Local News for Sunday, July 7


Published on July 7 2013 6:34 am
Last Updated on July 14 2013 12:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

A bill on Governor Pat Quinn's desk to raise the interstate highway speed limit to 70 miles-per-hour contains something of a speed bump.   

The bill would raise the limit from 65 to 70 on highways in non-urban areas, but includes an option for local county boards to opt out.  Larger Illinois counties haven't said whether they'll take advantage of that option, which could create a patchwork of local laws. 


Governor Quinn stood in front of Wrigley Field Friday to ask the public to support the changes he made to the concealed gun bill, including a ban on concealed guns anywhere alcohol is served. 

Lawmakers return to Springfield Tuesday to consider Quinn's changes, including a one-gun, ten-round limit and a provision allowing local governments to enact their own weapons bans.  Both houses passed the bill with vote totals big enough to override Quinn's veto.  Meanwhile, 30 Illinois communities plan to take votes on local assault weapons bans, which would remain on the books under one of the changes Quinn has made.


The Effingham County 4-H Barbecue will be held today from 11am to 6pm at the Effingham Elks Lodge on South Banker in front of Village Square Mall.

The Effingham County Pork Producers have teamed up with the Effingham County 4-H Foundation for a day of food, fun, games, silent auction, bake sale and live auction.  The live auction will be held at 4pm.

It's a free-will donation at the door for the meal and games.  The meal will include pork chops, porkburgers and hot dogs, as well as sides and homemade desserts baked by 4-H members.


Big Brother will be watching people busted for drunk driving in Illinois. 

Secretary of State Jesse White says they're putting cameras in the cars of drivers who use an ignition interlock device.  The device measures the level of alcohol in the driver's body before allowing the car to start, but drivers find tricky ways to get around the system by letting a friend take the blow test.  Officials say the camera will ensure the right person blows into the device before getting behind the wheel.  Drunk driving deaths have dropped by 24% in Illinois since the program expanded back in 2009.


Heartland Human Services of Effingham recently earned The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval for accreditation by demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission's national standards for health care quality and safety in behavioral health care.

Heartland underwent an on-site survey in March.  A team of Joint Commission surveyors evaluated Heartland for compliance with standards of care specific to prevention and control, leadership and medication management.

Heartland Executive Director Jeff Bloemker said, "We are pleased to be able to offer the Effingham region quality health services of this caliber.  We feel this is an important credibility measure for our agency as we move into the world of integrated health care."


The Illinois State Fair is quickly approaching and, as always, the fair will kick off with the Twilight Parade on Thursday, August 8th, at 6pm.  Those interested in participating in the parade must act soon; the deadline to enter is this Friday, July 12th.  Parade applications are available on the main page of the state fair website at www.illinoisstatefair.info


Eldon Potts, a country gospel singer from Joplin, Missouri, will be appearing at Louisville Christian Church in Louisville tonight at 6pm. 

Potts sings a unique style of country gospel that appeals to people of all ages.  He has traveled extensively in the United States, in addition to much involvement on the mission field in various countries around the world.  Not only does he present a unique sound in gospel music, he is also a preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, graduating from Ozark Bible College in 1977.  Potts has produced 15 recordings.  There is no admission charge, and everyone of all ages is welcome to attend.


The more than 30 rooms of the Teutopolis Monastery Museum will be open for tours today.

The hours are from 12:30 to 4pm.  Admission for adults is $3 and $1 for children.

The Museum is located on the second floor in the former Franciscan Novitiate building, which is located behind St. Francis Catholic Church in Teutopolis.  Besides its collection of articles used by the Franciscan Friars, the Museum is also known for Bibles and books in different languages, some from the 1700s.  One section features items used by early Teutopolis pioneers.  The tour also includes the Mausoleum and St. Francis Church with stained glass windows that depict highlights in the life of St. Francis of Assisi.  Volunteers are available along the tour to explain the displays and assist visitors.


Effingham Area Tea Party meets tonight at 6:30pm at Culver's Frozen Custard and Butterburgers in Effingham.  New members are welcome.


A reminder about Commissioner Office Hours tonight at Effingham City Hall.

The hours are from 5 to 7pm and feature members of the City Council meeting with citizens on issues of importance regarding city government.  The office hours are held in the City Council chambers at City Hall.


In local sports...the Effingham Junior American Legion Post 120 baseball team will be in action today at Altamont.  The two area squads will play a doubleheader starting at 2pm.