Illinois | WGLT

Illinois

Headlines from around the state, curated by the WGLT newsroom. If you want more state news, listen to Illinois Public Radio's The 21st on Mondays-Thursdays at 11 a.m., and Statewide at 11 a.m. Fridays.

With Chillicothe no longer enforcing Gov. JB Pritzker’s Tier 3 COVID-19 restriction prohibiting indoor dining, Track Inn Restaurant co-owner Linda Callahan feels a degree of stress has been lifted for her 18 employees.

One day after reporting 15 deaths linked to COVID-19 from the past weekend, Tri-County health officials have added two more victims to the growing list, both Woodford County women in their 90s.

Allegiant Airlines has announced it will be adding two new destinations to the General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport.

Peoria Public Schools students are set to return to in-person learning Jan. 19, and according to Peoria City/County Health Department Public Health Administrator Monica Hendrickson, District 150 is as prepared as it can be.

WCBU's On Deck has everything you need to know to start your day for Tuesday, January 12, 2021. Our top story concerns deferrals of dental work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hear from one Peoria dentist who will tell you why that's a bad idea. You'll also hear from CityLink General Manager Doug Roelfs. The Peoria mass transit agency didn't get through 2020 without some struggles, but Roelfs says they're still a lot better off than agencies in other cities.

Illinois lawmakers spent much of their weekend session debating criminal justice reform bills.

The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus is using the lame-duck session to address a range of social equity issues, from healthcare to education to criminal justice.

The Peoria Housing Authority is tapping a Rockford-area firm to provide private security services at its properties.

Some Counties Entering Next Phase Of Vaccine Distribution

Jan 11, 2021
Ezike speaks at podium
Jerry Nowicki / Capitol News Illinois

Some regions of the state could see loosened COVID-19 restrictions as early as Friday as some counties have already transitioned to the next phase of vaccine distribution, Gov. JB Pritzker announced Monday.

UPDATED 11:16 a.m. | An education reform bill would force schools to test children even before they enter kindergarten. The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus spearheaded the measure, which passed through both houses of the General Assembly Monday.

The sheriffs of Peoria and Tazewell counties say they are open to addressing concerns regarding law enforcement, but a criminal justice reform bill before the General Assembly is problematic.

A Tazewell County man in his 40s is among 15 new Tri-County area deaths attributed to COVID-19 since Friday, as local health officials on Monday reported an increase in hospitalizations, but a drop in active cases.

A total of 36 residents at the LaSalle Veterans’ Home have died since the fall from the coronavirus disease, placing a spotlight on how the facility handled health and safety protocols.  Just hours after being grilled at a state legislative hearing on the matter Monday, the agency’s director, Linda Chapa LaVia, stepped down with an announcement made in a news release from Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s Administration.

Commerce Bank says its employee-funded political action committee (PAC) will no longer give money to members of Congress who have "impeded the peaceful transfer of power."

Madigan Suspends Speaker Campaign: 'This Is Not A Withdrawal'

Jan 11, 2021

House Speaker Michael Madigan announced he would suspend his campaign for House Speaker of the 102nd General Assembly on Monday, but his statement made clear he was not withdrawing from the race.

Madigan Suspends Speaker Campaign: 'This Is Not A Withdrawal'

Jan 11, 2021
Madigan on the floor
Jerry Nowicki / Capitol News Illinois

UPDATED 2:25 p.m. | Michael Madigan announced he would suspend his campaign for House Speaker of the 102nd General Assembly on Monday, but his statement made clear he was not withdrawing from the race.

Embattled House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) stunned Illinois’ political sphere on Monday morning, announcing he would suspended his campaign for a historic 19th term as leader of the Illinois House after falling short on the support he needs in a first round vote Sunday night.

Many Tri-County area public safety personnel are among the first wave of people getting their COVID-19 vaccinations.

Barb Hoffman, a travel agent for Direct Travel in Peoria, said 2020 was a year like no other when it came to her industry.

WCBU's On Deck has everything you need to know to start your day for Monday, January 11, 2021. Our top story is about how many Tri-County area public safety personnel are among the first wave of people getting their COVID-19 vaccinations. You'll also hear from Tazewell County Republican Chairman Jim Rule.

Embattled House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) is facing down what could be his final two days as Speaker of the Illinois House — a title he’s held for all but two years since 1983 — after a Sunday evening vote in a private House Democratic caucus meeting left him with only 51 tentative votes for a historic 19th term as speaker.

The Front Row is thrilled to welcome writer and lyricist, Chad Beguelin. Chad is an Illinois native and is an accomplished lyricist for the Broadway stage. His musical, The Prom, is now a brand new feature film on Netflix with an all-star cast. Join Jeremy as he discusses the many aspects of the film with Chad in this delightful conversation.

FEATURING: Jeremy Goeckner

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Sangamon County healthcare professionals who don’t work at area hospitals can sign up to get a COVID-19 vaccine from the health department.

Higher Education Reform Bill Unveiled In Springfield

Jan 9, 2021
Zaldwaynaka Scott speaks
BlueRoomStream.com

A bill aimed at making college education and teacher preparation programs more accessible and affordable for people of color began working its way through the General Assembly on Saturday with the formal introduction of language that lawmakers have been negotiating for months.

Correction: This story has been corrected and clarified. Veterans were unable to get immediate access to donated name-brand toiletries due to a process that has since been changed, but the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs says residents never went without basic personal care supplies if they ran out. 

The Coronavirus outbreak at the state-run LaSalle Veterans’ Home claimed a 36th life earlier this week, though the spread within the home has been in control for weeks after infecting 90% of residents and killing more than a quarter of the facility’s population.

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul is teaming up with the FBI to investigate a spate of fraudulent unemployment claims during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Illinois House lawmakers were back in the capital city Friday for the first time since May, kicking off a five-day “lame duck” legislative session.

House Kicks Off Lame Duck Session; Governor Announces Tax Code Change Priority

Jan 8, 2021
House members at a session
Jerry Nowicki / Capitol News Illinois

Illinois House lawmakers were back in the capital city Friday for the first time since May, kicking off a five-day “lame duck” legislative session.

The Tri-County area is considering temporarily pausing or slowing down its requests for more COVID-19 vaccines because most of the region's top-priority clients have received a shot, or even gotten their second dose.

Police and rioters clash
JOHN MINCHILLO / AP

U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood on Friday said President Donald Trump does bear responsibility for Wednesday's insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, while Rep. Cheri Bustos said she supports efforts to remove Trump from office before Inauguration Day.

U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood on Friday said President Donald Trump does bear responsibility for Wednesday's insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, while Rep. Cheri Bustos said she supports efforts to remove Trump from office before Inauguration Day. 

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