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Decatur native Lauren Powell grew up in the theater community and her experience has led her to pen a play for a Chicago theater that will hit the stage this month.

Four other stories you should see are H&R panel talks about "fake news," St. Mary's ready to add new building to campus, grant brings kindergarten students to children's museum and opioid overdose trips to ER on upswing. 

Decatur native pens play produced for Chicago theater

Lauren Powell grew up in Decatur’s arts and theater community.

“I passionately followed theater my entire life,” she said.

Her devotion to the stage has led Powell to opportunities beyond her hometown, which includes writing. She has authored a play titled “The Condition of Femme,” which is being produced for the Circle Theatre in Chicago. Powell will also appear on stage as one of the central characters.

The play is based on nearly 100 interviews Powell conducted with survivors of sexual assault. The cast consists of 11 women as they speak to a young rape crisis hotline volunteer.

How to spot 'fake news': H&R panel tackles media literacy

"Fake news" is not an easy thing to push back against in the instant age of the internet, but news consumers and journalists should better equip themselves for the long upcoming fight against it, media experts said during a panel discussion Tuesday.

The one-hour free event, "Media Literacy in 2018," was held at the Decatur Public Library. Sponsored by the Herald & Review, the panel invited six communications professionals to examine the relationship between the media and the public, as well as the role that "fake news," social media and critical thinking play in today's information age.

Herald & Review Executive Editor Chris Coates moderated the panel.

St. Mary's adding $12M office building to campus

Doctors at HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital are getting new space to care for their patients.

Plans were announced in February that a building will be added to the hospital campus, beginning this spring. The two-story building will cost $12 million and add 29,000 square feet of space.

The building, which will be in what is currently a parking lot on the southern portion of the property along East Lakeshore Drive, will house a variety of multispecialty physicians from the HSHS Medical Group.

Grant brings Decatur kindergartners to Children's Museum

Thanks to Millikin University's School of Education, which is paying the children's admission fees and the Children's Museum, which is covering the cost of buses, every kindergarten student in the Decatur School District will be able to visit the museum this spring.

When Abby Koester, director of education for the museum, climbs aboard the school bus to review museum rules with the kids, she always asks how many have never been to the museum before, and there are always several.

Report: Opioid overdose visits to ER jump 66 percent in Illinois

Illinois emergency rooms experienced a 66 percent jump in opioid overdose visits last year, according to a new report that suggests the epidemic of heroin and prescription painkiller abuse continues to worsen in some states.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released state emergency room data Tuesday in a report that encourages hospitals and health departments to do more to combat outbreaks and prevent repeat overdoses.

The report found there were more than 142,000 ER visits for suspected opioid overdoses between July 2016 and September 2017 in 45 states, which represented a 30 percent increase from the third quarter of 2016 to the third quarter of 2017. In 16 states hard-hit by the opioid epidemic, ER visits from overdoses rose 35 percent during that time.


Deputy Managing Editor, Digital

Deputy Managing Editor of Digital for the Herald & Review.

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