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Crowe applauds Leadership Council SWIL as a new DCEO grant recipient

Published: Thursday, July 09, 2020 02:59 PM

crowe 012820MARYVILLE – The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity awarded 12 organizations with new state grants to support broadband advancements, and State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) is excited to congratulate Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois as a recipient.

“Because of their experience of drawing private investment and economic advancement, Leadership Council SWIL supports nearly 700,000 residents and more than 250 leaders in business, industry, labor, education and government,” Crowe said. “This grant will allow the Southwestern Illinois region to advance and improve the reliability and consistency of internet connectivity for remote workers, telehealth, and e-learning for students.”

The Illinois Connected Communities grant program was created to support building broadband capacity in some of the most underserved areas with awards up to $15,000.

“The Leadership Council SWIL Education Committee is excited to participate in this this very important Broadband Connectivity planning effort,” said Dr. Ronda Sauget, Executive Director and CEO of Leadership Council SWIL.” It is more critical than ever before to have internet connectivity for remote work, e-learning, telemedicine, agricultural, and so many other sectors. This grant will help us to identify a path for SWIL to move forward.”

The 12-month program enables each Illinois Connected Community to complete a plan for expanding broadband that identifies actions to improve internet access in the areas of community and economic development, education, civic engagement, healthcare, agriculture, and more.

The program directs $150,000 in state-funded small grants for 12 community and local government partners to help improve access to high-speed broadband in their communities.  The state grants will be matched by $150,000 in philanthropic funds.

Senator Bush’s office now taking appointments

Published: Thursday, July 09, 2020 01:48 PM

office open3 070920GRAYSLAKE – After months of working remotely, State Senator Melinda Bush’s district office will reopen to the public on an appointment-only basis beginning Monday.

“To keep community members safe and healthy from COVID-19, we decided to work from home during the height of the pandemic,” the Grayslake Democrat said. “However, while we were still answering emails and phone calls, we recognize and believe people are best served in-person.”

Bush’s office will be open by appointment-only in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 between both staff and community members.

While it is encouraged to conduct business over the phone, via email or through Zoom, people may still visit the office by making an appointment.

To do so, they may call 847-548-5631 or visit senatormelindabush.com/contact/request-a-meeting . There is also an option on the website to make a Zoom appointment – which is highly encouraged. Walk-ins will not be accepted. Those who are medically able should wear a face covering in an effort to keep everyone in the office – and everyone who visits after them – as safe as possible.

“Opening the office will allow us to better serve the people we represent,” Bush said. “I encourage anyone with questions or concerns related to legislation, COVID-19 or other items to contact my office. We are always happy to help.”

Bush’s office will continue to be available by both phone and email.

Villivalam cautions drivers to be aware of road conditions in summer heat

Published: Thursday, July 09, 2020 01:27 PM

pavement 070920CHICAGO – As temperatures continue to rise, Illinois State Senate Transportation Chair Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) is urging drivers to be cautious of potential pavement buckling on roads due to the hot and humid weather. 

“During the summer we often worry about staying hydrated and reapplying sunscreen,” Villivalam said. “Oftentimes we forget that extreme heat can also cause the road pavement to crack and break which can create dangerous driving conditions.” 

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, pavement failures or blowouts can occur when prolonged high temperatures cause roads to expand and buckle up or blow out, resulting in uneven driving surfaces. Precipitation and humidity can also increase the potential for buckling.

“To ensure road safety this summer, I urge everyone to be cognizant of road conditions and construction workers while traveling and to report any issues immediately,” Villivalam said. 

Pavement failures should be reported to IDOT by calling 800-452-4368 or by calling 911.

Renewal dates for Illinois driver’s licenses, vehicle registration extended to Nov. 1

Published: Thursday, July 09, 2020 11:47 AM

joyce 022720PARK FOREST – To reduce heavy customer volume at driver services facilities and ensure current documents remain valid, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Park Forest) is drawing attention to the new renewal extension date for driver’s licenses, identification cards and license plate stickers.

“The Secretary of State has extended renewal expiration dates until Nov. 1,” Joyce said. “This decision will give motorists some peace of mind while also reducing the amount of in-person interaction necessary when renewing licenses and registrations.”

Many transactions, including renewing license plate stickers, can be done online, preventing people from waiting in line.

“During this current heat wave, I would suggest residents consider delaying their visit to a facility. But if you must visit a facility, please come prepared to wait outside due to social distancing, which limits the number of people inside a facility at one time,” Secretary of State Jesse White said.

Through July 31, driver services facilities are serving only new drivers, customers with expired driver’s licenses and ID cards, and vehicle transactions. Customers who must visit a facility to renew their driver’s license or ID card are encouraged to fill out the preregistration application here before their visit, which will speed up their transaction while at the facility.

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