Recap with Rosenthal


Five Illinois schools named among top 100 high schools in U.S. The U.S. News ranking of top U.S. high schools ranks the secondary institutions using student achievement, selective college admissions, and other metrics. Chicago’s Walter Payton College Prep, a magnet public high school located in Chicago’s Near North Side, scored highest in Illinois, with a ranking of #10 nationwide. Other Illinois college-prep, magnet-based, and tech-prep schools in the national top 100 were Northside College Prep, Jones College Prep, Young Magnet H.S., and Lane Technical H.S.

Improving Literacy and Empowering Teachers in Illinois:

The highest-ranking Illinois high school that recruits from a geographically-based (rather than magnet-based) student population was Lincolnshire’s Adlai E. Stevenson High School. The school district and catchment area include many professional families who work in health care research and related Lake County-oriented fields. Vernon Hills High Schools and Lake Forest High School joined Stevenson in the ‘top 200.’


llinois supplements its overall July 4.5% unemployment report with report on metro areas. The follow-up July report breaks out Illinois’ joblessness numbers with numbers from 14 key metro areas within the Prairie State. The key Chicago area generated 4.0% numbers in July, with continued strong nonfarm jobs numbers in the overall service sector. Regions of Illinois traditionally oriented towards manufacturing continued to face challenges with jobless rates of 6.6% in greater Danville, 6.9% in metro Decatur, and 6.8% in greater Rockford.

Saline River Farms breaks ground on improved Williamson County meat processing facility. The 60,000-square-foot plant improvement, which is now actively under construction, is located in Creal Springs in southern Williamson County. This section of Illinois, which is located in the rolling Shawnee Hills, has largely transitioned in recent years from arable cropping to pastureland. When rebuilt and upgraded, the facility will have the capacity to process up to 1,600 head of cattle per day. This is a workflow that will support 400 new jobs in southern Illinois.

Saline River Farms has told the press they will invest $34.5 million in public/private money to carry out the Creal Springs project. This expansion will create a total of $80 million in onsite capital, and will expand and perpetuate the ability of local cattle farmers to find markets for their production. Southern Illinois pastureland is suited not only to Angus cattle growing, but also to the Beefmaster bovine family. With their Brahman ancestry that hearkens back to the cattle of India, the Beefmaster cow is tolerant of Southern Illinois’ increasing hot conditions. The groundbreaking took place on Friday, August 25.

Outdoor Sports

Illinois’ fall 2023 waterfowl season begins. Although affected by the September bag limits, early Canada goose hunting began on Friday, September 1. The September rules for licensed Illinois hunters are forked between two different super-regions of Illinois. In the localities defined by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) as being in the Prairie State’s north zone and central zone, the September subsection of the goose-hunting season authorizes the shooting of up to a five-bird daily bag limit. However, for those local areas defined as being in the south zone and the south-central zone, the daily bag limit for September drops to two birds.

In the following weeks, IDNR will open legal hunting seasons for teal, rail, duck, and snow goose. The September Canada goose season and its rules will transition into the regular Canada goose season on a series of dates beginning on October 21 and ending on December 2, depending on geographic zone. The definitions of Illinois’s duck-hunting zones and goose-hunting zones can be found in the IDNR website. Different rules for different zones are based on the differential ecological statuses of wading bird populations in different areas of the State, supplemented by Illinois hunting tradition.

Illinois State Parks

Starved Rock, in north central LaSalle County, once again named Illinois’s most popular state park. The state park, which is located adjacent to Utica, Illinois and close to Interstate 80, preserves 2,630 acres of land and Illinois River waterfront. The remains of a rock wall, which once prevented the southward flow of water to the sea until a once-raging river punched through the wall, creates a hiking-friendly topography in which 13 miles of trails wander through 18 separate glens, ravines, and canyons. The park offers many opportunities for nature viewing and birdwatching.

In the pandemic-affected year of 2021, Starved Rock was the most popular state park in Illinois, visited by more than two million people. Finding space to park a motor vehicle can be a challenge in this popular park.

Rep. Rosenthal Speaks at Litchfield Training and Innovation Center

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