The office of Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs provides information about state financial and investment activities through The Vault, the Treasurer’s interactive open data portal. It provides access to a wealth of data on State financial and investment activities and helps the Treasurer’s Office execute several important objectives, including Transparency - Provide the people of Illinois with greater access to robust information on the Treasurer’s Office in a more user-friendly, engaging, and transparent manner; Civic Engagement – Foster a more informed, engaged public citizenry that actively participates in civic and public policy matters; and Efficiency – Generate efficiencies for the Treasurer’s Office by optimizing data preparation, storage, analysis, and reporting processes. Links include statewide bond metrics, college savings, technology investments, portfolio and risk analytics, Illinois ABLE program, invest in Illinois, and investing to reduce Illinois’s backlog.
On December 1, 2018, NASA’s InSight lander, which touched down on Mars on November 26, provided the first ever sounds of winds on the planet Mars. The spacecraft’s sensors captured a haunting low rumble caused by vibrations from the wind, estimated to be blowing 10 to 15 miles per hour from northwest to southeast. The winds were consistent with the direction of dust devil streaks in the landing area, which were observed from orbit. You can listen to full-length uncompressed .wav files here. Bruce Banerdt, InSight principal investigator at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, said, “Capturing this audio was an unplanned treat. But one of the things our mission is dedicated to is measuring motion on Mars, and naturally that includes motion caused by sound waves.” InSight (which stands for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) is not a rover; it’s designed to stay in one place and to drill into and study Mars’ deep interior. InSight’s two-year mission will be to study the deep interior of Mars to learn how all celestial bodies with rocky surfaces, including Earth and the moon, formed.
Without salt, snow and ice accumulate on roads and bond to the pavement, making it difficult to remove with snow plows. Salt applied to the surface causes some of the snow and ice to melt. The meltwalter combines with the salt to create a liquid called brine. The brine moves the salt around and continues the melting process. Traffic across partially melted ice patches breaks them apart so that plows can remove them. Chloride (one of the components of road salt) is toxic to fish if the level is over 230 mg/L for a tenth of an organism’s life span (100 - 200 days for brook trout) or a maximum of 860 mg/L for short periods of time. Recognizing the corrosive and environmentally damaging nature of winter deicing salt, department maintenance forces have been going on a "reduced salt diet." How much salt is a problem? What other environmental effects can salt have? Click here to find out! Visit the MPCA's Road Salt and Water Quality website for more information and watch an instructional video by Forin Consulting about winter driveway and sidewalk maintenance.
University of Illinois Extension’s Community and Economic Development team will host the state and federal legislative updates, Illinois State Legislative Update, on Thursday, January 17, 2019, at 12 PM CST with Kelly Murray and Taylor Anderson from Illinois Association of County Board Members (IACBM), and Federal Legislative Update on Thursday, January 24, 2019, at 12PM CST with Jack Peterson from National Association of Counties (NACo). Our experts will discuss recent and potential changes in legislation that will have a direct impact on Illinois local governments. With a Q&A session following the presentation, participants will have an opportunity to discuss impact and better understand mandated and expected actions.