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February
2015


February 27, 2015
IEMA Urges People to Prepare for Severe Weather
Tornadoes, floods and severe storms can happen any time of year
SPRINGFIELD – Believe it or not, warm weather soon will return to Illinois. As exciting as that sounds, warmer temperatures also mean an increased potential for severe thunderstorms, tornadoes and flooding. To help people prepare for severe weather, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) will join with the National Weather Service (NWS) and local emergency management agencies throughout March to increase awareness of these severe weather hazards.


February 26, 2015
IDHS helps more than 5,000 individuals with disabilities find jobs
Program offers necessary tools to earn a living wage and become more independent
SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – More people with disabilities are finding jobs with help from a special program operated by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS). The Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program helped 5,291 individuals with significant disabilities find gainful employment in 2014. This figure represents a 5.1 percent increase over the number achieved in the same time period last fiscal year.


February 24, 2015
24th Anniversary Desert Storm Remembrance Ceremony
Springfield – The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) will host the 24th Desert Storm Remembrance Ceremony to remember and honor those who served, and those who made the ultimate sacrifice during Operation Desert Storm 24 years ago. The ceremony will take place on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2014, at 11 a.m., at the Illinois State Military Museum, 1301 North MacArthur Blvd., Springfield. The event is free and open to the public.


February 20, 2015
Illinois Department of Human Rights Announces 2015 Spring Training Schedule
CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) is pleased to announce its 2015 Spring Training Schedule, focusing on compliance with the Illinois Human Rights Act and workplace trends centered on issues of discrimination.


February 20, 2015
Snow and Freezing Rain to Impact Travel in Illinois
IDOT Crews Prepared to Battle Winter Weather this Weekend
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announced today that a winter storm is expected to produce measurable snowfall and freezing rain in parts of Illinois tonight and Saturday, creating the possibility of hazardous travel conditions.


February 13, 2015
IDNR Announces 2015 Wingshooting Clinic Schedule
Thirty-two clinics scheduled statewide for beginning and experienced shooters
SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), collaborating with many partners and co-sponsors, will be holding 32 wingshooting clinics at sites throughout Illinois from March through early November this year. Most clinics are conducted on weekends.


February 13, 2015
IEMA Awards $435,378 in Grants for Hazardous Materials Emergency Planning
Funds will help 33 Local Emergency Planning Committees enhance emergency plans, response to HazMat incidents
SPRINGFIELD – Grants totaling $435,378 have been awarded to 33 Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs) throughout the state by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) to enhance local emergency planning and preparedness for hazardous materials incidents.


February 13, 2015
IDOR Begins Processing Individual Tax Returns
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) is now processing 2014 Individual Income Tax returns after implementing additional security measures in an effort to safeguard taxpayers from identity theft and fraud. IDOR estimates that taxpayers could begin seeing refunds as early as February 25th for those choosing the direct deposit payment method.


February 11, 2015
ICED Seeks Nominations for Annual Awards Promoting the Independence of People with Disabilities
SPRINGFIELD – The State of Illinois Interagency Committee on Employees with Disabilities (ICED) has opened nominations for its 2015 Awards Program, which honors the achievements of those who have done an outstanding job of providing equal opportunity and access to people with disabilities.


February 10, 2015
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from Sunrise, Thursday, February 12, 2015 until Sunset, Saturday, February 14, 2015
The Department of Central Management Services has received notice from Governor Rauner’s Office that all persons or entities covered by the Illinois Flag Display Act are to fly the flags at half-staff from Sunrise, Thursday, February 12, 2015 until Sunset, Saturday, February 14, 2015.


February 9, 2015
FOID Mental Health Reporting System Receives Thousands of Reports in First Year
Nearly 1300 Clinicians and Qualified Examiners Register in Year One
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) today announced nearly 1,300 clinicians and other health professionals have registered with the Firearm Owner Identification (FOID) Mental Health Reporting System. The Firearm Concealed Carry Act (PA 98-063) passed in 2013 requires a variety of clinicians and other health professionals to report patients who they believe pose a “clear and present danger” to themselves or others. The definition of “clear and present danger” was clarified and the number of health professionals required to report was expanded under the law.


February 6, 2015
State of Illinois Qualifies Additional Medical Cannabis Dispensary Applicants
SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) today announced the qualification of two additional applicants seeking to register as medical cannabis dispensing organizations in the City of Chicago.


February 6, 2015
Illinois Department of Public Health Confirms 6 Cases of Measles in Illinois
Vaccination is the best protection
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D., is confirming six cases of measles in Illinois. The first case was a Cook County resident who became ill in late January. The remaining five cases are associated with a KinderCare Learning Center in Palatine in Cook County. Health officials will continue to investigate the source of the disease, identify and follow-up with anyone who may have potentially been exposed, and be vigilant for new cases.


February 5, 2015
Liquor Control Commission January Underage Compliance Report
SPRINGFIELD – In January 2015, the Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC) conducted compliance checks around the state and visited 245 businesses licensed to sell liquor. They cited 34 for violations of liquor control laws. Eighty-six percent of the licensees visited complied with Illinois liquor laws and refused to serve underage customers.


February 5, 2015
Statement from Public Health Officials in Illinois and Cook County
The following is a joint statement from the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Cook County Department of Public Health: Public health officials are currently investigating a cluster of measles in a KinderCare Learning Center located at 929 E. Palatine Rd., Palatine, IL. At this time, the cluster includes five children under the age of one. Laboratory testing has confirmed a measles diagnosis for two of the children. Test results for the three remaining cases are still pending, but have been diagnosed based on clinical and epidemiological criteria. At this time, the source of infection for the children is not known. Health officials have taken extra precautions to limit the spread. All students, staff and faculty at this facility have been notified and anyone who has not received the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine has been instructed to remain at home and away from unvaccinated individuals for the next 21 days.


February 3, 2015
Financial Aid Awareness Month Events Can Help Students Get To College
Illinois Student Assistance Commission promotes free financial aid events and resources
CHICAGO – February is Financial Aid Awareness Month, and an important time to remind Illinois families that despite the rising cost of tuition and fees, financial aid can help make college possible, especially for families with the most financial need. The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) is pleased to announce free workshops throughout the state to help families navigate the financial aid process, including help filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)—the form that determines a student’s eligibility for most federal, state, and college financial aid programs.


February 1, 2015
Governor Rauner activates State Incident Response Center in Springfield
State agencies ready to assist as blizzard conditions strike Chicago area
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rauner today activated the State Incident Response Center (SIRC) in Springfield to ensure state personnel and equipment are ready to be quickly deployed if needed to help local emergency responders deal with expected blizzard conditions in the Chicago area.

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