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Virus sends jobless claims up for first time since March

By Christopher Rugaber AP Economics Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — The viral pandemic's resurgence caused the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits to rise last week for the first time in nearly four months, evidence of the deepening economic pain the outbreak is causing. The increase in weekly jobless claims to 1.4 million served to underscore the outsize role the unemployment insurance system is playing among the nation's safety net programs — just when a $600 weekly federal aid…

RAM announces plans for virtual Greenwich Village Art Fair

From Sarah Bursley McNamara Rockford Art Museum In response to the current global health crisis, Rockford Art Museum announces plans for the 72nd Greenwich Village Art Fair to go to a virtual two-day event, happening September 19–20, 2020. The virtual Greenwich Village Art Fair will showcase a few photos for each artist along with their artist bio and a link to their respective e-commerce sites. Greenwich will also have fun events such as studio visits, workshops, music performances and…

July Fourth weekend will test Americans’ discipline

By John Seewer Associated Press The U.S. headed into the Fourth of July weekend with many parades and fireworks displays canceled, beaches and bars closed, and health authorities warning that this will be a crucial test of Americans' self-control that could determine the trajectory of the surging coronavirus outbreak. With confirmed cases climbing in 40 states, governors have ordered the wearing of masks in public, and families were urged to celebrate their independence at home. Even…

Rock House Kids receives COVID-19 relief funding from Club Blue

Provided ROCKFORD, IL – Rock House Kids, a safe haven for inner-city kids ages 6-18, is the recipient of a grant from Club Blue in Rockford. Club Blue announced 8 local charities that work with children will benefit from their Covid-19 Relief Fund. Rock House Kids Executive Director, Deanna “Dee” Lacny said, “We are so thankful for the many years of continuous support from Club Blue. They have blessed many children’s lives, and continue to bless their lives by providing the necessary funding…

RAM reopens July 6 with free admission

From Sarah Bursley McNamara Rockford Art Museum Rockford Art Museum will reopen Monday, July 6, with new health and safety protocols in place – and free admission through the end of the year. RAM is located inside the Riverfront Museum Park building at 711 North Main Street in downtown Rockford, Illinois, across the hall from Discovery Center Museum and next door to Burpee Museum of Natural History. Shortly after closing its doors in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the museum was able…

CAPITOL RECAP: State begins Phase 4 of recovery from COVID-19 pandemic

By Capitol News Illinois SPRINGFIELD  – Illinois on Friday, June 26, entered Phase 4 of the state's Restore Illinois reopening plan. In this phase, restaurants and bars may open for indoor dining at fractional capacity as long as they follow state guidelines, and gatherings up to 50 people are allowed. PreK-12 schools, higher education and all summer programs may also open with IDPH approved safety guidance, as could fitness clubs. Restaurants must arrange their seating facilities so…

Crowds tear down statues, attack Wisconsin state senator

By Scott Bauer Associated Press MADISON, Wis. (AP) –Gov. Tony Evers said Wednesday he was prepared to activate the National Guard to protect state properties after protesters outside the Wisconsin Capitol tore down statues commemorating an abolitionist and women's rights and threw a Molotov cocktail into a government building during a night of violence that also included an attack on a state senator. The violence from a group of between 200 and 300 people broke out Tuesday night as…

Appeals court orders dismissal of Michael Flynn prosecution

By Eric Tucker Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) –A divided federal appeals court on Wednesday ordered the dismissal of the criminal case against President Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn, turning back efforts by a judge to scrutinize the Justice Department's extraordinary decision to drop the prosecution. The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said in a 2-1 ruling that the Justice Department's decision to abandon the case against Flynn…

Senate GOP police bill hits roadblock, as Dems seek changes

By Lisa Mascaro Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) –A Republican policing bill hit a roadblock Wednesday as Senate Democrats voted against it as inadequate, leaving the parties to decide whether to negotiate a compromise or walk away despite public outcry over the killings of Black Americans. The impasse threatens to turn the nationwide protests over the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others into another moment that galvanizes the nation but leaves lawmakers unable to act.…