Quick hits: Illinois news in brief for Tuesday, July 27, 2021 | Illinois

Quick hits: Illinois news in brief for Tuesday, July 27, 2021 | Illinois

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SBA approves state’s request for aid

The state of Illinois has announced the U.S. Small Business Administration has approved the state’s request for assistance to help people and businesses in McLean County recover from the torrential rains that occurred in June.

Over 10 inches of rain fell in some parts of the Central Illinois.

In addition to McLean County, people and businesses in the contiguous counties of Champaign, DeWitt, Ford, Livingston, Logan Piatt, Tazewell and Woodford are also eligible to apply for low-interest, long-term loans from the SBA.

Rockford makes list of dangerous places

An Illinois city made the list for the top 25 most dangerous places, but it wasn’t Chicago.

According to U.S. News and World Report, Rockford is the 11th most dangerous place in the country.

The top five included Memphis, Tennessee at No 1, followed by San Juan, Puerto Rico, Flint, Michigan, St. Louis, Missouri, and Bakersfield, California.

Three more winners picked in vaccine lottery

The third $100,000 drawing as part of the state’s “All in for the Win” vaccine lottery took place Monday.

The three winners were located in Bolingbrook, Champaign County and Vernon Hills.

Illinoisans from those areas should keep their phones on and check their emails regularly to find out if they have won.

Insurance company warns about catalytic converter thefts

Bloomington-based State Farm Insurance is issuing a warning about thefts of catalytic converters from autos.

The company said nationally thefts of the car part have tripled in the last year. A company spokesperson says pandemic-related unemployment may be to blame.

In 2019, State Farm paid over $4 million for catalytic converter theft claims nationally.

Illinois scientist discovers crop yield breakthrough

A team led by an Illinois scientist has discovered a way to boost crop yield and make plants more resistant to drought.

University of Chicago Professor Chuan He said his team manipulated rice and potato plant genes, boosting yields by 50%.

The plants grew significantly larger, produced longer root systems, and were better able to tolerate drought stress.

Mystery beaver deaths at Northwestern University

There is a mystery involving the death of three popular beavers living on the Northwestern University campus.

The beavers had likely migrated from the Chicago River and settled around a lake fill on campus in 2018.

When the beavers were found dead recently, their bodies were too decomposed for veterinarians to determine the cause of death.

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