217 Today: Monday October 12, 2020

 
Samuel Gomez sits at the hotel where he and 100 or so other migrant farmworkers are living.

Samuel Gomez sits at the hotel where he and 100 or so other migrant farmworkers are living.

Dana Cronin/Illinois Newsroom

Monday October 12, 2020

Today's headlines:

  • Ameren customers who want to put solar panels on their homes might be out of time to take advantage of a program that pays customers for unused solar power.

  • Farmers are more optimistic now than they have been since the pandemic started.That’s according to the Ag Barometer, a monthly survey put out by researchers at Purdue University and CME Group.

  • Students and employees of school districts in Piatt County now have access to free rapid COVID-19 testing through Kirby Medical Center—a rural hospital in Monticello.

  • Illinois’ daily COVID-19 cases have increased by 20% in the last three weeks after a slight plateau in September. On Saturday (10/10), the statewide seven-day positivity rate rose to 4% for the first time in a month.

In today's deeper dive, millions of farmworkers throughout the U.S. work every year to plant crops, harvest them, and do everything in between. Among them are migratory workers, who leave their homes for months at a time to take on what’s often a risky job. Dana Cronin and Christine Herman have that story.

217 Today is produced by Olivia Butts and hosted by Brian Moline. Reporting today contributed by Hannah Meisel, Dana Cronin, Lee Gaines, and Christine Herman.