Paleontologists recently ceFossilized fishlebrated National Fossil Day, a day to educate populations about the scientific value of the study of fossils and the importance of preserving them for future generations. The nation recognizes National Fossil Day during Earth Science Week in October every year to promote public awareness of historic remains. Fossil discovery is not uncommon to Illinois. In fact, Illinois has recognized one particular fossil for being a unique state treasure.

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Scott’s law is named after Scott Gillen, a Lieutenant in the Chicago Fire Department who was struck by a drunk driver in December of 2000, while assisting at a crash on the Dan Ryan Expressway. He served 14 years on the department. According to the incident summary provided by the Chicago Fire Department, Gillen was dispatched to assist at an accident scene. Upon arrival, the fire department's truck positioned itself to protect the accident scene from traffic. Gillen was retrieving a piece of equipment from the truck when a passing car illegally crossed the center lane to cut in front of a semi-truck traveling in the outside lane. The car struck the semi-trailer truck, fatally injuring Gillen. While tragic, the incident inspired lawmakers to take action to improve safety conditions for first responders. As a result, “Scott’s law” was born.

Scott’s law is Illinois’s “move over” law. A move over law, requires all motorists to move over when they encounter any stopped or disabled vehicle or a vehicle that is displaying flashing warning lights. A person found to be in violation of Scott's law faces a fine of up to $10,000.The offender may be found to violate the move over law if they are driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs at the time of the violation. In addition, the law applies when motorists enter a highway construction area. Illinois has one of the strongest move over laws in the country because drivers are actually required to change lanes while in many other states the driver does not have to change lanes or the law is unclear. After a series of Scott’s law crashes in 2019, the Illinois General Assembly passed a law strengthening Scott's law to include every vehicle, not just emergency vehicles and tow trucks. Lawmakers also established a “move over” task force to study violations of Scott's Law and to help better protect emergency personnel working on highways and interstates. Illinois State Police also launched an interactive map showing detailed reports from each Scott's Law violation so drivers can be more aware on the roads. Despite being born of tragedy, laws like Scott’s law help keep Illinois first responders and construction workers safe each year.

Anyone seeking additional information can contact Safety_Education@isp.state.il.us or call 217-782-6639.

4401654313 d7d0ab1dd1 bIn the 1930s and 1940s, big band “swing” music increased the popularity of jazz music in the United States. Blues and jazz music were first brought to Illinois in the early 20th century by African Americans such as Louis Armstrong, coming to Illinois from the Deep South during the first great migration. Described as the “King of Swing,” Benny Goodman led one of the most popular bands of the WWII era and was a symbol of the successful immigrant narrative.

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Logo of the International Paralympic Committee 2019Much of the attention surrounding Tokyo has been focused on athletes set to compete in the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, but Illinois will also be well represented in the 2020 Summer Paralympic Games, which follows the Olympic Games later in August.

This year’s Paralympic Games will be held from Aug. 24 to Sept. 5, hosting athletes from around the world – over 35 of whom come from right here in Illinois. The athletes will compete in 22 events, with Badminton and Taekwondo making their debut this year.

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800px Olympic flagAfter a lengthy delay due to COVID-19, the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo begin on Friday. Illinois athletes will be well represented this year.

This summer’s Olympic Games will be held from July 23 to Aug. 8. The Tokyo Games will host athletes from around the world to compete in 339 events in 50 different sports, six of which are completely new this year.

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