Macomb Local News

*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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

0
comments


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

0
comments


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.

0
comments


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.

 

0
comments


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.

 

0
comments


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. 

0
comments


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. 

0
comments


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.

 

0
comments


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.

0
comments


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.

0
comments


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

0
comments


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.

 

0
comments


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. 

0
comments


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

 

0
comments


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.

 

0
comments


Board Meeting Cancelled

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

0
comments


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.

0
comments


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.

0
comments


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

0
comments


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

0
comments


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

0
comments


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.

0
comments


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.”

 

 

 

 

0
comments


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.

 

0
comments


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.

0
comments