WBEZ | tornado http://www.wbez.org/tags/tornado Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Coal City: One month later http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-23/coal-city-one-month-later-112463 <p><p>The weather this week has been pretty calm, but we have had a summer of powerful storms and some of them led to more dangerous weather last month. Nine tornadoes tore through parts of Illinois, including two that touched down in the western town of Coal City. There were no reports of serious injury, but homes and property sustained major damage. WBEZ&rsquo;s Yolanda Perdomo was in Coal City the morning after the tornadoes to talk to residents about how they planned to rebuild. She went back one month later to see where relief efforts stand. She joins us to share some of those residents&rsquo; stories.&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/IMG_8887_web.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="National Relief Network volunteers take out remnants of a swimming pool in Coal City (WBEZ/Yolanda Perdomo)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/IMG_8813_web.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="Ed Essary stands in the space where his home of 39 years once sat (WBEZ/Yolanda Perdomo)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/IMG_8858_web.jpg" style="width: 465px; height: 620px;" title="Charles Lloyd is keeping busy as a scraper in Coal City (WBEZ/Yolanda Perdomo)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/IMG_8789_web.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="Residents say it’ll take a while before life returns to normal in Coal City (WBEZ/Yolanda Perdomo)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/IMG_8880_web.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="Many residents say they’ll miss the big, lush trees gone from Coal City (WBEZ/Yolanda Perdomo)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div></div></div></div></div></div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/IMG_8829_web.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="There were no deaths as a result of the severe weather. Several people were taken to hospitals for injuries. (WBEZ/Yolanda Perdomo)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/IMG_8826_web.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="According to the village of Coal City, it’s up to residents to pay for and clean up debris from the storm (WBEZ/Yolanda Perdomo)" /></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 23 Jul 2015 12:07:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-23/coal-city-one-month-later-112463 Morning Shift: Tornado in Coal City http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-06-23/morning-shift-tornado-coal-city-112234 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/IMG_7898.JPG" title="Photo/WBEZ" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/211631636&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><div>&nbsp;</div><div><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Tornado in Coal City</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">Residents in the southwestern Illinois town of Coal City are in recovery mode as they&rsquo;re assessing the damage from a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/storms-spawn-tornado-damage-homes-injure-7-illinois-112232">tornado that touched down</a> late Monday night. As of Tuesday morning, no deaths were reported, but severe property damange was reported throughout the area. We check in with residents and town officials about the town&#39;s plan to rebuild.&nbsp;</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guests:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/yolandanews">Yolanda Perdomo</a> is a WBEZ reporter.&nbsp;</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><em>Ricky Castro is a <a href="https://twitter.com/NWS">National Weather Service</a> meteorolgist.</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><em>Glenn Root is a <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Village-of-Coal-City/126222744098400">Coal City</a> resident.&nbsp;</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">&nbsp;</p></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/211631632&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit;">In fighting against poverty and low achievement, these principals beat the odds</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">A new <a href="http://reportcards.dailyherald.com/lowincome/">analysis</a> by Daily Herald and WBEZ shows that poverty in the suburbs is deepening. On Monday reporters Melissa Silverberg and Linda Lutton <a href="http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20150623/news/150629726/">detailed</a> how students from low income families fare in the classroom. These students score low on state standardized tests, placing them behind their peers from wealthier households. But some schools can break that trend. On Tuesday, we focus on two of those. We talk to Principal Lavonne Smiley&nbsp;from Teftt Middle School in Streamwood who moved the dials so now more than half the students are meeting state expectations by making parents an integral part of their kids&rsquo; education. And Principal Irma Bates from Sunny Hill Elementary in Carpentersville explains how school is more than just classrooms, but serves a central meeting place for families in the community.&nbsp;</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; line-height: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guests:&nbsp;</strong><em>Irma Bates is the Principal of&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/barrington220">Sunny Hill Elementary</a> in Carpentersville.</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><em>Lavonne Smiley is the Principal of&nbsp;</em><em><a href="http://www.edline.net/pages/Tefft_Middle_School">Teftt Middle School</a> in Streamwood.</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/211631628&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit;">Chicago Jewish Film Festival documents Jewish experience</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">Even though Jews make up less than .2 percent of the world&rsquo;s population, the Jewish experience is complex and diverse. The 2nd Annual <a href="http://www.chicagojewishfilm.org/">Chicago Jewish Film Festival</a> aims to bring those diverse stories to local screens. Some are old, some are new. Some are documentaries, some are features. Some deal with religious themes, while others are purely cultural. David Chack is the festival&rsquo;s artistic director, and he joins us to go over some of the titles he&rsquo;s chosen for this year&rsquo;s festival.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; line-height: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em>David Chack is the <a href="https://twitter.com/ChiJewFilmFest">Chicago Jewish Film Festival</a>&#39;s artistic director.&nbsp;</em></p></p> Tue, 23 Jun 2015 08:16:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-06-23/morning-shift-tornado-coal-city-112234 Storms spawn tornado, damage homes, injure 7 in Illinois http://www.wbez.org/news/storms-spawn-tornado-damage-homes-injure-7-illinois-112232 <p><p><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 20px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: rgb(249, 249, 249);">▲&nbsp;</span>LISTEN&nbsp;</strong><em>Residents in the southwestern Illinois town of Coal City are in recovery mode as they&rsquo;re assessing the damage from a tornado that touched down late Monday night. As of Tuesday morning, no deaths were reported. WBEZ&#39;s </em>Morning Shift <em>checked in with residents and town officials about the town&#39;s plan to rebuild.</em></p><p><em>Updated 4:55 p.m.</em></p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/coalcitytornado7.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="Damage from a tornado in Coal City, Illinois, Tuesday morning. At least seven were injured across the state during the storms. (WBEZ/Yolanda Perdomo)" /></div><p>Strong storms that swept across northern Illinois spawned at least four tornadoes, severely damaged homes and forced first responders to pull survivors from basements, officials said Tuesday.</p><p>At least four tornadoes also hit parts of Michigan late Monday into early Tuesday, while possible tornadoes came through northern Indiana and Iowa. The storms knocked out power to thousands of people, but by Tuesday morning, the skies had cleared and the rain had moved east.</p><p>Particularly hard hit on Monday night was a private camping resort in Sublette, Illinois, a community about 100 miles west of Chicago. Five people were hurt, and one was hospitalized with serious injuries. The National Weather Service confirmed it was an EF-2 tornado with winds between 111 mph and 135 mph.</p><p>Fire Chief Kevin Schultz said damage was worse than anticipated, spread across about 700 acres of the Woodhaven Association resort.</p><p>&quot;At this point in time, the best words to describe it is decimated,&quot; Schultz said Tuesday morning. &quot;There are trailers that are in trees. There are trailers that are upside down. ... It is the worst thing I&#39;ve ever seen.&quot;</p><p>Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner deployed the 80-member Illinois Task Force 1 search-and-rescue team to assist on Tuesday morning, and said at a news conference that he was concerned out-of-towners were hurt or trapped and wouldn&#39;t be reported missing.</p><p>About 70 miles southeast of the camping resort, another confirmed EF-2 tornado raked Coal City at about 10 p.m. Monday and damaged several subdivisions. Authorities said five people suffered minor injuries and everyone was accounted for in the city of about 5,000 people, but crews planned to conduct a secondary search on Tuesday.</p><p>Debra Burla, 59, and her husband sheltered in an underground crawlspace on their 100-year-old farm, but the wind nearly sucked her out of it, she said.</p><p>&quot;I kept crawling to the middle (of the crawlspace) ... because I was sitting right by the opening of it, said Burla, whose farm was heavily damaged. Her daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter were temporarily stuck in their own crawlspace after their garage collapsed on top of it.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/coalcitytornado8.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="Damage from a tornado in Coal City, Illinois, Tuesday morning. At least seven were injured across the state during the storms. " /></div><p>The Illinois Emergency Management Agency was gathering information on the extent of the storm damage in the area. Rauner also issued a state disaster proclamation for Lee and Grundy counties to make state resources available for recovery.</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s a miracle, frankly, when you see the devastation that there were no deaths and no life-threatening injuries,&quot; Rauner said after viewing the damage by helicopter.</p><p>To the west, an estimated 40 to 50 Hy-Vee store employees and customers in the southern Iowa town of Albia took shelter in the store cooler when the storm struck Monday evening, shattering store windows and sending glass flying into a nearby neighborhood. Homes in the area lost roofs and windows as well.</p><p>In Michigan, a series of severe thunderstorms damaged homes and caused power outages. More than 50 homes as well as church and other buildings were damaged by a tornado Monday in Portland, about 25 miles northwest of Lansing. And the National Weather Service said one tornado hit about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday near Manchester, southwest of Ann Arbor.</p><p>Garrett Macomber told The Ann Arbor News that his farm was among those damaged.</p><p>&quot;Half the roof is gone, it ripped out the trees, and I don&#39;t even know about our fence,&quot; said Macomber, who told the newspaper that he jumped out of bed and ran to get everyone into the basement. &quot;It was a ridiculous amount of wind,&quot; he said. &quot;It felt like the whole house was lifting off its foundation.&quot;</p><p><em>WBEZ&#39;s Yolanda Perdomo contributed to this report.</em></p></p> Tue, 23 Jun 2015 06:29:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/storms-spawn-tornado-damage-homes-injure-7-illinois-112232 Two dead, homes destroyed in tiny Illinois town after tornado http://www.wbez.org/news/two-dead-homes-destroyed-tiny-illinois-town-after-tornado-111856 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/tornado_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><em>Updated&nbsp;</em><em>April 10,&nbsp;</em><em>1:57 p.m.</em></p><p>FAIRDALE, Ill. &mdash; A second woman from a tiny Illinois farming community has died, Gov. Bruce Rauner confirmed Friday, a day after tornadoes struck a six-county swath of the state, injuring about a dozen other people and sweeping homes off their foundations.</p><p>Crews embarked on detailed searches for missing residents Friday after at least one tornado brought chaos to Fairdale, a town of 150 people, around 7 p.m. the night before.</p><p>Residents reported the skies blackening and windows exploding as the severe weather struck. Crews combed through each structure twice into the evening hours and searched again by equipment and by hand Friday morning. The second person killed had initially been reported missing and her body was found Friday morning, Rauner said. Most other injuries were minor.</p><p>&quot;We hope and pray that that is all the fatalities,&quot; Rauner said. &quot;We are very blessed that more people were not hurt. This was a devastating storm.&quot;</p><p>The two people killed were identified as Jacklyn K. Klosa, 69, and Geraldine M. Schultz, 67.</p><p>About 15 to 20 homes were destroyed in Fairdale, according to DeKalb County Sheriff Roger A. Scott. Matthew Knott, division chief for the Rockford Fire Department, told The Associated Press that just about every building in the town about 80 miles from Chicago &quot;sustained damage of some sort.&quot;</p><p>All homes were evacuated as a safety precaution and power was out across the area. The Red Cross and Salvation Army established a shelter at a local high school.</p><p>Trees, power lines and debris lay strewn on the ground. Some homes in the rural farming village were barely standing and many had shifted from their foundations. Roofs were missing. Metal siding from barns was wrapped around trees.</p><p>Residents gathered at a roadblock a mile from town Friday morning, eager to check the damage to their homes. Police, though, refused entry, saying it was too dangerous.</p><p>Resident Al Zammuto, a 60-year-old machinist, said he and other residents received cellphone alerts at 6:45 p.m., but he dismissed it as previous warnings hadn&#39;t amounted to anything.</p><p>Then his windows exploded.</p><p>He took cover as the severe weather struck. Bricks were torn off the side of his home. Minutes later he stepped outside and couldn&#39;t believe his eyes. He said the town looked trashed &quot;looked like a landfill&quot; and the sounds were haunting.</p><p>&quot;People were screaming and yelling,&quot; he said. &quot;People were in total shock.&quot;</p><p>National Weather Service meteorologist Matt Friedlein said at least two tornadoes swept through six north-central Illinois counties, and that damage survey teams would visit the area to determine how long they stayed on the ground, their strength and the extent of the damage.</p><p>After raking Illinois, Thursday&#39;s storm and cold front headed northeast, dumping snow in Michigan&#39;s Upper Peninsula and sweeping across the Ohio Valley overnight, Friedlein said. The system was headed into the Appalachian region Friday with the potential for severe thunderstorms but &quot;not anywhere near the threat&quot; that it packed in the Midwest, he said.</p><p>Roughly 30 homes were damaged or destroyed in Ogle County, adjacent to DeKalb, Sheriff Brian VanVickle said, adding no deaths or significant injuries were reported there. He said 12 people had been trapped in the storm cellar beneath a restaurant that collapsed in the storm in Rochelle, about 20 miles southwest of Fairdale.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/didkQXhjeVQ" width="560"></iframe></p><p>One of those rescued from the Grubsteakers restaurant, Raymond Kramer, 81, told Chicago&#39;s WLS-TV they were trapped for 90 minutes before emergency crews were able to rescue them, unscathed.</p><p>&quot;No sooner did we get down there, when it hit the building and laid a whole metal wall on top of the doors where we went into the storm cellar,&quot; Kramer said. &quot;When the tornado hit, we all got a dust bath. Everyone in there got shattered with dust and debris falling out of the rafters.&quot;</p></p> Fri, 10 Apr 2015 08:26:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/two-dead-homes-destroyed-tiny-illinois-town-after-tornado-111856 Morning Shift: Dangerous weather hits N.Illinois hard http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-04-10/morning-shift-dangerous-weather-hits-nillinois-hard-111855 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Benimoto.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="Flickr/Benimoto" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">&nbsp;</p></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/200184671&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit;">Dangerous weather hits N. Illinois hard</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">Heavy storms and a tornado caused severe damage to several towns in Northern Illinois Thursday night. Early in its path of destruction, the tornado nearly wiped out a popular restaurant and flipped over a semi truck near I-39. We get the facts from area reporter Jenna Dooley, who covered the storm live. Also, we check in with Washington, Illinois Mayor Gary Manier.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guests:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/dooleyjenna">Jenna Dooley</a> is a WNIJ reporter.</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><em>Gary Manier is the Mayor of <a href="http://ci.washington.il.us/">Washington, IL.</a></em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/200184666&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit;">President announces call for end to &lsquo;so-called&rsquo; conversion therapy</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">President Obama just called for an end to so-called conversion therapies for gay, lesbian and transgender young people. He&rsquo;ll reportedly support efforts to ban it at the state level. A bill that would prohibit therapy that tries to change sexual orientation for minors is winding through the Illinois General Assembly. Proponents say this type of therapy is dangerous, and doesn&rsquo;t work. Moreover, they argue, sexual orientation isn&rsquo;t a mental illness, but conversion therapy treats it like it is. We have two people who have concerns about the bill with us by phone today. Pastor Ron Citlau from Calvary Church in Orland Park has struggled with same-sex attraction and counseled others who have too. He&rsquo;s co-author of the book Compassion without Compromise: How the Gospel Frees Us to Love Our Gay Friends Without Losing the Truth.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="http://www.calvaryop.org/staff">Ron Citlau</a> is a pastor at <a href="https://www.facebook.com/calvaryop">Calvary Church</a> in suburban Orland Park.&nbsp;</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/200184663&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit;">Apps offer mobile therapy</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">For many struggling with anxiety or depression, seeing a therapist can be an effective method for combating symptoms of mental illness. Research shows that many people even favor talking about their mental health concerns over taking medication. But at what cost? As private counseling can cost in the hundreds of dollars for just for one session, it&#39;s hard to weigh the benefits versus the burden of dolling out the cash. Perhaps until now, where a team of psychologists at Northwestern&#39;s Feinberg School of Medicine have developed a free app that puts a therapist right in your pocket. It&#39;s called Intellicare, and one of the App creators Stephen Schueller is here to tell us everything we need to know about a therapist that can go, where you go. Get involved in the app&#39;s study <a href="https://intellicare.cbits.northwestern.edu/">here.&nbsp;</a></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/steveschueller">Steven Schueller</a> is a <a href="https://twitter.com/NMHnews">Northwestern Medicine</a>&nbsp;</em><em>psychologist&nbsp;</em><em>and co-creator of the therapy app Intellicare.&nbsp;</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/200184661&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit;">Loretta Swit plays Eleanor Roosevelt</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">Loretta Swit is best known for her 11 years playing &ldquo;Hot Lips&rsquo; Houlihan&rdquo; on the television series M*A*S*H. But the New Jersey native started on the stage and that&rsquo;s where she&rsquo;s been showcasing her talents lately in the one woman show, Eleanor, based on a novel about first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Swit brings the famous woman to life at the Auditorium Theatre and stops by the Morning Shift to talk about the role and her career in acting.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/LoretteSwit">Loretta Swit</a> is playing Eleanor Roosevelt in <a href="http://www.auditoriumtheatre.org/shows/an-evening-with-the-roosevelts/">&quot;An evening with the Roosevelts.&quot;</a></em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/200184658&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit;">CIMMFest brings music and film together</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">Each spring filmmakers, musicians, and their passionate fans alike, descend upon Wicker Park and Logan Square for four days of movies and music. The Chicago International Movies and Music Festival known as CIMMfest is a celebration of music centric films and live music. The films come from all countries and cultures, and range from documentaries to fiction to concert films to shorts to music videos. The live performances are inspired by film or feature visual accompaniment. Festival co-founder and musician Josh Chicoine joins Morning Shift to preview this year&rsquo;s <a href="http://cimmfest.org/schedule/">line-up</a>.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/CIMMFest">Josh Chicoine</a> is the CIMMFest&#39;s co-founder.&nbsp;</em></p></p> Fri, 10 Apr 2015 07:52:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-04-10/morning-shift-dangerous-weather-hits-nillinois-hard-111855 Rebuilding after a tornado, branch by branch http://www.wbez.org/news/rebuilding-after-tornado-branch-branch-107312 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/emptystreet.jpg" style="height: 411px; width: 620px;" title="Joplin, Missouri after the 2011 tornado that killed 162 people. (WBEZ/Blair Fethers)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F93407294&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Having grown up in Tornado Alley, my husband and I both learned from a young age what to do when the tornado sirens go off. But no drill, no practice prepares you for the devastation a tornado can bring.</p><p>It was two years ago today that Joplin, Missouri experienced the deadliest tornado to hit the United States since 1947. Though we had seen images on TV and spoken on the phone with family and friends, seeing the destruction in person was surreal. It looked like a bomb had been dropped in the middle of this quiet Midwestern community.&nbsp;</p><p>And for me, one of the most scarring sights was the massive loss of trees.&nbsp;<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/helicopter.jpg" style="float: right; height: 453px; width: 300px;" title="It has been estimated that recovery in Joplin will cost $1-$3 billion. (WBEZ/Blair Fethers)" /></p><p>Growing up on the prairie you have a special appreciation for trees.&nbsp; They are landmarks.&nbsp; They carry history.&nbsp; They offer crucial shade on hot summer days and protect the environment from soil and wind erosion. These seemingly broken, bark-stripped and uprooted trees had been a part of people&rsquo;s lives for generations, always around. Their loss caused psychological and emotional damage, forever changing the landscape of Joplin and the hearts of its residents.</p><p>I thought of my husband.&nbsp; Of his childhood in Joplin.&nbsp; Of how dramatically this place had been changed in an instant.&nbsp; Of what my sons would never see.</p><p>It was now clearer to me than ever before: money couldn&#39;t fix this. Money couldn&#39;t bring back these ancient trees. But new trees could be replanted.&nbsp; We could help with the rebuilding and support those who were committed to bringing back the community they once knew, including the trees.</p><p>So within days, we set up a fund, thanks to the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation.&nbsp;</p><p>It&rsquo;s estimated over 1,000 new trees have now been planted. Many of these were distributed to families to replant in their own yards because a local naturalist group thought it necessary to focus on neighborhoods.</p><p>Recently, a Joplin native sent a grateful note. He said that the new trees this summer would mean Joplin children would again hear the cicadas. Have a safe base playing tag.&nbsp; That families, schools, and communities centers in the devastated areas enjoyed a sense of community pride from their efforts to bring back the peaceful landscape they so tragically lost.</p><p>On our most recent visit, we saw a community that continues to heal. It will take a long time for the horizon to look as it once did, but progress continues.&nbsp; As I watched my sons run and play I got a glimpse of what recovery will bring.&nbsp; Trees are something we share. And I will enjoy watching these new trees grow, knowing someday they will again provide shade. &nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em>Breeze Richardson is the Director of Strategic Partnerships at WBEZ, overseeing the station&rsquo;s community engagement initiatives. Her husband is a native of Joplin and just days after the tornado the family traveled there. The Tree Planting Fund was established thanks to the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation and planting was overseen by the staff of the Missouri Department of Conservation.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 22 May 2013 14:15:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/rebuilding-after-tornado-branch-branch-107312 Crews race to find survivors of Oklahoma twister http://www.wbez.org/news/crews-race-find-survivors-oklahoma-twister-107279 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP789530311235.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>MOORE, Okla. &mdash; Emergency crews searched the broken remnants of an Oklahoma City suburb Tuesday for survivors of a massive tornado that flattened homes and demolished an elementary school. At least 24 people were killed, including at least nine children, and those numbers were expected to climb.</p><p>The state medical examiner&#39;s office cut the estimated death toll by more than half but warned that the number was likely to climb again. Gov. Mary Fallin said authorities did not know how many people were still missing, but vowed to account for every resident.</p><p>&quot;We will rebuild, and we will regain our strength,&quot; said Fallin, who went on a flyover of the area and described it as &quot;hard to look at.&quot;</p><p>Amy Elliott, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner, said she believes some victims were counted twice in the early chaos of the storm that struck Monday afternoon. Downed communication lines and problems sharing information with officers exacerbated the problem, she said.</p><p>&quot;It was a very eventful night,&quot; Elliott said. &quot;I truly expect that they&#39;ll find more today.&quot;</p><p>Authorities initially said as many as 51 people were dead, including 20 children.</p><p>New search-and-rescue teams moved at dawn Tuesday, taking over from the 200 or so emergency responders who had worked all night. A helicopter shined a spotlight from above to aid in the search.</p><p>Many houses have &quot;just been taken away. They&#39;re just sticks and bricks,&quot; the governor said, describing the 17-mile path of destruction.</p><p>The National Weather Service said the twister was on the ground for 40 minutes, with winds estimated at 190 mph. The agency issued an initial finding that the tornado was EF-4 on the enhanced Fujita scale &mdash; the second strongest type of tornado &mdash; and that it was at least half a mile wide.</p><p>Emergency crews were having trouble navigating neighborhoods because the devastation is so complete, and there are no street signs left standing, Fallin added.</p><p>Fire Chief Gary Bird said fresh teams would search the whole community at least two more times to ensure that no survivors &mdash; or any of the dead &mdash; were overlooked. Crews painted an &#39;X&#39; on each structure to note it had been checked.</p><p>&quot;That is to confirm we have done our due diligence for this city, for our citizens,&quot; Bird said.</p><p>The community of 56,000 people, 10 miles south of Oklahoma City, braced for another long, harrowing day.</p><p>&quot;As long as we are here ... we are going to hold out hope that we will find survivors,&quot; said Trooper Betsy Randolph, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.</p><p>More than 200 people had been treated at area hospitals.</p><p>Other search-and-rescue teams focused their efforts at Plaza Towers Elementary, where the storm ripped off the roof, knocked down walls and turned the playground into a mass of twisted plastic and metal as students and teachers huddled in hallways and bathrooms.</p><p>Fallin said she arrived in Moore late Monday and observed the search and rescue operation at the school.</p><p>&quot;It was very surreal coming upon the school because there was no school,&quot; she said at the Tuesday news conference.</p><p>Earlier, she described her astonishment at the destruction, saying: &quot;It would be remarkable for anyone to survive.&quot;</p><p>Seven of the nine dead children were killed at the school, but several students were pulled alive from under a collapsed wall and other heaps of mangled debris. Rescue workers passed the survivors down a human chain of parents and neighborhood volunteers. Parents carried children in their arms to a triage center in the parking lot. Some students looked dazed, others terrified.</p><p>Officials were still trying to account for a handful of children not found at the school who may have gone home early with their parents, Bird said Tuesday.</p><p>Many parents of missing schoolchildren initially came to St. Andrews United Methodist Church, which had been set up as a meeting site. But only high school students were brought to the church, causing confusion and frustration among parents of students enrolled at Plaza Towers. They were redirected to a Baptist church several miles away.</p><p>&quot;It was very emotional &mdash; some people just holding on to each other, crying because they couldn&#39;t find a child; some people being angry and expressing it verbally&quot; by shouting at one another, said D.A. Bennett, senior pastor at St. Andrews.</p><p>After hearing that the tornado was headed toward another school called Briarwood Elementary, David Wheeler left work and drove 100 mph through blinding rain and gusting wind to find his 8-year-old son, Gabriel. When he got to the school site, &quot;it was like the earth was wiped clean, like the grass was just sheared off,&quot; Wheeler said.</p><p>Eventually, he found Gabriel, sitting with the teacher who had protected him. His back was cut and bruised and gravel was embedded in his head &mdash; but he was alive. As the tornado approached, students at Briarwood were initially sent to the halls, but a third-grade teacher &mdash; whom Wheeler identified as Julie Simon &mdash; thought it didn&#39;t look safe and so ushered the children into a closet, he said.</p><p>The teacher shielded Gabriel with her arms and held him down as the tornado collapsed the roof and starting lifting students upward with a pull so strong that it sucked the glasses off their faces, Wheeler said.</p><p>&quot;She saved their lives by putting them in a closet and holding their heads down,&quot; Wheeler said.</p><p>The tornado also grazed a theater, and leveled countless homes. Authorities were still trying to determine the full scope of the damage.</p><p>Roofs were torn off houses, exposing metal rods left twisted like pretzels. Cars sat in heaps, crumpled and sprayed with caked-on mud. Insulation and siding was smashed up against the sides of any walls that remained standing. Yards were littered with pieces of wood, nails and pieces of electric poles.</p><p>President Barack Obama declared a major disaster and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts.</p><p>&quot;Among the victims were young children trying to take shelter in the safest place they knew &mdash; their school,&quot; he said Tuesday.</p><p>The town of Moore &quot;needs to get everything it needs right away,&quot; he added.</p><p>Obama spoke following a meeting with his disaster-response team, including Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and top White House officials.</p><p>The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., forecast more stormy weather Tuesday in parts of Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma, including the Moore area.</p><p>In video of the storm, the dark funnel cloud can be seen marching slowly across the green landscape. As it churns through the community, the twister scatters shards of wood, awnings and glass all over the streets.</p><p>Monday&#39;s tornado loosely followed the path of a killer twister that slammed the region with 300 mph winds in May 1999. It was the fourth tornado to hit Moore since 1998.</p><p>The 1999 storm damaged 600 homes and about 100 businesses. Two or three schools were also hit, but &quot;the kids were out of school, so there were no concerns,&quot; recalled City Manager Steve Eddy.</p><p>At the time of Monday&#39;s storm, the City Council was meeting. Local leaders watched the twister approaching on television before taking shelter in the bathroom.</p><p>&quot;We blew our sirens probably five or six times,&quot; Eddy said. &quot;We knew it was going to be significant, and there were a lot of curse words flying.&quot;</p><p>Betty Snider, 81, scrambled inside with her son and husband. She put her husband, who recently had a stroke, in a bathroom, but there wasn&#39;t room for both of them. So she and her son huddled in a hallway.</p><p>&quot;That is the loudest roar I&#39;ve ever heard in my life,&quot; she said.</p><p>She said she didn&#39;t have time to do anything. She couldn&#39;t duck, couldn&#39;t cover her ears, couldn&#39;t find another place to hide.</p><p>She said this was the closest a twister had ever come to her house, which remained standing.</p><p>Monday&#39;s twister also came almost exactly two years after an enormous tornado ripped through the city of Joplin, Mo., killing 158 people and injuring hundreds more.</p><p>That May 22, 2011, tornado was the deadliest in the United States since modern tornado record keeping began in 1950, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Before Joplin, the deadliest modern tornado was June 1953 in Flint, Mich., when 116 people died.</p></p> Mon, 20 May 2013 16:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/crews-race-find-survivors-oklahoma-twister-107279 Southern Illinois eligible for SBA loans after storms http://www.wbez.org/story/southern-illinois-eligible-sba-loans-after-storms-97563 <p><p>Gov. Pat Quinn says nine southern Illinois counties struck by deadly storms are eligible for U.S. Small Business Administration aid.</p><p>Quinn's announcement came Thursday, a day after the state's appeal for aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency was denied. Hundreds of homes in southern Illinois counties were damaged or destroyed by the Feb. 29 storms that killed seven people in Harrisburg, a town of 9,000 in Saline County.</p><p>The declaration makes low-interest loans available to homeowners, renters and businesses. Eligible counties include: Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Johnson, Pope, Saline, White and Williamson.</p></p> Fri, 23 Mar 2012 14:31:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/southern-illinois-eligible-sba-loans-after-storms-97563 FEMA denies aid for storm-ravaged southern Illinois http://www.wbez.org/story/fema-denies-aid-storm-ravaged-southern-illinois-97206 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2012-March/2012-03-12/AP120229148693.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois' senators and Gov. Pat Quinn are denouncing a decision by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to deny disaster aid to southern Illinois counties ravaged by tornadoes.</p><p>A powerful Feb. 29 tornado left seven people dead in the&nbsp;southern Illinois community of Harrisburg, and hundreds of homes destroyed across the region. Quinn's office had&nbsp;sought a major disaster declaration for the state and assistance&nbsp;for several southern counties. In denying the request, FEMA said&nbsp;the damage was not "beyond the capabilities of the State, affected&nbsp;local governments and voluntary agencies."</p><p>Gov. Quinn released a statement Sunday in response to FEMA's decision, saying he was "extremely disappointed."</p><p>"After personally surveying the damage and talking to many residents who lost their homes, I firmly believe federal assistance is crucial to help them begin the recovery process," the statement said. The governor's office has 30 days to submit an appeal to FEMA.</p><p>Sen. Dick Durbin told Illinois Public Radio&nbsp;the lack of federal funds will make it tough on local government, businesses and individuals affected by the storms.</p><p>"Without the federal designation, there are limited opportunities for federal help. And take a look at what's happening here with our own state treasury. There's a limited opportunity there to compensate for these losses," he said. "I have just never seen worse devastation, and I find it hard to imagine that it didn't qualify."</p><p>Sens. Durbin and Mark Kirk said Sunday they have&nbsp;requested a meeting with FEMA leadership and would seek to overturn&nbsp;the ruling.</p></p> Mon, 12 Mar 2012 10:36:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/fema-denies-aid-storm-ravaged-southern-illinois-97206 Cash coming to tornado-struck Illinois town http://www.wbez.org/story/cash-coming-tornado-struck-illinois-town-97162 <p><p><span style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Verdana, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif, Geneva; font-size: 13px; line-height: 15px; ">The tornado-ravaged community of Harrisburg is getting a $1 million grant to improve access to the city's hospital.</span></p><p style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Verdana, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif, Geneva; font-size: 13px; line-height: 15px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); ">A powerful Feb. 29 tornado left seven people dead in the southern Illinois&nbsp;community.</p><p style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Verdana, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif, Geneva; font-size: 13px; line-height: 15px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); ">Plans have been in the works since at least last year for improving access to Harrisburg Medical Center by alleviating flooding on one of the main arteries to it.&nbsp;But officials said they got a renewed sense of urgency for the project after the tornado.</p><p style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Verdana, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif, Geneva; font-size: 13px; line-height: 15px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); ">Mayor Eric Gregg says his first thought when the tornado hit was whether the road was open.</p><p style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Verdana, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif, Geneva; font-size: 13px; line-height: 15px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); ">The funding includes $350,000 from a U.S. Department of Transportation grant, and the rest from an Illinois&nbsp;Department of Transportation grant.</p><p style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Verdana, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif, Geneva; font-size: 13px; line-height: 15px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); ">Missouri Road will be raised about 4 feet to get it over the 100-year flood plain.</p></p> Sat, 10 Mar 2012 15:23:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/cash-coming-tornado-struck-illinois-town-97162