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October 30, 2020

 

 
 
 
 

The Illinois Department of Transportation, the Illinois State Police and local law enforcement agencies reminded motorists that driving impaired is a scary decision that causes needless fatalities. The message is simple this Halloween: “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and “Drive High. Get a DUI.” “If you think Halloween is scary, remember: a DUI will haunt you for years,” said Cynthia Watters, bureau chief of Safety Programs and Engineering. “If you will be partaking in alcohol or other impairing substances, plan ahead for a sober ride home before the party starts.” Illinois motor vehicle crash fatality rates are higher than they were at this time last year. As of Oct. 23, 864 people lost their lives in vehicle crashes in Illinois this year, according to IDOT provisional data, 48 higher compared to the same timeframe last year. To save lives and keep these numbers in check, law enforcement will be stepping up efforts to get impaired drivers off the road. The enforcement period will extend Halloween weekend through the early-morning hours of Monday, Nov. 2.

 

 
 
 
 

Changing weather patterns in Illinois are leading to increased precipitation, with flooded streets, water in basements, and headaches for cities. Green infrastructure, which includes plants, permeable surfaces and landscaping to store, filter and reduce stormwater flows to sewer systems and surface water, can address these and other societal challenges, according to a report from University of Illinois Extension. “Communities are facing increasing stormwater management challenges,” says Lisa Merrifield, University of Illinois Extension Community and Economic Development specialist and author of a white paper published by the North Central Regional Water Network. “Many communities are turning to green infrastructure, which can reduce local flooding, and provide green space and jobs for marginalized communities.” But are communities making those connections? The network’s green infrastructure team conducted a yearlong study to see if and how green infrastructure and social justice programs were being connected in midwestern communities. “Some communities are coupling the two, but most are thinking of green infrastructure only as a stormwater management tool,” Merrifield says. “Communities are interested, but need help figuring out how. Illinois Extension staff can serve as a trusted source for information on using green infrastructure to promote environmental and social justice.”

 

 
 
 
 

The Illinois Cooperative Development Center helped to create the Market on The Hill (MOTH) in Mt. Pulaski, Illinois. The MOTH is a Community Supported Enterprise in the form of a food cooperative. This small community grocery store supplies fresh food to the community in what was a rural food desert.  The Illinois Cooperative Development Center at Western Illinois University has assisted several communities using the Rural Fresh Market business model, developed at the center. Find more information at http://www.value-added.org/small-town-grocery-stores/, or email Sean Park, Program Manager, at ms-park@wiu.edu

 

 
 
 
 

University of Illinois Extension, along with Rural Partners, will host a discussion about how the November 3 election results will affect rural communities in Illinois and the country. The webinar, The 2020 Presidential and Congressional Elections: Rural America’s Impact and Stake, is 9 a.m. Tuesday, November 10. John Jackson, visiting professor from Southern Illinois University's Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, will share his perspective and lead the discussion. Jackson, former SIUC chancellor, is a frequent contributor to local, state, and national media coverage of government and politics, and edits the Simon Review series. The webinar is free and open to the public, but you must register to attend.

 

 
 

UPCOMING EVENTS

November 6 - Stronger Together: Building an Energy Efficiency Workforce

November 10 - The 2020 Presidential and Congressional Elections: Rural America’s Impact and Stake

 
 
 
 
 

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