[rose] EDN senior reporter Dawn Schabbing this week reported that Effingham is still working to quiet trains coming through the area. It's just taking a while. The City of Effingham’s quest to silence train horns throughout the city will take longer than anticipated. But city officials hope some horns may be quieted in the meantime. The city is working on reducing the noise created by train horns as each one passes through Effingham on the Canadian National rail line, especially in the residential areas. However, the deal comes with an exchange of installing expensive safety measures. When all safety features are in place, trains will be allowed to travel through without the need to sound their horns, except in cases of an emergency.

[rose] Capitol News Illinois reported this week: "The Illinois State Police, family members and dignitaries gathered Wednesday to commemorate Trooper Gerald Ellis in the third such ceremony held at Memorial Park in Springfield in almost as many months. Ellis died March 30 in the line of duty when he intentionally used his patrol vehicle to block a car driving the wrong way down Interstate 94 in Lake County from colliding with a vehicle carrying a family. He was 36. Brendan Kelly, director of the State Police, called Ellis a “hero.” Ellis’ name was added to the monument wall, which is “an ever-lasting reminder of the tremendous cost paid at times” for the safety the force is tasked with providing citizens and communities in the state, Jack Garcia said. He is director of the Illinois State Police Merit Board and chairperson of the State Police Memorial Park. The names are “engraved here for eternity so all our citizens and the visitors to our state can know and hopefully understand what these brave men and women, as well as their families, have sacrificed,” he added.

[rose] Roses to the several Effingham residents who recently took a closer look at what a law enforcement officer does. They participated in the Effingham Police Department Citizen’s Police Academy. The program lasted seven weeks, meeting once each week, to give insight and understanding of daily operations of the police department. The graduates were recognized during Tuesday's City Council meeting, which concluded the program. Participants were Effingham citizens with a variety of occupations, including retired police officers, day care providers, factory workers, a pastor, and a city employee. “We gave them an overall perspective of the Effingham Police Department,” said Deputy Police Chief Kurt Davis. “This was the first time in about 15 or 16 years the program was offered and we got a lot of positive feedback.”

[thorn] The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting this week reported this disturbing and thornworthy news: As many as nine states could see heat indexes above 100 degrees for more than a quarter of the year by 2036, according to a new report. The impact of climate change will push the number of days with heat indexes above 100 degrees across the Midwest, from an average of six days to as many as 30 days. Some top agriculture states could see nearly two month-worth of days where temperatures and humidity combine to create dangerous conditions for outdoor workers, according to a new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists. The report, entitled 'Killer Heat in the United States,' looked at 18 different climate models to project what heat indexes could be by midcentury and late century. Researchers looked at future impacts across several scenarios — including if people took no action now to reduce heat-trapping emissions as well as taking slow or rapid actions. The report shows that, with no action, nearly a third of America's urban areas will face an average of 30 days of heat index above 105 degrees.

[rose] The 131st Cumberland County Fair kicks off Saturday at the Cumberland County Fairgrounds in Greenup and runs through Aug. 17. New this year to the fair is an obstacle course on Aug. 16 at 6 p.m. There will be two courses. One is for kids, beginners and anyone wanting to try. This course is approximately three-eighths of a mile long with 10 obstacles. Entry fee is $10. The other is an adult course that is approximately a mile and a half with 20 obstacles. Entry fee for that course is $40. The adult course has a payout of $300 for first place, $200 for second place and $100 for third place. Each participant will receive a medallion. The gate fee is $3 per person for this event.

EDN editor Jeff Long can be reached at jeff.long@effinghamdailynews.com or by phone at 217-347-7151 ext. 129.

Editor

Graduated with a degree in journalism from UW-Madison in 1987. Reporter at a newspaper outside London, England. Then a reporter at papers in Pennsylvania and Virginia. For 13 years, a reporter and editor at the Chicago Tribune. Named EDN editor in 2014.