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News Around Illinois – June 15, 2020

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Illinois Health Official Announce 19 New Coronavirus Deaths

CHICAGO — Public health officials in Illinois are reporting 19 more deaths linked to COVID-19 and 672 new coronavirus cases. The Illinois Department of Public Health said Sunday that overall there have been 6,308 deaths and 132,543 cases in the state since the pandemic began. The state has reported 22,040 tests in the past 24 hours and the seven-day statewide rate for positives tests is 3%. Nearly 1.2 million people in Illinois have been tested. – Associated Press

Report: 75% of Chicago Curfew Violation Arrestees Were Black

CHICAGO – A published report says black people made up 75% of those arrested in Chicago for alleged violations of a curfew put in place following demonstrations over George Floyd’s death. The Chicago Sun-Times analyzed police data from the first five days of the curfew imposed May 30 and lifted June 7. The racial disparity in Chicago, where black people are about 30% of the population, drew criticism from the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois. A Chicago police spokesman says the department’s curfew enforcement was “universal” regardless of race or neighborhood. – Associated Press

Chicago Group Seeks Detained Immigrants’ Release In Pandemic

CHICAGO — A Chicago advocacy group is working to get dozens of high-risk immigrant detainees nationwide released during the coronavirus outbreak. The National Immigrant Justice Center’s efforts come as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has faced growing criticism from members of Congress, lawyers and activists who say the agency hasn’t done enough to curb the virus. More than half the detainees at a southern Illinois facility have COVID-19. Nationally, there have been roughly 1,800 COVID-19 cases of ICE detainees and two deaths. ICE says it has taken protective measures, but detainees and activists say they’re applied unevenly and don’t go far enough. – Associated Press

Cicadas Make A High-Protein Snack For Brookfield Zoo Animals

BROOKFIELD — The early emergence of cicadas in Illinois provided animals at the Brookfield Zoo a rare treat. Officials at the zoo west of Chicago said the red-eyed cicadas make for a nutritious snack that’s high in protein and low in fat. Animal care staff this week provided cicadas to white-throated monitor lizards, meerkats, golden-lion tamarins and the owl-like tawny frogmouth. Sloth bears also got a share, frozen in ice. – Associated Press

Grand Tower Approves $100K Loan To Repair Sinkhole

GRAND TOWER — Grand Tower city leaders have approved a $100,000 emergency loan to repair a sinkhole that has been getting bigger and deeper since flooding overwhelmed the Mississippi River in the small southern Illinois city last year. Fire Chief Dennis Wright says it started off small, but earlier this month, the road buckled and the hole grew. It is nearly 30 feet in diameter and 5 feet deep, and has brought the sewer system to a halt. The city is waiting on $4.5 million in flood recovery funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The Southern Illinoisan says City Council approved the loan June 8. – Associated Press

Officials: Illinoisans Can Preregister For License, ID Needs

SPRINGFIELD — Secretary of State Jesse White says Illinois residents can preregister online when applying for a driver’s license or identification card. White said Friday that he hopes preregistering will save time at driver’s services facilities. Customers have encountered long lines after weeks of the offices being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Residents can visit cyberdriveillinois.com to provide information ahead of their visit to an office. White’s office says people will still need to bring all required paperwork to be verified by a clerk in person. – Associated Press

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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