Comedian Trevor Noah Will To Headline Illinois State Fair Lottery Grandstand

By The Chicago Times Staff

June 20, 2022

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Trevor Noah, Emmy Award-winning host of the “The Daily Show”, will bring his stand-up comedy to the Illinois Lottery Grandstand stage on Friday, August 19.

Noah has written, produced, and starred in 11 comedy specials, including his most recent “Trevor Noah: Son of Patricia” on Netflix.

“To be able to secure a big name in comedy to round out our 2022 grandstand lineup is something we are really excited about.  This is one of our most diverse lineups in years with multiple music genres represented, a popular comedian and harness racing to kick it all off. We cannot wait to welcome fairgoers in August.” said Illinois State Fair Manager Rebecca Clark.

Tickets for Trevor Noah will go on sale Thursday, June 23 at 10am at the Illinois State Fair Box Office and online at ticketmaster.com.  Ticketmaster is the only authorized ticket broker for the Illinois State Fair. All other websites and offers may be fraudulent and buyers should beware.

Friday, August 12: Sam Hunt with Sean Stemaly and Shelby Darrall

Tier 3 – $53 / Tier 2 – $58 / Tier 1 – $65 / SRO Track – $65 / Blue Ribbon Zone – $120

Saturday, August 13: Demi Lovato with TBD

Tier 3 – $45 / Tier 2 – $50 / Tier 1 – $57 / SRO Track – $57 / Blue Ribbon Zone – $112

Sunday, August 14: Brooks & Dunn with Kendell Marvel

Tier 3 – $53 / Tier 2 – $58 / Tier 1 – $65 / SRO Track – $65 / Blue Ribbon Zone – $120

Tuesday, August 16: Willie Nelson & Family with Elle King

Tier 3- $38/ Tier 2- $43/ Tier 1 -$50 / SRO Track – $50 / Blue Ribbon Zone – $105

Wednesday, August 17: Shaggy & TLC

Tier 3- $24/ Tier 2- $29/ Tier 1 -$36 / SRO Track – $36 / Blue Ribbon Zone – $91

Thursday, August 18: Jon Pardi with Lainey Wilson and Chapel Hart

Tier 3 – $33 / Tier 2 – $38 / Tier 1 – $45 / SRO Track – $45 / Blue Ribbon Zone – $100

Friday, August 19: Trevor Noah

Tier 3 – $43 / Tier 2 – $48 / Tier 1 – $55 / Track Seats 1200 Avail. – $65 / Blue Ribbon Zone – $110

Saturday, August 20: Disturbed with Nita Strauss

Tier 3 – $44 / Tier 2 – $49 / Tier 1 – $56 / SRO Track – $56 / Blue Ribbon Zone – $111

Sunday, August 21: Sammy Hagar & The Circle with Ann Wilson of Heart

Tier 3 – $43 / Tier 2 – $48 / Tier 1 – $55 / SRO Track – $55 / Blue Ribbon Zone – $110

*A $30 Stage Side Party ticket is offered as an additional upgrade for all paid concerts. All Stage Side Party tickets purchased before July 15 will include a free state fair parking pass for the day of the concert.

Mark your calendars for the 2022 Illinois State Fair, August 11 through 21, in Springfield. Stay up to date with all the latest news and announcements from the Illinois State Fair by connecting with us via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Pritzker Signs Legislation Increasing Mental Health Workforce In Illinois

By Frank Conklin, The Chicago Times

June 12, 2022

SPRINGFIELD, IL — Governor Pritzker signed Senate Bill 3617 on Friday which is hoped to address the shortage of mental health professionals in Illinois and increase access to high-quality mental health services across the State.

According to the Governor’s Office “The bill temporarily allows professional licensees out of practice for less than five years to reactivate their license with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). The bill also seeks to expand behavioral health training, incentivizes the hiring of individuals in recovery from substance use disorder or mental illness, and makes it easier for advanced practice registered nurses to treat patients.”

“We need a mental healthcare workforce that is robust enough to get people help when they need it—not after months on a waiting list.  I am proud to sign this mental health omnibus bill—training, expanding, and diversifying our behavioral health workforce—into law. This legislation invests in mental health infrastructure—and that infrastructure is people. Our therapists. Our social workers. Our crisis counselors. There is nothing more important than investing in the people who support the health and wellbeing of Illinoisans.” Pritzker said in a statement.

The bill will eliminate barriers to those wishing to re-enter the mental health workforce, such as continuing education credit completion, passing additional examinations, and fee payments.  However, former license holder must be in good standing to have their licenses reactivated. Mental health professionals out of practice for less than five years may restore their license with IDFPR.  The bill enables advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) and physicians to conduct any required psychiatric visits to patients in Special Mental Health Rehabilitation Facilities.

The Recovery and Mental Health Tax Credit is also created under the bill which creates a program to provide tax incentives to qualified employers who employ eligible individuals who are in recovery from a substance use disorder or mental illness.

“The past couple of years have strained our health professions and underscored the incredible need for a strong mental health workforce to meet increased demand.  We want residents of all ages and of all backgrounds to receive the care and help they deserve, and we can only do that if we have enough qualified professionals able to assist. This measure removes bureaucratic hurdles and will help bring trained professionals back to the field right when we need them the most.”  said Rep. Deb Conroy (D-Elmhurst), sponsor of the bill.

Pritzker Signs Bill to Expand Use of Expressway Cameras for Law Enforcement Investigations

by Frank Conklin, The Chicago Times

June 4, 2022

SPRINGFIELD, IL — Governor J. B. Pritzker signed two pieces of legislation on Friday that expand the use of expressway cameras for law enforcement agencies to investigate criminal activities along expressways and State highways.  This legislation is effective immediately.

“There is nothing more important than keeping Illinoisans safe—in our schools, in our parks, and on our expressways.  The tragic incidences of gun violence on our highways requires aggressive and intentional action. By signing this bill, law enforcement agencies will have the tools to respond to criminal activity in a timely and efficient manner—ensuring the safety and security of our residents, while holding perpetrators accountable.” Pritzker said in a statement.

“Automated license plate readers play a growing, critical role in ISP investigations and arrests in the Chicagoland area.  ISP now routinely uses this technology to track down expressway shootings and carjacking suspects, so the expansion of this technology across Illinois expands our ability to protect our interstates and bring violent criminals to justice.” ,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly.

According to a press release “The Illinois State Police (ISP), working with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Chicago Department of Transportation, has installed more than 150 Automated License Plate Readers (ALPRs) on Chicago expressways with plans to install approximately 150 more throughout the summer. These ALPRs cover the Dan Ryan Expressway (I-94), I-90, I-290, I-55, and I-57.”

As of June 2022, there have been 69 expressway shootings reported on expressways in Cook County.  During June of 2021 there were a total of 90 expressway shootings which included 45 shootings resulting in injuries and eight fatalities.  Earlier this month, Pritzker signed laws strengthening the Violent Crime Witness Protection Act, which is hoped to combat carjackings and vehicle thefts. 

Pritzker Signs Bills Aimed To Combat Carjackings

by Frank Conklin, The Chicago Times

SPRINGFIELD, IL — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a series of bills designed to combat the ever-rising level of carjackings and vehicle thefts.

According to the Governor’s Office, the bills target the use of key-fob-hacking, allocate $6.5 million in law enforcement grants, and waive fines and tickets accumulated on a stolen vehicle.

These laws will take effect on Jan. 1.

Pritzker To Place Grocery Sales Tax On A Diet

by Horace Douglas, The Chicago Times

April 8, 2022

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker announced plans to suspend grocery taxes and freeze the state’s fuel tax.

According to Pritzker’s office, $1.8 billion have been earmarked in the new budget for taxpayer relief.

“Over the last few weeks, and especially over the last 48 hours, we’ve engaged in a true give and take, which led to genuine compromise, and it honestly helped that we all came into this process committed to a fiscally-responsible spending plan that improved our state’s finances and helped our people in an hour of genuine need.” Pritzker said in a statement.

Pritzker’s budget proposes a suspension of Illinois’ 1% sales tax on groceries for the new fiscal year which will end July 1, 2023.  In addition, Pritzker proposed a freezing the state fuel tax at $.39 a gallon until January 1, 2023.  According to official Illinois bean counters, the election year tax gimmick will save taxpayers $470 million dollars.

Killer Nurse Convicted

By Janice Cameron, The Chicago Times

March 24, 2022

EDWARDSVILLE, IL – A licensed practical nurse has been convicted on charges of reckless conduct for failing to administer life-saving measures to a Collinsville Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center patient.

According to Madison County prosecutors, Christy McCall, 45, of Belleville was convicted and handed a sentence of 12 months of probation.  McCall plead guilty to reckless conduct that resulted in death of a patient.

Court documents revealed that McCall failed to administer Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation after a resident patient was found unresponsive by other nursing staff.  According to investigator reports, McCall did not even bother to enter the patient’s room.

As a result of the investigation and conviction, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation suspended McCall’s nursing license.