(SPRINGFIELD) Illinois has agreed to settle a prison health lawsuit as lawyers for approximately 40,000 state prison inmates announced yesterday that the State Department of Corrections’ agreement will end an eight year old federal suit alleging that prison health care is so inadequate that it has led to needless deaths. While a U.S. District Judge must approve the consent decree, in which the state admits no wrongdoing, the plan provides for a court-appointed monitor to oversee the complete reconstruction of Illinois’ prison system health care. Currently, an outside private contractor handles the prison system health care needs.
(SPRINGFIELD) Governor Bruce Rauner has proclaimed January as Radon Awareness Month in Illinois to increase awareness about the presence of radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is recognized as the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. It’s estimated that nearly 1,200 people in Illinois develop radon-related lung cancer each year. While a statewide Illinois Radon Poster Contest is now open to students ages 9 to 14, with entries accepted until March 1, high school students can compete in the Illinois Radon Video Contest with entries required by March 8. All the details for both contests are available at www.lung.org. For more general info, visit IEMA’s website at www.radon.illinois.gov.
(OLNEY/NEWTON) The Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois has released its monthly weather report for last month, December 2018, showing warmer than average temperatures, very little snow, and a historic late-season severe weather outbreak. The statewide average temperature for last month was 34 degrees, 4.2 degrees above the long-term average in Illinois. The statewide average precipitation was 3.32 inches, which was 0.63 inches above the long-term average, although Illinois’ precipitation did not include large amounts of snow, mostly due to the warmer-than-normal weather conditions in December. However, the warm weather helped lead to a severe storm outbreak on the first day of last month when 29 tornadoes were confirmed in Illinois, an event that’s considered the largest December tornado outbreak in state history, with most of the twisters doing damage in central parts of the state with no fatalities reported. By the way, looking ahead to the rest of this month, January 2019, the Climate Prediction Center forecasts an above normal chance for a drier than average month with above average temperatures in January as well.