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News Around Illinois – November 18, 2019

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Durbin Pushes For More Science Research Funding

Senator Dick Durbin (D) Illinois wants to reverse a half-century decline in federal funding for science research with legislation he’s hoping will become part of the next budget. The Democrat supports bills to finance research in medicine, technology and agriculture with a mandatory five percent increase each year. Durbin appeared on the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana campus on Friday. He said the federal government’s discretionary funds invested in research has gone down since the 1960’s.  He said China’s investment in research and development has increased sharply since the early 2000’s. – Jim Meadows, Illinois Newsroom

SBA Flood Disaster Approved

The U.S. Small Business Administration has issued a disaster declaration for Illinois. Counties included under the SBA disaster declaration are Stephenson, Carroll, Jo Daviess, Ogle, Winnebago, Rock Island, Henry, Mercer, Whiteside, Jersey, Calhoun, Greene, Madison, Macoupin, Alexander, Pulaski, and Union. The deadline to apply for property damage loans is December 9. Click here to apply or call the SBA Customer Service Center  at (800) 659-2955. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency said people and companies affected by flooding on the Mississippi and Illinois rivers have been waiting months for help from the federal government. – Michelle O’Neill, WVIK

Hate Crimes Rise 30 Percent In Illinois

In 2018, hate crimes rose by 30 percent in Illinois, according to a recently released FBI report. Nationally, gender-based hate crimes, such as those targeting transgender people rose six percent. Bias crimes against Latinos grew 14 percent.  – Maureen McKinney, NPR Illinois

$10M Trail Connecting 2 Southwest Illinois Counties Opens

A $10 million pedestrian trail connecting two southwest Illinois counties has opened after 15 years of planning. The trail runs seven miles connecting Troy in Madison County to O’Fallon in St. Clair County. Organizers have estimated that roughly 115,000 people will use it every year, including cyclists and joggers. – Associated Press

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