Thursday July 12 2018

LINCOLN, Ill. (AP) — A small aircraft made an emergency landing on the northbound lanes of Interstate 55 just north of Lincoln, Illinois.

Illinois State Police said William J. Farnsley of Austin, Indiana, was trying to land his single-engine Cessna 182B at the Logan County Airport on Wednesday afternoon when it lost power.Farnsley was forced to make an emergency landing on the interstate, striking a passenger vehicle. The passengers in the auto, 42-year-old Jeremy Campwerth of O'Fallon, and a 9-year-old boy, were not injured.


CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Southern Illinois University's president has received a vote of no confidence from the faculty senate at the school's Carbondale campus. The resolution passed by a vote of 25 to 1. It  accuses Randy Dunn of working to undermine the SIU system and urges the Board of Trustees to remove him as soon as possible.The faculty senate vote comes in the wake of failed efforts by members of the board of trustees in June to place Dunn on administrative leave.


(Schaumburg--jc)  More reaction from state leaders over the new announcement of new tariffs on goods from China. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says his meetings with Japanese officials this week that tariffs will cost Illinois jobs…


Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner



SPRINGFIELD – As bats become more active, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is reminding people to beware of potentially rabid bats and other animals. So far this year, 17 bats have tested positive for rabies State Veterinarian Connie Austin says its just better to stay away from bats…



State Veterinarian Connie Austin.


(Champaign County--jc)  -- The Champaign County Fair Association is set to host its 60th annual Queen Pageant on Sunday. The event is set for Champaign’s City Center at 2 in the afternoon on July 15th. The current reigning queen is Claire Smith of St Joseph. The fair’s initial queen, Lois Woods is set to be the guest speaker. The reigning Little Miss Champaign County is Jordynn Huskisson of Fisher. WPXN will be broadcasting live from the Champaign County Fair later this month


(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois’ police forces may not give out the most speeding tickets but when they do, state laws make them some of the most expensive in the nation.A new report by financial service company WalletHub found that Illinois comes down the harder on speeders than nearly any other state but it has some of the harshest penalties in the nation. It was tied with three other states for eighth-strictest overall and fourth in terms of speeding enforcement, behind only Virginia, Arizona and New Mexico. It ranked fourth in the nation in terms of WalletHub’s “speeding enforcement” rankings. That’s based on threshold for an automatic reckless driving ticket, average hike in insurance premium after a ticket, and how much a speeding ticket counts toward a suspension.


The I & I Historic Farm Days in Penfield kicks off today and runs through Sunday. The event will Feature Oliver & Hart Parr tractors and implements along with White and Cockshutt tractors. Daily attractions include the I & I museum, blacksmith shop, Log Cabin display, food vendors and flea market. Daily Demonstrations include, threshing & baling, sawmill, potato digging, wheat harvesting, corn crib filling and shelling. Friday night is the Marvin Lee & Logan Kirby Country Music Show. Saturday afternoon you can hear the country classics from Wes Wheeler and the Battle Creek Band. Saturday night is the IPA tractor pull with a steam engine spark show and fireworks to follow. On Sunday Marvin Lee will lead the community church service at the old Penfield church on the show grounds. Come on out to Penfield to experience the history of farming and reminisce about the good ol days.



The 77th Annual Fisher Community Fair continues today. The open Sheep Show begins at 8am. Bingo in Glades hall from 1-3. A free concert from 6-9 featuring Casey Burton in the Commercial Building. Tonight features a new event at the Fair, Donkey races at 7pm. You won’t want to miss it.



(Paxton--jc)  The Paxton Buckley Loda School Board will hear an update on the Clara Petersen School project when they meet tonight. Local school board members may go into executive session to discuss collective bargaining issues. The P-B-L School board meets tonight at 6 at the high school in Paxton



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


(Taylorville--jc)  -- One central Illinois congressman behind an effort to make the recent federal individual income tax cuts permanent says other things took top billing this summer, but hopes to bring it back this fall.  U.S. Representative Rodney Davis, Republican from Taylorville made the comments will visiting Roland Machinery in Springfield. Davis says cutting federal income tax will help spur business and jobs.


(Paxton--jc)  -- The appropriations ordinance is now set for the next fiscal year for the city of Paxton. Local leaders passed the annual measure this week. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold says the budget looks good for Paxton…



Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

Ingold also said some positive economic development news is coming soon with new business in the city.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Veterans will get the first opportunity to check out job openings for dozens of corporations Friday in Springfield.The American Legion, alongside the Illinois Department of Employment Security, the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Guard Employment Support Program, are hosting the event at the Bank of Springfield Center in Springfield.IDES spokesman Bob Gough said many companies are looking for employees.


(Springfield--jc)  -- The Illinois State Fire Marshal is offering some tips when using your grill. State Fire Marshal Matt Perez says you should keep the grill clean and remove all grease or fat build up…



State Fire Marshall Matt Perez.


(Loda-dg)- A 2 vehicle accident in rural Ford County has claimed the life of a Loda woman. Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup said that Lori Whitfield age 54 was pronounced dead at 12:57pm at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana. According to the police reports, Ms. Whitfield was in a vehicle headed south on County Rd. 1600 E between Paxton and Ludlow just before noon Wednesday when it hit a Dodge Ram truck as it entered the intersection at County Rd 100 N. The death is under investigation by the Champaign County coroner’s office and the Ford County Sheriff’s Office.



(Washington--jc)  Sporadic rains in some areas may help corn and soybeans bear up under another wave of heat over the next 7 days. Gary Crawford has the story…



URBANA — A Rantoul man will serve 15 years in prison  concerning an incident where a Rantoul man died after a fight. The Rantoul Press reports that 27 year old Jarvis Garrett of Rantoul pleaded guilty Wednesday to second-degree murder for the January 18 death of 21 year old Fate Young  of Rantoul. A more serious charges of first-degree murder, was dismissed in the case. Rantoul police investigated the murder and informed the court that the fight was over a drug debt.


(Fisher--jc)  The 20-18 Fisher Community Fair continues today and through the weekend. Fisher Fair Queen Alissa Wilcoxon of Ogden says one reason she entered the pageant is she loves the Fisher Fair…



Wilcoxin says she will be busy now through the Demo Derby on Saturday night…



20-18 Fisher Community Fair Queen Alissa Wilcoxon.



(Rantoul--jc)  -- It’s another movie in the park tomorrow night in the village of Rantoul. Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Belynda Allen says the movie is Peter Rabbit…



Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Belynda Allen.

Someone attending the film will win tickets to Knights Action Park courtesy of WPXN radio.






Wednesday July 11 2018

(Northern Illinois--jc)  Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner was Schaumburg on Tuesday to talk about the partnership with Japan. At the event the governor stated the importance of the partnership with the country of Japan…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner

The governor was also asked his position on the nomination of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the U S Supreme court…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner




HUNTLEY, Ill. (AP) — The milk giant Dean Foods is closing one of its Illinois facilities this year.The Texas-based corporation's Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act letter says 131 people will lose their jobs when the Huntley dairy plant and office close in September. The layoffs will occur Sept. 14-28, The Northwest Herald reported. Employees of the Huntley plant expressed disappointment, but declined to comment to the newspaper.



(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois Auditor General Frank Mautino is under federal investigation, won’t testify to the elections board and can’t run for office again because his now defunct campaign committee hasn’t paid a fine for wrong doing The taxpayer complaint against Mautino is likely headed back to court after the Illinois State Board of Elections deadlocked Tuesday on whether the complaint has merit.The case stems from tens of thousands of dollars in questionable campaign spending from when Mautino was a state Representative. The case has been going on for over two years.



(Rantoul--jc)  -- Summer is here and that means farmers markets. One week from today the Rantoul Farmer’s Market returns. The local Farmers Market location is at the corner of Garrard Street and Congress Avenue in the village. The time is every other Wednesday from 4pm to 7pm. Those attending the Rantoul Farmers Market can expect a wide variety of produce to other food items



ELGIN, Ill. (AP) — A Chicago suburb will consider raising the minimum age to buy tobacco and nicotine products following a letter from a 9-year-old requesting the mayor help people stop smoking. The Elgin City Council will consider raising the minimum age from 18 to 21 on Wednesday, The Courier-Newsreported.




(Champaign County--jc)  -- Interstate 74 between Danville and Champaign continues to see  a large number of accidents. A portion of the road is currently under construction. Illinois State Police District 10 Spokesperson  Tracy Lillard says those who know the roadway need to pay attention, especially in the work zones…


Illinois State Police District 10 Spokesperson Tracy Lillard.



(Springfield--jc)  -- Gregory Smith whos is the top state official at the Illinois Lottery is leaving to take a higher paying job running Connecticut's lottery.The Illinois lottery is under new private manager Camelot after ending a rocky relationship with Northstar earlier this year. Northstar was the first private manager for Illinois’ lottery after lawmakers required the program be privatized in 2009. Northstar was ultimately fired by Gov. Bruce Rauner after he took office in 2015 because it did not generate revenue to match targeted goals.


(Washington--jc)  Most bulk exports are down, with one exception. U-S-D-A Economist Bryce Cooke has the numbers…



U-S-D-A Economist Bryce Cooke



Chicago--jc)  -- Suicide rates in Illinois have increased by nearly 25 percent, mirroring national trends.With a state total of 1,415 suicides in Illinois in 2016, it’s becoming increasingly clear to advocates and experts that awareness is only half the battle. The state’s suicide rate increased about 23 percent from 1999 to 2016. Nationally, the rate increased about 25 percent over the same period.Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in Illinois last year and the numbers are greater for young people. Those is the 15 to 34 age group its the third leading cause of death  and the 4th leading cause of death for those 35 to 54. The number of suicides in 2016 is actually higher than homicide.



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




(Chicago--jc)  -- Abortion advocates blasted Governor Bruce Rauner at a news conference Tuesday morning for failing to sign a pledge to protect a controversial bill that allows taxpayer money to be used for abortions. Personal PAC President Terry Cosgrove took Rauner to task at the event in Chicago, the morning after President Donald Trump announced his latest Supreme Court pick. Personal PAC is a political action committee focused on electing candidates who support abortion rights. Cosgrove said that the governor hasn’t signed a pledge sent to him by Personal PAC stating that he would protect the law as it is under House Bill 40.


(Rantoul--jc)  -- Rantoul fire officials say a Tuesday afternoon fire at an unoccupied trailer in the village is suspicious in nature. The trailer was located at 12-18 Sycamore and the Heritage Estates Trailer Park. Rantoul Firefighters were called to the scene around 3-30 Tuesday afternoon. The Rantoul Press reports that neighbors saw kids breaking into the trailer earlier this week. Gifford and Thomasboro firefighters provided mutual aid at the scene. No damage estimates were given.


(Gibson City--jc)  -- Managing a passed budget is on the mind of one local state representative. 106th district State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says passing a 38 Billion dollar budget is one thing, making sure the budget works for Illinoisans is another issue…



106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.


Alyssa Wilcoxon was crowned Miss Fisher Fair Queen last night. Paige Ferguson was crowned Jr. Miss Fair Queen and MacKenzie Bonham was crowned Little Miss Fair Queen. It’s Kids Day today at the Fisher Community Fair. WPXN will be broadcasting live during the kids games starting at 9am. Bingo at Glades Hall from 1-3pm. Tonight is a free concert from 6-9 featuring Jim Kates. The Ehler Brothers IPA & ITPA Tractor Pulls begin at 6pm. $22 arm bands on the Midway from 6-10 pm.

The American Red Cross is holding a blood drive today from 1-6 pm at the American Lutheran Church in Gibson City.


Several small Champaign County communities are still mourning the loss of an area businessman. Lorin Schluter of rural Armstrong died as a result of a vehicle crash on Saturday. Lorin had operated Bibbs restaurant in Gifford and was currently running Bibbs out of the Wyndam Hotel off of Lincoln Ave. in Champaign. Lorin will always be remembered for his generosity. His funeral is at 10am this morning at the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Flatville.




(Schaumburg--jc)  -- Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner was asked on Tuesday about the tariff tiff between the United States and China. The Governor  says he is favor of getting better agreements that benefits Illinoisans, but realizes no one wins in a tariff battle.


Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner.



(Cissna Park--jc)  One local town library re-opened to the public on Tuesday. Officials with the Cissna Park Community Library were busy over recent weeks working on a book shelf project.  Summer hours at the Cissna Park Community Library are 8am to 2pm Wednesdays Fridays and Saturdays and 8am to 6pm Tuesdays and Thursdays. During the Summer the Cissna Park Community Library is closed on Sundays and Mondays.


(Springfield--jc)  -- The state continues to accept nominations for the Governor’s Hometown awards. The awards are given annually to communities for food drives, beautification projects and more. Serve Illinois Executive Director Scott McFarland says interested towns and cities need to apply…



Serve Illinois Executive Director  Scott McFarland.

The deadline to apply is August First.



(Fisher--jc)  -- When Fisher Village leaders meet Thursday night, they will consider a sidewalk project on Heritage drive and also a project to resurface the tennis courts in town.  Fisher Village board members are also expected to approved the purchase of property at 418 North First Street at a cost of 185 thousand dollars. The Fisher village board meets on Thursday night at 6 at the Fisher Community Center.



(Hoopeston--jc)  The Save the Lorraine Theatre Group is hosting a Trivia night later this month. The event is set for Saturday July 28th at 6pm. A donation of 10 dollars per person is requested and those interested may come alone or make up a 5 member team. Proceeds benefit the local theatre.



(Paxton-jc)  -- One Paxton business is hosting Business after Hours event later this month. Insurance Providers Group is sponsoring the chamber event at the Market Street Tap in downtown Paxton on the 24th from 5-30 to 7pm. An open bar and appetizers hilite the event.




Tuesday July 10 2018

(Lake Iroquois--jc)  -- Illinois Environmental Protection Agency officials were at Lake Iroquois on Monday to take samples of the water to be tested this week, after thousands of fish were found dead on Sunday. One local theory is lake turnover, which causes reduced oxygen in the water. Another is the extreme warm weather and a cooler period over the weekend causing water issues. It may take an extended period for E-P-A officials to determine the cause of the dead fish.


(Chicago--jc)  --Illinois taxpayers paid for nearly four times more abortions in the first six months of 2018 than the year before and one state lawmakers expects the total number to eventually be much larger.Records of the number of abortion reimbursement requests Illinois News Network obtained through an open records request from the Illinois Department of Health and Family Services showed 84 abortions from January to June last year. The same time period this year, there were 314 abortions. That’s a 274 percent increase of taxpayer-funded abortions.State Rep. Peter Breen, who opposed taxpayer-funded abortions, said the state law he’s challenging in the courts that went into effect Jan. 1 is the cause


(Fisher--jc)  -- It’s the 77th Annual Fisher Community Fair July 10th through the 14th. Fun for the entire family. Today is Military Day and the Queen Pageant. Wednesday is Kids Day and WPXN will be there helping with kids games at 9am. Wednesday evening is the IPA & ITPA Tractor Pull. Thursday night is the all new Donkey races. Friday night is the Feudin Hillbillies and Brushville, and Saturday is the ever popular Demolition Derby.


(Paxton--jc)  -- U.S. President Donald Trump has made his nomination to the nation’s highest court. Retired Ford County Circuit Judge Steve Pacey says Justice Kavanaugh would be more conservative and has been through the nomination process for his current position...



Retired Ford County Circuit Judge Steve Pacey.


(Washington--jc)  -- How is the silking process looking for corn around the nation. U-S-D-A Meteorologist Brad Rippy has the details…


U-S-D-A Meteorologist Brad Rippy



(Paxton--jc)  -- Ford County Public Health Department is urging residents to be aware of West Nile virus activity in their area and take steps to protect themselves and their family from West Nile virus and other mosquito borne diseases. West Nile virus is transmitted to people by infected mosquitoes. Seasonal outbreaks often occur in local areas that can vary from year to year. Many factors impact when and where outbreaks occur, such as weather, numbers of mosquitoes that spread the virus, and human behavior. The best way to prevent West Nile virus disease is to avoid mosquito bites and to practice the three “R’s” They are to Reduce the time around mosquitoes, use proper Repellant and Report any suspicious birds or ponds.


(Paxton--jc)  -- Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce officials say a ribbon cutting ceremony is set for a new business n the city.  The event is set for Little Chef Diner on the city’s west side on Tuesday July 31st at 2pm. City leaders and chamber officials will be in attendance. The Little Chef Diner has been opened in the former Pizza Hut building for several months.


(Rantoul--dg)  -- Local State Senator Scott Bennett will be in the Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce office today for his regular second Tuesday of the month office hours from noon 1pm. If you have anything you would like to talk to Senator Bennett about or hear his thoughts on feel free to drop by.


BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) — The mayor of a central Illinois city is dropping plans for an ordinance that would recognize the importance of local immigrants. Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner released a statement hours before a special meeting on Monday, saying there isn't enough support in city council. He canceled the meeting. The mayor says the policies should directly address concerns by residents who might be afraid to report crimes because of their legal status.Some groups in Bloomington say there should be limits to collaboration between police and the federal government.


(Rantoul--jc)  When Rantoul Village leaders meet tonight they are expected to talk about filling some vacant positions. Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith has been looking for a person to fill the village board vacancy since the departure of Rich Medlin. Other vacant positions include Village Administrator after Rick Snider moved to the East Coast. Another vacancy is the Rantoul Economic Development Director. The Rantoul Village Board meets at 6 with both the study session and regular meeting.



(Ludlow--jc)  -- A Friday in August is the tentative date for volunteers to  put in now playground equipment in one area town. Ludlow Grade School officials are  using a nearly 26 thousand dollar grant for the project. Volunteers are needed to help with the bags of concrete and bricks for the project. Anyone interested is asked to call the school



(Gibson City--dg)  

The American Red Cross is holding a blood drive Wednesday from 1-6 pm at the American Lutheran Church in Gibson City.


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


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The FBI is investigating the death of an Illinois prison inmate. In a statement, Illinois Department of Corrections spokeswoman Lindsey Hess says the incident occurred on May 17 at the Western Illinois Correctional Center in Mount Sterling. Hess says the inmate was airlifted to a regional hospital, placed in intensive care and later died. But she declined to provide any details about the incident. The statement says that "several" staff members have been placed on administrative leave and that "any activity that compromises" the safety of both staff and offenders will not be tolerated.The FBI has only said that the investigation is ongoing.



BOSTON (AP) — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is among 11 Democratic state attorneys general seeking information about "no-poach" agreements meant to block employees from leaving one fast food franchise to work for another franchise in the same chain.  Madigan says the agreements limit the ability of low-wage workers to seek promotions and earn a better living.



Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan

The consensus of the attorneys general is that 80 percent of fast food franchisors have no-poach agreements. The attorneys general have sent a letter to Arby's, Burger King, Dunkin' Donuts, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Little Caesars, Panera Bread, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen and Wendy's seeking copies of franchise agreements by Aug. 6.


CHICAGO (AP) — An American Airlines flight from Chicago to Tokyo was forced to return to O'Hare International Airport due to a cracked windshield.An airline spokeswoman says the Boeing 787-8 aircraft was carrying 164 passengers and 13 crew members at the time of the Monday incident. The airliner made an emergency landing minutes after taking off.



(Springfield--jc)  The death of President Lincoln was voted as the most heartbreaking moments in Illinois over the past 200 years. The Lincoln assassination, the Chicago fire in 1871 and flooding in 1993 top the list says Spokesperson Chris Wills.



Chris Wills with the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield

The next list for Bicentennial voters is the state’s top musician. Vote at Illinois-top-200-dot-com.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Amid repeated harassment allegations in Springfield, a transparency group says Illinois open records laws are what were lacking and were never addressed. Illinois lawmakers are largely exempt from open records laws and not subject to Freedom of Information Act requests. One reason for this is that individual members of the House and Senate are individuals, not public bodies.  It was that exception that helped shield them from the public amid anonymous allegations of harassment by hundreds of women and a handful who publicly named their alleged harassers. Eric Bradach, spokesman with the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, said information about inappropriate behavior by lawmakers had to be released by the women who accused them.



(Potomac--jc)  One local service group is hosting a camp for youth who have lost a loved one, relative or friend. Gateway Family Services will host the the camp Saturday July 20th at their grounds near Potomac. Camp Braveheart will run from 8am till 4pm on the 20th. Campers will get to see horses, do art, and more. The 25 dollar fee also includes lunch and a Camp Braveheart-Shirt.



(Springfield--jc)  -- It was a record breaking year for Illinois State Treasurer Mike Frerichs I-Cash Program. State Treasurer Frerichs says his office returned 180 Million dollars to rightful owners over the past year…



Illinois State Treasurer Mike Frerichs.

In all, over 116 thousand claims were paid out over the past year.


(Watseka--jc)  --The Iroquois County Historical Society’s “Market on the Museum Lawn” is continuing each Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This is free to anyone who would like to set up on the museum grounds in  Watseka. Interested parties may use the free space to sell produce, food items, handcrafted items to garage sale-type items. This event is not to be confused with the farmers’ market which takes place each Saturday in the First Trust and Savings Bank parking lot.

Anyone who would like to participate can call the museum at 815-432-2215.


(July 9, 2018) — An emergency blood shortage is prompting the American Red Cross to issue an urgent call for eligible donors of all blood types – especially type O – to give now and help save lives. The Red Cross escalated its call for blood and platelet donors after a difficult Independence Day week for donations. More than 550 fewer blood drives were organized by businesses and other community groups last week than during a typical week as individuals across the country celebrated the holiday and enjoyed summer activities. This could equate to as many as 15,000 fewer donations than needed, causing donations to now be distributed to hospitals faster than they come in. To donate call 1-800-RED-CROSS.


(Paxton--jc)  -- Ford County Sheriff’s police investigate several domestic abuse accusations in Roberts over the past two weeks. County police were also called to two accidents near Paxton, one on the 20th of June the other on the 22nd of June. A criminal damage to property report was made June 22nd in rural Rankin. Police also handled a violation of order of protection in Kempton and a motorccle accident on the 4th of July. Ford County Sheriff Mark Doran provides WPXN news with a weekly look at the sheriff departments activities.


(Penfield--dg)  -- The I & I Historic Farm Days in Penfield will be held this week starting Thursday and continuing through Sunday.  The event will Feature Oliver & Hart Parr tractors and implements along with White and Cockshutt tractors. Daily attractions include the I & I museum, blacksmith shop, Log Cabin display, food vendors and flea market. Daily Demonstrations include, threshing & baling, sawmill, potato digging, wheat harvesting, corn crib filling and shelling. Friday night is the Marvin Lee & Logan Kirby Country Music Show. Saturday afternoon you can hear the country classics from Wes Wheeler and the Battle Creek Band. Saturday night is the IPA tractor pull with a steam engine spark show and fireworks to follow. On Sunday Marvin Lee will lead the community church service at the old Penfield church on the show grounds.  Check out information on line at


(Champaign--jc)  Could the weather patterns over the next week cause some concerns for area farmers. State Climatologist Jim Angel with the Illinois Water Survey in Champaign says some soils will need a rain soon…



State Climatologist Jim Angel with the Illinois Water Survey in Champaign. 



Monday July 9 2018

(Lake Iroquois--jc) Illinois Conservation police continue to look into dead fish at Lake Iroquois that happened over the weekend. Authorities say thousands of fish were found floating at areas in the lake. WPXN news will update this story as more official news becomes available



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A year after Illinois lawmakers ended a historic state budget impasse, social service agencies and other providers hardest hit by funding cuts say they're just starting to recover.The providers said some rate increases approved in fiscal 2018 and 2019 isn't enough to undo all the damage. Services have been reduced across the state says Judith Gethner, executive director of Chicago-based Illinois Partners for Human Service.



(Chicago--jc)  If you were driving to Chicago on Saturday, you may have seen a traffic interruption  along Interstate 94. The leader of an anti-violence march that shut down a Chicago freeway says the protest by thousands of participants was held to draw attentions to gun violence. A one and a half mile portion of I-94 was shut down for three hours on the Dan Ryan Expressway. Organizers hope the protest will bring some solutions to gun violence in the state.



(Bloomington--jc)  -- 14 thousand dollars was raised at a rowing marathon for Special Olympics of Illinois. The Pantagraph reports that 22 teams and a total of 250 participants spent the day rowing on Saturday in Bloomington. The money raised goes to train athletes.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois Governor’s Hometown Awards recognize communities that take on service projects and enhance the quality of life for residents. Illinois Executive Director Scott McFarland says now is the time to apply online…



Illinois Executive Director Scott McFarland



(Chicago--jc)  -- If a suburban lawmaker has her way, this would be the last year that Illinoisans celebrated America’s independence with little more than snakes and sparklers. Illinois is one of four states in the country that ban the purchase and use of all but the most benign fireworks. State Representative Barb Wheeler said her legislation she filed last week would legalize fireworks similar to what is done in Kentucky and nearly every other state in the country.



ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Allegations of conflicts of interest against a Michigan company may slow a nationwide response to outbreaks of deadly Legionnaires' disease. Ann Arbor-based nonprofit research company N-S-F International has been coordinating work to develop new plumbing standards to reduce the growth of legionella bacteria . Company officials say no conflict of interest is happening, but others disagree. 13 residents at a state run nursing home in Quincy have died from the disease.4pm New



(Rantoul--jc)  -- School lunch fees, setting a budget hearing and a look at summer school are all agenda items for the Rantoul Township High School board of Education meeting tonight. Board members will also hear about an open campus incentive program and a report on summer renovation projects are also topics. The Rantoul Township High School Board of Education meeting comes to order at 7 tonight at the high school.




(Taylorville--jc)  -- One central Illinois congressman said the tariff  between the U.S. and other countries is hurting America’s breadbasket and that he wants to see results the administration's policies. The position from the Trump administration in Washington is the U.S. has been taken advantage of for years with massive trade deficits. This morning American tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese imports were met with tariffs on billions of dollars of American exports to China.  Two major American products China is now taxing are corn and soybeans, which affect Illinois farmers. U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, Republican from Taylorville says that while he has concerns about the impact tariffs have on Illinois farmers, he has been told by his constituents to have patience. Davis wants to see results, good ones for area farmers.


(West LaFayette--jc)  -- The Ford County Fair is complete, up next is the Fisher Fair this coming week, and the Iroquois and Champaign County Fairs later this month. Purdue University Extension Advisor Bethany Funnel says its important for show animals to have the proper vaccinations…


Purdue University Extension Advisor  Bethany Funnel


(Paxton--jc)  -- When the Paxton City Council meets tonight, those addressing the council in the public comments period will be on the clock. The city council set 5 minutes per person to bring their issue before the local board. City leaders at the meeting are expected to approve the annual appropriations ordinance,look at road projects using motor fuel tax money, and approve a burning ban ordinance. Local leaders will also look to advertise for bids for two properties in the city and make a decision on a TIF agreement with the owners of the Paxton Inn. The Paxton City Council meets at 7  tonight on the second floor of city hall.


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


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A state backlog in determining Medicaid eligibility for nursing home residents is forcing a central Illinois facilities closure. The Pleasant Hill Village in Girard will close Sept. 1. It has paid more than $2 million for care that could be Medicaid-eligible.The Associated Press reported in June that there is a backlog of 15,000 cases awaiting Medicaid-eligibility determination involving up to $320 million.


WAUKEGAN, Ill. (AP) — Tests on mosquitoes have revealed for the first time this year the presence of the West Nile virus in Lake County in Northern Illinois.The county's health department says the tests were done on mosquitoes collected June 28 in Highland Park. The tests come about a month after officials announced the state's first mosquitoes to test positive for the virus were found in  Cook County and Macon County.


(Undated--jc)  -- The process to implement automatic voter registration has begun in Illinois, and while some aspects of the law meant to modernize the state’s voter rolls will be seen immediately, others won't happen until 2019. This week is the first time that Illinois’ Department of Motor Vehicle employees will be able to check for a customer’s voter registration online. It’s part of a law passed last year that will eventually register an eligible resident to vote any time they interact with the D-M-V.


(Clinton--jc)  The 50th annual Apple ‘n Pork Festival will take place on September 29th and 30th. The event is hosted by the C-H Moore Homestead DeWitt County museum in Clinton. The two day event runs from 9am to 5pm both days. Organizers describe the the start of the event in the late 60s as a festival that began with a pot of soup and a stack of sandwiches has grown into one of downstate Illinois most popular annual events.  Today booths line the properties and features harvest-time apple and pork foods; tours of the museum, an art show and flea market to an antique tractor show and live demonstrations.



(Gibson city--jc)  -- Gibson City leaders will look at food truck vendor licensing when they meet this evening. City council member will also look to approve the local Gibson City American Legion to serve beverages outdoors during the next Gibson City Car Cruise set for July 20th. Passing the annual appropriations ordinance and the sell of a sewer auger are also on the agenda. The Gibson City Council meets at  7 tonight in city hall.


(Washington--jc)  How will the newly imposed Mexican and Chinese tariffs on U.S. agricultural products affect U.S. supplies, exports and prices? We'll see the first official USDA answer to that question very soon. Gary Crawford reports…


(Hoopeston--jc)  -- Wanted 7 men and 7 women. Those with the Save the Lorraine group in Hoopeston is hosting auditions for the Show “Dracula”, starting on Sunday.  Auditions are Sunday the 15th, Monday the 16th and Wednesday the 18th starting at 7 each night at the theatre in downtown Hoopeston. Rehearsals to follow with show dates of October 26th and 27th at the Lorraine Theatre in Hoopeston. More information is found on line at the-lorraine-theatre-dot-com.


(Champaign--jc) -- What’s the weather like for the second week of July. State Climatologist Jim Angel with the Illinois Water Survey in Champaign says mostly dry and warm…



State Climatlogist Jim Angel with the Illinois Water Survey in Champaign.




(Springfield--jc)  --As Illinois schools look to be more secure from threats, there are some tough realities that principals and superintendents have to embrace. School safety is top of mind as Illinois schools get ready for the new school year. The last school year saw a number of shootings, both in Illinois and across the country. Mark Jontry with the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents says they trained dozens of school leaders and local police officers or sheriff's deputies over the past year. School teachers, resource officers and administrators participated in state safety training. Jontry added that local schools need to take the lead in safety with help from the states school system.



(Buckley--jc)  Friends and family helped a Buckley man, who was battling cancer. Around 50 people help re-roof the house of Devin  and Jessie Marquis on Saturday. Unfortunately Devin succumbed to the disease yesterday evening...



(Penfield--jc) An autopsy is set for today for an Armstrong man fatally injured in a two vehicle crash near Penfield on Saturday afternoon. Champaign County coroner Duane Northrup says 59 year old Lorin Schluter  died at the scene of the crash. Champaign County police are continuing their investigation of the crash. An inquest may be held at a later date.




(McLean County--jc)  I-Dot officials are warning the motoring public about a portion of road along U S Route 51 in Southern McLean County that buckled over the weekend. The roadway is near the southern border of McLean County. Motorists are advised to take extra precaution in that area today.



(Chicago--jc)  -- Illinois’ official 200th birthday party will be held on December 3rd at the United Center in Chicago. The event will include a salute to veterans, historical videos, live entertainment and a look at championship sports team says Illinois Bicentennial commission Executive Director Stuart Layne…



Illinois Bicentennial Commission Executive Director Stuart Layne

A few thousand tickets for the public went on sale Friday.







Friday July 6 2018

(Springfield--jc)  -- Now that the November ballot has been all but certified, the gubernatorial candidates from independent political parties want to be included in the  debates. Illinois State Board of Elections spokesman Matt Dietrich said the next step for the ballot after objections are heard and processed is certification in August as early voting begins in September. Conservative Party candidate Sam McCann and Libertarian candidate Kash Jackson, both want to be included in any gubernatorial debates. The fall election is set for Tuesday November 6rh.


(Undated--jc) --  Health insurance costs are a big burden for small and independent businesses and there could be a saving grace with association health plans expected to be unveiled this fall. One large association is evaluating the idea. Illinois Farm Bureau Executive Director of Operations News and Communications Chris Magnuson said the bureau is evaluating the idea for its 400 thousand members. Magnuson say the Illinois Farm Bureau will take several months to research the positives and negatives of the association health plans and decide its future with members of the farm bureau.


(Washington--jc)  -- The federal government does not appear ready to deal with the lingering legal questions of marijuana, but hemp is another matter. Kevin Liebrock, chief operating officer at Bluebird Botanicals in Colorado, says the federal farm bill, will in all likelihood, legalize hemp as a cash crop.  Liebrock adds that conservative U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, supports the hemp cash crop idea. The consensus of the medical community is that hemp cannibidiol can be a better treatment for seizures and other medical conditions than marijuana cannibidiol.



(Champaign County--jc)  During his visit to Champaign, Urbana and Rantoul this week, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner reiterated his support for local companies and expansion at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. The governor says the half Billion dollar investment by the state in this year’s budget is one way to keep and promote new businesses associated with the local college…


Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner



(Loda--jc)  An income survey is underway in an Iroquois County community looking to net a 500 thousand dollar grant for a new water tower. The survey is for the village of Loda in Southern Iroquois County.  One of the council members will also head to Springfield in two weeks for a required seminar for the grant program. The grant covers the cost of construction, but does not cover additional fees and demolition of the current water tower.




(GIbson City--jc)  -- Now that a budget has been passed, managing the budget is one main topic for lawmakers in the state. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says leaders need to make sure the budget passed remains the budget needed…


106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City




(Gibson City--jc) Plans continue for the Relay for Life event in Ford County. That event is set for Saturday August 4th from 5pm to 10 pm at North Park in Gibson City. Teams continue to do fundraising and will bring the donations to the August event. A Luminaria ceremony will take place at the Ford County Relay for Life. The individual Luminaria are 5 dollars. Those purchased may do so to remember someone who has died from cancer, a cancer survivor, or to support the American Cancer Society.  They are available from all team members or in Paxton you may stop by the Farmers Merchants National Bank.



(Paxton--jc) If you see a lot of motorcycles along with some vintage cars and trucks on Saturday, there is a good reason. It’s the 6th annual Mid-Summer Fun Run sponsored by the American Legion in Gibson City and the Ford County Old-Timers. The ride starts Saturday morning at the Urbana V-F-W  with a sign-up at 10-30. The ride continues throughout the area, ending at the Carter house in Paxton. All proceeds go to help local veterans in the area.


The Rantoul Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a Coffee with a Cop event on Friday from 7:30-9am. This is a chance to ask questions, voice concern, and get to meet the men and women of the Rantoul Police Department.



(Paxton--jc)  -- Ford County officials are set to approve its list for election judges on today.  The fall election is set for first Tuesday in November. A list of election judges is available at the Ford County Clerk’s office in Paxton. The approval process takes place at 8-45 this morning at the courthouse in Paxton.



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



(Washington--jc)  -- A bill that would keep insurance providers from adding or removing a drug from a customer’s coverage plan mid-year is now on Governor Bruce Rauner’s desk.If signed into law, the bill would keep an insurance provider from changing an enrollee's coverage of a drug during the plan year if the drug was previously approved for coverage. Should the insurance company remove a drug, the bill would create an appeals process for providers to receive exemptions for their patients from plan changes, something supporters say ensures continuity of the medical care for the prescription drug benefits.


(Champaign County--jc)  -- A two vehicle accident early Thursday morning caused one vehicle to rollover, sending both occupants to an area hospital. Police say 31 year old John Evans of  Shelbyville Indiana struck a second vehicle in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 74 in Champaign County just after 3 Thursday morning. The driver of the second vehicle, 31 year old Jestin Covington of Bloomington, lost control of his vehicle as it rolled several times. Both were taken to area hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.

(Springfield--jc)  -- An University of Illinois Entomology expert is urging the public to watch out for ticks this summer. Health officials say tick-bourne illnesses are on the reise, so it’s a good idea to take precautions when you are in the woods or grassy area.. U of I Entomology  Professor Brian Allen says using a repellent with permathrin helps…



U of I Entomology Professor Brian Allen



It’s the 77th Annual Fisher Community Fair July 10th through the 14th. Fun for the entire family. Tuesday is Military Day and the Queen Pageant. Wednesday is Kids Day and WPXN will be there helping with kids games at 9am. Wednesday evening is the IPA & ITPA Tractor Pull. Thursday night is the all new Donkey races. Friday night is the Feudin Hillbillies and Brushville, and Saturday is the ever popular Demolition Derby.


SPRINGFIELD (July 5, 2018) — Gov. Bruce Rauner Thursday named three new appointees to the Illinois Prisoner Review Board, a quasi-judicial body that imposes release conditions, regulates good conduct credits, conducts parole hearings and makes executive clemency recommendations, among other tasks.Prisoner Review Board appointees are Lisa Daniels of Lansing, Joseph Ruggiero of Wheaton and Patricia Wilson of Du Quoin. Rauner said he’s confident the review board trio will excel in their roles.



(Washington--jc)  More hay acres and cattle are now in drought areas. U-S-D-A meteorologist Brad Rippy the number is up from one month ago…



U-S-D-A Meteorologist Brad Rippy



(St Joseph--jc)  -- A house fire in Saint Joseph that caused extensive damage remains under investigation. Firefighters from 8 fire departments were called to the scene on Wednesday night. The house was a vacant home in Saint Joseph. No word on the extent of damages was given.

(Crescent City--jc)  What do Olivia Powell, Lyndsey Neukomm, Samantha Gooding, Katlyn Post of Kaylee Cumbo have in common. They are the five contestants vying for the title of 2018 Miss Iroquois County Fair Queen. Giving up her county title next week is Samantha Hasselbring of Cissna Park. Hasselbring is also the current Miss Illinois County Fair Queen. Samantha is the daughter of Troy and Lynn Hasselbring. She is attending Millikin University majoring in elementary education. This year’s Iroquois County Fair Queen pageant takes place on Wednesday July 18th at the fairgrounds just north of Crescent City


(Paxton--jc)  Paxton Buckley Loda School board members will hear an update on the Clara Petersen school project when they meet in monthly session next week. A look at the fiscal 20-19 budget, school policies and waste service proposals are also on the agenda. The P-B-L school board meets on Thursday July 12 at 6pm in Paxton.


(Buckley--jc)  One local church is set for a hymn sing later this month. St John’s Lutheran Church in Buckley will host the event 6-30pm on Sunday July 15th. A free will donation will be taken. The proceeds will go to the organ fund for future repairs. Following the hymn sing, refreshments will be served in the church basement.



The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce would like to invite everyone to the Paxton Majestic Park from 4-7 this afternoon as Channel 3 will be there promoting Our Town Paxton. There will also be a farmer’s market from 4-6 next to Humble Hog at the park. 


Thursday July 5 2018

(Urbana--jc)  --The University of Illinois wants a judge to toss a lawsuit filed by three student journalists who claimed the university violated their First Amendment rights when it issued no-contact orders to the students after an incident during a protest of President Donald Trump. Andrew Minik and two other university students – Joel Valdez and Blair Nelson – sued the school over the restraining orders, which told them to stay away from graduate student Tariq Khan, effectively keeping them from further reporting the ongoing story. Khan confronted the students at an anti-Trump rally in November, allegedly grabbing Valdez's phone and throwing it. Khan was charged with misdemeanor criminal damage to property. That charge was dismissed after Khan completed a diversion program. The students' lawsuit alleged their rights were violated because the no-contract orders were meant to silence their political views and kept them from reporting on the story, which was their job as reporters for Campus Reform. The students' lawsuit also names Khan as a defendant.


BLOOMINGTON — A search is underway for a 21-year-old Bloomington man accused of fatally shooting three men and wounding a 4-year-old boy in June in Bloomington Police say Sydney T. Mays Jr. is wanted on six counts of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated discharge of a firearm and aggravated battery in connection with the June 18th incident.Mays is described as a black man who is 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighs 250 pounds and has black hair and brown eyes. Mays is considered armed and dangerous.



(Washington--jc)  --  Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says there are no assurances that farmers won't be hurt by trade conflicts, but he is assuring farmers that the U.S. will help soften the pain.


Gary Crawford reports…




WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 3, 2018 – As Congress reconciles the Senate and House Farm Bills, Ducks Unlimited remains committed to passing a bill that delivers strong voluntary, incentive-based conservation programs that promote healthy wildlife habitats benefiting all Americans. Ducks Unlimited urges Congress to swiftly appoint conferees who will begin the work of reaching consensus and send a bill to the president’s desk. The hope of the organization is to have a final bill provide  a conservation title that provides a strong safety net for producers and abundant wildlife habitat for future generations.



AP) — Joey "Jaws" Chestnut extended his reign as champion eater at the Nathan's Famous July Fourth hot dog eating contest Wednesday, downing a record 74 wieners and buns in 10 minutes to take home the coveted Mustard Belt for the 11th time.Miki Sudo held on to her title as the top women's competitor at the annual Brooklyn eat-off, chomping 37 franks and buns to take home the top prize for an unprecedented fifth consecutive year.Closer to home the Official City of Paxton Watermelon eating contest was held at Pells Park in Paxton. Joel Cluver was there and filed this report…




ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (AP) — Two people died and several others were injured after a branch measuring in parts more than 8 feet (2.5 meters) around fell on spectators during a fireworks display in western Illinois, authorities said. Rock Island County Sheriff Gerald Bustos said Wednesday that the branch fell from an oak tree that's believed to be about 100 years old. It fell about 25 feet (8 meters) during Tuesday night's "Red, White and Boom" event outside the courthouse in Rock Island. Dozens were sitting near the tree watching the fireworks when the branch fell, crushing some of the spectators. Some of those who weren't hurt tried to lift the branch to free the people trapped beneath.



(Rantoul--jc) A huge parade was held in Rantoul for the 4th of July. Rantoul Chamber officials say pictures from the event are available through the chamber website.



(Buckley--jc)  -- Plans are well underway for one local Christian School for its annual fundraiser.  Buckley based Christ Lutheran High School will hold its “Knight for Christ” auction fundraiser on Saturday August 18th. The event is set for the Garden Hotel on Kilarney in Urbana. Doors will open at 3-30 that afternoon. Those attending will help support Christian education. Trips to Florida, a big screen television to collectibles and toys will be offered. For dinner and event ticket information you may call the school in Buckley at 217-394-2547.


PAXTON — The Ford County Treasurer’s office wants to remind property owners that  2017 real estate tax bills were mailed out in June. Due dates will be July 27 for the first installment and Sept. 7 for the second. Late payments will be assessed a 1.5 percent penalty per month.



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



(Champaign--jc)  -- Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says high speed rail projects set for the state could move further. One reason is private dollars coming in to support high speed rail in Illinois…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner.

The governor stop at several places in Champaign County earlier this week.


(Rantoul--jc)  A lighting project at one local church could be coming soon. Those with the American Lutheran church in Rantoul are set to meet on Sunday to approve the project Estimated cost for the lighting project is around 32 thousand dollars.


(Undated--jc)  -- The 4th of July holiday is now over, now what. Several fairs and events are set for next week. The annual Fisher Fair begins on July 10th and runs through the 14th. The queen pageant takes place on the 10th at 6-30. Kids games are set for the 11th starting at 9 in the morning. WPXN will be there broadcasting live and giving away tickets to Knights Action Park in Springfield. Donkey races to the annual demolition derby also hilight this year’s Fisher Fair. The 2018 version of Historic Farm Days begins one week from today. The 4 day event features everything agriculture at the fairgrounds in Penfield.  Live farming demonstrations to a blacksmith building and static display and lots of vendors will be featured again this year in Penfield.


(Paxton--jc)  When the public want to address the city of Paxton council, there will be a time limit.  Council members approved a 5 minute limit in the public comment period of the regular meetings. The consensus of the council is also to extend that time for certain issues that come to the council.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Though the 4th of July is over, safe driving should be on the minds of motorists, always. Local state police say one trouble area is the current construction zone along Interstate 74 between Danville and Champaign.  District 10 State Police in Pesotum Spokesperson Tracy Lillard says be aware and be watchful…



Illinois State Police District 10 in Pesotum Spokesperson Tracy Lillard

The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce would like to invite everyone to the Paxton Majestic Park from 4-7 Friday as Channel 3 will be there promoting Our Town Paxton. There will also be a farmer’s market from 4-6 next to Humble Hog at the park.


(Washington--jc)  U-S-D-A feeder calf grading standards offer a common language for producers and buyers when it comes to beef cattle specifications and sales. Rod Bain reports…


(Roberts--)  -- You can jingle your way to help a street light project his month in one Ford County town. The pavilion in Roberts is the site of a Jingle Bell Rock concert and car cruise on Saturday, July 14. The event will run from 7 p.m. to at least 10 p.m. Proceeds from the car cruise will go to the village’s Christmas decoration fund.



Tuesday July 3 2018

(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois has opportunity zones scattered throughout the state. Many are in the Chicago metro or northern Illinois area, but some are local. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says the zones are set to up help spur business in the state…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner

Opportunity zones exist in Champaign, Vermilion, Iroquois, McLean, Dewitt and Kankakee counties, locally


MAHOMET, Ill. (AP) — The teacher credited with saving lives by tackling a shooter at a suburban Indianapolis middle school says the attention he's received since then is gratifying but has also felt too much at times.Authorities say science teacher Jason Seaman stopped the May 25 attack at Noblesville West Middle School by rushing the 13-year-old boy who fired several shots inside a classroom that badly wounded one student and also struck Seaman.President Donald Trump hailed Seaman's bravery on Twitter. Seaman, 29, threw out the ceremonial first pitch for Friday's St. Louis Cardinals game, and will be a grand marshal for Noblesville's July 4 parade and the Oct. 20 homecoming at his alma mater Southern Illinois University.


CHICAGO (AP) — Former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock's lawyers have told a federal judge in Illinois they intend to appeal to the Supreme Court and want a freeze on his corruption trial to continue until the high court reviews his case.Their filing Monday in Urbana argues that having to prepare for the appeal and trial simultaneously would be burdensome. They say the appellate process could run into 2019.The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in May refused to dismiss his case. The Peoria Republican had argued his prosecution violated separation-of-powers clauses.




CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois officials say fireworks-related injuries are becoming a growing danger on Independence Day despite the state's ban on most consumer fireworks.At least 2,000 people statewide have been injured by fireworks over the last decade, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. That number includes a record 349 people hurt by fireworks last year.Catastrophic injuries also increased in that time . Illinois hospitals treated 16 dismemberment or amputation injuries in peak summer time months last year, according to the state fire marshal's office. Fireworks are illegal in Illinois, but residents can still easily find them in neighboring states that legalized fireworks for tax revenue. Iowa allowed fireworks sales last year, joining Wisconsin, Michigan, Kentucky, Indiana and Missouri.


(Undated--jc)  What’s the weather for this 4th of July holiday. State Climatologist Jim Angel with the Illinois Water Survey in Champaign has the details…



State Climatologist Jim Angel



(Springfield--jc)  -- Several days were suitable for farming as we hear in the weekly crop report. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says rainfall was up and so were the temperatures over the past 7 days…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.


(Undated--dg)  -- Fireworks around the area tonight... include Bayles Lake, Loda, Rantoul at 6 Aviation Center Drive and Fisher at the Fisher Fairgrounds. On July 4th fireworks can be observed at Paxton’s Bixby Park, Onarga’s Durham Park, in Sibley at Sibley Lake, the village of Ludlow, Lake of the Woods in Mahomet and Kellart Lake north of Cissna Park.




(Pontiac--jc)  -- The National Trust for Historic Preservation named Route 66 to its National Treasures portfolio and announced plans to pursue National Historic Trail status for the famed roadway. The centerpiece of the campaign will be a month-long road trip to help preserve the “Main Street of America.” During the road trip, the organization will share the stories of historic sites along Route 66 and build support for the National Historic Trail designation. Today, the group is  heading on the road will arrive at the Memory Parade Lane Road in Lexington, heading to the World’s Largest Covered Wagon in Lincoln and ending the day the Cozy Dog in Springfield.



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



(Springfield--jc)  -- The corn crop is doing well across the state of Illinois as we hear in the weekly crop report. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says the corn crop is silking at a pace ahead of the 5 year average…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener


CHICAGO (July 2, 2018) — Governor Rauner announced Monday that Patti Bellock has been named director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. Bellock has served in the General Assembly since 1999 and is recognized as one of the body’s leading advocates for Medicaid, health care and social services, areas she will oversee in her new role.



(Washington--jc)  -- Secretary Perdue says his goal is to have details of the plan to partially compensate farmers for financial losses from trade disruptions by Labor Day.  Gary Crawford reports…




(Royal--jc)  Keeping the local rural school the same is the intent of the Prairieview-Royal -Ogden grade school. The schools feed into the St Joseph Ogden High School and were approached about consolidating into the S-J-O school system. With school finances in the black and the desire to keep the rural schools in the local communities, leaders at Prairieview-Royal-Ogden say the best option now is to keep things the same.



(Springfield--jc)  -- The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is urging the public to leave fireworks displays up to the professionals.. D-N-R Spokesperson Ed Cross says penalties are in place for those not abiding by the law…



Department Natural Resources Spokesperson Ed Cross


(Rantoul--jc)  -- One Rantoul church is using Burritos to support its efforts in Tanzania. The American Lutheran Church in Rantoul is hosting the sale of breakfast burritos this weekend. The packages are fresh made into bags of 5 burritos. Those wanting to purchase the fundraising packages may attend church this weekend or contact the American Lutheran Church to purchase the products.


(Roberts--jc)  -- It’s July, but one Ford County town is set for a Jingle Bell Rock concert later this month. The Village of Roberts is hosting the concert and a car cruise on Saturday July 14th  from 7pm to 10pm. Proceeds from the event go to the village of Roberts Christmas decorations fund.

(Rantoul--jc)  -- How to insure a building inside the district is one issue for the Rantoul City schools. Local school officials wanted to insure the former Myna Thompsons school building at its appraised value rather than a replacement value to the district. Bids for the local school district from area citizens showed that none of the solicited bids from insurance companies offered the appraisal insurance options. Local school leaders at the Rantoul City schools continue to look at their  insurance options.


(Washington--jc)  -- 4th of July cookout time is here. Officials with the U-S-D-A say to make the holiday a safe cooking event. U-S-D-A Healthline Spokesperson Marianne Gravely says to make sure you cook meat thoroughly and are aware of the proper cooking temperatures…



U-S-D-A Healthline Spokesperson Marianne Gravely


(Rantoul--jc)  Today is the big day for the Rantoul Freedom Festival. The event kicks off at 2 this afternoon. Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Belynda Allen says all the information about today’s activities are available…


Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Belynda Allen

WPXN will be broadcasting live at 2 this afternoon to help kick off the event. Its’ Summer Fun tour stop number 7.



Monday July 2 2018

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Democrats who control the Illinois General Assembly pushed back last spring against Republican President Donald Trump's hardline stance on immigration, aiming to protect Illinois residents regardless of their residency status and, in some cases, firing off direct repudiation of the nation's top executive. Illinois is not alone. State-level legislation related to immigration increased 110 percent during Trump's first year in office. Many directly dealt with immigrant and refugee rights as well as with compliance with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A U.S. Supreme Court ruling barring administrative union fees from non-union members means Illinois health care workers will get a chance to claw back $32 million they've paid. The high court ordered last week that the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reconsider its ruling that 80,000 workers could not recoup so-called fair-share fees from the Service Employees International Union.The court found that three caretakers of disabled people in their homes who filed the lawsuit could get back money paid from 2008 to 2014. But it rejected a class-action claim because not everyone had objected to paying the fees.The Supreme Court's decree Wednesday rejecting fair share fees in a case involving an Illinois government work.



 Projects ranging from improved health facilities to infrastructure updates are covered in the latest round of USDA loan awards addressing needs in rural America. Rod Bain has the story…



(Lexington-jc)  -- One McLean County family is speaking out after they received a Naze recruitment letter in the mail at their home in Lexington. The Pantagraph reports that the letter contained a swastika and contain the phrases “white power” and negative comments against liberals. The McLean County Sheriff’s department is investigating to see if any laws were violated. The letter had an Orland Park return address.



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed a law making it easier for qualified teachers to be certified to teach in Illinois.The Republican governor took the action Friday to stem a growing teacher shortage.Education officials say one in five open teaching positions goes unfilled because of strict licensure requirements. And a 2017 study by regional school superintendents found over half of school districts struggle to find substitute teachers.The law allows reciprocity for comparable out-of-state licenses. It allows ex-teachers with lapsed certificates to qualify for substitute teaching licenses.It increases to 120 days the time that retired teachers can fill in as substitutes without jeopardizing retirement benefits.


(Paxton--jc)  -- Could a settlement be negotiated between the city of Paxton and its former Chief of Police. The one agenda item for the Paxton City Council members at a special meeting is a resolution between the city and former police chief Bob Bane. The meeting is set for 6 tonight on the second floor of city hall.



(Springfield--jc) Illinois Department of Public Health is offering some food safety tips to make sure you stay healthy this 4th of July. With temperatures this warm, it’s hard to keep food cold Illinois Public Health Department Spokesperson Melaney Arnold says avoid the danger zone with food…



Illinois Public Health Department Spokesperson Melaney Arnold.

Keeping food and drinks in separate coolers is also a good idea since drink coolers are opened more often.



(Rantoul--jc)  An alcohol compliance check in Rantoul last week saw alleged sales of alcohol to a minor. Rantoul police conducted the check and 5 businesses provided alcohol to a 19 year old employee of the Illinois Liquor Control Commission. Businesses cited with employees to appear in court were Casey’s,  Rantoul Monicals, CVS Pharmacy, Bud’s Bar, and El Toro.



(Rantoul--jc)  -- The carnival at the Hap Parker Aquatic Center continues to offer rides and entertainment today. A big day to celebrate the 4th of July in Rantoul is tomorrow. Food will be offered starting at 2 on Tuesday afternoon A kid zone takes place from 5-30 til 9. A car show also takes place from 3 til 7 with judging at 7-30. The band X-Krush will also perform Tuesday evening in Rantoul Fireworks take place at dusk Tuesday evening.



(Paxton--jc)  -- A free concert for the 2018 Swine and Dine event in Paxton is set. Drew Baldridge will join Dylan Scott in downtown Paxton on Saturday September 15th.  Though the concert is free, some pit passes for the stage area are being sold. Those tickets are 20 dollars and are available now through the Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce.



(Rankin--jc)  -- A waterball tournament was a cool way for some to celebrate the 4th of July in Rankin on Saturday. The event was one of several for adults and kids. Devin Milburn of Buckley won first place, Nathan Symmonds of Rankin placed 2nd and Tyler Ecker of Buckley finished 3rd in the competition


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



BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) — A Bloomington man who was found not guilty by reason of insanity in his daughter's 2009 beating death will remain in a state mental health facility a while longer.Thomas Meece received preliminary approval in May to be released to a Springfield group home, pending administrative paperwork.  Judge Robert Freitag postponed the hearing on Meece's release to August 30th. The delay followed a report from the Elgin Mental Health Center, where Meece has been held.  


(Champaign County--jc) It was another accident in the same area of Interstate 74 on Sunday. Police say multiple vehicles were involved in the accident near Ogden in a construction zone.


(Springfield--jc)  -- The new state of Illinois budget has more money for roads to higher education. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says the efforts are to put Illinois business and education in the world class variety…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner


(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois Department of Public Health is offering some food safety tips to make sure everyone has a safe holiday. Illinois Department of Public Health spokesperson Melaney Arnold says food should not be left out for more than 2 hours and adds to put dips, meats and cheeses in a different cooler than those drinks…



Illinois Department of Public Health Spokesperson Melaney Arnold


(Watseka--jc)  A trip to Watseka in Iroquois County this week will be one of red white and blue. Volunteers placed around 2 thousand  flags along several streets. The flags were placed in town on Saturday.


URBANA, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois' new medical school is set to open its doors with its first class of 32 students. The Carle Illinois College of Medicine will kick off a weeklong orientation for students starting today. There will be a welcome from Dean King Li, campus tours and a barbeque before studies begin.  Opening a brand new medical school has required attention to countless details. Officials have had to consider everything from curriculum to cadavers, recruiting campaigns and designing patches for students' lab coats.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Protesters faced down sweltering heat in Illinois to protest the policy of President Donald Trump's administration to separate children from parents entering the U.S. illegally. Speakers on a stage in downtown Chicago Saturday were surrounded by crowds chanting "Yes, you can!" A march to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Chicago headquarters followed.  The administration ended the separation policy last week but questions about subsequent procedures remain. Seven activist groups planned a rally Saturday in downtown Champaign. Rally organizer had also announced protests in Barrington, Downers Grove, Frankfort, Highland Park and Rockford.


(Washington--jc)  -- Corn and soybean acreage is down from previous years. Gary Crawford has the details…

(Ford County--jc)  -- A tax deed sale for 7 properties in Ford County continues this week. Sealed bids for the properties will be taken through the end of business on Friday. A minimum of 795 dollars is required. More information about the properties is found by contacting the Ford County Treasurer’s office in Paxton.


(Ludlow--jc)  -- A 4th of July celebration begins around 2pm on Wednesday in one Champaign County town. The village of Ludlow is sponsoring events that include a community softball game at 2 on Wednesday. A kids zone, bike contest and a parade also hilite the day in Ludlow. Entertainment from 6 til 9 is the Chrissie Sparks band.


(Indiana--jc)  --- One Paxton Buckley Loda student will be spending more time in the air. Garrett Bachtold won his event at the A-A-U Region 13 track and field event on Sunday in Indianapolis. Bachtold will be a Senior at P-B-L High school in Paxton this fall. By qualifying in the pole vault, he goes to the A-A-U Junior Olympic Games in Des Moine Iowa later this month






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