Keep the mask: A vaccine won’t end the US crisis right away

NEW YORK (AP) — Don’t even think of throwing away the mask anytime soon. Despite the expected arrival of COVID-19 vaccines in just a few weeks, it could take several months — probably well into 2021 — before things get back to something close to normal in the United States. Many challenges lie ahead —…Read more…

Storms possible across South, Midwest on eve of Thanksgiving

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Forecasters say that severe weather — including tornadoes — will be possible across large parts of the South and Midwest just before Thanksgiving. The Storm Prediction Center says damaging winds will be the main threat on Wednesday, but a tornado or two will also be possible across the region. Forecasters say…Read more…

Illinois teen charged in protest slayings posts $2M bail

KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) — An Illinois 17-year-old charged with killing two people during a protest in Wisconsin has posted bail and been released from custody. Kyle Rittenhouse posted a $2 million cash bond in Kenosha on Friday. Prosecutors accuse Rittenhouse of fatally shooting two people and wounding a third during an Aug. 25 protest against…Read more…

Central Illinois man gets probation for threatening lawmaker

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A central Illinois man who pleaded guilty to making a threat against U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis has been sentenced to two years probation and ordered to undergo mental health counseling. The federal judge who sentenced 65-year-old Randall Tarr on Friday also ordered the Rochester man to pay a $2,000 fine and…Read more…

Illinois man, 81, uses antique walking stick to beat thieves

NILES, Ill. (AP) — An 81-year-old former Marine from suburban Chicago says he was looking for “some type of persuasive weapon” when he used his grandfather’s antique Irish walking stick to chase three burglars from his home. Dan and Barbara Donovan were in the basement of their Niles home on Nov. 4 with a man…Read more…

Teen in Wisconsin protest deaths used pandemic funds for gun

KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) — An Illinois teenager who is charged with shooting three people, including two fatally, during a Wisconsin protest over police brutality, said he used pandemic relief funds to pay for the assault-style rifle that a friend purchased for him. Kyle Rittenhouse spoke to The Washington Post by phone from a juvenile detention…Read more…

14,612 cases of COVID-19, 168 deaths reported in Illinois

CHICAGO (AP) — The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 14,612 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and 168 new deaths. The health department on Thursday reported 621,383 coronavirus cases in Illinois, including 11,178 deaths. The new cases were reported a day before Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s Tier 3 coronavirus mitigation plan takes effect.…Read more…

Irked Illinois governor to Speaker: End ‘political circus’

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois governor says the speaker of the House should answer questions about a bribery scheme in which federal prosecutors have implicated him, or resign. Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Thursday said that Illinois taxpayers “don’t deserve a political circus” after Speaker Michael Madigan’s closest confidante and three others were indicted. Utility…Read more…

4 indicted in scheme to allegedly influence Speaker Madigan

CHICAGO (AP) — Four people, including an associate of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, have been charged with orchestrating a bribery scheme with Commonwealth Edison. The alleged scheme had the utility providing do-nothing jobs to Madigan loyalists in exchange for the speaker’s help with legislation. Charged with bribery and conspiracy was Michael McClain, former ComEd…Read more…

Illinois virus cases double in 7 weeks, deaths pass 11,000

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The number of new coronavirus infections reported in Illinois Wednesday fell below 10,000 for the first time in 13 days, but an Associated Press analysis of data shows the exponential spread of the virus during the past 12 weeks. The review of Illinois Department of Public Health data shows the virus…Read more…

MVPD arrests parolee for beating woman with a bat

JEFFERSON COUNTY — A 47-year-old Mt. Vernon man was charged Wednesday in Jefferson County Court with multiple felonies stemming from an incident last week where he allegedly battered a woman with a baseball bat. According to the Mt. Vernon Police Department, Dontae D. Harris was arrested on charges of aggravated robbery, armed violence and home…Read more…

Dolly Parton adds pandemic hero to list of accomplishments

BOSTON (AP) — Dolly Parton is being celebrated in song with a rewritten version of her own “Jolene” for her contribution to an experimental coronavirus vaccine. Northeastern University associate English professor Ryan Cordell posted a video on Twitter of himself performing a tweaked version of Parton’s signature song. It’s renamed “Vaccine” and has drawn tens…Read more…