FILE - Illinois State Capitol

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

Public health officials report 20 additional COVID-19 deaths

The Illinois Department of Public Health on Tuesday announced 1,466 new cases of the coronavirus in the state, with 20 additional deaths.

The preliminary 7-day positivity test rate for cases from September 8 to September 14 is 3.6%.

Illinois Board of Higher Education releases equity data

The Illinois Board of Higher Education has released equity data which outlines gender-based differences for most race and ethnic groups on nearly all measures.

Overall, women with the same education level earn less than men.

The gap is smallest at $3,638 for Black women as compared to Black men one year after graduation, and the highest at $8,764 for white women compared to white men three years after graduation.

Big Ten Football to return in October

The Fighting Illini and Northwestern football teams will be back on the field this fall. The Big Ten conference has reversed course and will restart the season next month.

The season was postponed Aug, 11, but meetings to restart the season began on Saturday.

According to Yahoo Sports, teams will play eight games in eight weeks with the conference championship game scheduled for Dec. 19.

Cannabis sales increase in Illinois

Illinois' cannabis sales are skyrocketing.

State officials announced weed dispensaries in the state sold almost $64 million in cannabis products last month.

In total, the state's cannabis shops have done more than $360 million in sales since legalization on January 1st.

New Lotto ticket proceeds will go to end homelessness

The Illinois Lottery has a new scratch-off to help with homelessness.

Lotto announced that all profits from "Cupcake Cash" will go toward combating homelessness in the state. The ticket costs $2 for a chance to win up to $20,000.

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.

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.

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.

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.