(SPRINGFIELD) While the official start of winter is still nearly six weeks away, much of Illinois has already had its first frost and, in some northern areas, its first snowfall. This sets the stage for a potentially long winter, therefore the Illinois Emergency Management Agency is recommending people start taking steps now to ensure they are prepared to stay safe and warm throughout the upcoming winter months. From planning a trip by using IDOT’s website at www.gettingaroundillinois.com to building a home and vehicle emergency supply kit by logging on at www.Ready.Illinois.gov, everyone is urged to take time to prepare.
(SPRINGFIELD) Illinois’ largest public pension system says the state needs to contribute 10 percent more to its fund next year, an increase of roughly $400 million over this year. The State Journal-Register in Springfield reports the Teachers’ Retirement System shows the state needs to put more than $4.8 billion into the retirement fund for the budget year that begins July 1. Illinois’ pension systems are more than $100 billion short of what’s needed to pay promised benefits, due largely to years of lawmakers shorting or skipping payments. Lawmakers have talked about fixing the pension problem for the past several years.
(SPRINGFIELD) As of a week ago today, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources had received reports of 432 suspected cases of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, known as EHD, in white-tailed deer in Illinois. While the higher majority of cases are in counties on or near the Illinois River, running through the counties of Schuyler, Bureau, Peoria, and Fulton, scattered suspected cases of EHD have also been reported here in South Central and Southeastern Illinois, including the area counties of Lawrence (35), Crawford (15), Jasper (13), and Richland (10). Other area counties with four or less suspected cases are Clay, Wayne, Wabash, and Edwards. The worst year for EHD in Illinois was 2012, when 2,968 cases were reported in 87 counties. Contact a local DNR biologists online at www.web.extension.illinois.edu.