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Illinois quick hits: Wildfire smoke may impact Illinois; $21 million unclaimed returned


Wildfire smoke may impact Illinois

For a second consecutive year, Illinois may be affected by Canadian wildfire smoke.

Air quality alerts have been issued in Minnesota and Wisconsin, but the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency said a shift in the wind could impact Illinois.

The Canadian National Wildland Fire Situation report said the chance for more wildfires this summer appears to be high.

$21 million unclaimed returned

Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs said his office last month returned nearly $21 million to Illinoisans as part of the I-CASH program.

The total for April included over $19 million in cash and interest and nearly $1 million in stock value that was returned to over 16,000 people.

So far this year, the treasurer’s office said it has returned over $77 million to state residents.

‘Most normal state’

A new study has ranked Illinois as the “most normal state in the country.”

Data compiled by the Washington Post considered 30 socioeconomic factors such as race, religion, education, income and social issues and found that Illinois was the state that most closely resembled the U.S. average.

The study also compared each state to its best match as how it compares with others on the variables, finding Illinois’ best match to be New York.