CameraGallery

2020 in Pictures

A look back in photos from this year from photographer and reporter Shea Lazansky


CameraGallery

Top Regional Story of 2020 #2: The Protests

Civil unrest broke out across the country and in Northern Illinois in early summer after video surfaced of a white police officer kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, a Black man living in Minneapolis, for eight minutes. Floyd's death sparked massive outrage across the country, as marchers took to the streets for demonstrations. While most of the protests were peaceful, some took a violent turn. A police car was set on fire in Aurora, while several businesses were damaged. In DeKalb, looters damaged local businesses on Annie Glidden Road and Hillcrest Drive. Peaceful demonstrations were held in just about every county in Northern Illinois, with protestors calling for an end to police brutality. In Kane County, protestors in Geneva marched down Route 38 after bringing their message to the intersection of Third and State streets. Protests were also held in St. Charles, Batavia and Elburn. In Kendall County, hundreds of people attended peaceful protests in Oswego, Yorkville and Plano. In Plano, protesters were met by a small group of counter-protesters, but the event went on without incident. The rioting in Chicago and Aurora prompted concerned downtown Oswego business owners to board up their stores along Main Street for several days. The boards came off the building as concerns over the prospects of local rioting eased.


CameraGallery

Top Regional Story of 2020 #3: The Election

The Nov. 3 General Election had one of the highest voter turnouts in U.S. history. Several communities in Northern Illinois also saw record turnout, leaving many races too close to call. Kane County not only saw a record turnout, but the highest number of early and mail-in votes. The McHenry County Clerk's Office reported 237,640 registered voters -- an increase of 19,462 over 2016 -- and 165,512 ballots cast for a voter turnout rate of 70%, matching the 2008 peak. Voter turnout in Kendall County was 76%--the highest since the 1992 presidential election. The Biden-Harris presidential ticket carried the county with 51% of the vote to 45% for Trump-Pence.


CameraGallery

2020 in Pictures

A look back in photos from this year from photographer and reporter Shea Lazansky


CameraGallery

Top Regional Story of 2020 #2: The Protests

Civil unrest broke out across the country and in Northern Illinois in early summer after video surfaced of a white police officer kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, a Black man living in Minneapolis, for eight minutes. Floyd's death sparked massive outrage across the country, as marchers took to the streets for demonstrations. While most of the protests were peaceful, some took a violent turn. A police car was set on fire in Aurora, while several businesses were damaged. In DeKalb, looters damaged local businesses on Annie Glidden Road and Hillcrest Drive. Peaceful demonstrations were held in just about every county in Northern Illinois, with protestors calling for an end to police brutality. In Kane County, protestors in Geneva marched down Route 38 after bringing their message to the intersection of Third and State streets. Protests were also held in St. Charles, Batavia and Elburn. In Kendall County, hundreds of people attended peaceful protests in Oswego, Yorkville and Plano. In Plano, protesters were met by a small group of counter-protesters, but the event went on without incident. The rioting in Chicago and Aurora prompted concerned downtown Oswego business owners to board up their stores along Main Street for several days. The boards came off the building as concerns over the prospects of local rioting eased.


CameraGallery

Top Regional Story of 2020 #3: The Election

The Nov. 3 General Election had one of the highest voter turnouts in U.S. history. Several communities in Northern Illinois also saw record turnout, leaving many races too close to call. Kane County not only saw a record turnout, but the highest number of early and mail-in votes. The McHenry County Clerk's Office reported 237,640 registered voters -- an increase of 19,462 over 2016 -- and 165,512 ballots cast for a voter turnout rate of 70%, matching the 2008 peak. Voter turnout in Kendall County was 76%--the highest since the 1992 presidential election. The Biden-Harris presidential ticket carried the county with 51% of the vote to 45% for Trump-Pence.



CameraGallery

Top Regional Story of 2020 #9: Caterpillar site sold; 500 jobs to remain on site

In the brief statement issued March 9, Shauna Myers, a communications representative for Caterpillar, said the "sale of the campus follows the company’s decision in March 2017 to move machine production to other U.S. manufacturing facilities. Caterpillar will lease portions of the current site from the buyer for engineering and product support work."



The COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. in full force in early March, upending life as we know it by closing schools, businesses and cancelling events throughout the country. The virus has infected hundreds of thousands of Illinois residents, and leaving thousands dead. The ripple effects of this invisible virus impacted all facets of "normal life" as many people traded in their cubicles for the kitchen table for work space and a makeshift classroom for the kids, while essential workers continued to put on a brave face as they showed up for their shifts, despite the potential for exposure to COVID-19. The state of Illinois was effectively shut down until the end of June, when restrictions eased, allowing for outdoor, and then eventually indoor, dining. As the weather got cooler, the debate over opening schools ignited, with some districts in Northern Illinois returning to a full-time in-person schedule, while others experimented with a hyrbid learning model, or stayed in a fully-remote learning model. But the pandemic rages on, as cases continue to surge in Northern Illinois and across the country, while local businesses continue to take the brunt of the restrictions, leaving many empty storefronts as they're forced to close. In Geneva, Fox Fire restaurant filed a temporary restraining order in November against Gov. JB Pritzker's Tier 3 mitigations, which prohibited indoor dining. A Kane County judge granted the order, which was later overturned by a higher court. Restaurants in McHenry and other counties also followed suit.