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The Cook County Forest Preserves have offered respite during the pandemic. (Forest Preserve District of Cook County / Facebook)

Throughout the pandemic, nature has proved its worth as an outlet and resource, benefiting people’s physical, emotional and mental well-being. Now the question is, will people return the favor?

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Provident Hospital (Google Maps Streetview)

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle plans to consolidate two clinics into Provident Hospital and change its full-service emergency room to a stand-by emergency department. “We are strengthening Provident Hospital. It is here to stay. Period,” she said.

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Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle appears on “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. (WTTW News)

The economic collapse caused by the coronavirus pandemic presented an “extraordinarily challenging” set of circumstances to the county’s finance team, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said a day before unveiling her $6.9 billion spending plan.

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Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks at a press conference after a Kentucky grand jury released its findings on the police shooting of Breonna Taylor on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. (WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot urged Chicagoans to observe a moment of silence at 7 p.m. Wednesday to honor Breonna Taylor, hours after a Kentucky grand jury declined to indict three police officers for their role in her death.

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(WTTW News)

“If you’re not registered to vote, it’s not too late,” Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said Tuesday as she urged people to participate in the November election.

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Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle appears on “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. (WTTW News)

Cook County’s second annual Racial Equity Week began Monday. This year’s theme: acknowledging past harm, its impact today and a vision for the future. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle tells us more.

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Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle talks Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020 at a press conference in Oak Lawn. (Toni Preckwinkle / Facebook)

Cook County officials are urging suburban municipalities to apply for $51 million in CARES Act funds before the Sept. 30 deadline. “This is a use-it-or-lose-it proposition,” said Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

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Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle talks about the rise in deaths by suicide in the Black community at a press conference on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. (Toni Preckwinkle / Facebook)

More African Americans in Cook County have died by suicide this year than during all of 2019, with a notable increase among young people, according to county officials. “This is horrifying,” Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said.

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(Marco Verch Professional Photographer and Speaker / Flickr)

COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting Black and Brown communities, but the opioid crisis is also taking a “devastating toll” on Chicago-area residents this year, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said.

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(Ken Teegardin / Flickr)

The economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic has blown a $280 million hole in Cook County’s budget for 2020, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said Friday.

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(rawpixel / Pixabay)

The Cook County Department of Public Health will scale up its COVID-19 contact tracing program within the next six months, thanks to a $41 million grant from the Illinois Department of Public Health. 

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(WTTW News)

Speaking on National Gun Violence Awareness Day, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said Friday there has been a marked increase in gun violence in 2020, despite a stay-at-home order that was in place statewide for more than two months during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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James Norwood, 53, of the suburb of South Holland, came to the Saturday, May 30, 2020 protest with his daughter Hannah. (Evan Garcia / WTTW News)

Following days of violence and looting throughout the city and county, a group of faith leaders, community activists and politicians are urging peaceful protests while calling for reform. “There’s a way we can resist constructively,” said Jahmal Cole.

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(WTTW News)

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle backed an effort Wednesday to give property owners a bit of financial “breathing room” by waiving late fees on second-half property tax bills due Aug. 3.

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As with many other local governments, COVID-19 is hurting Cook County’s bottom line. County Board President Toni Preckwinkle says the county could be facing a projected budget shortfall around $260 million. 

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Visitors have been ignoring forest preserve rules, leading officials to place limits on access. (Raed Mansour / Flickr)

Too many visitors are flocking to the most popular forest preserves and ignoring social distancing rules, prompting weekend parking lot closures through the end of May, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced Friday.

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