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News Around Illinois – March 9, 2020

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Lawmakers Okay SNAP Participants To Use Benefits Online

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois House passed legislation this week meant to let recipients of food aid use their benefits online. Representative Anne Stava-Murray (D-Naperville) says not being able to spend food assistance on the web has directly hurt her constituents. “It really has been a struggle in my area specifically that food pantries won’t deliver, and they can’t use their snap benefits for online services. So this will help feed children in my district,” said Staya-Murray. Other backers say the legislation would also help home bound seniors and people with disabilities. If the measure becomes law, it would direct Illinois to apply for a test project within the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — or SNAP. So far people in four states are allowed to use SNAP benefits online. – Olivia Mitchell, NPR Illinois

Lake Land College Tuition Vote on Monday Night

MATTOON – Trustees at Lake Land College are scheduled to vote Monday night on a $5 per credit-hour tuition increase for the community college in Mattoon. The increase is described as a modest one by Vice President for Business Services Greg Nuxoll, and needed to maintain education quality while remaining affordable. If approved, in-district students at Lake Land would pay $110.50 per credit-hour, beginning in the fall. By comparison, trustees at Parkland College in Champaign voted last month to keep their tuition the same, while trustees at Danville Area Community College voted to raise fees by $5, but not tuition. – Jim Meadows, Illinois Newsroom

Trial Set To Begin In Southern Illinois Woman’s 2010 Death

JERSEYVILLE — The trial of a southern Illinois man charged with a woman’s murder is set to begin Monday, nearly ten years after she went missing. The Alton Telegraph reports that Roger Carroll is charged with three counts of first-degree murder, concealing a homicide and aggravated kidnapping in 48-year-old Bonnie Woodward’s death. Two weeks have been reserved for the trial. Woodward was last seen in June 2010 outside her work, a nursing home in Alton. Authorities considered Carroll a suspect at the time of Woodward’s disappearance because fingerprints found on her truck matched his. – Associated Press

Illinois Campaign Focused On Marijuana Use Education

CHICAGO — Illinois officials launched a new statewide campaign this week focused on health and safety information for people who use marijuana. The campaign is centered around a new website, and advertisements via social media, digital media and radio. The Illinois Department of Human Services developed the campaign with Prevention First, a nonprofit that offers substance use prevention services, and Rescue, a communications agency. Illinois began broadly allowing the sale and use of cannabis products by adults in January, becoming the 11th state with a similar approach to the drug that remains federally illegal. –Associated Press

Town’s Leaning Tower Replica Will Play New Tunes

NILES — A half-scale replica of Italy’s famed Leaning Tower of Pisa in suburban Chicago is undergoing some renovations. The tower in Niles was recently named to the National Register of Historic Places. The bells are now being restored. Once they’re back in action, they will be playing some new tunes. The founder of a group called Community Bell Advocates says she arranged a collection of “familiar tunes” for the seven bells to play. One such tune is “When the Saints Go Marching In.” The tower was built in 1934 by businessman Robert Ilg as part of a park for his company’s workers. – Associated Press

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