Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker calls crowded wedding “very irresponsible” amid spike in COVID-19 deaths

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker criticized the hosts of a large wedding in the Chicago area as the state saw a near-record number of COVID-19 related deaths reported Thursday.

State officials said 238 deaths were reported on Wednesday, although figures reported each day could include deaths that happened in earlier days but were not immediately reported to the state. Another 192 deaths were reported Thursday, CBS Chicago reports.

The elevated figures come a day after a wedding in Northbrook, Illinois, where hundreds of people gathered without masks, according to a CBS Chicago report. 

“I’m deeply concerned for the people who attended that wedding, I understand that people were in very close proximity from one another, I understand that those people will go home or back into their communities and may have infected other people, and that is very concerning to all of us,” said Pritzker.  He urged each guest to isolate and get a test.

Pritzker said Cook County, which is where the hotel is located, is taking the lead on enforcement. 

Illinois moved to Tier 3 safety measures on November 20, which includes a ban on indoor service at bars and restaurants; the closing of theaters, casinos and museums; a cap of 10 attendees at funerals; and the closure of hotel meeting and event spaces, among other measures.

Pritzker called the decision to go forward with the wedding after the introduction of more stringent safety guidelines “very irresponsible, and it’s also irresponsible of the hotel to host an event like that. They too have breached the rules and they, too, should be held responsible.”

According to a CBS Chicago report, a statement released by Hilton Chicago/Northbrook General Manager Holly Allgauer-Cir said that while the 150-person wedding was booked prior to the state’s latest, more stringent safety measures, “we sincerely regret allowing this gathering to proceed and our family apologizes to our guests, employees, and the Chicagoland community.

The Illinois Department of Public Health has reported a total of 12,830 deaths from the virus since the pandemic began. The state also reported 10,959 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the total to 759,562 cases since the start of the pandemic.

While deaths from the virus have continued to trend upward since early October, when a new surge of the pandemic started in Illinois, new cases started trending downward over the past few weeks. However, they remain far higher than they were at the start of October, CBS Chicago reports.

Illinois is averaging 9,870 new cases per day over the past two weeks, compared to 11,914 per day over the previous two weeks. That’s still more than four times the average of 2,452 cases per day during the first two weeks of October.

As of Wednesday night, 5,653 virus patients were hospitalized in Illinois, including 1,170 patients in intensive care, and 693 patients on ventilators.

While hospitalizations seem to have started trending downward since peaking at 6,175 on November 20, there are still far more COVID-19 patients

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Iowa vs. Western Illinois odds, line: 2020 college basketball picks, Dec 3. predictions from proven model

The third-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes will take on the Western Illinois Leathernecks at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa is 2-0, while Western Illinois is playing its first game of the season. The Hawkeyes are 10-2-2 against the spread in their last 14 games as home favorites. The Leathernecks are 0-4 against the spread in their last four games.

The Hawkeyes are favored by 31.5 points in the latest Iowa vs. Western Illinois odds from William Hill Sportsbook, and the over-under is set at 153. Before making any Western Illinois vs. Iowa picks, you’ll want to see the college basketball predictions from the model at SportsLine.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past four-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated an impressive profit of almost $2,600 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. It’s also off to a fast start in the 2020-21 season, going 4-1 on its top-rated picks and returning over $300. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Western Illinois vs. Iowa. You can head to SportsLine to see its picks. Here are several college basketball odds for Iowa vs. Western Illinois:

  • Western Illinois vs. Iowa spread: Hawkeyes -31.5
  • Western Illinois vs. Iowa over-under: 153 points
  • Western Illinois vs. Iowa money line: Hawkeyes -25000, Leathernecks +3000

Latest Odds:

Leathernecks
+31.5

What you need to know about Western Illinois

The Leathernecks begin the 2020-21 season with a new coach, as Rob Jeter takes over from Bill Wright, who went 53-115 in six seasons running the Leathernecks that included a 5-21 mark in 2019-20.

Jeter has coached for 25 years, with seven NCAA Tournament appearances. Two of those came during his 11-season tenure as head coach from 2005 to 2016 at Milwaukee, winning two regular-season Horizon League titles and two conference tournament championships.

What you need to know about Iowa

The Hawkeyes are 2-0 to start the season, with a pair of easy victories over North Carolina Central and Southern. Iowa center Luka Garza went off on Southern for 36 first-half points and finished with 41 in the 103-76 victory. Garza is averaging 33.5 points and 9.5 rebounds so far in 2020.

Garza is one of 50 preseason candidates for the 2021 Wooden Award. A finalist for the 2020 award and the reigning Big Ten Player of the Year, Garza is shooting a blistering 22-of-25 shooting (88 percentage) so far.

How to make Western Illinois vs. Iowa picks

The model has simulated Western Illinois vs. Iowa 10,000 times and the results are in. It is leaning over on the total and it’s also generated a point-spread pick that is hitting in almost 60 percent of simulations. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.

So who wins Western Illinois vs. Iowa? And which side of the spread cashes in almost 60 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of

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Eastern Illinois vs. Chicago State odds: 2020 college basketball picks, Dec. 3 predictions from proven model

The Eastern Illinois Panthers will take on the Chicago State Cougars at 3 p.m. ET Thursday at Lantz Arena. EIU is 0-3 and is playing its first home game, while Chicago State is 0-3 and 0-1 on the road. Chicago State was 4-25 last season and winless in the WAC. Eastern Illinois went 17-15 overall with a 9-9 mark in the OVC. 

The Panthers are favored by 24 points in the latest Eastern Illinois vs. Chicago State odds from William Hill Sportsbook. The over-under for total points expected is set at 134. Before entering any Chicago State vs. Eastern Illinois picks, you’ll want to see the college basketball predictions from the model at SportsLine.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every FBS college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past four-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated an impressive profit of almost $2,600 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. It’s also off to a fast start in the 2020-21 season, going 4-1 on its top-rated picks and returning over $300. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Eastern Illinois vs. Chicago State. You can head to SportsLine to see its picks. Here are several college basketball odds for Chicago State vs. Eastern Illinois:

  • Eastern Illinois vs. Chicago State spread: Eastern Illinois -24
  • Eastern Illinois vs. Chicago State over-under: 134 points
  • Eastern Illinois vs. Chicago State money line: Eastern Illinois -10000, Chicago State 2000

Latest Odds:

Panthers
-25.5

What you need to know about Eastern Illinois

The Panthers fell 66-63 to the Dayton Flyers on Tuesday. One thing holding EIU back was the play of guard Josiah Wallace, who struggled from the floor. He played for 29 minutes but put up just six points on 3-for-14 shooting.

Though EIU is winless, it has played a tough schedule and has been able to cover in two out of three matchups. The Panthers easily stayed within the 14.5-point spread against Dayton and the 20.5-point spread against Wisconsin in a 77-67 loss. 

What you need to know about Chicago State

Chicago State, meanwhile, has struggled to be competitive thus far. The Cougars are 0-3 against the spread and are coming off a 74-44 loss to North Carolina A&T. 

They’ll need to improve on both ends of the court, and it will start with more accurate shooting. The Cougars are hitting just 31.2 percent of their shots from the field and only 19.7 percent from 3-point range. Jordan Polynice (10.7 ppg) is the only player scoring more than 7.0 ppg.

How to make Eastern Illinois vs. Chicago State picks

The model has simulated Eastern Illinois vs. Chicago State 10,000 times and the results are in. It is leaning under on the total, and it’s also generated a point-spread pick that is hitting in over 70 percent of simulations. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.

So who wins Eastern Illinois vs. Chicago State? And which side of the

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Depleted Gophers women start slow, rally to stop Eastern Illinois

Kadi Sissoko hadn’t played in a competitive game of basketball in nearly two years.

There was a knee injury, a decision to transfer from Syracuse to Minnesota, surgery, a year sitting out her transfer as her knee fully healed.

Finally, Wednesday:

With the Gophers playing with a skeleton crew, Sissoko was the key. Showing almost no rust, the 6-2 wing made nine of 16 shots, scored 24 points, grabbed eight rebounds and had two steals before fouling out in the final minute of Minnesota’s 72-68 season-opening victory over Eastern Illinois at Williams Arena.

The only downside was that, because of the pandemic, there were no fans to give her a standing ovation.

“It was really exciting to finally play,” Sissoko said. “And have fun on the court with my teammates. I’m really happy about this game.”

The Gophers needed all of it against the Panthers (1-1), who got 22 points from former St. Cloud Apollo star Lariah Washington.

It likely shouldn’t have been this close. But injury and illness limited Gophers coach Lindsay Whalen to just seven available players, three of whom — Justice Ross, Grace Cumming and Erin Hedman — were playing in their first college game.

But just about everyone contributed. Jasmine Powell bounced back from a difficult first half to score 21 points with eight assists.

Sophomore center Klarke Sconiers had 14 points and eight boards. Ross had a nice baseline drive and dish to Sconiers in the fourth quarter. In one crucial sequence Cumming had an offensive rebound, then a corner three with 3:12 left to put the Gophers up 68-60.

The game’s key stretch came from late in the first half into the third quarter. The Gophers trailed by seven with 3:09 left in the first half before finishing on a 7-2 run keyed by Sissoko’s three-pointer.

Then five players scored in a 16-5 run to start the third quarter, putting the Gophers up nine points on Gadiva Hubbard’s two free throws. In that 23-7 run over nine-plus minutes, Powell scored seven, Sissoko six. The Gophers never trailed again. Down seven, the Panthers rallied to within 68-65 on Abby Wahl’s basket in the paint with just over two minutes left.

But Sissoko hit two free throws. Then the Gophers forced a shot-clock violation with just over a minute left to maintain control.

Sissoko had really started coming on in the last week or so of practices, including a dominating performance in a team scrimmage Saturday, Whalen said.

“I felt she had really turned a corner,” Whalen said. “She had been unbelievable in the last two practices. She was incredibly efficient with what she did [Wednesday].”

The Gophers finish their two-game nonconference slate against Drake on Sunday afternoon in another home game. There is a chance Whalen could get another player or two back, but it’s not likely.

She still expects a full squad for the Dec. 9 conference opener at home against Michigan State, including starters Sara Scalia and Laura Bagwell-Katalinich and freshman guard Alexia

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Baylor vs. Illinois odds, line: 2020 Jimmy V Classic picks, predictions from proven computer model

The No. 2 Baylor Bears take on the No. 5 Illinois Fighting Illini in a battle between ranked teams on Wednesday evening. The matchup takes place as part of the Jimmy V Classic, with a national television audience for the contest. Baylor is projected as a national title contender, and the Bears are 2-0 this season. Illinois is also undefeated at 3-0, with the Illini knocking off Ohio in their last contest. 

Tip-off is at 10 p.m. ET in Indianapolis. William Hill Sportsbook lists the Bears as 5.5-point favorites, up from the opener, while the over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 144.5 in the latest Baylor vs. Illinois odds. Before you make any Illinois vs. Baylor picks, check out the college basketball predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past four-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated an impressive profit of almost $2,600 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. It’s also off to a fast start in the 2020-21 season, going 4-1 on its top-rated picks and returning over $300. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Illinois vs. Baylor in the Jimmy V Classic 2020. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the college basketball lines and trends for Baylor vs. Illinois:

  • Baylor vs. Illinois spread: Baylor -5.5
  • Baylor vs. Illinois over-under: 144.5 points
  • Baylor vs. Illinois money line: Baylor -250, Illinois +205
  • BAY: The Bears are 20-12 against the spread since the start of the 2019-20 season
  • ILL: The Illini are 6-6-1 against the spread in the last 13 non-conference games

Latest Odds:

Fighting Illini
+5.5

Why Baylor can cover

The Bears are led by a stellar backcourt, headlined by the preseason Big 12 Player of the Year in Jared Butler. The junior guard is averaging 18.5 points, 4.5 assists and 2.5 steals per game, with Butler bringing two-way impact to the table. Next to Butler is senior guard MaCio Teague, who is also one of the better guards in the country, and Teague is averaging 18.0 points and 6.5 rebounds this season. 

Baylor projects to be elite on both ends of the floor, with a top-five shooting efficiency mark and a top-five national ranking in offensive rebounding. The Bears are shooting 50 percent from three-point range and 56 percent from two-point range this season, and they have plenty of firepower. 

Defensively, Baylor has been tremendous in securing the glass, grabbing 83.3 percent of available rebounds. On the perimeter, the Bears are stifling in terms of defensive pressure, leading to opponents shooting only 25.6 percent from three-point distance so far this season.

Why Illinois can cover

The Illini are one of the preseason favorites in the Big Ten, with high-end talent at multiple levels. Illinois is currently No. 1 in the country in defensive rebounding, allowing opponents to grab

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Gophers women-Eastern Illinois game preview

2 p.m. vs. Eastern Illinois • BTN Plus, 96.7-FM

Seven strong for opener

Gophers update: This is the season opener for the Gophers, who will be shorthanded. Injury and illness will limit coach Lindsay Whalen to seven healthy players. The starting lineup likely will include Jasmine Powell and Gadiva Hubbard, starters from last season. Joining them should be Kadi Sissoko, the transfer from Syracuse, freshman Erin Hedman and either Klarke Sconiers or Grace Cumming. Whalen will have either Sconiers or Cumming off the bench along with Justice Ross. Either way, three of the team’s seven available players will be playing in their first college game.

Eastern Illinois update: The Panthers are led by sophomore guard Lariah Washington, a former St. Cloud Apollo star. She led EIU with 18 points and had 10 rebounds and two assists in the Panthers’ season-opening victory over Illinois-Chicago. Washington started 30 of 31 games as a freshman, averaging 11.2 points and 5.0 rebounds. She was the Ohio Valley Conference freshman of the year and all-conference first team member. Abby Wahl, a 6-1 junior center, had 16 points and 21 rebounds vs. UIC.

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Baylor vs. Illinois line, picks: Advanced computer college basketball model releases selections for Jimmy V Classic matchup

The Baylor Bears and the Illinois Fighting Illini square off in a battle between top-10 teams at 10 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Baylor is favored by 5.5 points at William Hill Sportsbook, while the Over-Under is set at 144.5 (see up-to-date odds for every game this week on our college basketball odds page). Before making any Baylor vs. Illinois picks, you NEED to check out the college basketball predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past four-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated an impressive profit of almost $2,600 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. It’s also off to a fast start in the 2020-21 season, going 4-1 on its top-rated picks and returning over $300. Anyone who has followed it has seen HUGE returns.

Now, it has set its sights on Baylor vs. Illinois. We can tell you the model is leaning Over the total, and it also says one side of the spread hits in well over 60 percent of simulations! You ABSOLUTELY need to see it before locking in any college basketball picks.

Who wins Baylor vs. Illinois? And which side of the spread hits in well over 60 percent of simulations? … Join SportsLine right now to find out which side of the Baylor vs. Illinois spread you should be all over Wednesday, all from the model on a roll on college basketball picks!

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Illinois mayor Steve Chirico shamed for maskless wedding

A bride holds a bouquet

A bride holds a bouquet

KRT/Miami Herald file

We all miss travel, and people and friends, and doing actual things that involve standing less than six feet from other humans without a face covering.

But experts in the science and medical community are telling us not to, at least for the time being. So that’s why those who are in the public eye who partake in maskless celebrations get duly roasted.

The latest politician to be COVID shamed is Steve Chirico, mayor of Naperville, Illinois.

Last weekend, Chirico apparently attended his daughter’s wedding in Naples, Florida, and even posted a picture smiling ear to ear maskless with a group of other nonmasked folks, including one child.

Who brought his pandemic-related misdeeds to light? The mayor’s very own niece, who was either not invited, or just decided not to go.

“I can’t believe I have to say this but if you are HAVING A WEDDING THIS WEEKEND WITH UNMASKED PEOPLE IN ATTENDANCE something is wrong with you!!!!” blasted food blogger Kristen Chirico of the controversial snap of her uncle.

As the post quickly spread, many commenters were surprised the journalist would rat out her own family.

“I actually don’t need to protect these people, because they don’t think they’ve done anything wrong,” she fumed. “Maybe they’ll be mad but also maybe we might save some lives so I’m willing to roll the dice on this.”

A Naperville woman Holly Hootman retweeted Chirico’s rant with the snap in question and called him out because he recently proposed a mask mandate.

The mayor later sent out a statement defending his actions.

“My family and I all took COVID tests and tested negative prior to traveling to Florida this weekend for my daughter Jenna’s wedding,” it said. “It was an outdoor wedding and reception with a total of 53 guests. Upon my return to Naperville, I will be quarantining and testing again.”

It was unclear the following Monday if Chirico or any guests had since tested positive for coronavirus. Florida’s Department of Health confirmed 6,659 additional cases, pushing the Sunshine State closer to the one-million mark.

Celebrity/real time news reporter Madeleine Marr has been with The Miami Herald since 2003. She has covered such features as travel, fashion and food. In 2007, she helped launch the newspaper’s daily People Page, attending red carpet events, awards ceremonies and press junkets; interviewing some of the biggest names in show business; and hosting her own online show. She is originally from New York City and has two daughters.

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YouTuber niece of Illinois mayor criticizes uncle for attending wedding amid Covid-19 surge

The internet celebrity niece of an Illinois mayor criticized her uncle on Sunday for attending a family wedding in Florida.

Kristin Chirico, former BuzzFeed personality and co-host of YouTube’s “The Kitchen & Jorn Show,” said Naperville mayor Steve Chirico was “not sorry” for his actions, which were a “tremendous insult” to the community.

“He should be held accountable,” Chirico tweeted on Sunday, addressing organizers in Naperville. “Demand updates. You belong in this community, too. Your safety matters. YOU matter. I’m rooting for you.”

Chirico did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Her statement came after a widely circulated photo on social media showed Steve Chirico standing close together with his family at his daughter’s wedding — none of whom wore masks.

Steve Chirico confirmed to NBC News in an email that he traveled to Florida for his daughter’s outdoor wedding and reception, which had a total of 53 guests.

“My family and I all took COVID tests and tested negative prior to traveling to Florida this weekend for my daughter Jenna’s wedding,” he said in a statement. “Upon my return to Naperville, I will be quarantining and testing again.”

His niece wasn’t the only one to criticize the mayor.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker voiced his concerns at a daily coronavirus briefing on Monday, saying people were not following public health measures to mitigate the spread of the virus, NBC Chicago reported.

“I even saw a story about a mayor here in Illinois who flew to Florida for a wedding, didn’t wear a mask, and the wedding had more than 50 people and that’s the kind of thing — that’s precisely what we ask people not to do,” Pritzker said.

The controversy came as Covid-19 cases were on the rise in all 50 states. The mayor’s trip also followed a warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention telling Americans not to travel for the holidays.

As of Tuesday, DuPage County, where Naperville is located, reported more than 41,000 cases and 748 deaths since the pandemic began in March, according to the Johns Hopkins Covid-19 dashboard.

Chirico tweeted on Saturday that her uncle and his immediate family did not believe “they’ve done anything wrong.”

She added that she was initially hesitant to publicly speak out against her uncle, but “like… people are dying, Kim,” referencing a meme from “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.”

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