State worker vaccine deadline extended to Oct. 26 for first dose

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker announced Monday that his administration has reached agreement with multiple trade unions requiring certain state workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, but it is extending the deadline for workers to get their first shot to Oct. 26 while negotiations continue with the state’s largest public employees union. Pritzker issued executive orders in […]

Colin Powell has died of COVID-19 complications, family says

WASHIINGTON  — Colin Powell, former Joint Chiefs chairman and secretary of state, has died from COVID-19 complications, his family said Monday. In an announcement on social media, the family said Powell had been fully vaccinated. Powell was the first African American to serve as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and secretary of state. […]

Exhausted hospital workers face ongoing COVID-19 hospitalizations

DES MOINES — On the eighth floor of Iowa Methodist Hospital in downtown Des Moines, 56-year-old Russell Braley watched daytime TV in one of the recovery units, breathing through a tube running from his nose to an oxygen unit. “I’ve been in motorcycle wrecks. I’ve almost died several times in my lifetime. This was the […]

ISU’s cybersecurity chief says COVID-19 can bring online threats with more people working from home

NORMAL — A cybersecurity expert at Illinois State University says COVID-19 has made our workplaces less safe — from online threats. Dan Taube is the interim chief information security officer at Illinois State University. He said businesses, schools, banks and others that had large numbers of people working from home are especially vulnerable. “It’s […]

Biden, a convert to vaccine mandates, champions compliance

ELK GROVE VILLAGE — President Joe Biden is championing COVID-19 vaccination requirements and is determined that the roughly 67 million unvaccinated American adults must get the shot even as he acknowledges that mandates weren’t his “first instinct.” He had ruled out such mandates before taking office in January, but they’re now a tactic he feels […]

Officials: Mobile lab to speed child-exploitation crackdown

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois and federal officials have obtained a mobile unit that they say will add speed and efficiency to digital investigations of child pornography and exploitation. Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul on Monday unveiled the specialized van for the Internet Crimes Against Children task force. Raoul’s office oversees the group. The mobile unit is […]

Judge rules Vermilion County teachers, parents must follow state COVID-19 rules in schools

DANVILLE — Protestors from the group Vermilion County Health Advocates stood outside the Vermilion County Courthouse on Friday afternoon holding signs and wearing t-shirts saying “Unmask our Children” while cars honked in support.  Meanwhile — inside the courthouse — Judge Karen Wall ruled against both Danville District 118 teachers and parents from Hoopeston Area School […]

Illinois To Invest Over $40 Million In Workforce Training

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker announced Thursday that the state will award more than $40 million in workforce training grants, focusing on communities hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and youth who are particularly at risk of violence. That includes $40 million in Workforce Recovery Grants that will go out in two phases over the […]

Jackson Released From Chicago Facility After COVID Recovery

CHICAGO — The Rev. Jesse Jackson is headed home a month after he was hospitalized for a breakthrough COVID-19 infection and following intensive physical therapy for Parkinson’s disease. Jackson spoke briefly with reporters Wednesday before leaving a downtown Chicago facility. He and his wife, Jacqueline, were first hospitalized a month ago for COVID-19. While Jesse […]

Illinois K-12 School Staff & Teacher Vaccine Mandate Goes Into Effect

Illinois’ vaccine mandate for K-12 teachers went into effect Monday after the deadline was postponed several weeks to allow staff time to get the shot. If educators are still unvaccinated, they need to be tested weekly. Rockford Education Association president Mel Gilfillan says they feel “very good” that their vaccination rate is around 80%. But […]

Illinois’ Eviction Moratorium Set To Expire Oct. 3

SPRINGFIELD – The state’s moratorium on enforcement of residential evictions will expire on Oct. 3, according to Gov. JB Pritzker’s latest COVID-19 executive order issued Friday. Pritzker had extended the order each month with minor to substantial revisions since March 2020. The extensions have come in 30-day windows, coinciding with his monthly reissuance of a disaster proclamation […]

UI Freshmen Class Breaks Record Despite Decrease In Minority Student Enrollment

URBANA – With a total of 8,303 students enrolled this fall, the freshmen class of 2025 is the largest ever at the University of Illinois Urbana campus. Yet, a recent university report shows a decrease in minority students enrollment. Director of Undergraduate Admissions Andy Borst said there was an increase this fall of students coming […]

Dozens of McLean County Schools Face COVID Exposure

School-aged children make up the largest share of new coronavirus cases in McLean County. The McLean County Health Department (MCHD) on Wednesday announced 84 daily coronavirus cases and 435 cases for the week. About 29% of the weekly cases (127) involve kids age 17 and under. Those under age 12, who are not eligible for […]