Illinois Public Media News

WILL - Illinois Public Media News - August 15, 2011

Millikin Wellness Center Expands

The students and employees of Millikin University won't have to go far to get clinical care.

For the last few years, the Millikin Wellness Center has provided care only to undergraduate students. However, now Millikin employees and all other students can use the center because of a contractual agreement between the university and Decatur Memorial Hospital. The hospital will expand services at the clinic by providing a full-time nurse practitioner, who will handle much of the extra case load.

"What we found is by using a partner we could do it at the same cost, but expand the services," Millikin's Vice President for Enrollment, Richard Dunsworth, said.

Approximately 1,500 students visited the clinic last year and it's expected that roughly 2,000 people will come to the expanded center, according to Dunsworth. He said he hopes the clinic can eventually turn into a working laboratory for Millikin's School of Nursing.

"With a full-time nurse practitioner there, that will allow us to expand it as a possible clinical site for undergraduate nurses, as well as our graduate nurses," Dunsworth said. "So, our nursing faculty is quite excited to see what the options might be."

Dunsworth said the clinic will also have an office manager on staff, who will be able to look up a patient's insurance information, and transfer medical information to nearby health care offices.

The Millikin Wellness Center, which is located at 150 South Fairview Ave in Decatur, offers a range of services, including medicine management, pregnancy tests, and blood pressure screenings.

Categories: Education, Health


AP - Illinois Public Media News - August 15, 2011

Durbin Backs Duckworth in 8th Congressional District Race

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin is making a rare endorsement in a primary election. The Illinois Democrat is backing Tammy Duckworth's 2012 campaign for Congress.

Durbin recruited Tammy Duckworth for a 2006 congressional bid, but the Iraq War veteran and Purple Heart recipient lost to Republican Rep. Peter Roskam. After that, former Gov. Rod Blagojevich appointed her to lead the state Department of Veterans Affairs, and then Duckworth took a job at the federal VA in Washington, DC.

She's returned to Illinois to run again, and Durbin is again backing her.

"I'm going to help Tammy Duckworth in any way that I can," Durbin said Monday. "By endorsing her today, campaigning for her, helping her raise money. It's an expensive undertaking."

Duckworth begins the money race well behind another Democrat running in the 8th Congressional District, former deputy state treasurer Raja Krishnamoorthi - who reported raising more than $400,000 dollars in the second quarter.

Both Duckworth and Krishnamoorthi are hoping to take advantage of new, Democratic-drawn boundaries for the district. Republicans, including the current 8th District congressman, Joe Walsh, are challenging that map in a federal lawsuit.

(AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

Categories: Biography, Government, Politics

AP - Illinois Public Media News - August 15, 2011

Illinois Lottery Sales Hit Record $2.3 Billion Last Year

Sales of Illinois lottery tickets grew by 3 percent last year to set a new record.

Officials said Monday that sales totaled nearly $2.3 billion. That tops the old record of $2.2 billion, which was set just a year earlier.

Out of that revenue, $690 million was used to support state programs. Education got most of the money, but statewide construction projects got $54 million and $4 million went to causes like research on breast cancer and multiple sclerosis.

The sales figures are from the 12 months that ended on June 30. The total of nearly $2.3 billion amounts to more than $177 for every person in Illinois.

Lottery officials say sales have climbed every year for nine straight years.

Categories: Economics, Sports
Tags: economy, sports

AP - Illinois Public Media News - August 15, 2011

Trial Over Hot Dog Ads Ends 1st Day in Chicago

The nation's largest hot dog makers argued about the meaning of "100 percent pure beef" and the merits of ketchup Monday in a lawsuit over advertising claims stemming from their years of dog-eat-dog competition.

Attorneys for Sara Lee Corp., which makes Ball Park franks, and Kraft Foods Inc., which makes Oscar Mayer, superimposed giant hot dogs on a courtroom screen as they delivered opening remarks in a case that could clarify how far companies can go when boasting about their products.

"There's never been anything of this scope . . . in the entire history of hot dogs," Sara Lee's attorney, Richard Leighton, said about what the company says is Kraft's false and deceptive ad campaign that claimed Oscar Mayer wieners were the best-tasting franks.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Morton Denlow, who will decide if either company broke false advertising laws, couldn't resist a note of levity as he cast his eyes at the attorneys and proclaimed, "Let the wiener wars begin."

The legal dog fight began when Sara Lee filed a lawsuit in 2009, singling out Oscar Mayer ads that brag its dogs beat Ball Park franks in a national taste test. Leighton argued the tests were deeply flawed and gave as an example that the hot dogs were presented to participants without buns or any condiments, such as ketchup.

"They were served boiled hot dogs on a white paper plate," he told Denlow. As a result, Leighton said, Sara Lee's hot dogs may well have tasted too salty or smoky when consumed sans buns.

Among other flaws, he went on, was a rule barring anyone who ever worked in a factory from taking the test.

"You may be excluding blue-collar workers," he said. "And they're big hot-dog eaters."

Kraft filed a countersuit later in 2009, accusing Sara Lee of running ads for Ball Parks with the tagline "America's Best Franks" based on an award from ChefsBest, a food-judging organization based in San Francisco.

The other focus of the trial is Kraft's claim that its Oscar Mayer Jumbo Beef Franks are "100 percent pure beef." Sara Lee says the claim is untrue, that it cast aspersions on Ball Park franks and damaged their sales.

But Kraft's attorney, Stephen O'Neil, told the judge the 100 percent beef tag was never intended to suggest there weren't other ingredients -- like water, salt and various spices. It was only meant to convey that the meat that was used was all beef, he said.

That stress was designed to counter lingering impressions that hot dogs contain suspect, "mysterious meats," he added. And he said it defied common sense to argue that consumers might take the label as meaning that the one and only ingredient was beef.

"If there was nothing but beef, it wouldn't be a hot dog," he said, "It would be a hamburger."

Denlow let slip that, according to his own personal tastes, neither Oscar Mayer nor Ball Park are top dog.

"I already have my favorite . . . and it's none of the brands on trial," he told attorneys. He said he may reveal which one it is -- but only after a ruling.

The trial is expected to last about two weeks.

Categories: Business
Tags: business

AP - Illinois Public Media News - August 15, 2011

Judge Denies Request to Block Indiana Voucher Program

A judge has denied a temporary injunction that would have blocked Indiana's broad new school voucher program.

Marion County Judge Michael Keele sided with the state in his ruling Monday and against a group of teachers and religious leaders backed by the Indiana State Teachers Association. They tried to block the measure passed this year by the Republican-dominated General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Mitch Daniels.

Attorneys for the state argued before Keele last week that granting the injunction could force students who received vouchers to leave their private schools just as the instruction year is beginning and scramble to re-enroll in public schools.

Keele ruled only on the plaintiffs' request for a preliminary injunction. Their complaint challenging the law hasn't gone to trial yet.

Categories: Education, Government, Politics

AP - Illinois Public Media News - August 15, 2011

Quinn Wants to Work Out School Official Pay

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says he wants to work with regional school superintendents on who should pay their salaries.

Superintendents across Illinois are working for free after Quinn in early July eliminated the funds that pay them and their assistants. That's because there's a budget dispute over where the money to pay them should come from.

Quinn said Monday he thinks "we can work that out'' but provided no details.

He maintains that superintendents should be paid from the "personal property replacement tax'' that corporations and business partnerships pay instead of local property taxes.

He has characterized superintendents' jobs as "administrative overhead'' and called them "bureaucrats'' that aren't central to teaching process. He contends the state should spend its money in the classroom.

Categories: Education, Government, Politics

WILL - Illinois Public Media News - August 15, 2011

Unit 4 Officials Say Supt. Search Process Off to Good Start

Champaign School officials say they have received hundreds of responses to their survey asking the public what qualities they want to see in their next school superintendent.

Unit 4 School Board President Sue Grey said distribution during the spring term and in the summer during school registration events has yielded a return of nearly 800 surveys--and that doesn't include surveys handed out during Champaign-Urbana Days over the weekend in Douglass Park. Grey said those surveys will guide the search firm hired to help select a new superintendent.

"They're compiling the data, putting together a superintendent profile, based on what our community is telling us," Grey said.

Grey said the survey results will help in designing a profile of what qualities the next Unit Four superintendent should have. In the meantime, she says the search firm, School Exec Connect, is already looking for applicants.

"They actually do have advertisements out in two national publications that are very familiar to the education community," Grey said. "We're pleased with the results. They say they're actually getting some nibbles."

Consultants from School Exec Connect, will be in Champaign in mid-September to gather public input face to face. That visit will include a public meeting on the evening of Sept. 12 at Centennial High School. Until then, Unit 4 officials say they will continue to take surveys from the public, as well as applications from people interested in serving on a community search committee.

Champaign School officials hope to hire a new superintendent by the start of 2012. That person will succeed Arthur Culver, who stepped down in June. Robert Malito is serving as interim superintendent, but is limited to 100 working days in the position.

Categories: Education

AP - Illinois Public Media News - August 15, 2011

Ind. Gov: Smoking Ban has Chance to Pass Next Year

Gov. Mitch Daniels says support is growing for a statewide ban on smoking in public places and it has a chance to pass next year.

The Evansville Courier & Press reports Daniels says he wants to see the percentage of adult Hoosiers who smoke drop to 20 percent by the end of his term. A recent report put the state's smoking rate at a historic low of 21.1 percent.

A bill that would have banned smoking in public places statewide failed to pass last session after it was loaded up with exemptions.

Proponents of a statewide smoking ban say it improve Hoosiers' health and the state's economy. Opponents say the marketplace should determine which restaurants or other retailers are smoke-free and which allow people to smoke.


AP - Illinois Public Media News - August 15, 2011

Google Acquires Illinois-Based Motorola Mobility

(With additional reporting from The Associated Press)

Google is buying Illinois-based cell phone maker Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in cash in what is by far the company's biggest acquisition to date.

Google Inc. will pay $40.00 per share, a 63 percent premium to Motorola's closing price on Friday.

The companies say the deal has been approved by the boards of both companies.

"Motorola Mobility's total commitment to Android has created a natural fit for our two companies," said Google CEO Larry Page in a statement. "Together, we will create amazing user experiences that supercharge the entire Android ecosystem for the benefit of consumers, partners and developers."

The deal gives Google direct control over the maker of many of its Android phones. In pre-market trading, shares of Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. are up 60 percent, or $14.72, to $39.19.

What Google likely wants from the acquisition is Motorola's trove of more than 17,000 patents on phone technology. Google recently lost out to a consortium that included Microsoft Corp., Apple and Research In Motion Ltd. in bidding for thousands of patents from Novell Inc., a maker of computer-networking software, and Nortel Networks, a Canadian telecom gear maker that is bankrupt and is selling itself off in pieces.

Motorola has nearly three times more patents than Nortel.

Earlier this year, Motorola Mobility's CEO announced the company would be staying put in Illinois thanks to a 10-year benefit package from the governor. Motorola Mobility has about 3,000 employees.

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

Categories: Business, Technology

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