Senator Barickman welcomed Watseka High School Freshman Jackie Lynch to serve as his honorary page for the day on November 13th. In addition to being involved in numerous extracurricular activities, Jackie spends much of her free time as an advocate for people with Type 1 Diabetes.
Sen. Barickman and Rep. Butler calling for audit of the financial relationship between the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Foundation and the ALPLM
Responding to concerns over allegations that the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation paid millions for a stovepipe hat that may not have actually belonged to President Abraham Lincoln, State Senator and Legislative Audit Commission Co-Chair Jason Barickman and State Representative Tim Butler (R-Springfield) are calling for an audit to review the financial relationship between the foundation and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (ALPLM).
“The foundation is asking the state for millions of dollars to cover the purchase of artifacts, including the hat that has been heavily scrutinized,” said Sen. Barickman. “Before we can make a decision on that, we need to better understand the financial connection between the foundation and the ALPLM, as well as what agreements are in place governing purchases made by the foundation.”
"Even after the Illinois House hearing, many questions still remain about the relationship of the Foundation with the Presidential Museum and the money which has been raised for this state agency," said Representative Butler. "This audit will hopefully shed light on the operations of the foundation and help us plan a path forward to the goal we all desire: ensuring the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is a world-class institution."
Barickman and Butler said that an audit of how state funds were spent will shed light on whether taxpayer money was misspent or mismanaged. The process may help determine if the foundation bought the famed hat from a former member of the board for $6.5 million without first authenticating its true origin.
The audit could also assess the merits of the acquisition of the $25 million Barry and Louise Taper Collection. The foundation secured a loan in order to purchase the pieces; however, a balance of more than $9 million remains. The loan is due in October 2019.
An audit resolution, SR2179 has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Barickman, and an identical resolution, HR1300, has been filed in the House by Rep. Butler. If either is passed by its chamber, the Auditor General will conduct an audit and report his findings to the Legislative Audit Commission.
IDPH Offers Safe Holiday Cooking Tips
With the holiday season quickly approaching, the state’s Department of Public Health (IDPH) is underscoring the importance of observing food-safety practices. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 48 million people per year get sick from a foodborne illness, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die.
IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D., said, “By taking a few simple precautions, you can help protect yourself and those around you from an unhappy holiday.”
To make sure foodborne illness is not on the menu, adhere to the four food safety steps.
- Clean - wash hands, cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and countertops before and after preparing each food item.
- Separate - keep raw eggs, meat, poultry, seafood, and their juices away from foods that will not be cooked.
- Cook - use a food thermometer to make sure meat, poultry, and fish are fully cooked. Color is not a reliable indicator of doneness. Cook turkey to an internal temperature of 165°F.
- Chill - divide leftovers into shallow containers and refrigerate them within two hours. Use leftovers within three to four days.
Though “grazing” is always popular during the holidays, bacteria multiply when perishable food sits at room temperature. This range, between 40-140°F, is known as the “danger zone.” A good rule of thumb is to make sure hot foods are hot (above 140°F) and cold foods are cold (below 40°F). Any foods left out at room temperature for more than two hours should be discarded.
Raw poultry should be handled carefully and cooked thoroughly to prevent food poisoning. Raw poultry can have germs that spread around food preparation areas and advance sickness. When preparing holiday meals, be sure to follow these turkey-specific recommendations:
- Do not thaw at room temperature. Instead thaw the turkey in the refrigerator, in a sink of cold water that is changed every 30 minutes, or in the microwave. Never thaw a turkey by leaving it out on the counter. Allow approximately 24 hours for each four to five pounds of turkey when thawed in the refrigerator.
- Do not rinse or wash your turkey, which can spread bacteria around the kitchen, contaminating countertops, towels, and other food.
Typical symptoms of foodborne illness include vomiting, diarrhea, and flu-like symptoms, which can start anywhere from hours to days after consuming contaminated food or drinks. Symptoms can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
Those at risk of more severe and even life-threatening foodborne illness include older adults, infants, young children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems. Those who become ill, especially with severe symptoms, or those who are at risk for more severe disease, should seek care from a medical provider to ensure a proper diagnosis and appropriate management.
Illinois Firearm Deer Season Opens Nov. 16-18
Deer hunters are reminded to focus on safety as the 2018 Illinois Firearm Deer Season opens this week. The seven-day firearm season runs from Nov. 16 to Nov. 18. A second round of firearm deer hunting will be held from Nov. 29 to Dec. 2.
The IDNR Office of Law Enforcement, which administers the Illinois Hunter Safety Education Program, reports there were 19 hunting incidents last year during all seasons, three of which involved fatalities. Ten of those incidents involved hunters falling from elevated tree stands or falling while climbing into or out of tree stands.
IDNR safety educators remind hunters using tree stands to use a Fall Arrest System (FAS) safety harness. Nationally, more than 80 percent of reported tree stand incidents involve hunters who were not using a fall restraint system. As additional precautions, hunters should check the harness, straps, ladder and other equipment to make sure they are in good working order. Hunters should also be aware of weather conditions that could make stands and steps slippery, and to have a mobile phone within reach to call for help, if needed.
Hunters can review tree stand safety online at http://www.huntercourse.com/treestandsafety/
Safety educators and IDNR Conservation Police also remind everyone hunting with a firearm to:
- Treat every firearm as if it is loaded, and never assume a firearm is unloaded;
- Always point a firearm in a safe direction;
- Be sure of the target, and make sure there are no other hunters, homes, buildings, vehicles or other animals beyond the target;
- Keep their finger out of the trigger guard and off the trigger until they are ready to shoot.
Legal hunting hours for the firearm deer season are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.
Hunters who take a deer during the firearm season in most Illinois counties must register the deer they harvest online, or through the toll-free phone check-in system. To register their harvest by phone, hunters can call 1-866-IL-CHECK (1-866-452-4325). A link to the online deer registration system is available here: https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Pages/HarvestReporting.aspx
Hunters registering deer through the online or phone systems must do so by 10:00 p.m. on the day they take the deer.
In many northern Illinois counties where chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been detected in deer, hunters are required to register all deer harvested during firearm season by taking them to a check station between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Biologists will be present to take CWD samples for testing at the time of registration. Testing is voluntary, but all hunters with adult deer are encouraged to participate. Information on the counties where hunters are required to check in their deer at check stations is available on the IDNR website at:
Hunters participating in CWD sampling can check the status of their deer (listed by phone number) through the IDNR website. Hunters who provide samples from deer that test positive will be notified by the IDNR. For more information on CWD in Illinois, check the website at:
In addition to the seven-day Illinois Firearm Deer Season on Nov. 16-18 and Nov. 29-Dec. 2, other deer hunting seasons in the state include the three-day Muzzleloader-only Deer Season on Dec. 7-9, and the seven-day Late-Winter Firearm Antlerless-only Deer Season and Special CWD Deer Season (in select counties) on Dec. 27-30, 2018 and Jan. 18-20, 2019. The Illinois Archery Deer Season, which opened on Oct. 1, is open through Jan. 20, 2019 (except closed in counties open to Firearm Deer Season on Nov. 16-18 and Nov. 29-Dec. 2).
For more information on Illinois deer hunting regulations, check the Illinois Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations 2018-2019 at https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/documents/HuntTrapDigest.pdf