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WPXN Blog

Democratic state Senate President John Cullerton to step down from Illinois Legislature in January

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Democratic state Senate President John Cullerton has announced he’s stepping down from the Illinois Legislature. Cullerton says Thursday night in a statement that his retirement will be effective sometime in January and that he is fulfilling a promise to his wife, Pam. Cullerton was elected state senate president in 2009 and has been in the Illinois Senate since 1991. His 6th district covers Chicago’s North and Northwest sides.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A spokesman for the family of Rod Blagojevich said support continues to grow for the commutation of the former Illinois governor’s 14-year prison sentence. Blagojevich family spokesman Mark Vargas said that most recently former National Rifle Association President David Keene sent a letter to President Donald Trump asking for the commutation of Blagojevich’s prison sentence.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A propane shortage is prompting a regional emergency declaration that covers seven states, including Illinois. State Department of Agriculture Director John Sullivan says the shortage is more of a delivery problem, so this declaration eases trucking regulations…

 

 

State Department of Agriculture Director John Sullivan. Supplies are running low here in part due to early cold temperatures and farmers needing more propane to dry wet grain. 


 

(Gifford-jm) -- The northeastern Champaign County village of Gifford is the latest community to ban recreational cannabis sales. The village board voted 6-0 to ban the sale at this months meeting. Village trustees could vote in January whether or not to establish a 3 percent sales tax on cannabis sales if the village does approve it.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Champaign County Regional Planning Commission’s Low Income Energy Assistance Program will be in Rantoul this month. The group will hold an energy assistance day on Saturday, November 16th from 9-1 at the Community Service Center. LIHEAP helps low income residents with their gas and electric bills.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A long standing Paxton tradition will continue this November as the city will hold their annual Christmas parade on Saturday, November 30th at 1:30 pm. PRIDE in Paxton Director Terri Hancock talks about the history of the parade…

 

 

PRIDE in Paxton Director Terri Hancock. The theme for this year’s parade is Chocolate, Gum Drops and Golden Tickets: Imagine the Possibilities.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- New research in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows underage use of e-cigarettes show no sign of slowing down. 28 percent of high school students and 11 percent of middle school students admitted to using e-cigarettes. That amounts to 5.3 million youth, up from 3.6 million last year. Mint is the most favored after flavored products were banned.


 

 

Washington-jm) -- China has lifted a four-year ban on our nation's poultry entering into that market. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

CHICAGO (AP) — The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services banned the use of shackles and handcuffs on youths in its custody after two teenage boys were restrained while they transferred from one Chicago-area shelter to another. The 15-year-old and 17-year-old boys were handcuffed and shackled at their ankles on Oct. 1 while being transferred separately from a Chicago shelter to another in Palatine.

 

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois lawmakers approved requiring more public disclosure about lobbyists Thursday in response to a federal bribery charge against a since-disgraced representative but pushed heavy ethics-reform lifting off to a newly created commission that will report recommendations next spring. Overwhelming votes in both the House and the Senate on the year’s last scheduled day of work in Springfield belied the dissatisfaction House Republicans had with what one lawmaker called a “milquetoast” measure and criticism over the makeup of the commission they fear will be stacked with Democrats.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting a fourth death from vaping related lung injury. 179 people so far have suffered lung injuries after vaping, with four now dead and another 41 possible cases under investigation. Public Health Director Doctor Ngozi Ezike says 80 percent of patients report vaping T-H-C…

 

 

Public Health Director Ngozi Ezike. Researchers have also found that Vitamin E acetate may be linked. Those affected in Illinois range in age from 13 to 75 years old but the average age is 22. 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Service Club is accepting donations for their Christmas Envelope Project. The project assists needy families in the Paxton-Buckley-Loda School District. Those interested in donating can mail their donations to the Paxton Service Club Goodfellow Project P.O. Box 224, Paxton, Illinois 60957. Applications for those who may need assistance can be filled out at any local food pantry or at Hudson’s and must be submitted by December 8th. Last year the service club handed out 72 envelopes.

 

 

(Ashkum-jm) -- District 21 Illinois State Police troopers have announced several upcoming special patrols in Ford, Iroquois and Kankakee Counties. Troopers will be conducting Occupant Restraint Enforcement Patrols on November 19th and November 25th. Troopers will be conducting Special Traffic Enforcement Patrols on November 16th, 17th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 27th, 30th and December 1st. Those patrols will focus on the fatal four: DUI, seatbelts, speeding and distracted driving.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Ford-Iroquois 4-H Foundation will hold their annual auction this weekend. Spokesperson Nita Dubble has the details…

 

 

Ford-Iroquois 4-H Foundation Spokesperson Nita Dubble. Some of the items on the auction include tickets to Illinois Men’s Basketball and Chicago Cubs baseball to a grill and foursome at a local country club.


 

(Undated-jm) -- Millennials are in bad shape, and their poor physical and mental health carries serious adverse economic consequences, according to a new report. More millennials or those born between 1981 and 1996 suffer from conditions including hypertension, high cholesterol, depression and hyperactivity at a higher rate than Gen-Xers did at the same point in their lives, Moody's Analytics found in a report drawing on data from Blue Cross Blue Shield. As a result, the economic research firm estimates that, by 2027, health costs for young adults could run as much as 33% higher than they were for Gen-Xers at the same age.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is applauding passage of pension consolidation legislation. Combining the 640 downstate and suburban fire and police pension funds into two large systems will reap big rewards and alleviate a big burden says Governor Pritzker…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. It’s estimated that by consolidating the pension systems, investment returns will increase by 800 million to two point five billion dollars over the next five years.

 

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House lawmakers voted to cap the cost of insulin and Governor J-B Pritzker has said he will sign it into law

(Springfield-jm) -- Contact with potentially deadly synthetic drugs is a growing problem for first responders across Illinois and state officials want all public safety workers to have the latest training on how to deal with those drugs. The Illinois OSHA director Ben Noven said all first responders should be aware of the dangers they face when responding to overdoses and other drug scenes. Noven echoed the advice of a police commander for first responders at drug scenes, that they should treat everything as if it was fentanyl because the powerful synthetic opioid is commonly mixed with other drugs, such as heroin and even cocaine. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin that poses serious risks to first responders on aid calls and during criminal investigations.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A consolidation bill for municipal fire and police pensions cleared the House Wednesday. The measure moves the state’s 649 separate police and fire pension systems into just two, one for police and one for fire. Representative Jay Hoffman of Belleville says this will really help to prop up the largely underfunded pensions…

 

 

State Representative Jay Hoffman of Belleville. Hoffman says this will also greatly reduce administrative costs since each pension system has their own board. The bill now moves to the Senate. 

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A Rantoul woman has been arrested for allegedly breaking into a home and threatening the residents. Police say 24-year-old Sierra Brees and another man, who police have not named, entered a home and stole a child’s bike while they were gone. When the residents returned Brees and the man were inside. The man admitted to taking the kids bike and offered to return it if the resident handed over Xanax pills. Brees returned before police arrived and threatened the resident. She is charged with residential burglary and intimidation. Bond was set at $30,000. She is due back in court December 17th.

 

(Washington-jm) -- Corn growers in this new corn crop year could see stocks falling and prices climbing. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The USDA’s Farm Service Agency is reminding eligible voters the deadline to vote for county committee elections is fast approaching. The deadline to vote is December 2nd. For more information, contact your local FSA office.

 

 

(Roberts-jm) -- The Village of Roberts has received a violation notice from the state. Village President Rick Flessner says they are working with the state on the issue…

 

 

Roberts Village President Rick Flessner.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- A new study presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition shows many kids need more rest. Researchers surveyed parents of nearly 50,000 U.S. children ages 6 to 17. They found only 48% are getting the recommended minimum of 9 hours of sleep most weeknights. Many parents and kids are balancing crazy schedules from school and work to after school homework, sports, and activities.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A bill calling on the Illinois Department of Transportation to conduct a study on the use of automated red light cameras advanced in the state Senate. Those devices, and the contracts that many Chicago-area suburban governments have with the companies that provide them, are believed to be one subject of an ongoing federal corruption probe focusing on state Sen. Martin Sandoval. Red light cameras are automated devices that photograph vehicles if they pass through a red light without stopping, and generate a citation to the vehicle’s owner. Local governments typically split the revenue generated by the devices with the vendor. According to published reports, Sandoval is said to have intervened on behalf of SafeLight to have IDOT approve red light cameras in locations the agency had previously rejected, all while accepting large campaign contributions from the company and people affiliated with it.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- House lawmakers voted to cap the cost of insulin Wednesday. Insulin prices have skyrocketed, leaving patients with some tough choices says Representative Will Guzzardi of Chicago. His bill caps out of pocket costs for insulin at one hundred dollars for a 30 day supply…

 

 

State Representative Will Guzzardi of Chicago. This only applies to those with insurance plans regulated by the state. The bill returns to the Senate for approval and Governor J-B Pritzker has said he will sign it into law. 

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- An Urbana man who allegedly forced his way into his former girlfriends house in Fisher and attacking her current boyfriend is in jail facing felony charges. Coleton Rauch is accused of forcing his way into the house, punched and choked the man and threatened to stab him with a pocket knife. He remains in the Champaign County jail on charges of home invasion. Rauch faces between six and 30 years in prison.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Rural Development water and waste disposal system grants and loans support infrastructure projects in rural communities, and in turn, promote quality of life and economic opportunity for rural residents. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Rantoul Public Library is seeking donations. The library received a loan from the village earlier this year to repair their roof. Now the library has to pay back that loan. Those looking to donate can call the library at 893-3955.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Service Club is seeking the donation of a tree to be used as the city’s Christmas tree. Charlie White with the Paxton Service Club talks about the history behind the downtown tree…

 

 

Charlie White with the Paxton Service Club.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- A new study by John Hopkins University says pregnant mothers who use Acetaminophen, a pain reliever often used in Tylenol, could increase their child’s chance of having ADHD and autism. Researchers studied the cord blood of nearly a thousand mother/child pairs. Children exposed to higher levels while in the womb were significantly more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD and autism later in life. Researchers warn however, that more research on the possible links are needed.

 

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WPXN Update

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Car theft increases who you leave your car running to let it get warm.

(Springfield-jm) -- An 88-member task force missed a key deadline to deliver a report on how to reduce the state’s high property taxes, all but guaranteeing none of the group's recommendations will be signed into law this year.Subcommittees of the Property Tax Relief Task Force gave presentations on various focus areas as recently as Nov. 1. A similar meeting of another subcommittee is set for Friday. But the task force has yet to produce a report required by the law the governor signed to create it.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Rural Americans die more often from potentially preventable causes than their urban counterparts, a new government study shows. These causes include cancer, heart disease, injury, respiratory disease and stroke, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention research. Between 2010 and 2017, rural counties saw a widening disparity in preventable deaths from cancer, heart disease and respiratory disease, compared to city areas. This is despite the fact that preventable cancer deaths fell to less than 10% of all nationwide deaths from cancer in 2017.Closing the gaps starts with recognizing that people in rural areas tend to be older and sicker than people in cities, the CDC said. Compared to city dwellers, rural Americans smoke more, have higher rates of obesity, report less physical activity during leisure time and are less likely to buckle up when they drive.They're also poorer, have less access to health care and are less likely to have health insurance.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The state Senate is voting to make daylight savings time permanent in Illinois. The idea was presented to Senator Andy Manar of Bunker Hill by high school students in his district. He says they wanted to open a discussion on the subject…

 

 

State Senator Andy Manar of Bunker Hill. The bill calls for Illinoisans to set their clocks forward an hour on March 8th and leave them there. But that’s only if there is a change in federal law or Congress grants the state a waiver from the current practice. 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Bell ringers for the Salvation Army's Red Kettle campaign are offering more ways to give this holiday season.Rich Draeger, the director of development for the Tri-County Salvation Army based in Peoria, said that in addition to collecting coins and cash outside of stores, shoppers will now able to donate with their smartphone. Donations can be accepted using Apple Pay, Google Pay or by scanning a QR code. The annual Christmastime Red Kettle fundraising campaign is a significant part of the Salvation Army's fundraising efforts.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Farmers continue to inch closer to the end of harvest as we hear in the weekly crop report. Less than five days were suitable for fieldwork this past week, but there was some harvest progress says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 93 percent of wheat has been planted and 75 percent has emerged. Average statewide topsoil moisture came in at six percent short, 72 percent adequate and 22 percent surplus.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- A Watseka Thrivent Financial representative will be holding an informational session this week. Larry Burton will host a session on Preparing for Long Term Care on Thursday, November 14th at 6:30 pm at his office at 112 East Walnut Street in Watseka. Those interested in attending must RSVP by calling 815-432-0355.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton-Buckley-Loda School District will hear an update on the demolition of Eastlawn Elementary at tonight’s school board meeting. In addition, school board members will approve the 2019 proposed tax levy and set a public hearing for the levy, consider improvements to Memorial Field, consider new courses for the 2020-2021 school year and hear a report on the districts report card from the state. The PBL School Board meeting gets underway at 6pm.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- With a much delayed harvest for many crops and with uncooperative harvest weather, how certain can we be of USDA's latest crop production estimates? Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says they may have made a potential breakthrough in the vaping illness that has killed 39 people so far. The CDC says Vitamin E Acetate, a compound found in supplements, cosmetics and some vaping products, were detected in 29 lung tissue samples. T-H-C, the product found in marijuana, was detected in 23 samples while nicotine was found in 16 samples. The CDC does warn there may be more than one cause. So far 2,051 probable cases have been reported including 163 last week alone.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- As cold weather season gets underway, one group is warning of the dangers of starting your car and letting it run. The America’s Transportation Research Institute says laws in some areas prohibit leaving your car run for longer than 10 minutes. The group also warns that running your car for long periods of time like that can strip your car of oil. Police say they see an increase of car thefts this time of year as a result.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois officials told lawmakers that the state isn’t doing everything it could to leverage technology to help people with developmental disabilities be independent. State human service leaders talked to an Illinois state Senate Committee about a recent trip to Missouri to study how they help developmentally disabled people to be independent.  Allison Stark with the Department of Human Services Division of Developmental Disabilities said Missouri was more “tech first,” which reduced the need for more personnel.The department estimated about 10,000 Illinoisans with disabilities that have or want independent housing options.Illinois operates under a number of court orders related to minimum standards of care for people with developmental disabilities.

 

 

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois High School Association has ended its appeal of a Cook County judge’s decision to allow Chicago Public Schools athletes to run in the state cross-country meet. The IHSA filed the appeal Nov. 4, but the appellate court decided not to rule immediately, clearing the way for the students to run last Saturday. The IHSA barred CPS runners from the competition because of the Chicago Teachers Union strike. The organization’s rules prohibit teams from postseason competition if it begins while the district is on strike.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- State officials are celebrating National Apprenticeship Week. Businesses say they can’t develop talent pools fast enough to meet with employment demands, and job seekers say many companies are looking for very specific skills…

 

 

Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Erin Gutherie says employers looking to start an apprenticeship program and workers hoping to enter one can visit apprenticeship illinois dot com for more information. 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- New research shows more women are pursuing tech careers. The survey shows a 200 percent increase in women applying for data engineering positions. Out of 100,000 women surveyed, more than a third didn’t have STEM related subjects. More than half however, had technical skills such as coding.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Agriculture is hosting a hemp summit next month to answer questions and address concerns about the new industry. The department’s Bureau Chief for Medicinal Plants Jeff Cox says the summit will give farmers an opportunity to discuss the inaugural hemp growing season and more... 

 

 

Illinois Department of Agriculture Bureau Chief for Medicinal Plants Jeff Cox.  Attendees will also hear from hemp processors and a presentation on market dynamics. Registration is 25 dollars and includes lunch. Visit the Department of Agriculture’s website for more information. 

 

 

(Sibley-jm) -- Sibley has approved a new contract with the Ford County Sheriff’s Office. The village will pay $8,948 for patrol service. The payment will be divided into two payments.

 

 

(Buckley-jm) -- The village of Buckley has repaired their street sweeper. Last month, village trustees voted to fix the street sweeper instead of selling it. Residents can have their leaves picked up by the street sweeper by putting their leaves on the curb line.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Farmers continue to inch closer to the end of the harvest season as we hear in the weekly crop report. 71 percent of corn and 87 percent of soybeans have now been harvested, still well behind the average pace. Farmers are a little ahead when it comes to wheat planting, with 93 percent of acres now planted says crop statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Average statewide topsoil moisture came in at six percent short, 72 percent adequate and 22 percent surplus.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A group that advocates for public education in Illinois released a report indicating the state has made some progress in improving educational outcomes over the past five years, but it still has a long way to go to achieve the goal of having 60 percent of all adults attaining some kind of college-level degree or certificate by 2025. According to the Illinois State Board of Education, only 26 percent of 5-year-old children in Illinois showed the social, emotional and academic skills needed to start kindergarten. In other areas, Illinois made slight improvement over the five-year period. For example, 35 percent of fourth-grade students in 2018 met or exceeded state standards for reading skills, a key indicator of a student’s future risk of failing or dropping out of school. But there were fewer students demonstrating mastery of eighth-grade math skills 32 percent in 2018, down from 36 percent in 2013.Postsecondary enrollment among high school graduates rose during the period 53 percent in 2018.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- A Congressman from Illinois who announced earlier this year he will be retiring at the end of his term may be reconsidering that decision. Politico is reporting Oregon Congressman Greg Walden may retire in 2021. He is chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the same committee Illinois Congressman John Shimkus serves on. Shimkus could be in line to become chair of the committee.

 

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The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is urging the public to prepare for winter weather.

(Undated--jc)  --A proposal that would give teachers still in college an additional year of state aid in exchange for committing to teach in Illinois for three years is scheduled for what could be a contentious hearing. State Sen. Don DeWitte, R-St. Charles, is the sponsor of Senate Bill 1809. If enacted, the measure would extend Monetary Award Program grant funding to the extra schooling teachers must get before being certified with the state, but only if they agree to work at an Illinois school for at least three of their next five years.Illinois’ Monetary Award Program grants low-income college students tuition assistance. It’s a finite pool of money that’s awarded by the Illinois Study.

 

 

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Officials at the University of Illinois have named a new vice chancellor for research and innovation. Susan Martinis has been serving in the role on an interim basis since September 2017 and was named a permanent replacement earlier this month, pending a vote by the Board of Trustees. Martinis oversaw several initiatives, including university-wide research centers while she held the job on an interim basis. She’s also credited with strengthening the business infrastructure around university research.

 

Houston Plumbing Heating and Cooling is the WPXN Business of the Day today. Business manager Lisa Pearman talks about being a Carrier dealer.

 

 

Houston Plumbing Heating & Cooling Business manager Lisa Pearman

 

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs has served on a jury in central Illinois. The (Champaign) News-Gazette reports Frerichs served Monday and Tuesday in Champaign County for a case involving retail theft. He says the verdict was guilty. County officials say prospective jurors are selected from a database that comes from several records including driver’s licenses, registered voters, people who have applied for unemployment.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is urging the public to prepare for winter weather. Winter hasn’t officially started yet, but many areas of Illinois have already seen snow with more expected today. I-EMA Spokesperson Rebecca Clark says it’s good to be ready for whatever mother nature throws our way…

 

Illinois Emergency Management Agency Spokesperson Rebecca Clark. Those kits should include water, blankets, flashlights, extra batteries and first aid supplies. Officials say this is also a good time to throw an ice scraper in the car, winterize your home and change your furnace filter. 

 

 

CHICAGO (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is giving an Illinois legal aid group $30,000 to educate farmworkers about and to do research on pesticides. The EPA said in a recent statement that the money going to Legal Aid Chicago will, among other things, help it survey corn-detasseling workers and fruit harvesters in Illinois on their knowledge of pesticide use. It says the goal is to improve the health of migrant farmworkers.Legal Aid Chicago says Illinois’ Department of Agriculture has received a record number of nearly 1,000 complaints in 2019 on alleged misuse of pesticides. It says that’s ten times recent averages and illustrates the need for better education.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- USDA has made very few changes to its previous corn production estimate. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Rantoul Fire Department is looking to continue updating their fleet. The department purchased a new rescue pumper for $564,000 and a new tanker for $300,000 a few years ago. Now the department is looking to upgrade their ladder truck. The current ladder truck is from 1985 and isn’t able to fully meet the departments needs. A new ladder truck is estimated to cost about one point two million dollars.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Texas Roadhouse is once again offering veterans a free lunch for Veterans Day. The lunch is for active and retired service members when they show their military or VA card. Local locations participating include the Texas Roadhouse in Champaign and Bradley.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- The Gibson City city council will consider a Class A liquor license for a business at tonight’s council meeting. Niemann Foods, the parent company of County Market is requesting the license. Council members will also consider a farm lease. The Gibson City city council meeting gets underway at 7pm.

 

(Undated--jc) —  With U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a presidential candidate, proposing legislation that would target private equity firms' operations, the investment industry is going on the offensive with a campaign in Illinois and other states reminding Congress about the taxes it pays and the businesses it helps. Calling the industry “legalized looting” and writing in a Medium post that “private equity firms are like vampires – bleeding the company dry and walking away enriched even as the company succumbs,” Warren and other senators in July introduced the “Stop Wall Street Looting Act

 

CHICAGO (AP) — Calling “backward” the United States treatment of juveniles, Cook County Public Defender Amy Campanelli said she plans to ask the Illinois Supreme Court to reverse an Illinois Appellate Court decision last week that permits holding preteenagers in custody. Campanelli’s office represented a 12-year-old boy who was ordered confined in September 2018 by a Cook County judge, despite an ordinance passed by the Cook County Board of Commissioners that barred the custodial detention of preteenagers. The appellate court, in a 2-1 decision handed down last week, upheld the circuit court ruling that the county board ordinance conflicted with state law and was not enforceable.

 

 

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Records and correspondence spanning the political career of retiring U.S. Rep. John Shimkus are headed to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. The (Edwardsville) Intelligencer reports the Republican’s correspondence, photos and official papers will be housed at the Elijah P. Lovejoy Library. The 61-year-old announced earlier this year that he won’t seek re-election after more than 20 years in Congress. His sprawling district includes parts of central and southern Illinois.


 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is urging the public to prepare for winter weather. As the temperature begins to drop, it’s time to assess whether your family is prepared for winter. In Illinois that can mean freezing temperatures, ice storms, heavy snowfall and even tornadoes says I-EMA Spokesperson Rebecca Clark…

 

 

I-EMA Spokesperson Rebecca Clark. I-EMA reminds not to forget the special needs of pets, young children and the elderly when putting together an emergency supply kit. 

 

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Illinois state Sen. Chuck Weaver has applied to become the next president of Bradley University. The Republican is also up for 2020 re-election and says he’ll file petitions for another term. He says he’s let party leaders know his plans. They’ll take steps to choose a replacement candidate if Weaver’s chosen to lead the private university in Peoria and there isn’t another GOP candidate in the primary. Bradley University President Gary Roberts retires at the end of May 2020. Roughly 80 people have applied for the job.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- What did USDA have to say about soybeans in its new assessment? Gary Crawford has the details…

 


 

(Undated-jm) -- Veterans Day services are being held around the area today. A service will be held at Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School this morning at 10:30 with a breakfast for veterans beforehand at 9:30. St. John’s Lutheran School in Buckley will hold a veterans service at 10 am. In Gifford, a breakfast at Gifford Grade School will begin at 8 with a service to follow at 8:30. In Gibson City, a service will be held at 9 am at GCMS High School, coffee and donuts will be available for veterans starting at 8:30 am.

 

Houston Plumbing Heating and Cooling is the WPXN Business of the Day today. Winter predictions show several below freezing temperatures in the near future. You’ll want to make sure your furnace is working properly. You can also take advantage of Cool Cash Savings. Business manager Lisa Pearman gives the number to call if you need service.

 

 

Houston Plumbing Heating & Cooling Business manager Lisa Pearman


 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A public hearing on phase one of the Paxton streetscape project will be held in November. The city is looking to apply to use $1.14 million in revolving loan funds for the project which includes resurfacing Market Street from Orleans to Holmes Streets, new sidewalks in the 100 block of North Market and new pedestrian lighting. The public hearing will take place at 6:30 pm tomorrow night.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul Township High School school board members are expected to approve their tax levy at tonight’s meeting. In addition, members will discuss property tax relief. The Rantoul Township High School school board meeting gets underway at 7pm.

 

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Recap of Saturday

A lot happened around the WPXN studios yesterday. First off we had our On The Side Line’s morning show hosted by Joel, followed by our annual Ag Auction. After the very successful auction, WPXN had its first ever 8-man football game broadcast on our airwaves as Milford-CP won that game 56 to 6 to advance to the next round in the playoffs. After that PBL secured a victory over Farmington to head to the quarterfinals against Princeton next Saturday.

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The American Red Cross is seeking blood donations ahead of the flu season

(Undated-jm) -- The American Red Cross is seeking blood donations ahead of the flu season. The Red Cross says getting the flu shot doesn’t affect your eligibility to donate and there is no waiting period after getting the shot to donate. To find a donation site nearest you visit: red cross blood dot org.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois House Republicans are proposing a series of ethics reforms they’d like to see passed next week. House G-O-P Leader Jim Durkin says they have a package of five bills that will address many of the problems that have come to light lately…

 

 

House G-O-P Leader Jim Durkin. The legislation requires special elections for vacancies in the General Assembly, bans lawmakers and their families from doing paid lobbying work local government and more. Durkin is calling on colleagues to approve the measures during the remainder of the fall veto session next week. 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton-Buckley-Loda FFA Chapter will hold a breakfast for Veterans this Veterans Day. Breakfast will be served from 9:30 to 10:15 with a celebration to follow. Watseka High School will also hold a veterans day breakfast and service. Breakfast begins at 8:15 with the celebration at 9:15. St Johns School in Buckley is also hosting a Veterans Day program at 10 AM on Monday

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- U.S. agricultural exports and this country's agricultural trade surplus both took a hit in the 2018 fiscal year.  Gary Crawford reports…

 


 

 

(New York-jm) -- A Paxton woman recently competed in the New York City Marathon. Samantha Cox ran the marathon in honor of her mother who has Huntington’s Disease. Cox was part of the Huntington’s Disease Society of America team which raised more than $133,000 for the effort.

 

 

(Thomasboro-jm) -- The Illinois State Fire Marshals office is announcing $9.3 million in no interest or low interest loans for emergency vehicles to fire departments. Locally, the Thomasboro Fire Protection District is receiving $300,000. The loans must be repaid within 20 years.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- With a contentious election less than a year away, Illinois elections officials are warning that foreign influence could not only include attempted hacking, but elaborate misinformation campaigns that they’re going to need help stopping.  President Donald Trump will be vying against the eventual victor of the spring Democratic Primary in November of 2020. In Illinois, the top billing will be a ballot initiative to change the state’s Constitution to allow for a progressive income tax.


 

(Undated-jm) -- A new study out says 90 percent of people show up to work sick with cold and flu symptoms. Half come in citing they come in because of too much to do at work, while 40 percent don’t want to use their sick time. The study says bosses should set an example and take time off when sick and encourage employees to do the same.

 

Paxton IGA and Toys for Tots will host a ribeye steak sandwich cookout from 10 until 2 on Saturday at the Paxton IGA.

 

American Lutheran Community Preschool in Rantoul will host their 40th anniversary with a community chili cookoff and silent auction on Saturday from 1-3 pm at American Lutheran Church. Also ask about the  Heavenly Tree program at the church.

 

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Appellate Court says it won’t immediately rule on a lower court decision that allows Chicago Public Schools cross-country runners to compete at the state championship meet Saturday. The Illinois High School Association is seeking to overturn an order allowing the runners to compete in the postseason. The IHSA blocked their participation because a teachers’ strike prevented their attendance at the regional meet. The three-judge panel said Thursday it will rule on the IHSA appeal, but not before the meet in Peoria.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Treasurer Mike Frerichs is urging Illinoisans to check for any unclaimed property they may be due. Treasurer Frerichs says his office is launching a statewide campaign to get more people to check the “I-Cash” website for old checks, bonds and small items they may have forgotten about. He says they want to emphasize that this is not a scam…

 

 

State Treasurer Mike Frerichs. Visit Illinois Treasurer dot gov slash I Cash to see if you are owed any money. Frerichs says about one in four people are successful. 

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Rantoul Ministerial Coop will hold a Thanksgiving service on Sunday. The service will be held at the Rantoul Church of the Nazarene at 5pm. The public is invited to attend.


 

(Paxton-jm) -- It is 3 weeks from today. PRIDE in Paxton is gearing up for the Christmas holiday season with several activities for the whole family. One of the activities is the annual tree lighting says PRIDE in Paxton Director Teri Hancock…

 

 

PRIDE in Paxton Director Teri Hancock. Other activities include the parade at 1:30 pm Saturday, the Business Open House December 6th through the 9th and several opportunities for kids to meet Santa.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A Watseka man has been sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to breaking into a Champaign home. 26-year-old Collin Brais admitted to breaking into the home and stealing an xbox back in April. In exchange for his plea, three other criminal cases: residential burglary, possession of a controlled substance and theft and resisting arrest were dismissed. Brais was given credit for 146 days served.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Kent Gray has announced his intentions to run for the 15th Congressional seat. Currently that position is held by Collinsville Republican John Shimkus. Shimkus announced earlier this year he would not seek re-election. Gray served as a senior staff member for President Donald Trump's election campaign in 2015 and 2016. The 15th Congressional District covers parts of Ford, Champaign and Vermilion Counties.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- USDA's Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network will assist regional projects developing behavior health resources and assistance to producers.  Rod Bain reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Association of School Boards could revisit a resolution that would give school districts the option to arm faculty. Although the legislation failed a year ago, school boards from various regions will vote again later in November at the organization's annual conference. Proponents of the legislation are particularly making arguments for schools in rural areas, which are usually protected by local police or sheriffs instead of school resource officers who can respond more quickly to emergencies.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- If Senator Andy Manar has his way, people in Illinois would move their clocks ahead one hour this coming spring, then never have to change them again. Manar of Bunker Hill, said in a Twitter post he plans to push for passage of Senate Bill 533 when lawmakers return next week for the final three days of the fall veto session. That bill calls for setting clocks ahead one hour to Daylight Saving Time on Sunday, March 8, 2020, then leaving the state on Central Daylight Time permanently.

 

The Christmas season is a time for giving. And who better to give a gift to, than a child.  The Buckley State Bank is a Toys for Tots drop off location. They are accepting new toys from now until the first week of December.


 

The Champaign County Farm Bureau will host their 12th annual Harvest Gala tonight at Pear Tree Estate in rural Champaign. Silent auction begins at 5:30 with dinner at 7 and live auction at 7:30. Cost is $75 per person. For more information or to reserve your spot call 217-352-5235.

 

The Foosland Sportsman’s Club will hold their splatterobard shoot on Sunday,. Breakfast begins at 6 with the shoot starting at 8.

 

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The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is honoring veterans all month

(Paxrton--jc)  — Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup is releasing the name of a Rankin  woman who has died after being involved in a motor vehicle crash in Ford County, Illinois on Tuesday.  Mary C. Diskin, 84, was pronounced dead at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, Illinois at 2:22 PM yesterday. Diskin was reportedly traveling northbound on 2600 E in Ford County when her vehicle entered the intersection and collided with another vehicle traveling eastbound on 200 N. An autopsy will be performed today and an inquest may be held at a later date. This death is being investigated by the Champaign County Coroner’s Office and the Ford County Sheriff’s Office

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The state’s college savings plan is receiving national recognition. The state’s 529 savings plan was rated among one of the best in the nation by Moneystar, Inc. The company evaluates and ranks savings plans for every state.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- When it comes to hunting safety, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources says tree stands are one of the biggest concerns. Hunting season is well underway in Illinois and officials want to make sure hunters are taking basic precautions. Especially when it comes to tree stands says D-N-R Spokesperson Rachel Torbert…

 

Department of Natural Resources Spokesperson Rachel Torbert. Torbert says hunters should make sure their stand is installed properly and secure. Hunters are urged to use a safety harness and to check all equipment regularly to ensure it’s working properly. 


 

 

(Rural Paxton-jm) -- Ford County coroner Rick Flessner has released the name of a Texas man that died in an accident on I-57 near Paxton last month. 72-year-old Ernst Otis Kiehl of Copperas Cove Texas was traveling to meet his wife in Indiana when his car left the road and struck a guardrail on October 23rd.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton-Buckley-Loda School District will be holding parent teacher conferences today and tomorrow. As a result, schools will be dismissing at 2:20 pm both days.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Global demand for pork is expected to rise. Stephanie Ho has the details…

 

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  --Some districts spend far more per student at some schools and less at others, but parents can now find how just how big the difference is after per-pupil spending by school was added to the latest Illinois Report Card.In addition to the district-level data, the Illinois State Board of Education now includes how much is spent per student in each school using each school’s fiscal year 2018 financial reports.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — If you were worried that Illinois didn’t have enough lawyers, fear not. More are on the way. Illinois Supreme Court justices are scheduled to administer the attorney’s oath to 1,459 people on Thursday. A statement from the high court says that’ll bring the total number of licensed attorneys in Illinois to around 96,500.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- More improvements are being made to the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield. There’s already been repairs to some of the barns and the Coliseum got a major makeover. State Fair Spokesperson Krista Lissner says now they’re working on resurfacing fairground roads…

 

 

State Fair Spokesperson Krista Lissner. Resurfacing will also be done along portions of Illinois and Central Avenue and around the Emerson Building. The first phase is expected to be completed before Thanksgiving if weather cooperates. The second phase will begin in the spring. The three million dollars in road improvements is funded by the state’s new infrastructure plan. 

 

 

(Rural Paxton-jm) -- Ford County coroner Rick Flessner has released the cause of death for two individuals found dead after a car crash near Paxton in early October. 19-year-old Taylor Johnson of Rantoul and 29-year-old Reynaldo Hogue of Chicago both died of blunt force trauma of the head as a result of the accident. A farmer harvesting corn reported the accident to authorities.

 

(Hoopeston-jm) -- A former Super Bowl winning quarterback will be in Hoopeston this weekend. Chicago Bears legend Jim McMahon will be signing autographs and Bricks and Ivy Saturday. Tickets are $80-$160. 

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The Champaign County Farm Bureau is gearing up for their 12th annual Harvest Gala. This year’s event takes place on Friday, November 8th at the Pear Tree Estate. A silent auction gets underway at 5:30, with a dinner at 7 and live auction at 7:30. Cost is $75 a person. For more information or to register, call the Champaign County Farm Bureau at 217-352-5235.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  — The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is honoring veterans all month. Admission is free for Military Veterans and alll Active Duty personnel on Veteran’s Day, Museum Spokesperson Chris Wills says there is also a “Fighting Powell’s” display…

 

 

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Spokesperson Chris Wills

 

 

(Chicago--jc)  — Illinois got low marks on the March of Dimes annual report card on maternal and infant health.The annual report looked at health issues for mothers and newborns, including premature birth rates across the county. As a nation, the United States received an overall grade of a "C." March of Dimes President and CEO Stacey Stewart says Illinois ranked below the national average with a "D+" on the report card. Stewart adds that Illinois has a lot of work to do in the area of infant health. 

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Illinois reported fewer traffic fatalities in 2018, following a national trend

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois reported fewer traffic fatalities in 2018, following a national trend. Numbers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show a 2.5 percent decline in 2018, with deaths in Illinois down more than 5 percent. The decrease follows a brief spike in 2015 and 2016, blamed on more drivers on the roads due to an improving economy. Pedestrian deaths remain a concern, as the number of fatalities increased by nearly 3 percent nationally and 12 percent in Illinois.Overall, more than 36,000 people died on the nation’s roads in 2018. Illinois reported 1,031 deaths on the roadways last year, the tenth-highest number in the country.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Producers made slight progress this past week as we hear in the weekly crop report. Only about two days were suitable for fieldwork, preventing farmers from making any big headway says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 77 percent of soybeans have been harvested and 83 percent of winter wheat has been planted. Average statewide topsoil moisture increased to one percent very short, five percent short, 65 percent adequate and 29 percent surplus. 

 

 

(Urbana-jm) — A Rantoul man was arrested in Urbana on weapon and drug charges. Police say an officer saw Kejuan Coleman leaving a vehicle over the weekend that was emitting a heavy odor of cannabis. When the officer tried to stop Coleman he took off on foot. Officers uncovered a large amount of cash on him, and a gun and cannabis in his vehicle. Coleman was charged with unlawful use of a weapon, delivery of up to 500 grams of cannabis and resisting police. Bond was set at $30,000.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Could the village of Rantoul ban cannabis establishments? That will be the discussion at tonight’s study session. In addition, village trustees will discuss the village’s tax levy and $225,000 in street maintenance in 2020. The Rantoul village board study session gets underway at 6 pm.

 

(Ludlow-jm) -- Prep work for a water main project in the village of Ludlow is halfway complete. Village leaders recently learned an electrical panel in the water plant will not work with the new system and will have to be moved to phase one of the project instead of phase two. Leaders hope to send the project out to bid in the spring.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Ameren Illinois customers could see some relief on their energy bills this winter. The company announced rates are expected to be five percent less than last year. That means a typical residential customer who uses 10,000 kilowatt hours per year will save around $22.


(Washington-jm) -- Secretary Perdue is touting U.S. relationships with Japan, which is one of this country's largest agricultural export markets. Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Law enforcement officers are urging caution when using public changing tables. Police say the tables are sometimes used by drug addicts looking to get their fix. 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Some districts spend far more per student at some schools and less at others, but parents can now find how just how big the difference is after per-pupil spending by school was added to the latest Illinois Report Card. In addition to the district-level data, the Illinois State Board of Education now includes how much is spent per student in each school using each school’s fiscal year 2018 financial reports. Information is available at illinoisreportcard.com.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Producers made slight progress this past week as we hear in the weekly crop report. 95 percent of corn is now mature, and 58 percent of the crop has been harvested. That’s up from 54 percent last week. Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener looks at soybeans... 

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 60 percent of the winter wheat crop has emerged. Average statewide topsoil moisture is rated as one percent very short, five percent short, 65 percent adequate and 29 percent surplus. 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton is gearing up for their annual Christmas parade. This year’s theme is Chocolate, Gum Drops and Golden Tickets: Imagine the Possibilities. PRIDE in Paxton Director Teri Hancock says they are running a special golden ticket promotion…

 

 

PRIDE in Paxton Director Teri Hancock. The annual parade will take place Saturday, November 30th at 1:30 pm.


 

 

(Paxton--jc)  The demolition process for the former EastLawn School have begun. Workers with Lee Excavating based in Thawville have started the process that will take several months to complete. The aging structure property  will be repurposed by the local school district. Those traveling in the area are asked for their patience as the project continues.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The Champaign County Farm Bureau is gearing up for their 12th annual Harvest Gala. This year’s event takes place on Friday, November 8th at the Pear Tree Estate. A silent auction gets underway at 5:30, with a dinner at 7 and live auction at 7:30. Cost is $75 a person. For more information or to register, call the Champaign County Farm Bureau at 217-352-5235.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Nestle is recalling some ready to bake refrigerated Toll House Cookie Dough. The company says certain batches contain food grade rubber pieces. Batch codes beginning with 9189 to 9295 are affected. They include Toll House Cookie Dough bars, tubs and tube shaped chubs.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- After three more troopers were struck by passing motorists in four days, the Illinois State Police is again reminding the public about the state’s “Move Over” law. The number of I-S-P squad cars hit by driver’s not moving over has now reached 26. The move over or “Scott’s Law” requires motorists to slow down and switch lanes if they see a vehicle with flashing lights on the side of the road. Some aren’t getting the message says Trooper Mindy Carroll…

 

 

Illinois State Police Trooper Mindy Carroll. The Illinois State Police have lost four troopers so far this year. Two were killed as a result of Scott’s Law violations. 


 

(Springfield-jm) -- Amid a backdrop of federal investigative activity and bipartisan calls for ethics reform, a state legislator introduced a bill that would increase the sentences of state lawmakers convicted of a crime related to their public duties. Barrington Hills Republican Rep. David McSweeney’s bill joins a handful of others that aim to institute a task force to study potential ethical safeguards, increase the fines associated with lying on government forms and bribery, and give the legislative investigator more autonomy in her inquiries. McSweeney’s bill would tack an extra “five years of imprisonment” to the sentence of a lawmaker convicted of a felony “relating to or arising out of or in connection” to his or her public duties, according to the legislation.

 

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Chunk Norris set a new World Record with 4091 feet at the Punkin Chunkin event in Rantoul

CHICAGO (AP) — A published report says the son of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan invited a suburban mayor to a fundraiser for his father around the time he was trying to convince that suburb’s officials to hire his insurance company. The Chicago Sun-Times cites an Aug. 27, 2018, email from Andrew Madigan to Alsip Mayor John Ryan inviting him to a $500-a-ticket “Mayors for Speaker Madigan” event. The email came after yearlong discussions about how Alsip might hire Alliant/Mesirow Insurance Services, where Andrew Madigan is an executive.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Thousands of people were in Rantoul this past weekend for the World Punkin Chunkin Championship. This was the first year the championship was held outside of Delaware. Chunk Norris was the winning machine launching a pumpkin 4,091 feet. Event organizers are already planning next year’s event in the village.

 

 

Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup is releasing the name of a male who has died after he was involved in a semi tractor-trailer crash on Interstate 74 east bound near the 186 mile marker around noon on November 1, 2019. Kenny W. Hill, age 38, of Jacksonville, Illinois was pronounced dead at Carle Foundation Hospital at 1:01 PM on November 1, 2019. An autopsy was performed on November 2, 2019 and inquest may be held at a later date. This death is under investigation by the Champaign County Coroner’s Office and the Illinois State Police District 10

 

(Washington-jm) --  The latest step in the 2019 Farm Service Agency County Committee Election process takes place the first week of November with the arrival of ballots in the mail. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- Rantoul Township High School Board members meet in special session tonight. On the agenda is a student diseplenary case. The meeting comes to order at 6pm

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The National Safety Council is telling employers that some jobs have too much of an impact on safety to allow for any marijuana use by employees. As Illinois prepares for recreational adult-use cannabis starting Jan. 1, the National Safety Council said there was no acceptable amount of marijuana use for employee in a safety sensitive position.National Safety Council Vice President of Government Affairs Jane Terry said the organization wants employers to prioritize safety. Terry said that with existing technology, it isn't possible to test for marijuana impairment. That’s why the National Safety Council is asking employers with employees in safety-sensitive positions to have a zero-tolerance policy. 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier tendered notice he will resign his seat on the bench effective Dec. 6. 2020. His three-year term as chief justice of the state’s highest court concluded Oct. 25. Chief Justice Anne Burke succeeded him as head of the court beginning the following day, and according to a spokesperson, Karmeier has requested his seat be filled by election, rather than appointment. During his time leading the court as chief, he helped secure its first budget increase in six years this spring. The branch will receive just more than $405 million from the state’s main checking account, a bump of about $60.5 million. That money will be used in part to alleviate costs paid by local governments for probation, court officials said.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- After several years of trending downward, the number of children without health care insurance in Illinois and the nation is on the rise again, according to a new report. Mary Schuermann reports…

 

 

 

(Urbana--jc)  --Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup is releasing the name of a male who has died from complications of injuries sustained in a multiple vehicle crash. David Hooker, age 56, of Sidney, Illinois was pronounced dead at Carle Foundation Hospital at 9:29 AM on November 1, 2019. Mr. Hooker was reportedly the driver of a vehicle that collided with a semi tractor-trailer on County Road 1000 N in Champaign County on the morning of October 30, 2019. No autopsy will be performed however, an inquest may be held at a later date. This death is under investigation by the Champaign County Coroner’s Office and the Champaign County Sheriff’s Department.

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  --The PBL Education Foundation reports 56% of the district’s staff have donated over $8000 to The PBL Endowment Fund. Participating staff made their donations through a payroll deduction plan. President of the PBL Teachers Association, Amy Johnson said, “We have very dedicated teachers and staff in our district. They care deeply for our students so it is not surprising they would be so generous.” These donations will be added to The Endowment Fund’s growing principal. This collective gift will create the staff’s life-long legacy of support as the principal will generate income in perpetuity! The PBL Endowment Fund was created in 2017 to provide a reliable source of income to fund the wide range of quickly changing technology needs within the school district. “

 

 

(SPringfield--jc)  -- Some concerns about college athletes and compensation are being addressed by one area lawmaker. State Representative Dan Brady of Bloomington says the issue raises some red flags from money and regulation…

 

 

State Representative Dan Brady of Bloomington

 

(Springfield--jc)  --Governor J.B. Pritzker could move forward with a campaign plan to create a Medicaid buy-in program after lawmakers failed to override his veto of a bill that would have restricted his ability to unilaterally request waivers from the federal government for health programs.During the fall veto session, lawmakers only addressed one veto and they failed to get enough votes to override it. Pritzker vetoed seven bills that the General Assembly approved. The governor signed nearly 600 bills. He used one amendatory veto.Pritzker vetoed Senate Bill 2026 entirely. State Sen. Sue Rezin, R-Morris, the bill's chief sponsor, said it would have protected people with pre-existing conditions by giving legislators the power to request federal health program waivers, rather than unilateral power to the governor.

 

 

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The Illinois Senate has passed a bill prohibiting vaping in public places

(Thomasboro-jm) -- The case of a woman found dead near Thomasboro over 20 years ago is getting new life. The remains of the woman was found May 1, 1995 after an ag worker found bones and clothing. Jane Doe’s information was added to national Missing Person’s Database in 2009. Since then detectives worked on getting new dental details, DNA samples and anthropology reports to help them solve the case. Officials said on Wednesday, they are hoping a new artist sketch of Jane Doe will bring new information to the case. They’ve also sent DNA to a lab for DNA analysis and used isotope technology to pinpoint a location where she may have lived. Based on the new findings Jane Doe, may have been between the ages of 16-18 to possibly 29 years old. Officials think she was between 5 feet 1 inches to 5 feet 9 inches.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Senate has passed a bill prohibiting vaping in public places. Senate Bill 1864 would add e-cigarettes to the Smoke Free Illinois Act. The law outlaws smoking tobacco inside public places. The bill now moves to the House.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois House is voting to let college student athletes sign endorsement deals. Bill sponsor, State Representative Chris Welch of Hillside says the N-C-Double A, schools, athletic directors and coaches make billions off of college sports…

 

 

State Representative Chris Welch of Hillside. The Senate will consider the measure next and Governor J-B Pritzker has said he will sign it into law. If that happens, it will take effect in 2023, just like a similar law enacted in California. 

 

 

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Parkland College Land Surveying students and faculty will be official surveyors at this weekend’s “World Championship Punkin Chunkin” event in Rantoul. Using high accuracy G-P-S equipment, Todd Horton, construction management program director and Kory Allred, Land Surveying faculty member, will lead a group of  students to set team areas and measure pumpkin flight distances from more than 30 “machines” signed up to participate in this annual event on Saturday and Sunday. WPXN will be broadcasting live at the Punkin Chunkin Competition on Saturday from 11am to 1pm

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A Rantoul man who admitted to robbing another man outside a Rantoul motel last month has been sentenced to probation. Steven Houston pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery earlier this month in Champaign County court. Police say Houston admitted to taking the wallet of a man at the Knights Inn. He was sentenced to 30 months probation and 30 months community service.

 

 

(Fisher-jm) -- Changes to nuisance laws in the village of Fisher could come as early as November. Village Administrator Jeremy Reale has been researching ordinances in several nearby communities. A draft of the changes could come before the village board at their November meeting.

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  The Chicago Carver football was scheduled to practice Wednesday afternoon for a potential first round 3A football game with the Panthers of Paxton Buckley Loda. PBL Athletic Director Brock Niebuhr says his office was notified about the process on Wednesday afternoon…

 

 

PBL Athletic Director Brock Neibuhr.


 

(Champaign-jm) -- The Champaign County board continues to discuss consolidation of the county’s jails. The county’s facilities committee agrees keeping both jails operational is too expensive. However, those attending a recent committee meeting, are against a new combined jail saying the money would be better spent on ways to keep people out of jail. A new facility is estimated to cost between $42 and $52 million.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- An advocacy group is fighting for new policies for education in the state’s prisons. The Illinois Coalition for Higher Education in Prison is advocating for the creation of a transfer hold for people in college programs. They are also advocating for inmates to have book in their cells.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  Some area Republicans say the state of Illinois needs a true independent inspector general. Ray Watt has the story from Springfield…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says he’s angry over recent corruption scandals in the Illinois legislature. A few state lawmakers and local officials have been under investigation and arrests have been made in some cases. Governor Pritzker strongly criticizes their abuse of power…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The Governor says he’s glad corrupt officials are being caught. A number of ethics reform proposals have emerged this week in light of the latest corruption investigations. 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Those visiting Shawnee National Park in southern Illinois may soon have to pay. The park is considering charging $5 per vehicle per day and a $30 yearly pass. The money would go towards upkeep and maintenance at the park. Park officials say there is a need due to an increase in popularity of the park and a flat or slight decline in federal funding. The fees would have to be approved by the U-S Park Service.

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- The former director of the Grossinger Motors Arena in Bloomington won’t face jail time. Curtis Webb was found guilty of theft for using a taxpayer funded debit card for personal use. He was sentenced to 100 hours of community service and ordered to pay $1,150 in restitution.


 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Inclement weather is affecting area trick or treat activities. Paxton’s Halloween parade has been cancelled for tonight. Trick or treating in Fisher, Gilman and Onarga have all been moved to Friday night.

 

(Ludlow-jm) -- The Ludlow school district will be getting rid of some of their technology products. The district is selling 60 Chromebook laptops because they are not able to be updated to be compatible with the state testing platform. The district will also be selling some smartboards.

 

 

(Fisher-jm) -- The Fisher Grade School will have a new principal next school year. The district voted to hire Jake Palmer to the position. He takes over for Jim Moxley, who is retiring after 21 years in the position. Palmer currently serves as junior high and high school dean of students and head football coach.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Legislation ending the practice of suspending someone’s driver’s license because of overdue parking tickets is headed to the Governor’s desk. Representative Carol Ammons of Champaign says stripping someone of their license because they owe money doesn’t make sense. She says the state needs to support people finding gainful employment…

 

 

State Representative Carol Ammons of Champaign. If the Governor signs the “License to Work Act” into law, it will take effect July 1st. 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- October is Infant Sleep Awareness Month and state officials hope to lower some shocking statistics. According to D-C-F-S and the State Department of Public Health, 143 infants under the age of one died in 2018 in Illinois, including 27 from central Illinois,  from unsafe sleeping arrangements. Of those 114 were found in locations other than cribs, bassinets and pack and plays. 102 were found in positions other than their backs and 97 were co-sleeping with a parent or sibling. D-C-F-S, Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois Department of Human Services wants to teach families how babies should properly sleep saying babies should sleep alone on their back in a crib, bassinet or pack and play.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- There may be ancient agricultural roots that have grown into some of our present day Halloween observances. Gary Crawford has the spooky details…

 

 

 

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NCAA Board of Governors took steps toward allowing college student-athletes to profit from the use of their name or likeness

(Springfield-jm) -- On the same day a bill allowing college student-athletes to profit from the use of their name or likeness passed an Illinois House committee Tuesday, the governing body that oversees most collegiate athletics took steps toward allowing such activity at a national level. The vote by the NCAA Board of Governors came just hours after state Representative Chris Welch, passed his House Bill 3904 through the House Higher Education Appropriations Committee by a 9-6 vote on partisan lines.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- 55 percent of Illinois public education funding comes from local tax revenues according to new data from the National Education Association. Revenue per student in Illinois, based on average daily attendance figures, stood at $18,210 last year. Of the total revenues flowing to public education in the state, federal government funds made up 5.8 percent of the total and state funds amounted to 39.2 percent. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois State Police reminds that parents can check the state’s sex offender registry before their kids head out for trick-or-treating. You can easily search the registry by plugging in your zip code or city says the state police’s Tracie Newton. She suggests doing a quick check periodically, and before Halloween…

 

 

Illinois State Police’s Tracie Newton. The state also has a registry for criminals who commit violent acts against children. It’s against the law for convicted child sex offenders to hand out candy to kids on Halloween. Search the registries at: isp dot state dot il dot us. 

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Champaign police are looking for the suspect or suspects involved in the burglary of Best Buy. Police say the suspect or suspects cut into the north side of the building on October 21st and stole 50 Microsoft tablets and 50 Apple watches estimated at $70,000 value. Anyone with information is asked to call Champaign Police or Champaign County Crimestoppers.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Illinois still holds its pumpkin acreage title, but has slipped in terms of value. Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

(Ford County-jm) -- The next round of discussion on wind farm regulations in Ford County will take place in early November. Ford County Board members will meet November 5th at 7 pm to continue discussions on issues such as setbacks and restrictions on shadow flicker and noise. The county’s zoning board has been meeting several times since a moratorium was put in place a year ago.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The village of Rantoul is gearing up to host the 2019 World Punkin Chunkin Championships November 2nd and 3rd on the former Chanute Air Force Base. Organizer Kevin Thompson talks about some of the punkin chunkin machines…

 

 

World Punkin Chunkin Championship Organizer Kevin Thompson. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the gate the day of.

 

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois State Board of Education has suspended the licenses of nearly 50 educators across the state charged with sex crimes, violent felonies or certain drug offenses. The Daily Southtown reports that the board began suspending the licenses of eligible teachers earlier this month. Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a measure into law in late August seeking to strengthen student safety protections. The school workers whose licenses were suspended under the law include teachers, coaches and administrators from about two-dozen urban, suburban and rural districts in Illinois. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- “Get Covered Illinois” enrollment begins Friday and the Illinois Department of Insurance says rates are the same or lower than last year. Those needing health insurance can start exploring the plans that are available, with several options to choose from says Insurance Department Director Robert Muriel…

 

And Muriel says for the most part, rates are down this time around. The enrollment period begins November 1st and runs through December 15th. Visit the website: get covered dot illinois dot gov to start comparing plans.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Leaders of the Illinois House launched an investigation Tuesday into a Democratic lawmaker who refused to resign despite a bribery charge, a move that could lead to his expulsion. House Speaker Michael Madigan filed paperwork to create a committee to investigate fellow Chicago Rep. Luis Arroyo for removal, after Arroyo failed to meet Madigan’s demand that he resign Monday. If 79 of the House’s 118 members vote to expel Arroyo, it would be the third expulsion since 1905 and the second in the last seven years.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- State lawmakers on the Illinois Property Tax Relief Task Force say they’re getting closer to offering up final recommendations to lower the state’s second-highest in the nation property tax burden. Stephanie Kifowit of Aurora said the issue isn’t just about the state’s high property taxes. It’s also about housing affordability. One area to find relief, according to state Rep. Jonathan Carroll of Buffalo Grove is consolidating some of the state’s thousands of local governments, including school districts. State Rep. Mike Murphy of Springfield said another cost that drives up property taxes is local police and firefighter pensions. But, Murphy said, he still hasn’t seen the governor’s proposed pensions consolidation measure in bill form.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Senate is voting to cap insulin costs. The bill limits the out-of-pocket cost for a 30 day supply of insulin to 100 dollars. It only applies to commercial insurance plans regulated by the state. Senator Andy Manar of Bunker Hill is sponsoring the measure, saying insulin prices have skyrocketed in recent years…

 

 

State Senator Andy Manar of Bunker Hill. According to the State Department of Public Health, about one point three million Illinoisans have diabetes. The bill now moves to the House. 

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- University of Illinois police are investigating a sexual assault on campus over the weekend. Police say the incident happened in a residence hall. The victim told police they did not know the suspect.

 

 

(Cissna Park-jc) -- The Cissna Park FFA will hold their Fundraising Auction on Saturday November 2nd. Cissna Park FFA Advisor Jeff Clifton talks about how the event will play out...

 

 

Cissna Park FFA Advisor Jeff Clifton

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City is banning commercial parking on a portion of West Street. The portion is from the 300 block West street to the intersection of 10th street on both sides. The ban comes after several residents complained of commercial vehicles parking and waiting to enter a nearby factory.

 

 

(Buckley-jm) -- Halloween is just around the corner but one area school wants to get you in the Christmas holiday spirit. Christ Lutheran High School in Buckley will once again hold their annual Deck the Halls craft and vendor fair says Executive Director Sandy Spitz…

 

 

CLHS Executive Director Sandy Spitz.

 

 

SPRINGFIELD – Amid an ongoing flurry of federal investigative activity pertaining to state government, a bipartisan group of lawmakers called for the creation of a task force to recommend greater ethical safeguards during a Statehouse news conference. State Representative Tony McCombie is sponsoring House Joint Resolution 87, which would create a bipartisan task force to examine state ethics laws and how to better improve and enforce them. The task force would consist of one member of the governor’s staff and two members of the Republican and Democratic caucuses in each chamber appointed by their legislative leaders. It would have 90 days from the day the resolution passes to report to the General Assembly and governor with its recommendations.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Senate lawmakers are discussing a proposed ban on flavored tobacco and vaping products. Supporters say these products are dangerous, appealing to teens and easier to conceal from parents since they don’t smell like traditional nicotine. But Tony Abboud, Executive Director of the Vapor Technology Association argues the ban will hurt businesses…

 

 

Vapor Technology Association Executive Director Tony Abboud. A woman whose daughter nearly died from vaping urged lawmakers to include menthol and mint flavored products in the ban as well.

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An Illinois lawmaker is calling for the repeal of the state's death penalty

(Springfield-jm) -- An Illinois lawmaker is calling for the repeal of the state’s death penalty. State Representative David McSweeny is looking to introduce the Capital Crimes Litigation Act. The act would undo the repeal of the death penalty implemented by former Governor Pat Quinn in 2011. Criminal justice advocates argue the death penalty does not cut back on crimes.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — A state lawmaker at the Illinois Capitol sought to bribe another state lawmaker, offering $2,500 a month in exchange for the senator’s support of sweepstakes-related legislation, according to a federal complaint unsealed on Monday. Rep. Luis Arroyo, 65, made the offer on Aug. 2 and handed over an initial check on Aug. 22 for the unidentified state senator’s backing of the legislation in the Illinois Senate, according to the complaint. The payments were expected to continue for six months to a year more, it says.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is lending his support to a bill letting college athletes sign endorsement deals. Governor Pritzker says schools are profiting off their athletes, yet the students don't receive any of that money…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The bill prohibits colleges and universities from taking away an athlete’s playing eligibility if they get an endorsement deal The Governor says he wants this passed during the fall veto session, which would make Illinois the second state in the nation to have such a law. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Farmers were able to make some decent harvest progress as we hear in the weekly crop report. There were about five days suitable for fieldwork this past week, and average statewide topsoil moisture increased to two percent very short, eight percent short, 71 percent adequate and 19 percent surplus. Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 96 percent of soybeans are dropping leaves…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 93 percent of corn is mature, and 54 percent has been harvested. 75 percent of winter wheat has been planted. 

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A Rantoul woman has been sentenced to six years in prison for stealing from a co-worker. Jaheenya Evans pleaded guilty in August to theft for stealing cash from a co-workers purse at McDonalds. It was Evans 5th conviction for theft.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The fall veto session is underway in Springfield. Local State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says he believes a lot of focus will be on issues in Chicago…

 

 

State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A Paxton resident is asking a judge to halt demolition of Eastlawn Elementary. Attorneys for the resident filed the complaint for injunction in Ford County court for injunctive relief against the Paxton-Buckley-Loda School District. The injunction claims the ballot question was illegal. Demolition is supposed to begin next week.

 

 

(Urbana--jc)  The Champaign County Coroner’s Office and the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office are set to release information on Wednesday afternoon concerning an old homicide investigation.A press conference is set for Urbana at 2-30 Wednesday afternoon. More information will be made available at that time. 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A Paxton nursing home was fined by the state. Accolade Senior Living was fined $22 hundred for failing to respond to a residents request for bathroom assistance using the emergency call system, then left a resident on a bedpan for more than two hours. The former Champaign County nursing home also received a fine from the state.

 

 

(Gibson City--jc) --  Some road and bridge projects are coming to East Central Illinois with the Rebuild Illinois Capital Bill 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says some improvements are coming into the 106th District…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City

 

(Washington-jm) -- An Illinois Senator is pushing Amtrak to improve on their performance after a recent report showed the passenger rail company is facing financial hardships. The report shows Amtrak lost $171 million last fiscal year. That wasn’t the only bad news for the company. Two of their routes in Illinois, the Illini and Saluki, were ranked as one of the worst for on time performance. That performance has prompted Senator Dick Durbin to come out and push Amtrak to fix their issues.

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is warning boaters about slippery ramps. D-N-R officials say boaters should use caution when loading and unloading boats due to algae on the ramps making them slippery. They also say no to back tow vehicle tires into the water as the vehicle may slide.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois State Fire Marshal’s office has some tips to keep your kids and home safe this Halloween. Fire Marshal Spokesperson J-C Fultz says candles and decorations certainly pose a risk this time of year, quickly igniting if kept too close…

 

 

State Fire Marshal Spokesperson J-C Fultz. Parents are urged to make sure their child’s costume is flame resistant and doesn’t have long trailing fabric that could catch fire. Face paint is recommended over masks, so kids can see well and it’s a good idea to have them carry a flashlight or glow stick to increase visibility. 

 

 

(Kankakee-jm) -- The Illinois National Guard will be honoring those who died this weekend. The National Guard will honor 34 fallen members during a Fallen Heroes Memorial Ceremony on Sunday at 1pm at the Kankakee Army Aviation Support Facility and Readiness Center. Those being honored died during operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Farmers were able to make some decent harvest progress as we hear in the weekly crop report. 96 percent of soybeans are dropping leaves and 69 percent of acres have been harvested says State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. The condition of the soybean crop improved to 49 percent in good to excellent condition. He says 93 percent of corn is now mature…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 75 percent of winter wheat has been planted and 47 percent has emerged. Average statewide topsoil moisture increased to two percent very short, eight percent short, 71 percent adequate and 19 percent surplus.  

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- A local state senator is receiving recognition for being an environmental advocate. State Senator Scott Bennett of Champaign received the Prairie Rivers Network Outstanding Public Servant award. The award honors elected officials and public servants that not only advocate for good environmental policies, but also see the problems facing Illinois and become part of the solution. Bennett’s Coal Ash Pollution Prevention Act, which was signed into law this summer, made him a prime recipient for this award. Bennett championed this legislation to be proactive about the hazardous coal ash pollution threatening Illinois lakes, rivers and streams.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- PRIDE in Paxton will hold their annual Business Open House December 6th through the 9th. One of the businesses participating is the Market Street General Store. Owner Teri Hancock talks about her business…

 

 

Market Street General Store Owner Teri Hancock.


 

(Ludlow-jm) -- The village of Ludlow is looking to update their ordinances after the village attorney found many of them are not enforceable. Attorney Mark Miller told the board he has a new set of ordinances for small villages and towns at the same cost it would be for him to update about three of the existing ordinances. Trustees will be asked to vote on the $6,500 expense in November.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The fall veto session got underway today but a cloud of political corruption and FBI investigations could make things more difficult. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says the investigations are already impacting the fall session…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman.

 

 

(Ashkum-jm) -- District 21 Illinois State Police troopers have announced several upcoming special patrols in Ford, Iroquois and Kankakee Counties. Troopers will be conducting Occupant Restraint Enforcement Patrols on October 29th, November 19th and November 25th. Troopers will be conducting Special Traffic Enforcement Patrols on November 16th, 17th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 27th, 30th and December 1st. Those patrols will focus on the fatal four: DUI, seatbelts, speeding and distracted driving.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- What's the latest with the nation's meat industry? Stephanie Ho has the details…

 


 

Champaign, Ill. – State Farm Center Theatre will play host to The Price is Right Live™ stage show on Thursday, March 12, 2020. Tickets will go on sale Friday, November 1 at 10 a.m. at StateFarmCenter.com, the Illinois Ticket Office in the west lobby of State Farm Center, or by calling 866-ILLINI-1. The Price Is Right Live™ is the hit interactive stage show that gives eligible individuals the chance to "Come On Down" and play classic games from television's most popular game show. Contestants can win cash, appliances, vacations and possibly even a new car by playing favorites like Plinko™, Cliffhangers™, The Big Wheel™, and the fabulous Showcase! Tickets again go on sale on Friday.


 

(Undated-jm) -- An alarming new report is out about the hidden dangers of law enforcement. The report from the Ruderman Family Foundation shows 647 law enforcement officers committed suicide in the last 3 years including 140 in 2017. The foundation says the increase in suicides is due to higher stress levels on the job and a lack of resources available for officers.

 

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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is endorsing legislation that would allow college athletes in the state to make money from endorsements.

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is endorsing legislation that would allow college athletes in the state to make money from endorsements. During a Sunday interview on WGN-Radio, Pritzker said college athletes deserve the same opportunity as everyone else to earn compensation based on the use of their name and their image and likeness. Democratic state Rep. Emanuel Welch of Hillside has introduced legislation that would put Illinois in line with California.

 

 

CHICAGO (AP) — Kentucky launched a marketing campaign to coax Illinois companies to move across the border with promises of lower taxes and better weather. Kentucky Republican Gov. Matt Bevin and the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development designed the billboards, which attack Illinois’ taxes and regulations, the Chicago Tribune reported. The first billboard proclaims, “Illinois isn’t pro-business, Kentucky is.” Eight more billboards are expected to go up before the end of the month as part of the six-month campaign.

 

 

(Washington-jm) --  If you are a farmer and your harvest is going to be delayed, contact your crop insurance agent to see if you can get an extension on your harvest deadline. Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

(Rural Paxton-jm) -- Paxton first responders were called to a two vehicle accident Saturday evening south of Paxton. The accident happened just before 7:30 pm on Route 45 at the Ford/Champaign County line. No word on if there were any injuries.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- When lawmakers return for the fall veto session one issue they will look into is a pension consolidation proposal by Governor J-B Pritzker. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman talks about the proposal…

 

Local State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County is gearing up for their annual Holiday Bureau to help those less fortunate this holiday season. Families who need assistance can sign up between October 28th and November 15th. They must show proof of income for the past 30 days and proof of residency. Toy and food distribution will take place in early December.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Business is booming in downtown Paxton. PRIDE in Paxton Director and local business owner Terri Hancock says it’s encouraging to see…

 

 

PRIDE in Paxton Director and local business owner Terri Hancock.

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- A City of PaxtonPublic Works Committee meeting to be held on Tuesday night at 7. The purpose of the committee meeting is to discuss burning ordinance changes or updates. Any recommendations will be given to the full city council.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Two Illinois lawmakers are introducing legislation in Washington to lower drug costs. Senator Dick Durbin and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky are sponsoring legislation to lower drug costs in Medicare by creating an administered plan to compete with private plans to drive down drug prices.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — Census officials are preparing to battle the spread of fake news by internet trolls and foreign powers for the first time in the count's 230-year history. The stakes are huge. Who participates in the 2020 census count could influence how U.S. congressional seats and billions of federal tax dollars to educate children, help low-income families and pave new roads are divvied up. Facebook will use a mix of people and artificial intelligence to spot, review and remove troublesome posts.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois is providing almost $3 million in state funds to help crime victims deal with their trauma. Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority announced that $2.8 million in grants will be distributed to trauma recovery centers across the state. They say research shows the centers provide much-needed services to people in underserved communities who face barriers to getting help.

 

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois State Museum returned 42 culturally significant items to representatives of two Aboriginal communities in Australia after the artifacts spent decades on U.S. soil. An Australian delegation collected spears, shields and boomerangs during a ceremony at the Illinois State Museum’s Research and Collections Center in Springfield. Secret, sacred, secular and ceremonial objects were also returned along with necklaces and body ornaments, said Brooke Morgan, the museum’s curator of anthropology.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- 57 new Illinois State Troopers are hitting the road. Cadet Class 129 has graduated after more than six months of intensive training at the state police academy in Springfield. Governor J-B Pritzker spoke at the ceremony, recognizing their commitment…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Training at the academy covered everything from firearms and pursuits to cultural diversity and domestic violence. New troopers will now be paired with more senior officers for 14 weeks of field training on the road. 

 

(Iroquois County-jm) -- Several offices will be up for election in the March primary in Iroquois County. Seats up include circuit clerk, coroner and states attorney. Also up are 10 county board members and 37 precinct committeemen. Those seeking nominations began circulating their petitions on September 3rd. Paperwork can be filed with the Iroquois County Clerk's office between November 25th and December 2nd.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Pumpkins will take to the sky in Rantoul November 2nd and 3rd as the 2019 World Punkin Chunkin Championship will be in town. Dozens of machines will attend to chunk a pumpkin the furthest distance. Organizer Kevin Thompson has how you can get your tickets…

 

 

Punkin Chunkin Championship Organizer Kevin Thompson

 

(Gibson City--jc)  -- Gibson City leaders will look to pass an agreement  for professional services with the Fehr-Graham group when they meet tonight. The council is also expected to act on an ordinance regarding “No Parking” on West Street from 329 North West Street to the Corner of 10th Street. The Gibson City Council meets at 7 tonight in city hall.

 

 

(Thomasboro-jm) -- The head of the Thomasboro school board has announced she is stepping down. Jane Sprandel is resigning at the end of the month after 11 years because her family is moving to rural Homer. Her term would have ended in April 2021.

 

 

One local FFA Chapter will be holding an auction that is their main fundraiser. Cissna Park FFA Advisor Jeff Clifton talks about when the auction will be held.

 

 

Cissna Park FFA Advisor Jeff Clifton

 

 

(Mahomet-jc) Mahomet Seymour School board members are expected to approve some changes with their superintendent  contract when they meet tonight in special session. The local board has been working on contract additions for several months. The board meets tonight at 7-30.

 

 

CHICAGO (AP) — An Illinois task force that examined the safety of pharmacy practices in the state is recommending that pharmacists take breaks and take more time when dispensing medications. State officials created the task force after a 2016 Chicago Tribune investigation found that 52% of 255 Chicago-area pharmacies failed to warn customers about combinations of drugs that could cause harm or death. Task force chairman Philip Burgess told the Tribune that the panel examined why pharmacists didn’t catch dangerous drug interactions. He says the recommendations focused on easing the stress of heavy workloads and extra distractions such as the need to reach company quotas for giving immunizations to customers. Current Illinois law doesn’t require pharmacists to take breaks.

 

 

CHICAGO (AP) — More than 300,000 Chicago students will miss another day of classes as teachers in the nation's third-largest school district remain on strike.As contract talks between Chicago Public Schools and the striking teachers continue, CPS announced late Sunday afternoon that classes and after school programs scheduled for Monday are canceled. City officials say a large gap remains between he two sides.

 

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Legislation passed in the U-S House would make animal cruelty a felony

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting a second state resident has died after being hospitalized for a vaping-related lung injury. The department on Thursday refused to give the patient's identity, age or where they died, citing patient privacy concerns. According to the department, 153 people in Illinois, ranging in age from 13 to 66 years old, with a median age of 22, have experienced lung injuries after using e-cigarettes or vaping.

 

GENEVA, Ill. (AP) — A former northern Illinois bus aide is accused of striking a special needs student, knocking out two teeth. Jean M. Micklevitz, who worked for the Burlington Central School District, is charged with aggravated battery to a child for allegedly dragging him to a seat after he refused to move from the bus steps. Kane County prosecutors said the 63-year-old Burlington woman then struck the boy several times in the face.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois is receiving almost $11 million to combat domestic violence in the state. The funds come from the Violence Against Women Act and will be split among several agencies throughout the state.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The unemployment rate fell in most of the state’s metro areas last month. The state jobless rate was down in 12 of the 14 metro areas compared to year ago levels. Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Rebecca Cisco says there was some job growth as well…

 

 

Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Rebecca Cisco. Bloomington and Springfield saw a decrease in jobs last month compared to September of 2017. 

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Parkland College is helping those needing career training. The Champaign based community college is creating a $1.5 million Workforce Equity Initiative grant. The grant would provide free short-term career training for underserved populations in the Parkland College district.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The 2019 World Punkin Chunkin Championships is coming to Rantoul November 2nd and 3rd. Organizer Kevin Thompson talks about what punkin chunkin is…

 

 

World Punkin Chunkin Championship Organizer Kevin Thompson. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the gate the day of.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- There will be a contested race for the Ford County Circuit Clerk’s position in the March primary. Former circuit clerk Kammy Johnson Anderson has announced her candidacy for the position. Johnson Anderson served as circuit clerk from 1993-2008. Last week, Suzie Shell announced she was running for the position. Current circuit clerk Kim Evans announced she is retiring at the end of her term.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- As the fall veto session begins later this month, a cloud of political investigations hangs over the general assembly. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman says the investigations could have a wide impact…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- A new report from the U-S Department of Transportation shows the number of people dying in car crashes has decreased for the second straight year. The data shows a 2 point 4 percent decline in car crash deaths in the U-S. Last year 36,560 people died. That’s 913 fewer than the year before. In Illinois, 948 people died. That’s down 50 from the previous year.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Dairy production is forecast to be up next year. Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Legislation passed in the U-S House would make animal cruelty a felony. The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act prohibits acts of cruelty when they occur in interstate commerce or on federal property and cracks down on sexual abuse of animals. The bill now goes to the U-S Senate.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A local state senator is co-sponsoring legislation in the Illinois Senate to cap rising insulin prices. State Senator Scott Bennett of Champaign is co-sponsoring the legislation in the state’s senate to cap insulin co-payments to $100 a month for a 30 day supply. The American Diabetes Association says 30 million Americans have diabetes; with one point two million having type 1 diabetes which requires insulin to control their levels. Illinois would become the second state in the country to cap insulin prices if it becomes law.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois State Police is hearing from the public about proposed gun dealer licensing rules. At a public hearing, about 20 people offered their thoughts on the initial rule recommendations. I-S-P Major Jarod Ingebrightsen (ing-grr-bret-son) says they will take the comments under advisement…

 

 

Illinois State Police Major Jarod Ingebrightsen. Several speakers voiced concerns about how much the rules would cost them saying they can’t afford to add more security cameras in their stores. They also questioned a rule requiring that camera footage be kept for 90 days and expressed concerns about massie data storage costs.

 

 

(Savoy-jm) -- A new report analyzing Willard Airport estimates in contributes $99.75 million to Champaign County. That is an increase of 34 percent since 2016. The report says about 122 people visit the airport daily, while the airport hires 751 people full-time and brings in $14 million in taxes. The airport estimates 212,000 passengers will pass through the airport this year. That’s not the only good news. The airport announced Thursday they are exploring adding two additional flights to Washington’s Dulles airport. That would create 89 additional jobs.

 

 

(Buckley-jm) -- Buckley based Christ Lutheran High School held their annual Knight for Christ in late August. Executive Director Sandy Spitz says this year’s auction was the best one they have had yet…

 

 

Christ Lutheran High School Executive Director Sandy Spitz.

The School is hosting its German Fest Meal at the Buckley American Legion on Sunday.

 

(Elliott-jm) -- The Ford County village of Elliott is working with a non profit to determine whether or not to increase water rates in the village. Village leaders approved working with the Rural Community Assistance Program to determine the villages cost to produce water compared to what it bills. The villages water maintainer says they want to ensure rates are adequate to fund repairs and upkeep of water facilities and pumps in the village.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Market Street Theatre is gearing up for their fall performance. Spokesperson Brandon Irish says it kicks off this weekend…

 

 

Market Street Theatre Spokesperson Brandon Irish. Showtimes Friday and Saturday are 7pm and Sunday at 2 pm. Tickets are $12.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Association of School Boards will be voting on whether or not to support legislation allowing school staff to carry guns in classrooms in the state. The board will decide whether or not to give local school districts the power to allow teachers to undergo special training. Right now, only school resource officers are allowed to carry guns in schools. A vote will take place on November 23rd.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois teachers can now be officially endorsed as dual-credit instructors. Dual credit courses let students earn high school credit and college credit at the same time. The endorsement is available to teachers showing that they are qualified to lead these courses in subjects like math, speech and biology says the State Board of Education’s Emily Fox…

 

 

State Board of Education’s Emily Fox. Fox says the popularity of dual credit classes has really grown over the past few years. Teachers can learn more about the endorsement on the board’s website.

 

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Mary Miller, a conservative Republican, has announced her run for Congress in the state's 15th Congressional District.

(Rural Paxton-jm) -- A Texas man is dead following a crash on I-57 near Paxton yesterday. State Police say a 72 year old man from Copperas Cove, Texas was driving north on I-57 near mile marker 258 and a half when he left the road and struck a guardrail. He was pronounced dead by the Ford County Coroner’s office.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A Rantoul man has been arrested on child sex assault charges. 32 year old Romeo Andres is charged with predatory criminal sexual assault of a child for allegedly molesting two girls in April. If convicted of abusing both girls, he could face natural life in prison.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Secretary of State Jesse White says teen driving deaths are down. The number of teens killed on Illinois roads has dropped 69 percent since 2007. Secretary White says that means more young drivers are doing the right thing... 

 

 

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White. White also attributes the decrease to the state’s graduated license program and tougher laws. So far this year in Illinois, 32 teens have died in traffic crashes. 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Community Fund has announced their fundraising goal. The group has a goal of raising $32,000 for 14 nonprofits including the Hands of Christ Food Pantry, the Paxton Community Nursery School and Day Care Center and Paxton Service Club among others. Donations will be collected through December 18th.

 

 

(Joliet--jc)  He was a teacher, coach and friend. That is the way the Paxton Community is remembering Clint Forsyth. Forsyth passed away last Friday.

A memorial visitation and services are set for Sunday October 27th from noon to 2-30 at the Carlson-Holmquist-Sayles Funeral Home in Joliet.

 

 

(Gifford-jm) -- A public hearing on whether or not to allow the sale of recreational cannabis in the village of Gifford will be held in November. The hearing will be held before the village’s board meeting on November 7th. This month, trustees discussed how the village could prohibit the sale of marijuana while imposing a 3% tax as a potential option.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department on Aging reminds there’s help for seniors navigating Medicare’s open enrollment period. The best place to review your current plan and check out new ones is online at: my medicare dot gov says Senior Health Insurance Program, or “SHIP” Director Sandy Leith…

 

 

Senior Health Insurance Program Director Sandy Leith. If you still have questions, Leith suggests making an appointment with a SHIP counselor. Visit the Department on Aging’s website for more information. 

 

 

(Undated--jc)  Central Illinois, St. Louis and Chicago all ranked among the “rattiest” metro areas in the nation, according to a new report. Pest control company Orkin ranked Central Illinois among the metro areas in the country with most rodent problems.The report measured the regions by call volume and new rodent pest treatments performed from September of last year to September this year. It included both residential and business customers.The central Illinois region, consisting of areas around Champaign, Springfield and Decatur, ranked 36th on the national list. The region moved up eight spots compared to last year’s report. For the fifth consecutive year, Chicago took the top spot in the nation for rodent problems. St. Louis moved up five spots from last year, coming in at 31st this year.

 

 

(Oakland--jc)  -Mary Miller, a conservative Republican, has announced her run for Congress in the state's 15th Congressional District.  Involved in agriculture, small business, education, church and family, Mary is running to stand up for the future of the American Dream.  Miller says she advocates faith, family and freedom. Miller favors making current tax cuts permanent, promoting agriculture and pro business policies. The 15th District runs from the East St Louis area to Paxton in 29 counties.

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- Governor J.B. Pritzker’s Office of Management and Budget projected significant deficits in the coming years unless voters approve a progressive income tax structure.A state Representative said that wasn't the answer to Illinois’ fiscal problems.With more than $200 billion in unfunded state retiree costs alone, and billions more in unpaid bills, Illinois’ finances are among the worst in the nation. The state also has among the highest taxes in the nation.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A Rantoul man who admitted to strangling his girlfriend has been sentenced to 3 years in prison. Reginald Britton pleaded guilty in Champaign County court to aggravated domestic battery. In exchange for his guilty plea, charges of unlawful restraint and domestic battery were dismissed. Britton was given credit for 297 days served.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- A Gibson City funeral home director has pleaded not guilty to a theft charge. Michelle Rosenbaum is accused of stealing more than $60,000 from her previous employer. A jury trial has been set for the week of January 6th. A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for December 18th.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Cyber Security Awareness Month continues, with a warning about flash drives. State Chief Information Security Officer Adam Ford says cyber attackers have been known to scatter jump drives with a virus around a workplace parking lot, in hopes that someone will pick one up and plug it into their computer…

 

 

State Chief Information Security Officer Adam Ford. A study by the University of Illinois a few years ago found that in a similar scenario, more than 45 percent of people picked up the flash drive and plugged it in. 

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Several organizations throughout the state are benefiting from a grant for the 2020 Census. Illinois was awarded $20 million to give to local organizations. The Champaign Urbana Public Health Department received $695,000 from the grant.

 

 

(Gilman--jc) -- Iroquois West School board members will meet in a special session this afternoon at 5-30. Personnel is on the agenda in a closed door session.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- It’s National Teen Driver Safety Week and state officials are urging families to talk with their beginner drivers about some of the dangers they face on the road. Secretary of State Jesse White says some of the most important areas parents should focus on are distracted driving, drunk driving and wearing a seatbelt. He reminds teens that if they don’t follow the rules of the road, they could lose their license…

 

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens ages 15 to 18.

 

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Striking Teachers in Chicago want more support staff

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Demands by striking Chicago teachers for more nurses, librarians and social workers are highlighting concerns that resonate in high-poverty school districts elsewhere around the country where shortages of support staff leave educators feeling stretched. Teachers unions argue not having enough support staff needs hinders students' learning. Closer to home, teachers in the Blue Ridge School District will vote on a new 3 year deal on Sunday. A tentative agreement between teachers and the school district was reached this week.

 

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) _ First Busey Corp. on Tuesday reported third-quarter net income of $24.8 million. The bank, based in Champaign, said it had earnings of 45 cents per share. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, were 55 cents per share. The results beat Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of five analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 52 cents per share. The bank holding company posted revenue of $122.6 million in the period. Its revenue net of interest expense was $104.4 million, also topping Street forecasts. Four analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $103.2 million. First Busey shares have climbed roughly 4% since the beginning of the year.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is announcing more than 10 million dollars in park and recreation grants. The money is part of the park and recreational facility construction program, helping communities construct and renovate buildings or purchase land for recreational activities. Illinois Department of Natural Resources Spokesperson Rachel Torbert says a number of projects around the state are receiving the grants... 

 

 

Illinois Department of Natural Resources Spokesperson Rachel Torbert. Other projects getting money include an expansion of the Forum Fitness Center in Rantoul and construction of a new community center in Villa Grove. 

 

 

(Fisher-jm) -- The village of Fisher will spend an additional $5,000 on tree removal and trimming. The village previously approved spending $13,000 for the work. The additional money will allow the cutting down of 20 more ash trees. The work is part of a 10 year removal plan.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The City of Paxton will hold a public hearing on the first phase of the city’s streetscape project in November. The hearing will take place November 12th at 6:30 pm. PRIDE in Paxton Director and local business owner Terri Hancock talks about how the streetscape project will help the city…

 

PRIDE in Paxton Director and local business owner Terri Hancock.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- A Rantoul man has been arrested following a shooting in Champaign over the weekend. Jabari Morris was arrested for allegedly shooting a man in the leg twice following an argument. Champaign Police continue to investigate the shooting.

 

 

(Ford County-jm) -- Ford County landowners are being reminded the second installment of property taxes are due October 28th. Payments can be dropped off at the courthouse, the dropbox in front of the courthouse, at any Ford County bank or by mail as long as it is postmarked by October 28th. After that date late fees will be applied and payments can only be made by mail or at the courthouse.



 

(Springfield-jm) -- One area state legislator is questioning whether or not the state government should get involved in setting age limits on certain products or issues. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman says it can cause confusion and even has an economic impact…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- While Gov. J.B. Pritzker's recently released five-year economic plan for the state focuses on retaining young people, new poll numbers suggest it’s the state’s finances that has people looking to leave.AARP released new poll data through the Center for Illinois Politics. The poll taken at the end of the Rauner administration of 1,200 voters 25 years old and older asked a variety of different questions, many focused on the state’s fiscal issues and how to solve them.Center for Illinois Politics Editor Kerry Kasper said most voters would typically use the phrase “extremely angry” about state government; 85 percent said lawmakers should address the state’s backlogged bills and pension debt.The poll also found 57 percent think Illinois needs both budget cuts and tax increases while 26 percent say cut services only. Fourteen percent said there only needs to be more revenue.While 59 percent support a progressive income tax, 59 percent oppose increasing income taxes above 4.95 percent, the current flat level. Kasper said 71 percent oppose a retirement tax.

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- The number of sponsors continues to grow for the Punkin Chunkin Competition, coming to the village of Rantoul in early November. Flooring Surfaces of Champaign is a sponsor of the two day event on November 2nd and 3rd. WPXN will be broadcasting live on Saturday November 2nd.

 

BRIDGEPORT, Calif. (AP) — Military officials say a Marine was killed in a vehicle accident at a Northern California training facility. The Marine Corps says 21-year-old Pfc. Christian Bautista was serving as a turret gunner on an armored Humvee when the accident occurred Sunday at the Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport. Officials didn’t immediately provide details about the accident. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports Tuesday that Bautista was from Cook County, Illinois, and based at Camp Pendleton in Southern California. He enlisted in the Marines in Sept. 2018. His awards include the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terror Service Medal.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- State public health officials say progress is being made in the fight against opioid abuse. Public Health’s Jenny Epstein oversees the Illinois Opioid Action Plan and says opioid related deaths dropped from about 22 hundred in 2017 to two thousand 167 in 2018. That’s the first decrease in five years, but Epstein says there is still more work to be done... 

 

 

Illinois Public Health’s Jenny Epstein. Epstein says the state needs to continue to focus on overdose prevention and providing more access to addiction treatment. 

 

 

(Buckley-jm) -- The village of Buckley is looking for a caretaker for the Buckley Lake building. The caretaker would be responsible for booking rentals and cleaning the building. Those interested can reach out to Village President Sheree Stachura.


 

(Paxton--jm)  -- The Paxton Buckley Loda F-F-A is continuing to collect bottle caps and plastic lids. P-B-L F-F-A Member Autumn Bruens says the goal is to trade the plastic in for a bench.

 

PBL FFA Member Autumn Bruens

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City leaders are moving forward with a water tower project. City council members approved the purchase of six tenths of an acre of land from Alliance Grain company for $12,500. The city is applying for a $3 million loan from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for the construction of the 500,000 tower.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Another property on the former Chanute Air Force Base could be sold. A possible out of state bidder is looking to purchase and transform the former base hospital into a marketable property. The property was put up for auction after the previous owner failed to fulfil their tax obligations. That’s not the only property interest on the former base. There is also interest from developers and companies to purchase 3 of the 4 hangers.

 

(Buckley-jm) -- Those wanting an authentic German meal can come out to the Buckley American Legion on Sunday October 27th for Christ Lutheran High School’s Oktoberfest. Director Sandy Spitz has the menu for this year’s event…

 

 

CLHS Executive Director Sandy Spitz. The meal runs from 4 to 6:30 pm.



(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois courts system is receiving a $100,000 grant to expand access to the judicial process in Illinois. The Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts announced a grant from the National Center for State Courts. The group will use the funds to support strategic action planning efforts to expand access to justice in the state.

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Kids Zone to be at National Punkin Chunkin event in Rantou

EUREKA, Ill. (AP) — A 9-year-old central Illinois boy believed to have set a fire that led to the deaths of five family members has been arraigned on first-degree murder charges. The Journal Star in Peoria reports Woodford County Circuit Court Judge Charles Feeney on Monday read a juvenile petition citing the murder charges, along with arson counts. Feeney explained the juvenile counts and legal processes to the boy, who at times indicated he did not understand.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- A new Illinois law that requires residents to upgrade smoke detectors will go into effect in 2023.Margaret Vaughn, government affairs director with Illinois Fire Safety Alliance, said all dwellings in Illinois have been required to have smoke detectors since 1988, but residents are now being told to use detectors that come with built-in batteries that last up to 10 years. Vaughn said death is preventable in case of fire. Many fire deaths in recent years were the result of smoke detectors batteries being removed or not working.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is announcing a multi-year 23 point five billion dollar transportation improvement plan for Illinois. The plan aims to maintain, preserve and expand more than 42 hundred miles of roadway and over nine million square feet of bridge deck over the next six years says Governor Pritzker... 

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Pritzker says the state is shifting the way it approaches transportation needs, focusing on the long term instead of waiting to rebuild until roads and bridges have nearly deteriorated. 

 

 

(Gibson City--jc)  -- Donations for a local police project in Gibson City have been totaled from last Friday nights Gibson City Melvin Sibley football game. The Falcons Red Army helped raise 500 dollars for the Gibson City Police Department “Shop with a Cop” event. Gibson City Police would like to thank all those who donated and helped with the project.

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce officials along with Rantoul City Schools are set to bring a Kids Zone to the initial Punkin Chunkin Competition on November 2nd and 3rd at the local airport. The Kids Zone will be open from 9am to 7pm on Saturday and 9am to 4-30pm on Sunday. Among the attractions to the kids zone will be a 1 thousand pound pumpkin, carnival games and Joyful Bubbles. More entertainment at the kids zone will be provided by the Rantoul Public Library.

 

 

(Undated--jc)  -- It may come for a few years, but a new Area Code is set for those now in the 217 area code. The reason for the new area code is numbers in the current 217 are running low. The number assignments could start in Spring of 20-21. There are 36 counties in Illinois in Illinois under the 217 area code that runs from Danville to Rantoul, Champaign Urbana to the western part of Illinois.

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- A Coffee connection is set for mid November in the city of Paxton. The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce event takes place on Wednesday November 13th at Accolade Healthcare in Paxton. The coffee connection runs from 8 til 9 that morning.



(Springfield-jm) -- Soybean harvesting made some nice progress this past week as we hear in the weekly crop report. 93 percent of soybean acres are dropping leaves says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 88 percent of corn is mature and 36 percent has been harvested. The condition of the corn crop improved slightly to 46 percent in good to excellent condition. 63 percent of winter wheat has been plated and 30 percent emerged. Average statewide topsoil moisture stands at six percent very short, 16 percent short, 72 percent adequate and six percent surplus. 

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The teen accused of shooting another teen in Rantoul last week will be tried as an adult. During an arraignment hearing Friday, Champaign County prosecutors announced they will charge the 16 year old suspect with one count of aggravated battery with a firearm. Bond was set at $500,000. He is due back in court November 5th. If convicted he faces 6 to 30 years in prison.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois State Board of Education will release the 2019 Illinois Report Card this week. The report cards look at districts fiscal and academic data. New this year, the report will display spending at the school level.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- It’s National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week and the Illinois Department of Public Health has some tips to help keep your family safe. Illinois has one of the highest rates of childhood lead poisoning in the country. Public Health Director Doctor Ngozi Ezike says the biggest risk comes from lead based paint…

 

 

Illinois Public Health Director Doctor Ngozi Ezike. Ezike advises cleaning up old paint chips and peeling paint, having your water tested for lead and making sure kids and pregnant women stay away from areas where renovations are underway. 

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  The Community Service Center, based in Rantoul, wil be the site for a senior safety awareness fair on Thursday. The event takes place from 9am to 1pm. Hosting the event are local state representative Mike Marron and Champaign County Sheriff Dustin Heuerman.A lunch will be served, a safety presentation, bingo and information on Medicare Open enrollment  also hilite the event.


 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- Area children are invited to Rantoul Township High School from 5-30 until 7pm today to participate in the annual Halloween Extravaganza. Trick or treating, arts and crafts, a costume contest and prizes are part of today’s event in the Rantoul Township High School cafetorium. Several high school civic groups and teachers are helping at the extravaganza

 

 

(Watseka--jc) Iroquois County authorities are reporting another phone scam targeting Seniors. Joel Cluver has the details…

 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Soybean harvesting made some nice progress this past week as we hear in the weekly crop report. 52 percent of soybean acres have now been harvested, up from just 27 percent last week but still behind the five year average of 68 percent. 44 percent of soybeans are rated in good to excellent condition. Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 88 percent of corn is mature…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 63 percent of winter wheat has been planted and average statewide topsoil moisture is rated as six percent very short, 16 percent short, 72 percent adequate and six percent surplus.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Johnson and Johnson Corporation is announcing a voluntary recall of a certain lot of baby powder. The move comes after a test revealed sub-trace levels of asbestos in a bottle bought from an online retailer. The company can’t confirm if cross contamination caused a false positive or if the sample had been prepared in a controlled environment. 

 

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and one local bank is donating to the cause. The Buckley St. Bank will donate $5 to breast cancer awareness for each person wearing pink that comes into the bank on Friday October 25. The Bank is located on Route 45 in Buckley.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The Housing Authority of Champaign County is receiving a grant they hope will increase income and reduce the need for public assistance. The group is receiving a $72,000 grant to go towards the Family Self Sufficiency Program. Those in the program sign a contract that after 5 years they won’t need certain types of public assistance, after signing the contract they will have an escrow account set up for them. If they complete the terms of the contract, they will get the money in the account.

 

 

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More than 130 books once owned by a renowned Abraham Lincoln biographer have been donated to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A treasure trove of more than 130 books once owned by a renowned Abraham Lincoln biographer has been donated to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield. Benjamin Thomas' books could be a gold mine for Lincoln scholars as many of them contain his handwritten comments, observances and notations. The books were donated by the Lincoln Land Community College Library. The State Journal-Register reports that the museum accepted the collection this week.

 

 

AZTEC, N.M. (AP) — A northwestern New Mexico school district near the Navajo Nation is looking to contract teachers from the Philippines amid a teacher shortage. School districts in  5 states, including some in Illinois, have opted to hiring Filipino teachers to send to rural schools hurt by a lack of teachers.

 

 

(Buckley-jm) -- One area high school is continuing on with an unusual approach to teaching. Christ Lutheran High School continues to operate on a 4 day school week schedule says Executive Director Sandy Spitz…

 

 

Christ Lutheran High School Executive Director Sandy Spitz.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The cause of death for two people who were found dead in a wrecked car near Paxton last weekend remains undetermined. Autopsies performed byDr. Shiping Bao on Taylor Johnson and Reynaldo Hogue listed no preliminary opinion. Ford County Coroner Rick Flessner says toxicology results are pending in the next couple of weeks. 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The site of a Rantoul motel could be redeveloped. A developer has expressed interest in the Knights Inn hotel property at the intersection of U-S 136 and Murray Road on the villages west side. Village officials say the hotel would be torn down although they haven’t said what the developer would use the land for. Currently there is a court order to force the facility to close due to several violations.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois unemployment rate hit a historic low last month. The jobless rate for September dropped to three point nine percent, a new record for the state. Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Sam Salutstro says job growth continues…

 

Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Sam Salustro. The national unemployment rate for September is three point five percent. 

 

 

(SPringfield--jc)  --Gun owners from around the state plan to remind Illinois lawmakers about their opposition to a measure that would require those seeking a Firearm Owners Identification card to submit fingerprints on the first day of the fall legislative session. Lawmakers return to Springfield on Oct. 28 for the first three days of the veto session. State Rifle Association Executive Director Richard Pearson said he expects it to be a busy session with a lot of different issues coming up. The association will focus on Senate Bill 1966, a measure that would increase fees for Firearm Owner Identification cards.


 

(Gilman--jc)--  Iroquois West School leaders will hear about a proposed alternative learning day when they meet tonight in Gilman. The board will look at the issue and the public is invited to bring questions and concerns to the meeting. The meeting begins at 6-45 tonight in Gilman in the high school board room.

 

(Springfield--jc)  --The recent slew of tax and fee increases for infrastructure programs likely won't be the last Illinois taxpayers see.This summer, drivers started paying higher state gas taxes. Smokers paid higher cigarette taxes. Lawmakers also raised vehicle registration fees and other approved fees. Those measures, along with expanded gambling and sports wagering legislation that hasn't been fully implemented yet, are meant to pay for a $45 billion five-year infrastructure plan.Illinois Chamber of Commerce CEO Todd Maisch said state funding is there for five years under the Rebuild Illinois plan. However, he said the federal government, which sends tax dollars to Illinois for infrastructure, wants to see a ten-year infrastructure plan

 

 

(Urbana--jc)  -- The University of Illinois College of Agricultural Consumer and Environmental Sciences is looking for Illinois farmers to report planting and harvesting statistics.The voluntary survey can be done online or one can be sent in. Data will be compiled to learn about how growing was affected by delayed planting because of wetter than normal Spring weather.

 

 

(Buckley-jm) -- Those wanting to paint and have fun with friends can do so in the village of Buckley. Mayor Sherry Stachura says they hold monthly painting parties…

 

 

Buckley Mayor Sherry Stachura.


 

(Sibley-jm) -- Sibley village leaders continue to discuss work on a water main project. The village was recently granted a time extension for the project and the loan. Construction must begin in June or July of 2020.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — More than 300,000 students in Chicago are getting another day off as contract talks continue between the teachers' union and the nation's third-largest school district. Chicago Public Schools announced Sunday night that classes and after school activities were  canceled for today. Closer to home, another meeting in the Blue Ridge School district, based in Farmer City, is set for today. Negotiations also continue for teachers and school district in the St Joe Ogden School District.

 

 

(Thomasboro-jm) -- The village of Thomasboro has a new public works superintendent. Chad Polsky was hired for the position. He comes with 29 years of experience from the village of Rantoul. He will be paid $45,000 starting out with an additional $5,000 after completing the certification requirements. He must also establish residency in the village within a year.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Comptroller Susana Mendoza says human service providers are still recovering from the state’s more than two year budget impasse. Some providers that offer services like rape counseling and homeless prevention had to close during the stalemate, unable to keep operating with no state funding. Illinois Collaboration on Youth C-E-O Andrea Durbin says even with some funding restored, they face other problems…

 

 

Illinois Collaboration on Youth C-E-O Andrea Durbin. Comptroller Mendoza says that although there is more human service money in the state budget now and expected new sources of revenue, there’s still an over six billion dollar backlog of past due bills to be paid.

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Rantoul Police make an arrest in Thursday afternoon shooting

(Rantoul--jc)  Rantoul Police have made an arrest in the shooting that took place yesterday afternoon. A 16 year was taken into custody around 1am this morning. Thursday afternoon at approximately 3:48PM, Rantoul Police Officers were dispatched to the 600 Block of Autumn Fields for the report of shots fired. Upon arrival, responding officers located a 17 year old male juvenile who suffered a gunshot wound to his left shoulder. The male was transported by Professional Ambulance Service to Carle Hospital where he was admitted for observation. The injury is believed to be nonlife threatening. Witnesses to the incident observed a group of ten to twelve teenage juveniles walking in the 600 Block of Autumn Fields moments before the shooting. A male in the group made an unprovoked comment to the shooting victim and then fired three shots from a handgun at him. The group then fled the area to the north immediately after the shots were fired. The incident currently remains under investigation. 

 

(Undated-jm) -- A new study found that 95 percent of baby foods contain toxic metals, including arsenic and lead. Over 160 baby foods from major producers in the U.S. were tested. About 95 percent contained lead, 73 percent contained arsenic, 75 percent contained cadmium and 32 percent contained mercury. One in five of the foods tested had over 10 times the ppb limit of lead. The foods with the highest levels were rice-based products, sweet potatoes and fruit juices. The tests were done by Healthy Babies Bright Futures, which is a nonprofit organization that tries to reduce exposure to neurotoxic chemicals for infants.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Treasurer Mike Frerichs’ Office is returning one million dollars to Illinois taxpayers as part of the “Money Match” Program. More than eight thousand Illinois taxpayers will be getting a check in the mail in the coming weeks for unclaimed cash they are due. Treasurer Frerichs explains how it works…

 

 

State Treasurer Mike Frerichs. Money Match was launched last year and has since returned more than 12 million dollars without people having to fill out a claim. Visit Illinois Treasurer dot gov and click on “I-Cash” to see if you’re owed any money. 

 

 

(Fisher-jm) -- The Champaign County village of Fisher has officially voted to prohibit dispensing of recreational cannabis in the village. Village officials voted to prohibit the sale at a recent meeting, while voting to allow a 3 percent tax if recreational sales ever do  get approved.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Medicare open enrollment is underway and runs through December 7th. Ford County Public Health Department Administrator Lana Sample says there are some changes people need to be aware of…

 

Ford County Public Health Administrator Lana Sample. The health department October 24th at Piper City Library from 9:30-11:30, November 14th at the Moyer District Library in Gibson City from 10 to noon and December 3rd from 2-4 pm at the health department in Paxton.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has released their winter outlook. Wetter than normal conditions are expected across the region. As for temperatures, NOAA says there is an equal chance that temperatures will be above, below or near normal. 

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Could a second interchange come to the village of Rantoul? Village leaders are exploring the option after announcing the development of a $20 million sports complex. Village leaders are working with state and federal representatives about the project. If built the new interchange would happen at Chandler Road and would not happen for another 5 to 10 years.

 

(Washington-jm) -- USDA's Deputy Secretary provided an update to lawmakers Thursday on implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill. Rod Bain reports…

 

The Melvin Community Hall will show the movie Secret Life of Pets 2 tonight starting at 7 pm.

 

The rescheduled Cissna Park Pumpkins in the Park will take place on Saturday in downtown Cissna Park. Activities include carnival games, kiddie tractor pulls, craft vendors and more.

 

Paxton IGA and the Lake Iroquois Association Women’s Club will host a pork chop sandwich cookout from 10 until 2 on Saturday at the Paxton IGA.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A new report from an independent policy and advocacy organization is calling for increased state investment in public education in Illinois, particularly in early childhood and higher education.  Advance Illinois’ annual report tracks roughly 80 metrics pertaining to student performance in three categories: early education, K–12 and postsecondary. The report found that evidence-based funding formula, which was passed in 2017, has helped increase per-pupil state spending at the K-12 level. Illinois spent, on average, $7,503 per pupil in 2017, ranking it 29th in the nation. That’s up from $4,557 in 2007, when the state ranked 45th.Still, nearly half of Illinois’ 852 school districts are working with “less than 70 percent of the funds they need to adequately meet their students’ needs,” the report said.


 

(Iroquois County--jc) --Emergency crews were called to the  scene of a serious crash on Rt. 45-52 at the Iroquois/Kankakee County line last night. The intersection was closed for several hours and traffic was rerouted around the accident. More information is coming on later newscasts.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Nearly 300 thousand Illinoisans participated in the Great Shakeout Earthquake drill Thursday, with officials reminding that earthquakes are a real possibility here. During the drill, participants practiced the three keys for staying safe during an earthquake...drop, cover and hold on. That means if you feel the earth shaking you should drop to the ground, take cover under a sturdy desk or table, and hold on to it. It’s a lesson everyone should think about says I-EMA Spokesperson Rebecca Clark…

 

 

I-EMA Spokesperson Rebecca Clark. These two hot spots are the New Madrid Seismic Zone in far southern Illinois and the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone in Southeastern Illinois. 

 

 

(Gifford-jm) -- Gifford village leaders were presented two plans for a water main project in the village at this months meeting. Plan A would run the new main along the west side of Main Street and would require acquiring easements from 19 properties. Plan B would run the main on the east side of Main Street and would require acquiring three easements. Village trustees showed more interest in Plan B, but have asked if the project could be done with no easements.

 

 

(Buckley-jm) -- Buckley village leaders are celebrating some good news. The village’s water tower project is complete and Mayor Sherry Stachura says that’s not the only good news with the project…

 

 

Buckley Mayor Sherry Stachura.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The State Board of Education invited public comments and solicited project requests ahead of making its official budget recommendation to the legislature next year during an open hearing. During the hearing, school board officials proposed a rule change to allow school districts more flexibility in how they code or count their expenses so they can accurately distinguish risk management or liability costs and keep them separate from the administrative expense column. The state board plans to hold three more budget hearings open to the public. The next meeting will be on October 23rd, in the Bloomington High School cafeteria. 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Fees for youth basketball are going up. The Paxton Park District upped the fees this year. For kids in Kindergarten through 1st grade, it will be $40 for Paxton residents and $50 for students in the PBL school district that don’t live in Paxton. For 2nd grade and up, its $45 for Paxton residents and $55 for students in the PBL school district that don’t live in Paxton. The increases are still below the average of other area programs. Park district officials say increases are possible for other major youth sports programs.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Perhaps an overlooked aspect of Halloween safety for trick-or-treaters, young or old, is the costume. Rod Bain has the details…

 

The Orpheum Children’s Science Museum in Champaign will hold their Robot Day on Saturday from 1-5 pm. Kids will be able to create their own 3-D robot and participate in a robot battle tournament.

 

The Watseka Park District will host a kids costume and pets costume parade on Saturday at 4pm.

 

Stephanie Foster Cunningham will perform at the Bellflower Country Opry on Saturday at 7 pm. Cost is $10 per person.

 

 

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A traveling 9-11 exhibit is in Watseka today through Sunday

(Springfield-jm) -- A Republican state lawmaker said Wednesday she plans to introduce legislation to establish a State Ethics Task Force to tighten ethics rules within Illinois government. Tony McCombie — who is chair of the House Republican Organization, the political arm of the caucus which works and raises money to elect House Republicans — said several events in the past year “raise concerns” that the state’s ethics rules are not strict enough. She indicated that she hopes to have the legislation considered in the upcoming veto session, which begins October  28th.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Natural Resources reminds you can claim a deer if you end up hitting one on the roadway. Deer-vehicle accidents happen more frequently this time of year says Department of Natural Resources Spokesperson Rachel Torbert. But if that happens, you could end up with a meal…

 

Department of Natural Resources Spokesperson Rachel Torbert. If you don’t want the deer, a passerby may claim it instead unless they are behind on child support. The claim form is available online at: dnr dot illinois dot gov. 

 

 

(Ludlow-jm) -- Ludlow has a new village clerk. Dawn Good was selected to replace Sandy Langley who stepped down after serving since 1999. Village trustees will vote in November whether or not to approve Good to serve as village treasurer as well.

 

(Watseka-jm) -- A traveling tribute to those who died on September 11 2001 will be in Iroquois County starting today. The Tunnel to Towers exhibit will be in the Watseka First Trust parking lot starting today and running through Sunday.

 

 

 (Buckley-jm) -- Buckley is looking into creating a sewer system in the village. The village has held several town halls on the issue and Mayor Sherry Stachura says those town halls will continue…

 

 

Buckley Mayor Sherry Stachura.

 

 

(Gifford-jm) -- Gifford residents may soon be able to pay their water bills using credit/debit cards. Water and Sewer Superintendent Jess Childress told the village board at their October meeting that several residents have expressed interest in paying that way. Childress said he will look into the fees associated with payments by credit/debit cards and report back to the board.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- As the state legislature gets ready to reconvene for the fall veto session one area lawmaker talks about what can be expected this upcoming session. State Senator Jason Barickman…

 

 

Local State Senator Jason Barickman.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois’ revised school funding formula is helping achieve greater equity among school districts, according to a new evaluation of the state’s education system. However, the report by Advance Illinois determined more work needs to be done in early childhood education, improving achievement for black and low-income students and boosting enrollment in Illinois colleges.  Advance Illinois President Robin Steans said Illinois recently ranked 45th in the country for the amount of money the state spent per pupil on K-12 education. Despite progress on the funding front, the report underscored areas where education in Illinois is lagging. The state has a significant teacher shortage and said the state ranks 45th in support for higher education when it ranked 19th just a decade ago. 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Aunt Martha’s Health & Wellness, the only Illinois organization currently participating in the federal family planning program, was awarded more than double its initial grant after several providers across the country declined their funding in response to a Trump administration rule change. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services oversees the Title X program. It announced on Sept. 30 the allocation of an additional $33.6 million to 50 grantees in several states to buttress their family planning services. Aunt Martha’s will use the money to expand services — including wellness exams, testing for sexually transmitted diseases and birth control.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Many scams aim to play on your emotions. A family life educator at the University of Illinois Extension has some advice on how to avoid getting ripped off. Always check to see if a call or email is legit, especially if it elicits an emotional reactions says the Extension’s Cheri Burcham. For example, con artists may pose as the police and say your child or grandchild is in jail…

 

 

University of Illinois Extension Family Life Educator Cheri Burcham. Scammers may also say you’ve won a vacation and they need your personal information or offer free medical equipment or genetic testing. Burcham says you should never pay for a promised prize up front and that most offers that sound too good to be true usually are. 

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- The Champaign County Coroner's office has a new employee and she comes with four legs. Harlow is county coroner Duane Northrup’s family dog. He trained Harlow to be a comfort dog. Northrup is in the process of training another dog that he hopes can serve as a comfort dog in the Mahomet-Seymour school district.

 

 

The Iroquois County Public Health Department will hold a flu clinic today from 2 to 3:30 at Creekside Terrace in Cissna Park.

 

 

(Buckley-jm) -- Christ Lutheran High School in Buckley will be holding their annual Oktoberfest dinner. Director Sandy Spitz has the details for this year’s event…

 

Christ Lutheran High School Executive Director Sandy Spitz. Menu items include, German Sausage Soup, German Meatballs, Schweinbraten, Bratwurst, Hot Dogs, Red Cabbage, Sauerkraut, German Potato Salad, Breads, Desserts and Beverages.

 

 

(Thomasboro-jm) -- Thomasboro’s police chief is announcing new procedures for how the Champaign County Sheriff’s office responds to calls in the village when a village officer is not on duty. The move comes after several residents complained about inadequate responses. The sheriff’s office will respond to emergency calls, crimes in progress and property crimes involving injuries or where there is the potential for injuries. Deputies will also respond to non-emergency calls if requested by the caller. If the caller chooses, they can wait for the next officer on duty and be transferred to the villages police department to leave a message.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- One state representative is calling for the head of the state’s transportation committee to step down after the FBI raided his Springfield office and Chicago area home. In a speech to reporters, Representative Allen Skillicorn had this message to Senator Martin Sandoval…

 

 

State Representative Allen Skillicorn. In addition, Skillicorn is calling on the General Assembly to repeal the state’s capital bill, which Senator Sandoval helped create and pass.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The U.S. Small Business Administration is announcing Illinois has been awarded $700,000 in competitive federal funding to promote U.S. export growth through the state's Illinois State Trade and Export Promotion program.  The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity Office of Trade and Investment will invest the federal award in the state's ISTEP program which provides financial assistance to Illinois small businesses entering or expanding to new international markets. Qualified Illinois businesses can use funding from the ISTEP program for state organized group trade missions, individual foreign market sales missions, product compliance, website localization, and export training.

 

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A new report says even though revenue from the state's gas tax is up, the amount people are buying is down

(Springfield-jm) -- Gov. J.B. Pritzker and his wife, M.K. Pritzker, reported more than $6 million in gross income last year, about $5.5 million of which was federally taxable, according to a nine-page summary of 2018 state and federal tax returns released by his campaign Tuesday. The governor’s campaign did not, however, release any tax return documentation regarding trust funds which benefit the Pritzkers. Gross income listed on the forms is about $6.2 million. A sum of $1.8 million is subtracted from state taxable income on the forms. That makes the 4.95 percent state tax rate applicable to about $4.3 million of their income, according to the documents. That means the Pritzkers paid $215,885 in state income tax on their personal income not including trusts, the documents show.  Also according to the email, the Pritzkers paid a 33.99 percent federal tax rate in 2018. That amounts to just over $2 million in federal taxes. 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- A new survey shows the majority of Illinois voters support mental health background checks on all firearm purchases. The survey conducted by the University of Illinois Springfield, 9 in 10 people support mental health background checks. The survey also found a large portion of those surveyed supported the ban on assault weapons and high capacity ammunition sales in the state. 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Farmers anxiously wait for crops to mature as we hear in the weekly crop report. 73 percent of corn is mature and just 23 percent has been harvested so far. That compares to about 59 percent normally. Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 44 percent of corn is rated in good to excellent condition. Looking at soybeans…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 43 percent of the soybean crop is rated in good to excellent condition, unchanged from last week. The third cutting of alfalfa is nearly complete and average statewide topsoil moisture stands at four percent very short, 13 percent short, 69 percent adequate and 14 percent surplus. 

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Taco Bell could be making a return to the village of Rantoul. The restaurant closed several months ago, but the owner wants to rebuild the restaurant at the former J and D auto sales lot on the other side of McDonalds. The site still needs to be rezoned from residential to commercial before construction can begin, potentially as early as next year. The owner opted to close the store and rebuild instead of remodeling the old location. 

 

New

(Paxton-jm) -- PRIDE in Paxton is preparing for the Christmas holiday season. One of the ways they are gearing up is with a raffle says PRIDE in Paxton Director Teri Hancock…

 

 

PRIDE in Paxton Director Teri Hancock.

 

(Undated-jm) -- At least 6 vaping related illness cases are in four central Illinois counties. The counties include Champaign, Vermilion, Sangamon and Macoupin Counties. The state public health office says between 1 and 3 cases have been reported in Vermilion, Sangamon and Macoupin counties and between 3 and 6 cases in Champaign County. So far there have been 128 confirmed cases in Illinois with 38 more being investigated. At least 26 deaths in the U-S have been confirmed through vaping.

 

 

The PBL FFA is continuing to collect bottle caps and plastic lids. PBL FFA Member Christina White talks about where you can drop off your bottle caps.

 

 

PBL FFA Member Christina White.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A new report says even though revenue from the state’s gas tax is up, the amount people are buying is down. According to the Illinois Department of Revenue, the state brought in $99.8 million in revenue from the tax. However, drivers bought 19.4 million gallons less than in 2018. The gas tax is part of Governor J-B Pritzker's Rebuild Illinois program to fix roads and bridges in the state. Its estimated the state could bring in almost $600 million in fiscal year 2020.

 

 

A Youth Fall Fest is being held at the Paxton Church of Christ, 400 W. Ottawa Road, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. today. There will be a wiener roast, a pumpkin craft and games, as well as a Bible lesson. Elementary children and junior high school youth are invited to participate.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois made substantial progress in securing its election systems since Russian government officials hacked into its voter registration database in 2016, but more needs to be done to protect those systems heading into the 2020 elections. Earlier this year, the House Intelligence Committee reported Illinois was one of 21 states whose election systems were targeted by Russian government hackers in 2016. In the Prairie State, the hackers were able to penetrate the entire statewide voter registration database and, by the end of 2018, had accessed as many as 200,000 voter registration records, according to the report. An intelligence community assessment concluded that the hacks were part of a broader Russian campaign to influence the elections to the detriment of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, former secretary of state, and that they were prepared to launch a social media campaign to undermine Americans’ faith in the election if Clinton had won.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- It’s time to get your annual flu shot and the Illinois Department of Public Health is dispelling a few myths about the vaccine. Some people think the vaccine will give you the flu, but Public Health Director Doctor Ngozi Ezike says the shot contains inactive strains of the virus…

 

 

Illinois Public Health Director Doctor Ngozi Ezike. If you do get sick soon after receiving the vaccine, you likely had already been exposed to the virus. Another myth is that you don’t need the shot, since you rarely get sick. Ezike says in that case, consider getting the vaccine to protect those around you, especially the very young and old who could suffer deadly complications from the flu. 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- At least 21 people in 13 states have become sick with Salmonella from pet turtles, resulting in 7 people being hospitalized. The CDC recommends these safety tips: wash your hands, play safely, clean habitats toys and supplies outside the house, pick the right pet for your family and pet stores should educate customers and employees. Symptoms of salmonella include diarrhea, stomach cramps and fever 12 to 72 hours after exposure.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Farmers anxiously wait for crops to mature as we hear in the weekly crop report. 73 percent of corn is now mature, that compares to 98 percent normally says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 80 percent of soybeans are dropping leaves and just 27 percent of the crop has been harvested. 43 percent of soybeans are rated in good to excellent condition. Average statewide topsoil moisture is rated at four percent very short, 13 percent short, 69 percent adequate and 14 percent surplus. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Several area residents will take part in the final Land of Lincoln Honor Flight for 2019 later this month. 94 veterans from across the state will head to the nation’s capital on October 29th including veterans from Crescent City, Gibson City, Gifford, Champaign, Urbana, Dwight, Farmer City and St. Joseph. The veterans will visit the World War 2, Korean War and Vietnam War memorials as well as Arlington National Cemetery among other locations on the trip.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- A bill signed into law earlier this year bans smoking in vehicles with kids present. Local state senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington questions whether the law will have the desired impact…

 

 

State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton police have released their recent activity report. On October 14th, Hannah Steiner of Paxton was arrested on an outstanding warrant. On October 12th, Dwayne Asago Adjei of Ft Wayne Indiana was arrested for no valid driver’s license and ticketed for speeding following a traffic stop at Railroad and Center. On October 8th, the report of a theft of several bikes was taken in the 200 block of N. Market St. Anyone with information is asked to call Ford County Crimestoppers at 217-784-4173.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Some farmers in Champaign County have begun harvesting their crops. Farm Bureau Assistant Manager Bailey Conrady talks about some of the early yield numbers for corn and soybeans…

 

Champaign County Farm Bureau Assistant Manager Bailey Conrady. 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- When it comes to outward migration, several Illinois cities top the list in the Midwest. Of the top 20 Midwest cities of outward migration, 9 of them are in Illinois. Danville came in at number one followed by Decatur and Rockford. Peoria came in at number 6, Kankakee 8, Chicago area 10, Carbondale 12 and Bloomington 13.

 

 

 

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A new report says even though revenue from the state's gas tax is up, the amount people are buying is down

(Springfield-jm) -- Gov. J.B. Pritzker and his wife, M.K. Pritzker, reported more than $6 million in gross income last year, about $5.5 million of which was federally taxable, according to a nine-page summary of 2018 state and federal tax returns released by his campaign Tuesday. The governor’s campaign did not, however, release any tax return documentation regarding trust funds which benefit the Pritzkers. Gross income listed on the forms is about $6.2 million. A sum of $1.8 million is subtracted from state taxable income on the forms. That makes the 4.95 percent state tax rate applicable to about $4.3 million of their income, according to the documents. That means the Pritzkers paid $215,885 in state income tax on their personal income not including trusts, the documents show.  Also according to the email, the Pritzkers paid a 33.99 percent federal tax rate in 2018. That amounts to just over $2 million in federal taxes. 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- A new survey shows the majority of Illinois voters support mental health background checks on all firearm purchases. The survey conducted by the University of Illinois Springfield, 9 in 10 people support mental health background checks. The survey also found a large portion of those surveyed supported the ban on assault weapons and high capacity ammunition sales in the state. 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Farmers anxiously wait for crops to mature as we hear in the weekly crop report. 73 percent of corn is mature and just 23 percent has been harvested so far. That compares to about 59 percent normally. Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 44 percent of corn is rated in good to excellent condition. Looking at soybeans…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 43 percent of the soybean crop is rated in good to excellent condition, unchanged from last week. The third cutting of alfalfa is nearly complete and average statewide topsoil moisture stands at four percent very short, 13 percent short, 69 percent adequate and 14 percent surplus. 

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Taco Bell could be making a return to the village of Rantoul. The restaurant closed several months ago, but the owner wants to rebuild the restaurant at the former J and D auto sales lot on the other side of McDonalds. The site still needs to be rezoned from residential to commercial before construction can begin, potentially as early as next year. The owner opted to close the store and rebuild instead of remodeling the old location. 

 

New

(Paxton-jm) -- PRIDE in Paxton is preparing for the Christmas holiday season. One of the ways they are gearing up is with a raffle says PRIDE in Paxton Director Teri Hancock…

 

 

PRIDE in Paxton Director Teri Hancock.

 

(Undated-jm) -- At least 6 vaping related illness cases are in four central Illinois counties. The counties include Champaign, Vermilion, Sangamon and Macoupin Counties. The state public health office says between 1 and 3 cases have been reported in Vermilion, Sangamon and Macoupin counties and between 3 and 6 cases in Champaign County. So far there have been 128 confirmed cases in Illinois with 38 more being investigated. At least 26 deaths in the U-S have been confirmed through vaping.

 

 

The PBL FFA is continuing to collect bottle caps and plastic lids. PBL FFA Member Christina White talks about where you can drop off your bottle caps.

 

 

PBL FFA Member Christina White.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A new report says even though revenue from the state’s gas tax is up, the amount people are buying is down. According to the Illinois Department of Revenue, the state brought in $99.8 million in revenue from the tax. However, drivers bought 19.4 million gallons less than in 2018. The gas tax is part of Governor J-B Pritzker's Rebuild Illinois program to fix roads and bridges in the state. Its estimated the state could bring in almost $600 million in fiscal year 2020.

 

 

A Youth Fall Fest is being held at the Paxton Church of Christ, 400 W. Ottawa Road, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. today. There will be a wiener roast, a pumpkin craft and games, as well as a Bible lesson. Elementary children and junior high school youth are invited to participate.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois made substantial progress in securing its election systems since Russian government officials hacked into its voter registration database in 2016, but more needs to be done to protect those systems heading into the 2020 elections. Earlier this year, the House Intelligence Committee reported Illinois was one of 21 states whose election systems were targeted by Russian government hackers in 2016. In the Prairie State, the hackers were able to penetrate the entire statewide voter registration database and, by the end of 2018, had accessed as many as 200,000 voter registration records, according to the report. An intelligence community assessment concluded that the hacks were part of a broader Russian campaign to influence the elections to the detriment of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, former secretary of state, and that they were prepared to launch a social media campaign to undermine Americans’ faith in the election if Clinton had won.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- It’s time to get your annual flu shot and the Illinois Department of Public Health is dispelling a few myths about the vaccine. Some people think the vaccine will give you the flu, but Public Health Director Doctor Ngozi Ezike says the shot contains inactive strains of the virus…

 

 

Illinois Public Health Director Doctor Ngozi Ezike. If you do get sick soon after receiving the vaccine, you likely had already been exposed to the virus. Another myth is that you don’t need the shot, since you rarely get sick. Ezike says in that case, consider getting the vaccine to protect those around you, especially the very young and old who could suffer deadly complications from the flu. 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- At least 21 people in 13 states have become sick with Salmonella from pet turtles, resulting in 7 people being hospitalized. The CDC recommends these safety tips: wash your hands, play safely, clean habitats toys and supplies outside the house, pick the right pet for your family and pet stores should educate customers and employees. Symptoms of salmonella include diarrhea, stomach cramps and fever 12 to 72 hours after exposure.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Farmers anxiously wait for crops to mature as we hear in the weekly crop report. 73 percent of corn is now mature, that compares to 98 percent normally says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 80 percent of soybeans are dropping leaves and just 27 percent of the crop has been harvested. 43 percent of soybeans are rated in good to excellent condition. Average statewide topsoil moisture is rated at four percent very short, 13 percent short, 69 percent adequate and 14 percent surplus. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Several area residents will take part in the final Land of Lincoln Honor Flight for 2019 later this month. 94 veterans from across the state will head to the nation’s capital on October 29th including veterans from Crescent City, Gibson City, Gifford, Champaign, Urbana, Dwight, Farmer City and St. Joseph. The veterans will visit the World War 2, Korean War and Vietnam War memorials as well as Arlington National Cemetery among other locations on the trip.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- A bill signed into law earlier this year bans smoking in vehicles with kids present. Local state senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington questions whether the law will have the desired impact…

 

 

State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton police have released their recent activity report. On October 14th, Hannah Steiner of Paxton was arrested on an outstanding warrant. On October 12th, Dwayne Asago Adjei of Ft Wayne Indiana was arrested for no valid driver’s license and ticketed for speeding following a traffic stop at Railroad and Center. On October 8th, the report of a theft of several bikes was taken in the 200 block of N. Market St. Anyone with information is asked to call Ford County Crimestoppers at 217-784-4173.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Some farmers in Champaign County have begun harvesting their crops. Farm Bureau Assistant Manager Bailey Conrady talks about some of the early yield numbers for corn and soybeans…

 

Champaign County Farm Bureau Assistant Manager Bailey Conrady. 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- When it comes to outward migration, several Illinois cities top the list in the Midwest. Of the top 20 Midwest cities of outward migration, 9 of them are in Illinois. Danville came in at number one followed by Decatur and Rockford. Peoria came in at number 6, Kankakee 8, Chicago area 10, Carbondale 12 and Bloomington 13.

 

 

 

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Prototypes of electric vehicles were unveiled Sunday by Rivian Automotive

NORMAL, Ill. (AP) — Thousands of people attended an event to see prototypes of electric vehicles a central Illinois startup plans to create, an effort that already has the backing of officials through promised tax breaks and incentives. Rivian Automotive held a public event Sunday to show the community of Normal and elected officials three vehicles it plans to begin creating at the former Mitsubishi plant, which the startup bought in 2017 two years after it closed. The factory, which has already hired 200 employees, is expected to have more than 1,000 by the time the startup’s vehicles hit the market late next year. State and local officials are rallying behind the venture.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Agriculture is adding additional restrictions for dicamba use for the 2020 soybean growing season. The restrictions include not applying when over 85 degrees, not applying after June 20, 2020, the applicator must consult Fieldwatch Sensitive Crop Registry and comply with the associated record label requirements, maintain label specified downwind buffer on any downwind edge of any Illinois Nature Preserve Commission site.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A former candidate for the Ford County Circuit Clerk's position has announced she will try again. Susie Shell has announced she will run for the position in the March 2020 primary election. Shell is the current chief deputy clerk for probation. The current circuit clerk is Kim Evans.

 

(Buckley-jm) -- The village of Buckley is looking at whether to upgrade to a sewer system. Mayor Sherry Stachura says they are in the beginning stages of talks…

 

Buckley Mayor Sherry Stachura.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Consolidating the two Champaign County jails could happen in the near future. During a facilities committee meeting last week, members determined nothing can be done financially with the downtown Urbana jail and maintaining that jail along with the satellite jail on the city’s east side is too costly. A firm presented a proposal to consolidate the two facilities, but that could cost the county $47 million. Discussions are expected to continue at future meetings.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Labor is urging farmers to make safety a top priority during the hectic harvest season. One of the top dangers is tractor rollovers, so equipment should have protective bars or a cage and farmers should always wear their safety belt. Department of Labor Spokesperson Mike Matulis says car-farm vehicle accidents are also a big problem, and farmers need to have the required lighting on their equipment…

 

 

Illinois Department of Labor Spokesperson Mike Matulis. Farmers are also urged to take care of themselves as they work long hours. That includes taking breaks, eating good meals and staying hydrated. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A Republican lawmaker has filed legislation to reinstate the death penalty in Illinois, calling it an “effective tool” to dissuade violent crime. Barrington Hills Rep. David McSweeney first announced his intention to introduce the bill in August, after mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, killed 31 people. The Capital Crimes Litigation Act of 2019, filed Thursday, would restore state death penalty law to what it was eight years ago, before former Gov. Pat Quinn signed a law eliminating the measure. Its purpose, according to the measure, is to “have the death penalty serve as a deterrent to violent crime with the specific goal of reducing mass shootings, serial killings, and gun violence.”

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois State Board of Education is scheduled to vote on its legislative agenda for the upcoming fall veto session and regular spring 2020 legislative session when it meets in East St. Louis this week. On the agenda for that regular meeting, are recommendations for a pair of trailer bills for the fall veto session and safeguards relating to educator misconduct to be discussed in spring session. One of the trailer bills would allow someone who holds a high school diploma to obtain an educator’s license with a paraprofessional endorsement if they pass a paraprofessional competency test. Another trailer bill would extend the time for individuals to file due process hearing requests for special education services that were delayed or denied in the 2016-2017 or 2017-2018 school year in certain districts. The recommendations for the spring legislative session include changes to licensure and educator misconduct policies and general cleanup of the school code.

 

 

(Sibley-jm) -- The site of the former gas station in Sibley could see new life. Village board members heard a proposal from a resident that wants to use the location as a base point for a food truck and catering business. The existing structure on the property would be torn down.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- The University of Illinois is investigating two more swastikas found on campus over the weekend. Police were called to Weston Hall Friday morning for a swastika in an elevator. A couple of hours later, an employee reported one on a study table in the ACES Library. Two other ones were found last week, one at Taft Hall, the other at the Foreign Languages Building.


 

(Buckley-jm) -- Halloween is just around the corner but one area school wants to get you in the Christmas holiday spirit. Christ Lutheran High School in Buckley will once again hold their annual Deck the Halls craft and vendor fair says Executive Director Sandy Spitz…

 

CLHS Executive Director Sandy Spitz.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A decision on whether or not to allow the sale of recreational cannabis in Rantoul could come as early as November. Several residents have spoken out against the sale in the village. The nearby village of Fisher recently voted against the sale.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Fall colors are starting to show in Illinois. Peak fall colors haven’t hit yet, but the colder nights will help move things along says State Department of Natural Resources Spokesperson Rachel Torbert…

 

State Department of Natural Resources Spokesperson Rachel Torbert. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Health officials across the country say they see no end in sight for the nation’s opioid epidemic. According to health officials, opioids have the power to change the brain's chemicals in as little as a week. They say once someone wants to get clean, the window to get them into recovery is very short before they change their mind.

 

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An accident that was found in rural Paxton on Sunday claims the life of a local Rantoul woman

(Paxton--jc)  Autopsies for two people found dead in rural Paxton on Sunday are set for tomorrow at the Champaign County morgue. Ford County Coroner Rick Flessner says a farmer found the accident that claimed the lives of 19 year old Taylor Johnson of Rantoul and an 18 year old from Chicago. The accident remains under investigation by local authorities.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is urging lawmakers to pass a bill that will lower the cost of insulin in Illinois. Supporters say some people with diabetes are having to forgo their medication because insulin has become so expensive. Governor Pritzker says this proposal would limit the price to one hundred dollars in out of pocket costs for a one month supply…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. More than one million adults have diabetes in Illinois.

 

 

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois' top leaders trumpeted the benefits of automatic voter registration when signing a bipartisan plan in 2017 to change how the state finds and signs up eligible but unregistered voters. But Illinois hasn't lived up to its promise, rolling out automatic voter registration behind schedule and struggling with other voter reforms in the law. Interest in automatic voter registration is growing nationwide. However, problems in Illinois illustrate challenges other states could see.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — A proposed bill would require all CBD products sold in Illinois to meet testing requirements set by the state Department of Agriculture. The Chicago Tribune reports that Rep. Bob Morgan introduced the bill Oct. 2. Morgan says the legislation would help ensure CBD products are safe for use. CBD is a cannabis extract that can be used to alleviate anxiety or chronic pain. Under the bill, untested products would be removed from shelves. Non-compliance fines would start at $1,000.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Medicare open enrollment begins October 15th. Ford County Public Health Department Administrator Lana Sample says they will be hosting events throughout the county to help seniors review their coverage options…

 

 

Ford County Public Health Administrator Lana Sample. Sample says if none of those work, you can call the health department at 379-9281 and they will schedule a time to sit down with you.

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  --The official Surveyors of our World Championship event are the students of Parkland College. How many surveyors in this world can say they measured competition shots at the World Punkin Chunkin Championship. The National Punkin Chunkin competition comes to the Rantoul airport on Saturday November 2 and Sunday November 3rd. WPXN will be broadcasting live on November 2nd to help kick off the two day event.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- One state representative is calling on the General Assembly to repeal the state’s capital bill. Representative Allen Skillicorn is calling for the repeal following the FBI raids of Senator Martin Sandovals office. Sandoval is chair of the state’s transportation committee and was a key member in drafting the plan…

 

 

State Representative Allen Skillicorn.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  --As the fight for trade deals continues in Washington, Illinois farmers are expected to harvest less than last year.The United States Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service released its latest Illinois crop production estimates on Thursday. The expected yields for corn dropped further.“NASS forecasts the 2019 corn yield to be 179 bushels per acre, down thirty-one from last year’s record high yield of 210,” NASS State Statistician Mark Schleusener said.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- An Extension expert says keep some electrical safety tips in mind if you prepare elaborate electrical outdoor displays for Halloween this year. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — An appointee of Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has stepped down from the Illinois Tollway board after he was mentioned as part of a federal investigation of state Sen. Martin Sandoval. Cesar Santoy resigned Friday at Pritzker's request after an unredacted search warrant released Friday indicated that authorities sought information involving Santoy and his architectural firm. Santoy's lawyer says Santoy is not a target of the investigation but resigned out of respect for Pritzker.

 

 

 

(Springfield--jc) -- State officials are asking drivers to be extra vigilant while driving in rural areas as deer become more active in the coming months. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois State Police said deer are more active and less attentive during mating season and hunting season.Illinois Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman Rachel Torbert said drivers should pay attention to the sides of the road.

 

The PBL FFA is continuing to collect bottle caps and plastic lids. PBL FFA Member Autumn Bruens says the collection is going well and donations are appreciated…

 

 

PBL FFA Member Autumn Bruens

 

 

(Rankin-jm) -- The village of Rankin will spend $600 to repair the village’s veterans memorial. The work will involve removing the current pavers, having them repaired and reinstalled.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- How does the forecast look for the rest of October? State Climatologist Trent Ford has the details…

 

 

State Climatologist Trent Ford.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- A new survey shows half of Americans have sacrificed or are going into their own retirement savings to help their adult kids. The Bankrate Survey shows that young people need help when it comes to paying them. While it is believed that 18 should be the cut off age, the survey shows many baby boomers and gen-xers think a person should be financially independent between the ages of 19 and 23.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A horticulture expert at the University of Illinois Extension says now is the perfect time to plant spring bulbs. Bulbs should be planted in soil with good drainage and the Extension’s Kelly Alsup recommends using an auger that attaches to your drill to quickly dig holes. She says most bulbs are pretty easy to grow…

 

 

University of Illinois Extensions Kelly Alsup. The rule has always been to plant bulbs two to three times as deep as the bulb is tall but Alsup says a study using tulips found planting bulbs as little as two to four inches deep produced more flowers.

 

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