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News Around Illinois – February 11, 2020

News Around Illinois Cover

13th District Democratic Primary Candidates Discuss Issues At Forum

CHAMPAIGN – Healthcare was a major issue for both Betsy Dirksen Londrigan and Stefanie Smith at a candidate’s forum in Champaign Monday evening. But the two Democrats competing to run against U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis in Illinois’ 13th District disagreed on what’s the best plan. Smith, a first-time candidate from Urbana, supports a single payer or “Medicare for all” option that would replace private health insurance. “Anything less than single payer is eugenics,” Smith said. Londrigan, who lost narrowly to Davis in 2018, backs the public option. Under that proposal, private insurance continues, but the government offers a Medicare-like option as an alternative. “I have a problem forcing people to give up insurance that they want to keep,” said Londrigan. The forum was sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Champaign County, Champaign County NAACP and the News-Gazette, and will air on CGTV, Champaign’s government TV channel.Jim Meadows, Illinois Newsroom

Cancer Center Uses Laser, Microscope And Algorithms In Cancer Diagnosis

URBANA – Researchers at the University of Illinois are working to improve the way cancer diagnosis is done. Rohit Bhargava is a bioengineering professor and director of the Cancer Center at Illinois. His research team has developed a new technique to analyze human tissue biopsies using a laser, an optical microscope and machine-learning algorithms. The results are published in the Journal of the National Academy of Sciences. “The idea here is to not just measure the shape that you see in a microscope, but measure the chemistry,” said Bhargava. “So at every pixel, instead of getting a red, green and blue color, we get a list of chemical compounds and their concentrations. So now suddenly, instead of just thinking of cancer as how it appears under a microscope slide, we can ask the question, well, what is it composed off?” Bhargava says the technique needs to be validated on large numbers of patients before it can be used in routine practice. – Christine Herman, Illinois Newsroom

Voter Registration Error Risks Deportation For Immigrants

CHICAGO — A mistake in Illinois’ automatic voter registration system could mean deportation, criminal charges or both for a handful of immigrants who cast ballots. Hundreds of people who acknowledged that they weren’t U.S. citizens were mistakenly registered. Sixteen of them voted. The fiasco has triggered a partisan battle, infuriated voter advocacy groups and forced immigrant rights activists to do  damage control. Margarita Del Pilar Fitzpatrick is a Peruvian citizen who was deported in 2017 after she mistakenly cast a ballot. She hasn’t seen two of her three American citizen daughters in years. – Associated Press

Tazewell County Lincoln Document On View For 211th Birthday

PEKIN — A mortgage document presented to Abraham Lincoln in 1844 in Tazewell County will be on display Wednesday in Pekin for the late president’s 211th birthday. Historians will present historical background about the document later that evening. The Pekin Daily Times reports that the Tazewell County Recorder of Deeds announced last week that the newly discovered document was presented to Lincoln, then a lawyer, on Sept. 10, 1844. The mortgage on 234 acres of farmland located near Tremont was for $284.94 and used as collateral on a debt for legal services Lincoln provided. – Associated Press

New Cruise Ship Scheduled To Visit Great Lakes In 2022

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — A cruise ship currently being built in Norway is scheduled to visit the Great Lakes, including a stop at Traverse City in northern Michigan eight times starting January 2022. The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports that the Discovery Center & Pier about a year ago announced plans to transform a former coal dock in Michigan into a site that ships could use to land passengers. It’s part of efforts to attract more cruise ship traffic to Grand Traverse Bay. The 665-foot-long Viking Octantis is offering four different itineraries, starting in January 2022. Discovery Pier officials say they’re excited about the scientific bent of the planned cruises. – Associated Press

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