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News Around Illinois – June 8, 2020

News Around Illinois Cover

Illinois Reports 867 New Coronavirus Cases, 43 New Deaths

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 867 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in the state to 127,757. The department on Sunday reported 43 additional deaths from the disease in the past 24 hours, raising that total number to 5,904. The Health Department says nearly 21,000 tests for COVID-19 were administered within the past 24 hours, for a total of slightly more than one million. The health department says the preliminary seven-day statewide positivity rate for cases as a percent of total tested from May 31 through June 6 is 5%. – Associated Press

Peaceful Protest In Champaign Draws Huge Crowd

CHAMPAIGN – Thousands gathered in the streets of downtown Champaign on Saturday afternoon for a peaceful march in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Protesters gathered in Hessel Park around noon to meet and make signs, and began marching soon thereafter. People of all ages and skin colors joined in the march, chanting things like “I can’t breathe,” “Black lives matter” and “Being black is not a crime.”  Click here to read the entire story. – Dana Cronin, Illinois Newsroom

Durbin: Congress Working On National Police Conduct Bill

SPRINGFIELD – At a meeting with faith and youth leaders in Springfield, US Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) says Congress will introduce a measure to address police conduct. Durbin says the legislation will  include a ban on the use of choke holds and knee holds, outline acceptable use of force by officers, and make suggestions on recruitment and training. Meanwhile, some  protestors have called for the government to defund the police.  But Durbin says the country should spend extra money to retrain police, and do periodic investigations of all officers. – Olivia Mitchell, NPR Illinois

Illinois Scientists Study Disease-Carrying Mosquito’s Spread

CHAMPAIGN — University of Illinois researchers are studying how a disease-carrying mosquito has spread in the state for decades. They focused on Asian tiger mosquitoes, an invasive bug that can spread dengue fever and other diseases. The mosquitoes originated in southeast Asia, came to Texas in the 1980s and spread to Illinois. Researchers at a division of the university’s Prairie Research Institute say the mosquitoes were able to weather winters in cities like Chicago, which are warmer because of the roads and concrete, surviving in places like sewers and subways. Their findings were published in the Journal of Medical Entomology. – Associated Press

Parts of Navy Pier To Reopen Wednesday With Masked Staff

CHICAGO — Chicago’s Navy Pier plans to begin reopening Wednesday, nearly three months after closing as part of state and city efforts to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Initial reopening plans include outdoor restaurant spaces, tour boats, parking garages and outdoor parks and piers. Navy Pier officials said carnival rides including its Ferris wheel and indoor spaces including the Chicago Children’s Museum will not reopen yet. Fireworks shows also remain shut down. Staff who work directly with visitors will be required to wear face coverings and Navy Pier has assigned some employees as “social distancing ambassadors” to remind people to keep space between groups. – 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.