Changes in lead poison testing will ID more children exposed to risks
A change in how the state measures exposure to lead poisoning will increase the number of children who will be identified with lead poisoning and receive intervention earlier. The new rules were proposed by the Illinois Department of Public Health and approved by the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules. The rules lower the level at which public health interventions are initiated for children with blood lead levels from 10 micrograms per deciliter (μg/dL) to 5 μg/dL, the same lead reference level used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The change means more children will be identified as having lead poisoning, allowing parents, doctors, public health officials and communities to take action earlier to reduce the child’s future exposure to lead. Levels of lead in blood – even low levels – have been shown to contribute to learning disabilities, developmental delays, behavioral problems, as well as a number of other negative health effects.
With the new rules, children who test at or above the new level will receive a home visit from a public health nurse who will educate families on ways to lower the blood lead level and reduce lead exposure, including proper nutrition, hygiene and housekeeping. Public health environmental experts will also inspect residences to determine the source of the lead exposure.
Illinois law requires that all children six years of age or younger be assessed for lead risk.
Illinois residents get free admission to Field Museum
Chicago’s Field Museum, home to Sue the T. rex, the most complete skeleton ever discovered of the world’s most popular dinosaur, invites Illinois residents to view its many natural wonders and cultural artifacts for free during February.
The museum’s collection grew out of items on display in the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. The goal of its staff, including 150 scientists and researchers, is to learn everything it can about the planet earth.
On Free Admission Days, basic admission is free for Illinois residents with proof of residency. Discounted passes are available in person and cannot be purchased online in advance.
No special coupon, ticket, or pass is required on free days. Just present a current Illinois driver’s license, state ID or Chicago CityKey card at the ticket desk to establish proof of residency. Residents also can prove residency by showing a valid photo ID along with one of the following:
- Illinois lease,
- Illinois library card,
- Illinois student ID with photo,
- Illinois utility bill or
- Illinois work ID or check stub.
Community Mental Health Board accepting funding applications
Agencies that serve the mental health needs of DeKalb County residents can apply for funding by the DeKalb County Community Mental Health Board. The board is accepting applications for the grant year July 2019-June 2020. The deadline is 12 p.m. Feb. 25.
The mental health board helps to fund programs that serve the needs of people with mental illness, developmental disabilities and substance abuse, along with prevention and educational programs. For information about the grant application and process, call Deanna Cada at 815-899-4960 or Kathy Ostdick at 815-899-4970. To get an application by email, send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
State to expand care for low-income preschoolers
New state funding will help 40 DeKalb low-income preschoolers. The Illinois State Board of Education has given $1.6 million to the Child Development and Family Center at Northern Illinois University.
The grant represents the only Preschool for All Expansion program in the DeKalb County area. The program increases access to full-day early childhood education and comprehensive services to the most at-risk 4-year-olds. Although most programs are half-day, NIU’s program is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., To take part in the program, a child must be four years old and from a family with income at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. Families do not have to be affiliated with NIU, and the program is inclusive for children with disabilities.
Local author to talk about her book
The author of a psychological thriller will speak at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 31, at the Somonauk Public Library, 700 E. LaSalle St.
CL Gibson, of Somonauk, will answer questions, sign books and read from her 5-star-reviewed novel, “The Urge.”
“The Urge” is the first book in The Devil’s Rules Series, which primarily takes place in the Midwest. The second book, “The Grudge,” is due for publication in the fall of 2019. “Each book in The Devil’s Rules Series is a standalone book based on one of the seven deadly sins. The central theme of “The Urge” is lust, while the sin in “The Grudge” is envy.
Books will be available for purchase at the event. For information, call 815-498-2440.
Fundraiser to help child who needs bone marrow transplant
A Feb. 2 fundraiser will benefit a girl who needs a bone marrow transplant.
The Genoa Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8387 will host the event, which is scheduled from 12-4 p.m. at the Genoa VFW, 311 W. Washington St. Food will be served, and a silent auction will be held featuring donations from local businesses and Chicago sports teams. There also will be a drawing for a quilt, with tickets costing $2 each or $5 for three.
Brookelyn Poggensee was diagnosed last fall with a GATA2 gene mutation as well as bone marrow failure that causes blood disorders called myelodysplastic syndromes. Her chemotherapy treatment will begin Feb. 18 and will continue through Feb. 28. A GoFundMe page is collecting donations for her care.
For information, call Emily McConaghie at 815-739-5006 or email email@example.com.
Kish students place in business challenge
A group of five Kishwaukee College students took second place in the PricewaterhouseCoopers Challenge at Northern Illinois University. The competition tested accounting, finance, business and presentation skills through problem-solving realistic business cases.
Maria Tranchina, Edwin Yockey, Briana Williams, Damian Aquilera and Tracy Drobick earned second place among six competing teams from community colleges in northern Illinois.
All teams were given a case in which a media company acquired a theme park and a gaming company; competitors had to determine the best outcome for the media company. Teams had two weeks to prepare a 10-minute presentation for judges which included PricewaterhouseCoopers executives. After their presentation, judges asked interview style questions.
This is the second year Kish has had a team in the competition.
–DeKalb County News Briefs–