Illinois Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) Reports First 2 Mosquito Batches to Test Positive in 2024 for West Nile Virus in Cook & Morgan Counties

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced today that it has confirmed the first two batches of mosquitoes to test positive in 2024 for West Nile virus in Illinois, one in Hoffman Estates in Cook County and one in Morgan County.

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EV Battery Material Supplier Bedrock Materials Announces R&D Headquarters in Illinois

Bedrock Materials, a pioneering battery technology startup, along with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), Intersect Illinois and World Business Chicago, announced it has chosen to locate its research & development (R&D) headquarters in Chicago. The company plans to expand its R&D and manufacturing footprint in Illinois, after it recently closed $9 million in seed funding.

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Illinois Payroll Jobs Up, Unemployment Rate Stable in April

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.8 percent, while nonfarm payrolls increased +7,300 in April, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and released by IDES. The March revised unemployment rate was 4.8 percent, unchanged from the preliminary March unemployment rate. The March monthly change in payrolls was revised from the preliminary report, from +12,700 to +10,000 jobs. The April unemployment rate and payroll jobs estimate reflect activity for the week including the 12th.

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GOVERNOR JB PRITZKER, STATE LEADERS, ADVOCATES JOIN CHILDREN'S BEHAVIORAL HEALTH TRANSFORMATION INITIATIVE TO MARK MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH

Governor JB Pritzker has joined state leaders, mental health advocates, and others to mark Mental Health Awareness Month and discuss ongoing state initiatives to improve services for people dealing with mental health issues and their families. The Governor took part in a roundtable discussion on Wednesday, May 15, at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield, put together by the Children's Behavioral Health Transformation Initiative. The event also highlighted the success of the Certified Recovery Support Specialist (CRSS) program for providing trained peer support to individuals recovering from mental health and substance use disorders, and celebrated recent graduates of the program.

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Four Illinois Students Receive Environmental Excellence Awards from Illinois EPA at the Illinois Junior Academy of Science State Exposition

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) presented Environmental Excellence Awards to four Illinois students at the Illinois Junior Academy of Science (IJAS) State Science Exposition in Decatur. The competition was hosted by Millikin University and IJAS on Saturday, May 4.

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Governor Pritzker Awards $2.5 Million in Grant Funding to Economic Empowerment Centers Across Illinois

Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) awarded $2.5 million in grant funding to 10 recipients through the Illinois Economic Empowerment Centers Grant Program (EEC). This funding will help organizations provide training and resources to individuals and entrepreneurs from historically disinvested communities pursue job opportunities.

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Governor Pritzker and Fire Marshal Rivera Remember Illinois Fallen Firefighters and Honor Firefighters for their Heroic Effort

Governor JB Pritzker and State Fire Marshal James A. Rivera joined firefighters today to honor and remember five fallen firefighters and recognize those who went above and beyond their duties at the 31st Annual Fallen Firefighter Memorial and Medal of Honor Ceremony.

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Illinois EPA Invests Nearly $205 Million in Drinking Water and Wastewater Projects in Third Quarter of FY24

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) Director John J. Kim announced the investment of nearly $205 million through water infrastructure loans to local governments and water districts for the third quarter of Fiscal Year 2024 (January - March 2024). The Illinois EPA State Revolving Fund (SRF) Program provides low-interest loans that fund wastewater, stormwater, and drinking water projects. Of that investment, more than $20.6 million in loan forgiveness was provided to those recipients meeting the loan rules for either the Small Community Rate or Hardship Rate.

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Rebuilding Springfield: Rails and Rest Stops Highlight Another Historic Construction Season

Entering one of its busiest construction seasons ever, the Illinois Department of Transportation announced today that major projects in the Springfield area are planned or underway, fueled by Gov. JB Pritzker's historic, bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital program. Six major projects combined represent a total investment of nearly $103 million, improving safety and mobility while sustaining and creating good-paying jobs throughout the region.

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IDNR and Illinois Prescribed Fire Council Remind Residents to ‘Map your Burn'

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and the Illinois Prescribed Fire Council (IPFC) are joining forces to encourage all prescribed fire practitioners to "map your burn" and contribute to the annual Illinois Prescribed Fires Accomplished Map. The Prairie State has a rich natural history dominated by prairies, which historically were shaped and sustained by fire. From prairies to wetlands, savannas to woodlands, fire has played a pivotal role in shaping Illinois' natural communities for thousands of years. Prescribed fire - also known as Rx fire or controlled burning - stands as the most effective management practice for maintaining and restoring vital fire-dependent ecosystems.

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Rebuilding Springfield: Rails and rest stops highlight another historic construction season

Entering one of its busiest construction seasons ever, the Illinois Department of Transportation announced today that major projects in the Springfield area are planned or underway, fueled by Gov. JB Pritzker’s historic, bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital program. Six major projects combined represent a total investment of nearly $103 million, improving safety and mobility while sustaining and creating good-paying jobs throughout the region.

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Governor Pritzker Awards $1.7 Million to 40 Recipients as Part of the Made in Illinois Grant Program

Governor JB Pritzker, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC) awarded $1.7 million in grant funding to 40 small and mid-sized manufacturers across the state through the Made in Illinois Grant Program.

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GRAMMY Award Winner Lil Wayne to headline the Illinois State Fair Grandstand on Wednesday, August 14th

The Illinois State Fair has announced that five-time GRAMMY award-winning, multiplatinum rap icon Lil Wayne will headline the Illinois State Fair Grandstand on Wednesday, August 14. Wayne has a staggering 109 entries on the Billboard Hot 100, making him the first male artist to surpass Elvis Presley on the list. In addition, sales in excess of 100 million records worldwide cemented his legacy as one of the best-selling artists of all time. He also garnered 11 BET Awards, four Billboard Music Awards, two MTV VMAs, and eight NCAAP Image Awards.

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Illinois Office of Tourism Announces International Visitor Growth in 2023

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), Office of Tourism, is proud to announce a significant increase in international visitors to the state in 2023, marking a momentous milestone in tourism growth for Illinois. I Illinois welcomed 2.16 million international visitors in 2023, reflecting a substantial 39% increase from the previous year, according to data provided by Tourism Economics. This surge in international visitation showcases Illinois as an increasingly sought-after global destination. Additionally, international visitors injected nearly $2.7 billion into Illinois' economy in 2023, representing a 47% increase in spending compared to the previous year.

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IDNR accepting applications for Illinois Natural Areas Stewardship grants

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is accepting applications for Illinois Natural Areas Stewardship grants through June 14. Eligible applicants are conservation land trusts exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the federal Internal Revenue Code and whose originating documents include in their purposes the restoration and stewardship of land for conservation intents.

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Asian Longhorned Tick Confirmed in Illinois

Illinois is the 20th state to discover the Asian longhorned tick (Haemaphysalis longicornis). The tick, considered an invasive species, was found on April 12 during routine active tick surveillance in Morgan County as part of an Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) grant-funded active tick surveillance program. Additional surveillance in the area on April 24 discovered two additional Asian longhorned ticks.

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Illinois Conservation Foundation accepting nominations for 2024 Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame

The Illinois Conservation Foundation is accepting nominations for the 2024 Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame class. Since 2002, the foundation has recognized individuals who have records of exemplary service in and commitments to improving conservation efforts and outdoor recreation opportunities in Illinois.

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As Lyme Disease Awareness Month Kicks Off, Illinoisans Urged to ‘Fight the Bite’ that Sickens 500,000 Each Year

With weather warming up, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is urging the public to get educated about how to protect themselves from ticks and Lyme disease – an infection that sickens an estimated 500,000 people each year in the United States - at the start of National Lyme Disease Awareness Month.

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IBHE Announces Recipients of 76 Nurse Educator Fellowships across Illinois

The Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) has awarded 76 nurse educator fellowships, totaling $760,000, for fiscal year 2024 across the state. The awarded fellowships will help retain well-qualified nursing faculty at institutions of higher education that award degrees that lead to a registered nurse licensure. Retaining qualified nursing faculty will help ensure that nursing students are prepared to enter the workforce and fill a shortage in a critical area of the healthcare workforce. The number of grants awarded nearly doubled from the previous fiscal year due to an increase in funds in Governor JB Pritzker’s fiscal year 2024 budget supported by the General Assembly.

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IDOI Kicks Off its Second Annual Mental Health Parity Ad Campaign for Mental Health Awareness Month

On May 1, 2024, the Illinois Department of Insurance (IDOI) announced that its second annual mental health parity ad campaign will again kick off during Mental Health Awareness Month. The radio, digital, and social media ads will run in several markets, including Chicago, Springfield, Rockford, and Peoria to raise awareness about mental health parity.

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IDPH Reports First Bird in Illinois to Test Positive in 2024 for West Nile Virus in Douglas County

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is reporting the first bird to test positive for West Nile virus in Illinois for 2024 in Douglas County. The specimen was collected by Douglas County Health Department staff on April 2 in Villa Grove. The early report of the first bird comes following a mild winter and spring.

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IDPH, State Water Survey Remind Private Well Owners to Test for Potential Contaminants

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) are reminding Illinois private well-owners to properly maintain their wells and recommend that they test their wells for potential contaminants. Most private wells which are properly constructed and maintained provide safe water for years. However, contamination can occur due to improper construction, poor maintenance, or releases of contaminants into the well’s aquifer. Many contaminants cannot be detected by sight, taste, or smell. Even if there is no indication of problems with the water, it is the well owner’s responsibility to properly maintain their well and regularly test it for potential contaminants to ensure the safety of their drinking water.

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