- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 21, 2014

EDITORS:

NEWS DIRECTORS:

The Associated Press would like to request your help in assembling the weekly Illinois Editorial Roundup. Due to several factors, it has become more challenging to find fresh, original editorials on member websites. We would very much appreciate if you could take a few minutes to submit editorials that you would like to share with other members. They can be sent to our main email address, chifax@ap.org. Please use “Editorial Submission” as the subject line.

Please remember that we try to use editorials with appeal and interest for a statewide audience, and that not all submissions can be used. If you have any questions, please contact AP-Illinois News Editor Hugh Dellios at 312-920-3624 or hdellios@ap.org. Thank you.

The AP-Illinois

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October 14, 2014

The (DeKalb) Daily Chronicle

Ebola patients require special hospitals

The odds seem slim that an Ebola patient could turn up at the emergency room at Kishwaukee Hospital in DeKalb.

Then again, the odds were slim that one would turn up at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. When it happened there, the patient eventually died and at least one of his caregivers was infected with the virus.

Officials at Kishwaukee Hospital said they will follow guidelines from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention if they should suspect a person has Ebola. However, it’s a good idea to reassess where CDC said we should treat these patients.

Dr. Thomas Frieden, CDC director, has blamed “a breach of protocol” for nurse Nina Pham becoming infected with the virus. Frieden has also said he wouldn’t be surprised if more of Thomas Eric Duncan’s caregivers were infected.

That doesn’t support CDC’s conclusion that any hospital can treat an Ebola patient. Very few American health care professionals have any experience in treating people with this disease, which is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids. Ebola has a roughly 50 percent mortality rate, and there is no available vaccine, nor has any drug been developed that has proven effective.

We expect front-line health care professionals to do all they can to help and comfort the sick, but we should not ask them to risk their own lives in doing so.

At least two experts said in an Associated Press story this week that a better approach is to treat Ebola patients only in specialized “containment” hospitals, with the staff and equipment to effectively treat the deadly disease.

That sounds like a better approach. Any patients who appear in America with the disease should be treated at hospitals that are best equipped to treat them in isolation and protect their staff.

It’s not beyond possibility for an Ebola patient to appear here. As home of Northern Illinois University, DeKalb draws people from all over the world, and those who travel all over the world as well.

At local emergency rooms, staff must be prepared if someone presents with Ebola-like symptoms. However, if they’re actually found to have the disease, the public should be notified and the patient should be transferred to a regional hospital as soon as possible, for everyone’s sake.

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October 17, 2014

The (Champaign) News-Gazette

Wayne McClain

Much-loved and widely respected, Wayne McClain cut a wide swath in basketball and life.

The Champaign-Urbana community and the larger world of basketball in Illinois lost one of its best people this week with the death of Wayne McClain.

It was stunning news, not just because of McClain’s high profile but because few people knew of his illness.

A private man, McClain kept news of his long-running battle with lung cancer between himself and his doctor. They finally ran out of medical options, the result being that a fine man who had much left to give passed from our midst.

Former Fighting Illini basketball star Jerry Hester, who played for McClain at Peoria Manual, put it best when he said that “Wayne McClain was a great man who happened to be a great basketball coach.”

McClain’s record speaks for itself. He won four state championships at Manual (one as an assistant to the legendary Dick Van Scyoc and three more as a head coach) before becoming a key assistant at the University of Illinois under Bill Self and Bruce Weber.

McClain later joined Weber’s staff at Kansas State, delighting the local community when he decided to return to Champaign-Urbana after one year to coach at Champaign Central High School. His illness apparently played a big role in his decision to return, but McClain showed no signs of slowing down as he led a resurgence of the Central program.

But basketball is not life. McClain also excelled in the real world, providing a strong father figure to many young people who needed one.

How many did he positively influence over the course of his many years of teaching and coaching? It’s impossible to say. But the testimonials that have poured in speak volumes about his character and commitment.

There’s no doubt that the 60-year-old McClain was a tough guy, his stout profile and no-nonsense demeanor portraying a man who commanded respect. But he had a great sense of humor, loved to tease his players and joke with reporters. McClain helped many and will be missed by many more. That’s quite a tribute to a life well-lived.

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October 17, 2014

Sauk Valley Media

Time to bring back a League of our own

Not so long ago, our immediate area had a chapter of the League of Women Voters.

The national League, founded in 1920, was created to help women exercise their newly granted right to vote. The nonpartisan group grew to focus on voter service, citizen education, the study of issues, and advocacy of policy reforms. In 1973, men were first allowed to join.

These days, the closest chapters to the Sauk Valley are based in Rochelle, Freeport, Kewanee and Rockford, which are among 46 chapters across Illinois.

While the Sauk Valley does not have its own League chapter, local voters can consult the Illinois League’s website for the results of questions posed to candidates in our region.

The state League reached out to candidates for the U.S. House, asked for their qualifications for office, and posed questions about global climate change, immigration policies, gun violence, and campaign finance reform.

Of the congressional candidates in our region, Randall Olsen of the 16th District responded, while Adam Kinzinger did not. Cheri Bustos of the 17th District responded, while Bobby Schilling did not.

Likewise, the League contacted candidates for the Legislature, asked for their qualifications for office, and questioned them on the temporary tax increase of 2011, health insurance, concealed carry of firearms, and campaign finance reform.

Of the state House candidates in our region, Tom Demmer, Brian Stewart, Donald Moffitt, Mike Smiddy and Jim Wozniak all failed to respond. Also failing to respond were state Senate candidates Tim Bivins, Mike Jacobs and Neil Anderson.

Perhaps if an active local League chapter had been in existence, those candidates would have had more incentive to state their positions on the issues, even though some have no opposition on the Nov. 4 ballot.

In recent years, our area has witnessed a decline in voter turnout. We see it most in primaries and the consolidated elections that take place in the spring of odd-numbered years.

Creating a local chapter of this nonpartisan political organization, dedicated to making democracy work through voter education, issue advocacy, and citizen participation, might be just the ticket to reinvigorate our local electorate.

The benefits are many.

New League members would learn more about how local government works and how tax dollars are spent as they get involved in various activities and share their knowledge with the public.

Voters made better informed by the League would find themselves in a better position to hold elected officials accountable on Election Day - and the rest of the year, too.

The League could also get involved in educating young people about their civic duty to vote.

Is it time for Sauk Valley residents to have a League of their own?

We think so.

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October 17, 2014

Belleville News-Democrat

Steer clear of politics

The Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce is supposed to be apolitical, which is why it was distressing to see St. Clair County Associate Judge Heinz Rudolf, a candidate for circuit judge, speak to a chamber group on Wednesday, less than three weeks before the election.

Executive Director John Lengerman said the chamber had planned to schedule Rudolf’s appearance earlier in the year but the timing didn’t work out. “We don’t endorse candidates and I hope people don’t take this as an endorsement,” he said. But when a candidate running in the only contested race in the 20th Judicial Circuit gets invited to speak and his opponent, Circuit Judge Stephen McGlynn, does not, it looks like political favoritism.

Besides the fairness issue, McGlynn no doubt would have offered a much different perspective on the state of the St. Clair County courts. Rudolf asserted that the judiciary is “strong,” but that seems more wishful thinking than reality so soon after the Mike Cook drug scandal. This seat is open because Cook resigned and later was convicted of federal drug and gun charges. Rudolf didn’t even mention the scandal.

For the chamber to be effective in its mission of supporting and advancing business, it needs to avoid so much as the appearance of being political. It missed the mark this time.

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