News Local/State

News Around Illinois - March 10, 2020


Reginald Hardwick/Illinois Newsroom

Lawmakers Pushing For Privacy Protections From Smart Speakers

SPRINGFIELD - A pair of Illinois lawmakers want privacy protections for data from smart appliances and virtual home assistants. State Rep. Ann Williams (D-Chicago) says the information collected by those devices deserves the same protection as everything else in a home.  The legislation would require police to get a warrant before they could get information from devices like Alexa from Amazon or Siri from Apple. It would also require companies that share with third parties the data from those devices to disclose it on their websites. - Brian Mackey, Illinois Public Radio

Grant Proposals Sought To Help With Shortage of Special Needs Educators

URBANA - The Illinois State Board of Education is calling for grant proposals to help school districts across the state grapple with a shortage of special education teachers and school psychologists. The grant totals $7.5 million dollars in federal aid. Barbara Moore is the director of special education for ISBE. Moore says whoever receives the grant will be expected to help schools create individualized plans for students with special needs which she says should help prevent the use of seclusion and restraint of students. Moore says grant recipients will be expected to conduct workshops and webinars on behavioral assessments and interventions. Statewide there are nearly 700 unfilled special education teaching positions, and almost 150 unfilled psychologist positions, according to ISBE. - Lee Gaines, Illinois Newsroom

Pritzker Issues Disaster Declaration To Fight COVID-19

SPRINGFIELD — Gov. J.B. Pritzker has announced four new cases of COVID-19 in Illinois and issued a disaster proclamation that will help the state respond to the potentially deadly virus. Chicago Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said Monday that two of the new cases involve relatives of a patient diagnosed with the flu-like malady last week. The other two involve a woman who traveled to Illinois from California and a woman who recently returned from an Egyptian cruise. - Associated Press

Fourth Chicago Convention Canceled Due To Coronavirus Worry

CHICAGO — Fears of coronavirus transmission has prompted the cancellation of another event planned this month for Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center. The American College of Cardiology on Monday cancelled its annual World Congress of Cardiology, which was expected to attract 18,000 people March 28 through March 30. The organization said the decision followed updates and recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization. Last week the International Housewares Association among other groups scrapped events scheduled for Chicago, causing the loss of about 100,000 visitors to the city. - Associated Press

Nobel-winning Physics Professor Donates Papers To Illinois

CHAMPAIGN — A Nobel Prize-winning physics professor has donated papers from more than 50 years of work to the University of Illinois Archives. Anthony Leggett was awarded the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physics for contributions to the theory of superconductors and superfluids. He came to the university in 1983 as a physics professor. The donated material includes Leggett's early correspondence, research and lectures, along with handwritten research notes and correspondence with other scholars. Leggett was born in London in 1938. He retired from the University of Illinois in December. - Associated Press