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Lake County Board Approves Gas Tax Over Objections, Covid Numbers Hold Steady

Lake County Board Approves Gas Tax Hike
Vander Tuuk 3-10-21

(Waukegan, IL) With gas prices eclipsing 3-dollars a gallon in some Lake County areas, the Lake County Board has voted to increase those prices even more. The Board voted 14-7 on Tuesday to approve a 4-cent per gallon gas tax. The tax will go into effect in July, for the purpose of funding infrastructure improvements. Some on the Board argued that now was not the time to add another financial burden, when area families are already struggling due to the Coronavirus pandemic. But those in favor of the plan say there is a 1.7-billion-dollar backlog of construction projects that stretch out to 2040…and a source of revenue is needed to fund those projects.

Man Charged in Wisconsin Protest Shootings Returns to Court
Associated Press/Vander Tuuk 3-10-21

KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) A Lake County teen accused of killing two people and wounding a third during last summer’s Kenosha protests is due in court today. Kyle Rittenhouse, who formerly resided in Antioch, faces multiple charges from the triple shooting during the 3rd night of protests over the Jacob Blake police shooting. The now 18-year-old has claimed that he was defending himself from multiple attacks, and his lawyers are expected to mount that as a defense. Today’s hearing is expected to go over final preparations for his March 29 trial.

McHenry County Man Gets Sentence in Lake County Case
Vander Tuuk 3-10-21

(Waukegan, IL) A McHenry County man learned his fate, after pleading guilty to a sex crime involving a Lake County girl. John Kline of Wonder Lake entered a negotiated plea to one count of attempted predatory criminal sexual assault of a child. The charge stemmed from an incident back in 2014, involving a 7-year-old girl in Round Lake. The 74-year-old was given four years of probation, which includes 2-years under a 24-hour curfew. Kline will also have to complete sex offender counseling, and must put his name on the sex offender list.

Coronavirus Illinois, Lake County
Vander Tuuk 3-10-21

(Chicago, IL) Coronavirus cases in Lake County dropped slightly, but most everything else remained the same. The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 61 new confirmed and probable cases of the disease on Tuesday, with two related fatalities. Region 9, which includes Lake and McHenry County, saw all other metrics, including Covid-linked hospital admissions, ICU capacity and test positivity, stay at the same numbers as Monday.

Covid-19 Vaccinations Recover Slightly
Vander Tuuk 3-10-21

(Chicago, IL) Covid-19 vaccinations resumed an upward trend after a couple of down days. Illinois Health officials announced just over 75-thousand new doses administered in the Tuesday update, up just under 46-thousand from Monday’s numbers. Overall the state has doled out some 3.46-million doses of the Coronavirus vaccine, with about 1.2-million people, or just 9.4% of the state’s population considered fully vaccinated. In Lake County, the fully vaccinated number currently stands at 7.6%.

US Sen. Tammy Duckworth Announces Re-Election Bid
Associated Press 3-10-21

CHICAGO (AP) U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth took to Twitter to announce plans to run for a second term in 2022. In a brief tweet on Tuesday, the veteran Illinois Democrat claimed her work for state families and veterans isn’t finished. Duckworth, who turns 53 on Friday, is launching her re-election bid without a prominent Illinois Republican actively mounting a challenge to her. After serving two terms in the House from a suburban Chicago district, Duckworth in 2016 defeated then Republican Sen. Mark Kirk. 2022 will mark the end of her first term.

Board of Education Gives New In-Person Schooling Guidance
Associated Press 3-10-21

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) New COVID-19 safety guidelines released by the Illinois State Board of Education suggest in-person learning should be prioritized over extracurricular activities. The guidelines released Tuesday in conjunction with the Illinois Department of Public Health say capacity limits for in-person learning, and activities like lunch, will be determined by the space’s ability to accommodate social distancing. The board now defines social distancing for in-person learning as three to six feet for students and fully vaccinated staff. The Health Department is no longer recommending school districts perform coronavirus screening on school grounds. However, they may continue to do so if that’s their preference.

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