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News Around Illinois – July 28, 2020

The latest news around the state, for July 28, 2020.

County Board Candidate Drops Out After Controversial Tweet

WHEATON, Ill. (AP) — A candidate for the DuPage County board in northern Illinois withdrew from the race after being criticized for a tweet in which she said she laughed while watching a video of a police officer getting hit in the face by a projectile during a protest. Democrat Hadiya Afzal narrowly won nomination in the March primary to run in DuPage County’s 4th District. Afzal, 20, announced her withdrawal from the race late Sunday, saying her post was in poor taste and didn’t represent the values with which she was raised. Afzal, who says she is Muslim and wears a hijab, said she was targeted by a “harassment campaign” after Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz posted on Twitter that her comment was “hateful and sick.” Afzal told the Chicago Tribune on Monday she dropped out of the race on the recommendation of the local Democratic Party. She said she did not want to be a distraction in the fall election. – Associated Press

Mayor Lori Lightfoot Is ‘Deeply Disturbed’ By The ComEd Scandal, And Takes Its CEO To Task For An ‘Inadequate’ Response

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Monday told the CEO of Commonwealth Edison she’s “deeply disturbed” by the utility giant’s role in an ongoing federal bribery scandal, and that company’s response so far has been “inadequate.” In a letter, sent to ComEd CEO Joseph Dominguez and obtained by WBEZ, Lightfoot said in order to enter into another franchise agreement with ComEd, the company needs to implement a comprehensive ethics reform plan. “ComEd’s breach of public trust is far from over as far as the City of Chicago is concerned,” Lightfoot wrote. “We expect a significant commitment from the company to right historic wrongs through its own internal ethics reforms[.]” She also asks ComEd to align with her administration’s priorities “around energy and sustainability, equitable economic development, utility affordability and transparency.” – Becky Vevea – WBEZ

Pritzker Visits Adams County, Now On COVID-19 Warning List

Governor J.B. Pritzker’s Monday stop in the county seat of Quincy was no social call. Appearing at the Adams County Department of Public Health, he pointed out the numbers there are going in the wrong direction. “What’s happening here is alarming,” he said. “And if these trends continue in a negative direction, the state will need to take immediate action to impose additional mitigations to slow the spread and keep more people from getting sick.” Pritzker said his visit to western Illinois was to provide support and urge everyone to follow guidelines such as wearing a mask in public, frequent hand washing and social distancing. Adams is among four counties in Illinois deemed to be a warning list, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Peoria, LaSalle and Randolph are also included. – Sean Crawford – WUIS

Sports On Hold At IWU As CCIW Suspends Fall Competition

Illinois Wesleyan University has learned its fall sports season will be suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic. University presidents in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW) announced Monday the league has suspended seasons for men’s and women’s cross country, football, women’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s tennis, and women’s volleyball. League officials said they would explore the possibility of creating opportunities for them to compete in the spring. – Eric Stock – WGLT

4-H Shows Moo-ve Online During The Pandemic

A lot of events and activities have been canceled the last few months because of COVID-19. But Illinois 4-H is keeping kids busy. Their shows are still happening this year even though judges can’t see the livestock, taste the pies or watch the presentations in person. A typical 4-H livestock show happens at the county fair, where the kids are able to present their animals live in front of judges. But this year is anything but typical. Like every organization, 4-H has had to adjust how they do things. Margaret Larson said, “So we’re hoping to not miss a beat in terms of 4-H.” Larson is the county director the University of Illinois Extension for Jo Daviess, Stephenson and Winnebago Counties. She also oversees their 4-H programs. She said the shows are an important part of 4-H, because they give kids an opportunity to present the projects they’ve been working on in front of an audience and get feedback from judges. – Claire Buchanan – WNIJ

Car Parade In Rockford Against Schools Reopening

In Rockford, a parade of cars filled the streets for a demonstration against schools reopening during the pandemic. Quetzia Ramirez is a parent liaison at Jefferson High School and her sign read, “25+ Students In One Classroom Cannot Social Distance.” The car parade began at 10:00 a.m. at Rock Valley College and included upwards of 50 cars. The cars were covered in signs and writing that expressed concern with schools reopening in the fall. Ramirez said that’s why she joined the car parade in the first place. – Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco – WNIJ

A Fond Farewell to a Civil Rights Champion

Macomb paid its final respects to the Reverend C.T. Vivian, the civil rights leader who grew up in the community. Dr. Vivian died July 17 at the age of 95. More than 100 people attended an outdoor service in honor of Vivian. It took place on a hot and muggy July afternoon. Dr. J.Q. Adams was the featured speaker. He spent 25 years at Western Illinois University, where he is credited with creating and teaching undergraduate and graduate multicultural courses. He also conducted several lengthy interviews with Vivian through the years. He said during one of their conversations, Vivian called the American Civil Rights movement a confrontation for the moral and ethical soul of America. – Rich Egger – WIUM

Bradley: COVID-19 Outbreak Stems From Small, Maskless Off-Campus Gathering

Bradley University said a COVID-19 outbreak among 12 students was traced back to a small, off-campus gathering where no mask-wearing or social distancing happened. The testing and quarantining regimen included not only students attending the party, but those who were in close contact with participants, said university President Stephen Standifird. “It’s difficult to make any conclusive statements about the current situation given the evolving nature of the pandemic. However, in this case, our process for testing, contact tracing and self quarantining appears to have helped limit the spread of the virus,” he said in an email to the campus community on Monday. One staff member also recently tested positive for the virus in an unrelated case. That staff member hasn’t previously been in physical contact with other Bradley employees. Standifird said Bradley University still plans to hold in-person classes this fall, with a remote learning option offered. Staff at high risk, living with someone at high risk, or those covered under the Americans With Disabilities Act also have other work options. – Tim Shelley – WCBU

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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