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Davis, Bustos Introduce Bill to Protect Our Locks and Dams

Staff Contributor



Davis and Bustos serving on a bipartisan agriculture panel at the 2017 Farm Progress Show

PRESS RELEASE | U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) today released this statement on the introduction of H.R. 5688, the Navigation Workers Protection Act, a bill to clarify that operations and maintenance work at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers navigation projects are inherently governmental work. Davis and U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) introduced this bipartisan bill earlier this week. Davis and Bustos serve together on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

The locks and dams along our waterways are critical to our economy and getting corn, soybeans, and other ag products our farmers produce to market and we must ensure they remain a priority. Our Founding Fathers understood the important role our government should play in our nation’s infrastructure and this bill continues to protect this important role of managing our locks and dams and commerce along our waterways. I’m proud to join Representative Cheri Bustos in introducing this bipartisan bill that has the support of business and labor groups alike and I look forward to working together to move this important legislation forward.”

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UIS to co-host special Star Party viewing of the Perseid meteor shower

Francisco Saravia



WHAT: The University of Illinois Springfield Astronomy-Physics Program, Lincoln Memorial Garden, and the Sangamon Astronomical Society will host a special Star Party to view the annual Perseid meteor shower.

WHEN: Monday, August 13, 2018, from 8:30 to 11 p.m.

WHERE: Lincoln Memorial Garden, 2301 East Lake Shore Drive, Springfield

DETAILS: The Perseid meteor shower takes place annually in the beginning of August when the Earth passes through a stream of debris crossing the Earth’s orbit from the Swift-Tuttle. The 2018 shower is predicted to peak between August 13 and August 14.

The Perseid meteor show is known for producing more fireball type meteors than any other meteor shower. In a dark location on any given night, between 3 and 5 meteors per hour can be spotted. During the peak of a shower like the Perseids there could be up to 60 meteors per hour.

People attending the event at Lincoln Memorial Garden should park in the spaces just off East Lake Shore Drive. Observing will be done in Crawley Meadow across the street from the nature center. Attendees are encouraged to wear bug repellant, dress appropriately for the weather and bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit on.

The meteor viewing may be canceled for cloudy weather. Questions about suitable weather viewing should be directed to 217/206-8342 after 7 p.m. on August 13. Updates will also be posted on the UIS Observatory Twitter feed (@UISObservatory).

For more information on UIS Star Parties, contact John Martin, UIS associate professor of astronomy-physics, at 217/206-8342 or



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Illinois Supreme Court rules city liable in trip-and-fall accident, could cause more suits statewide



The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that a central Illinois city is liable for a woman injured on its uneven sidewalks, a precedent that could affect cities across the state.

The state’s high court said the city of Danville wasn’t immune from a lawsuit a woman filed after she tripped on an uneven seam in a sidewalk there.

Barbara Monson tripped on the sidewalk in 2012 and sued the city for not fixing it. Lower courts ruled that the city wasn’t liable but the Illinois Supreme Court disagreed, saying laws that give Illinois municipalities immunity weren’t as important as the common law requirement for them to keep their property in working order. The Supreme Court said in its ruling that it is “the common-law duty of a local public entity to maintain its property in a reasonably safe condition.”

Typically, state law grants cities a certain level of immunity from getting sued, which the two lower courts agreed with, but the Supreme Court said the common law responsibility for a city to maintain its structures was more important.

“I’m very disappointed in the Supreme Court’s ruling,” said Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch Director Travis Akin, who says this ruling could open the floodgates to people seeking paydays via lawsuits with cities.

“This could expose cities across the state of Illinois to unnecessary and absolutely ridiculous litigation moving forward,” he said. “These communities could be nickeled and dimed with these small claims that may be more beneficial to just settle than to pursue in court.”

Akin said that this could affect an Illinois municipality regardless of whether or not they face a lawsuit or not. Cities that carry liability insurance could see higher costs of underwriting since this poses a new risk for a claim.

The opinion said that the city may have been OK had they marked the spot in the sidewalk as damaged.

The court sent the case back to the lower court to be decided.

Officials with the City of Danville had left town for a conference and were not made available to comment on the ruling.

Article by Cole Lauterbach with Illinois News Network. For more INN News visit 

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11th Street extension finally open

Thomas Clatterbuck



It may have taken decades, but the 11th Street corridor is open for business. Reaching from downtown to the UIS and Lincoln Land campuses, the road is expected to make those schools better connected to the Springfield community. The corridor is much more than just a road. With bike lanes and sidewalks for pedestrians, it is open to various modes of travel.

The project had many supporters over the years. Senator Dick Durbin, State Representative Tim Butler, Mayor Langfelder, and UIS Chancellor Susan Koch were just some of the current leaders who attended today’s ribbon cutting event.

The corridor was initially proposed in the 1970s. Several speakers mentioned that the project took far longer than anyone anticipated, but no one offered a concrete reason as to why. Back then, UIS was still Sangamon State University and was outside of town. As both UIS and Springfield have grown, the perceived need for the corridor only increased. Fortunately, a long timeline did not mean a huge bill for the city. Overall, the city only paid for a small portion of the corridor. The federal government picked up $5.7 million of the seven million dollar price tag.

You can watch the full ceremony in the player below.

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