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Three Arrested in Weekend Mettawa Costco Burglary

Mettawa Burglary Suspects Arrested After K-9 Track
Vander Tuuk 1-6-20

(Mettawa, IL) Three people have been arrested after they allegedly burglarized a Mettawa business. The trio was said to force entry into the Costco store just before 2:30 on Saturday morning, and stealing jewelry. Lake County Sheriff’s officials set up a perimeter, and called in Gurnee Police officer Dan Ruth and K-9 Bear…who tracked the alleged burglars to a concrete wall near I-94. The suspects have been identified as 24-year-old Joseph Page of Waukegan, 37-year-old Cortez Morrow of Chicago and 26-year-old Clarence Blanchard of Chicago. All three face charges of burglary, criminal damage to property and possession of burglary tools.

Waukegan Police Cleared of Wrongdoing During “In Custody” Death
Vander Tuuk 1-6-20

(Waukegan, IL) Police officers in Waukegan have been cleared of wrongdoing in the death of a suspect who died while in their custody. Avion Cotton was arrested after a foot pursuit back in June. During the arrest, Cotton was said to ingest two bags of fentanyl laced cocaine, despite pleas from officers. The 31-year-old died, and an autopsy showed the swallowed drugs led to a fatal overdose. Lake County State’s Attorney Mike Nerheim looked at Illinois State Police findings, and body cams from the officers in clearing them of wrongdoing.

After Successful Debut, Pritzker Has Work on Taxes, Ethics
Associated Press 1-6-20

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) Gov. J.B. Pritzker enjoyed a successful legislative sessions in 2019, winning approval for virtually his entire campaign platform. But work continues in 2020. The Democrat will try to persuade voters to approve a change in the state Constitution allowing a progressive income tax whose rate increases with affluence. Scandals involving sitting legislators and ongoing federal investigations will likely prompt ethics reforms when the Legislature convenes in late January. And the quest to relieve pressure of public pensions and local property taxes is never far from the Springfield agenda. The state continues to have the 2nd worst financial outlook in the country, and the highest population exodus over the last decade.

More Illinois Seniors Eligible for State Benefits in 2020
Associated Press 1-6-20

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) More Illinois seniors will qualify for state benefits such as discounted license plates in 2020. The Illinois Department of Aging says it’s using new, higher income limits to determine eligibility for the state’s Benefit Access Program as of Jan. 1. The program includes discounts on license plates, the Seniors Ride Free Benefit and the Persons with Disability Free Transit Ride Benefit. Under the new guidelines, single-person households will qualify if they earn less than $33,562 in annual income. That’s up from $27,610 last year.

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