Quick hits: Illinois news in brief for Monday, Oct. 11, 2021 | Illinois

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Cannabis tax revenue nearly double

The amount of money Illinois has made from cannabis sales in the last three months has nearly doubled since the same time last year.

A new state report shows that marijuana tax revenues have grown almost 89% in the first quarter of FY22.

During that time, Illinois collected over $66 million in cannabis excise taxes.

Costumers question Southwest cancellations 

With Southwest Airlines canceling hundreds of flights over the weekend and leaving passengers stranded across the country, many flyers are wondering if the pilots are engaging in a sick-out protest of the airline’s mandatory vaccine policy.

On Friday, the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association asked a court to block the airline from requiring vaccination, in anticipation of a federal mandate.

One of the airline’s hubs is at Midway Airport in Chicago.

Union workers reject Deere contract offer

The vast majority of union members for the United Auto Workers have rejected a contract offer from Deere & Co. that would have given at least 5% raises.

The Moline-based tractor and equipment maker has been given a strike deadline by the union for 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.

Negotiators plan to return to the bargaining table today to try to work out a new deal to cover the more than 10,000 workers at 14 plants across the country.

Illinois resident dies from West Nile Virus

An Illinois resident has died from West Nile Virus.

The Illinois Department of Public Health confirmed a Will County resident who became ill in late August and tested positive for West Nile virus has died.

So far, 40 human cases of West Nile Virus have been reported in the state.

The virus is transmitted through mosquitoes.

Common symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches.

Illinois ranks seventh in nation for laser strikes on planes

Illinois ranks seventh in the nation in laser strikes on airplanes.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, there have been more than 6,700 laser pointer attacks in the U.S. this year, with Illinois accounting for 263.

The FAA fine for shining a laser at an aircraft can be up to $11,000 per violation.

Violators can also face criminal punishment from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

Griffin richest in Illinois

Fourteen Illinoisans have been ranked among the 400 wealthiest Americans in 2021, including Gov. J.B. Pritzker. Forbes ranks hedge fund manager Ken Griffin as the richest, with a net worth of $16.1 billion.

That is good enough to be ranked 47th overall.

Pritzker is ranked 318th with a net worth of $3.6 billion.

Over the last year, Forbes says the “400 wealthiest Americans saw their collective fortune increase 40% over the last year, to $4.5 trillion.

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Caleb Alexander

Caleb Alexander

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