West Nile Limited
West Nile virus in Illinois may be limited this year because it's been a cool, wet summer so far. The Illinois Department of Public Health says that a year ago 4 percent of the mosquitoes trapped in counties around the state carried West Nile. At this point in 2012 that figure was 14 percent. But this year it's just 1 percent.
Spring Valley Crash
A Peru man is dead after a motorcycle accident in Spring Valley. Spring Valley Police say a motorcycle driven by 35-year old Randy Mosell, Jr. was eastbound Sunday night on US Route 6 in the Spring Valley curves when he lost control of his motorcycle after he passed a vehicle. Authorities say Mosell ran off the roadway and struck a road sign post. Mosell was taken to Saint Margaret’s hospital in Spring Valley where he died shortly after arrival.
County Wide Emergency Plans
Meetings discussing emergency plans county wide are ongoing over the next several nights. The North Central Illinois Council of Governments are hosting several meetings to discuss the natural hazard mitigation plan. The plan’s purpose is to identify the types of natural hazards that impact an area, assessing vulnerability to natural hazards and to formulate strategies to protect residents throughout the area. Meetings will be held in Utica Wednesday evening at 6 PM.
Registration for the new school year at Streator Elementary Schools begin today. Registration is taking place at the Streator Knights of Columbus from noon until 6 PM today and tomorrow. School officials remind parents that proof of residency and up-to-date immunization records are needed for all enrolling students. Certified birth certificates, physicals, dental examinations, vision examinations and lead screenings are required for different grade levels. Registering Pre-K and Kindergarten students is $75 and first through eighth grade students is $85. The list of required registration documents can be found on the WSPL Facebook page.
Road Salt Scramble
Almost 200 Illinois communities are scrambling to find road salt after the record cold temperatures and snowfall last winter depleted supplies. And if they are able to find any vendors willing to sell them road salt, they could end up paying double what they paid last year. The Illinois Department of Central Management Services this month informed many city and county officials in charge buying road salt that no vendors responded to their requests for bids.
More than 10 percent of Illinois government employees made more than $100,000 last year. The Springfield State Journal-Register says 7,800 employees — just over 10 percent of the workforce — topped that level in salary. It said overtime and back-wage payouts were responsible for many of the larger salaries.
Illinois exported about 12 million tons of coal in 2013. That's down a bit from the 13 million tons exported a year earlier, but far more than the 5.5 million tons exported in 2011 and 2.5 million tons in 2010. Illinois coal production accounts for about 4,000 jobs. Critics, though, say exports are shifting pollution to other countries.
Family Dog Killed by Police
A suburban Chicago police officer was fired after shooting to death a family dog. Nicole Echlina says her 6-year-old daughter saw the shooting of their dog, Apollo, by the Hometown, Illinois police officer The owners of the 14-month-old, German shepherd mix called police for help after he ran off. Authorities say police officers found the dog and tried to coax him to go inside. They say that is when the dog growled and approached the officer, prompting the officer to shoot.
St. Clair County authorities have identified a quadriplegic man who drowned in a pond following a wheelchair accident. The county's deputy coroner says Gerard Frierdich of Belleville died Sunday in Centennial Park after his motorized wheelchair fell down an embankment and into the water. The 51-year-old photographer was paralyzed from the chest down in a 2007 bicycle accident.
Park visitors discovered Frierdich Sunday when they saw part of his body and wheelchair sticking out of the pond.