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News Around Illinois – December 16, 2019

News Around Illinois Cover

WIU Board Opts for Presidential Search Rather Than Appointment

MACOMB – The Western Illinois University Board of Trustees deadlocked on appointing Dr. Martin Abraham as the university’s 12th president. The vote came after the board held a five hour executive session Thursday night and met behind closed doors for more than an hour Friday morning. Chairperson Polly Radosh and trustees Carin Stutz, Patrick Twomey, and Erik Dolieslager voted in favor hiring Abraham. Trustees Greg Aguilar, Kisha Lang, Doug Shaw, and Justin Brown voted against the motion to appoint Abraham. Western hired Abraham in the spring to serve as provost starting July 1, 2019. But when President Jack Thomas announced in mid-June that he would step down at the end of the month, the board agreed to have Abraham serve as acting president. – Rich Egger, TriStates Public Radio

Volunteers Needed For Champaign Holiday Dinner

CHAMPAIGN – About 400 people are expected to enjoy a ham dinner on Christmas Day, at the annual Community Christmas Dinner in Champaign. And about 200 volunteers will be needed on that day to put on the dinner at Champaign’s First Christian Church. Organizer Lynne Barnes says the volunteers do everything from food preparation to dish washing to hosting at table and serving the food. She says the 1:00 p.m. dinner is open to anyone who wants a meal or just some fellowship on Christmas Day. The deadline for dinner reservations and volunteer signup is December 22. Click here to sign up at the Champaign First Christian Church. – Jim Meadows, Illinois Public Media

SIU No Longer Requires ACT or SAT For Admission

CARBONDALE – Southern Illinois University Carbondale will no longer require students to take the ACT or SAT to be admitted to the university. The Southern Illinoisan reports Interim Chancellor John M. Dunn said research has shown the most important predictor of college success is a student’s high school grade point average. Dunn says standardized tests like the ACT and SAT can be a barrier to higher education for many students. He says the university has a responsibility “to level the playing field and ensure that every student with potential has an opportunity to study at SIU.” – Associated Press

Legionnaires’ Cases May Be Linked To Chicago-Area Hospital

WINFIELD — State health officials are investigating whether three cases of Legionnaires’ disease are linked to a suburban Chicago hospital. The Illinois Department of Public Health said Friday the three people were all patients at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield, about 30 miles west of Chicago. One person was an inpatient, while the other two had outpatient visits. IDPH said the three patients also had other possible sources of exposure in the 10 days before their symptoms began, so the hospital may not be the source. Most healthy people don’t get Legionnaires’ disease after being exposed. – Associated Press

Mayor Fires Veteran Chicago City Spokesperson

CHICAGO — Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has fired a longtime city spokesman. Her office has issued a statement saying Bill McCaffrey was “terminated for cause” and is declining to give further details, citing a “personnel matter.” McCaffrey most recently served as a Law Department spokesman. He worked at City Hall for 15 years serving as spokesman for several agencies under three different mayors.  He declined to comment to the Chicago Sun-Times, which says it came after McCaffrey raised “ethical issues.” The report cited an unnamed source. Lightfoot’s office said that claim is false. – Associated Press



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