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October 31, 2012
State Announces LIHEAP Open Enrollment Begins Nov. 1
All Eligible Households Can Begin Applying for Home Heating Assistance
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity's Office of Energy Assistance today announced that all eligible individuals can begin applying for winter heating assistance through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) beginning tomorrow, Nov. 1.

October 31, 2012
Utah Security Company Settles for $1,000,000 and Five Years of State Supervision
CHICAGO – State regulators announced today they have reached a long-term settlement agreement with Pinnacle Security, LLC, headquartered in Orem, Utah and licensed to sell home and business security systems in Illinois. The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) alleged in its order that Pinnacle had sold its services using unfair and deceptive trade practices, knowingly hired unlicensed sales personnel, and allowed employees with criminal histories to sell their products door-to-door to Illinois consumers. The company also ‘slammed’ consumers by changing their alarm service using fraudulent and deceptive means.

October 29, 2012
Illinois Hardest Hit Program Helps 5,000th Homeowner Protect Home from Foreclosure
Statewide program offers struggling homeowners up to $25,000 in federal funds
CHICAGO – When James Thomas Henry lost his job a year after buying a new townhouse, the suburban Bloomingdale resident feared he might also lose his home because he wouldn’t be able to make his mortgage payments. But thanks to the Illinois Hardest Hit program, Henry remains in his home today after receiving help paying his mortgage through the program.

October 29, 2012
Illinois Wins National Housing Award for Program that Helps Homebuyers, Rebuilds Communities Hit by Foreclosure
Illinois Building Blocks is an Innovative Approach to Homeownership and Stabilizing Communities
CHICAGO – As communities across the country look for ways to rebuild in the aftermath of foreclosures, a number of them in Illinois are getting a boost from an innovative program that has been recognized for excellence at a national housing conference. The Illinois Housing Development Authority’s “Illinois Building Blocks” was awarded the top prize in the category of homeownership/home improvement and rehabilitation at the recent National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) annual conference.

October 29, 2012
Illinois Vehicle Crash Fatalities, Injuries Involving Deer Decline
IDOT, IDNR Urge Motorists to Drive Defensively and Be Alert for Seasonal Wildlife Activity Along Roadsides
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) today announced that fatal crashes, injuries and the number of motorists killed in accidents involving deer declined in 2011. IDOT and IDNR also reminded motorists to once again be alert for deer along roadways during one of the most active periods of the year for wildlife activity.

October 29, 2012
Are You Really an Independent Contractor?
Education Effort to Help Honest Business Owners and Workers While Punishing Scofflaws Who Knowingly Break the Law
CHICAGO – A new initiative to level the playing field for businesses that lose work to lower bidding companies that purposefully misidentify workers as independent contractors will protect workers and reward companies that follow the law, officials announced today. The education and enforcement effort is part of Gov. Pat Quinn’s plan to create jobs and rebuild the economy by assisting honest business owners and punishing those who break the law.

October 29, 2012
IEMA, Grainger Partnership to Enhance State Disaster Response and Recovery
Highlights Importance of Businesses Preparing for Disasters
SPRINGFIELD – Partnerships between government agencies and the private sector are the key to ensuring an effective response by communities and are a growing trend in emergency management across the U.S. These partnerships are important because they help communities respond and recover faster following disasters. In Illinois, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is actively engaging businesses in emergency preparedness and response in a variety of ways, including development of a Business Emergency Operations Center (BEOC) and establishing agreements with companies to share information during disasters and get needed resources to affected communities.

October 26, 2012
Governor Quinn Announces Completion of $16.1 Million Transportation Infrastructure Project in Galesburg
Major Illinois Jobs Now! Project Created 140 Construction Jobs, Will Improve Public Safety, Expand Commerce and Access to Local Businesses
GALESBURG – October 26, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today joined Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider, local leaders and rail officials to announce the completion of a new $16.1 million Illinois Jobs Now! transportation infrastructure project that will dramatically improve traffic conditions in the area. The new grade separation in Galesburg eliminates the at-grade crossing along Main Street, and creates a new overpass spanning from east of Academy Street to west of Garfield Avenue and over the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe (BNSF) tracks. This collaborative endeavor between the Federal Highway Administration, State of Illinois, City of Galesburg and BSNF created or supported nearly 140 jobs, and is set to reduce traffic congestion and emissions and improve roadway and rail safety in the region. The project is part of Governor Quinn's commitment to modernize Illinois' transportation infrastructure.

October 26, 2012
Governor Quinn Opens Vital New Stretch of Illinois Route 255 in Godfrey
Illinois Jobs Now! Project Created 285 Jobs, Will Improve Access from Godfrey to St. Louis, Reduce Travel Time and Enhance Safety
GODFREY- October 26, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn, joined by Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider and other state and local officials today clipped a ceremonial ribbon signifying the completion of construction on Illinois Route 255 from Seminary Road to Humbert Road in Godfrey. The $22 million project includes funding from Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital program, and created or supported 285 jobs. As part of Governor Quinn’s commitment to modernizing Illinois’ transportation infrastructure, the improvements will also reduce travel time for commuters, improve access and enhance safety.

October 26, 2012
Governor Quinn Announces Completion of Hofmann Dam Removal
Dam removal on Des Plaines River, Chicago River and other waterways will improve aquatic habitat and remove dangerous impediments to paddlers
RIVERSIDE, IL – Governor Pat Quinn today moved forward with a major initiative that will significantly improve the health of Illinois waterways by removing or modifying 16 low-head dams throughout the state over the next several years. At an event in Riverside, the governor announced the completion of the Hofmann Dam removal. The dam removal initiative is the latest by Governor Quinn to protect the environment and preserve Illinois’ natural resources.

October 25, 2012
IDES Director Jay Rowell Statement Following Federal Indictment Of $825,000 in Unemployment Insurance Fraud
CHICAGO – Jay Rowell, Director of the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), issued the following statement today after Acting U.S. Attorney Gary S. Shapiro’s office unsealed criminal charges alleging unemployment insurance fraud. The IDES brought the case to federal prosecutors in the Northern District of Illinois and provided detailed analysis critical to the investigation and subsequent charges.

October 25, 2012
New Efficiency Tool is Helping to Improve Care to Illinois’ Most Vulnerable Residents
Centralized Repository Vault is eliminating duplication of government services allowing providers to focus on direct community care
SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – The State of Illinois’ new information portal for community service providers is streamlining reporting to the state’s human service agencies. The Centralized Repository Vault (CRV), unveiled in July, is eliminating duplication of services, providing more efficient monitoring and allowing service providers to focus on their core community service mission: caring for our most vulnerable residents.

October 25, 2012
IDOT: Halloween Masks Won’t Hide Drunk Driving
Law Enforcement to Crack Down on Impaired Drivers, Seat Belt Law Violators
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Illinois State Police today reiterated key traffic safety messages such as “please celebrate the holiday responsibly” and “keep the party off the road.” IDOT, law enforcement and safety advocates reminded Halloween participants that their holiday disguises will not make them invisible to police who are out looking for drunk drivers and seat belt law violators throughout the state. In addition, IDOT also encouraged motorists to practice safe driving behavior, and allow for a fun-filled weekend.

October 24, 2012
State Presents Champaign-Based Company SHARP Award for Workplace Safety
SPRINGFIELD—The Director of the Illinois Department of Labor, Joseph Costigan today recognized OBITER Research, LLC, for creating and maintaining high safety standards for its employees by awarding them SHARP status. The IDOL Onsite Safety and Health Consultation Program, administers the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program, an OSHA initiative that recognizes small business employers who operate exemplary occupational safety and health programs.

October 24, 2012
Governor Quinn Proclaims “Nick Holonyak Day” in Illinois
WHEREAS, science and technology have a profound impact on shaping our world; and,

October 24, 2012
New, full time IDVA Veterans’ Service Office opening at Carbondale VA Clinic on October 30th
SPRINGFIELD – Effective Tuesday, October 30th, the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) will open a new, full-time Veterans’ Service Office at the Carbondale VA Clinic. The office will be located at 1130 E Walnut St, Room 108, Carbondale, IL 62901.

October 24, 2012
Governor Quinn Celebrates Completion of Interstate 80 Expansion Project
Illinois Jobs Now! Project Created 340 Jobs While Enhancing Safety, Reducing Delays and Improving Traffic Flow throughout Will County
MOKENA - October 24, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn, joined by Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider and other state and local officials today announced the completion of construction on Interstate 80 from U.S. 30 to U.S. 45 in Will County. The $26 million project- funded through Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction plan- widened and improved a nearly 8-mile stretch of I-80. The project created or supported nearly 340 construction jobs, and the improvements will help spur economic development, minimize travel delays, improve access to businesses and enhance safety.

October 24, 2012
New Development for Formerly Homeless Veterans Celebrates Opening in Springfield Veterans will be connected to supportive services to live independently
SPRINGFIELD – Property manager Anthony Jones understands what veterans at the new Fifth Street Renaissance Veterans Shelter have been through because he’s lived it, too. An Army veteran, 59-year-old Jones struggled with alcohol abuse and faced homelessness until finding stability more than six years ago. Currently, a resident of another Fifth Street Renaissance supportive housing development in the Springfield area – the security guard has completed transitional housing job training to become the on-site property manager at the new development celebrating its grand opening today.

October 24, 2012
Illinois Department of Human Rights Celebrates United Nations Day, 67th Anniversary of the U.N.
CHICAGO – Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) Director Rocco Claps today hosted an international celebration of the 67th anniversary of the United Nations, focused on the theme of cooperation between individuals and institutions. The festive event at the James R. Thompson Center included music and dance and was held in conjunction with the United Nations Association-USA Great Chicago Chapter and included prominent Chicago-based diplomats.

October 24, 2012
Department on Aging Announces Senior Hall of Fame Inductees, Presents Governor’s Unique Achievement Awards
Seniors Honored For Service to the Community
SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) Director John K. Holton, Ph.D., today presented awards to the 2012 Senior Hall of Fame Inductees. Recipients of the Governor’s Unique Achievement Award were also recognized during the ceremony held at the Executive Mansion in Springfield. Each year, the department hosts the ceremony to recognize older adults for the special contribution they have made.

October 24, 2012
New E-Mail Effort to Help Inform, Educate Customers
E-Mails Will Not Seek Personal Information
CHICAGO – E-mails will be sent to more than 800,000 business leaders and workers to highlight information and services available at the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), officials announced today.

October 23, 2012
Illinois State Fire Marshal Urges Caution In Temporary Haunted Houses
It’s Halloween Time: Fire Safety Codes must be Followed
SPRINGFIELD – As thousands of families and children prepare to enjoy the Halloween season, the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal (OSFM) reminds residents to be vigilant and follow the necessary fire safety precautions when entering haunted houses. These amusements can present special hazards that make them particularly vulnerable to fires if applicable fire codes are not followed.

October 22, 2012
State Invests Federal Tax Credits to Boost Affordable Housing Construction
Affordable apartments for people with disabilities, veterans, seniors and working families to be created statewide
CHICAGO – Nearly 700 affordable rental apartments will be built across Illinois, increasing housing opportunities for working families, seniors and people with special needs and disabilities, thanks to the allocation of federal tax credits approved by the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) board. The tax credit allocations will generate an estimated $117.6 million in private equity to support 12 developments. Demonstrating the State of Illinois’ dedication to creating more supportive housing opportunities, more than one-third of the total units will help veterans and people with disabilities find stability in communities.

October 22, 2012
Governor Quinn Announces $25 Million Commitment to Poplar Street Bridge Project
Vital Contribution Will Advance Project to Reduce Congestion, Improve Public Safety, Add Roadway Access to Illinois, and Support Economic Development Opportunities
EAST ST. LOUIS – October 22, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today announced a $25 million investment from the state of Illinois to advance the Poplar Street Bridge and Martin Luther King (MLK) Connector project. The key funding commitment marks a major milestone for the St. Louis area and is a collaboration between the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Missouri Department of Transportation (MODOT) and East-West Gateway Council of Government.

October 22, 2012
Department of Insurance Announces Multi-State Settlement with AIG
Illinois will share part of an $11 million penalty against the insurance giant regarding the payment of Life Insurance Benefits
CHICAGO - Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI) Director Andrew Boron today announced an agreement has been reached with American International Group (AIG) as part of a multi-million dollar settlement with several states. Under the settlement, AIG agreed to change the way it handles claims business practices related to the payment of life insurance benefits and also agreed to pay $11 million to states that are party to the settlement.

October 22, 2012
State Calls Attention to the Residents of Long-Term Care in Observance of Residents Rights Month
Department on Aging program protects and defends residents rights
SPRINGFIELD - With respect to the month long Residents’ Rights observance, Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) Director John K. Holton, PhD., says the department works to make sure that residents living in long term care facilities are not forgotten, are safe and receive quality care.

October 20, 2012
Governor Quinn Launches Illinois Open Technology Challenge
Competition Expands Availability of Local Public Data; Encourages Technology Innovation and Job Creation in Pilot Communities Belleville, Rockford, Champaign and the South Suburbs
CHICAGO – October 20, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today announced a major accountability and transparency initiative designed to help local governments expand the amount of data available to the public. The Illinois Open Technology Challenge is a pilot initiative that will make Illinois’ open data platform, Data.Illinois.Gov, available to municipal governments statewide. The Challenge, which will launch in the pilot communities of Belleville, Champaign, Rockford, and Chicago’s South Suburbs, will promote the availability of public data and encourage the use of technology to address government challenges through innovation and entrepreneurship.

October 19, 2012
Governor Quinn, Secretary LaHood and Senator Durbin Preview 110-MPH Rail Service in Illinois
110-mile per hour Rail Demonstration A Milestone For Midwest High-Speed Rail Network, Thousands of Jobs Created from Work
JOLIET – October 19, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today was joined by U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo, Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider, Amtrak Chairman Tom Carper, and local leaders to celebrate the start of 110-mph rail service in Illinois. Today’s demonstration of 110-mph speeds between Dwight and Pontiac on the critical Chicago-St. Louis rail corridor represents a historic step towards the establishment of a high-speed rail network that will secure Illinois’ position as the Midwest’s transportation hub.

October 18, 2012
Governor Quinn Launches $1 Billion Clean Water Initiative
U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson Joins Governor on 40th Anniversary of Clean Water Act to Announce Major Water Infrastructure Overhaul
CHICAGO – October 18, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn was joined by United States Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, labor leaders, environmental activists and local government officials today to launch the governor’s $1 billion Illinois Clean Water Initiative, which will overhaul Illinois’ aging water infrastructure.

October 18, 2012
IDOT Launches 2013 Yellow Dot Program
Details Success of Previous Year, Encourages All Residents to Participate
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) joined today by the Sangamon County Health Department, first-responders and local participants kicked off the 2013 Yellow Dot program. Due to the successful introduction of the program in 2011, the speakers highlighted the results of last year’s program and encouraged all residents of Illinois to take part in this simple, life-saving initiative.

October 18, 2012
Illinois Adds 13,800 Jobs and Rate Falls to 8.8 Percent
Rate Drops for 10th time in 13 Months
CHICAGO – Illinois added +13,800 jobs in September and the unemployment rate fell for the 10th time in the past 13 months to reach 8.8 percent, according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). The data is seasonally adjusted.

October 18, 2012
IDOT Hosts Hundreds of Students at Annual Career Day in Chicago
Popular Venue Attracts Area Students; Provides Unforgettable Day of Transportation Education, Workforce Development
CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn and Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider today welcomed hundreds of area students to the agency’s annual Career Day conference in Chicago. The event began in 2008 to inform Illinois students of the many rewarding opportunities in the transportation industry, and attracted dozens of companies and universities across the region.

October 17, 2012
Governor Quinn Dedicates Transportation Modernization Project in DuPage County
$60 Million Belmont Grade Separation Created and Supported 650 Jobs; Will Reduce Congestion and Improve Traffic Safety
DOWNERS GROVE – October 17, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn was joined today by Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider, local leaders and rail officials to dedicate a new $60 million transportation infrastructure project supported by Illinois Jobs Now! that will dramatically improve traffic conditions in the area. The new Belmont Road grade separation, located near the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Metra tracks in Downers Grove, will help drivers by providing a new highway underpass and eliminating the previous railroad crossing adjacent to the commuter train station.

October 17, 2012
Inaugural Women Veterans Fair set for October 27th at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Ill.
Child-friendly event to help improve access to resources and benefits
CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) announced today that the College of DuPage will be the site of its first Illinois Women Veterans Fair, which is set to begin at 12 noon on Saturday, Oct. 27th.

October 16, 2012
Honoring Arlen Specter
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff immediately until Sunset, Tuesday, October 16, 2012.
The Department of Central Management Services has received notice from The President of the United States of America that all persons or entities covered by the Illinois Flag Display Act are to fly the flags at half-staff immediately until Sunset, Tuesday, October 16, 2012.

October 16, 2012
Quinn Administration Names Six Healthcare Networks to Lead Transition to Coordinated Care
Groups were selected from applicants across the state Goal is to improve healthcare outcomes and control costs
CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn and the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) today named six healthcare networks that have been chosen initially to launch the state’s transition to greatly expanded coordinated care by 2015. The six provider groups applied to be part of the “Care Coordination Innovations Project” led by HFS Director Julie Hamos. They were selected based on their demonstrated ability to offer a holistic approach to delivering coordinated care for special populations including seniors and adults with disabilities. The Department plans to work with the other provider organizations not selected in the first round to explore possible enhancements to the project proposals.

October 16, 2012
Governor Quinn Announces Second Illinois Gigabit Communities Challenge Winner
State’s $1 Million Seed Investment Will Connect Education, Business, Healthcare Communities to Aurora’s Fiber Optic Network; Help Create 2,500 Jobs Over Five Years
AURORA – October 16, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today announced that OnLight Aurora is a recipient of an Illinois Gigabit Communities Challenge award, a statewide competition to establish ultra-high speed broadband networks across Illinois. The state is awarding $1 million in Illinois Jobs Now! capital funding to OnLight Aurora to help connect the city of Aurora’s fiber optic network to its education, business, and healthcare communities and accelerate economic growth and job creation.

October 16, 2012
State Regulators Crack Down on Unlicensed Sales of Colored Contact Lenses
CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) announced today that a convenience store in central Illinois surrendered 41 boxes and 54 single containers of non-prescription colored contact lenses to IDFPR. The lenses have an approximate retail value of $1,600. The Department’s investigators were tipped off by a school nurse who contacted our office because a student sustained an eye injury from wearing contact lenses he/she purchased from a convenience store in town. Colored lenses purchased without proper examinations and fittings put thousands of Illinois customers at risk of scratches, infections and potential blindness.

October 16, 2012
Governor Pat Quinn Names New Members To Community Volunteerism Commission
30 Appointments Made Ahead of National Service Recognition Day
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Pat Quinn today announced the appointment of 30 new members to the Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service. Serve Illinois, supported by the Illinois Department of Human Services, enhances and supports community volunteerism and administers the AmeriCorps*State program in Illinois. The new Commissioners will meet on Wednesday, Oct. 17 in Springfield. The Commissioners will serve three-year terms.

October 16, 2012
Illinois Film Office Announces Winner of Fifth Annual Shortcuts Competition
“Wednesday’s Child” premieres at the 2012 Chicago International Film Festival
CHICAGO – The Illinois Film Office (IFO) today announced the winner of Shortcuts, Illinois’ short film contest. The winning film, Potenza Productions’ Wednesday’s Child, was directed by Rocco Cataldo, produced by Mary Kay Cook, and the cinematographer was Mike Kwielford. The film will screen as part of the 2012 Chicago International Film Festival city/state short films program tonight, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012 at 6 p.m. at AMC River East 21 in Chicago.

October 15, 2012
Medicare Part D Open-Enrollment Period Starts October 15; Department of Insurance Offers Free Counseling
SHIP Counselors Provide Help with Options; Call toll-free at (800) 548-9034 or visit the website at http://insurance.Illinois.gov/SHIP
SPRINGFIELD - Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI) Director Andrew Boron today announced free counseling assistance is available to help educate Medicare-eligible individuals and their caregivers about available Medicare Part D insurance options. The department’s Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) provides free counseling for Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers. Medicare Part D open enrollment season runs from October 15 through December 7.

October 15, 2012
Gary Fencik Elected Illinois Lottery Control Board Chairman
CHICAGO, IL – The newly-reconstituted Illinois Lottery Control Board (LCB) held its first meeting recently, and unanimously elected former Chicago Bear Gary Fencik as it chairman. The 5-member board was appointed by Governor Pat Quinn, and held its first meeting Oct 10 in Chicago.

October 15, 2012
Illinois Donates More Than $1.1 Million in Surplus Winter Gear to Help Homeless Stay Warm
State distributes winter clothing to nearly 60 organizations statewide that assist the homeless
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) Director Malcolm Weems today announced that the state will donate boots, coats, sleeping bags and other gear to help thousands of homeless individuals stay warm during the upcoming winter season. CMS will donate federal surplus supplies valued at $1.1 million to the homeless through charities, homeless shelters, churches and other humanitarian organizations who enrolled in the surplus program.

October 14, 2012
Governor Quinn Helps Working Families Connect With Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network
Thousands of Illinois Residents Getting Help to Save Their Homes; South Holland Event is Latest to Connect Families Facing Foreclosure with Resources
SOUTH HOLLAND – October 13, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today met with homeowners seeking help from foreclosure and outlined the progress of his Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network (IFPN) that has been helping thousands of families across the state stay in their homes.

October 12, 2012
2012 Statewide Veteran Job Fairs Come to Illinois
Job Effort to Promote Hiring, Tax Incentives, State Economy
CHICAGO – One of the largest efforts to find employment for Veterans kicks off Oct. 18 as the first Statewide Veteran Job Fair of 2012 comes to communities across Illinois. The Veteran-specific effort is a key part of Gov. Pat Quinn’s economic priorities to help Veterans compete for newly created private-sector jobs.

October 12, 2012
Governor Quinn Encourages Schools to Participate in the Illinois School Breakfast Challenge
Ongoing effort aims to end child hunger by serving healthy breakfast at school
BERWYN – October 12, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today visited Irving Elementary School to emphasize the importance of eating a healthy breakfast and to participate in the school’s “breakfast in the classroom” program as part of the 2012-2013 Illinois School Breakfast Challenge. A partnership with the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), the Midwest Dairy Council and the Illinois No Kid Hungry Campaign, the effort challenges every school in the state to make school breakfast a top priority. Governor Quinn sent a letter to superintendents throughout Illinois encouraging them to participate in the challenge earlier this year.

October 12, 2012
Special Investigator Michael McCotter Issues Report on the DHS-OIG
Findings Will Guide Governor’s Comprehensive Solution to Strengthen Protections of People with Disabilities Across Illinois
CHICAGO - October 12, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today received the official report from Michael McCotter following his special investigation of the Office of the Inspector General of the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS). Earlier this year, Governor Quinn appointed McCotter, a 40-year law enforcement veteran, as Special Investigator to review cases and develop recommendations to reform the investigative operations of the Inspector General’s office.

October 11, 2012
Illinois Receives $1 Million Grant to Develop Cyber Security Training Program for First Responders
Training Will Be Implemented Throughout U.S.
SPRINGFIELD – A $1 million grant recently awarded to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) will enable the state to develop a training program to help first responders, local governments and private sector partners throughout the U.S. better understand and deal with cyber incidents. IEMA’s proposal for the cyber training initiative was selected by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to receive a 2012 National Training Program Continuing Training Grant.

October 11, 2012
Department of Insurance Announces Multi-Million Dollar Settlement with Nationwide
Illinois participated in multi-state effort to examine payment of Life Insurance Benefits
CHICAGO - Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI) Director Andrew Boron today announced an agreement has been reached with Nationwide Life Company and its life insurance affiliates (“Nationwide”) as part of a multi-million dollar settlement with several states. Under the settlement, Nationwide and its affiliates agreed to change business practices related to the payment of life insurance benefits and also agreed to pay $7,200,000 to states that are a party to the settlement.

October 11, 2012
Illinois State Fire Marshal, In Coordination With The National Fire Protection Association, Commemorates Fire Prevention Week
Every Family Should Know “Two Ways Out”
SPRINGFIELD – The Office of Illinois State Fire Marshal (OSFM), in cooperation with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is marking National Fire Safety Week to educate families on the importance of fire protection. This year’s theme, “Have Two Ways Out” aims to educate families on how to establish a fire escape plan that includes two ways out of every room in the home.

October 11, 2012
Governor Quinn Opens Community-Based Student Housing Development in Pilsen
State Provided More Than $8.4 Million to Help Build La Casa Student Housing and Resource Center
CHICAGO - October 11, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn joined representatives of The Resurrection Project and local legislators today to announce the opening of the La Casa Student Housing development, an innovative community-based residence hall for area college students. Located in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, the six-story residence hall will provide local students with the benefits of on-campus housing, including live-in resident advisors for ongoing academic support. The development project created 95 construction jobs and includes a resource center featuring an onsite computer lab and academic advisors to provide career guidance and access to financial resources.

October 11, 2012
Lt. Governor Simon: Keep college affordable
Education reformer calls for transparency, targeted state aid, middle class tax credit
CHICAGO – Lt. Governor Sheila Simon visited University of Illinois at Chicago on Thursday to urge state, federal and higher education leaders to work together to keep college affordable so thousands of Illinois students can earn the credentials needed for good-paying jobs.

October 10, 2012
Integrity Program Uncovers Nearly $2 Million in Fraud
Inmates Face Criminal Charges, Barred from Future Benefits
CHICAGO – More than 1,100 individuals could face criminal charges and must repay nearly $2 million in unemployment insurance benefits wrongfully paid on their behalf while they were in jail or prison, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today. Cross-matching names of individuals collecting unemployment insurance benefits with inmate lists from Illinois’ county jails and state prisons is the latest effort to protect taxpayers, prevent fraud, and help the economy, IDES Director Jay Rowell said. Integrity initiatives in the past year have saved $120 million.

October 10, 2012
Governor Quinn Tours Mud-to-Parks Site in East Peoria
Innovative project turns Illinois River sediment into Chicago lakefront park
EAST PEORIA – October 10, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today visited the East Peoria riverfront to announce the innovative Mud-to-Parks program, which makes use of soil dredged from the silt-choked Illinois River to build a new park on Lake Michigan.

October 10, 2012
Governor Quinn Announces $47 Million Illinois Jobs Now! Project to Expand Illinois Route 5 / John Deere Road
Project Expected to Create More Than 600 Jobs, Reduce Congestion, Improve Safety
MOLINE - October 10, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn, joined by Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider and other state and local officials, today announced the plan to construct a new bridge over Illinois Route 5 and add additional lanes to eliminate a major intersection bottleneck in the area. The $47 million dollar project, funded by Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital program, will create more than 600 construction jobs, reduce congestion and improve safety for travelers throughout the region.

October 10, 2012
IEMA Supports ‘Image Gently’ Campaign
National Effort Raises Awareness of Child Safety for X-Ray, CT Scans
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is encouraging healthcare professionals to “Image Gently” when conducting x-rays or computed tomography (CT) scans on children. IEMA recently sent a letter to nearly 16,000 medical radiation technologists, x-ray facilities and others highlighting the latest addition to the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging’s nationwide Image Gently campaign: Back to Basics (Beam, Artifacts, Shielding, Immobilizations and Indicators, Collimation and Structures).

October 9, 2012
Illinois Terrorism Task Force Awards $416,852 for Local Emergency Radios
Grants Will Help 41 Response Agencies Comply with Federal Narrowband Requirements
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Terrorism Task Force (ITTF) announced today that 41 local emergency management agencies will receive a total of $416,852 to help them comply with federal communications requirements. The grants were recently awarded by the ITTF using federal homeland security funds the state receives from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

October 4, 2012
Governor Quinn Previews the New Wacker Drive
Completion of $303 million project will make historic roadway “safer, swifter, cleaner, greener”
CHICAGO – October 4, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn was joined by Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider today for a guided tour of the massive Wacker Drive reconstruction project in Chicago. Once completed, the roadway will provide benefits to motorists including less congestion, easier navigation and faster, safer travel enabled by state-of-the-art engineering and technology. The completion of Wacker Drive is expected in December 2012, and reflects Governor Quinn’s commitment to modernizing the state’s transportation infrastructure to ensure that Chicago and Illinois can compete in the 21st Century economy.

October 4, 2012
Honoring Illinois' Fallen
United States and Illinois flags at half-staff immediately until Sunset, Thursday, October 4, 2012.
The Department of Central Management Services has received notice from The President of the United States of America that all persons or entities covered by the Illinois Flag Display Act are to fly the flags at half-staff immediately until Sunset, Thursday, October 4, 2012.

October 3, 2012
Governor Quinn Announces Construction of 1,000th Bridge Since Becoming Governor
CREATE Project on Illinois Route 38 to Create 340 Jobs, Reduce Delays, Improve Emergency Response and Enhance Safety
WEST CHICAGO - October 3, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn, joined by Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider and other state and local officials, today announced the plan to construct an overpass bridge at Illinois Route 38 and Kautz Road over the Union Pacific Railroad, marking the 1000th bridge improvement to move forward since Governor Quinn took office. The nearly $26 million dollar project, funded by Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital program, will create nearly 340 construction jobs, reduce traffic delays, and improve safety for travelers in DuPage and Kane Counties.

October 2, 2012
Governor Pat Quinn and Senator Dick Durbin Announce Sale of Thomson Correctional Center to Federal Government
Economic Impact Expected to Generate More Than 1,100 Jobs, More Than $200 Million in Annual Local Investment
THOMSON, IL– October 2, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn and Senator Dick Durbin today announced that the Obama administration and the Federal Bureau of Prisons will purchase the underutilized, state-of-the-art maximum security Thomson Correctional Center to house federal criminal offenders. More than 1,100 jobs are expected to be generated once the facility is fully operational.

October 2, 2012
IDOA Awarded Specialty Crop Grant Funds
Funds will expand the availability of fresh, locally-grown produce and strengthen state’s farm economy
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois Department of Agriculture has been awarded nearly $634,000 through the United States Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. The agency will split the funds between 12 projects that are intended to expand the availability of fresh, locally-grown produce and strengthen the state’s specialty crop industry.

October 2, 2012
Governor Quinn Announces TV Production Reaches Record High in Illinois
Filming of Four TV Dramas in 2012 Generates $92 million, Comedy Pilot Starts Filming in October
CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn announced today that Illinois’s film industry produced a record number of TV series this year, positioning Illinois as an attractive alternative to Hollywood and spurring economic and job growth in the state. A record four TV drama series filmed in Illinois in 2012: NBC’s Chicago Fire, Fox’s Mob Doctor, Starz’ Boss, and MTV’s Underemployed. The four dramatic series combined are expected to contribute more than $92 million in local spending and create more than 1,200 full-time equivalent Illinois jobs in 2012. Also, a comedy TV pilot—USA Network’s Sirens by Denis Leary— is scheduled to begin shooting later this month, further boosting the economic impact of Illinois’ film industry.

October 1, 2012
Lt. Governor Simon: Donate old cell phone today
Donated cell phones to be wiped clean; proceeds support domestic violence victims
SPRINGFIELD – Marking the beginning of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon launched her annual cell phone drive today. For each phone donated during the drive, Verizon Wireless will contribute $10 to the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV), up to $10,000.

October 1, 2012
State Receives $2.7 Million to Fight Fraud and Abuse
Competitive Grants Recognize Illinois’ Effort, Progress
CHICAGO – Federal officials awarded $2.7 million to the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) to enhance programs that protect against waste, fraud and abuse of the unemployment insurance system, the Department announced today.

October 1, 2012
“College Illinois!” Prepaid Tuition Program to Offer Contracts at 2011 Rates
Overhauled program will help make college affordable for Illinois families in face of tuition inflation and increasing student loan debt
CHICAGO, IL - Families of Illinois college-bound students received good news today with the reopening of the College Illinois! 529 Prepaid Tuition plan. The program - which now has 52,000 active participants - enables families to avoid tuition inflation and increasing student loan debt by prepaying for college while enjoying tax advantages. To mark the resumption of sales, College Illinois! contracts will be offered at 2011 rates until December 31, 2012.

October 1, 2012
IEMA Encourages People to Include Pets in Disaster Preparedness Plans
Plans, preparedness kits can keep pets safe during disasters
SPRINGFIELD – While every household should have a disaster supply kit stocked with food, water, flashlights and batteries, homes with pets need to take additional steps when planning for disasters. Whether an emergency forces people to seek shelter within the home or evacuate, advanced planning can ensure the safety of your animals. Throughout October, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) will be working to increase awareness of pet preparedness as part of its 2012 Preparedness Campaign.

October 1, 2012
Offices Closed October 8 to Observe Columbus Day
Customers Should Certify; Services Available on Internet
CHICAGO - Offices of the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) will be closed on Monday, Oct. 8, in observance of Columbus Day. All services will be available on the IDES website. Claimants scheduled to certify for benefits should do so and are encouraged to use the Internet. TeleServe will be available. Regular office hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. will resume Tuesday, Oct. 9.

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