FILE - Gov. J.B. Pritzker, 2020, first COVID death, Illinois

Gov. J.B. Pritzker

Pritzker issues 40th COVID declaration 

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has issued another disaster declaration. It is the 40th emergency order since the first was declared in March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic began.

The governor said last month that he would stop making the declarations in early May, which is in line with President Joe Biden’s plans for ending the national health emergencies. Illinois is the only state in the Midwest that still operates under emergency orders. 

Lincoln's birthday celebration in Vandalia 

The Vandalia Statehouse State Historic Site will host its annual Lincoln’s Birthday celebration Saturday.

The event is free and open to the public. During the celebration, Kevin Kaegy, a member and past president of the Bond County Historical Society, will present “Lincoln’s Legal Career in the Eighth Judicial Circuit,” focusing on where Lincoln practiced law.

The Vandalia Statehouse served as the Illinois capitol building from 1836 to 1839. 

Illinois is romantic 

As Valentine’s Day approaches, a new study shows that Illinois is one of the most romantic states in the country.

According to, Google trends data for the term “Valentine’s Day” from 2017 to 2022 was used to compile the list. Illinois was ranked as the 7th most romantic state in the country. The most romantic was West Virginia, while Oregon was the least romantic.