Government
9:23 am
Fri April 27, 2012

Around Illinois – April 27

  • Traveler with rash holds airliner
  • Lead paint problem gets a new focus
  • Rep. Johnson doesn't want ex-staffers to run
  • Manufacturers applaud Senate action
  • Area vet wins Tillman scholarship help
  • Troopers "ramping up" safety concerns
  • The Cash Dash is coming!

No monkeying around on airliner illness scare

Authorities weren’t taking any chances Thursday when a Delta Air Lines flight from Detroit was held on board for about three hours at Chicago Midway Airport because one person was suspected of carrying a disease.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the passenger was evaluated shortly after the plane landed. Emergency medical personnel determined the woman's rash was not related to monkeypox, which had been suspected. The CDC says the woman was cleared but advised to seek medical care.

The incident occurred on Delta flight 3163, which arrived about 3:45 p.m.

Attacking the lead paint problem

The Winnebago County Health Department is taking aim at the old but continuing problem of lead paint and its effects on people – especially children.

With the help of a $2.8 million HUD grant, health officials are cleaning homes where lead paint has either caused health problems for residents or at least poses a threat. Officials hope to clean up 200 residences throughout the life of the three-year grant, although officials are optimistic that they can tackle more.

The county has nearly 30,000 homes built before 1950 which are likely candidates for cleanup, according to the Rockford Register Star.

Rep. Johnson says no ex-staffers should seek his seat

Longtime U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson says a former chief of staff shouldn't replace him on the November ballot after some questioned whether Johnson's planned retirement was engineered to benefit him.

Jerry Clarke, now serving on the staff of 14th District Rep. Randy Hultgren, is among a number of Republicans who say they would like to replace Johnson, who announced last month he will end his re-election campaign and retire.

Johnson said in a statement yesterday that none of his former staff members should be considered. Spokesman Phil Bloomer said Johnson issued the statement because some Republicans suggested that Johnson withdrew after winning the primary to benefit Clarke.

That decision means GOP county chairmen rather than voters will choose who runs in November.

Manufacturers like Senate vote on enterprise zone

The unanimous vote Thursday approving Senate Bill 3688 was applauded by the Illinois Manufacturers' Association for its support of the long-term viability and prosperity of enterprise zones, a key economic engine for Illinois.

Senate Bill 3688 to extend the length of the zones by 25 years, allow for targeted expansions of 10 new zones over the next decade and call for increased transparency and accountability for these zones. Senate approval of the bill comes after weeks of hearings around the state where enterprise zones' value were studied.

The IMA reports that, last year alone, more than 24,000 jobs were created and retained and $2.5 billion in investments made in enterprise zones.

"Now we call on the House to quickly take up this issue and see that if we're serious about rebuilding this state and creating jobs," said Mark Denzler, vice president and chief operating officer for the IMA.

Area veteran named Tillman Military Scholar

A Spring Valley veteran who served 10 years in the U.S. Army’s 5th Special Forces Group has been named a Tillman Military Scholar and is using the scholarship to help cover expenses in his first year of medical school at Duke University.
The award is named for the late Pat Tillman, who gave up a $3.6 million contract with the NFL Arizona Cardinals to join the war on terrorism..
The LaSalle NewsTribune has a nice profile on Staff Sgt. Jon Andrews left MBA studies at Southern Illinois University shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001. He served as a medic with the Green Berets, and that’s what pointed him toward medical school.

Another reason to have a designated driver

Troopers of Illinois State Police District 15 will be on the ramp from the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) to Illinois 31 for five hours beginning at 11 p.m. Saturday for a Roadside Safety Check.

Captain Joe Perez notes that Illinois has zero tolerance for impaired driving in Illinois. Alcohol and drug impairment is a significant factor in more than 40 percent of all fatal motor vehicle crashes in Illinois.

Cash Dash – and the treasurer – are coming

State law requires that the treasurer make every effort to return unclaimed property to its rightful owner, and the Cash Dash program makes does just that. Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford touches all the bases himself when Cash Dash events come to town – as they will next week in northern Illinois.

Next Wednesday, the Cash Dash crew will be at Rochelle City Hall, 420 North Sixth Street, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. – and the treasurer himself will appear for 30 minutes at 12:30 p.m.

They’ll move on to the Jo Daviess County Building, 330 North Bench Street, Galena, from 3:30- 5:30 p.m., with Rutherford making his half-hour pitch at 5 p.m.

DeKalb gets a visit from 2-4 p.m. Thursday in the DeKalb Municipal Building, 200 S. Fourth St., with the requisite remarks by Rutherford at 2:30 p.m.

The treasurer’s staff says the January list of unclaimed property holders includes:

  •  5,636 Jo Daviess County residents have $1,057,645 in unclaimed property
  • 13,760 Ogle County residents $2,055,962 available
  • 30,100 people in DeKalb County have $5,603,030 in unclaimed property.

To find out if you have unclaimed property, visit www.treasurer.il.gov and follow the Cash Dash link. The website is updated weekly.