It's likely you or someone you know have struck a deer. While it seems as though they are always wandering into the road, the actual number of deer-vehicle accidents was down last year.
State Farm Insurance has already predicted another decline based on claims filed. The company attributes the expected decline in accidents to a smaller deer population and increased driver awareness. It says Illinois drivers have less chance of hitting a deer than the national average.
What do Sangamon County employers see in the year ahead? The fall economic outlook survey shows they have a positive outlook about their individual business and sector, but not about the overall economy. As for jobs, nearly half expect employment rates to stay stagnant.
The issue of video gaming machines has created a divide in the town of Auburn.
Mayor Barb Stamer cast a tie breaking vote against gambling earlier this year. Now, she's changed her mind. (UPDATE: 6:45 a.m. Tuesday) The matter came up at Monday's Auburn City Council meeting and Stamer cast the tie-breaking vote in favor.
Towns small and large have had to decide whether or not allowing the machines is worth the cut the communities will receive from gamblers.
Stamer spoke with WUIS' Sean Crawford on Illinois Edition:
UIS Chancellor Susan Koch (standing) addresses a Springfield Citizens Club meeting Friday that unveiled a new countywide survey. The citizen survey is a joint project of the UIS Center for State Policy and Leadership, the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln and the United Way of Central Illinois.
While most say the county is a good place to live, work and raise kids, it's not all a rosy picture. It found crime is a concern, most want better roads and additional events like outdoor festivals and farmer's markets. But overall, the reviews were positive.
Dr. Ashley Kirzinger is Director of the University of Illinois Springfield Survey Research Office which called and asked residents more than 100 quality of life questions. She says it was surprising to find younger people have a brighter outlook for Sangamon County.
Regional Offices of Education have often been an overlooked area of government. But the elected positions have unwillingly been in the spotlight over the last couple of years when Governor Pat Quinn tried to eliminate them. A compromise with the legislature resulted in a consolidation of the offices that is underway now. 44 offices are required to drop down to 35. In Sangamon County, an agreement was reached this month to merge with Menard County starting in 2015.
The survey of employers find many have positive expectations for their own firms, but have a negative overall outlook for the coming year. Ashley Kirzinger, Director of the UIS Survey Research Office, spoke with us about the findings:
The survey is sponsored by the University of Illinois Springfield's Chancellor's Office, the Center for State Policy and Research at UIS and the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce.