June 5, 2013
Illinois state inspectors say the bridge carrying traffic on County Highway 50 over Interstate 74 in Mahomet is in “critical condition” and “structurally deficient.”
But an average of 2,550 vehicles — including school buses — still use the bridge each day, although the bridge has been reduced to a single traffic lane since August 2011.
May 30, 2013
By Amy Harwath/CU-CitizenAccess.org - Trash litters the floors of the Edgar County jail, unknown liquid leaks from the ceilings, and broken locks make it impossible to secure internal doors.
The Sangamon County Jail is consistently overcrowded, making living quarters unfit for inmates.
These are just a few of the shortcomings in the Illinois county jails revealed in a review of hundreds of state...
April 25, 2013
By Amy Harwath/CU-CitizenAccess.org -- A Northern Illinois University lecture hall was the target of a mass shooting in 2008 where five persons were killed and 18 injured before the shooter took his own life.
At the time of the shooting, Northern’s students had to voluntarily sign up for emergency text message alerts, which only reached up to 10 percent of the university’s students.
April 19, 2013
By Amy Harwath/CU-CitizenAccess.org -- On Wednesday, April 17 the group Champaign-Urbana Citizens for Peace and Justice held a public hearing with jail consultant Alan Kalmanoff to air their concerns and ask questions about his ongoing evaluation of the Champaign County jail.
Over 70 people were in attendance, from local community members to graduate student members of the Planners Network to county officials...
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By Amy Harwath/CU-CitizenAccess.org -- Four University of Illinois students created an interactive mural reflecting the history of Champaign that will be part of the North First Street Revitalization Project.
By Amy Harwath/CU-CitizenAccess -- A spot check of universities across the Midwest and around the nation has revealed that four-year institutions are inconsistent in their approach to sending out emergency alerts to students and staff. Although universities automatically send out emergency notifications via school email addresses, they vary on their policies and success for text alerts.
By Amy Harwath/CU-CitizenAccess.org -- If an emergency happens on its campus, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville gets the message out to 100 percent of its students via text message.
But only about half of the students at Iowa State University would receive an emergency alert via text.
And less than one-third of students at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign would receive an emergency notification via text message.