Afternoon News Update: May 14
- A Janesville man is in custody after fleeing police and jumping into the Rock River. It happened Tuesday night near North Main Street and Centerway Drive. After officers tried pulling over 52-year-old Bradley Bobzien for an outstanding battery warrant, he fled the scene. Bobzien then stopped his car moments into the chase, got out of it, and jumped into the river near the Centerway dam. He was eventually pulled out of the water by police and taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. On top of his outstanding warrant, Bobzien now faces a charge of resisting an officer.
- With warmer temperatures on the way, so could be the West Nile Virus. The Illinois Department of Public Health is already accepting birds to test them for the virus. The agency awarded $3 million in grants to just over 90 health departments in Illinois to help find where the virus is most concentrated. High temperatures and dry conditions are a good indicator as to where the virus could pop up. Mosquitos with it tend to multiply rapidly in those conditions.
- Nelson Elementary could be closing its doors. The 106-year-old building has water damaged walls, old pipes and needs a ton of work. Cost of repairs is one reason why the school is slated to close on two of three Rockford Public Schools consolidation plans. It would emerge with Kishwaukee, and a new building would be built. Officials say parents are also on board with the plan as long as students don’t have to travel too far.
- Operations at Chicago's two airports are returning to normal after an electrical problem at a radar facility forced a shutdown of all incoming and outgoing flights. Tuesday's three-hour halt resulted in more than 1,100 cancellations at O'Hare International and Midway International airports. The ground stop was triggered by a bathroom exhaust fan in a ceiling that overheated and melted insulation on some wires.
- Illinois health officials say there's been no spread of the illness related to the first U.S. case of MERS in a man who traveled through Illinois to Indiana. They also say the risk to the general public remains extremely low as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome hasn't been found to spread easily from person to person.
- May is Hepatitis Awareness Month in Illinois and legislators are trying to make it known. They will be partnering with community advocates and Hepatitis C experts to promote screenings for those who are at risk. Viral Hepatitis is by far the most common form of liver disease that affects nearly 3.2 million people in the U.S. Health officials are recommending a one-time screening for all people born between 1945 and 1965.
- Illinois lawmakers have advanced a plan to ease DUI penalties. The proposal would allow four-time DUI offenders to obtain a restricted driver’s permit five years after losing their license. Applicants would need to prove three years of sobriety, complete treatment programs and permanently install an in-car Breathalyzer. The legislation now heads to the House floor for consideration.