Area measles cases traced to unvaccinated college students
Two cases have been reported in Champaign-Urbana in recent months — the first in January and the second in early February. Both cases were in unvaccinated college students. Across the country there are currently 101 cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Washington state, home to a group of anti-vaccine activists, is having the most trouble. There are now so many cases the governor has declared a state of emergency.
No cases have been reported in Peoria County.
According to the CDC, measles is highly contagious and communicable a full four days before the characteristic rash appears. It’s spread by respiratory droplets which can remain in the environment and infect others for two hours after the host has left. First, a patient has flu-like symptoms, then a red flat rash, starting on the face and neck. The rash then begins to appear more solid and spreads to the trunk and arms in two to three days where the spots remain discrete.
Some parents have chosen to skip the routine MMR vaccine — measles, mumps and rubella — which most people get as children. The trend started after a study was published in a medical journal in the 1990s linking MMR to autism. However, that study has repeatedly been proven to be incorrect.
The World Health Organization placed the reluctance or refusal to vaccinate as one of the top 10 global health threats in 2019.
Officials issue statement about proposed hog facility
Peoria County has no jurisdiction over a proposed hog finishing confinement facility administration planned to open near the village of Princeville.
County officials acknowledged the numerous communications it has received from residents, organizations and local officials who want the county to hold a public meeting on the issue. However, because the county has no authority over the site, officials will not hold any public meetings.
The power lies with the state.
Illinois statute (Livestock Management Facilities Act (510 ILC 77/1)), denies Peoria County any rights to affect change in this matter because there will be fewer than 2,500 hogs on the property. And, the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) has already approved the site for use, following rules laid out by the Livestock Management Facilities Act. Currently, IDOA is reviewing the facility’s Notice of Intent to Construct. Peoria County has no role, advisory or otherwise, in IDOA decisions.
County officials have outlined three legislative solutions that could protect the county in the future.
- The State Water Survey should play a greater role in the review process to assess impacts on the ground water supply,
- Greater transparency and better notification to local governments for a proposed facility is needed so that citizens and county professional staff can give their input, and
- The Department of Agriculture should also consider a prohibition of any livestock management facility within 1.5 miles of any municipality to preserve the municipality’s ground water supply and property values.
LWV to discuss city’s future as an international arts destination
The arts can have cultural and economic effects on an area, and the Greater Peoria League of Women Voters will explore the topic at its Drinks and Dialogue event, 5:30-6:30 p.m. Feb. 20, at the Lariat Steakhouse, 2232 W. Glen Avenue, Peoria.
Eileen and Doug Leunig, prominent local artists and co-founders of the Big Picture, along with Jenn Gordon, executive director of ArtsPartners, will lead the discussion on Making Peoria an International Arts Destination. Admission is free.
They will discuss how ramping up the Peoria arts scene will impact the city culturally and economically. In addition, they will address the logistics of this effort and how organizations and individuals can participate.
Water main work to affect traffic
Illinois American Water and its contractors are working on relocating water mains at N. University north of Pioneer Parkway. Traffic will remain one-way northbound north of the tracks but travel will shift to the eastern side of the roadway for approximately one month. Following completion of the projected for mid-March and subject to weather conditions, the city’s contractor will resume work on the roadway in the spring. Additional details about traffic flow will be provided at that time. Questions for Illinois American Water should be directed to Al Huff at 309-566-4114. The city can be reached at 309- 494-8800 or email@example.com.
Medical group raises its minimum wage
OSF HealthCare is raising its minimum wage.
The Peoria-based medical group is increasing its minimum by $2 an hour, to $12, effective Feb. 24. The higher pay will affect 5 percent of its employees, totaling almost 1,150 workers. Most of them work in food service, housekeeping, gift shops or the guest-services team.
The current Illinois minimum is $8.25. That’s $1 more than the federal minimum and $1 less than the minimum in Michigan, where OSF operates a medical center.
Gov. JB Pritzker is expected to sign legislation passed by the Illinois General Assembly that will gradually hike the statewide minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025.
The raise is expected to cost OSF about $1.5 million.
In 2015, OSF increased its minimum wage to $10.
Improvement ideas for Downtown being studied
Members of the Downtown Advisory Commission are preparing a to-do list to share with members of the Peoria City Council. Their list is based on four aspects of their plan for Downtown improvements, which believes.
- Planning implementation involves a riverfront master plan, a wayfinding plan, Downtown streetscapes, and the arts community and creative placemaking,
- People strategy involves community engagement, youth strategy and attraction, business attraction, and attracting residents, visitors and workers,
- Parking and infrastructure involves parking solutions and policies, traffic conversions, infrastructure support, and combined sewer overflow integration, and
- Value of Downtown Peoria involves making a business case for the city, property inventory, targeted marketing strategies, surveys, strategic partner presentations, and developing a vision for the Downtown.
–Peoria County News Briefs–