* October 30th…
A McHenry County judge denied a temporary restraining order Friday filed by 37 local bars and restaurants to remain open despite the governor’s mitigation rules set to take effect Saturday.
* Last Wednesday…
McHenry County’s top prosecutor announced Wednesday that his office will not enforce Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s order to ban indoor dining at restaurants.
State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally issued a statement that the Illinois Emergency Management Act, which gives the governor authority to issue executive orders, does not require or empower the state’s attorney to enforce the orders.
Kenneally also wrote that there is “the legitimate question” being litigated in court over whether the governor’s repeated orders are authorized by law. So far, while two trial courts have ruled that the orders were not lawful, two McHenry County judges, as well as appellate and federal courts, have upheld the orders on at least a preliminary basis.
Kenneally said he would continue to enforce legitimate mask and distancing orders, but chided lawmakers for failing to clarify the law on “one of the most important issues this State has ever faced.”
Um, if he had bothered to read the recent binding appellate decision, he’d know that the General Assembly passed three bills in May which reiterated the governor’s right to issue successive executive orders. But, you know, that would get in the way of doing his job, so he chose to remain ignorant.
* And there is a local problem…
Through the Freedom of Information Act, CBS 2 obtained a list of dozens of McHenry County eateries that have violated rules.
Around the Clock allows indoor dining. At Niko’s Red Mill Tavern in Woodstock inspectors saw indoor dining, no social distancing, and employees and patrons not wearing face coverings. At DC Cobb’s in Woodstock some thing seen were patrons not wearing face masks, indoor dining and operation after 11 p.m.
These restaurants and eight more like them have been visited multiple times. Minimal improvements led to the cases being handed over to the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office.
* Meanwhile, Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder has finally seen the light…
Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder is urging surrounding counties to enforce COVID-19 mitigations similar to what is in place in Springfield.
The Sangamon County Department of Public Health oversees Menard County’s public health department, as well, but they have announced Menard County will not enforce COVID-19 mitigations at this time.
Langfelder said the fight to slow down the spread of COVID-19 should be a community effort, and spikes in Menard County put stress on hospitals in Springfield. […]
Langfelder said he wants restrictions for all surrounding counties and admits this isn’t easy or popular, but believes it’s what is best for the local hospitals.
Three more Sangamon County restaurants were cited for violating COVID-19 mitigations.
According to the Sangamon County Department of Public Health, the three restaurants include:
Route 66 Motorheads in Springfield
Sky Lounge in Springfield
IHOP on Sunrise Drive in Springfield
* Speaking of restaurants, this is from a Facebook post by the proprietors of Effingham’s Firefly Grill…
Here we are again, another crossroads, another terrible decision to face. Niall and I have had many sleepless nights these last few months as we try to find our way forward through this pandemic.
Bottom line is that firefly’s current model cannot stay solvent running only curbside. If we believed that the safety restrictions would be in place long-term, we would figure out how to adapt and reluctantly change our model.
I say reluctantly because serving people in person on our beautiful farm is what we truly love to do. Firefly isn’t a drive-through, it’s an experience. Our passion is connection, to each other, to our visitors, to our land and our community. Cooking food in an empty restaurant is demoralizing for our family and team.
If we believed these restrictions would be longer than the winter, we would find a different path, yet we believe that as soon as it is warm enough to serve outside, we will be able to open our doors once again. Until that time, we are forced to hibernate, and we will be closed.
This is a painful decision and very personal decision; our family is going through a lot right now.
Thanksgiving night, we received word that my stepfather, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 seven days previously, had taken a turn for the worse. This call informed us that hospice had begun to execute end of life protocols. We lost Greg this morning peacefully while my mother was holding his hand.
Whatever people’s personal beliefs are surrounding this disease, the pain and exhaustion our frontline workers and the families losing loved ones are experiencing cannot be denied. Right or wrong, out of respect for my mother, for all the families losing loved ones and for all of our heroes on the frontlines, we will continue to follow the protocols mandated to keep our communities safe.
We encourage everyone to do whatever they can to slow the spread of this disease.
Firefly and our team are grateful for the support of everyone buying gift cards online, we are using these funds to continue upgrades during our pause and literally CANNOT WAIT to serve you in person as soon as we can.
In support of the Huff, Campbell and Samuel Family dealing with the death of such a loving, kind and important member, in lieu of flowers, we have created a Greg Huff Memorial Scholarship for Buckeye Friends School. Donations can be made through the Buckeye website: http://buckeyefs.com/get-involved/donate/
We are grateful for your help, your patience, your understanding and support.
Kristie, Niall and Camden
* Contrast that with this one from the owner of the Fox Run restaurant in Springfield…
The Rest of The Story:
Our local officials overreach of power may be the cause of Fox Run closing, but rest assured, they will never silence me. This isn’t just about Fox Run; this is about every Restaurant and Bar in our area. There are five individuals directly involved in the attack on Restaurants and Bars in Sangamon County. Sangamon County Board Chairman Andy Van Meter, Sangamon County Sheriff Jack Campbell, Mayor Jim Langfelder, Judge Raylene Grischow and Gail O’Neill of the Sangamon County Department of Public Health.
You ask why? What If the County Board Chairman were to have a pet project threatened by the Governor? The County Board Chairman controls the funds for the Sheriff’s Dept. and the Health Dept., that’s not hard to figure out, the Mayor acts like a puppet for the Governor and the Judge openly recognized that it was a valid argument that the Health Department was acting improperly, but she still let them get away with it.
Four of these five spineless individuals are elected by “We the People”. They do not deserve to be re-elected after trying to destroy Sangamon County’s economy. Let’s remember this on their election cycle. I will help remind you. And for Gail O’Neill, I hope you sleep well at night knowing that you are directly the cause of dozens of small business’s closing and hundreds of families going without a paycheck. But that’s alright, I’m sure there is a chair reserved for you at the head of the table in HELL.
He put up a GoFundMe with the goal of raising $100,000. It raised $485. Sounds about right. You’ll remember that he hosted Rep. Darren Bailey at his establishment in May.
* Tribune live blog headlines…
Indiana’s COVID-19 deaths nearly double during November
Bipartisan group of lawmakers pitch $908 billion bill as Biden urges Congress to pass down payment on COVID-19 relief
Column: A parting love letter to City Lit, my favorite bookstore in Chicago, on its final day of business
Giving Tuesday and holiday donations can bring scammers; the pandemic makes it worse.
Esports arena for professional video game competitions planned for Chicago’s Near South Side
Evanston students auction time and talents to save Gyros Planet, a struggling restaurant feeding thousands of hungry families
Chicago officials shut down a 300-person party in Wicker Park over the weekend.
Vandals struck outdoor dining tents in Chicago’s West Loop.
Moderna to seek OK for emergency use of its coronavirus vaccine in US, Europe.
New Trier High School to consider expansion of in-person instruction, citing success of COVID-19 saliva screening program.
COVID-19 vaccines are coming. But first, a long and dark winter.
* Sun-Times live blog headlines…
City shuts down 300-person party in Wicker Park, other businesses for ‘egregiously’ violating COVID-19 restrictions
Fauci warns Pritzker of ‘post-Thanksgiving surge’ — says it’s ‘no time to pull back’ from COVID-19 restrictions
Weekend drop in COVID-19 cases attributed to low number of tests reported over the holiday weekend.
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart tests positive for coronavirus.
Chicago R&B artist Jeremih was reportedly transferred to a regular hospital room Saturday after spending at least a week in intensive care undergoing treatment for COVID-19.
The World Health Organization has recorded 65 cases of the coronavirus among staff based at its headquarters, including five people who worked on the premises and were in contact with one another.
Making the case for standardized school tests, even during a pandemic
* NBC Chicago live blog headlines…
Chicago to Update Emergency Coronavirus Travel Order
Chicago Officials Shut Down 300-Person Party in Wicker Park
No Illinois Regions Will End Tier 3 Mitigations in the Next Few Weeks, Pritzker Says
Post-Thanksgiving COVID-19 Surge Could Overwhelm Illinois’ Health Care System
Investigations Underway After 28 Veterans Die in Coronavirus Outbreak at Illinois VA Home