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Illinois quick hits: Amtrak cancels due to weather; preschool spots opening

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Amtrak cancels due to weather

A number of Amtrak trains in Illinois and around the country have been canceled due to winter conditions.

The cancellations include trains traveling from Chicago to Carbondale and service to Quincy. Thursday’s schedules have also been canceled. Travelers are being asked to check the Amtrak website for a full list of cancellations.

Preschool spots opening

The Illinois State Board of Education announced the addition of nearly 5,900 new preschool seats in what officials call preschool deserts. Those are areas of the state with too few publicly funded preschool seats to serve 80% of low-income 3- and 4-year-olds in the area.

The fiscal year 2024 state budget dedicated an additional $75 million in state funding for the Early Childhood Block Grant as part of the Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s Smart Start initiative to improve early childhood education and services.

Car thief couldn’t work manual transmission

An attempted carjacking on the Gold Coast in Chicago was foiled after the suspects didn’t know how to operate the car’s manual transmission.

According to police, a 41-year-old man was sitting in his Audi sedan when two armed men demanded his wallet. The victim complied and handed over the vehicle. The suspects attempted to drive off but were unable to operate the car’s stick shift. They were taken into custody a short time later after the victim identified them as the men involved in the robbery.

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