Mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus are in the metro area.
The Madison County Health Department announced that a mosquito batch collected from just outside Granite City, Illinois tested positive for the virus. Officials say the best way to avoid West Nile is to practice the "Three R's".
- REDUCE exposure - avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn.
- Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or other openings. Try to keep doors and windows shut, especially at night.
- Eliminate all sources of standing water where mosquitoes can breed, including flowerpots, wading pools, old tires and any other receptacles. Change water in bird baths weekly.
- REPEL - when outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and apply insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535, according to label instructions. Consult a physician before using repellents on infants.
- REPORT - In communities where there are organized mosquito control programs, contact your municipal government to report areas of stagnant water in roadside ditches, flooded yards and similar locations that may produce mosquitoes.
Last year 290 Illinois residents were infected with the virus and 12 died.
Additional information about West Nile virus can be found on the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Web site at www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/wnv.htm or contact Madison County Health Department at (618) 296-6079 or visit our website at http://www.madisonchd.org/west-nile-virus-vector-surveillance.shtml
CHICAGO (AP) - Members of a bipartisan panel tasked with coming up with a plan to address Illinois' pension crisis don't all agree with Gov. Pat Quinn's July 9 deadline to report back with a solution.
Democratic Sen. Kwame Raoul says it could take longer than that. He spoke to reporters Thursday before the panel's first public hearing. He says another hearing will take place next week.
The 10-member panel was formed after a special session this month. Both chambers remain divided and the group has been charged with finding compromise.
Republican Sen. Mat Murphy says July 9 is a reasonable target.
Six Democrats and four Republicans are on the committee.
Illinois has the worst state pension shortfall nationwide, largely due to lawmakers skipping or shorting payments to public-employee retirement funds.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - St. Louis lags behind many other metropolitan areas in attracting immigrants. A new effort is underway to change that.
The St. Louis Mosaic Project was formally launched Thursday. The ambitious goal is to make the St. Louis region the fastest-growing metropolitan area in the U.S. for immigration growth by 2020.
St. Louis is the nation's 19th largest metropolitan area but immigrants make up just 4.5 percent of the region's population, which ranks 43rd.
The St. Louis Mosaic Project hopes to draw more immigrants through several outreach efforts, including a website that will offer 10 links for people of different nationalities