Archives for September 2017

Peoria-Based National Guard Unit Headed to USVI, Puerto Rico

The Illinois Air National Guard unit stationed in Peoria is sending aircraft and service members to help in hurricane relief.
Officials from the 182nd Airlift Wing said two C-130 Hercules delivered items to St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands on Friday. One aircraft and crew was supposed to return immediately while the other will make deliveries throughout the weekend.
The 182nd is also preparing to send about 15 security-force members to support airfield operations at Jose Aponte De La Torre Airport in Puerto Rico.
Eight members of the 126th Air Refueling Wing at Scott Air Force Base in Belleville arrived in Puerto Rico on Sept. 23. The 126th Communications Flight is operating a Joint Incident Site Communications Capability. It’s designed to provide 24-hour voice and data communication to both emergency responders.

Rauner Defends Medicaid-Funded Abortion Vote

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner says he understands the moral objections to abortion but signed into law expanded coverage for them because he believes all women should have the same health care options.
Rauner signed the measure Thursday. It expands state health insurance coverage and Medicaid for low-income women to abortions.
The first-term governor said in April he would veto the plan. But he says his decision Thursday is not new. He campaigned in 2014 on support for abortion-coverage expansion and he has generally been in favor of abortion rights.
Signing the law upset conservatives who are already angry that the Democratic-controlled Legislature adopted an income-tax increase last summer in approving a budget over Rauner’s vetoes.
The legislation also removes language from state law that critics say would outlaw abortion in Illinois if the 1973 Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court opinion is overturned. President Donald Trump has vowed to appoint anti-abortion high court justices.

State Education Officials Praise New Licensing Process

Illinois education officials say the elimination of some requirements for teacher licenses has streamlined the licensing process and hasn’t sacrificed the state’s high standards.
The Chicago Tribune reports the changes to the licensing laws began in 2011. Some allow aspiring teachers to bypass certain coursework and exams.
Some administrators say those changes have helped fill jobs in areas with teacher shortages.
But advocates for tough licensing standards say eliminating coursework and testing requirements may not guarantee educators have the credentials needed to work in public schools.
The Illinois State Board of Education reports there were more than 1,000 open positions statewide for the 2017-2018 academic year, though that’s less than 1 percent of total teaching positions. In some past years, data has shown more than 2,000 unfilled positions.

Final Land Deals Made For Beltway Connector

All the land needed for the first phase of the proposed Macon County Beltway project could start as early as next spring. Late this week, Macon County officials reached a tentative agreement for the purchase of 8.3 acres of land just south of Brush College Road and Illinois 48. That land is part of what the county needed to begin the ‘connector’ that will eventually be a 22-mile stretch of road that will loop traffic around to the east side of Decatur. Back in January, the county made its original offer of $17,000 an acre to the landowners- the final price is believed to be closer to $26,000 per acre.

Celebrate ‘World Heart Day’ at the DISC this Morning

The American Heart Association celebrates World Heart Day this morning at 11 at the DISC. It’s free and open to the public. The first 100 folks will receive a free CPR anytime kit.

Part of N. Water St. Closed for Tomorrow’s Beer Festival

The 100 block of North Water St. in Decatur, from South Park to East Main St, will be closed tomorrow 6am to 9pm. It’s closed for the Decatur Craft Beer Festival.

Final Decatur Mural Could be Done Today

Work on the final mural in the 2017 Decatur Mural Project may be completed today. It’s in the 200 block of West Main St, and is being painted by Sullivan artist, Nick Beery.

SUV Submerged at Shelbyville Boat Ramp

The Shelby County Dive Team responded to a fully submerged SUV at the 9th St. boat ramp in Shelbyville. The owner was loading a boat when the trailer tires hit some moss and the entire rig slipped into the water.

High School Innovators Competition Tomorrow at MU

The High School Innovators Competition will be held tomorrow 8 to 1 at Millikin University. The event celebrates innovation, offers one-on-one mentoring, and provides hands-on peer activities.

Sewer Work Closes Part of W. Grand Ave.

Both west bound lanes in the 1200 block of West Grand Ave. in Decatur, will remain closed through next Thurs. afternoon around 5. Crews are repairing a sewer. East bound lanes will carry traffic in both directions.