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Southwest Illinois News is a weekly news publication spotlighting attractions, events, entertainment, tourism, jobs and business developments in Southwestern Illinois
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IN THE NEWS -
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HSHS St. Elizabeth's Completes Successful Move From Belleville To O'Fallon
O'FALLON, IL (SWI-News.com), November 5, 2017 - HSHS St. Elizabeth's Hospital has now opened the doors of the new hospital and health center in O'Fallon, IL.

In a well-coordinated move involving several area EMS agencies and the assistance of Scott Air Force Base personnel, all 56 patients of St. Elizabeth's were successfully transferred by ambulance, from St. Elizabeth's current facility in the 200 block of South Third Street in Belleville, to the new hospital, located along Interstate 64 and North Green Mount Road in O'Fallon.

The hospital's namesake, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, was credited with building hospitals and giving to the poor. The cherished story of her "Miracle of Roses" was an inspiration for many variations of the rose motif seen throughout the hospital. The abstract interpretation of a rose was custom designed and can be seen in floor patterns, privacy curtains, and glass graphics throughout the hospital.

At 4:00 a.m., the large Emergency lighted sign was turned off at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Belleville and turned on at St. Elizabeth's in O'Fallon. The hospital had EMS and ambulances available in Belleville for anyone who arrived in Belleville for emergency care after this time to transport them.

The hospital began moving patients on Saturday, November 4 around 5:00 a.m. with the assistance of 23 ambulance rigs. St. Elizabeth's partnered with several local ambulance agencies from across their service area for the move. A nurse accompanied each patient in an ambulance on the trip from Belleville to O'Fallon to ensure safe, quality patient care. Scott Air Force Base also served as a valuable partner in this move, with their personnel assisting in communication with inpatients and their families prior to the move as well as helping with logistics during the move.

All patients were safely settled in their rooms by 9:15 a.m. and each received a rose and a commemorative rose pin for their patience and understanding during the move. Family members were escorted by St. Elizabeth's Hospital and HSHS Southern Illinois Division colleagues and leaders to each patient's room.

St. Elizabeth's Hospital in O'Fallon offers 144 private patient rooms, an emergency department, state-of-the-art operating rooms, an advanced intensive care unit and inpatient rehabilitation. Additional inpatient and outpatient services at the new facility include cancer care, modern birthing suites, telehealth consultations featuring accredited stroke care, and award-winning heart care.


TSA at MidAmerica Airport
(L - R) MidAmerica Airport Director Tim Cantwell; Mike McCarthy, Office of Public Affairs, Transportation Security Administration and St. Clair County Chairman Mark Kern discuss the new TSA Preè service now available at the airport.
Travelers out of MidAmerica Airport Now Have Access to TSA Preè Program
MISCOUTAH, IL (SWI-News.com), October 15, 2017 - MidAmerica St. Louis Airport is now participating in the TSA Preè program, which allows travelers in the program to leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belt, keep their laptop in its case and their 3-1-1 complaint liquids/gels bag in a carry-on, in select checkpoint screening lanes. The TSA Preè lane will be available during select times based on projected airline passenger volume.

In a release, John Hursey, TSA's Federal Security Director for Downstate Illinois said, "TSA Preè provides enhanced security while also improving the passenger screening experience. We are pleased to offer this program to passengers at MidAmerica Airport."

"Passengers flying in and out of MidAmerica Airport have always appreciated convenient parking right outside the terminal and short lines inside," noted St. Clair County Chairman Mark Kern. "Now this new TSA Preè service lets flyers speed through select security screening lanes, further enhacing the hassle-free experience here at MidAmerica."

To be eligible for this expedited screening program, individuals need to apply. The TSA Preè application program requires a background check, fingerprints, and an application fee of $85 for a five-year membership. Once approved, travelers will receive a Known Traveler Number (KTN) and will have the opportunity to utilize TSA Preè lanes at security checkpoints at approximately 200 participating airports and on 37 airlines including Allegiant.

The quick application process allows U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to enroll directly in the TSA Preè expedited screening program that allows travelers to leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belt, keep their laptop in its case and their 3-1-1 compliant liquids/gels bag in a carry-on, in select airport screening lanes.

Travelers are able to go through a five-minute pre-enrollment process online and complete their seven-minute background interview at an application center.

An application center for the TSA Preè program is conveniently located at 621 S Belt W, Belleville, IL.


New, Improved 'Getting Around Illinois' Website
SPRINGFIELD, IL (SWI-News.com) - The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has introduced a redesigned GettingAroundIllinois.com that provides continually updated information in a mobile-friendly format that's more convenient for the motoring public in Illinois.

"We are very excited to provide this new-and-improved resource for travelers," said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. "GettingAroundIllinois.com is a great place to get important information - from winter road conditions to construction site locations to road or bridge closures - for any trip, any time of the year. The new mobile-friendly format will get travelers the information they need quickly and conveniently."

In keeping with the demands of today's users, the new website includes the ability to identify and zoom in to your location, travel route or destination, whereas the former site offered a static map that provided a broad view of a user's overall location. Additionally, the new website is operated by a cloud-based system, creating a better opportunity to provide real-time information and reducing potential system downtime.

As construction season gets underway, work zone information throughout the state is accessible by selecting the map's "road construction zone" layer to see where a work zone is located, how long it will be in place and what type of work is being done.

One of the more popular features of GettingAroundIllinois.com is the winter road conditions map, which averages more than 2 million visitors during snow-and-ice season and is regularly used by news media and shared widely on social media. The new map features an enhanced color scheme that better aligns with current map technology used by surrounding states, creating a more seamless travel experience for truckers and tourists, and is easier for color-blind individuals to discern.


Drury Inn & Suites Completes Renovation of Hotel in O'Fallon, Illinois
O'FALLON, IL (SWI-News.com) - The Drury Inn & Suites St. Louis O'Fallon, Illinois, has completed a full renovation to the property's 180 guest rooms and suites, public areas and more than 2,800 square feet of meeting and event space.

Renovations to the hotel's guest rooms include new mattresses and headboards, carpet, paint, window treatments, lighting and artwork. All of the guest bathrooms also received new showerheads, hair dryers and soft goods. The public and meeting areas of the hotel received upgraded lighting, new furniture complete with USB plug and play charging ports and artwork inspired and reflective of the St. Louis landscape.

"This is a great, fresh look for our property," said Ashley Timmons, general manager, Drury Inn & Suites St. Louis O'Fallon, Illinois. "Our upgrades were influenced by guest feedback and were made with their satisfaction in mind. We're excited for our guests to experience our new look and feel."

The hotel is 20 minutes east of downtown St. Louis off I-64. Conveniently located near Scott Air Force Base, the hotel is also near a wide variety of local attractions. Because of its central location and numerous amenities, Drury Inn & Suites St. Louis O'Fallon, Illinois, is an ideal location for business and leisure travelers. Call 1-800-325-0481 for more information or reservations.


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