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Waukegan Homicide and Arrest
Vander Tuuk 2-18-21

(Waukegan, IL) Police in Waukegan have announced an arrest in a Valentine Day homicide. On February 14th, officials were dispatched to the 500 block of Lakehurst Road, when a man called to report that his ex-wife was unresponsive. Rescue personnel found the woman, identified as Meztli Galindo, inside of a vehicle at the scene and pronounced her dead. Lake County Coroner’s officials say the 29-year-old died of sharp force injuries. The ex-husband, identified as Jose Alvarado-Ramirez, was arrested after talking to detectives. The 31-year-old is charged with first-degree murder, and is being held in the Lake County Jail on a 2-million-dollar bond. He’s due back in court on March 9th.

Special Investigation Group 2020 Results Announced
Vander Tuuk 2-18-21

(Waukegan, IL) Despite lockdown orders and the Coronavirus pandemic, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Group announced a record year. Officials say they seized nearly 3-million-dollars worth of illegal drugs in 2020, and took in 55 illegally possessed firearms. The seizures resulted in a total of 350 felony charges. The Special Investigations Group is made up of 15 local and federal agencies, and focuses on seeking out and arresting “high-level drug traffickers while providing assistance to those struggling with substance abuse disorders.” Lake County Sheriff John Idleburg says drug trafficking does nothing but generate violence and destroy lives.

Coronavirus Illinois, Lake County
Vander Tuuk 2-18-21

(Waukegan, IL) Despite a slight uptick in Covid-19 cases, key metrics continue to see declines. The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 124 new confirmed and probable Coronavirus cases on Wednesday, with one related fatality. Covid-linked hospitalizations in the Lake and McHenry County Region fell for the 28th straight day, and ICU capacity fell back by one point to 62%. Test positivity also fell to 4.3% in the Region. Vaccine doses doled out to residents fell dramatically, blamed on this week’s major winter storm, but the number of Lake County residents considered fully vaccinated increased to 2.42%

Pritzker Budget Plan Relies Heavily on Federal Aid
Associated Press/Vander Tuuk 2-18-21

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker presented a slimmer state budget with no income tax increases. But the budget presented officially on Wednesday relies on federal relief from the COVD-19 pandemic, transfers from other funds and elimination of hundreds of millions of dollars of corporate tax breaks that need legislative approval. The $41.6 billion operating budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 is a 4.2% decrease from its predecessor. The proposal, however, is a far cry from the dire predictions doled out last fall by Pritzker and his administration who were campaigning a graduated income tax. Republicans say the budget takes funds from local governments to patch a budget hole the Pritzker administration created. They also claim the Governor is pushing more problems on small business owners, who are already suffering under his ongoing Coronavirus restrictions.