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News Around Illinois – July 20, 2020

The latest news around the state, for July 20, 2020.

UIC Gets $22M In Federal Money For Health Research Programs

CHICAGO (AP) — The University of Illinois at Chicago will receive $22 million in federal funding for health research programs over the next five years. The money comes from the National Institutes of Health and goes to the university’s Center for Clinical and Translational Science. The idea is to benefit research that directly benefits patients and communities, according to university officials who announced the funding this month. The center is one of the few in the country that includes research programs from seven health science colleges, including dentistry, pharmacy and social work. – Associated Press

Illinois County Sheriff Tests Positive For COVID-19

CHICAGO (AP) — A county sheriff in southwestern Illinois has tested positive for COVID-19, according to officials. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department said Sheriff Neal Rohlfing has been in quarantine since he had symptoms earlier this month. He received a positive test on Wednesday, according to a department statement. Officials said department operations have not been affected because of his limited contact with employees. – Associated Press

State Increases Apprenticeship Funding Amid Tough Job Market

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois is expanding an apprenticeship program that officials hope will help people in underserved communities learn skills and connect with employers amid a difficult job market. Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the state’s Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity announced a $4.7 million investment in the Illinois Apprenticeship Program, through grants to 25 organizations statewide. They say it’ll allow an additional 568 people to participate in training programs over the next two years. That will bring the total state investment in the program to a record level of $20 million, serving 17,000 participants this year. Pritzker said the program will bring together employers, community colleges and local workforce partners as COVID-19 puts “an enormous economic burden” on communities. – Associated Press

Illinois Programs To Get $7M In COVID-19 Relief

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — More than $7 million in federal funding will be going to organizations to help Illinois communities hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, state officials said. The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority said it will distribute $7.1 million in U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance money made available through federal stimulus legislation last spring. Groups interested in participating should apply to ICJIA by July 24. Money is available for groups for a variety of purposes, including housing and rental assistance for people involved in the criminal justice system or those who have experienced violence. Funding will also go toward supporting services such as advocacy, case management, legal services and mental health. – Associated Press

Rockford Has Its First-Ever Official City Bird

It’s official: For the first time ever, Rockford has its own city bird. Mayor Tom McNamara announced Friday that the peregrine falcon shall represent the city. The initiative itself was led by 15-year-old Jackie Kuroda. She is a youth board member for Sinnissippi Audubon Society and a member of Illinois Young Birders. A little more than a year ago, she wrote a letter to the mayor and started a petition. She said she led the efforts to designate the bird because of its ability to adapt and overcome. – Connie Kuntz – WNIJ

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