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Van Pelt on DNA accountability report: ISP is on the right track

Published: Friday, August 07, 2020 02:10 PM

dna test 080720CHICAGO – The Illinois State Police’s Division of Forensic Services (DFS) Forensic Sciences Command (FSC) released the DNA Accountability Report for Fiscal Year 2020 last week, and State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) is highlighting its major improvements to reduce the DNA backlog, while recognizing there is still work to be done.

“I am excited about the progress ISP has made,” Van Pelt said. “I hope this trend continues, and I will keep tracking them to make sure they continue to move forward in fulfilling their commitment to giving these families justice.”

Crowe highlights state grant awarded to Mississippi Valley Library District

Published: Friday, August 07, 2020 01:57 PM

library 011520MARYVILLE – To ensure quality education resources for students in the Metro East, State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) is announcing a state grant for the Mississippi Valley Library Grant to aid in mentoring programs.

“This grant will provide an opportunity for students needing extra support, especially in the unprecedented times we’re experiencing,” Crowe said. “I commend the state for investing in our youth.”

The Mississippi Valley Library District received a $27,463 grant to support Project Next Generation efforts, a mentoring program for students to develop technological skills, achieve success through project-based learning and gain life skills such as effective communication, goal-setting and conflict resolution.

The Secretary of State awarded $559,358 in 2021 PNG grants to 28 public libraries statewide, based on districts serving culturally diverse, low-income and underserved populations.

Projects were awarded grants from the Illinois State Library using federal Library Services and Technology Act funds provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Joyce highlights new grant available to support dairy entrepreneurship

Published: Friday, August 07, 2020 01:50 PM

dairy 080720PARK FOREST – In an effort to provide financial and technical support to the dairy industry in Illinois, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Park Forest) is urging dairy farmers and businesses apply for grants through the Dairy Business Innovation Alliance (DBIA).

“Every dairy farmer should look at this grant opportunity,” Joyce, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee said. “These grants are designed to help dairy producers and processors expand, while promoting more entrepreneurial efforts.”

DBIA, a joint effort coordinated by the Center for Dairy Research and the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, was designed to support and promote the diversification and addition of value-added products to the Midwest dairy industry.

Goals of the program include increasing on-farm diversification, creating value-added dairy products like specialty cheeses, and expanding export opportunities for farm-scale and processor dairy products.

The grant application period is now open. A total of $220,000 in funds is available, with individual projects eligible for up to $20,000 each. The deadline to complete and return applications is Aug. 14. Selected producers and business owners will be notified Sept. 4.

For questions or additional information, call DBIA at 608-265-1491 or visit https://turbo.cdr.wisc.edu/dairy-business-innovation-alliance/.

Villivalam helps secure local temporary COVID-19 testing site, urges residents to get tested

Published: Friday, August 07, 2020 01:45 PM

Jones cvd testing 041520CHICAGO – In response to the recent rise in positive COVID-19 cases, State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) is urging residents to take advantage of a new temporary testing site set up at the Bernard Horwich JCC.  

“Due to the increasing positivity rate in Chicago, we need to continue our strong testing and contact tracing operations to stay ahead of the virus and prevent a big outbreak,” Villivalam said. “Not only is this temporary testing site a way to make it easier than ever to get a fast, easy and free test, but it’s also key to being able to safely reopen our state and economy. Testing and contact tracing are vital to being able to put people back to work without compromising their health or that of their coworkers.” 

The temporary testing site is located at 3003 W. Touhy Avenue in Chicago. Testing will be available Monday, Aug. 10 through Sunday, Aug. 16, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Simple nasal swabs will be used, and both drive-thru and walk-up testing are available. Anyone can get tested regardless of whether they exhibit symptoms. The tests are free, and the results will be available within four to seven business days. Residents should bring their insurance card but can still get a test without insurance. 

“Part of why this virus is so dangerous is the asymptomatic cases that spread silently through communities,” Villivalam said. “Most asymptomatic cases won’t know they have the virus unless they get tested. This site will allow anyone who may be worried about upcoming travel, visiting family, going to work or caring for children to get a test to make sure they don’t have COVID-19 and hopefully bring them a little peace of mind.” 

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