(SPRINGFIELD) The Illinois Department of Public Health has confirmed the first human West Nile virus related death in Illinois for 2018. A LaSalle County resident over 65 years old who became ill during the first part of August and tested positive for West Nile virus has died. This compares to last year’s first West Nile virus death on September 29, 2017, nearly a month later. The IDPH is currently reporting twenty-two (22) human cases around the state. Last year in 2017, there were 90 human West Nile virus cases, including eight (8) deaths. West Nile virus positive results in humans, birds, mosquitoes, and/or horses have been reported in 58 counties so far this year. For more information, go online at www.dph.illinois.gov.
(SPRINGFIELD) The State of Illinois has launched the “Driving a Cleaner Illinois” program which is aimed at improving air quality in the state by primarily removing old diesel engines from service. The program makes way for cities, schools, transit agencies, and private businesses to submit project ideas to the State EPA detailing how they will replace the old engines with newer, more environmentally friendly options. Funded through a $108 million allocation to Illinois from a federal settlement, the first round of money, $20 million, is going for public transit bus projects in the Chicago Metropolitan area. Subsequent funding rounds will include the Metro-East St. Louis area, plus Champaign and six other Illinois counties.
(DU QUOIN) The 2018 Du Quoin State Fair is continuing. Today is Sponsor Appreciation Day with the Pop 2000 Tour on stage tonight. Tomorrow is Illinois Tourism Day with the Gen-X Tour on stage tomorrow night. Saturday is Coal Heritage Day with Phil Vassar and Love & Theft on stage that night. Sunday is First Responder Day with all firefighters, police officers, and EMT’s admitted free by showing their badge, plus it’s USAC Silver Crown racing and the DirtCar UMP Modifieds at 4:00 and the Whippoorwill Rodeo that night at 7:00. Monday is SIU/College Day with IBRA Barrel Racing, washer and corn hole tournaments, and ARCA Racing and more DirtCar UMP Modifieds at 3:00. Not to mention all the carnival rides, various games, and plenty of fair concession food available on the Fairgrounds. To view the daily/nightly schedule, for admission & parking information, for Grandstand ticket details, and more general information, check the Fair’s website online at www.DuQuoinStateFair.net.