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All results / Stories / By Rex Robinson

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Local School districts challenge students to succeed with remote learning

Economic disparities play role in education during pandemic

From keeping students engaged during online learning to concerns about them slipping academically and making sure they show up for all remote classes, there are a host of potential pitfalls that can occur when students are not physically in school.

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Election Day is here, exercise your right to vote

Election Day is here and today is the last chance to make your voice heard on who should lead the country in the next four years. The polls will be open from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. today. Voters who are not registered can do so in person at their polling place, which can be found by clicking this link https://www.thewillcountyclerk.com/elections/voter-services/precinct-lookup/. While at the top of the ballot are the presidential choices from the two top parties - Democrat and former Vice President Joe Biden and incumbent Republican Donald Trump - there also are four other independent candidates on the ballot running for president, as well as candidates for U.S. Senator, Congressional Representatives, State Senators, several judges, Will County offices, County board seats and a question regarding a “Fair Tax” amendment to the Illinois Constitution. Results from the general election become official on November 24. Voters should be prepared for long lines today, even though many voters have already cast their ballots. All voting much be done in person today. All eight Vote By Mail boxes placed in various spots throughout the county will be closed today. According to Will County Clerk Lauren Staley Ferry’s office, of the 463,465 registered voters in Will County, her office had received 213,195 ballots as of about 10:30 p.m. Monday night. Vote By Mail ballots returned accounted for 101,800, Vote By Mail Ballots requested accounted for another 125,052, while in-person Early Voting accounted for 111,395.

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Paddock leaves Chicagoland Speedway for Silver Cross Hospital

The former president of Chicagoland Speedway and Route 66 Raceway in Joliet will now be working in the health care industry. Scott Paddock has been named Senior Vice President of External Affairs for Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox.

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Two online petitions out there to let the people judge Joliet mayor’s actions

One petition seeks support for Joliet Mayor Bob O'Dekirk and the other seeks his resignation. Both are online at change.org. Both are related to an altercation O'Dekirk had with a protestor on Jefferson Street Sunday night.

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District 202 staff prepares schools for in-person learning

Plainfield School District 202 administrators plan to update the Board of Education on Monday on plans for returning to in-person learning. Information will be shared publicly at the Board meeting and posted online after the meeting.

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First weekend of Phase 4 Restore Illinois Plan and some still apprehensive

The move to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan on Friday meant the reopening of gyms and restaurants for dining in as well as gatherings o 50 or few people, among other allowances. The move to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan on Friday meant the reopening of gyms and restaurants for dining in as well as gatherings o 50 or few people, among other allowances.

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Will County unemployment figures remain high

Workforce Center offers help to job seekers

As the Coronavirus continues to sweep through Will County, both employment and small businesses have continued to suffer. The most current information available shows the unemployment rate for Will County from September at 9.7 percent, down from the August rate of 10.9 percent.

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Area employers in desperate need of workers

For those entering or re-entering the job market right now, there are many choices throughout the country and locally too. In the last 30 days, more than 20,000 jobs have been posted to online job boards for the Will County area alone, according to employment officials. These posting represent 600 different occupations. The demand occupations include transportation, warehousing, retail, restaurant and health care, officials said. “Companies, especially in the hospitality sector (retail, restaurants, casinos, etc.) have been posting more jobs to ramp up their workforce as capacity levels increase,” said Caroline Portlock, director of the Workforce Investment Board of Will County.

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Former First Lady Michelle Obama encourages everyone to get COVID vaccine

Will County is sixth most vaccinated in the state

The Will County Health Department on Monday reported 73,426 COVID cases, an increase of 480 from Friday and 979 reported deaths from the virus, an increase of three from Friday.

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Legislators scramble to prevent massive evictions as moratorium ends

Pritzker Administration provides more than $185 million in assistance to help tenants avoid eviction

Legislators in Washington and in Illinois scrambled over the weekend to prevent millions of people from being evicted as a federal eviction moratorium expired Saturday.

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Virtual townhall meeting planned on probe into Joliet PD

AG Raoul to host public discussion Thursday evening

A state investigation is underway into possible patterns or practices of unconstitutional or unlawful policing in Joliet and now the public is being asked to weigh in on the matter. Attorney General Kwame Raoul is inviting members of the public to participate in a virtual town hall meeting discussing the investigation into the Joliet Police Department’s policing practices.

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Will County Health Department reports 464 new COVID cases

Health officials continue to await FDA vaccine approval

As the country awaits the release of COVID vaccine distribution to get underway, Coronavirus cases continue to rise. The Will County Health Department on Wednesday reported 44,464 COVID cases, an increase of 464 from Tuesday, and seven additional deaths, bringing that total to 601.

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Illinois daycare workers mandated to get COVID vaccines

Republican women lawmakers issue statement crying foul

UPDATED STORY Daycare workers in Illinois will soon face mandatory COVID vaccines or weekly COVID testing if not fully vaccinated by early January 2022. There are 175 daycare facilities in Will County, according to countyoffice.org. To prevent further spread of COVID-19 and to protect the health and safety of Illinois’ youngest residents, Gov. JB Pritzker joined Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Department of Human Services Secretary Grace Hou, and Department of Childhood and Family Services Director Marc Smith Friday to announce new vaccination or weekly testing requirements for individuals who work in licensed day care centers.

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Area leaders takes action during Coronavirus crisis

Mayors and other officials from Will County communities are taking steps to keep residents informed and up to date on the latest information in response to the Coronavirus in an effort to minimize its impact and slow the spread of the virus.

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Online therapy lifeline for mental health clients during national crisis

As people remain isolated in their homes waiting out the end of the coronavirus pandemic many are struggling emotionally. For those with existing mental health issues, this time of isolation can be especially difficult.

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Lessons designed to sprout interest in STEM

Getting students interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or what is commonly referred to as STEM, can be big job. However, that’s exactly what Natalie Coleman is doing in Will County at the Fairmont Community Center in Lockport Township.

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School districts move ahead with unique plans to reopen

Some parents concerned it could be too soon for in-class learning

As school districts across Will County scramble to adopt plans to reopen schools in the fall and bring students back into classrooms as part of Phase 4 of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s Restore Illinois Plan some parents are somewhat apprehensive.

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Joliet ZBA votes 5-2 in favor of special use, variation for NorthPoint

City Council to consider development plans Dec. 15

Despite a legal challenge, a public hearing regarding the proposed annexation and rezoning for the NorthPoint development proposed for Joliet went on as planned late last week. Now, comes the next steps.

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Lifeline helping communities thrive

Many families in communities throughout Joliet and Will County have been struggling as a result of the ongoing health crisis. The Coronavirus pandemic has upended the local economy and in the poorest areas of the county – many who were living check to check to begin with – are finding themselves in need of assistance.

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Judge grants Temporary Restraining Order on NorthPoint Development

Preliminary injunction granted on behalf of the Village of Elwood

A Will County Circuit Court Judge on Monday approved a Temporary Restraining Order on behalf of the Village of Elwood, in effect temporarily putting the brakes on Joliet's plans for East Gate - Logistics Park Chicago, also known as the NorthPoint development.