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October 21, 2014, 7:00 am
970 WMAY News

Quinn, Rauner Stick With Familiar Attacks In Final Debate

Governor Pat Quinn and opponent Bruce Rauner have met in their third and final debate… one in which they stuck with mostly familiar lines of attack. 


Rauner repeatedly called Quinn a “failure” as governor, while Quinn hammered Rauner over and over for his early support of a reduction in the state minimum wage… a position from which Rauner has since backed away.


And each candidate accused the other of trying to raise taxes on middle-class families… because of Quinn’s support for extending the temporary income tax hike and Rauner’s plan to expand sales taxes to cover some services.  Election Day is in two weeks.

District 186 Test Scores Improving, But Many Students Still Don't Meet Standards

Overall, Springfield public school students are showing improvement in standardized reading and math tests… even though fewer than half of District 186 students in most categories are meeting state standards in reading and math. 


The district notes that this year, for the first time, the tests are fully aligned to the more demanding Common Core standards… and say the increase in scores is a positive sign for the future.  But they acknowledge they have much more work to do to improve the numbers, especially among black and low-income students.


Memorial: Ebola Preparations Go Beyond CDC Guidelines

As the CDC issues new guidelines to hospitals on how to be prepared if an Ebola patient arrives at their doors, Springfield’s Memorial Medical Center says it already has equipment and procedures that go beyond the CDC guidelines. 


But the hospital’s chief medical officer warns it is possible to do too much.  Doctor Rajesh Govindaiah (GOH-vin-dye-uh) says the hospital has advised staff not to double up on gowns and gloves… since that can actually make it tougher to remove the gear later, inadvertently increasing the risk of accidental exposure.


Officials say it is still highly unlikely that they will have to deal with a case of the deadly virus.

Local Group Hopes To Combat Dangerous Medical Errors

It’s the first of its kind in Downstate Illinois… a partnership of health care providers will seek to compile data on medical errors that can jeopardize patients. 


The program will be based at Memorial Medical Center, and will compile data from Memorial, SIU Healthcare, and other participating businesses, including ambulance services and nursing homes. 


Memorial’s chief operating officer Dr. Charles Callahan says health care has gotten much more complicated, as patients often juggle multiple medications for multiple conditions.  He hopes the data put together by the group can show patterns that can help doctors and nurses prevent harmful mistakes in treatment.


Springfield Cheddar's Restaurant Closes Without Explanation

Another Springfield restaurant closes its doors.  Cheddar’s abruptly shut down Monday. 


No reason was given for the closure of the restaurant on Horizon Drive, just off of South Dirksen Parkway.  Several customers say on social media that the restaurant had been busy over the previous weekend, and say the closure took them by surprise. 


The Cheddar’s chain did not respond to a request for comment.


Illinois HS Football Player Critically Injured In Game

It’s a reminder that football can be a dangerous game… even at the high school level. 


A defensive tackle for Watseka High School is in intensive care in the Chicago area after suffering a broken neck during a game Friday night.  Hayden Schaumburg’s spinal cord was compressed, but not severed.  He has no feeling from the chest down but has been able to move his shoulders and fingers following an eight-hour surgery. 


Watseka’s coach says the player’s fate is, quote, “in the Lord’s hands.”

Task Force Proposes Service Project Requirement For Graduation

Illinois middle and high school students could be required to put in service hours as a condition of graduation… under a recommendation being put forward by a state task force. 


The panel also wants to beef up social studies requirements and discussion of current events in schools… all with the goal of making those students into more responsible, productive citizens as adults. 


The task force says its ideas could be paid for by reallocating school funds away from electives.  It will hold a public hearing on its ideas Tuesday from 4-6pm at Lanphier High School.

New Patient Safety Organization Seeks To Address Medical Errors

A new organization dedicated to improving patient safety is said to be the first of its kind in Downstate Illinois. 


The Quality Alliance Patient Safety Organization has received federal certification.  The organization is run by an official with Memorial Health System… who says it will seek to bring hospitals, health-care workers, paramedics and others together to find ways to reduce medical errors that can harm patients. 


It will encourage voluntary reporting of incidents so that trends can be documented and addressed.

Memorial Medical Center Says It Has Protective Gear Beyond CDC Guidelines

The chief medical officer for Memorial Medical Center says the medical staff there has a supply of protective gear that goes beyond current CDC guidelines.  But the standards being set forth are continuing to evolve as the nation grapples with its first cases of Ebola.


Dr. Rajesh Govindaiah says Memorial is a “resource hospital” for other smaller hospitals in the area and so it has plenty of personal protective gear on hand in the unlikely event it’s needed.


Springfield's Cheddar's Restaurant Closes

Another Springfield restaurant closes its doors. 


A person answering the phone at Cheddar’s on Horizon Drive, just off of South Dirksen Parkway, confirms that the restaurant is closed as of today, and says the closure is permanent. 


That person did not offer a reason for the shutdown… and a message left with the Cheddar’s chain has not yet been returned.


Private Groups To Stage Mayor's Prayer Breakfast Again This Year

For the second year in a row, four local groups are organizing the annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast in Springfield. 


The groups, including Faith Coalition for the Common Good, the Ministerial Alliance, and the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, took over last year after an anti-religion group threatened to sue if the city continued to put it on. 


The breakfast will be held November 18th at the Hilton downtown.  A keynote speaker has been selected but has not been announced yet.

State Establishes Ebola Task Force

The State of Illinois has created an Ebola task force to make sure hospitals and first responders are prepared if a patient with the deadly virus shows up in Illinois. 


The task force will include medical professionals, law enforcement, and state officials. 


One immediate job is to make sure that police and fire departments around the state have an adequate supply of the proper protective gear to guard against catching the disease.


Skating Business Owner Sues City Over Zoning Dispute

The owner of an indoor skating business in Springfield is suing the city over a zoning decision that allows a halfway house for parolees to keep operating near his facility. 


The State Journal-Register reports Skank Skates owner George Sinclair wants the zoning reclassification thrown out because it is “unreasonable” and incompatible with his and other nearby businesses in the vicinity of 11th and South Grand.

Sun-Times Decides To Resume Political Endorsements In Time To Back Rauner For Governor

One of the state’s biggest newspapers is back in the endorsement business. 


The Chicago Sun-Times stopped making political endorsements back in 2012… but is now picking Bruce Rauner in the race for governor. 


Its endorsement notes that Rauner is a former major investor in the Sun-Times’ parent company.


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