FILE - Illinois State Capitol

The dome of the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois.

Another 46,000 people seek unemployment in Illinois

More than 46,000 Illinoisans filed for unemployment benefits last week.

That’s 1,300 more than filed the week before.

Since the beginning of March, about 1.4 million Illinoisans have filed for unemployment, driven by the governor’s orders restricting sectors of the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

State set to enter Phase 4 of Pritzker's reopening plan

Illinois enters Phase 4 of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s five-phased COVID-19 reopening plan Friday.

As to a therapeutic that could propel the state to no restrictions per the governor’s plan, Pritzker is deferring that decision to the federal government.

He also said he wants everyone to get a vaccine when it’s available, but will talk with the likes of Dr. Anthony Fauci about who should get priority when one is available.

AMTRAK to cut services as fewer people ride trains

AMTRAK is cutting back its services through Springfield, but restoring services from Chicago to Grand Rapids.

A statement from the transportation system says the route between Grand Rapids and Chicago that’s been down since March will restart next week.

The Texas Eagle service from Chicago through Springfield will be cut back to three times a week because of the reduced ridership resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

More named to Restore Illinois Collaborative Commission

The group of Illinois state lawmakers that will develop proposals as part of the Restore Illinois Collaborative Commission has been formed. Senate Democrats were the last to name members to the 14 member commission.

The group with more Democrats than Republicans is tasked with recommending things to revive the state’s economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The commission's first report is due Wednesday, July 1.

Illinois Right to Life sues Pritzker over gathering limits 

There’s another federal lawsuit against Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s COVID-19 regulations.

The Liberty Justice Center on behalf of Illinois Right to Life filed a lawsuit against the governor over limits on gathering sizes saying Pritzker overreached his executive authority.

The first hearing is Monday in the Northern District of Illinois.

After crowd of more than 300 gathered to see bear, IDNR warns people to leave it alone

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Conservation Police Officers are reminding people to leave the black bear traveling through western Illinois alone.

More than 300 people gathered to watch the bear. Officials said they followed and harassed the animal as it traveled through northwest Henderson County over Father’s Day weekend.

Staff Reporter

Greg Bishop reports on Illinois government and other statewide issues for The Center Square. Bishop has years of award-winning broadcast experience, and previously hosted “Bishop On Air,” a morning-drive current events talk show.

Staff Reporter

Kevin Bessler reports on statewide issues in Illinois for the Center Square. He has over 30 years of experience in radio news reporting throughout the Midwest.

Staff Reporter

Cole Lauterbach reports on Illinois and Arizona government and statewide issues for The Center Square. He has produced radio shows for stations in Central Illinois and created award-winning programs for Comcast SportsNet Chicago.

Regional Editor

Brett Rowland has worked as a reporter in newsrooms in Illinois and Wisconsin. He most recently served as news editor of the Northwest Herald in Crystal Lake, Illinois. He previously held the same position at the Daily Chronicle in DeKalb.