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Sims announces $258 million in road projects for 17th District

Published: Tuesday, July 28, 2020 01:11 PM

Road workCHICAGO—As a result of an infrastructure package backed by Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr. (D-Chicago), the 17th District will see $258 million in infrastructure projects during the six-year span of the plan, with $24 million in road improvements set to begin in the next year.

“This is a meaningful investment to preserve local roads and bridges,” Sims said. “We are taking a responsible approach to not only address safety and traffic issues, but to prevent them before they arise.”

The largest project will be overlaying work in Crete and Beecher. It will cost $5.5 million and involve repairing deficiencies and resurfacing roads.

Another $4.3 million project will span Lynwood and Glenwood. It will include widening the road, bi-directing a left turn lane and improvements to help people with disabilities.

Burnham will see $1.6 million worth of bridge repairs and maintenance.

A $1.2 million project will also be done in Burnham and Calumet City. It will include surface maintenance at the right time (SMART) overlaying work, which is resurfacing an area that has previously had an overlay before major repairs are needed. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, if it is done at the right time, it can prevent serious distress. This project will also involve improvements for people with disabilities.

"Aside from making our roads safer, these projects will provide quality jobs and help people recover from the financial impact of the pandemic,” Sims said.

Passed in 2019, the historic and bipartisan Rebuild Illinois plan is the largest capital program in state history. In its first year, the program improved 1,706 miles of roadway, and repaired or reconstructed 128 bridges across Illinois.

IDOT’s complete Multi-Year Plan can be found on its website.

Bennett highlights local schools set to receive grants to support future educators

Published: Monday, July 27, 2020 04:16 PM

TeacherCHAMPAIGN – In an effort to recruit and support future educators, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is excited to announce nine local schools will receive Education Career Pathways Grants from the Illinois State Board of Education.

“Teachers play an important role in our society and have the power to bring about change in a student’s life,” Bennett said. “This grant is an opportunity to support diversity in the teaching workforce, which will contribute to students’ desire to learn and overall performance in the classroom.”

The Education for Employment System #330 in Champaign has been awarded $85,450, which will be distributed to nine high schools in Champaign County to assist these schools in developing Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs to prepare students for careers in education.

CTE programs help students develop technical and employability skills while strengthening their core academic abilities to enable them to pursue higher education opportunities and succeed in the workforce. Students in CTE programs also have the opportunity to earn dual credit or credentials and certifications from partner institutions before graduating high school.

The programs will place a special focus on recruiting underrepresented students into education careers to help meet the high demand for teachers of color across Illinois.

Nearly $2 million in total funding has been awarded to 11 Education for Employment Systems statewide to recruit and support future educators at 62 high schools and vocational centers across the state. For a full list of grant recipients or to learn more about career and college readiness programs in Illinois, visit www.ISBE.net/CTE.

Gillespie, Walker urge residents to give blood

Published: Monday, July 27, 2020 04:10 PM

Blood driveWHO: State Senator Ann Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights), State Rep. Mark Walker (D-Arlington Heights)
WHAT: Community Blood Drive
WHEN: 3-7 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020
WHERE: Heritage Park, 506 W. Victoria Ln., Arlington Heights, IL 60005

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS – State Senator Ann Gillespie and State Rep. Mark Walker are partnering with Versiti Blood Center of Illinois to host a community blood drive at Heritage Park next Thursday, Aug. 6.

“We currently face a nationwide shortage of blood and platelets,” Gillespie said. “As hospitals reopen for elective surgeries, their blood supply is more vital than ever. Please help our front-line medical workers by making an appointment to give blood.”

"Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we've seen our communities step up time and again for each other,” Walker said. “This blood drive is another way to do that. I'm proud to partner with Senator Gillespie to do what we can to help alleviate the critical blood shortage we are experiencing.”

Appointments are preferred, however walk-ins can be seen if social distancing allows. Blood donors should make an appointment online at bit.ly/BloodDrive-8-6-20.

Stadelman asks victims of fraud to come forward, help bring scammers to justice

Published: Monday, July 27, 2020 04:06 PM

UI fraudROCKFORD – To provide assurance to residents that are concerned about potential identity theft after recent claims of fraudulent unemployment cards, State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) is asking Rockford residents who believe they’ve been a victim to file a report with Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).

“During this time of so much uncertainty, it’s sad that people are being taken advantage of,” Stadelman said. “If you believe you’ve been a victim of this scam, you can help other Illinoisans by filing a report with IDES. We need to hold these scammers accountable.”

Recent reports have shown Illinoisans have been receiving KeyBank debit cards and unemployment letters in the mail, despite never applying for benefits. According to IDES, individuals who received these mailings may be targets of fraud.

After receiving these reports, IDES launched an investigation into a national fraud scheme targeting claimants to the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. IDES said unclear federal guidelines quickly developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, making claimants vulnerable to these scams. IDES also said this scheme is not associated to the PUA program issue experienced in May.

IDES employees are now working with people whose identities have possibly been stolen. The department is also working with local and federal law authorities to track down and prosecute those committing fraud.

Individuals who have received debit cards in the mail without applying for benefits should call IDES immediately at 1-800-814-0513 to report identity theft. Do not activate the debit card.

Victims of fraud are also encouraged to check their credit reports for possible suspicious activity, post a fraud alert and visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website for helpful tips on recognizing and reporting identity theft.

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