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News Around Illinois – Aug. 14, 2020

The latest news around the state, for Aug. 14, 2020.

Longtime Illinois State Senator Hit With Federal Tax Charge

CHICAGO (AP) — Longtime state Sen. Terry Link was charged in federal court Thursday with filing a false tax return, the latest Illinois lawmaker to face public corruption charges. Link reported an income of $264,450 in 2016 when the “defendant knew that the total income substantially exceeded that amount,” according to the single-page charging document. Often, those charged in these type of filings, called informations, go on to enter plea deals with prosecutors. Link, 73, did not return messages seeking comment.  The Democrat, whose district covers suburbs north of Chicago, first took office in 1997 and eventually became assistant majority leader. He serves on the Legislative Ethics Commission and is chair of the Lake County Democratic Party. Over the years, he has often championed gambling legislation. The charge comes after several other state lawmakers were charged as a result of the federal government’s ongoing criminal investigations into public corruption. – Sophia Tareen, Associated Press

Illinois Meatpacking Plant Sued After COVID-19 Death

NORTH AURORA, Ill. (AP) — The family of a suburban Chicago woman who died of complications related to COVID-19 has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a meatpacking plant where her husband worked and contracted the virus. The family of Esperanza Ugalde alleges in their lawsuit that Aurora Packing Co. in North Aurora failed to take steps to limit the spread of the coronavirus, the Aurora Beacon-News reported. They also said the company failed to warn employees after it became aware that other employees at the plant were infected. The lawsuit filed in Kane County Circuit Court contends that Ricardo Ugalde, who was a butcher at the plant for 35 years, contracted the virus in late April and that his wife contracted it a short time later and died May 2 at the age of 67. The company did not immediately return a call from The Associated Press on Friday but its website notes that it has “taken a proactive approach to minimize the health risk of spreading the virus.” – Associated Press

Illinois Man Gets 60 Years For Sex With Child Who Got HIV

ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) — A northern Illinois man who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a child who later tested positive for HIV has been sentenced to 60 years in prison. Stephen Grimes, 33, was sentenced Tuesday by a Winnebago County Circuit Court judge, who specified that the Rockford man must serve at least 51 years before he is eligible for parole. Rockford police were informed in May 2019 of the possible abuse when a local medical office reported that a child had tested positive for HIV. Grimes was later identified as the prime suspect. According to the Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office, Grimes admitted to the sexual abuse. He pleaded guilty in June to criminal sexual assault of a child, criminal sexual assault and criminal transmission of HIV. – Associated Press

COVID Testing At IWU Reveals 4 Positives; Lower Positivity Rate Than County

Four Illinois Wesleyan University students tested positive for the coronavirus when they returned to campus for the start of the school year. As part of IWU’s plans for a mix of in-person and online instruction during the fall semester, it required all students to get tested for the virus upon their arrival. The university said the four positive cases came from 709 tests administered to students, indicating a positivity rate of 0.56%. McLean County’s seven-day positivity rate currently stands at 1.9%. The positivity rate for Illinois’ Region 2, which includes McLean and much of west-central Illinois, stood at 5.5% as of Monday. IWU officials said three of the students are on-campus residents and one lives off-campus. Each has been sent home to isolate. None of the students displayed COVID-19 symptoms. In a news release fromKarla Carney-Hall, IWU’s dean of students, and Interim Executive Director of Health and Counseling Vickie Folse, the university said it plans to test about 750 more students upon their arrival on campus. They said ongoing surveillance testing will be conducted throughout the semester. – Eric Stock, WGLT

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