Woodford County News Briefs

Chronicle Media

This is a composite image of the March 2016 total solar eclipse. The next one will occur Aug. 21, and the Illinois Department of Transportation has issued plans to keep traffic moving and the traveling public safe.


IDOT focuses on safe traffic flow during eclipse

The Illinois Department of Transportation says it will make sure traffic keeps moving and the traveling public remains safe leading up to the solar eclipse. Carbondale is in the path of the total eclipse, making it one of the prime viewing areas in the country for the Aug. 21 event. The rest of the state will experience a partial eclipse of approximately 90 percent.

Unlike some states, Illinois is placing no special restrictions on truck activities because of the eclipse. To help with traffic flow, lane closures on major IDOT projects in the southern part of the state will be temporarily lifted during the weekend before the eclipse and the following day. Throughout the state, digital message boards will communicate traffic and safety messages.

The department also is coordinating with Illinois State Police and local law enforcement to ensure that traffic control points are appropriately staffed. 

If you are traveling during the eclipse, here are some commonsense tips:

  • Plan ahead: Do not expect to park and view the eclipse from the side of the road.
  • Anticipate increased pedestrian and bike traffic near popular viewing areas.
  • Do not wear special viewing glasses or take photos of the eclipse while driving.
  • On the day of the eclipse, drive with your headlights on.
  • Use the Getting Around Illinois website to get the latest on traffic conditions.


Advocate nurse offers advice on keeping mosquitoes away

A new study indicates that the presence of Zika-carrying mosquitoes has been documented from all states in the southern tier of the U.S., with some confirmed as far north as Chicago. This represents a 21 percent increase in the number of U.S. counties with the infected mosquitoes.

Zika is a virus that is transmitted primarily by mosquito bites that, among other things, can cause serious birth defects when a pregnant woman is infected. Most of the activity from Zika-carrying mosquitoes was initially confined to areas around the Caribbean, as well as Central and South America.

Wherever you find yourself this summer, you should protect yourself from mosquito bites, said Mark Lareau, an Advocate nurse and emergency department manager at Advocate Eureka Hospital in Eureka. 

Lareau recommends using EPA-approved insect repellents that contain effective active ingredients, such as DEET or oil of lemon eucalyptus.

Lareau also advises wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants when mosquitoes are prevalent, and to make sure that the area around your home is free from standing water or other conditions that attract the insects.

Women who are pregnant or thinking of getting pregnant should not travel to areas where there is a high risk for contracting Zika. The Center for Disease Control’s website, cdc.gov/travel, has information about these areas.

College formalizes partnership with Reagan institute

Eureka College and The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute have agreed to a partnership that includes scholarships for Eureka students to participate in leadership and internship programs in Washington, D.C. and Simi Valley, Calif.  

As part of the agreement, a group of Eureka students will receive scholarships each semester through the Leadership and the American Presidency program in Washington, D.C. Eureka students will be placed in high-level Washington internships that align with their interests and provide experiential learning throughout the semester or summer.

Additionally, Eureka students will have the opportunity to participate in a summer internship at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute in Simi Valley each year. The program will place students in a department that best matches their skills and interests. 

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute is a non-profit, non-partisan organization committed to continuing the legacy and sharing the vision and principles of leadership demonstrated by President Ronald Reagan. It is committed to education and the formation of education alliances, to scholarship in general and to the development of future leaders.

–Woodford County News Briefs–