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News Around Illinois – July 24, 2020

Man Guilty of Repeated Rape of Child Gets 20-Year Sentence

URBANA — A central Illinois man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after admitting to repeatedly raping a child a decade ago. In sentencing Gregory Reed of Mahomet on Thursday, Champaign County Judge Tom Difanis called him “sexually dangerous” man who should never be around children again. The News-Gazette in Champaign reports the 43-year-old Reed pleaded guilty last month to predatory criminal sexual assault of a child between January 2006 and July 2011. Champaign County sheriff’s investigators became aware of the allegations in 2018 when the victim, now an adult, came forward. At the time, Reed was serving a 10-year prison sentence for aggravated child pornography for taking photographs of the girl and her friend as they changed clothing after swimming. – Associated Press

Six Downstate Illinois Counties Sue Over COVID-19 Restrictions

SPRINGFIELD — Residents in six central and southern Illinois counties filed lawsuits Thursday against state-ordered restrictions on social interaction prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.The actions taken in Bond, Clay, Clinton, Edgar, Richland and Sangamon counties seek court orders declaring there is no public health emergency as defined by Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s Public Health Department. Springfield, the state capital, is in Sangamon County.Plaintiffs in each case seek injunctions against Pritzker’s disaster declaration which restricts public interaction to slow transmission of the virus. The state has reported 7,367 deaths among 167,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases _ mostly in Chicago and Cook County. Pritzker’s general counsel said no one should question basic safeguards during a pandemic. – Associated Press

Restraining Order Barring Nursing Home Closing Extended

CAIRO — A southern Illinois judge has extended a temporary restraining order barring a nursing home from executing its closure plan until it has fulfilled all its obligations to residents. When Aperion Care Cairo announced its intention to close last week, families complained to Alexander County officials they felt rushed to select alternative placement for loved ones. Illinois law requires private nursing homes planning to close to first submit a transition plan to the Illinois Department of Public Health for approval. The nursing home then must provide notices to residents and their representatives outlining their rights. In a filing last week, States Attorney Zach Gowin accused Aperion Care of attempting to circumvent the law. – Associated Press

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Proposed Urbana City Council ward maps are available for review

The Urbana City Council is expected to review three proposed ward boundary maps at its June 3rd Committee of the Whole meeting. Meanwhile, the proposed maps are posted at the city’s website  for public review and comment. A link on the website’s front page takes users to information on ward redistricting. The map that wins council approval will replace Urbana’s current ward map.