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News Around Illinois – Aug. 28, 2020

The latest news around the state, for Aug. 28, 2020.

Attorney: R&B Singer R Kelly Attacked In Federal Detention

CHICAGO (AP) — The lawyer for R. Kelly said Thursday the R&B singer, who is awaiting trial on child pornography and other charges, was assaulted by a fellow detainee at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago. Attorney Steve Greenberg revealed in a tweet that he learned of the attack on his client Wednesday. Greenberg says he has received conflicting information on the extent of Kelly’s injuries. A spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, citing privacy and safety reason, wouldn’t confirm or deny Greenberg’s report of the attack on Kelly. Kelly, 53, faces several dozen counts of state and federal sexual misconduct charges in Illinois, Minnesota and New York, from sexual assault to heading a racketeering scheme aimed at supplying him with girls. The Grammy Award winning singer has denied ever abusing anyone. – Associated Press

Cash-Strapped Chicago Solicits Operators’ Ideas To Launch A New City Casino Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

The city of Chicago is soliciting ideas for a new casino and entertainment district from gaming operators, according to a request for information and a new website released Thursday. Respondents are being asked to identify a location for the casino, outline the number of gaming positions and other amenities that would make the casino a “world-class” destination for tourists and shore up much needed revenue for Chicago. The city is marketing itself as one of the “largest untapped gaming opportunity in the country.” It is also asking respondents to explain how they will address coronavirus concerns when designing the space. Whoever the city picks and is approved by the state gambling board will have to build a temporary casino site while the permanent casino is under construction. Responses to the RFI are due Oct. 21. But the city says offering feedback proposals through this RFI are not required to be eventually considered to run the new casino. – Claudia Morell, WBEZ

Majority Of Illinois Students Will Start Classes Online

Most Illinois school kids will start the school year with remote learning.  That’s according to an Illinois State Board of Education survey of administrators. Of the districts responding, nearly 1.1 million students, roughly 62% of those enrolled, will do their work in an online-only mode.  However, many districts have indicated they could reconsider a return to classroom instruction later in the fall. – Sean Crawford, WUIS

Illinois Cities Face Revenue Shortfall, Ask Feds For Help

Nearly 200 cities told the Illinois Municipal League that they expect to bring in less money from taxes on shopping, gaming, gas and other sources due to the coronavirus pandemic. The responses come from a survey conducted between June and July. Cities expected a median reduction of 20% to 30% in their revenues compared to last year, according to the survey. Nearly half the respondents said they are considering laying off staff or reducing services in order to address budget shortfalls. On a virtual event hosted by Springfield’s mayor, Brad Cole, executive director of the Illinois Municipal League, said the results are what he expected to hear. Cole said they’re lobbying the federal government to ask for help. – Mary Hansen, WUIS

B-N’s Movie Theaters Set For Reopening

For the first time in months, you’ll be able to go see a movie in Bloomington-Normal on Friday. The Marcus Theatres location in west Bloomington will reopen Friday after a long coronavirus shutdown. A reopening curbside event Wednesday night led to cars lined up and down Wylie Drive looking to claim free giant bags of popcorn and movie passes. State rules limit capacity to 50 guests or 50% of theater capacity—whichever is less. At Marcus Theatres, reserved seating will allow groups to sit together. There will be two empty seats between groups for social distancing. Marcus guests are encouraged to order concessions in advance. The AMC Classic Normal 14 theater is scheduled to reopen Sept. 3. Its auditoriums will operate at 40% capacity or less. Like Marcus, AMC has signed on as a member of the industry’s CinemaSafe protocols. The Normal Theater in Uptown has not yet reopened but, as part of its reopening plan, is now surveying patrons about their comfort levels with attending in-person showings, wearing masks, and buying concessions. When the theater does re-open, it will run at a maximum capacity of 50 guests (out of around 400 seats). – Ryan Denham, WGLT

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