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News Around Illinois – Aug. 10, 2020

The latest news around the state, for Aug. 10, 2020.

Police Say They Arrested More Than 100 People During Mag Mile Looting

Hundreds of people smashed windows, stole from stores and clashed with police early Monday in Chicago’s upscale Magnificent Mile shopping district and other parts of the city. “We are waking up in shock this morning,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said at a Monday morning press conference with Police Superintendent David Brown. The mayor condemned the looting, saying “what happened in our city last night and this morning of course is deeply painful for every Chicagoan.” Last night’s lootings come months after downtown businesses were hit during protests against police brutality following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Lightfoot said the recent lootings were “brazen and extensive criminal destruction” that were not connected to peaceful demonstrations. “This is not legitimate 1st Amendment-protected speech. These were not poor people engaging in petty theft to feed themselves and their families,” Lightfoot said. “This was straight up-felony, criminal conduct.” At one point, shots were fired at police and officers returned fire. Thirteen officers were injured, but none in the shooting, police said. Many of the businesses that were ransacked had recently opened after Chicago protests of Floyd’s May 25 death in Minneapolis devolved into chaos. Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said protests and looting were driven by misinformation following a police shooting Sunday in which officers wounded a 20-year-old man in Englewood. Brown said police opened fire after the man shot at police during a foot chase. Immediately following the shooting, it was rumored the person shot by police was 15-years-old. – Hunter Clauss, Patrick Smith, WBEZ. Additional reporting from Associated Press.

Davis Says Capitol Hill Is Overdue For COVID-19 Testing Program

Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis says Congress is overdue to have its own comprehensive COVID-19 testing program, like the one at the White House. The Republican Davis is currently quarantining at his home in Taylorville after testing positive for the coronavirus last week. He accuses Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of stonewalling a testing program, although Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has opposed it as well. Congressional leaders in both parties have turned down past offers of testing supplies, saying they didn’t want Congress to cut ahead of frontline workers when supplies were short. Davis says a testing program is really needed for the 20,000 or so Capitol Hill employees, many of whom must continue working at the Capitol, even when members of Congress are back at home. The 13th District lawmaker says there may now be movement to launch a testing program at the Capitol, but says it should have happened much earlier. – Jim Meadows, Illinois Newsroom

Springfield’s Douglas Park Could Be Renamed For Douglass

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A Springfield Park Board member is proposing a name change for the city’s Douglas Park, named for the legendary U.S. senator from Illinois, Stephen Douglas, whom research has shown profited from slavery. Lisa Badger tells The (Springfield) State Journal-Register that she will ask the board to rename the northwest-side green space for Frederick Douglass, the 19th Century Black scholar and abolitionist. “It’s just the right thing to do,” Badger said. “A lot of people have woken up to how these landmarks make people feel, and I don’t feel as though we should celebrate people who are offensive to anyone.” – Associated Press

Some Illinois Community Colleges See Summer Enrollment Boost

CHICAGO (AP) — Some community colleges in Illinois have seen an increase in student enrollment over the summer, but officials are waiting to see if that will continue in the fall. College of Lake County, Harper College and the College of DuPage have all reported higher enrollment numbers, the Chicago Tribune reported. New student applications have increased by 4% from last year at DuPage, President Brian Caputo said. He said lower tuition prices could be at play. “We’re certainly optimistic that there will be some sort of bump, but we’re also realistic in that there’s a lot of different variables going on,” Caputo said. Some families have decided to send their children to two-year colleges since most universities expect students to pay the same price for virtual instruction that they would for in-person classes. – Associated Press

Extensive Rehab Project Underway At Peoria Lock And Dam

The Peoria-area’s historic link in the supply chain is getting some much-needed upgrades. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers closed the Peoria Lock and Dam on the Illinois River in late June for a summer-long dewatering and maintenance project that is expected to be finished in October. During a tour of the Creve Couer complex last week, Rock Island District commander Col. Steve Sattinger said the project will help keep river traffic moving effectively. “The work we’re doing now really allows us to reassure the industry that the system is reliable,” said Sattinger. “We should get great service out of the parts we’re installing, out of the work we’re doing for 25 more years.” Crews are replacing miter gate anchorages, installing a compressed-air bubbler system, and rehabilitating hydraulic cylinders. Sattinger said all that work required the lock to be drained. The Peoria Lock and Dam was built in 1939 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The last dewatering occurred more than three decades ago in 1987. – Joe Deacon, WCBU

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