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New law will help keep children who need mental health treatment with their families

052114CM0012RA new law should help end a disturbing trend: parents turning their children over to the Department of Children and Family Services because it is the only way the kids can get the mental health care they need.

Parents who make this heart-wrenching choice have usually already exhausted every other option. Their private insurance refuses to pay any more, but they make too much money to qualify for Medicaid.

The new law will give exhausted parents the ability to get state assistance without giving up their children to the foster care system.

Citizens learn to save money at Stadelman's utility bill clinic

utilsROCKFORD – Mary Klemm walked out of Monday's utility bill clinic with potentially an extra $20 a month in her pocket.

An adviser from the Citizens Utility Board walked Klemm through her options for keeping her land line and finding a better deal. Turns out her current provider charges her a monthly fee to generate a long-distance bill even if she didn't make any calls.

"She gave me information that as a consumer, I didn't know -- and that's going to save me money. I'm old school. I don't want to pay for what I don't use," said Klemm, who is now going to work further with CUB to lower her cell phone costs.

Jacobs hosts Senior Fair (VIDEO)

080814JacobsSeniorFairThe Whiteside County Senior Center was buzzing with activity on Monday during an event co-sponsored by the center and State Senator Mike Jacobs (D-Moline). The Whiteside County Senior Center hosted vendors from the area in addition to statewide vendors, all aimed at assisting area senior citizens.

“Events like these are truly great opportunities for people to learn about the services they may be missing out on,” Senator Jacobs said. “Often times, many of these services aren’t well known and many of them get passed over because of lack of information. This fair was a wonderful way to have everything in one place and give back to the people who gave so willingly to us.”

Good news for employers: Another drop in insurance rates on the horizon

WC-20percentA recent decision by the National Council on Compensation Insurance will mean big savings for Illinois’ small businesses. The council recommended lowering workers’ compensation insurance premiums by 5.5 percent, which means Illinois’ workers’ comp rates have fallen by nearly 20 percent over three years.

Workers’ compensation insurance, which helps employers pay when workers are hurt on the job, is a major business expense. In 2011, the Illinois General Assembly made a concerted effort to cut workers' comp costs for businesses without putting injured employees at risk.

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