Macomb Local News

Severe Thunderstorm Warnings expire

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH THAT WAS EFFECT UNTIL 2 AM CDT SUNDAY

FOR THE FOLLOWING AREAS: BURLINGTON, CARTHAGE, FAIRFIELD,

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

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

AND STERLING HAS EXPIRED.

 

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Severe Thunderstorm Warning in effect

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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BREAKING: Jack Thomas Steps Down Amid Unrest

 

 

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

 

Thomas released the following statement:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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It Takes a Village to Create Public Art

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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Ground Breaking for Memorial Brick Project

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

 

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

 

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

 

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Bustos Receives Champion of Agriculture Award

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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IDNR Accepting Applications for OSLAD and LWCF Grant Programs

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

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The WIU Board will Meet June 13-14 in Macomb

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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Illinois State Museum Announces New Director

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

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State Rep. Norine Hammond Opposes Reproductive Health Act

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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IDNR Accepting Applications for New Boat Access Development Program

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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Local Brewery Receives Money

 

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

 

(Photo courtesy of City of Macomb)

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Duckworth, Hastings Urge DoD to Drop Insensitive Forms

 

Antiquated Document Raises Concerns

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

 

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

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Illinois 21st on WalletHub List

 

Land of Lincoln Receives Middle of the Pack Distinction

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

 

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

 

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

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Officials Caution Residents Concerning Rivers And Lakes

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

 

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WIU Alumni Council Calls for Presidents Resignation

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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WIU Board to Meet June 13-14 in Macomb

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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Illinois Extension to Hold Garden Walk

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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Illinois Agencies Assist Formerly Incarcerated Individuals at Summit of Hope

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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IEMA Provides Safety Tips for Flood Related Power Outages

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

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Illinois EPA Accepting Applications for FY20 Medication Takeback Program

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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NRA Supported Case Calls for Suspension of Illinois FOID Act

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

 

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

 

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

 

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Macomb Mayor Announces Flag Day Plans

 

 

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

 

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

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