WATCH : WSOYMCA Challenge 2019 – Game Day

WATCH : WSOYMCA Challenge 2019 – Game Day

Game day returned on the WSOYMCA Challenge, with a more kind Austin playing basketball and football games with the group. Did Matt Whitehead get hurt again?

 

PHOTOS: St Patricks Day Parade

PHOTOS: St Patricks Day Parade

March 17, 2019 – Check out the photos from Saturday’s St. Patricks Day parade!

Pop-Up Electronics Recycling Event This Weekend

Pop-Up Electronics Recycling Event This Weekend

March 12, 2019 –Unwanted TVs and certain consumer electronic items may be dropped off for recycling during a Pop-up Electronics Collection this Saturday, March 16 by registering for an appointment 
 
Select consumer video devices, gaming systems and home office electronic items that have been banned from Illinois landfills will be collected. Each registrant may drop off up to seven accepted items without charge except for TVs/monitors, which will be collected for $10 each.  
 
This event will be held in the parking lot of the Macon County Environmental Management Recycling Center at 1750 N. 21st St., Decatur. To register, click on the “Register for Collection Events” button on www.MaconGreen.com 
 
Pop-up Electronics Recycling Collections are held during the winter season to give residents more opportunities to recycle electronics beyond the regular spring, summer, and fall scheduled events. Since these collections are held outdoors, the events are scheduled in a “pop-up” fashion when a stretch of good weather is in the forecast. The 2019 regular collection schedule for the spring, summer and fall will be announced before each season.  . 
 
Many electronics are also accepted by local retailers, although restrictions and fees apply for TVs/monitors.  For more information about electronics recycling, click here. 

House Advances Tobacco 21

House Advances Tobacco 21

March 12, 2019 – House Lawmakers are voting to raise the age to buy smokes in Illinois. 

Under the legislation, you’ll have to be 21, instead of 18 to purchase tobacco products in Illinois. 

Supporters claim this will help reduce the number of teens who pick up the habit. More than 30 communities, including Chicago, already have a Tobacco 21 law on the books.

Similar legislation was passed last year, but vetoed by then Gov. Bruce Rauner. The latest measure now faces a vote in the Senate. 

Time To Check Smoke Detectors

Time To Check Smoke Detectors

March 12, 2019 – The Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal says it’s time to check the batteries in your smoke detectors. 

Fire Marshal Matt Perez says the spring and autumn time changes for daylight saving time present a “built-in reminder to ensure your smoke alarms are working properly.” 

Testing allows parents to alert children to the sound they make when they detect a problem. And Perez says families should practice their home escape plan. 

The National Fire Protection Association reports that from 2009 to 2013, three in five home-fire deaths were in houses that either did not have smoke detectors or where they weren’t working properly. 

A 2017 Illinois law requires all households to have 10-year smoke alarms installed by Jan. 1, 2023. Homes with hard-wired detectors are exempt. 

Study Shows Teacher Shortage in Central IL

Study Shows Teacher Shortage in Central IL

March 12, 2019 – A study has uncovered an acute shortage of teachers in parts of central Illinois, leading to canceled classes, increasing class sizes, and substitute teachers or administrators taking on larger teaching roles. 

The Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools surveyed 500 school districts and found that 89 percent of districts in central Illinois have trouble filling teaching positions with qualified candidates. 

Mark Jontry, the association’s president, blamed the shortage on low salaries for new teachers, teacher evaluations pushing people out of the industry and fewer student teachers passing tests to acquire a teaching license. 

Districts reported having to cancel classes or programs because of the lack of staff or turning to online classes. The shortage is also especially affecting the number of school psychologists, library specialists, foreign language teachers and instructors for blind or deaf students. 

Democratic Sen. Andy Manar is sponsoring a bill that would increase the minimum wage for teachers to $40,000 by the 2023-2024 school year. He said other possible solutions include creating a loan forgiveness program that would incentivize teacher to go to underfunded districts and making it cheaper to get a teaching license. 

“We have a severe shortage of teachers in downstate Illinois,” he said. “That problem’s not going to change by wishing it away.” 

GOV Pritzker Launches Fair Tax Calculator

GOV Pritzker Launches Fair Tax Calculator

March 12 2019 – Gov. J.B. Pritzker has launched an online calculator that he says will let Illinoisans know how his proposed graduated income tax will affect their families. 

Pritzker last week rolled out his plan to end Illinois’ flat-tax, now set at 4.95 percent, and join 35 other states with scaled-up rates for higher incomes. Pritzker’s proposed taxes would start at 4.75 percent for earnings up to $10,000 and levy a top rate of 7.95 percent on $1 million or more. 

On Tuesday, Pritzker unveiled what his office calls a “Fair Tax Calculator” that he says would let citizens input their information to see how much they would pay under the new plan compared to the current tax structure. 

Pritzker says Illinois’ current tax system is unfair to the middle class. Republicans and some business leaders don’t support the proposal. 

RCC Expands Security Protocal

RCC Expands Security Protocal

March 12, 2019 – Richland Community College has expanded their security protocal to include it’s own police unit. In a new podcast, Dean Hazen, Director of Public Safety at Richland Community College says the program makes RCC complaint on the Federal level with standards of Higher Education Law Enforcement. Hazen adds the program makes RCC more prepared for anything from medical emergencies to events such as active shooters. Listen to the podcast with Pharmacy Facts With Friends now!: