Macomb Local News Archives for 2019-11

Dickens on the Square bring Holiday Cheer!

The 25th annual Dickens on the Square will be December 6th and December 7th in historic downtown Macomb. Complete with all of your favorites, including horse-drawn trolley rides, living windows, strolling carolers, Disney princesses, and Victorian characters. This year’s event will also feature petting and photo op with live reindeer, Light Show in the Courthouse lawn, and A Victorian Tea at the Old Bailey house. 

 

Friday night’s events will include the popular horse-drawn trolley rides, living windows, live music, live reindeer Festival of Trees, and more. Friday night you can meet and greet Santa at the train station at 6:15pm. Santa will disembark and head directly to his cabin on the north side of the square to visit with children from 6:30pm-8:00pm. 

 

On Saturday, visitors will have the opportunity to have breakfast and watch classic cartoons at the Western Illinois Museum. Of course, the Children’s Shopping Mall will be returning to Citizens Bank on Saturday with new hours 10:00am-1:00pm. These are just a few of the many events going on December 6th and 7th at Dickens on the Square. Make sure you check out Downtown Macomb Facebook page for more information. Printed brochures with a detailed schedule will are available Downtown Merchants, Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce, City Hall, and Macomb Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. 

 

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Initial Data from Lake County Health Department Measures Ethylene Oxide Levels Surrounding Medline in Waukegan Lower than National Ambient Data

 The United States Environmental Protection Agency measures ethylene oxide (EtO) through their National Air Toxics Trends Stations and the Urban Air Toxics Monitoring Program networks. The EPA's national sampling from October 2018 through March 2019 establishes background levels of EtO from .19 to .40 parts per billion in areas across the nation.

 

Locally, the Lake County Health Department has released its newest EtO findings from October 26 - November 2, and the areas surrounding Medline in Waukegan averaged only .18 parts per billion, lower than any other EPA-tested area, which in Illinois includes Chicago and Northbrook. Here's a sample of national ambient EtO readings, lowest to highest:

 

  • Waukegan/Medline .18 ppb
  • Seattle .19 ppb
  • St. Louis .27 ppb
  • Northbrook .29 ppb
  • Chicago .34 ppb
  • Phoenix .40 ppb

Medline spokesperson Jesse Greenberg added, "Medline is encouraged by this initial data, especially since we are still in the process of finalizing the installation of additional redundant emission technologies that will abate 99.9% of all the EtO used at our facility when complete. We will continue to be vigilant, because our top priority remains the safety of our employees and the communities we operate in."

 

For more information, please visit www.medline.com/pages/safesterilization .

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U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao Announces $25.8 Million In Grants to Revitalize Bus Infrastructure in Illinois

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao today announced that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will award $423 million in transit infrastructure grants nationwide to improve the safety and reliability of America’s bus systems and enhance mobility for transit riders. Three projects in Illinois will receive a total of $25.8 million from FTA’s Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program. A list of the selected projects is available online.

 

“Public bus systems throughout the country provide millions of Americans access to jobs, healthcare, grocery stores, and other vital services,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

 

The funding supports efforts to replace, rehabilitate, and purchase buses and related equipment, as well as projects to purchase, rehabilitate, and construct bus-related facilities.

 

“More people travel by bus than any other form of public transportation,” said FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams. “This Administration is committed to rebuilding our nation’s transportation infrastructure and helping to improve bus service nationwide.”

 

Illinois projects selected to receive funding are as follows:

 

  • The Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District will receive $17.3 million to renovate and expand the Illinois Terminal, a transportation hub with local and intercity buses and passenger rail. The project will improve safety and accommodate rising demand at the terminal, which is part of a joint development project that includes plans for a hotel and conference center as well as residential and commercial development.

 

  • Connect Transit will receive $500,000 to improve bus stops by adding shelters and benches as well as infrastructure that complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The upgrades will enhance safety for riders; better accommodate passenger transfers between buses; and attract new customers.

 

  • The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) will receive approximately $8 million to replace buses, improve maintenance facilities and purchase bus equipment in the downstate region. The funding will allow transit providers in rural areas and small cities to accommodate growing ridership, improve safety and reliability, address state of good repair needs and reduce maintenance costs.

 

Demand for FTA’s Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program far exceeded available funds, as FTA received applications for 318 eligible projects totaling approximately $1.9 billion in funding requests, from a total of 270 applicants in 43 states and territories. Project proposals were evaluated based on criteria outlined in the Notice of Funding Opportunity.

 

Federal public transportation law (49 USC § 5339(b)), as amended by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, authorizes FTA’s Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program through FY2020.

 

In Fiscal Year 2019, FTA has made available more than $12 billion in funding through both formula and competitive grant programs to support public transportation.

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What's the Difference Between Sweet Potatoes and Yams?

 Pass the sweet potatoes. Or is it pass the yams? We often use these names interchangeably, but in reality, they are two very different plants. So, what is the difference between sweet potatoes and yams?

 

True yams are monocots (like grasses and lilies) in the family Dioscoreaceae that are native to Africa and Asia. Sweet potatoes are dicots that are native to Central and South America and are part of the morning glory family (Convolvulaceae). Additionally, sweet potatoes are not related to potatoes (also called Irish or white potatoes) either, which belong to the nightshade family (Solanaceae) along with tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants.

 

Yams belong to the genus Dioscorea, which contains over 600 species of plants, most of which are tropical. Several different species of yams are cultivated, with the most commonly grown being white yam (Dioscorea rotundata) from Africa and water yam (Dioscorea alata) from Asia. A majority of yam production takes place in Africa (95% of global production), with Nigeria being the largest producer. Yams that are available in the United States are typically grown in Caribbean countries.

 

Yams grow as a vine and produce an underground tuber, which vaguely resembles sweet potatoes, that are long cylindrical. Yams can range in size from the size of a potato to extremely large, up to five feet long and weighing over 100 pounds! Their flesh can be white to bright yellow to purple or pink, and the tuber is covered in a tough, scaly skin that is difficult to remove. They are often boiled and mashed as well as fried, roasted, or baked (like baked potatoes). Yams are starchier and drier when compared to the sweet potato varieties most commonly grown in the United States.

 

Sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) produce storage roots that have smooth thin skin that can range in color from white to yellow, red, purple, or brown. These roots are short and blocky and have tapered ends. The flesh also ranges in color from white to yellow, orange, or orange-red. Sweet potato varieties are classified as either ‘firm’ or ‘soft’. When cooked, ‘firm’ sweet potatoes remain firm and are dry and crumbly (like a ‘regular’ potato), while ‘soft’ varieties become soft, moist, and sweet. ‘Soft’ types typically have dark orange skin, orange flesh. In the United States, these are the sweet potatoes we usually refer to as yams are (they are also the most commonly grown sweet potatoes).

 

So why do we sometimes call sweet potatoes yams? According to the Library of Congress, the confusion between yams and sweet potatoes began when soft varieties of sweet potato were introduced to the United States: “In the United States, firm varieties of sweet potatoes were produced before soft varieties. When soft varieties were first grown commercially, there was a need to differentiate between the two. African slaves had already been calling the ‘soft’ sweet potatoes ‘yams’ because they resembled the yams in Africa. Thus, ‘soft’ sweet potatoes were referred to as ‘yams’ to distinguish them from the ‘firm’ varieties.”

 

Today the USDA requires that when the term ‘yam’ is used to describe sweet potatoes, it must also be labeled as a ‘sweet potato.’ Unless you specifically search for yams, which can often be found at ethnic markets, you are probably eating sweet potatoes.

 

Armed with this knowledge, you now have a great conversation starter for the Thanksgiving table. Or, if your family is anything like mine, they’ll roll their eyes and grumble here they go again.

 

Good Growing Fact of the Week: In addition to requiring warm moist conditions for growth, edible yams also have a very long time to harvest. Plants often require 6-12 months of growth before their tubers can be harvested. Sweet potatoes, on the other hand, typically take around 100 days to harvest.

 

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WIU's Phi Beta Delta to Host Holiday Sale Dec. 2-3

The Western Illinois University chapter of Phi Beta Delta International will host a holiday sale of international items from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Tuesday, Dec. 2-3 in the University Union Concourse.

All proceeds from the event benefit international student and study abroad scholarships.

For more information on Phi Beta Delta, visit wiu.edu/global_education/phi_beta_delta/index.php.

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LINCOLN, LIKE YOU'VE NEVER SEEN HIM BEFORE

Macomb will soon move to the “head” of the field of Lincoln attractions as the Macomb Area Convention & Visitors Bureau proudly announces the creation and erection of a unique sculpture honoring and commemorating Abraham Lincoln’s connection to our community. To draw new visitors to our Historic Downtown, MACVB is collaborating with WIU Assistant Professor of Art, Duke Oursler, in the design and creation of an original sculpture which the City of Macomb has agreed to permanently erect on the lawn of City Hall. 

 

The outsized bust will be approximately 15 feet high and 8 feet wide with a mixed media construction of durable cast stone and  steel. Most interestingly, this work will feature a unique topiary aspect in which the 16th president’s beard will consist of flowers and greenery, making it the only sculpture of its kind in the world. According to MACVB Executive Director Jock Hedblade, “This unusual and creative design element will reflect Lincoln’s change from the clean-shaven Senate candidate who was photographed in Macomb to the bearded president who saved the Union. That is an important part of our local Lincoln story that many here have never known.”

 

MACVB is excited to coordinate this project with Macomb Rotary’s 100th anniversary on April 18, 2020. The Noon Rotary has agreed to donate the funds necessary for this project through a combination of grants, Rotary reserves and donations. The total cost of the sculpture is projected at $32,000.

 

This new addition is a creation of the MACVB and a key part of the office’s three phase Permanent Attraction Initiative which includes the ongoing murals project, initiating Macomb as an official Looking for Lincoln community and formally establishing Macomb as the birthplace of Elizabeth “Lizzie” Magie, the recognized inventor of  Monopoly, arguably the world’s most popular board game. 

 

The project will be managed by MACVB with Macomb Centennial Morning Rotary Club’s assistance in the maintenance and upkeep of the topiary portions of the sculpture. 

 

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Rita Hart for Iowa Announces endorsement of Laborers' International Union of North America Midwest Region.

oday, Rita Hart, lifelong Iowan, farmer, 20-year educator, and Democratic candidate for Iowa’s Second Congressional District, announced the endorsement of the Laborers’ International Union of North America Midwest Region.

 

“Rita Hart will be a champion for hardworking Iowa families,” said Danny Hemminger, Business Manager and Secretary Treasure of LiUNA Local 43 “Whether it’s her dedication for over 20 years as an educator or standing side-by-side with us in the State Senate, working people can count on Rita Hart to listen and go to work for them.”

 

“The momentum of our campaign to give hard-working Iowans a voice in Congress keeps growing and I’m thrilled to have the support of the Laborers,” said Rita Hart, Democratic candidate for Iowa’s Second Congressional District. “Working people need a representative who listens to them, not the loud and powerful interests in Washington. I’ll protect collective bargaining rights, prevailing wages, and quality apprenticeship programs so all Iowans have a chance to get ahead.”

 

Since announcing her campaign for Congress in May, over 70 local leaders from all of the 24 counties in the district, every member of the Iowa congressional delegation including Dave Loebsack, State Auditor Rob Sand, and EMILY’s List have endorsed Rita Hart.

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Duckworth, Sullivan, Durbin, Scott Introduce Bipartisan Resolution to Support At-Risk Youth and Help Eliminate Homelessness

U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tim Scott (R-SC) introduced a bipartisan resolution to recognize November as National Runaway Prevention Month. If passed, the resolution would help raise awareness of the nationwide runaway and homeless youth crisis and educate the public on how to help end youth homelessness. U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Patty Murray (D-WA) also joined the Senator’s in introducing the resolution.

 

“It’s a tragedy when any child does not have a safe roof over their head, but all too often their heartbreaking stories go unheard and unnoticed,” said Duckworth. “This resolution will help raise awareness and bring us closer to assisting children and families break the cycle of poverty, secure affordable housing and access a safe and supportive home environment.”

 

“Every year, a staggering number of children and young adults throughout the country run away from their families and experience unaccompanied homelessness,” said Senator Sullivan. “Raising awareness and ending youth homelessness is an issue that we should all care about and work towards. I’m grateful for Senator Duckworth’s work on this issue and this resolution and I’m pleased to put my name on it.”  

 

“By recognizing November as National Runaway Prevention Month, we can shine a spotlight on the resources available to address child homelessness and causes of children running away,” Durbin said. “As we work to address this crisis, we must first focus on ensuring these homeless and runaway children are safe, supported, and off the streets. My hope is that together we continue to better help these at-risk youths who are experiencing traumatic circumstances.”

 

“Shining a light on people that are oftentimes overlooked is one of the greatest responsibilities I have in public office,” said Senator Scott. “On this National Runaway Prevention Month, it’s important that we increase public awareness of our most vulnerable populations and encourage action and partnerships in our neighborhoods and communities.”

 

Approximately 4.2 million youth run away or experience homelessness each year and many become victims of human trafficking. Homeless youth are also more likely to be coerced into participating in criminal activity. Duckworth introduced this resolution last year with former Republican Senator Orrin Hatch.

 

National Runaway Prevention Month would coincide with anti-homeless programs and activities sponsored by Illinois-based organizations, such as the National Runaway Safeline (NRS), and the Night Ministry, which both work to eradicate and prevent youth homelessness.

 

The following organizations also support the resolution: National Network for Youth (NN4Y), National Safe Place Network, National Center for Housing and Child Welfare, SchoolHouse Connection, Covenant House International.

 

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City Recognizes Michael's Hair Designers for 40 years Downtown

Macomb Downtown Development recognizes Michael’s Hair Designers as a Historic Downtown Legacy Business. Michael’s began in 1974 by stylist Michael Royer as opening the very first UNISEX Salon in Macomb on East Jackson St. In 1979 the salon was moved to 108 W. Jackson Street in Downtown Macomb. Eventually Lydia Shelor purchased the business and expanded their services and now located at 22 W. Side Square. Mayor Mike Inman presented Lydia Shelor, Tina Mahoney, and Angie Parsano Aten with a plaque commemorating Michael’s with 40 years in Downtown Macomb. 

“Thank you to Lydia, Angie, and Tina for your commitment, investment, and dedication in Downtown Macomb,” stated Downtown Development Director, Kristin Terry. 

 

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The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) will adopt all recommendations from an audit of the agency’s Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline, and has already started efforts to address key recommendations, particularly increasing staffing and upgrading technology.

 

DCFS released the findings from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Children and Family Research Center (CFRC) after a five-month review of the hotline’s operations. Because the hotline is critical to all DCFS operations, the department commissioned the CRFC to conduct a comprehensive review focusing on call volume, staffing levels and training, business processes and technologies and data systems.

 

To view the complete report, click here.

 

“The DCFS hotline is often the first interaction families and concerned individuals have with our department, and I am committed to ensuring we are responding efficiently and accurately to every report we receive,” said Marc Smith, Acting Director of DCFS. “This roadmap will help us continue to make impactful improvements to better serve the state’s most vulnerable children after years of disinvestment and neglect. The department is already hard at work to bring on additional hotline staff thanks to the Governor and bipartisan members of the General Assembly, who approved increasing our funding. Over the coming weeks, we will be adopting all recommendations included in this report with urgency.”

 

The hotline (1-800-25-ABUSE) is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and serves as the “front door” of the Illinois child welfare system and is the first way most children who are abused or neglected are identified. In FY19, the hotline received 268,406 calls, a 20% increase from 222,719 in FY15; and during peak volume times, the Hotline receives over 950 calls a day.

 

DCFS has already launched several initiatives to improve the Hotline, including:  

 

Increased Staffing. The allocation of more resources to DCFS in Governor Pritzker’s FY20 budget – passed by bipartisan majorities in the General Assembly – allowed the department to add 20 new positions to the hotline. Those positions are in the hiring process now. In order to reduce the number of messages taken by call floor workers, DCFS also created new staffing patterns that will ensure more efficient staffing. In addition, the department has been meeting monthly with AFSCME to reduce the reliance on mandatory overtime to safely staff the hotline. Because of this strengthened partnership, the month of October saw a dramatic shift from mandatory to volunteer overtime by hotline staff.

 

Technology Improvements. DCFS is working with the Illinois Department of Innovation & Technology to overhaul the hotline’s website for online reporting. The new site will be easier to use and is being rebuilt on a platform capable of handling a much higher number of reports. DOIT also performed a comprehensive review of the hotline to improve the tools available to call floor workers and we are currently exploring additional features, such as online chatting, texting and voice to text.

 

Rapid Results. In September, DCFS engaged Illinois Central Management Services’ Office of Rapid Results team to create a rapid results program for the hotline. The Rapid Results team uses proven methods from the private sector to address operational efficiency issues within departments around the state. The Rapid Results team has been tasked with developing a plan to ensure that DCFS will handle all calls in real time on the callers first attempt to reach the Hotline. DCFS expects the review process to be completed this year.

 

The CFRC review made the following 11 recommendations, which are drawn from the audit:

1. Improve the online reporting system by moving it to a new platform. Other states with online reporting systems report that Call Floor Workers (CFW) are able to process between four to nine online reports in an hour, which is much more efficient than the current processing capacity in Illinois, which is approximately 1.75. Each person we spoke with agreed that SharePoint is not the appropriate platform to host the online reporting system, and that the quickest solution to this problem would be to move it to a web-based application that was developed “in-house” by the Illinois Office of Information Technology Services (OITS).

 

2. Incorporate additional instructions and features into the online reporting system to make it more “user friendly.” Mandated reporters find the current online reporting system difficult to use and hard to understand, which leads to errors in the information provided. Instructions should be built into the reporting system itself (through the use of pop-up instructions or a chat box) rather than located in a user’s manual that reporters may or may not read. The Department may benefit from learning about the online reporting systems that have been successfully implemented in other states. In addition, feedback from mandated reporters who make frequent reports should be incorporated into the design of the online reporting system. 

 

3. Once the online reporting system has been upgraded, a public awareness and education campaign should be developed and presented to mandated reporter groups throughout the state to increase its use. To date, there has been little in the way of awareness or education campaigns about the online reporting system, and reporters are finding it by accident or through word of mouth.

 

4. Eliminate the requirement for CFWs to document the complete Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System (SACWIS) and The Child and Youth Centered Information System (CYCIS) case history in the intake narrative for child abuse and neglect reports. The requirement for the extensive documentation of SACWIS and CYCIS histories should be replaced with a simpler (and less time consuming) requirement for them to document whether there is a “positive or negative” SACWIS and CYCIS history in the intake narrative. The exception to this recommendation would be for death investigations where all SACWIS and CYCIS history would be documented in the narrative. The reasoning for this recommendation is that once the report is transmitted to the Child Protection Specialist for investigation, they are required to search and document the same information in their report, which results in duplicative work. State Central Registry (the hotline) (SCR) administrators and the CFWs report that the SACWIS and CYCIS documentation process adds approximately 10 minutes to the time it takes a CFW to complete the intake narrative, which is time that could be more efficiently spent serving other reporters.

 

5. Eliminate the requirement for afterhours call outs on normal response investigations. It is estimated that this process, which was described in the results section, adds approximately seven minutes to the amount of time required to complete an intake. CFWs would still be required to call out all “action needed” and emergency response investigations, Related Information, and Information Only intakes.

 

6. Continue to prioritize and implement SACWIS improvements that will decrease manual processes during intake processing. Over the past year, the SCR administrators and SACWIS developers have established a collaborative process through which they identify and triage current SACWIS-related issues that are impacting CFWs; this process has already yielded several useful and more are expected to be completed in the near future.

 

7. Explore the feasibility and usefulness of adding certain enhancements to the current telecom system (Finesse), such as adding a code identifier to the existing 800 number that would allow certain groups of mandated reporters (e.g., medical personnel or law enforcement) to be sorted into a different queue (for example “press 1 if you are police, press 2 if you are medical personnel”). The possibility of a second dedicated telephone number for mandated reporters was explored in February 2018 and the results of the analysis were included in a report.  The recommendations at the time of the analysis were to increase staffing and implement the online reporting system rather than adding a dedicated line or code identifiers for law enforcement and medical personnel. Once the additional staff have been added and trained and the online reporting system is functioning more efficiently, it may be worthwhile to revisit the idea of code identifiers.

 

8. Other states have implemented “talk to text” technology that could potentially save time currently spent on typing the details of the call into the intake narrative. Observations on the call floor revealed that some CFWs spend several minutes transcribing handwritten notes into SACWIS or cut and paste them from a Word document. The Department may wish to explore the use of productivity-enhancing technology such as talk to text.

 

9. Other states have allowed certain groups of workers to telecommute, which has resulted in higher worker satisfaction, better worker retention and recruitment. The additional of 20 new CFWs brings the current physical location of the Hotline to maximum capacity. The Department should explore the feasibility of allowing some CFWs to telecommute from home. A telecommuting option would require an initial investment in equipment (laptops and soft phones), but the potential benefits would include increased staff retention, the ability to recruit staff in parts of the state where recruitment is not currently possible, reduce the number of staff time lost to weather-related absences, strengthen the SCR disaster recovery plan, and reduce the need for physical office space in the long-term.

 

10. Several CFW expressed concerns about the difficult nature of their work and their inability to process particularly difficult intakes with colleagues. The Department should explore resources to support CFWs who are dealing with secondary trauma.

 

11. The results of any system reform efforts at the Hotline should be monitored and examined by conducting a follow-up review in 18–24 months.


About the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) Founded in 1964, DCFS is responsible for protecting children from abuse or neglect by responding to calls received on the Child Abuse Hotline, 1-800-25-ABUSE (1-800-252-2873). With the goal of keeping children safe, DCFS strengthens and supports families with a wide range of services. When keeping a child safe means removing them from the home, DCFS makes every effort to reunite them with their family. When the best interest of the child makes this impossible, DCFS is committed to pursuing adoption by loving families to provide children with a safe and permanent home. DCFS is also responsible for licensing and monitoring of all Illinois child welfare agencies.

 

The Children and Family Research Center (CFRC) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is an applied research center that engages with child and family-serving agency partners to design and conduct applied research to improve the lives of vulnerable children, families, and communities throughout Illinois and the Midwest.

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BUSTOS DELIVERS KEY RURAL HEALTH PRIORITIES TO SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Yesterday evening, on National Rural Health Day, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) hand-delivered key rural health priorities for Illinois’ 17th Congressional District to Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex M. Azar II. She was part of a small bipartisan, bicameral group of members invited by Secretary Azar to discuss rural health issues. As a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, Congresswoman Bustos sits on the subcommittee that oversees the Department of Health and Human Services. In the meeting with Secretary Azar, she raised the need to address critical rural health issues like long drive times to see a doctor, shortages of health care providers or even a loss of health services – as well as offer solutions to them.

 

“It’s vital we address the unique health care needs of our rural communities and I stressed that to Secretary Azar directly,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “We cannot allow issues like long drive times, provider shortages or loss of services to go overlooked or unaddressed. That’s why I welcomed the opportunity to bring the experiences of our region to the table on National Rural Health Day. I’ll continue to fight for solutions that improve the lives of hardworking Illinoisans and make health care more accessible and affordable.” 

 

Congresswoman Bustos hand-delivered a letter, as well as a two-page document that further outlines legislation she has advocated for to Secretary Azar. You can view HERE.

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As Thanksgiving nears, IDOT, ISP and Tollway remind public: "Winter Weather – Get it Together"

With motorists throughout the state preparing for Thanksgiving travel, the Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police and the Illinois Tollway remind everyone that the brunt of winter is yet to come and encourage the driving public with “Winter Weather – Get it Together.”
 
“Illinois winters are unpredictable. Weather and road conditions need to be on the minds of all travelers these next few months,” said Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “Our snow-and-ice teams have prepared throughout the year to make this winter driving season as safe as possible. When you see them doing their jobs this winter, please give them room to operate. By planning ahead and practicing safe winter driving habits, you can do your part to help ensure the safety of everyone on the road.” 

 

Throughout the coming months of cold weather and adverse conditions, motorists should practice basic winter driving skills and build extra time into their schedules. As part of the “Winter Weather – Get it Together” campaign, travelers are encouraged to follow these simple guidelines: 

 

• Always wear a seat belt. It’s the law in Illinois. 


• Slow down. Slower speeds, slower acceleration, slower steering and slower braking all are required in winter conditions.


• Drop it and drive. Put down the handheld devices – it, too, is the law in Illinois. 


• Don’t crowd the plow. A snowplow operator’s field of vision is restricted. You may see
them, but they may not see you. Any plow that’s hit must be pulled out of service, resulting in one less piece of equipment responding to snow and ice. 


• Avoid using cruise control when conditions are slick.


• Watch out for black ice. A road surface may appear clear but can be treacherous.


• Be especially careful approaching intersections, ramps, bridges and shady areas. All are prone to icing.


• Do not travel during bad weather unless absolutely necessary. If you do have to make a
trip, check the forecast and make sure someone is aware of your travel route. Acquaint yourself with local public transportation options. 


• Prepare an emergency kit that contains jumper cables, flares or reflectors, windshield washer fluid, a small ice scraper, traction material, blankets, non-perishable food and a first-aid kit.


• Carry a cell phone and a car charger in case of emergency. For emergency assistance in the Chicago area, call *999.


• Give them distance. Obey the Move Over Law by slowing down and changing lanes when approaching ANY stopped vehicle with flashing lights.


• For a list of suggested maintenance for your car, visit the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s winter driving website.


• For more winter driving tips, check out this short IDOT video.

 

Motorists can check statewide travel conditions by visiting gettingaroundillinois.com.
                                     
“Our top priority during winter storms is to quickly and safely clear our roads, and the Illinois Tollway’s roadway team has an outstanding track record,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director José Alvarez. “We remind drivers to help keep everyone safe during winter weather by slowing down, increasing their distance from other vehicles, and giving our snowplows the room they need to do their work.”
 
For the upcoming winter, IDOT will have more than 1,800 trucks available for deployment to plow almost 16,000 miles of roads statewide, the equivalent of driving from Illinois to South America and back. Last year, IDOT spread more than 600,000 tons of salt statewide. This winter, salt domes throughout the state are close to capacity, with more than 570,000 tons on hand.

The Illinois Tollway mobilizes its fleet of 196 snowplows during winter storms and has stockpiled 81,000 tons of salt to keep its 294-mile system of five roadways safe and clear for its 1.6 million daily drivers.
 
“As the winter weather approaches, the Illinois State Police would like to ask all drivers to keep their eyes on the road, drive at a speed safe for conditions and Move Over-Slow Down for all vehicles with flashing lights,” Illinois State Police Director Brendan F. Kelly said. “Please help us keep all motorists, including emergency personnel, safe by making responsible driving choices during hazardous winter weather conditions.”

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As Thanksgiving nears, IDOT, ISP and Tollway remind public: "Winter Weather – Get it Together"

With motorists throughout the state preparing for Thanksgiving travel, the Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police and the Illinois Tollway remind everyone that the brunt of winter is yet to come and encourage the driving public with “Winter Weather – Get it Together.”
 
“Illinois winters are unpredictable. Weather and road conditions need to be on the minds of all travelers these next few months,” said Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “Our snow-and-ice teams have prepared throughout the year to make this winter driving season as safe as possible. When you see them doing their jobs this winter, please give them room to operate. By planning ahead and practicing safe winter driving habits, you can do your part to help ensure the safety of everyone on the road.” 

 

Throughout the coming months of cold weather and adverse conditions, motorists should practice basic winter driving skills and build extra time into their schedules. As part of the “Winter Weather – Get it Together” campaign, travelers are encouraged to follow these simple guidelines: 

 

• Always wear a seat belt. It’s the law in Illinois. 


• Slow down. Slower speeds, slower acceleration, slower steering and slower braking all are required in winter conditions.


• Drop it and drive. Put down the handheld devices – it, too, is the law in Illinois. 


• Don’t crowd the plow. A snowplow operator’s field of vision is restricted. You may see
them, but they may not see you. Any plow that’s hit must be pulled out of service, resulting in one less piece of equipment responding to snow and ice. 


• Avoid using cruise control when conditions are slick.


• Watch out for black ice. A road surface may appear clear but can be treacherous.


• Be especially careful approaching intersections, ramps, bridges and shady areas. All are prone to icing.


• Do not travel during bad weather unless absolutely necessary. If you do have to make a
trip, check the forecast and make sure someone is aware of your travel route. Acquaint yourself with local public transportation options. 


• Prepare an emergency kit that contains jumper cables, flares or reflectors, windshield washer fluid, a small ice scraper, traction material, blankets, non-perishable food and a first-aid kit.


• Carry a cell phone and a car charger in case of emergency. For emergency assistance in the Chicago area, call *999.


• Give them distance. Obey the Move Over Law by slowing down and changing lanes when approaching ANY stopped vehicle with flashing lights.


• For a list of suggested maintenance for your car, visit the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s winter driving website.


• For more winter driving tips, check out this short IDOT video.

 

Motorists can check statewide travel conditions by visiting gettingaroundillinois.com.
                                     
“Our top priority during winter storms is to quickly and safely clear our roads, and the Illinois Tollway’s roadway team has an outstanding track record,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director José Alvarez. “We remind drivers to help keep everyone safe during winter weather by slowing down, increasing their distance from other vehicles, and giving our snowplows the room they need to do their work.”
 
For the upcoming winter, IDOT will have more than 1,800 trucks available for deployment to plow almost 16,000 miles of roads statewide, the equivalent of driving from Illinois to South America and back. Last year, IDOT spread more than 600,000 tons of salt statewide. This winter, salt domes throughout the state are close to capacity, with more than 570,000 tons on hand.

The Illinois Tollway mobilizes its fleet of 196 snowplows during winter storms and has stockpiled 81,000 tons of salt to keep its 294-mile system of five roadways safe and clear for its 1.6 million daily drivers.
 
“As the winter weather approaches, the Illinois State Police would like to ask all drivers to keep their eyes on the road, drive at a speed safe for conditions and Move Over-Slow Down for all vehicles with flashing lights,” Illinois State Police Director Brendan F. Kelly said. “Please help us keep all motorists, including emergency personnel, safe by making responsible driving choices during hazardous winter weather conditions.”

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Duckworth Leads Colleagues in Sending Letter to FDA about Heavy Metals in Baby Food

Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) led 8 of her Senate colleagues in sending a letter to Admiral Brett Giroir, the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Acting Commissioner, requesting that the FDA take immediate action to ensure the safety of our nation’s baby and toddler food. The letter comes on the heels of a recent report by Healthy Babies Bright Futures, which found that 95 percent of baby food tested had toxic heavy metals—including lead, arsenic, cadmium and mercury. Duckworth’s letter was signed by Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Ranking Member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Jacky Rosen (D-NV).

 

In part, the letter states: “Parents deserve to have peace of mind that the baby and toddler food they purchase is safe and nutritious. Reports that many types of commonly sold baby and toddler food products may contain trace elements of harmful metals are deeply concerning. Developing babies and children are particularly vulnerable to toxic exposure.”

 

It goes on to say: “We request the FDA provide us with a detailed update on its efforts to prevent and reduce the presence of heavy metals and other contaminants in baby and toddler food products being sold in the United States. This update should include detailed information demonstrating how the FDA is using specific metrics and benchmarks to measure progress towards reducing, and ultimately eliminating, harmful substances in baby foods.”

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MDH Earns Five Best of the Best Awards for 2019

Three years of voting, and now three consecutive years in which McDonough District Hospital’s Home Health Care and MDH Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Services were voted Best of the Best in McDonough County.

 

The online voting, sponsored by The McDonough County Voice, ran during a two-week period in October.

 

Not only did Home Health Care and Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation win for the third straight year, MDH picked up three additional awards.

 

Angelica Hoenig, DPT, a four-year MDH employee in Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, was chosen as Best Physical Therapist. It was her first-ever Best of the Best Award.

 

MDH as an organization received Best Employee Recognition program and Most Innovative Workplace for the second straight year in each category.

 

Home Health Care covers McDonough County and a surrounding four-county area. The MDH staff provides specialized medical care in the comfort of patients’ homes while recovering from an illness or injury.

 

Ordered by a physician, Home Health Care provides a personalized program developed to meet each individual’s needs while promoting a full recovery and independence in the home. Call Home Health at (309) 836-1544 for more information.

 

MDH Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation provides both inpatient and outpatient skilled services for patients of all ages at three convenient locations. MDH Therapists strive to reduce a patient’s pain, increase flexibility, build strength, and correct posture.

 

Each program is individualized based off patients’ needs. The Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation staff treat a wide variety of diagnoses and conditions, including: orthopedic, vestibular, wound care, speech, sports related, joint replacement, spinal, musculoskeletal and neuromuscular pain, and more. For a free screening, contact Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Services at (309) 836-1601.

 

For more information on MDH and the services it provides, log onto www.MDH.org or follow McDonough District Hospital on Facebook.

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State Troopers to Strictly Enforce Speeding, DUI, Seatbelt, and Distracted Driving

The Thanksgiving holiday weekend is generally one of the busiest travel holiday periods of the year. As millions of travelers take to Illinois roadways to celebrate Thanksgiving, Illinois State Police (ISP) Captain Jon Dively wants to remind motorists to drive safely. 

 

The ISP will utilize a combination of enforcement and education to reduce serious crashes and criminal activities. ISP Troopers will be highly visible on the interstates and heavily traveled state routes and will aggressively enforce Fatal Four violations; Speeding, DUI, Distracted Driving and Seat Belts. 

 

Drivers can do their part to ensure they, and their passengers, experience safe travels. Simply keeping your eyes on the road, watching your speed, buckling your seatbelt, and refraining from driving after consuming alcoholic beverages, can reduce your chances of being involved in a traffic crash. 

 

The ISP will be doing our part to help keep everyone safe by removing intoxicated drivers from our roadways, please remember, buzzed driving is drunk driving. Troopers will also be on the watch for drivers exceeding speed limits and those who choose to drive distracted. 

 

The ISP is joining the Illinois Department of Transportation, and other law enforcement agencies, to remind motorists to Click It or Ticket. The Click It or Ticket campaign officially starts on November 22 and will end on December 2. The goal of this high-visibility effort is to reduce motor vehicle crashes resulting in injuries and fatalities. Stepped-up patrols and seat belt enforcement zones will be seen throughout the state through the holiday period. 

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Illinois Now Reporting Fifth Illinois Resident Dies After Vaping Related Lung Injury

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is reporting the death of a fifth Illinois resident who had recently been hospitalized with lung injury associated with the use of e-cigarette or vaping products (EVALI).  At this time, a total of 187 people in Illinois, ranging in age from 13 to 75 years old, with a median age of 22, have experienced lung injuries after using e-cigarettes or vaping.  IDPH continues to work with local health departments to investigate another 40 possible cases in Illinois.

 

“Although this resident who recently died had been hospitalized for several weeks, we continue to see new cases reported with recent onset of lung injury,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  “I cannot stress enough the severity of these illnesses and the need for people not to use e-cigarette or vaping products that contain THC while this investigation is ongoing, especially those obtained through illicit or unregulated sources.”

 

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is present in most of the samples tested by the Food and Drug Administration to date, and most patients report a history of using THC-containing products.  More than 80% of the cases in Illinois report recent use of THC-containing products, primarily obtaining them from informal sources.  Among those who use e-cigarette products, the highest risk for EVALI appears to be among those who use THC containing products obtained from informal sources, including products labeled as Dank Vapes.

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found vitamin E acetate in numerous clinical samples of patients with EVALI, including among Illinois residents.  However, it is not known if this is the cause and if there are other causes.  The safest way to protect yourself against EVALI is to avoid the use of any e-cigarette or vaping products.

 

Cases have been reported in 32 counties statewide.  IDPH will continue to work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, FDA, local health departments, and other states’ health departments on this outbreak investigation. 

 

People who experience any type of chest pain or difficulty breathing after using e-cigarettes or vaping should seek immediate medical attention.  When seeking medical attention, be sure to notify the provider you have vaped in recent weeks or months.  Health care providers caring for patients with unexpected lung injury should ask about a history of vaping or e-cigarette use.

 

More information about e-cigarettes and vaping can be found on the IDPH website at http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/prevention-wellness/tobacco/e-cigarettes-and-vapes.  IDPH will update this webpage every Thursday.

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Holiday Safety Tips

As the holiday season fast approaches, the Western Illinois University Office of Public Safety (OPS) and the Macomb Police Department (MPD) want to remind members of the campus and local communities to safeguard personal property by locking offices, desks and residence hall room doors, as well as vehicles and homes off campus, and to travel safely during the busy holiday season.

Burglary Prevention Tips

* Make sure all of your doors and windows are locked when you leave for break.
* Place a piece of wood on the inside of windows so that the window cannot be pushed up from the outside to gain access. Even if you do have a lock, this is a further step to keep the window secure.
* If you have gaming systems, stereo systems, televisions, computers and other valuable items in your residence, take them home with you. If you can't take them home, leave them with a trusted friend.


* Put lights on a timer or leave a light or two on in your residence.


* Have someone trustworthy check on your residence.


* Have someone pick up your mail on a daily basis.


* If you do have to leave valuables in your residence, take pictures and record serial numbers if possible.


* Inscribe your driver's license number on your electronic valuables.

OPS and MPD will increase patrol activity near off-campus student housing during breaks.

Members of the campus community are encouraged to complete an electronic device registration form recording the make, model and serial numbers of their electronic devices. The form should be retained by the owner in the event their electronic devices are lost or stolen. The information will assist in completing a report and entering the property in a nationwide database. The registration form is available at http://bit.ly/DeviceRegister.

OPS Acting Director Derek Watts also encourages members of the WIU community to buckle up when traveling, especially during busy holiday travel days, such as the upcoming Thanksgiving break. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the most traveled holiday period of the year is Thanksgiving weekend, and DUI arrests are at their highest between Thanksgiving and the end of New Year's weekend. Thanksgiving Eve is referred to as "Black Wednesday," as it may be the busiest night of the year for nightclubs and bars.

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Acute Care Team Receives Healing Hand Award

MACOMB — McDonough District Hospital congratulates the Acute Care team as the receive the Healing Hand award within the Grateful Patient Program.

 

The Grateful Patient Program provides the opportunity for patients/ families to show their gratitude and appreciation in honor of the excellent care received.

 

This Grateful Patient recognized the Acute Care team for their kind and considerable care. One of their patients mentioned, "This award is given in gratitude for the wonderful care I received during my stay. I have never seen such a compassionate staff. I want to thank my doctors, nurse practitioners and the entire third floor (acute care) staff I am blessed!"

 

Families can make donations at MDH to help support the Healing Hand Program. There will always be someone to recognized at the hospital for their attentive care. To learn more about the Grateful Patient Program visit MDH.org or contact the Foundation office at (309) 836-1757.

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Warren County Considers Options for Outdated Jail

MONMOUTH - Warren County has two options to either build a new jail or move inmates to another county.

 

The city wants to improve the jail system because it's currently outdated. Officials say the county would have to raise taxes to pay for a new facility and voters would have to approve it. County leaders aren't sure about allowing another county to handle their inmates because the cost wouldn't necessarily cheaper.

 

The chairman hopes to have a formal recommendation for the county board in early 2020. The board will then decide which option to pursue until further notice.

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Warren County Considers Options for Outdated Jail

MONMOUTH - Warren County has two options to either build a new jail or move inmates to another county.

 

The city wants to improve the jail system because it's currently outdated. Officials say the county would have to raise taxes to pay for a new facility and voters would have to approve it. County leaders aren't sure about allowing another county to handle their inmates because the cost wouldn't necessarily cheaper.

 

The chairman hopes to have a formal recommendation for the county board in early 2020. The board will then decide which option to pursue until further notice.

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Macomb Middle School Interested in Construction Plans

MACOMB — The Macomb Board of Education looked at a proposal of a new middle school construction layout during the school board meeting on Monday.

 

Macomb’s superintendent Patrick Twomey pitched his plan to the school board members about the new scenery of the middle school. The layout will be structured into a pod system, which is divided into sixth-grade pod and a seventh and eighth-grade pod. There will also be separate pick up and drop off lines for parents and buses. 

 

Twomey said he needs to tighten some loose ends before the school district can start requesting construction bids. He said that he wanted the middle school to have a Bridgeway that will connect it with the high school to look like an airplane hangar to tie in the Bomber nickname to the school's construction. He also stated that the members of Maple Avenue Christian Church will have access to the middle school parking lot for church services due to the new changes.

 

The school board voted to approve the changes in board policy about the school board, operational services, instruction, and personnel. The next school board meeting will be held on Dec. 16 at 7:00 p.m. in the Macomb Jr/Sr. High School C.T. Vivian Library. For more information visit mcdonoughvoice.com

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18th Annual Thanksgiving Dinner Held Nov 21st

MACOMB - Resident Assistant Council (RAC) at Western Illinois University will host their 18th Annual Thanksgiving Dinner Thursday, Nov. 21 for people in need in the Macomb community. The event will be held at the Salvation Army, which is located at 505 N. Randolph St. WIU students and local residence will help prepare/distribute food during the event. 

 

The dinner will start at 4:30 p.m. and will end at 6:00 pm. Food for the event will be donated by Sodexo Campus Services. "This is an event that RAC looks forward to every year. RAC is proud to represent WIU and give back to the Macomb community during this holiday season” said Corbin Olson Complex Director Erica Hoffman. 

 

 For more information, or to volunteer, contact RAC Advisor Erica Hoffman at ED-Hoffman@wiu.edu or contact the Salvation Army at 309-837-4824

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Galesburg City Council Approves Speed Limit Reduction Proposal

GALESBURG - The Galesburg City Council approved a proposal to reduce the speed limit on a section of North Seminary Street on Monday.

 

The proposal was made by the Traffic Advisory Committee to stretch the runs from West Carl Sandburg Drive down to Circle Drive. The speed limit is currently 40 mph, but once the City Council enacts the proposal it will be reduced to 35 mph.

 

Even though the proposal requests the speed limit to drop down 5 mph, it is still going to take a lot of work to put the plan into action. The cost to make the change will come out to $150. The purpose of the proposal is to make drivers feel more comfortable while on the road.

 

Alderman Peter Schwartzman's only concerns revolve around the community being aware of the new speed limit. “I think they’ll mark the new signs with some flags or something to that effect,” City Manager Todd Thompson. “Any enforcement we do initially, that’ll be taken into account as well. ” All in all, the speed limit reduction will make safer conditions for the community.

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Santa Claus Returns to Macomb December 6th

MACOMB — Santa Claus is expected to come to Macomb after Quincy for his third year in a row for the annual sold-out Santa Zephyr Express. During the train ride, Amtrak's Illinois Zephyr car is transformed for a Christmas-themed experience for families in the community.

 

The Santa Zephyr Express will leave from Quincy at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 6 and will arrive in Macomb at 6:17 p.m. The Zephyr express will arrive during the time of the Macomb's Dickens Square holiday event.

People who are on board will receive refreshments by Santa Claus and his helpers. Once Santa Claus has arrived he will go to his cabin located on the northside of the square where he will be ready to visit with kids from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 6.

 

Dickens on the Square, Macomb's annual holiday celebration, will take place in the square from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Dec. 6 and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 7. This will be the 25th year that Macomb had celebrated this holiday event.

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Macomb Man Charged with DUI

MACOMB — A Macomb man was found on drugs when he crashed his car into a ditch Saturday in Warren County.

 

Auston L. Wright, 24, was northbound in a blue 2018 Kia sedan about 2 p.m. on U.S. Route 67 north of 105th Avenue near Roseville when he lost control of his vehicle and struck a guardrail going off the roadway. according to an Illinois State Police news release.

 

 The Illinois State Police stated the car crashed into a ditch in the median before it stopped. Wright survived the crash but sustained serious injuries in which he was transported to OSF HealthCare Holy Family Medical Center in Monmouth. 

 

State Police determined Wright was under the influence of drugs and using a cellular telephone during the time of the wreck. Police also stated he was driving on a suspended license.

 

As a result, Wright was accused of aggravated DUI, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and improper lane usage, among other things. For more information visit www.pjstar.com.
 

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California High School Attacked by Fifteen-Year-Old Student

A 15-year-old student in California was recently taken into custody and transported to a hospital for treatment after allegedly causing school shootings that injured at least five people, two of them in critical condition. 

 

The shooting was reported at 7.45 am Pacific Time at Saugus High School on Centurion Way in Santa Clarita, which is 40 miles from downtown Los Angeles. Officers ask students questions on the student who let off fire in school.

 

The Los Angeles County Fire Department said at least five victims were transported from the scene with gunshot wounds. After the suspect was captured, students were escorted away from the school by SWAT teams. 

 

Officers mentioned they’re searching for a male Asian in dark clothing. Officers reported that one student was shot in the torso and was immediately treated by a teacher in a classroom. Another student was found wounded in the school choir room. Doctors at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital confirmed that two victims are in critical condition.

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WIU's President Martin Abraham Takes Action for "Racial Implications"

MACOMB — President of Western Illinois Martin Abraham mentioned the university/community in an email for Tuesday’s racial incident.

 

According to President Abraham, a sign was posted in Currens computer lab that had “racist implications.” He stated that the University Technology and the Office of Public Safety will investigate the scene. The University will take serious precautions and discipline any intervals involved severely.

 

President Abraham’s email said, “Prejudice, bigotry, and harassment are not tolerated and have no place here”. The Division of Student Services and the University Counseling Center held a meeting on Tuesday in the Grand Ballroom to discuss the incident.

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Winter Weather Advisory

MACOMB — A Winter Weather Advisory will be in effect until noon on Monday for McDonough and Hancock Counties. Snow accumulations are expected to be between 1-3 inches. The snow will commence during the overnight hours.

 

Temperatures are expected to stay around the freezing mark, which will cause snow to freeze to the ground. There will also be extreme wind gust that can reach up to 30 MPH. Drivers are cautioned to be careful as the roads might be slippery to start off the day. As well as pedestrians/ students walking to class or to work.

 

It is advised to be careful on roads so no accidents will happen. Storm Team Three will continue to follow this system as it moves through our area. The original story can be found on www.news3wiu.com

 

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Mosaic hosts Information Session Nov. 18th

There are contractors who work with people that have some disabilities are the key to bringing out the best in the people and who they support.

 

Every day there are independent contractors that encourage people with disabilities to live happy. Independent contractors who say alongside those people and push them to believe in themselves and their unique abilities. Providing truly personalized services, they help people push past barriers to accomplish goals.

 

Mosaic in Macomb is a whole-person healthcare organization that supports people with diverse needs. The people of Mosaic will be hosting an information session Monday, Nov. 18 at 220 North Lafayette Street at noon for anyone who is interested in working. The purpose of Mosiac is to improve our community by helping others in need. 

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Student Composers Concert Tuesday at WIU

The Western Illinois University School of Music will present a Student Composers Concert at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12 in the College of Fine Arts and Communication (COFAC) Recital Hall.

WIU School of Music students and faculty will perform new works by student composition majors.

This performance is open free to the public.

PROGRAM:

Nebula - Elliot Butler, a junior music major from Arlington, IL
- Chase Dunaway, a senior music major from Peoria, IL, vibraphone
- Lydia Olson, a senior music major from Moline, IL, harp

Flux - Matthew Sulla
- Zachary Smith, double bass

Tributaries - Sean Klink, a graduate student in music composition from Viola, IL
- Associate Professor of Music Julieta Mihai, violin

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud - Joel Prescott, a senior music major from Burlington, IA
- Claire Ryterski, a senior music major from Columbia, IL, soprano
- Siyuan Chen, a music graduate student from China, piano

Piano Trio in D - Kaleb Rhea, a graduate student in music composition from Jacksonville, IL
I. Dorian
- Alice Müller,  a senior music major from Romania, violin
- Kosuke Uchikawa, cello
- Siyuan Chen, a junior music major from Japan, piano
- Rhea, conductor

For more information, call the COFAC Recital Hall office at (309) 298-1843 or visit wiu.edu/recitalhall

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WIU: Best for Vets College 2020

For the 10th consecutive year, Western Illinois University has been selected as a Military Times "Best for Vets College" by Military Times magazine. Western also ranks number one among all Illinois public and private colleges.

According to the Military Times, 130 schools - from four-year to two-year, public, private and trade schools - responded to a survey detailing programs, policies and resources for veterans. Institutions were evaluated in five categories: university culture, student support, academic policies, academic outcomes/quality, and cost and financial aid.

"It is an honor for Western Illinois University to be recognized for our reputation for providing outstanding educational opportunities and support to active military personnel and veterans," said Interim President Martin Abraham. "We are proud of the continued recognition of our programs and services, as well as our longstanding tradition of serving the men and women of the armed forces."

In addition to offering a number of online degree programs, as well as flexible academic studies and support to active military personnel and veterans, Western provides the resources that service members need upon entering – or returning to – school. 

The University's Wright Residence, which serves as the Veterans Resource Center, provides streamlined services and resources in a centralized location to ensure that all veterans, guard members, reservists and active duty personnel receive individual assistance with any question or concern they may encounter. The center also sponsors a series of group seminars/workshops each year based on the current needs of its military student population.

The center has established partnerships with various campus and community organizations. Students gain direct access to a comprehensive array of services such as VA benefits, financial assistance, disability resources, health care, career development and personal wellness. The center also features computer access, a study/meeting space and student-veteran peer assistants who work with student-veterans. Western's Beu Health Center partners with the Iowa City VA Healthcare System to provide the only tele-mental health facility in the nation to be located on a college campus. The Center for Military/Academic Transition and Health (CMATH) on the WIU campus provides psychiatry, psychology and mental health counseling services through secure video conferencing; these services are available to WIU student veterans, as well as community veterans, who already have their military benefits in place. Contact the CMATH clinic at (309) 298-3697 for further information.

Western will celebrate Military Appreciation Week Monday-Saturday, Nov. 11-16. This year's theme is "Honoring Leathernecks: Past, Present and Future."

The week will include multiple events, such as a Military Tribute Ceremony to honor all veterans and service members, followed by a Family Salute to recognize the sacrifices made by spouses, dependents and other family members of veterans and service members on Veterans Day. Later this week, there will also be a Military Trivia and Sports competitions, such as All-Star Tug of War Battle of the Branches Bench Press Competition and sessions: "Honoring Our History," "Why Appreciate the Military," "In Their Own Words: Korea and Vietnam" and "In Their Own Words: Middle East and Afghanistan."

The week will conclude with an Open House and 10th Anniversary Celebration at the Veterans Resource Center to recognize the contributions of individuals who established and have contributed to the Veterans Resource Center.

For more information about the schedule, see bit.ly/WIUVeterans19.

For more information about veterans' resources at Western Illinois University, contact Ron Pettigrew at R-Pettigrew@wiu.edu or (309) 298-3505.

 

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Veteran Works with WIU Offices to Launch Gourmet Popcorn Business

This fall, you can find James Altenhein, owner of Windy Hills Farms and Gardens, hosting tours and field days educating the community about his newest venture, Catahoula Blue, gourmet popcorn.

What many may not know about the gourmet grower is he recently received status as a verified Veteran Owned Small Business (VOSB) through the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs.

Altenhein was referred to the Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Center at Western Illinois University (IL PTAC @ WIU) by the VA’s Veteran Business Outreach Center. The IL PTAC @ WIU has one of the five counselors in Illinois who are trained to assist veteran owned firms with the verification process. The counselor at WIU assisted Mr. Altenhein by providing resources and troubleshooting questions about the process.

In addition to working the PTAC, Altenhein has been working with WIU’s Small Business Development Center (IL SBDC @ WIU). The SBDC has helped many other facets of the business. After Altenheim attended a business writing workshop presented by the IL SBDC at WIU, he continued to work with the center, preparing a marketing plan for his popcorn and his fall field day at the farm.  Future demos, farm tours and classes are in the works.

"Mr. Altenhein typifies a Veteran entrepreneur," said Theresa Ebeler, director of PTAC. "He is organized, strong willed and adaptive. I am thankful that he is utilizing the program and resources at Western Illinois University for business development."

The Illinois PTAC and SBDC of WIU celebrates his verification achievement and his commitment to educating the community about this beautiful, centennial family farm.   

Windy Hills Farms and Garden is located in Quincy, IL. The popcorn can be found at Popping on Main and Edgewood Orchard, with more locations to come. For more information on the farm, visit facebook.com/WindyHillsFarmQuincyIL/.

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Military Appreciation Week Celebrated Nov. 11-16 at WIU

Western Illinois University will celebrate Military Appreciation Week Monday-Saturday, Nov. 11-16.

This year's theme is "Honoring Leathernecks: Past, Present and Future."

The celebration begins with volunteers setting up the Flags of Love at 7 a.m. in Chandler Park on Veteran's Day, Monday, Nov. 11. The flags will be taken down at 5 p.m. the same day.

The schedule for the remainder of the week includes:

Monday, Nov. 11

• 11 a.m.-noon – Military Tribute Ceremony, Sherman Hall flag pole: The ceremony will honor veterans and service members. In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held in the Sherman Hall Auditorium, third floor.

At noon, the Sherman Hall Bell Tower carillon with play the anthems from the military branches.

• Noon-1 p.m. Family Salute, Sherman Hall, third floor: The Veterans Resource Center and others will host an informal reception to recognize the sacrifices made by spouses, dependents and other family members of veterans and service members. Refreshments will be provided.
Speakers:
Julie-Anne Pickett
Valencia Pettigrew
Rebecca Slater

• Noon-4 p.m.- Christmas Cards for Deployed Soldiers: All are invited to join the Rocky’s Pawsitives Student Group in the Union Concourse to fill out Christmas cards that will be sent to deployed soldiers.

Tuesday, Nov. 12

• 3:30-5 p.m. – "Honoring Our History" and All-Star Tug of War at Spencer Student Recreation Center: WIU's World War I and World War II veterans have contributed to the rich legacy of WIU, including our symbols, our traditions and our commitment to inclusion. In recognition of Col. Rock Hanson's contributions to WIU, Campus Recreation is proud to host the inaugural All-Star Tug of War, honoring Col. Rock Hanson. The event is free for student organizations and the winner will be recognized with a trophy housed at Campus Recreation. For more information, or to register a team, visit bit.ly/WIUTugofWar.

• 6-7:30 p.m. – "Why Appreciate the Military" in the University Union Heritage Room: The event will include a community discussion on what it means to appreciate the military. Panelists will address questions related to the understanding of and values civilians and military service members attribute to service. Following the panelists' comments, Veteran Resource Center liaisons and other facilitators will lead participants in discussions exploring the question of what does it mean to appreciate the military. Refreshments will be provided.
Presenters:
Sue Martinelli-Fernandez, dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Erin Taylor, professor, political science
Scott Coker, city administrator, Macomb


Wednesday, Nov. 13

• 3:30-5 p.m. - "In their own words: Korea and Vietnam" in the University Union Lamoine Room:   Local veterans who served in the military during the Korean War and the Vietnam War will share how their experiences shaped them and the Macomb community. Refreshments will be provided.
Panelists:
Ken Cole, Korea Veteran
Richard Frowein, Korea Veteran
Bill Carle, Vietnam Veteran
Lyle Payne, Vietnam Veteran
Kent Slater, Vietnam Veteran

• 6-7 p.m. - Battle of the Branches Bench Press Competition, Campus Recreation: Veterans and service members will have a bench press competition in the Spencer Student Recreation Center. The winning branch will have a trophy or plaque with the total weight lifted and the branch name displayed in the Recreation Center. The public is invited to attend and support the competitors. No registration is required.

Thursday, Nov. 14

• 3:30-5 p.m. – "In their own words: Middle East and Afghanistan," University Union Lamoine Room: Veterans of military operations in the Middle East and Afghanistan will discuss how their military experiences have shaped them as individuals and students. Refreshments will be provided.
Panelists:
Nick Pettigout, sheriff, McDonough County
MAJ Michael Porter, assistant professor, military science

• 6:30-8:30 p.m. - Military Trivia, Macomb VFW Post #1921, 1200 E. Jefferson, St., Macomb: The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #1921 and WIU’s Military Science Department will host a military trivia night to raise funds for the Greater Peoria Honor Flight. Teams of eight will compete in five rounds of 10 questions on the topics of Military History, Slang Terms, Symbols, Screens and Songs and Local Military History. The VFW Ladies Auxiliary will provide snacks and teams may bring additional refreshments. A cash bar will be available. The entry fee per team is $40 and teams should register by Friday, Nov. 8 at wiu.com/alumni.

Friday, Nov. 15

• 3–5 p.m. - Veterans Resource Center 10th Anniversary - Veteran Resource Center Open House and Anniversary Celebration, 333 Ward St., Macomb: The event will recognize the contributions of individuals who established and have contributed to the Veterans Resource Center. Refreshments will be provided throughout the afternoon. A program recognizing those who have contributed to the success of the Veterans Resource Center will take place at 4:30 p.m. A tree planting ceremony to commemorate WWI Veterans will immediately follow.

Saturday, Nov. 16

1 p.m. - Military Appreciation Football Game, Hanson Field: Western Illinois Athletics will pay tribute to service men and women for the military appreciation football game. The Leathernecks play host to Southern Illinois University; kick-off is set for 1 p.m. All service men and women with a military ID will receive free admission for themselves and a guest. A special halftime recognition is scheduled to honor all those that have served and are currently serving our country.

For more information about any of the activities, contact the Veterans Resource Center at (309) 298-3505.

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RAD Classes Begin Monday at Student Recreation Center

To prepare Western Illinois University female students, faculty and staff to defend themselves against potential assaults, WIU's Office of Public Safety (OPS) will offer Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) courses, beginning Monday, Nov. 11.

The courses, which run from 4-8 p.m., will also be held Wednesday, Nov. 13 and Nov. 20 at the Donald S. Spencer Student Recreation Center on the WIU campus. The class is designed for women only and topics include avoiding victimization, patterns of date rape encounter, basic principles of defense, full-speed hands-on exercise and dynamic simulation training.

"This class teaches you the most effective methods of defending yourself. I walked away with a great sense of confidence," said a RAD graduate.

There is no cost for the 12-hour course, which is taught by RAD-certified OPS Interim Director Derek Watts, Officer Jerry Allen and Detective Sarah Worthington.

Lifetime re-training is free. Due to limited class size (20 per class), pre-registration is required. While WIU female students will be given first priority to enroll, females from the region are encouraged to participate. Spots are filled on a first come, first served basis.

The RAD courses are sponsored by OPS, Office of Student Judicial Programs, Campus Recreation and the WIU Women's Center. For more information, or to register, email Worthington at SE-Worthington@wiu.edu.

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ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE TO HOST HEMP SUMMIT

The Illinois Department of Agriculture will host a Hemp Summit on December 17th at the Orr Building on the Illinois State Fairgrounds. The Illinois Hemp Summit follows the release of USDA’s 2019 Hemp Rules that have raised questions and concerns amongst Illinois hemp farmers and their advocacy groups. 

 

“We’ve heard from the hemp farming community and understand their concerns related to the USDA rules,” said Jeff Cox, IDOA Bureau Chief for Medicinal Plants. “The summit will provide a great opportunity to provide an in-depth presentation on the USDA’s rules and the implications for Illinois’ emerging hemp industry.”

 

The Summit’s agenda is structured to optimize the distribution of information and limit repetition—there will be three separate panels, each consisting of three to four presenters.

“We’ve assembled grower, processor and university researcher panels to share their unique perspectives, contributions, lessons learned and visions for the future of the hemp industry in Illinois,” said Cox.

 

Hemp Benchmarks, a leading provider of financial, business and industry data for the North American hemp markets will be the final presenter of the day with a presentation on market dynamics. Information on the additional panels will be available in the coming weeks. 

 

Tickets for the Summit are $25 and include lunch. Those interested in attending can register online at https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/agr/Plants/Pages/Hemp-Summit.aspx. Space is limited and registration will be handled on a first come first served basis.

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IDOC Revises Publication Review Policy to Increase Access to Educational Materials

The Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) is implementing a new procedure for reviewing publications entering its correctional facilities. The revised policy is designed to ensure a review process with more oversight and consistency in order to increase access to reading and educational materials.

 

“I am pleased the Department now has a process for publication reviews that is sound and meets national standards,” said IDOC Director Rob Jeffreys. “This administration is committed to expanding opportunities for educational advancement while maintaining the safety and security of our institutions.”

The policy ensures publications cannot be disapproved solely based on social, sexual, religious, philosophical, or political content. Reading materials for educational programming are now assessed by the Educational Facility Administrator of each institution. The Department’s Central Publications Review Committee, which is comprised of individuals from IDOC’s Operations Division and Legal Services, is overseeing the new procedure and will make final determinations on reading materials. The Department also instituted a Statewide Publications Determination List to ensure consistency across all correctional facilities.

 

IDOC incorporated feedback from education experts and the National Institute of Corrections into the final policy. To view the policy in its entirety, click here.

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MDH Doctor Recognized by Grateful Patient Program

MACOMB - The McDonough District Hospital plans to recognize Tim Biagini in the Grateful Patient Program as he received numerous of compliments from patients/families. 

 

The Grateful Patient Program provides an opportunity for patients or families to show their appreciation in honor of excellent care. This event is to acknowledge Dr. Biagini for all his hard work and compassion for patients.

 

Furthermore, he is being recognized as the doctor with the Healing Hand. Patients or families can make financial contributions during the event to help support the McDonough District Hospital. To learn more about the Grateful Patient Program visit MDH.org or call (309)-836-1757.

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WIU Announces Advisor of the Month for October

 

On Thursday, November 7, Western Illinois University announced the winner of its “Advisor of the Month” award for the month of October. The winner for October was Academic Advisory, Ashley Wilkinson.

 

Wilkinson works at the Quad Cities campus and was nominated by not just one of her students, but three. She has received high praise from all those who have had the pleasure of being around her, with students remarking on her ability to help them develop a future plan, course selection and helping them stay organized.

 

Winners of this prestigious award are determined every month, with the winner receiving a certificate and a trophy. The winners are decided by a committee that takes the entire month to sift through and judge applications. 

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Old Dairy Completes Mural Project

MACOMB —  A locally owned family restaurant made a huge change over the summer. 

The Old Dairy, just off the Macomb downtown square area, just completed a mural project with the help of the community members. 

 

Owner Emily Gamage said the building needed change, so she started brainstorming ideas for projects at the beginning of the year. The building was over 15 years old and Gamage wanted to bring some new light to it.

 

Dozens of community members contributed to the mural. Gamage said bringing the community together was one of the main goals of the project. The purpose of the Mural is to represent the history of Macomb.

 

Gamage said the Performing Arts Society of Macomb donated $2,000 to help pay for supplies. The original story can be found in news3wiu.com.

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West Prairie Volleyball Makes Admirable Contribution to Great Cause

 

On Thursday, November 7, the West Prairie volleyball team finalized an effort that will be remembered for years to come. As the end of the team’s season long Defend and Dig out Cancer has come, the Cyclones presented a check worth $2,698 to Linda’s Fund.

 

Linda’s Fund provides financial support to breast cancer patients using MDH’s incredible cancer research services. The fund has received support from all over the area, from organizations such as schools and community groups and from individuals. 

 

West Prairie’s campaign to raise money for the fund began in 2011, and has been used as a sponsorship for each block and dig recorded by the team. The team has raised an awe-inspiring $9,300 to Linda’s Fund, while they have added an additional $7,345 to Cancer Education and Screening at MDH. Their efforts have been incredible, and deserve utmost admiration.

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Illinois Bill Seeks Permanent Change to "Daylight Saving Time"

MACOMB —  Sen. Andy Manar looks to make a change so that everyone in Illinois can move their clocks ahead one hour in spring, and never have to change them again.

 

Sen. Manar said in his  Twitter post-Wednesday that he plans to push for passage of Senate Bill 533 when lawmakers return next week for the fall veto session. As a result, the bill will allow people to set their clocks ahead one hour to daylight saving time. If the bill is issued then people can take action Sunday, March 8, 2020, which will leave the state on Central Daylight Time forever. 

 

Manar said the idea for the bill came to him from a High School student on Twitter. The student’s tweet linked to a recent Newsweek article that cited research that suggests the twice-yearly clock changes in most of the United States can cause health impacts.

 

Daylight saving time was used during the first half of the 20th century. The idea was to move one hour of daylight from morning to evening in order to give people more daylight after work or school. Under the current schedule, clocks are moved forward one hour, to daylight saving time, at 2 a.m. on the second Sunday in March, then moved back one hour, to standard time, the first Sunday in November.

 

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, daylight saving time reduces energy consumption because it reduces the need for household lighting and appliances. More benefits are it helps prevent traffic accidents and reduces crime because more people are traveling to and from work or school and conducting daily activities during daylight hours.

Manar's bill passed out of the State Government Committee on May 23 and has since been referred to another committee. Lawmakers will return to the Statehouse on Tuesday and will continue through Nov. 14. 8, 2020, then leaving the state on Central Daylight Time permanently.

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Iowa Woman Arrested on Weapon, Drug Charges

Macomb, IL—A Resident of Muscatine, IA was arrested by Macomb Police after a traffic stop turned into a drug bust.

 

According to a story posted by Emily Manley on WIU News 3, 55 year old Penny Gipson was a passenger in a vehicle that was pulled over by Macomb Police for having a loud muffler.

 

 

 

During the stop, police found meth in the vehicle belonging to Gipson. Upon her arrest, Gipson confessed to law enforcement that she had additional meth hidden in her undergarments. Police retrieved the stash and an additional 13.2 grams. Later in the stop, police found brass knuckles in Gipson’s purse. 

 

Gipson was charged with unlawful use of a weapon, delivery of meth and possession of methamphetamine and is currently being detained in McDonough County Jail.

 

The driver was charged with driving on revoked license and not having a muffler.

 

 

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Rep. Hammond Co-Sponsors Legislation to Ban Lawmakers from Performing Paid Lobbying Work with Local Government Units

Macomb - In light of news reports that a member of the Illinois House of Representatives was arrested by Federal agents for attempted bribery of a public official, State Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) is co-sponsoring legislation that would ban lawmakers from performing paid lobbying work with local government units while in office.

 

“It is a significant conflict of interest for sitting lawmakers to perform paid lobbying work while in office,” said Rep. Hammond. “It’s not possible for lawmaker-lobbyists to serve their constituents and their lobbying clients at the same time. Current law allows lawmakers to push legislation they can benefit from financially. That’s wrong. I hope my Democratic colleagues in the majority will support this bill so we can end conflicts of interest and clean up state government. Now is the time to act.”

 

The legislation, House Bill 3947 (HB 3947), would ban members of the General Assembly, their spouses, and immediate live-in family members from performing paid lobbying work with local government units. Currently, members of the Illinois General Assembly – state representatives and state senators – are prohibited from lobbying the State of Illinois, but are not prohibited from lobbying local government units, such as a counties or municipalities.

 

On Friday, October 25, Democratic State Representative Luis Arroyo of Chicago was arrested by Federal agents for attempted bribery of a public official. Arroyo works as a registered lobbyist with the City of Chicago in addition to his duties as a state representative. According to the United States Department of Justice, Arroyo attempted to bribe an unnamed state senator $2,500 per month in exchange for supporting legislation that would benefit one of Arroyo’s lobbying clients. If convicted of the corruption charges, Arroyo faces up to 10 years in prison.

 

If HB 3947 were law prior to Rep. Arroyo’s attempted bribery scheme, he would have been precluded from performing paid lobbying work on behalf of his client while serving in office.

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Wesley Village Nurse Arrested

MACOMB — A nurse at Wesley Village in Macomb was recently arrested for stealing pills from a nursing home resident on Monday.

 

Jennifer Greer, 36, of Macomb, was caught on camera entering a resident’s room while the resident was not there. Once the resident got back to her room, she noticed she had fewer pills then she had before. The resident immediately notified the staff about her missing.

 

Once staff called the police the resident said she was missing some of her Tramadol pills. Macomb Police found nurse Greer with Tramadol that matched the resident’s prescription.

 

Greer was charged with three counts of residential burglary and one count of possession of a controlled substance. She is currently in the McDonough County Jail with a $20,000 bond.

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Illini West Drama Club Gears Up For New Productions

Carthage, IL—The Illini West Drama Club is in preparation for its annual Winter Theatre on Friday, Nov. 15th at the Hancock County Extension Center. Doors will open at 6 p.m and the productions will begin at 7 p.m. 

 

Students for the Drama Club will be performing two one act comedies, both written by Werner Trieschmann. The productions are titled: “Hells Cafeteria” and “All I Really Need To Know, I Learned By Being In A Bad Murder Mystery”. Both Productions will be student directed by Anna Slater and Amanda Spangler.

 

Along with a night of laughter, there will be a silent bake sale as well on the same evening to raise funds for a future production in the Spring. 

 

Tickets can can be purchased at the door, $10 for Adults and $5 for Students. 

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'Arcadia' Comes to WIU's Hainline Theatre Nov. 6-10

MACOMB, IL – The Western Illinois University Department of Theatre and Dance will present "Arcadia," by Tom Stoppard at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, Nov. 6-9 and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10, in Hainline Theatre. 

The play is directed by WIU Associate Professor Carolyn Blackinton. 

"ARCADIA takes on the concepts of the meaning of life through the love of learning; the disruption of Newton’s theory by the variables of love and sex; and the sparring of Classical and Romantic perceptions," said Blackinton. "It was such a joy working with the cast, designers and crew members on this timeless play."

The performance moves back and forth between 1809 and the present at an elegant estate owned by the Coverly Family. The 1809 scenes reveal a household in transition. As the Arcadian landscape is being transformed into picturesque Gothic gardens, complete with a hermitage, 13-year-old Lady Thomasina and her tutor delve into intellectual and romantic issues. Present day scenes depict the Coverly descendants and two competing scholars who are researching a possible scandal at the estate in 1809 involving Lord Byron.

General admission tickets are $15; $13 for senior citizens and students and free for WIU students with valid student identification. 

For more information about the performance, visit wiu.edu/cofac/theatre.

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WIU to Hold "Sleep Out for the Homeless" Event

MACOMB - -  The Western Illinois University Marketing Club will host an event to raise money for a local homeless shelter.

 

The Marketing Club scheduled their event “Sleep Out for the Homeless” on Nov. 8-9 from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. It will take place at 1545 Riverview Drive in Macomb.

 

The night will include plenty of games, activities, food, live music, and guest speakers. To participate in the event it is $25 per person and kids 10 and under are free.

 

All money will go to Macomb’s men’s and women’s homeless shelter, Samaritan Well Inc.

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WIU to Hold Parking Ticket Relief Day

MACOMB - - Western Illinois University Housing and Dining Services are now teaming up with the WIU Parking services on Wednesday. The purpose of the meeting will be to allow students to wipe away their parking tickets.

 

Parking Citation Relief Day will be from  7 - 10 a.m.  This is a golden opportunity for students. Any parking fines received up to $40 can be waived with non-perishable canned or boxed food items. The amount you pay will depend on the number of items and the list goes as follows:

 

3 items- $0 to $10

6 items- $11 to $20

9 items- $21 to $30

12 items $31 to $40

 

Bring donations to WIU Parking Services at Mowbray Hall on Murray Street. The more you bring the more parking tickets can be erased.

All proceeds will go towards organizations like Stuff the Bus, Macomb Loaves and Fishes, Western Illinois Regional Council Community Action Agency, WIU Food Pantry, and The Salvation Army of Macomb.

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WIU Dance Marathon Pancake Dinner

Western Illinois University’s Dance Marathon has launched its ongoing efforts to continue its fundraising for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The Macomb American Legion will be partnering with DM to host their yearly Pancake Dinner on November 7. 

 

The Pancake Dinner is also a way for them to raise money for the hospitals. Why not get served pancakes after participating in the marathon? The event will have dairy and gluten-free options for those with food restrictions. The meal will also include complimentary orange juice. Tickets can be purchased before the event from anyone who is a part of the Dance Marathon. Tickets can also be purchased online or residents can pick them up from the office of Student Activities which is located at the University Union. Tickets will cost $7.

 

Dance Marathon is a year-round effort to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network hospitals. Since the Dance Marathon’s event in 2014, the group has raised $600,000 for two hospitals located in St. Louis.This will be Western’s seventh year hosting the Dance Marathon. Their goal is to raise up to $175,000 this year as the year prior that raised $160,000. The Dance Marathon will be set for March 28, 2020. The original story can be found on westerncourier.com.

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Macomb High School Students Learning Leadership During Lunch

Macomb high school students are using their lunchtime to learn leadership. Macomb High School health and P.E. teacher Zach Keene is using his lunchtime on Wednesdays to talk to the students in high school about the importance of being a leader.

Keene was inspired by a program called “What Drives Winning”. Students at the high school love the program and are voluntarily using their lunchtime to listen and get more familiar with the topic at hand.


“I think what it does for them is it paints a picture for them down the road,” Keene said. “It makes them a better person. Don’t focus so much on the winning and losing, more so on the process, and it doesn’t necessarily mean getting better at your particular sport, maybe you’re just becoming a better person.”

Keene has been trying to get the program to be added to the school’s curriculum for almost two years. It took a while but with the help of Karissa Ham, it is now a reality. “She has been phenomenal, she’s kinda taken it on as far as paperwork, and done a lot of the leg work, she put pen to paper and presented it to the curriculum committee,” Keene said.

The Macomb Board of Education unanimously approved the class being added to the curriculum starting fall of next year as an elective, but due to the popularity of the course, students must fill out an application or be recommended by a teacher The class will be offered to students in the fall of 2020. The original story can be found at news3wiu.com.

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