News Local/State

News Around Illinois - January 23, 2020


Gov. Pritzker Signs Law Allowing More Young People To Vote

SPRINGFIELD - A new law signed Wednesday will give students two hours out of their school day to go vote in elections. Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker approved the change to give high schoolers of legal age a chance to vote during school hours. Senator Elgie Sims, a Chicago Democrat, says he was motivated to sponsor the change by students who want to participate in the electoral process.  School administrators will still have discretion over which hours students can leave class to vote. - Mike Smith, NPR Illinois

NIU Professor To Study Mental Health In Finland

DEKALB - Northern Illinois University Sociology Professor Fred Markowitz says, in the U.S., it’s difficult to get good information on programs that might prevent jail time for those grappling with mental illness. Markowitz says, to a lesser degree, Finland is dealing with some of the same issues. But the system there is streamlined and centralized. He says that makes it possible to gather data from different places and compare them meaningfully. He’s hoping that will make it possible to come up with answers that can work in both countries. - Guy Stephens, WNIJ News

Teacher Takes Leave Case To State Supreme Court

SPRINGFIELD - Margaret Dynak, a teacher in the Wood Dale School District, west of Chicago, had banked 30 days of sick leave before her baby girl was born. But her daughter arrived on the last full day of the school year, so the first chance Dynak had to use those paid sick days didn’t come until school re-opened in the fall. The district said that’s not really sick leave. The Illinois Education Association — the state’s largest teachers union is pleading Dynak’s case before the state’s highest court. Dynak ended up taking the time off without pay. The school district says she can use those banked days later, if needed, or cash them out upon retirement. - Dusty Rhodes, NPR Illinois

Intruder Shot During Danville Home Invasion Identified

DANVILLE — Police say an eastern Illinois homeowner shot and killed an intruder during a home invasion. Danville Police Commander Josh Webb says the man told officers that at least two people armed with handguns and wearing ski masks kicked in his door and attempted to rob him Sunday night. Webb says the homeowner had a handgun and shot at the intruders. Officers located a man inside the home suffering from multiple gunshot wounds who later died at an hospital. Vermilion County Coroner Jane McFadden has identified the man as 23-year-old Jordan Parrish. The (Champaign) News-Gazette reports the homeowner told police that at least one other intruder fled the scene. - Associated Press

Coroner: Juice WRLD Died Of Accidental Drug Overdose

CHICAGO — The Cook County Medical Examiner's office has determined that last month's death of rapper Juice WRLD was the result of an accidental overdose of the opioid oxycodone and codeine. The rapper whose given name was Jarad Anthony Higgins went into convulsions at Midway International Airport on Dec. 8 while federal authorities searched a private plane he had been on after flying from Los Angeles to Chicago. A search of the plane revealed 41 bags of suspected marijuana, bottles of liquid codeine, guns and ammunition. Juice WRLD, who grew up in the Chicago suburb of Homewood, was gaining a national reputation as a musician. - Associated Press

Illinois Prosecutors Make Plan For Their 1st R. Kelly Trial

CHICAGO — Illinois state prosecutors say the first of the four Chicago sexual abuse cases against R. Kelly that they'll take to trial involves a hairdresser who alleges that Kelly tried to force himself on her during a 2003 appointment. Cook County prosecutors told the judge their plan during a hearing Wednesday that Kelly didn't attend. Cook County Judge Lawrence Flood scheduled that first trial to begin on Sept. 14, but it's possible it could be delayed. Kelly, who has been jailed since last year, also faces state charges in Minnesota and federal charges in Illinois and New York. - Associated Press