State Fair attendance rebounds; Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Illinois State Fair approaches attendance record

The attendance figures are in from August’s Illinois State Fair and they show a significant rebound. Like so many other summer fairs and festivals, the state fair had to be cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic, but it came back in a big way in 2021, with 472,000 people passing through the gates during its eleven-day run, the second-largest crowd ever to attend the annual summer expo in Springfield.

It was wonderful to have our state and county fairs back in operation this summer after missing out on them last year. The State Fair sold more than 44,000 tickets to grandstand shows, bringing in $1.5 million in revenue. When adding in the additional collections from admissions and other sources, the State Fair is estimated to have brought in around $5 million in revenue in 2021.

Next year’s Illinois State Fair is scheduled for August 11 through August 22 at the state fairgrounds in Springfield.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

This month the nation marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It is estimated that one out of every eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. This makes breast cancer second only to skin cancer as the most common cancer among American women. Today there are well over three million breast cancer survivors in the United States.

Mammograms are the best way to detect breast cancer early – before it is serious enough to feel or cause symptoms, but while it is easier to treat. For more information on the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program, please click here.

Public Health warns hunters to guard against tick bites

The Illinois Department of Public Health has issued a warning to hunters to be on guard against tick-borne illnesses as hunting season gets underway. IDPH is reminding hunters to check themselves and their pets for ticks if they have been in woods or areas with tall grass. Removing a tick within 24 hours of a bite can reduce the risk of contracting such tick-borne illnesses as Lyme disease. Some tick-borne illnesses can be life-threatening.

IDPH has created a tick-surveillance map which shows where different kinds of ticks are known to exist throughout the state, including in the counties of our district. The map also contains pictures which can be helpful in identifying the kind of tick. Click here for more information on how to avoid tick bites.

Congratulations to Coach Elder

My longtime friend Jeff Elder was recently elected to the Illinois Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame. I stopped by to visit with Jeff and his wife Cheryl to deliver a congratulatory certificate from the House of Representatives. Jeff coached boys/girls basketball and track and was always great with kids. In the end, it was never about the wins and losses, but more about building character, overcoming obstacles, treating others with respect and learning how to work as a team to win. Jeff and Cheryl have an amazing family and are wonderful examples for the community to follow. Congratulations Jeff!

How much do we owe?

As of the time of this writing, the State of Illinois owes $5,323,677,148 in unpaid bills to state vendors. One year ago, the backlog stood at $8.1 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

IDOT, IDNR remind motorists to stay alert, slow down, don’t veer for deer

Second Livingston County bird tests positive for West Nile Virus

Discover the best places to see fall foliage unfolding in every part of the state

Clint Perzee: New Sheriff in Iroquois County

Springfield’s Old State Capitol re-opens for tours

Illinois Office of Tourism encourages road-tripping to boost economies statewide

Families on a limited budget encouraged to take advantage of ComEd Program to save money, energy