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According to an article By Evonne Liu of Crain's Chicago Business, DuPage County remains the healthiest county in Illinois, followed by Kendall, as reported in the annual rankings. Clinton County from our area is ranked number 8. 

The rankings are a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. This is the ninth year the institute has released them.

The report has two parts: "Health Outcomes" looks at length of life and quality of life, with the length-of-life measurement focusing on premature deaths.

The report's quality-of-life factor is measured by "self-reported health status," which includes the percentage of people reporting poor or fair health conditions and a person's number of physically or mentally unhealthy days in a month, and is also measured by the percentage of newborns of low birth weight, an indicator of infant mortality risk. Another consideration in the report is maternal exposure to health risks.

DuPage scored the No. 1 spot in the health outcome ranking, which it also landed last year.

The collar counties scored higher marks than Cook County in the health outcome ranking: McHenry County landed the No. 5 spot and Kane improved from No. 12 to No. 7. Will County was ranked No. 9, up from No. 11, while Lake County fell to No. 10 from No. 6 last year.

The report also ranks "Health Factors" in each Illinois county, with those factors including health behaviors, clinical care, and social, economic and environmental factors, such as people's drinking and exercising habits. Other factors include obesity, access to health care, crime rates, child poverty and air pollutions.

DuPage also ranked No.1 in this ranking, while Cook County moved up from last year's No. 77 spot to No. 72. Kendall County improved year-over-year from No. 6 to No. 5; Lake County improved from No. 10 to No. 6 this year.

McHenry County dropped from No. 7 to No. 9; Kane County dropped from No. 25 to No. 30.

The report noted that Cook County improved in areas including premature deaths, alcohol-related driving deaths, and child poverty and teen births. Negative trends for Cook County included obesity, sexually transmitted infections and income inequality, according to the ranking.
With an eye towards the Prairie State’s history in the White House, Illinois is prepared to celebrate President’s Day on Monday, February 19.  General Washington’s victories at Yorktown and other battlefields helped force Britain to officially cede Illinois Territory to the new United States in the 1783 Treaty of Paris, making it possible to create the future state of Illinois thirty-five years later.  Washington’s birthday is the ancestor of what is now President’s Day, and 2018 marks the first President’s 286th birthday.  One of Washington’s veterans, James Monroe, as President signed the bill in 1818 that made Illinois the 21st state.   

The first President who lived in Illinois, Abraham Lincoln, was elected in 1869 when Illinois as a state was only 42 years old.  Lincoln, whose 209th birthday was observed last week on February 12, has become a symbol of the State’s bicentennial celebration.  Ronald Reagan is the only President  actually born in Tampico, Illinois while UlyssesS. Grant lived in Galena, Illinois. The most recent President who lived in Illinois was former State Senator Barack Obama who lived in Chicago.
What: Governor Rauner delivers budget address

Where: Illinois State Capitol – House Chamber

Date: Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Time: 12:00 p.m.

The address will be streamed on Facebook Live and at the following links:

HD Satellite Coordinates: 
Slug: Illinois Budget Address Live
Date: February 14, 2018
Time: 11:45 AM (CT) 1:00 PM (CT) 
Satellite: ECHO105K
Transponder: 07
Slot: A9
Downlink Frequency: 11826.5
Downlink Polarization: Vertical
Bandwidth: 9 MHz
Symbol Rate: 7.5
FEC: 5 / 6
Data Rate: 18.589212
Video: MPEG-4 4:2:0
Modulation Scheme: 8PSK

For technical assistance please call IOCI Media Services at 217-785-5499.
Tony Griffith (left), owner of Griffith Trucking, Heartland Peterbilt and Heartland Classics in Effingham and Newton, will be giving out bonuses to his 65 full-time employees as a result of the recent tax law changes.

In President Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday evening, he made the case that his recent tax law is the reason why companies across the country have announced bonuses, wage increases and other benefits for their employees.

Tony Griffith, who owns three companies in Effingham, agrees wholeheartedly. So much so that this week he announced to his 65 full-time employees that he will be giving each of them a $1,000 bonus.

“I'm excited for my employees," said Griffith, who anticipates he'll save about $100,000 under the new tax law. "This gives them hope that they are not just working at some humdrum job paying them the same until they die."

Griffith owns Griffith Trucking, inside of which is the moving company, Broadway Express. He also owns Heartland Peterbilt and Heartland Classics in Effingham and Newton.

Read the full Effingham Daily News story by Keith Stewart by clicking HERE.

You may watch the live video or listen to the live audio on
the Illinois General Assembly web site (ILGA.GOV) by clicking HERE.

The address will also be streamed on Facebook Live and at the following links:

HD Satellite Coordinates: 

Slug:  State of the State Live
Date: January 31, 2018
Time: 11:45 AM (CT)  1:00 PM (CT) 
Satellite: GAL17K
Transponder: 24
Slot: D
Downlink Frequency: 12193.5000
Downlink Polarization: V
Bandwidth: 9 MHz
Symbol Rate: 7.5
FEC: 5 / 6
Data Rate: 18.589212
Video: MPEG-4 4:2:0
Modulation Scheme: 8PSK
For technical assistance please call IOCI Media Services at 217-785-5499.
WGEL Radio announced that the First National Bank is now accepting scholarship applications from high school seniors in Bond County. Two Greenville High School and two Mulberry Grove High School seniors will be selected to each receive a $500 scholarship. Scholarship applications are available in the guidance offices of each school or may be downloaded at the bank’s website at Scholarships are listed under the Trust tab.

Applicants must have a minimum of 3.0 grade point average and exhibit the willingness to “go the extra mile” in academics, sports, or extra-curricular activities. Applicants will also submit a one page essay on a topic that is outlined in the application package.

Applications must be received no later than April 2, 2018.

If you have any questions about the scholarships, contact Pat Kious at FNB Greenville at 664-0300 or Dianne Siebert at FNB Mulberry Grove at 326-8314.
On Thursday State Representative John Cavaletto joined Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti for the announcement of a virtual learning pilot program involving students from Altamont Community High School. The 10 students from ACHS will help the State determine the future of the program. The students will be studying Advanced Placement US History and Government.

"The quality of education at Altamont is a good benchmark for evaluating the success of a pilot program like this," said Rep. Cavaletto. "The goal is to help more students from our rural part of the state take these kinds of classes to be able to go on to college."

Read more at the KJ Country web site by clicking here.