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State honors fallen Logan-Trivoli firefighter by dedicating highway

Hauk350HANNA CITY – The state of Illinois is honoring Assistant Fire Chief Brian T. Hauk of the Logan-Trivoli Fire Protection District by dedicating a stretch of Illinois State Route 116 that runs from Hanna City to Elmwood in his memory.

Hauk was a volunteer firefighter for 15 years before becoming assistant fire chief. Tragically, only six months after taking on his new responsibilities in 1997, he gave his life in the line of duty. He was survived by his wife, Tina, and their two young children.

This afternoon, Hauk's friends and family gathered at the Hanna City Fire Department, where the Illinois Department of Transportation unveiled the signs that will mark Route 116. They then traveled to the location of the eastern sign.

"More than a decade after his death, the Hanna City community still remembers Brian Hauk's commitment to protecting their homes and loved ones," said State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria), who passed the legislation authorizing Hauk's memorial. "His family, friends and fellow firefighters still grieve his loss. This memorial will help everyone remember his sacrifice and remind them of the risks that firefighters take for all of us every day."

Hauk was honored at the Illinois Firefighters State Memorial and at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in 1998.

Stadelman named as emerging leader with selection as Edgar Fellow

300pxStadelmanURBANA – Steve Stadelman is among 40 emerging leaders from throughout Illinois who have been chosen as 2014 Edgar Fellows in the third year of an initiative to stimulate cooperation across regional, political and ethnic lines and help the state face major challenges in the years ahead.

Stadelman, elected to the Illinois Senate in 2012, will join public officials from various levels of government, business executives and civic leaders for an intensive training program Aug. 3-7.

Experienced practitioners and scholars will engage the Edgar Fellows in study and discussion of major policy areas including health care and economic development; the 2014 Edgar Fellows will subsequently join the 2012 and 2013 alumni in periodic gatherings to further their education and build their professional networks.

The fellows program is designed and hosted by former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar and the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs. Stadelman, a former TV news anchor and father of four, was selected from a highly competitive pool of 160 nominees.

"I'm honored to be part of such a distinguished group of new leaders and eager to put what I learn to work to improve Illinois," said Stadelman, D-Rockford. "I have always been a strong believer in working across the partisan aisle to find common sense solutions, and I'm not afraid to embrace compromise, even if compromise seems out of style as a way to govern."

The program, which takes place on the Urbana-Champaign campus, is funded primarily by private individuals, organizations and companies interested in promoting competent and well-motivated leadership in Illinois.

"In the first two years of our effort," Edgar said, "we have seen emerging leaders reflecting the state's political, regional and ethnic diversity form friendships and bonds that will serve Illinois well when it comes to addressing major challenges. I fully expect the 2014 Fellows also will realize they have much more in common than they might have thought while they gain a greater understanding of different perspectives."

Mulroe measure strengthens lead poisoning prevention

mulroe-041014 js 1220CHICAGO — A measure sponsored by Sen. John Mulroe (D-Chicago) clarifying and tightening Illinois’ Lead Poisoning Prevention Act was signed into law yesterday by the governor.

The Illinois Department of Public Health requested technical changes better defining locations considered as “regulated facilities” where lead exposure is suspected. The changes also refined the age range of children to whom sections of the act apply and address violations and enforcement of the act.

Sen. Mulroe, chairman of the Senate Public Health Committee, co-sponsored the legislation with Rep. Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston). Mulroe said the new provisions reflect current federal and industry standards necessary for Illinois to be eligible for federal lead abatement funding.

“Even though lead poisoning has declined, children in metropolitan areas and in public or private housing built before 1978 are still at risk for lead poisoning,” Sen. Mulroe said. “Continuing to improve prevention efforts and tracking blood lead levels can help us keep reducing and potentially eliminate exposure.”

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, dust and soil contaminated with lead from old paint, leaded gasoline emissions, lead pipes, paint and dust from old toys, furniture, hobby materials and children’s metal jewelry are the most common causes of lead poisoning in children.

Illinois citizens will have even more voting options this year, thanks to new law

IMG 1343 2RSPRINGFIELD – A new law signed by the governor today will make it even easier and more convenient for citizens to vote in the upcoming general election. The law expands opportunities to vote early and to vote by mail. It also creates a one-year pilot program that allows grace period voting on Election Day.

“Voting is a right and a vital part of our country’s social and political fabric,” said State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park), who sponsored the new law. “To encourage people to participate, we should be doing everything we can to make it easier to vote without weakening the integrity of the voting system.”

The new law is part of Senator Harmon’s continued efforts to bring Illinois’ voter registration laws into the 21st century by making it easier for citizens to register and to vote. Last year, he passed a law allowing Illinois citizens to register to vote online. That service is now available at https://ova.elections.il.gov/.