(SPRINGFIELD) The State Fire Marshall and the Illinois Fire Service Institute hosted a forum yesterday on better equipping fire departments and first responders in Illinois. The statewide grant opportunities for fire protection gear, innovative research, and resources for Illinois’ emergency personnel were highlighted during the forum. While the OSFM announced the Small Equipment Grant Program will provide grants of up to $26,000 to local fire departments for the purchase of small firefighting and ambulance equipment all across the state, an intergovernmental agreement that took effect January 1, 2018, is now streamlining the process for Illinois firefighters to receive state training certification thru the Illinois Fire Service Institute.
(CHICAGO) Governor Bruce Rauner yesterday announced the availability of the official Bicentennial Craft Beer as he tapped the first keg at Binny’s Beverage Depot Tasting Room in Lincoln Park. The Hand of Fate Brewing Company of Petersburg, Illinois created the special birthday brew, dubbed as the 1818 Prairie State Farmhouse Ale, which is being distributed statewide by Breakthru Beverage Illinois. Hand of Fate Brewing was chosen to brew the official beer after winning last summer’s Bicentennial Craft Beer contest at the Illinois State Fair. The winning brew features staple Illinois crops including corn, wheat, and oats, plus state grown crystal hops. For more on the Illinois Bicentennial, logon at www.illinois200.com.
(SPRINGFIELD) Suspected EHD (Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease) cases were reported again in Illinois in 2017, but in low-to-moderate levels. A total of 66 reports were received from concerned landowners and hunters totaling 169 deer from 32 counties, according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. In comparison, 2012 was the worst year for EHD in Illinois with 2,968 dead deer reported to IDNR from 87 counties. EHD is a viral disease, spread by biting gnats, which can cause high fever and severe internal bleeding in deer, and while often fatal to deer, EHD does not impact deer populations evenly across the state. EHD is not hazardous to humans or pets and while cattle can somewhat be infected, they can be successfully treated with medications. There were 12 EHD reports in our downstate area involving 17 deer in 9 counties : including Jasper, Clay, Fayette, Marion, Wayne, Lawrence, White, Hamilton, and Jefferson.