Quicks hits: Illinois news in brief for Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021 | Illinois

Quicks hits: Illinois news in brief for Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021 | Illinois

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Top Illinois school official drops the maskhammer

The Illinois State Board of Education is announcing actions against a private school that announced a mask optional policy. Timothy Christian Schools, a private school House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch sends his children to, announced they’re making masks optional. ISBE sent the school a letter saying the school’s recognition is being rescinded which removes recognition of high school diplomas and inability to compete in organized sports.

Bad credit, no credit, vaccine problems?

The “Vax Verify” system the Illinois Department of Public Health announced Wednesday is flawed, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Director of Engineering. Alexis Hancock said Illinois using credit bureau Experian to verify users data is a red flag. She said users with frozen credit histories or other issues may not have access to such records.

Illinois at work

There was a slight uptick in new unemployment claims last week compared to the week before in Illinois, but overall beneficiaries have declined by nearly 37,000. The U.S. Department of Labor reports there were just 602 new claims last week. But, those with continued benefits dropped from 416,000 to 379,000.

A grim factcheck on Gov. Pritzker

Data from the state of Illinois shows there have been 899 vaccinated people who have been hospitalized with COVID-19, of which 189 have died. Gov. J.B. Pritzker was incorrect about those figures when asked. At the Illinois State Fair Wednesday, the governor said the best ways to protect yourself are to mask and get vaccinated. He said very few people have been hospitalized with COVID after being vaccinated and no one has died, despite the figures from the state Department of Health.

BIG money for small business

The state of Illinois is freeing up $250 million of federal tax money for small businesses. The program builds upon the federally funded Business Interruption Grants last year that gave out $580 million in grants. The state is also spending $9 million on a “community navigator” program to conduct outreach and provide technical assistance to businesses in certain communities.

Zombies, seriously

Naperville is the best city in Illinois to survive a zombie apocalypse. Lawn Love compared the 200 biggest U.S. cities on key indicators like available homes with basements to hunting gear access. Naperville was ranked 53rd in the country, followed by Chicago at number 88, and Joliet at number 93. Rockford and Aurora didn’t break the top 100. The best place to be if zombies take over is Huntington Beach, California.

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