News Briefs

Illinois Warrior Assistance Program Launches Drive To Help 530 Veterans by Memorial Day

•April 27, 2016•

The Illinois Warrior Assistance Program has launched a campaign to help veterans and their families across the state of Illinois, who need help with the emotional, medical or legal challenges resulting from their service.

With the “530 by 5/30” campaign, IWAP’s goal is to assist 530 veterans between now and Memorial Day, which this year falls on May 30. Qualifying Illinois veterans and their family members and caregivers may call 1-866-554-IWAP (4927) 24 hours a day for confidential assistance from a healthcare professional.

“We offer IWAP because there are veterans right now who are still fighting battles long after their military service but don’t know where to turn,” said Erica Jeffries, Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs. “As a veteran, I know many of the challenges that military service members face as they transition from the military to their next chapter in life. Our goal is to reach at least 530 of them before Memorial Day.” Read More

Remember When? 4-27-2016

25 Years Ago This Week

Taking office today after being sworn in yesterday are the city of Sullivan’s new mayor and commissioners. Leon Lane is the new mayor; commissioner of streets and public improvements is Bob Patient; commissioner of public health and safety is Bob Hess; Richard Dunscomb is the commissioner of public property and Ron White is the commissioner of accounts and finance.

Katie McMahon was crowned queen, and John Renfro was chosen king of the April 26 Lovington junior-senior prom held at Lovington High School. Members of their court were Travis Moser, Lori Byers, Michael Thompson and Christy Mueller.

Four Lovington Junior High students have been selected to participate in an Honor Festival at Lake Land College. Eighth grader Kara Bolsen and seventh grader Chad Seelow will be performing with a 60 piece honor band. Eighth graders Jennifer Elliott and Kelly Smith will be singing in a 60-voice chorus. These students were nominated for the festival by their director Kathy Doty.

The undefeated state of Illinois and national champion runner-up senior members of the Sullivan Singers will be honored Tuesday night during the spring concert at Sullivan High School. Senior members are Jason Cobb, Neil Elder, Billy Harris, Aaron Jesse, Kevin Moran, Michael Parks, Laura Pound, Troy Rogers and Schascle Yochim.  Read More

Moultrie-Douglas Farm Bureau Update

Above Average Rainfall and Cool Temps Slow Planting

•April 27, 2016•

By Tyler Harvey
Douglas-Moultrie Farm Bureau Manager

It is amazing how the weather changes in our state of Illinois. During my last article, I really thought that planting season would be going by now, but Mother Nature has made above average rainfall and below average temperatures stick around for the time being.

Look at the fields as you drive by. They look dry but would be what many would consider “flash dried”. This is what happens when we get a good rain and then a sunny and windy day right after. The top of the field can be dried out very quickly while underneath, the soil is still very sticky and cold. The USDA came out with their annual crop report the week of March 28, and to the surprise of many, pegged the U.S. corn plantings at 93.6 million acres for the year. This impacted the corn markets immediately, making the price of corn plunge. The USDA numbers for soybeans came in at 82.2 million acres for the year just slightly below what many thought it would be. With the cold and rainy conditions we are having around the state, time will tell if the corn acreage holds or if farmers may switch which will change the corn acreage numbers for the year and also the price of the commodity.  Read More

FEMA Denies State’s Appeal for Flood Assistance

Denial ends process for seeking federal assistance

•April 27, 2016•

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today denied the state’s appeal for federal assistance to help local governments in several counties recover from severe flooding and storms in late December and early January.

“The process is supposed to take into account a multitude of factors, but this denial demonstrates that only the numbers really matter,” said James K. Joseph, director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA). “States with high populations concentrated in urban areas, such as we have in northeastern Illinois, often struggle to reach their thresholds, particularly when the impacts are in rural, sparsely populated areas of the state. Once again our poorest communities continue to suffer because of this unfair process.” Read More

Local Financial Representative Honored By COUNTRY Financial

Houser for 4.27 Co•April 27, 2016•

Country Financial Representative Elizabeth Houser of Sullivan has earned a position on the insurance group’s distinguished All American team.

Houser is among a select group of top Country Financial agency managers and financial representatives who qualified for the award. Country Financial has more than 2,000 agency managers and financial representatives in 17 states; Houser was ranked number 58 in her category.  Read More

Spring Rendezvous Comes to Wolf Creek Park

Photo by Melanie Byers George “Curly” Spallinger, sitting at left, demonstrates fire starting technique as his granddaughter Madison looks on at Wolf Creek State Park during the 2015 Spring Rendezvous.

Photo by Melanie Byers
George “Curly” Spallinger, sitting at left, demonstrates fire starting technique as his granddaughter Madison looks on at Wolf Creek State Park during the 2015 Spring Rendezvous.

•April 27, 2016•

The IDNR Links to the Future and LTC Spring Rendezvous will once again be open to the public at Wolf Creek State Park on Lake Shelbyville in Windsor. Public events are scheduled from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 21.

Through the efforts of dedicated volunteers, the Lincoln Trails Council Boy Scouts of America serves young people with its program of citizenship, mental and physical fitness, and character development. Together with the IDNR they will host the annual outdoor youth festival.

This all-day event will feature such activities as trapshooting, target shooting, archery shooting, fishing, and wildlife displays. An encampment of frontiersmen representing the lifestyle, clothing, and trades of Rendezvous Era will be on hand, as well as exhibits and activities including rope making, blacksmiths, woodworking, and a re-creation of a Civil War camp. Read More

IDOT Helps Local Schools Honor Earth Day

Nonprofit Donates Thousands of Trees for Educational and Environmental Benefit

•April 27, 2016•

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is teaming up with the environmental organization Living Lands and Waters to distribute thousands of tree seedlings to schools throughout Illinois in observance of Earth Day. The trees were donated to IDOT as part of the Living Lands and Waters Million Trees Project.

“Through our partnership with Living Lands and Waters, we have delivered nearly 45,000 tree seedlings over the years to be planted in Illinois soil,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. “As an agency that impacts every community in our great state, every day is Earth Day at IDOT. The trees planted this year will join the thousands of others to be appreciated and cherished by the generations to come.” Read More

DPH Recognizes National Infant Immunization Week

 •April 20, 2016•

Each year, thousands of children become ill from diseases that could have been prevented by basic childhood immunizations. Countless more miss time from daycare and school because they are under-immunized or inappropriately immunized. During National Infant Immunization Week, April 16-23, 2016, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) wants to raise awareness about the importance of childhood immunizations.

Illinois saw a measles outbreak in February 2015 in which 15 cases were associated with a daycare in northern Illinois. Of those 15 cases, 12 were infants too young to be immunized.

“While some babies are too young to be protected by vaccination, others may not be able to receive certain vaccinations due to severe allergies, weakened immune systems from conditions like leukemia, or other reasons,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. “To help keep them safe, it is important that you and your children who are able to get vaccinated are fully immunized. This not only protects your family, but also helps prevent the spread of these diseases in your community.” Read More

Thinking About Health: Women in Small Town America Aren’t Living As Long As They Used To

TrudyLieberman-Photo•April 20, 2016•

By Trudy Lieberman,
Rural Health News Service

Those of us who grew up in small rural communities in the 1950s and 60s, expected to have longer life spans than our parents.

The trends were in our favor. White women born in 1900 could expect to live, on average, just shy of 49 years; white men 46.6 years. Those were our grandparents and our neighbors.

By 1950, life expectancy had climbed to 72 years for white women born that year and 66.5 for white men. By 2000, life expectancy was still increasing, with female babies expected to live to nearly 80 and males to almost 75. America was on the rise, jobs were plentiful, antibiotics kept us from dying of strep throat, and polio vaccine kept us out of the iron lung. We thought things would only keep getting better.

So I was dismayed to read a story in the Washington Post in April that blew holes in those childhood expectations. The Post found “white women have been dying prematurely at higher rates since the turn of this century, passing away in their 30s, 40s, and 50s in a slow-motion crisis driven by decaying health in small town-America.”

That “small town America” was where I grew up. I contrasted the Post’s findings to the claims made by all those politicians who have told us we have the best healthcare in the world and who point to gobs of money lavished on the National Institutes of Health to find new cures and to hospitals promoting their latest imaging machines. The Post found that since 2000, the health of all white women has declined, but the trend is most pronounced in rural areas. In 2000, for every 100,000 women in their late 40s living in rural areas, 228 died. Today it’s 296. Read More