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August
2006


August 31, 2006
Ten new human cases of West Nile virus reported
Hamilton County – newest county reporting positive West Nile virus mosquito sample
SPRINGFIELD – Ten new human cases of West Nile virus have been reported to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) bringing the total this year to 49.


August 31, 2006
Price Line Locksmith License Suspended
CHICAGO – The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR), which regulates locksmiths, announced today it has suspended the license of Price Line, a locksmith agency and Gilad Yehoshua Gill, a licensed locksmith domiciled in New York.


August 30, 2006
State Public Health Director warns about a scam targeting restaurants
Restaurants threatened with fines and license suspension
SPRINGFIELD - Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director, today issued an alert to restaurant owners to beware of a letter alerting them of new health codes and requiring they purchase hand washing posters.


August 30, 2006
Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Council Announces Drop In Car Thefts for 14th Straight Year
Illinois State Police and other state and local entities contribute to Council’s theft prevention initiatives
CHICAGO — The Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Council (MVTPC) today announced its 14th consecutive year of successfully combating car theft in Illinois.


August 30, 2006
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH PRAISES US EPA FOR SIGNING OFF ON MORE THAN $2 BILLION CLEAN COAL TECHNOLOGY PROJECT THAT WILL CREATE THOUSANDS OF JOBS FOR SOUTHERN ILLINOIS
CARTERVILLE – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich praised the United States Environmental Protection Agency for recently upholding the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s technical and legal bases to issue a permit to construct a new coal-fueled energy plant. Peabody Energy plans to build the new Prairie State Energy Campus, a 1,500-megawatt generating plant and coal mine that will provide clean, low-cost electricity using state-of-the-art technologies. This more than $2 billion project is estimated to inject nearly $100 million annually into the Illinois economy, create approximately 2,500 jobs at peak construction and 450 skilled, permanent Illinois jobs. The Prairie State Energy Campus is the largest private capital project ever planned for Southern Illinois. It represents a major victory for the Illinois coal industry and continues to usher in a new era of clean-coal technology that will reduce U.S. reliance on imported energy.


August 30, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich tours Illinois State University construction projects that will enhance classroom space and educational programming
Promotes benefits of MAP Plus financial aid plan to college students and their parents
NORMAL – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today visited several buildings at Illinois State University that will benefit from ongoing and planned state-funded construction projects, all designed to improve classroom space and enhance educational programming at the Normal campus. He also used the opportunity to promote the benefits of his MAP Plus plan that will help more Illinois students pay for the quality education this state’s colleges and universities provide.


August 29, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich declares August 29 Katrina Day of Remembrance in Illinois
State continues providing services and assistance to thousands of Katrina evacuees still living in Illinois
CHICAGO – As the nation remembered the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the largest and most devastating natural disaster in U.S. history, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today declared August 29 as Katrina Day of Remembrance in Illinois, to remember those who perished or lost their homes in the Gulf States, to commend everybody in the state who helped the evacuees and to announce that the State continues to provide help and assistance to thousands of Katrina guests still living in Illinois.


August 29, 2006
World Shooting and Recreational Complex Trap Shooting Fields and Campground Open to the Public Beginning Sept. 1
Enjoy the Labor Day holiday at a one of a kind world class shooting sports venue; 1,000-Site Campground
SPARTA, IL – The new World Shooting and Recreational Complex (WSRC) in Sparta in Randolph County opens to the public for trap shooting and camping on Sept. 1, Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Acting Director Sam Flood announced today.


August 29, 2006
IDOT Giving Motorists a Break during Labor Day Weekend
Working to make the roads as safe as possible by opening up lanes and cracking down on impaired drivers
SPRINGFIELD—Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) Secretary Timothy W. Martin announced today the Department will be suspending construction and opening lanes where possible during the Labor Day holiday, to ease the flow of traffic and congestion during the long travel weekend.


August 29, 2006
West Nile virus claims second person in Illinois
Human West Nile virus cases in Illinois reach 39
SPRINGFIELD – The Bond County Health Department reported to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) the death of a Bond County man in his 80’s due to neuroinvasive disease.


August 29, 2006
Joint Task Force to study Illinois Community Colleges
(Springfield) – Guy Alongi, chairperson of the Illinois Community College Board, announced the formation of the Joint Task Force on Community Colleges today. The task force was created by a House Joint Resolution passed by both the House and Senate during the General Assembly’s spring session.


August 27, 2006
Governor Blagojevich announces State of Illinois’ August “Veteran of the Month”
Murphysboro man honored for unwavering commitment to his community’s youth
DU QUOIN, Illinois – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today named Robby J. Hookham, of Murphysboro, as the State of Illinois’ August “Veteran of the Month” for his longtime commitment and dedication to the youth community.


August 25, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich applauds Illinois’ own Lemont Little League Baseball Team for success in Little League World Series
Governor proclaims Friday, August 25 a day of celebration
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich congratulated the Lemont Little League Baseball Team on their remarkable season this year and proclaimed today “Lemont Little League Day.” Lemont won the Great Lakes Championship and went on to compete in the U.S. Semifinals of the Little League World Series. The last Illinois little league team to make it to the Little League World Series was South Holland in 1992, and Lemont is only the 14th team from Illinois in the tournament since it began in 1947.


August 25, 2006
Healthcare initiative to save State government more than half a million dollars
Innovative program pays qualified retirees to opt-out of State health insurance
SPRINGFIELD ¬– As a result of an innovative program designed to help the State of Illinois manage the growing cost of healthcare for its employees and retirees, state government will save at least $650,000 this fiscal year alone.


August 24, 2006
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES ILLINOIS HAS ONCE AGAIN LED THE NATION IN NEW JOBS CREATED
For First Time, Illinois Has Been Nation’s Top Monthly Job Creator Twice in One Year
CHICAGO – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich announced today that Illinois added more new jobs than any other state in July. In July, Illinois led the nation in monthly job growth by creating 29,800 new jobs. This is the second time this year Illinois has created more new jobs than any other state, which has never happened before in recorded history. Illinois also led the nation in job growth in April. The total number of new jobs created this year is almost 70,000, which is the best start to a year since 1998 and more new jobs than all Midwest states combined. The Illinois unemployment rate was 4.7 percent in July, falling lower than the national rate, which is 4.8 percent, for the second consecutive month. This is the first time this has happened in more than seven years. The Chicagoland area also reported its lowest unemployment rate for July since 1998. These statistics were compiled by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security.


August 22, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich announces Dynegy has signed on to multi-pollutant reduction plan that will make Illinois a national clean air leader
Dynegy joins Ameren in agreeing to Governor’s plan to slash mercury emissions and other dangerous air pollutants from power plants
CHICAGO – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that Dynegy, Illinois’ third largest electric power company, has agreed to dramatically cut dangerous power plant emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and mercury beyond what the federal government requires. Dynegy’s agreement to adopt the Governor’s multi-pollutant reduction plan comes less than two weeks after the Ameren Company, the state’s second largest power producer, agreed to the plan. Today’s announcement builds momentum toward achieving Gov. Blagojevich’s goal of making Illinois the nation’s clean energy leader by reducing harmful emissions from coal-fired power plants.


August 22, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich unveils ambitious energy independence plan to reduce Illinois’ reliance on foreign oil
Governor’s plan would meet 50 percent of state’s motor fuel needs with alternative homegrown sources made from crops and coal by 2017
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today unveiled a comprehensive long-term energy plan to replace Illinois’ dependence on foreign oil with homegrown alternatives. The plan will help free consumers from the grip of foreign oil and gas interests by giving drivers and homeowners alternatives to the high cost of gasoline, stabilize energy prices, give Illinois farmers new markets for their crops, and create 30,000 new jobs. The Governor’s plan sets a goal of replacing 50% of the state’s energy supply with homegrown fuels by 2017. Illinois would be the first state to reach this level of energy independence.


August 21, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich kicks off statewide Back-to-School All Kids campaign
More than 1600 schools in over 400 cities helping to sign kids up for All Kids; Governor encourages families to attend Chicago Children’s Museum Back to School Health Fair
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today kicked off a statewide Back-to-School All Kids outreach campaign to help every family in Illinois get healthcare for their children before the new school year begins. Over 1600 schools, 600 libraries, and 140 hospitals are participating in the statewide outreach effort. The Governor joined children and families at the Chicago Children’s Museum today to announce the start of the campaign and to encourage families to attend Chicago Children’s Museum’s annual Back-to-School Health Fair on August 24th. All Kids makes Illinois the only state in the nation to offer affordable, comprehensive health coverage to every uninsured child.


August 18, 2006
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Friday, August 18, 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 August 18, 2006.


August 18, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich creates Anhydrous Ammonia Security Grant Program
Funds intended to protect agricultural fertilizer dealers against theft and deter the production of methamphetamine
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced a new grant program to help Illinois agricultural fertilizer dealers protect their product from thieves involved in the illicit production of methamphetamine. The $1.6 million initiative will provide grants to facilities to install locks on anhydrous ammonia tanks, to purchase video surveillance cameras or to blend approved additives into their anhydrous ammonia to render it useless for the production of methamphetamine. Anhydrous ammonia, a farm fertilizer, is a key ingredient in manufacturing methamphetamine, or meth.


August 18, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich convenes council and makes health and physical fitness priorities for the state
Former Chicago Bear Otis Wilson named Chairman of Governor Blagojevich’s Council on Health and Physical Fitness
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich is convening Governor Blagojevich’s Council on Health and Physical Fitness as part of his continuing effort to encourage Illinois citizens to adopt healthier lifestyles. Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Eric E. Whitaker, M.D., M.P.H. and Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Secretary Carol L Adams, Ph.D., made the announcement at the Fit 4 Life Hula Hoop Challenge during Youth Day at the Illinois State Fair, where hundreds of participants competed to be the state’s top hula hoopers. They were joined by members of the Council, including Otis Wilson, former Chicago Bear and Super Bowl Champion, who will serve as the Chairman of the Council.


August 17, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich announces recipients of $5 million in new state stem cell research funding
Funds awarded to seven state university stem cell research projects
CHICAGO - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that seven projects at Illinois public universities will share $5 million in new state funding for the life-saving work of stem cell research. After President George Bush in July vetoed legislation that would have expanded scientists' access to new, healthy uncontaminated stem cell lines, Gov. Blagojevich directed $5 million to continue funding stem cell research in Illinois in fiscal year 2007.


August 16, 2006
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Wednesday, August 16, 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 senset on Wednesday, August 16, 2006.


August 15, 2006
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES A NEW $25 MILLION INVESTMENT TO HELP BUILD FIVE STATE-OF-THE-ART ETHANOL AND BIODIESEL PLANTS ACROSS ILLINOIS
Grants Will Spur About $334 Million in Private Investment, Produce 225 Million Gallons of Biofuels Each Year, Create About 150 New Jobs and Lessen Illinois’ Dependence on Foreign Oil
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced more than $25 million in new Opportunity Returns grants and additional support to help build five new ethanol and biodiesel production facilities across Illinois. The new plants will spur about $334 million in private investment, produce 225 million gallons of biofuels each year, create almost 150 new jobs and reduce Illinois’ dependence on foreign oil.


August 14, 2006
Chicago bars found breaking the law
13 North Side liquor establishments cited for conducting ‘bottle service’


August 14, 2006
Illinois Department of Employment Security Announces Direct Deposit for Recipients of Unemployment Insurance Benefits
Agency Pursued Direct Deposit Options to Enhance Reliability and Safety of Unemployment Payments
CHICAGO – In an effort to improve service, delivery and convenience to those qualified for unemployment insurance benefits in Illinois, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today the availability of the direct deposit of unemployment insurance payments statewide.


August 14, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich urges seniors to take advantage of state assistance through Senior Help Line one-stop-shop for information
Illinois State Fair focuses on state programs during Senior Day
SPRINGFIELD – As patrons celebrated Senior Day at the Illinois State Fair today, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced that senior citizens can easily find out about all the programs and services the state offers older adults by calling the recently improved Illinois Senior Help Line. The toll-free Help Line number is 1-800-252-8966, and more trained operators were recently added to provide assistance Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5 pm. Information is also available at a number of locations around the Illinois State Fairgrounds today.


August 13, 2006
Veterans Enjoy Day of Tribute at the Illinois State Fair
The Lincoln Stage provided the setting for the honoring of armed forces past and present.
The Director of Veterans’ Affairs, Roy Dolgos, hosted the event. Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn and other military officials addressed the crowd. The Marine Corp Silent Drill Team also provided a musical tribute to our nation’s veterans.


August 13, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich celebrates “Veterans’ Day” at the Illinois State Fair by officially kicking off pre-registration drive for Veterans Care
Veterans Care will provide thousands of Illinois veterans with affordable, comprehensive insurance coverage; Information available at www.illinoisveteranscare.com
SPRINGFIELD – Celebrating “Veterans’ Day” at the Illinois State Fair, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that Illinois veterans can begin pre-registering for the state’s new landmark veterans’ health insurance program that will provide access to affordable, comprehensive health care to thousands of veterans across Illinois, starting September 1, 2006. Veterans Care will help up to 9,000 veterans in Illinois who currently earn too much to qualify for Veterans Administration Healthcare (VHA) but cannot afford to purchase health insurance in the private market.


August 12, 2006
Many Learning Opportunities At The Local Officials' Tents For City Of Springfield/Public Officials' Day At The Illinois State Fair
SPRINGFIELD (Aug. 12) – The City of Springfield/Local Officials’ Day brought people of every political affiliation to the Illinois State Fair to work in their designated tents.
Among the local officials’ hosting tents were Governor, Rod Blagojevich, State Treasurer, Judy Barr Topinka, Attorney General, Lisa Madigan, Comptroller, Dan Hynes, and Secretary of State, Jessie White. All of the tents provided information concerning current policies and services provided by state agencies.


August 11, 2006
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Officially Kicks Off Beginning Of 154th Illinois State Fair
Opening day celebrates County Fairs and Horseracing Day
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Governor Rod Blagojevich, along with his family, arrived at the Main Gate for the ribbon cutting ceremony to officially begin the Illinois State Fair this morning. Accompanying the Governor at the ceremony was Amy Bliefnick, Illinois State Fair Manager, Chuck Hartke, Director of Agriculture, Springfield Mayor Tim Davlin, and area representatives, Rich Brauer and Raymond Poe. After the ribbon cutting, they proceeded to the Governor and First Lady’s tents for official openings there as well. The fair will run through Sunday, August 20th.


August 11, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich kicks off 2006 Illinois State Fair
First Family tours fairgrounds, opens Governor and First Lady tents
SPRINGFIELD – Upholding an Illinois State Fair tradition, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, along with his wife First Lady Patricia and daughters Amy and Annie, today cut the ribbon at the Main Gate of the fairgrounds to officially open the 10-day event. Gov. Blagojevich and his family toured the grounds following the opening ceremony, stopping by the Governor’s and First Lady’s Tent in Main Street to view the exhibits. The 154th Illinois State Fair begins today and runs through Sunday, August 20th. The theme of this year’s Illinois State Fair is “Experience It! Illinois State Fair 2006.”


August 11, 2006
Illinois First Lady Patricia Blagojevich dedicates Springfield’s Union Square Park
Urban green space added to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum complex
SPRINGFIELD – First Lady Patricia Blagojevich today joined state and city officials to dedicate Union Square Park, a one-square-block green space in downtown Springfield that is the latest addition to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum complex.


August 10, 2006
IDNR volunteers recognized in ceremony at the 2006 Illinois State Fair
Annual “Volunteer of the Year” awards to be presented at Conservation World
SPRINGFIELD, IL - The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is honoring eight individuals and six organizations for exceptional volunteer service to the department and the people of the state of Illinois.


August 10, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich offers assistance to commercial airports in Illinois, places special response teams on alert in wake of terrorist plot uncovered in Britain
State will reimburse local law enforcement for extra security measures
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today directed state homeland security officials to take actions to ensure security at commercial airports in Illinois in the wake of arrests in Britain of terrorists suspected of planning attacks on airplanes between the United Kingdom and the United States.


August 9, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich urges the FDA to approve Plan B as an over-the-counter contraceptive
Governor says that if the FDA continues to fail to act, he will introduce state legislation to make Plan B available without a doctor’s prescription in Illinois
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today urged Dr. Andrew C. von Eschenbach, the Acting Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to approve the application to make Plan B, the morning-after pill, available to women over-the-counter. After stalling a decision for more than three years, the FDA recently asked to meet with Barr Pharmaceuticals, the company that manufactures Plan B, to discuss making Plan B an over-the-counter medication. The Governor also said that if the FDA continues to fail to act on the matter, he will introduce legislation in Springfield that would make Plan B available without a doctor’s prescription in Illinois.


August 8, 2006
State receives helicopter from Federal government through coordinated effort to increase public safety in Northern Illinois
Officials to heighten surveillance of waterfront and critical infrastructure
Officials to heighten surveillance of waterfront and critical infrastructure


August 8, 2006
Illinois’ State Weapons of Mass Destruction Team demonstrates capability to take down terrorist groups during final day of Metro East exercise
Tuesday’s drill demonstrates award-winning team’s ability to respond to terrorist threat
SPRINGFIELD – The State of Illinois’ large-scale terrorist response exercise concluded Tuesday morning in the Metro East as the State Weapons of Mass Destruction Team (SWMDT) successfully demonstrated its ability to take down a mock terrorist group responsible for several simulated attacks staged during the exercise. (Please note: this is an exercise only, designed to improve emergency planning and preparedness.) The scenario was part of a multi-day exercise that brought together responders from federal, state and local agencies to test response to multiple disaster scenarios.


August 8, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich announces major drill to test state’s preparedness for responding to nuclear power plant accident
Nuclear exercise provides additional challenges to emergency personnel as they deal with two disaster scenarios
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced a major exercise will begin today to test the state’s preparedness for responding to a nuclear power plant accident. The exercise takes place at the Braidwood Nuclear Power Station in Grundy County. Preliminary activities for the Braidwood Ingestion Pathway exercise began Monday with interviews at local schools, a demonstration of the state’s ability to assist a hospital with a radiologically-contaminated patient, and the establishment of a reception center, where evacuees would be received and screened for radioactive contamination before going to a shelter for registration and assistance.


August 8, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich’s Contraceptives Rights Rule Wins Approval from Legislative Rules Committee
Pharmacies will be required to display signs informing women of their right to get contraceptive prescriptions filled without delay, and how to file complaints when their rights are violated
CHICAGO – The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) today voted to adopt Governor Rod R. Blagojevich’s proposed rule that ensures women know their rights to have access to contraceptives. The new rule requires Illinois pharmacies to post signs outlining consumers’ right to obtain contraceptives, and providing information on where to file a complaint with the state if a pharmacy violates that right. The rule was introduced by the Governor to prevent pharmacies from trying to get around an emergency rule he filed in April 2005 that requires them to fill all FDA-approved birth control prescriptions in a timely manner if the drugs are in stock and a legal prescription has been presented.


August 7, 2006
State’s major emergency response exercise in Metro East area continues today
Urban Search and Rescue Team responds to simulated building collapse
SPRINGFIELD – The state’s major emergency response exercise continues today in the Metro East area as responders tackle scenarios involving mock victims trapped in a collapsed building and a related hazardous materials incident.


August 6, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich announces Emerald Ash Borer action plan
Governor establishes aggressive plan to utilize more than $7 million in federal funding; creates management and science advisory team to organize control and outreach efforts; Illinois delegation returns from Michigan after surveying Emerald Ash Borer damage
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced a plan of action to help control the emerald ash borer (EAB) in Illinois. The plan will utilize a $7.6 million commitment from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), earmarked for Illinois and Wisconsin to fight the destructive insect. The Governor has also created a management and science advisory team charged with providing advice to the Illinois Department of Agriculture on EAB surveys, regulatory action, control and removal as well as outreach and education. The emerald ash borer is a small, metallic-green beetle native to Asia that can invest and eventually kills Ash trees. Illinois is home to 130 million ash trees.


August 4, 2006
Illinois Liquor Control Commission unveils new program to combat underage drinking
Governor’s Alcohol Abuse Task Force funds effort to help save young lives
CHICAGO—A new initiative resulting from Governor Rod Blagojevich’s Alcohol Abuse Task Force (AATF) designed to reduce underage alcohol sales to minors will be launched this month, one year after the death of 16-year-old Joey Tyrpak, who drowned last August after a liquor retailer sold alcohol to one of his underage friends.


August 4, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich announces shutdown of major mortgage rescue scam
Scam targeted homeowners vulnerable to foreclosure; victims unwittingly signed over ownership to dishonest lender
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today that state regulators shut down a “mortgage rescue” scam that defrauded vulnerable Chicago metropolitan area residents of their homes. The alleged scheme preyed on homeowners at risk of foreclosure and conned them into signing over the title and any earned equity from their properties, allowing investors to purchase the homes at a fraction of their market value.


August 4, 2006
Illinois Department of Corrections graduates 111 correctional officer cadets from the training academy
New correctional officer cadets to join security work force, 30 assigned to Thomson
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) Director Roger E. Walker Jr. today congratulated 111 correctional officer cadets at a graduation ceremony. The six-week paramilitary training course began June 26 at the agency’s Illinois Department of Corrections training academy in Springfield.


August 4, 2006
State disaster exercise to test emergency response capabilities underway in Metro East area
Mass evacuation and sheltering preparedness tested Friday
METRO EAST – Illinois’ ability to evacuate large numbers of people and provide adequate shelter for evacuees will be put to the test today as the state begins a large-scale emergency response exercise in the Metro East area. Last fall, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich directed the state to conduct a mass evacuation and sheltering exercise after preparedness plans in the Gulf Coast failed to safeguard people in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.


August 4, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich recognizes benefits of farmers markets
Aug. 6-12 proclaimed Farmers Market Week in Illinois
SPRINGFIELD – Applauding their contributions to a nutritious diet and the health of rural economies, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich proclaimed next week “Farmers Market Week” in Illinois.


August 4, 2006
SIUC student receives award for work with threatened and endangered species
Todd Fink Memorial fund continues funding of important research through the Illinois Conservation Foundation
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Chelsea DeBay of Carbondale, a graduate student in the Department of Zoology at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, is this year’s recipient of the Todd Fink Memorial Fund scholarship, presented by the Illinois Conservation Foundation (ICF).


August 4, 2006
“Senior Day” at the Illinois State Fair set for Monday, August 14
Information and one-on-one counseling on Medicare and Illinois Cares Rx will be available
Special portraits of Illinois’ fallen soldiers to be displayed SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – The Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) will host “Senior Day” at the Illinois Building at the State Fair in Springfield on Monday, August 14. The air-conditioned building, which is near the main gate on the state fairgrounds, is open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.


August 4, 2006
State public health director is warning to stay away from bats
After a rabid bat was recently found in Springfield, Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director, today reminded the public to avoid contact with bats that typically become more active in August and September.
“Bats are the primary carrier of rabies in Illinois,” Dr. Whitaker said. “It is best never to approach a bat and, if found in a home or building, people should leave the bat alone and contact an animal control agency or local public health department for assistance with removing it.”


August 3, 2006
Governor Blagojevich announces new program to give homeless Illinois veterans housing and assistance at the state’s Manteno Veterans’ Home
Pilot program will serve as national model for how to overcome challenges in financing housing for disabled veterans
MANTENO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced a new pilot program that will help provide housing and supportive services for 15 disabled, homeless Illinois veterans at the state’s Veterans’ Home in Manteno. The pilot program will serve as a national model for how to overcome challenges in providing permanent housing for homeless and disabled veterans, including veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and will help Illinois lead the nation in preparing for the likely increase in mental health problems among veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.


August 3, 2006
Illinois State Fair Prepares To Kickoff 2006 Event With A Few New Additions and Some Old Favorites
New attractions highlighted at 2006 Press Preview Day
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Illinois State Fair Manager Amy Bliefnick today outlined some of the changes made for the 2006 fair and welcomed back many traditions as part of Press Preview Day.


August 3, 2006
GOV. BLAGOJEVICH, MAYOR DALEY ANNOUNCE THE “OLYMPICS OF BIOTECH” IS COMING BACK TO ILLINOIS AFTER ITS MOST SUCCESSFUL CONFERENCE EVER IN APRIL
BIO 2010 Will Be Held in Chicago After Breaking Attendance Record This Year
CHICAGO – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich and Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley announced today that BIO 2010, the world’s most prestigious international life sciences conference, is coming back to Chicago after its tremendously successful conference here in April. BIO 2006 was a unique opportunity for Illinois to showcase its growing biotech business to the almost 20,000 people who attended from across the U.S. and 62 countries. Nearly one-third of the attendees were international participants. The annual BIO convention is the industry's largest gathering of researchers, major international and domestic biotech corporations, start-ups, regulators and investors. The Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau estimates that BIO 2006 had a direct economic impact of almost $28 million. BIO 2010 will be held at McCormick Place from May 2-5, 2010. The Governor is also providing $1 million to bring BIO 2010 back to Chicago.


August 3, 2006
Delinquent Taxpayer Names Posted on Internet
Threat of Posting Generates $1 million for State
SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Revenue today posted the names of 200 businesses and individuals who owe state taxes, a threat that will net $1 million in unpaid taxes.


August 3, 2006
State announces acquisition of helicopter to increase public safety in Northern Illinois
Illinois public safety agencies receive record $5.1 million in counter-terrorism and counter-drug enforcement equipment last year
WINTHROP HARBOR, Ill – The Illinois Department of Central Management Services announced today announced that the coordinated effort between local, state and federal officials to secure a surplus military helicopter – at no cost to the state – will soon enhance public safety and heighten counter-drug and counter-terrorism operations in communities throughout Northern Illinois.


August 2, 2006
Governor Blagojevich announces a major emergency response exercise to test state’s plans for large-scale evacuations, terrorism response
More than 1,000 federal, state and local responders participating in state’s second major exercise in three months
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced a major emergency response exercise beginning Friday in the Metro East area will test the state’s ability to respond to large-scale emergencies and for the first time will include a mass evacuation and sheltering component. The exercise will be the state’s second significant emergency response exercise within the past three months. In May, the state conducted a three-day exercise that tested Illinois’ ability to respond to simultaneous major emergencies, which included a pandemic flu outbreak and a terrorist attack centered in the Chicago metropolitan area.


August 2, 2006
IDNR, Forest Preserve District of DuPage County and Bartlett Park District to cooperatively manage James “Pate” Philip State Park
Agencies work together to expand services to visitors
BARTLETT, IL - The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has announced a tentative new agreement that will help to ensure James “Pate” Philip State Park provides additional service to the park’s thousands of annual visitors.


August 2, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich announces multi-pollutant reduction plan with Ameren that will make Illinois a national clean air leader
Proposal achieves mercury reduction goal and significantly reduces other dangerous air pollutants
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced an agreement with Ameren, Illinois’ second largest utility, on a major pollution reduction plan that would establish Illinois as a national leader in reducing the three most dangerous power plant emissions: mercury, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. The agreement means that Illinois will become a national leader in reducing pollutants from coal fired power plants.


August 1, 2006
Governor Blagojevich urges Illinois residents to take advantage of local cooling centers and energy assistance programs to stay safe during period of dangerous heat
$9 million in energy assistance funding now available
ROCK ISLAND – As the sweltering heat wave continues across the Midwest, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today met with families in Rock Island to urge them - especially the elderly, young families and persons with disabilities, to take advantage of the up to $9 million in Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding made available yesterday to help households struggling with high utility costs. The Governor also reminded families to take advantage of statewide cooling centers and offered tips on how to stay healthy and safe in the intense summer heat. The National Weather Service has issued a hazardous weather warning for the Quad Cities, predicting dangerous heat through Tuesday evening.


August 1, 2006
Governor Blagojevich signs legislation to help protect Illinois seniors from self-neglect
New law requires state to act on reports of self-neglect while respecting a senior’s privacy and independence
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed House Bill 4676 into law. The new law is intended to help prevent cases of self-neglect by senior citizens by requiring the Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) to respond to reports of self-neglect beginning January 1, 2007.


August 1, 2006
Gov. Blagojevich selects local war hero as Grand Marshal of Illinois State Fair Twilight Parade
SPRINGFIELD – In a salute to all Illinois servicemen and women, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today named Sergeant Jerald K. Leech of Arthur Grand Marshal for the 2006 Illinois State Fair Twilight Parade.


August 1, 2006
Blagojevich administration kicks-off National Child Support Month; Receives 2006 Most Improved Program Award from National Child Support Enforcement Association for efforts on behalf of IL Families
CHICAGO – Joining states throughout the nation, the State of Illinois will recognize August as National Child Support Awareness Month. Earlier this month, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced the State of Illinois’ child support collection reached a record breaking high of $1.14 billion in 2006, which surpassed last year’s collections of $1 billion. Due to the administrations’ continuous, aggressive efforts to turn around Illinois child support enforcement, Illinois today was named the 2006 Most Improved Program in the country by the National Child Support Enforcement Association (NCSEA).

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