Illinois quick hits: Steel mill layoffs announced; NASCAR back to Chicago

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Steel mill layoffs announced

Layoffs are underway at a Granite City steel mill. According to United Steel Worker Local 1899, 267 workers have been laid off in what is expected to be a wave of layoffs.

The announcement comes two weeks after U.S. Steel temporarily idled a furnace at the Granite City plant as part of a risk mitigation plan. The Pittsburgh-based company blames the ongoing UAW strike for the decision. A union spokesman said more layoffs are likely.

NASCAR back to Chicago

NASCAR has released its 2024 race schedule and it again includes the Chicago Street Race. The Xfinity Series race will take place on Saturday, July 6, and the NASCAR Cup Series race will be Sunday, July 7.

According to city officials, the race brought in more than $8.3 million in state and local tax revenues in 2023, with over 50% of attendees visiting from out-of-state.

Pebbles the bison dies

The oldest American bison at Buffalo Rock State Park died Tuesday of natural causes. Pebbles was born at Buffalo Rock in 2005 and was popular with visitors to the park, which is managed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Pebbles recently had been under veterinary care. Two bison remain at the park. Cocoa and her 3-year-old calf, Hope. Hope was born in April 2020, just weeks after the COVID-19 pandemic began, which led to the temporary closure of non-essential businesses and services, including Illinois state parks.

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