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Illinois prepared to assist states impacted by Hurricane Florence. Governor Bruce Rauner announced Thursday that Illinois is prepared to provide personnel and other support to states that may be impacted by Hurricane Florence.

Ten Illinois Army National Guard soldiers and two helicopters have deployed to support relief efforts in North Carolina. The crews left from Peoria's 238th Aviation Battalion and Kankakee's 1st Battalion, 106th Aviation Regiment. They will provide support for up to 10 days. All costs associated with the deployment will be paid for by the Tar Heel state.
Already having served as student body president at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, as a village board member in Downers Grove, and on the Board of Trustees at the College of DuPage, he is one of the youngest members of the General Assembly and part of a new generation of state representatives in Springfield. Our guest is 81st District State Representative David Olsen.

"Father Marquette and the Indians" painting by Wilhelm Lamprecht, 1869
Many Illinoisans are tempted to snicker when an out-of-stater mispronounces our state’s name. We know that the ‘s’ on the end of the name is silent. Our state’s name and its correct pronunciation are part of the legacy left by the French explorers who in the 17th century became the first European settlers to visit the parcel of land in the middle of North America now known as “Illinois.”

The French had claimed the region sight-unseen in 1671. Two years later, an expedition led by Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet arrived in the area to be known as Illinois. Their group consisted of seven French explorers and two scouts in a pair of canoes. The French had already colonized portions of present-day Canada and had been exploring the Great Lakes region and its nearby rivers.
Mike Marron sworn in as 104th District State Representative. Vermilion County Board Chairman Mike Marron was sworn-in Friday to serve as the new 104th District State Representative. Marron is succeeding retiring State Representative Chad Hays, who had served in office since 2010. Marron, who succeeds both Hays and legendary State Representative Bill Black, thanked both men for their leadership.
On session days, the Illinois Capitol is a crowded place to be. While either house is in session, members of the public tend to gather outside the chamber doors around the rail surrounding the third floor rotunda. Looking up, or down, a visitor to the Capitol has the chance to see statues of some of the towering figures of Illinois government.

Here is a quick jaunt around the center of the Capitol building to explore some of the stories of the figures depicted in the statues that line the 2nd floor and which tower above the center of the Capitol’s rotunda.
Ag-boosting measures signed into law. At the Du Quoin State Fair on Saturday, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the Industrial Hemp Act, Senate Bill 2298, adding Illinois to a growing number of states that permit growth of cannabis cultivated for non-drug uses such as paper- and fabric-making, biodegradable plastics, construction materials and health food.

The governor also signed House Bill 5749, easing weight-limit restrictions on state highways during harvest time, improving the competitive outlook for Illinois farmers and agricultural commodities haulers. Both measures will enhance one of the state’s leading industries: farming.
 From Illinois Digital Archives, Illinois State Library - General
Collection: Record of the Illinois National Guard (33rd Division)
and Illinois Naval Militia.

Soldiers in the Illinois National Guard’s 33rd Brigade Combat Team wear a circular shoulder insignia which features a gold cross against a black background. This simple design got its start from Illinois soldiers who served our nation overseas a century ago. It has been worn on battlefields from World War I to Afghanistan, by troops who earned accolades from some of the most celebrated generals in American history. It marks the proud history of the 33rd Division of the U.S. Army.