Illinois DNR and SIU-C kick off strategic planning meetings for the World Shooting and Recreational Complex and Pyramid State Park
Two separate meetings were held this week as part of the strategic planning studies to assess the capabilities and needs of the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta and Pyramid State Park in Pinckneyville.
Over 25 stakeholders and experts convened Tuesday, June 26, at the shooting complex and over 30 contributors met at Pinckneyville City Hall on Wednesday, June 27.
The first step for both groups will be to establish mission and vision statements for each facility. At subsequent meetings, the groups will outline S.W.O.T. analyses, which will highlight the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of each location.
The reports are to be completed by December 2019 and the groups will meet again mid-August.
Federal government approves plan to protect safety net and rural hospitals
Governor Bruce Rauner recently announced that the federal government has approved the state’s plan to protect safety-net and rural hospitals while ensuring continued federal support for quality healthcare to more than three million Illinoisans.
The plan was created with Senate Bill 1773, bipartisan legislation that Rauner signed in March. It ensures the state will continue to receive federal matching funds to offer services for Medicaid beneficiaries through the Hospital Assessment Program, which brings in $3.5 billion annually. The new program takes effect July 1.
A bipartisan group of legislators worked with the Illinois Health and Hospital Association and the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services to redesign the program, create a more equitable reimbursement process, and ensure more efficient use of taxpayer dollars.
Prior to the new program, the state used old data sets, which were sometimes based on care that was provided as far back as 2005, to reimburse hospitals for Medicaid services. The new model applies updated data and also ensures that more of the reimbursements are based on actual services hospitals provide.
It also dedicates more than $260 million to help hospitals transform their operations to better serve their communities, such as offering more urgent and outpatient care.
Two District 58 Libraries to Receive Grants to Support Digital Collections
Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White announced that the Illinois State Library has awarded Illinois History-Digital Imaging grants to 15 academic, public, and special libraries totaling $555,305. The funding will help carry out projects involving the selection, digital capture, and storage of important historical and cultural collections.
In addition, the collections will be accessible through the Illinois Digital Archives database maintained by the State Library. Two of the grantees are in District 58 and will directly impact the libraries.
Libraries receiving grants are:
- Sallie Logan Public Library in Murphysboro: $13,605 |For the “The Murphysboro Apple Festival through the Years and the Tri-State Tornado of 1925”
- Morrison-Talbott Library in Waterloo: $94,842 | For the “Monroe County, IL Gardner Survey Records”
“I’m pleased my district is receiving grants in an effort to increase access to significant collections about Illinois’ historical and cultural importance,” said Sen. Schimpf. “By preserving these materials, future generations will be able to connect past and present.”
Information concerning the Illinois History-Digital Imaging Grant Program can be found at: cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/library/grants.
Celebrate July 4th safely
Fireworks are synonymous with our celebration of Independence Day. However, the thrill of fireworks can also bring injury.
If you and your family are going to celebrate with fireworks, remember these safety tips:
- Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
- Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
- Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
- Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
An average of 250 people go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the July 4th holiday.