FILE - Illinois State Capitol

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

Judge says Carlyle school district can't require masks without quarantine order

The Carlyle school district is barred from requiring students to wear masks unless there’s a quarantine order from the county health department.

While that Clinton County temporary order is for the entire school district, Attorney Thomas DeVore won a similar case in Effingham County on behalf of parents of three Teutopolis school children.

DeVore said the judges recognized masks are medical devices that can’t be forced without a quarantine order giving parents due process.

8,000 people in Illinois file for unemployment benefits

More than 7,500 fewer Illinoisans filed for initial unemployment benefits last week compared to the week before.

The U.S. The Department of Labor reports around 8,000 people filed for initial benefits last week. The prior week, 15,500 filed.

Overall, 23,650 fewer Illinoisans are getting continued traditional unemployment benefits than the week before.

Rivian rolls out first electric truck in Normal

The first electric truck from manufacturer Rivian rolled off the assembly line in Normal.

The company that acquired a shuttered Mitsubishi plant several years ago with local and state tax incentives said the 300-plus mile range vehicle will start at $73,000 with production beginning this fall.

The company also has a contract to provide Amazon with EV delivery trucks.

Sangamon County judge reserves ruling in COVID-19 case

A Sangamon County judge is reserving her ruling on the governor’s latest motion to dismiss a case challenging Gov. J.B. Pritzker's ability to shut down restaurants over COVID-19 concerns, something the governor did for months last year.

Attorneys for Geneva restaurant FoxFire said defendants have tried multiple times to dismiss and documents they’re getting from Pritzker’s office don’t add up.

A status hearing is set for next month.

Gambling revenue falls in July

Illinois sports betting had its worst month in nearly a year in July.

The state’s total handle of $369 million was down more than 22.5% from June’s $476.5 million. It is the fourth straight month of sports handle decline, in line with the rest of the country.

The total U.S. sports handle for July was down 23.9% from June.

Pritzker signs Alex's Law after fatal overdose

People seeking emergency assistance for others experiencing a drug overdose won’t be arrested for any drug crimes at the scene solely based on a 911 call for help.

That’s under a new law in Illinois the governor recently signed.

Alex’s Law is named after Alex Green, a 25-year-old Naperville resident who died of a fentanyl overdose after friends failed to call for help out of fear of getting in trouble.

Staff Reporter

Greg Bishop reports on Illinois government and other issues for The Center Square. Bishop has years of award-winning broadcast experience and hosts the WMAY Morning Newsfeed out of Springfield.

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

Andrew Hensel has years of experience as a reporter and pre-game host for the Joliet Slammers, and as a producer for the Windy City Bulls. A graduate of Iowa Wesleyan University and Illinois Media School, Andrew lives in the south suburbs of 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.