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April
2009


April 30, 2009
Liquor Control Commission Monthly Discipline Report
SPRINGFIELD – In April 2009, the Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC) conducted compliance checks in three communities and visited 46 businesses licensed to sell liquor. They cited 60 licensees for allegedly selling liquor to underage customers. Seventy-eight percent of the licensees visited complied with Illinois liquor laws and refused to serve underage customers.


April 30, 2009
State Receives Anti-Virals, Medical Supplies from Federal Strategic National Stockpile
IDPH reports 17 probable H1N1 flu cases in Illinois
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Several state agencies and the Illinois National Guard currently are assisting with the receipt and repackaging of anti-viral medications and medical supplies from the federal Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), which began arriving in Illinois on Wednesday. Kits containing the supplies will be shipped to local health departments and hospitals throughout the state later today, with distribution expected to continue through the weekend.


April 29, 2009
Several Earth Day in the Parks Events Rescheduled
Significant rain forces some parks to postpone events
SPRINGFIELD – More than 1,500 students are scheduled to visit Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) state parks for the third annual Earth Day in the Parks event. Earth Day in the Parks is an initiative of the IDNR to introduce students to environmental stewardship. Unfortunately, due to significant rain fall, several parks have decided to postpone/reschedule their Earth Day in the Parks events.


April 29, 2009
State Public Health Director Announces 9 Probable Cases of H1N1 Flu in Illinois
Proclamation issued to ensure medicine and medical supplies are readily available
SPRINGFIELD – Dr. Damon T. Arnold, Illinois Department of Public Health Director, announced there are currently nine probable cases of H1N1 flu in Illinois: five in Cook County (all within the Chicago city limits), one in DuPage County, two in Kane County and one in Lake County. A probable case means the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has tested a specimen and found that it is positive for influenza A, but it could not be subtyped. The Department has shipped three of the nine probable cases to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to perform final testing to confirm if the cases are positive for H1N1 flu, and the other six will be shipped later day.


April 28, 2009
State Healthcare Director Joins Seniors, People with Disabilities to Celebrate Supportive Living Week
Recognizes impact of state Medicaid assisted-living program for seniors, persons with disabilities
SPRINGFIELD – As part of “Supportive Living Week” this week in Illinois, Department of Healthcare and Family Services Director Barry S. Maram joined Illinois seniors and people with disabilities at the State Capitol as they celebrated supportive living facilities, alternative housing options for seniors and persons with physical disabilities. There are currently 113 facilities housing approximately 7,500 individuals who might otherwise have ended up in nursing homes.


April 28, 2009
Gov. Quinn proclaims Equal Pay Day in Illinois
Calls on all employers to provide equal pay for equal work as a matter of fairness and good business
CHICAGO –Governor Pat Quinn pledged to continue the fight against gender based wage discrimination in the workplace and designated today as Equal Pay Day in Illinois. Equal Pay Day, originated by the National Committee on Pay Equity, is observed nationwide on a Tuesday in April to emphasize how far into the current year a woman must work, on average, to earn as much as a man earned the previous year.


April 28, 2009
IDOT, State Police and Motorcyclists Launch 2009 Riding Season Safety Outreach
Advocates push “Start Seeing Motorcycles” Campaign; IDOT Unveils New Public Service Announcement
SPRINGFIELD - In order to put a spotlight on motorcycle safety as the 2009 riding season gets underway, Governor Pat Quinn has proclaimed May Motorcycle Awareness Month in Illinois. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Illinois State Police (ISP) and motorcycle safety advocates are urging the public to “Start Seeing Motorcycles” and to share the road with motorcycle riders. In addition, IDOT is offering free courses for beginning and intermediate riders to reduce the severity and frequency of motorcycle crashes.


April 27, 2009
State Public Health Director Updates H1N1 Flu Outbreak and Stresses Importance of Preventive Measures
No confirmed cases in Illinois
SPRINGFIELD – Dr. Damon T. Arnold, Illinois Department of Public Health Director, along with Andrew Velasquez, III, Illinois Emergency Management Agency Director, today discussed steps Illinois has taken to safeguard Illinoisans against the threat of H1N1 influenza.


April 27, 2009
Earth Day in the Parks Promotes Natural Resources Stewardship for Students
Third annual event will be held across the state on several dates in April
SPRINGFIELD – More than 1,500 students will visit Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) state parks in April for the third annual Earth Day in the Parks event. Earth Day in the Parks is an initiative of the IDNR to introduce students to environmental stewardship.


April 27, 2009
Illinois EPA Features Unused Medication Disposal Resources at Clean Water Celebration in Peoria
Collaborative Partnerships and Web Site Expand Offering Environmentally-Responsible Disposal Options
PEORIA --- The Medication Education Disposal Solutions (MEDS) Action Committee, a diverse collaborative of public and private organizations formed as a result of an Oct. 1, 2008 Summit Conference sponsored by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, will provide information to participants in the Clean Water Celebration in Peoria today.


April 27, 2009
Illinois EPA Promotes Air Quality Awareness Week with new air quality alert system for the public
EnviroFlash Program to Deliver Air Quality Information to Users’ Inboxes
Springfield -With the start of Air Quality Awareness Week, which runs from April 27 through May 1, 2009, and the approaching hot, dry weather of summer, the Illinois EPA wants to let residents know that air pollution levels often increase between early May and late September. Air pollutants, specifically ozone and particulate matter, can affect a person’s respiratory and pulmonary system. To better inform the public about ozone, particulate matter and other air quality matters, the Illinois EPA and the Partners for Clean Air Coalition are announcing the Illinois EnviroFlash system.


April 27, 2009
ICCB Increasing Effort To Reach High School Dropouts
SPRINGFIELD — The number of adults in Illinois with less than a ninth-grade education is growing, and costing the state billions of dollars, the Illinois Community College Board warns.


April 25, 2009
State Public Health Director Keeps Close Watch on H1N1 Flu Outbreak
No known cases in Illinois but preventive measures urged
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to monitor the recent H1N1 flu outbreak in an effort to protect the citizens of Illinois.


April 24, 2009
Governor Quinn, Army Corps Officials Announce Major Riverfront Development Project in Peoria
Dredging project will build island of wildlife habitat; make Peoria Lake usable for recreation activities
PEORIA – April 24, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn kicked off a major riverfront restoration project in Peoria that will relocate sediment built up in Peoria Lake, part of the Illinois River, to construct an island for use as a wildlife habitat. Dredging up the sediment will enhance recreation and improve shipping lanes on Peoria Lake.


April 24, 2009
Celebrate Arbor Day ~ Diversify The Canopy
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Celebrate Arbor Day and plant a variety of foliage in your community. Arbor Day is April 24 and the Illinois Department of Agriculture encourages planting a diversity of trees for community canopies to avoid landscape devastation from invasive pests.


April 23, 2009
National Recession Continues To Pressure Local Labor Markets
CHICAGO - Unemployment rates in all 12 Illinois metro areas were above previous-year levels in March, according to data released today by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).


April 23, 2009
2nd Annual Ford Driving Skills For Life Program Comes To Springfield
Nationally recognized program credited with helping reduce teen auto fatalities by 40% since 2007
SPRINGFIELD - April 23, 2009 – Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) officials are pleased to announce that the Ford Motor Company Fund is bringing its highly successful Ford Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) teen safe driving program, which has been credited with helping to reduce Illinois teen auto fatalities by over 40% since 2007, back to Chicago and Springfield. The program allows students to improve their driving skills by participating in hands-on driving activities under the instruction of trained professionals.


April 23, 2009
Governor Quinn Announces Reopening of State Historic Sites
11 historic sites across Illinois reopened to the public
SPRINGFIELD - April 23, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn today announced that 11 of the state historic sites closed late last year are reopened to the public. At the Dana-Thomas House in Springfield, Governor Quinn welcomed the first visitors to the site in more than four months.


April 22, 2009
Governor Pat Quinn kicks off Earth Day by implementing green practices at the Executive Mansion
New executive order signed to reduce state agencies’ impact on the environment
SPRINGFIELD – April 22, 2009. On Earth Day, Governor Pat Quinn announced a new effort to make the Illinois Executive Mansion a greener place on the inside and the outside – by installing light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs and using rain barrels. Governor Quinn also signed an executive order to reduce the environmental impact of state government operations.


April 22, 2009
IDOT Participates in State’s Earth Day Activities
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is taking part in numerous Earth Day events this year. In honor of Earth Day, the Department has scheduled tree planting events throughout its nine district offices. In cooperation with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, IDOT has acquired a number of trees free of charge which are being sent to each district office and the Central Office as part of annual landscape material deliveries.


April 21, 2009
Illinois State Museum Receives Highest National Recognition
Awarded re-accreditation from the American Association of Museums
Springfield, Illinois - The Illinois State Museum has received its fourth accreditation by the American Association of Museums (AAM), the highest national recognition afforded the nation’s museums. Ford Bell, AAM President, presented Museum Director Bonnie Styles, Board Chairman R-Lou Barker, and Museum Society Board Chairman Mary Jo Potter with the accreditation certificate at a special legislative reception for Illinois Museum Day at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield on March 24.


April 21, 2009
Governor Quinn recognizes I-GO Car Sharing and ComEd for partnering to green Illinois
Two plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles to join citywide car sharing fleet
CHICAGO - April 21, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn recognized I-GO Car Sharing and ComEd for their commitment to greening Illinois, during the Governor’s Green Expo in the James R. Thompson Center. Thanks to a donation from Commonwealth Edison, I-GO Car Sharing, a Chicago-based non-profit car sharing service, was able to purchase two plug-in hybrid electric vehicles for their fleet.


April 20, 2009
Governor Quinn salutes GobNob Wind Turbine during Earth Week 2009
New green partnership puts first wind turbine on state-owned property
FARMERSVILLE - April 20, 2009. During Earth Week, Governor Pat Quinn saluted the Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative (RECC) for creating the innovative GobNob Wind Turbine project. The 230-foot energy-producing wind turbine is the first ever to be built on state-owned property in Illinois.


April 20, 2009
IDNR Announces Illinois Arbor Day Poster Contest Winners
Fifth Graders Highlight the Theme “Trees are Terrific… in Cities and Towns!”
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Marc Miller today announced the winners of the 2009 Illinois Arbor Day Poster Contest, with the theme “Trees are Terrific...in Cities and Towns!” The first-place award winner in the Illinois poster competition among fifth-grade students from throughout the state is Derek Stoller, a home-schooled student from Chenoa.


April 20, 2009
Illinois Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission Host 12th Annual Statewide Deaf Finger-Spelling Bee
SPRINGFIELD – On April 24, 2009, IDHHC will be hosting the Annual Statewide Deaf Finger-Spelling Bee. This event will be held at the Hoogland Center for the Arts. The program will begin at 10:00am until completion around noon with registration from 9:30am to 9:45am.


April 20, 2009
Illinois Fire Marshal and Finance Authority Issue $12 million in Interest Free Loans to Purchase Emergency Vehicles
64 communities receive funds for fire trucks and ambulances
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois State Fire Marshal David B. Foreman and Illinois Finance Authority (IFA) Executive Director John B. Filan today issued nearly $12 million in no interest loans to emergency responders across the state. The loans were made available through the Fire Truck Revolving Loan Program and the Ambulance Revolving Loan Program.


April 19, 2009
IDHS joins National Volunteer Week and recognizes volunteers who serve others in need
Volunteers across the state to hold special events highlighting service projects
SPRINGFIELD – “Celebrating People in Action.” is the theme for National Volunteer Week taking place from April 19-25, 2009. The week will feature service projects and special events to bring awareness to the important work of volunteers nationwide and in Illinois.


April 17, 2009
Hours at Stratton Lock and Dam Reduced
Lock will close Mondays and Tuesdays; hours reduced during week
McHenry, IL – Starting May 1st, operating hours will be reduced at the William G. Stratton Lock and Dam on the Fox River in McHenry in an effort to manage costs during challenging fiscal times.


April 17, 2009
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff from Sunrise, Sunday, April 19, 2009 until Sunset, Tuesday, April 21, 2009.
The Department of Central Management Services has received notice from Governor Quinn's Office to fly the United States and Illinois flags at State occupied buildings at half-staff from Sunrise, Sunday, April 19, 2009 until Sunset, Tuesday, April 21, 2009.


April 16, 2009
March Unemployment Rate Tops Nine Percent
Unemployment Benefits Extended
CHICAGO – The Illinois seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March is 9.1 percent, the highest level since November 1985, according to data released today by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). The March rate is +0.5 percent higher than February and the sixth consecutive month to record an increase.


April 14, 2009
Illinois EPA announces spring 2009 Household Hazardous Waste collection schedule
Collections planned for six Illinois communities April through June - Unused pharmaceuticals and prescription drugs will also be collected
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois EPA Director Doug Scott announced today that six household hazardous waste collection events have been scheduled to be held across the state, starting Saturday, April 25, in Shelbyville.


April 14, 2009
ITTF awards more than $1.4 million in local grants to boost emergency communications
Funds will aid development, planning, training and exercising of interoperable communications plans
SPRINGFIELD – Grants totaling more than $1.4 million have been awarded to 14 Illinois counties to enhance communications between emergency responders during disasters. The Illinois Terrorism Task Force (ITTF) recently announced the grants, which can be used for the development, planning, training and exercising of county-wide emergency communications plans. The grants are supported by federal homeland security funds through the federal Interoperable Emergency Communications Grant Program (IECGP).


April 13, 2009
IEMA Encourages Personal Preparedness During Earthquake Awareness Week April 13-19
April 18, 2008, earthquake serves as reminder of risk
SPRINGFIELD – On April 18, 2008, thousands of people throughout the state were awakened by shaking from a 5.4 earthquake centered in southeastern Illinois. One year later, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is reminding people of that event and encouraging them to be better prepared for earthquakes during Earthquake Awareness Week, which runs April 13-19.


April 13, 2009
Governor Quinn Proclaims Community Garden Week In Illinois
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – To help the Illinois Department of Agriculture mark the inaugural year of the Illinois State Fairgrounds Community Garden, Governor Pat Quinn has proclaimed this week, April 13th-17th, Community Garden Week in Illinois.


April 10, 2009
Governor Pat Quinn Takes Clemency Action
First Step in Ending Massive Case Backlog
CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today approved 11 clemency petitions. This is the first in a series of clemency decisions aimed at ending a massive backlog of nearly 2,500 cases that built up during the previous administration.


April 9, 2009
Illinois Commodity Boards To Elect New Members
Prospective candidates urged to start passing nominating petitions
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Farmers who would like to run for a three-year term on the Illinois Corn Marketing Board, Illinois Soybean Program Operating Board or Illinois Sheep and Wool Marketing Board now can pick-up and start circulating nominating petitions.


April 8, 2009
Three-point plan to save money on insurance without switching companies or skimping on coverage
Illinois Division of Insurance urges consumers to explore discounts
CHICAGO – Switching from brand names to generics is a great way to save money on food and clothes, but when it comes to insurance, consumers need to make well-informed decisions prior to altering coverage or changing companies.


April 7, 2009
Knowing your “ACE in the Whole” in the game of life
Building a strong foundation to avoid gambling with your health
SPRINGFIELD – Celebrating National Public Health Week, the Illinois Department of Public Health wants to teach all Illinoisans how to have an “ACE in the whole” for leading a healthy life.


April 7, 2009
Illinois Department on Aging Seeks Nominations for the Senior Hall of Fame Awards
Awards presented in the Fall of 2009 during a ceremony in Springfield
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) Director Charles D. Johnson is encouraging people to nominate seniors, ages 65 years and older, for the 2009 Illinois Senior Hall of Fame. The Award is given each year to recognize contributions made by older persons in the state.


April 7, 2009
Illinois Community College Board exec elected to chair national council
(Springfield)– Geoffrey S. Obrzut, president and chief executive officer of the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB), was elected chairman of the National Council of State Directors of Community Colleges (NCSDCC), at the organization’s annual meeting in Phoenix, AZ, on April 4.


April 7, 2009
Earth Day in the Parks Promotes Natural Resources Stewardship for Students
Third annual event will be held across the state on several dates in April


April 7, 2009
Statewide Program to Award $15M to Help Low-Income Residents Afford Rent Payments
Illinois starts second year of Rental Housing Support Program
CHICAGO – Illinois’ innovative Rental Housing Support Program is entering a second year of helping low-income residents by providing nearly $15 million in additional grants to agencies and landlords across the state to lower rents to affordable levels.


April 7, 2009
Transportation Agencies Announce Reduction in Work Zone Crashes
Slowing Down Saves Lives on Illinois Highways
SPRINGFIELD – As the 2009 highway construction season gets underway, Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig announced that work zone fatalities are down 29.6 percent compared to 2003. Aggressive law enforcement and education campaigns and significant improvements to work zone safety traffic control reduced Illinois work zone fatalities from 44 in 2003, including 5 workers, to provisionally 31 with 2 workers killed in 2008.


April 7, 2009
Illinois EPA posts plans and lists of eligible projects for federal stimulus funds on web site
Springfield—Illinois EPA Director Doug Scott has announced that the draft Intended Use Plans (IUP) for federal stimulus funds, as submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, have been posted on the Agency’s web site at: www.epa.state.il.us for public review and comment. The IUPs include state funding lists of eligible entities that have applied to the Agency seeking financial assistance to fund waste water and drinking water projects under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The IUPs serve as planning documents for the Agency and explain the activities that are anticipated for ARRA funding.


April 6, 2009
Abraham Hunter Wins the 2009 Illinois Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest
Vienna, Illinois native wins for second consecutive year
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Abraham Hunter, a home-schooled student from Vienna, won “Best of Show” honors during the Illinois segment of the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Design Contest, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) announced today.


April 6, 2009
ISAC Gets Good Buzz on With Free Rosen Event
Accomplished author teaches word-of-mouth strategies to non-profits at UIC
CHICAGO— Best-selling author Emanuel Rosen, author of The Anatomy of Buzz (Doubleday, 2000) and The Anatomy of Buzz Revisited (Doubleday, 2009) presented real-life lessons in Word of Mouth Marketing to more than 130 people in a free lecture at University of Illinois at Chicago Monday morning (April 6).


April 4, 2009
Illinois EPA Director honors young environmentalists during special awards reception
Students from communities throughout the state recognized for their creativity in communicating the importance of protecting our water resources
SPRINGFIELD — Today, Illinois EPA Director Doug Scott honored a group of distinguished Illinois fifth and sixth grade students selected for their creative skills, which they used to express environmental awareness. The writers and artists selected from throughout Illinois were recognized at a reception at the Hall of Flags and Auditorium in the Howlett Building in downtown Springfield. The ceremony recognized the students for their efforts and concluded the Agency’s 22nd annual Poster, Poetry and Prose Contest.


April 3, 2009
ISAC-Credit Union Pact: Approximately $100 Million in Loans Available to Illinois Students
Illinois Credit Unions, ISAC Extend, Expand College Funding Agreement
CHICAGO—Illinois-based credit unions will invest nearly $100 million in securities issued by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) to finance low-interest, federally secured loans through the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) to Illinois students and their families, making college affordable for thousands of Illinois students for the second straight year.


April 3, 2009
Illinois Arts Council Calls for Teaching and Performing Artists
Artists Rosters Provide Increased Visibility, Opportunity, and Networking Roster Artist Application Deadline May 15, 2009
Illinois, Statewide – The Illinois Arts Council seeks qualified applicants for the 2009-2011 Artstour Program Artists Roster and the 2009-2011 Arts-In-Education Program Artists Roster. Artists rosters are updated every two years and are available on the agency website. Inclusion in these rosters provides artists with increased visibility, job opportunity, and networking support. Artists may apply for inclusion in both or either of the rosters.


April 2, 2009
State of Illinois to “stick ’em up” during Alcohol Awareness Month
SPRINGFIED – In its ongoing effort to increase public awareness on the dangers of underage drinking and to educate young people, their parents and liquor retailers, the Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC) is partnering with more than one thousand volunteers in a new education program entitled Project Sticker Shock.


April 1, 2009
State Fire Marshal announces grant money to bolster emergency response capabilities
Nearly $500,000 will help fire departments purchase small equipment, protective clothing, tools and more
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois State Fire Marshal David B. Foreman today announced that nearly $500,000 in grants is now available to help fire departments across the state purchase small equipment and protective clothing that will enable them to better serve their communities. Applications must be postmarked no later than April 30, 2009.


April 1, 2009
Minorities hit hard by the most commonly reported infectious disease in the U.S.
State public health department recognizes Minority Health Month in conjunction with STD Awareness Month
SPRINGFIELD – During April, Minority Health Month and STD Awareness Month, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is teaming up with numerous organizations to address health disparities in Illinois, especially the disproportionate number of minorities impacted by sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).


April 1, 2009
Illinois insurance regulators urge property owners to review, add coverage to protect from floods and water damage
Recent news highlights that floods can happen anywhere and anytime
CHICAGO – As many Illinois communities continue to recover from last year’s catastrophic floods, heavy rains—combined with a quick snow melt—raise concerns that 2009 could be another rough season for flood-prone areas throughout the State. Springtime is a visible reminder that floods are the most common natural disaster in the U.S.—and one of the most expensive. The National Flood Insurance Program estimates that only two inches of water in a home could cause $7,800 in damage.

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