The 217 Today Podcast

217 Today: Tuesday December 22, 2020

 
 In some Midwestern states like Iowa and Missouri, this was the first year of legal hemp production.

In some Midwestern states like Iowa and Missouri, this was the first year of legal hemp production. Provided by American Hemp Research

Today's headlines: 

  • llinois lawmakers have not officially met for a full legislative session day since late May —more than 200 days ago. Now there's a renewed push for the legislature to meet remotely.

  • The state of Illinois reported nearly 4,700 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday and 98 additional deaths from the disease. The number of new cases is the fewest in one day since late October.

  • Some medical staffers in Illinois have received the first doses of the COVID vaccine, but a hospital administrator in Central Illinois says he’s worried the vaccine's arrival will cause some to get lax about COVID safety.

  • The University of Illinois formally introduced Bret Bielema as its new football coach Monday, and the Illinois native is focusing on keeping the state's best high school players here for college.

In today's deep dive, for many Midwestern states, this was the first year of legal hemp production. And Illinois Newsroom's Dana Cronin reports that while challenges persist, many remain hopeful for the crop’s future. 

217 Today is produced by Olivia Butts. Reporting today contributed by Hannah Meisel, Eric Stock, and Dana Cronin.