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News Around Illinois – May 28, 2020

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Illinois Driver Services Centers Reopen For Some Next Week

CHICAGO — The Illinois Secretary of State’s office has announced driver services centers will reopen with limited services next week. They will open Monday and Tuesday for new drivers, people with expired licenses and IDs and people making vehicle transactions. They will be open with expanded hours through July 31. Centers in Chicago will open Monday and in the rest of the state on Tuesday. However, the Chicago centers at the James R. Thompson Center and the Chicago Loop Express will not reopen until July 1 because those buildings are still shut down. The centers closed March 16 to slow the spread of the coronavirus. – Associated Press

Stylists and Barbers Preparing To Go Back To Work On Friday

PEORIA – Hair salons and barbershops will reopen this Friday after more than two months of closure under Governor J.B. Pritzker’s stay-at-home order. Paola Hinton, the owner of Five Senses Spa, Salon, and Barbershop in Peoria, says there’s a lot of pent-up demand. But new safety guidelines mean it may not be possible to serve everyone on day 1. “We are trying to squeeze everybody in,” said Hinton. “And there is no such thing as squeezing in. It’s either a haircut, or it’s not. It’s either a massage, or it’s not. There is no squeezing in. So with our new guidelines, we are working as hard as we can to provide what everybody is used to.” Some of the new guidelines include face mask and hand washing requirements for employees. Businesses are also required to admit no more than 50 percent occupancy at any one time in an effort to maintain social distancing. – Tim Shelley, Peoria Public Radio

Flood Prevention Efforts Underway Near Illinois River

MEREDOSIA – Flooding is beginning to feel like an annual event in some areas along the Illinois River. The river is within a foot of topping the levee at Meredosia in Morgan County.   National Guard troops have added  another five feet of sandbags to insure that the water  stays out of the small town.  The efforts continue in Pike and Scott counties across the river as well.  The river may be near its peak, but it will be the weekend before there’s much drop in the levels.  The Illinois river flooding in north central Illinois will also limit this weekend’s re- opening of Starved Rock State Park in Lasalle County.  – Bill Wheelhouse, NPR Illinois

Duckworth Says Federal Aid Should Help Local Governments

URBANA – Over the weekend, the Illinois General Assembly passed a $40 billion state budget that would rely on billions of dollars in federal aid to assist in pandemic relief. Speaking on WILL’s The 21st show Wednesday, Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois) says she plans to push for that federal funding to go to local municipalities. “We’re going to push hard for additional aid to come out to state and local governments,” said Duckworth. “Local governments are the ones that are on the front lines of this crisis. They’re the ones seeing revenue shortfalls, they are the ones that are having to pay extra money to buy higher-cost PPE.” Duckworth says her main priorities include getting that funding to health care facilities, especially in rural areas, as well as bolstering widespread testing and providing ongoing access to PPE. She adds the next CARES package will be negotiated in the Senate next week. – Lecia Bushak, Illinois Newsroom

 

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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