Tazewell County news briefs

Businesses, restaurants, arts galleries, makers and more in the county enjoy center stage from 5 to 8 p.m. on three more Fourth Fridays this summer. — June 28, July 26, and Aug. 23. (Photo courtesy of Fourth Fridays)


Volunteers needed to maintain plants at post office

The Village of Morton is asking for volunteers to water the new plants at the Post Office, 600 W. Jefferson.

This is an ideal opportunity for local church groups, scout organizations, or others who are looking for a summer service project, the city stated on its website.

Due to the lack of federal funding, the Post Office is unable to hire anyone to water their new plants.

Volunteer groups will need organize schedules together in order to adequately maintain the plantings.

If your group is interested in volunteering, contact Julie Smick at the Village Hall at 120 N. Main, via email at jsmick@morton-il.gov, or by calling 309-266-5361.


Next Fourth Friday festivities will be this week

Businesses, restaurants, arts galleries, makers and more enjoy center stage from 5 to 8 p.m.  on three more Fourth Fridays this summer. — June 28, July 26, and Aug. 23

During that time, each will celebrate every interpretation of the arts through locally made goodies, creative activities, artisan markets, visual art displays, specialty food and drink items, music and more.

There will be something for the entire community to enjoy each and every Fourth Friday.  Participants can also participate in free activities, complimentary exercise classes, kids’ activities, activated streetscapes, pop up concerts, beverage tastings and more.

The Tazewell Art Loop is a guide to the #shoplocal365 shops in Tazewell County that are locally owned and feature local makers in their shops.

Participants can navigate the Tazewell Art Loop at their own pace using a Passport sponsored by Unland.  Participants that collect a sticker, stamp or other store authorized indication that you visited every stop on the Tazewell Art Loop through August will be invited to return their finished booklets to the Chamber of Commerce by Thursday, Aug. 22 to be eligible for a grand prize drawing on August Fourth Friday.

The winner will be announced on the Tazewell Art Loop Facebook page in August.



 Library hosting summer coding club for all ages

Learn how to code with Raspberry Pi. Local programmers Michelle Sinn and Terry Massey lead this popular workshop series, offering new projects every month.

The sessions will be held on Saturdays: June 29, July 20, Aug.17 and Sept. 14.  The 9-10:15 a.m. session will be for students in grades fourth through eighth, and the 10:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. class will be for teens and adults.

Participants need a laptop and a Gmail account. No coding experience required.
Space is limited, and registration is required.
For more information about Coding Club, call 925-5432 or email tremontlibrary.childrens@gmail.com


Department of Public Health expands newborn screenings

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is rolling out today a test for adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) for all newborn babies statewide.  ALD is a rare hereditary disorder that affects the brain, nervous system, and adrenal gland.  It affects approximately 1 in 20,000 births.

“Babies born with adrenoleukodystrophy have normal brains at birth.  However, progression of the disorder without treatment can be fatal,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  “By adding ALD to the Illinois newborn screening panel, every baby born in Illinois will be tested for ALD.  Babies who test positive for this disorder can then receive therapies during the early stage of the disease.”

Early diagnosis of babies with ALD can lead to potentially life-saving interventions, including adrenal steroid replacement and stem cell transplantation.  These therapies are only effective during a narrow window, which is often missed.  Through universal screening and early diagnosis, treatment options can be evaluated by the baby’s health care providers and initiated in some cases before symptoms develop.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services added ALD to the national Recommended Uniform Screening Panel in February 2016.  Implementing ALD screening required the purchase of new equipment, development of new test methods, Clinical Lab Improvement Amendments lab test validation, and computer system modification to provide laboratory results and facilitate follow up tracking.

Illinois is now the 14th state in the U.S. to screen for ALD.  Additional information can be found on the dph.illinois.gov website.

Flooding, warmer temps often means more mosquitoes

The months of rain and flooding have created conditions ripe for floodwater mosquitoes (Aedes vexans).  Fortunately, floodwater mosquitoes, often called nuisance mosquitoes, are not known to carry disease.

“It is important to protect yourself from insect bites, even if they are not known to cause disease,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  “While the mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus prefer hot, dry conditions, even the mosquitoes that flourish in cooler, wet weather bring the potential for infection if you scratch a bite and create a wound.  Taking some simple precautions can help keep you healthy.”

Many counties in Illinois are currently experiencing flooding conditions.  Water that stands in flooded areas for more than 10 days has the potential to produce large numbers of floodwater mosquitoes.  Floodwater mosquitoes can travel up to 10 miles from where they breed.

If we start to see drier weather with higher temperatures as we head into summer, we will start to see more mosquitoes, often referred to as house mosquitoes (Culex pipiens), that can carry West Nile virus.

Nine counties have already reported mosquitoes or birds that have tested positive for West Nile virus.  House mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, like street catch basins, ditches, empty flower pots, tires, and any container that holds water that is not changed weekly.  In stagnant water, house mosquitoes can multiply rapidly.