Local News

It's National Police Week and local authorities are discussing what it means to be able to promote their agencies and officers.

 

Among those is Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers who says there have been four active police officers that have passed away so far this year but only one is a line of duty death.

 

 

Before COVID, law enforcement officials had an initiative titled 'Under 100'. The idea was to bring the number of police fatalities in the line of duty to under 100. That effort has stalled since the spring of 2020.

 

 

Additionally, inflation of the officers killed in the line of duty has been a general disregard for authorities. Chief Lowers believes there are a lot of factors that are playing into this new atmosphere of anti-police.

 

 

Chief Lowers points out since the rise of the anti-police and disregard for authority movements, the complaints about officers doing their jobs have increased exponentially. 

 

 

While the Chief has strong opinions on the environment for law enforcement, he is appreciative to live in a community that is a strong supporter of its law enforcement officers. 

 

We'll hear more from law enforcement officials throughout the week on Regional Radio regarding National Police Week. 


May is Osteoporosis Awareness Month

May is National Osteoporosis Month and an ideal time to consider assessing bone health. 

 

Monica Nyman is a Registered Dietitian and Senior Nutrition Educator with the St. Louis Dairy Council and explains osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become fragile and break easily. 

 

 

Bone health starts at an early age. Osteoporosis is often referred to as a pediatric disease with geriatric consequences and Nyman points out peak bone mass is the greatest amount of bone an individual can attain; reached in the late teens and early 20s.

 

 

Dairy Foods help build bones. Dairy’s unique package provides the right ingredients for building bones.  Calcium and phosphorus fortify the skeleton system, vitamin D helps to absorb calcium, and protein supports the structure of bones. Nyman explains getting more calcium in your diet can be as easy as drinking milk with meals, adding cheese to salads, pasta, and casseroles, or preparing soups and hot cereal with milk instead of water.

 

 

Nyman points out there are easy ways to maintain bone health as you age. She encourages eating calcium-rich foods, getting enough Vitamin D, exercising, and making good lifestyle choices.

 

 

 Children and adolescents today are more likely to break a bone than their parents were. Nine out of 10 girls and 6 out of 10 boys aged 12-19 do not consume adequate calcium in their diet. Nyman encourages helping your kids develop healthy habits for life is to be a good role models by drinking milk with meals, eating calcium-rich snacks, and getting plenty of weight-bearing exercise.


The first part of May has been a struggle from a weather perspective with lots of rain and cooler than normal days but things quickly turned around as we experienced record-setting heat that is going to transition us to more moderate weather to conclude May.

 

Ed Shimon at the National Weather Service in Lincoln indicates last week's heatwave set records at their sites in Lincoln, Peoria, and Springfield for both daytime highs and overnight lows.

 

 

While today's weather is ideal, Shimon indicates there are chances of showers Tuesday and Wednesday this week before we return to above normal chances for warm weather the rest of the month.

 

 

Outlooks are indicating just a slightly above normal chance for precipitation to conclude the month. Shimon notes when you start talking about increased humidity, that does bring chances of pop showers and even thunderstorms so he implores to be watchful. 


State FFA Convention Next Month

In about a month the Illinois FFA will hold their annual convention. 

 

Last year the group held outdoor events to accommodate COVID-19 mitigations but this year the convention will be at its traditional home, the Bank of Springfield Center in downtown Springfield. Kara Freebarin FFA State Treasurer says state officers are thrilled be back and they are deep into planning for thousands of students to attend.

 

 

The convention runs June 14 to 16.


Illinois State Supt. of Education Carmen Ayala feels recent legislation to help more people become teachers will turn around a teacher shortage. 

 

One of the bills Gov. Pritzker signed last month lowers the fee to reinstate a lapsed teaching certificate. Another lowers the age to be a classroom aide. And another increases the number of days a substitute teacher can be in the same classroom in some circumstances. Ayala says there are other things going on in Illinois to develop a pipeline for students to become teachers.

 

 

The shortage is caused at least in part by teachers leaving the profession. Ayala says those teachers are making the kinds of career and retirement decisions everyone makes. 

 

Sometimes, it's just time to retire or move on to another line of work. Education reform is a factor for some. Ayala says with every reform, some teachers decide teaching isn't for them anymore.


New State Law Targets Retail Crime

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS SIGNING A NEW LAW TO COMBAT ORGANIZED RETAIL THEFT IN ILLINOIS. 

 

THE LAW GIVES LOCAL PROSECUTORS MORE AUTHORITY TO GO AFTER SMASH-AND-GRAB CRIMINALS IN OTHER COUNTIES AND THE ILLNOIS ATTORNEY GENEAL COULD PROSECUTE VIA A STATEWIDE GRAND JURY SAYS THE GOVERNOR.

 

 

ATTORNEY GENERAL KWAME RAOUL HELPED DRAFT THE LEGISLATION AND SAYS WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT PETTY SHOPLIFTING. THE LAW TARGETS ORGANIZED GANG EFFORTS TO QUICKLY STEAL A LOT OF MERCHANDISE AND THEN SELL IT ONLINE. BUT HE SAYS THIS IS ABOUT MORE THAN STOLEN GOODS.

 

 

THE LAW ALSO CREATES THE "INFORM ACT", CRACKING DOWN ON STOLEN GOODS BEING SOLD ONLINE BY REQUIRING THIRD-PARTY SELLERS TO VERIFY THEIR IDENTITY.


Sunday is Peace Officer Memorial Day. This upcoming week is police week.

 

Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers annually recognizes the three officers in DeWitt County killed in the line of duty. 

 

 

This coming week on Regional Radio, we'll hear from other central Illinois law enforcement officials on Police Week. We'll also hear from Chief Lowers more on the increase in the line of duty deaths. 


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