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News Around Illinois – November 19, 2019

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Illinois Faces Regional Propane Shortage

Illinois is one of seven states with a much greater demand for propane than is available.  An early snowfall and wet weather has led to greater consumption of the gas, especially in rural areas.  Farmers in particular use it to both heat their homes and to reduce the moisture content of their crops.  Illinois Director of Agriculture John Sullivan said it’s mostly a problem of not having enough propane in the area.  That’s why the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration granted a regional emergency declaration to address obstacles to delivery. Other states affected by the shortage include Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, Kansas, and Nebraska. – Chase Cavanaugh, WNIJ

Health Center Celebrates 50 Years Of Providing Low Cost Care

The Frances Nelson Health Center in Champaign was created in 1969 after a University of Illinois study on racial health disparities revealed something stark: black babies in Champaign county were twice as likely to die in their first year of life as white babies. Nancy Greenwalt leads Promise Health Care, which includes the Frances Nelson Health Center. She said Frances Nelson is unique in that the health center’s own patients serve on the Board — to ensure the clinic is continuing to meet the changing needs of the community. – Christine Herman, Illinois Newsroom

32,000 State Workers Saving For Retirement Thanks To New Plan

Illinois officials says 32,000 workers are now saving for retirement thanks to the state’s Secure Choice Retirement Plan.   The law targets industries where companies do not typically offer retirement plans. Any business with more than 25 workers and no retirement plan is required to join. By default, employees have 5 percent of their checks put into individual retirement accounts, though they can increase that amount or opt out. The state treasurer’s office says nearly 4,691 businesses have registered, but 19,000 more could be failing to comply. – Brian Mackey, Illinois Public Radio Network

100 Guns Turned In At St. Sabina Buyback Program In Chicago

A gun buyback program at St. Sabina Church in Chicago produced at least 100 firearms.  The Chicago Sun-Times reports that police on Saturday traded gift cards for guns — $100 for handguns and rifles and $10 for BB guns, air rifles and replicas. The Rev. Michael Pfleger’s church collects guns year-round. The last buyback day in April netted 400 guns. More than 1,800 people have been shot in Chicago this year. – Associated Press

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Reginald Hardwick

Reginald Hardwick

Reginald Hardwick is the News & Public Affairs Director for the Illinois Newsroom. He started at WILL in October of 2019 after serving as News Director for WKAR in East Lansing, Michigan. Previously, he was a news producer and manager at the NBC station in Dallas, where he won 7 Emmy awards. Born in Vietnam, Reginald is a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado. Email: rh14@illinois.edu Twitter: @RNewsWILL

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