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Highwood Man Arrested on ‘Disturbing” Accusations, Covid-19 Sunday Update

Mugshot via Lake County State's Attorney's Office Press Release

Highwood Man Facing Charges For Child Porn, Other Disgusting Things
Vander Tuuk 7-20-20

(Waukegan, IL) Lake County Sheriff’s officials and the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office have announced multiple charges against a Highwood man. A search warrant served on the residence of Thomas Keller was performed after disturbing accusations were made, and an investigation was performed. Inside the residence, officials say they found 10-12 hard drives filled with pornographic pictures and videos of children. There was also a video of Keller having intimate conduct with a dog. The 40-year-old faces a variety of charges including reproduction of child pornography and sex with an animal, as well as gun and drug charges. Keller is being held on a 750-thousand-dollar bond, and is due in court on August 13.

Coronavirus Sunday Update
Vander Tuuk 7-20-20

(Chicago, IL) After three straight days of testing records, Coronavirus testing fell off sharply on Sunday. The state announced 965 new cases of the disease with 6 fatalities (none of which were in Lake County). Those numbers were down from Saturday, and the death count tied a post peak low. The state, however, processed nearly 14-thousand less tests on Sunday than they did Saturday. Hospitalizations fell for the 4th straight day, sitting just above post peak lows, and ICU use fell for the 5th time in the last 6 days. Positive infection percentage wise, the statewide and Lake County rates both continued their steady fall, while the daily rate bumped up slightly, and the rolling 7-day rate remained unchanged.

Lake County/Illinois Nursing Home Covid-19 Stats
Vander Tuuk 7-20-20

(Chicago, IL) Nursing homes in Lake County have seen a falling trend of Coronavirus cases and deaths. The Illinois Department of Public Health stats show that Lake County long term care facilities make up just over 15.5% of all Covid-19 cases in the area, down from over 17% last week. Those same facilities still make up over 65% of all deaths in the county, but that’s down from nearly 69% last week. Statewide, nursing homes make up just under 15% of all cases and just over 54% of all deaths…similar numbers to last week.

Pritzker: Illinois Speaker ‘Must Resign’ if Allegations True
Associated Press 7-20-20

CHICAGO (AP) Gov. J.B. Pritzker says Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan “must resign” if allegations of corruption are true against the state’s most powerful fellow Democrat. A spokeswoman for Madigan denied wrongdoing after the U.S. Attorney’s office said ComEd agreed to pay $200 million, to resolve a federal criminal investigation into a long-running bribery scheme that implicates Madigan…believed to be known as “Public Official A” in court documents. Over the weekend several Republicans, and even some Democrats called on Madigan to step down.

Feds Seek Tax Records on Properties Including Pritzker Home
Associated Press 7-20-20

CHICAGO (AP) A published report says federal prosecutors are seeking records on property tax appeals made to former Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios on more than 100 properties, including a mansion owned by Gov. J.B. Pritzker. The Chicago Sun-Times reports the U.S. attorney’s office has asked the assessor’s office for emails and other communications from 2012 to 2018 on appeals granted by the Assessor who lost re-election in 2018. Questions about Pritzker’s property tax breaks surfaced ahead of the 2018 gubernatorial contest. Pritzker received a tax break on a mansion he owns next to his family residence after having the toilets removed. Pritzker repaid the county $330,000, after the reports surfaced.

Illinois Programs to Get $7M in Federal COVID-19 Relief
Associated Press 7-20-20

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) State officials say more than $7 million in federal funding will be going to organizations to help Illinois communities hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority says it will distribute $7.1 million in U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance money, made available through federal stimulus legislation last spring. Groups interested in participating should apply for funding by July 24. Funding will be targeted to areas hit hardest by the pandemic based on number of cases, unemployment and housing needs.

State Increases Apprenticeship Funding Amid Tough Job Market
Associated Press 7-20-20

CHICAGO (AP) Illinois is expanding an apprenticeship program that officials hope will help people in under-served communities learn skills and connect with employers. Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity announced a $4.7 million investment in the Illinois Apprenticeship Program, through grants to 25 organizations statewide. They say it will allow an additional 568 people to participate in training programs over the next two years. That will bring the total state investment in the program to a record $20 million, serving 17,000 participants this year as COVID-19 puts an economic burden on communities.

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