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Forest Park’s declared state of emergency is no longer in effect. The declaration was allowed to expire as its extension was not on the agenda for the June 8 village council meeting. With the end of the state of emergency, Mayor Rory Hoskins’ executive power to make decisions without village approval has ended as well.

Hoskins said, however, that with Illinois still at phase three of the Restore Illinois plan, the village is still subject to Governor J. B. Pritzker’s orders.

Commissioner speaks out against racism

During her commissioner’s report, Jessica Voogd thanked the first responders and the public works department for stepping up to protect the village during the recent threats of looting. But she also took the opportunity to address the murder of George Floyd and to make a commitment to act against racism.

“Like many people in this country, I’m heartbroken and frustrated to see yet another black person murdered by police,” said Voogd. “It’s shameful to watch the growth of a horrifyingly long list of black and brown people who have died simply because they live in a country steeped in systemic racism. As Americans, neighbors and human beings, it’s our moral obligation to address racism, and I want to be completely clear when I say that what happened to George Floyd is inexcusable and wrong.”

But she added that actions speak louder than words.

“I also want to be clear that this isn’t a statement; I’m committing to a call to action,” said Voogd. “A call to stand against racism and be anti-racist.

“We have moved beyond the time for statements and must make sure we are working with those who have been fighting against racism for so long. I may make some missteps and I’m working to educate myself.”

Hoskins, who had previously spoken out about the George Floyd killing and his faith in the Forest Park police department, said that he envisions a town hall soon, at which residents would be made aware of the procedures by which the village’s police department are guided.

Walmart to begin COVID-19 testing

Hoskins said that the Forest Park Walmart will begin COVID-19 testing later this week. It will be drive-up and by appointment only, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. He said it’s anticipated that about 40 tests will be performed per day.

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