News Around Illinois - February 4, 2020

 
Reginald Hardwick/Illinois Newsroom

Champaign Central High School Closed Tuesday

CHAMPAIGN - Champaign Unit 4 Schools tweeted Monday night that there will be no classes at Central High School for students on Tuesday, February 4. Repair to a water leak continues to affect the building's heating. Staff members are expected to report to work. They will work in the heated part of the building according to the district. - Reginald Hardwick, Illinois Newsroom

Flash Index: State Economy Dipped In January

URBANA - The Illinois economy dipped slightly in the new year. That’s according to the University of Illinois Flash Index, which is calculated every month and is based on receipts for individual and corporate income, in addition to retail sales taxes. The index fell to 105.4, down from 105.6 the previous month. Fred Giertz is an economist at the U of I and compiles the index. He says despite the slight dip, the Illinois economy is still in good shape. “Illinois’ unemployment rate fell to 3.7%, the lowest in over half a century," said Giertz. "It’s very close now to the national average.” Historically speaking, Giertz says economic growth has steadily increased in Illinois since the 2008 recession. - Dana Cronin, Illinois Newsroom

Pro-Gun Groups Sue Illinois State Police

SPRINGFIELD - A pair of gun-rights groups have sued the Illinois State Police for taking too long in handling gun licenses. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of two men who have been trying since 20-17 to restore their Firearm Owner’s Identification cards and Concealed Carry Licenses. Attorney David Sigale says the State Police are effectively denying the men’s Constitutional rights by sitting on their applications. One of the men lost his licenses when he moved out of state but has not been able to get them restored despite moving back. The other man’s licenses were taken away after he was arrested for domestic battery. Since then the charges were dropped and the arrest was expunged. Meanwhile, the Illinois State Police says last year, 90 percent of applicants saw their paperwork processed in less than a month. - Michael Smith, NPR Illinois

Illinois Mistakenly Cancels Ex-Inmates' Voter Registrations

CHICAGO — Illinois election officials say they may have mistakenly canceled the voter registrations of 774 former inmates. The State Board of Elections on Monday blamed a “data-matching error” with the Department of Corrections. In Illinois, the voting rights of inmates convicted of crimes are suspended during incarceration but restored upon release. The error involves people who'd completed their sentences and been discharged. Officials say the records were included in roughly 126,000 shared between 2014 and 2019. Local election authorities have details so the registrations can be reviewed for reinstatement by Thursday, when early voting starts for Illinois' March 17 primary.  - Associated Press

IEPA Opens Internships In Engineering, Science And Law

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has developed a 12-week, paid internship program for students in technical fields who want to see regulatory work in the field. Agency Director John Kim says the Engineering, Science and Law Internship Program is open to college juniors and seniors and those pursuing graduate studies in engineering, chemistry, natural science and other science disciplines and law. There are internships available in four IEPA areas: six in engineering and two each in chemistry and related fields, natural sciences and the legal department. - Associated Press

Story source: Illinois Newsroom