Who’s Running In The Illinois 2020 Primary?; Corner Store Safety Concerns And Food Accessibility; Increased Rates Of Skin Cancer In Young Adults

December 03, 2019
 

Eric Allix Rogers/Flickr(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

For many communities, the only place to buy grocery staples like milk, eggs or baby formula is a corner store, but the safety of these stores can be another barrier to food access. Plus, with the filing deadline past, the field of candidates for Illinois' 2020 state and local elections is set, mostly. We check-in with reporters across the state about who’s running and what we can expect in the coming months. And, new research finds that over the past few decades, cases of head and neck skin cancer in young people have risen more than 50%.

Corner Store Safety Concerns And Food Accessibility

For many communities around the country, the only place to buy grocery staples like milk, eggs or baby formula is a corner store, or gas station. This is especially true for more impoverished Illinois communities like Washington Park and East St. Louis. 

And nationwide, about 45% of all retailers authorized to accept SNAP benefits — the government food assistance program — are convenience stores. 

But as Cara Anthony, Midwest Correspondent for Kaiser Health News, recently reported, residents around East St. Louis Illinois are facing another barrier to food access: the safety of these corner stores.

Some residents are making efforts, though to provide access to healthy food in these areas, including some corner store owners. Shantez Rias is co-owner of Chalie’s Convenient Market in Washington Park, Illinois.

Evan Krauss is director of East Side Aligned, a coalition of organizations and partnerships that works to support health initiatives and investment in young people in the East St. Louis area.

Who’s Running In The Illinois 2020 Primary?

Yesterday was the deadline for candidates who want to run in the Illinois primary this March. From political novices making their first run for judge to U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, people lined up to file petitions at the State Board of Elections office in Springfield and county elections authorities across the state.

The final count? 574 candidates, at least for races that file with the state. That includes people running for all 18 of Illinois’ seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, where Democrats will be trying to hold onto the majority they won in 2018.

Two of those Democrats are Lauren Underwood from the 14th district and Sean Casten from the 6th. They flipped their suburban Chicago districts last time around and now they’re both running as incumbents for the first time.

Central Illinois is home to another competitive House race. Republican Rodney Davis is running for a fifth term in Illinois’ 13th Congressional district. And a familiar face is getting ready to face him next fall: Democratic candidate Betsy Dirksen Londrigan.

We spoke with reporters Jim Fuller and Marie Wilson from the Daily Herald. Ryan Denham, a reporter with WGLT in Normal, also joined us.

Increased Rates Of Skin Cancer In Young Adults

When it comes to our taking care of our skin, most of us know we should be avoiding too much time in the sun and cutting down on trips to the tanning bed. But, generally skin cancer is thought to be mostly a problem for older people. According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, the majority of people who develop melanoma are white men over age 55. 

But, cases of head and neck melanoma in young people actually increased more than 50% in less than two decades, according to research from St. Louis University

Dr. Nosa Peters is the co-author of that study from St. Louis University where he is an assistant professor. Dr. Shani Fracis is a dermatologist based in Gurnee. She’s also a spokesperson for The Skin Cancer Foundation.