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News Around Illinois – November 19, 2019

propane tank


Illinois Faces Regional Propane Shortage

Illinois is one of seven states with a much greater demand for propane than is available.  An early snowfall and wet weather has led to greater consumption of the gas, especially in rural areas.  Farmers in particular use it to both heat their homes and to reduce the moisture content of their crops.  Illinois Director of Agriculture John Sullivan said it’s mostly a problem of not having enough propane in the area.  That’s why the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration granted a regional emergency declaration to address obstacles to delivery. Other states affected by the shortage include Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, Kansas, and Nebraska. – Chase Cavanaugh, WNIJ

Health Center Celebrates 50 Years Of Providing Low Cost Care

The Frances Nelson Health Center in Champaign was created in 1969 after a University of Illinois study on racial health disparities revealed something stark: black babies in Champaign county were twice as likely to die in their first year of life as white babies. Nancy Greenwalt leads Promise Health Care, which includes the Frances Nelson Health Center. She said Frances Nelson is unique in that the health center’s own patients serve on the Board — to ensure the clinic is continuing to meet the changing needs of the community. – Christine Herman, Illinois Newsroom

32,000 State Workers Saving For Retirement Thanks To New Plan

Illinois officials says 32,000 workers are now saving for retirement thanks to the state’s Secure Choice Retirement Plan.   The law targets industries where companies do not typically offer retirement plans. Any business with more than 25 workers and no retirement plan is required to join. By default, employees have 5 percent of their checks put into individual retirement accounts, though they can increase that amount or opt out. The state treasurer’s office says nearly 4,691 businesses have registered, but 19,000 more could be failing to comply. – Brian Mackey, Illinois Public Radio Network

100 Guns Turned In At St. Sabina Buyback Program In Chicago

A gun buyback program at St. Sabina Church in Chicago produced at least 100 firearms.  The Chicago Sun-Times reports that police on Saturday traded gift cards for guns — $100 for handguns and rifles and $10 for BB guns, air rifles and replicas. The Rev. Michael Pfleger’s church collects guns year-round. The last buyback day in April netted 400 guns. More than 1,800 people have been shot in Chicago this year. – Associated Press

Picture of Reginald Hardwick

Reginald Hardwick

Reginald Hardwick is the News & Public Affairs Director at Illinois Public Media. He oversees daily newscasts and online stories. He also manages The 21st Show, a live, weekday talk show that airs on 7 NPR stations throughout Illinois. He is the executive producer of IPM's annual environmental TV special "State of Change." And he is the co-creator of Illinois Soul, IPM's Black-focused audio service that launched in February 2024. Before arriving at IPM in 2019, he served as News Director at WKAR in East Lansing and spent 17 years as a TV news producer and manager at KXAS, the NBC-owned station in Dallas/Fort Worth. Reginald is the recipient of three Edward R. Murrow regional awards, seven regional Emmy awards, and multiple honors from the National Association of Black Journalists. Born in Vietnam, Reginald grew up in Colorado and is a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado. Email: rh14@illinois.edu Twitter: @RNewsWILL

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