Friday May 25 2018

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A bipartisan group of Illinois legislators have introduced a bill that would reinstate the death penalty for convicted mass murderers and killers of first responders. In a statement released Thursday, the lawmakers said the legislation does not include gun control measures proposed by Governor Bruce Rauner when he used his amendatory veto authority on gun legislation earlier this month. They contend Rauner's amendatory veto places overreaching restrictions on law-abiding gun owners.



(Paxton-rb) The Paxton Park Districts’ pool opens this weekend. Paxton Park District Director Neal McKenry talks about the hours of this weekend…



Paxton Park District Director Neal McKenry


NEW YORK (AP) — McDonald's isn't ready to stop offering plastic straws, despite environmental concerns. A shareholder proposal to pressure the world's biggest hamburger chain on the matter was voted down at the company's annual meeting Thursday. The proposal by activist group SumOfUs asked for a report about the "business risks" of using plastic straws at the chain's 37 thousand locations globally. McDonald's said it was already working on finding alternatives to plastic straws.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — One Illinois lawmaker says the process for investigating ethics complaints in the Illinois General Assembly is rife with trap doors, blind alleys and loopholes. And she is claiming retaliation from  House Speaker Michael Madigan On Thursday, State Representative Kelly Cassidy called for an overhaul of the Legislative Ethics Commission, the same panel to which House Speaker Michael Madigan turned this week.




(Undated--jc) --  The Memorial Day holiday means its grilling time. Safety is a key for outdoor grilling. WPXN’s Joel Cluver has the details…





(Springfield--jc)  -- One candidate for Illinois Attorney General says the state has failed its #MeToo test. Republican candidate for Illinois Attorney General-Erika Harold  is backing the governor sweeping changes on the way harassment allegations are handled in Springfield. The Champaign county resident says the failure by Speaker Michael Madigan, Democratic Senator Kwame Raoul and the Democratic majority in the General Assembly to enact meaningful reform of the investigation and complaint resolution process is a failure of leadership. Harold adds that women deserve real reform. Harold faces Raoul in the November election for Illinois Attorney General.




(Undated--jc)  -- Some Illinois towns could lose broad home rule taxing authority as the state's population continues to decline, a possibility that could ease local taxes and further squeeze municipal budgets. U.S. Census numbers released Thursday show the population  of cities like Freeport, Collinsville and Harvey fell below 25 thousand. That is the threshold for automatic home-rule status.



(Champaign--jc)  Ameren is expanding two sub stations in the Champaign area. The project will help with electric service for the twin cities. Channel 3 reports the substations are on Oak Street in Champaign and a second in Bondville. The projects are expected to be completed by the end of this year.



(Champaign--jc)  The Champaign County Nursing Home now has a new owner. Champaign County board members voted 16 to 5 to sell the county owned property. The price tag is 11 million dollars to Extended Care Clinic and Altitude Health Service.



(Gibson-DG) Historical tours of Drummer Township Cemetery in Gibson City continue in early June. The historic tours  take place on Saturday, June 9th at Drummer Township cemetery, with performances at 1pm and 3pm. The tours will feature 7 gravesites of notable and historic people portrayed by local citizens in period costumes. Tickets are 10 dollars for adults and 5 dollars for anyone under 18. Tickets are available at the Moyer District Library in Gibson City..


(Undated--jc)  -- Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial Minute…



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois House panel has endorsed a proposal expanding the use of medical marijuana to fight the state's opioid crisis.

The House Executive committee voted 8-3 Thursday. The plan would allow individuals who qualify for opioid prescriptions to apply for the state's medical cannabis program. The bill’s sponsor is working on provisions to get the measure into a committee for approval next week.




(Rantoul-rb) Happ Parker Aquatic Center in Rantoul opens this weekend. Supervisor Hannah Razzo talks about the hours…



Happ Parker  Aquatic Supervisor Hannah Razzo



(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois roads will be extra busy this weekend for the Memorial Day Holiday and police will be on the lookout for unsafe drivers. Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White says in between parties, sporting events Memorial Day services and cookouts, you need to make sure you have a safe drive plan…



Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White.

State and local police are increasing patrols for the Memorial Day weekend. They will be targeting speeders, those not wearing a seatbelt, drunk and distracted drivers.



(Paxton-rb) The Paxton Park District and the Chicago Fire are teaming up for a soccer camp at Coady Park in Paxton this summer. Paxton Park District Director Neal McKenry talks about the camp…


Paxton Park District Director Neal Mckenry



(Champaign--jc)  -- Champaign County crimestoppers is  seeking information about a robbery at Market Place Mall that happened earlier this week. Authorities say the incident happened Wednesday around 3pm when police were called to the Roger’s and Hollands Jewelry store.The subject ran from the scene and is described as an 18 to 25 year old black male, five feet-six inches tall and weighing around 170 pounds. Anyone with information is asked to call Champaign County Crimestoppers. You could receive a one thousand dollar reward.



(Buckley--jc)  One candidate for a state-wide  office is set to make a local appearance on Sunday. Republican candidate for Illinois Attorney General, Erika Harold, will be at Schiewe Field in Buckley to throw out the first pitch in the double header between Gifford and the host Buckley Dutchmasters. Harold’s father, Bob,  was a member of the Gifford Gif-flats for many years. A short ceremony is set before the doubleheader. Opening pitch is set for 1pm on Sunday



Gibson City, IL, May 24, 2018— Gibson Area Hospital & Health Services  will host an event on behalf of the Illinois Academy of Family Physicians on Wednesday, June 13th at the Gibson Area Hospital Community Services Center in Gibson City. Dinner will be served at 5 p.m., followed by the 6 p.m. program “Joy in Medicine” presented by Kathy Mueller, MD, a Connecticut family physician.



Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois lawmakers passed a workaround Thursday designed to help residents avoid federal caps on property tax deductions despite a warning the day before from the Internal Revenue Service. I-R-S officials  addressed efforts in some high-tax states to create laws to allow residents to continue to deduct state and local taxes in excess of 10 thousand dollars from federal taxes. Illinois law now caps the deductions at the 10 thousand dollar mark The measure moving through Springfield would create an education donation fund.



(Springfield--jc)  -- State officials continue to remind motorists to “give them distance.”  Illinois Tollway Executive Liz Gorman says to move over if someone is stopped on the side of the road…



Illinois Tollway Executive Director Liz Gorman.

You can make the pledge on line at Give-Them-Distance-dot-com



(Paxton-DG)-Several area High schools will hold graduation ceremonies this weekend. Paxton Buckley Loda High school will hold graduation tonight at 7pm. Buckley Christ Lutheran High School and Rantoul Township High School will also hold ceremonies at 7pm tonight. Gibson City Melvin Sibley will have graduation at 7pm on Saturday evening. You can hear the list of graduates from area schools throughout the day on WPXN.


PAXTON-The Paxton American Legion Prairie Post 150 will hold its annual observance at 11am at Glen Cemetery following a parade from PBL Eastlawn School at 10am.  The Paxton Legion Auxiliary will be distributing poppies today and tomorrow.

BUCKLEY- Monday Byron A.Hickerson Post #432 will have services at 9:30 at Lisk Cemetery and 10:30am at Woodland/St. John’s Cemetery

LODA-The Loda American Legion Post 503 is hosting a ceremony at 9am at Pine Ridge Cemetery

RANTOUL-VFW Post 6750 and American Legion Post 287 honor guard and the Knights of Columbus Council 4450 hill hold ceremonies at 9am at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. Ludlow Cemetery at 10am, and Maplewood Cemetery at 11am.

GIBSON CITY-Gibson City’s Memorial Day parade kicks off at 10am in front of the GCMS district’s office building on Sangamon Ave and will end up at Drummer Township Cemetery around 10:30 for a special service. Then they will hold at Elliott Cemetery around 11:30.

MELVIN-A special Memorial Day Service will be held at 10am at Melvin Cemetery.

SIBLEY- The Martin H. Suntken American Legion Post 244 of Sibley will hold services at 11am at Mount Hope Cemetery.

CISSNA PARK- Cissna Park American Legion Post 527 Monday 28th 9am in the park in Cissna Park

CHAMPAIGN-The Champaign VFW Post 5520 will conduct services at 9am at Woodlawn Cemetery. AMVETS Post 3 will have a ceremony at 10:30 at Grandview Memorial Gardens on route 150. The annual Memorial Day program of Champaign American Legion Post 24 will be at 2pm at Mount Hope Cemetery Mausoleum.

ROBERTS-The Wagner Davis American Legion Post in Roberts will hold a services at the Roberts Gym at 9am.

WATSEKA-American Legion Post #23 will hold services at 11am at Legion Park

HOOPESTON-The Hoopeston American Legion Post 384 will host a special program at Floral Hall Cemetery at 10:30am.

GIFFORD- Sunday American Legion Post 1153 of Penfield and Gifford will hold services at 12:30 at the Penfield Veterans Memorial. 1pm at Wells Cemetery in Penfield and 1:30 at Huls Cemetery in Gifford.  On Monday at noon services will be at the Veteran’s Memorial in Werner Roessler Park in Gifford.




Thursday May 24 2018

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner is not demanding reinstatement of the death penalty in exchange for Democratic-favored gun restrictions in an all-or-nothing package, an aide said after testimony before a House committee Wednesday. David Risley, the Republican's director of criminal justice and public safety policy, said each of the other provisions Rauner added in an amendatory veto last week— including a 72-hour gun-delivery waiting period, a bump-stock ban and a court procedure for taking guns from dangerous people — would have the governor's support.


PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — A federal judge has rejected the Illinois Department of Corrections' plan to address flaws in mental health care for 12 thousand inmates.

Assistant Chief Deputy Attorney General Douglas Rees recommended a two-step plan to identify and provide additional care for inmates. But U.S. District Judge Michael Mihm called the state's plan insufficient, Mihm said it is not a plan and the biggest issue is a lack of staff The judge also opposed a state request for more flexibility in how existing staff is assigned within the mental health system.



(Springfield--jc)  -- State officials in Springfield are launching the “Give Them Distance” campaign and reminding motorists to move over for someone who is pulled off on the side of the roadway. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says the state’s move over law was expanded last year in hopes of protecting those stopped along the road..



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner


(Ford County--jc)  -- A vacant house caught fire in the Ford County town of Melvin last night. A witness at the scene says the fire started just after 5pm  No damage estimates were available and firefighters remained on the scene for about 5 hours. No one was injured.The house was a total loss.  


LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Heavy equipment and machinery maker Caterpillar plans to renovate existing facilities in the Lafayette, Indiana, area.The plans by Deerfield, Illinois-based Caterpillar would bring 125 new jobs to the Lafayette area. Documents submitted to the Lafayette Redevelopment Commission say Caterpillar plans to invest $73.6 million through 2021 in building improvements, information technology software and equipment. The Lafayette facility currently employs about 1,350.


RANTOUL — The Rantoul Village Board will hold a town hall meeting from 6- til 7-30 tonight. The public event is set for Rantoul Township High School in the  cafetorium. Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith says the trustees will be separated into three groups to talk with area citizens on their concerns. Smith will also be available for conversations. Rantoul leaders also plan for additional town hall meetings through the year.




(Undated--jc)  -- Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial Minute…




ASHKUM – Illinois State Police  District 21 Commander, Captain Don Aaron Harsy, is reminding motorists to take the necessary safety precautions to prevent senseless tragedies during the upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend. Memorial Day weekend is one of the busiest periods for travelers, and millions of motorists are expected to hit the roads and interstates across the country. Harsy says his department and the entire state police force will be doing their part in keeping the roads safe for those traveling through the state.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois House has sent the governor a measure legalizing industrial hemp.The House voted 106-3 Wednesday to allow hemp cultivation for commercial use . Hemp is a form of the cannabis plant distinct from marijuana. It does not produce any high-like effects and is often used in clothing or food.Hemp was banned nationwide in 1937 for its relation to the marijuana plant. Former President Barack Obama opened the door for states to legalize industrial hemp in 2015. That removed opposition from Illinois Republicans who had blocked previous attempts to legalize the plant in the state.


(Springfield-dg) If it doesn't have a motor, you don't need a state license to float it on an Illinois lake, river, or pond. The state's Department of Natural Resources announced yesterday that it is doing away with stamps for non-motorized watercraft. Ed Cross with the Department of Natural Resources says the stamps proved tough to attach to some kayaks and canoes. Illinois had charged six dollars for a stamp for paddleboards, canoes, and kayaks. The change takes effect June 1st



(Springfield--jc_  -- In a series of tweets yesterday, State Senator Daniel Biss criticized House Speaker  Mike Madigan for enabling a political culture that uses retaliatory tactics to intimidate fellow Democratic Party members who speak out against Madigan and his political party. Biss defended State Rep. Kelly Cassidy for speaking out against Madigan after his staff when she called for an independent investigation following allegations of harassment from within Madigan's political organization.



(Springfield--jc)  -- One local state representative is seeing legislation he is sponsoring, move through the Illinois House. Republican State Representative Chad Hays of Catlin says the measure creates a five year program to train entry level workers…



Republican State Representative Chad Hays of Catlin.

Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana praises the legislation. Carle currently operates two  programs in Champaign-Urbana. They are Job Readiness and Healthy Beginnings..



RANTOUL, Ill. -They call it Lincoln’s Challenge for a reason. The cadets say it is not easy—from waking up at 5 A.M. every morning to staying on top of homework to exercising daily. For 25 years, the National Guard's Lincoln's Challenge has been home to more than 15,000 cadets. The military-style school in Rantoul focuses on providing an opportunity to help at-risk teens get back on the right track. It’s a 17-month federal and state funded program focused on setting teens up for success. Only 22 weeks are spent on campus and then cadets enter a post-residential phase.The program is recruiting for the next class, which starts in July. There are orientations throughout Illinois. The academy takes in teens 16 to 18 years-old that are drug free and have no felony convictions.



(Springfield--jc)  -- The Illinois House paused Wednesday prior to the Memorial Day weekend to honor Illinois’ fallen soldiers.   An annual event in the House chamber, the names of those men and women in uniform who have passed during the past 12 months, are read by the representative from the home district of the soldier. State Representative Jeannie Ives of Wheaton says it is the American fighting men and women who keep us safe…



State Representative Jeannie Ives of Wheaton..


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A showdown between two Democratic measures to close the wage gap ended with Illinois senators rejecting one considered more business friendly. The Senate Labor Committee voted 11-6 Wednesday to approve legislation prohibiting employers from asking applicants their salary history. It has stiffer penalties for violators than one supported by business interests.The legislation is considered a pay-equity plan. Basing pay on salary history can hurt women. They often spend time outside the workforce for familial or other reasons not applicable to men.



BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Police say the closing of two southwestern Illinois high schools was prompted by a teenager who took his mother's handgun to possibly confront his girlfriend at one of the schools.Belleville police said the 18-year-old man was arrested without any trouble Wednesday morning after officials had already closed Belleville East and Belleville West high schools for the day. Police say the teen's mother called about 1 a.m. saying he made suicidal comments and was having relationship troubles with his girlfriend, who is a Belleville East student.



(Undated-rb) It is national safe boating week. Wpxn Joel Cluver has more on safety tips willing using a boat…





Wednesday May 23 2018

( Springfield--jc)  --An Illinois lawmaker who believes House Speaker Michael Madigan retaliated against her for speaking out on sexual harassment is pleased that Madigan has asked for an independent investigation.. But Chicago Democratic Representative Kelly Cassidy said Tuesday she doesn't trust the process that exists for reviewing complaints involving legislators.Cassidy says she was forced to resign from her part-time job as a program manager for Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart after Madigan allies made an issue over her opposition to legislation Dart proposed. Madigan denied he had any involvement but asked the Legislative Inspector General on Tuesday to investigate the claim.



(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says with the programs his office is promoting, the state will grow. The governor says Illinois over the past 30 plus years has not provided a good business environment…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner



(Chicago--jc)  -- Small and medium-sized banks will no longer have to comply with many of the strict new regulations put in place in the wake of the global financial crisis of a decade ago.The U.S. House on Tuesday joined its Senate colleagues in voting to roll back portions of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which in 2010 placed vast new regulations on financial institutions across the country.In a bipartisan showing, House representatives voted, 258-159, to ease the rules on community and regional banks.



(Washington--jc)  One U-S-D-A- leader  used recent visits with Chinese officials to continue trust building in the trade relationship between both countries. Rod Bain reports…




(Springfield-rb)  Governor Bruce Rauner announced Tuesday that 25 Illinois elementary and middle schools have been awarded a three-year Bicentennial STEM Fusion Program, the Illinois Math and Science Academy’s (IMSA) renowned teacher development training initiative for math and science. Four Local Schools received the program. Gifford Grade School, Danville North Ridge, Springfield  Dubois Elementary and Booker T Washington in Champaign.


PAXTON — The Ford County Board approved raising the salaries of three elected officials during a special meeting Monday night.  Sheriff Mark Doran’s salary, currently at $65,000, will be raised two thousand dollars December 1, 2018 and every year through December 2021. The salaries of both County Clerk & Recorder Amy Frederick and Treasurer Krisha Shoemaker, each currently at $55,000, will be increased to $56,000 as of Dec. 1, 2018. Their salaries will then be raised by $1,000 each of the next three years, ultimately reaching $59,000 in 2021. The board approved a resolution to raise the salaries effective Dec. 1, 2018, when the three officials’ current terms end. As required by state law, the board was required to set the salaries for the officials prior to their new four-year terms starting on Dec. 1. Each is unopposed in November’s general election




(Springfield--jc)  -- Soybean planting is ahead of the 5 year average. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says over have of soybeans have emerged…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.



(Southern Illinois--rb)  -- A group in southern Illinois is organizing an L-G-B-T-Q pride festival following a successful fundraising campaign. The Southern Illinois Pride Festival planning committee is preparing for a three-day celebration in downtown Carbondale starting June 1, The Southern Illinoisan reported . The committee's GoFundMe campaign recently raised $700 to cover the festival's basic needs. More than 20 local and regional organizations are slated to participate. The event will feature a pride walk, a screening of the movie "Milk" and live music. A concert and drag show will also be held to benefit the Rainbow Cafe.



(Undated--jc)  -- Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s BiCentennial minute…



(Springfield--jc)  -- The Illinois House is set to hear testimony about a slew of measures Gov. Bruce Rauner has raised to enhance public safety, and among them is freeing up money for armed school resource officers.The House heard the governor’s plan Monday to bring back the death penalty for cop killers and mass murderers, but other issues the governor injected in a bill he changed with his amendatory veto are slated for a Wednesday hearing. Rauner says his plan will increase the safety of school children and all citizens.




(Washington--jc)  -- A new farm bill faces an uncertain future after conservative House Republicans wanting a vote on an unrelated immigration bill joined Democrats in defeating the legislation. Between Democrats opposing work requirements for food stamp recipients and conservative Republicans wanting a vote on a tougher immigration bill, they had enough votes to sink the farm bill. The 600-page legislation would renew the federal laws on farmer subsidy programs like reimbursement for crop insurance, but the biggest monetary portion goes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. President Donald Trump wants to add a stronger work requirement for able-bodied SNAP recipients.


(Springfield--jc) Corn planting is nearly complete as we hear in the weekly crop report. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says this year’s corn crop is ahead of the 5 year average…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.



(Springfield-rb) The State of Illinois  is just over a week away from the deadline to pass a budget. Local  State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington talks about his stance on the budget.



Local State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington


(Rantoul--jc)  -- The Hap Parker Family Aquatic Center opens this weekend in Rantoul. Saturday is the first day the center will be open for swimming. The doors will open at noon, with Memorial Day hours of noon to 7pm through Memorial Day Monday. Regular hours are 1pm to 7pm Monday through Friday. On the weekend it’s Noon till 7pm. WPXN will be offering punch passes during our Summer Action Auction on Saturday morning, starting at 7-30am.


An Iroquois County School District is getting a new superintendent. Guy Gradert will take over as Unit 9 superintendent at the start of the new fiscal year July 1. Current Superintendent James Bunting is stepping down from the job and will take over as Glenn Raymond School principal next year. Gradert is currently superintendent at Ridgeview Community Unit School District 19, Colfax. Gradert has been superintendent in Ridgeview since 2011.


(Loda-rb) A Loda man that was involved in an incident where a gun was fired from a moving vehicle last Thanksgiving near Rantoul has been sentenced to two years of probation. Tristan Zoller pleaded guilty Tuesday before Judge Heidi Ladd to possession of a firearm without a firearm owner's identification card. Co-defendants Wyatt Morris, of Rankin and Austin Flessner, of Loda pleaded guilty earlier to the same crime for the same sentence.

CHAMPAIGN — With a holiday weekend on the horizon, gas prices nearly hit $3 a gallon Monday. Beth Mosher, a spokeswoman for AAA Chicago says you could see $3 a gallon by the end of the week. Right now, the average is $2.92.  A year ago the average was $2.24. "This is really the trend across the country, but Illinois and Michigan have been hit a little harder than the rest of the Midwest states," Mosher said. Gas prices usually increase in the spring as refineries switch to a more expensive summer blend of gasoline, though that already happened in Illinois. Mosher said higher gas prices typically don't affect travel plans till they reach $4. AAA expects Memorial Day travel to increase this year, despite the higher gas prices A GasBuddy survey of 17,000 of its members revealed that only 58 percent of respondents said they'll take a road trip this summer. That's down from last year, with 39 percent citing high gas prices.


(Washington--jc)  -- Trading with China. Reaction coming from U-S-D-A officials. Rod Bain reports…





Tuesday May 22 2018

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Democratic legislators grilled a top aide to Illinois Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner Monday over a compromise plan to reinstate the death penalty in exchange for even stricter gun restrictions than the ones the Legislature approved.Rauner used his veto powers last week to insert the capital punishment language, along with measures that include extending the waiting period on all guns from 24 to 72 hours, into a bill both chambers approved with veto-proof majorities. The original bill would impose the restriction just for assault-style weapons.


(Peoria--jc)  --A central Illinois congressman has proposed legislation that would offer tax credits for investments in existing nuclear power plants across the country. Republican Congressman Darin LaHood of Peoria, is behind a bill that would provide a 30 percent credit for refueling costs and capital expenditures at plants through 2021. LaHood says 51 percent of the  electricity in Illinois is generated from nuclear plants. His proposal would keep nuclear power as a competitor in the energy business. The nuclear power plants in Illinois include Clinton, Braidwood and Marseilles.


(Springfield--jc)  The governor and family are back at the executive mansion in Springfield.  Renovations began in 20-15 and included structural repairs, a new visitors center and some new art. Governor Rauner talks about what it means to be back in the mansion...


Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner

A open house and tours at the Executive Mansion in Springfield will be held in July.


(Springfield--kc)  -- It's not just roads, bridges, schools, and pensions that are making it tough for Illinois lawmakers to come to terms on a new state budget.Legislators in Springfield are beset by social service groups and the people who they serve, who want more. For each state-supported or state-managed service, there is someone with a personal story who says lawmakers cannot possibly cut their program.  State leaders have until the end of the month to pass a balanced budget on time.


(Washington--jc)  -- Good weather has helped the nations farmers plant the soybean crop. Stephanie Ho reports…




(Watseka--jc)  -- On Friday, May 18th, an unconfirmed hazardous material caused fish and wildlife death in parts of Coon Creek and Sugar Creek in Iroquois County. Fish, other water life, and other land creatures that drink or eat from these creeks have been found dead. Local officials are working with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and Illinois Department of Natural Resources to determine the cause and severity of the issue. People should take precautions when near these contaminated areas. Do not eat fish or wildlife that is contaminated. The best way to be sure is to fish somewhere else. As more information develops, Iroquois County EMA will let the public know.



The Paxton American Legion Auxiliary will be passing out poppies on Friday and Saturday to commemorate Memorial Day. They will be at the corners of Market & Pells and Market & Patton streets.




SAN ANTONIO (AP) — A baboon on his way to a South Texas wildlife sanctuary escaped his crate and kept officers busy for two hours at San Antonio International Airport.Officers shot the baboon named Dawkins with a tranquilizer dart. The ape got loose Monday afternoon shortly after arriving on an American Airlines flight from Chicago. The flight had originated in Boston.Airport spokesman Rich Stinson says officers managed to corner Dawkins in a baggage handling area outside the terminal. Stinson says the baboon never came close to travelers and was confined the whole time to a secure baggage area.



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The state's inspector general has found mismanagement on the part of Gov. Bruce Rauner's office for improper hiring. The Office of the Executive Inspector General's report released Monday targeted seven people hired in the Department of Central Management Services as "regional client managers." The job description indicates it's a policymaking post which a governor can fill based on political loyalty. The review found that employees set up tables, inspected state buildings and monitored inventory. It's the type of hiring for which candidate Rauner in 2014 lambasted his predecessor, Gov. Pat Quinn. Rauner's office responded to the report saying it can't be responsible for employees not doing work they were hired for but would improve oversight. The jobs were eliminated. Rauner spokeswoman Rachel Bold says Rauner has eliminated 2,500 patronage jobs.




(Undated--jc)  Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial Minute..



(Undated--jc)  -- An Illinois law allowing pension boards to raid a delinquent municipality’s state income tax funds has caught the eye of Wall Street. This is the first year that a city that’s not paying enough into their police and fire pensions can have millions of dollars in state-allocated funds funneled directly to the pensions. It’s already happening in suburban Harvey and North Chicago. Hundreds of underfunded police and fire pensions across the state have the capability to cause a “fiscal reckoning” by diverting state funds away from the city.


(Washington--jc)  -- While today’s headl-lines on the China trade situation has generated excitement in the U S commodities market, one top official says wait on your excitement. Gary Crawford has the story…




(Undated--jc)  --As warm weather returns to Illinois, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reminding people about the risk for tick-borne illnesses Nationwide, the number of tick-borne disease cases doubled between 2004 and 2016, according to a new C-D-C report.  Illinois doesn’t see as many tick-borne illness cases as states on the coasts, but the danger is still present. Illinois reported more than 3,600 tick-borne illness cases in the past dozen years.


(Watseka--jc)  --The Iroquois County Historical Society is proud to announce Betty Kay, a noted historical actor, will present the program “Three Illinois Women During the Civil War.” This program will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 3, in the courtroom of the Old Courthouse Museum in Watseka. Kay will begin her presentation as Jenny Hodgers, of Belvidere, also known as Albert Cashier, a woman who passed as a man to fight in the Civil War. She will also portray Mother Bickerdyke of Galesburg, who established 300 field hospitals, and Julie Dent Grant, wife of the commanding General Ulysses Grant.


(St Joseph--jc)  St Joseph village leaders will discuss a sewage system rate proposal when they meet in monthly study session tonight. Local leaders are also expected to approved a project for sidewalk, curb and gutter repairs and look a golf cart crossings. The meeting comes to order at 7 tonight in the St Joseph village hall.


ASHKUM – Illinois State Police  District 21 Commander, Captain Don Aaron Harsy, announces the results of Special Traffic Enforcement Patrols (STEP) in Kankakee, Iroquois and Ford Counties over the past weekend. The patrols allowed state police to provide increased enforcement for impaired driving, occupant restraint, speeding, and distracted driving violations during the National “Click It or Ticket” Campaign. During the step patrols, officers handed out 94 speeding citations are warnings.



(Rantoul--jc)  -- Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce officials have announced its schedule for the movies in the park program this summer. The first movie will be held June 8th at Wabash Park with the movie Jumanji,  July 13 it’s Peter Rabbit and the final movie in the park will take place August 10th with Sherlock Gnomes. All movies will take place at Wabash Park in the village.



(Gibson City--jc)  -The Ford County Daughters of the American Revolution will hold a genealogy workshop at Moyer Library in Gibson City on Saturday  June 9th from 9 to 11 a.m. D-A-R members will be available to assist those interested in joining the organization by following their lineage, generation by generation. Those planning to attend are asked to bring any helpful data concerning their ancestors, such as birth, death & marriage certificates, family trees or obituaries.  Information is found by calling Marilyn Ames at (217) 727-1177.



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The most popular baby names in Illinois last year? Noah and Olivia.The Social Security Administration has released Illinois' top five boys and girls names for 2017. For boys, the top five were: Noah, Liam, Benjamin, Logan and Alexander. The most popular girls' names were Olivia, Emma, Ava, Sophia and Isabella. The Social Security Agency compiles a list of baby names every year and has name records dating back to 1800.




Monday May 21 2018

DIXON, Ill. (AP) — A judge refused to lower bail Friday for a 19-year-old charged with firing shots inside of his northern Illinois high school as seniors met for graduation rehearsal, an offense a prosecutor described as one of "the most serious crimes you can commit."Matthew A. Milby Jr. appeared in court via video from the Lee County Jail, where he's being held on $2 million bail. His appearance came as a tragedy was unfolding at a high school in Texas, where authorities say a 17-year-old gunman killed 10 people, including nine of his fellow students.



LA ROSE, Ill. (AP) — An often traveled rural road near Peoria will be closed for a summer-long bridge replacement project. South La Rose Road, will close starting today for the nearly One Million dollar project.Work on the bridge that spans Crow Creek is expected to be finished by Sept. 7. Officials say a segment of the route more than a mile long will be shut down during that time.



(Springfield-rb) From 4:00pm to 8:00 pm today, law enforcement agencies across the country will partner to send a zero-tolerance message to travelers in a coordinated effort dubbed Border to Border.   Law enforcement agencies will join forces to provide increased seat belt enforcement at state borders, sending a zero-tolerance message to the public: Driving or riding unbuckled will result in a ticket, no matter what state.  Seat belt use is the single most effective way to survive a crash. The goal of this campaign is to reduce traffic fatalities and save lives.



(Rantoul-rb) Rantoul Township High School’s monthly School Board meeting is tonight at 6. On the Agenda for the meeting is Accept Bids for Weight Room Abatement and Award Successful Contractor and Approval of Life Skills Classroom Remodel.



(Washington--jc)  -- Everyone has until June first to sign up for the Margin Protection Program for farmers. Stephanie Ho reports…




(Springfield--jc) --  The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is highlighting preparedness for people with disabilities. Everyone needs to have basics such as food and water to a first aid kit ready in a disaster situation. Illinois Emergency Management Agency Spokesperson Patti Thompson  says some have other concerns too…



I-EMA Spokesperson Patti Thompson

The complete guide is available on line at Ready-dot-illinois-dot-gov



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — One lucky karaoke star will open for country music star Brett Eldredge during this year's Illinois State Fair.The State Fair Karaoke Contest challenges young singers around the state to show off their singing chops. Nine regional county fairs around the state will host qualifying rounds in July. First and second place winners will then compete head-to-head at the Illinois State Fair the next month. The winner will sing two songs later that same day prior to the Brett Eldredge concert.Eldredge is country music star from Paris in central Illinois. He's best known for songs including 'Don't Ya' and 'Lose My Mind.' The contest is free to enter and open to anyone at least 18 years old. The Illinois State Fair will take place August 9-19.



(Undated--jc)  -- Illinois is celebrating its 200 anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial Minute…



(Springfield--jc)  -- With no deal for a balanced budget, and billions in unpaid bills, leaders in the state continue to try to change the business climate in Illinois. Governor Bruce Rauner says the efforts are there to sell the state as a business center…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner



CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — One of the nation's most acclaimed university-based performing arts facilities is gearing up to celebrate its 50th anniversary. It' s the Krannert Center for the  Performing Arts at the University of Illinois,

Champaign-Urbana. It'll mark the anniversary over two concert seasons starting in September. Director Mike Ross says it will be a celebration of the past but also "a springboard" propelling the center into the future.It opened in April 1969. It cost about 21 million dollars to build. The bureau says replacement costs today would be around 300 million dollars.


(Washington--jc)  -- The farm bill has, at least temporarily, been defeated in the House of Representatives in Washington. Gary Crawford has the latest…



PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Park officials in central Illinois will soon begin construction on new cabins that are part of a  Two point 4 Million dollar capital campaign.

The campaign was recently launched by Forest Park Foundation, which operates Wildlife Prairie Park, the Journal Star reported. The 14 cabins will overlook a bison and elk enclosure at the park. New fences will also be constructed, enabling the animals to approach the back decks of the cabins.Foundation president Mark Spenny said the cabins will enhance the quality of lodging the park offers



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Abraham Lincoln once said, "Determine that the thing can and shall be done, and then we shall find the way."

So it's not improbable that the 16th president would endorse a unique fundraising method to ensure that priceless artifacts belonging to him stay in his hometown. The crowdsourcing site GoFundMe — currently featuring requests of 800 dollars  to finance a boy's Eagle Scout project to 55 thousand dollars for a school playground. Now GoFundMe has a new goal: that is to raise 9 point 7 Million dollars to save from auction thousands of items, including bloody gloves carried the night of his assassination and a stovepipe hat purportedly belonging to Lincoln. Those with the foundation in Springfield  must pay the debt by October 2019 or sell off parts of the well-known Taper Collection acquired in 2007. The pricetag for all the items was 25 million dollars



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois State Fair is giving people a taste of what's to come this summer — complete with their favorite fair foods.

The fair is hosting a "Corn Dog Kickoff" on June 9 in Springfield. It will include live music, food and a 5K run and 3K walk through the state fairgrounds. The state fair box office also will be open so people may buy tickets to events at the fair's grandstand.



CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo is celebrating its 150th anniversary with a new exhibit that chronicle's the zoo's history.

The exhibition that will open Sunday and run throughout the summer will recount the zoo's history that began in 1868 when it received two pairs of swans from New York's Central Park commissioners.The exhibition will include family-friendly activities and drawings to win prizes such as cruises on the Chicago River and anniversary-themed Twilight Safari walking tours.


(Rantoul-rb) A Rantoul man who admitted he possessed a stolen car that got into a wreck last summer has been sentenced to two years of probation. Elijah Green pleaded guilty last Monday before Judge Heidi Ladd. Green was a passenger in a car that got into a wreck in the parking lot in the 500 block of North Mattis Avenue in Champaign on Aug. 9. The victim saw the car about an hour later and called police. Champaign police located the driver, Larry Gill, 23, of Urbana, and learned that the car had been stolen from South Race Street in Urbana two months earlier. On Sept. 1, Gill pleaded guilty in the same case to felony theft and was sentenced to two years of probation and time served




Friday May 18 2017

DIXON, Ill. (AP) — A teenager used a 9 millimeter semi-automatic rifle in firing shots at a northern Illinois high school before he was shot by a school resource officer, police said Thursday. Illinois State Police also said 19-year-old Matthew Milby's mother bought the weapon in 2012 and that investigators were working to determine how he obtained it. Classes were canceled Thursday at Dixon High School.


(Champaign  County--jc) -- Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup says 22 year old Jorge Arroyo-Morales was fatally injured in a two vehicle accident along route 45 between Ludlow and Rantoul Thursday morning.  Rantoul Fire officials were called to the scene just after 6 Thursday morning. Two vehicles crashed head-on in the incident. Two males from the second vehicle were taken to a local hospital. The death and accident remain under investigation and an inquest may be held at a later date.


(Bloomington--jc)  -- Over the past few days the McLean County Sheriff’s office has been made aware of another phone scam in the area. The caller poses as a McLean County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant and tells the person answering the phone there is a legal matter they need to take care of right away or, that there is a warrant out for them for missing jury duty. The person is asked to call (309) 202-0471 and (309) 207-0221. The target audience lately has been Doctors or other medical professionals.  Officials from the McLean County Sheriff’s office want the public to know they do Not contact anyone by phone over legal matters.


(Washington--jc) --Can accord on an updated North American Free Trade Agreement be reached in time for U.S. lawmakers to approve by the end of this year. Rod Bain has the story…


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The first African-American justice to serve on the Illinois Supreme Court is retiring. The court announced Thursday Justice Charles E. Freeman will retire effective June 14. The 84-year-old from Chicago served more than 27 years, including roughly three years as chief justice.


(Undated--jc) --  This year marks the 16th Anniversary of the Dunkin’ Donuts Cop on a Rooftop event with the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Illinois.  Law enforcement groups have raised nearly 4 million dollars. Police departments state wide are participating today at events going on now through noon. Around 300 groups are participating and organizers hope to raise three-quarters of a million dollars. Locally, Rantoul police officers are on top of the local Dunkin Donuts along route 45 in the village. They are taking donations and selling T-Shirts to coffee mugs to raise money. Other area cities with Cop on a rooftop are happening in Champaign, Urbana, Bloomington, Kankakee and Decatur.


CHICAGO (AP) — The state of Illinois has taken control of special education at Chicago Public Schools after concluding a 2016 overhaul by the nation's third-largest school system violated federal law. The Illinois State Board of Education voted this week to take the unusual step of appointing an independent monitor to oversee all special education plans and policies for at least three years.



(Thomasboro-rb) Thursday’s WPXN Farmer in the Field Lunch program was the  Water’s Farm near Thomasboro. Farmer Lyle Waters talks about this year’s planting season…



Farmer Lyle Waters of Water’s Farms near Thomasboro


 The program was sponsored by the lawyer group Dodd and Matuka in Champaign. Lawyer Kyle Emkes of Dodd and Matuka talks about helping keep family farms, family farms…



Dodd and Matuka of Champaign  Lawyer Kyle Emkes

Today’s WPXN Farmers in the Field Lunch program  is sponsored by Diversified Services Insurance of Buckley.




OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A monthly survey of bankers shows that the economy is slowly improving in rural parts of 10 Plains and Western states. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says that while commodity prices have improved recently, they remain below breakeven for a large share of grain farmers. The overall Rural Mainstreet index slipped slightly to 56.3 in May, up from 53.5 in April. It's the highest level since July 2013. Any score above 50 suggests a growing economy in the months ahead, while a score below 50 indicates a shrinking economy.


(Undated--jc)  -- Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial minute…



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Senate has approved raising public school teacher salaries to a minimum of 40 thousand dollars per  year.

The Senate voted 37-16 Thursday to increase minimum full-time teacher salaries over the next five years. Democatic Senator Andy Manar of Bunker Hill is the sponsor. He says the measure is a way to attract more teachers in a state that's facing a growing shortage…



Democrat State Senator Andy Manar



(Springfield--jc)  The Illinois unemployment rate hit a 12 year low last month. The numbers released yesterday show the April jobless rate came in at four-point-four percent says State Department  of Employment Security Spokesperson Bob Gough…



State Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Bob Gough.



(Rantouljc)  -- Village officials in Rantoul have put a halt on the dismantling of planes at the former base. Channel 3 reports that a cease and desist order was issued for Ken Morrison and his company to stop the project. Three fires have happened since the project started in April. The latest had a cost to the village of several thousand dollars. The village has also been in contact with the Air Force concerning the order to stop the project.




(Springfield--jc)  -- Parents would be able to give their kids a dose of prescribed medical marijuana at school under a bill headed to the governor’s desk. The legislation was prompted by an 11-year old girl named Ashley who was not allowed to take her prescribed medical cannabis for seizures while at her school. Local State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington  supported the measure and says this is what the legislature is there to do…



Local State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington

The bill is now in the hands of the governor’s office



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner's proposal to reinstate the death penalty for certain violent crimes and other changes he made to gun legislation will get a House hearing. Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan announced Thursday that lawmakers will have a public hearing on the Republican governor's proposal Monday.



(Melvin-rb) The Iroquois County Fair is looking for area and local  businesses to be Vendors at this year’s fair, The 20-18 version of the Iroquois County Fair is set  from July 18th through July 23rd. The fairgrounds are located along route 49 just north of Crescent City. More information is found by calling Concessions Director Harold Copas at 815-922-1075.

The Illinois Route of America's Run for the Fallen will take place over 7 days between June 14th and June 20th.  This a national tribute of remembrance that allows for nearly 20,000 fallen military service member who died while serving during the War on Terror to be honored. Rotating teams of dedicated runners, both military and civilian, will traverse more than 6,000 miles over five months, stopping every mile where a marker will be placed and ceremoniously calling out loud the names of individual fallen military members. Running through 19 states, they will name every fallen hero who has died as the result of service since the attack on the USS Cole in 2000. The 1st continuous nationwide fallen Veteran tribute requires organizational planning on an unprecedented scale. If you would like to help, Runners, Volunteers, Meals, Fuel, Lodging, “Day Of” organizers, Law Enforcement, and Sponsors, are needed. Most importantly – Hero Families & friends are invited to be present at their loved one’s Hero Marker along the tribute trail.



Thursday May 17 2018

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Governor Bruce Rauner's administration may have violated state law by awarding property leases to unqualified vendors and possibly shutting out other, lower bidders, a state audit released Wednesday found. Illinois Auditor General Frank Mautino's highly critical report found that the Departments of Human Services and Central Management Services switched leasing requirements and prices after awarding bids and sorely lacked documentation for leasing property that lawmakers pointed out would have been far cheaper to buy.



CHICAGO (AP) — Lawyers for the Legal Council for Health Justice and the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law say tens of thousands of low-income people are being denied medical care. The reason is because Illinois is not processing Medicaid applications fast enough and they've asked a court to intervene. Their motion filed Wednesday in Chicago federal court says Illinois' Department of Human Services also isn't notifying people they're entitled to temporary coverage as their applications are processed. It alleges D-H-S has not provided temporary benefits to a single applicant since June 2016.


(Washington--jc)  -- There may be changes coming to how local U-S-D-A offices are staffed. Gary Crawford has the story…


(Champaign--jc)  -- Two Cissna Park High school and Parkland College graduates will be the keynote speakers at Parkland College’s commencement services tonight in Champaign.  Luke and Carter Boyce will provide the message to 2018 graduates from the Champaign based college. Luke is an Emmy award winning director and has over 100 productions ranging from commercials to short films. Carter Boyce is also a film director and is one of the college’s 50 most notable alumni. He has worked in the 3-D animation field. The two brothers will speak to Parkland College graduates at 8 pm tonight at the Krannert Center.



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois House committee has set up a historic floor vote to become the 37th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, but the sponsor said Wednesday that he doesn't have enough votes for approval yet  State Representative. Lou Lang, a Skokie Democrat, said he is still working with friendly Republicans to persuade members of the GOP to vote in favor of ratifying the amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The ERA, first proposed in 1972, guarantees equal rights for all citizens regardless of sex. Ratification requires the assent of 38 states, but there's some legal debate over whether it's too late for additional states to join those that acted years earlier. The Illinois House Human Services committee approved the amendment 7-5 Wednesday along party lines, sending it to the floor for a vote.



(Chicago--jc)  -- The best way to pay off Illinois' 130 billion dollars in unfunded pension debt is a statewide 1 percent property tax on top of local property tax levies for the next few decades, according to a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. In the report,  Thomas Haasl, Rick Mattoon, and Thom Walstrom said the best way to raise the 130 billion dollars in revenue would be to add another line in homeowners’ property tax bills. This would cost the owner of a 250,000 thousand dollar home another 2 thousand 500 dollars, each year. The report estimates a 1 percent tax on all home values in the state would pay off the debt in 30 years.



(Paxton-rb) Today’s WPXN business of the day is Farmer’s Merchant National Bank. Nick Ruetter talks about what plans and loans they offer…



He goes on to talk about what they do in the community…





(Champaign--rb)  --After being in limbo for a few months, downtown's upcoming millennial-focused boutique hotel is officially back on track with a new developer. The Champaign City Council unanimously voted earlier this weekend to turn the Best Western Hotel Vib (pronounced "vibe") project over to former Illini basketball player-turned-developer Doug Altenberger.  The new plan is to start work no later than January First.


(Iroquois Co-rb) The Iroquois County Public Health Department in Watseka continues to offer free water sample test kits. Anyone interested in the free kits are asked to stop by the office East Grant Street during normal business hours from 8-30am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday.



(Undated--jc)  -- Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial minutes…



(Springfield--jc)  -- Governor Bruce Rauner's administration says its proposed reduction of income tax revenue to local governments in the coming fiscal year is a continuation of the previous year's budget approved over the governor's veto. Rauner’s director of the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget Hans Zigmund told a Senate Appropriations committee Wednesday that the governor's proposed budget for the coming fiscal year has a 10 percent reduction in the Local Government Distributive Fund that will save the state 131 Million dollars The fund was set up decades ago to keep local governments from imposing their own income taxes. Democrat State Senator. Michael Hastings, of Tinley Park, asked Zigmund for suggestions on how local governments should handle the proposed reduction.



(Washington--jc)  -- With perhaps one exception, U-S-D-A expects to see increases in meat production, price and trade next year. Rod Bain reports…




CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Republican Party officials say they've reached an agreement to share leadership of the party, heading off a weekend fight between moderates and conservatives over who should be the next state GOP chairman. Conservatives were backing Lake County GOP Chairman Mark Shaw against Tim Schneider, the current state chairman hand-picked by Gov. Bruce Rauner. The election is scheduled for Saturday.



(Quincy--jc)  The state of Illinois is partnering with the city of Quincy on a new water source for the Illinois veterans home. Kim Howard reports…



Dixon, IL – Illinois State Police officials announce charges against Matthew A. Milby, 19, of Dixon, Illinois, for his involvement in a shooting which occurred at approximately just after 8am Wednesday at Dixon High School. Police say they were called to conduct an independent investigation into a shooting which occurred at Dixon High School. Through their investigation, Agents discovered that at approximately at that same time Dixon High School Resource Officer, Mark Dallas, was on duty at Dixon High School, when he heard several shots fired near the school auditorium. Officer Dallas rushed to the area and confronted the suspect with shots being fired outside the building area.  Milby was taken into custody at that time. No other students, faculty, or officers were injured.


(St Joseph--jc)  -- Several vehicles and a semi were involved in a  multiple accident along Interstate 74 near St Joseph on Wednesday. Police say 31 year old Tyler Nash of Danville failed to stop as traffic was backed up in a construction zone on I-74. His vehicle struck the back of a second unit and then two more vehicles were struck. Nash and 70 year old Thomas Olds of Tennessee were taken to area hospitals with injuries. Nash was cited for failure to yield to avoid an accident.


(Springfield--jc)  -- It’s a simple bill, but one designed to make the lives of families who have lost a soldier, a little easier. Families have enough to worry about when a parent, sibling or child is killed in active military duty. State Senator Dave Koehler of Peoria says his bill lets immediate family members or dependents cancel  the fallen service members lease, if necessary…



Illinois State Senator Dave Koehler of Peoria

Both Houses have passed the bill and it is now awaiting action from Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner.





Wednesday May 16 2018

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois lawmakers on Tuesday revived efforts to pass gun-dealer licensing legislation after a veto by Republican Governor Bruce Rauner stymied a previous effort. The new rules would make it illegal for retailers to sell guns without being certified by the state. The stores must first be licensed by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Then they would have to submit a copy of that license to the Illinois State Police, along with an affidavit declaring it remains valid. A Senate panel advanced the bill by an 8-3 vote.



CHICAGO (AP) — A nonprofit group suing the city of Chicago says the Obama Presidential Center shouldn't be built in a Chicago park because it won't be a true presidential library. Protect Our Parks Incorporated accuses organizers of the planned library at Jackson Park on the city's South Side of pulling an "institutional bait and switch" by changing the true nature of the center from a presidential library to a center that doesn't house historic papers. The group's federal lawsuit was filed earlier this week.


(Washington-jc) --  The U-S-D-A says ending global  corn stocks will be much lower in the next fiscal year. Rod Bain has the numbers…




PEKIN, Ill. (AP) — The family of one of the four people killed in a shooting at a Waffle House restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee, is suing the suspected gunman's father, accusing the Illinois man of negligence. The (Peoria) Journal Star reports that the family of victim Joe Perez filed a lawsuit in Tazewell County, the home of Jeffrey Reinking.  Reinking's son, Travis Reinking, also lived there before moving to Nashville. Police say Travis Reinking had displayed signs of mental illness before his Illinois gun card was revoked last summer. His guns were transferred to his father, but police say the father returned them to his son at some point.


(Fisher-rb)The suspect in a series of motor vehicle burglaries is a former Champaign Police officer. Authorities says the thefts happened early Sunday morning in Fisher. Authorities say at least ten different vehicles were burglarized. All were un-locked.  Fisher Police requested help from the Champaign County Sheriff's Office in which video surveillance footage was obtained from a Fisher resident. 43-year old R. Justus Clinton of Fisher, was arrested late Monday night. Clinton was charged Tuesday with burglary to a motor vehicle and residential burglary.


(Springfield-rb) Visitors to Illinois hit an all-time high in 2017 giving a  One point One Billion dollar boost to the state’s economy. There were three percent more visitors to Illinois than in 20-16, which also was a record year. Travelers came from all over the world for business  and pleasure In the past 10 years, travelers visiting Illinois increased by more than 22 million, and tourism has become one of the state’s most important industries. The Illinois tourism industry supported over 335 thousand jobs in 20-17.


(Springfield--jc)  -- State leaders have 15 days to try and put together a balanced budget, on time. Illinois is into its first year of the largest tax increase and the two major parties continue to squabble over a cost estimate figure for the budget. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says the state must live with-in its means…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner

Efforts by the governor’s office continue to help business in the state despite the disagreements in Springfield. The Governor was in Champaign Tuesday morning for a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Epi Works Facility located on Rion Drive.


(Watseka--jc) the first installment of property taxes in Iroquois County are due on June 5th. The Iroquois County Treasurer’s office is open weekdays from 8-30am to 4-30pm  Property taxes may also be paid at any Iro quois County bank.  The county also takes credit card payments and mailed payments by the due date. By the way, the second installment of property taxes is due on September 5th.


(Undated--jc)  Illinois is celebrating its 200 anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial Minute…


(Springfield--jc)  -- Legislative leaders and Governor. Bruce Rauner met to talk Illinois budget late Tuesday, Lawmakers have two weeks to pass a balanced budget with simple majorities. After May 31, a supermajority vote is needed to pass a budget. With the time crunch, Republicans say they want things to be resolved in a more timely manner. Illinois Democratic State Senator leader John  Cullerton says the two sides discussed revenue estimates at 33-point-6 Billion dollars. He wanted more clarity on what the number included, like the sale of the Thompson Center in Chicago. Illinois House Minority Leader Jim Durkin says when you include federal funds and transfers the figure is 37-point-8 Billion dollars


(Rantoul--jc)  It was the second time a plane being scrapped caught fire in Rantoul. Local firefighters were called to the hanger area on the former base Tuesday morning. Owner of T and K Metals of Whiting Indiana, Ken Morrison, says workers cut into an area on the plane sparking the fire. Firefighters were on the scene for about two hours.


(Springfield--jc)  -- The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is warning the public about some Homeopathic pendants. The pendants use negative Ion technology and claim to main health, but I-EMA  Spokesperson Patti Thompson says wearers should be cautious..



I-EMA Spokesperson Patti Thompson

Thompson says if you decide to get rid of your pendant, it is O-K to throw it away in the regular trash.


(Rantoul--jc)  Does the village of Rantoul want the Minuteman missile on the former Chanute Air Force Base. An Indiana firm has a contract to scrap some vintage planes and potentially the missile. The company offered to sell the missile to the village for one thousand 500 dollars. No decision yet by village leaders.


(Springfield--jc)  -- A bipartisan group of lawmakers is proposing new gun law dealer legislation. The plan requires federally licensed gun dealers to be certified by the the state says State Senator Don Harmon of Oak Park…


Illinois State Senator Don Harmon of Oak Park.

The measure also places restrictions on private sales and sets up a study on gun trafficking in Illinois.


PAXTON — The committee organizing the Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual Old-Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration is seeking nominations for its Golden Deeds Awards, which will be presented at the celebration at Pells Park. The award is given to two outstanding community volunteers — one man and one woman.  Nominations need to include all of the nominees’ volunteer activities. Nominations should be mailed by June 15 to: Golden Deeds Award, c/o Paxton Church of Christ, P.O. Box 299, Paxton, IL 60957.


(Washington--jc)  -- Rain is coming to much of the country. Stephanie Ho has the story…



(Gibson City-rb) If you enjoyed draggin main street as a young adult then you’ll love Friday night cruise night as Gibson City brings back Draggin Main. You can relive old memories and create new ones on the third Fridays from May through September from 6-10pm. It’s small town Friday night fun the way it used to be!



(Gibson City-rb) Harvest Moon Drive -In in Gibson City is having the 1st classic car cruise-in night Sunday May 20th. Gates open at 7:00 pm for those that want to bring out a classic car, truck, motorcycle, hot rod, modified muscle car or tuner to the movies that night.  The driver of the vehicle will get in for free but the passengers will be expected to pay the regular admission rates. Judging and prize packages will be awarded to the top 3 vehicles on each screen and handed out at the intermission time.

(Rantoul-rb) Join the Rantoul Police Department this Friday at the Rantoul Dunkin Donuts. They’ll be raising money for Special Olympics Illinois! Stop by and donate to get your free donut. They’ll also have coffee mugs, T-shirt’s and other items for sale.



Tuesday May 15 2018

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Eight years after Illinois abolished the death penalty, the state's Republican governor on Monday proposed reinstating the punishment for mass killers and people who gun down police officers. Gov. Bruce Rauner tied the death penalty plan to gun restrictions favored by Democrats who control the Legislature …



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner



(Springfield--jc)  -- The warm and drier weather is giving producers a chance to make a lot a planting progress. State Crop Statistician Matt Russell says almost the entire last 7 days were good for planting…



State Crop Statistician Matt Russell

66 percent of Soybeans have been planted and 24 percent have emerged. Average statewide topsoil moisture is rated as 1 percent very short, 14 percent short, 79 percent adequate and 6 percent surplus.



(Bloomington--jc)  State Farm, based in Bloomington, is looking to fill 300 entry-level jobs. The insurance and banking company held a career expo yesterday in Bloomington. Filling the news jobs comes on the heels of a move by the company to cut just under 900 analyst positions from the McLean County operations. Some of those jobs are being moved to Atlanta, Dallas and Phoenix.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The foundation that supports the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois, is selling a black dress once owned by movie star Marilyn Monroe to raise funds to repay a loan, The loan in question was  used to buy artifacts relating to the 16th president and keep the presidential relics available for public viewing. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation is putting nine items up for auction in Las Vegas June 23, including photos of the 1950s movie icon by photographer Arnold Newman. The wool dress could sell for more than $60,000, according to Julien's Auctions.



BATAVIA, Ill. (AP) — The families of two sailors with Illinois ties who were killed during the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor are preparing for their burials. Military officials say DNA testing helped identify remains of the sailors who were among 429 killed when the USS Oklahoma sank.The military says 20-year-old Gunner's Mate 2nd Class William Hellstern of Peoria, Illinois, will be buried Friday in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. A burial ceremony for Petty Officer 2nd Class Walter Howard Backman is planned for Memorial Day in  Batavia.




(Paxton-rb) Paxton’s town wide garage sales are set for early June. Paxton townwide garage sale Spokesperson Larry Gerken says now is the time to sign up…


Paxton Town wide Garage Sale Spokesperson Larry Gerken



(Paxton-rb) Paxton Buckley Loda Schools Life Skills group is having a fundraiser this weekend. Event Organizer Brandon Eidson says the event takes place on Friday in Paxton…



P-B-L Life Skills group Fundraiser Organizer Brandon Eidson



(Paxton-rb) One Paxton group is hosting a public event during the Memorial Day weekend. Paxton Senior Living is hosting an Art and Craft Show and Sale on Saturday May 26th. Show time is 9am til 2pm says Event Organizer Cathy Whitcomb…



Paxton Senior Living  Event Organizer Cathy Whitcomb



(Undated--jc) Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial Minute…



(Paxton--jc)  Friday it was a variety of specific flags on vehicles at Paxton Buckley Loda High School. Monday the Confederate flag, Don’t Tread on Me and Trump flags were inside some student vehicles at the Ford County school. Some at the school were offended by the flags and others say it is their right to free speech. School officials did ask the students not to bring the flags on grounds for reasons of safety.



YORKVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Officials in northeast Illinois have approved plans for a historical marker to commemorate the original location of the state's northern boundary. The aluminum cast marker will be installed onto an eight-foot aluminum pole in Yorkville's Town Square park this summer . The city hosts events and observances in the park. Alice Fellers of Crystal Lake came up with the idea when she was researching a project for the Illinois Bicentennial and discovered the original marker between Plano and Sandwich was missing.



(Springfield-rb) After a 16-month vacancy, Gov. Bruce Rauner has named another Chicago corporate attorney to fill the last empty seat on the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.Sanford "Sandy" Perl of Glencoe, a partner at Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago and a 1987 UI alumnus, is the last appointment made by Rauner to replace three former trustees whose terms expired in January 2017. The board has nine statewide members appointed by the governor. Rauner's office filed the appointment late Monday afternoon with the Secretary of State's office and planned to announce it this morning.



(Champaign-rb) A dumpster fire Monday at a campus-area apartment building caused some damage to the structure but resulted in no injuries.Champaign Deputy Fire Marshal Randy Smith said crews were called to an apartment complex on Locust Street,  shortly after noon. Initial reports from firefighters are that there's no fire damage inside. Smith says officials are looking into whether trash piling up from University of Illinois students moving out helped spread the flames.

The new Small Business Optimism Index, issued by the National Federation of Independent Business, shows a record level of small businesses seeing profit growth. The number reporting poor sales fell to a near record low. That optimism is tempered by potential actions in Springfield that could affect small business owners.J.B. Pritzker, the Democratic candidate for governor, has called for a temporary hike in Illinois' flat income tax rate. He then wants lawmakers to work to change the state constitution to allow for a progressive income tax, which would include several different rates, depending on income. Grant said that could have consequences for many small business owners.


The Illinois Department of Transportation is working to raise awareness about the alarming number of motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes as the weather warms up. Motorcycles in Illinois account for 3 percent of the state’s registered vehicles, but motorcyclists account for 15 percent of total road fatalities. There were 1,097 traffic fatalities in Illinois in 2017. Of those, 162 were motorcyclists, eight more than 2016, according to preliminary state data. The state launched its Start Seeing Motorcycles safety and training program to promote awareness and safety. It is implemented each year to align with the riding season and more opportunities for motorcycle travel.




Monday May 14 2018

(Springfield--jc)  -- Budget talks continue at the state capitol but there is still no agreement on the amount the state has to spend. Illinois State Senate President John Cullerton says they are close…



Illinois State Senate President John Cullerton.

State leaders have until the end of the month to pass a balanced budget. The new fiscal year begins July First.



(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois lawmakers are saying "no" to the Muslim registry that never materialized. Illinois Senate President John Cullerton said the plan that passed the Illinois Senate  that prohibits state government from putting people into databases has one very specific purpose. Cullerton says the bill was in response to the Trump Presidency wanting to create a federal registry of Muslims.


(Springfield--jc)  -- To put some teeth into legislation concerning public safety is one issue facing Governor Bruce Rauner. The governor says he wants Illinois to be a leader in public safety...



 The governor says initiatives should be more than just headline material…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner



(Washington--jc)  -- One of the U. S. Senate’s leading Democrats seems to be leaving the door open for supporting a work requirement for recipients of federal food assistance. Requiring able-bodied Americans to either work or train to work in order to get food stamps is up for debate in the nation’s capitol. Republicans are siding with the majority public opinion that there should be some sort of work requirement that excludes kids, the elderly and the disabled. If Congress doesn’t add more stringent work requirements, President Donald Trump says he may veto the farm bill, which includes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program, commonly known as SNAP.


(Washington--jc)  -- Soybean supply and demand ledgers of global competitors and customers  could impact soybean exports. Rod Bain reports..




(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois state senators have passed a bill that would allow veterans’ organizations to offer video gambling in their establishments even if local laws forbid it. Many American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars posts across Illinois already have video gambling, but some municipalities and counties have banned it. The idea behind the legislation is to give veterans organizations another source of revenue. Mike DeRoss, Illinois VFW state adjutant-quartermaster, said he understands both sides of the issue. The measure passed the Illinois Senate by a wide margin and is in the hands of the Illinois House today. The state VFW is not taking an official stance on the issue.



(Springfield--jc)  -- The Illinois Department of Transportation is working to raise awareness about the alarming number of motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes as the weather warms up.Motorcycles in Illinois account for 3 percent of the state’s registered vehicles, but motorcyclists account for 15 percent of total road fatalities. There were 1,097 traffic fatalities in Illinois in 2017. Of those, 162 were motorcyclists, eight more than in 2016, according to preliminary state data.Those are numbers I-DOT and Gov. Bruce Rauner, a Harley-Davidson owner, want to reduce.



(Champaign-rb) A 21-year-old Danville man was taken to a local hospital with serious injuries after being shot early Sunday morning, authorities said. According to Champaign police Lt. Nathan Rath, officers were called to the area of East Armory Avenue and South First Street at 12:45 a.m. to respond to a report of shots fired. When police arrived at the scene, they found a 21-year-old Danville man who had received gunshot wounds, Rath said. Police provided medical care at the scene by applying a tourniquet before the man was taken to an area hospital, where he was treated for what police described as life-threatening injuries.


(Mahomet-rb) A Mahomet woman is free on bond after being criminally charged with injuring an infant at her in-home day care. Ashley Jo Cox was arrested Thursday on a warrant charging her with two counts of aggravated battery to a child. State’s Attorney Julia Rietz said one count, a Class X felony, alleged great bodily harm to a 3½-month-old girl, while a second count alleged mere bodily harm. That is a less-serious Class 3 felony. Conviction on the more-serious offense carries penalties ranging from six to 30 years in prison.



BOSTON (AP) — The search  group tasked with finding a new chancellor for the University of Massachusetts-Boston has submitted the names of three finalists to the system's president.The finalists announced Friday include a vice chancellor from the University of Pittsburgh,  a dean at Georgia State University and Jack Thomas, president of Western Illinois University.The candidates are scheduled to visit financially troubled UMass-Boston this week to meet members of the campus community.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The foundation that supports the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum says it might have to sell artifacts if it can't pay off a decade-old loan that financed items related to the 16th president. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation has revealed it owes 10 million dollars on a 2007 loan it used to buy the Barry and Louise Taper Collection, which includes a stovepipe hat Lincoln purportedly wore, bloodstained gloves he wore the night he was assassinated and an 1824 book containing the first known example of his handwriting.The foundation paid $25 million and borrowed $23 million. The note comes due in October 2019.



(Gibson City--jc)  -- This friday is the first drag main event in Gibson City. The event takes place from 6pm until 10pm on the third friday in the Ford County city. Organizers hope the event will bring cruisers and a fun event to Gibson City.



CHICAGO (AP) — O'Hare International Airport in Chicago has some new gates for the first time in a quarter century.In a news release, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office says the mayor joined American Airlines CEO Doug Parker for a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday morning to mark American's opening of five new gates.The release says American's investment of $78 million to extend the concourse of Terminal 3's L-Concourse is the first major step the airport's $8.5 billion terminal expansion plan. Between the new American gates and the planned addition of dozens of more gates, the mayor's office says gate capacity will grow by 25 percent.




(Springfield--jc)  -- The Illinois Department of Public Health says now is the time to start taking precautions against the west nile virus. West Nile is the most common mosquito-borne illness  in the state. Illinois Department of Public Health Spokesperson Melaney Arnold says surveillance is underway…



Illinois Department of Public Health Spokesperson Melaney Arnold.

Arnold says the best way to reduce the risk of west nile is to eliminate standing pools of water and using insect repellent with deet.



Nearly four years after a controversial Illinois grant program dolled out millions of dollars in questionable spending, a state senator is confident his bill advancing at the statehouse will give taxpayers more accountability and transparency in how the state spends grant dollars.The 98th General Assembly resolved that former Democrat Governor Pat Quinn’s Neighborhood Recovery Initiative’s, nearly 55 million dollar budget  was found to have pervasive deficiencies in planning, implementation and management. Local state Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says his legislation will prevent such funds from going into political slush funds



(Washington--jc)  Projections for U-S-D-A crops are tentative at this point of the planting season and subject to change, Gary Crawford reports…




AURORA, Ill. (AP) — Caterpillar has officially put its production plant in the northern Illinois city of Aurora on the market. Caterpillar is one of the lead manufacturers of construction and mining equipment. Caterpillar is working to sell off the manufacturing part of the Aurora facility which is set to close for good by the end of the year. Local government officials are trying to find a new user for the building. They are also working to help the 800 workers laid off as part of the move. Caterpillar slashed its workforce last year as a result of slowing demand in the construction industry.



(Undated--jc)  Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary. Here is today’s Bicentennial Minute…











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