Illinois’ Most Powerful Politician Announces Resignation, Covid-19 Metrics Continue Fall in Lake County

Madigan Resigns Illinois House Seat, Effective End of February
Associated Press/Vander Tuuk 2-19-21

(Springfield, IL) The most powerful Democrat in Illinois is calling it a career. Former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan will leave the legislature at the end of the month, ending a political career that began over 4 decades ago. Madigan was ousted from the Speaker’s seat earlier this year by Emanuel Welch, as federal investigators looked into a bribery scheme that reportedly involved Madigan and utility giant ComEd. Madigan has not been charged, and maintains that he has done nothing wrong, though ComEd settled their part in the investigation with a 200-million-dollar payout. Republicans and other opponents of the 78-year-old say he will leave behind a legacy of long-term political intimidation, corruption, high taxes and steady economic declines that took place under his watch.

Coronavirus Illinois, Lake County
Vander Tuuk 2-19-21

(Waukegan, IL) After an uptick in cases on Wednesday, Lake County saw more declining Coronavirus numbers on Thursday. The area saw 95 new confirmed and probable cases of the disease, with one related fatality. Covid-linked hospitalizations in the Lake and McHenry County Region have seen 29 straight days of declines, though combined ICU use did bump up to 68% capacity. Regional positivity remained at 4.3%.

Covid Vaccinations Illinois, Lake County
Vander Tuuk 2-19-21

(Chicago, IL) After 3 down days, chalked up to a winter storm early in the week, Illinois Covid-19 vaccinations bumped back up on Thursday. Illinois Health officials say they administered just over 61-thousand doses, marking nearly 2-million shots given. Of those, just under 473-thousand residents have received both doses to be considered “fully vaccinated”…or about 3.7% of the population. Lake County wise, just under 4-thousand doses were administered on Thursday. About 18-thousand of the county’s 710-thousand residents are fully vaccinated…or about 2.57%

Island Lake “Revenge Porn” Trial Delayed
Vander Tuuk 2-19-21

(Island Lake, IL) An Island Lake woman has been granted a delay in her “revenge porn” trial. Bethany Austin is accused of sharing nude images of a woman on-line, without that woman’s permission…after the pictures were found on Austin’s then fiancé’s phone back in 2016. The delay was granted so the 43-year-old and her lawyers could research a new allegation against her. Austin is facing a felony count of nonconsensual dissemination of a sexual image. She is due back in court on March 17th.