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October
2006


October 31, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich announces winter heating assistance grants available tomorrow; urges eligible households to apply now
Households advised to take steps before extreme cold hits Illinois; For energy assistance and weatherization tips visit www.keepwarm.illinois.gov or call toll-free 1-877-411-WARM
CHICAGO –Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that starting tomorrow, winter heating grants will be available for all income-eligible households through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), and he urged all eligible families to apply now before extreme cold hits Illinois. Yesterday, the Governor launched the Keep Warm Illinois campaign, a comprehensive effort to inform and prepare Illinois residents, especially the elderly, families with small children, and persons with disabilities for high home heating costs this winter. For information on energy assistance or weatherization tips, families can visit the Keep Warm Illinois website at www.keepwarm.illinois.gov or call the toll-free Keep Warm Illinois hotline at 1-877-411-WARM.


October 31, 2006
Report shows Governor Blagojevich’s payday lending reforms save Illinois borrowers $6.4 million
CHICAGO –Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today that the Payday Loan Reform Act (PLRA) he signed into law last year has helped thousands of Illinois borrowers save $6.4 million in loan fees and interest charges in just ten months. According to findings from a report released by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulations (IDFPR), the savings resulted from the new law’s consumer protections that limit the amount of interest and fees payday lenders can charge their customers. The savings came in spite of concerted efforts by the lending industry to steer consumers away from the regulated payday loans, into longer, less controlled consumer installment loans.


October 31, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich awards $1 million for new Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center
State funds will help construct facility that will host 250,000 school children each year
SKOKIE – To help ensure that Illinoisans for generations to come remain aware of the lessons of the Holocaust, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced a $1 million grant to support construction of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Skokie. The museum is expected to host 250,000 school children each year. The Holocaust, which resulted in the deaths of an estimated 6 million Jews, remains the world’s worst example of intolerance, hatred, and violence in history.


October 31, 2006
15 Annual HIV/STD Conference offers the latest in prevention, research and medicine
Men who have sex with men and African Americans most impacted by HIV/STDs
SPRINGFIELD – Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director, and actress/advocate Gloria Reuben (“ER”, “Time Cop”, “Nick of Time”) kicked off the 15 Annual HIV/STD Conference: “15 Years of Creating Partnerships and Inspiring Hope” this morning at the Hilton Springfield Hotel. Approximately 600 healthcare professionals, counselors, public health officials and social workers are expected to attend the three-day conference.


October 31, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich announces State of Illinois’ October “Veteran of the Month”
Sycamore man honored for commitment to youth community, other veterans
ELGIN– Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today named Dannie Stanbery, of Sycamore, as the State of Illinois’ October “Veteran of the Month” for his longtime commitment and dedication to helping children and veteran in DeKalb County.


October 30, 2006
Governor Blagojevich orders responsible recycling of surplus government electronic equipment
Executive Order will protect the environment from harmful toxins and ensure that state computers, printers and other electronics are disposed of responsibly; Illinois is the 1st state in the Midwest to implement electronics recycling policies; Governor calls on President Bush to demonstrate national environmental leadership, encourages General Assembly to pass legislation in 2007
SPRINGFIELD – Furthering efforts to protect the environment and the public, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed an Executive Order directing state government to recycle electronic equipment when it reaches the end of its usable life. Electronics may contain toxic chemicals such as mercury, lead, cadmium and beryllium that can be released into the environment if improperly disposed. The Governor’s Executive Order will require all state agencies, boards, and commissions under the Governor’s control to recycle or dispose of obsolete electronic equipment – including PCs and laptops, fax and copy machines, cellular phones and other ‘e-scrap’ – in an environmentally responsible manner.


October 30, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich announces $1 million grant to Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago to help build the nation’s first-ever Therapeutic School and Center for Autism Research
CHICAGO – Building on his commitment to supporting education and research for autism, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced a $1 million grant to Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago to construct the nation’s first-ever, state-of-the-art Therapeutic School and Center for Autism Research. The new facility, which broke ground today, will benefit Chicago-area children living with autism. It will also be the first facility that integrates education, cutting-edge research and independent living in a single campus building. Barry Maram, Director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, attended the event on behalf of Gov. Blagojevich.


October 30, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich launches Keep Warm Illinois campaign to prepare Illinoisans for this winter’s high home heating costs
For energy assistance and weatherization tips visit www.keepwarm.illinois.gov or call toll-free 1-877-411-WARM
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today launched the Keep Warm Illinois campaign to help Illinoisans stay warm, healthy and safe this winter. Keep Warm Illinois is a comprehensive effort to help Illinois residents, especially the elderly, families with small children and persons with disabilities, prepare for and cope with high home heating costs this winter. For information on energy assistance or weatherization tips, families can visit the Keep Warm Illinois website at www.keepwarm.illinois.gov or call the toll-free Keep Warm Illinois hotline at 1-877-411-WARM. Today’s launch of the Keep Warm Illinois campaign coincides with National Weatherization Day.


October 30, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich awards $6.8 million for National Great Rivers Research and Education Center Field Station on the Mississippi River
State funds will help construct new facility for Lewis and Clark Community College – the nation’s top river research institution
GODFREY – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today awarded $6.8 million to Lewis and Clark Community College to construct the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC) Field Station at Melvin Price Lock and Dam 26 in Alton. The Field Station will enhance Lewis and Clark’s reputation as the nation’s foremost river research institution. It will be the first institution of its kind to offer a comprehensive river system research and education program.


October 30, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich awards more than $3 million for more classrooms at Southwestern Illinois College Sam Wolf Granite City Campus
Governor joins college officials to rename campus in honor of State Representative and college trustee Sam Wolf
GRANITE CITY – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today awarded $3.36 million to Southwestern Illinois College for more classrooms and improvements to the college’s Granite City Campus. The new funds will add more technology classrooms, remodel existing interior space, reconfigure entrance roads, and improve the overall appearance of the campus along Maryville Road. The Governor also joined college officials to rename the institution the Southwestern Illinois College Sam Wolf Granite City Campus in honor of the former state representative who has been a college Trustee since 1995.


October 30, 2006
Nursing Home Violations for the Month of July
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health today announced the following type “A” violations of the Nursing Home Care Act were cited during the month of July.


October 30, 2006
IDNR reminds hunters to be safe this hunting season
Half of last year’s hunting-related accidents were the result of a tree stand fall
SPRINGFIELD - With the hunting season in full swing, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is reminding hunters to be safe this season. Officials are encouraging those interested in hunting to take the necessary precautions to ensure their safety.


October 30, 2006
State public health director offers safety tips for parents and kids this Halloween
SPRINGFIELD - Halloween is one of the most exciting nights of the year for children, but it also can be one of the most dangerous.


October 30, 2006
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Monday, October 30, 2006.
The Department of Central Management Services has received notice from Governor Blagojevich's Office to fly the United States and Illinois flags at State occupied buildings at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Monday, October 30, 2006.


October 29, 2006
Governor Blagojevich debuts Open Road Tolling at Waukegan Toll Plaza on the north end of Tri-State Tollway (I-94)
Illinois is now the only state in the nation to feature Open Road Tolling at every plaza in the entire system; 20 of 20 ORT Plazas Now In Operation
DOWNERS GROVE – Governor Blagojevich and the Illinois Tollway leaders celebrated with local officials today as they waved through the first vehicles to use the Open Road Tolling (ORT) lanes at the Waukegan Toll Plaza near the Wisconsin stateline on the north end of the Tri-State Tollway (I-94). With the completion of the Waukegan Plaza, Illinois is now the only state in the nation to feature Open Road Tolling at every plaza in its entire system. The move heralded the completion of a non-stop travel corridor from Wisconsin to Indiana.


October 28, 2006
Blagojevich proposes raise in minimum wage for veto session
Hourly wage would rise for at least 500,000 Illinoisans; Proposal Would Also Provide Annual Increases Linked to Inflation
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich and Mayor Richard M. Daley today announced plans to introduce legislation during the November legislative veto session to raise the minimum wage to $7.50 an hour and index the minimum wage to inflation. They were joined by members of the Illinois General Assembly including State Senator Jacqueline Collins, State Senator Iris Martinez, State Senator Kimberly Lightford, State Representative Deborah Graham, and State Representative Marlow Colvin, labor leaders including AFL-CIO President Margaret Blackshere and other leaders in the fight for working families.


October 27, 2006
Illinois Department of Corrections to increase monitoring of paroled sex offenders on Halloween
SPRINGFIELD--With Halloween approaching, the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) is increasing its surveillance of paroled sex offenders on Halloween in a program entitled Operation Safe Spirits.


October 27, 2006
IDNR asks U.S. Department of Agriculture to reconsider Emergency Order prohibiting importation of certain species of live fish
Order will place undue hardships on Illinois’ aquaculture industry
SPRINGFIELD- Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Acting Director Sam Flood, today sent a letter to the U. S. Department of Agriculture Animal, Plant and Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) asking that an Emergency Order put in place Wednesday be reconsidered.


October 27, 2006
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Friday, October 27, 2006.
The Department of Central Management Services has received notice from Governor Blagojevich's Office to fly the United States and Illinois flags at State occupied buildings at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Friday, October 27, 2006.


October 27, 2006
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunris to sunset on Friday, October 27, 2006.
The Department of Central Management Services has received notice from Governor Blagojevich's Office to fly the United States and Illinois flags at State occupied buildings at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Friday, October 27, 2006.


October 26, 2006
No-Till Crop Production Method Makes Big Gains
Ag Department survey finds use of the erosion-reducing practice has surpassed conventional tillage
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – No-till soil conservation practices have reached their highest level since the Illinois Department of Agriculture began tracking use of crop tillage systems in 1994.


October 26, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich announces $2.3 million federal bonus to help feed hungry Illinoisans
USDA recognizes Illinois for excellent customer service in Food Stamp Program serving 560,000 families
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced Illinois has received an additional $2.3 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Stamp program to be re-invested in further enhancements to state programs. The award was presented during a special ceremony at the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago as Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Secretary Carol L. Adams received the award from the USDA.


October 25, 2006
Governor Blagojevich announces state business with small Illinois firms nearly tripled last year
Over 1,500 new small businesses competing for government business; small businesses now providing more products and services to Illinois government; Small Business Set Aside Program grows by $25 million and hits new record; fosters business growth for Illinois’ entrepreneurs
SPRINGFIELD – Small Illinois companies won a record amount of state business during the last fiscal year, thanks to the expansion of the state’s Small Business Set Aside Program and an aggressive outreach effort, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today. A record $39 million in set-aside contracts were awarded to small Illinois firms in the fiscal year ended June 30. Additionally, nearly 1,500 new Illinois small businesses are now engaged in the state procurement process, which is fostering greater competition and expanding opportunities for these firms.


October 25, 2006
Illinois organizations receive Governor’s award for achievements in pollution prevention
Two dozen Illinois companies recognized for significant achievements in protecting the environment and boosting the economy
SPRINGFIELD –The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has named 24 Illinois companies and organizations 2006 Governor’s Pollution Prevention Awards winners for their significant achievements in protecting the environment and boosting the economy.


October 24, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich announces agreement with state, local government agencies to manage Prairie Bluff Preserve in Northeastern Illinois
Intergovernmental agreement will restore native land, increase protection of threatened and endangered species and provide added recreational opportunities
SPRINGFIELD- Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that the state will enter into an intergovernmental agreement with the Forest Preserve District of Will County and the Lockport Township Park District for management of the Prairie Bluff Preserve in Will County.


October 24, 2006
Illinois Department of Agriculture to Hold Illinois Food Expo
Thousands of Midwest food buyers invited to sample products from Illinois food and wine companies
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois Department of Agriculture will hold a large food show in suburban Chicago Wednesday, Oct. 25, to promote the consumption of Illinois food products.


October 24, 2006
National report: Illinois sets the pace for preschool expansion with Governor’s Preschool for All program
Illinois is first state in nation to give all three- and four-year-olds opportunity to attend preschool
SPRINGFIELD – A national report released today by PreK Now, a Washington D.C.-based early education advocacy organization, recognized Governor Rod R. Blagojevich’s Preschool for All initiative - making quality preschool available to all three- and four-year olds by 2011. Gov. Blagojevich announced his Preschool for All agenda last spring, and in July signed the resulting legislation to establish Illinois as the first state in the nation to make all three- and four-year-olds eligible for publicly supported preschool. This legislation was accompanied by a $45 million increase to reach an additional 10,000 children this year, with similar growth planned until all children in Illinois are served.


October 24, 2006
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH NAMES FORMER STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER PUBLISHER PATRICK COBURN CHAIR OF DESTINATION SPRINGFIELD CIVIC LEADERSHIP GROUP
SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to capitalize on the tremendous success of the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and its significant impact as a showcase attraction, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today named former State Journal-Register Publisher Patrick Coburn to chair the Destination Springfield civic leadership group. The Governor recognizes a unique opportunity to leverage the vast interest and legacy of President Abraham Lincoln and strengthen the destination appeal of Springfield. His initial vision would build on the momentum and impact of this new showcase attraction in Springfield to create a tourism initiative for Illinois that provides a cultural experience on par with the caliber, quality and character of Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. The overreaching objective is to continue the enhancement of Springfield into a multi-day attraction.


October 24, 2006
Governor’s Dropout Task Force sponsors statewide summit focused on efforts to keep kids in school, continue reducing drop-out rate
New statewide Task Force builds on Governor Blagojevich’s efforts to keep students in school
SPRINGFIELD – Legislators, educators, advocates and state agencies came together today at a Back to School Summit sponsored by Governor Rod R. Blagojevich’s recently-appointed Task Force on Re-enrolling Students Who Dropped Out of School to focus on ways to re-enroll students who have dropped out of school.


October 24, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich proclaims this week Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Week
Number of children poisoned by lead declined by almost 87 percent from 57,750 in 1996 to 7,600 in 2005
SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to increase awareness and prevent lead poisoning in children, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich proclaimed this week Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Week in Illinois.


October 20, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich announces the graduation of 61 correctional officer cadets from the Illinois Department of Corrections’ training academy
Another new class of 54 cadets to graduate mid-November
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the graduation of 61 correctional officer cadets, who completed a six-week, paramilitary training course at the Illinois Department of Corrections’ training academy in Springfield. On behalf of the Governor, IDOC Director Roger E. Walker, Jr. congratulated the 61 new correctional officers during a graduation ceremony held at the agency’s General Headquarters.


October 19, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich expands programs to combat underage drinking; “Don’t Be Sorry” educational campaign and TrAIL come to Kane and McHenry counties
TrAIL program assists law enforcement in identifying people who sell alcohol to minors
CHICAGO— Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today expanded the state’s efforts to crack down on underage drinking by introducing a pilot program to Kane and McHenry counties. The new program targets the sources of alcohol in underage drinking-related fatalities and injuries. TrAIL (Tracking Alcohol in IL) was designed by Gov. Blagojevich’s Alcohol Abuse Task Force (AATF) to pinpoint those selling alcohol to minors and punish them accordingly. It was originally launched in August 2006 as a pilot program in central and southern Illinois. To complement the increased law enforcement, the Governor also expanded the state’s “Don’t Be Sorry” educational campaign which teaches kids the consequences of underage drinking.


October 19, 2006
Governor Blagojevich kicks off All Kids’ Days – more than 500 religious organizations to help sign up kids for health care
Over 98,000 children enrolled since November 2005 – 100,000 mark expected to be reached this month
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that over 500 churches, synagogues and other faith-based groups across Illinois will help enroll children in All Kids – the state’s program that provides affordable health care to any child who needs it. More than 500 faith communities in over 70 cities in Illinois are participating in the statewide outreach effort. All Kids made Illinois the first state in the nation to offer affordable, comprehensive health coverage to every uninsured child.


October 19, 2006
7 new cases of West Nile in Illinois
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has received reports of seven new cases of West Nile virus which brings the total West Nile disease cases to 202.


October 18, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich announces the winners of the 2006 annual Governor’s Home Town awards
SPRINGFIELD – The hard work and dedication of thousands of volunteers across Illinois whose efforts have greatly improved the communities in which they live were acknowledged today at the 25th annual Governor’s Home Town Awards in Springfield. Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Director Jack Lavin, who represented Governor Blagojevich, was joined by a host of other state and local leaders to recognize their outstanding achievements and to present one winner with the celebrated Governor’s Cup award.


October 18, 2006
Illinois Nature Preserves Commission dedicates Illinois natural lands as nature preserves, land and water reserves
More than 155 acres provided with additional protection
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - The Illinois Nature Preserves Commission (INPC) today announced the dedication of more than 155 acres of nature preserves and land and water reserves in four counties throughout the state.


October 18, 2006
ICCB creates homeland security committee
(SPRINGFIELD) – The Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) announced the creation of a Homeland Security and Campus Safety Research Committee. The role of the committee is to define preparedness issues and make recommendations to the ICCB in areas of Homeland Security and Campus Safety.


October 17, 2006
State’s surplus auction website generates $1 million in sales, provides greater access through online bidding
Weekly auctions at www.ibid.illinois.gov achieves sales landmark in just three years
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Continuing its efforts to maximize the revenue generated from its ongoing surplus property auctions, the Illinois Department of Central Management Services today announced that online property auctions have generated a landmark $1 million in sales since the website launched in August of 2003.


October 17, 2006
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES FUTUREGEN FOR ILLINOIS TASK FORCE
Group Will Advance Coordinated Effort to Bring World’s Cleanest Coal Plant to Illinois
CHICAGO – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today unveiled the FutureGen for Illinois Task Force, a group of respected leaders from across the state to serve as advocates to help bring this $1 billion, coal-to-energy facility to Illinois. Task force members include leaders from government, energy, the environment, business, labor and higher education. The Governor also named U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert as Honorary Task Force co-chairs. After more than three years of extensive planning and preparation by the Governor, federal, state and local partners, the FutureGen Industrial Alliance recently announced that Mattoon and Tuscola are two of only four sites for this unprecedented initiative, which would create an estimated 1,300 construction jobs and 150 permanent jobs. The Alliance will announce its final selection from the four remaining sites in September 2007.


October 16, 2006
IDHS announces $700,000 in federal funding to help more people with disabilities find jobs
Governor Blagojevich recognizes October Disability Employment Awareness Month in Illinois
CHICAGO - The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) today announced an additional $700,000 in federal funding to help more people with disabilities find jobs. The funding increase comes as Governor Rod R. Blagojevich recognized October as Disability Employment Awareness Month in Illinois.


October 16, 2006
Early childhood advocates and leaders convene for Governor Blagojevich’s Early Childhood Summit to build on state’s efforts to expand “Preschool for All” to every community in Illinois
National Governors Association co-sponsors special meeting of the Illinois Early Learning Council and other stakeholders
CHICAGO – Over one hundred early childhood and community leaders gathered today at a summit sponsored by Governor Rod R. Blagojevich and the National Governors Association to build upon the success of the state’s Preschool for All program and ensure that it continues to reach children in all communities throughout the state. Gov. Blagojevich recently signed legislation establishing Preschool for All, a historic five-year expansion of early childhood programs that makes Illinois the first state in the nation to offer voluntary, high quality preschool to all three- and four-year-olds whose parents want them to participate. Prior to signing this bill, he had made a historic $90 million investment to expand preschool to 25,000 at-risk kids during his first three years in office.


October 16, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich announces expansion of Black Crown Marsh Natural Area in Northeast Illinois
113 acre parcel acquired by IDNR will expand Grand Illinois Trail, increase protection of threatened and endangered species
MCHENRY – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has acquired 113 acres of vulnerable wetlands on the McHenry-Lake county line that will help protect the Black Crown Marsh wetland natural area and enhance outdoor recreation opportunities in northeast Illinois.


October 15, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich announces a new service to help thousands of Illinois seniors stay safe at home
New Emergency Home Response Service will provide 24-hour monitoring for more than 15,000 seniors who need assistance in their homes
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced a new Emergency Home Response Service that will provide 24-hour monitoring for thousands of Illinois seniors who require some assistance in order to continue living independently in their own homes. The new program will give more than 15,000 senior citizens two-way voice pagers automatically linking them to a support center that can quickly send help in case of an emergency.


October 15, 2006
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Sunday, October 15, 2006.
The Department of Central Management Services has received notice from Governor Blagojevich's Office to fly the United States and Illinois flags at State occupied buildings at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Sunday, October 15, 2006.


October 14, 2006
Governor Blagojevich announces Amtrak Lincoln Service to start running October 30th
Building on momentum of record passenger growth, two additional St. Louis to Chicago passenger trains added; Tickets for Lincoln Service on sale today at Amtrak.com or 800-USA-RAIL
SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today that beginning October 30th, Illinois’ partnership with Amtrak will include two additional trains along the Chicago-St. Louis corridor. The expanded service comes after news that all state-sponsored Amtrak routes posted record ridership levels for Illinois’ Fiscal Year 2006; the expansion includes additional round-trips on the Chicago-Carbondale and Chicago-Quincy lines. Tickets for the new trains between Chicago and St. Louis are now on sale.


October 14, 2006
State issues reminder of workplace protections during Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Illinois Department of Labor Department highlights law that protects victims of domestic violence from employment discrimination
CHICAGO — As October marks Domestic Violence Awareness month, the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) issued a reminder about a state law that provides protections to victims of domestic or sexual violence from discrimination in the workplace.


October 14, 2006
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Saturday, October 14, 2006.
The Department of Central Management Services has received notice from Governor Blagojevich's Office to fly the United States and Illinois flags at State occupied buildings at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Saturday, October 14, 2006


October 13, 2006
Asian Soybean Rust Confirmed In Illinois
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Asian soybean rust has been detected in Illinois, the state Department of Agriculture (IDOA) announced today.


October 13, 2006
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Friday, October 13, 2006.
The Department of Central Management Services has received notice from Governor Blagojevich's Office to fly the United States and Illinois flags at State occupied buildings at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Friday, October 13, 2006.


October 13, 2006
Governor Blagojevich reminds Illinois seniors to take advantage of Illinois’ wrap around prescription drug coverage for Medicare Part D
To find out more about Illinois Cares Rx, call Governor Blagojevich’s Senior HelpLine at 1-800-252-8966
CHICAGO – As seniors around the country are inundated with marketing materials for federal drug programs in anticipation of Medicare’s “open enrollment season” which starts on November 15, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today reminded Illinois seniors that Illinois Cares Rx provides wrap-around prescription drug coverage as well as unbiased Medicare counseling to help seniors find the drug program that best suits their needs. Illinois seniors and persons with disabilities who want to find out more about the Illinois Cares Rx program should call Governor Blagojevich’s Senior HelpLine at 1-800-252-8966.


October 13, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich announces major reduction in medical malpractice insurance rates in Illinois
Medical Protective, a Berkshire Hathaway company, reducing rates by 32%, dramatically increasing the number of Med Mal policies they’ll write in Illinois; Insurance reforms result in more competitive rates and will help more doctors do business in Illinois
ALTON – Just one year after signing landmark medical malpractice reform legislation, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich and officials from Medical Protective (Medpro), a Berkshire Hathaway company, today announced the company is reducing medical malpractice insurance premiums by 32 percent statewide.


October 12, 2006
Deer vs. Car crashes drop, fewer injuries during 2005, but number of motorists killed nearly doubles
IDOT and IDNR urge motorists to be alert on roadways; Deer activity increases during the fall
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) are reminding motorists deer are more active during the fall and as cooler weather approaches the likelihood of vehicle vs. deer crashes increases.


October 11, 2006
September was cooler and wetter than normal
Increased chance for temperatures to be above normal this winter
SPRINGFIELD, IL--Preliminary data for Illinois indicate that September’s 3.61 inches of rainfall was 0.43 inches above normal, but conditions varied widely.


October 11, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich announces Lights on Afterschool events to highlight afterschool programs for youth
Communities across the state hold special events to recognize and promote the benefits of afterschool programs
CHICAGO - In support of afterschool programs, Governor. Rod R. Blagojevich today proclaimed October 12, 2006, Lights on Afterschool Day in Illinois. On this day, communities all across the state will celebrate Lights on Afterschool, a nationwide event organized each year to recognize afterschool programs and promote their benefits.


October 11, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich Announces Funds To Promote Illinois Food Products In Foreign Markets
Workshop scheduled Oct. 24 to help companies apply
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the availability of federal matching grants to help Illinois food companies increase export sales and encouraged interested businesses to attend a free workshop for application assistance.


October 11, 2006
IDHS announces $6.5 million to transition adult wards with developmental disabilities into community-based housing
Grant will provide housing support and other services to 200 persons
CHICAGO - The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) today announced a $6.5 million grant to help as many as 200 Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) wards age 18 and over with developmental disabilities transition from institutions into less costly adult community living.


October 11, 2006
IDOT announces new, reflective signs to improve safety on Illinois roadways and save money
Latest technology creates higher visibility and eliminates need for electricity on highway signs; Cost savings may reach $1 million per year
SPRINGFIELD- Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) Secretary Timothy W. Martin announced today that the agency will begin switching out all overhead signs on the state’s roadways to use high performance sign sheeting that will improve visibility. The new signs will also save the state money by allowing IDOT to remove lighting fixtures used on overhead signs.


October 10, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich’s proposal to ban junk food in Illinois elementary and middle schools wins final approval
Joint Committee on Administrative Rules approves policy that will allow children to have a healthier diet in school
SPRINGFIELD – The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) today approved rules that officially ban junk food and soda in Illinois elementary and middle schools. In November of last year, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich asked the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to ban junk food and soda in Illinois elementary and middle schools. Research shows that healthier students have higher attendance rates, better behavior, and superior test scores.


October 7, 2006
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES $2.2 MILLION GRANT FOR ONE OF THE WORLD’S LARGEST LAND-BASED WIND FARMS
The Governor Continues to Implement Energy Independence Plan by Supporting Renewable Energy Resource Which Will Also Help Create 290 Jobs
McLEAN COUNTY – As he continues to roll out his comprehensive Energy Independence Plan, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced $2.2 million in funding to Horizon Wind Energy, LLC for the construction of a 198-megawatt wind project in eastern McLean County. The facility is the first phase of a planned 400-megawatt wind farm, which, when complete, would be one of the largest land-based wind farms in the world. The project will create an estimated 250 construction jobs and up to 40 permanent jobs. The grant is being provided through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s (DCEO) Renewable Energy Resource Program.


October 6, 2006
State Fire Marshal offers fire prevention tips during annual Fire Prevention Week October 8-14
“Prevent Cooking Fires – Watch What You Heat” theme focuses on leading cause of home fires and injuries
Springfield – Cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries, resulting in hundreds of deaths and nearly 4,000 injuries in the U.S. each year. That’s why the Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) is joining fire officials across the country to increase awareness of home cooking fire dangers during national Fire Prevention Week October 8-14.


October 5, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich Launches Global Warming Initiative
Governor signs Executive Order creating the Illinois Climate Change Advisory Group to recommend strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions statewide; Illinois to become second state in the U.S. to join the Chicago Climate Exchange; Governor sends Illinois EPA Director to meet with California officials to discuss their recently-announced greenhouse gas reduction strategies
Chicago – Governor Rod. R. Blagojevich today announced a new global warming initiative that will build on Illinois’ role as a national leader in protecting the environment and public health. The announcement marks the beginning of a long-term strategy by the state to combat global climate change, and builds on steps the state has already taken to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, such as enhancing the use of wind power, biofuels and energy efficiency.


October 5, 2006
Illinois Department of Agriculture to Lead Reverse Trade Mission
24 international grain buyers scheduled to arrive Sunday for tour of the state’s grain industry
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Illinois’ export-dependent grain industry will have an opportunity next week to demonstrate its vast production and distribution capabilities to 24 potential foreign customers.


October 5, 2006
IDOT, League of Illinois Bicyclists Team Up To Create Bike Safety Video for Drivers’ Ed Schools
Goal is to teach beginning drivers to Share the road with bicyclists
CHICAGO – To increase safety for bicycle riders, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the League of Illinois Bicyclists announced the distribution of 2,000 DVDs free of charge to Illinois high schools, private driving schools and law enforcement agencies to educate drivers on how they should share the road with bicyclists.


October 5, 2006
Governor Blagojevich calls on President Bush to reverse FDA’s stance on prescription drug importation in order to give U.S. citizens access to global marketplace
The governor applauds federal government for stopping seizure of prescription drugs from Canada and for approving Homeland Security spending bill, increasing access to affordable prescription drugs for U.S. seniors and working families; Recent Wall Street Journal poll shows 80% of Americans support drug reimporation
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today sent a letter to President Bush, applauding the federal government for its decision to stop seizing prescription medications mailed from Canada and for approving the Homeland Security spending bill that allows citizens to bring up to 90-day supplies of prescribed medicines home from Canada. In the letter, the Governor urged the President to reverse the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s position on providing U.S. citizens with access to the global marketplace. A recent Wall Street Journal Poll shows that 80% of Americans support the concept of prescription drug reimportation, and yet the FDA refuses to offer U.S. citizens global access to safe and affordable medicine.


October 3, 2006
Governor Blagojevich announces new state Internet Crimes Unit dedicated solely to combating online crime
Building on efforts to crack down on criminals and sexual predators, Governor unveils a bold and comprehensive plan to fight Internet crime
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today unveiled a bold new plan to fight Internet crime that builds on his efforts to protect families and communities from sexual predators and give law enforcement the tools and resources they need to go after criminals. The cornerstone of the Governor's Internet Crime Initiative is a new Internet Crimes Unit, which will be dedicated solely to combating online crime, including identity theft, child pornography and drug solicitation.


October 3, 2006
First Lady Patricia Blagojevich, Sen. President Emil Jones, Illinois Lottery, Illinois Dept. of Public Health unveil 2nd Ticket for the Cure – nation’s first lottery ticket to support the fight again
Illinois Lottery raises more than $3 million to help fund breast cancer research and services for breast cancer patients throughout the state; Uninsured Women Can Get Access To Mammograms and Treatment by Calling 888-522-1282
CHICAGO – Kicking off Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Illinois, First Lady Patricia Blagojevich, joined by Senate President Emil Jones (D-Chicago), State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago), Illinois Lottery Superintendent Carolyn Adams, and Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Eric Whitaker, unveiled the newly designed Illinois Lottery game Ticket for the Cure. Launched last January, Ticket for the Cure is the nation’s first lottery ticket dedicated to helping fund breast cancer early detection, education, research, and patient services throughout the state. So far, the ticket has raised more than $3 million to support the fight against breast cancer in Illinois.


October 3, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich Announces Opportunity Returns Grants to Encourage Agricultural Innovation
Grants will fund research into new, sustainable methods of farm production
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the availability of $287,500 in sustainable agriculture grants to promote the development of new, profitable farming practices that preserve Illinois’ natural resources.


October 3, 2006
8 new cases of West Nile in Illinois
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has received reports of eight new cases of West Nile virus. This year’s total is 184 human cases in Illinois and nine deaths.


October 3, 2006
First Lady Patricia Blagojevich presents Governor’s PATH Awards to Korean American Community Services leaders for their dedication to Chicago’s Korean community
First Lady also highlights Governor’s recent expansion of the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program during Breast Cancer Awareness Month
CHICAGO – First Lady Patricia Blagojevich today recognized the efforts of two Korean American Community Services leaders, by giving Governor Rod R. Blagojevich’s People Are Today’s Heroes (PATH) Awards to Soyoung Kim and Younhee Harm for their tireless dedication to help the people of Chicago’s Korean community and for their creation of the Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program- a project that provides free mammograms to Korean women in Chicago. The First Lady also highlighted the Governor’s recent expansion of the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP) and urged all eligible Korean-American and Illinois women to sign up for the free breast and cervical cancer screenings and treatment.


October 2, 2006
Second Illinois case of E. coli O157:H7 related to consumption of bagged spinach
E.Coli O157:H7 case matches the national outbreak pattern
SPRINGFIELD – An elderly woman from the Metro East area of Illinois is the second person in the state whose E. coli O157:H7 isolate matches the national outbreak associated with spinach consumption.


October 2, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich announces cost reductions, service upgrades for thousands of schools, libraries, hospitals and police stations that use the Illinois Century Network
Changes mean higher speeds and lower costs for ICN users statewide
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced significant improvements to the State’s communications backbone – the Illinois Century Network – which results in more bandwidth, higher speeds and lower costs to nearly 8,000 schools, universities, libraries, law enforcement agencies and other institutions across the state. Altogether, these Illinois Century Network constituents provide Internet access and other services to more than two million Illinoisans. The changes, which include increases in baseline bandwidth allocation and a reduction in bandwidth purchase prices, will take place immediately.

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