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217 Today — Oct. 16, 2020

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The latest news around the state for the week of Oct. 12, 2020.

Friday October 16, 2020

Today’s headlines: 

  • The confirmation hearing of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett wrapped up yesterday in the US Senate. We hear from an Illinois Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

  • A team at Washington University in St. Louis is testing whether lab-made antibodies could be used as a treatment for COVID-19.

  • The C-U Women’s March and Rally starts tomorrow at noon at West Side Park in downtown Champaign.

In today’s deeper dive, Black farmers in the Midwest historically struggled with all the challenges facing other farmers, but they also were held back by systemic racism. We’ll learn more about the challenges of being a Black farmer in the Midwest from Harvest Public Media’s Amy Mayer.

217 Today is produced by Olivia Butts. Reporting today contributed by Lecia Bushak, Shahla Farzan, and Amy Mayer.


Thursday October 15, 2020

Today’s headlines:

  • As the holiday season gets closer, state public health officials are urging safety at family gatherings during the Coronavirus pandemic.

  • The Supreme Court this week ruled that counting for the 2020 census can stop. Illinoisans have until today to self-respond to the population survey.

  • Champaign Unit 4 elementary school students will have the option to return to some in-person instruction at the end of this month.

  • The Illinois Department of Public Health has changed how COVID-19 data for east-central Illinois is reported. The University of Illinois testing data, which was previously included in Region 6, will be reported separately to better identify testing needs and trends in this part of the state, according to Illinois health officials.   

In today’s deeper dive, sexually transmitted infections – or STIs – have been on the rise for years. But the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted public health efforts to address the issue. We learn more from Side Effects Public Media.

217 Today is produced by Olivia Butts and hosted by Brian Moline. Reporting today contributed by Hannah Meisel, Mary Hansen, Lee Gaines, and Natalie Krebs.


Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Today’s headlines: 

  • Illinois has reached another grim milestone in the fight against the Coronavirus: More than 9,000 people have died from COVID-19.

  • Both candidates in the 13th Congressional District played to organized labor during a debate held in Normal.

  • Preliminary state data shows the opioid epidemic is worsening in Illinois –and those at greatest risk of an overdose are Black men in their 50s.

  • The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory for much of Central Illinois today. Chambana Weather meteorologist Andrew Pritchard says we could see wind gusts of up to 45 miles per hour this afternoon. Look for mostly sunny skies and a high of 80 degrees.

In today’s deeper dive, we’ll hear about a new federal grant to help fight human trafficking in Central Illinois from officials with the Center for Prevention of Abuse in Peoria.

217 Today is produced by Olivia Butts and hosted by Brian Moline. Reporting today contributed by Hannah Meisel, Charlie Schlenker, Christine Herman, and Tim Shelley.


Tuesday October 13, 2020

Today’s headlines: 

  • With three weeks to go until Election Day, more than half-a-million Illinoisans have already voted in the November election.

  • Democratic Senator Dick Durbin says the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett are happening under a cloud. Durbin made his opening remarks on Monday. The hearings continue Tuesday with questioning of Judge Barrett.

  • Besides all the races for local, state, and federal office, some Illinois residents will make another key decision this fall — whether Justice Tom Kilbride will serve another term on the state supreme court. He’s up for retention, and needs to receive at least 60% “yes” votes.

  • Illinois reported more than 2700 new COVID-19 cases Monday, along with 13 additional deaths from the virus.The seven-day positivity rate for the state is at 4.3%, up nearly a full percentage point from a week ago.

In today’s deeper dive, the Champaign County Forest Preserve District is looking for more revenue to maintain its parks. We learn about a property tax referendum on the ballot from Illinois Newsroom’s Jim Meadows.

217 Today is produced by Olivia Butts and hosted by Brian Moline. Reporting today contributed by Hannah Meisel, Ryan Denham, Herb Trix, and Jim Meadows.


Monday October 12, 2020

Today’s headlines:

  • Ameren customers who want to put solar panels on their homes might be out of time to take advantage of a program that pays customers for unused solar power.

  • Farmers are more optimistic now than they have been since the pandemic started.That’s according to the Ag Barometer, a monthly survey put out by researchers at Purdue University and CME Group.

  • Students and employees of school districts in Piatt County now have access to free rapid COVID-19 testing through Kirby Medical Center—a rural hospital in Monticello.

  • Illinois’ daily COVID-19 cases have increased by 20% in the last three weeks after a slight plateau in September. On Saturday (10/10), the statewide seven-day positivity rate rose to 4% for the first time in a month.

In today’s deeper dive, millions of farmworkers throughout the U.S. work every year to plant crops, harvest them, and do everything in between. Among them are migratory workers, who leave their homes for months at a time to take on what’s often a risky job. Dana Cronin and Christine Herman have that story.

217 Today is produced by Olivia Butts and hosted by Brian Moline. Reporting today contributed by Hannah Meisel, Dana Cronin, Lee Gaines, and Christine Herman.

COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving story, and we are working hard to bring you the most up-to-date information. We recommend checking the Coronavirus Information Center for the most recent numbers and guidance.

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Jose Zepeda

Jose Zepeda

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