U. S. Navy Office of Information

16 April 2021

WASHINGTON – The Navy’s newest Freedom-variant littoral combat ship, the future USS Oakland (LCS 24), will be commissioned at 10:00 a.m. PST on Saturday, April 17, 2021 in Oakland, California.

Due to public health and safety concerns related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the commissioning will be a private event. The ceremony will be live-streamed for those unable to attend. The following link will become active approximately five minutes prior to the event (9:55 a.m. PST): 

Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas W. Harker, will deliver the commissioning ceremony’s principal address. Ms. Kate Brandt, Google Sustainability Officer, is the ship’s sponsor. The ceremony will be highlighted by a time-honored Navy tradition when Ms. Brandt gives the order to “man our ship and bring her to life!”

Cmdr. Francisco X. Garza, a native of Phoenix, Arizona, is the ship’s commanding officer and leads a crew of 70 officers and enlisted personnel. The 3,200-ton Oakland was built by Austal USA/General Dynamics in Mobile, Alabama. The ship is 421 feet in length, has a beam of 103 feet, and a navigational draft of 15 feet. The ship is powered by two gas turbine engines, two main propulsion diesel engines, and four waterjets to reach speeds up to 40-plus knots.

“The USS Oakland crew is excited and ready to bring our ship to life and join the fleet,” said Garza. “We are privileged to be a part of this ship and embody the spirit of the people of Oakland. As plank owners and future crew members build a positive legacy for this ship, the city of Oakland will experience those successes with us.”

Oakland is the third ship to bear the name. She is the 12th Independence-variant LCS ship to join our battle force. The littoral combat ship is a fast, agile, focused-mission platform designed to operate in near-shore environments, while capable of open-ocean tasking and winning against 21st-century coastal threats such as submarines, mines, and swarming small craft. The LCS is capable of supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control, and deterrence.

USS Oakland will be homeported at Naval Base San Diego, California.

For more news from Naval Surface Forces, visit DVIDS – Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, and Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet.

For additional information about the ship, visit USS Oakland (LCS 24).

U. S. Navy Office of Information


Office of Governor J. B. Pritzker

SPRINGFIELD, April 16, 2021 – With young people driving the increase in COVID-19 cases in Illinois, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is announcing “College Vaccination Days” to encourage all community college and public and private university students across Illinois to get vaccinated at mass vaccination sites.  This weekend and next week state-supported mass vaccination sites across Illinois will have COVID-19 vaccination appointments available for college and university students.  IDPH is partnering with colleges and universities in Illinois to help them direct their students to state-supported sites.

Beginning in April, the highest case count in Illinois was among those in their 20s.  Over the past month, cases among those 18-24 years of age doubled.

“Our young adults have a key role to play in bringing this pandemic to an end, and I’m proud to make it easier for our community college and public and private university students to access these life-saving vaccines,” said Governor JB Pritzker.  “Getting vaccinated is about protecting yourself, but it’s also about protecting your professors, your parents, your peers, campus staff, and the greater community you call home.”

“College campuses are microcosms of the communities in which they are located, and if we see an increase in cases on campus, we will see an increase in cases in the community,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  “Especially as we are starting to see variants become more prevalent and the number of cases and hospitals increasing statewide, we need to vaccinate as many people as possible as quickly as possible. With young people driving our increase in cases, this is an important opportunity for our college and university students to protect themselves and their communities.”

The following mass vaccination sites will have appointments available specifically for college and university students on the following days.  Colleges and universities will have the links where students can register for an appointment.

Saturday April 17Adams County – Oakley Linsey Center300 Civic Center Plaza Quincy
Sunday April 18Kane County Former Carson Pirie Scott970 North Lake St. Aurora
Kane County Elgin Eastside Recreation Center1800 E. Chicago St. Elgin
Kane County Former Sam’s Club501 N. Randall Rd. Batavia
Madison County – Gateway Convention Center1 Gateway Drive Collinsville
Sangamon County Orr Building – State Fairgrounds801 E. Sangamon Ave. Springfield
St. Clair County Belle-Clair Fairgrounds200 S. Belt East Belleville
Winnebago County Former K-Mart1321 Sandy Hollow Rd. Rockford
Monday April 19Cook County Arlington Heights Health Center3250 N. Arlington Heights Rd. Arlington Heights
Cook County Former K-Mart1155 E. Oakton St. Des Plaines
Cook County Forest Park – Former HOBO7600 Roosevelt Rd. Forest Park
Cook County Matteson – Former Target4647 Promenade Way Matteson
Cook County South Suburban College15800 State St. South Holland
Cook County Tinley Park Convention Center18451 Convention Center Drive Tinley Park
Cook County Triton College2000 5th Ave. River Grover
Tuesday April 20DuPage County Fairgrounds Building 12015 Manchester Rd. Wheaton
Grundy County Shabbona Middle School725 School St. Morris
Lake County Lake County Fairgrounds1060 E. Peterson Rd. Grayslake
Will County Former Toys R Us3128 Voyager Lane Joliet

Mass vaccination sites in DeKalb, McDonough, and McLean counties have been and will continue to provide vaccinations to students as part of the Rapid Response Vaccination Teams that are deployed to areas seeing increasing cases.

All mass vaccination locations will be administering either Moderna, or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.  At the recommendation of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, IDPH is pausing the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine and it will not be administered at mass vaccination sites until further guidance from the CDC.  Students can make appointments to get their second doses of the vaccine when getting their first dose. 

For information on how to make an appointment to receive the vaccine at other mass vaccination sites or other locations, visit  For those having difficulty navigating online services to make vaccination appointments, the State’s Vaccine Appointment Call Center can help.  The call center, at 1-833-621-1284, is available seven days a week from 6 a.m. to midnight, can take TTY calls, and uses both English and Spanish speaking call agents with the availability for translation into other languages.  Answers to frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccines can be found on the IDPH website.

Office of Governor J. B. Pritzker


Cook County Sheriff’s Office

April 9th, 2021

COOK COUNTY, IL  – Officers from the Cook County Sheriff’s Police Special Victims Unit issued citations to 21 men and towed 17 vehicles after the men responded to online prostitution advertisements, Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced today.

On Thursday, SVU officers set up meetings at a hotel in Northwest Cook County between the buyers who arranged meetings over the internet and an officer posing as a person selling sex.

After the buyer agreed to exchange money for sex, SVU members waiting outside entered the room and took the individual into custody.

All 21 men were issued a $1,000 citation for violation of the Cook County public morals nuisance ordinance, and 17 vehicles were towed under the ordinance, requiring the vehicle owner to pay $500 to reclaim possession.

Sheriff’s Police aggressively pursues sex purchasers and offers services and support to individuals who are trapped in the sex trade.

“Sex trafficking leaves a trail of trauma in its wake,” Sheriff Dart said. “Too many victims, most of whom are women, experience violence and abuse, and we are committed to pursuing those who perpetuate this trauma by seeking to purchase sex.”

Cook County Sheriff’s Office


AP News File

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — A Canadian Parliament member was caught stark naked in a virtual meeting of the House of Commons.

William Amos, who has represented the Quebec district of Pontiac since 2015, appeared on the screens of his fellow lawmakers completely naked Wednesday. The pandemic has meant many Canadian lawmakers participate in sessions via video conference instead of in person.

A screenshot obtained by The Canadian Press shows Amos standing behind a desk between the Quebec and Canadian flags, his private parts hidden by what appears to be a mobile phone in one hand.