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News Around Illinois – March 3, 2020

Illinois Officials Announce 4th Positive Test For Virus

CHICAGO — Health officials say a person in Illinois has tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the fourth suspected case in the state. The woman is the spouse of the third patient, whose case was announced over the weekend. The Illinois and Cook County public health departments made the announcement Monday. Officials say the unidentified patient, a woman in her 70s, is quarantined at home and reported to be in good condition. The number of U.S. cases climbed to over 100 and the country recorded its sixth death. – Associated Press

Illinois Praised For Handling Of Legionnaires Cases

SPRINGFIELD – A national group is praising Illinois for taking the initiative to control sporadic cases of Legionnaires Disease in the state. National water safety expert Bob Bowcock says the federal government should come up with a nationwide standard modeled after regulations in the state of Illinois. Legionnaires’ Disease made headlines in Illinois two years ago — after public radio station WBEZ reported more than a dozen deaths at the state-run veterans’ home in Quincy. Exposure to the disease comes from breathing water vapor — like the steam of a hot shower. The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 569 cases of Legionnaires Disease last year, with 43 fatalities. – Mike Smith, NPR Illinois

1st African American On Illinois High Court Dies At 86

Justice Charles E. Freeman

CHICAGO  — The first African American to serve on the Illinois Supreme Court has died at 86.  A statement from the state’s high court says Charles E. Freeman died on Monday, though it didn’t specify a cause of death. Current Chief Justice Anne M. Burke heralded Freeman as someone with a sharp legal mind who broke down barriers throughout his life.  She calls him a “trailblazer” who was also a “gentleman” who never had an unkind word to say about anyone. Freeman was also the first African American to become chief justice on the court. He won election to the open seat in 1990 and retired in 2018. Freeman is survived by his son, Kevin Freeman, two grandchildren and a brother in Virginia. – Associated Press



Proposed Program Would Create College Savings For Children Of The Incarcerated

CHAMPAIGN – Illinois Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton and State Treasurer Michael Frerichs have proposed creating college savings accounts specifically for children of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people. The two government officials hosted a discussion about the idea Monday afternoon in Champaign. Stratton had few details to share about how such a program would work. She says the first step is to gather input from stakeholders. Stratton leads the Justice Equity and Opportunity initiative, which is tasked with recommending criminal and social justice reforms. Frerich’s office already operates two college savings programs for families in the state. Stratton says they plan to host another discussion about the idea in southern Illinois. – Lee V. Gaines, Illinois Newsroom


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