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Madigan “Suspends” Campaign for House Speaker, Covid-19 Vaccinations Soon for County Educators

Madigan Suspends Campaign for House Speaker
Associated Press 1-12-21

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is “suspending” his campaign to keep his leadership post. The 78-year-old Chicago Democrat issued a statement Monday that began, “This is not a withdrawal.” But he directed House Democrats to work toward finding a replacement. Madigan has lost support among House members since he was implicated in a federal bribery investigation involving utility company ComEd. Madigan has not been charged with a crime and has denied wrongdoing, despite the feds all but using his name in indicting several others, including ComEd top brass. In a caucus vote Sunday, Madigan’s support fell short of the 60 votes he needed for his retention.

Covid Numbers Illinois, Lake County
Vander Tuuk 1-12-21

(Chicago, IL) The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 226 new confirmed and probable Coronavirus cases in Lake County on Monday, with 1 related death. In the Region that includes both Lake and McHenry County, Covid-linked hospitalizations fell for the 4th straight day, while ICU use fell back to 74%. The Region’s positivity also fell by nearly a half point, down to 10%. Statewide, there were just under 48-hundred new confirmed and probable Coronavirus cases announced, with 53 related fatalities, 43 of which, were in Cook County.

Illinois VA Head Quits in Wake of COVD-19 Outbreak at Homes
Associated Press 1-12-21

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) The director of the Illinois’ Veteran Affairs Department is leaving the post. Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Monday the departure of Linda Chapa LaVia was a “mutual decision.” A former state representative, Chapa LaVia was appointed by Pritzker in 2019. Her resignation comes in the wake of deadly outbreaks of COVID-19 at state veterans’ homes, including the LaSalle Veterans’ Home, where 39 residents died of the coronavirus. The governor said he will name a permanent replacement for LaVia after a nationwide search. Until then, Major General Peter Nezamis of the Illinois Air National Guard will serve as interim director.

Lake County Educators Possibly Getting Vaccines Soon
Vander Tuuk 1-12-21

(Waukegan, IL) Lake County educators could start receiving Coronavirus vaccinations as early as next month. The Lake County Health Department says they have been in contact with area school districts to come up with a comprehensive plan. Currently employees from several school districts would go to a private site to get the shots, but it’s a plan that will likely be tweaked as things move forward. Health Department officials say they hope to finish vaccinating health care workers by the end of the month, which could allow them to move on to the next group, including educators, by early February.

AAA Gas Prices in Illinois/Wisconsin
Vander Tuuk 1-12-21

(Chicago, IL) Gas prices continue to rise despite continued low demand. AAA says across the nation, the average for a gallon of gas sits at $2.31, which is near pre-pandemic levels. In Illinois, that average is higher at $2.45, with Lake County lower at $2.38. Wisconsin’s average price sits below the national average at $2.14 a gallon. Kenosha County comes in one cent higher at $2.15.

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