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News Around Illinois – June 5, 2020

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Fire Chief Apologizes For Sharing Post On Shooting Looters

LINCOLN — The fire chief of the central Illinois city of Lincoln is apologizing for sharing a social media post asserting supporters of President Donald Trump would blow the heads off looters. Chief Bob Dunovsky said Thursday the decision to share the Facebook post was made “without much thought.” The written apology was made to Lincoln Mayor Seth Goodman, the City Council and the city’s residents. The post said looters should target homes with signs supporting Vermont senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders or former Vice President Joe Biden. It noted “they don’t believe in guns.” Vandalism and looting has followed peaceful protests of the death of George Floyd as a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck. – Associated Press

Community-Based COVID-19 Testing Sites Remove Criteria To Expand Availability

CHICAGO – Community-based COVID-19 testing sites in Illinois will now be open for anyone to be tested without certain criteria. That’s meant to prevent future spread of the virus as the state reopens, according to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA). Testing is free at the state-operated drive-thru sites, including the site at Marketplace Mall in Champaign. No insurance or doctor referral is needed. The Illinois Department of Health (IDPH) recommends that people who have attended a protest recently should get tested for COVID-19.

929 new COVID-19 cases Thursday brings the state’s number of cases to 124,759. With an additional 116 deaths in the last day, Illinois’ total fatalities are now at 5,736. Champaign County reported nine new COVID-19 cases Thursday, for a total of 671. Coles County reported one death Thursday, a resident at Charleston Rehab and Healthcare facility. There were an additional 5 COVID-19 cases reported Thursday in Coles County, for a total of 136 cases. In Macon County, one new death Thursday brings the total fatalities to 20. The county also reported 3 new cases, bringing the total to 200. – Lecia Bushak, Illinois Newsroom

Champaign Bail Reform Group Helps Release 16 People Charged In Looting Incidents

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign County Bailout Coalition paid more than $46,000 to bail 16 people out of the county jail. The 16 were among 27 arrested following looting and property damage reported in and near the Marketplace Mall last Sunday. Peaceful protests and some incidents of civil unrest have erupted across the country in response to the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis. Click here to read the entire story. – Lee V. Gaines, Illinois Newsroom

Controversial Herbicide Dicamba No Longer Legal, Federal Court Rules

Farmers can no longer spray the controversial pesticide dicamba over-the-top of genetically modified soybeans and cotton, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday. Dicamba is a weed killer that skyrocketed in use in recent years after agribusiness giant Monsanto introduced genetically engineered soybean and cotton seeds that resist the herbicide. The ruling means that farmers will have to immediately cease the use of dicamba on millions of acres of crops across the Midwest and South. About 60 million acres of crops will be affected. Click here to read the entire story.Johnathan Hettinger/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting

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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