Senator Fowler (R-Harrisburg) is applauding a local school for being named a recipient of the prestigious National Blue Ribbon Schools award.

The nationally recognized honor was bestowed upon Giant City School in Carbondale on October 1, highlighting the school for their excellence in education and creating safe and welcoming environment for students. Giant City School was one of only 24 schools in Illinois awarded the well-deserved accolade. To receive consideration for the award, schools have to be nominated and then evaluated in one of two performance categories.

“I want to extend my sincerest congratulations to Giant City School for this well-deserved recognition. This is an amazing achievement,” said Senator Fowler.  “Our local educators give so much of themselves in the classroom and honors, such as the Blue Ribbon School award, helps to underscore all the hard work.”

In other news, approximately $1.1 million was recently released to benefit Fort Massac State Park as part of the Fiscal Year 2019 capital budget approved in late May. The critical funding will be directed toward evaluating the current condition of the structures at Fort Massac and making ongoing structural improvements.

“As a well-known Southern Illinois treasure and a local attraction that brings in people from all over the state, I’m excited to see funding being directed toward the structural needs of Fort Massac,” said Senator Fowler. “Through this funding Fort Massac will be able to improve access and infrastructure within park facilities, making it more attractive and interactive for visitors.”

Senator Fowler is excited to invite members of the public to join his first-ever Sportsmen’s and Outdoorsmen’s Update. Hunters, anglers, trappers, and outdoor enthusiasts are invited to attend this unique meeting for an open discussion about legislation that came about this session that would impact sportsmen in Illinois. Representatives from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and the Illinois Conservation Foundation will also be there to discuss new laws, important dates for hunting/fishing, and provide an update on the hunting seasons.

The event will take place Monday, October 15, from 6:00 p.m. – 7:45 p.m. at the Carnegie Library, Meeting Room, 206 S. Market Street, Marion, IL 62959. To register to attend, e-mail to Lori Yates at lyates@sgop.ilga.gov or call (217) 782-2181. Consider joining Senator Fowler for the evening and learning more about how to have a safe, legal, and fun hunting season.

State News:

Time to get flu shots

The IDPH is recommending residents ages six months and older get an influenza (flu) vaccine, and nasal spray is once again an option.

“It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies that protect against flu to develop in the body,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. “The flu season typically starts around October so we recommend you make plans to get vaccinated now, before flu season begins.”

Flu activity peaks between December and February, but activity can last as late as May. Flu is a contagious respiratory illness that can cause mild to severe illness. Serious cases of flu can result in hospitalization or death. Flu symptoms can include fever or feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headache, tiredness, and some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

Check with local health care providers or health departments to find convenient locations for flu shots.

October is College Changes Everything Month® in Illinois

Gov. Bruce Rauner has proclaimed October as College Changes Everything® Month (CCE Month), when the state’s college access and financial aid agency, the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) and partners will be assisting students with college applications and putting them in the best position possible to receive the funding they need to attend.

In recognition of the Illinois Bicentennial, more than 200 official CCE Month sites across the state will hold both college application and financial aid events.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), the form that determines eligibility for federal and some state and institutional financial aid, becomes available on Oct. 1 for the 2019-20 school year.  Because some state aid, such as the Monetary Award Program (MAP grant) is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, students need to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible in order to have the chance to access as much financial aid as possible. At the same time, students are also completing their college applications.  

During CCE Month, students and families can attend free workshops at their high school or public locations in their community to fill out college applications and/or complete their FAFSAs with direct assistance from college and financial aid experts.

To search by ZIP Code for a free public event near you, visit studentportal/isac.org/events.  Students and parents should also check directly with their high schools for events within their own school.

Real estate license applications/renewals now online

Beginning Oct. 1, IDFPR will no longer accept paper applications for real estate licenses that have already been migrated online and can now be accessed via the IDFPR’s Online Services Portal.

Licenses impacted by this deadline include: Real Estate Broker, Real Estate Managing Broker, • Real Estate Leasing Agents, Real Estate Student Leasing Agents, Real Estate Brokerage Branch Offices, Real Estate Brokerage Corporations, Real Estate Brokerage Limited Liability Firms, Real Estate Pre-License Instructors, and Real Estate CE Instructors.

“The Department continues to transform paper applications online to enhance the user experience and improve operating efficiencies,” said Bryan A. Schneider, IDFPR Secretary. “Making online license submission mandatory is another step toward modernizing the Department and reducing license processing times.”

More than 73,000 Real Estate licensees can take advantage of IDFPR’s online licensure services. For a complete list of professions now online, check www.idfpr.com/onlineresources.asp.

Dale Fowler

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