Public Safety

Someone has been posting flyers promoting a white-supremacist group across the Northern Illinois University campus, Acting President Lisa Freeman informed the community by email Tuesday.

She said the flyers are being removed as they are discovered because they violate the NIU posting policy.

“Hatred is not something that aligns with the principles of NIU,” Freeman wrote.

The labor union representing Illinois prison guards says assaults on staff are way up - and state officials aren't doing enough about it.

Roberta Lynch is the head of AFSCME. She says too often, the Department of Corrections only increases staff or repairs equipment AFTER correctional officers are assaulted.

A Metro East man died in a three-vehicle crash Tuesday morning on Interstate 57 in southern Illinois.

Illinois State Police say 57-year-old Wayne Maxwell of O'Fallon was pronounced dead on the scene of the crash in the northbound lanes of I-57 at milepost 47.

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MLB

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill is asking the Department of Homeland Security to give ``full consideration'' to an effort by the St. Louis Cardinals to enhance security and anti-terrorism measures at Busch Stadium.

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Sen. Durbin's office

Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin visited the Marion VA Medical Center Tuesday to look into potential issues with patient safety and care.

There is an ongoing investigation at the facility related to mismanagement and retaliation against whistleblowers.

State and federal legislators from Illinois are proposing new laws in response to Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas.

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CNN

Illinois politicians continue reacting to Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas.

Responses are falling down party lines.

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Brad Palmer, WSIU Radio

Organizers of Williamson County's Traffic Safety Days are honoring one of their partners with the 10th annual event logo.
 
The logo, unveiled Tuesday at the sheriff's office in Marion, features a tractor-trailer from Thomason Express.

One person was hurt in a fall Monday in the area of Little Grand Canyon.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Department says Tempest Kipp-Evans had to be carried out using a stokes basket late Monday afternoon.

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Franklin County Emergency Management Agency

Two southern Illinois courthouses re-opened Wednesday after a bomb threat.

Illinois State Police District 13

A two-semi crash on Interstate 57 in Franklin County Thursday morning sent two people to the hospital and shut down the northbound lanes for nearly seven hours.

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Mattoon Journal-Gazette

The Mattoon community is recovering from a shooting at the high school Wednesday that left one student injured and another in custody.

A licensed therapist says it may take a long time for people to process their emotions.

Mattoon police say Wednesday’s shooting at Mattoon High School was carried out by one student, who is in custody.

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Mattoon High School

Police have a student in custody, following a shooting Wednesday morning at Mattoon High School, in which another student was injured.

Published reports say one person is in custody after a shooting at Mattoon High School Wednesday morning.

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Hands of Hope Foundation

Six area churches and an area retailer are collecting supplies for the victims of the two recent hurricanes in the U.S.

Through September 25th, the Hands of Hope Foundation's Irma-Harvey Relief Aid Drive will collect items and monetary donations.

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Shelter Box USA

An international organization is working to help people around the world following natural disaster and conflict.

Shelter Box USA partners with Rotary International to provide emergency shelter and tools for displaced families.

Hurricane season is focusing attention on budget decisions the White House has made that could undermine storm tracking and predictions.

As of this month – Illinois is required to have updated signage for emergency situations at rail-road crossings. People can call the number on these standardized blue signs to report track obstructions or other safety issues at specific locations. If a crossing gate is malfunctioning, for example, railroad authorities need to know. 

Signs with this emergency information have been around since the  mid 1970s, says Chip Pew, railroad safety specialist for the Illinois Commerce Commission. But the signs were not standardized, making it difficult for pedestrians and motorists to properly locate them.

The information "might have been on a sticker, wrapped around an appliance...in many cases it was on a large placard, sometimes on a small sign," Pew says.  In response to this lack of uniformity-- not just across Illinois, but across the United States, the Federal Railroad Administration began the Emergency Notification System (ENS) program in 2011, with the expectation that the blue signs would be fully implemented by September 1, 2017. 

To make sure the public is aware of the blue signs and the looming deadline,  Pew and a team of volunteers have been conducting outreach through a program called Operation Lifesaver, that focuses on railroad safety education. 

"People are shocked that [the] information has been there for that long and did not know it, but they find that the blue sign is very visible and that the information it contains is obviously very important," Pew says.

With the added attention to the blue signs, Pew says he hopes people think more about their safety around railroad crossings. 

Operation Lifesaver volunteer, Gordon Bowe, echoes this sentiment. Bowe is a retired Metra conductor who now uses his free time to educate kids, teens and adults about the dangers of rail crossings. During his time as a conductor, Bowe witnessed accidents where motorists or pedestrians did not yield to his oncoming train. He says he would like for people to understand that crossing gates exist for a reason.

"A lot of [people] don't realize that from the first blink of [the crossing] light, the road is closed", explains Bowe, "they think it's 'do I have the capability of getting across before I get hit?' "

He says it only takes 20 seconds for a train to reach that crossing after the lights go off. 

Illinois ranks second in number of track miles and crossings--right behind Texas. It's also in the top five states when it comes to train-vehicle accidents. 

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WDTV

A small plane from southern Illinois that went missing has been located in a mountainous area in West Virginia.

Bridgeport police Chief John Walker told The Exponent Telegram another plane was able to spot the missing aircraft.

The Illinois Civil Air Patrol will assist with relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

The airmen will join colleagues from other states to perform aerial imagery missions for FEMA and other agencies in the impact zone.

In 2011, Aaron Murray bought his first gun at a sporting goods store — a .40 caliber Beretta pistol. He and his wife were fixing up a foreclosed home in a tough neighborhood in the northern suburbs of St. Louis, and he wanted to protect himself.

Two years later, a bullet from his own gun during a home invasion would leave him paralyzed from the waist down.

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FEMA

Nearly 40 American Red Cross workers from central and southern Illinois have been deployed to Texas to help the thousands of people whose lives have been devastated by Tropical Storm Harvey.

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NASA

The Illinois State Police is urging motorists to be prepared for Monday's eclipse.

For starters... Trooper Joey Watson says you need to plan on a lot of traffic in southern Illinois...especially on Interstate 57, Highway 51 and Route 13.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Department says its continuing to investigate the death of a rural Murphysboro man.

Southern Illinoisans are asking a lot of questions about an uptick in crashes along Interstate 57 and Highway 13. What’s causing them? How can they be prevented?


July 26th marks Speed Awareness Day in Illinois. Traffic safety is a growing concern among southern Illinoisans, as a spike in crashes along major transportation routes continues to make headlines. But what’s causing the spike? And how will it end?


Updated at 9 a.m. July 26 with more details — There will be an investigation into whether the St. Louis County officers assigned to patrol MetroLink stations and trains violated any laws, the St. Louis County Council decided Tuesday on the heels of three reports by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Four semis were involved in a traffic accident on Interstate 57 Thursday afternoon.

Illinois State Police say the four vehicles were traveling north in the right lane on I-57 north of milepost 43 in Williamson County.

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

You may have heard the story recently about a Major League Baseball umpire saving a woman who apparently was about to jump off a bridge in Pittsburgh.

In this edition of Reading Baseball, Pete Peterson talks about the city's history of bridge jumpers and how this lifesaving move has a deeper meaning.

Reading Baseball is a series of essays and commentaries by Richard "Pete" Peterson, the co-author, with his son, Stephen, of  The Slide: Leyland, Bonds and the Star-Crossed Pittsburgh Pirates, and the editor of  The St. Louis Baseball Reader.

 

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