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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.


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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.