Top Regional News: Another 4 deaths related to COVID-19 reported in Peoria area

Galesburg Register-Mail

The following stories are among today’s top news of central Illinois.

Another 4 deaths related to COVID-19 reported in Peoria area

PEORIA — An additional four Tri-County-area deaths linked to COVID-19 were reported Tuesday, according to public-health officials.

That brings the pandemic-long total to 291. Most of those victims have died over the past three months.

An additional 309 probable and confirmed positive tests for the disease coronavirus causes also were reported.

Of the four most-recent fatalities, two were from Peoria County and two were from Tazewell County. The deceased from Peoria County were a man in his 70s who had comorbidities, and a woman in her 90s who resided at University Rehab at Northmoor in Peoria. Both Tazewell County victims were in their 60s — a man and a woman. The woman resided at Fondulac Rehabilitation and Health Care in East Peoria.

The Peoria City/County Health Department also announced another 154 positive COVID tests were registered in Peoria County. Tazewell County reported 129 more positives. Another 26 were reported from Woodford County.

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2 more die of COVID-19 in Knox County; 70 total deaths

GALESBURG — Two more people died Tuesday in Knox County, which on Friday ranked 26th in Illinois of counties with the highest death rates due to COVID-19. 

The governor has said the 50 counties with the highest death rates will get the vaccine first.

A man in his 70s and woman in her 80s were added to the official death toll for Knox County Tuesday by the Illinois Department of Public Health. Seventy have now died of the novel coronavirus in Knox County, and at least 53 of those deaths have been in long-term care facilities. Only three had died of COVID-19 prior to Oct. 1.

In Knox County, cases have increased by 400 over the past week, according to data released Tuesday by the Knox County Health Department. The total number of COVID cases in the county is 3,416.

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2 Peoria mayoral candidates removed from ballot due to invalid signatures

PEORIA — The field of candidates for the city's next mayor has narrowed to five as the Peoria County Board of Elections voted to remove two candidates from February's ballot for failure to collect enough signatures.

Pastor Chuck Brown and Couri Thomas were both stricken from the primary ballot. Neither man had enough signatures of registered Peoria voters who lived at the addresses listed in their petition.

Both men, however, appeared to take the decisions in stride and to continue their quest to lead the city. Brown said he would try to conduct a write-in campaign and expected to be mayor in April. Only one area candidate in the last several decades — Aaron Schock running for a Peoria Public Schools board seat — has succeeded as a write-in against those with their names on the ballot.

The objections to Brown and Thomas were brought by Anthony Walraven, who argued that neither man had obtained the requisite 134 signatures to be considered a candidate. That number is based on 1% of the voters in the 2017 mayoral election.

In Thomas' case, he submitted 199 signatures, but Walraven objected to 78 of them on the grounds the people either weren't Peoria residents, were not registered to vote or didn't live at the addresses in the petition. Election Commission director Tom Bride's staff found that of that 78 challenged by Walraven, 68 were invalid — putting Thomas three shy of the 134 required.

For Brown, it was the same thing. He collected 137 signatures, and Walraven challenged about 60. Of those, 52 were found invalid, leaving Brown with 85 valid signatures, well short of the mark.

Check pjstar.com for more on this story.