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WEATHER ALERT: Severe storms expected late this afternoon and evening

News Around Illinois – April 22, 2020

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Pritzker: COVID-19 Case Peak Hasn’t Happened Yet

CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced 1,551 new cases of COVID-19 in the state Tuesday. That brings the statewide total to more than 33,000. 119 new fatalities brings the death toll to more than 1,400. IDPH noted that of the people who had confirmed cases of COVID-19 four weeks ago, 77 percent have recovered. Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the peak in the rate of COVID-19 cases in Illinois is yet to come, and may not arrive until May. – Lecia Bushak, Illinois Newsroom

Illinois Supreme Court To Hear Oral Arguments Via Zoom

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on cases in May via the video conference platform Zoom. The court has scheduled eleven cases to be heard via Zoom on May 12-14. This is the first time that the state’s highest court will use videoconferencing technology to hear arguments. In a news release, Chief Justice Anne Burke said that such a practice would have seemed impossible a few months ago, but “the Court has found that a lot of our regular work — including oral arguments — can be done remotely while still keeping people safe from COVID-19”. Court personnel will hold training sessions with counsel so they will know what to expect from the virtual proceedings. The public will be able to attend the arguments via Zoom, on the Illinois Supreme Court’s YouTube page. – Jim Meadows, Illinois Newsroom

COVID-19 Prompts Cancellation Of Spring High School Sports

BLOOMINGTON — The Illinois High School Association has canceled state tournaments for all spring sports because of COVID-19. The IHSA’s action on Tuesday comes after Gov. J.B. Pritzker last week closed the state’s public schools to in-person instruction through the end of the academic year. IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson acknowledges the association’s decision is disappointing for students, but he adds it is the right decision for their health and safety. Among the tournaments canceled were those for baseball, bass fishing, boys gymnastics, lacrosse and water polo. – Associated Press

University of Illinois Creates Fund To Offset Tuition Hike

CHAMPAIGN — The University of Illinois has created a fund to provide financial aid to students who are facing increased economic distress due to the coronavirus pandemic. The fund, which will have at least $36 million available for students, is being supported by the federal COVID-19 relief package, money from all three universities in Illinois’ system and private fundraising. President Tim Killeen says students from Illinois will have priority in accessing the aid, which will cover a 1% to 1.8% tuition increase in the fall across the system. – Associated Press


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Severe storms possible Thursday evening and overnight

From the National Weather Service in Central Illinois: A line of t’storms will affect the area late Thursday afternoon into the overnight hours. Some severe storms are in the forecast, with damaging wind gusts and large hail. Stay weather aware and be ready to take shelter when storms approach.