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COVID-19
“Phase 4” in Illinois. With coronavirus case counts going up in many states, worries are spreading in Illinois. An upsurge in COVID-19 could force the State to retreat from its current “Phase 4” status, which has allowed the resumption of many Illinois activities such as nonessential retail store activity, socially distanced indoor dining, and swimming pool use.
Photo from the National Road Association of Illinois. 
A visitor to Illinois from the east coast has many easy and convenient ways of reaching the Land of Lincoln. Daily flights from points up and down the coast deliver passengers to Illinois airports around the clock. Direct Amtrak service connects Illinois with New England and the Mid-Atlantic states, and seven east-west interstate highways and countless smaller roads bring travelers across Illinois’ eastern border somewhere between Lake Michigan and the state’s southern tip.

Two hundred years ago it was not so easy. Before construction began on one of the nation’s first large-scale public works projects in 1806, the frontier on the far bank of the Wabash was about as hard to reach as the cities on the far shore of the Atlantic.
The deadline to apply for the first round of Business Interruption Grants (BIG) is 5 p.m. today, July 7.

The state is providing $60 million in the first round to businesses experiencing extreme hardship as a result of COVID-19 related closures in the form of $10k and $20k grants. An Additional $210 million is allocated for future rounds.

The first round is open to Bars and Restaurants, Fitness Centers, Barbershops and Salons, and nearly all small businesses in zip codes that experienced property damage from civil unrest. 

The Votes We Didn’t Take in May
by State Representative Grant Wehrli, 41st District

Lawmakers considered a mixed bag of legislation during our four-day session in May. Some measures, like legislation that provides for the automatic rollover of certain property taxpayer exemptions (senior, senior assessment freeze,
William Howard Taft, Warren G. Harding, and Robert Todd Lincoln
at the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial in 1922. 
Standing outside the Temple of Music concert hall at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo in September 1901, the former U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain must have noticed the sudden commotion coming from inside. Soon the news passed through the crowd: President William McKinley had been shot and seriously wounded by a would-be assassin. He died a few days later.

The moment must have brought back a torrent of terrible memories for the retired diplomat. Twenty years earlier, while serving as Secretary of War, he had been at the Baltimore & Potomac Railroad station in Washington with President James A. Garfield when another assassin had struck. Sixteen years before that, he had been hastily summoned from the White House to his dying father’s bedside in the Petersen House across the street from Washington DC’s Ford’s Theater in the wake of America’s first Presidential assassination.

That day in Buffalo was just another tragic turn in the life of Robert Todd Lincoln.
Nearly 25% of people over 65 years of age still need to file their 2019 income taxes, which are due on Wednesday, July 15.

While most Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and AARP Tax-Aide programs, which provided free basic income tax return assistance, have suspended service due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Illinois Department on Aging wants seniors to know that the following options are available at no charge to assist them with their 2019 tax returns:
COVID-19
All Regions of Illinois Move to Phase 4 on June 26. All four Restore Illinois health regions have met the IDPH health benchmarks to advance into Phase 4. Metrics include reductions of positivity rate and hospital admissions and availability of hospital surge capacity.

On a statewide level, Illinois flattened the curve, passed the peak and saw a sustained decline in key metrics since the coronavirus pandemic began. Looking at 7-day rolling averages - which smooth out daily fluctuations and allow trends to emerge - Illinois is seeing marked declines in cases, deaths, case positivity and Covid-related hospitalizations.