Rep. Andrew Chesney (R-Freeport) released his Week in Review list detailing events occurring throughout various community areas during the week of Aug. 18 -24.
With the start of schools rapidly approaching, Chesney is reminding the public of House Bill 1873 that was passed in July aimed at increased protection of children stepping off of the school bus.
The law increases fines for vehicles caught on the bus’ newly required cameras speeding past a bus flashing its lights and extending its stop sign for passengers to cross the street. Drivers with a first offense will now have to pay $300 instead of $150, with a second offense earning them a one-year suspension of their driver’s license in addition to a higher fine.
The act was inspired after three children in Rochester, Indiana, a girl and her two brothers, were struck and killed by an automobile while attempting to walk onto their bus. The bill was initiated in spring by Rep. Darren Bailey (R-Xenia).
Vistra Energy announced Wednesday that four of their power plants will be shutting down throughout Fall 2019 and Winter 2020. The plants located in Canton, Coffeen, Havan and Hennepin all used the practice of burning coal to provide power.
The Illinois Pollution Control Board introduced new regulation that targets coal-produced air pollution and the amount of carbon dioxide generated into the air. Vistra believes these rules are the catalyst for the plant shutdowns, as reported in PR Newswire.
Around 300 employees will be experiencing job layoffs in the midst of the shutdowns, and approximately 2,000 megawatts of power will be removed from the state grid and replaced with energy derived from natural gas and wind turbines.
Vistra stated that sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide levels will decrease by 61 percent following the shutdowns.
State Attorney General Kwame Raoul filed an allegation on Friday stating that Aqua Illinois altered its drinking water supply and drinking water additives that produced lead seeping out of University Park residents’ water pipes.
As the last few days of summer are underway, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Public Health urges residents to be cautious about blue-green algae growth when entering state lakes, rivers, streams and ponds.
Blue-green algae, properly known as cyanobacteria, releases toxic chemicals that can produce various degrees of negative health effects towards humans and animals. The bacteria naturally grows in water environments.
Avoid swimming in or drinking water that resembles blue or green paint, has scums, mats or films floating on the surface, contains green streaks or holds green globs underneath the water’s surface.
If contact with algae is suspected, wash off with clean water as soon as possible.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker also signed House Bill 822 that permits state schools to contain undesignated amounts of glucagon for diabetic students in case of an emergency. The glucagon supply must be located within a school nurse or a designated care aid’s reach and the school must contact a child’s parent, guardian or emergency contact if the glucagon is administered to a child.
The Del Monte cannery plant in Mendota will close at the conclusion of the 2019 growing season, causing a loss of up to 680 jobs in total. The plant specializes in canned sweet corn and packages vegetables to be distributed in grocery stores.
Fourteen Illinois metropolitan areas opened a large number of nonfarm occupations in July, according to data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security and released Aug. 15.
Lake-Kenosha increased up to 9,900 jobs available (2.3 percent), Carbondale-Marion produced 1,300 more jobs (2.3 percent), Danville up 600 jobs (2.2 percent) Rockford opened 3,000 (2 percent), and the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights metro division went up to 47,700 new jobs (1.3 percent).
The same date also revealed that the unemployment rate decreased throughout the year in 11 metro areas, while increasing in one area and unchanged in two.
The Removal of Private Compromising Images Act was signed into law on Friday requiring people to refrain from posting private, compromising images of other individuals on the Internet.
The act, officially named HB 2408, was sponsored by Rep. Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) and approved by the House of Representative with a unanimous vote this past spring.
The law also allows people to file a removal petition of any private compromising image of themselves they find online. Damages against an image’s original poster will also be issued at the discretion of the court.
The DuQuoin State Fair opened Thursday and will continue through Sept. 2. Also known as the “Southern Illinois State Fair,” the event is home to motorsports and motor events, music, carnival rides, food and animal showings.
The event is located on the Illinois Central Line in Perry County.