CHICAGO-- The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that the unemployment rate fell to 4.2 percent in July and nonfarm payrolls increased by +3,700 jobs over-the-month, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES.
Job growth increased during the May to July period. An additional 9,500 jobs became available over this three-month period, higher than the 6-month average monthly gain of +8,200 jobs between February and July 2018.
“The state’s unemployment rate continued its downward trend in July and stands at its lowest point in 18 years,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “Illinois payroll employment also saw its largest over-the-year gain in more than two years.”
In July, the three industry sectors with the largest over-the-month gains in employment were: Manufacturing (+2,400); Leisure and Hospitality (+2,000); and Professional and Business Services (+1,900). The industry sector with the largest payroll decline was: Government (-1,700).
The state’s unemployment rate is +0.3 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate reported for July 2018, which fell to 3.9 percent. The Illinois unemployment rate has decreased by 0.8 percentage points from a year ago when it was 5.0 percent. The last time the Illinois jobless rate stood at 4.2 percent was in February of 2000.
“The Illinois economy continues its comeback,” said Illinois Department of Commerce Director Sean McCarthy. “We are seeing what reduced red tape, a competitive economy, and investment in workforce and career pathways can do to promote growth and opportunity across the state.”
To help connect jobseekers to employers who are hiring, IDES’ invites you to explore the state’s largest job search engine, IllinoisJoblink.com (IJL) https://illinoisjoblink.illinois.gov/ada/r/, which recently revealed 55,888 posted resumes with 204,916 jobs available.
Congresswoman Cheri Bustos will participate in a ribbon cutting ceremony at a non-profit in Rock Island called Closet2Closet this Thursday, August 16, 2018.
Rock Island High School Seniors, Amber and Amy Haskill, founded their nonprofit organization to help provide clothing for foster kids after their personal experiences with foster care. In 2017, Closet2Closet was one of 10 national finalists for the Peace First Challenge, which allowed them to attend the Allstate Foundation Good Starts Young Rally. After that, they competed with teams nationwide and won the grand prize after pitching their idea to a panel of judges.
Following the win, the Haskills were able to rent store space and provide nearly 5,000 customized clothing care packages to children in the area.
The Haskills and Congresswoman Bustos are inviting members of the community to join them for the ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, August 16, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. at Closet2Closet, 2613 5th Ave, Rock Island, IL 61201.
Macomb Downtown Development has announced the opening of Macomb’s Lakeview Medical and Psychiatric Healthcare Center located 1601 W. Jackson Street, Suite 104, in Macomb.
Provider Ashley Martin participated in the Downtown Macomb Retail Competition and used this information to help her become the first business owner to open the doors.
“We are excited that the workshops and resources helped Ashley with going forward with the business” said Downtown Development Director, Kristin Terry.
Lakeview Medical and Psychiatric Healthcare is committed to providing families with top quality care in a compassionate and friendly atmosphere. They have a team that consists of Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and an Addiction Treatment Specialist.
“These services are needed in our community and surrounding communities” stated Ashley Martin.
Lakeview will be hosting an open house on Wednesday, August 15, 2018 from 5:00pm-7:00pm at 1601 W. Jackson Street, Suite 104.
For more information about the Macomb Lakeview Medical and Psychiatric Healthcare Center, contact (309)575-3222.
During National Immunization Awareness Month, learn what vaccines you, your kids, and other family members need.
“Vaccination is a shared responsibility,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. “Although you may be healthy and only experience mild illnesses from a vaccine preventable disease, you could pass that disease to people around you who may become seriously ill. Babies who are too young to be vaccinated, older adults, and people with chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes are at greater risk for severe illness or complications. If you’re not willing to get vaccinated to protect yourself, do it for the loved ones around you.”
The Food and Drug Administration thoroughly test vaccines before licensing and carefully monitor them even after they are licensed to ensure that they are safe. Talk with your health care provider if you have concerns about vaccines and what vaccinations you need and when you need them.
Vaccines protect babies from 14 diseases by the time they reach two years of age. It is important that babies receive all doses of each vaccine and receive each vaccination on time. Diseases are unpredictable, so making sure your child is protected is extremely important. Vaccines are the safest and most cost-effective way to prevent several diseases and are even required to attend school.
However, the need for vaccinations does not end in childhood. Vaccines are recommended throughout our lives. Adults should get flu vaccine each year and receive a Td (tetanus and diphtheria) booster vaccine or Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) every 10 years. Tdap is also recommended for pregnant women during each pregnancy. Adults 50 years and older should think about receiving the shingles vaccine. Doctors also suggest that Adults 65 and older should receive both pneumococcal vaccines. Some adults younger than 65 years with certain conditions are also advised to receive one or more pneumococcal vaccinations. Adults may need other vaccines (such as hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and HPV) depending on their age, if pregnant, occupation, travel, medical conditions, vaccinations they have already received, or other considerations.
There are programs available to help families as well. The Vaccines for Children program, which provides vaccines at no cost to eligible children who do not otherwise have access to recommended childhood vaccines, can be contacted at (312) 746-6050 in Chicago or (217) 785-1455 for the rest of the state.
The Macomb Assembly of God, 112 Robin Road, Macomb, IL 61455, are holding their seventh annual "Back to School Bash" at the church this Saturday, August 11, 2018 from 11AM-2PM.
Many schools have received less funding and fewer supplies, which makes it hard for students to be successful. More parents every year are finding it difficult to provide all the proper school supplies for their children.
This event hopes to change that by giving families FREE backpacks, school supplies, lunches, haircuts, actvities and games. They have given out over 250 backpacks filled with supplies, all at no costs to the families. Macomb Assembly of God's lead pastor, Carl Redding, stopped by the K100 studio for an interview this morning with Mark Hespen to discuss the upcoming event.
"Our church is excited about the people that are all involved. Everyone is just excited to share hope. We're in a culture today where sometimes people are living with a lack of hope, so we just want to connect with kids and hangout and be able to bless them in a physical way by giving them a backpack and school supplies" said Pastor Redding.
This is made possible through partnering with other local businesses and organizations. If you become a partner, then your business logo will will be included on the flyer in each student bag along with being announced during the event. There are a few ways that these businesses or organizations can help. They can make a tax-deductible financial contribution (this allows the church to get special discounts on backpacks and supplies), donate supplies, offer services and resources, or just to come out and help during the event.
If you would like to become a partner for the "Back to School Bash", please contact the Macomb Assembly of God at 309-837-5470 or by email at email@example.com
Mark Hespen's full interview with Pastor Carl Redding can be found here:
A total of 40 local teens participated in the 2018 MDH Volunteen Program, which provides working experience in 17 different departments throughout McDonough District Hospital.
The teens completed a total of 691 volunteer hours in departments such as: Acute Care/ICU, Emergency Services, Family Clinic, Food Services, Foundation, Obstetrics, Radiology, Reception Desk-Front Lobby, Service Excellence, Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Services, Staff Development, Storeroom, Patient Financial Services, and Volunteer Services.
“Volunteering at MDH is very rewarding for teens. They serve others and have the opportunity to make new friends, network with medical professionals, develop self-esteem, and create meaningful memories. Plus, our patients’ lives are deepened through the energy and compassion of our Volunteens,” shared MDH Volunteer Coordinator Meagan Wohlfeil.
The Volunteen Program works to enhance the community youth by providing opportunities for personal growth and development. The program runs every summer throughout June and July, and looks for responsible teens, age 13 and over, to help volunteer up to 8 hours per week at MDH.
“Being a part of this program isn’t just about providing services at MDH and learning about careers in healthcare – it is also about the new skills a teen can learn from volunteering. These skills can often be used anywhere in their future endeavors, skills such as: communication, customer service, organization, time management, and the list goes on. Many Volunteens come to us without having previous work experience, but the skill sets and experiences they acquire here can help build resumes for jobs and college applications” said Meagan Wohlfeil.
Application packets are available each year starting April 1 online at www.MDH.org.
The 2018 Fallen Soldiers 5K Run/Walk will be taking place on Saturday, Oct. 27 beginning with a ceremony at 8:30 a.m. in the WIU Recreational Center and the race starting shortly after at 9 a.m. in front of Western Hall.
The event will pay tribute to members of the armed forces and two of WIU’s own fallen soldiers. Capt. Derek Dobogai graduated from Western in 2003, but was killed in a Blackhawk helicopter crash in 2007 while in Northern Iraq. Lt. Col. Robert Baldwin graduated in 1993 from WIU and was killed in 2010 after his helicopter carrying international troops crashed in Afghanistan.
The WIU Fallen Soldiers 5K Run/Walk has raised more than $100,000 since 2012 for the WIU Fallen Soldiers' Scholarship Fund, which honors the two alumni who were killed in the line of duty. The WIU event is the largest race in McDonough County with close to 600 participants.
Early bird race registration, which guarantees a t-shirt and a finisher medal, is $25 (student registration is $20) until Oct. 8. Registration will then be $35 after Oct. 9.
Race sponsorships are available as well. Sponsorship levels include: race route sponsor, $250; mile-marker sponsor, $1,000; and finish line sponsor, $2,500.
People will also have an opportunity to donate and honor a friend or family member who has served or is currently serving in the military by “Honoring a Vet”. For a $100 donation the honorees will have his/her name, rank, and military branch listed on an individual sign, which will then be showcased on “Veterans Row”.
Today, The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) honored approximately 5,000 Illinois heroes who’ve received a Purple Heart for their service to the country.
The Purple Heart is awarded in the name of the President of the United States to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States who, while serving under competent authority in any capacity with one of the U.S. Armed Services after April 5, 1917, has been wounded or killed.
“Our Purple Heart recipients are true heroes whose courage cannot be matched,” said Governor Bruce Rauner. “They are the epitome of bravery and we are stronger because of their service. We owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude.”
IDVA Director Stephen Curda, Ph.D. recognized the Purple Heart recipients during a ceremony in the Illinois State Capitol rotunda in Springfield today, and paid a special tribute to those who lost their lives on the battlefields.
“There is no greater honor than to recognize the men and women who have been killed or wounded while protecting our freedom,” said IDVA Director Stephen Curda, Ph.D. “We can stand proud because of the sacrifices they made. We honor them today and every day.”
In honor and tribute to all Purple Heart Recipients, the Capitol Grounds in Springfield will be lit in purple tonight, August 7, 2018.
The Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) and the Illinois Finance Authority (IFA) announced today that the application process for loans through Fire Truck and Ambulance Revolving Loan Programs is now open.
The Fire Truck and Ambulance Revolving Loan Programs are designed to assist emergency personnel purchase vehicles they otherwise couldn't afford. Under the programs, zero interest and low-interest loans are provided to fire departments, fire protection districts or non-profit ambulance services for the purchase of ambulances and fire trucks.
The ambulance loans are available for amounts up to $200,000 and can be repaid over a 10-year period. Fire truck loans are available for amounts up to $350,000 and can be repaid over a 20-year period.
More than $33 million in loans for fire trucks and $2.5 million in loans for ambulances have been given out to over 200 fire departments and not-for-profit ambulance services across the state because of these programs.
Most Illinois fire departments, fire protection districts and township fire departments are eligible to apply. Not-for-profit ambulance service providers are also eligible to apply.
There will be a book signing coming up in Macomb involving a coach who's story has impacted the lives of many.
Kathy Bresnahan was the women's head volleyball coach at Iowa City West High School for 26 years and produced two state titles during her tenure.
One of those titles came in 2011 after the tragic death of the team's setter, Caroline Found. Caroline was killed in a moped accident at the young age of 17, but the team somehow found a way to persevere through that season and win the state title. I spoke with Kathy earlier this morning and she was proud of the way her team responded to a challenging time.
"It kind of showed me the resiliency of youth and what we're capable of when we put others' needs before ourselves. It was an amazing, life-changing journey."
The remarkable story behind the team's success was recently made into a film starring Helen Hunt playing Kathy Bresnahan and William Hurt as Caroline's father. The film was based on Kathy's book, "The Miracle Season". The book covers the emotional journey that the team embarked on throughout the season and how they battled through adversity.
Kathy will be coming to Macomb for "The Miracle Season" book signing this Wednesday on August 9th. She will be at the Macomb High School at 3 p.m. to meet the local community.
"I'll be talking first and asking questions. Questions and answers, book signings, a lot of kids already have the book or volleyball to sign, that's all fine too... It's great to go out and empower people to say, hey there's gonna be some struggle in life but you can get through them" said Kathy Bresnahan.
Again, people are invited to take advantage of this opportunity to meet the inspiring coach and author on Wednesday.
The McDonough County Special Recreation Association (MCSRA) are hosting their upcoming Macomb Softball Play Day on Saturday, August 11, 2018 at Veterans' Park.
Jessica Stephens works at the MCSRA and will help run the event. I spoke with her earlier this morning and she mentioned how they are still searching for a 4th team to play.
"We are playing a team from Jacksonville and a team from Monmouth. We are also looking for a 'celebrity' team too, so anyone from Macomb that wants to play, such as the Police or Fire Department, can put together a team and be there with us. It's just going to be a really fun day. A whole family fun day."
The MCSRA rely heavily on donations and they are asking for support from the local community to provide some donations for their silent auction during the Softball Play Day. The silent auction begins at 12:30 p.m. and some of the highlights include Buffalo Wild Wings gift cards and gift packages to the movie theater and Platinum Hair Salon. There will be more items available, but they are still looking for donations from local businesses to be auctioned off.
The proceeds from these donations will assist individuals with disabilities by giving them the opportunity to enjoy recreational experiences with the park district and surrounding areas.
If you are interested in playing or want to donate for the silent auction, contact the Park District office at 309-833-4562.
My full interview with Jessica Stephens and others from the MCSRA can be found here:
Tune in to your favorite Regional Media station RIGHT NOW to save BIG money on our remaining certificates and bid items! We have set Buy It Now prices on our bid items at ridicuously low prices! Call 309-837-5551 to purchase any item you see here or certificates you hear Thaddeus talk about going on now until Noon! Our Buy It Now priced items are:
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The Trump Administration’s proposal to roll back federal fuel efficiency standards, which support more than 9,900 jobs in Illinois, and revoke the right of states to protect their residents from tailpipe emissions and carbon pollution is upsetting for some Illinois politicians. U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) responded with the following statement:
“This proposal, which was drafted by disgraced former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt as a gift to the largest oil companies, will force families to spend more money filling up their gas tanks. It will undermine clean car standards that support more than 9,900 jobs in Illinois, lead to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions and carbon pollution and make our country more dependent on foreign oil. As someone who fought to defend this nation, I’ve seen firsthand the price we pay for our dangerous dependence on foreign oil. Our government should do everything it can to encourage the use of American-made renewable fuel and Congress should oppose the Trump Administration’s misguided proposal.”
Today, Duckworth joined U.S. Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and 30 of their colleagues in introducing a Senate resolution in support of the current emission standards.
Congresswoman Cheri Bustos and Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth have announced today that the Greater Peoria Airport Authority received $1,500,000 in grant funding from the Department of Transportation.
“The Peoria International Airport serves as an integral transportation center, connecting Central Illinois to the rest of the country and around the world,” said Durbin. “This federal funding will help pay for much-needed upgrades, and I will continue working to ensure communities across Illinois have access to programs and funds that drive economic growth and make air travel safer and more efficient.”
This federal funding will go towards completing the rehabilitation of the General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport apron. Specifically, it will improve 30,920 square yards of the existing terminal apron pavement. The grant will also fund the final phase, which includes construction.
“Airport infrastructure investments are vital to the strength of our state’s transportation systems and our local economies, which is something I understand as both a pilot and a working mom,” Duckworth said. “This funding will help ensure that the General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport has the necessary resources to make much-needed improvements and support local job growth. Along with Senator Durbin and Representative Bustos, I will continue to advocate for funding that results in safer, more reliable airports, as well as increased economic development in the Peoria region.”
The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) will recognize Illinois Purple Heart Recipients during a ceremony in the Illinois State Capitol on August 7th.
The Illinois General Assembly has designated August 7th as Purple Heart Day in Illinois. This day will honor and remember those in the military who have been wounded or killed in battle and honored with a Purple Heart.
The Purple Heart is the oldest military decoration still awarded to members of the United States military. General George Washington established the award on August 7, 1782. The Purple Heart, which was initially called the Badge of Military Merit, is a decoration awarded to any member of the Armed Services who has been wounded or killed in action.
The Capitol Grounds in Springfield will be lit in purple on the night of August 7th to honor the recipients.
This event is open to the public and begins at 12:00 Noon at the Illinois State Capitol Rotunda, 401 S. 2nd Street, Springfield, IL.
Join Leatherneck fans, coaches, and alumni on Saturday, August 11, 2018 at Western Hall for the 29th Annual Purple and Gold Auction.
There will be a silent and live auction during the night with over 250 bid items. Some of the highlights include framed and autographed Dick Butkus and Mitchell Trubisky Bears' jerseys, a one-week getaway to Frisco, Colorado, and VIP trips with WIU Men's Basketball to Nebraska, WIU Men's Football to Illinois, and WIU Women's Basketball to Las Vegas. There will also be a cash raffle with two $500 prizes.
I spoke with Jerry Cremer, who is involved with the auction, earlier this morning and he encourages people to help support the student-athletes by attending the auction.
"Western's a great part of the community, the student-athletes put a lot of effort into what they do. Not only going to school here, but whatever sport they participate in, so it's a great way to thank them."
This is a great way for people around the community to help support the athletic department and all the students involved.
The Purple and Gold Auction's social, Silent Auction and cash raffle will begin at 5:00 p.m. The dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m. with the Silent Auction closing at 7:45 p.m. and Live Auction beginning at 8:00 p.m.
It is $40 per person which gets you a steak, chicken, or vegetarian dinner, a preview of the bid items, and access to the social with the local community.
Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bill today to create a new Illinois Lottery scratch-off game from which proceeds will fund police memorials, support for the families of officers killed or severely injured in the line of duty, and protective vest replacements for officers.
“Our police officers stand in the face of danger every day to keep us safe. We are proud to stand with them and support their families when they are faced with a devastating loss,” Rauner said. “This new ticket will help fund scholarships for their children and honor their bravery at memorial parks across the state.”
House Bill 5513 has been pushed forward by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, along with the help of prominent police memorial funds. The Bill will create the police memorial instant ticket and require that net proceeds go to the Criminal Justice Information Projects Fund. The funds will then be divided equally among the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation Fund, the Police Memorial Committee Fund, and the Illinois State Police Memorial Fund.
These three designated police memorial funds provide support to families of officers who have been killed or severely injured in the line of duty.
“Our police officers wake up every day and put their lives on the line to ensure the safety and security of their citizens and communities,” Durkin said. “It is our duty to help them and their families when they are catastrophically hurt protecting Illinoisans, and this legislation ensures more money will be available without relying on additional state funding.”
The funds raised through this new scratch-off ticket will be used to build and maintain police memorials and parks, hold annual memorial commemorations, give scholarships to children of officers killed or severely injured in the line of duty, provide financial assistance to police officers and their families when a police officer is killed or injured in the line of duty, and provide financial assistance to officers to purchase or replace protective gear.
“No dollar amount raised could ever replace a loved one who has paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty,” said Illinois State Police Director Leo P. Schmitz. “The funds raised by this new bill will serve as a tribute to these fallen heroes for their sacrifice, and more importantly help future generations of police officers, their families and their children.”
Congresswoman Cheri Bustos issued the following statement after the House passage of the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act. Earlier this week, the bill also passed the Senate. This legislation reauthorizes the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, which provides federal funding for community colleges, high schools and technical campuses providing career and technical education (CTE) programs.
“It is incredibly important that we prepare our children with the skills they need to get ahead,” said Congresswoman Cheri Bustos. “This bipartisan legislation will help close the skills gap and better prepare our 21st century workforce by bringing businesses and educators together to develop enhanced training programs. I will continue to champion initiatives that connect hardworking Illinoisans with the career and technical education they need to succeed in our rapidly changing economy.”
200 veterans from across the state will be honored by the Illinois Department of Veteran Affairs. They will be recognized those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty on their achievements and on the extent to which their contributions have aided, benefited and provided inspiration to their community.
More than 100 veterans have already been nominated to be recognized as part of Illinois’ Bicentennial celebration, but they are looking for more nominations. Nominees will be evaluated based on their achievements in dedicating their time and energy to build their communities and assist their fellow veterans and service members.
The honorees will be announced in September and will be featured guests at the Bicentennial Party Gala, which will be held at Chicago’s United Center. Anyone can nominate a hero.
The Governor’s Office of the Illinois Bicentennial and the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs will accept nominations through August 31, 2018. Written nominations can be sent to the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, 69 W. Washington Street, Chicago, IL 60601 or online by clicking on “Honor 200” at http://www.illinois.gov/veterans.
The Official Illinois Bicentennial Celebration began last December 3rd, 2017 with events in Springfield and Chicago. The celebration has continued with programs and events throughout 2018, ending with the Bicentennial Birthday Party on December 3rd, 2018 at the United Center. The HONOR 200 veterans will be recognized during the Birthday Gala.
The Spoon River College (SRC) Office of Community Outreach is offering a Pharmacy Technician Program in Macomb this Fall.
This affordable 12-week program prepares students for a career as a Pharmacy Technician in a retail or hospital setting. Classes are Wednesday Evenings, September 5th-December 5th from 6-10pm at the Spoon River College Macomb Outreach Center- 2500 East Jackson Street.
In Illinois, a state license allows people to work as a pharmacy tech for two years. After, they are required to become certified by passing a national exam, administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
This program at SRC will provide students with the basic skills necessary for an entry level career as a pharmacy technician. The coursework will prepare students to sit for the PTCB certification exam as well. This course is taught by licensed Certified Pharmacy Technicians who are professionally employed in regional pharmacies.
Coursework includes: Origin and history of pharmacy, drug regulation and controls, routes and formulations, transcribing of Physician’s orders, correct medication packaging, calculating doses, labeling prescriptions, preparing IVs, drug distribution systems, and the top 200 drugs Brand/Generic.
There is a free informational session to meet the instructor and learn about the program.
Registration is required for the session. Dates include: Wednesday, August 8th from 6-8pm OR Saturday, August 25th from 10am-Noon.
U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin have announced that $70,000 in federal funding will help create jobs and support economic development throughout Western Illinois.
This funding is provided by the Economic Development District Planning Program, a program within the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) that assists communities as they develop and implement plans to enhance their local economies.
“It’s important for local communities and business leaders to have access to the resources they need to create opportunities that drive economic development in Western Illinois,” Duckworth said. “These investments will go a long way toward helping revitalize parts of our state that could use a boost, and I will continue working closely with Senator Durbin to secure additional investments that strengthen local economies across our state.”
“This federal funding will help give Western Illinois communities the tools to reach their economic goals and incentivize local investment,” Durbin said. “Senator Duckworth and I will continue working to ensure that all parts of our state have access to these critical federal investments that drive growth.”
Under the announcement, the Western Illinois Regional Council (McDonough, Fulton, Hancock, Henderson, Knox and Warren Counties) will receive $70,000. The Council will use this funding to develop a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) in coordination with the EDA – a process that brings the public and private sectors working together to produce a blueprint for economic prosperity that improves the quality of life for community members throughout the region.
New science on brain maturity is evolving and some states have raised, or are looking at raising, the age of juvenile court jurisdiction beyond age 18. A bill considered in Illinois calls for an incremental process to raise the age to 21 for those facing misdemeanor charges by 2020.
Advocates and policymakers are hopeful Illinois will become part of a wave of national juvenile-justice reform. Vermont recently passed a law expanding juvenile jurisdiction to include youths up to age 20, and Massachusetts lawmakers are studying a similar measure as part of a new criminal-justice reform law.
Here in Illinois, raising the age is an issue state Representative Laura Fine has been working on for a few years. The Glenview Democrat says brain science shows the brain doesn't fully mature until age 26.
"Somebody under the age of 26 might do something that they would never consider doing once their brain is fully developed. Based on this, we really feel like the age of a misdemeanor should be increased so that child [,] in many ways who may commit a misdemeanor [,] doesn't have to pay for that for the rest of their life”.
Fine introduced House bill 4541 earlier this year. If passed, it would allow 18 to 20-year-olds charged with misdemeanors to have their cases heard in juvenile court. The bill passed out of committee, and Fine hopes it will get a hearing in the full House.
Since young adults can vote and serve their country, some argue they should have to face the consequences of breaking the law as an adult. But, Garien Gatewood with the Juvenile Justice Initiative counters there's a flip side to that, considering Illinois just raised the age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21.
"It's the same kid that you're talking about that you want to protect from tobacco, or you want to protect from moving out on your own at 18, 19 and 20, if you're a ward of the foster system. We should look at protecting their mental well-being, their physical well-being and emotional well-being” says Gatewood.
"It says that we could increase it to at first 19 or 20 and examine how is it working. Is it working well, and we should go on, or it's not working, and we should go back? So, we're really trying to do this carefully” says Fine.
Illinois State Fair organizers announce that two-time Academy of Country Music award winner, Thomas Rhett, will perform at the 2018 State Fair on Thursday, August 16th.
Thomas Rhett’s latest album, Life Changes, is the first country album of 2017 to climb to the top spot on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart, according to Rolling Stone magazine.
Rhett says the status backs-up his belief that the album appeals to everyone from Millennials to Baby Boomers. Hits such as, “Marry Me,” “Unforgettable,” and the album’s title track, “Life Changes” are sure to appeal to fans of FM radio and Spotify playlists. He has continued an upward path to county music stardom since scoring his first hit, “It Goes Like This,” in 2013. He crosses genres of country, pop, R&B, soul, and rock. These influences can be heard throughout the album from “Sixteen” to “Craving You” with Maren Morris.
Rhett is also an accomplished songwriter. In addition to writing for his own albums, he co-wrote songs with Danielle Bradbery – who will be the opening act on Thursday, August 16th in Springfield. The two share a duet, “Playing with Fire,” which is featured on Rhett’s album Tangled Up.
Danielle Bradbery won “The Voice” five years ago at 16 years old and since then has seen much success. Bradbery met Thomas Rhett while touring with Brett Eldredge on the Suits & Boots Tour in 2015. After more than four years, she is releasing new music, much to fans delight. Her new album I Don’t Believe We’ve Met includes hits “Sway” and “Worth It”.
Tickets to see Thomas Rhett and Danielle Bradbery at the Illinois State Fair will go on sale on today, July 23rd, via https://www.ticketmaster.com/ and the Illinois State Fair box office.
Mark your calendars for the 2018 Illinois State Fair, August 9th – 19th, in Springfield, IL.
The Illinois State Police are taking a proactive approach to promote safety for motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists through enforcement and education during Illinois Speed Awareness Day on July 25th.
In 2016 the total number of crashes in Illinois involving motor vehicles was 324,274. These crashes resulted in 92,957 people being injured and 1,078 people killed. Speed accounted for 32.2% of all overall crashes, and 34.2% of all fatal traffic crashes in 2016.
Lives can be easily saved by being aware of our speed and understanding how speeding impacts a crash.
On Interstates, speeding can have the following consequences:
• The probability of death, disfigurement, or debilitating injury grows with higher speed at impact. Such consequences double for every 10 MPH over 50 MPH.
• When a vehicle crashes it undergoes a rapid change in speed. However, the occupants keep moving at the vehicle’s previous speed until they are stopped, either by hitting an object or by being restrained by a safety belt or airbag.
• The effectiveness of restraint devices like airbags, safety belts, crumple zones, and side beams decline as impact speed increases.
• 37% of the speed-related crashes result in injuries.
• Speeding extends the distance required to stop a vehicle in emergency situations.
• Crash severity increases with the speed of the vehicle at impact.
• Speeding reduces a driver’s ability to navigate safely around curves or objects in the roadway.
• Speeding can lower gas mileage by 33% at highway speeds.
Drivers are reminded to be proactive to prevent traffic crashes, fatalities, and to reduce injuries on the roadways by being cognizant of our speed, obeying the speed limit signs and all traffic laws.
The Burlington Kennel Club (BKC) Dog Show will be returning to Macomb tomorrow for the third straight year and continue through Sunday, July 22 at Western Illinois University's Rec Center. With an estimated 200 exhibitors from over twenty states, this event provides a welcome boost to Macomb’s summer economy.
The event begins at 8 a.m and will feature hundreds of different dogs representing dozens of AKC breeds. People will even have a chance to interact with the dogs in the grooming area of the gym. There one can learn about certain breeds, what is involved in showing a dog, and view the dogs being prepared to enter the show ring.
The Humane Society of McDonough County will also be accepting donations of pet food for their pet food pantry. They will be holding a raffle giving away Walmart gift cards for those who donate food.
On Saturday, the BKC will be debuting the Beginner Puppy Competition, which begins at 10:30 a.m. These puppies are between four and sixth months old. There is another event on Saturday with two of the K-9 dogs who serve Macomb , Kenzo and Drax, and they will perform a demonstration at 1 p.m. There will be a basket of toys to also raffle off and the proceeds will be split between the two service dogs.
I spoke with Joyce Johanson, who is competing in the dog show, earlier this morning and she encouraged people to come experience a dog show for themselves.
"We really are encouraging spectators to come and see what dog showing and pure bred shows are all about. A lot of times people just get to see the end of the show. T.V. just shows the final group judging and the best in show judging, and that's all very exciting, but there is a lot that comes before that as each indivdual breed has its own competition."
AKC has seven different groups of dogs competing for that big prize, so make sure you stop by to check out the wide variety of dogs in the rec center this weekend.
Admission to the show is $3 for those 12 and older, $1 for kids ages 5-11 and those under 5 get in free.
My full interview with Amy Betz, from the McDonough County Humane Society, and Joyce Johanson can be found here:
A local softball team is going to the Northern National Tournament in Yankton, South Dakota.
The 12U CATS softball team from McDonough County have qualified for the tournament for the third year in a row. The team finished in 1st place after two national qualifiers in Washington, IL and Moline, IL to become eligible for the National Tournament.
The National Tournament begins on July 26 and runs through July 29. The CATS will be playing teams from multiple states and after finishing in 2nd and 5th place the past two years, they are looking forward to playing for that 1st place trophy.
You can help support the team in a couple ways. They have a fundraiser going on right now called Adopt-A-Cat. I spoke with one of the players, Kylie Robinson, this morning and she briefly explained how it works.
"You can go on our facebook page and email us and ask if you can adopt a certain player, and it costs 100 dollars"
There is an upcoming event in the local area that is great for the whole family. The First Christian Church and First Presbyterian Church are sponsoring the event, called Sunday at Spring Lake, which will be from 2-7 p.m. this Sunday, July 22.
There are various activites planned like a bible story/craft, games, fishing, pontoon boat rides, and a guided hiking trail. You may do all the events or just choose some to participate in.
"If you can't do all of it, can't do the hike, don't worry about it. There will be different places just to sit and relax, so bring a lawn chair and come and join us at the lake this Sunday." said Kelly Ingersoll, who is a minister at First Christian Church.
There will be musical entertainment from The Troublesome Ridge Bluegrass Band who will provide a sing-along opportunity as well. A hot dog roast with watermelon and S'Mores is also planned.
People of all ages are invited to spend a fun-filled day over at Spring Lake on Sunday. Children 12 and under must be accompanied by a parent/adult and children under 18 must have a signed parental permission waiver to attend. Anyone 16 and older must have a valid fishing license. Fishing poles and life jackets will be provided, as well as a first-aid station and watering hole.
If necessary, both churches will provide transportation to the park at 1:30 p.m. and plan to arrive back at the church at approximately 7:30 p.m. Call the First Christian Church at 309-837-6473 or The First Presbyterian Church at 309-833-3333 if you need a ride. There will also be transportation up and down the hill at Spring Lake for those who need it.
Western Illinois University is investing in some of its most notable academic programs as the future of the University depends on the reorganization of these programs.
"Two years ago, we established the President's Executive Institute to signify that we will be an innovative and forward-thinking institution that is on the cutting edge of operations and services as we interact with external communities for the good of the University and communities that we serve. Today, we take Western's innovation to a higher level," said WIU President Jack Thomas. "We are investing in our academic programs and service operations that will further place Western Illinois University on the leading edge and position our institution for growth, as we prepare students, faculty, and staff to lead in diverse and dynamic communities. With our new Strategic Plan, the President's Executive Institute and our investments, we enter the future. "
According to Thomas, Neumann will be in charge of the new academic plan that is based on the strength of its programs. The focus includes science and technology, business, education, community service and regional and state need.
"As Dr. Thomas has shared, Academic Affairs will restructure and reorganize as we continuously evolve and improve to meet our goals of attracting and retaining students. To determine where we are going, we must evaluate the outcomes of where we have been," Neumann said. "We have seen strong and successful outcomes in the academic areas of business, education, community service, science, technology, and in areas that meet the need of our region. These have been built on a solid foundation of general education to enhance and reinforce the importance of critical thinking, solid communication skills, the pursuit of knowledge, diversity and wellness. Long term, these Centers of Excellence will define and form our investment structure in academics within our four academic colleges."
The reorganization of colleges and departments includes:
College of Arts and Sciences- Select departments will form two new schools: the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and the School of Natural Science and Mathematics, in addition to biology, the School of Nursing and psychology.
College of Business and Technology- Economics will join accounting and finance to form the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance, and engineering technology will merge with the School of Engineering to form the School of Engineering and Engineering Technology.
College of Education and Human Services- Emergency management will join the School of Law Enforcement and Justice Administration to capitalize on the natural commonalities in these disciplines. Social work will return to a department dedicated to that discipline with additional discussions underway about how best to support the remaining disciplines in health sciences. The various programs dedicated to education will merge to form the School of Education.
College of Fine Arts and Communication- graphic design and graphic communication will be brought together to increase and improve the student experience in the area of graphics.
The creation of centers of excellence include:
Business with focus on accounting, finance, human resource management, management, marketing (including fashion merchandising) and supply chain management.
Education and Community Services with focus on education, law enforcement and justice administration, fire science, kinesiology (including dietetics/nutrition), social work and recreation, park and tourism administration (including hospitality).
Regional with focus on agriculture, broadcasting and journalism, communication, counseling, economics, English, museum studies, math, music, nursing, theatre, public health, psychology and speech pathology and audiology.
Science and Technology with focus on biology, chemistry, computer science, construction management, cyber security, engineering, engineering technology, GIS, information systems and physics.
Creation of new online degree programs:
Undergraduate: Accountancy, economics, finance, geography and GIS, human resource management, law enforcement and justice administration, management, marketing, sociology and supply chain management.
Graduate: Educational studies, geography, liberal arts and sciences, and sport management, as well as minors in business, finance, history, nonprofit administration, philosophy and pre-MBA.
Post graduate certificates: Community development and planning and GIS analysis
Facilities enhancements: As a result of donations, a law enforcement and justice administration crime lab will be established in Tillman Hall, and the Centennial Honors College will move to Simpkins Hall.
Recruitment: Internal recruitment to encourage eligible WIU students to explore integrated degree program opportunities to earn bachelor and master degrees in five years.
Dual Enrollment: Greater emphasis on high school dual enrollment programs, with 10 new agreements established.
WIU-Quad Cities: New classes/programs will be established at WIU-QC including psychology and social work undergraduate degrees; a hybrid speech pathology and audiology program; and select ROTC courses.
WIU Board of Trustees Chair Carolyn Ehlert Fuller is confident in President Thomas and his team's ability to lead Western in this advancement of the institution's quality, opportunity and affordability.
"We were extremely pleased with the creation and adoption of the new Higher Values in Higher Education Strategic Plan. This plan, coupled with today's announcements, show that Western Illinois University is positioning itself for the future," Ehlert Fuller said. "The Board thanks President Thomas and his leadership team for advancing our great University. We look forward to realizing the plans set forth today."
"Western is entering a future that defines its unique mission and niche within Illinois public higher education. Thank you for ensuring optimal use of limited state resources by focusing on your centers of excellence. This is what defines you as a University community and an integral component to Illinois public higher education. Western is truly an outstanding institution and I know that you will be successful in your endeavors," said Illinois Board of Higher Education Executive Director Al Bowman.
"Western Illinois University is further positioning itself for the future. We are a preeminent institution in terms of quality, and we will have a new academic structure, state-of-the-art equipment to support our leading edge instruction, new admissions teams and an increased emphasis on student persistence and completion," Thomas added. "Today, we take the next step in academic excellence as a leading institution."
The Regional Media Grand Auction returns today from 11 am to Noon on your favorite Regional Media Station. The Grand Auction will air each weekday 11 am to Noon for the next couple of weeks, giving you the chance to bid or buy on awesome items from these local retailers:
Western Illinios Detailing
Gamage TV & Appliance
Tillitt Collision Center
Cuba Corner Power Wash
Rocky's Bar and Grill
Sweet Shack 2.0
Highway Family Restaurant
Cassady Martial Arts Academy
Scotties Fun Spot
Make Fit Happen
Discount Furniture and Bedding
Peoria Riverfront Museum
Rubix Vaporizors & Smoking Accessories
The Flower Post
Gamage Tv & Appliance
Behr Necessities Custom Cakes & Coffees
Don't miss your chance to grab a great deal and save up to 70% on select items. It's never too early to start Christmas shopping for family and friends or treat yourself to something you have been needing. Tune in each weekday from 11 am to Noon for the Regional Media Grand Auction!
The McDonough Medical Group’s Ear, Nose and Throat clinic has added an Allergy clinic for new and existing patients. Starting today, July 16, patients can call to schedule an allergy appointment.
The Ear, Nose and Throat staff of Jeffrey Sparks, D.O. and Kamie McKee, NP-C are accepting allergy patients ages 10 and older. Both Sparks and McKee have increased their knowledge about treatments by recently attending a national allergy education course.
“We are excited to offer this new service to the residents of west-central Illinois. This service has not been readily available to area residents in the past,” said Dr. Sparks. “We offer allergy testing and immunotherapy treatments for people suffering from allergies on a daily basis.”
You can call the MDH Ear, Nose and Throat clinic at (309) 833-6937 to make an appointment.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has received confirmation of approximately 90 cases of cyclosporiasis, an intestinal illness caused by the microscopic Cyclospora parasite.
Cases have been reported in counties across Illinois with people becoming ill starting in mid-May. The initial investigation indicates a link to consumption of McDonald’s salads produced for McDonald’s restaurants. Approximately one-fourth of Illinois cases reported eating salads from McDonald’s in the days before they became ill.
“Although a link has been made to salads sold in McDonald’s restaurants in some Illinois cases, public health officials continue to investigate other sources,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. “If you ate a salad from McDonald’s since mid-May and developed diarrhea and fatigue, contact a health care provider about testing and treatment.”
McDonald’s says it is in the process of removing these salads from its restaurants and distributions centers. McDonald’s say it is re-supplying restaurants with salads from other suppliers.
People can become infected by consuming food or water contaminated with feces (stool) that contains the parasite. Cyclospora is not spread directly from one person to another.
Symptoms usually begin about a week after exposure, although some people who are infected may not have any. Symptoms may include the following:
Frequent bouts of watery diarrhea (the most common symptom)
Loss of appetite and weight
Cramping, bloating, and/or increased gas
Nausea (vomiting is less common)
Cyclospora infection can be treated with specific antibiotics. If not treated, the illness may last for a few days to a month or longer.
Previous cyclosporiasis cases have been linked to various types of imported fresh produce including raspberries, basil, snow peas, and lettuce.
More information can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
Macomb Downtown Development and the Illinois Small Business Development Center have joined forces to bring entrepreneurs and new businesses to Macomb.
Future business owners have attended a series of classes/workshops over the last six weeks to learn how to run a small business, including writing a business plan. The entrepreneurs will then write their own business plans and create their own pitches for their prospective businesses. Both the business plans and the business pitches will be judged.
“Come and support these entrepreneurs in their business ideas and find out who will be the winner of $28,000 in incentives,” stated Kristin Terry, Downtown Development Director.
Join these future entrepreneurs on Thursday, July 19, 2018 at the Forum, located at 124 N. Lafayette Street. Doors will open at 5:30pm and pitches will begin promptly at 6:30pm.
For more information, contact Downtown Development at 309-575-3015 or facebook/downtownmacomb.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is reminding people to beware of potentially rabid bats and other animals. This year, 17 bats have tested positive for rabies. The number of bats submitted for testing has ranged from 1,300 to 1,700 each year over the past five years, but the number testing positive for rabies is typically around three percent. More bats are typically submitted for testing in August and September.
"People can receive preventive treatment if they are exposed to an animal infected with rabies," said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D. "Although most bats are not infected with rabies, it's important handling bats, get and keep your pets vaccinated, and make sure your home has no openings where bats can come in.
Rabies in bats can only be diagnosed by laboratory testing. General appearance of sickness or a change in the animal's normal behavior are signs that a bat or other animal could have rabies. However, you can't tell just by looking at a bat if it has rabies. Only in instances when a person or pet has been exposed to a bat will the bat need to be tested for rabies. Bats, like all wild animals, should never be handled.
Do not feed, touch, or adopt wild animals or stray dogs or cats. If you find yourself near a bat (in your home or other indoor area) close the door to the room where the bat is and call the local health department. They can help determine if you could have been exposed to rabies and if the bat needs to be tested. If you are bitten by a bat or other animal, you should seek medical attention immediately.
To keep your pets safe, make sure they are vaccinated and don't allow them to roam freely. If a wild animal comes on your property, bring children and pets inside and allow the animal to wander away. If the animal is acting abnormally, contact animal control.
More information about rabies can be found at www.dph.illinois.gov
Members of the Western Illinois University community and residents are invited to attend press events on the Macomb and Quad Cities campuses. On July 16th WIU President Jack Thomas and Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Kathy Neumann will unveil plans for the University’s realignment and growth.
The Macomb campus event will be held from 10:30-11:30 a.m. in the University Union Brattain Lounge and will also be live streamed to the University's Facebook page and WIU's YouTube channel. The Quad Cities campus event will be held from 2:30-3:30 p.m. in Riverfront Hall, rooms 103/104 and will be live streamed to the WIU-QC Facebook page and WIU YouTube channel.
Thomas and Neumann, along with Joe Rives, Vice President of Quad Cities and Planning, will share the University's plan for investments in high demand academic programs.
For more information about the July 16 events, contact University Relations at (309) 298-1993 or email DR-Shinberger@wiu.edu
The McDonough District Hospital Board of Directors held a meeting on Monday night (July 9). Chairman Dr. Rick Iverson spoke on the topic of dissolving the consulting contract with Juniper Advisory. The company provided an evaluation of MDH and current status of regional healthcare during a MDH Board of Directors meeting in June.
“We have been engaged with an outside consulting firm, Juniper Advisory LLC, to assess healthcare delivery in our region. They also discussed strategies we could consider as we seek to understand what is best for MDH and our future success,” said Iverson. “However, in light of our transition of leadership and the need to focus on our search for our long-term CEO - and the need to study internally just what our needs are for the future - we have discontinued our relationship with Juniper Advisory. We could still reengage with them in the future if we decide that is in our best interest. We feel it is in our best interest to continue an internal examination of our needs, opportunities and strategies.”
The Board then discussed the Dolores Kator Switzer Women’s Center. The DKSWC was scheduled to be built in phases. After extensive discussions, the Board voted to instead do the entire project at once to better serve current and future MDH patients.
Completing the project all at once will keep MDH from spending an extra $370,000 (estimated) and save 12-24 months of construction time – now scheduled to be fully completed by January 2020 says the Board.
“The McDonough District Hospital Medical and Nursing staff are greatly appreciative of the Board of Directors continued commitment of assuring that our community receives the highest quality care possible in up-to-date, state-of-the-art facilities designed to deliver optimum patient care,” said MDH interim CEO Brian Dietz.
With the construction of Health Services Buildings 1 underway (then eventually HSB 2), MDH will continue to evaluate and make improvements to better serve the people of west-central Illinois.
In recent years, that commitment to facility improvements is shown by: the addition of the MDH Convenient Care Clinic inside Hy-Vee, opening the Bushnell Family Practice facility, the three-floor expansion in 2015 for Emergency Services, Senior Behavioral Health and Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Services, and now the Dolores Kator Switzer Women’s Center.
To learn more about the DKSWC project or to donate call the MDH Foundation office at (309) 836-1757 or log onto www.MDH.org.
There will be a fundraiser for The National Kidney Foundation of Illinois this Saturday, July 14 beginning at 12 p.m. at The Nugget Bar & Family Restaurant, 119 W. Main St in Industry, IL.
The Nugget Bar and Family Restaurant is owned by Steve Reed. In 2006, Steve moved to Canton, IL but his kidneys slowly started to fail. Steve went on Dialysis for 5 years, which was a tough process, but was worth it because he eventually got his name on the kidney donor list and received a transplant. It was during this time that Steve started remodeling his restaurant and 4 years later opened The Nugget Bar & Family Restaurant.
He will be hosting The Kidney Foundation Fundraiser at The Nugget for the first time this Saturday to raise money and find potential organ donors. The event begins at noon and there will be half-pound Pub Burger sales, raffles & prizes including a TV set, diabetes education, and an organ donor sign up. All of the proceeds will go towards donations to assist The National Kidney Foundation of Illinois. There will also be music during the event. Sean Griffith of Bucket Fish will be performing from 2-6 p.m. and Cold Snap will be performing 7-11 p.m.
During my interview with Steve this morning, he expressed his gratitude for the people who are thinking about going.
"I appreciate people coming by and saying hi, and maybe see and witness what the possibilities are, what transplant can really do for folks in their lives."
July tends to be the hottest month of the year. Many of us are already cooling down our houses with A/C. But, while you dry your sweat under cool air, you should also consider the month’s higher-than-usual power bill. It could burn a hole through your wallet.
In the U.S., energy costs eat between 5 and 22 percent of families’ total after-tax income, with the poorest Americans, or 25 million households, paying the highest of that range. And lower energy prices don’t necessarily equate to savings. Where we live and how much energy we use are a big part of the equation.
To better understand the impact of energy on finances relative to their location and consumption habits, WalletHub compared the total monthly energy bills in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Their analysis uses a formula that accounts for these residential energy types: electricity, natural gas, motor fuel and home heating oil.
The Summit League has unveiled its list of Academic Honor Roll honorees. A total of 1,203 Summit League student-athletes from across 17 sports were recognized for their efforts.
The Student-athletes must have used a season of competition (year of eligibilty) in the sport in which he/she is nominated and have at least a 3.2 (on a 4.0 scale) cumulative GPA for the year awarded to be eligible.
South Dakota led with 207 honorees followed by South Dakota State with 194 and North Dakota State with 157. Western Illinois University followed up with 115 honorees.
The Academic Honor Roll breakdown by school is as follows:
South Dakota (207)
South Dakota State (194)
North Dakota State (157)
Western Illinois (115)
Oral Roberts (113)
Fort Wayne (92)
Eastern Illinois (35) - men’s soccer and swimming & diving associate member
Valparaiso (11) - men’s swimming & diving and men’s tennis associate member
“It’s abundantly clear that Scott Pruitt abused the public trust by using his government position to finance his lavish lifestyle. Pruitt wasted millions of taxpayer dollars on first-class plane tickets, private planes, luxury hotels, office furniture, and a large 24/7 personal security detail despite his own agency being unable to justify it. He is the subject of more than a dozen independent investigations, he retaliated against EPA staff who questioned his spending habits, and he likely violated ethics rules by renting an apartment from an industry lobbyist who did business with his office. The fact that Donald Trump allowed Pruitt to continue to serve in his cabinet and spend taxpayer money despite knowing all of this shows just how empty his promises to drain the swamp were.”
Duckworth voted against Pruitt’s nomination to be EPA Administrator in 2017. When reports surfaced exposing Pruitt’s wasteful and exorbitant spending of taxpayer dollars, Senator Duckworth asked a non-partisan government watchdog to investigate whether Pruitt’s EPA broke multiple federal laws. She called on Pruitt to resign or be fired in April and joined 165 Members of Congress in introducing a resolution calling for his resignation.
Everyone knows that gas prices can be shaky, but many of the best gas credit cards can always help you save about 5% at the pump. For the average person, that’s around $130/year. People who have long daily commutes or enjoy the occasional road trip could benefit even more.
WalletHub has compared more than 1,000 credit card offers based on their fees and earning rates on fuel purchases. They also identified the top options for different types of drivers, specific chains, and gas rewards at any station.
This content is not provided or commissioned by any issuer. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of an issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by an issuer.
Here are 2018's Best Gas Credit Cards:
Points at Any Station: PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Credit Card
Cash Back at Any Station: Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express
Bad Credit: Discover it Secured
Business: Ink Business Cash Credit Card
Students: Discover it Student chrome
Fair Credit: ExxonMobil Gas Card
Costco Members: Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi
Military Community: USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card
Travel & Dining: Citi Thank You Premier Card
Gas Station Credit Card: Marathon Credit Card
Seniors: AARP Rewards Credit Card
More information about specific programs and their perks can be found on WalletHub.com; search “best hotel rewards”. You can also find out more about the different Credit Cards by visiting https://wallethub.com/best-gas-credit-cards/
Illinois has been ranked as the 8th strictest state for speeding and reckless driving, according to personal finance website, wallethub.
The website conducted an in-depth analysis of strict and lenient states on speeding and reckless driving by researching multiple factors to determine these rankings. For example, Illinois ranked as the strictest state to count speeding tickets towards a suspension and fifth strictest state to enforce a maximum fine on the second reckless offense.
A few of the rankings are explained here:
Speeding and Reckless Driving Penalties in Illinois (1=Strictest; 25=Avg.):
15th – Speeding Automatically Considered Reckless Driving
29th – Average Increase in Cost of Insurance After One Speeding Ticket
1st – How Much Do Speeding Ticket Points Count Toward a Suspension
10th – Minimum Jail Time (first reckless offense)
13th – Minimum Jail Time (second reckless offense)
Fourth of July Celebrations and Firework Shows in the Local Area
Macomb Independence Day Celebration: July 4, 2018 at approximately 9:30 p.m. in the Q-lot of Western Illinois University. Musical entertainment will be provided by the Macomb Municipal band and The King Graffiti Band. The food vendor is Boss Food Truck. If rained out, the event is rescheduled for July 5, 2018 at the same time and location.
Bushnell Independence Day Fireworks: July 4, 2018 at dusk at the Industrial Park on Route 9.
Rushville Independence Day Fireworks: July 4, 2018 at 9:45 p.m. at the Schuyler County Fairgrounds.
Carthage-Hancock County Independence Day Parade, Festival, and Fireworks: July 4, 2018. Parade begins at 10 a.m. in the historic downtown district of Carthage with the theme being “Christmas in July: Grateful for the Gift of Freedom.” There will also be live entertainment, a variety of games available, great food and multiple vendors. The fireworks show will begin around 9:30 p.m. near Illini West High School, 600 Miller Street.
Quincy Independence Day Celebration: July 4, 2018. Vendors open at 5 p.m. and the fireworks show begins at 9:30 p.m. on the riverfront at Clat Adams Park, Front & Broadway Streets, Quincy, IL.
La Harpe, Illinois Independence Day Celebration: July 4, 2018 beginning at 7 a.m. and the fireworks show is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. on the Lamoine Valley Golf Course.
Monmouth Independence Day Fireworks: July 4, 2018 at 9:30 p.m. The fireworks show will take place over Citizens Lake. Parking will be available on the baseball fields surrounding the lake.
Keokuk Independence Day Celebration: July 4, 2018. A Kiddy Parade with decorated bikes, trikes, and wagons will kick off the celebration at 11 a.m. at Triangle Park and will head to Rand Park at 11:30 a.m. The fireworks display is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. in Rand Park
Burlington, Iowa Independence Day Celebration: July 4, 2018. Starts at 6:30 a.m. Events will include musical entertainment at Broadway and Wheeler streets, a parade, and more. Fireworks will begin at 10:01 p.m. Admission is free.
Fort Madison, Iowa Independence Day Celebration: July 4, 2018. The 106th annual Charlie Korschgen Kiddie Parade will begin at 10 a.m. at the intersection of 18th Street and Avenue G.
Nauvoo Independence Day Fireworks: July 7, 2018 at 9:30 p.m. in downtown Nauvoo.
Join organizers of the Western Illinois Museum for “Our Front Porch” to learn about
Abraham Lincoln’s visit to Macomb on August 25-26, 1858, for what proved to be an important moment in his political career.
As a guest at the elegant Randolph Hotel on the square, he and his advisors prepared to debate his rival Stephen Douglas. The program will re-enact the scene to imagine how Lincoln used his visit to craft the “Freeport Question” about slavery that catapulted him into national attention and, in 1860, helped clear his path to the presidency.
The Western Illinois Museum will be welcoming The Corn Potato String Band to Macomb on Sunday, July 1. The Detroit-based traditional American music duo of Lindsay McCaw and Aaron Lewis are known for their spell-binding reels, boisterous blues tunes, and even a bit of country gospel.
“What sets the music of the Corn Potato String Band apart is a deeply pervasive strain of soulful spontaneity,” Doug DeLoach wrote in his review for Songlines.
Pie will be served at 1:30 p.m. and the performance begins at 2 p.m on Sunday. There is a suggested donation of $5 at the front door. This is part of the Western Illinois Museum’s “Our Front Porch” exhibit, which allows people to learn about the history and experiences of their guests.
With summer in full swing so are summer activities. The Office of the State Fire Marshal
(OSFM) would like to remind residents to be safe this summer. “Safety should always be a priority when engaging in common summer activities,” said Fire Marshal Matt Perez. Here are some safety tips to remember when using barbecue grills, fire pits, and fireworks:
When grilling, propane and charcoal grills should only be used outside and should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under leaves and overhanging branches.
Keep your grill clean and remove all grease or fat build up. Both of these practices will help prevent accidental fires. Always make sure to watch children and pets around grills.
Be sure that campfires are at least 25 feet away from any clothing, debris or structure that can burn. Before you light campfire, make sure to clear away dry leaves, sticks, low branches and shrubs. Avoid burning on windy, dry days. Both can cause a fire that can get out of control quickly.
Never leave a fire unattended. Always make sure you have a hose, bucket of water, or shovel and dirt/sand nearby to put out a fire and be sure to it is completely out before leaving the site.
4th of July and Fireworks! It is important to remember that fireworks are dangerous and best left in the hands of those licensed to use them. Utilizing fireworks improperly can lead to accidental fires and injury.
An average of 18,000 fires are reported each year as a result of improper use of fireworks. Sparklers account for roughly one-quarter of fireworks injuries. They heat up to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit and can cause severe burns if not handled with care. Never allow children to use fireworks. All adults must have a permit to use commercial fireworks.
U.S Senator Tammy Duckworth joined Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders, and Tim Kaine by introducing new legislation to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. The Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act would allow states to continue to decide how they will treat marijuana possession by removing marijuana from the list of scheduled substances under the Controlled Substances Act.
The Federal Government will still have the ability to prevent trafficking from states where marijuana is legal to states where it is not. The bill also makes new investments in public health and safety and preserves the federal government’s ability to regulate marijuana advertising – just as it does tobacco - so that advertisers cannot target children.
“Far too many Americans are currently incarcerated for marijuana-related offenses and they are disproportionally people of color, despite the fact that African Americans and Caucasians use marijuana at the same rates,” said Senator Duckworth.
The Senators’ legislation is designed to help communities that have been disproportionally affected by our current marijuana laws. It would authorize grants to help individuals seal or remove marijuana possession conviction records, and it creates a new funding stream to make it easier for women- and minority-owned businesses to enter the marijuana industry. The bill would also make new investments in research to better understand the effect of THC on both driving and public health - particularly in adolescents - and to determine the effectiveness of medical marijuana treatments.
“The time to decriminalize marijuana is now,” said Senator Schumer. “The new Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act is about giving states the freedom to be the laboratories that they should be and giving Americans the opportunity to succeed in today’s economy.”
Whether you’re grilling out, packing a picnic, or getting a snack together to eat while you watch fireworks, there are some simple steps you can take that will reduce the chance of getting a foodborne illness. “One food safety essential is making sure food is at the proper temperature, whether it’s cooking it to the right temperature on the grill, or keeping it cold,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Nirav D. Shah.
There is a Danger Zone, when food sits at temperature between 40°F and 140°F, which is when bacteria grow most rapidly. Keeping at the proper temperature, making sure there is no cross-contamination, and keeping hands and utensils clean are key to avoiding foodborne illness. It can be difficult to keep food cold during the summer. Keep your cooler below 40°F is to pack beverages in one cooler and food in another. Chances are the cooler with the beverages will be opened much more frequently, causing the temperature to change, which would be bad for food.
Food should also be separated in the cooler: raw meat and poultry should be separate from fruits, vegetables, cheeses, salads, and even cooked foods. This will help avoid cross contamination.
The juices of raw meat can mingle with foods that are ready to eat and you could end up with a Salmonella sandwich instead of a hamburger on a bun. The cooler should be in the shade and out of the direct sun.
Whether you’re cooking on the grill or in a kitchen, make sure food reaches the proper
temperature. And don’t just eyeball the color of the meat. That doesn’t always indicate the level of properly temped foods. Use a meat thermometer.
145°F- whole cuts of beef, pork, lamb, and veal
145°F fish 160°F - hamburgers and other ground beef
165°F - all poultry and pre-cooked meats, like hot dogs
Make sure to use clean utensils and clean plate when you take food off the grill. Using the same utensils and plate that you did for the raw meat could add an unintended E. coli marinade to your food. Clean your hands before preparing food and eating.
Also make sure all leftovers are refrigerated or put on ice within two hours after cooking, or one hour if the temperature is above 90 F. Don’t let that potato salad bake in the sun and become a source of sickness.
More food safety tips or information about foodborne illnesses and symptoms can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website https://www.cdc.gov/
A group of high school counselors seeking to give their students firsthand advice about Illinois colleges pedaled into Macomb Tuesday afternoon. The group of seven ended a three-day, 170-mile bicycle tour of regional colleges and universities with their arrival at Western Illinois University.
The bicyclists visit included a campus tour, a reception with several WIU deans and administrators and Macomb Mayor Mike Inman and meetings with campus staff. The trip was organized by Fenton High School counselors, Paul Welsh and Sarah McDougal. Other counselor cyclists were Miles Katz, Beth McLaughlin, and Tiffany Kolb, Merle Wilder, and David Bennett.
“We wanted to provide the opportunity for Illinois counselors to see the schools their students attend, said McDougal. This gives in-state schools a chance to be highlighted, and it’s important for us to learn about these schools.” The cyclists were on a quest to learn what is unique about the WIU campus. “We want to give the schools an opportunity to showcase what they can offer our students,” said Welsh.
Katz said he was using the trip as a chance to improve his knowledge of Illinois schools and to train for the Chicago Marathon at the same time. “I have not been to any of
the four schools we visited, and our students apply to all of them,” he said. “It’s something unique. The knowledge we gained will be helpful to our students.”
Thursday morning the cyclists began their ride back to Peoria, where the trip began. Welsh said the goal is to make the Illinois Admission for College Admission Counseling (IACAC) Bike O’ Fun an annual event for counselors from around the state.
For more information about the WIU Admissions Office, visit wiu.edu/admissions
The Board of Trustees at Western Illinois University will be meeting at 9:30am on
Thursday, June 28 in the University Union Grand Ballroom. A scheduled closed session will begin at 8am for the purpose of considering matters provided for in 5 ILCS 120/2c, including personnel, collective bargaining, litigation and real estate, on Thursday, June 28 in the University Union Board Room.
The Board is meeting to consider a staff reduction authorization. The authorization would allow University administration to follow layoff procedures set forth within the University Professionals of Illinois 4100 WIU Chapter agreement.
Employee notices will be sent in accordance with the agreement and any mutually agreed upon extensions. The last date of employment is dependent upon the dates outlined within the agreement. The Board will hold a retreat July 12-13 in Moline.
The next regular meeting of the Board of Trustees will be held Sept. 27-28 in Macomb.
The Western Illinois University community mourns the death of a student, Anthony
Fillingham, 48, of Macomb. Fillingham died June 22 at the University of Chicago Medical Center.
Fillingham was pursuing a bachelor’s degree in special education. He was a member of the Illinois National Guard, serving as an infantryman assigned to the 1/131. He first graduated from Western in 1994 with degrees in computer science and law enforcement and justice administration. After retiring from the Macomb Police Department in 2014, he worked as a substitute teacher in Macomb.
“We extend our sincere condolences to Anthony’s family and
Friends,” said Western Illinois University President Jack Thomas.
A celebration of life will be announced at a later date.
Congresswoman Cheri Bustos and 107 of her Democratic colleagues sent a letter to Homeland
Security Secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, and Health and Human Services Secretary, Alex Azar,
demanding to know how many tax dollars have been and are currently being used on President
Trump's family separation policy.
The letter asks several specific questions seeking to find the true cost to taxpayers covering the gamut of procedures these children have been put through - from capture, to transportation, to detainment and, hopefully, to reunification with their families.
Bustos, a member of Democratic House Leadership, released the following statement:
"Hardworking taxpayers have a right to know exactly how much of their money President Trump
is spending to keep kids in cages. Like virtually all moms, I've been haunted by the sights and
sounds of President Trump's policy of taking children away from their parents, putting them on
planes and locking them up. It's an outrage that the Trump Administration is thrusting the bill for this barbaric policy on the American people. House Democrats are demanding that the Trump
Administration come clean about exactly how much their family separation policy has already
cost taxpayers. The American people have a right to know who is making money from putting
kids in cages as well as how much it's going to cost to bring this dark chapter in our nation's
WIU’s School of Distance Learning, International Studies and Outreach will be renamed the
School of Global Education and Outreach (GEO) effective July 1st. According to Executive Director Jeff Hancks, Global Education and Outreach encompasses a much broader involvement with global learning and all things international including educational learning experiences to
support the growth, development and the success of students of all ages.
GEO's mission is to prepare globally competent citizens, administer the General and
Interdisciplinary Studies degree programs, advance the development of in-demand online
academic degree programs, provide high-quality English language and cultural competency
instruction, support the growth, development and success of students, promote the intercultural
and educational exchange on campus and abroad and provide meaningful community service and
educational experiences for youth and adults.
The University continues to expand its online offerings, as well as international study
opportunities for domestic and foreign students. "By adding more online courses and degree
opportunities, as well as study abroad and other international education experiences, we are
extending Western's reach around the globe," Hancks added.
Western's School of Global Education and Outreach will continue as a unit under the direction of
the Provost and Academic Vice President. "We are excited to expand upon our efforts to extend
Western's educational opportunities beyond the state of Illinois and nation," said WIU Interim
Provost Kathy Neumann.
For more information about global education and online learning at
Western Illinois University contact Hancks at (309) 298-1929 or JL-Hancks@wiu.edu
Join University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator, Chris Enroth, as he answers your questions about the Emerald Ash Borer and Japanese beetles, best practices for managing these pests, and the dos and don’ts on protecting our landscape plants. Chris will also showcase a type of Japanese beetle trap you won’t find in stores.
Three classes will be held throughout the West-Central Illinois:
-Galesburg on Friday June 29, beginning 10am at the Knox County Extension Office, 180 S Soangetaha Rd, Ste 108, Galesburg, IL 61401
-Macomb on June 30, beginning 3pm at the McDonough County Extension Office and 4-H Center, 3022 W Jackson, Macomb, IL
-Monmouth on July 21, beginning 2pm at the Warren County Library, 62 Public Square, Monmouth, IL
If you are interested in attending this class, please register at http://go.illinois.edu/LearnPest
For more information, or to register by phone, call Amanda Christenson at the Knox
Two members of Macomb’s legal community have returned an 1890s Empire-style table back to its rightful place on WIU’s campus. Attorney Alison Vawter and Judge Kent Slater donated the mahogany table to WIU on May 30th.
The table was once used in the office of WIU’s fourth President, Frank A. Beu. The table could have been part of the original furnishings of the president's office in Sherman Hall, according to Slater.
"I first noticed the table in the Macomb law office of Attorney C. Don Weston in 1975, when I was a newly-licensed lawyer and had dealings with Mr. Weston," said Slater. "Mr. Weston told me the table had once been located in the campus office of the WIU president. Prior to Mr. Weston's death in 2017, the table was used by him in three different Macomb office locations."
The table was sold at auction in October 2017 to Monte Lowderman after Weston’s death. The table eventually found its way to a Macomb law office when Vawter and Slater purchased the table, but it was deemed too big for the office space.
Slater then moved the table so that it could get restored by Brian Switzer, here in Macomb. Switzer added metal braces to the underside of the boards to reinforce them. He also worked on the table top to keep it original as possible.
Vawter credited Slater for "his discerning eye for local legal antiques, for having it restored and suggesting it be donated to WIU."
"I was truly a bit player in this affair," she said. "For my part, the table's long-term private owner, C. Don Weston, was a particular friend of mine and of my family. Don was a very generous colleague, both with his time and his local knowledge, and he was a principal user of the WIU Library's collection of legal research materials. I know he would be pleased to hear about this table making its way back to Western."
The University Archives offices will be the new home of the table, according to WIU Senior Library Specialist, Kathy Nichols. In Honor of the University’s bicentennial, the table will be placed across from a table donated by Slater in 1999.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is reporting the first confirmed human case of West Nile virus in Illinois for 2018. A Chicago resident in her 60s became ill in mid-May.
West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a Culex pipiens mosquito, commonly called a house mosquito, which has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Common symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches. Symptoms may last from a few days to a few weeks.
However, four out of five people infected with West Nile virus will not show any symptoms. In rare cases, severe illness including meningitis or encephalitis, or even death, can occur. People older than 60 and individuals with weakened immune systems are at higher risk for severe illness from West Nile virus.
IDPH Director, Nirav D. Shah was quoted saying "West Nile virus can cause serious illness in some people so it's important that you take precautions like wearing insect repellent and getting rid of stagnant water around your home."
Precautions to Fight the Bite include practicing the three "R's" – reduce, repel, and report.
REDUCE - make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or other openings. Try to keep doors and windows shut. Eliminate, or refresh each week, all sources of standing water where mosquitoes can breed, including water in bird baths, ponds, flowerpots, wading pools, old tires, and any other containers.
REPEL - when outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and apply insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR 3535 according to label instructions. Consult a physician before using repellents on infants.
REPORT – report locations where you see water sitting stagnant for more than a week such as roadside ditches, flooded yards, and similar locations that may produce mosquitoes. The local health department or city government may be able to add larvicide to the water, which will kill any mosquito eggs.
The Alliance for Aviation Across America commended Macomb’s very own Mayor, Michael Inman, for proclaiming June as “General Aviation Appreciation Month.” General aviation contributes over $9 billion to Illinois’ total economic output.
“Mayor Inman’s proclamation helps highlight the economic benefits and valuable service that general aviation provides to the City of Macomb and the State of Illinois,” said Selena Shilad, Executive Director of the Alliance for Aviation Across America. “We sincerely thank the Mayor and the City of Macomb for recognizing this vital industry.”