Unemployment up again, Illinois receives 178K initial claims

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois continued to share in the nation’s economic pain wrought by COVID-19 with 178,421 unemployment claims filed last week. The 56% jump, from 114,114 a week earlier, was part of a record 6.65 million first-time claims submitted nationally. The malicious spread of the potentially deadly coronavirus is the main factor in…Read more…

Democrats delay nominating convention until week of Aug. 17

The Democratic National Committee is delaying its convention until the week of Aug. 17. The move comes after prospective nominee Joe Biden said he didn’t think it was possible to hold a normal convention in July because of the coronavirus. The viral pandemic is forcing Democrats and Republicans to take a close look at their…Read more…

The Latest: Dairy plants dumping unused milk as demand dries

WEST BEND, Wis. (AP) — Many dairy processing plants across Wisconsin have more product than they can handle and that’s forced farmers to begin dumping their milk down the drain. That’s the case at Golden E Dairy near West Bend. Farmer Ryan Elbe told WISN-TV they are dumping about about 30,000 gallons (113,562 litres) a…Read more…

A record 6.6 million seek US jobless aid as layoffs mount

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, far exceeding a record high set just last week, a sign that layoffs are accelerating in the midst of the coronavirus. The job cuts are mounting against the backdrop of economies in the United States and abroad that have almost certainly…Read more…

Health chief: ‘Be strong and courageous’ in facing COVID-19

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The state public health director has issued a somber warning that Illinois residents can expect mounting numbers of illness and death in the new month from the vicious spread of the coronavirus. The 6,980 cases of COVID-19 reported Wednesday by Dr. Ngoze Ezike are double the state’s total just last Saturday.…Read more…

Residents snitch on businesses, neighbors amid shutdowns

OAK PARK, Illinois (AP) — Residents are snitching on businesses and neighbors as authorities worldwide work to enforce business shutdowns and stay-at-home orders meant to limit person-to-person contact amid the coronavirus pandemic. They’re phoning police and municipal hotlines, complaining to elected officials and shaming scofflaws on social media. And police are issuing citations and sometimes…Read more…

City of Centralia confirms city-wide cleanup for next week

CENTRALIA — The City of Centralia has announced this year’s spring city-wide cleanup event is scheduled for Monday through Friday, April 10. The curbside pickup service is provided by the City of Centralia Public Works Department. Participation is limited to single-family residences, townhomes, condominiums and apartments that do not exceed four units per building. All…Read more…

Corps: Some levees damaged in 2019 still vulnerable

O’FALLON, Mo. (AP) — With flood concerns already high in the Midwest, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is warning that many levees on the Missouri and Kansas rivers that were damaged during last year’s devastating floods remain vulnerable to high water. The National Weather Service has said Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri and eastern…Read more…

Chicago cops restrict access to 4 blocks to bar drug trade

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago police have started checking the identities of people attempting to enter four blocks on the city’s West Side to discourage gatherings of gang members. Under the order, only people who live on the blocks being targeted would be able to enter them. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Tuesday the order was…Read more…

Illinois governor extends stay-at-home order to April 30

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois’ governor has extended his statewide stay-at-home order for three weeks as the nation struggles to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday set a new deadline of April 30 for keeping people inside except for essential needs and jobs. So far, the state has reported nearly…Read more…

Fraternity suspended for violating in-person activities ban

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Southern Illinois University has suspended the Delta Chi fraternity for violating the chancellor’s order banning in-person activities to slow the spread of COVID-19. Carbondale police over the past weekend responded to a house party hosted by Delta Chi which violated an administrative directive issued March 27 by interim Chancellor John Dunn…Read more…

CPD arrests two in connection with arson, burglary of Centralia home

CENTRALIA — Centralia police have arrested two men in connection with a fire last week that destroyed a rental home. According to Centralia Police Chief Greg Dodson, 26-year-old Nicholas D. Fletcher, of St. Louis, and 27-year-old Justin A. Pitt, of Beckemer were arrested and charged with residential burglary and arson. Pitt was also charged with…Read more…

Democratic lawmakers call for racial data in virus testing

Democratic lawmakers are calling out an apparent lack of racial data that they say is needed to monitor and address disparities in the national response to the coronavirus outbreak. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Ayanna Pressley say in a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar dated Friday that comprehensive demographic data…Read more…

SIU president can reimburse students for some costs

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Southern Illinois University’s trustees have given the school’s president the authority to reimburse students for some costs as instruction has moved online due to the coronavirus outbreak. The board of trustees met Monday in Carbondale to vote the authority to Southern Illinois President Daniel Mahony. The board did not specify how…Read more…