State and county fairs return; Heat safety

State, county fairs return for summer 2021

After both state fairs were cancelled last year due to the pandemic, both the Illinois State Fair in Springfield and the DuQuoin State Fair in southern Illinois are on for later this summer. The fairs, which showcase Illinois agriculture and provide fun and entertainment for Illinoisans of all ages and all walks of life, are set for August 12-22 in Springfield and August 27-September 6 in DuQuoin.

The Springfield grandstand lineup includes Toby Keith, Sammy Hagar, the “I Love the 90s” tour and George Thorogood, while REO Speedwagon, En Vogue and comedian Ron White will be among the entertainers in DuQuoin.

Locally our county fairs are back in business after being cancelled in 2020. The Ford County Fair runs through this weekend. The Vermilion County Fair is June 23-27 in Oakwood, the Iroquois County Fair will be held July 13-18 in Crescent City, while the Livingston County Ag Fair is July 21-24 in Pontiac and the Cullom Junior Fair is August 11-14. See the full list of Illinois county fairs here.

Public Health warns Illinoisans about health hazards from heat

These past couple of weeks have been unusually hot, even for this time of year, and the Illinois Department of Public Health is reminding Illinoisans of the warning signs of heat-related illness and the steps to take to protect themselves. IDPH encourages Illinoisans who have been outdoors for extended periods of time to be on the lookout for symptoms like heavy sweating, nausea, dizziness, weak pulse and a high body temperature of 103 degrees or above.

If someone has been in the heat and is showing these symptoms, IDPH advises to treat the situation like an emergency and call 911. Move the person to a shady place and provide cold compresses if possible. People over 65, those who are overweight or who have certain health conditions like diabetes or heart disease are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses. Alcohol and some medications can also increase a person’s risk factor. For more information on keeping safe while working in the heat, please click here.

Cyber threats on the rise in Illinois

The Illinois Department of Employment Security is warning Illinoisans about another phishing scam, this one designed to obtain your personal information. Illinoisans have been receiving fraudulent text messages, email and social media messages from someone claiming to be an IDES representative. The scammer tries to get the victim to reveal personal information. If you have been the victim of one of these scams, go to the IDES fraud website for assistance.

There has also been an increase in cyberattacks reported in Illinois in recent weeks. A ransomware attack recently hit St. Clair County in southwestern Illinois causing a week’s worth of problems. Even the Illinois Attorney General’s office was hit by ransomware earlier this spring. Information technology professionals encourage everyone to strengthen their passwords and avoid clicking on links or attachments from unknown senders.

How much do we owe?

As of the time of this writing, the State of Illinois owes $3,432,424,096 in unpaid bills to state vendors. One year ago, the backlog stood at $6.1 billion. This figure represents the amount of bills submitted to the office of the Comptroller and still awaiting payment. It does not include debts that can only be estimated, such as our unfunded pension liability which is subject to a wide range of factors and has been estimated to be more than $141 billion.

More news from around the state

Illinois Capitol to re-open to public next week

Department of Public Health expands COVID testing to elementary schools

Latino group sues to block Democrat-drawn maps in Illinois

Promised ‘new day’ in Illinois House debatable in session with plenty of disagreements

Red Cross faces severe blood shortage

Planning a fireworks show this summer? Keep these things top of mind

To get all the latest news and information from every Illinois state agency, visit the state’s newsfeed website at https://www2.illinois.gov/news. There you will find the latest press releases from state agencies. If you want to receive updates only from the agencies you select, you can sign up to receive state agency news alerts by going to https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/gov/pages/communicationsoptin.aspx and signing up for e-mail news updates.