Top Regional News: More Illinoisans think state is going the right way

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The following stories are among today’s top news of central Illinois

More Illinoisans think state is going the right way

SPRINGFIELD — Most people in Illinois still think the state is moving in the wrong direction, but compared with last year, twice as many think things are going the right way, according to a poll conducted by the University of Illinois Springfield Survey Research Office.

Of all respondents, 28% thought the state was moving in the right direction, with 56% saying it is on the wrong track and 16% responding that they couldn’t say. In a survey in 2018, only 14% thought the state was moving in the right direction.

Freshman Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker, who was able to work with a Democratic legislature to pass several initiatives last spring that he had campaigned for in 2018, got positive job approval ratings from 59% of respondents in the survey. Asked how Pritzker is handling the job as governor, 16% strongly approved and 43% somewhat approved. Strongly disapproving were 19%, and somewhat disapproving were 22%.

The Illinois Issues Survey was fielded Sept. 13-23 among a sample of 1,012 registered voters. The sample for the online poll was selected to represent the whole state by a company called Qualtrics, and full survey results have a “credibility interval,” similar to a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

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Legislation aims to limit nicotine levels in e-cigarettes

SPRINGFIELD — An Illinois congressman wants to cap nicotine levels in e-cigarettes — the latest move to try to regulate an industry blamed for getting a new generation of people hooked on the drug as use among teens skyrockets and public health officials continue to grapple with what’s causing a vaping-related lung illness.

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Schaumburg, announced new federal legislation Monday dubbed the END ENDS Act, or the Ending Nicotine Dependence from Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems Act, ahead of a speech before the City Club of Chicago. The bill, if passed, would cap nicotine levels in the liquid pods that users inhale through e-cigarette devices at 20 milligrams per milliliter. While nicotine levels in e-cigarettes vary, top brand Juul’s typically have nearly three times as much nicotine as the cap proposed in the legislation. The bill also would allow for the the Food and Drug Administration to further lower that amount to help adult smokers who are using e-cigarettes as an alternative and as a way to quit their habit.

In announcing the bill, Krishnamoorthi, who grew up in Peoria, also pointed to nicotine caps enacted in the European Union, United Kingdom and Israel, which he said have limited use among young people in those countries.

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LaHood fears Syria withdrawal could lead to ‘slaughter’

PEORIA — Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Peoria, said Tuesday that President Donald Trump’s “abrupt” decision to withdraw American troops fighting alongside Kurds in Syria is a mistake.

“The Kurds have been with us when we fought ISIS, and we eliminated ISIS in Syria,” LaHood told reporters following a roundtable discussion in downtown Springfield about a move to expand historic preservation tax credits. “They’re our friends. They’re our allies. We ought to be sticking with them.”

LaHood said the “abrupt pullout” announced by Trump is the wrong approach. “I worry about the slaughter of Kurds,” he said a potential attack by Turkish troops. “And I worry about our relationships with allies, when we’ve said, ‘We’re going to be with you.. …’”

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Children’s book with Pekin ties going to 200 public libraries

PEKIN — A children’s book by Joan Yordy Brasher, daughter of John and Norma Yordy, of Pekin, will be featured in displays in 200 public library systems in 35 states during National Radiologic Technology Week, Nov. 3–9.

Brasher’s book “The Donut That Roared: A Child’s Guide to Surviving an MRI” will be displayed among other books selected by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists’ National Library Partnership to showcase the vital work of medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals.

Published in April 2019, more than 600 copies of the hardback book have been sold, and are being used by child life specialists and radiologic technologists in more than 20 hospitals, including OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois. Brasher is a full-time communications professional at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. She and her twin sister Jean grew up in the Pekin area.

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