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All results / Stories / By Rex Robinson

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My positive COVID test

The Times Weekly Staff Reporter On the morning of Dec. 30, I tested positive for COVID. The night prior to the test I had many symptoms – chills, fever, headache, muscle aches, nausea, a bad cough, and a sore throat. Some of these persisted for a day or two, but my overall health consistently improved each day leading up to Sunday morning, Jan.2, when I awoke from a good, long sleep feeling, well …, great, compared to the first night. Why? How is it that I recovered from this so quickly? Well, it's commonsense really. I am fully vaccinated – first shot in February, second shot in March, booster shot in October. I followed the science – not something I dug up on the Internet or through listening to some conspiracy theorists telling me COVID is just something the government is using to control me or some other ridiculous anti-vaccine nonsense. After contracting COVID, I didn’t in any way question the efficacy of the vaccines. That would have been foolish and go against my faith in the science behind them. Also, the vaccines do not cure COVID. They keep us from developing severe symptoms that could put us in hospitals unable to breath, or worse yet, in the grave.

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Joliet council approves grant money for Old Joliet Prison

Consultant to be hired to research prison's history

The Joliet City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved taking the next step toward getting a National Register Historic District nomination for the Old Joliet Prison.

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Will County's COVID test positivity rate nears 22 percent

CDC shortens isolation, quarantine period for general population

The rolling seven-day test positivity rate for Will County hit 21.9 percent on Dec. 30, according to Will County Health Department Spokesman Matthew Bedore. The Illinois Department of Public Health on Tuesday reported 125,375 COVID cases for Will County, 1,184 more cases than what was was reported on Monday.

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Top stories of 2021

As 2021 comes to an end, it’s time to look back on the year and reflect a bit on some of the significant stories from the region. While there is no way to touch on all the big stories of 2021, let us take a brief look at five of them. 1. Will County receives millions in COVID relief In March, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, a $1.9 trillion COVID relief plan to provide funding to assist in getting the country back on its feet. While Will County received more than $120 million in funding in 2020 through the CARES Act, it received $133 million in American Rescue Plan money. The county received half of that funding this year, and it is expecting to receive the other half in 2022. This time around, larger communities, such as Joliet and Bolingbrook, received direct funding payments (albeit much less than what the county received) from the federal government. Joliet city officials have said they want the county to share some of its funding with the city, but county officials have yet to dole out any of that second round of COVID relief funding. Many residents throughout the county are eager to know where the bulk of the funding will go. In November, Mike Theodore, spokesman for the Will County Executive’s Office, told The Times Weekly that while the funding will play a large part in county-wide recovery from the pandemic, it has yet to be decided how the funds will be allocated. More to come in 2022.

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Joliet council approves massive warehouse project

Despite desperate calls from residents of mostly neighboring communities – many destined to be impacted by the 2,100-plus acre proposed warehouse development – Compass Business Park has received the stamp of approval from the Joliet City Council.

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SHIELD testing offered through JJC to offer students rapid COVID results

Joliet Junior College and SHIELD Illinois will hold a Holiday COVID-19 Screening on Tuesday, Dec. 21 from 9 a.m. to noon. The screenings take place in Lower J-Building at Main Campus, 1215 Houbolt Road.

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Homeowner’s push ahead in fight against Love's truck stop

A plan to bring a largescale truck stop to the southwest corner of Interstate I-80 and Briggs Street in Joliet remains tied up in court despite it being previously approved in 2018 by the City Council – albeit by a somewhat slim majority vote at the time.

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COVID's adverse impact on student learning

District 202 in Plainfield shows student achievement numbers dropped

It will likely come as no surprise that the COVID pandemic had an adverse impact on student learning and for many students put them behind in their academics.

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COVID numbers continue to climb in the region

For the second week in a row, COVID numbers for Will County are on the rise, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

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Joliet man facing multiple DUI charges and endangering the life of a child

A 29-year-old Joliet man faces multiple charges after being involved in a hit and run accident and then carrying his injured 10-year-old son from the scene, only to allegedly leave him in a nearby grocery store and flee the scene.

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Joliet man being held on $5 million bond after being charged with murdering uncle

A 31-year-old Joliet man is being held at the Will County Adult Detention Facility after being charged with three counts of first degree murder, concealment of homicidal death and unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon.

Economic development takes center stage in Will County

Business means jobs and officials from the Will County Center for Economic Development (CED) understand that in a big way. The CED is geared up to present its Annual Report to Investors on Friday, Dec. 3 at the Bolingbrook Golf Club. “We’re really excited about this year. This is the first time our investors group, guests and friends are going to be meeting in person since March 2020. We’re really looking forward to that crowd interaction and getting a chance to get in front of people.” John Greuling, President and CEO of the CED said.

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Large crowd gathers for Joliet’s Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting

Hundreds lined the streets of downtown Joliet this past Friday for the annual tree lighting and Holiday Parade. Local officials gathered on a stage prior to the start of the parade for the ceremonial tree lighting.

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More than 70 percent of Will County residents 12 and older vaccinated

While the case positivity rate is up a bit in Will County, there is good news on the vaccination front. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, 70.7 percent of Will County residents 12 and older are fully vaccinate as of Nov. 25. At the same time, the rolling seven-day test positivity rate for the county is 5.24 percent. Residents should continue to wear masks while indoors in public places, IDPH officials said.

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Joliet Central, Joliet West high schools to host information nights for incoming freshmen

Joliet Central High School and Joliet West High School will host an evening of important information about registration, testing, athletics, activities and more for eighth grade students and parents at the two schools next week.

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Warehouse workers keep pressure on for corporations to pay more for Joliet water

Protestors from the Warehouse Workers for Justice gathered outside Joliet City Hall on Monday to keep the pressure on in advocating for clean, and affordable water now and in the future for all residents and to highlight the seriousness that warehouses and the corporations that own them pay more so residents can pay less.

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Will County, still no decision on doling out second round of stimulus

Will County officials see stakeholders’ input as essential in disbursement process

Many have inquired about how to get a piece of the $134 million Will County received earlier this year from the federal American Rescue Plan. County officials, however, have yet to dole out any of that second round of COVID relief funding and, as they did with the CARES Act funding, they plan to once again hire the same consultant to assist in the process of distributing funds. “Although we have not made an official determination on how the funds will be disbursed, we have received quite a few requests from our Will County residents, businesses, municipalities, local governments, non-profits, county board members, department heads and other customers,” said Will County Board member Ken Harris (D-Bolingbrook). Harris is chairman of the county board’s Finance Committee.

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Joliet Council rejects possibility of cannabis dispensaries in residential areas

Residents balk at proposal to revise ordinance to allow them

When it came to the future placement of any marijuana dispensaries near a residential neighborhood in Joliet, some residents spoke, and the council heard them loud and clear.

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AG Raoul urges HUD to expand emergency rental assistance

Tenants fearing eviction could soon be getting emergency rental assistance to keep them in their homes a bit longer.

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Suspect in custody in connection with shooting at Joliet Township Halloween party

The Will County Coroner’s Office on Tuesday released the names of the two people killed by gunfire during a Halloween Party early Sunday morning in Joliet Township. Holly Matthews and Jonathan Ceballos, both 22 of Joliet, were pronounced dead at 3:45 a.m. Oct. 31 in the 1000 block of Jackson Street in Joliet Township. “Both subjects appeared to be victims of a homicide,” according to the statement from the coroner’s office.