(SPRINGFIELD) On Park District Conservation Day at the Illinois State Fair this past Saturday, Governor Bruce Rauner signed two pieces of legislation to improve hunting safety and to increase penalties for illegal hunting. Not taking effect until January 1, 2019, one bill permits hunters to wear blaze pink clothing in addition to blaze orange as both colors are equally visible to the human eye, but not necessarily to deer, who are believed to be color blind to red. The other new law, which takes effect immediately, requires people who illegally capture or kill white-tailed antlered deer to pay restitution to the State DNR. This bill also raises the replacement value of a variety of wildlife species. For more details, go to www.dnr.illinois.gov.
(SPRINGFIELD) A new study by the Illinois Board of Education shows less than a quarter of the state’s children were fully prepared to enter kindergarten last year. The study was based on teachers’ evaluations of their kindergarten students during their first 40 days of school dealing with social and emotional development and for skills in math, language, and reading. The data show that about 42 percent of the students were not prepared in any development area with 24 percent prepared in the three educational skill areas. Officials say more money is needed to help fund high-quality early childhood education in Illinois.
(SPRINGFIELD) As the 2018 Illinois State Fair finished up last night in Springfield, congratulations goes out to the winner of the Fair’s Second Annual Karaoke Contest, which featured 18 talented singers vying for the chance to perform as an opening act for Paris-native Brett Eldredge on the Grandstand stage this past Friday night. The winner was David Casper, who won the Fair’s two round competition on the Rising Star Stage earlier in the week. Casper won the regional contest at the Morgan County Fair in Jacksonville.