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Phase 3 begins in Illinois today

(Springfield-jm) -- It’s official Phase 3 begins in Illinois today. You can get your hair cut, go to the driving range, visit a clothing store and more in phase 3. Bars and restaurants will be open but only for outdoor seating and carryout. Governor J-B Pritzker says safety precautions will remain, so that the state can open up even further in phase four on June 26th…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The state has issued safety guidelines for everything from gyms and youth sports to manufacturing and offices for phase 3. Visit: illinois dot gov slash business guidelines.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Local cases rose in 4 of the 7 counties in the WPXN listening area. Champaign County reported 13 new cases bringing their total number of cases to 596. Kankakee County also reported 13 new cases bringing their total number to 1,137. Iroquois County reported 1 new case bringing their total number to 132. Livingston County also reported 1 new case bringing their total to 33. Ford, Vermilion and McLean Counties all reported no new cases. There were no additional deaths reported in the area Thursday.

 

 

(Undated-jm) --  The Illinois Department of Public Health and local health departments continue to report cases in local communities. In Champaign County, 6 are in Ludlow 148 in Rantoul, 2 in Thomasboro, 12 in Mahomet, 4 in St. Joseph and 1 each in Fisher, Gifford and Penfield. In Ford County, 7 are in Paxton and 6 are in Cabery. In Vermilion County, 6 are in Hoopeston and 21 in Danville. In Iroquois County, 47 are in Clifton, 12 in Watseka, 11 each in Chebanse and Onarga, Ashkum has 9, 7 in Crescent City and 6 each in Beaverville, Danforth and Gilman.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- People in Illinois will be allowed to attend worship services starting this weekend without fear of prosecution as the state enters Phase 3 of Governor JB Pritzker’s “Restore Illinois” reopening plan. Pritzker made the announcement during his daily COVID-19 briefing Thursday in Chicago.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The state Department of Public Health is requiring long term care facilities in Illinois to do more COVID-19 testing. About 44 percent of Illinois Coronavirus patients who have died were living in long term care facilities. That’s why it’s so important to improve testing says Governor J-B Pritzker…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Emergency rules filed by IDPH require facilities to test all residents and staff when an outbreak is suspected and in other instances, and to report the numbers back to the state.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- More than 1.3 million unemployment claims have been processed in Illinois since March, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security. IDES said during the week ending May 23, they processed 58,263 new initial claims for regular unemployment benefits. The department has now processed 1,302,154 unemployment claims from March 1 through May 23. Additionally, IDES has processed 39,414 Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation claims.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) --  Illinois will soon provide Medicaid to people regardless of their immigration status. The budget implementation bill that was recently passed by Illinois lawmakers includes a section referencing Medicaid availability to noncitizens. The Department of Healthcare and Family Services may provide medical assistance to noncitizens over the age of 65 whose income is at or below 100% of the federal poverty level after deducting the costs of medical care. 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Ford County Public Health Department is asking the public to once again collect dead birds for testing for the West Nile Virus. Every summer the health department collects dead birds to be sent off for testing for the virus. Christy Wallace with the Ford County Public Health Department says there are some criteria for collecting dead birds…

 

 

Christy Wallace with the Ford County Public Health Department. If you suspect you have a dead bird that could be used for testing, call the health department at 217-379-9281.

 

 

(Milford-jm) -- Iroquois Memorial Hospital is announcing a new provider for the Milford Clinic. Tracy Packer is now seeing patients at the clinic. To make an appointment call 815-889-4241.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Market Place Mall in Champaign will be reopening today. The mall will be open 11 to 7 Monday through Saturday and 12 to 6 on Sunday. Play areas, stroller rentals and the food court will remain closed. Eastland Mall in Bloomington and Northfield Mall in Bourbonnais are also reopening today.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton could be relaxing some of their regulations on chickens. Mayor Bill Ingold says the council is looking at the ordinances in other communities and will revisit the issue in June…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton police have released their recent activity report. On May 21st, Douglas Akerland of Paxton was cited for driving with a suspended license after police stopped him for operating a motor vehicle without registration after he was driving a dirt bike in the 100 block of East State Street. On May 24th, no injuries were reported in a two vehicle accident at American and Patton. A 16 year old male was cited for failure to yield. On May 25th, James Tovey of Paxton was cited for driving while license suspended following a traffic stop at Market and Holmes.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- Two universities in the University of Illinois System have ranked among the top 15 public institutions in the nation. Universities were ranked through a system which highlights institutions that best serve the needs of students and are affecting positive social and economic change, such as equitability and sustainability. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was ranked as 10th among public universities in the United States, while the University of Illinois at Chicago ranked at 14th in the nation.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The new wheat marketing year could bring another drop in U-S wheat supplies and exports. Gary Crawford has the details…

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Local active and recovered cases continued to rise Thursday. In Ford County 18 have recovered while 2 remain in isolation. In Champaign County, 442 have recovered, 147 are active with 4 hospitalized. In Vermilion County, 25 have been removed from isolation. In Iroquois County 89 have recovered, 36 are in isolation and 3 are hospitalized. In McLean County 166 have recovered, 36 are in isolation and 3 are hospitalized. In Livingston County, 27 have recovered, 4 are active and 1 is hospitalized. In Kankakee County, 437 have recovered, 647 are active and 10 are hospitalized.

 

 

(Pontiac-jm) -- The new case reported in Livingston County was an inmate at the Pontiac Correctional Center. According to the Livingston County Public Health Department and Illinois Department of Corrections, 7 staff and 4 inmates have tested positive for the Coronavirus. 2 of the staff and 1 of the inmates have recovered.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- People in Illinois will be allowed to attend worship services starting this weekend without fear of prosecution as the state enters Phase 3 of Governor JB Pritzker’s “Restore Illinois” reopening plan. Pritzker made the announcement during his daily COVID-19 briefing Thursday in Chicago, the same day a new lawsuit was filed in Lake County Circuit Court challenging the ban on public gatherings of more than 10 people as it applied to worship services.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Sheriffs across Illinois are making their concerns known through a new lawsuit. The Illinois Sheriffs' Association filed a lawsuit on Thursday against Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Corrections. The group says Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Corrections refused to accept transfers of parole violators or convicted individuals from jails across Illinois and did not implement a plan to install proper intake procedures during the stay-at-home order.

 

 

(Cissna Park-cf) -- The tax deadline for this year has been pushed back on both the state and federal level due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you still need to file your taxes, you can drop them off at Russell Leigh and Associates says owner Russ Leigh…

 

 

Russell Leigh and Associates Owner Russ Leigh. If you need to file, you can call and make an appointment at 815-457-2325 or drop them off at either their Cissna Park or Gibson City location.

 

 

(Rural Urbana-jm) -- An elderly woman reported missing from northern Illinois was found near Urbana Thursday afternoon. Champaign County Sheriff’s police say they were called to a vehicle in the field at Olympian Drive and Lincoln Avenue Monday morning. When they arrived, they found the vehicle but no occupant. The vehicle came back registered to an owner in Monee, Illinois. Monee Police were notified. After failed attempts to reach the owner, Monee police reported the owner missing Thursday notified Champaign County Sheriff’s deputies the owner may have dementia. Deputies went back out where they found the individual on the ground in a wooded area a quarter of a mile from the location of Monday’s incident. The woman was taken to Carle Foundation Hospital where she is expected to be ok.

 

 

(Pontiac-jm) -- The Livingston County Public Health Department is scheduling 2020-2021 school physicals and immunizations. The physicals and immunizations are by appointment only and on certain dates in June and July. To schedule, call 815-844-7174 extension 210.

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- One of the biggest groups affected by the Coronavirus pandemic was Illinois schools. Schools were closed in March and 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman says he’s afraid what the closure will do for students’ development and what will happen to districts in the fall…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

(Champaign-jm) -- OSF Health Systems is opening an OSF Medical Group Primary Care at Union Square in Champaign. The location, scheduled to open in the fall, will feature family medicine, physical therapy and x-ray services. 

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Dairy growers enrolled in a USDA farm safety net program will receive payment after such was triggered in March. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- The University of Illinois System expects to sustain a financial hit of about $167 million this fiscal year because of the coronavirus pandemic that’s closed down its campuses. Chief Financial Officer Avijit Ghosh told the school’s board of trustees during a virtual meeting that nearly $50 million of the projected financial impact comes from adjustments to student fees for housing, dining, and other activities. Ghosh said travel expenses are currently on hold and units of the university have also been instructed to control spending on supplies and services and non-essential construction and capital investments.

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Cases of COVID-19 continue to rise across Illinois

(Springfield-jm) -- Cases of COVID-19 continue to rise across Illinois, including in nursing homes. Nursing homes have been some of the places hardest hit by the virus. As of Wednesday nearly half of all COVID-19 deaths reported in Illinois took place at nursing homes. As of Wednesday, 2,402 of the 4,923 COVID-19 deaths have been reported at long-term care facilities in Illinois. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- COVID-19 deaths in Illinois now exceed five thousand. Governor J-B Pritzker is reporting more than 11 hundred new cases of infection and 160 additional deaths. That brings the total number of people who have lost their lives to the Coronavirus in Illinois to 5,083…

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Those who have most recently died range in age from 30s to 90s. Total cases are now above 114 thousand. As a reminder, Governor Pritzker will give his daily briefing at 2:30. We will have the latest tonight on our news at 4 and 5.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Local cases of Coronavirus rose Wednesday. Champaign County reported 15 new cases bringing their total number to 583. Vermilion County reported 1 new case bringing their total number to 40. McLean County reported 4 new cases bringing their total number to 216. Kankakee County has 28 new cases bringing their total number to 1,124. Ford, Iroquois and Livingston Counties all reported no new cases.


 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health and local health departments continue to report cases in local communities. In Champaign County, 6 are in Ludlow 146 in Rantoul, 2 in Thomasboro, 12 in Mahomet, 4 in St. Joseph and 1 each in Fisher, Gifford and Penfield. In Ford County, 7 are in Paxton and 6 are in Cabery. In Vermilion County, 6 are in Hoopeston and 20 in Danville. In Iroquois County, 47 are in Clifton, 12 in Watseka, 11 each in Chebanse and Onarga, Ashkum has 9, 7 in Crescent City and 6 each in Beaverville, Danforth and Gilman.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Movie theatres in Illinois are looking to open, but Governor J-B Pritzker says not yet. Phase three of the Restore Illinois plan begins Friday, with several businesses opening back up. The Governor says that won’t include movie theatres...

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Under the state’s parameters, phase four can’t begin until late June, and even then, theatres would be limited to 50 people per movie.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Although many real estate offices remain closed and open houses are rare because of the pandemic, the housing market in Illinois is on fire. Illinois Realtors reported sales dipped in April by 14.4 percent before an apparent rebound in May. Inventories also shrunk, making it a sellers' market. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Planting progress slowed slightly as we hear in the weekly crop report. Less than two days on average were suitable for fieldwork last week, with above normal rainfall in some areas, especially northeastern Illinois. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener takes a look at soybean progress…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 89 percent of corn has been planted, up from 83 percent last week. 66 percent has emerged and 55 percent of the crop is rated in good to excellent condition. 82 percent of winter wheat has headed and the first cutting of alfalfa is now 14 percent complete. Average statewide topsoil moisture is rated as 53 percent adequate and 47 percent surplus.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The man wanted for murdering a Rantoul man in Champaign last week has turned himself in. 24 year old Keith Baker is accused of shooting and killing James Coleman at an apartment complex in Champaign on May 21st. Baker is being held in the Champaign County jail on $1 million bond. He faces 3 counts of 1st degree murder and 1 count of unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon. He is due before a judge later today.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Ford County Public Health Department is collecting masks to distribute to residents of the county. The health department is collecting all types of masks and can be dropped off at the health department. Ford County Public Health Department Community Health Educator Danielle Walls says they are also accepting N95 masks to donate to first responders and nursing facilities in the county…

 

 

Ford County Public Health Community Health Educator Danielle Walls. To donate, call the health department at 217-379-9281.

 

(Urbana-jm) -- Champaign County residents should start seeing jury summons. Court cases have been on hold since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The first batch was recently sent out to residents. Safety precautions are being taken including watching the jury orientation video at home, only reporting to the courthouse when there is a trial set to begin, sitting several feet apart and jurors deliberating in a separate courtroom instead of a jury room. Court cases will begin no sooner than June 15.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The past week has felt summer like with temperatures in the 80s. But how does the forecast look going into the month of June? State Climatologist Trent Ford has the details…

 

 

State Climatologist Trent Ford. 

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- Iroquois Memorial Hospital pharmacy is now offering medication delivery. The delivery is available in Watseka, Milford, Sheldon, Crescent City, Gilman and other surrounding communities. The cutoff time is 9:30 am to receive your medications that day. Delivery will be done Monday through Friday between 10 and 2.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity announced $7.3 million from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Officials said the money will go to the Illinois Small Business Development Center program. This statewide network supports entrepreneurs in Illinois that are started out, growing and maintaining their businesses. This is a free program.

 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Local active and recovered cases continued to rise Wednesday. In Ford County 16 have recovered and 4 are in isolation. In Champaign County, 434 have recovered, 142 are active with 6 hospitalized. In Vermilion County, 25 have been released from isolation. In Iroquois County 86 have recovered with 38 in isolation and 3 hospitalized. In McLean County, 162 have recovered with 39 in isolation and 4 hospitalized. In Livingston County, 27 have recovered and 3 are active. In Kankakee County, 390 have recovered with 681 active cases and 10 hospitalized.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Some good news from yesterday's local numbers. All area health departments reported no additional deaths. That leaves Kankakee at 53, McLean at 11, Champaign at 7, Iroquois at 4, Livingston at 2 and Ford and Vermilion Counties at 1 death each.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says the ban on evictions in Illinois will be extended. As the state prepares to move to the next stage of reopening, the Governor says the moratorium on throwing tenants out who haven’t paid will go on a little longer…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Governor Pritzker says they are also looking at how to help struggling landlords so they don’t bear all the burden.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinoisans have been responding to the census and even with the complications because of the COVID-19 pandemic the state is on track with a 65% voluntary response rate. Organizers hope to get a 70 percent response rate before the Oct. 31 voluntary response deadline.  People can go online to my2020census.gov and type in their address.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Planting progress slowed slightly as we hear in the weekly crop report. 65 percent of soybeans have now been planted, up from 59 percent the previous week. 37 percent has emerged says State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener, who now turns to corn…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 82 percent of winter wheat has headed and the first cutting of alfalfa hay is now 14 percent complete. Average statewide topsoil moisture increased to 53 percent adequate and 47 percent surplus.

 

 

(Pontiac-jm) -- OSF St. James-John Albrecht Medical Center in Pontiac is recruiting sewers. The hospital is seeking sewers to help make cloth masks. The masks can be dropped off in boxes outside the hospitals covered main entrance.

 

 

(Kankakee-jm) -- United Way and Senator Patrick Joyce have teamed up to launch project Full Circle, which is a program that benefits local front line workers, and local restaurants by giving a front line worker a gift card which can be used at area restaurants. United Way Spokesperson Kate Reed tells us how you can donate…

 

 

United Way Spokesperson Kate Reed.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- Two new policies within the University of Illinois System seek to prevent and respond to sexual harassment, sexual assault and other categories of sexual misconduct. University of Illinois Board of Trustees approved the policies last week. One prohibits certain workplace-related intimate relationships among faculty, staff and students, and one requiring that job-candidate finalists disclose past findings of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- A community based Coronavirus testing site opened at Marketplace Mall in Champaign last week. Illinois Director of Public Health Dr Ngozi Ezike talks about the testing process…

 

 

Illinois Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- A coalition of organizations and businesses in Champaign County have launched a website to share information and resources with local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The website, champaigncountysafe.org, will serve as a hub for businesses in the county to access resources, including reopening guidelines, sample signage, personal protective equipment suppliers, local cleaning companies, local printers, and more.

 

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Governor J-B Pritzker says all of Illinois should be moving to phase three of his reopening plan on Friday

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike says there is some hope among the latest Coronavirus numbers. Ezike is reporting more than 11 hundred new cases and 39 additional deaths, although that may not include all patients from the holiday weekend. She also notes that the week ending May 16th is the first week that had less deaths than the previous week…

 

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Nearly 787 thousand people in Illinois have been tested so far for COVID-19. Of those testing positive, about 92 percent have recovered.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Local cases of Coronavirus rose Tuesday. Champaign County is reporting 7 new cases bringing their total number to 568. Iroquois County is reporting 1 new case bringing their total number to 131. McLean County has 2 new cases bringing their total to 212. Kankakee County has 55 new cases bringing their total number to 1,096. Ford, Vermilion and Livingston Counties all reported no new cases Tuesday.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health along with area health departments are reporting some cases in local communities. In Ford County, 7 are in Paxton and 6 are in Cabery. In Champaign County 6 are in Ludlow, 144 are in Rantoul, 2 are in Thomasboro, 4 in St. Joseph, 12 in Mahomet and 1 each in Gifford, Penfield and Fisher. In Iroquois County, 47 are in Clifton, 12 in Watseka, 11 each in Chebanse and Onarga, 9 in Ashkum, 7 in Crescent City and 6 each in Gilman, Danforth and Beaverville.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says all of Illinois should be moving to phase three of his reopening plan on Friday. The numbers needed to move to the next stage are holding or declining, which is great news says the Governor. That includes the positivity rate of COVID-19 tests and the number of hospital beds. Pritzker urges people to continue taking precautions…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. In phase three, salons, gyms, retail stores, offices and bars and restaurants with outdoor seating may open back up with stringent health protocols in place.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Lawmakers passed the budget this weekend and it is now on its way to Governor J-B Pritzker's desk, but is there a pay raise in it? Democrats are saying no and Republicans are saying yes. So, what is the truth? Both are correct because the raise is not from money allocated in this year's budget. In the Budget Implementation Bill there is statutory language that says legislators will get a cost of living adjustment every year unless they vote to take that out and they have not voted to take it out. That cost of living adjustment gives lawmakers a raise of 3%.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- A new act was introduced on Tuesday would help bring Meals on Wheels to kids, who live in rural and difficult-to-reach areas, over the summer.  The Meals on Wheels for Kids Act was introduced by Representative Rodney Davis of Taylorville. If approved, the act would establish a pilot program that would bring meals during the summertime to kids who rely on school-provided meals during the school year but live in hard to reach places.


 

(Springfield-jm) -- State Representative Allen Skillicorn of Crystal Lake, says he has formally started the process to recall Governor J-B Pritzker. Rep. Skillicorn says he's moving forward with the process due to ongoing issues with the state's unemployment claims website.  Skillicorn says the U-S Department of Labor offered to help the state, however, the Governor selected a no bid contract to a private company. Earlier this month, it was reported there was a massive data breach in which personal information of those filing claims was released.

 

 

(Roberts-jm) -- The Ford County community of Roberts has created a golf cart ordinance. The community had followed state guidance but the state turned over the governing of golf carts in communities to the local level. Roberts Mayor Matt Vaughan talks about the ordinance and what Roberts residents need to do…

 

 

Roberts Mayor Matt Vaughan. 

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- After being closed for close to 2 months, the Iroquois County administrative center will reopen this week to the public. The county says offices such as clerk, treasurer, assessments and zoning will reopen Thursday. Those wishing to come in must wear a mask and maintain social distancing.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The City of Paxton is moving forward with more road repairs this summer. Mayor Bill Ingold talks about the streets that will see improvements…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Buckley Loda School Board has approved the sale of some property. The minimum bid is set at $60,000 for the former site of Eastlawn Elementary while the minimum bid was set at $50,000 for the former playground site.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- National retail chain Victoria Secret announced they are closing 250 stores and 50 of their sister stores Bath and Body Works in the U-S. The company says sales at their Victoria Secret stores are down 46 percent this year however, during the pandemic online sales were up 30 percent. Bath and Body reported an 18 percent decline in in store sales however, online sales soared by 85 percent. There’s no word on if their stores in Champaign, Bloomington or Bourbonnais will be affected.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The nation’s winter wheat crop is heading ahead of last year, but the pace is behind the five year average. Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Active and recovered cases rose Tuesday in the area. Ford County is reporting 16 have recovered and 4 are in isolation. Champaign County is reporting 415 have recovered, 146 are active with 6 hospitalized. Vermilion County is reporting 25 have recovered and 13 are in isolation. Iroquois County is reporting 83 have recovered, 41 are in isolation and 3 are hospitalized. McLean County is reporting  143 have recovered with 54 in isolation and 4 hospitalized. Livingston County is reporting 27 have recovered and 3 are active. Kankakee County is reporting 368 have recovered, 675 are active with 12 hospitalized.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Sadly local deaths rose Tuesday. McLean County reported 1 new death bringing their total to 11. Kankakee County reported 6 new deaths bringing their total number to 53. Champaign County remains at 7 deaths, Iroquois County remains at 4 deaths, Livingston County remains at 2 deaths and Ford and Vermilion Counties remain at 1 death each.


 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Secretary of State Jesse White says offices will be reopening June 1st and 2nd. Driver services facilities will open next week but will focus on those with the most urgent needs for the first two months says Secretary of State Spokesperson Dave Druker…

 

 

Illinois Secretary of State Spokesperson Dave Druker. Many locations will have expanded hours. To get all the details on when your local facility will be open, visit: cyber drive illinois dot com. You can also use the website to renew your vehicle registration.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- A woman originally from Illinois is vying for the title of Commander in Chief. Dr. Jo Jorgensen was selected as the Libertarian Party's candidate for the 2020 Presidential Election. Jorgensen now lives in South Carolina but is a native of Libertyville, Illinois.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A staggering 27% of Illinoisans did not or could not pay their rent during the month of April, according to Illinois House lawmakers last week. Governor J-B Pritzker said in a press conference on Tuesday that the eviction freeze will extend past this Friday and into Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois plan. Under Illinois state law, rent must still be paid by tenants and all missed payments will still be owed to the landlord.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A report recently published by the Associated Press said the state of Illinois leads the nation in transparency when it comes to COVID-19 spending. Illinois State Comptroller Susana Mendoza launched a online portal so the public could view how the government was spending money on COVID-19 related items. 

 

 

(Gilman-jm) -- The Gilman city council approved the purchase of a new gate at the city’s water plant, which also serves as the city’s dump site. Mayor Rick Theesfield talks about the new gate and what residents need to do to access the site…

 

 

Gilman Mayor Rick Theesfield. 

 

 

(Mahomet-jm) -- Boat rentals won’t be happening this summer at Lake of the Woods in Mahomet. Due to financial restraints with the Coronavirus, the Champaign County Forest Preserve is not hiring seasonal help.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Ford County Public Health Department is collecting masks to give out to the community. Now with masks required to be worn by anyone over the age of 2 and are medically able to, there is a demand for them. Ford County Public Health Department Community Health Educator Danielle Walls says anyone looking for something to do can make and donate cloth masks…

 

Ford County Public Health Community Health Educator Danielle Walls. Walls says the health department is also accepting disposable masks. If a person or individual has N95 masks, the health department will also accept them and give them to First Responders and Long Term Care Facilities in the county. To donate, call the health department at 217-379-9281.

 

 

(Pontiac-jm) -- The Livingston County Public Health Department is sending out guidance for local businesses as they plan and prepare to reopen when permitted.Some of the guidelines include keeping sick people home, clean and disinfect regularly touched surfaces and common areas more frequently and social distancing for customers and employees. Businesses with questions can call Donnie Simmons at the Livingston County Public Health Department at 815-844-7174 extension 252.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- USDA analysts say the decline in ethanol demand may have bottomed out and may be starting a recovery, albeit a slow one. Gary Crawford reports…

 

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Illinois has the most restrictions concerning the COVID-19 pandemic

(Undated-jm) -- A new analysis of how governors have responded to the coronavirus threat indicates that residents in Midwest and Western states are experiencing the least coronavirus restrictions. The exception is Illinois, which has the most restrictions in the U.S. According to the WalletHub report, South Dakota has the least restrictions, followed by Wisconsin, Idaho, Missouri, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Arizona, North Dakota and Iowa. States with the most restrictions are Illinois, Rhode Island, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Vermont, Hawaii, Washington, New Mexico, New York, Connecticut and Michigan. The analysis evaluated 11 metrics including employee personal travel restrictions, restaurant closures and re-openings, and whether a “shelter-in-place” order was imposed and to what extent.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- A new report published by Pew Charitable Trusts suggests that with the increase of debt collection lawsuits, “debt collectors may seize $1,200 coronavirus checks intended for household expenses.” Before the coronavirus restrictions began, American household debt had already increased by $1.5 trillion between 2008 and 2019. As debt increased, so also did an aggressive approach made by creditors and third-party firms to use state civil courts to pursue collections through debt claims, Pew says. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois legislature approved a $40 billion state budget over the weekend. One area of concern for 105th District State Representative Dan Brady of Normal is funding for higher education…

 

 

105th District State Representative Dan Brady of Normal. 

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- 16th Congressional District Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois is sponsoring two pieces of legislation to better protect Americans. The pieces of legislation demand greater transparency from China when it comes to intellectual property, manufactured goods and internet applications originating from China.

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- With the shutdown from COVID-19, many people are hearing about the increase in the numbers of those unemployed or businesses permanently closing. But 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says there’s another equally and disturbing increase that many people aren’t talking about…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A St. Joseph man has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for sharing child pornography. Nathan Ingold pleaded guilty to the charges. He must also serve 10 years probation upon release.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A Gifford woman has been sentenced to 18 months probation after she admitted to possessing a stolen car in Champaign. Additional charges against Mackenzie Flahuat including identity theft were dismissed in exchange for her plea. Flahuat and a passenger, 25 year old Jalen Dixon of Champaign were arrested in March in Champaign in a vehicle reported stolen. Dixon is charged with possession of a stolen firearm, possession of a stolen vehicle, aggravated unlawful use of weapons and unlawful possession of credit and debit cards. His case remains unresolved.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Yesterday was Memorial Day, a day to honor fallen Veterans. Many services and observances around the area were canceled because of the Coronavirus pandemic. Paxton American Legion Commander Tim Hess says those on the front lines of the pandemic have something in common with our fallen veterans…

 

Paxton American Legion Commander Tim Hess.

 

 

(Iroquois County-jm) -- An Iroquois County man flew over several communities in honor of fallen Veterans Monday. Chuck Bohlmann flew his plane over Milford, Sheldon, Watseka, Crescent City, Cissna Park, Buckley, Onarga and Gilman.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- USDA analysts have made some significant changes in their projections for the pork industry. Gary Crawford has the details…

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The state of Illinois has 9,176 legal cannabis industry jobs, according to a study by Leafly, a website that provides information about marijuana and connects licensed retailers to consumers.  The state has estimated annual cannabis product sales of $470 million and ranks 10th in the nation in terms of legal marijuana jobs, the report states.  Nationwide, the $10.7 billion legal cannabis industry supports the equivalent of 243,700 full-time jobs, according to the Leafly analysis, as of the beginning of 2020. Such jobs are increasing at a rate of 15 percent per year in the United States, the study said.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A federal judge won’t reconsider a decision to throw out a lawsuit alleging Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan conspired to put up sham candidates in a 2016 Democratic primary. U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly denied a motion Saturday to reconsider a lawsuit brought by Jason Gonzales. Gonzales lost to Madigan by a wide margin and alleges Madigan's team put up phony candidates with Hispanic-sounding names to confuse voters. Madigan spokeswoman Eileen Boyce says the ruling reaffirms Gonzales had a chance to make his case to the voters and lost. Gonzales plans to appeal.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The State legislature wrapped up their spring session Saturday during a four day session last week. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City recaps some of the legislation passed during the session…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A new state grant program will provide communities with money and expertise to expand broadband capacity and improve digital access as more people work, shop and go to school online during the coronavirus pandemic. The $150,000 Illinois Connected Communities grant program will provide grants of up to $15,000, on a competitive basis.

 

 

(Danville-jm) -- A Vermilion County man will spend years in prison for possessing fentanyl with the intent to deliver. 30 year old John Forman pleaded guilty to the possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, between 15 and 100 grams of fentanyl. Forman was sentenced to 10 years in prison. He will be required to serve three years of mandatory supervised release after his sentence.

 

(Fisher-jm) -- The Fisher village board meets tonight in a special session. Village trustees will be asked to approve temporary outside cafe licenses for restaurants and bars along third street. The move comes after Governor Pritzker allowed bars and restaurants to reopen starting Friday with his phase 3 in reopening the state. The Fisher Village board meeting gets underway at 5pm.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- A Watseka man is behind bars on several charges after he tried to steal money from an ATM. Police were called to the First Trust and Savings Bank for damage to the machine. Surveillance footage showed 36 year old Daniel White trying to break into the machine. White was charged with attempted bank robbery, criminal damage to property and was wanted on a warrant out of Indiana.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The broiler industry is taking a hit right now , as are all the meat sectors, but will there be an improving situation in the coming year? Gary Crawford has the details…

 

 

 

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Local cases of Coronavirus rose Thursday

(Undated-jm) -- Local cases of Coronavirus rose Thursday. Vermilion County reported 3 new cases bringing their total to 37. McLean County reported 3 new cases bringing their total to 197. Livingston County reported 1 new case bringing their total to 30. Ford County reported 1 new case bringing their total to 20. Champaign County reported 22 new cases bringing their total to 497. Iroquois County reported 3 new cases bringing their total to 124. Kankakee County reported 20 new cases bringing their total to 1,012.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Cases of Coronavirus in area communities also rose Thursday. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, 7 cases are in Paxton, Ludlow has 6 cases, Thomasboro has 2 cases, Rantoul has 131 cases, Mahomet has 12 cases, St. Joseph has 4 cases, Clifton has 43, Chebanse, Watseka and Onarga have 11 cases each, Ashkum has 9 cases, Crescent City has 7 cases, Danforth and Beaverville have 6 cases each and Gifford, Fisher and Penfield have 1 case each.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- As the state gets ready to move into the next phase of the Restore Illinois plan, Governor J-B Pritzker warns, the threat of the Coronavirus isn’t over yet. The Governor says no one knows for sure but there could be another surge of cases as the weather cools…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Governor Pritzker says they will be watching the numbers carefully as the state moves into the next phase for any new spike in cases.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- As lawmakers continue to hash out details for the budget year that begins July 1, Governor J.B. Pritzker isn’t willing to cut spending. Instead, he’s looking to borrow to keep spending level. He’s also dismissing any reforms during the pandemic. In a truncated session, state lawmakers are working on details of what could be a $39.7 billion spending plan. That’s about level with the current fiscal year’s spending plan, even with the expected crater in revenue from the economic shutdown imposed by the government. There are reports the state is looking to borrow more than $4 billion from a Federal Reserve program. One major driver of the state’s $197 billion of structural debt that’s been around since before the pandemic is public employee pensions, but the governor has been unwilling to address reforms to lower those liabilities.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J.B. Pritzker said the federal government is going to have to help offset the increased costs for businesses from the likelihood historic unemployment will increase unemployment insurance rates. The governor said he’s working with lawmakers to increase state funding for the agency. Asked Thursday what he’s going to do to offset that burden, Pritzker said he’s hoping the federal government sends tax dollars to Illinois to cover the costs.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Amidst the pandemic, the state unemployment rate jumped to 16 point 4 percent last month. April’s rate rose over 12 percentage points from March, as businesses had to close because of the Coronavirus. More than 762 thousand jobs were lost last month says Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Sam Salustro…

 

 

Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Sam Salustro. The national unemployment rate for April was 14 point 7 percent. Salustro says anyone still needing to file for unemployment benefits should visit ides dot illinois dot gov.

 

(Champaign-jm) -- A Rantoul man is dead following a shooting Thursday morning in Champaign. Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup says 25 year old James Coleman died at the scene of the shooting on Country Fair Drive. The incident remains under investigation.

 

 

(Gilman-jm) -- Some businesses in the Iroquois County village of Gilman will see some relief. Mayor Rick Theesfield says the village board waived the liquor license fee for those establishments…

 

 

Gilman Mayor Rick Theesfield.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Hap Parker Family Aquatic Center in Rantoul will not open this weekend. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the Rantoul Recreation Department announced the facility will not open. The Rec Department did say they have prepared a plan to open if they are allowed to this summer.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- As the Memorial Day weekend fast approaches, the National Fire Protection Association is providing tips for grilling safely. WPXN’s Jason Madden has the details…

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Active and recovered cases rose Thursday. Vermilion County reported 25 have been released while 11 remain in isolation. McLean County reported 118 have recovered, 63 are in isolation and 7 are hospitalized. Livingston County reported 24 have been removed from isolation and 4 are active. Ford County reported 13 released from isolation and 6 in isolation. Champaign County reported 271 have recovered, 219 are active with 5 hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 66 have recovered, 49 are in isolation and 5 hospitalized.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Sadly 4 more deaths were reported in the area Thursday. Livingston County reported 1 new death bringing their total number to 2. McLean County reported 3 new deaths bringing their total to 9.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The state is hitting a new daily high for Coronavirus testing. More than 29 thousand specimens were run in the past day, with over 22 hundred new cases logged. Illinois Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike says people can spread the virus before they start experiencing symptoms…

 

Illinois Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Find a testing site near you at: coronavirus dot illinois dot gov and click on resources.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois’ hotels are taking steps to ensure customers feel safe.  Hotels that have verified they are using the guidelines will be given a decal to place on their premises as well as a digital one to show they’re doing so online.  

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- As the Illinois economy begins to slowly open back up, the creator of the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs believes said businesses in small towns face unique challenges. Dr. Norman Walzer, a senior research scholar in the Northern Illinois University Center for Governmental Studies, said many business owners in rural areas are older and did not plan to work much longer, even before the pandemic hit.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- House lawmakers are voting to expand mail in voting for the November election. Under the bill, voters who cast a ballot in the last couple of years will be sent an application for a mail in ballot. It’s supported by Representative Katie Stuart of Collinsville…

 

 

State Representative Katie Stuart of Collinsville. The effort would only apply to the November 3rd election. Students would get the day off so schools could be safely used as polling places. Critics worry about voter fraud.

 

(Urbana-jm) -- Another summer event has been canceled because of the Coronavirus. The Urbana Sweetcorn Festival announced Thursday this year’s event, originally scheduled for August 21 and 22, is cancelled. 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Even though the Coronavirus is putting a halt to this year’s Memorial Day celebrations, the Paxton American Legion Prairie Post 150 will still be putting out flags on the graves of over 1,000 fallen veterans. Spokesperson Frank Crego has how you can help…

 

 

Paxton American Legion Prairie Post 150 Spokesperson Frank Crego.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- A new auto parts store will be opening in Watseka. Construction of the O’Reilly Auto Parts store is near completion and will be opening soon.

 

 

(Roberts-jm) -- The Village of Roberts is updating their chicken ordinance. Roberts Mayor Matt Vaughan talks about the changes…

 

 

Roberts Mayor Matt Vaughan. 

 

Christ Lutheran High School in Buckley will have a drive through pork chop dinner on Sunday from 10:30-12:30. On the menu is a pork chop, cheesy potatoes, baked beans, cole slaw, applesauce, roll, and cherry pie. It is a free will donation. 

 

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You may soon be able to sit outdoors at your local bar or restaurant

(Springfield-jm) -- The number of Coronavirus hospitalizations in Illinois is falling. State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike says about 39 hundred people are in the hospital with COVID-19, including just over a thousand in the ICU. 554 patients are on ventilators…

 

 

Illinois Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Total Coronavirus cases in Illinois now total more than 100 thousand, although most patients have recovered. Over 45 hundred people have died.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Local cases also rose yesterday. Livingston County reported 1 new case bringing their total to 29. Ford County reported 1 new case bringing their total to 19. Champaign County reported 27 new cases bringing their total to 476. Kankakee County reported 25 new cases bringing their total to 992. McLean County reported 5 new cases bringing their total to 194. Iroquois and Vermilion Counties both reported no new cases.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Cases in area communities also continue to rise. In Ford County, Paxton is reporting 7 cases. In Champaign County, Ludlow has 5 cases, Rantoul has 127 cases, Thomasboro has 2 cases, Fisher, Gifford and Penfield have 1 case each. Mahomet has 12 cases and St. Joseph has 4 cases.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- You may soon be able to sit outdoors at your local bar or restaurant. Governor J-B Pritzker is making some changes to his reopening plan, easing some restrictions for phase three, which should begin on May 29th. That includes letting bars and restaurants open for outdoor seating…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Phase three also lets golfers play in foursomes and allows groups of 10 or less to go boating and camping together. Hair and nail salons, barbers and tattoo shops may open with proper safety precautions.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Some people in the state will be returning to work next week if the central region moves into Phase 3 of Governor J-B Pritzker’s Restore Illinois plan. The state is working on expanding emergency daycare options. Governor Pritzker said the emergency daycares have been providing care for essential workers with children. However, the state has a task force dedicated to expanding this service.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- One area political figure is addressing the Governor’s 5 phase reopening plan. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman says the Governor’s plan is confusing and irrational…

 

 

Senator Barickman also says the plan doesn’t fit the entire state…

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- The Champaign County Sheriff's Office has been awarded $58,008 by the Department of Justice. The funding comes from the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding Program, which allows units within local governments to support activities to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Coronavirus has put a halt on another summer holiday, Memorial Day. Paxton American Legion Prairie Post 150 canceled this year’s parade and ceremony at Glen Cemetery but Spokesperson Frank Crego says they still want to honor the fallen…

 

 

Paxton American Legion Prairie Post 150 Spokesperson Frank Crego. Crego says those that want to help put up flags can meet at the gazebo at Glen Cemetery on Saturday, May 23rd at 9 am.

 

 

(Gilman-jm) -- Iroquois West will hold a car parade for seniors. The parade will take place at 5pm on May 22nd. The route starts in Danforth and includes stops in Crescent City, Onarga, Thawville and Gilman. Also to honor the senior class, the lights at Boma Field, White Field, and Mann Park Fields will be lit up.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- China has been buying U.S. soybeans recently, but one analyst says those purchases are likely to ramp up considerably this fall.  Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Reports of active and recovered cases continue to rise. In Livingston County, 24 have been removed from isolation while 4 are active. In Ford County, 13 have been released from isolation and 5 are in isolation. In Champaign County, 230 have recovered, 239 are active including 5 hospitalized. In Iroquois County, 63 have recovered, 48 are in isolation including 6 hospitalized. In Vermilion County, 17 have been released. In Kankakee County, 270 have recovered, 676 are active with 19 hospitalized. In McLean County, 111 have recovered, 67 are in isolation with 10 hospitalized. 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Kankakee County reported 3 new deaths Wednesday bringing their total number of deaths to 46. No other counties reported new deaths. Champaign County has 5 deaths, Iroquois County has 4 deaths, McLean County has 6 deaths. Ford, Vermilion and Livingston Counties each have 1 death.


 

(Springfield-jm) -- SNAP recipients will soon be able to buy food online. Governor J-B Pritzker says the state’s one point eight million SNAP clients can use their link cards to shop at certain online grocers starting June 2nd…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. All link customers will be alerted when they can use their card to make a grocery order online.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Scammers are at it again. Police are warning of a new scam in the area involving a fake Amazon Prime membership email. Police say that while the email may seem to be legitimate, there are a few red flags to take notice of. In a recent instance, the person who received the email knew their Amazon Prime membership didn't expire until the end of the year. Additionally, the sender address is a scam account email versus it being from Amazon. Police warn that if you receive an email like this, do not click on anything.

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The Champaign County Board meets tonight. WPXN’s Jason Madden reports…

 

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A former employee of the University of Illinois has been sentenced to two years of probation for stealing rare books from the school’s music library. 71 year old Thomas McGeary pleaded guilty before Champaign County Circuit Judge Heidi Ladd to the theft of two rare books worth more than $500. 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Area leaders are working on plans to help local businesses reopen from the Coronavirus and state’s stay at home order. Earlier this month the Ford County Board voted on a resolution supporting small businesses to reopen. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold says several mayors from the county met with state legislative leaders to try and persuade the Governor to revise his plan to reopen the state…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

 

 

(Thomasboro-jm) -- Plans for a Dollar General in Thomasboro are moving forward. In a 4-3 vote, the Thomasboro Village Board approved an annexation agreement to annex 2.7 acres on the northeast corner of Flatville Road and Route 45. It’ll cost the village $85,000 to extend utilities to the site.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Farmers have concern for the future of corn. Stephanie Ho has the details…

 

 

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All four regions of the state are still on track to move into phase three of Governor J-B Pritzker's Restore Illinois Plan

(Undated-jm) -- Cases of Coronavirus rose Tuesday around the area. McLean County is reporting 2 new cases bringing their total to 189. Vermilion County is reporting 1 new case bringing their total to 34. Kankakee County is reporting 10 new cases bringing their total to 967. Champaign County is reporting 37 new cases bringing their total to 449. Iroquois County is reporting 2 new cases bringing their total to 121. Ford and Livingston Counties both reported no new cases.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health along with some area health departments are reporting cases in some communities. In Champaign County, 118 cases are in Rantoul, 4 are in Ludlow, 2 in Thomasboro, 12 in Mahomet, 4 in St. Joseph and 1 each in Gifford and Penfield. In Ford County 7 cases are in Paxton. In Iroquois County, 43 cases are in Clifton, Chebanse, Watseka and Onarga have 11 each, Ashkum has 9, Crescent City has 7, Beaverville and Danforth have 6 each.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- All four regions of the state are still on track to move into phase three of Governor J-B Pritzker’s Restore Illinois Plan. If the numbers hold, the Governor says more of Illinois will be able to open up at the end of the month…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Governor Pritzker says it’s because of everyone staying home, social distancing and wearing masks that this is possible and that the public needs to stay the course.


 

(Springfield-jm) -- Record unemployment insurance claims have thrown state unemployment insurance systems into financial distress. Three million American workers filed for unemployment insurance in the week ending May 9, according to the Department of Labor, bringing the total number of initial claims up to 36 million American workers over 8 weeks. Real-time unemployment estimates range from 12.5 percent to 42.9 percent across the states. There are nine state unemployment trust funds that have already applied to borrow money from the United States Treasury to backfill their unemployment funds, indicating that the funds are on the brink of insolvency. Illinois’ unemployment rate sits at 20.8 percent. 14 percent are on unemployment insurance.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- House Speaker Michael Madigan is hoping the House will adopt new rules for members, staff, and the public when session begins today. Madigan wants all members to follow CDC and Department of Public Health guidelines including wearing masks, submitting to temperature checks daily and adhere to social distancing. If any member doesn’t adhere to the rules they could face disciplinary action including removal from the chamber. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois House Republicans are hoping to get rid of a rule penalizing businesses that violate the state’s stay at home order. The emergency rule lets authorities charge a business defying the order with a misdemeanor. Representative Keith Wheeler of Oswego says that’s an overreach that residents in his district are not happy about…

 

 

State Representative Keith Wheeler of Oswego. Wheeler is hoping to get the rule tossed out during a meeting of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules this week.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul police have arrested two people following a string of break ins over the weekend. Police were called to the 600 block of Garver Place just before midnight Sunday night. They arrested 21 year old Matthew Lee of Rantoul and 25 year old Jacob Peters of Mahomet. Lee is charged with aggravated battery for allegedly attacking an arresting officer, burglary of a motor vehicle, criminal damage to property, intimidation and possession of drug equipment. Peters was charged with criminal trespass to a motor vehicle and unlawful use of weapons. Both were taken to the Champaign County jail.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The state of Illinois opened a drive thru Coronavirus testing site in Champaign today. Julie Pryde, administrator at the Champaign Urbana Public Health Department talks about the site…

 

 

Champaign Urbana Public Health Administrator Julie Pryde.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton police are reminding drivers its illegal to make a j-turn on Market Street in downtown Paxton. Police have received multiple complaints of people almost getting hit, especially from restaurants providing curbside service. Paxton police say since there is a double yellow line, if caught you could be charged with improper lane usage. That charge comes with a $164 state fine as well as a $25 city fine.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- At a special presentation at the White House President Trump announced details of a program to help farmers hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- As the number of new cases of Coronavirus rose Tuesday so did the number of active and recovered cases. In McLean County, 111 have recovered, 63 are in isolation and 9 are hospitalized. In Vermilion County, 17 have been released from isolation and 16 remain in isolation. In Ford County, 13 have been released from isolation and 4 are in isolation. In Kankakee County, 265 have recovered while 659 are active including 19 hospitalized. In Champaign County, 223 have recovered while 219 are active with 5 hospitalized. In Iroquois County, 61 have recovered, 50 are in isolation and 6 are hospitalized.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Kankakee County reported 3 additional deaths Tuesday bringing their total number to 43. No other counties in the area reported new deaths; however, McLean County has 6, Champaign County has 7, Iroquois County has 4 and Ford, Vermilion and Livingston Counties each have 1.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The state is hitting an important milestone for COVID-19 testing. Testing has been on the rise, with more than 621 thousand samples run so far. Governor J-B Pritzker says that makes Illinois a leader…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The state is reporting more than 15 hundred new cases and 146 additional deaths.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- As lawmakers return to Springfield to handle matters on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic, nuclear power provider Exelon is pressing for state assistance. Power provider Exelon is hoping lawmakers also pass legislation giving the company a new forum to sell subsidized power. 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Most Illinois hospitals scored well in a new report on patient safety. The grades were released by a nonprofit watchdog organization, The Leapfrog Group, which seeks to educate the public about the safety and quality of health care facilities. 43 percent of hospitals achieved an ‘A’ grade, that’s significantly better than the national average and puts Illinois in the top ten nationwide. Twenty-two other facilities were awarded a “B” grade, while 31 got a “C.” OSF Heart of Mary Medical Center in Urbana Riverside Medical Center Kankakee each awarded As. Carle Hospital in Urbana and OSF St. Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington  each awarded Bs. OSF Sacred Heart Medical Center in Danville was awarded a C. Iroquois Memorial Watseka and Gibson Area Hospital not graded by the organization.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois General Assembly returns to Springfield today for a short 3 day spring session. The shortened session will have a set agenda that includes the budget. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington fears the legislative leaders will not pass a balanced budget and instead give Governor J-B Pritzker a lump sum budget that would allow him to allocate money however he sees fit. Senator Barickman says he feels it's the job and responsibility of the general assembly and not the Governor…

 

 

Senator Barickman elaborates more…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington. 

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Two people were taken to the hospital for precaution following a rollover accident in Rantoul Sunday evening. Rantoul police say the vehicle was traveling westbound on U-S 136 when they swerved to miss two vehicles that had stopped at the viaduct due to high water. The vehicle struck the curb and rolled on its side trapping the two occupants. They had to be extricated from the vehicle and were taken to the hospital as a precaution.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The pace of both corn and soybean planting is ahead of schedule. Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton police have released their recent activity report. On May 18th, police arrested 26 year old Christopher Muffitt of Rantoul and 20 year old Skylar Baldwin of Loda for possession of a stolen vehicle after police conducted a traffic stop at Vermilion and Center for a vehicle reported stolen out of Champaign. On May 16th, police cited 26 year old Juan Jose of Champaign for driving with no valid drivers license and operating an uninsured motor vehicle. On May 11th, police responded to a hit and run at Accolade on Fulton.

 

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Governor J-B Pritzker says Illinois businesses violating the state's stay at home order may face misdemeanor charges

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is urging people not to put off other medical needs during the pandemic. Although the pandemic is ongoing, State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike says you shouldn’t be ignoring other medical issues…

 

 

Illinois Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. The state is announcing more than 22 hundred new cases of Coronavirus, bringing the total in Illinois to more than 96 thousand.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Local cases went up Monday. Vermilion County is reporting 1 new case bringing their total to 33. McLean County is reporting 17 new cases bringing their total to 187. Champaign County is reporting 25 new cases bringing their total to 412. Iroquois County is reporting 1 new case bringing their total to 119. Livingston County is reporting 1 new case bringing their total to 28 cases. Kankakee County is reporting 64 new cases bringing their total to 955. Ford County did not report any new cases leaving their total at 18.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- According to the numbers from the Illinois Department of Public Health and local health departments, in Vermilion County 19 are in Danville. In Ford County, 7 are in Paxton. In Champaign County, 109 are in Rantoul, 3 are in Ludlow, 2 in Thomasboro, 12 in Mahomet, 4 in St. Joseph and 1 each in Gifford and Penfield. In Iroquois County, 43 are in Clifton, Chebanse, Onarga and Watseka have 11 each, Crescent City has 7 and Beaverville has 6.


 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says Illinois businesses violating the state’s stay at home order may face misdemeanor charges. The Governor says if a restaurant or other business is ignoring the order despite warnings from police or a cease and desist letter, they could be slapped with a fine…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The fine for a misdemeanor runs between 75 and 25 hundred dollars. Critics say the Governor is overstepping his authority.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Employment Security has confirmed that a new online portal that processes claims for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance briefly allowed public access to applicants’ personal information including Social Security numbers. In a statement Monday, Illinois Department of Employment Security said its analysis found that one PUA claimant had “inadvertently” accessed personal data for a limited number of claimants. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Farmers are keeping well ahead of last year’s planting pace as we hear in the weekly crop report. 59 percent of soybeans have been planted, compared to seven percent at this time last year. 21 percent have emerged. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener gives an update on corn…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 67 percent of winter wheat has headed and 63 percent is rated in good to excellent condition. That’s a slight decline from last week. Average statewide topsoil moisture is rated at one percent short, 49 percent adequate and 50 percent surplus.


 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A Paxton tradition won’t happen this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The annual Memorial Day Parade and Service at Glen Cemetery is canceled this year says Paxton American Legion Prairie Post 150 Spokesperson Frank Crego…

 

 

Paxton American Legion Prairie Post 150 Spokesperson Frank Crego. Crego says they will still put flags out on the graves of over 1,000 fallen soldiers at the cemetery.That event is set for Saturday at 8am at Glenn Cemetery.

 

 

(Pontiac-jm) -- Two Hoopeston residents are in the Livingston County Jail after they were arrested on drug charges in Pontiac. The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office says 29 year old Coty Morgeson and 54 year old Stephanie Solis were arrested following an ongoing meth investigation. Morgeson was charged with unlawful delivery of a controlled substance while Solis was charged with possession of a controlled substance. 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Earlier this month the Ford County Board voted on a resolution allowing businesses to reopen. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold talks about the resolution…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

 

(Undated-jm) -- The number of active and recovered cases rose Monday. In Vermilion County 17 have been released from isolation while 15 remain in isolation. In Ford County 13 have been released while 4 remain in isolation. In McLean County 107 have recovered, 65 are in isolation and 9 are hospitalized. In Champaign County, 217 have recovered, 188 are active with 4 hospitalized. In Iroquois County, 59 have recovered, 50 are in isolation and 6 are hospitalized. Livingston County says 24 have been removed and 3 are in isolation. Kankakee County reports 244 have recovered, 671 are active with 19 hospitalized.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Local deaths increased Monday. Iroquois County reported one new death bringing their total to 4. Kankakee County is reporting 3 new deaths bringing their total to 40.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois Republican leaders are looking to repeal a proposed graduated income tax amendment. The amendment moving Illinois from the current flat tax to a sliding scale based on income will be put to voters in November. But House GOP leader Jim Durkin says projected revenues front eh change are down and that it would hurt the already struggling economy…

 

 

House GOP Leader Jim Durkin. The Governor’s Office says voters deserve to have a say about restructuring the state’s income tax system.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Supreme Court has officially disbarred former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich. Monday’s decision comes more than two months after the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission ruled to disbar the convicted felon.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Farmers are keeping well ahead of last year’s planting pace as we hear in the weekly crop report. There were about three days suitable for fieldwork this past week and 83 percent of corn has now been planted. That compares to just 20 percent a year ago. 43 percent of corn has emerged. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener turns to soybeans…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 67 percent of winter wheat has headed and the condition of the crop dropped slightly to 63 percent in good to excellent condition. Average statewide topsoil moisture came in at one percent short, 49 percent adequate and 50 percent surplus.

 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois General Assembly returns to Springfield for the first time for the spring legislative session tomorrow. The House will meet at the convention center while the Senate will meet in the Senate Chambers. That’s not the only change. Lawmakers will be limited to what they will be able to discuss and vote on as House Speaker Mike Madigan and Senate President Don Harmon have set an agenda of what will be discussed and voted on. One of the subjects up for vote is a new budget, which 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says has taken a hit because of the Coronavirus…

 

 

Senator Barickman says although he would like to see the legislature create a balanced budget he has a feeling something else will happen instead…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

(Undated-jm) -- The USDA is awarding $100 million in American Biofuels infrastructure grants to expand the availability and sale of renewable fuels. Up to 50 percent of the total eligible products not to exceed $5 million.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Some area lawmakers are reacting to Governor J-B Pritzker’s move to file an emergency rule that would further strengthen his stay at home order. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett shares his thoughts…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

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A mysterious Coronavirus-related illness that only affects children is being reported around the world

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois now has more than 94 thousand cases of the Coronavirus in 100 of the state's 102 counties. Some of the local counties reporting cases, Ford County now has 18 cases,Iroquois County has 117 cases, Champaign County has 387 cases, McLean County has 170 cases and Livingston County now has 27 cases. Reports for Vermilion and Kankakee Counties were unavailable. Governor Pritzker will hold his daily briefing today at 2:30. We will have the latest on our news at 4 and 5.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The number of tests coming back as positive for the Coronavirus is declining. Governor J-B Pritzker says the positivity rate can be an indication of how widespread COVID-19 infections are in Illinois…

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Pritzker cautions that a lower positivity rate may be because of less tests run that particular day.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A mysterious Coronavirus-related illness that only affects children is being reported around the world, including right here in Illinois. It goes by the name “Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children,”. It's a new condition seen in children that have been infected with COVID-19. There's been at least 10 reported cases of the illness in Illinois, all in the Chicago region. But there could be a lot more since official symptoms were only released by the CDC last week. A 15 member task force made up of medical experts from Illinois children’s hospitals. The task force is assigned to better understand the mysterious syndrome.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Businesses in Illinois that Governor J.B. Pritzker has deemed nonessential but open outside of his revised and extended stay-at-home orders could find themselves facing a Class A misdemeanor, according to sources familiar with an emergency rule they say was filed late Friday. If such rules are finalized, local law enforcement would have to enforce them. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- With the stress of social distancing leading to drug use relapses and overdoses, a personal finance website has released a report that ranks the states with the biggest drug problems. The WalletHub study compares the 50 states and the District of Columbia over 22 metrics, ranging from arrest and overdose rates, opioid prescriptions and employee drug testing laws. Illinois ranked 27th on the list, but one of its neighbors did not fare as well. Missouri came in at number 1. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois’ congressional Republicans have reached out to legislative leaders in Washington asking that Governor J.B. Pritzker be prevented from withholding federal aid from localities that don’t follow his executive edicts. In reaction, Illinois’ federal GOP delegation sent U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, Senate President Mitch McConnell, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer letters asking that any aid package sent to President Donald Trump contain a provision protecting aid meant for local governments from Pritzker’s retaliatory threats.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois General Assembly returns to Springfield this week for a short 3 day spring session. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says they will be on a strict agenda which is unusual…

 

 

Senator Barickman says it's also going to be unusual in other ways as well…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton firefighters were called to a vehicle fire southeast of Paxton Saturday afternoon. Firefighters got the call just before 3pm. Sunday evening firefighters were called to an electrical fire on E. Bogardus. No injuries were reported in either incident.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The month of May started cooler than normal. But how does the rest of the month look? State Climatologist Trent Ford has the details…

 

 

State Climatologist Trent Ford. 

 

 

(Fisher-jm) -- The Fisher school board is adjusting fees for the 2020-2021 school year. Lunch fees will go up 10 cents. Also passes for fall and winter sports will go up from $50 to $55.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois now has more than 94 thousand cases of the Coronavirus in 100 of the state's 102 counties. According to local health departments and the Illinois Department of Public Health, in Champaign County, Rantoul is reporting 103 cases including 83 at Rantoul Foods and 7 at Vista Outdoors. Ludlow has 3 cases, Thomasboro has 2 cases, Penfield now has 1 case, Mahomet has 11 and St. Joseph has 4. In Ford County, Paxton has 6 cases. In Iroquois County, Clifton has 43 cases, Chebanse and Onarga have 11 each, Watseka has 10, Ashkum has 8,  Crescent City has 7 and Beaverville has 6. In Livingston County 11 are in Pontiac, while 6 are in Dwight. In McLean County, the majority are in the Bloomington-Normal area however, there is a case in Saybrook as well as in Colfax. In Vermilion County, 19 cases have been reported in Danville. As a reminder Governor Pritzker will give his briefing at 2:30. We will have the latest tonight on our news at 4 and 5.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says the state is expanding testing for the Coronavirus. Anyone with symptoms is encouraged to get tested at one of the state’s more than 250 sites. Additionally, certain workers can now get tested at a community based testing site, regardless if they have symptoms. They include local and state government employees, grocery store, restaurant and child care workers, and more. Governor Pritzker says it’s an important part of fighting the virus…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. A testing site will open Tuesday at Marketplace Mall in Champaign from 8 to 4. To find other testing sites near you, visit: coronavirus dot illinois dot gov and click on resources.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Some Illinois Facebook users could receive as much as $300 from a $550 million settlement in a class-action suit, which alleges the social media site’s facial-tagging feature violated state privacy law. However, the Chicago Tribune reports there is no timeline yet for when people will be notified of eligibility or when payments could be issued. Illinois law permits people to sue companies that don’t get consent before collecting consumers’ data. Attorneys alleged in the 2015 lawsuit that Facebook's photo tagging feature was powered by facial recognition data used to create and store “face templates.”

 

(Springfield-jm) -- When Illinois legalized hemp planting in 2018, nearly 600 farmers began growing a plant that had not been cultivated since WWII, and they had high hopes. But, in the short term, the boom has gone bust. A lack of infrastructure, incomplete FDA guidelines and the COVID-19 pandemic, have put a damper on the industry. As the price has plummeted from $40 a pound to $5 or $6, about half of those who planted last year have decided they cannot afford to do so again.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A statewide law enforcement organization is pushing back against Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s threat to withhold federal funding for areas where local officials refuse to enforce his executive orders. The governor’s stay-at-home orders say no area of the state is ready to reopen in May and restaurants are banned from offering dine-in service through June. The orders were imposed to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The Governor threatened legal action against those that won’t enforce the orders. The Illinois Sheriffs Association called the Governors comments outrageous and an insult.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Three area school boards meet tonight for their May meeting. WPXN’s Jason Madden has the details…

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- The state legislature will return to Springfield this week for an abbreviated session. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says they will only be allowed to discuss certain topics…

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Hoopeston-jm) -- The City of Hoopeston is reopening some of their parks for activities. The city announced tennis courts and baseball and softball fields will be reopening today. The city reminds those who use the facilities to continue practicing social distancing. Basketball courts, pavilions and the civic center will remain closed. 

 

 

(Washington--jm) -- If current projections prove true, there will be a lot of low priced corn in the U.S. and around the world in this coming year. Gary Crawford has the details…

 

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House Republicans say there should be more local input about when to reopen the economy

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is announcing more than 32 hundred new cases of Coronavirus Thursday. That raises the total number of cases in Illinois to nearly 88 thousand. Governor J-B Pritzker says all four of the regions under his reopening plan now meet benchmarks to move into phase three at the end of  the month. He says we all must do our part to keep it that way…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. COVID-19 deaths in Illinois now total nearly four thousand. As a reminder Governor Pritzker will hold his daily briefing at 2:30. We will have the latest on our news at 4 and 5.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Local cases of Coronavirus rose Thursday. Ford County is reporting 2 new cases bringing their total to 17. Champaign County is reporting 11 new cases bringing their total to 333. Iroquois County is reporting 4 new cases bringing their total to 111. McLean County reported 9 new cases bringing their total to 136. Livingston County is reporting 1 new case bringing their total to 26 cases. Kankakee County is reporting 39 new cases bringing their total to 874.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- As for cases in some of our area communities as reported by the Illinois Department of Public Health or local health departments, Rantoul is reporting 94 cases, Ludlow has 3, Thomasboro has 2, Mahomet has 11 and St. Joseph has 4. In Iroquois County, Onarga , Watseka and Chebanse have 10 each, Crescent City has 7, Beaverville has 6 and Clifton has 43.


 

(Springfield-jm) -- In just three days, more than 50 thousand independent contractors and gig workers in Illinois have applied for the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. The P-U-A portal opened Monday and is getting plenty of use. Governor J-B Pritzker says the state continues to process regular unemployment claims as well…

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The Governor reminds that those applying for P-U-A benefits need to apply for traditional unemployment first. Visit: ides dot illinois dot gov for more information. That website again is ides dot illinois dot gov.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- More than 72,000 Illinoisans filed for unemployment benefits last week. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Thursday release of job numbers reported that of the 2.9 million people who filed across the country last week, 72,993 claims were filed in Illinois. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- House Republicans say there should be more local input about when to reopen the economy. Representative Tim Butler of Springfield says there are some parts of Illinois that are ready to open in a safe manner, and that it’s time to do so…

 

 

State Representative Tim Butler of Springfield. Butler says they are glad the legislature is convening next week and that they are anxious to get back to work.

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Two Rantoul businesses are on the move. Jill’s Creative Expressions is moving from downtown Rantoul to a location in Champaign. Anywhere Anytime Journeys is moving from inside Lindsay Lane Bridal into the former Jill’s location. Anywhere Anytime Journeys hopes to reopen at their new location in the middle of June.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Parkland College in Champaign is canceling all their youth summer sports camps because of the Coronavirus. The cancelation affects the boys and girls basketball and softball camps. Families who have pre registered with payment will be refunded.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Ford County Public Health Department is holding a mask drive to collect masks for area residents. Ford County Public Health Community Health Educator Danielle Walls reminds residents masks are now a requirement…

 

 

Ford County Public Health Community Health Educator Danielle Walls. The health department is accepting all types of mask donations. To donate, call the health department at 217-379-9281 to schedule a time to come donate. If you can’t come to the health department, they can send someone to collect your donation.

 

 

(Danville-jm) -- Vermilion County real estate tax bills have been mailed with an extended penalty free timeline. Tax bills were mailed out May 1st with due dates of June 12th and September 4th. In a release from Treasurer Darren Duncan's office, he says he will not enforce the penalty if you miss the first installment. You can pay online, by mail, by phone or at most Vermilion County banks.

 

 

(Washington-jm) --  USDA analysts have come out with new forecasts for meat production this year and next. Gary Crawford has the details…

 

 

The Loda American Legion will host a chicken/fish fry tonight from 4 to 7pm. Regular Menu items will be served with the exception of French Fries. Coleslaw,  baked beans, and green beans will all be in smaller containers. The Chicken/Fish fry is only for carryout, and persons are expected to maintain a 6 foot distance. You can also call 217-781-6416 for curbside delivery. 

 

(Undated-jm) -- As the number of Coronavirus cases locally rose Thursday, so did the number of active and recovered cases. Ford County is reporting 11 have been released from isolation and 5 are in isolation. Champaign County is reporting 173 have recovered while 153 are active with 3 hospitalized. Iroquois County is reporting 34 have recovered, 69 are in isolation and 5 are hospitalized. McLean County is reporting 101 have recovered, 25 are in isolation and 6 are hospitalized. Livingston County is reporting 23 have been removed from isolation while 2 remain in isolation. Vermilion County is reporting 17 have been released from isolation and none of theirs are hospitalized. Kankakee County is reporting 204 have recovered, 634 are active and 25 are hospitalized.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- McLean County reported a new death Thursday bringing their number to 4. Champaign County has 7 deaths, Iroquois County has 3 and Kankakee County has 36. Ford, Vermilion and Livingston Counties all remain at 1 death each.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is launching a new website to help workers affected by the pandemic. Get Hired Illinois includes nearly 60 thousand job openings in a variety of industries says the Governor…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The website also helps unemployed workers explore new career options, with an emphasis on training for information technology jobs. Visit: illinois dot gov slash get hired. Again the website is illinois dot gov slash get hired.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Colleges and universities in Illinois will have to make difficult decisions for the upcoming budget year amid uncertainty. Revenues have plummeted because of the coronavirus, so some schools are looking at making budget cuts of up to 20 percent. Northwestern University recently announced a series of staff and budget cuts as the school braces for a budget shortfall of about $90 million for the fiscal year. About 250 staff members will be temporarily furloughed, and university leaders will take a 20 percent pay cut. Illinois State University President Larry Dietz has asked department heads to prepare budget scenarios with 10 percent and 20 percent reductions compared with the fiscal year that ends June 30. The University of Illinois has not yet announced any plans budget wise.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Lawmakers will be returning to Springfield next week for the first time this legislative session. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City talks about what to expect during the session…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Meijer will be adjusting its store hours to allow more time for customers to get their shopping for essential items done. Beginning today, stores will close at midnight and reopen at 6 am each morning. Stores will extend dedicated shopping times for senior citizens and customers with chronic health conditions on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 8 am. stores will extend dedicated shopping times for essential service workers on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 to 8 am. 

 

 

(Mahomet-jm) -- The Freedom Fest at Lake of the Woods in Mahomet is the latest event to be canceled because of COVID-19. Other area events canceled are the Champaign Freedom Celebration, Fisher Lucky Foot Festival, Sibley 4th of July 5k, Saybrook’s Freedom Fest, Onarga’s 4th of July, Gilman’s Old Boys Reunion, Crescent City’s Fire Ball Fest and the Ford County and Vermilion County Fairs.

 

 

(Gilman-jm) -- Gilman will not waive the local motor fuel tax fee. A proposal to waive the fee was brought before the council at this month’s meeting. Mayor Rick Theesfield says the city would lose a significant amount of money if they waived the fee…

 

 

Gilman Mayor Rick Theesfield.

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- McLean County property taxpayers will see an increase on their bills. The county treasurer's office says they billed $351.9 million compared to $347.9 million last year. The county’s estimated assessed valuation also increased to 3.974 billion from 3.922 billion.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- How has the first four months of 2020 compared to last year? State Climatologist Trent Ford has the answer…

 

 

State Climatologist Trent Ford.

 

American Legion Post 551 in Onarga is hosting a Community Fish Fry tonight at the Legion Building in Durham Park.  It's a FREE event -- the Legion is providing the free dinner for community folks in need during this difficult COVID--19 crisis.  Visitors can pull up to the west side of the Legion Building from 4:30 pm until the food runs out.  The Fish Fry is usually held the 3rd Friday of the month as a fundraiser, but due to the uncertain times, Legion volunteers are reaching out to the community for the Free Meal to Go !. 

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Governor J-B Pritzker is issuing a warning to areas that defy the state's stay at home order

(Undated-jm) -- The number of cases of coronavirus rose yesterday across the area. Ford County is reporting 1 new case bringing their total to 15 cases, Champaign County is reporting 14 new cases bringing their total to 322 cases. Iroquois County is reporting 6 new cases bringing their total to 107 cases. Kankakee County is reporting 26 new cases bringing their total to 835 cases. Vermilion, McLean and Livingston Counties all reported no new cases. Their case totals are 32, 127 and 25 respectively.

 

(Undated-jm) -- Some communities are reporting an increase in cases. In Champaign County, Rantoul is reporting 91 cases, Ludlow is reporting 3 cases, Thomasboro has 2 cases, Mahomet has 11 cases and St. Joseph has 4 cases. In Iroquois County, Clifton has 42 cases, Chebanse and Onarga have 10 cases each, Watseka has 9 cases and Ashkum, Beaverville and Crescent City all have 6 cases each.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- As the daily death count from COVID-19 hit a record high in Illinois Wednesday, Governor J-B Pritzker is issuing a warning to areas that defy the state’s stay at home order. 192 additional deaths were reported, raising the total to nearly 38 hundred. Several areas are considering opening the economy sooner than the Governor’s plan calls for, which is prompting this response…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Pritzker says businesses that open prematurely risk losing their license. Illinois now has more than 84 thousand COVID-19 cases, although many patients have recovered. As a reminder Governor Pritzker will hold his daily briefing at 2:30. We will have the latest tonight on our news at 4 and 5.

 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois House will convene in Springfield for three days next week to take up it's spring session workload long delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. A letter from Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan to the House minority leader on Wednesday sets the session for May 20-22 with extraordinary measures.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois earned a grade of “D” for how its economic reopening is proceeding in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a ranking by groups that promote economic prosperity. The grade is based on the leadership of Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker, the analysis by the Committee to Unleash Prosperity and FreedomWorks reports. The report assessed the potential damage state actions are doing to the economic well-being of residents and in particular how late reopening dates may cause more severe economic downturns.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- What is behind USDA's adjustment down in both corn and soybean price estimates compared to the previous month? Rod Bain reports…

 

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A Champaign teen has been arrested for an April shooting of a teen in Rantoul. U-S Marshals arrested 17 year old Quentin Hymon in Champaign on charges of aggravated battery with a firearm and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. Hymon allegedly shot an 18 year old in the back on April 10th in the 1000 block of Falcon Way after a drug deal gone bad. Hymon is being held at the Champaign County Juvenile Detention Center on $500,000 bond. If convicted he faces 6 to 30 years in prison. Hymon is due back in court May 22nd.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- There will likely be a delay in the City of Paxton’s streetscape project. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused some hiccups in the early phases of the project says Mayor Bill Ingold…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold. The streetscape project includes repaving Market Street from Orleans to Holmes Street, updating sidewalks in parts of the downtown area and replacing street lights.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- There will be no swimming at the Paxton pool this summer. Park District leaders voted Tuesday night to keep the pool closed. Many of the park district leaders wanted to open the pool but feared what the liability to the park district would be. They also voted to cancel the baseball and softball season this summer although they are looking at some form of skills competition possibly in August. A decision has not yet been made on other summer activities.

 

(Undated-jm) -- As the number of Coronavirus cases rose, so did the number of active and recovered cases. Vermilion County is reporting 17 have been released and 14 are in isolation. McLean County is reporting 101 have recovered, 17 are in isolation and 6 are hospitalized. Ford County is reporting 7 have been released and 7 are in isolation. Champaign County is reporting 168 have recovered, 147 are active with 3 hospitalized. Livingston County is reporting 22 have been released, 2 are in isolation. Iroquois County is reporting 33 have recovered, 67 are in isolation and 4 are hospitalized. Kankakee County is reporting 167 have recovered, 632 are active with 24 hospitalized.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Kankakee County was the only county reporting new deaths yesterday. They have 3 new deaths related to COVID-19 bringing their total to 36. McLean and Iroquois County have 3 deaths each. Champaign County has 7 deaths. Ford, Vermilion and Livingston Counties each have 1 death.

 

 

(Wisconsin-jm) -- Members of Wisconsin’s Republican legislature want the state’s congressional delegation to oppose using federal COVID-19 relief money to help bail out Illinois' pensions. A letter signed by 43 GOP lawmakers said that Illinois has for decades spent and borrowed recklessly. The letter also references Illinois’ $138 billion public employee pension debt, as well as a recent letter Illinois Senate President Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, sent to Illinois' congressional delegation seeking at least $41 billion in federal aid, including $10 billion to stabilize state-run pension funds.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The share of Illinois adults eligible to receive $1,200 or more from the coronavirus financial relief plan passed by Congress was 86.7 percent, representing 6,418,887 residents, according to an analysis by 24/7 Wall St. The $1,200 economic stimulus checks, which the U.S. Treasury Department began issuing on April 10, were sent to single adults making under $75,000 annually. And couples earning less than $150,000 each year received $2,400 checks, plus $500 for each of their dependent children. In Illinois, the average per-capita income is $35,801, with the poverty rate in the state estimated at 12.1 percent, according to 24/7 Wall St. 

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- USDA has lowered its forecasts for corn and soybean prices.  Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- The drive thru Coronavirus testing site at the McLean County Fairgrounds in Bloomington will remain open a little longer. The site was scheduled to close this week but has been extended through the 22nd. Hours for testing are 9-5 everyday or until a maximum of 250 tests is reached. 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- One area group is giving out grants to help small businesses. The Champaign County Regional Planning Commission received grant funding from the Department of Labor to help businesses retain employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds can be used to help employees work from home or keep essential employees safe at work. Champaign County Regional Planning Commission Economic Development Specialist Kathy Larson has how employers can find out more information about the grant program or how to apply…

 

 

Champaign County Regional Planning Commission Economic Development Specialist Kathy Larson.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- The Illinois Supreme Court has appointed two resident circuit judges to the sixth judicial circuit. Sam Limentato will fill the vacancy upon the retirement of Judge Heidi Ladd on July 1. Benjamin Dyer fills the seat of Judge Jeffrey Ford, who retired in March. Both Limentato and Dyer will be in the seats until the seats are up in the November 2022 election. The Sixth Judicial Circuit covers Champaign, DeWitt, Douglas, Macon, Moultrie and Piatt Counties.

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Governor J-B Pritzker is urging Illinois lawmakers to reconvene and address financial concerns caused by the pandemic

(Undated-jm) -- More cases of the Coronavirus were reported across the area yesterday. Vermilion County is reporting 1 new case bringing their total to 32. McLean County is reporting 6 new cases bringing their total to 127. Champaign County has 10 new cases bringing their total to 308. Kankakee County is reporting 56 new cases bringing their total to 809. Iroquois County is reporting 2 new cases bringing their total to 101. Ford and Livingston Counties reported no new cases leaving their totals at 14 cases and 25 cases respectively.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Some area communities continued to see their numbers rise. Rantoul now has 90 cases of COVID-19 while Ludlow has 3, Thomasboro has 2, Mahomet has 11 and St. Joseph has 4. In Iroquois County, Clifton has 41 cases, Chebanse and Onarga have 10 each, Watseka is up to 9, Crescent City and Beaverville have 6 each.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is urging Illinois lawmakers to reconvene and address financial concerns caused by the pandemic. The Governor says it’s time for the General Assembly to head back to Springfield…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Pritzker can order lawmakers back for a special session but has not done so yet. The legislature hasn’t convened since early March.



 

(Springfield-jm) -- Some communities around the state have made it known they plan to open for business soon, despite a stay-at-home order and the governor's reopening plan. During his daily news conference on Tuesday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he would consider withholding federal funding to communities that won’t follow his plan. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Employment Security opened its expanded unemployment benefits program on Monday to temporary, part-time, contract and gig workers, but some applicants say they’re not able to navigate the process. The expanded benefits come from the federal government under the Pandemic Unemployment Act, or PUA. The act allows workers who would not qualify for normal state-allotted benefits to get some sort of weekly pay in the light of the economic upheaval from the COVID-19 pandemic. IDES announced it was adding 100 additional call center workers to handle the record number of calls from Illinoisans seeking benefits. 

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Tuesday's extensive new USDA crop supply and demand forecasts did not seem to make much of a wave in the markets. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A Rantoul man has been arrested after he beat a man then pulled a gun on him. Rantoul Police arrested Darion Calhoun, 24, for unlawful use of weapons, aggravated battery, mob action and aggravated assault. Police say Calhoun beat a man then pulled a gun on him in the 1600 block of Symington. When they arrived Calhoun and the victim were gone. Calhoun was found in a vehicle nearby. Police are still searching for the victim.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- The number of Coronavirus cases around the state continue to rise but just where are these significant numbers at? 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City provides some insight into the state’s numbers…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Melvin-jm) -- Even though the Ford County Fair has been postponed, the fair queen pageant is still on. The queen pageant committee will hold a virtual information meeting Thursday at 6pm. Those wanting the details can call Alaina at 217-898-6102 or Kirsten at 217-649-1540.

 

(Undated-jm) -- The number of active cases as well as recovered cases increased Tuesday. Vermilion County is reporting 9 have been released from isolation, 21 are on home isolation and 1 is hospitalized. McLean County is reporting 93 have recovered, 26 in isolation and 5 hospitalized. Livingston County is reporting 22 have been released from isolation. Ford County is reporting 7 released and 6 in isolation. Champaign County is reporting 155 have recovered, 146 are active with 3 hospitalized. Kankakee County is reporting  156 recoveries. Iroquois County is reporting 31 have recovered, 62 are in isolation and 5 hospitalized.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Champaign County is reporting a new death from Coronavirus Tuesday. That brings their total number of deaths to 7. Kankakee County has 33 deaths, McLean and Iroquois Counties have 3 deaths each. Ford, Livingston and Vermilion Counties have 1 death each.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is announcing funding for Illinois hospitals and local construction projects. The Governor says 25 million dollars in grants will be available to local governments, townships and school districts to help pay for planned construction projects…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Additionally, the state is providing 75 million dollars to Illinois hospitals to continue the fight against COVID-19.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J.B. Pritzker warned people Tuesday about the potential risk of crossing state lines as more neighboring states reopen ahead of Illinois. Pritzker said he was concerned about Illinoisans traveling to Wisconsin and Indiana as more businesses in those states reopen.  The Governor says he’s worried the other states moved too quickly to reopen and that residents could come back with the virus and set the state back on its plan to reopen.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Some regions of the state in Governor J.B. Pritzker’s plan to reopen Illinois' in phases could advance to the third phase of the plan by the end of this month, but one region may not. The Illinois Department of Public Health is publishing updated graphics of the key metrics as part of Pritzker's Restore Illinois dashboard. The metrics are separated into four regions: Northeast, North-Central, Central and Southern. Each region has gauges for the positivity rate of COVID-19 cases, the rate of hospital admissions since May 1, and the number of various hospital bed availability. But, after releasing his reopening plan last week, Pritzker was asked if historical data back to March 20 was being used at all. The Governor said no and this week said if he needs to alter the playbook, he can.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for a fall and winter full of activities. Chamber President Alan Meyer talks about some of those events…

 

 

Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer.


 

(Bloomington-jm) -- Two teens, including one local, were arrested in Bloomington on drug and weapons charges. 19 year old Abigail Wingler of New Orleans was charged with possession of a controlled substance. 19 year old Grace Taylor of Fairbury was charged with delivery of meth, possession of meth, possession of a gun with a defaced serial number, manufacture and delivery of between 30 and 500 grams of cannabis, possession of between 100-500 grams of cannabis, possession of a controlled substance, possession of a firearm without a FOID card and illegal possession of ammunition. 

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- The man accused of hanging a noose on the University of Illinois campus in September of last year has pleaded guilty to the charge against him. Andrew Smith pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, a Class C misdemeanor, for hanging a noose in an elevator in Allen Hall. The more serious hate crime charge was dismissed as part of his plea deal.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- A current nationwide study hopes to further break down how microbes from soils play a role in plant life, and perhaps impact crop genetics. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The Prairielands Council of Boy Scouts of America is announcing all summer camps have been canceled because of the Coronavirus. The group says the health and safety of scouts, scout leaders and staff are priority.

 

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New models show Coronavirus cases may not peak until mid-June

(Springfield-jm) -- New models show Coronavirus cases may not peak until mid-June. Previous models predicted cases would peak in late April to early May. But new data suggests otherwise says Governor J-B Pritzker…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The Governor says the prolonged peak is a natural consequence of flattening the curve, leading to a slower rate of infections over a longer period.

 

(Paxton--jc) The Ford County Board approved a resolution that supports re opening some businesses ahead of Governor JB Pritzker's plans. The  resolution says that business owners “should be given the go ahead to re-open their businesses, should they choose to do so, under modifications to protect the health and safety of patrons, employees, and the general public.WPXN News will continue to update this story on later newscasts

 

(Undated-jm) -- Cases of Coronavirus increased Monday around the area. Champaign County is reporting 32 new cases bringing their total to 298. Kankakee County is reporting 82 new cases bringing their total to 753. Iroquois County is reporting 6 new cases bringing their total to 99. Vermilion County has 3 new cases bringing their total to 31 cases. Livingston County has 1 new case bringing their total to 25. Ford and McLean Counties all reported no new cases.

 

(Undated-jm) -- Several area communities are reporting significant cases of the Coronavirus. In Champaign County, 88 of the 298 cases are in Rantoul, 3 are in Ludlow, 2 in Thomasboro, 11 in Mahomet and 4 in St. Joseph. Rantoul Foods is reporting 82 cases at their facility. Iroquois County also has a significant number of cases. 41 are reported in Clifton, 10 in Onarga, 8 in Watseka and 6 each in Crescent City and Beaverville.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Planting continues well ahead of last year’s pace as we hear in the weekly crop report. Despite less than three days on average suitable for fieldwork this past week, corn planting is moving along at a steady pace says State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 43 percent of soybeans have been planted, compared to just three percent one year ago, and 10 percent has emerged. 41 percent of winter wheat has headed and 65 percent of the crop is rated in good to excellent condition.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- An independent analysis of the state’s COVID-19 data found a significant difference in the numbers of COVID-19-related deaths in the Chicago area compared with the rest of the state. The analysis also showed more deaths in nursing homes than elsewhere. Public finance watchdogs at Wirepoints analyzed the state’s data and found that much of the state has been largely spared COVID-19 deaths. They report data as of May 1 showed the concentration of deaths, more than 2,200 lives lost, were in Cook County and the collar counties. 58 of the state’s 102 counties had zero deaths as of May 1, 2020. Another 16 counties had just one death each. A majority of those outside of Cook County and the collar counties were in nursing homes.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Several city council meetings will be held tonight around the area. WPXN’s Jason Madden has the details…

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- CDL driving tests will be resuming at three locations in the state. The locations are in Springfield, Chicago and Marion. The tests will be conducted by appointment only and can be scheduled by calling 217-785-3013. 

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Small business owners in the Champaign, Ford, Iroquois and Vermilion County areas could receive some financial help. The Champaign County Regional Planning Commission has received grants funding from the Department of Labor to help small businesses keep people employed. Economic Development Specialist Kathy Larson explains the application process and qualifications…

 

Champaign County Regional Planning Commission Economic Development Specialist Kathy Larson.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton Police have released their recent activity report. On May 9th, Gerald Holt, 46, of Paxton was arrested for aggravated driving while license revoked following a traffic stop at Larson and Vermilion. On May 8th, Angelina Giambrone, 19, of Paxton was arrested for driving while her license was suspended following a traffic stop at IGA. On May 5th, no injuries were reported and no tickets issued following a two vehicle accident at Railroad and Patton. 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says most of the state is on track to move to the next phase of reopening at the end of the month. Under his “Restore Illinois” program, the state is divided into four regions. Each region must meet certain benchmarks to move to the next phase of economic recovery says the Governor…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. That exception is in the northeast region, which includes Chicago and suburbs. That area needs to see the rate of positive tests come down before moving to phase three. In phase three, barbershops, salons and retail stores can open with precautions.

 

(Melvin--jc)  --  The Ford County Fair has been postponed. WPXN’s Joel CLuver has the latest…

 

(Undated-jm) -- 124 new cases of Coronavirus were reported in the WPXN listening area yesterday. There was also an increase in the number of recoveries and active cases. Livingston County is reporting 22 have been released from isolation and 2 are in isolation. Vermilion County is reporting 9 have been released, 20 in home isolation and 1 is hospitalized. Ford County is reporting 7 have been released and 6 are in isolation. Champaign County is reporting 146 active cases with 7 hospitalized and 146 have recovered. Kankakee County is reporting 150 recoveries. McLean County is reporting 90 recoveries, 4 hospitalized and 24 in home isolation. Iroquois County is reporting 29 recoveries, 7 hospitalized and 60 in isolation.

 

(Undated-jm) -- Sadly there were 2 new deaths reported in the area yesterday from COVID-19. Kankakee and Iroquois Counties each reported a new death. That brings the totals up to 33 deaths and 3 deaths respectively. Champaign County has 6 deaths. McLean County has 3 deaths. Livingston, Vermilion and Ford County each have 1 death.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Planting continues well ahead of last year’s pace as we hear in the weekly crop report. 68 percent of corn has been planted, compared to 11 percent one year ago. 23 percent has emerged. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener turns to soybeans…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 41 percent of winter wheat has headed and 65 percent of the crop is rated in good to excellent condition. Average statewide topsoil moisture is rated at one percent very short, three percent short, 74 percent adequate and 22 percent surplus.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The group that represents local municipal governments in Illinois said many of its members have concerns and want changes to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s “Restore Illinois” plan to reopen the state’s economy. In a letter on Monday, the Illinois Municipal League said among the suggestions for modifications “is concern about the groupings of cities, counties and geographic areas within the regions.” Another concern the Illinois Municipal League raised was the time frame for how long a decrease of hospitalizations of COVID-19-like symptoms must occur before a region can advance to the next phase of the reopening plan.

 

 

(Buckley-jm) -- Area schools continue to make the best of the stay at home order with no in class teaching. Christ Lutheran High School Executive Director Sandy Spitz talks about how the school is handling the transition…

 

 

Christ Lutheran High School Executive Director Sandy Spitz.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- State Senator Scott Bennett is encouraging Champaign County residents to fill out their 2020 census. So far the response rate in the county is 60.7 percent. You can fill out the census online at 2020 census dot gov. The census determines funding for roads, schools, hospitals and fire departments as well as determining representation in Congress.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The COVID-19 pandemic is having impacts on local businesses. With the stay at home order extended until the end of May, many small businesses will continue to either be shut down or operating minimally. Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer talks about how you can support the small businesses in Paxton both now during the pandemic and once things begin to open up…

 

 

Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer.

 

 

(Pontiac-jm) -- The Livingston County Public Health Department will begin resuming family planning and immunization clinics in mid-May. The health department says there will be some changes. It will be by appointment only, a mask must be worn at all times in the building and access to the building will only be granted to the person with the appointment. To schedule your appointment, call the health department at 815-844-7174.

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More than 4.8 million Illinois residents have received their stimulus payments

(Undated-jm) -- The number of Coronavirus cases in the area increased over the weekend. McLean County has 11 new cases bringing their total to 121. Ford County has 2 new cases bringing their total to 14 cases. Vermilion County has 2 new cases bringing their total to 28 cases. Iroquois County has 9 new cases bringing their total 93 cases. Champaign County has 30 new cases bringing their total to 266 cases. Kankakee County has 128 new cases bringing their total to 671. 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Several hot spots for the Coronavirus are starting to pop up in the area. In Champaign County, Rantoul is reporting 71 cases, Ludlow and Thomasboro has 2 cases each. Mahomet has 11 cases and St. Joseph has 4 cases. In Iroquois County, Clifton is reporting 39 cases, Onarga has 10 cases, Watseka has 8 cases and Crescent City has 8 cases.

 

(Melvin--jc)  Information about the 20-20 Ford County Fair in Melvin is set to be released at  8 this morning. WPXN news will update the information to our listeners this morning and on our social media sites.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says he’s working with commissioners to bring professional sports back. The Governor says he’s as anxious as anyone to see sports playing again and has been in touch with team management…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Governor Pritzker says he anticipates teams submitting a plan for review by medical experts.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A think tank is warning that some major road and rail projects in Illinois could get postponed because of an expected shortfall in gas tax revenue of up to $559 million due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Chicago Tribune reports that the Illinois Economic Policy Institute said road travel has dropped by nearly half due to the state's stay-at-home order. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The IRS provided a look at how many Illinoisans have received their stimulus payments. According to the new data, more than 4.8 million Illinois residents have received their payments, totaling more than $8 billion in the past four weeks. Nationwide, 130 million people have received payments. More payments are expected to be distributed in the coming weeks.

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul’s Rudzinski Park will undergo a transformation. The park will receive new playground equipment, two new shelters and parking. Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisnenhower says the majority of the project will be covered through a grant from the state…

 

 

Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisnenhower.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Ag producers are now eligible to receive financial help due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Producers are available for assistance through the Small Business Administration's Economic Impact Disaster Loan. The funding was authorized by Congress through the Paycheck Protection Program and CARES Act.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Several area school boards and town councils meet tonight. WPXN’s Jason Madden has the details…

 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Park District is searching for a new director. Neal McKenry announced late Friday his final day as director will be the 16th, exactly 9 years to the day he started. The board will work to find a replacement.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton is moving forward with their streetscape project. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold talks about the project…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold. Mayor Ingold says some parts of the project will likely be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the funding for the project will remain.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Eastern Illini Electric Cooperative in Paxton is postponing this year’s annual meeting due to the Coronavirus. The meeting was scheduled to take place on June 18th. 

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- For the first half of this 2020 fiscal year exports of U.S. agricultural products are just ahead of the same time frame a year earlier. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The weekend saw an increase not only in the number of cases of Coronavirus but also recoveries and active number of cases. McLean County is reporting 88 recoveries, 4 hospitalized and 26 in isolation. Ford County is reporting 7 released from isolation and  6 in isolation. Iroquois County is reporting 25 released, 6 hospitalized and 60 in isolation. Vermilion County is reporting 9 released from isolation and 1 hospitalized. Livingston County is reporting 22 have recovered and 1 in isolation. Champaign County is reporting 114 active cases with 7 hospitalized and 146 recovered. Kankakee County is reporting 130 recoveries.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- While the weekend saw an increase in the number of Coronavirus cases, the good news is there was no increase in the number of deaths. McLean County remains at 3 deaths, Iroquois County has 2 deaths, Champaign County has 6 deaths, Kankakee County has 32 deaths and Ford, Livingston and Vermilion Counties have 1 death each.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Traders and others are wondering if USDA in its upcoming forecast will keep its previous forecast for a huge 97 million acres of corn acreage this spring. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- According to governor JB Pritzker’s five-phase reopening plan for Illinois, a complete return to normalcy is not possible until a Coronavirus vaccine is available or no new infections are recorded over a sustained period of time. But the creation of a successful vaccine or an immunity through antibodies anytime soon isn't guaranteed. Another problem is that some viruses like the flu can be prevented with a single shot. But for others like HPV and Hepatitis B, individuals must be vaccinated with multiple rounds of antibody injections. Other challenges include mutating strains that can become immune to a vaccine, and the potential for symptoms to reappear in those already infected. Illinois is currently in phase two of the reopening plan, with the earliest the next phase can begin being May 29th.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Could music once again be heard in downtown Paxton? The city council is looking at that as part of the streetscape project says Mayor Bill Ingold…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Parkland College in Champaign is announcing for the first time in 40 years, this summer's College for Kids and Summer Discovery camps are canceled because of COVID-19. The school says they are disappointed to have to cancel but did so because of the health and safety of everyone.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois home sales and prices posted gains in March. WPXN’s Jason Madden has the details…

 

 

 

(Roberts-jm) --Weather permitting, the village of Roberts will be flushing hydrants starting today.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The COVID-19 pandemic could have a financial crisis for the state. As lawmakers begin working on the next fiscal year’s budget, 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says the impact could last beyond just the next fiscal year…


 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- 52nd District State Senator Scott Bennett of Champaign is encouraging residents to participate in the Citizens Utility Boards ongoing Virtual Utility Bill Clinic to potentially save homeowners money during the pandemic. To participate, all you have to do is send a copy of your most recent electric, gas and telecom bill to u-b-c at citizens utility board dot org with the subject line attention virtual utility bill clinic. From there a specialist will review your bills to see if you are eligible for a money savings program. The clinic is free.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- House Republicans continue to urge the Governor to reopen the state and help struggling businesses. State Representative Mike Marron of Fithian says while he takes the virus threat very seriously, he refuses to believe that we have to choose between saving lives and economic prosperity…

 

 

State Representative Mike Marron of Fithian.

 

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Illinois Department of Employment Security has processed one million unemployment claims since the beginning of the pandemic

(Undated-jm) -- Champaign County is reporting 19 new cases of COVID-19 bringing their total to 236 cases. Iroquois County is reporting 6 new cases bringing their total number to 84. Kankakee County is reporting 36 new cases bringing their total to 543 cases. McLean County is reporting 2 new cases bringing their total to 110 cases. As a reminder, Governor J-B Pritzker will be holding his daily briefing this afternoon at 2:30, we will have the latest on our news at 4 and 5.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- As mentioned above, Champaign County is reporting 236 cases of the Coronavirus. Of those, 54 of those cases are in Rantoul. The health department is reporting 2 additional cases at Rantoul Foods, bringing the total number at the facility up to 52. According to the Champaign Urbana Public Health Department, Ludlow has 2 cases as does Thomasboro, St. Joseph has 4 and Mahomet has 11.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Employment Security has processed one million unemployment claims since the beginning of the pandemic. That’s nearly 12 times the number of claims processed over the same period last year. Governor J-B Pritzker says they are constantly working to improve the application process…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The Governor says the IDES website loads more quickly now and that there’s a chat option and voice agent to provide additional help.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Local governments in Illinois can expect to see up to 30 percent declines in shared revenue from the state because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Illinois Municipal League analysis of the impacts on local governments estimated between 15 and 30 percent less for local governments from the state from the various shared revenues. That could lead to local cuts.

 

(Undated-jm) -- With some states beginning to open up for business and relaxing restrictions put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19, a new study on these efforts found Illinois' stay-at-home order was one of the most restrictive in the nation. The personal finance website WalletHub analyzed nine metrics to evaluate states, including the reopening of non-essential businesses, large gathering restrictions, and the requirement to wear a face-covering in public. Illinois ranked 48th in the country, making it among the most strict in the nation, according to the report. The study shows Illinois has been slow to lift limitations.

 

 

(Cissna Park-cf)-- The deadline to file your taxes has been moved back a few months due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The deadline is now July 15 for your taxes to be completed however, you can file your taxes now and if you owe, you can pay up until the July 15th deadline says Russel Leigh of Russel Leigh and Associates in Cissna Park… 

 

 

Russell Leigh  of Russel Leigh and Associates in Cissna Park and Gibson City. 

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- Two area hospitals will begin scheduling surgeries and non emergent services soon. Starting Monday, OSF Heart of Mary Medical Center in Urbana and OSF Sacred Heart Medical Center in Danville will begin phasing in the scheduling of surgeries and non emergent services through the end of the month. Those with appointments will have to be screened 72 hours prior to their appointment.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Parkland College is receiving $3.2 million from the federal CARES Act. The Champaign based community college says $1.669 million has been specifically designated for direct payments to eligible students while the remainder will go to help cover the college’s financial losses. Eligible students will receive an email notifying them they are eligible for the direct payments.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton police will be getting a new addition to their fleet. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold says the city will sell an old squad…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A Paxton business is moving to a new location. Animal House announced they are moving from their South Market Street location to the old American Legion on East Pells.

 

(Washington-jm) -- What did USDA's re-survey of late harvested 2019 corn and soybeans turn up? What are the production and price prospects for 2020 crops? We'll know the answers soon. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

The Loda American Legion is holding their fish and chicken fry tonight from 4-7 pm. Carryouts only.

 

The Onarga Theatre is opening their concession stand for walk up and curbside orders from 6-8 tonight.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- As there was a jump in the number of cases of Coronavirus yesterday locally, so was an increase in the number of recoveries and active cases. McLean County is reporting 87 of their cases have recovered, 2 are hospitalized and 18 are in home isolation. Ford County is reporting 7 have been released from isolation and 4 remain in isolation. Vermilion County is reporting 9 have been released from isolation. Champaign County is reporting 107 active cases with 6 hospitalizations and 123 recoveries. Iroquois County is reporting 6 hospitalizations and 22 recoveries. Kankakee County is reporting 122 recoveries. Livingston County is reporting 20 have been released from isolation.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Four of the seven counties in the WPXN listening area reported new cases of COVID-19 yesterday. They include Iroquois, Champaign, Kankakee and McLean Counties. Ford, Vermilion and Livingston County all reported they had no new cases.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Secretary of State’s Jesse White’s Office says the fee for paying with e-checks is being waived. The 75 cent fee for using an e-check online to pay for vehicle registration or a duplicate or new driver’s license will not be assessed through August 2nd. Secretary of State Spokesperson Henry Haupt says the public should visit: cyber drive illinois dot com to begin the process. At the end, they will be directed to the payment system…

 

 

Illinois Secretary of State Spokesperson Henry Haupt. There is still a small fee for using a debit or credit card. Again, the website is: cyber drive illinois dot com.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Some of Illinois’s smallest businesses and sole proprietors missed the federal government’s first round of emergency funding through its Paycheck Protection Program. The $349 billion in emergency stimulus money from the first round of PPP disbursements disappeared within 13 days. Second-round funding will run out even faster, he said, because lenders have an application backlog. Congress agreed on April 21 to add $310 billion to the PPP. The new round of funding will also add $60 billion to a separate emergency loan program for small businesses, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, which the U.S. Small Business Administrations manages. 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A Paxton intersection will not see a stop sign added. Mayor Bill Ingold says the city looked at putting one at the intersection of Winter and Orleans…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- McLean County property owners listen up. Property tax bills will go out Monday. The first installment is due June 17th with the second installment due September 17th. The installments can be paid online, by mail, at most McLean County banks and in person at the Government Building lobby from 10-2 with the first hour each day for high risk residents.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Congressman Adam Kinzinger has been selected to serve on the China Task Force. The task force, made up of 15 Republicans, will address the threat by China. Darin LaHood of Peoria joins Kinzinger on the committee.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Local communities are beginning to prepare for the potential impacts of the Coronavirus. The village of Rantoul is preparing for the potential economic impact the virus could have on the village says Administrator Scott Eisenhower…

 

 

Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhower.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- Those who have to pay court fines in Champaign County will have additional time to pay them. The deadline to pay fines have been extended for those with due dates between March 16th and May 31st for offenses such as traffic offenses, DUI, criminal felonies, criminal misdemeanors and juvenile delinquency cases. You won’t be penalized, face interest or late charges.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Cattle producers and livestock analysts are having an equally hard time trying to forecast which way the markets will go. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

Christ Lutheran High School in Buckley will hold their drive thru pork chop dinner on Sunday from 10:30-12:30. The meal consists of pork chop, cheesy potatoes, baked beans, coleslaw, applesauce, dinner roll and cherry pie.

 

 

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More summer events are getting cancelled because of the Coronavirus

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says the state can help with workplace rights during the pandemic. Employees having trouble with personal protective equipment, sick days and more should contact the Illinois Department of Labor says the Governor…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Additionally, Governor Pritzker says the state’s mask requirement has led to an increase in harassment and discrimination, especially among minority men. Pritzker urges anyone facing this to report it to the Illinois Department of Human Rights.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Locally, Ford County is reporting 1 new case bringing their total to 12 cases. Iroquois County is reporting 27 new cases bringing their total to 78 cases. Champaign County is reporting 9 new cases bringing their total to 217 cases. Vermilion County is reporting 1 new case bringing their total number of cases to 26. McLean County is reporting 4 new cases bringing their total to 108. Livingston County is reporting 1 new case bringing their total to 24. Kankakee County is reporting 29 new cases bringing their total to 507. Governor Pritzker will hold his daily briefing at 2:30, we will have the latest tonight on our news at 4 and 5.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Champaign County reported 9 new cases Wednesday bringing the county’s total up to 217. Rantoul has 5 new cases bringing their total to 48. Ludlow is also reporting a new case bringing their total to 2. Rantoul Foods, the site of a recent outbreak of cases, reported 2 new cases Wednesday bringing their total number of cases to 49 at the facility.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois House Republicans say it's time for the legislature to reconvene. House GOP lawmakers are critical of the Governor’s plan to slowly reopen the state’s economy, saying it will hurt businesses. Representative Dan Brady of Bloomington says the General Assembly should be meeting to provide more input on these decisions…

 

 

State Representative Dan Brady of Bloomington. The group is calling on democratic leaders to bring lawmakers back to Springfield to address COVID-19, the state budget and ethics reforms.

 

SPRINGFIELD — The novel coronavirus pandemic’s historic impact on Illinois warrants Governor JB Pritzker’s stay-at-home order, four state health care advocacy organizations argue in a court filing. The Illinois Health and Hospital Association, Illinois State Medical Society, Illinois Society for Advanced Practice Nursing and the state’s chapter of the American Nurses Association have submitted their argument in support of the governor. The groups are challenging two lawsuits filed against the Governor over his authority in issuing continuations of the emergency declaration.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- It may be May but the Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for the annual Swine n Dine BBQ Competition and Festival September 19th. Chamber President Alan Meyer talks about this year's event…

 

 

Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- More summer events are getting cancelled because of the Coronavirus. Saybrook has cancelled their Freedom Festival in late June. Onarga announced they are canceling their 4th of July fireworks. Gilman’s Old Boys and Girls Reunion scheduled for August is also cancelled. They join the Crescent City Fire Ball festival and Fisher’s Lucky Foot Festival among the area activities cancelled this summer.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The City of Paxton will do some road projects this summer. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold says several streets will be upgraded with the use of motor fuel tax funds…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

 

 

(Sheldon-jm) -- Firefighters from several departments were called to a house fire in Sheldon. The fire happened in the 100 block of East Main Street. Sheldon firefighters believe the fire started from unattended food on the stove. The fire caused extensive damage however no injuries were reported.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- As the planting season continues, the Farm Bureau wants to remind drivers and farmers to be safe. Champaign County Farm Bureau Manager Brad Uken has these tips for sharing the road with farm equipment…

 

 

Champaign County Farm Bureau Manager Brad Uken.

(Springfield-jm) -- It’s not looking good for the two state fairs held every summer in Illinois. Under Governor J-B Pritzker's “Restore Illinois” plan, large gatherings won’t be allowed until a vaccine or effective treatment is available. So what’s that mean for the Illinois State Fair and the DuQuoin State Fair…

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The Governor says he’s still hopeful a solid treatment or vaccine will be ready soon.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Area counties are reporting active and recovered cases. Vermilion County is reporting 9 have been released from isolation while 16 are in home isolation. McLean County is reporting 85 have recovered, 2 are hospitalized and 18 are on home isolation. Livingston County is reporting 20 have been released from isolation. Ford County is reporting 7 have been released and 4 are in isolation. Kankakee County is reporting 119 recoveries. Champaign County is reporting 95 active cases, 6 are hospitalized and 116 have recovered. Iroquois County is reporting 21 have recovered, 6 are hospitalized and 50 are on home isolation. Governor Pritzker will hold his daily briefing at 2:30, we will have the latest tonight on our news at 4 and 5.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- While all the counties in the WPXN listening area reported new cases of the Coronavirus Wednesday, there were no new deaths. Vermilion, Ford, Iroquois and Livingston Counties each have one death. McLean County has 3 deaths, Champaign County has 6 deaths and Kankakee County has 31 deaths.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Employment Security is giving guidance to 10-99 workers thinking about applying to the federal P-U-A Program. If you think you might be eligible for benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, or P-U-A Program, you first have to apply for regular unemployment says Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Rebecca Cisco…

 

 

Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Rebecca Cisco. The P-U-A portal will be available starting Monday, May 11th. The program provides 100 percent federally funded benefits for independent contractors who are unemployed for specific COVID-19 reasons. Visit: ides dot illinois dot gov for more information.

 

(Iroquois County-jm) -- The Iroquois County Emergency Management is promoting resources available during the COVID-19 pandemic. WPXN’s Cale Fleming has the details for senior citizens…

 

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Those who want to go swimming in Gibson City won’t be able to this summer. The Gibson City pool board voted 3 to 1 Wednesday night to close the pool for the summer.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The Champaign County Regional Planning Commission is helping distribute funds to area businesses. The grants are from the Department of Labor and can help small businesses keep people employed, says Economic Development Specialist Kathy Larson…

 

 

Larson provides some examples of how businesses can use that grant money…

 

 

Champaign County Regional Planning Commission Economic Development Specialist Kathy Larson.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Starting Monday, the city of Paxton will be flushing hydrants beginning on the west side of town. Residents may notice some discoloration or loss of water pressure.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The COVID-19 pandemic could have an impact on the state’s next fiscal year budget. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says there is a lot of uncertainty on the next budget…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

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Governor J-B Pritzker is announcing "Restore Illinois", a five phase approach to reopening the state

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is announcing “Restore Illinois”, a five phase approach to reopening the state. The plan breaks the state up into four regions. Governor Pritzker says all of Illinois is currently in phase two, where the curve if flattening and a modified stay at home order is in place. He says if certain criteria are met, some areas may be able to move into phase three at the end of the month…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Phase four lets restaurants, bars and schools reopen and gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed. The final phase, where large events are permitted, wouldn’t kick in until a vaccine or solid treatment is available.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Ford County is reporting one new case of COVID-19 bringing their total to 11 cases. Vermilion County is reporting 3 new cases bringing their total to 25 cases. McLean County is reporting 2 new cases bringing their total to 104. Kankakee County is reporting 40 new cases and one new death bringing their totals to 478 cases and 31 deaths. Iroquois County is reporting 5 new cases bringing their total to 51 cases. Champaign County is reporting 25 new cases bringing their total to 208 cases. Governor Pritzker will hold his daily briefing at 2:30, we will have the latest on our news at 4 and 5.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- As mentioned above, Champaign County is reporting 25 new cases bringing their total number of cases to 208. Of those cases, 43 of them are in Rantoul. 15 new cases are being reported at Rantoul Foods bringing their total 47 at the facility. As for other communities in Champaign County, Ludlow has 1 case, Thomasboro has 2 cases, St. Joseph has 4 cases and Mahomet has 10 cases.

 

(Washington-jm) -- Now that all three nations within the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement have completed necessary procedures, when will this new trade deal go into force? Rod Bain reports…

 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Ford County Courthouse will remain closed to the public. Sheriff Mark Doran released a statement saying the increase of cases not only in the county but also surrounding counties led to the decision to keep the facilities closed until further notice. 

 

 

(Buckley-jm) -- Christ Lutheran High School in Buckley will hold a pork chop lunch coming up this Sunday. Executive Director Sandy Spitz says the lunch will take place on May 10th…

 

Christ Lutheran High School Executive Director Sandy Spitz.

 

 

(Rantoul-cf)-- In a statement from the Rantoul Recreation Department, they will be the process of refunding all little league registrations. The refund will come in a check from the Village of Rantoul. This does not mean we are giving up hope on having any form of baseball/softball this summer. 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The City of Paxton has a new alderman. Mayor Bill Ingold says it fills a vacancy for Ward 4…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- AAA is reporting as some states begin to reopen, gas prices are on the rise. State gas price averages increased for less than a dozen states in the last week, but they were large enough jumps to push an increase to the national average. The Great Lakes and Central region saw double-digit increases in a few states. However, the majority of the country saw decreases of a nickel or less.  Pump prices are expected to fluctuate across the country in coming weeks as more states reopen amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and more people start driving regularly again.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- April weather was colder and wetter than average in Illinois. Statewide average precipitation last month was more than four inches. That’s over a half inch above normal. Most of that came at the end of April says State Climatologist Trent Ford…

 

 

State Climatologist Trent Ford. Last month was the 27th coldest April on record in Illinois, with average temperatures three and a half degrees below normal.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- One area state representative is speaking out on the Governor’s plan. Dan Caulkins released a statement calling the Governor’s plan flawed and says the Governor and his advisors are out of touch. Caulkins also says the Governor’s plan to wait for a vaccine or elimination of any new cases to fully reopen is dishonest and unrealistic. 

 

 

(Undated-jm) --  Vermilion County is reporting 9 of their cases have been released from isolation. Ford County is reporting 7 have been released from isolation while 3 are in isolation. McLean County is reporting 85 have recovered, 3 are hospitalized and 13 are in home isolation.  Champaign County is reporting 89 active cases, 113 have recovered and 5 are hospitalized. Kankakee County is reporting 115 recoveries. Iroquois County is reporting 20 have recovered, 4 are hospitalized and 26 are on home isolation. Livingston County is reporting 20 have been released from isolation.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The clock is ticking for state lawmakers to create the next budget. The fiscal year ends at the end of June, however, due to the Coronavirus both chambers of the General Assembly have not met. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says lawmakers have a lot to do when they return…

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The Target store located on North Prospect Avenue in Champaign has experienced its first COVID-19 case. The employee is now in quarantine and following health department guidelines. The store remains open.

 

 

(Gilman-jm) -- Area communities are keeping an eye on how the COVID-19 pandemic will impact their community. Gilman Mayor Rick Theesfield talks about how the City of Gilman could be affected…

 

 

Gilman Mayor Rick Theesfield.

 

 

(Vermilion County-jm) -- Vermilion County Coroner Jane McFadden is asking for the public’s help in identifying the remains of a man found in rural Indianola. The remains were found on a property April 11th. Anyone with information is asked to call the Vermilion County Sheriff’s Office.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce is seeking sponsors to help put on this year’s Swine n Dine BBQ Competition and Festival. The event takes place on Saturday, September 19th and will feature BBQ, a bags tournament, car show and free concert by Country Music artist Michael Ray. Chamber President Alan Meyer talks about how you can help be a sponsor for this year’s event…

 

 

Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- More than $37 million for adult use cannabis came in for the month of April, according to the governor's office.  Dispensaries across the state sold 818,954 items over the 30-day period. Sales to Illinois residents totaled over $29 million while sales to out-of-state residents totaled over $7.5 million.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- This is Arson Awareness Week and the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office is reminding the public about the seriousness of the crime. State Fire Marshal agents and canine teams respond to more than a thousand arson investigations yearly. Spokesperson JC Fultz says it’s a crime that can cause billions of dollars in damage and puts firefighters and others in danger. Let authorities know about suspicious activities via the statewide arson hotline at: 1-800-252-2947.

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Rantoul Foods plant has seen 32 positive cases of Covid-19

(Rantoul--jc)  One local pork processing plant has seen an outbreak of positive Covid-19 cases. Rantoul Foods plant on the village's west side has seen 32 positive cases of Covid-19. Champaign Urbana Public Health District Director Julie Pryde says the employees are from Rantoul, Champaign county and other areas  Testing will continue at the plant and other safety measures are being implemented

 

(Springfield-jm) --  Illinois is currently ranked seventh out of all 50 states for the census response rate, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The response rate in Illinois is around 5% higher than in the U.S. The nation's self-response rate is 56.3%, while Illinois' self-response rate is 61.6%.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- COVID-19 hospitalizations are down slightly in Illinois. The number of Coronavirus patients in the hospital has beens slowly dropping in recent days. Still, nearly 45 hundred people are under hospital care. Governor J-B Pritzker says about 763 of them are on ventilators…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. 46 additional deaths are being reported, bringing the total number of Coronavirus deaths in Illinois to 2,662. Locally, Vermilion County has 3 new cases bringing their total to 22 cases, Ford County has 1 new case bringing their total to 10 cases, McLean County has 3 new cases bringing their total to 102 cases, Kankakee County has 23 new cases bringing their total to 438, Iroquois County has 5 new cases bringing their total to 46 cases and Champaign County is reporting 10 new cases bringing their total to 183. As a reminder, Governor J-B Pritzker will hold his daily briefing at 2:30. We will have the latest from that briefing on our news at 4 and 5 tonight.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Champaign County has seen a spike of cases in recent days, many of them in Rantoul. 32 of the county’s 183 cases are in Rantoul, most of those at Rantoul Foods. Ludlow has one case, Thomasboro has two cases, St. Joseph has three cases, Mahomet has nine cases. 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Farmers didn’t have much time in the fields this past week, but were able to make some planting progress as we hear in the weekly crop report. Rainfall was above normal this past week, but producers made good use of the dry days, says State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 31 percent of soybeans have been planted and two percent have emerged. 20 percent of winter wheat has headed. Average statewide topsoil moisture is rated as two percent short, 72 percent adequate and 26 percent surplus.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- Iroquois County will continue to keep the county’s administrative center closed to the public. The county says essential county functions continue and those that need assistance from one of the county’s offices can do so by calling that office.

 

 

(Undated-jm) --Several area communities meet tonight for their monthly meeting. WPXN’s Jason Madden has the details…

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton police have released their recent activity report. On May 1st, Jason Battshill, 37, Paxton was arrested for criminal trespass. On April 27th, Richard Cruse, 35, Thawille was arrested for aggravated driving on a revoked license, aggravated fleeing and attempting to elude after police, knowing he was suspended, tried to stop him. Cruse led police on a chase to the Triangle Trailer Park south of Ludlow. Also on April 27th, Amanda Moss, 25, Urbana was arrested on a Ford County warrant for failure to appear.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The weekend saw the warmest temperatures of the season so far. But how does the first full week of May look? State Climatologist Trent Ford has the answer…

 

 

State Climatologist Trent Ford.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Park District is reminding residents the city’s parks are open, just that some amenities are closed. Due to the stay at home order, playgrounds and the skate park at Coady Park are closed but residents can still get out and walk at one of many of the city’s parks. 

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Cool and wet conditions are unfavorable for corn crop progress. Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois healthcare providers will receive payments from the Department of Health and Human Services. The payments from the Provider Relief Fund will go to areas hit hard by COVID-19. Hospitals will receive a total of $134 million to treat low-income and uninsured patients. In addition, rural providers will receive a total of $352 million.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says now is not the time to defy the state’s stay at home order. There’s concern about recent events, including house parties in Chicago, a church service in Lena, protests in Springfield and plans to re-open some businesses in places like East Peoria. Governor Pritzker says these actions could lead to a resurgence of the virus…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The Governor says it’s also not a good idea to start visiting friends and family that you haven’t been around through all this, especially elderly relatives that are at greatest risk. Governor J-B Pritzker will hold his daily briefing at 2:30. We will have the latest on our news at 4 and 5 tonight.

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois has over 63,000 cases and 2,662 deaths. Locally, counties in our listening area are reporting recoveries and active cases. Vermilion County is reporting 9 people have been released from isolation, 11 are on home isolation and 1 person is hospitalized. Ford County is reporting 7 people have been released from isolation and 2 are isolated. Livingston County is reporting 20 people have been released from isolation. McLean County is reporting 85 people have recovered, 2 are hospitalized and 12 are on home isolation. Iroquois County is reporting 19 have recovered, 4 are hospitalized and 22 are home isolation. Champaign County is reporting 67 cases are active with 5 hospitalized and 110 6910recovered.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Farmers didn’t have much time in the fields this past week but were able to make some planting progress as we hear in the weekly crop report. 56 percent of corn has now been planted, well ahead of last year’s pace. Nine percent has emerged. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener turns to other crops…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 68 percent of the winter wheat crop is rated in good to excellent condition. Average statewide topsoil moisture is now two percent short, 72 percent adequate and 26 percent surplus.

 

 

(Danville-jm) -- Recreational marijuana users will have another location to get their supply. Sunnyside Dispensary is opening a location in Danville on Lynch Road between U-S 136 and I-74. They hope to open by the end of May. The group also has a site in Champaign on Neil Street.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Area lawmakers are tossing around ideas to help both businesses and residents once the Coronavirus passes and the state looks to reopen the economy. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City talks about some of those ideas…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

(Ford County-jm) -- The Ford County Sheriff’s Office has released their April activity report. During the month, deputies issued 11 traffic citations including 3 for speeding, 2 for disregard of a stop sign and 1 each for operating an uninsured motor vehicle, improper lane usage, expired registration, driving on a suspended license unlawful display of plates and improper u-turn. Deputies also handled 7 sex offender notifications, 4 domestic issues, 3 each for harassment, custody dispute and burglary, 2 for trespassing and 1 each for missing person, subject with a gun or knife, criminal investigation, intoxicated pedestrian, fraud and criminal damage to property.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The Champaign County Regional Planning Commission is helping area businesses with some grant money. Economic Development Specialist Kathy Larson talks about the grants…

 

 

Champaign County Regional Planning Commission Economic Development Specialist Kathy Larson. The grant is available to small businesses in the Champaign, Ford, Iroquois and Vermilion County areas. 

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- The Harvest Moon Twin Drive in theatre in Gibson City will open this Friday. The theatre received the green light from the state under specific guidelines. Showing on screen 1 will be Trolls World Tour. On screen 2 will be Onward.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- There's a new call to better protect children awaiting trial in Illinois during the COVID-19 outbreak. Mary Schuermann (sherman) reports…

 

 

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Governor J-B Pritzker says it's a possibility that some regions of Illinois could open before May 30th

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 61,499 total cases and 2,618 deaths in 97 counties. Ford County has 9 total cases, Iroquois County has 41 total cases, Champaign County has 173 total cases, McLean County has 99 total cases, Vermilion County has 19 total cases, Kankakee County has 415 total cases and Livingston County has 23 total cases. Iroquois County is reporting their first COVID-19 death, a female in her 60s. Kankakee County is reporting two new deaths bringing their total to 30. Governor J-B Pritzker will hold his daily briefing at 2:30 this afternoon. We will have the latest on our news at 4 and 5 tonight.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says it’s a possibility that some regions of Illinois could open before May 30th. The latest stay at home order runs through the end of the month, but the Governor is opening the door for some areas to maybe open before that. He says it will depend on the numbers…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The Governor makes it clear though that he will not open things up until he knows people are safe.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is urging Illinoisans to still go see their doctor despite the rise in Coronavirus cases. State Public Health Director Ngozi Ezike urges families not to sacrifice other medical care because of the virus…

 

 

Illinois Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is warning the public about Coronavirus related scams. Governor Pritzker says con artists continue to use the pandemic to prey on people…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The Governor urges anyone who suspects a scam to report it online at: illinois attorney general dot gov.

 

 

(Ford County-jm) -- Roberts and Melvin first responders were called to a single vehicle accident Sunday evening. The accident occured on Route 54 between Roberts and Melvin. No word on if there were any injuries.

 

 

(Lexington-jm) -- Three people are dead following a house fire in McLean County over the weekend. McLean County authorities say Hillery Peters and her two children, 3 year old Emerlyn Bennett and 16 month old Sawyer Bennett died of smoke inhalation from the fire in rural Lexington Saturday night. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Several area communities meet tonight for their monthly meeting. WPXN’s Jason Madden has the details…

 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton police are investigating after a door on the stage at the Pells Park Pavilion was broken. Police are unsure when the incident occurred or who may have been involved. Anyone with information is asked to call Paxton Police.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Area communities are starting to feel the impact of the Coronavirus. With the stay at home order communities are not seeing the revenues they expected. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold says the city will begin working on their budget for the upcoming fiscal year soon…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 61,499 total cases and 2,618 deaths in 97 counties. As for recoveries and active cases, Ford County is reporting one person is hospitalized while 7 have been released from isolation. Champaign is reporting 77 active cases with 6 hospitalized and 90 recovered. McLean County is reporting 4 are hospitalized with 7 on home isolation and 85 recovered. Vermilion County is reporting one hospitalized and 8 released from isolation. Kankakee County is reporting 101 recoveries.Livingston County is reporting 18 have been removed from isolation. Governor J-B Pritzker will hold his daily briefing at 2:30 this afternoon. We will have the latest on our news at 4 and 5 tonight.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The state is planning to launch a new contact tracing program for the Coronavirus. Acting State Epidemiologist Dr Wayne Duffus (duff-us) will lead the effort in hopes of stopping the spread of the virus…

 

Acting State Epidemiologist Dr Wayne Duffus (duff-us). Officials plan to hire thousands of people to work as contact tracers. They hope to begin the program at the end of the month.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois State Board of Education is offering some guidance for schools looking to honor graduates. Governor J-B Pritzker says he knows it’s a special time of year for high school seniors and that they should be recognized for their achievements. That’s why the board has issued recommendations…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Suggestions include holding a virtual graduation, drive in ceremonies where students only exit the car to have their photo taken, or individual ceremonies.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Transportation is partnering with local groups to offer free food to truckers. After a successful trial run at a central Illinois weigh station, IDOT Spokesperson Paul Wappel says they are expanding the effort to several locations…

 

IDOT Spokesperson Paul Wappel. The events will be held between 9 am and 3 pm Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at seven weigh stations around the state. Groups interested in providing free boxed or pre-packaged meals for truckers should email: keith dot donovan at illinois dot gov.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Natural Resources will use a $2 million federal grant to expand access to private land for hunting, fishing, and other outdoor recreation and help landowners improve wildlife habitat on their property. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources currently leases about 22,000 acres in 49 counties for fishing and for hunting of turkey, deer, waterfowl, pheasants and other wildlife through the Illinois Recreational Access Program.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A proposed policy at the University of Illinois would prohibit faculty and staff from having intimate relations with undergraduates and anyone they supervise. Two proposed policies stem from a set of recommendations aimed at preventing sexual misconduct. Trustees are expected to vote on both policies at their May 21 meeting.

 

 

(Iroquois County-jm) -- The Iroquois County Emergency Management is promoting resources available during the COVID-19 pandemic. WPXN’s Cale Fleming has the details for those looking for childcare assistance…

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Farmers, if you plan on using Dicamba this spring, you might want to listen up. The American Soybean Association is reminding growers planning to apply Dicamba to their fields must go through a mandatory training before applying. Because of COVID-19, the training is being held online.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Coronavirus has caused many businesses to close temporarily. One industry not closed, is agriculture. Champaign County Farm Bureau Manager Brad Uken talks about agriculture’s role during the pandemic…

 

 

Champaign County Farm Bureau Manager Brad Uken.

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Illinois' modified stay at home order begins today

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois’ modified stay at home order begins today. As part of the order, Illinoisans over the age of two will be required to wear a mask if you are out in public. Other changes to the order include the opening of golf courses under specific guidelines, non essential businesses can reopen for online and curbside orders only, elective surgeries can be scheduled and some state parks are reopening for boating, fishing and hiking. The stay at home order is in effect until May 31st.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- 141 more people have died from the Coronavirus in Illinois. A total of two thousand 355 lives have been lost to COVID-19. State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike says nearly 270 thousand tests have been performed so far…

 

Illinois Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Positive cases of the Coronavirus are nearly 53 thousand in 97 Illinois counties. Officials say there are now 177 testing sites around the state. Visit coronavirus dot illinois dot gov for a list of locations and requirements. Locally, Champaign County is reporting 11 new cases bringing their total to 135 cases. Iroquois County is reporting 5 new cases bringing their total to 34 cases. McLean County is reporting one new case bringing their total to 95 cases. Kankakee County is reporting 11 new cases bringing their total to 383 cases. Ford, Livingston and Vermilion Counties all did not report any new cases Thursday. All the counties in our listening area, except Iroquois County have reported at least one death so far from the Coronavirus. Governor J-B Pritzker will hold his daily briefing at 2:30. We will have the latest on that on our news at 4 and 5.


 

(Springfield-jm) -- More than 81,000 Illinoisans successfully applied for unemployment benefits through the state last week.  The U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday that 81,245 laid off Illinois workers were added to the state’s unemployment rolls for the week ending on April 18. That’s a drop of 21,691 from the week prior. Over the past six weeks, about 30.3 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits because of stay-at-home orders in response to the novel coronavirus.

 

 

(Springfield-cf)-- The state superintendent of Schools, Dr. Carmen Ayla announced plans of any kind for commencement are prohibited. This includes drive-thru ceremonies, or events where students come  in small groups to the school or another location for a group photo. 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The COVID-19 pandemic is having a major impact on the business community. Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer talks about the impact here locally…

 

 

Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer.

 

(Urbana-jm) -- In response to Gov. JB Pritzker's extension of the state's stay at home order, the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois is taking measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The U-S Courthouse in Peoria will remain open with limited staff. The U-S Courthouses in Urbana and Springfield will remain closed to the public. Hearings and criminal proceedings will continue to use video and telephone conferencing.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- What will summer look like with the Coronavirus pandemic? 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman says there is a lot of uncertainty…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Park District is doing updates to the pool in anticipation of the possible swimming season. Park district employees are painting the pool, resealing the filter pit, reinstall the pool pump and upgrade the sound and speaker system.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The number of Coronavirus cases and deaths continues to rise in Illinois. The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 2,563 new cases and 141 additional deaths Thursday. That brings the state’s total of cases to 52,918 and total number of deaths to 2,355. Coronavirus cases have been confirmed in 97 of the state's 102 counties. Area health departments have been reporting recoveries and active cases. In Ford County, 7 have been released from isolation while 1 is still isolated. Champaign County is reporting 40 active cases with 6 being hospitalized, however, they are reporting 89 have recovered. Iroquois County is reporting 12 of their 34 cases have recovered. Livingston County is reporting 16 have been released from isolation. McLean County is reporting 1 of their cases being hospitalized and 7 are on home isolation, however, they are reporting 84 have recovered. Kankakee County is reporting 99 recoveries and Vermilion County is reporting 8 of their cases have been released from isolation. Governor J-B Pritzker will hold his daily briefing at 2:30. We will have the latest on that on our news at 4 and 5.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The state’s new modified stay at home order begins today. One of the biggest changes is that if you can’t stay six feet away from others, like in a grocery store or pharmacy, you are required to wear a mask in public says Governor J-B Pritzker…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The requirement applies to everyone over two years old who can medically tolerate a facial covering. Other changes to the order include the opening of golf courses under specific guidelines, non essential businesses can reopen for online and curbside orders only, elective surgeries can be scheduled and some state parks are reopening for boating, fishing and hiking. The stay at home order is in effect until May 31st.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Guidance sent to hospitals and other health care facilities from the Illinois Department of Public Health sets out various criteria they must meet to start elective procedures May 11. Postponing elective procedures was a move to ensure hospitals wouldn’t get overrun if there was a surge of COVID-19 patients, officials have said. The IDPH guidance includes regional occupancy requirements for elective inpatient procedures to have no less than 20 percent available capacity for ICU beds, surgical beds and ventilators, among other requirements. The guidance also said facilities must test each patient for COVID-19 within 72 hours of a scheduled procedure. They must then self-quarantine until the day of surgery.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Gaming Board will extend the suspension of all licensed video gaming and casino gambling operations to help slow the spread of COVID-19.  The suspension will be at all Illinois locations until further notice.  The board continues to review the public health guidelines and conditions to determine when it is safe to reopen statewide. 

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- OSF HealthCare Heart of Mary Medical Center in Urbana received an "A" rating for patient safety. The Leapfrog Group, a national watchdog organization for patient safety, gave the center this grade. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses 28 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to grade more than 2,600 U.S. acute-care hospitals.

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Local communities are beginning to prepare for the potential impacts of the Coronavirus. The village of Rantoul is keeping a careful eye on revenue and expenditures says Administrator Scott Eisenhower…

 

 

Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhower.

 

(Gifford-jm) -- The Gifford Grade School District has received a matching grant for projects. The district received a $31,500 matching maintenance grant from the state. The district will use the grant to upgrade the HVAC system, bleachers and two awning-roofing projects. The grant is good for two years.

 

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Governor J-B Pritzker plans to issue a modified stay-at-home order that runs through May 30

(Springfield-jm) -- With neighboring states like Missouri and Iowa loosening restrictions this week, Governor J-B Pritzker plans to issue a modified stay-at-home order that runs through May 30. The governor's latest stay-at-home order includes a number of changes that loosen restrictions on some activities. On Wednesday, the governor offered a different tone, saying downstate areas with low numbers of COVID-19 cases may be able to open sooner. Pritzker said he has received letters and calls from downstate mayors and public officials on the subject of reopening downstate economies.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois now has more than 50 thousand confirmed cases of Coronavirus. The State Department of Public Health is reporting over 22 hundred new cases pushing the total above that unfortunate benchmark. 92 more people have died says director Dr Ngozi Ezike…

 

 

Illinois Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Of those, nearly 13 hundred are in the ICU and 777 patients are on ventilators. Locally, Ford County is reporting one new case bringing their total to 9. Iroquois County is reporting five new cases bringing their total to 29. Champaign County is reporting 10 new cases bringing their total to 124. Vermilion County is reporting one new case bringing their total to 19. Kankakee County is reporting 10 new cases bringing their total to 372. Livingston and McLean Counties both did not report any new cases, leaving their total number of cases and 20 and 94 respectively

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J.B. Pritzker said he’s not interested in calling lawmakers back to the Illinois State Capitol for a special session to deal with the ambiguity of his stay-at-home orders amid a pandemic and legal challenges to his authority. With two lawsuits pending and more expected, several Illinois statehouse Republicans held a virtual video news conference Wednesday urging legislative leaders to call the legislature back to address whether stay-at-home orders should continue. Pritzker said the legislature can come back whenever they want during the pandemic. They are considered essential under his order. He urged them to follow social distancing guidelines.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says the new facial covering requirement taking effect Friday should not be a problem for those who concealed carry. Under state law, it’s a class four felony to carry a weapon while your face is covered. But the Governor says they’ve made allowances for those legally carrying...

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The Illinois State Police says the order was not intended to negatively impact permit holders or suggest that local law enforcement should arrest someone with a COVID-19 mask who is carrying.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- No injuries were reported after a woman had a seizure while in her vehicle. The incident occurred near the Dollar Tree in Rantoul. Police say Kimberly McWhorter of Fisher became unconscious after having the seizure. Her car jumped the curb, crossed five lanes of traffic before striking a vehicle at a house on Klein Avenue. 


 

(Springfield-jm) -- Some of the restrictions from Governor J-B Pritzker’s stay at home order will ease Friday. As part of his revised stay at home order, golf courses will be allowed to open with some restrictions, some state parks will be allowed to reopen for fishing, hiking and boating and some non essential businesses will be allowed to reopen to handle online and curbside pickup only. Some area lawmakers, like 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says he would like the Governor to take a more regional approach to reopening the state…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City. Also as part of the Governor’s order, you will be required to wear a mask in public starting May 1st.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- The ballot order lottery for the General Election ballot in Champaign County will be held on Friday, May 1, 2020 at 12PM at the Election Services Building, 210 Art Bartell Road, Urbana. To comply with the COVID-19 regulations regarding gathering in groups, we will be live streaming the drawing on the Champaign County Clerk's Facebook page and will give priority access to the Chairs from both parties.

 

 

(Ford County-jm) -- Ford County mobile home owners are being reminded that their tax bills are due soon. You have until Friday to pay your tax bill to the Ford County Treasurer’s office. At this time, Treasurer Krisha Shoemaker says the county doesn’t have any plans in place to address if someone can’t pay their bill by Friday but there could be discussions on it…

 

 

Ford County Treasurer Krisha Shoemaker. Taxes can be dropped in the box in front of the courthouse or postmarked by May 1st.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Ameren Illinois is hoping to give its customers a break on their bills. Ameren Illinois has asked the Illinois Commerce Commission to decrease the utility's electric delivery rates by $45.3 million. The decrease would impact delivery charges, which is what all customers pay to electricity delivers to their homes. Those charges take up about a third to a half of the bill. The Illinois Commerce Commission will rule on the proposal in December 2020. If passed, it would take effect on January 1, 2021.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Pritzker will sign an executive order that suspends the requirement for the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to issue up to 75 Conditional Adult Use Cannabis Dispensing Organization Licenses by May 1st. 

 

Ford County is reporting 7 have been released from isolation, 1 still in isolation. Champaign County is reporting 32 active, 86 recovered and 6 hospitalized. McLean County is reporting 80 recovered, 1 hospitalized and 10 on home isolation. Kankakee County is reporting 94 have recovered. Vermilion County is reporting 8 have been released from isolation, 9 are in home isolation and one is hospitalized. Iroquois County is reporting 12 have been released from isolation.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois Senate Democrats have requested $41 billion from the federal government in non-COVID-19-related aid. Some argue the state’s taxpayers pay more in federal taxes than the state gets back. Others think a bailout sets the wrong president for a poorly run state. Members of Illinois’ congressional delegation have different takes on whether Illinois should get tens of billions of dollars to plug state budget holes and cover state and local pension debt. 


 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says a second lawsuit against the state’s extended stay at home order is irresponsible. Representative John Cabello of Rockford has filed a lawsuit challenging the order that now runs through May. Governor J-B Pritzker responds...

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The Governor called the first suit, filed by downstate Representative Darren Bailey, a cheap political stunt. A judge sided with Bailey and the state has already appealed in that case.

 

 

(Fisher-jm) -- A Fisher man out on bond for home invasion was arrested after he fled from police. Champaign County Deputies attempted to stop 24 year old Devon Todd northwest of Champaign. Todd took off from deputies and was later located at an apartment in Fisher. Todd resisted arrest and deputies also found a small bag containing suspected cocaine. He was taken to the Champaign County Jail where he faces charges of aggravated fleeing police, possession of a controlled substance and resisting. Bond was set at $50,000. He is due back in court June 30th.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton City Council will meet tonight in an adjourned city council meeting. Mayor Bill Ingold says the meeting will focus on grants for small businesses in the community…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold. Ingold says the city is working on a second round of grants for businesses that didn’t get their application in in time for the first round.


 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Village of Rantoul could make $300,000 available in grant money to aid small businesses. $203,000 will come from federal money while $97,000 is earmarked from the Federal Housing Rehabilitation Program to assist small businesses with 25 employees or less. The Rantoul village board is expected to approve the aid at their May meeting.

 

 

(Iroquois County-jm) -- The Iroquois County Emergency Management is promoting resources available during the COVID-19 pandemic. WPXN’s Cale Fleming has the details for how businesses can receive assistance…

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- First Busey Corporation reported first-quarter earnings of $15.4 million. The Champaign based bank said it had earnings of 28 cents per share. The results did not meet Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of six analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 36 cents per share. The bank holding company posted revenue of $112 million in the period. Its revenue net of interest expense was $97 million, which also did not meet Street forecasts. First Busey shares have dropped 35% since the beginning of the year.

 

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Cases of COVID-19 now total more than 48 thousand in 96 Illinois counties.

(Springfield-jm) -- Coronavirus deaths in Illinois hit a daily high Tuesday. 144 more people have died from the virus, bringing the total death toll to two thousand 125 says State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike…

 

 

State Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. Cases of COVID-19 now total more than 48 thousand in 96 Illinois counties. Locally, Ford County is reporting one additional case bringing the total to 9. Champaign County is reporting five new cases bringing their total to 114. Iroquois County is reporting four new cases bringing their total to 24. McLean County is reporting two new cases bringing their total number to 94. Vermilion County is reporting one new case bringing their total number to 18. They are also announcing their first death, a resident in his 70’s. Livingston County reported no new cases. Their total remains at 20 cases. Reminder, Governor Pritzker will hold his daily briefing at 2:30. We will have the latest on our news at 4 and 5.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says Illinois’ Stay at Home Order remains in effect despite Monday’s court ruling. The ruling from a Clay County judge temporarily halting the extended order only applies to the plaintiff, Representative Darren Bailey of Xenia says Governor Pritzker…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The state is appealing although similar lawsuits could still be filed in other counties. Bailey says the Governor overstepped his authority by extending the stay at home order through May.


 

(Cullom-jm) -- An area ag teacher is being honored as one of five finalists for Ag Educator of the Year. Tri-Point High School FFA Advisor Diana Loschen was selected as a finalist for the Golden Owl Award by Nationwide Insurance. Loschen will receive a plaque and $500. The winner of the Golden Owl Award will receive $3,000 from Nationwide Insurance towards their schools ag program.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City is opening the South Park campground. The campground will open May 1st but to Gibson City residents only. Those with addresses outside of Gibson City will have to wait until after the COVID-19 pandemic is over. The city reminds the restrooms and showers will remain closed. A lockbox will be installed. Residents will be asked to fill out a sheet of paper with their name, address, phone number and license plate info. The cost is $10 per day.

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul village leaders are watching their budget due to the Coronavirus. The economic impact to the village isn’t known yet but Village Administrator Scott Eisenhower says they have made some cutbacks…

 

 

Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhower.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A local state senator is co-sponsoring legislation to limit lengthy emergency declarations without legislative input. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman is co-sponsoring the legislation. The legislation would allow the governor to issue the declaration for 30 days but would require legislative approval for extensions. If the General Assembly is unable to meet due to health/safety concerns, the Senate President, House Speaker and the House and Senate Minority Leaders would have to submit written certification that the legislature is unable to meet.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- This week saw a big jump in corn planting progress. Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

While the number of cases locally rose yesterday, so has the number of recoveries. Ford County is reporting seven have been released from isolation while one is still in isolation. Champaign County is reporting 86 have recovered, 22 are active and 6 are hospitalized. Iroquois County is reporting 11 have recovered. Livingston County is reporting 16 have been released from isolation. McLean County is reporting  80 have recovered, one is hospitalized and 10 are on home isolation. Reminder, Governor Pritzker will hold his daily briefing at 2:30. We will have the latest on our news at 4 and 5.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The pace of soybean planting around the country is twice the five year average. Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- OSF HealthCare Heart of Mary Medical Center in Urbana and OSF HealthCare Sacred Heart Medical Center in Danville are now requiring anyone entering the facilities to wear a mask. Those younger than 2 years old or those with medical conditions that would prohibit wearing a mask will be excused. If a personal mask is not available, a disposable mask will be provided.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- An area lawmaker is pushing back against Governor J-B Pritzker’s push for a progressive income tax. During a recent daily briefing, Governor Pritzker says now more than ever it is important voters approve his progressive income tax in November. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington disagrees…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- The University of Illinois is preparing for students to return to campus in the fall. In a mass email sent out Tuesday, University President Tim Killeen announced he is creating a task force to study how the university could prepare for classes in the fall with class sizes and dorms.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois House Republicans are asking for more transparency when it comes to how state prisons are handling the threat of COVID-19. Representative Avery Bourne of Morrisonville and some of her colleagues say they want more information about why certain inmates have been released and if victims have been notified…

 

 

State Representative Avery Bourne of Morrisonville. A list of inmates released early from state prisons since March 1st is available on the Illinois Department of Corrections website. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City was a part of the group speaking out…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Normal--jc)  --  A plan between Normal based Rivian and the Ford Motor Company  to build a Lincoln-branded electric vehicle in Normal has been canceled as the auto industry struggles to navigate the current pandemic. While there were never specific details about the product, where it would be built or timing for its launch, the automakers planned to build the new vehicle using startup electric truck manufacturer Rivian’s platform. The two companies are expected to re address the project in the near future.

 

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Nearly two thousand new COVID-19 cases are being reported, bringing the total to well over 45 thousand

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says the Coronavirus knows no regional boundaries. In his daily briefing, the Governor addressed downstate Illinoisans who think the virus is only a significant problem in Chicago and Cook County…

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Nearly two thousand new COVID-19 cases are being reported, bringing the total to well over 45 thousand. 50 more patients have lost their lives. The total death toll in Illinois is now one thousand 983. Locally, Vermilion County is reporting 3 new cases bringing their total number to 17. Champaign County is reporting 4 new cases and one additional death bringing their numbers to 109 total cases and 6 deaths. Iroquois County is reporting 2 new cases bringing their total number to 20. Kankakee County is reporting 6 new cases and one additional death bringing their numbers to 338 total cases and 27 deaths. McLean County is reporting 4 new cases bringing their total to 92 cases. Ford and Livingston Counties reported no new cases Monday. Governor J-B Pritzker will give his daily briefing this afternoon at 2:30. We will continue to have the latest on our news at 4 and 5.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois State Treasurer’s Office announced it's increasing the amount of money available to small businesses for low-interest bridge loans. The additional $500 million will help employers get through the COVID-19 pandemic with more support.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Farmers were able to get some planting done before the weekend rain hit as we hear in the weekly crop report. Precipitation was about an inch above normal this past week, but planting did progress says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 37 percent of corn acres have been planted, up from 8 percent last week. 1 percent of corn has emerged. Average statewide topsoil moisture is rated as 1 percent short, 79 percent adequate and 20 percent surplus.

 

(Washington-jm) -- The USDA's  Cattle on Feed Report from Friday has some interesting and record setting numbers. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- More summer cancellations continue to roll in. Watseka garage sales and the Momence Glad Festival are the latest cancellations. The Watseka chamber of commerce hopes to reschedule townwide garage sales for August. The Momence Glad Festival, normally held in August, is canceling this year because of not enough financial support. Earlier this month, Crescent City announced they were canceling this year’s Fireball Festival while the Champaign County Freedom Celebration also canceled their 4th of July events.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- A Champaign restaurant has closed and their move to a new location could be off. Destihl was supposed to move from downtown Champaign to the new Carle at the Fields this summer. However, the Champaign locations facebook page has been removed and the company’s website only lists the Normal location.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton City Council meets tonight for their April meeting. WPXN’s Jason Madden has the details…

 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton police have released their recent activity report. On April 27th, Jessica Fayard, 28, of Paxton was cited for driving on a suspended license after a traffic stop at Walnut and Maple. A passenger, Timmy Fayard, 40, of Paxton was arrested for possession of cannabis, possession of meth and possession of drug paraphernalia. On April 25th, Jezmary Freytes Burgos, 40, of Paxton was arrested for aggravated domestic battery and criminal damage to property. On April 23rd, Chandler Marshall, 24, of Paxton was cited for driving on a suspended license.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- How does the climate forecast for the last week of April and beginning of May look? State Climatologist Trent Ford has the details…

 

 

State Climatologist Trent Ford.

 

 

 Total COVID-19 cases in Illinois are now well above 45 thousand. One thousand 983 patients have died. Several of the area counties are seeing recoveries from the Coronavirus. Ford County is reporting 6 have been released from isolation with 1 still isolated. Champaign County is reporting 81 have recovered, 22 cases are still active and 5 are hospitalized. Iroquois County is reporting 11 of their cases have recovered. Livingston County is reporting 16 have been released from isolation. Vermilion County is reporting 1 hospitalized and 8 released from isolation. McLean County is reporting 78 have recovered, 1 hospitalized and 10 on home isolation. Kankakee County is reporting 87 have recovered. Governor Pritzker will hold his daily briefing at 2:30. We will have the latest on our news at 4 and 5.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health launched a new web page on its site. The new page lists the number of COVID-19 outbreaks amongst residents and staff at long-term care facilities in Illinois. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Farmers were able to get some planting done before the weekend rain hit as we hear in the weekly crop report. 18 percent of soybean acres have now been planted, up from 2 percent the previous week says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 6 percent of winter wheat has headed and 63 percent of the crop is rated in good to excellent condition. And thanks to above normal rainfall, average statewide topsoil moisture is now rated at 1 percent short, 79 percent adequate and 20 percent surplus.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Small business owners are able to get help paying employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City talks about the additional funding for the paycheck protection program and how small businesses can apply…

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Woodland-jm) -- An Iroquois County bridge will be under construction beginning next month. Starting May 4th County Highway 40 at 1400 N road, near the west edge of Woodland will be closed for bridge reconstruction. The project is expected to be completed in late October.

 

 

(Gifford-jm) -- Some fees for students in the Gifford Grade School District will be going up. Textbook fees will go up from $55 to $65, breakfast fees will go up from $1.30 to $1.50 and lunch fees will go up from $2.40 to $2.50. Athletic fees will remain the same at $15 per sport.

 

 

(Gilman-jm) -- Gilman is moving forward with their annual clean up days. The dates for this year’s clean up is May 13-15 says Mayor Rick Theesfield…

 

Gilman Mayor Rick Theesfield.

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Investigators believe a fire at a Mexican restaurant and grocery store in Rantoul was arson. The fire took place in the early morning hours of April 13th  at the business on North Garrard Street. The fire caused several hundred thousand dollars in damage. Anyone with information is asked to call Champaign County Crime Stoppers at 373-TIPS.

 

 

(Ford County-jm) -- Ford County mobile home tax owners are being reminded their tax bills are due soon. Ford County Treasurer Krisha Shoemaker says the bills are due May 1st…

 

 

Ford County Treasurer Krisha Shoemaker. Shoemaker says right now the county does not have plans in place at this time to address if someone can’t pay their bill May 1st because of the Coronavirus pandemic. Taxes can be dropped in the box in front of the courthouse or postmarked by May 1st.

 

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Governor J-B Pritzker says Illinois may not see the peak of Covid-19 until mid-May

(Springfield-jm) -- As unemployment claims in Illinois reach historic numbers during the COVID-19 outbreak, some households are working to manage debts. More than 600,000 Illinoisans have filed for unemployment since early March. That's about 5 times more unemployment claims than during the first 6 weeks of the Great Recession. Nathan Grant, senior credit industry analyst with the website Credit Card Insider, said the first step for those in debt should be to reach out to lenders, credit cards and banks. Grant said it would be financially smart to use some of the money people aren’t spending at bars and restaurants to pay down high-interest loans. Grant suggested using any federal stimulus money for the same purpose.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- With more than 33 thousand confirmed cases of COVID-19, Governor J-B Pritzker says Illinois may not see the peak until mid-May. The numbers continue to rise, including 119 additional deaths. The current stay at home order ends April 30th, and the Governor says they are looking at ways to tweak it moving forward…

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Governor Pritzker says he has ruled out opening everything back up on May 1st, since there still isn’t enough testing and tracking available. The virus has now been confirmed in all but six Illinois counties. Locally, Champaign County is reporting their 96th confirmed case, Livingston County is reporting their 18th confirmed case and Kankakee County is reporting 10 new cases and one additional death. Governor Pritzker will give his daily briefing at 2:30 this afternoon. We will have the latest numbers tonight on our news at 4 and 5.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Area counties are reporting COVID-19 recoveries and releases from isolation. Vermilion County is reporting six of their cases are released from isolation while Livingston County is reporting 16 released from isolation. Champaign County is reporting 79 of their cases have recovered while McLean County is reporting 73 recoveries and Kankakee County is reporting 65 recoveries.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says the state is offering more help for student loan borrowers and low income families struggling during the pandemic. The Governor says the state has secured relief options with 20 student loan providers…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Additionally, households receiving SNAP benefits will get a boost automatically added to their link cards. Families not receiving SNAP, but whose kids receive free or reduced meals at school will be able to apply for benefits at: abe dot illinois dot gov as early as next week.

 

 

(Iroquois County-jm) -- The Iroquois County Emergency Management is promoting resources available during the COVID-19 pandemic. WPXN’s Cale Fleming has the details for senior citizens…

 

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Planting season is underway in Illinois. After a low crop season last year and trade wars with China causing market uncertainty, what will central Illinois farmers plant? Champaign County Farm Bureau Manager Brad Uken provides some possible insight…

 

 

Champaign County Farm Bureau Manager Brad Uken.

 

 

(Fisher-jm) -- The Village of Fisher will spend just over $81,400 on road projects this year. In a 6-0 vote, the village set aside over $46,400 for seal coating and $29,450 for miscellaneous road repair projects.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A state lawmaker wants the U.S. Congress to allow the people of Illinois to sue China for damages from the COVID-19 pandemic. State Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer, R-Jacksonville, earlier this month introduced two resolutions that he said would compel the People's Republic of China to pay the state of Illinois for damages caused by the virus by urging Congress to lift the sovereign immunity clause. Some have said that allowing people in the U.S. to sue China could open the U.S. up to legal actions from other countries.

 

 

 

(Ford County-jm) -- Some area counties reported no new cases Tuesday. Ford, Iroquois and Vermilion Counties all reported no new cases. The Ford County Public Health did announce that one of their previously reported cases was at a congregate living facility.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- As families spend more time together, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is reminding parents about the A-B-C’s of safe sleep. It all comes down to a few basics says DCFS Spokesperson Deborah Lopez…

 

 

DCFS Spokesperson Deborah Lopez. Lopez says the baby’s crib should have a firm mattress with tightly-fitted sheets and no pillows, blankets, stuffed animals or bumper pads. Unsafe sleep practices are the leading cause of death for children one year old and younger.

 

 

(Gifford-jm) -- One area business affected by the COVID-19 pandemic is Gordyville. Spokesperson Jody Quiram says they’ve canceled all events in April but are looking at future events on a week by week basis…

 

 

Gordyville Spokesperson Jody Quiram.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Last week was a cold and wet week. How does the outlook for the remainder of April and beyond look? State Climatologist Trent Ford has the details…

 

 

State Climatologist Trent Ford.

 

 

(Ludlow-jm) -- The Ludlow village board has given the green light to issue revenue bonds for the new water system project. At their monthly meeting, the village board approved the bonds not to exceed $940,000 to pay for their share of the new system. The project is estimated to cost $2.85 million. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- This is Work Zone Awareness Week and the Illinois Department of Transportation asks drivers to be careful and pay attention. There are less drivers on the roads these days, but that’s meant more speeders, says IDOT Spokesperson Maria Castaneda…

 

 

IDOT Spokesperson Maria Castaneda. The fine for speeding in a work zone is at least 250 dollars. Hit a worker and you face a fine of up to 25 thousand dollars and jail time.

 

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All but seven Illinois counties now have patients with confirmed Coronavirus infections

(Springfield-jm) -- Some state and federal lawmakers have questioned Illinois Senate Democrats' request for a $41 billion bailout from the federal government for state and local governments amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Federal lawmakers have approved and implemented several relief packages. One package included nearly $5 billion for Illinois to deal with the public health crisis. State Senate President Don Harmon’s request seeks $15 billion for the state, $10 billion for state pensions, $6 billion for unemployment, $1 billion for public health spending and $9.6 billion for municipalities. U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis of Taylorville said Illinois’ financial problems were around before the COVID-19 outbreak.

 

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(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois has lost 59 more people to the Coronavirus. That brings the total number of deaths to one thousand 349 and total cases now surpass 31 thousand. Governor J-B Pritzker says nearly 46 hundred of those patients are currently in the hospital…

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The Governor cautions that it does not appear that Illinois has hit its peak yet. All but seven Illinois counties now have patients with confirmed Coronavirus infections. Ford County is reporting a new case of COVID 19, a male in his 80s. Vermilion County is also reporting a new case, a teenager. Kankakee County is reporting four new cases and one additional death.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The USDA has approved new benefits to feed kids in Illinois. The Illinois Department of Human Services announced that Illinois has been approved to provide approximately 316,000 Illinois households with additional SNAP benefits. The Pandemic EBT program will provide SNAP households in Illinois with roughly $112 million in additional benefits for their children.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Soybean planting has begun in Illinois. Farmers are getting some time in the fields, with about four days suitable for fieldwork last week says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Two percent of winter wheat has headed and 68 percent of the crop is rated in good to excellent condition. Average statewide topsoil moisture is rated as one percent very short. Five percent short, 84 percent adequate and 10 percent surplus.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- IDOT is reminding drivers of the width restriction over a bridge on I-57 in Ford County. Because of the work on the I-57 bridge south of Paxton, the maximum width allowed is 10 feet 5 inches. Over the past few weeks, over width loads have attempted to drive through the zone and got stuck. All the loads were driving off their permitted route and disregarded the warning signs placed near Paxton and Rantoul. Each driver was issued citations.

 

 

(Fisher-jm) -- The Fisher School District is mourning the loss of a long time educator. The district announced the passing of Christine Jamison. Jamison was a special education teacher for the district for 13 years.

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- An area lawmaker is encouraging the Governor to look at all parts of the state when considering re-opening the state’s economy. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman says the Governor shouldn’t take a one size fits all approach to re-opening the state…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  Rantoul police are seeking information on the whereabouts of a person who drove a car into a fire hydrant at the corner of Urbana Avenue and Eagle Drive early Monday morning.  The Dodge Durango S-U-V came to rest near a building. The vehicle was on fire as Rantoul Fire Department officials arrived on the scene. No injuries were reported. If you have any information on this incident you are asked to call Rantoul police or Champaign County Crimestoppers. 

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Students around the state are adapting to changes following Governor J-B Pritzker’s order to close schools because of the Coronavirus. Rantoul Township High School Superintendent Scott Amerio talks about how his district is handling the crisis…

 

Rantoul Township High School Superintendent Scott Amerio.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Due to the stay at home order, the homeless population has slowly dwindled from once popular spots, such as the gas station or the downtown library. Local outreach programs for those without shelter, like Helping the Homeless, and social services, like United Way, continue to serve the homeless throughout the COVID-19 pandemic stay at home order. 

 

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Senate Republicans are calling for greater communication from the governor’s office when he commutes prison sentences, but Governor JB Pritzker has not indicated he will make any voluntary changes to the process, which is spelled out in state law and also goes through the state Prisoner Review Board. The Chicago Tribune reported Pritzker commuted 17 sentences between March 11 and April 9. Another two commutations were conducted on April 13, according to the Prisoner Review Board. The Pritzker administration also faced a lawsuit from civil rights activists seeking the release of thousands more prisoners due to health concerns earlier this month, but a judge denied the request to intervene. According to the IDOC website, as of Monday, 148 incarcerated individuals had tested positive for COVID-19 in Illinois prisons, 62 of whom have recovered, and 135 prison staff had tested positive for the virus, 35 of whom have recovered.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says the state is working to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus in Illinois nursing homes. Facilities have already limited or banned visitors and boosted sanitization efforts. Public Health Officials have been deployed to nursing homes with outbreaks of the virus. Now, Governor J-B Pritzker says the state is ramping up testing, even at facilities where there are currently no cases...

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Infection data for Illinois long term care facilities is available online at: dph dot illinois dot gov slash COVID19.


 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois soon could run out of state funds to pay jobless benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic. A new study produced by the Tax Foundation has found the state to be one of the least prepared for an economic crisis like the one the country is experiencing. Illinois has enough to pay out about 11 weeks of benefits before borrowing. That places the state 40th in the country in terms of how many weeks a state’s trust fund can cover. The ranking is based on 2020 fund solvency levels and initial and continuing claims as of April 4.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Soybean planting has begun in Illinois. Two percent of soybeans and eight percent of corn has now been planted. That’s a little ahead of last year. Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener turns to the winter wheat crop…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Rain was below normal last week and average statewide topsoil moisture is rated as one percent very short, five percent short, 84 percent adequate and 10 percent surplus.

 

 

 

(Savoy-jm) -- The University of Illinois Police Department reports damage was done at the U of I Willard Airport in Savoy. An employee said that on Thursday night, someone caused about $1,000 in damage to a chain-link gate that provides access to the tarmac. Security camera footage showed the suspect had tried, unsuccessfully, to ram the gate with his vehicle.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A Paxton business will be selling hand sanitizer from their parent company. Scott Allen, owner of Paxton Hardware and Rental says True Value has started their own brand…

 

 

Paxton Hardware and Rental Owner Scott Allen.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- At least $36 million will be offered in new, targeted financial aid to help students within the U of I System. The Students FIRST : COVID-19 Emergency Fund will help defray tuition, housing and other costs for undergraduate and graduate students experiencing unexpected shortfalls. The U of I System says financial aid for students from Illinois will be a priority, including a guarantee to cover next year’s tuition increase for every new in-state undergraduate student.

 

 

(Ford County-jm) -- Ford County mobile home tax owners are being reminded their tax bills are due soon. Ford County Treasurer Krisha Shoemaker says the bills are due May 1st…

 

Ford County Treasurer Krisha Shoemaker. Shoemaker says right now the county does not have plans in place at this time to address if someone can’t pay their bill May 1st because of the Coronavirus pandemic. Taxes can be dropped in the box in front of the courthouse or postmarked by May 1st.

 

(Undated-jm) -- The annual Lyrid meteor shower will peak this week. The meteor shower, which is usually active in mid-April, will peak tonight into the early morning hours tomorrow, EarthSky reports. As many as 10 to 20 shooting stars per hour are expected to light up the night sky.

 

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