Local News for Sunday, July 21

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Published on July 21 2013 10:47 am
Last Updated on July 20 2013 3:49 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

The state of Illinois is trying to get a federal judge to stop a push to get concealed carry immediately.

The Illinois State Rifle Association and gun rights advocate Mary Shepard argue that waiting harms citizens and intrudes on Second Amendment rights.  The state wants Shepard to file a new complaint detailing why the timeframe for concealed carry is unreasonable.  The Illinois State Police have six months to get a concealed carry program together and another 90 days after that to process forms before issuing licenses.

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The governor has signed two bills to help boost diabetes awareness in Illinois.  The first bill creates a license plate to raise awareness along with funds for research.  The second bill requires the Illinois State Diabetes Commission to submit a report to the General Assembly every other year detailing the costs of diabetes and efforts to control and prevent it.  In the last 20 years, the number of Illinoisans with diabetes has more than doubled.  More than 800,000 people have diabetes and the Department of Public Health estimates another half-million have it and don't know.

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Patoka village officials have hired a new treasurer.  She is Brandi Gillett and succeeds Annette McNicol, who resigned from the position.  New village office hours were established.  They are: Mondays 8am to 4:30pm, Wednesdays noon to 4:30pm, and Fridays 8am to 4:30pm.

There was discussion of the Capital Bill and the possibility of funding for improvement projects, and discussion about finding fishermen at the reserviors.  Fishing is prohibited due to liability isuses.

There was also discussion of the Patoka Fall Festival.  This year's theme is "Let's All go to the Carnival".  There will be a carnival and a mechnical bull will be a part of the festivities on Friday and Saturday eveing.  Friday evening, there will also be a "Chase the Pig" contest for the kids.

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The Stewardson Lions Club will hold its annual truck and tractor pull today.  This was rescheduled after being rained out on June 15.  Admission is $3 for adults, and those 12 and younger will get in free.  Weigh-in starts at 9am and pulling action at 10am.  Cash prizes will be paid to all 22 clases, from antiques to semi-trucks, open class to modified trucks; all are welcome.  It'll cost $20 to pull.  Food will be available.

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Local Congressman John Shimkus voted for the Student Success Act, which reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act currently known as No Child Left Behind.  The education law has not been reauthorized since 2007.

Shimkus said many agree that the current law is not the most effective, but said how to move forward is not so easy to resolve.  He said the bill moves some of the provisions from Washington back to the states and local school districts.

Shimkus said the proposal consolidates many programs into a Local Academic Flexible Grant that allows discretion at the school district level instead of trying to make every school fit one national standard.  Additionally, teacher evaluation is changed to reflect broad outlines that include student achievement, but allow states and school districts to design their own systems.

Two of the most controversial aspects of No Child Left Behind...Adequate Yearly Progress and Highly Qualified Teacher...are both eliminated and replaced with state-developed plans.

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Lake Land College has awarded 60 students in surrounding communities with the Talented Student Award for the coming school year.  The award offers tuition waivers to high school graduates for their academic achievement and is for a maximum of two consecutive calendar years.

Area recipients include Emily Hammer of Altamont, Kelsey York of Mason, Lacey Brandt of Shumway, Kayla Black of Brownstown, Austin Rhodes of St. Elmo, Taylor Edwards of Herrick, Brooke Barnes of Cowden, Leah Wellbaum of Greenup, Amanda Flood of Dieterich, Shelby Flach of Montrose, Kelli Utz, Kourtney Utz, Jeffrey Keitel, Kaitlyn Gurley and Kallie Koester, all of Effingham, Michael Baker of Neoga, Bailey Dow of Toledo, Trevor May and Maggie McClure of Newton, Shelby Burroughs of Louisville, Alexis Schafer and Jaci Rothe of St. Peter, Olivia Koester of Effingham, Rachel Lilly of Shumway, Samantha Austin of St. Elmo, James Thomas Friese of Stewardson, Mariah Tabbert of Strasburg, Courtney Mersman of Effingham, Holly Dust of Dieterich, and Charley Bailey and Kassandra Strowmatt of Windsor.

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A Red Cross blood drive is being held this morning at St. Paul Lutheran Church at Montrose.  The blood drive will last from 8am to noon.

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The Cumberland County 4-H Show contines today.  A reminder that the show is taking place at Coles County Fairgrounds in Charleston due to flooding at the fairgrounds in Greenup.  Here's today's schedule: noon--horse show...2pm--dog show...4pm--rabbit show...6pm--rockets and Family Fun Night.

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The 17th Annual Prairie Days sponsored by the County Line Sodbusters wraps up today.  Prairie Days is located in Bible Grove.  There is free admission and free parking.  A full schedule for events is available on line at PrairieDays.com and you can follow them on Facebook.  For more information, phone 618-686-4691 or 618-238-4564.

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You're invited to join the Jewett Community Church tonight at 6:00 for "The Amazing Gospel" featuring comedy magician Richard Landry and his magic rabbit "Snowball".  Then from Monday through Thursday of this week, they will tap into God's promise to give us courage to face our fears with their Colossal Coaster World VBS.  The week will include games, crafts, music, food and the Amazing Gospel.  All of the events will run from 6 to 8pm.  The church is located one block south of US Route 40 at the Toledo/Jewett Road intesection.  For more information, phone the church at 849-2211 or e-mail jewettchurch@gmail.com.

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Commissioner Office Hours will be available tonight at Effingham City Hall.

City Commissioners will be present from 5 to 7pm in the Council Chambers to answer your questions regarding City government.

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Illinois State Police have announced the results of a Roadside Safety Check held during the late evening hours of July 5 and early morning hours of July 6. 

44 written warnings were issued as well as 23 citations and arrests, including one DUI arrest.

State police also report they handled 901 calls for service and initiated 1,801 incidents in the field in District 12 during June.  There were 40 criminal arrests, and two fatal crashes involving two deaths investigated during June.