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Illinois quick hits: Eclipse safety urged; nurse sentenced for stealing morphine

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Gas leak at school

Emergency crews responded to a southern Illinois school after multiple students reported feeling sick Thursday during a gas leak.

Officials with the St. Clair County Emergency Management Agency said at least 12 students from St. Clare Catholic School in O’Fallon were taken to an area hospital after getting sick. The leak was located and the gas was shut off.

Nurse sentenced for stealing morphine

An Illinois nurse has been sentenced to two years in federal prison for removing morphine prescribed to patients and replacing it with another liquid.

Sarah Diamond of Woodstock was responsible for dispensing medications at a Chicago-area medical rehabilitation center. In 2021, Diamond removed morphine from bottles that were prescribed to patients to manage their pain and used the drug for her own personal use. She pleaded guilty last year to a charge of tampering with a consumer product.

Eclipse safety urged

With large crowds expected to converge on Southern Illinois in the days ahead to experience the total solar eclipse on April 8, the Illinois Department of Public Health is offering suggestions on how to view the eclipse safely.

IDPH is reminding the public about potential dangers associated with the eclipse. They said attempting to directly observe the eclipse without eye protection could cause permanent damage.

People across a wide swath of Southern Illinois will be in total darkness for just over four minutes. It will be the last total eclipse over the United States until 2045.