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Covid-19 Vaccination Numbers Rebound, Governor Signs Controversial Crime Bill

Illinois Governor Signs Sweeping Criminal-Justice Overhaul
Associated Press/Vander Tuuk 2-23-21

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) Governor JB Pritzker has signed into law a sweeping overhaul of policing and criminal justice in Illinois. Pritzker signed the law Monday that eliminates the cash bail system come 2023, requires police agencies to equip officers with body cameras and sets stricter rules for use of force by law enforcement. The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus designed the measure that was pushed through with little debate during the last moments of the January veto session. The bill was opposed by nearly every county State’s Attorney (though Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Reinhart supported it), and most police and Sheriff’s associations, who say it will hamstring police and discourage talented people from joining law enforcement.

Madigan Out as Illinois Dem Party Chair
Associated Press/Vander Tuuk 2-23-21

(Springfield, IL) Just one day after a weighted vote essentially left him in charge of picking his replacement in the Illinois House, Michael Madigan has resigned his post as the leader of the Illinois Democratic Party. Madigan just last week said he had no intentions of stepping away from that leadership role, and didn’t offer any explanation on his change of mind. He did say he has been the target of attacks by people seeking to diminish his achievements. Republican and other opponents of Madigan say repeated scandals, and his political policies left Illinois with one of the worst financial standings in the United States. Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough will be appointed as interim leader of state Democrats until a permanent replacement is named.

Coronavirus Illinois, Lake County
Vander Tuuk 2-23-21

(Waukegan, IL) The Lake and McHenry County area saw less than 100 combined Coronavirus cases Monday, as numbers continued to decline. The Illinois Department of Public Health announced just 59 confirmed and probable cases of the disease in Lake County, with one related fatality. Region 9 Covid-linked hospital admissions fell again, the 33rd straight down day, and ICU use currently sits at 67% capacity. The Region’s 4.1% positivity rate is the lowest since mid-July.

Vaccine Update
Vander Tuuk 2-23-21

(Chicago, IL) Vaccinations administered in Illinois rebounded after a less than stellar day on Sunday. Illinois Health officials say nearly 55-thousand 500 new doses were given out in the Monday update, increasing total doses administered to over 2.21-million. About 4.5% of the state’s population, or about 571-thousand people, have received both doses to make them “fully vaccinated.” In Lake County, just over 98-thousand doses have been put into arms, with just over 22,500 residents, or 3.22% of the county population fully vaccinated.

Great America Plans Full Season, With Restrictions
Vander Tuuk 2-23-21

(Gurnee, IL) After having just a couple of things open during the 2020 season, Six Flags Great America is looking to have more normalcy this year. The Gurnee theme park says they are hoping to open near the end of April, and hoping to have their iconic rides up and running. Park officials say the opening will come with the same health and safety protocols that people saw last year, including online reservations, and mask requirements. Six Flags says they are working with the Illinois Department of Commerce, to finalize their plans.

Crimestoppers Retail Theft Suspect
Vander Tuuk 2-23-21

(Waukegan, IL) The Lake County Crimestoppers and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office are seeking the public’s help in locating a wanted subject. Derek Ventresca is wanted on a 25-thousand-dollar outstanding warrant for retail theft. He is described as a 32-year-old white male, about 5’8”, 135 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. Anyone with more on Ventresca, or any other Crimestoppers case is encouraged to call 847-662-2222, or submit online at Your confidential information could lead to a 1-thousand-dollar cash reward.

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