The 217 Today Podcast

217 Today: Thursday May 27, 2021

Western Illinois University's campus in the Quad Cities.

Western Illinois University's campus in the Quad Cities. Western Illinois University

Thursday May 27, 2021

Today’s headlines:

  • An estimated 2,000 friends, family, and police officers filled a church in Decatur Wednesday for the funeral of Champaign Police Officer Chris Oberheim who was killed last week while answering a domestic disturbance call. While the funeral was private, the public was encouraged to come out and view the procession that followed.

  • Governor JB Pritzker claims that in order for the state budget avoid suffering painful reductions in spending, the General Assembly should cut nearly $1 billion in corporate tax loopholes. But one of those tax incentives on the chopping block is a tax credit for Illinoisans who donate to organizations that award non-public school student scholarships.

  • Federal prosecutors are alleging former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s chief of staff lied to a grand jury.

  • Champaign County public health officials reported 32 new COVID-19 cases today Wednesday. The number of active cases fell slightly from Tuesday to 216, but the number of county residents hospitalized with COVID-19 jumped from four to 14. 

  • Nearly 87,000 Champaign County residents are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Health officials say that’s more than 47% of the vaccine-eligible population and 41% of the county’s total population.

In today's deep dive, Western Illinois University's new riverfront campus in Moline was supposed to allow Western to grow in the Quad Cities, but instead, enrollment has shrunk. This has led to criticism from some leaders in the Quad Cities about the university's direction.

Reporting today contributed by Jim Meadows, Derek Cantu, Tony Arnold, Herb Trix, and Rich Egger.