News Around Illinois – December 18, 2019

News Around Illinois Cover

Boiler Work Will Close Dr. Howard School On Wednesday

CHAMPAIGN – Dr. Howard School in Champaign is closed Wednesday to allow for repair of the building’s boiler. Unit 4 officials say Dr. Howard students will not be penalized for staying home from school on Wednesday. But families with no other options on that day may send their children to Stratton School, about a block south of Dr. Howard’s temporary location on Neil Street. School buses for Dr. Howard students will be routed to Stratton on Wednesday. Unit 4 officials say they hope that classes at Dr. Howard will resume on Thursday. – Jim Meadows, Illinois Newsroom

Illinois Congressman Will Be In Africa During Impeachment Vote

CARBONDALE – U.S. Representative John Shimkus (R-Illinois) says he’s embarrassed by this week’s impeachment vote on Capitol Hill, but he won’t be in Washington to make his displeasure known. Shimkus is traveling to Tanzania to visit his son, who is in serving in the Peace Corps. The Republican from Collinsville says Democrats are politicizing a constitutional question, and he’s against it. Shimkus voted in favor of three out of the four articles of impeachment against former President Bill Clinton. The House is scheduled to take up debate of the two articles of impeachment on Wednesday. – Jennifer Fuller, WSIU News

Congresswoman In Flipped District Backs Impeachment

SPRINGFIELD – Freshman Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (D-Illinois) says she will vote to impeach President Donald Trump. Underwood’s 14th Congressional District encompasses suburban, exurban and rural areas outside Chicago, from the Wisconsin border to the suburbs of Joliet. The area was long considered a Republican stronghold — President Trump won it by 3.74 percentage points in 2016 — but last year she upset incumbent Rep. Randy Hultgren by 5 percentage points. Underwood said she made her decision after reviewing the evidence, studying the articles of impeachment, and listening to her constituents. – Brian Mackey, Illinois Newsroom

Man Who Pointed Laser At Helicopter Gets 15 Months In Prison

ROCKFORD — A Rockford man who aimed a laser pointer at a law enforcement helicopter has been sentenced to 15 months in federal prison. Brenton Wells admitted that he pointed the laser at the helicopter for two minutes while in his backyard a year ago. His attorney says he didn’t intend any harm. – Associated Press

Chicagoans Asked To Stop Feeding Raccoons

CHICAGO – Chicago city agencies are telling people to stop feeding the raccoons on the city’s northern lakefront. WBBM-TV reports people are hand-feeding kitchen scraps to the dozens of raccoons living in the area, and the agencies say that’s dangerous. Chicago Park District spokeswoman Irene Tostado said in a statement that it asks that visitors not feed wildlife in parks or along the lakefront for their own safety and the health and wellness of the animals. Chicago Animal Care and Control says that since access to food drives the majority of raccoon-related problems, it recommends residents not feed raccoons or any other wildlife.  – Associated Press

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