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    Eligible residents in Illinois are set to receive up to $700 in tax rebates as soon as this week as part of the state's family relief plan that aims to provide financial support amid increased living costs in the state. The tax rebates are part of the new Illinois Family Relief Plan, which was introduced as part of a proposed bill by state Sen. Meg Loughran Cappel. The plan allocates millions of dollars to go to residents who filed their taxes in 2021, with payments beginning to go out in the next few days. Those who have not filed their taxes have until Oct. 17 to be eligible for the relief payments. STIMULUS UPDATE: DIRECT, ONE-TIME INFLATION RELIEF CHECKS WORTH $1,050 TO BE SENT OUT NEXT MONTH “From pandemic losses to the increased cost-of-living, families across the state are facing financial distress,” Cappel said in a statement. “As a General Assembly, we recognized the daily struggles of hardworking people and passed a comprehensive plan to provide them with much-needed relief to help them get back on...
    AMERICAN families are about to receive relief payments worth up to $300. The Illinois Family Relief Plan is a program offering relief to struggling residents. 1Illinois residents will soon receive reliefCredit: Getty Images - Getty In April 2022, Governor J.B. Pritzker's Illinois Family Relief Plan was approved. Included in this plan are both one-time individual income tax and property tax rebates to be issued to those who meet certain criteria. In order for residents to be eligible for the checks, they must have paid Illinois property taxes in 2021 on their primary residence. Those who filled out the 2021 IL-1040 tax form will receive their rebates automatically. READ MORE STIMULUS STORIESTAKE NOTE Exact date new direct payments wrth up to $600 will start going out this monthHELPING HAND 4 direct payments and relief checks worth up to $1,500 going out in September Illinois residents who haven't filed individual income tax returns or completed the form can still claim their rebate by filling out the form online. Single tax filers will collect $50 while joint filers will get $100. In order for single taxpayers to score...
    “I just wish that people would understand we’re not targeting children,” Sac continued. “There are children tickets available for those families who wish to bring their children and for the families who decide that’s OK for their family setting.” In response to the furor, Lake in the Hills police Chief Mary Frake warned anyone planning to disrupt the event. “The safety and Constitutional rights of everyone who choose to participate, in whatever capacity, is our priority," Frake said. "However, under no circumstances will we tolerate a disruption of this event or any activity that disrupts the peace. Individuals who plan on attending, in support or opposition, with plans to engage in acts of violence or criminal activity will be met with police response," she added. The drag show is scheduled for Saturday, July 23. Here's a local news video of the bakery owner: Suburban bakery owner says upcoming drag show draw community's ire www.youtube.com
    AURORA, Ill. (WLS) -- More than 150 Black fraternity and sorority members are using Juneteenth to do some good in Aurora, and it comes at a desperate time for so many people.A line of cars could be seen Friday morning of 1,000 families getting essentials they need as inflation surges nationwide.A celebration and a service: That's the effort underway in Aurora Friday to celebrate Juneteenth.The Aurora Divine 9 Alliance brings together alumni from Black fraternities and sororities to partner with the Northern Illinois Food Bank.RELATED: Juneteenth 2022: Celebrate holiday this weekend with Chicago Black-owned businesses"Our families who are struggling have been on a horrific rollercoaster ride. Now we have inflation," NI Food bank President Julie Yurko said.The Northern Illinois Food Bank is currently serving over 440,000 people in the suburbs of Chicago.On Friday, more families are getting different fruits, proteins and other essentials."Cost of groceries, gas, everything has gone up -- a lot of people can't afford a lot of groceries," one person in line said.Every little bit helps at a time like this. That's why some people got in...
    CHICAGO (WLS) -- Coming off the holiday weekend, you may have summer vacations on your mind.And with travel costs way up, perhaps a one-tank road trip is your best bet.SEE ALSO | Our Chicago: Summer travel outlook and tips for trouble-free journeyThe Illinois Office of Tourism said you don't have to go far to feel like you are getting away.Marla Cichowski with the Illinois Office of Tourism joined ABC7 to discuss Illinois vacations.She provided her thoughts on whether Illinois tourism has picked back up to pre-pandemic levels. Cichowski talked about what kind of outdoor adventures are available in Illinois.RELATED | United Airlines cancels couple's flight, then charges $4K more for comparable seatsCichowski discussed the Galena area, which is about three hours from Chicago. She said it can be very budget-friendly and talked about the activities available there.She also talked about where history buffs should travel to and quick trips with young kids.
    CHICAGO (WLS) -- If you are having trouble paying your utility bills, there is help available for Illinois residents.Gov. JB Pritzker and state officials are encouraging low-income families to apply for assistance to pay their natural gas, propane and electric services through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).Households in danger of having their utilities shut off should visit www.helpillinoisfamilies.com to apply, or call the hotline for real-time assistance in over 30 languages at 1-833-711-0374. Interested residents are encouraged to apply by May 31, 2022.More than $150 million in benefits is available for those who qualify. The state said more than 230,000 Illinois households have received utility assistance since the LIHEAP was launched in 2021.Additional information on Illinois' Low-Income Home Energy Assistance ProgramThe State of Illinois offers various programs to support eligible low-income families with utility assistance. These programs are open to ALL eligible low-income Illinois families who meet the criteria, including undocumented families. While the amount of support varies based on the needs of individual families, this year's LIHEAP recipients have received an average of $930 per household. Through...
    CHICAGO (CBS) — They were supposed to be protected by the Department of Children and Family Services, but instead, two children from downstate Illinois have died in the last month. As CBS 2’s Chris Tye reported Tuesday, it is all raising new questions about the department’s ability to protect Illinois’ most vulnerable. READ MORE: New Report Reveals How Much More Likely Black People Are To Be Stopped And Subjected To Force By Chicago PoliceIn both cases, the state was flagged that the children – one from Bloomington and one from Lincoln near Springfield – were victims of possible abuse. They both became families visited by DCFS. In both cases, the children are gone – and one parent is behind bars. Child advocates say the list of kids dying on DCFS radar is getting alarmingly long. “A growing list of children that includes Damari Perry, AJ Freund, Semaj Crosby, Ta’Naja Barnes, Rica Rountree, Kerri Rutherford, and so many others – just in recent years – and now we have two more dead children,” said Cook County Public Guardian Charles Golbert. These...
    CHICAGO (CBS) — A plane carrying five people – including a retired Illinois schoolteacher – went down in Panama earlier this month. Amazingly, three people were found alive afterward. But the teacher and another educator were still missing more than a week later Friday. READ MORE: Some Doctors At Chicago Are Hospitals Are Optimistic About What Look Like Downward COVID-19 TrendlinesCBS 2’s Charlie De Mar spoke with their families as each day brings more anxiety. The two missing women’s families both say they feel lost in the sea of bureaucracy, and the son of one of the women is calling on the U.S. government to pitch in and send some resources – which he said has not happened to this point. The plane went down in the water on Monday, Jan. 3 while flying from Isla Contadora to Punta Chame on the Panamanian mainland, CBS 58 Milwaukee reported. Four people and a pilot were on the plane at the time. They included Anthony and Debra Velleman of Waukesha, Wisconsin near Milwaukee; Sue Borries of downstate Teutopolis, Illinois; and Melisa Zachrich...
    CHICAGO (CBS) — There’s a break available for Illinois working class taxpayers with low to moderate incomes. Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza said they will not have unpaid parking tickets and other fines taken out of their state income tax refunds this year. READ MORE: Mobile COVID Test, Vaccine Clinic Coming To Little Village ThursdayMendoza said families are counting on those refunds to pay bills they’ve been putting off because of the pandemic. Last year, suspending fines helped more than 50,000 families. READ MORE: LIVE UPDATES: Funeral Services For Fallen Chicago Firefighter MaShawn PlummerThe policy defers the fines. it doesn’t eliminate them. Which means they’ll still have to be paid. And cities can hire private companies to collect unpaid fines. MORE NEWS: Doctors See A Rise In COVID Cases Among Preschoolers 
    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- A new water billing assistance program is now available to assist low-income Illinois families experiencing economic hardship.Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity announced the new Low-Income Household Water Assistance program which provides $42 million in shut-off avoidance for residents unable to pay their water and sewer bills.The program, builds on $327 million in emergency assistance launched earlier this year for low-income families facing difficulty with paying their utility bill and other essential household bills.To apply for these programs or water assistance, visit DCEO's website helpillinoisfamilies.com, or contact the hotline service providing real-time assistance in over 30 languages at 1-833-711-0374.
    CHICAGO (CBS) — The families of two Naperville friends killed during the Astroworld stampede in Houston have rejected rapper Travis Scott’s offer to pay for funeral costs. Jake Jurinek and Franco Patino, both 21, were among the 10 people killed as a result of an intense crowd surge during Scott’s performance at the festival on Nov. 5. READ MORE: Jussie Smollett Trial: Lead Detective In Investigation Explains On Witness Stand How Smollett Went From Victim To SuspectAbout 55,000 people attended the festival. (Supplied to CBS 2) Patino and Jurinek met in grade school in Naperville, and both graduated from Neuqua Valley High School; described by friends and educators alike as “big characters” in a life lived with strong friendships. READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Slight Chance For Rain Wednesday Morning, Warmer During DayPatino was a senior at the University of Dayton, where he majored in mechanical engineering technology and minored in human movement biomechanics. Jurinek was a junior at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, studying advertising and journalism. The young men’s families have filed wrongful death lawsuits against rapper Travis...
    After two close friends died in the Astroworld concert tragedy, their families are filing wrongful death lawsuits against Travis Scott, the Live Nation entertainment company, and more. The families of Jacob "Jake" Jurinek, 20, and Franco Patino, 21, both from Naperville, Illinois, are among the latest to file lawsuits as a result of the Nov. 5 Astroworld concert tragedy in Houston, Texas, which killed 10 people and injured hundreds. The lawsuit states that Scott and Live Nation failed to protect the individuals at the concert. ASTROWORLD TRAGEDY: TRAVIS SCOTT, DRAKE, APPLE AND LIVE NATION HIT WITH $750M LAWSUIT Travis Scott performs at Day 1 of the Astroworld Music Festival at NRG Park on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, in Houston. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP) (Amy Harris/Invision/AP) "Defendants egregiously failed in their duty to protect the health, safety, and lives of those in attendance at the concert, including but not limited to the failure to provide adequate security personnel to implement crowd control measures, proper barricades, and the failure to provide a sufficient amount of emergency medical support," the suit states....
    NAPERVILLE, Ill. (AP) — The family of two close friends from suburban Chicago who were killed at the Astroworld concert in Houston this month have filed wrongful death lawsuits against rapper Travis Scott, the Live Nation entertainment company and others. The lawsuits filed by the Naperville families of Jacob “Jake” Jurinek, 20, and Franco Patino, 21, are part of a flood of dozens of suits against Scott and the companies behind the Nov. 5 event in which 10 people were killed and hundreds were injured when a crowd surge pushed concert-goers forward, crushing and trampling many of them. As with many of the other lawsuits, this one puts the blame on the companies and Scott, an organizer of the concert who was on stage when the deadly scene unfolded, for failing to take even the most basic safety precautions. “Defendants egregiously failed in their duty to protect the health, safety, and lives of those in attendance at the concert, including but not limited to the failure to provide adequate security personnel to implement crowd control measures, proper...
    A New Jersey mother was talking to her daughter on the phone when she overheard the tractor-trailer crash that ended her and her boyfriend's lives in Illinois over the summer, a new lawsuit alleges. Point Pleasant high school sweethearts Marsada "Sadi" Connors, 20, and Cole Young, 19 — along with their yellow lab, Maezy — died when a tractor trailer veered into oncoming traffic and hit their 2008 Honda Odyssey on Route 70 in Illinois on Friday, Aug. 20. Connors' mom Kimberly Kohler says she heard her daughter scream before the trailer hit the van and the line cut out, NJ.com reports. A Cook County, Illinois lawsuit has been filed against the truck driver, 55-year-old Bill Lard of Los Angeles, as well as the trucking company, CRST Expedited, on behalf of Kohler and Young’s mother, Christine Kurzweil, the report says citing court records. The wrongful death lawsuit claims Lard was not adequately trained to drive the vehicle and had been speeding and not paying attention, violating federal regulations. “These families are suffering unbearable pain,” said lawyer Timothy J. Cavanagh, said in...
    Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) wants to test a basic universal income-style program by paying $500 a month to 5,000 low-income families, the Associated Press reported. Lightfoot pitched the idea during her budget address on Monday. The program, which would last a year, would be a part of the city’s proposed $16.7 billion budget. The mayor described the $31.5 million “cash assistance program” as a way to help “hard-hit, low income households in need of additional economic stability.” US President Joe Biden greets Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (L) as he disembarks from Air Force One upon arrival at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, July 7, 2021, as he travels to promote his economic plans in Illinois. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images) “The idea has been discussed before in Chicago, including earlier this year by city aldermen. Similar pilot efforts, called universal basic income, have been tested elsewhere including in California and New York,” according to the report. Between 18 percent and 20 percent of Chicagoans live in poverty, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates. However, other government financial assistance in the...
    CHICAGO (CBS) — We haven’t heard about COVID outbreaks in awhile. But last month the state deemed six state run facilities for the developmentally disabled in “outbreak” status. Some families said it’s left loved ones without needed care. READ MORE: Chicago Park District Inspector General Elaine Little Resigns Amid Probe Into Sexual Harassment, Abuse Among Lifeguards CBS 2’s Chris Tye reports on a story you’ll see only on 2. They were some of the facilities first ravaged by COVID. Cases so overwhelming, the National Guard was called in. The word “outbreak” is back in the vocabulary at these facilities, even though there’s no sign of an uptick in cases. So, what’s going on? In March of last year Paul Bogue, with autism, asthma and heart problems, became one of Illinois’ first COVID patients. He contracted it living at the state-run Shapiro Developmental Center in Kankakee. Where, as of today, 667 residents and staff have contracted COVID since the pandemic began 18 months ago. Paul healed. Earlier this year he was moved here to the state-run Kiley Developmental Center in Waukegan....
    CHICAGO (CBS) — Help is on the way for Illinois parents struggling to get back to work because of child care issues. Gov. JB Pritzker and state Department of Human Services Secretary Grace Hou announced Monday that starting Oct. 1, those actively seeking work will be eligible for three months of free aid from the Child Care Assistance Program. READ MORE: Plainfield Boil Order Lifted Days After E. Coli Was Found In Water System In addition, staff at child care centers will be eligible to receive a bonus, up to $1,000. The bonuses will be followed by two more rounds of child care restoration grants, and another phase of grants in 2022 – with $300 million to be made available to providers statewide. READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Storm Threat Tuesday Afternoon Earlier this year, the governor also announced Child Care Assistance Program co-pays would decrease for 80 percent of families who participate, with some families whose income is below the federal poverty line having seen their co-pays cut to $1. Pritzker’s office said the state has invested more than $70...
    CHICAGO (WLS) -- Against a backdrop of 90 dead Illinois soldiers during the Afghanistan War, veterans and relatives of those who lost their lives struggle with the controversial American exodus.Earlier this week, the sad and solemn journey for Marine Corporal Humberto Sanchez ended. He became the last of 182 service members from Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin to lose their lives during the war in Afghanistan.Sanchez, 22, was in the group of 13 who died when a suicide bomber struck Kabul's airport as the U.S. was trying to finish its evacuation. The war may be over, but the war of words is not.SEE ALSO | Biden praises Kabul airlift, defends departure from 'forever war' in Afghanistan One day after the last American C-17 cargo plane departed Kabul, President Biden vigorously defended his decision to end the 20 year war and withdraw all U.S. troops ahead of the Aug. 31 deadline."I was not going to extend a forever war. And I was not going to extend a forever exit," Biden said.As President Biden tried to put a button on the war and...
    CHICAGO (CBS) — U.S. senators and representatives from Illinois issued messages of heartbreak and mourning Thursday, after 12 service members were killed and 15 injured in a “complex attack” outside Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. On Thursday, one bomb exploded among crowds waiting at Abbey Gate at the airport, and another explosion struck a nearby hotel, according to the Pentagon. READ MORE: 2 Killed, 1 Injured In Shooting Outside Kankakee County Courthouse; Two Suspects In Custody The Pentagon said a suicide bomber detonated an explosion that tore through a crowd waiting at an entrance to the airport – where thousands of people have gathered every day since the city fell to the Taliban, desperate to board flights out of the country. Another explosion struck a nearby hotel, the Pentagon said. The total death toll stood at 90 people, with 150 more wounded, an Afghan official said. Included in that figure were 12 U.S. service members who were killed and 15 others who were injured. U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) released the following statement after...
    CHICAGO (CBS) — Selling body parts to the highest bidder – it’s a gruesome, unregulated practice we first exposed in 2019. As CBS 2’s Tara Molina has reported, families unknowingly thought they were donating their loved ones’ bodies for medical research – only to find out they were dissected and sold off. READ MORE: Suspect Wanted On Warrants In California, Including One For Murder, Is Shot And Killed By Amtrak Police At Union Station Now, as a result of our reporting – a new Illinois state task force met for the first time today. Their goal is to look at how other states regulate the sale of body parts, and come up with a set of rules and regulations for the industry. In a news release, Illinois state Rep. Dan Brady (R-Normal) reported at the meeting Tuesday, the Non-Transplant Organ Donation Task Force heard emotional testimony from people who had seen loved ones’ body parts sold off. “I appreciate the courage it took for families today to tell us their difficult stories that ranged from dissection procedures they hadn’t been...
    CHICAGO (WLS) -- With the fall of Afghanistan, many are concerned about women and young girls.The Taliban took a new step in their public relations campaign to gain acceptance from the global community Tuesday. They held a news conference and promised a general amnesty for all combatants, especially those that helped the US and its allies in the 20-year war.SEE ALSO | 7 killed as Kabul airport plunges into chaos while Taliban patrols Afghan capital There were bold words from Afghanistan's new rulers, who shuttered women from civil life and prevented the education of young girls 20 years ago. Downstate in Peoria, Illinois' senior elected Democratic leaders expressed skepticism at promises of amnesty."I don't trust the Taliban," said Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois). "So they can offer all they want. I suspect - this is my personal opinion - I suspect that promises they make will certainly change once all US forces have left Afghanistan, and so, they are not exactly known for keeping their word."In the chaos that is Kabul right now, Afghanistan's new leaders say women will be allowed...
    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — At the Illinois State Fair on Sunday, there was a salute to veterans, and to Gold Star families who have lost loved ones in military service. “We are here today to remember those we’ve lost, and to honor the families who carry a hole in their hearts that can never be filled,” said Gov. JB Pritzker. “We may never know what it’s like to stand in your shoes, but I want you to know that the good people of Illinois will always be grateful to you.” READ MORE: Nonprofit Who Is Hussain Chicago Fills Backpacks With School Supplies For CPS Students With those words, Gov. Pritzker, his wife MK, and Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton presented yellow roses to members of Gold Star families. The governor said some service members lost their lives fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, and some died helping others in the face of life-threatening storms – among other challenges. Gov. Pritzker also signed seven bills to help Illinois service members address challenges they face during and after their service. Those bills were: • HB...
    CHICAGO — The city is still offering coronavirus vaccinations for public school students and their families at three sites. All COVID-19 vaccinations are free in Chicago. Everyone 12 and older is eligible to get their shots — and officials have urged people to get vaccinated as the Delta variant is causing another wave, and it’s primarily affecting unvaccinated people. Children have not been immune, with COVID-19 hospitalizations rising among young people, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, head of the Illinois Department of Public Health, said at a Wednesday news conference. “We have clearly witnessed that spread [among youth] this summer throughout Illinois,” Ezike said. CPS is set to begin in-person classes Aug. 30. Chicago Public Schools’ three vaccination sites will each be open one day next week, providing the shots to students and their families. The schedule: Tuesday: Chicago Vocational Career Academy, 2100 E. 87th St. Wednesday: Theodore Roosevelt High School, 3436 W. Wilson Ave. Thursday: Michele Clark High School, 5101 W. Harrison st. The sites are open 9 a.m.-1 p.m. their respective days. Appointments are not required. Students of...
    CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois is expanding rights for LGBTQ+ people, with Gov. JB Pritzker having signed four bills into law on Tuesday. The package of legislation expands infertility treatment coverage for same-sex couples and women over 35, allows those getting married to choose gender-neutral certificates and those already married to update their certificates as such, and repeals an old law criminalizing the transmission of HIV. READ MORE: Chicago Man Robbed By 3 Men, Then Shot And Wounded By 3 Other Men “Today, I’ll sign four new bills into law that advance Illinoisans’ ability to live their fullest lives as their truest selves,” Pritzker said in a news release. “In our continued efforts to shape a safer and more inclusive Illinois, my administration is on a mission to lift up and empower those who too often have been overlooked or forgotten. Today, the State of Illinois is taking another step to advance that mission.” The specific bills include: • HB 3709, which updates the state’s current law on infertility insurance to include LGBTQ+ families and single parents, and also reduces the...
    CHICAGO (WLS) -- Governor JB Pritzker kicked his re-election bid into full gear Tuesday. He spoke with ABC7 Political Reporter Craig Wall in a one-on-one interview about his record and why he wants another term."You know, when I ran for governor four years ago, I wanted to tackle the big challenges facing our state, and of course, put Springfield back on the side of working families," Pritzker said.RELATED: Gov. JB Pritzker announces reelection bid, will seek 2nd termPritzker touted his first term successes, including raising the minimum wage, expanding health care access, and his rebuild Illinois program."My focus is on truly finishing the job of, you know, expanding the on the kitchen table issues that really help people across our state," Pritzker said. Big news: I’m running for re-election. We’ve been through a lot, and I’ve been so proud to see Illinoisans come together during the toughest of times. Im excited to fight for the state I love with @JulianaforLG, and there’s no limit to what we can do going forward. pic.twitter.com/r5UXILlrb3— JB Pritzker (@JBPritzker) July 19, 2021Pritzker formally launched...
    Having a seriously ill child is a challenge many can’t imagine, said state Sen. Laura Fine, D-Glenview, a mother of two. After talking to families of critically ill children and health care professionals who care for them, Fine became convinced of the need for in-home, pediatric palliative care services. Taking action, Fine introduced and sponsored the Pediatric Palliative Care Bill, Senate Bill 2384, which has passed the Illinois General Assembly and is on Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk. The bill provides a pediatric-focused reimbursement structure so that healthcare providers can recommend palliative services to parents and guardians, knowing that the families will not have to incur additional costs. “With this legislation, there is a way to get a federal match (for palliative services). It is not going to be a burden on the state. And it is going to take a burden off of the families,” Fine said. Fine says that palliative care workers are a vital part of the process for families. “They bring the services to your home and they work with every...
    CHICAGO (CBS) — Selling body parts to the highest bidder is a gruesome, unregulated, practice that CBS 2 has exposed for years–and now changes are happening at the state level because of it. Governor JB Pritzker just signed a bill introduced as a result of that work, creating a first step to preventing families from going through what hundreds already have. READ MORE: Keith Cooper, 74, Killed In Attempted Carjacking In Hyde Park CBS 2’s Tara Molina first started talking to Secretary of State Jesse White about the body brokering business back in 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic delayed the work a bit, but now a state task force is at work, thanks to the governor’s signature. White first floated the proposed legislation in June, 2019, saying then: “The legislation that we are are working on in Springfield … is a result of your investigation and your reporting of the infraction of individuals slinging body parts for financial gain.” That was after CBS 2 exposed, through a series of reports spanning months, the gruesome, unregulated practice of black market body brokering....
    CHICAGO (CBS) –As kindergarten through 12th grade districts grapple with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new guidance, major Illinois universities continue their push for vaccinations ahead of the school year. As students prepare to head back to campus, many students and families are concerned about safety on campus, especially at schools in communities where vaccination rates remain low. READ MORE: Smash And Grab Thieves Target Uptown Deli; Owner Says Same Crooks Have Broken In Before As universities across the state prepare to welcome back students, pandemic safety remains a top priority. “We will take every measure to help them be safe and stay safe and feel safe,” said Kim Rendfeld, the director of communication for Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. Rendfeld said even though the school is not requiring students get vaccinated before returning, they are strongly encouraged to do so. Even without requiring vaccinations, Rendfeld said the school has had success limiting the spread of the virus, but that policy is not set in stone. “We are going to continue to monitor the situation, and if we...
    President BidenJoe BidenUS imposes air travel restriction to Belarus after arrest of opposition journalist TikTok names longtime Microsoft worker as top US lawyer Biden appeals for unity six months after Capitol riot MORE on Wednesday traveled to a swing district in Illinois to pitch the massive jobs and families plan that Democrats expect to pass through reconciliation. Biden visited McHenry County College in Crystal Lake., Ill., where Democratic Rep. Lauren UnderwoodLauren UnderwoodHollywood goes all in for the For the People Act McAuliffe looms large as Virginia Democrats pick governor nominee For The People Act will empower small donors and increase representation in our democracy MORE (Ill.) faces a tough re-election bid in 2022. Biden’s visit to the Midwest was to build support for the jobs and families plan, which Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: McConnell vows 'hell of a fight' over Biden infrastructure plan | Democrats raise concerns with bipartisan bill Overnight Health Care: White House signals new COVID-19 strategy as delta variant spreads | McConnell urges vaccinations | Maryland says all COVID-19 deaths last month...
    'We're going to reimagine what our economy and our future could be,' President Joe Biden told an audience in the Chicago suburbs. President Joe Biden pitched his proposed investments in families and education at an Illinois community college on Wednesday, telling residents of the swing district that what's good for families is also good for the economy. The president set out for the Chicago suburbs to bolster support for both his bipartisan infrastructure deal and a broader package that he expects will be passed with only Democratic votes. His message is one designed to resonate with suburban parents, college graduates and the working poor — a coalition that was key to Biden's election win last year. "There's a lot of work ahead of us to finish the job, but we're going to get it done," Biden said in a 30-minute speech that he self-deprecatingly suggested was boring but important. "We're going to reimagine what our economy and our future could be." Before the speech, Biden toured a metals lab at...
    CHICAGO, Ill (WLS) -- A visit to a free Chicago Park District splash pad on a hot day is a perfect activity for Shauna Schumer's kids. The nanny, who wasn't able to work during the pandemic, is happy to hear of some financial relief coming her way."I hope it helps a lot of families to just be back on their feet where they need to be or just help pay bills that are past due," she said.Senator Dick Durbin stood with Congresswoman Robin Kelly and Marie Newman, as well as with families and advocates, at Pulaski Park Tuesday to remind parents of a new benefit expected to bring thousands of children out of poverty."Of all the things we do in Washington, here is something real," Durbin said. "Families see real money. Money they can use to pay rent and utilities.""It will start hitting bank accounts July 15 because some Americans have no idea that they will start receiving monthly checks," Kelly added.RELATED: What to know before 1st child tax credit payment hits your accountStarting in mid-July, families will receive up...
    Tewkunzi Green was released from prison 22 years early after murdering Montral Fleming in Peoria in 2007 when Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signed a “commutation of sentencing order.” Fleming’s family says they were not notified of her prison release through the state, but instead through Facebook. Other families have had similar experiences, and Illinois Senate Republicans are asking why. Jaclyn Harris, the mother of two of Fleming’s children, told Breitbart News, “We’ve emailed the governor hundreds of times… and all you get is an automatic response.” Evonne Fleming, Montral’s mother, works in the Peoria County Courthouse. Harris said she discovered Green’s clemency petition in August 2020, through a casual Google search to show a colleague Green’s picture. She then called Evonne to tell her the news. Both women began a campaign encouraging people to write to Gov. Pritzker’s office asking him to deny Green clemency. Harris began to receive online harassment from Green’s friends and family members for doing so. During her trial, Green claimed she stabbed Fleming in self-defense to protect herself and their child. Her clemency petition...
    CHICAGO (CBS) — Some Illinois parents will be getting much-needed relief as they try to get back to work after the COVID-19 pandemic. Gov. JB Pritzker on Tuesday announced the state is expanding financial assistance for families seeking child care. Under expanded assistance program, 80 percent of families will pay less for child care. READ MORE: City Of Chicago Moves From COVID-19 Travel Order To Advisory With No States On Restricted List “We’re ensuring quality child care is accessible for more people – allowing more people to return to work without worry about where their kids will go during the day, and helping Illinois’ child care network rebuild,” Gov. Pritzker said Tuesday. READ MORE: Industrial Fire In Morris Forces Evacuation Under the plan, family payments or co-payments for child care providers will be reduced to $1 per month for families with incomes at or below the federal poverty limit. Family payments will be capped at 7 percent of family income. MORE NEWS: Community Leaders In South Shore Call For End To Violence After Mass Shooting Families with an income that...
    CHICAGO (CBS) — The power of a simple touch – it’s been an impossibility at Illinois nursing homes during a year of pandemic precautions. But now, vaccinated residents can finally get a hug. READ MORE: New Illinois State Rule Says People With Proof Of COVID Vaccination Dont Count Against Capacity Limits; Rule Still Under Review For City Of Chicago CBS 2 Investigator Megan Hickey has been following the restrictions at nursing homes for weeks. She spoke with many families over the last few weeks who were frustrated that even though their loved ones had been vaccinated for weeks or even month, they still couldn’t visit or even hug them. Finally, the state is updating their rules – and families said the updates will be life-changing. Curtis Redmond is in a long-term care facility, His weekend dinners with his big brother Richard stopped abruptly one year ago – no more trips home, no more visits. “They had to stay in their rooms, four walls, and only allowed to walk the halls at given times,” Richard Redmond said....
    CHICAGO (WLS) -- Last March, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker closed schools across the state.Just over a year later, high school students in Chicago are still not back in classrooms while the district is planning for their return on April 19th.The shift to remote learning has been difficult, especially for those without the technology and internet access necessary.Robin Steans, president of Advance Illinois, an independent policy and advocacy organization, said students benefited if they had someone looking over them unless parents were working.WATCH: Our Chicago Part 1EMBED More News Videos Enrollment is significantly down in elementary schools, according to Robin Steans, president of Advance Illinois. "There was an enormous amount of mental health strain, trauma, the number of students who are now reporting mental health, serious mental health issues, is well over 50%," said Steans. "So did our families and did our students have access to those mental health supports and those mental health services?"WATCH: Our Chicago Part 2EMBED More News VideosThe COVID-19 pandemic caused growing mental health concerns and educational inequities, experts said. Dar'tavous Dorsey, associate director of strategic engagement...
    CHICAGO (CBS) — Lower-income taxpayers in Illinois who owe unpaid parking tickets or other fines to the city of Chicago or other local governments won’t have that money taken out of their income tax returns this year, in an effort to give them another measure of relief during the pandemic. In most years, the Illinois State Comptroller’s office withholds unpaid parking tickets, traffic tickets, and other fines and court judgments from state income tax returns, sending the money to municipal governments to pay off taxpayers’ outstanding debts. READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Winter Weather Advisory To Continue For Parts Of Area Comptroller Susana Mendoza said her office will not do so this year in the case of Illinois taxpayers with incomes low enough to qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit. She said the change will affect approximately 41,000 households out of the roughly 1 million across Illinois who qualify for the EITC. To qualify for the EITC, a family of four must earn no more than $56,844 of total income in 2020, and a single taxpayer must earn no more...
    CHICAGO (WLS) -- The families of a million public school K-12 students in Illinois will be getting a very important card in the mail the next few weeks.It will be loaded with money to help with food insecurity brought about by the pandemic.As in-person learning resumes for more CPS students, things are still far from back to normal for many of their families."There are a lot of families struggling right now with kids not having access to meals at school unfortunately there are a lot of kids are going hungry," said Claudia Rodriguez, Greater Chicago Food Depository, Senior Manager of Public Benefits OutreachThe State of Illinois received federal money to offer more relief to more children - one million children.Students will receive the funds through their school districts.Children that qualify for free meals qualify for the Pandemic Electornic Benefit Transfer, or P-EBT.That means students in any school could qualify.In some cases the whole district qualifies, so in more than 200 school districts all students qualify for P-EBT.At CPS, all students are eligible for P-EBT, and will get $450 for the...
    CHICAGO -- Illinois prisons and jails will soon be required to notify families when their incarcerated loved ones die.As part of the sweeping criminal justice overhaul now awaiting Gov. J.B. Pritzker's signature, state correctional facilities must investigate deaths in custody and report them to immediate family members, as well as the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, a state agency that conducts research and analysis.The Reporting Deaths in Custody Act affords a sliver of transparency to families who struggle to get information from the Illinois Department of Corrections, a problem exacerbated by Covid-19. But mothers like Cynthia McDonald wonder why families cannot be informed of loved ones' illnesses while they are still alive.In December, Injustice Watch reported allegations from McDonald and another Illinois mother that the corrections department never contacted them when their incarcerated sons were hospitalized with Covid-19.McDonald's son, Joseph Wilson, died from the virus in April 2020. He was incarcerated at Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill, Illinois. Throughout Wilson's illness, McDonald alleges she received no communication from the corrections department, instead learning of her son's hospitalization from an...
    By EMMA LUBITSCH of Injustice Watch CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois prisons and jails will soon be required to notify families when their incarcerated loved ones die. As part of the sweeping criminal justice overhaul now awaiting Governor J.B. Pritzker’s signature, state correctional facilities must investigate deaths in custody and report them to immediate family members, as well as the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, a state agency that conducts research and analysis. The Reporting Deaths in Custody Act affords a sliver of transparency to families who struggle to get information from the Illinois Department of Corrections, a problem exacerbated by Covid-19. But mothers like Cynthia McDonald wonder why families cannot be informed of loved ones’ illnesses while they are still alive. In December, Injustice Watch reported allegations from McDonald and another Illinois mother that the corrections department never contacted them when their incarcerated sons were hospitalized with Covid-19. ___ The nonprofit news outlet Injustice Watch provided this article to The Associated Press through a collaboration with Institute for Nonprofit News. ___ McDonald’s son, Joseph Wilson, died from the virus in...
    CHICAGO (CBS) — You don’t have to win the lottery, the state still wants to give you free money. Millions of dollars are up for grabs; cash meant help with bills you’re falling behind on. CBS 2 Morning Insider Lauren Victory looks for the catch. Some folks are wired to be very organized. Latonya Goodson is one them. “I’m used to being able to keep up with the finances,” she said. She’s a mother of three, with another on the way, plus: “I go to South Suburban College, and I’m also a school bus driver,” she said. Add in remote learning and multiply by pandemic-related stress, and Goodson got tangled up in overdue utility bills; hundreds of dollars late. “As an adult, you gotta look at yourself and say how did I get here?” she said. Enter Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity deputy director David Wortman and a pot of free money through the “Help Illinois Families” initiative. “Families are receiving an average of $600 per house,” he said. Millions of Illinois residents qualify for the cash. So...
    ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) — Hundreds of people have attended a vigil honoring three people killed in a shooting at a bowling alley in northern Illinois. Three others were also injured in last month’s shooting. Authorities charged 37-year-old Duke Webb in the shootings at Rockford’s Don Carter Lanes. The shooting was believed to be random. “Words I know will never be enough but I certainly and sincerely pray that you find comfort and that you find peace,” Mayor Tom McNamara said to the victims' families during Saturday's vigil, according to T he Rockford Register Star. “Please know that as difficult as these times are for you and your families, you are not alone." Three men were killed in the shooting. Jerome Woodfork of Rockford was retired. The 69-year-old was an avid bowler known for his bright personality. Dennis Steinhoff of Rockford was a Vietnam veteran. The 73-year-old was a longtime basketball referee. Sixty-five-year-old Thomas Furseth of Machesney Park had a long career at the Chrysler plant in Belvidere. Webb's attorney has said her client may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and...
    CHICAGO — Family members and community advocates held a virtual vigil Thursday night for people who have died from COVID-19 while incarcerated within the state prison system. The event was organized was members of the End Illinois Prison Lockdown Coalition, who also called on Governor JB Pritzker to take action to better protect the health of people inside prisons. More than 7,800 coronavirus cases have been confirmed among people imprisoned in Illinois Department of Corrections facilities this year, according to state data. Another 3,435 staff members have also tested positive for COVID-19. IDOC’s data does not disclose the number of people who have died while incarcerated but a recent story from Injustice Watch reported 52 inmates died from coronavirus infection between March 29 and Dec. 8. Fifteen inmates and one corrections officer died in November alone, according to those figures. In an effort to control the spread of COVID-19, Illinois prisons have restricted the movements of inmates and stopped in-person visitation. Advocates say these restrictions confine prisoners to their cells and deprive them from being able to...
    CHICAGO (WLS) -- Food banks have seen demand double since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.The Illinois Department of Employment Security estimated half a million residents could soon lose unemployment benefits if congress does not pass a new federal relief package.Julie Yurko from the Northern Illinois Food Bank said with federal relief set to expire, more families could need help feeding their families.She said SNAP benefits are available, but navigating the process can be confusing.People seeking help can call the food bank's SNAP Hotline at 844-600-SNAP (7627).The food bank also runs several mobile and pop-up markets for families to receive free groceries.
    CHICAGO (CBS) — Some families received hope and warmth for the holidays on Sunday, as the Terrell Bosley Anti-Violence Association held its eighth annual coat giveaway. Bosley was 18 when he was shot and killed during a robbery in 2006 as he unloaded musical equipment outside the Lights of Zion Missionary Bible Church. He was a musician who loved playing gospel music. Today, his parents are keeping his memory alive. Volunteers handed out coats, hats, and face masks to dozens of kids. They also provided hot meals to families. The Bosleys said since losing their son, they are turning their paint into purpose – hoping to curb gun violence in Chicago. Also From CBS Chicago: Buffalo Grove Man At Odds With Village Over Holiday Light Display Former Illinois State Sen. Martin Sandoval, Caught In Federal Corruption Probe, Dies Of COVID-19 COVID In Illinois: Massive Northbrook Hotel Wedding Reception Called Potential ‘Super-Spreader Event’ By Cook Cook County Health Department
    November is Adoption Awareness Month for Illinois as part of a nationwide effort to showcase the benefit of bringing adoptive children and families together. Despite the major changes 2020 is seeing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to put children together with permanent homes is still as urgent as ever. “The type of children that come into care in Illinois and are looking to be adopted come from all walks of life and we also need families from all walks of life," said Jassen Strokosch, chief of staff at the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Strokosch said it’s important for people to remember that loving, adoptive families take on all forms, situations and origins. With more than 1,900 children seeking adoption, Strokosch said that adoptive families of differing dynamics like younger couples to seniors are not uncommon. “There are always more children looking for homes and so while we have lots of loving families to step forward we always need more," he said. “The only thing that we really ask for is that...
    CHICAGO -- Farms can provide produce to a network of over 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries through Disney's commitment to Feeding America.Farmers and hundreds of volunteers manning food banks and processing centers have allowed families to gain access to healthy groceries."When you come to a pantry and they can offer that healthy food, it means a lot to us. If you don't have that fresh food, you can't afford to buy it and that pertains to health risks," said Evetta Mahlum, food recipient and volunteer."Fresh produce is particularly important to the neighbor in need because it's very expensive to purchase. Many of our families are trying to stretch their dollars at the grocery store, so buying a pound of strawberries versus buying a lower cost, less nutritious item, that's a tough decision to make, so having access to fresh produce thanks to the Disney company helps our neighbors lead happier, healthier lives," said Julie Yurko, CEO at Northern Illinois Food Bank.For more information about Feeding America and the Northern Illinois Food Bank, visit www.feedingamerica.org.
    CHICAGO (CBS) — For the 12th day in a row, Illinois is reporting more than 10,000 new cases of COVID-19, as hospitalizations from the coronavirus continue to climb across the state. The Illinois Department of Public health on Tuesday reported 12,601 new confirmed and probable coronavirus cases, as well as 97 additional deaths. The state is now averaging 12,381 new cases per day over the past week, as cases have surged since early October, when Illinois averaged 2,052 new cases per day during the first seven days of the month. Since the start of the pandemic, Illinois has reported a total of 597,849 coronavirus cases, including 10,875 deaths. The statewide seven-day average case positivity rate now stands at 12.5%, down slightly from the 13.2% rate reported on Friday, but still more than triple the case positivity rate of 3.5% at the start of October. As of Monday night, 5,887 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized in Illinois, a new record. The state’s hospitalization numbers have risen every day for more than three weeks, and have been above 5,000 for seven days in a...
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