Weather Alert

Heat Advisory Extended Through Monday

IL (AP) -- Heat advisory remains in effect from 1:00pm this afternoon to 7:00pm CDT Monday. Dangerous levels of heat and humidity will occur from this afternoon through Monday afternoon. Heat index values will peak from 100 to 107 degrees in the afternoon hours with high temperatures in the low to mid 90s and dew points in the 70s.
The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will lead to an increased risk of heat-related stress and illness. The very young, the elderly, those without air conditioning and those participating in strenuous outdoor activities will be the most susceptible. Also car interiors will reach lethal temperatures in a matter of minutes. Beat the heat, check the backseat! Never leave children or pets unattended in a vehicle.
Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When possible reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear light weight and loose fitting clothing when possible and drink plenty of water.
To reduce risk during outdoor work, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke is an emergency. Call 9-1-1.
A heat advisory means that a period of hot temperatures is expected. The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will create a situation in which heat illnesses are possible. Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, and stay out of the sun. And check up on relatives and neighbors.

Local News

Local News

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Pana School District Forced to Close Middle School

Updated: Friday, June 6 2014, 04:51 PM CDT
PANA -- School funding woes are hitting the Pana School District especially hard. District officials are forced to close their highest performing building, Jefferson Middle School, because of the lack of state funding.

"It's sad for the community. It's hard," said Jefferson Middle School principal Deb Zueck.

Overcome with emotion, Zueck is sending her students home from the middle school building for the last time.

"We can't blame the superintendent, we can't blame our school board because they really had no alternative other than to look at things that were going to help the district in the long run. So I think that is probably the thing that saddens me the most and being so angry because of the general state aid," Zueck said.

District officials made the decision to close the school last fall in an effort to save nearly $350,000. Currently the district is running a $1.1 million deficit.

"We've been experiencing for the past three years, pro-ration of general state aid, as have most downstate districts, and it's been very, very devastating to our budgets," said Dr. David Lett, Superintendent of the Pana School District.

The entire teaching staff at Jefferson Middle School will still have their jobs next fall, but four support staff positions were eliminated.

"We're hopeful that for those staff members, they can be added to our sub list and that they will be able to pick up some employment that way," said Lett.

Lett is concerned with how the district's highest performing school will be impacted academically, but is remaining positive.

"I'm always encouraged by our resiliency of our people and our staff. They are as resilient as you'll find and they will make the most of this," Lett said.

Due to declining enrollment in the last decade, district officials say they don't foresee Jefferson Middle School ever opening again. This fall, Pana second graders will now attend school in the pre-k through first grade building. Fifth graders will be moved to Lincoln Elementary School and sixth graders will be moved to the junior high.Pana School District Forced to Close Middle School

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