IHSA pushes ahead with winter sports  

IHSA pushes ahead with winter sports  

The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) decided on Oct. 28 to move forward with winter basketball season despite guidelines issued from the Pritzker Administration and the Illinois Department of Public Health to postpone basketball this season.

IHSA voted to allow for basketball season to proceed after the Pritzker Administration announced on Oct. 27 that basketball would no longer be considered a “medium risk” sport, but instead be grouped as “high risk” according to state health officials. Under current restrictions, this would mean schools would not be allowed to hold contact games or practices.

Despite the reclassification, the IHSA board voted to allow basketball seasons to move forward in November. Whether or not a school will participate in this year’s basketball season will be decided locally.

The IHSA board said in a statement:

“After diligent discussion, the Board has made the decision today to follow the recommendation of the IHSA SMAC as it relates to basketball. The Board remains considerate of rising COVID-19 cases in Illinois and understand the importance of adhering to safety guidelines for the good of all citizens. However, the Board has not been presented any causal evidence that rising COVID-19 cases make basketball more dangerous to play by the IDPH or any other health organization nationally or internationally. On the contrary, the IHSA has been looking to bordering states who have sponsored both medium risk and high risk sports in the fall that have noted a low incident rate of COVID-19 spread.”

The statement also took note of the negative impact not allowing students to participate in sports will have on the mental wellbeing of students stating, “We fear for the mental health of students who attempt to traverse a long winter with no athletic outlet available.”

The basketball season is scheduled to begin with practices starting on November 16th and games beginning on November 30th. The season will include a maximum of 31 games. As a part of the mitigation plan, masks will be worn by all players, coaches, and officials during play.

IHSA also released guidance for “low-risk” sports including swimming and diving, cheerleading, dance, bowling, and gymnastics. The season for these sports will run from November 16 to February 13. The association also decided to move the wrestling season to summer, from April 19 to June 26.

Extensions for License Plate Stickers ends

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is reminding drivers that the extensions for license plates stickers comes to an end on Nov. 1.  

The Secretary of State’s office announced back in July that drivers would have until the beginning of November to renew their stickers, with the extension applying to those who had July, August and September expiration dates.

Drivers continue to be encouraged to go to www.cyberdriveillinois.com to renew their license plate stickers online. For drivers who renew online and pay with an e-check, the payment processing fee is waived through the end of the year.

Driver’s licenses and ID cards remain extended until Feb. 1, 2021.

Don’t Forget to Change Your Clocks and Smoke Detector Batteries

You may wake up on Sunday feeling a little bit more rested, if you remember to change your clocks before you head to bed on Saturday.

Daylight Savings Time officially ends at 2:00am on Sunday, November 1st, so don’t forget to change your clocks to “fall back” an hour on Saturday evening. While most cell phones, computers, and many other electronic devices will automatically make the change, most appliances, non-smartwatches and other non-connected devices will have to be manually changed.

Fire officials also recommend using the twice-per-year clock changing dates to test and/or replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. If you aren’t sure how to test your batteries, the best bet is to replace them. According to the National Fire Protection Association, fire departments respond to an average of more than 350,000 home fires each and every year, and 3/5ths of fire deaths occur in homes with no functioning smoke alarms.

Senate Republicans call for transparency from the Pritzker Administration  

After ten of the state’s eleven health regions have been placed under stricter mitigation measures over the past few weeks, the Illinois Senate Republicans are seeking answers from the Administration.

On Oct. 28, on behalf of the Senate Republican caucus, Republican Senate Leader Bill Brady hosted a press conference calling on the Illinois Senate to hold a public hearing in which the Governor’s office would be asked to share the data they are using when implementing mitigation measures.

As of Oct. 30, only one of the state’s 11 IDPH regions remain without additional mitigations, which includes the complete suspension of indoor dining at restaurants.

Senate Republicans note that no data has been provided showing restaurants are a leading cause of this second surge of the COVID-19 health pandemic currently underway in Illinois, yet they are the ones being targeted.

Given the widespread consequences and negative impact these unilateral decisions are having on the residents and businesses of this state, Senate Republicans are asking that the Governor participate in hearings to provide the science and date behind his mitigation policies.

Dale Fowler

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