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Future Problem Solvers Provide a Safe Alternative for Trick-or-Treaters in Danville

The Future Problem Solvers is an international competition program that students at Danville High School compete in each year. The group of students identify a topic of concern within their community and develops a plan of action to improve the situation. Their most recent project, called Project Ignition, is focused on promoting safe driving within the community. With Halloween around the corner, they are extending their focus to include promoting a safe evening of trick-or-treating for the children in their community. Trick-or-treating is always a fun activity for kids to partake in on Halloween, but it is not always the safest. Children walking around after dark puts them at a higher risk to be hit by a vehicle. In fact, children are four to five times more likely to be involved in a fatal car accident on Halloween night than any other night of the year. Project Ignition recognizes that the busy roads in Danville and the high amounts of crime in the area do not provide a safe location for children to trick-or-treat.

To create a safe space for trick-or-treating for the children of Danville, the group is partaking in two events to help promote a safe and happy Halloween. On Saturday, October 27th, from 9am until 2pm they will have a booth at the Kenneth D. Bailey Academy Fall Festival in Danville, giving the public different tips to ensure them of a safe Halloween night. Then, on Halloween from 4pm to 6pm, in partnership with Project Success, they are helping to throw an event called, “Light Up the Night- Don’t be a Ghost, Look and Be Seen on Halloween” at Laura Lee Fellowship House. The message they are sending is, “a happy Halloween is a safe Halloween”.  At the event, children will be allowed to walk around to different stations in their costumes and collect candy in a safe environment. On top of trick-or-treating, there will be different games and activities for the children to partake in. The group will also be handing out clip-on light reflectors to take home, to be worn not only on Halloween night, but any night that children are walking around outside. These reflectors will allow children to be seen in the dark, helping to avoid any possible accidents from occurring.

In order for this event to be a hit, they are asking for help from the community. The group is in need of candy donations and volunteers at the event to help pass out the candy. If you, or a group you are involved in, is interested in helping at the event, please contact Lori Woods at: woodsl@danville118.org or at 217-444-1573.

Before you take your children out trick-or-treating, make sure you pay attention to the possible dangers of the holiday activity. Always make sure you know the area, are highly visible, and always walk on the sidewalk, never on the road.

To find out more about Project Ignition and the work they have done, check out their Facebook page, linked here.


National Teen Driver Safety Week

October 21-27 is the 11th annual National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTSDW). This week is dedicated to raising awareness and seeking solutions to prevent teen injuries and deaths on the road. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens (15 to 18 years) in the US, and in 2015, 1,972 teen drivers were involved in fatal traffic crashes. National Teen Driver Safety Week is a week that parents are encouraged to have conversations with their teens about safety tips when behind the wheel, helping them to avoid becoming another statistic. Teens look at receiving their license as a step toward freedom, but it is important that you provide rules and regulations for them, because teen drivers are not ready to have the same level of responsibility behind the wheel as adults. Some of the most important issues to address are alcohol use, inconsistent or no seatbelt use, distracted driving, drowsy driving, speeding, etc.

One local group, The Future Problem Solvers Club at Danville High School, is doing a great job promoting messages to keep teens safe behind the wheel. Future Problem Solvers is an international competition program that teaches students how to use a problem-solving method that allows them to identify a local topic of concern, and then work to develop a plan of action to improve the situation. Their most recent project was called “Project Ignition”, which is focused on safe driving in the community. They are working hard researching different ways to improve road safety.

Project Ignition wants to bring attention to weather and road conditions, issues beyond the driver’s control, which are a major cause of road accidents. They recognize that issues such as texting, alcohol, and not wearing a seatbelt are huge factors in causing road accidents, but wanted to bring light to the issues that are often overlooked. To do this, the team launched their own driving safety campaign, providing tips and awareness for teen drivers all over the area.

An issue they came across during their research was Interstate 74 between the Champaign and Vermillion county lines. This stretch of interstate is surrounded by open fields, causing wind speeds to increase significantly, leading to more accidents. When drivers make contact with these high winds, they can easily lose control of their vehicles, leading to accidents. In fact, they found that this part of the interstate has more accidents and fatalities than any other part. The team is now working with city and road officials to put warning signs along this part of the interstate, in the hopes of warning drivers along this stretch of I-74. The team runs under the motto, “We are ALL the KEY to road safety”, and that is an important motto for us drivers to be reminded of. To find out more about Project Ignition, check out their Facebook page. 

Your role in keeping your teens informed about the rules of the road is vital. The following tips will allow you to help your teen avoid any accidents on the road.

  • Invest in a safe driving course.
  • Talk to them about ALL the risks that come with driving.
  • Set realistic boundaries, and stick to them.
  • Rid of any common distractions in the teen’s vehicle.
  • Most importantly, practice what you preach.

Remember to stay informed, and keep your teen drivers informed to avoid any future tragedies on the road.


Spiros Law Partners with Adopt-A-Highway

At Spiros Law, we care about the communities we live in, and we always try to do what we can to improve them. As part of our efforts, we have partnered up with Adopt-A-Highway! The Illinois Adopt-A-Highway program is a part of IDOT and helps find groups who are willing to volunteer their time to pick up litter and trash on the side of the highway.  Adopt-A-Highway has more than 10,000 volunteers throughout Illinois and we are proud to be one of the many affiliates.  As a volunteer group, we have adopted Illinois Route 136, also known as Vermillion Road, from Boiling Springs Road to West Winter Avenue in Danville. This is a busy stretch of road consisting of both residential properties and many businesses including the Spiros Law office. As part of our annual volunteer commitment, our team is responsible for walking the route to pick up the trash and litter to help keep it clean and clear. Through our efforts, we hope to offer the people of Danville safer roadways and a cleaner community.

While it may not seem like it, littering can cause serious issues. Here are some common examples of how an act as simple as littering can negatively affect our environment:

Automobile Accidents:

Littering on a highway can cause a chain reaction and leading to an automobile accident.  When litter is thrown out of a moving car it could land on a windshield and block a driver’s vision, it could land on the roadway and cause a driver to swerve, or it could cause a flat tire. All of which are serious hazards.

Environmental Problems:

It is common knowledge that litter is damaging to our environment. Non-biodegradable products are some of the most common items found along the side of the road and unfortunately, they stay there indefinitely. Litter slows the growth of plants, pollutes the air, and degrades natural areas.

Lowers home values.

When communities have high amounts of litter, home and property values can be negatively affected.

Spoils water quality.

When litter is left on the ground for long periods of time, waste seeps into the soil leading to pollution of the water underneath.

There are some simple steps you can take to avoid and combat this issue. In order to avoid littering while driving, it is recommended that drivers keep a litter bag in their vehicle, to avoid the temptation of discarding the trash out of their car window. Beyond this, if you are wondering how you can get involved in combatting this issue, please consider adding your group of friends, neighbors, or coworkers to the list of Adopt-A-Highway volunteers. According to the IDOT website, almost anyone can take part in the program, such as:

  • Civic Groups
  • Clubs
  • Organizations
  • Sororities and fraternities
  • Churches
  • Coworkers
  • Neighbors
  • Friends and Families

The team at Spiros Law is extremely excited to be representing this program, allowing us to make a positive impact in the Danville community.

If you want to make a difference in your own community and want to register a group for the program, visit the IDOT website to fill out an Adopt-A-Highway request form.


Semi-trailer collision sends 2 to hospital

Donald C. Hendershot, 63, of Gosport, Ind., and Simone Certain, 67, of Newton, Iowa, were both sent to the hospital Tuesday morning with non-life threatening injuries after their semi-trailers collided.

The crash occurred around 5 AM during inclement weather conditions. Both were traveling eastbound on Interstate 74, near milepost 213 near Danville. Possibly due to the inclement weather, Henderson lost control of the rear trailer of his Kenworth tractor with double trailers. The trailer rolled into the left lane after striking the north guardrail.

Certain, driving a 2012 International semi, tried to avoid the collision by swerving left into the median, where he then struck a concrete bridge railing.

Both drivers were wearing seatbelts, and neither sustained life-threatening injuries. Neither were issued tickets.

To read more about this crash, keep checking our blog or check out the News-Gazette.


Semi-truck crash sends one to hospital

A twenty-four-year-old man from Herscher sustained life-threatening injuries after a semi-truck crash on Thursday morning. He was airlifted to Advocate Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn for treatment following the collision.

The crash occurred around 5:30 a.m. A semi-truck, driven by a twenty-three-year-old man from Glenwood, was traveling south on Lehigh Road, and the other was traveling east on Illinois Route 115 in a 2014 Ford Transit minivan. The truck driver failed to stop at a stop sign and entered the state road, colliding with the Glenwood man’s minivan. The driver of the truck received a citation for failure to stop by Illinois State Police. He was not injured in the crash.

To read more about this accident, keep checking our blog or read more at the Daily Journal.


Partner, Miranda Soucie, Receives Favorable Supreme Court Decision

After receiving a negative ruling from the trial court and in the Fourth District Appellate Court, Partner, Miranda Soucie, kept fighting and was able to take her case all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court. Ms. Soucie traveled to Springfield where she argued before the Illinois Supreme Court on behalf of Spiros Law, client, Barbara Monson, against the City of Danville. While the city argued that they were immune from liability, Ms. Soucie argued that they have “the duty to exercise ordinary care to maintain its property in a reasonably safe condition.” The Illinois Supreme Court hears very few cases each year and we were honored one of ours was chosen, and are proud to announce that after much persistence and determination we received a unanimous decision from the Illinois Supreme Court in our client’s favor. “Even after receiving a negative ruling from the trial court and on appeal we didn’t give up” said Miranda Soucie. “We felt strongly about the case and that justice would ultimately prevail.”


Half of the injuries and deaths during childbirth in America are preventable

The United States is the most dangerous country in the developed world to give birth in, according to a recent report by USA Today. American women suffer from injuries and death that, at least half the time, were preventable at a rate that is unmatched by countries like the United Kingdom. Annually, 50,000 American women are injured during childbirth. 700 American women a year die as a result.

This is despite an abundance of knowledge and resources that could save their lives. For nearly a decade, there has been information available detailing techniques, equipment, and standards that hospitals should follow to save mothers’ lives. These recommendations have been compiled into “safety bundles” by the Aim Program, which gives hospitals detailed instructions on how to best care for their patients.

Unfortunately, many hospitals nationwide choose not to follow these standards. Exact numbers are unavailable for a variety of reasons, with many hospitals refusing to disclose how many of their patients suffered complications after childbirth. It seems, however, that roughly half of the women who experience complications during childbirth do not receive the prompt and adequate care they need.

Many of these complications are a result of high blood pressure and internal bleeding, which lead to seizure, stroke, and eventually death. The Aim program specifies how to prevent and treat these issues, but when hospitals fail to follow the standards, tragedies happen. Many women are forced to endure emergency hysterectomies or die as a result of hospitals’ failure.

The lawyers at Spiros Law, P.C. are available to help people who have suffered at the hands of negligent hospitals receive justice and compensation. If you were recently injured during childbirth and suspect your hospital is at fault, contact us right away at (217) 443-4343.


UPDATE: Food poisoning outbreak across Midwest linked to McDonald’s salads

An intestinal parasite, linked to McDonald’s salads, has caused a food poisoning outbreak across the Midwest. Symptoms of the parasite, called cyclospora, include vomiting, diarrhea, and cramps.

Presently, the Illinois Department of Public Health has been unable to identify the source of the parasite. To be cautious, McDonald’s has pulled salad from 3,000 locations, and possibly affected distribution centers.

Anyone who has consumed salad at a McDonald’s since May is advised to visit the doctor as soon as possible. Symptoms can take up to a week to appear, and may subside before reappearing. They can last for days or months.

Up to 90 people may have been affected by the parasite, though not all consumed salad. Since mid-May, 20 people have fallen ill in Illinois. An additional 15 people in Iowa became ill in late June, early July.

Did you get sick after eating at McDonald’s? If so, help is available to you. Contact the experienced food poisoning attorneys of Spiros Law, P.C. at (217) 443-4343 to schedule a free confidential consultation today and get the qualified legal representation you deserve.

Updated 7/30 –

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 123 more people have become ill with cyclospora infection after consuming McDonald’s salad. This brings the total number of infected to 286, with 11 of those people having visited the hospital. Authorities expect these numbers to continue to rise, because symptoms can take up to six weeks to appear.

Restaurants in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin have all been infected. In addition, people from Florida, Tennessee, Connecticut, Michigan, and Virginia have also been infected while traveling through the Midwest.

McDonald’s changed their salad distributor on July 20. However, officials have still not identified the cause of the outbreak, and are still in the process of tracing it through the supply chain. They are confident that it is not linked to the cyclospora outbreak in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan currently affected Del Monte vegetable trays.

For more information on this developing story, keep checking our blog or read more at CNN. Contact Spiros Law, P.C. at (217) 443-4343 if you have become sick after eating McDonald’s salad in the past few months.

Updated 8/3 –

After 109 additional cases of the cyclospora infection were reported Thursday, the total number of cases has grown to 395. This number is only expected to rise.

The FDA has been able to detect the presence of the parasite in an unused bag of Fresh Express salad mix that McDonald’s received, though it was past its expiration date at the time of testing. They are still in the process of tracing the source of the infected ingredients. Fresh Express has recalled the salad mix, which was also sold in grocery stores.

If you develop food poisoning or flu-like symptoms after consuming McDonald’s salad in any of the 15 affected states, seek medical attention and contact Spiros Law, P.C. for help. To read more, keep checking our blog or read more at CNN.


2-Vehicle Crash Leaves One Dead

A 2-vehicle crash at an intersection 4 miles east of Flatville left Lorin A. Schluter, 59, of Armstrong dead on the afternoon of Saturday, July 7th. The intersection is located at County Road 2500 N and 2500 E in eastern Champaign County.

Schluter was driving a Pontiac Grand Prix when he failed to stop at a stop sign. When he entered the intersection, a Dodge Ram pickup truck driving north crashed into him on the driver’s side. The pickup truck did not have a stop sign.

The cars ended up in a cornfield on the northwest corner of the intersection. Authorities pronounced Schluter dead at the scene. The driver and passenger of the pickup truck sustained non-life threatening injuries.

This accident is still being investigated. To learn more, keep checking our blog, or read more at the News-Gazette.


AMBUCS Volunteering Event

Ambucs Event Group PhotoOver the weekend, our team was happy to spend our time volunteering at the Challenger League Baseball series, hosted by the AMBUCS organization in Danville. This game series, hosted every June, is just one of the ways that AMBUCS helps improve mobility for people with disabilities.

At the game, each of our twelve volunteers paired up with a buddy whom we spent the day getting to know. We got to help our buddies as they played the field, hit the ball, and ran the bases. Since our buddies aren’t usually able to play a game like baseball, they had a great time, and so did we!

To read more about this event and the organization, visit the AMBUCS website.