Returning international students from countries with lower infection rates of COVID-19 than the U.S.

Most of the international students from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s 2019-2020 academic year are from countries with lower daily Covid-19 infection rates than the United States, according to a CU-CitizenAccess analysis.

Last spring, 9,824 international students attended the University from more than 100 countries, according to university data.

More than 20,000 university students may return from zip codes with higher positivity rates for COVID-19

Champaign County has had about 2 percent of those tested for the virus receive positive results, which means the person should self-quarantine for 14 days.

But a comparison of state public health test data on August 3 and ZIP code data for students who attended the University in the last academic year shows that 20,000 out of 28,000 students from Illinois may arrive from ZIP codes with positive percentages above 5 percent, according to a review of the data by CU-CitizenAccess.org.

Many returning university students may come from high-risk states for COVID-19

Since the Covid-19 pandemic began in January, Champaign County – home to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and about 50,000 faculty, students and staff – has experienced a low number of positive cases when compared to many other areas of the state and the U.S.

A comparison of university data on where out-of-state students are from as of the last school year and data on the positivity rates in those states show as many as 5,000 students may be arriving from 32 states that have positivity rates higher than 5 percent, according to a review of the data by CU-CitizenAccess.org

Six years and Tuscola residents still waiting on Cronus fertilizer plant

In 2014, in the midst of a gubernatorial election, the construction of a $1.4 billion fertilizer plant in Tuscola was announced with much fanfare and the promise of state subsidies.

Eight years later, no piece of dirt has been overturned since former Gov. Quinn poked a shovel into an open field in a symbolic groundbreaking.

Now Tuscola officials say the outbreak of coronavirus will add to the long delays.

Champaign County jail bookings show racial disparity over eight years

Black persons were booked at the Champaign County jail at least one and half times more than white persons over an eight-year period, according to a review of jail data by CU-CitizenAccess.org.

The jail system has been criticized for shortcomings in health care and infrastructure over the past decade. The latest plan to consolidate the two facilities, estimated to cost between $42 and $52 million and is still being discussed by the county board.

There were a total of 49,535 jail bookings from January 1, 2012 to March 11, 2020 – specific bookings, not individual persons booked.

Reports on “recovered” Covid-19 cases inconsistent and incomplete. Numbers elusive and may mislead on real medical impact of virus

As Covid-19 surges again in the U.S., the high percentage of “recovered” cases might be cited as a sign that a vast majority of those infected quickly rid themselves of the virus.

But the “recovered” statistics are incomplete, inconsistent and call into question the accuracy of any total number of recovered cases, according to a review of 50 state public health sites by the Midwest Center for Investigative reporting.

Champaign Park District revenue declines

The Champaign Park District, facing at least $1.8 million in lost revenue, is set to meet July 22 to discuss its budget for the upcoming year.

Part of the budget, which includes grants and the park district recently applied for a Rebuild Illinois grant. It is also in the process of applying for an Illinois Emergency Management Agency grant, but Wallace said in a phone interview Thursday that the grant has shifted to being administered federally and so the grant is more limited in scope.

Formerly incarcerated man dedicates life to anti-violence work

At the age of 17, Jobie Taylor was just about to graduate high school when he was convicted of first degree murder in the south side of Chicago.

Given a sentence of 40 years, of which he served 20, for a crime he claims he didn’t commit, Taylor is now 44 years old and dedicates his life to changing the exact culture he grew up in.

He works with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Education Justice Project, a program that provides higher education at Danville Correctional Center. He’s now a case manager at the Housing Authority in Champaign, where he works with at-risk youth to get their GEDs and find jobs.

Trending on Reddit: r/UIUC discusses protests, reopening campus

For the last two weeks, members of the r/UIUC subreddit actively discussed two main topics: reopening campus in the fall and peaceful protests and looting in Champaign-Urbana.

Posters, often students, staff, alumni and community members, critique the university for the quality of the online education they get paying the same amount of money they did for the in-person classes. Overall, r/UIUC subreddit members are worried about what they should expect next semester.