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The Barrington Hills Board of Trustees is holding a special meeting remotely Monday evening at 6:30 PM. It was called by two of its members regarding consideration of opening the Village of Barrington Hills in line with what many other communities in Illinois and around the country are doing.

A copy of the agenda can be viewed here, and a link to the conference call can be found here.

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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker lambasted a court ruling handed down Monday afternoon that throws into doubt the governor’s ability to extend the state’s stay-at-home order beginning Friday.

The suit was brought by downstate Republican state Rep. Darren Bailey, who alleged Pritzker did not have the authority to extend disaster proclamations beyond 30 days.

Pritzker called the ruling by Clay County Circuit Court Judge Michael McHaney “insulting” and “dangerous,” adding that Attorney General Kwame Raoul will continue to fight the circuit court’s decision and “act in a swift fashion to have this ruling overturned.”

Read more here.

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Pritzker’s new executive order will include the following changes, effective May 1:

Face coverings

Beginning on May 1, individuals will be required to wear a face-covering or a mask when in a public place where they can’t maintain a six-foot social distance. Face-coverings will be required in public indoor spaces, such as stores. This new requirement applies to all individuals over age 2 who are able to medically tolerate a face-covering or a mask.

New essential businesses

Greenhouses, garden centers and nurseries can reopen as essential businesses. They must follow social distancing requirements and require that employees and customers wear face coverings. Animal grooming services can reopen.

Nonessential retail

Retail stores can reopen to fulfill telephone and online orders through curbside pickup and delivery even if they are not designated as essential businesses.

Essential businesses and manufacturing:

Essential businesses and manufacturers will be required to provide face-coverings to all employees who are not able to maintain six-feet of social distancing, as well as follow new requirements that maximize social distancing and prioritize the well-being of employees and customers. This will include occupancy limits for essential businesses and precautions such as staggering shifts and operating only essential lines for manufacturers.

Schools

Educational institutions can establish procedures for pickup of necessary supplies or student belongings. Dormitory move-outs must follow public health guidelines, including social distancing.

Outdoor recreation

State parks will begin reopening in phases. Fishing and boating in groups of no more than two people will be permitted. Golf will be permitted under strict safety guidelines provided by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and when ensuring social distancing is followed.

Editorial note: Despite owning very expensive boats (See, “Gov. Pritzker’s speedboats among most expensive on Geneva Lake”), JB should know a minimum of three (3) people are required be law to water ski (driver, skier and for safety always a spotter). Apparently he doesn’t want people skiing, or maybe it’s because he can’t…

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Waukegan Mayor Sam Cunningham, clockwise from upper left, Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara, Champaign Mayor Deborah Frank Feinen, Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder, Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk and Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin discuss COVID-19 issues, in a Zoom meeting Wednesday.

The mayors of six of Illinois’ largest cities are as eager as anyone to see life return to normal, with shops, restaurants and other “nonessential” businesses open again.

But they all acknowledged Wednesday that, due to differences in how the COVID-19 outbreak is affecting different areas of the state, a decision to loosen restrictions might best be made on a regional basis.

The mayors talked about how business closings are blowing huge holes in their budgets — and delays in receiving income and property tax payments will exacerbate the problem. (Bob) O’Dekirk said Joliet is on track to receive 70% less revenue than it budgeted — and is missing out on about $300,000 a week in taxes from its two riverboat casinos. Joliet is using reserve funds to maintain city services and may borrow money from its water utility fund, he said.

Read more here.

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J.B. Pritzker listens intently in the background as Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot dictates policy in Springfield.

Dr. Brian Harris, Superintendent of 220 schools, issued the following update Friday shortly after J.B. Pritzker announced Illinois public and private schools would closed for the remainder of the school year: 

“Dear Barrington 220 Community,

This afternoon Governor Pritzker canceled in person classes at all Illinois schools for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.

Given the current public health crisis and the need to put everyone’s health and safety above all else, I’m sure this news does not come as a surprise. However, I share your disappointment, as I know many of you, including myself, were holding out hope that somehow our students and staff would be able return to our school buildings before the end of the year.

I know this announcement brings forth many questions about how to pick up items left in our school buildings, summer school, BHS graduation and other big end of the year events, just to name a few. Please know the district has been working on a plan for all situations. More information will be coming from your school principal on these topics and many others over the next few weeks.”

What we cannot begin to comprehend is why Pritzker chose Friday afternoon to devastate the moral of thousands of students, teachers and parents. 

He makes his daily update addresses each afternoon, so what harm would have come from announcing the news today instead Friday? The answer is none, and that’s inexcusable. 

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Clarke’s Bakery – Lottery Winners!

The state of Illinois this week released a list of hospitality industry businesses selected via lottery to share $14.45 million in grants.

The Hospitality Emergency Grant Program was launched on March 23 by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to assist hotels and food and beverage businesses affected almost immediately by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The grants are meant to help cover payroll and rent and train employees shifted into new roles, according to the state’s website. The funds were originally budgeted for job training, tourism promotion and other purposes. 

Congratulations go to Clarke’s Cakes and Pastries, Inc. which was the only establishment in the Barrington area named on the list of hundreds of lottery winners (seen here).

Read the Daily Herald story here.

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Illinois announced 1,173 new known COVID-19 cases Monday, for a total of 22,025. An additional 74 people lost their lives, bringing the state’s death toll to 794.

While acknowledging once again this his stay-at-home order is unlikely to be entirely lifted at the end of the month, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Monday that “it’s likely adjustments will be made” as the state starts to see slower growth in number of cases of the new coronavirus. Earlier in the afternoon, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot predicted Pritzker’s stay-at-home order will extend into May.

“I think that’s going to be difficult for us to say, April 30, everything comes up, I don’t expect that to happen,” Lightfoot said. “I think it will extend beyond that.

Editorial note: Since stay-at-home orders and statewide school closures (among other things) took effect, clearly the “tail has been wagging the dog” when it comes to Chicago versus state and suburban politics for nearly four weeks now.

Read more from the Chicago Tribune here.

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