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Monday, the South Dakota state Senate passed a bill that restricts transgender women athletes from competing on high school and college girls' and women's teams. The measure now goes to Republican Gov. Kristi Noem who has said she is excited to sign the bill into law.

"This is a very simple bill. It's a bill to protect women's sports," says Republican State Sen. Maggie Sutton, one of the primary sponsors of the legislation. "It's not against transgenders," Sutton says.

As the blackouts in Texas dragged on, millions of residents quickly realized they had more to worry about than trying to light and heat their homes. The water coming out their faucets was no longer safe to drink.

Like falling dominos, infrastructure around Texas, dependent on electricity, began failing in the extreme cold. In Austin, the Ullrich Water Treatment Plant shut down due to an electrical failure. That, combined with low water pressure from broken pipes, meant residents had to boil their water.

On his flight home from Iraq, Pope Francis admitted he's happy to have left the Vatican for several days after feeling "imprisoned" during COVID-19 lockdowns. The pope also said he's not afraid of critics that don't support his decision to open Christian-Muslim dialogue.

Before embarking on his journey, Francis was warned about contracting the coronavirus or contributing to the spread, especially with cases on the rise in Iraq. To mitigate these concerns, the pope and his travel entourage were vaccinated before making the trip.

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COVID-19 Pandemic

Governor’s Eviction Moratorium Extension Expands Tenant Protections

5 hours ago
Capitol News Illinois

Gov. JB Pritzker’s latest executive order extending the eviction moratorium for residential tenants adds a new legal protection for tenants who are unable to pay rent due to the pandemic.

Executive order 2021-05, issued on Friday, prevents landlords from pursuing legal action in court against a tenant as long as the tenant gives notice of their inability to pay, and the tenant is not “a direct threat to the health and safety of other tenants or an immediate and severe risk to property.”

COVID-19 Update: Positivity Rate, Hospitalizations Remain Near Pandemic Lows

5 hours ago
Jerry Nowicki of Capitol News Illinois

The state’s rolling seven-day COVID-19 positivity rate held steady near two percent Monday as officials continue to increase vaccination efforts in all parts of the state.

The positivity rate stood at 2.3 percent, a number that has not moved more than two-tenths of a percentage point for the past 10 days.

State School Board Requests $400 Million Funding Increase, Including K-12 Boost

5 hours ago
People
Blueroomstream.com

Illinois State Board of Education officials on Monday made their case for an added $362.1 million to the state’s evidence-based funding formula and $50 million in early childhood education grants, pushing back on the governor’s proposal to keep state K-12 education funding flat next fiscal year.

In total, the board recommended a $406 million, or 4.6 percent, increase in fiscal year 2022 in state general revenue funding, increasing the state’s share of education funding to $9.3 billion for the budget year that begins July 1.

The Carbondale Library and the Carbondale Branch of the NAACP will host a virtual discussion on the Illinois Criminal Justice Reform Bill Monday evening.

House Bill 3653 was signed last month and brings numerous changes to the justice system including eliminating cash bail, requiring body cameras and a ban on choke holds.

National Cancer Institute

During March, southern Illinois residents can get a free at-home colon cancer screening test.

Franklin Hospital will be giving out tests on Friday March 12 from 9 am to noon. This will be done as a drive through, with no registration required. The screening test is done at home and returned to the hospital via a drop box.

The American Cancer Society recommends colon cancer screenings for all Americans beginning at age 50.

Robina Weermeijer / Unsplash

The COVID-19 pandemic has been especially challenging for Alzheimer's patients.

A report from the Alzheimer's Association shows a 16 percent increase in deaths among people with Alzheimer's and dementia during 2020. Researchers say preliminary data shows the pandemic has affected caregivers as well, due to the shutdown of adult day care centers and long-term care facilities prohibiting visitors.

WSIU News Morning Update (3/8/2021)

12 hours ago

Dan Klefstad and Leah Lerner report this morning's news for March 8th.

IMAGE
WSIU/Kevin boucher

The extreme cold and snow of mid February resulted in many birds getting killed.  On this edition of WSIU InFocus, Ornithologist Mike Baltz talks about some things we can do to help birds survive in future cold blasts.

image
Provided by Brehm Preparatory School.

Brehm Preparatory  School in Carbondale is hosting a virtual workshop on March 11  to help caregivers of those with special needs,  plan for the future.  Jeremy Robbins, the head of the school, says the evening   will feature a certified financial planner bringing to light, assistance, that caregivers might not be aware of.

Capitol News Illinois

Capitol News Illinois · March 5, 2021 Week in Review

A new survey of Illinois school districts shows most are continuing to have trouble filling open teaching positions with qualified teachers and even more are having difficulty hiring substitute teachers.

It’s a problem that has existed in the state for many years and one that experts attribute to a variety of factors, such as low pay and the difficulty in attracting new teachers to work in certain parts of the state.

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