New law allows 16- and 17-year-olds to become organ donors
Teens, ages 16 and 17 years old, can now register for the state’s First Person Consent Organ/Tissue Donor Registry when they receive their first driver’s license or identification card.
Secretary of State Jesse White supported the legislation, saying, “Thousands of Illinoisans are waiting for an organ. Those who are waiting are someone’s mother, father, daughter or son. This new law is an important step in reducing the number of individuals on the waiting list.”
Before the new law went into effect Jan. 1, an individual had to be at least 18 years old to join the First Person Consent Organ/Tissue Donor Registry. The legislation amends the Illinois Anatomical Gift Act allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to join the registry. Those who join the registry will receive a letter of thanks from the Secretary of State’s office.
By joining the registry, 16- and 17-year-olds will be giving consent to donate their organs and tissue at the time of their death with only the single limitation that the procurement organizations (Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Network and Mid-America Transplant) must make a reasonable effort to contact a parent or guardian to ensure they approve of the donation. The parent or guardian will then have the opportunity to overturn the child’s decision. Once the 16- or 17-year-old turns 18, that decision would be considered legally binding without limitation.
In 2016, more than 350,000 16- and 17-year- olds in Illinois were issued driver’s licenses and identification cards. A total of 47 states have enacted similar legislation.
Illinoisans can register to be a donor by calling (800) 210-2106, or by visiting a local state Driver Services facility.
Motorists will face stiff fines if they ignore stopped vehicles
A new roadway safety campaign has been launched, aimed at raising awareness of an Illinois law requiring motorists to move over for stopped vehicles with flashing lights.
The state law was first enacted in 2002, requiring motorists to slow down, move over and change lanes if possible to make room for stopped emergency vehicles with flashing lights. The law was expanded in January 2017 to include any vehicle with flashing hazard lights.
Gov. Bruce Rauner along with officials from the Illinois Tollway, Illinois State Police, Illinois Department of Transportation and other groups last week announced the new “Give Them Distance” safe-driving initiative highlighting the law. Motorists who don’t comply face a fine up to $10,000, a two-year suspension of driving privileges and possible jail time.
Trees can be recycled through Jan. 13
The East Peoria Public Works Department is helping residents recycle live Christmas trees. These trees can be included with a resident’s regular garbage, if some requirements are met: The tree must be cut up and placed inside the garbage container. All lights, tinsel and decorations must be removed.
Public Works staff will not pick up trees that are wrapped or in bags or not cut up and inside the garbage container. Trees will be picked up through Jan. 13. For more information, call (309) 698-4716 or visit cityofeastpeoria.com.
The Tazewell County Health Department is accepting Christmas trees through Jan. 13 on the Illinois Central College East Campus near the truck driver training area. The trees will be mulched.
The health department requires that all lights, tinsel and decorations be removed. The trees should not be wrapped in bags. For more information, call (309) 925-5511, ext. 270.
Program to give tips to protect yourself online
Cyber Security Tips from A Hacker will be presented 2 p.m. Jan. 6, at Morton Public Library, 315 W. Pershing. Knowing how the offensive side thinks is an important part of defending yourself. Learn how to protect your computer and your information online. Hacking is not illegal. It’s a method of problem solving. Unfortunately, today’s cyber criminals are using hacking techniques to disrupt technology and steal information. Learn how to protect yourself. The program is for adults. Registration is requested. Call (309) 263-2200.
Christmas lights winners announced
Morton High School Key Club and Morton Kiwanis Club members chose winners of this year’s Christmas lights contest. The efforts of residents of 650 Oak Ridge earned them honors of the most traditionally decorated home. The house at 20 Wolf Crossing was named the most beautiful and 350 N. Missouri earned the Griswald award. The winners were given gift baskets donated by the Kiwanis Club and gift cards donated by PaPa Murphy’s Pizza, Morton Cinemas and Kroger’s.
Science Fun program for 3- to 5-year-olds
Children, ages 3-5, can learn about science related subjects and participate in science experiments in Science Fun, an eight-session program starting Jan. 10 at Morton Public Library, 315 W. Pershing. This is a STEM program offering science, technology, engineering and mathematics-based programs to the library’s youngest patrons. Classes will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays through Feb. 28. Registration is required. Call (309) 263-2200 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bicentennial movies to be shown at library
Pekin Public Library announces its 2018 Illinois Bicentennial Movie Series of Local Pekin/Tazewell County History. The movies will be at 11 a.m. on the first Friday of every month on the large movie screen in the Community Room of the library, 301 S. 4th St., Pekin. The first movie, “History of Pekin,” will be shown Jan. 5. The movie includes footage of the Pekin High School, Pekin Hospital, Pekin Theater and the Old Post Office. Pekin got its name on Jan. 19, 1830.
–Tazewell County News Briefs–