Local News for Sunday, July 1
Published on July 1 2012 6:23 am
Last Updated on June 30 2012 10:25 am
Written by Greg Sapp
The National Weather Service has continued an excessive heat warning until 7pm today, calling for temperatures of 100 to 105 degrees. However, more humid conditions today could result in heat index readings ranging from 105 to 110 degrees.
Area fire departments are continuing their bans on open burning. Those departments who have reported burning bans to us include Effingham, Teutopolis, Shumway, Watson, Altamont, Montrose, Edgewood Bi-County, Beecher City Tri-County, Dieterich, Sigel, Farina, St. Peter and St. Elmo.
Each department has made an exception for those who want to grill outside, but included a request that those doing outside grilling make sure no embers blow away and ignite a fire.
Effingham Unit 40 outdoor athletic facilities remain closed today. Be listening or checking our website for updates regarding Monday and subsequent days.
Stewardson's annual 4th of July Celebration will be held today.
A pork chop dinner will be served from 11am to 2pm in the air-conditioned Stewardson Community Building. A food stand will be open from 4 to 8pm with hamburgers, cheeseburgers, polish sausage and nachos available. The parade will step off at 3pm from the ball diamond and then travel on Cedar to First, then on First to Walnut, then north to Main, then west on Main to the park corner, and then south on Vine back to the ball diamond. Anyone wishing to be in the parade should line up at 2:15pm. Phone 682-5741 for more information on the parade. Various activities will begin at 4pm in Stewardson Park including kids games and bouncy houses, Illinois Old Time Fiddlers, homemade ice cream, a barbershop quartet, a corn hole bean bag tournament at 5pm, Karate demonstration at 6pm, a performance by Dance Etc at 7pm and the Little Mr. and Miss Stewardson contest at 8pm. The fireworks display will begin at dusk at the park. Take your lawn chairs.
The Village of Sainte Marie's 175th anniversary celebration concludes today with a Mass of Thanksgiving at 2pm at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church. Bishop Joseph Paprocki will be the celebrant for the Mass, and a reception will follow.
The Shumway Fall Festival concludes today with an antique tractor pull at 1pm. A food stand will be available at the tractor pull track. Take along your lawn chairs.
Legislation with the aim of preventing a Penn State-style scandal in Illinois is now law.
State Senator Kyle McCarter sponsored the measure in the Senate this spring that broadens the list of mandatory reporters of alleged child sex abuse to include university and college-level coaches and staff.
Governor Quinn signed the measure into law this week. The new law provides for jail time if witnesses fail to report or engage in a cover-up of the abuse.
One retired state worker says paying a monthly healthcare premium will put a huge strain on her budget. Virginia Yates from Sandoval says she's already struggling to make ends meet on her $1,900 a month income. Yates does not receive Social Security benefits and says there's no way she can supplement her income to help her keep up. She says even with her income, she's better off than many other seniors in Illinois. Governor Quinn signed a bill stripping retirees of free health care. Right now, they're responsible for paying co-pays and deductibles, but starting today, they'll have to pay a monthly premium as well.
The American Red Cross has an emergency need for blood and platelet donors of all types. There is almost half the amount of readily available Red Cross blood now than there was at this point last year. Eligible donors with types O positive, O negative, A negative and B negative are encouraged to donate double red cells where available.
Right now blood donations are not keeping pace with the demand for blood products. Many regular donors are busy or traveling and unavailable to give at this time. With schools on vacation and Independence Day drawing near, it's important to remember that patients don't get a holiday from needing blood. The need is constant.
Some people say they don't give blood because they were never asked. The Red Cross says to consider yourself asked. For more information or to find a nearby donation opportunity, go to redcrossblood.org.
Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford is in South Korea, looking to expand the state's business partnerships. Rutherford is in the midst of a six-day trip where he's meeting with governmental and business leaders. During the trip, Rutherford is encouraging South Korean leaders to expand their imports from Illinois. The state already sends more than 800 million dollars in goods to South Korea each year. He'll also work to facilitate the expansion of a South Korean energy solutions company to Central Illinois. The trip is NOT funded by taxpayer dollars.
People in Illinois may want to think twice before attacking your postal person. Governor Quinn has signed a measure designed to protect postal workers. The new law allows judges to come down harder on anyone convicted of a violent crime against them, including harassment, assault and robbery. The law goes into effect on January 1.
Health officials say people should get a shot to help ward off whooping cough. Dr. Marcela Rodriguez, assistant professor at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield, says the vaccine is necessary because people's immunity to the disease wanes over time. She says adolescents and young adults typically have a milder form of the disease, but it can be very severe, and even deadly, in young children. Rodriguez recommends seeing a doctor if you or a family member has what seems to be a common cold that gets worse after two weeks, with serious coughing and a unique high-pitch "whooping" sound.
West Nile is showing up in Central Illinois for the first time this year. Champaign-Urbana Public Health officials collected a crow on June 12, which tested positive for the virus. Officials expect to see an increase in West Nile activity this year because mosquitoes are more likely to bite when the weather is hot. Humans infected with the virus may experience fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches.