News Local/State

News Around Illinois - February 26, 2020


Reginald Hardwick/Illinois Newsroom

Special House Committee Challenges Newcomer

SPRINGFIELD - On Tuesday, the Illinois House formally began investigating the appointment process used to replace former State Rep. Luis Arroyo. The Chicago Democrat resigned from office last fall after he was arrested for allegedly attempting to bribe a state senator. But two lawmakers are challenging the qualifications of his replacement, State Rep. Eva Dina Delgado (D-Chicago). They say Arroyo participated in her selection. State Rep. Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) is on the special House committee that’s hearing the challenge. “We are not interested in personal attacks," said Bourne. "We are not even interested on whether or not the committee chose the right person in the appointment process. Our focus in this committee should be on whether or not the appointment process was fair and whether or not the selection process was proper.” The committee will allow lawyers for Delgado and her challengers to present their cases starting next month. In a statement, Delgado says the challenges against her are “purely political.” - Sam Dunklau, NPR Illinois

Police: Opioid Overdoses Down, Meth Use Up

SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois State Police says opioid overdoses are declining. But they’re also reporting an uptick in the use of methamphetamines. In the past, meth was homemade, so the state restricted access to some of the ingredients, like sudafed. But now drug cartels are smuggling the drug into the US. State Police Major Troy Phillips says his task force has seen a significant increase in the amount of meth on the streets. Phillips also says price is driving people toward methamphetamine, which is cheaper than heroin. Although opioid overdoses are declining overall, they’re on the rise in black and Latino communities. - Olivia Mitchell, NPR Illinois

Fewer Bald Eagles Spending Time Along Mississippi River Near Quad Cities

QUAD CITIES - During this year's mid-winter bald eagle count, wildlife biologist and consultant, Kelly McKay, counted 912 between Clinton, Iowa and Keithsburg, Illinois. It's the fourth lowest count in the last 20 years for that 80 mile section of the river. From 2000-2009, McKay says the number of bald eagles he counted in the same area averaged nearly 2,500 per year. McKay also says the problem may be due to a dwindling supply of food. Bald eagles mainly eat a fish called gizzard shad. Eagles didn't roost in large numbers along the Mississippi this year because of a lack of ice on the river. That may have contributed to the lack of gizzard shad, too. - Michelle O'Neill, WVIK News

Sheriffs: Illinois Halts Transfer Of Some Facing Deportation

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Sheriffs Association says some violent felons who had faced deportation are instead being released into local communities after their prison terms end as a result of a policy change by Gov. J.B. Pritzker's administration. The sheriffs said Tuesday they object to ending the Department of Corrections' practice of allowing Kankakee County authorities to pick up released immigrants for possible deportation. Pritzker spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh says it violates the 2017 Trust Act which bars Illinois police agencies from detaining anyone based on immigration status alone. She says Pritzker is trying to counter President Donald Trump's "attacks on immigrant communities." - Associated Press