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.

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SCOTUS Rules Unions Can't Force Fees

Updated: Tuesday, July 1 2014, 09:12 AM CDT
In a split-decision along ideological lines, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday unions may not force in-home health care workers to pay fees.

The ruling was on an Illinois case, Harris v. Quinn, in which a group of workers lead by Pamela Harris, a mother taking care of her disabled son, said being forced to pay union fees against their will violated their free speech.

For Don Moss, the court's decision left him "very pleased."

Moss is a longtime advocate for developmentally disabled people. The Supreme Court ruling dealt specifically with the unionized home care workers who look after the elderly or physically impaired. But Moss sees the decision possibly affecting the as yet non-union disabilities workers.

"Many many people are pleased they don't have to subsidize the unions when they get no benefit from the unions," Moss said.

"Many," maybe, but not all.

"If you get enough people pulling away, things can go down, too," said Connie Haney, a home health care worker in Springfield

Haney is one of two personal assistants for Traciann Jostes, a double amputee.

"So, whatever's in the back of the freezer or the refrigerator I'm not able to get to," Jostes said. "She gets the stuff out."

Haney says she is a proud, unionized home care worker. Now if others don't have to pay, she says the union might lose sway.

"People start doubting and it starts falling down then you don't know where it might end up at," she said.

Haney said the union allows home health care workers like herself to take classes and have other benefits. Now, she said, they might have so-called "free riders."

"You want the whole benefit package of the union but yet you don't want to pay," Haney said. "You've got to do what you've got to do to get all the benefits."

Even as the unions here in Illinois are grappling with the fallout, it's likely others will, too.

"We feel that this could impact home health workers in all states," said Moss.

Union officials representing the home health care workers say they expect some members to leave, but they aren't expecting an exodus. The president of the SEIU believes the loss to union coffers could be in the millions.SCOTUS Rules Unions Can't Force Fees

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