment organization Guns Save Life filed an important NRA-supported case that challenged the foundations of the Illinois gun law. Following an early adverse ruling the group filed an expedited appeal that asked the Illinois Supreme Court to put aside the lower court's ruling and suspend the state's Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) Act. NRA has supported and been involved in this case as they are in cases all over the state. The FOID Act requires law-abiding Illinois citizens to obtain and pay for a license from the State before they are allowed to possess or purchase any firearms and ammunition."Law-abiding citizens should not be required to obtain government approval before exercising a constitutionally protected right," said Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA's Institute for Legislative Action.

 

The case of one Guns Save Life member, mentioned in the organization’s complaint, shows how drastically the FOID Act infringes on that right. In compliance with the Act, the member recently sought to renew his FOID card. But the police denied his application and revoked his card, claiming to have “suddenly” found a battery conviction in his record. The problem is he has no such conviction, and the courts have no record of one. Nevertheless, because he no longer had a FOID card, he was forcibly disarmed.

 

Yesterday's motion asks for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to put the Act on hold while litigation is underway. "Illinois is one of only two states to impose such extreme gun control restrictions upon law-abiding citizens,” continued Cox. “The men and women of the National Rifle Association are pleased to join Guns Save Life in this fight to protect the Second Amendment rights of Illinois gun owners.”

 

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Macomb Mayor Announces Flag Day Plans

 

 

Macomb Mayor Mike Inman announced today that on Flag Day, June 14, Chandler Park will be displaying “Flags of Love” from 6:00 AM until 6:00 PM. This goes along with the recent sign campaign around town featuring slogans such as “ALL Love” among others.

 

The flags will be placed with the help of the Rotary Club as well as anyone else who would like to volunteer. Should inclement weather get in the way of the display, a symbolic red ribbon will instead be placed on a pole in the southeastern end of Chandler Park.

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City of Macomb Unveils New Festival

 

 

The City of Macomb announced today the unveiling of a new festival set to hit the streets in September 2019. The inaugural Senior Festival will kick off September 20, and will wrap up on September 21.

 

The festival is meant to showcase Macomb’s many attractive attributes to the average senior citizen, as well as providing opportunities to look at the many wonderful senior living communities we have in our town. 

 

More information about the event can be found by contacting Downtown Development at 

(309) 575-3015 or by visiting their Facebook page at Downtown Macomb.

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WIU SOAR Programs Ongoing

 

 

WIU got their Summer Orientation and Registration program kicked off on Tuesday, June 4, as the school welcomed prospective students from around the state and the country to Macomb. The second of these programs will begin tomorrow, June 8, and continue through Saturday, June 9. With enrollment becoming a concern, these events have become monumentally important for the University.

 

“We are excited to welcome the newest members of our Leatherneck family to campus,” Said Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions and SOAR Coordinator, Drew Donahoo, “SOAR provides a really great opportunity for our incoming students and their families to really get to know their university, and their new home away from home.”

 

The initial two day program was filled to capacity, a good sign for an enrollment that has been on a slight rise in recent years, and the spots for the remaining SOAR’s are filling up quickly. 

 

I know for me, SOAR is where I made some of the best friends I have in college, and is where I truly decided that broadcasting and a career in sports were things I really wanted to pursue. Information on what SOAR is or on how to apply to WIU can be found by contacting the admissions office at (309) 298-3157 or admissions@wiu.edu, or by visiting wiu.edu/admissions. If you are a student who has been accepted and have not yet registered for a SOAR, the website to do so is wiu.edu/SOAR.

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WIU SOAR Programs Ongoing

 

 

WIU got their Summer Orientation and Registration program kicked off on Tuesday, June 4, as the school welcomed prospective students from around the state and the country to Macomb. The second of these programs will begin tomorrow, June 8, and continue through Saturday, June 9. With enrollment becoming a concern, these events have become monumentally important for the University.

 

“We are excited to welcome the newest members of our Leatherneck family to campus,” Said Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions and SOAR Coordinator, Drew Donahoo, “SOAR provides a really great opportunity for our incoming students and their families to really get to know their university, and their new home away from home.”

 

The initial two day program was filled to capacity, a good sign for an enrollment that has been on a slight rise in recent years, and the spots for the remaining SOAR’s are filling up quickly. 

 

I know for me, SOAR is where I made some of the best friends I have in college, and is where I truly decided that broadcasting and a career in sports were things I really wanted to pursue. Information on what SOAR is or on how to apply to WIU can be found by contacting the admissions office at (309) 298-3157 or admissions@wiu.edu, or by visiting wiu.edu/admissions. If you are a student who has been accepted and have not yet registered for a SOAR, the website to do so is wiu.edu/SOAR.

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MDH Offers New Fitness Programs

 

 

Through its Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Services Department, McDonough District Hospital has begun offering two new programs aimed at older adults. They partnered with American Specialty Health Fitness Inc. to become a Silver&Fit and Active&Fit participating fitness center.

 

The Silver&Fit program is one aimed at helping those aged 65 and older to maintain excellent physical fitness and improve their health through improved education. These plans are available at low-cost to no-cost depending on eligibility and health plan arrangements.

 

The Active&Fit program is one aimed at adults 64 and younger, and allows those individuals who desire it to have access to all the amenities available at your local gym. These plans may also be available for low-to-no-cost depending on availability through insurance coverage plans. 

 

The two programs will be offered at MDH’s Outpatient Clinic located at Lafayette Ave. and University Drive in Macomb, and at MDH in the Sport Medicine and Rehabilitation Services branch. More information on the program and info on how to sign up can be found by calling (309)836-1601.

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Duckworth, Crapo Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Help National Labs Find Qualified Employees by Improving Workforce Training

Washington, DC– Today, U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) introduced bipartisan legislation to prepare the next generation of American workers to work at National Laboratories and at the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) by ensuring they gain the training and skills they need to succeed. With many employees at the National Laboratories and NNSA sites nearing retirement age, the DOE National Labs Jobs Access Act will address these facilities’ looming workforce shortage by establishing apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeship programs between the national laboratories and NNSA and universities, community colleges, local high schools and intermediaries. Congressman Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM-03) is introducing companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.

 

“The skilled technicians that work at our National Laboratories represent the best among us, dedicating their expertise to helping solve the world’s most pressing problems,” Senator Duckworth said. “I’m proud to partner with Senator Crapo on this bipartisan legislation to prepare the next generation of students to work at our National Laboratories, helping ensure America remains at the forefront of technological innovation for generations to come.”

 

“The demand for a qualified, educated workforce of skilled technicians is increasing rapidly across the country and Idaho, and national laboratories like the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) are feeling the effects,” said Senator Crapo.  “Investments to train a new skilled workforce are needed to sustain the critical work of these labs and to provide well-paying jobs. The DOE National Labs Jobs ACCESS Act would help fill these high-demand positions at INL and other national labs by supporting apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs, with a particular eye toward programs that serve veterans, young people and individuals with barriers to employment.”

 

The bipartisan and bicameral DOE National Labs Jobs ACCESS Act would create a grant program to be run by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in consultation with the Department of Labor, to facilitate the creation of these apprenticeship programs. Technicians would be trained in one-of-a-kind facilities, hazardous materials, special machinery and tools that are inaccessible from commercial industry experts. The bill is supported by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

 

Duckworth has long supported investing in cutting-edge research programs to address the skills gap and prepare Americans to work in high-demand industries. In March, Duckworth re-introduced the Energy Jobs for our Heroes Act to help Veterans gain the training and credentials necessary to secure job opportunities in the energy sector. The legislation connects highly qualified and skilled Veterans with employers in fast-growing solar, wind, nuclear and clean energy industries. Last month, she also re-introduced the Community College to Career Fund in Higher Education Act to make education more affordable for students pursuing degrees in high-skill industries by supporting innovative partnerships between technical colleges, community colleges and businesses that train students for careers in high-demand fields like advanced manufacturing, health care, clean energy and information technology.

 

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Illinois IDOR Launches Online Portal to Better Serve Local Governments

Chicago – Local governments across Illinois have financial information at their fingertips thanks to the Illinois Department of Revenue’s (IDOR) new online portal.  My Local Tax provides a centralized location for local government officials to access information from IDOR, providing increased communications and control over finances through timely and transparent information-sharing. The new portal also frees up the (IDOR) staff to serve localities more effectively on other pressing issues.

 

“At the Department of Revenue, we strive to increase efficiencies and deliver taxpayers a better service, and that’s why I am excited to announce MyLocalTax,” said acting Director David Harris today before a crowd of local government officials in Naperville. “MyLocalTax puts local officials back in control by streaming operations and increasing information-sharing. Governor Pritzker challenged us to reimage service using technology and innovation, and I am very pleased to say that this is a major step by the  Department of Revenue toward that goal.”

 

Today’s announcement came as the department held a workshop for local government officials in Naperville, the first of many that will be held across the state during June.The MyLocalTax portal provides monthly access for financial tax allocation information, streamlines the local business tax data verification process, and allows for electronic communication between the agency and locality. “IDOR has always been proud of the services it provides local governments on behalf of the state,” said Brenda Towers, Program Administrator for Taxpayer Services at IDOR. “Not only does MyLocalTax continue in that mission, it increases communication with our local governments and frees up staff to tackle more complex problems affecting the allocation of monies to local governments.”

 

MyLocalTax is just the latest step in IDOR’s continuous mission to innovate and improve its operations while safeguarding taxpayer dollars. Last year, IDOR launched a new mobile-friendly website to provide businesses, tax professionals, and the public easier access to the information needed most.  Updates include a drop-down menu system at the top of every page, and real-time traffic-driven listings showing users what questions, forms, and tax types are currently garnering wide interest.

 

 

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Building Momentum Across the District, Rita Hart Announces Rob Sand Endorsement

Today, Rita Hart, lifelong Iowan, farmer, 20-year educator, and Democratic candidate for Iowa’s Second Congressional District, announced the endorsement of Iowa Auditor Rob Sand. She is a graduate of North Iowa Area Community College and the University of Northern Iowa. Rita has also taught in the Calamus-Wheatland and Bennett Community school districts. After leaving the classroom, she led programs that facilitated career pathway opportunities for students with local businesses and she served as an active volunteer in her eastern Iowa community.

 

Rita is also a former member of the Iowa Senate where she represented a swing district and worked with both parties to deliver results for hard working Iowa families, small businesses, and farms. Rita and her husband Paul have five grown children. She and Paul live on their family corn and soybean farm near Wheatland, which they've owned and operated since 1986.

 

“Iowa families need Rita Hart fighting for them in Washington. Her deep integrity and experience as a farmer, teacher, and state Senator make me proud to support her today,” said Auditor Rob Sand. “Rita will always stand up to the Washington special interests and never back down from tough challenges.”

 

“Our campaign to give hard working Iowans a voice in Congress continues to build momentum and I’m thrilled to have Auditor Rob Sand’s support today,” said Rita Hart, Democratic candidate for Iowa’s Second Congressional District. “Rob and I agree that we have to restore people’s trust in government and can never forget who we work for—hard working Iowa families.”

 

 

 

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ITA Commends Governor and Lawmakers on Capital Bill and CDF Repeal on Trucks

Springfield – The Illinois Trucking Association (ITA) is pleased that lawmakers reached a  agreement to invest in the state’s highways & bridges, while also reducing fees on the trucking industry. The newly passed Capital Bill repeals  hidden sales tax on truck license plates known as the Commercial Distribution Fee (CDF). The CDF adds about $400 to the cost of a semi-truck license plate, all of which was swept into the General Revenue Fund.

 

“The Illinois Trucking Association is pleased that Governor Pritzker and legislative leaders in the House and Senate chose to Repeal the Commercial Distribution Fee that has plagued the trucking industry in Illinois since its inception in 2004,” ITA Executive Director Matt Hart said. “By repealing the CDF, Illinois has actually lowered fees on truck license plates, opening the door and inviting trucking companies to locate their company in the state.”

 

A license plate for a semi-truck costs $3,190, with $2,790 in actual license plate fees and $400 in the Commercial Distribution Fee which is swept into the General Revenue Fund.  With the passage of the Capital Bill, once the CDF is repealed in 2020, the cost of a semi-truck license plate will be $2,890, an overall savings of $300 or 9.4%.

 

Hart adds, “The trucking industry employs 300,000 men and women in the state of Illinois, providing high quality jobs for Illinois families.  The ITA applauds Governor Pritzker as well as Speaker Madigan, President Cullerton, and Leaders Brady & Durkin for their support to repeal the CDF.  In addition, ITA supports all legislators that voted to invest in the state’s transportation network. Illinois is a leader in trucking and a leader in transportation.  We must continue to invest in our roads and bridges with efficient, sustainable revenues to keep our highways safe and to provide economic opportunity to everyone in the state.”

 

Last year, the Commercial Distribution Fee cost the trucking industry $46.7-million, according to figures from the State Comptroller.  Since its inception in FY 2004, the CDF has cost the trucking industry nearly $1 Billion. The Illinois Trucking Association is a non-profit, full service trade association led by trucking companies to promote and protect the interests of the trucking industry in Illinois.  ITA is the only American Trucking Association affiliate in Illinois and has offices in Springfield and Willowbrook, Illinois. You can follow the Illinois Trucking Association on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Duckworth Calls For Better Protection of Voting Rights

 

 

On the 100th anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment, Illinois Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth has issued a statement on how she feels Congress can better ensure those voting rights remain in tact.

 

She said, “These women raised their voices on the picket lines so we could make ours heard at the polls. They risked safety and security, withstood hypocrisy and overcame misogyny, refusing to stay silent so that their daughters and their daughters’ daughters would inherit the democracy they deserve… But every American’s right to vote wasn’t truly secured that day in 1919… and it still isn’t secure all these years later—not when voter suppression tactics still block so many people of color from the ballot. So what began at Seneca Falls continues with us today… Now, it falls on our generation to keep fighting for that more perfect union.”

 

A video of her full speech on the Senate Floor can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZAn5H5vuws&feature=youtu.be. 

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Phantom Regiment to Perform at WIU

 

 

Professional Drum and Bugle Corps to Play at Hanson

 (Photo Courtesy of WIU News)

 

After rehearsing for much of the last month, the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps is nearly ready for the Friday, June 7, performance at Hanson Field. The WIU performance is a send-off for what will be a 16-state competition tour beginning June 8. 

 

The performance Friday will showcase a portion of the show that the Regiment will perform during their tour, and will follow one final public night performance. The show will be free and open to the public, as their rehearsals have been throughout the duration of their stay. Rehearsals have typically been held at 9:45 AM, 2 PM, and 6:30 PM throughout their stay, and the performance Friday is set to kick off at 8 PM. Any rainouts will move rehearsals or the performance to Western Hall.

More information about the Corps can be found at regiment.org and a calendar of the Corps’ schedule can be found at regiment.org/calendar/.

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FY20 Budget, Allocations for WIU, Pass

 

The Illinois General Assembly voted to passed the FY20 budget, one that included operating funding for higher education institutions, and the budget will see increase of 5% over FY19’s $49.6m.

 

WIU received some much needed funding as a result of this budget. They will receive $94.5m in capital funding for a new science building and $29m will go towards the Illinois Board of Higher Education, which will look to use the money on capital improvements on the school. In addition to improved funding for WIU, FY20 allocated funding for the MAP and “AIM High” Programs. Lastly, the bill will re-appropriate funding for the Center for Performing Arts and the Quad Cities Riverfront Campus.

 

Current WIU President Jack Thomas thanked the General Assembly in a statement, saying, “We greatly appreciate the General Assembly passing a budget, and providing operating and capital funding for Western and Illinois public higher education, as well as funding to help meet students’ financial needs. 

 

This should be looked at as a bright day for WIU, as this funding increase will allow the University more flexibility in their financial decisions, and may decrease the need for the layoffs that have devastated the community over the last few years. 

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WalletHub Lists Best Cities for Gamers

 

Top 100 Cities for Gamers in the U.S.

Using a set of 23 different indicators of what they call “gamer friendliness”, analytical website WalletHub has determined the 100 best American cities for gamers. With the industry growing to it’s current value of $130b, it’s a topic that is sure to be on many people’s minds these days, and this list may help a gamer find his way.

 

The top 10 begins with Seattle at #1, the only city to be in the top 5 of every category the site used. They are followed by Irvine, CA, LA, Orlando, Atlanta, New York City, San Jose, San Francisco and Austin, TX. It should be no surprise at all that a majority of these cities lie on the west coast, as it is considered by many to be the most tech friendly region in the country.

 

Columbus comes in as the highest ranked midwestern city, though the list doesn’t see them till #21. Chicago is the lone Illinois city on the list, coming in at #29. The full list along with further details on the methodology can be found at https://wallethub.com/edu/best-cities-for-gamers/36270/. 

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WalletHub Lists Best Cities for Gamers

 

Top 100 Cities for Gamers in the U.S.

Using a set of 23 different indicators of what they call “gamer friendliness”, analytical website WalletHub has determined the 100 best American cities for gamers. With the industry growing to it’s current value of $130b, it’s a topic that is sure to be on many people’s minds these days, and this list may help a gamer find his way.

 

The top 10 begins with Seattle at #1, the only city to be in the top 5 of every category the site used. They are followed by Irvine, CA, LA, Orlando, Atlanta, New York City, San Jose, San Francisco and Austin, TX. It should be no surprise at all that a majority of these cities lie on the west coast, as it is considered by many to be the most tech friendly region in the country.

 

Columbus comes in as the highest ranked midwestern city, though the list doesn’t see them till #21. Chicago is the lone Illinois city on the list, coming in at #29. The full list along with further details on the methodology can be found at https://wallethub.com/edu/best-cities-for-gamers/36270/. 

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Disaster Aid Passes Through House

 

After two shocking failures, the disaster aid bill proposed by congresswoman Cheri Bustos has passed through the House of Representatives in Washington. The bill proposes $19.1b to be used to aid families across the United States and its territories who have been affected by natural disasters.

 

Among the features of the bill are: assistance for farmers and rural communities who have experienced large-scale crop loss, infrastructure repairs, $1.4b to Puerto Rico, of which $600m will be used for nutrition assistance, funding to stabilize health care systems in Pacific territories and lastly repairs and reconstruction of federal facilities, including military bases.

 

For the people of Puerto Rico, this represents one step back from the chorus of errors in the handling of Hurricane María, and represents an opportunity, finally, to rebuild and regrow what was once a vibrant community. This funding has been needed for several years now, but Republicans had twice now blocked the measure. It’s nice to see what true bipartisanship can do for those in need. 

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Department of Transportation Aims to Help Veterans

 

 

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced Tuesday its plans to begin accepting the military equivalent of a CDL, from those aged 18-20, for operation of large trucks in interstate commerce. 

 

This will be a pilot program slated to run for three years, during which, the safety records of the drivers will be compared to a control group of drivers. An additional requirement of the program states that the drivers must attain sponsorship from a participating trucking company. 

 

“This program will help our country’s veterans and reservists transition into good paying jobs, while addressing the shortage of truck drivers in our country,” remarked U.S. Transportation Secretary, Elaine L. Chao.

 

More information about this specific program and how to apply for it can be found at https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/under21pilot/under-21-pilot-program. For more information about the USDOT’s other Veteran transition programs, you can visit https://www.transportation.gov/veteranstransportationcareers. 

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Acute Care Staff Recognized at MDH

 

Three members of the McDonough District Hospital staff were awarded the “Healing Hand” designation on Monday for their excellent work in caring for Vicky Kipling. Dr. Jack McPherson, RN Nora Valdez and CNA Kate Hickey were those receiving the honor, an award created through the Grateful Patient program. Kipling accompanied her nomination of these three with a gift to the Acute Care Department.

 

“I received such outstanding care during my hospitalization,” Said the Grateful Patient, “The entire team was amazing, but these three went above and beyond. I am so grateful for their professional expertise and knowledge.” 

 

More information can be found about the Grateful Patient program by calling (309) 836-1757 or by visiting MDH.org.

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IMA Applauds New Budget and Infrastructure Programs

 

 

In a statement released today, the Illinois Manufacturer’s Association appeared to respond positively to new developments with infrastructure in the state, as well as the bipartisan budget. 

 

Mark Denzler, CEO and President of the IMA, said he applauds Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker and fellow Illinois lawmakers for “balancing the budget” and “making a bold investment to rebuild our state’s infrastructure”. He went on to say how pleased he was in Pritzker’s move to extend the Research and Development credit and his “investment in apprenticeships and workplace development”.

 

It certainly seems like Pritzker’s mostly progressive policies are popular among his constituents, time will tell if they are effective.

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Update Media on Illinois Flood Flight Operations Alongside Illinois, Mississippi Rivers

When: Monday, June 3, 1:00 p.m.

 

Where: State Unified Area Command

Winchester EMS

734 State Route 106 South, Winchester

                      

Summary: The Illinois Emergency Management Agency will provide a briefing on the state’s current flood fight efforts along the Illinois and Mississippi rivers. Included in this briefing will be an overview of the work performed by the state’s Unified Area Command Post, which was established to provide coordinated assistance to ongoing response efforts throughout the region. The UAC is currently monitoring and assisting efforts in 19 counties in Illinois.

 

 

 

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MDH Convenient Care Making the Move to MDH Family Clinic

MACOMB, IL – The McDonough District Hospital Convenient Care clinic will be moving to the MDH campus, relocating to the Family Clinic on the second floor inside Health Services Building 2. The last day for Convenient Care inside Hy-Vee will be on June 11.

 

Starting on July 1, the same hours and days of operations and the same walk-in services offered from the Convenient Care Clinic, will be available at the MDH Family Clinic. Any patient that is 18 months or older needing medical care and treatment for uncomplicated minor illnesses, injury and skin conditions can visit MDH Family Clinic for walk-in appointments, and the expanded hours of operations will remain the same: Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. and Friday-Sunday 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

 

According to MDH interim Vice President for Ambulatory Services Randy Buchnowski, the move will actually benefit patients needing services. “We analyzed the pros and cons of the current Convenient Care location. Moving the clinic to our MDH campus will benefit our patients. Our Family Clinic staff working with walk-in patients will continue to treat minor medical needs, and if additional services are needed they can go across the parking lot to the hospital for laboratory, radiology, and emergency services,” said Buchnowski. “The best part of the move, MDH will continue to offer the same hours of service during the evenings and weekends with all services located in one centralized location.”The cost of a walk-in visit is typically less than an Emergency Room visit. Patients may be asked to pay any insurance co-pay at the time of service.

 

The MDH Family Clinic offers a team of providers that will care for you and your family’s total well-being, from small aches and pains to chronic health conditions. Establishing with a family practice provider can also help to prevent illnesses before they develop through regular check-ups, proper diet, exercise, and medical advice. MDH Family Clinic providers treat patients in every stage of life, from six months through adulthood. If a medical condition arises that requires care from another specialist, your family practice provider will guide and coordinate all aspects of your care. For more questions or additional information on walk-in appointments, call MDH Family Clinic at (309) 837-6937

 

 

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Illinois Students, Families Given Access to Free Food During Summer

SFSP Helps Students In Need 

Illinois’ Summer Food Service Program will once again be providing meals and snacks to students aged eighteen and younger and their families. The food will be provided at numerous locations throughout the state, and the easiest way to find the nearest location is by calling (800) 359-2163, texting “FoodIL” to 877-877, or by visiting summermealsillinois.org. Among the reasons Illinois has increased its use of the SFSP lately is that only twelve percent of students who receive meals in school receive SFSP meals. Additionally, one in six Cook County Children are at risk of hunger, so these meals are an increasingly important source of food.

 

The Greater Chicago Food Depository’s “Lunch Bus” will be in action once again this year, serving fifteen sites on three different routes stretching along the city of Chicago and neighboring suburbs. “The Presence of hunger in our communities diminishes hope,” said GCFD Executive Director and CEO, Kate Maehr, “A healthy community begins with food.” The SFSP wants to ensure that participants are aware that under no circumstance will any discrimination be shown to those requesting the food, and the guidelines for qualification to receive the food can be found at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/05/08/2018-09679/child-nutrition-programs-income-eligibility-guidelines. 

 

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