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In this Aug. 21, 2007 file photo, former Illinois Gov. Jim Thompson, pauses before beginning a news conference in Chicago. (AP Photo / M. Spencer Green, File)

Former Illinois Gov. James R. Thompson, known as “Big Jim” during a long career that eventually made him the state’s longest-serving chief executive, has died. He was 84.

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Mayor Lightfoot announces a plan to prevent looting as the Chicago Police Department seeks the public’s help in apprehending additional suspects. As Election Day draws closer, the Postal Service issues a warning about mail-in ballots.

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A mailer sent from the Chicago Board of Elections for the March 2020 primary. (WTTW News)

Under Illinois law, a voter can request a mail-in ballot up to five days before Election Day. But the USPS warns that voters who wait until that deadline are at high risk of being disenfranchised, due to the Postal Service’s delivery capabilities.

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Windows at a Sephora in downtown Chicago are boarded up following looting on Sunday, Aug. 9, 2020. (WTTW News)

The mayor announced a five-point plan to protect businesses and better identify and respond to looting through analytics, additional police deployments and faster lockdowns in areas where businesses are being burglarized.

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Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden joined by his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., replaces his face mask after speaking at the Hotel DuPont in Wilmington, Del., Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020. (AP Photo / Carolyn Kaster)

Joe Biden is calling for a nationwide protective mask mandate, citing health experts’ predictions that it could save 40,000 lives from coronavirus over the next three months.

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State Sen. Terry Link, a Waukegan Democrat,  is charged with tax fraud.

A group of lawmakers proposes a new ethics package as another member of the Illinois General Assembly is charged with a federal crime.

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(WTTW News)

Led by Mayor Lori Lightfoot, a new plan for police reform from the U.S. Conference of Mayors calls for sweeping changes to agreements with police unions in order to allow officers to be held accountable for misconduct.

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(WTTW News)

More 230,000 Chicago voters have applied to vote by mail in November, shattering the record set during this year’s primary election with more than 80 days left until Election Day, officials said Thursday.

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“America is crying out for leadership,” Sen. Kamala Harris said during her first press conference as Joe Biden’s running mate on Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020. (WTTW News via CNN)

Likely Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has formally announced Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate. Our politics team takes on that story and other national and local news in this week’s roundtable.

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(WTTW News)

November’s election is sure to be unlike any other — and not just because of who is on the ballot, but because of how people are expected to cast their ballots.

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A movement to change the name of Douglas Park has sparked changes to the Park District's code. (WTTW News)

In a move prompted by the controversy surrounding Douglas(s) Park, the Park District Board of Commissioners voted to begin the process of amending its code in order to establish a clearer two-step policy for renaming parks.

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Broken windows at a Dior store in downtown Chicago on Monday, Aug. 10, 2020. (WTTW News)

City officials will restrict access to downtown Chicago through the weekend, even though the city has not seen widespread looting in two days.

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(WTTW News)

The Chicago Police Department is struggling to reform the way it trains, supervises and disciplines officers. What’s being done to address the slow pace of reforms.

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An empty pedestal in Grant Park where a statue of Christopher Columbus stood recently. (WTTW News)

After protests forced Mayor Lori Lightfoot to remove the city’s statues of Christopher Columbus, the city will launch an effort to “provide a vehicle to address the hard truths of Chicago’s racial history,” the mayor’s office announced Wednesday. 

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Windows at a Sephora in downtown Chicago are boarded up following looting on Sunday, Aug. 9, 2020. (WTTW News)

Businesses and residents are bracing for the possibility of future upheaval following widespread theft and property damage on Sunday night. How police are responding — and what else is being done to address systemic issues.

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Visitors to Navy Pier take advantage of blue skies Friday, June 12, 2020. The popular tourist attraction reopened, with restrictions, on Wednesday, June 10. (WTTW News)

Lawmakers on Tuesday approved new rules crafted by Gov. J.B. Pritzker to reduce the spread of the coronavirus despite opposition from Illinois Republicans and the Illinois Retail Merchants Association.