Quick Hits in Illinois: Riders Protest Over Holiday Weekend; Illegally Obtained Wild Animals Discovered in Sandwich | Illinois

Pilots protest on bank holiday weekend

Airline pilots are picketing airports across the country, including Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

Their union said that during their time off, pilots express concerns about better pay and benefits, and better working conditions. Airlines have cited a shortage of pilots as one of the reasons for so many cancellations and delays for travelers.

Work zone modifications for vacation trips

To ease the flow of traffic, the Illinois Department of Transportation has announced that lanes that have been closed for construction will reopen, when possible, for the Labor Day holiday.

Non-emergency closures will be suspended from 3:00 pm on Friday until around midnight on Monday, September 5. Drivers are urged to pay close attention to changing conditions and signs in work zones, obey posted speed limits, refrain from using mobile devices, and stay alert for workers and equipment. And at all times, buckle up and drive sober.

IDOT seeks ‘snowbird’ drivers

The Illinois Department of Transportation is looking for drivers to step up and apply for seasonal positions to help with snow and ice removal across the state.

Through the department’s annual “snowbird” program, IDOT is hiring snow removal operators and wage laborers to help maintain more than 45,000 miles of roads across the state during the winter season.

Snowbirds must respond quickly to emerging weather situations and be ready to work under emergency conditions at any time, including nights, weekends and holidays.

Updated COVID Reinforcements for Illinois

Illinois expects to receive about 580,000 updated COVID-19 booster doses next week.

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The boosters are intended to protect against both the original COVID strain and the BA.4 and BA.5 omicron subvariants that are the current dominant strains. Health officials expect the two variants to continue to circulate around the country this fall and winter.

Illegally Obtained Wild Animals Discovered in Sandwich

After a year-long investigation, the Illinois Conservation Police served a search warrant and found numerous illegally obtained wild animals, both dead and alive, inside a DeKalb County residence.

Inside the home in Sandwich, police found caged snakes, 12 raccoons, seven opossums, two squirrels, a skunk and other animals. A 33-year-old woman was allegedly a licensed Illinois wildlife rehabilitator, but police determined her license was obtained fraudulently.

Wells Fargo ordered to pay $22 million to former employee

The US Department of Labor has ordered Wells Fargo to pay $22 million to a former Chicago employee for violating whistleblower protection laws.

The department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration said the bank fired the executive in 2019 for raising concerns about potential legalities, including wire fraud.

The agency said Wells Fargo argued the individual was fired in a restructuring, but an investigation revealed the manager was treated differently from others who were laid off in that process.