New Chancellor at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will be on an Interim Basis

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — A search for a new chancellor at Southern Illinois University Carbondale after last month's death of Chancellor Carlo Montemagno should lead to someone holding the position on an interim basis within about a month. The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan says that SIU Interim President J, Kevin Dorsey and the SIU Board of Trustees announced Friday that whoever is chosen will likely hold the job for about 18 to 24 months while a national search for a permanent chancellor is conducted.


(Rantoul--jc)  Rantoul Township High School board members will look to set its tax levy hearing when they meet tonight. Local board members will also hear a report from it’s Student Threat Assessment Team on updating  policy on any issues with students. The consensus of the board is to remain proactive and make safety a top priority for students, teachers and support staff. Rantoul Township High School leaders will also be given a presentation on the schools report card and hear a report on the Eagle Academy. The Rantoul Township High School board of education meets at 7 tonight at the high school


EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — A federal judge in Southern Illinois is ordering state prison officials to develop training for all staff on transgender issues. The order handed down this week by U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Rosenstengel comes in response to a lawsuit filed by a transgender prison inmate that claims repeated abuse and sexual assaults involving guards and inmates.


(Bloomington--jc)  -- A Rantoul man faces prison time after he plead guilty to a drug-induced homicide. 24 year old Troy McBride appeared in McLean County court on Friday and entered a plea deal. McBride faces 14 years in prison and must pay 13 thousand dollars to the family of  the victim to the man’s family for funeral costs. Prosecutors in the case proved that McBride sold drugs to a Bloomington man who took the drugs and died. Sentencing in McLean County court is set for December 28th.


(Washington--jc)  -- A top U.S. trade negotiator says there are several non-farm issues that the U.S. and China must resolve to get to addressing ag trade concerns Rod Bain Reports…




Watseka, IL – The American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout will take place on Thursday. The goal of the event is to set aside a day to help smokers quit smoking or using tobacco products for at least one day with the hope that they will quit for good.  Tobacco Coordinator for the Iroquois County Public Health Department Chris Wisniewski says, lots of smokers attempt to quit a number of times before they actually achieve quitting. Wisniewski says that what smokers call the Quitline, they will speak with a medical professional who will assist them in their quit attempt.  . The idea of the Great American Smokeout began in 1971 when Arthur Mullaney, a Massachusetts resident, asked people to give up smoking for a day and to donate the money they would have spent on tobacco to a local high school.


(Kankakee--jc)  --It’s no secret that Illinois is losing population, but a new report found that one Illinois town is losing its educated people at a faster clip than every other town in the nation except one. Local officials say the report doesn’t tell the whole story. They say the area is now gaining jobs faster than any other in the nation. Bloomberg News publishes an annual Brain Drain Index every year. The index shows cities across the country that are losing people with higher education degrees in greater numbers than other areas. .This year Kankakee was listed as the second highest in the nation on the Brain Drain Index for losses, only behind Hanford, California.Tim Nugent with the Economic Alliance of Kankakee County said those numbers were real, but only a snapshot of a moment in 2016 when the area had just lost two major employers.“The NutraSweet Merisant plant had closed back then along with the Bunge facility,” he said.Those two businesses accounted for more than 300 well-paid job losses.


(Gibson City--jc)  -- Officials with the proposed Ford Ridge Wind Farm in Ford County have set up a vendor and open house for later this week in Gibson City. The event takes place on Thursday November 15th from 3pm to 8pm at the Kruse Center on Gibson City’s East side.  The group is looking for local businesses and to be vendors for the wind project. Fuel supply and hardware supplies, to gravel needs and heavy equipment operators and many more. Ford Ridge Wind Farm officials tout the fact that wind energy in Ford County  will bring more than revenue for area farmers. The wind farm is also expected to bring in jobs in Ford County and a positive economic growth.



(Paxton--jc)  -- A Veteran’s Day event is set for Paxton Buckley Loda High School this morning. The ceremony takes place at the high school at 10.  The public is invited to attend. Grade school and Junior High School children will be treated to a ceremony for Veterans Day is 8-45 this morning.



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



(Chicago--jc)  -- Employers in Illinois will see reduced payroll taxes in 2019 as unemployment continues to decline.The Illinois Department of Employment Security announced lowering unemployment insurance taxes for more than 90 percent of employers in 2019. Nearly 300,000 businesses will see lower rates with the move.Illinois Department of Employment Security Public Information Officer Bob Gough says it's a good sign for the state's economy


CHICAGO (AP) — Preventing heart attacks and other problems dominates top news from an American Heart Association conference that ends today in Chicago. One study finds that fish oil in the amount and type contained in many dietary supplements gave no clear benefit for generally healthy people but a prescription version in people at higher risk for heart problems did. Vitamin D pills gave no benefit.


MILWAUKEE (AP) — Pabst Brewing Company and MillerCoors are going to trial over Pabst's charge that the brewing giant is trying to undermine its hipster competitor by breaking a contract to make their products. Pabst's lawyers argue the company's very existence relies on its business relationship with MillerCoors because it has produced nearly all its beers since 1999. MillerCoors says it's not obligated to continue brewing for Pabst. The trial in Milwaukee begins Monday.


(Champaign--jc)  --Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup is releasing preliminary autopsy results for Robert W. Chambers, 28, of Champaign who was pronounced dead at early Thursday morning  at the Carle Foundation Hospital’s Emergency Department. Preliminary results from the autopsy performed Friday indicate a wound on Mr. Chambers’ leg was not a fatal injury. Mr. Chambers’ death most likely resulted from pre-existing natural causes however; final autopsy results will not be completed until additional lab results are received. Mr. Chambers’ death is under investigation by the Coroner’s Office and Champaign Police Department.



(Washington--jc)  -- Corn price prospects get a boost as USDA cuts its corn crop forecast more than had been expected. Gary Crawford reports..




(Urbana--jc)  Champaign County Sheriff elect Dustin Heurerman has made a choice for chief deputy. She is 43 year old Shannon Barrett. She is an Urbana police officer and has served the city since 2005.



(Paxton--jc)  -- One local school funding group wants to know if you have school spirit. The Paxton Buckley Loda PIT Crew is selling Clara Petersen spirit wear and Paxton Buckley Loda Eastlawn commemorative shirts. Funds raised will go to the Clara Petersen playground fund. Orders must be made by November 16th and more information is found by calling any member of the PIT crew or Clara Petersen School in Paxton.


(Paxton--jc) When the city of Paxton leaders meet on Tuesday night, one agenda items is to approve the library tax resolution. City leaders will also look to finalize the revolving funds with the state. The city of Paxton council meeting gets underway at 7 tomorrow night on the second floor of city hall.



(Gibson City--jc)  One area legislator says school funding under Governor Bruce Rauner has helped local school kids and those around the state, test better. 106th District Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says the A-C-T  scores are up…



106th District Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

(Fisher--dg)  -- The 9th Annual Fisher Christmas Parade will be Saturday December 1st at 5pm. Line up starts at 4pm at the Fairgrounds. Decorated floats and golf carts, antique cars and tractors are needed. The Fisher National Bank will hold an event after the parade at the Fisher Community center.



Illinois Voters Go to the Polls Today to Make Their Choice for Several Statewide Offices

(Undated--jc)  --- The polls are open. Illinois voters are going to the polls today to make their choice for several statewide offices. They include Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Comptroller and Illinois Treasurer. Voters will also elect Congressional representatives. Closer to home Ford County Republican offices are running unopposed. There is a contested race in the 2nd Ford County board district as Ann Ihrke and Cindy Irke are running as Republicans and are being opposed by Democrats Marcia Penowski and Lori Reinhart. Ford County voters have the choice to approve a quarter of one cent sales tax for public safety.

In Iroquois County voters have a choice for Iroquois County Treasurer between Kurt Albers and William Nutter. Iroquois County voters are also voting on an advisory question. That question is...Should the Illinois General Assembly refrain from passing any additional legislation limiting a citizen's right to keep and bear arms as defined by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. In Champaign County voters are making their choice for County Executive between Republican Gordy Hulten and Democrat Darlene Kloeppel. The choice for Champaign County sheriff is Republican Allen Jones and Democrat Dustin Heuerman. Running in the race for a 2 year un-expired term for Champaign Auditor are Republican Diane Michaels and Democrat George Danos. The choice for Champaign County clerk is between Republican Matt Grandone and Democrat  Aaron Ammons. The polls are open until 7 tonight.



(Rantoul--ab) On Monday, morning around 10 AM Rantoul Township High School Administrators and the Rantoul Police Department were advised that a student at Rantoul Township High School had a weapon in his possession at the school. RTHS Administrators worked with the Rantoul Police Department to safely remove the student from class. While speaking with the 17 year old male student, he admitted to having a bb gun in his backpack. The bb gun was recovered and the student was later transported to the Champaign County Youth Detention Center on preliminary charges of Disorderly Conduct.



(Undated--ab) A lot of questions usually pop up on election day. here’s some of the answers…yes, you can still register to vote, just bring two forms of i-d, and yes you can undervote if you want to skip choosing a candidate in a certain race. Additionally, it’s also okay to take a selfie, so long as your pic doesn’t included your completed ballot says State Board of Elections Spokesperson Matt Dietrich.



State Board of Elections Spokesperson Matt Dietrich.

Dietrich says the ballot can’t be in the photo since it could be offered as proof of voting a certain way in exchange for money. Find your local polling place and election day information online at: elections dot il dot gov.


(Chicago--ab) Attorney General Lisa Madigan on Monday issued an advisory to local election authorities and state’s attorneys’ offices on voter identification requirements. Madigan also announced that 187 teams of assistant attorneys general from her office will monitor the General Election to ensure that Illinois voters’ rights are protected and polling places are accessible.Madigan urges voters to contact her office if they encounter suspected improper or illegal activity on Election Day: Central and southern Illinois voters should call 1-866-559-6812.


(Springfield--ab) Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced that all offices and facilities will be closed today in observance of the General Election Day. All offices and facilities will reopen tomorrow. Individuals can visit the Secretary of State’s website,, to locate the nearest Driver Services facility and the hours of operation. In addition, drivers can change an address, register to become an organ and tissue donor or renew license plate stickers online.


(Washington DC--ab) Users of a USDA web page featuring soil health online tools and data should expect a more streamlined and convenient layout after a recent update. Rod Bain of the USDA has the report.




(Champaign County--jc)  -- A Jacksonville Illinois semi driver was injured in a one vehicle accident along Interstate 74 in Champaign County Monday morning. Police say Jonathan Reynolds lost control of his rig in the west bound lanes of I-74 just before 10 Monday morning. The semi blocked the west bound lanes for several hours. Reynolds was taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.



(Illinois--ba) Illinois Farm Service Agency State Executive Director William Graff announced that The U.S. Department of Agriculture will begin mailing ballots to eligible agricultural producers for the 2018 FSA county committee elections.  Graff says county committee members represent the farmers, ranchers and foresters in our Illinois communities.



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





(Washington--ba) What is the history of the Natural Resources soils tools web page. N-R-C-S Spokesperson  Drew Kinney explains....



Natural Resources Conservation Service Spokesperson Drew Kinney



(Woodworth--dg)  -- The 9th Annual Ford-Iroquois 4-H auction will take place Sunday November 18th at St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Woodworth. A pork burger meal starts at 1:30 with the Auction starting at 2pm. Proceeds from this auction are used to cover participation fees for all 4-Hers in Ford and Iroquois County. There will be a wide variety of items to bid on including tools, seed corn, craft items, food and more. Items for sale are donated by local businesses, individuals, and 4-H Clubs. You can find a list of items on the Ford & Iroquois Counties 4-H Facebook page.


(Buckley--dg)  --Christ Lutheran High School in Buckley will be having it’s 11th Annual Deck the Halls local shopping event on Saturday November 11th. There will be plenty of local home businesses and crafts this year. This will be a great opportunity to jump start your Christmas shopping. The event runs from 9am-2pm and the CLHS Lunch stand will be open.



(Washington--ba)  What is the future for Agriculture. Stephanie Ho talks with  U-S-D-A Secretary Sonny Purdue on insights into the future of agriculture...




(Gibson City--jc)  Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley High School’s annual Veterans Day ceremony will be Friday, Nov. 9, at the school. As in previous years, a slideshow of local veterans and current service members will be shown. People can see the current slideshow at a link on the school district’s Facebook page. If any additions or corrections should be made to the slideshow, people can email The school would prefer to receive digital copies of any pictures, but if necessary hard copies can be dropped off at the elementary school.


(Farmer City--ba) The Farmer City Chamber of Commerce Annual Christmas Parade will be Sunday, November 18th at 2:00pm. The theme for this year is “Christmas in the Wilderness,” and there are nearly 100 participants in this year’s parade. Individuals who still wish to enter are asked to call Chad Wills, Parade Chairman at 309-386-2791


(Springfield--jc)  -- Rainy weather slowed harvest progress a bit, as we hear in the weekly crop report. Just three days were suitable for fieldwork and average statewide topsoil increased to three percent short, 75 percent adequate and 22 percent surplus, says state Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.

85 percent of winter wheat has been planted and 66 percent has emreged

(Undated--ab) Through Nov. 4 Illinois archery deer hunters harvested a preliminary total of 26,530 deer, compared to 25,848 for the same period in 2017, according to a news release. Harvest for the past week was 8,048, peaking on Saturday with 2,665 deer, and slowing with the widespread rain and wind on Sunday. Harvest  to date has consisted of 55 percent does and 45 percent males. Sixty percent of the harvest has been taken using compound bows; 39 percent by crossbows; and one percent by traditional bows



Illinois' Largest Public Pension System Says the State Needs to Contribute 10 Percent More to its Fund Next Year

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois' largest public pension system says the state needs to contribute 10 percent more to its fund next year, an increase of roughly $400 million over this year. The State Journal-Register reports the Teachers' Retirement System says the state needs to put more than $4.8 billion into the retirement fund for the budget year that begins July 1. Illinois' pension systems are more than $100 billion short of what's needed to pay promised benefits.


PORTAGE, Ind. (AP) — Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore says it has closed beach access at one of its most popular sites because recent storm waves eroded part of a sand dune and a trail. The park said this week the waves eroded the only designated trail to the beach at the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk area. It says beach access will remain closed until a safe way to the beach can be re-established.



(Mahomet--jc) Mahomet Seymour school leaders are set to meet in monthly study session tonight. On the agenda is an updated of the instructional and behavioral coaches update. The board regular monthly meeting is set for 19th. Tonights study session gets underway at 7 tonight in the board conference room in Mahomet.



(Undated--jc)-- The busiest travel day of the year is coming later this month as we head toward the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend. Companies Hopper and Insure-My-Trip have some tips on what airports and flights to avoid. The busy travel days are Wednesday  November 21st and Sunday November 25th around Thanksgiving. Chicago O’hare airport will be busiest at 6pm on Wednesday the 21st and the 3rd busiest airports are L-A-X in Los Angeles and Atlanta. Those traveling over the upcoming holiday are asked to be prepared for long lines and long waits at all airport. Over a million travelers will be flying out of  the airport over the Thanksgiving holiday period.



(UNDATED--ab) November is winter weather preparedness month and the Illinois emergency management agency is urging families to get ready for the cold. Winter weather in Illinois can include everything from tornadoes and rain to ice storms and heavy snow. A good place to start preparing is your car says I-EMA spokesperson Rebecca Clark....



I-EMA spokesperson Rebecca Clark

Clark says a similar kit should be set up at home since a power outage can last several days. A battery-operated weather radio is also a good idea to keep up with the latest watches and warnings.



(Springfield--jc)  -- Mother Nature threw a little bit of everything at Illinois in October. State Climatologist Jim Angel says October started warm, saw a frost, and was an Illinois into fall month…



State Climatologist Jim Angel with the Illinois Water Survey in Champaign



(Washington--jc)    The surge in weeds that are resistant to herbicides is bringing more attention to the problem of weed seeds in U.S. soybean shipments. Gary Crawford has the details…




(Rankin--jc)  One local church is hosting a holiday bazaar this Saturday. The Rankin United Methodist Church says the “Angels Among Us” event takes place from 8am until 1pm. Featured at this year’s event are crafts, a country store to trash and treasures. Rolls are available for the morning and a lunch will also be served.



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


HUDSON, Ill. (AP) — A woman's body has been recovered from a car found submerged in a central Illinois lake. The Pantagraph reports that McLean County sheriff's police received a report Friday night of a car that traveled down a boat launch and into Evergreen Lake in rural Hudson. The McLean County Coroner's office said the woman was pronounced dead late Friday, but declined to release further details.



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Organizers say the Illinois State Fair relies on sponsorships to not only provide visitors with unique offerings and services but also to keep the event running. The State Journal-Register reports that organizers had more than a couple dozen sponsorship agreements for this year's state fair, which saw a decline in attendance by 8 percent from last year. The fair in Springfield attracted about 369,140 attendees this year.



(Gibson City--jc)--Rehearsals for this year’s performance of Handel-The Messiah start this evening at 7. The project is sponsored by the Gibson Area Music Foundation. Rehearsals are being held at the First Presbyterian Church in Gibson City. Dress rehearsal is December First and the 75th annual performance is set for Sunday December 2 at the Gibson City Bible Church.



(Springfield--jc)  -- An outbreak of E-H-D has claimed the lives of more than 400 deer in Illinois. The state department of Natural Resources is reporting 432 case of Epizootic Hemorrhagic disease. Illinois Department of Natural Resource spokesperson Doug Dufford says sick deer have been found in 49 Illinois counties…



Illinois Department of Natural Resources Spokesperson Doug Dufford.



CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago television station has obtained a video of Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza, who's seeking re-election Tuesday, announcing she's running for Chicago mayor. Mendoza's campaign says the ad was made in preparation for a potential run and she is still considering her options.



(Fisher--jc)  Fire drills proved to be a safety measure for kids and day care workers at a home in Fisher on Friday morning. Fisher, Cornbelt and Rantoul firefighters were called to the blaze.  The home was used by its owner as a daycare for 8 children. The owner and day care operator practiced safety with fire drills on a regular basis. Fire department officials say around 100 thousand dollars in damages was done to the home.



(Washington--jc)  -- Thanksgiving is coming and consumption in one course in the traditional meal is on the rise. Rod Bain reports…




(Springfield--jc)  -- Chairman of the National Milk Producers Foundation recently requested more cash aid for dairy farmers across the country, who he said have missed out on more than $1 billion in profits since May. Tasha Bunting, president of the Illinois Milk Producers Association, said tariffs on exports to Canada can reach up to 270-percent. That’s forcing some farmers to make tough decisions.Bunting added that several dairies have closed in Illinois. Illinois had around  600 dairies and now the state has 560.


(Calumet--jc)  -- A school board has fired the state's highest-paid superintendent for allegedly falsifying his own pay and attendance records to get a $1.7 million end-of-career payout. The Calumet City School Board fired Superintendent Troy Paraday just days before he was set to retire. Paraday earned $430,000 a year. On top of that, he tried to cash in 885 unused personal, sick and vacation days worth more than $1.7 million, according to his calculations. After news coverage of the potential payout, the board investigated. The board said it found alleged misconduct regarding Paraday's pay and fired him.



(Chicago--jc)  When the state of Illinois officially celebrates its 200th anniversary as a state. They will honor 200 Illinois veterans. That honor goes to several in the WPXN listening area. They include Bradley Gould of Rantoul, Julius Hegler of Danville,  Bruce Voges of St Joseph, The state’s celebration will also contain music by REO Speedwagon and Styx, plus a sports commemoration and more. The event takes place at the United Center in Chicago.




Voting By Mail is Proving to be a Popular Option this Year in Illinois.

CHICAGO (AP) — A judge says a Chicago computer-science specialist accused of running online propaganda campaigns for Islamic State poses a threat and must stay jailed pending trial. At a Wednesday hearing in Chicago, the federal judge cited photos found on Ashraf Al Safoo's phone when arrested earlier this month that allegedly show bomb-making components. The 34-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen from Iraq is charged with conspiracy to support terrorists. A conviction carries a maximum 20-year prison term.


(Springfield--ab) The latest Illinois school report card shows an increase in the number of students enrolling in college. The new report card includes several new metrics such as chronic truancy…and a new system for determining school success. State schools superintendent Tony Smith says some of the data is really encouraging.



State schools superintendent Tony Smith

Smith says the report card also shows a record number of students are taking and passing advanced placement tests…but that there are still teacher staffing problems at many schools. check out all the demographics, test scores and more for your local schools online at: illinois report card dot com.


(Springfield--ab) Voting by mail is proving to be a popular option this year in Illinois. Turnout for early voting has been strong so far…already surpassing totals for the 2016 presidential election. That’s unusual for the midterm elections says state board of elections spokesperson Matt Dietrich. He notes there has been an especially big push for mail in ballots.


state board of elections spokesperson Matt Dietrich

More than 400 thousand Illinoisans are expected to vote by mail in the november sixth election.


(Rantoul--jc)  -- When voters go to the polls on Tuesday one local village will decide whether it  will elect village board members at large or by divided districts. That is one question for voters in Rantoul. At issue is some believe dividing the village into districts makes the village more unified and others believe keeping an at-large way to elect officials remains the best way to elect local board members. The ballot question says...Shall the village be divided into six districts with one trustee elected from each district. The polls open on Tuesday at 6am.



MOLINE, Ill. (AP) — Police say a man was killed outside a northwestern Illinois community's City Hall in a shooting that officers heard from inside their nearby station. Moline police Detective Michael Griffin says officers heard about eight gunshots about 10 a.m. Wednesday and found 22-year-old Moline man dead inside a van behind City Hall. Griffin says investigators don't believe the shooting had any involvement with city government. No arrests were immediately made.



(Woodworth--ab) The Ford Iroquois 4-H Foundation auction will take place on November 18th at the St. Paul Lutheran church. Dinner will be a free will donation at 1:30 with the auction beginning at 2. Nita Dubble of the Ford Iroquois 4H Foundation says some of the money will go toward college scholarships.



Ford-Iroquois 4-H Foundation Spokesperson Nita Dubble



(Gibson City--jc)  -- Recycling passes are now available for the next year in one Ford County city. Those in Gibson City are reminded that passes run from today through Halloween of 20-19. The passes can be purchased when dropping off items or at the Moyer library. Gibson City leaders also add that leaf  pick up begins today and runs through December First.


(Rantoul--jc)  Rantoul Township High School madrigals are preparing for their annual dinner and show. The event is set for 6pm on Saturday December First in the high school cafetorium. This year’s show is called, “A Night of Merriment and Dreams.” Tickets for the show are available by calling the high school



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



(Rantoul--jc)  -- November is here and let the Christmas Shopping begin, officially.  One Chamber leader says its important to shop your local merchants, all year long and especially during the holidays. Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Belynda Allen says communities that prosper are communities that support their local businesses…



Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Belynda Allen.


(Springfield--jc)  -- The Illinois Department on Aging says help is available for Seniors trying to navigate the medicare open enrollment period. It’s a good idea to review your plan each year says the state’s Senior Health Insurance Program Director Sandy Leith…



SHIP Director Sandy Leith.

One place to start is on-line at Medicare-dot-gov


(Gibson City--jc)  -- One candidate for Illinois Governor is making a stop in Ford County on Sunday. Governor Bruce Rauner and Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti are making a stop at the Country Kettle Restaurant in Gibson City during the noon hour. Rauner faces Democrat J B Pritzker in Tuesday mid-term election for Governor of Illinois.



(Woodworth--ab) The Ford Iroquois 4-H Foundation auction will take place on November 18th at the St. Paul’s Lutheran church in Woodworth. Dinner will be a free will donation at 1:30 with the auction beginning at 2. Nita Dubble of the Ford Iroquois 4H Foundation says there is plenty of decorative items up for bid.



Ford Iroquois 4-H Foundation spokesperson Nita Dubble


PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Murder charges have been filed against a second central Illinois man in connection with the deaths of a Bradley University professor and her husband.A Peoria County judge Wednesday ordered 20-year-old Matthew Roberts of Princeville held in lieu of $3 million on two counts of first-degree murder.The bodies of Susan Brill de Ramirez and Antonio Ramirez Barron, both 63, were found Tuesday in the Spoon River near Annawan. Their son, Jose Ramirez, has also been charged in their deaths. The 21-year-old allegedly beat and stabbed them to death.



(Coles County--jc)A business owner who sued an Illinois county claiming officials singled him and other local business owners out for tax hikes plans to continue the legal fight despite another setback.A panel of federal appellate judges in Chicago denied Mattoon business owner Robb Perry and the owners of about 500 other commercial properties of the chance to go after Coles County officials for hiking property taxes up to 400 percent in a single year. This happened in 2015, the same year many other areas of the county saw decreases.  Perry said he's disappointed in the loss, but maintained that the county broke the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution.



(Chicago--jc)  --November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and there’s big money from a research fund pouring into Illinois to work toward a cure, and to help drive down the medical costs of diabetes.The American Diabetes Association says 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year, with a total of 30.3 million.The Illinois Department of Public Health says about 1.3 million Illinoisans, about 12.5 percent of the population, have diabetes. More than 340,000 people are unaware they have the disease.Diabetes remains the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. and is responsible for $327 billion in 2017, including $237 billion for direct medical costs, according to the ADA. It also leads to $90 billion in reduced productivity nationwide


(Gibson City--jc)  Those who took out a conceal-carry license five years ago, must now renew that license. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says now is the time to renew…



106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

The renewal process is much easier and shorter than the original process to receive a conceal-carry license.



(Paxton--jc)  -- The Paxton Park District and WPXN would like to thank all those who participated in the annual Halloween parade in the downtown area of Paxton on Wednesday. Hundreds of area children dressed up for the event and also enjoyed some treats and information about safety from area police authorities. Some also received treats from downtown Paxton businesses.



State Board of Elections Reminds the Public That Any Claims of On-Line Voting in Illinois are Fake

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Prosecutors say a central Illinois man waited until his parents were asleep to use pepper spray on them and then stab them to death. Jose G. Ramirez is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of his parents, Bradley University professor Susan Brill de Ramirez and her husband, Antonio Ramirez Barron. A judge set bond for Ramirez at $3 million and a preliminary hearing date of Nov. 29. Police believe that have found the victims' bodies in a river.


(Springfield--jc)  -- The State Board of Elections is reminding the public that any claims of On-Line voting in Illinois are fake. Voters should be aware that any website, app, social media account or text offering to let you cast a ballot on-line, is bogus. State Board of Election Spokesperson Matt Dietrich says on-line voting is NOT allowed anywhere in the United States…



State Board of Elections Spokesperson Matt Dietrich

If you receive this information you are asked to contacting authorities.



(Chicago--jc)  -- Former President Barack Obama leads the list of minority trailblazers in the latest Illinois Top 200 project poll.  The former president lead this list, followed by two native Americans says Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Spokesperson Chris Wills…



 Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Spokesperson Chris Wills…



(Champaign--jc)  Champaign County authorities are investigating two shootings that happened on Tuesday in the city. The first shooting happened just after one pm near Third Street and the second just after 9pm near Vine Street. The victim in that shooting has died. The consensus of police is that the shootings were not just random. Anyone with information on the two shootings are asked to call Champaign County Crimestoppers or the local police department.



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Candidates for Illinois attorney general in the November  6th election pledge to tackle a huge backlog of appeals on denied public-records requests. The attorney general's public access counselor was created in 2010 to referee bureaucrats' rejections under the Freedom of Information Act. But the workload is heavy. The PAC currently had over 2,300 FOIA cases pending as of October 12th without more than 1,300 at least three years old.



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A suburban Chicago plant that sterilizes medical instruments faces a lawsuit alleging air pollution violations. Democratic Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Republican DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin filed suit Tuesday against Sterigenics U.S. It accuses the company of "causing, threatening or allowing air pollution" and of a public health risk. Sterigenics issued a statement saying the lawsuit recognizes that the company "continues to operate well within" permitted limits.



(Paxton--jc)  -- Art has come to downtown Paxton. Members of an art class at Paxton Buckley Loda High School have put their work on display in three downtown Paxton businesses. The art is on display at the Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce office, Austin Curtis-Edward Jones office  and Kief Realty in downtown Paxton.



(Undated--jc)  --The new “Halloween” movie is in theaters now, rebooting the horror franchise from the first film that debuted 40 years ago, and Illinois plays a fictitious role.The modern myth of masked killer Michael Myers spurred by John Carpenter's 1978 horror movie “Halloween” was set in the Illinois town of Haddonfield. There is no Haddonfield, Illinois. The town in the film was based on screenwriter Deborah Hill’s hometown in New Jersey.Tommy Lee Wallace, a production designer of the first "Halloween" film, told The Biography Channel filming back then that the 1978 movie was filmed in California.


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



(Springfield--jc)  The booming housing market has put many Illinois homes enticingly close to being back above the value of their mortgages, but property values may have peaked.After months of home values rising with the booming economy, Attom Data Solutions said the third quarter of 2018 saw 49 percent of markets across the nation slow down, indicating home prices may be close to topping out. Vice President Daren Blomquist said rising mortgage rates are a factor in the slow down.The Attom  report shows  homeowners who sold in the third quarter received an average of $61,232 more than their original purchase price, the highest average home seller price gain since summer 2007.



(Carbondale--jc)  --Southern Illinois University is starting a new research initiative into cannabis.The SIU initiative announced last week is aimed at creating a program to support agriculture and industry with research and training. S I U officials say they are getting requests from stakeholders and students.Marijuana Policy Project Senior Legislative Counsel Chris Lindsey said the move is encouraging, especially as the cannabis industry continues to grow.The program includes a five-acre research plot focusing on hemp and medicinal cannabis. The plot is being cleared and will be planted with hemp this spring, university officials said in a statement.


CHICAGO — Governor Bruce Rauner and First Lady Diana Rauner got their flu shots on Tuesday and highlighted the importance of Illinoisans protecting themselves this flu season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  recommend shots for everyone over the age of six months. The governor says to get your flu shot…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner

Influenza activity often increases in October and tends to peak between December and February.


(Rantoul--jc)  Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce officials say those wanting to attend the annual chamber banquet need to do so by tomorrow. The event is set for November 9 at 6pm at the Linden Banquet Center in the village. It is the 95th anniversary for the local chamber.



(Washington--jc)  -- Size does matter for some pumpkin farmers. Gary Crawford reports…




(Springfield--jc)  -- Two recent studies of public sector pay and retirement benefits show tens of thousands of retired Illinois public employees making six figures or more in all levels of government, dwarfing figures from states with more people.Two organizations that reviewed and released the information hope it encourages taxpayers to seek change.Illinois has more than $130 billion in unfunded pension debt for its five state-run pension systems. Adding in other post employment benefits, that number climbs to more than $200 billion. Municipal governments in Illinois also are struggling with unfunded pension liability .The group's founder, Jim Tobin, said that’s just the tip of the iceberg and the pensions are just out of line.



(Paxton--jc)  -- Ford County Clerk Amy Frederick says her office will be open for early voting on Saturday from 8-30am until noon. The last day to early vote is Monday with election day on Tuesday. The fall mid-term election is Tuesday November 6th.



(Washington--jc)  -- It’s Halloween, time for tricks or treats. USDA Historical Expert Anne Effland explains the origin of the word...Halloween…



USDA Historical Expert Anne Effland.

The Paxton Church of the Nazarene will host a Trunk-or-Treat event from 4:30 to 6 p.m. today in the church’s parking lot. The church is located at 302 W. State Street.


The Gibson City Pentecostal Church  on Melvin Street is having food and fellowship today from  5:30 to 8:30 p.m.. The event will feature free cocoa and coffee, cookies and hotdogs for anyone who comes. Add, goody bags will be provided to children.



(Undated--jc)  The city of Paxton and Paxton Park District Halloween event is set for this afternoon in the downtown area of the city.  The parade with kids in costume steps off at 4 this afternoon. Kids and parents will start from the Library north to the Paxton Firehouse. Kids will get trick or treat bags courtesy of WPXN. Also at the firehouse, representatives of the Ford County Sheriff’s Office, Paxton Police Department and Ford County Crimestoppers will also be handing out goodies, along with Halloween safety material.   




Son of Missing Bradley University Professor and her Husband is Among Two Men Arrested in the Connection with their Deaths

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Authorities in central Illinois say the son of a missing Bradley University professor and her husband is among two men arrested in the connection with their deaths. Peoria County Sheriff Brian Asbell says 21-year-old Jose Ramirez is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths Susan Brill de Ramirez and Antonio Ramirez Barron. Twenty-year-old Matthew Roberts has been charged with obstruction of justice and concealment of a homicidal death.



CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Southern Illinois University is creating new programs for students who want to know more about marijuana. The university says that it's creating programs at the Carbondale campus to study medical marijuana and industrial hemp. Officials hope the programs will give students and farmers a chance to earn a new certificate in the subject. University leaders say they hope to begin planting in the spring.



(Paxton--jc)  -- The Ford County Republican party along with the state board of elections continue to investigate a number of flyers that were distributed in a portion of Ford County last week. The flyers opposed the candidacy of two candidates for the Ford County board.The candidates in question are Ann and Cindy Ihrke. The pair are running for positions on the Ford County Board on the

November 6th election. The flyers  contained information about future economics of Ford County The  The Ihrkes are opposed by two Democratic candidates — Marcia Peznowski of Roberts and Lori Reinert of Piper City.



(Washington--ba) It’s Halloween time, but farmers can thank bats. Rod Bain reports…



(Murphysboro--jc)  -- President Donald Trump filled an airplane hangar Saturday in Southern Illinois.The president is touring the country to support other Republicans looking to maintain majorities in the U.S. House and Senate in the face of Democrats looking to flip the chambers next month.At his stop in Murphysboro, Trump told the thousands of supporters in attendance that Republican Rep. Mike Bost, who is facing Democrat Brendan Kelly for the 12th Congressional district seat, is a pivotal member of Congress.Trump won Bost’s district in 2016 and recent polling showed Bost with a lead over Kelly.



(Fisher--jc)  A meeting that was set to look at a proposed solar farm project in one Champaign county last for just a short time as the solar company withdrew its  request for a permit. Fisher Village leaders say officials with the Novel Energy Solutions withdrew their request to move forward with the idea to build a solar farm on the “Stalter property” in the village. The meeting was short and no additional meeting by the full Fisher board was held. There was no word given about any new efforts for a solar project in Fisher at last night’s meeting.



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Department of Transportation has begun a statewide initiative among multiple government agencies to develop a testing program for connected and autonomous vehicles. Gov. Bruce Rauner signed an executive order last week directing IDOT to develop a program called "Autonomous Illinois" to keep it ahead in research on the emerging safety technologies. Communities will be recruited to test the technologies with local industry, universities or other organizations.



(Buckley--jc)  -- A new restaurant is now open in Buckley. Peggy Sues opened on Monday in the village. Owners of the business are Peggy Shockley and Sue Stachura. The business will be open from 7am until 2pm. A wide variety of baked goods will be offered and plans to add meals is in the works.



UNDATED (AP) — The real guardians of U.S. elections are a trio of privately held companies with a history of technical problems and security vulnerabilities in the election technology they sell. Experts say the companies have long skimped on security in favor of convenience, making it difficult to detect intrusions or tampering. The businesses face scant federal oversight and operate under a shroud of technical and financial secrecy.


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



(Springfield--jc)  -- The fall harvest is chugging along as we hear  in the latest crop report. Producers got some time in the fields this past week, with about 5 days suitable for fieldwork says crop statistician Mark Schleusener…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.

89 percent of corn and 86 percent of soybeans have now been harvested. 74 percent of winter wheat has been planted, with 50 percent emerged.


(Ford County--jc)  When Ford County voters go to the polls in one week, they will be asked to approve a quarter of one cent sales tax for public safety purposes. This type of tax has been used by surrounding counties for upgrades to county courthouses, police salaries and other safety purposes.The fall mid-term elections are one week from today.


(Washington--ba) The Agriculture Secretary expressed his optimism that rules on year-round E-15 ethanol in fuel blends will be ready by the start of the 2019 driving season. Rod Bain reports.




CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago's Field Museum plans to revamp its Native American exhibits with the help of American Indians over the next three years. Museum president Richard Lariviere tells the Chicago Tribune that its Native North American Hall faces a much needed renovation of displays dating mostly back to the 1950s. Leaders of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians from Michigan and Indiana say current exhibits don't tell the stories of Native Americans.



(Urbana--jc)  -- A University of Illinois lineman was in court on Monday to face three counts of domestic battery. Lere Oladipo plead not guilty to all charges.His next court appearance is on December 21st in Champaign County court.


(Watseka--jc)  The proposed 20-19 budget for Iroquois County is available for review at the Iroquois County Clerk’s office in Watseka. Those with any feedback for questions may contact the county clerk’s office or their elected official on the county board. Iroquois County leaders are set to meet on November 13th at 5pm to take action on  next year’s budget. The fiscal year begins on December First.



(Springfield--jc)  Buying a new or used car? The Illinois Secretary of States Office says to to beware of cars from states that have seen hurricanes and other weather related events.  Secretary of State Spokesperson Henry Haupt says state officials are carefully scrutinizing title applications for vehicles from in hurricane ravaged areas…



Illinois Secretary of States spokesperson Henry Haupt.


(Hoopeston--jc)  -- Hoopeston Jaycees are helping again this holiday season. The group will be gathering new toys for area kids this Christmas. The group has set up registration days in early November at the Hoopeston United Methodist Church. The first sign up day is Monday November 5th from 9 until 11am. More information is found in Hoopeston’s Just the Facts.



(Washington--ba) Why are leftover prescription drugs such a problem?

USDA’s Stephanie Ho reports.



USDA’s Stephanie Ho



Polls Show Prizker Leading Rauner, Currently by Double Digits.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner swept into office four years ago as a self-made millionaire and an outsider promising fiscal austerity, lower taxes and clean government. Now he's struggling in his re-election bid against Democratic challenger J.B. Pritzker. This year’s election has seen millions of dollars spent on negative ads. A two year budget standoff  and billions of dollars in debt, the first term governor held a firm line on compromise.Working with those with other political views is the stance of Rauner. Democratic Challenger J B Pritzker is running on a position of change and Democrat solidarity. Polls show Prizker leading Rauner, currently by double digits.



CHICAGO (AP) — Two workers have been fired from Democratic Illinois governor candidate J.B. Pritzker's campaign over a social media post showing one wearing a charcoal face mask that resembles blackface. The Chicago Sun-Times reports the image posted Sunday to Instagram shows a white man wearing a Pritzker T-shirt with a dark substance on his face. A Pritzker spokeswoman says both were fired. She said earlier Friday neither intended offense but were initially suspended without pay for poor judgment.



EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — Former Vice President Joe Biden will campaign for Democrat Brendan Kelly as he tries to retake a southern Illinois district won by Republican Rep. Mike Bost in 2014. Officials with the Kelly campaign say Biden is scheduled to campaign Wednesday in East St. Louis with the prosecutor and Navy veteran. The working-class corner of the state supported Donald Trump by 15 percentage points after twice backing Barack Obama for president.


CHICAGO (AP) — Authorities have accused a University of Illinois at Chicago massage therapist of sexually abusing two students while working on campus. The Chicago Sun Times reports 52-year-old Carl Schultz was charged Friday with criminal sexual abuse and aggravated battery involving the students on separate occasions. A judge set bond at $5,000 and ordered him to return to court for a hearing on Nov. 15.


OAKWOOD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois residents are pushing for a public hearing where they can voice concerns about an energy company's plan to build a wall to stabilize part of the Vermillion River near coal ash pits. Vermilion County Board member Kevin Green is leading the effort to get local governments and other groups in the county to pass resolutions urging the Army Corps of Engineers to hold a public hearing on Vistra Energy's plan  The Middle Fork of the Vermillion River has three pits of toxic coal ash from the shuttered Vermilion Power Station. Instead of digging out the toxic muck, Vistra Energy, the ash pits' owner wants to build a wall of rocks. The Army Corps is in the process of gathering information about the plan as it reviews the energy company's permit application.River advocates fear the project could disrupt recreational activities along the river for up to a year and ruin the river's aesthetic and scenic value.


Chicago--jc)  -- Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner urged all area citizens to treat others with respect, even when you don’t agree politically. The recent events of suspected bombs sent to harm some Democratic leaders, prompted the governor to speak about a better society. Rauner says it’s a shame that some individuals look to harm others because of politics…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner


(Paxton--jc)  --Medicare’s open enrollment ends December 7, so now is the time to compare prescription drug plans. It is important for Medicare beneficiaries to review their prescription drug coverage each year. A beneficiary can stay with their current plan or look for a new one with better coverage, higher quality, and lower cost. Medicare beneficiaries can go online at to complete their own comparison but many people find it confusing. Ford County Public Health Department is here to help with this process. Lana Sample and Don McCall, SHIP Counselors, from the Ford County Public Health Department will be available to assist Medicare beneficiaries in comparing plans for 2018 at various locations throughout Ford County.They include Thursday November 8th in Gibson City and Thursday November 15th in Piper City



(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois lawmakers heard from experts and people affected by the chemicals being released by a suburban Chicago facility at a Friday hearing.Willowbrook-based Sterigenics has been using a cleaning agent called ethylene oxide, known as ETO, to clean medical supplies. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has said exposure to the chemical over time can cause cancer.Naperville real estate agent Jeanne Hochhalter told a joint House Committee on Friday that she and many of her families have suffered from cancerous effects of the chemical Sterigenics has been releasing.



(Gibson City--jc)  -- The American Lutheran Church in Gibson City has its Little Achievers Holiday Shopping Bazaar from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday The bazaar features 20 booths showcasing handmade items, personalized crafts, jewelry,  clothing and more. Door prizes and raffles also hi-light the event. A barbecue lunch with chips, drink and dessert will be sold for 6 dollars.



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




(Undated--jc)  -- Insurance shoppers likely will have several choices for individual health coverage this fall. The bad news? There's no guarantee they will cover certain doctors or prescriptions.Health insurers have stopped fleeing the Affordable Care Act's marketplaces and they've toned down premium hikes that gouged consumers in recent years. Some are even dropping prices for 2019. But the market will still be far from ideal for many customers when open enrollment starts Thursday.Much of the insurance left on the marketplaces limits patients to narrow networks of hospitals or doctors and provides no coverage outside those networks.

Plus these plans can still be unaffordable for people who don't receive help from the ACA's income-based tax credits, and they often require patients to pay several thousand dollars toward their care before most coverage starts.



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Raising the minimum wage in Illinois would help some residents out of poverty and increase economic activity, according to a new study by a local nonprofit.The Illinois Economic Policy Institute says what would happen if the state raised minimum wage from $8.25 an hour to $10, $13 or $15 an hour, The State Journal-Register reported. Officials with the Illinois Economic Policy Institute say that by raising the minimum wage, Illinois can boost worker incomes, reduce income inequality, increase consumer spending, grow the economy, generate tax revenues, and decrease taxpayer costs for government assistance programs. The study found that increases would affect between 353,000 and 1.4 million workers, and grow the economy by between $5 billion and $19 billion a year.


(Chicago--jc) --According to a survey from A-A-R-P, three-in-four voters believe that the new budget deal for Illinois will not address the state’s fiscal-crisis. A-A-R-P’s Ryan Gruenenfelder urges voters to go to the polls on November 6th…



A-A-R-P’s Ryan Gruenenfelder


(Thomasboro--jc)  -- Four area residents were injured in a single vehicle accident south of Thomasboro early Saturday. Police say a 19 year old driver from Villa Grove lost control of her vehicle on a local road near Thomasboro where the road dead-ends near Interstate 57. The driver and three passengers were all injured in the accident and taken to a local hospital. The accident remains under investigation by Champaign County authorities.



The measure does a host of things, such as providing additional access to treatment and recovery services, incentives for innovative care and establishes opioid recovery centers. It also works to encourage non-addictive alternatives to opioids, improves data collection to identify at-risk patients, and gives law enforcement more tools to go after illicit opioids at international mail facilities. In Illinois, drug overdose deaths have increased in recent years. For the one-year period that ended in January, Illinois had 2,760 reported deaths, that an increase of 236, or 10 percent, over the previous year, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nationwide, overdose deaths increased 6.3 percent during the same period.Illinois Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti said one issue Illinois is tackling is overprescribing of opioids through a prescription monitoring program.



(Springfield--jc)  Secretary of State Jesse White’s office is warning consumers to beware of flood and hurricane damaged cars. More than 40 thousand vehicles may have been affected by the recent hurricanes. Secretary of State Spokesperson Henry Haupt says it’s important to do your research and homework on vehicle purchases..



Illinois Secretary of State Spokesperson Henry Haupt

Information is found on line at cyber-drive-Illiniois-dot-com



CHAMPAIGN — University of Illinois defensive lineman Lere Oladipo was arrested on Sunday morning and booked on a preliminary charge of domestic battery. Oladipo has been indefinitely suspended from the football team, according to a news release.Oladipo was booked in Champaign County Jail at 1:42 a.m. Sunday and was released on $1,000 bond that morning, according to the Champaign News Gazette.


(Washington--jc)  -- Rural communities need to find ways to work together.  Executive director of the Rural Community Assistance Partnership, Nathan Ohle (‘Oh-lee) says that is one key for a positive future for rural America…



Executive Director of the Rural Community Assistance Partnership Nathan Ohle



(Paxton--ab)  The Paxton EMA will be helping out with the safety of Paxton trick or treaters on Halloween. EMA members will be at the intersections of Washington, Union, and Vermillion. The EMA helpers will be there to help kids cross the street to avoid incidents of children getting hit by vehicles.




Sangamon County State's Attorney John Milhiser to Become Area's Interim Chief Federal Prosecutor

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A central Illinois county state's attorney is leaving that job and is expected to become the area's interim chief federal prosecutor. Sangamon County State's Attorney John Milhiser is resigning effective Tuesday from the position he's held since 2010. President Donald Trump nominated the Republican in August to become the U.S. attorney for the 46-county central district of Illinois but he's awaiting a Senate confirmation vote


(Chicago--jc)  --Illinois could have a new governor before a long-running labor dispute between Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration and the state's largest public union is sorted out.One labor analyst said that may be what the union wants.Rauner has secured contracts with more than a dozen unions since he took office in 2015. But he failed to reach a deal with the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Council 31 union.On Tuesday, an appellate court kicked the question of whether the state and the union had reached an impasse back to the state’s labor board. The labor board had previously found there was an impasse, something the union denies. If there is an impasse, Rauner would be able to impose new terms, which include reductions in health insurance benefits.Rauner’s office said it’s considering an appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court.


(Fisher--jc)  Fisher village leaders are holding a public hearing on Monday concerning a permit to build a solar garden in town. The area is commonly known as the “Stalter property.” The request comes from a company called Novel Energy Solutions. The hearing takes place at 5 Monday afternoon at the Fisher Community Center. The full village board will meet immediately following the hearing to act on the recommendation.



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Bicentennial organizers and the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs have named 200 military veterans to honor during the state's 200th birthday. Stuart Layne is executive director of the Bicentennial Commission. He says the "Bicentennial HONOR 200" recognition "is one of the most important commemorations" of the yearlong celebration. All the recipients have been invited to attend the state's official birthday celebration Dec. 3 at the United Center in Chicago.



(Undated--jc)  --When a newspaper closes or stops providing local content, it's bad news for the local community, according to an updated report. Since 2004, hundreds of local newspapers have closed up shop. The author of a report on this trend said areas without a local paper suffer in a variety of ways.A study by the Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Media at the University of North Carolina says newspapers have shuttered at a high rate since 2004, many of which happened shortly after the recession in 2008. lllinois lost 157 weekly papers since 2004, most located in suburban Chicago as many merged with larger daily publications like the Chicago Tribune. This is among the highest number of closings in the country.


(Loda--ab) Bond was set for an Iroquois County man accused of setting a fire in a downtown Loda business. Several fire departments were called to the  Owls Nest restaurant, along route 45 in Loda on Monday night. Police arrested 36 year old Ronald E. Campe the second of Loda. His bond was set at 100 thousand dollars and his next court appearance is set for November 13th. WPXN News will continue to update this story as more official news becomes available.




(Rantoul--jc)  Rantoul police conducted an active shooter drill at Rantoul township High School. Students, Faculty and parents have been told about the event, which is required by Illinois law. Rantoul High school students were evacuated from the school to a safe area during the drill. Rantoul police along with Rantoul Fire Department volunteers and Champaign County emergency personnel are also using this mornings active-shooter drill to train. Rantoul police Department Lieutenant Justin Bouse says it is vitally important for the safety of the students.



Rantoul police Department Lieutenant Justin Bouse



(Cissna Park --dg)  -- The Cissna Park American Legion Auxiliary is hosting a vendor Bazaar on Saturday October 27th to support local veterans. The event runs from 9am til 3pm. Food served from 9am -2pm at the Cissna Park American Legion. Many Local and area vendors will be set up. Dave’s Old Settlers Fish, baked goodies and more will be available.


Christ Lutheran High School in Buckley will be celebrating Oktoberfest Sunday October 28th at the Buckley American Legion. Dinner will be served from 4pm-6:30pm. Homemade German dishes will be served, including German Sausage Soup, German Meatballs, Schweinbraten, Bratwurst, Sauerkraut, German Potato Salad, breads, desserts and more.



(Undated--ba) Holiday shoppers, Black Friday is 4 weeks away, and Cyber Monday will follow. What are the tendencies for shoppers this year? WPXN’s Braedon Arnett has the details....




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



OGLESBY — Governor  Bruce Rauner Thursday announced the state has acquired 2 thousand 629 acres of property in LaSalle County to protect natural resources and expand recreation opportunities, tourism and economic development near Starved Rock and Matthiessen state parks. The governor says more than 3 million people visit Starved Rock and Matthiessen state parks each year. They are among the most beautiful destinations in our state, and the expansion increases the amount of open spaces by more than 50 percent. The state acquired the land from Lone Star Industries Inc., which, along with its predecessor companies, has owned much of the property since the early 1900s.


(Springfield--jc)  -- 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 says Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Bob Gough…



Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Bob Gough

Bloomington and Springfield saw a decrease in jobs last month compared to September of last year.



(Springfield--jc)  -- Officials are giving the “all clear,” after a brief lockdown at the state capitol in Springfield on Thursday. The lockdown was called after an unknown substance was found in a second floor bathroom Springfield Fire Chief Allen Reyne (‘Rye-nee) says the substance was deemed non-threatening…



Springfield Fire Chief Allen Reyne



(ILLINOIS--ba)  The Red Cross wants you to have a safe time trick or treating.  WPXN’s Braedon Arnett has the story….




(GIBSON CITY--ba)-A euchre party sponsored by Chic Merdedith’s Ford County Relay for Life team is set for 6:30pm tonight at the Moyer District Library, located at 618 S. Sangamon- Avenue in Gibson City. There is a $10 entry fee, and snacks and water will be provided. To sign up,  call 217-784-5267.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs is joining a number of other state treasurers in calling for Facebook CEO and Board Chairman Mark Zuckerberg to relinquish some of his control at the social media company. Frerichs and the other treasurers co-filed a shareholder proposal asking the company’s board of directors to make the role of board chair an independent position, meaning Zuckerberg would step down as board chairman, but continue in his role as CEO.

Frerichs says that Facebook may have been able to avoid some of the bad news over the past year and a half.


(PAXTON--ba)-- P.R.I.D.E. in Paxton . and The Paxton Christmas Committee are inviting various  groups, such as members of the Armed Forces, Businesses, marching units, bands, Christian and civic units, people with floats, antique vehicles, new cars,  and farm machinery to participate in this year’s annual Christmas parade. The parade will be held on Saturday, November 24th, 2018, at

1:30pm in downtown Paxton. For more info contact Teri Hancock at 217-379-4245. WPXN will be broadcasting the parade live on the 24th.



(Paxton--jc)  One local church is hosting a trunk or treat event at the church on Wednesday. The Paxton Church of the Nazarene  is the venue for a Trunk-or-Treat event from 4:30 to 6 p.m on Halloween. The event takes place in the churches parking lot.



Indiana Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Online Fantasy Sports Providers FanDuel and DraftKings to be able use the Names and Statistics of College Football Players Without Consent and Compensation

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Online fantasy sports providers FanDuel and DraftKings can use the names and statistics of college football players without consent and compensation because the material has news value, the Indiana Supreme Court said Wednesday.The court in a unanimous ruling rejected the claims of former players Akeem Daniels and Cameron Stingily of Northern Illinois and Nick Stoner of Indiana, who argued the companies violated their right of publicity by using their names and statistics without consent and compensation. The use of the material without consent by FanDuel and DraftKings, the defendants in the case, does not violate Indiana's right of publicity statute "because the use falls within the meaning of 'material that has newsworthy value,' an exception under the statute," said the opinion written by Justice Steven David.


(WASHINGTON-ba)--  African Swine fever remains a concern for hog producers, nationwide. Greg Ibach, Under Secretary of Agriculture for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, talk about efforts to coordinate with the swine industry on African Swine Fever issues....



U-S-D-A Under Secretary of Agriculture  Greg Ibach


(Springfield--jc)  -- You may not have won anything in the latest Mega Millions drawing, but the state of Illinois certainly did. Just one person won the $1.6 billion jackpot. The winning ticket was sold in South Carolina. But the state of Illinois hit a jackpot of its own with the Mega Millions-mania.  Lotto spokesman Jason Schaumburg says players in the state snapped-up $75 million in tickets since July. That means around 20 million dollars to the state of Illinois coffers.


(Springfield--jc) This weeks vote for the Illinois bicentennial best of vote looks for Illinois’ minority trailblazers. They include Barack Obama and Jesse Jackson, bu also gay rights activist Henry Gerber and Frank McWorter who was the first black man  who founded a town. Voting is done at Illinois-Top-200-dot-com


(Rantoul--jc)  Rantoul police will be conducting an active shooter drill at Rantoul township High School this morning. Students, Faculty and parents have been told about this morning’s event, which is required by Illinois law. Rantoul High school students will be evacuated from the school to a safe area during the drill. Rantoul police along with Rantoul Fire Department volunteers and Champaign County emergency personnel are also using this mornings active-shooter drill to train..


(Chicago--jc)  --A suburban school district is trying to claw back millions of dollars in tax incentives from Sears after the former retail powerhouse declared bankruptcy. Despite receiving millions of dollars in subsidies, retail store Sears is in the process of bankruptcy. A state official says there should be more oversight on how taxpayer dollars are doled out to private businesses. When Sears moved its headquarters from downtown Chicago to the suburbs in 1990, the company got a $250 million tax break. After threats to move out of state, the company was given an extension in 2012 as the first deal was about to expire. At the behest of Community Unit School District 300, the agreement contained the stipulation that the company maintain a certain number of employees with a minimum benefit level for the duration of the tax breaks.



(Springfield--jc)  --A transparency group is using the season to warn about risky practices employed by what the group calls "zombie governments."Truth in Accounting has updated information that shows some states, Illinois included, have such large amounts of hidden debt that they’re essentially insolvent. The term “zombie bank” comes from the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s. It was used to describe a bank that was broke but still operating thanks to accounting gimmicks and government support. Bill Bergman, director of research with Truth in Accounting, said some states and units of local government are effectively insolvent, but able to make themselves appear “alive” using similar accounting tricks.



URBANA — In order to get insurance to pay for injuries to a University of Illinois student who was burned by a friend during an alcohol-fueled mishap, the state will not file criminal charges against the friend. The News Gazette says University of Illinois police had issued 21 year old Erik Beitel,  A notice to appear in court Today for possible criminal charges stemming from a September 27th drinking-related accident at his fraternity.State’s Attorney Julia Rietz said Wednesday she has decided not to file reckless-conduct charges against Beitel because the UI’s disciplinary system is dealing with him and also due to insurance concerns.



(Bloomington--jc) A husband and wife team who just sold their 10 McDonald’s restaurants have embarked on building an upscale restaurant on Bloomington’s east side. Bob and Julie Dobski owned McDonald’s in the Bloomington-Normal area, including the McDonald’s in Gibson City.  The Pantagraph says Dobski hopes to open Rob-Dobs Restaurant and Bar in June of 2019. The site of the proposed restaurant is along Hersey road in the city. Steaks, seafood and the latest in kitchen equipment will be featured at the restaurant.



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



(Undated--jc)  In our look at the two congressional races in our area, candidates in those in central Illinois have stark political differences on some unresolved policies heading into the midterm elections.With less than two weeks until election day, debate season is in full force. This week, candidates for the 13th and 18th congressional districts separately debated their opponents. The districts span almost entirely across central Illinois.The farm bill was brought up during a debate hosted by the State Journal-Register in Springfield. 18th congressional district Democratic challenger Junius Rodriguez said he doesn’t like the policy that's being hashed out to require able-bodied people to work to get food assistance. Incumbent Darin LaHood says the best thing for social programs are jobs, putting people to work.

Betsy Dirksen Londrigan is the Democrat challenging incumbent 13th congressional district Republican Rodney Davis. At a debate at Millikin University this week, Londrigan made clear that she’s in it to ensure individuals with pre-existing conditions are covered and everyone has access to quality health care. Davis countered that Londrigan has mischaracterized his record. Davis says that Londrigan supports policies that take Medicaid dollars from the elderly who need it to expand the program to able-bodied adults At stake is major party control of Congress. Voters go to the polls on Tuesday November 6th.



(Milford--jc)  Those in the Milford school district, and area continue to mourn the death of a popular teacher, coach and friend. 62 year old Kenneth Leonard of Milford passed away last week at his home. Leonard was a teacher at various school districts in the area including Ridgeview and Milford. He was a popular coach of girls and boys basketball teams. A celebration of life ceremony is set for Saturday at 11 am at the Milford Grade school south gym. Knapp Funeral home in Milford is incharge of the arrangements and memorials may be made to the Milford school boosters club.



(Washington--jc)  New guidelines can alert patients with elevated blood pressure levels, and, in turn, help them take preventative measures to lower risk of hypertension. Rod Bain talks with University of Illinois Extensions, Marilyn Csernus…




(Gibson City, IL--jc)  -- With one week since its grand opening, one local fitness center is seeing a bright future. Gibson Area Hospital officials held a grand opening last Thursday for it’s Elite Sport & Fitness along Route 9 in Gibson City.  The property had been vacant for several years since the closing of the ALCO store. Rob Schmitt, CEO of Gibson Area Hospital & Health Services, says the large turnout at the open house allowed us to show the community all the bells and whistles that Elite has to offer. Gibson Area Hospital has a similar location in Paxton on route 45 north in the city.



Christ Lutheran High School in Buckley will be celebrating Oktoberfest Sunday October 28th at the Buckley American Legion. Dinner will be served from 4pm-6:30pm. Homemade German dishes will be served, including German Sausage Soup, German Meatballs, Schweinbraten, Bratwurst, Sauerkraut, German Potato Salad, breads, desserts and more.



(Kankakee County--jc)  -- A portion of Illinois Route 115  in southern Kankakee County was shut down for several hours on Wednesday afternoon. The reason was a semi accident. No word on any injuries was given and the road was re-opened to traffic later in the day.



(Rantoul--jc)  Rantoul Chamber officials have changed the date of the annual lighted Christmas parade and Santa’s workshop back to Friday November 30th. The Parade route will stay the same but the lineup and marshalling and staging area will be  the four streets in a square around Mitchell Court. The parade steps off around 6pm and WPXN will be broadcasting live during the parade on the 30th of November.



(IL-ba)  Halloween is this coming Wednesday. Area towns have trick or treat hours. WPXN’s Braedon Arnett has the details…



Chicago – Attorney General Lisa Madigan with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) today announced an agreement with Diamond Residential Mortgage Corporation under which the company will pay $1.2 million to eligible consumers who were defrauded by one of the company’s branch managers. Madigan entered the settlement, an assurance of voluntary compliance, with Diamond Residential Mortgage Corporation (Diamond), a residential mortgage company based in Lake Forest, Ill. The agreement resolves an investigation by Madigan’s office and IDFPR into alleged mortgage fraud at Diamond’s Springfield branch.



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A container for gunpowder that Abraham Lincoln carried as a soldier during the Black Hawk War of 1832 is now on display at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield. In a news release, the library says Lincoln carried the powder horn during his months in the Illinois militia.The artifact was loaned to the library by Carl Harmon and his family from Spencer County, Indiana. After Lincoln used the powder horn, it belonged to a man named Jack Armstrong. The two were friends who once engaged in a wrestling match before Lincoln became president.




Billionaire Democrat J.B. Pritzker has Donated $15 Million More to his Campaign for Illinois Governor, Pushing his Self-financing Total to $161.5 million

(Paxton--jc)  The dedication of the overpass just south of Paxton, along Interstate 57 drew a huge crowd Monday morning at the Paxton Fire station. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold led the event and talked about the tragic events of April 7 1979 that took the lives of three men and wounded a fourth man. State Senator Jason Barickman and Illinois House member Tom Bennett were also in attendance, along with dozens of Illinois State Police troopers, Paxton City council members, family, friends and public. State Police Director Leo Schmitz says the process to get this project completed took the efforts of a lot of work by a lot of people...



State Police Director Leo Schmitz

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold says the hope of the city is the bridge serves as a reminder to honor those that serve our communities…



Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.


(Melvin--ab)  A hog roast is set to benefit Christian missions. The Melvin Hog roast is coming up on October 28th from 11 AM to 2 PM supporting Melvin United Methodist Church Youth Group’s Mission fund. Blake Nugent a High schooler from Heritage Prep says he sees a transition in attitude from fundraising to getting on location at the mission site.



Heritage Prep student Blake Nugent



(Washington-ba)   Three federal agencies, including the Agriculture Department, pledged to continue work to reduce food waste by fifty per cent in our country by the year 2030. Rod Bain reports....



CHICAGO (AP) — Billionaire Democrat J.B. Pritzker has donated $15 million more to his campaign for Illinois governor, pushing his self-financing total to $161.5 million. Both Pritzker and multimillionaire Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner have been largely funding their own campaigns. The Chicago Tribune reports that Pritzker's campaign reported the new donation to state election officials Saturday. The Hyatt Hotel heir is outpacing Rauner, who has given about $68 million toward his re-election campaign.



(Bloomington--ba)  Nominees are sought for the “mother” road.. WPXN’s

Braedon Arnett has the story.




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



(Chicago--jc)  ) --A group of 10 campaign workers who sued Democratic candidate for Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker over racial discrimination accusations in the political operation spoke out Monday in response to claims that they’re only after the billionaire's money.In the lawsuit, current and former campaign workers said that Pritzker’s campaign deliberately put minorities in dangerous offices and denied them promotions. The workers said they weren't taken seriously by campaign leaders until they filed the lawsuit. Attorney Jeanette Samuels, one of the attorneys representing the workers said at a news conference, that when career campaign workers from Selma Alabama come to Chicago and say they have experienced racism, you believe them. Another attorney representing the group is  Shay T. Allen. Allen says his clients wouldn’t delve into the specifics of the discrimination claims in the lawsuit, but he said they felt compelled to speak out after criticism. Allen said there has been an effort to “smear these people's’ reputations.”



(Washington--ba)  --If the latest winter weather forecast pans out, it could have important implications for agriculture. USDA Gary Crawford explains.




(Rantoul--jc)  -- When Rantoul village leaders meet in a special session tonight, they will be asked to provide a new roof. Those with the Rantoul Public Library are looking for a loan of 170 thousand dollars for the project. If approved the loan would be paid back over the next 10 years. The interest rate would be set at three percent. The Rantoul Village board special meeting comes to order at 6 tonight in the municipal building on Tanner Street.


(Loda--jc)  A major fire sent various area fire departments to the village of Loda late Monday night. Officials say the Owls nest building caught fire Monday night around 10. Loda Fire department volunteers with mutual aid from Paxton and Buckley. There were people in the building when the fire started. No one was injured. Details of the fire remain sketchy and no word on the cause of the blaze was made available. WPXN news will update this story as more official news becomes available.



(Rantoul--jc)  One local Chamber is getting into the Halloween spirit. Officials with the Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce had help with the window display in the downtown area of Rantoul. Rantoul Area Executive Director Belynda Allen continues to urge area  businesses to work together to help the village and area grow. The window display features ghosts and pumpkins  Chamber leaders continue to look for nominations for the annual banquet. That event is set for November 9th


(Springfield--jc)  A recent Illinois law is behind solar farm proposals across the state. The Future Energy Jobs Act, which took effect last year, requires Illinois utilities to get 25 percent of their retail power from renewable sources like solar and wind by 2025. Sean Gallagher, vice president of state affairs at the Solar Energy Industries Association, said the new interest is no coincidence. One area that has seen a spike in solar farm applications is Boone County in far northern Illinois. Karl Johnson, Boone County board chairman, says they’ve received more than a dozen proposals and already have approved a handful of them. Closer to home a solar project has been proposed for the Fisher area in Champaign County. Another solar project is underway in Kankakee County.


(Washington--ba)  -- What is the reaction coming from the cattle on feed report.  U-S-D- A Livestock Analyst Shayle Shagam has the numbers...



U-S-D-A Livestock Analyst Shayle Shagam


(Gifford--jc)  One Champaign County junior high continues to look at a girls softball coop with two area schools. Gifford School leaders have met with those in the Armstrong and Potomac schools. The consensus of the meetings is there is a positive interest for girls softball. If approved, the sport would be part of activities offered at Gifford Grade school. More meetings at being planned on the subject



ATLANTA, Ill. (AP) — Organic farmers in Illinois are adapting their business practices due to a shift in the local market prompted in part by large grocers offering organic produce and meal-kit startups gaining popularity. Many small organic fruit and vegetable producers have traditionally relied on sales through community-supported agriculture programs, in which community members pay for a weekly box of vegetables .Hans and Katie Bishop run PrairiEarth Farm in Atlanta, Illinois southwest of Bloomington.. The Bishops said they're making many changes to how they run their business, such as expanding the company's wholesale business, partnering with other farms and allowing CSA members to select what goes into their boxes. Trimbles Farm Produce, home of Farmer Scotts Premium popcorn is another C-S-A option in Heyworth.



The Fall Season is Expected to Bring the Highest Number of Vehicular Deer Collisions in Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The quest to be the next Illinois attorney general is focusing on experience, ideology and gumption. Democrat Kwame Raoul touts his legal and policymaking experience and says Republican Erika Harold is too rigid in her conservative views to effectively manage the post of chief law enforcement officer. Harold says she has the independence and initiative to take on public corruption and insists that her political viewpoint won't impede her defense of current law. They face off is Nov. 6.


DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. (AP) — After more than a decade representing a reliably Republican suburban Chicago district, Rep. Peter Roskam is suddenly among the most endangered House Republicans seeking re-election. His long right-leaning record in a safe GOP district may be his toughest opponent. Roskam, who faces Democratic business owner and scientist Sean Casten, is trying to navigate between his past positions and appealing to an electorate that supported Hillary Clinton over President Donald Trump by 7 percentage points.


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Three women who accused a University of Illinois law professor of sexual misconduct say the university hasn't done enough to protect students or discourage similar misbehavior. The News-Gazette reports that the women say they're upset Jay Kesan remains a tenured faculty member with access to students. The university's Office of Diversity, Equity and Access investigated Kesan after receiving multiple complaints about his behavior.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A suburban Chicago man has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for using identities stolen from the dark web to defraud businesses of more than $600,000. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Springfield says 25-year-old Keith JD Offord of Carpentersville also was ordered Friday to pay $600,549 in restitution. Offord was convicted in February of bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. Prosecutors said he used false ID documents to obtain credit accounts and buy gift cards and merchandise


(Bloomington--jc) --The fall season is expected to bring the highest number of vehicular deer collision in Illinois.State Farm Insurance is out with its 16th annual deer collision report and ranks Illinois right in the middle of states for the number of deer accidents. The odds of hitting a deer in Illinois increased this year, but only slightly. Bill Ecker, a State Farm Insurance Agent in Marion, said that chances of hitting a deer double in the fall.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Secretary of State Jesse White is warning the public about  marijuana-related investment schemes. Investment in marijuana business ventures is becoming more popular, but some opportunities are really just a scam says Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White…



Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White



SPRINGFIELD – The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum has added three fascinating Lincoln documents to its collection, thanks to the generosity of a donor who wishes to remain anonymous.The documents illustrate Lincoln’s duties both as an attorney and a president. One is from an 1851 libel case. Another, a note on White House stationery, apologizes for not being able to review troops. The third proclaims a new treaty between the United States and Belgium.The documents were donated by a central Illinois collector who wanted to see them safely preserved and available to future scholars and Lincoln fans.



(Downs--jc) Want to see the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. The crew is making a stop on Sunday at the McLean County town of Downs on Sunday October 28th. The Wienermobile will be at the Haunted attraction in Downs from 1pm to 2pm on the 28th.



(Rantoul--jc)  -- The date and time for the village of Rantoul Christmas parade has been set. The event will take place Saturday December First  at 6pm. Parade lineup starts at Rantoul Township High School at 5-15 on the first. The parade heads Chanute Street and then up Sangamon Avenue to the downtown area. Floats, and other entries will be lighted. Downtown businesses will be open for shopping during the annual parade. Santa will be visiting with area children and Mrs Claus will be reading. WPXN will be broadcasting live during the Rantoul parade on Saturday December First.



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



(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois is one of 29 states dealing with a stubborn salmonella outbreak.The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting five cases of multi-drug resistant salmonella according to Public Health Department spokesperson Emma Ciavarella. She says that in the 29 states dealing with the outbreak, almost all of the cases can be traced back to raw chicken. Ciavarella said the CDC is looking into the source of the outbreak, but investigators aren't sure if there is just one source.Most people who have gotten sick from the outbreak have reported a rumbly stomach and a fever. It can last up to a week.



(Springfield--jc)  -- New data will be available on this year’s Illinois School report cards. The report cards provide a snapshot of school demographics and how well students are doing. The State Board of Education’s Rae Clementz says they have added chronic absenteeism rates and new measurements of student proficiency and growth…



State Board of Education Spokesperson Rae Clementz

School report cards will  be available online starting October 31st at Illinois-Report-Card-Dot-Com



(Chicago--jc)  -- A report on Illinois’ legal landscape says the state's lawsuit-friendly policies cost billions of dollars and more than 80,000 jobs every year. Some critics say that’s an overstatement. A study conducted by the Illinois Civil Justice League into the cost of tort, or claims of loss or harm, lawsuits and their effect on Illinois’ economy estimates the costs from higher liability insurance premiums and lawsuits themselves cost businesses $4.5 billion directly and another $7.7 billion in economic output every year. The study said this also costs Illinois 81,000 jobs annually.


(Chicago--jc)  -- Illinois residents are more at risk of identity theft and fraud than the majority of other states in the U.S.Illinois ranked 13th as a state with the most identity theft and fraud complaints and losses, according to a new report by WalletHub. Wallethub analyst Jill Gonzalez says this is not one of the lists where you want to be closer to the top. Nevada  has the most identity theft and fraud, while. Hawaii ranked last. Gonzalez says Illinois should definitely try to be in the bottom half of a ranking like this. Typically, a consumer loss is around 10 thousand dollars, and Illinois is doubling these numbers at 20 thousand dollars or more. Gonzalez says Illinois ranks so high for cyber theft and fraud because of poor state policies. Illinois consumers can protect themselves by taking measures to ensure their personal information is protected.


(Hoopeston--jc)  -- The strong winds on Saturday caused some damage around  the area. In Hoopeston, a tree was blown into a home on 5th avenue and some playground equipment was damaged at Hoopestons McFerren Park. Small limbs from numerous trees were scattered throughout the area. Most communities in East Central Illinois saw branches and small limbs scattered by the high winds


(Urbana--jc)  --Coroner Duane Northrup is releasing the name of a Watseka, Illinois man, who has died from traumatic injuries sustained in a motor vehicle versus motor vehicle crash in Iroquois County, Illinois on the evening of October 17th. Eighty-two year old Howard Kissack was reportedly the driver of a vehicle that collided head on with another vehicle. He was pronounced dead at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, Illinois on Friday night. No autopsy will be performed, but an inquest may be held at a later day. This death is being investigated by the Champaign County Coroner’s Office and the Illinois State Police District 21.



(Champaign--jc)  -- National weather officials are now looking at the winter forecast. State Climatologist Jim Angel with the Illinois Water Survey in Champaign has the details…


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



(Cullom--jc)  -- Tri Point School board members will get an update on the state board conference in Chicago when they meet tonight. School leaders will also look at updates to the schools reading policy, approve the annual  financial report and and let bids for snow removal. The Tri Point school board meeting comes to order at 7 tonight in Kempton.




Illinois Supreme Court Reverses Ruling that had Stopped Construction Massive Power Line Through Eastern Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Supreme Court has reversed a ruling that had stopped construction of a massive power line through eastern Illinois. The court's 7-0 ruling Thursday affects 35 Edgar County eminent domain actions by Ameren Transmission Co. to obtain land for the remaining section of a 375-mile cross-state power line. Justice Bob Thomas' opinion found that a circuit court did not have jurisdiction when it ruled that landowners were denied due process.


CHICAGO (AP) — Black women who have just given birth in Illinois are more likely to die from pregnancy-related issues within a year than non-Hispanic white women a new study finds. The Illinois Department of Public Health on Thursday released a study of statewide trends in maternal deaths. Researchers found an average of 73 Illinois women die within one year of pregnancy. They also found black women are six times as likely to die of a pregnancy-related condition as white women.


(Gibson City--jc)  Saving the district money, that was the main reason for a move to issue nearly 4 and one half million dollars in general obligation  bonds for one local school district. Members of the Gibson City Melvin Sibley school district gave their o-k to the idea. The G-C-M-S school district has several fund balances that are in the black and by consolidating into one bond,  district leaders say that could save G-C-M-S taxpayers around half a million dollars over the next decade.


(Woodworth--dg)  -- The 9th Annual Ford-Iroquois 4-H auction will take place Sunday November 18th at St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Woodworth. A pork burger meal starts at 1:30 with the Auction starting at 2pm. Proceeds from this auction are used to cover participation fees for all 4-Hers in Ford and Iroquois County. There will be a wide variety of items to bid on including tools, seed corn, craft items, food and more. Items for sale are donated by local businesses, individuals, and 4-H Clubs. You can find a list of items on the Ford & Iroquois Counties 4-H Facebook page.


(Saybrook-ba)  -- The Saybrook American Legion Post 427 will host a chicken and fish fry today from 4:30 to 6:30pm. The menu for tonight includes whole catfish, chicken and walleye, baked beans, coleslaw, and baked potatoes. Walleye is all you can eat.



(Paxton--ba)  --The local PBL Panther Regiment is performing at a competition on Saturday. P-B-L High School  Drum Major Mikayla Jones gives more information as well as her own experience as Drum Major.



P-B-L High School Drum Major Mikayla Jones



(Paxton--ba)  - An Interstate 57 overpass is to be dedicated to local Illinois heroes. WPXN’s Braedon Arnett has the story.



(Bellflower--jc)  The Bellflower Country Opry’s is set to perform tomorrow night in the village. The country music show begins at 7 Saturday night at the Bellflower Community Center. Guest performer is Cindy Suttles Moore, a seasoned singer from Decatur. Admission to the show costs $10; children ages 12 and under enter for free. Prior to the show, starting at 5 p.m., a pulled-pork dinner will be served for a $6 fee.


The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, in its parking lot to help raise funds for the Lake Iroquois Women’s Club. The IGA is located at 144 W. Pells St. in Paxton. Pork chop sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.


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



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that a police canine's detection of drugs outside an apartment door in an unlocked building is an unlawful search. The court ruled 4-3 Thursday that the common area outside any apartment door is a legal part of a home. Justice Thomas Kilbride's opinion determined that police need a warrant before a drug-sniffing dog can search it.



(Springfield--jc)  The state’s unemployment rate held steady last month. The September jobless rate came in a four point one percent. That was the same as August, but a figure  Illinois has not seen in awhile says State Department of Employment Security’s Bob Gough..



State Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Bob Gough.


Chatsworth, IL – The Illinois State Rifle Association Political Victory Fund has formally endorsed Bruce Rauner for Governor and is urging all gun owners in Illinois to support Governor Rauner’s candidacy. Illinois State Rifle Association President Richard Pearson says the 2nd Amendment is not on the front page in  this election cycle Pearson says Governor Rauner has been an ally for  2nd Amendment rights and freedoms. Pearson believes JB Pritzker represents an existential threat to Illinois gun owners.  The group held an event in Marion to endorse Rauner in the

race for Illinois Governor


PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — A 47-year-old central Illinois man faces federal charges of child sexual exploitation for allegedly using a social media site to try to contact and meet minors. Springfield's U.S. attorney's office says Charles A. Hewitt, of Creve Coeur, had been convicted in 2014 of a sex offense. An indictment returned this week accuses him of engaging in the sexual exploitation of three minors starting in 2017. He allegedly used phony names and profile pictures on the site to appear as a 15-year-old boy.


(Buckley--ba)  -- The last Sunday in the month is a good day for a good meal. On

October 28th, its Octoberfest in Buckley from 4pm to 6-30 at the Buckley American Legion. Christ Lutheran High School Spokesperson  Charlie Goldenstein says to come out and celebrate Octoberfest with the proceeds to help Christian education...



Christ Lutheran High School Spokesperson Charlie Goldenstein


MATTOON, Ill. (AP) — No, you're not seeing things: Those are pelicans out on by lakes in the Mattoon and Shelbyville area. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers natural resource specialist Lee Mitchell says migrating American white pelicans have been stopping by on their way to and from the Gulf Coast from the Dakotas every spring and fall in recent years.



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The remains of homes burned down during race riots that ravaged Springfield, Illinois in 1908 will be excavated and artifacts uncovered will be curated. The burned homes were found in 2014 during a building project to consolidate rail traffic through the city. The block-long site has remained untouched while the Federal Railroad Administration, the city, the Illinois Historic Preservation Office and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation formulated a plan and signed off on it.


(Paxton--ba)  -- The Paxton Buckley Loda High School Panther Regiment performs this Saturday night in El Paso. P-B-L  Band director Tim Hess says what kind of music the attendees can expect.



P-B-L Band director Tim Hess


CHICAGO (AP) — Four people who say they were sexually abused decades ago by five priests in parishes across Illinois are suing every diocese in the state for the abuse itself and what they say is a widespread and ongoing scheme to cover up clergy abuse. The lawsuit filed Thursday in Chicago alleges the abuse by the priests took place between the early 1970s until the late 1990s


The movie “Peter Rabbit” will be shown free of charge at 7 p.m. tonight at the Melvin Community Hall. Those attending are asked to bring a blanket or rug on which to sit.



The Ford County Republican Central Committee will meet from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Saturday, at Ne’s Place in Piper City. The public is welcome to attend.


Governor Bruce Rauner is Highlighting Illinois' Efforts to Become a "Smarter State."

(Chicago--jc)  --While a couple of state budget analysis groups differ on how much more Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker could spend if he's elected, they agree Pritzker will cost taxpayers more.When considering education funding, pension and backlogged debt payments, infrastructure and other Pritzker proposed programs, Illinois Policy Institute puts Pritzker’s estimated spending up to $18 billion more than what the state spends now. The conservative groups says that estimates show the cost of the democrat’s spending promises demand an income tax hike of $13 billion dollars plus for fiscal 2020 alone.


(Springfield--ab) Governor Bruce Rauner is highlighting Illinois’ efforts to become a “smarter state.” Governor Rauner told a national governors association conference that Illinois is at the forefront of the effort. That includes making most license applications and renewals available online among other initiatives...



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner

The Governor says the state is working to make more online state services accessible via mobile phone and nearly all Illinois school districts now have high speed internet.



BLOOMINGTON — A LeRoy physician and attorney has filed a $1.8 million lawsuit against Bob and Ed Brady, who he claims have defaulted on a loan. The Pantagraph reports that Thomas Pliura and his wife, Pam, filed the lawsuit this week in McLean County, claiming the Bradys borrowed $1 million through a loan agreement dated October of  2010, but have not made any repayment.The Pantagraph reports that both sides made no comments on the lawsuit on Wednesday.



(Gifford--jc)  -- Gifford School leaders say the roof project on the old gym at the school is now complete. The roof has a new warranty from the manufacturer. Superintendent Rod Grimsley says the final payment on the project will go out this month. School leaders are meeting with architect Dan Wakefield to get cost estimates to repair the south exterior wall of the old gym.



(Springfield--ab) State lawmakers are continuing to look into legalizing sports betting in Illinois. Many testifying at a house committee hearing on the topic urged legislators not to rush into a sports gaming program. There are many factors to consider, such as state regulation, how much to tax betting and should it be allowed both online and at establishments says spectrum gaming group managing director michael pollock.



Spectrum Gaming Group Managing Director Michael Pollock.

Lawmakers are also again discussing allowing more casinos in Illinois and slot machines at horse racing tracks.



CHICAGO (AP) — Ten current and former staffers are suing Democratic Illinois governor candidate J.B. Pritzker's campaign, saying they were harassed and discriminated against because of their race. The billionaire businessman's campaign said Wednesday the lawsuit was filed after they rejected a settlement offer to pay $7.5 million in damages. The African-American and Latino staffers said in the lawsuit that they were forced to work in unsafe areas and offered "no meaningful opportunity for advancement."


CHICAGO (AP) — A former Miss America who is running for Illinois attorney general once said that many victims of sexual harassment "become very promiscuous" think: "That's what I want to be." Republican Erika Harold is stressing her experience as an anti-bullying advocate as she seeks the job of Illinois' top legal officer. She made the comments after winning the 2003 Miss America pageant, and her campaign stood by them Wednesday.


(Rantoul--jc) One local church is using breakfast to help raise money for a mission trip to Tanzania. . Those with the American Lutheran Church in Rantoul are hosting a breakfast burrito fundraiser on Saturday and  Sunday. The bags contain 5 breakfast burritos for a suggested 10 dollar donation. More information is found by call American Lutheran Church in Rantoul.



(Paxton--jc)  -- When Ford County voters go to the polls on November 6th, they will be asked to approve a quarter of one cent tax for public safety purposes. The money would only be used for specific safety issues facing the county. Several area counties are currently using this type of sales tax. Polls open on Tuesday November 6th from 6am until 7pm.



(Paxton--ab) The Ford County Department of Public Health is offering Flu vaccines for the upcoming flu season. Dianne Tavenner with the Ford County Department of Public Health explains how the public can get their flu shot.



Ford County Public Health Department Spokesperson Dianne Tavenner



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



(Springfield--jc)  --Illinois officials have their eyes on a potential payday from legalizing new forms of gambling, but state revenue specialists warn that it may not be the jackpot they’re hoping for. Illinois lawmakers are looking to bank some revenue on a trifecta of legalizing sports betting, online internet gaming and fantasy sports. The state would follow New Jersey in legalizing sports betting after a landmark Supreme Court case in May allowed for sports betting outside of Nevada. September was the first month of recorded revenue reflecting New Jersey’s new availability of gaming. The state of New Jersey recorded 24 million dollars in total revenue from legalized sports on 184 million in wagers.


(Paxton--jc)  -- The Ford County  Public Health Department has flu clinics set.

WPXN’s Braedon Arnett has the  information.




(Buckley--ba)  For those looking to celebrate the holidays a little early, one local school has the answer. Christ Lutheran High School Spokesperson  Charlie Goldenstein talks about a unique holiday shopping experience....



Buckley based Christ Lutheran High School Spokesperson Charlie Goldenstein



(Champaign County--jc  Six cases of Legionnaire’s disease are being confirmed in Champaign-Urbana. All 6 are from Champaign County and several locations are being investigated as the source, says Illinois Public Health Director Doctor Nirav Shah…..



Illinois Public Health Director Doctor Nirav Shah


(Paxton--jc)  -- Education support employees in one local school district are getting a raise. Paxton-Buckley-Loda School board members gave their o-k to a raise from minimum wage to 9 dollars 50 cents hourly for the substitute teachers. The district had, until passing the raise, paid only minimum wage.



(Rantoul--jc)  -- A California company is set to buy 4 hangers and a call center on the former Chanute Air Force Base. Rantoul leaders say economic development at the airport remains a top priority for Rantoul and numerous opportunities are available. The sale of the properties will become final at the end of November. The final hanger purchase will be completed sometime in early 20-19.



(Washington--jc)  If you are preparing elaborate electrical outdoor displays for Halloween, keep in mind some electrical safety tips. Rod Bain reports…




(Paxton--dg)  --The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce will be having after hours later today at the Frederick Community Bank in Paxton. The event takes place from 5:30-7pm. The Frederick Community Bank will also be having an open house today during business hours. The public is invited to come and sign up for some great prizes they will be giving away.



(Rantoul--jc)  The Salvation Army is looking for volunteers. These volunteers will help with donations with the red kettles and ringers for the holidays. The donations begin on November 16th. More information is found by contacting the Salvation Army on North Prospect in Champaign or calling 217- 373- 3782


Paxton Park District and WPXN Radio to Sponsor the Annual Paxton Halloween Parade on  Wednesday, Oct. 31st.

(Paxton --jc)  The Paxton Park District and WPXN Radio are sponsoring the annual Halloween Parade on  Wednesday, Oct. 31st. The parade begins at 4 Halloween afternoon at the Paxton Carnegie Library in the downtown area. Kids in costume  will go north on Market with their destination being the Paxton Fire Station. Treat bags will be given and Halloween safety material will be provided by Ford County Sheriffs and Paxton Police and Ford County Crimestoppers officials. After the parade, kids are encouraged to trick-or-treat back down Market Street where they'll get more candy and goodies by stopping by all of the local participating businesses.   


(KANSAS CITY, Mo., Oct. 16, 2018) – Online voting will close Friday at 5 p.m. for the 2018 Tank of the Year contest sponsored by Tnemec Company, Incorporated. The company is a leading provider of high-performance protective coatings. People can vote for their favorite water tank at  tank of the year-dot com-- where photos of this year’s nominated water tanks are posted. Only one vote is allowed per person. After online voting has ended, the water tank receiving the most online votes will be named the People’s Choice and receive an automatic bid as a finalist for the 2018 Tank of the Year title. The People’s Choice winner and the 11 finalists selected by a committee will be announced on Oct. 22nd with the champion announced on October 26th. Three towers locally are on the list. They are two water towers in Rantoul and one in Gibson City.


JOLIET, Ill. (AP) — A suburban Chicago gymnastics coach has been charged with sexually assaulting a girl he trained at a gym in Channahon. Will County prosecutors say 68-year-old Jose Vilchis committed sexual abuse and assault against the girl in late 2012 or 2013 while he was coaching her at I&M Gymnastics. Authorities say the girl was between the ages of 13 and 17 at the time of the assaults. Bond was set at $300,000. It wasn't immediately known if Vilchis has legal representation.



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois officials have a message for voters this election season: Your vote is safe. State Board of Elections chairman William Cadigan told reporters in Chicago Tuesday that voters should rest assure that their November 6th votes are secure. Illinois National Guard Adjutant General Richard Hayes will be able to help…


Illinois National Guard Adjutant General Richard Hayes.


(Springfield--jc)  -- The state of Illinois has improved greatly the amount of money it is giving to K through 12 grade schools in the state. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says that was a goal for he and a non-partisan group of state lawmakers. Rauner says more money needs to be given to colleges and trade schools…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner


URBANA, Ill. (AP) — A top University of Illinois administrator says he expects action within several months on recommendations toward quelling the ongoing turmoil over the school's former Chief Illiniwek mascot.Chancellor Robert Jones told the campus senate this week that he's working to create "a coalition of the willing" to implement a university report released last month. That report suggested the school adopt a new sports mascot to replace the Chief Illiniwek portrayal that was dropped in 2007 after complaints from American Indians that it was offensive. The campus senate voted 64-29 in favor of a resolution backing the report recommendations.Education Professor Nick Burbules sponsored the resolution and said he believes it's past time for a new mascot. But he said the mascot selection risks causing more division.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Recreational areas up and down the state will be sharing more than $1.5 million in federal grant money to repair bridges, build trails, purchase property and help pay for other projects.In a news release, Gov. Bruce Rauner's office says the projects are in eleven communities and include city park districts, county forest preserve districts as well as Southern Illinois University and Prairie State College. Locally, the village of Mahomet will net a 98 thousand dollar federal grant for a concrete trail though a local  forest and water area. THe area will also include an overlook to accommodate visitors with disabilities. The money will come from the Recreational Trails Program, a federal grant program that in Illinois is administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources in cooperation with the state's transportation department.



(Paxton--ab)  Should 6th graders be able to play on 7th and 8th grade sports teams at Paxton Buckley Loda Schools. That was the topic earlier this week for the P-B-L school Extra Curricular Committee. The group also talked about what is getting reported to the board of education from coaches in the district.



CHICAGO (AP) — Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic governor candidate J.B. Pritzker each reported income of roughly $55 million last year. Rauner and Pritzker released partial 2017 tax returns Tuesday. Rauner is a multimillionaire former private equity investor. Pritzker is an entrepreneur and a billionaire heir to the Hyatt hotel fortune. Neither candidate has released his full returns or provided detailed documentation on the source of his income.



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



BLOOMINGTON — State Farm will remove the iconic red letters spelling out its name at its former headquarters in downtown Bloomington.The company has hired local contractor P.J. Hoerr Incorporated of  Normal and Peoria for the job. State Farm has stopped lighting the letters in the sign earlier this month The company has been marketing the 9 million dollar building to several interested companies.


(Springfield--jc)  -- A legal scholar who studies public and private investment funds says the people who are managing taxpayer-funded retirement plans are looking out for pensioners when they should be focused on what’s best for taxpayers.Publicly funded retirement boards are responsible for directing pension investments. Historically, they’ve acted on behalf of the pensioners and soon-to-be-retirees that are paying into the fund. Ohio State University professor Paul Rose, who is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the Robert J. Watkins/Procter & Gamble Professor of Law, proposes that they should be acting on behalf of taxpayers because taxpayers are largely responsible for contributions and would be expected to foot the bill for any funding shortfalls.


(Washington--jc)  -- Soybean maturation is ahead of schedule, but the news is not as good for harvest or condition. Stephanie Ho reports…




(Champaign--jc)  Champaign County Crimestoppers is seeking information about a 22 year old man from Champaign. John Gonzalez is wanted for failure to appear on a aggravated use of a weapons charge. Gonzalez is described as 5 foot 10 inches tall, black hair and brown eyes. Bond on the weapons charge was set at 25 thousand dollars and bond on an aggravated DUI charge was set at 10 thousand dollars. Anyone with information about Gonzalez is asked to call Champaign County Crimestoppers at 217-373-8477


(Champaign county--jc)   Several in Champaign County have Legionnaires Disease. Champaign County  Public health officials have confirmed six cases of Legionnaires' Disease within the  County.The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District announced on Tuesday that six county residents have been diagnosed with the illness since September 15th. Symptoms typically begin two to 10 days following exposure and may include diarrhea, muscle aches, vomiting, nausea, fever and chills. Shortness of breath, coughing, headaches, or mental confusion may also be common. The disease does not usually spread from person to person.



(Springfield--jc)  --In an effort to reduce interest payments, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed SB 2858 into law, allowing Illinois to invest funding from other sectors to generate interest monies.The new law could save the state up to 100 million dollars a year in interest payments, according to Treasurer Michael Frerichs. He says , now, if the state has a bill that is more than 90 days late, they start paying 1 percent interest per month, so effectively 12 percent interest annually. The governor says it makes sense to borrow money at a lower rate. The state can not use the money from other funds, but by investing, can get to the 100 million dollars in interest for the state.



(Bloomington--jc)  Democrat gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker made a stop in Bloomington on Tuesday to talk with officials from the Pantagraph. The Democrat talked about his  "kitchen table issues" and also gave more criticism of incumbent Governor Bruce Rauner. The Pantagraph reports the Democratic nominee for governor put stagnant wages, labor training, health care and college costs front and center as he laid out his vision for the state. Illinois voters go to the polls to elect a governor among other state and area officials on Tuesday November 6th.




(Lexington--jc)  -- One McLean County town is set to celebrate the holidays with a special event. Officials in Lexington say the “Christmas on the Prairie” day is set for December First from 9am until 8pm The event starts out at the Lexington School with a vendor fair...which also includes Breakfast with Santa, a children’s shopping area and fresh Christmas tree & wreath sale until 2pm. Shopping in the downtown area, food from local restaurants, holiday crafts and a festival of trees also hi-lite the event.


Vice President Mike Pence Says Republican U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis has Emerged as a Voice for Conservative Values in Congress

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence says Republican U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis has emerged as a voice for conservative values in Congress and is urging his supporters to get out the vote in the midterm elections. Pence campaigned for Davis on Friday at a fundraising event in Springfield, Illinois. Davis' seat is one Democrats are targeting as they try to regain control of the House. The Taylorville Republican faces a challenge from Democrat Betsy Dirksen Londrigan of Springfield.


(Rantoul--jc)  -- Two school aged children reported to Rantoul school authorities on Friday afternoon concerning a man appearing along their walk home and then running into a nearby cornfield. Police say the two students were walking home near Pleasant Acres Elementary school on Friday afternoon when the man came into their view, ran towards them and then disappearing into a cornfield. Rantoul authorities continue to look at clues in the incident. Anyone with information is asked to call the Rantoul Police Department.


(Springfield--jc)  --As the debate about Illinois’ income tax structure continues in the race for governor, some General Assembly candidates in contested districts are weighing in on the premise.Democratic candidate for governor J.B. Pritzker wants to change Illinois’ flat income tax to one that taxes higher earners at higher rates. Republicans have called it a blank check for government spending because it would be politically easier to raise taxes on only some taxpayers.Pritzker has repeatedly refused to give details about the income levels or tax rates in his plan. He has said he’ll negotiate that with lawmakers if elected.



(Chicago--jc)  -- Loyola University’s Sister Jean is being inducted into the Illinois Senior Hall of Fame. The Seniors Illinoisans Hall of Fame was created more than 20 years ago. 99 year old Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt urges seniors to keep moving… 



Illinois Senior Hall of Fame member Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt.

Sister Jean has worked in elementary education, has been a coach, principal and college dean. She has served as Loyola basketball team chaplain since 1994.



(Paxton--jc)  With the leaves starting to fall, city of Paxton leaders remind those living in Paxton, there is a burning ban. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold says the issue has been talked about for many years and a new ordinance is now law…



Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold


CLINTON — DeWitt County authorities are investigating the death of a 12-year-old girl, who was found unresponsive at her home in Clinton  Friday morning. Clinton police and emergency medical crews were called to a North Maple Street house around 6-30 Friday morning and found the girl unresponsive.  Daphne J. Peavler was pronounced dead at the scene by Dewitt County Coroner Randy Rice. She was a student at Clinton Junior High School.Clinton School District 15. Counselors will be at the school again to help students deal with the death.



(Washington--jc)  -- U-S-D-A's October crop production forecast for corn and soybeans shows slight adjustments down from the previous month, yet in record territory in production and yield totals. Rod Bain reports…



The Cissna Park American Legion Auxiliary is hosting a vendor Bazaar on Saturday October 27th to support local veterans. The event runs from 9am til 3pm. Food served from 9am -2pm at the Cissna Park American Legion. Many Local and area vendors will be set up. Dave’s Old Settlers Fish, baked goodies and more will be available.



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



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Republicans who gained ground in the Illinois General Assembly two years ago with Gov. Bruce Rauner's financial help face a tougher go of it this year. Rauner and his top contributors poured more than $40 million into legislative races in 2016. The GOP picked up seats in the House and Senate. Rauner hoped for further gains in 2018. But he's struggling in a re-election bid against Democrat J.B. Pritzker.


(Paxton--ab) Paxton is going to work on the Pells Park Pavillion and it starts with the roof. Paxton  Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold says the project will proceed on the report from the most recent Paxton City Council meeting.



Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.


(Paxton--jc)  -- One week from Monday at 10am, a ceremony will take place to dedicate the overpass of County road 200 North at Interstate 57 as the McCarter-Caisse-Vice-Hale Memorial Overpass. The event takes place at the Paxton Firehouse on north Market Street. On April 7, 1979 Illinois State Trooper Michael McCarter, Paxton Patrolman William Caisse, and civilian Donald Vice were shot and killed and Paxton Patrolman Larry Hale was seriously wounded following a traffic stop on I 57 near this overpass. This dedication is appropriate to remember sacrifices and contributions made by law enforcement and civilians to protect the safety of the public.State legislators who promoted the passage of House Resolution 21, State Representative Thomas H Bennett and State Senator Jason A Barickman will be in attendance, as well as Illinois State Police Director Leo P. Schmitz.


(Washington--jc)  -- While the number of Halloween outdoor displays grow every year, so do concerns about clearing a safe path for trick-or-treaters coming to a home. Rod Bain has the story…




(McLean County--jc)   The City of Normal is looking to  trade up to 8 million dollars in future property tax revenue along with  300 parking spaces and two buildings for the uptown's next redevelopment project. Bush Construction based in Iowa would net the tax increment financing  or TIF dollars,under the plan.The area in question is the 100 block of Beaufort Street in the city.



(Undated--jc)  -- Medicare part D open enrollment starts today and runs through December 7th. Officials from the insurance industry and federal government say this is the time to review your medicare choices and make changes that are the best for you. Those new to the process can get some help from local government and insurance agents. Again, the enrollment period starts today and runs through December 7th.



(Rantoul--ab) Danville Mayor Scott Eisenhauer is the new Rantoul village administrator. Rantoul leaders talked about the requirements for the job and came up with a solution to Eisenhauer says Rantoul Mayor  Chuck Smith...



Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith



(Rantoul--jc)  -- One area church is hosting a truck and treat event and the end of the month. The event takes place on October 31st at the Rantoul United Methodist Church located at 200 South Century Boulevard in the village. More information about the truck and treat event is found by contacting the church.


Relive the Past in Form of Political Participation at the Truman Whistle Stop 1948 in Danville

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Southern Illinois University-Carbondale Chancellor Carlo Montemagno has died at age 62. The university says Montemagno died Thursday morning, but it didn't reveal the cause of death. Montemagno in June revealed in his blog that he was suffering from cancer. Montemagno, a professor of engineering, became chancellor of SIU Carbondale in August 2017. In November, Montemagno announced a plan to eliminate academic departments and department heads amid plummeting enrollment.


LIBERTYVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A newspaper obtained recordings that show a suburban Chicago police officer allowing an officer from a neighboring community whose blood-alcohol level after a traffic stop was more than twice the legal limit to call for a ride home rather than take him to jail. The Lake County News-Sun reports that the squad car dashboard camera footage and video footage obtained it obtained show the November 2017 traffic stop of Waukegan Police officer Daniel Ramirez by Libertyville Officer Richard Kelly.


(Rantoul--ab)  -- Rantoul has officially hired Scott Eisenhauer. Mayor of Danville, to be the Village Administrator in Rantoul. Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith says Eisenhauer was the right choice for the job...


Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith


(Paxton--ab) The Paxton Buckley Loda school district is undergoing some major renovations with their buildings. P-B-L School Superintendent Cliff McClure says all is going to plan…


P-B-L School Superintendent Cliff McClure



CHICAGO (AP) — The Obama Foundation is launching an initiative aimed at boosting educational opportunities for girls around the world. Former first lady Michelle Obama on Thursday announced the Global Girls Alliance that will work with organizations worldwide to increase public awareness and action. The Chicago-based foundation says more than 98 million adolescent girls worldwide don't go to school.


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois Gies College of Business is now behind football coach Lovie Smith when he answers questions about the team. The business college's name is emblazoned on the backdrop for Smith's press conferences. It's part of a "branding" effort by the business college, which was named after donors Larry and Beth Gies. Dean Jeffrey Brown says the college will no longer be out-marketed and out-competed by its peers. Brown is a former brand manager at Procter and Gamble.



(McLean-Dewitt Counties--jc) -  Dewitt County, McLean County and Farmer City police are warning the public about a current phone scam. Police say the tactics are old but this particular occurrence is new occurrence is new. The scam involves an attempt to deceive the victim that the caller is family. The caller will start by saying something like "Grandma?". This is done in an effort to elicit information that helps them trick the victim into sending money.The suspects  have used a local McLean County number in the scam. Anyone who receives a call like this is asked to hang up and report it to local authorities



(Danville-dg)-On Sunday October 14th, you can relive the past in form of political participation at the Truman Whistle Stop 1948 in Danville. This is an interactive all-ages reenactment complete with 1940s cars, posters, buttons, music, food, a replica Ferdinand Magellan train car, and, of course, Harry S. Truman. And then join in for a conversation with the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum archivist Sam Rushay and local historian Tim Smith about the political history of Danville and its significance in the 1948 campaign. This free event is being produced by the Vermilion County Museum and Illinois Humanities as part of the celebration of the Illinois Bicentennial.


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



(Quincy--jc) --  Democratic candidate for governor J.B. Pritzker would not give details about his graduated income-tax plan in the final televised debate with Republican Governor Bruce Rauner. Pritzker and Rauner faced off Thursday night in Quincy. Pritzker has proposed replacing the state's flat tax rate with a progressive income tax .Pritzker was asked how a Peoria public school teacher would fare under his plan. He says the teacher should get a "tax break."

Rauner says Pritzker wouldn't provide details "because he knows the middle class is going to get crushed."Pritzker said after the debate he won't discuss specifics because the plan would have to be negotiated with the Legislature if he becomes governor. Rauner says the people of Illinois would like to know the scary details.


RANTOUL — Free introductory airplane flights for kids ages 8 to 17 will be offered Sunday afternoon from 1pm to 3 pm. The event is set for the Rantoul Aviation Center. The flights are on a first-come, first-served basis. No pre registration is required, but a parent or guardian must accompany the youth and be able to sign a release form. Those interested are asked come to the main hangar at the airport.The flights are being offered by volunteer pilots of the Experimental Aircraft Association.


(Springfield--jc) -- State technology experts say cyber security begins with a sold password. In updating our story from earlier today, Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology Spokesperson Jennifer Rominger says you need a stronger password at home, where you may not have the firewall protections you have at work…



Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology Spokesperson  Jennifer Rominger.



ASHKUM, IL- Illinois State Police (ISP) District 21 is reporting the arrest of Joseph S. Benegas, 32, of Manteno for Battery and Interference with Emergency Communication. Thursday morning an Illinois State Trooper was dispatched to a battery that was taking place along route 45 in Iroquois County. The trooper arrived on scene and observed a female victim in the southwest ditch along the road. The suspect, Joseph Benegas, was walking northbound from her location. Benegas was taken into custody without incident. A male victim was located in the northeast ditch. Both victims were checked for injuries by emergency personnel, and refused treatment. Benegas was transported to the Iroquois County Jail for processing. Benegas was charged with two counts of Battery and Interference with Emergency Communication.


(Undated--jc)  --Races up and down the state will determine who will be in the Illinois statehouse and could shape how the state addresses its massive pension debt. Illinois’ unfunded public pension liability is at least 130 billion dollars. Add in other post employment benefits and that debt eclipses 200 billion dollars. The state's pension costs have continued to climb, crowding out spending in other areas. Some candidates running in the contested General Assembly races in the suburbs of Chicago are looking at ways to tackle the issue.In the 19th Illinois House District, incumbent Democratic state Rep. Robert Martwick said Illinois needs to frontload the pension payments. Illinois voters would have to change the constitution to allow for a progressive income tax before that could happen.Martwick’s Republican challenger, Ammie Kessem, said Martwick’s plan will increase taxes on everyone. She wants to get rid of pensions for future state employees.



(Washington--jc)  The United States is one step closer to seeing year-round sales of E-15 gasoline Gary Crawford reports…




The Melvin Community Hall will host Michael J. on Saturday October 13th. Michael J. is considered to have one of the smoothest voices and largest vocal ranges in the world. He is known for his comedy and impersonations, especially his tribute to Barney Fife. Admission is $10 for those 13 and older. Doors open at 5:30 with the show to begin at 7pm. The Melvin Women’s Club will be serving sloppy joe sandwiches, chips and pie.



The Village of Buckley will be having golf cart games and a free movie in the park at Buckley Lake Park this Saturday. Registration for the golf cart games begins at 3:30 with a variety of games beginning at 4pm. Entry is $10 per cart. Closing ceremonies will take place around 6:30. Then the free showing of the movie Sandlot will begin at 7pm. Food vendors will be on hand beginning at 4:30.




(Springfield--jc)  -- It’s Friday of National Fire Prevention week and the state fire marshall is urging you to Look, Listen and Learn. State Fire Marshall Matt Perez says families should look for potential fire hazards around the house, including frayed electrical cords to space heaters. Perez also says you should also test and “listen” for the smoke alarm…



Illinois Fire Marshall Matt Perez

Perez says once you hear a smoke alarm you have only minutes to get to a safe place.





Election Day is Just Under One Month Away, But There is Still Time to Register to Vote

ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois judge is rebuffing claims that a youth football coach brandished a gun during a fight with parents. Two Indiana men are facing charges stemming from the Saturday fight in Rockford. They were coaches for the Calumet City Thunderbolts when a post-game fight broke out with Rockford Renegades coaches and parents. The Rockford Register Star reports witnesses told police they saw one coach with a gun. But during a hearing Wednesday, the judge said the weapon was found in the coach's car.


(Springfield--jc)  There's a little less than a month till Election Day, but there's still plenty of time to register to vote.   In Illinois, voters can register to vote up to and on Election Day. Matt Dietrich with the Illinois State Board of Elections said no one needs to worry that they missed a deadline for the November election. Tuesday was simply the last day to register now, and vote later. Dietrich says in Illinois, voter registration never closes and one can register right up to, and on Election Day itself. The one difference is the beginning today,  if you go in to register to vote at your county clerk's office and register in person, you will have to vote at the same time you register. The fall election is Tuesday November 6th.



(Springfield--jc)  -- Getting taxes under control for Illinois is one campaign pledge for incumbent governor Bruce Rauner. The governor says reducing the property taxes comes with more local control of property taxes…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The U.S. Energy Department has named Argonne National Laboratory as one of seven recipients of federal funding to improve geothermal energy-extraction methods. The department announced $11.4 million in research and development funding Tuesday. Officials say geothermal energy is crucial but extraction is costly and time-consuming. Lemont-based Argonne's job will be to develop low-cost but hard materials to develop drill bits capable of doubling the rate of penetration in geothermal wells.



ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — America's recycling industry is in the dumps.

A crash in the global market for recyclables is forcing communities to make hard choices about whether they can afford to keep recycling or should simply send all those bottles, cans and plastic containers to the landfill.Mountains of paper have piled up at sorting centers, worthless. Cities and towns that once made money on recyclables are instead paying high fees to processing plants to take them. Some financially strapped recycling processors have shut down entirely, leaving municipalities with no choice but to dump or incinerate their recyclables.


(Paxton--ab) During this weeks Paxton City council meeting, Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold nominated a replacement on the council. Mayor Ingold talks about the process to replace alderman Flessner...



Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold



CHICAGO (AP) — The orchestra of the Lyric Opera of Chicago has walked off the job. Lyric Opera Orchestra musicians set up a picket line outside the Civic Opera House on Tuesday. The musicians are citing the company's proposal to cut the number of orchestra musicians by five positions. The opera company also wants to cut the pay of remaining musicians by 8 percent and the number of working weeks by two weeks to 22 weeks.


(Springfield--ab) October is cyber security awareness month and state officials say “phishing” scams present some of the biggest dangers. Clicking on bogus emails can give hackers a gateway to your personal information or data at work. State chief information security officer Chris Hill says these emails have gotten more sophisticated and detailed in hopes the recipient will open the message.



State Chief Information Security Officer Chris Hill

This can include threats against your family or your career if you don’t send money…or claiming money is waiting for you if you send certain personal details. hill says the best thing to do is delete any suspicious emails without opening them and report the incident to your employer.



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



(Springfield--jc)  -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is confirming 9 cases of an uncommon nervous system condition The patients are under 18, from the northern part of Illinois and all have been hospitalized with acute flaccid myelitis. Illinois Public Health Director Doctor Nirav Shah says it can be caused by a variety of viruses…



Illinois Public Health Director Doctor Nirav Shah.

There is no specific treatment so patients are cared for on a case by case basis.


SPRINGFIELD - Governor Bruce Rauner Wednesday announced the release of funds for more than $14 million in capital improvement projects at state parks and recreation areas managed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). This money was included in the FY19 bipartisan budget signed in June and will be used for capital improvements to parks statewide. The governor says Illinois has some of the nation’s best state parks and recreation areas. The  park improvement and maintenance projects include the Argyle Lake State Park in McDonough Co., Fort Massac State Park in Massac Co., the Illinois and Michigan Canal in northeast Illinois, and Kankakee River State Park in Kankakee County.


(Bloomington--jc)  -- After about 10 months in federal prison, former McLean County board chairman Matt Sorensen has completed his sentence on wire fraud charges. According to the Pantagraph, he was sentenced last year to a year and a day in prison for illegal consulting work while he was working at State Farm. The 52 year old Sorenson  left the federal prison in Marion in mid-September for a halfway house in Chicago to begin his transition back into the community. In addition to the time in prison, he will complete a year of supervised release


(Champaign County--jc)  Six people, including 4 children were involved in a multi-vehicle crash Wednesday afternoon north of Champaign. Police say one vehicle going east on Ford Harris Road approaching North Market Street just before 4pm yesterday, when he failed to  stop. The vehicle crashed into the driver's side of a vehicle headed southbound on Market Street. A third northbound vehicle on Market Street was forced off the road to avoid the collision. Police said four children and two adults were taken to an area hospital, where they were treated for  non-life threatening injuries.



(Springfield--jc)  -- It’s National Fire prevention week and the state fire marshall is urging families to look, listen and learn. That is the theme of this year’s campaign. Fire Marshall Matt Perez says  you should first look for places a fire could start…



State Fire Marshall Matt Perez

Perez adds that families should also “listen” for the sound of the smoke alarm and “learn two ways out of every room in the house.


(Gibson City---jc)  Gibson City police are closing down their Thursday night shoots for the season. Officials say it’s due to outside  circumstances. The department will open specifically on November 10th from noon until 4pm for those who would like to shoot handguns or dial in a deer gun before the 1st gun season. More information is found by contacting the Gibson City Police Department.


URBANA — A Rantoul man was sentenced to probation on Wednesday after being found guilty a year ago of nine counts of felony theft related to services and goods he took from eight contractors on a building project in downtown Rantoul. The News Gazette says 49 year old Chuck Duckworth,  was working on the former Litchfield Hardware building in the downtown area of the village when the infractions occurred. Duckworth was sentenced to four years probation and ordered to pay restitution of 95 thousand ,331 dollars. He will also perform 200 hours of public service work.



(Washington--jc) -- Corn is nearly all mature, nationwide. Stephanie Ho reports…



The Village of Buckley will be having golf cart games and a free movie in the park at Buckley Lake Park this Saturday. Registration for the golf cart games begins at 3:30 with a variety of games beginning at 4pm. Entry is $10 per cart. Closing ceremonies will take place around 6:30. Then the free showing of the movie Sandlot will begin at 7pm. Food vendors will be on hand beginning at 4:30.



Rantoul village Board Members Vote Unanimously to Approve the Hiring of Danville Mayor Scott Eisenhauer as Rantoul Village Administrator

(Rantoul--jc)  It’s official, Rantoul village board members voted unanimously to approve the hiring of Danville Mayor Scott Eisenhauer as Rantoul Village Administrator. The process to hire the new administrator started in June as Current Rantoul Village Administrator Rick Snider resigned as his family is moving to the East Coast. Eisenhauer begins his duties with the village on November 5th. His annual salary is 100 thousand dollars. Rick Snider has again agreed to extend his employment through the end of the month as administrator.


(Springfield--ab) The latest version of the Illinois Lottery’s “Ticket For The Cure” instant game is now available. About 28 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every day in Illinois…and this ticket raises money for the fight against the disease says acting Lottery Director Harold Mays.



Lottery Director Harold Mays.

Ticket for the cure costs three dollars and offers a top prize of 50 thousand bucks.



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Archaeological work could begin this fall on the remains of seven homes destroyed during the 1908 race riots in Springfield, Illinois in a  deadly unrest that precipitated the creation of the NAACP. The State Journal-Register reports that an agreement reached last week between federal, state and city officials covers how excavations will be conducted and directs the city and the Illinois State Museum to curate the artifacts recovered from the remains of the mid-1800s immigrant neighborhood.


(Gibson City--ab) One Ford County city is getting scary later this month.  Those in Gibson City will get a little silly, scary and creative on October 23rd for the Annual Gibson City Chamber of Commerce Fright Night. Event spokesperson  Jana Friday provides some details...



Gibson City Chamber of Commerce Event Spokesperson Jana Friday


(Watseka--jc)  City of Watseka workers were dealing with a water main break on the cities east side on Tuesday afternoon. The break caused low water pressure in several areas of the city. Watseka water department workers were looking into the cause of the water main break and assured city residents they were doing everything in their power to get water service back to normal



(Springfield--ab) More than 50 percent of the Illinois soybean crop has been harvested so far. With nearly five days suitable for fieldwork, soybean harvesting advanced to 51 percent complete says crop statistician Mark Schleusener.



Corn harvest is well ahead of schedule at 63 percent complete. 54 percent of sorghum has been harvested and 22 percent of winter wheat has been planted. Average statewide topsoil moisture stands at two percent very short, seven percent short, 78 percent adequate and 13 percent surplus.


(WASHINGTON) October 9, 2018 – National Corn Growers Association President Lynn Chrisp Tuesday praised an announcement from President Trump, setting the necessary regulatory steps in motion to allow for year-round sales of E-15. Chrisp says Corn farmers across the country have been advocating for year-round sales of higher ethanol blends like E15 to help grow demand, provide consumers with more options at the pump and improve economic conditions across rural America. Chrisp thanked the president for following through on his commitment to America’s farmers.



(Rantoul--jc)  -- Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce officials invite the business community to is community coffee event this morning at 7-30. Those attending are asked to bring business cards and ideas to network with other area business owners and professionals. Chamber officials say the monthly event is a way to brainstorm ideas and make new business friends.



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



(Springfield--jc)  --Based on a federal regulation from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Illinois residents will have to obtain a REAL ID card in order to travel in 2020. The REAL ID card will also be needed to visit military air bases and secure federal buildings. Illinois will, however, offer residents the ability to choose between receiving a standard driver’s license or the REAL ID card. No additional cost will be necessary, and the REAL ID will be denoted with a star in the corner.  Secretary of State officials say these are requirements by the federal government to get a REAL ID card, and that’s why they want to offer Illinoisans a choice because not everyone is going to want a REAL ID if you don’t fly.


(Springfield--jc )-One political professor says don't read too much into the high price tag of Illinois' race for governor. Candidates vying to be the state's next governor could end up spending $300 million by Nov. 6th .But don't look too much into the spending tea leaves, said professor John Jackson with the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. Jackson said there's likely not a lasting lesson from the millions that incumbent Bruce Rauner and challenger J.B. Pritzker are spending on this race. Jackson said there's no way to tell how successful the two candidates are with their TV commercial heavy strategy.As of the first of the month, Pritzker donated $146 million to his own campaign. Rauner has kicked-in $50 million of his own money in this race for governor.



(Springfield--ab) More than 50 percent of the Illinois soybean crop has been harvested so far. Soybean harvest reached 51 percent complete this past week…that’s about on par with last year and a little ahead of the five-year average says crop statistician Mark Schleusener.



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener Three percent of wheat has emerged. Average statewide topsoil moisture is rated as two percent very short, seven percent short, 78 percent adequate and 13 percent surplus.

7am new


(Gibson City--ab)-Gibson City Chamber of Commerce Fright night will take over Gibson City as droves of kids will be in costume for the costume Contest on October 23rd. Fright Night event spokesperson Jana Friday has more on the contest.



 Fright Night event spokesperson Jana Friday 



(CIssna Park--jc)  -- A phone scam has been reported in East Central Illinois. The bogus phone call tells the local citizen that their social security number has been suspended The bogus caller then says to call a second number. Local law enforcement officials say do not give out your social security number to any person that calls you.  By the way, social security office already knows your social security number. When in doubt, call the better business bureau or the proper government agency.


(Tolono--jc) Some very cool weather is coming to East Central Illinois starting today, but another suspected west nile virus case has occurred in Champaign County, locally. The suspected case comes from the village of Tolono. Local Health officials say the west nile virus remains present usually until the first good frost.


(Paxton-dg)-The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce will be having after hours on Thursday  October 18th at the Frederick Community Bank in Paxton. The event takes place from 5:30-7pm. The Frederick Community Bank will also be having an open house that day during business hours. The public is invited to come and sign up for some great prizes they will be giving away.



(Champaign County--jc)  State police say a two vehicle accident between Sidell and Allerton. A semi and another vehicle crashed. There were injuries. Details remain sketchy. Traffic in the area was stopped for several hours.



(Rantoul--jc)  -- The Rantoul police department is hosting a lunch fundraiser for a local charity.  Local officers are hosting a pork chop fundraiser at the County Market in Rantoul on Sunday October 14th from 11am until 2pm. The price for the lunch is five dollars. All money raised will go to support the departments “Shop with a Cop” program in December.




Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner Vetos Senate Bill That Would Allow Study of Supplemental Deer Feeding

(Springfield--jc)  Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has vetoed a Senate bill that would have allowed the study of supplemental deer feeding to see if it benefits the animals. Local Illinois State Senator Chapin Rose, a republican from Mahomet, sponsored the bill. He said the study would have looked at ways to fight against diseases, such as Chronic Wasting Disease, that ravaged the deer population. Rose said deer health is crucial for the state’s hunting industry. Rose sponsored the bill at the request of constituents who were concerned about deer herd health. The governor said the scope of the study is too broad, and that the bill needed to spell out how the state Department of Natural Resources would be involved. No word if Rose will try again on the measure this fall or next spring.


(Paxton--ab) The Paxton city council  meets Tonight at 7. The items that will be discussed and voted upon are a change to the towns golf cart ordinance, closing streets for the holiday parade, and the pavillion repairs among other topics. WPXN News  will follow and report the results of the meeting.


(undated--ba) It’s fire protection week. WPXN's Bradeon Arnett has some safety tips....




(Chicago--jc)  -- The nation’s largest online professional network tracks where in the country workers are moving to and from.Illinois’ largest cities are seeing movement to Chicago, then out of Illinois. LnkedIn’s monthly employment report tracks skill and location changes of more than 150 million workers across the country.  In Chicago, they found hiring has dropped almost five percent since last month. LinkedIn chief economist Guy Berger said the data shows a significant number of workers from Chicago leaving to the cities like Nashville, Tennessee, and Charlotte, North Carolina. The survey showed 10,000 LinkedIn-registered workers in Nashville moved there from Chicago in the last year, much more than any other city.  The report shows Champaign-Urbana as one of the top exporters of workers in the nation, likely because the University of Illinois produces a large number of professionals entering the workforce.


PAXTON, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois overpass will be renamed in honor of three men, including two law enforcement officers, who were killed decades ago in a shootout with a Michigan man. State trooper Michael McCarter, Paxton patrolman William Caisse and Donald Vice, who was riding with McCarter, his brother-in-law, died in the April 1979 shooting south of Paxton. The overpass along Interstate 57 where the shooting occurred will be dedicated Oct. 22 as the "McCarter-Caisse-Vice-Hale Memorial Overpass."



(Urbana--jc)  You may not see a chief impersator at this years University of Illinois parade on Friday night. It is homecoming for the U of I and the Fighting Illini take on the Purdue Boilermakers in the homecoming football game on Saturday afternoon. Last year a “chief”  group walked in the parade, but a scuffle with anti-chief groups forced the chief group to exit the parade. No arrests were made last year. Officials with the University say the annual parade steps off at 6 Friday

night on campus.


(Springfield--jc)  --The Illinois Farm Bureau said it is confident a farm bill will be passed after the November midterm elections. If not, it could be a "nightmare scenario."Illinois’ sole congressman on the conference committee working to compromise on a new farm bill says the stricter work requirements for food stamps isn’t the only thing holding up the effort. U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, Republican from Taylorville, is on the conference committee trying to combine the House and Senate versions of an updated farm bill. While the Illinois Farm Bureau doesn’t take a position and some farmers want a standalone farm bill.


(Ashkum--ab) Illinois State Police (ISP) District 21 Commander, Captain Don Aaron Harsy, announces the ISP will conduct Alcohol Countermeasure Enforcement (ACE) patrols in Kankakee County on November 17th . ACE patrols allow the ISP to focus on preventing, detecting, and taking enforcement action in response to violations associated with impaired driving and illegal transportation or consumption of alcohol or drugs. Officers working the detail will be watchful for drivers who are operating vehicles in an unsafe manner, driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license, transporting open alcoholic beverages, and most importantly:  Driving Under the Influence (DUI); Safety Belt and Child Restraint use; Speeding; Distracted Driving; and, All Illinois Vehicle Code and Criminal Violations



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




CHICAGO (AP) — Postal workers and their backers are rallying to protest what they say is a White House effort to privatize the U.S. Postal Service. President Donald Trump says the service needs to be restructured to prevent a bailout funded by taxpayers. No final recommendations have been made. In Chicago, workers rallied Monday near a downtown post office. In Washington, American Postal Workers Union President Mark Dimondstein told a crowd that privatization would mean less service and higher costs.


(Rantoul--jc)  -- When Rantoul village leaders meet tonight they are expected to appoint Danville Mayor Scott Eisenhower as the new village administrator. Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith announced over the weekend to make the current Danville Mayor his selection. With the full board approval, Eisenhower will start the new position in early November. Other agenda items for tonight’s meeting include selling several village owned properties on Pacesetter Drive and Aviation  Drive in Rantoul. Rantoul village leaders are also expected to approve a new school resource officer. The Rantoul Village board meets at 6 tonight at the municipal building on Tanner Street.


(Chicago--jc)  Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. The big party is set for December 3rd at the United Center in Chicago. Bicentennial Director Stuart Laybe says it is going to be a memorable event..



Illinois Bicentennial Event Director Stuart Laybe. Tickets for the event are on sale now.


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is moving to allow year-round sales of gasoline with higher blends of ethanol, a boon for Iowa and other farm states that have pushed for greater sales of the corn-based fuel.President Donald Trump is expected to announce he is lifting a federal ban on summer sales of high-ethanol blends during a trip to Iowa later today.



(Iroquois County--jc)  Wanted...election judges for several voting precincts in Iroquois County. Iroquois County Clerk Lisa Fancher says Republican and Democrat judges are need for Buckley, Loda, Cissna Park, Onarga and Prairie Green. The fall mid-term election is four weeks from today. Voters in Illinois are going to the polls to elect a governor, Attorney General, State Senators and House representatives.



(Paxton--jc)  Paxton Buckley Loda school board members are expected to look at its tax levy when they meet tomorrow in Paxton. The tax levy meeting is set for 6 tomorrow night in the boardroom at the unit office in Paxton.,



(Washington--jc)   Traders will be watching closely this Thursday when USDA comes out with its latest round of crop production estimates and supply and demand forecasts. Gary Crawford reports…



(Streator--jc)  -- 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman is hosting the fourth annual Family Farm Fest  from 3 to 6 p.m. on Saturday. The venue is the Barickman family farm south of Streator. Barickman says the public is invited and activities include face-painting, a balloon artist  kid activities, along with food and drinks


(Springfield--jc)  --A new survey of Illinois manufacturers shows overwhelming opposition to a possible gas tax hike. Eighty percent of respondents to a survey from the Technology and Manufacturing Association rejected the idea, even if the revenue were earmarked for infrastructure improvement. Steve Rauschenberger, president of the TMA, says  members are frustrated by broken promises. There is a mistrust with legislators in Springfield as recent tax hikes were supposed to solved problems but just cause more problems



(Melvin-dg)-The Melvin Community Hall will host Michael J. on Saturday October 13th. Michael J. is considered to have one of the smoothest voices and largest vocal ranges in the world. He is known for his comedy and impersonations, especially his tribute to Barney Fife. Admission is $10 for those 13 and older. Doors open at 5:30 with the show to begin at 7pm. The Melvin Women’s Club will be serving sloppy joe sandwiches, chips and pie.


(Rantoul--jc)  -- One local chamber is hosting a job and career fair later this week. The Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting the event on Friday at the Rantoul Business Center. Chamber Executive Director Belynda Allen says there will be lots of great employers from Rantoul , Champaign Urbana , Gibson City and other  communities Those looking for jobs or a new career are invited to attend.



Danville Mayor Scott Eisenhauer Chosen as Rantoul's Next Village Administrator

(Rantoul--ab) Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith has selected Danville Mayor Scott Eisenhauer as Rantoul’s next village administrator.The Rantoul Village Board will vote on the selection at tomorrow night’s monthly meeting. Eisenhauer would begin his duties on November 5th. Current Village Administrator Rick Snider, who announced he would be stepping down, has agreed to stay on through the end of October. WPXN news will continue to follow this story on newscasts later this week.


SPRINGFIELD – Illinois has earned sole recognition for the strongest mental health parity laws and policies in the country, according to new state report cards released this week.Illinois was the only state with an ‘A’ grade (100/100) on the test of compliance with the Federal Parity Law, which calls for providing coverage of mental health and substance use disorders on par with other illnesses. Tennessee was second in the grading with a ‘C’ (79/100). Thirty-two states received failing grades in the assessment ‘Evaluating State Mental Health and Addiction Parity Statutes’ jointly released by the Kennedy-Satcher Center for Mental Health Equity, The Kennedy Forum, The Carter Center, and Well Being Trust (WBT) Center.



CHICAGO (AP) — An Illinois Department of Public Health report says medical marijuana use is up more than 80 percent in the state. The Chicago Tribune reports that more than 46,000 people have used medical marijuana in Illinois this year. Almost 75 percent of patients are more than 40 years old. The report says the most common conditions treated are PTSD, fibromyalgia and cancer.


(Undated--jc) Friday was National Manufacturing Day in the U.S.  Speaking a rally, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says he is committed to cutting taxes and helping with fair trade deals to keep manufacturing a leader in Illinois…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner


(Central Illinois--jc)  Damage reports are few, but rain and wind were the weather words for parts of East Central Illinois on Sunday. The national weather service said rotation for a possible tornado was found near Fisher on Sunday. Several portions of Ford, McLean, Champaign and Dewitt counties saw significant rainfall over the past 24 hours



(Champaign County--jc)  Illinois State Police were called to a multiple car accident along Interstate 57 Sunday afternoon. The accidents were in the northbound lanes just north of Olympian Avenue. Traffic was slowed for several hours. No information was given on any injuries, as several vehicles were involved in the accident.



(Rantoul--jc)  -- The village of Rantoul is offering an amnesty program for those who owe storm drainage fees to the village. The program runs from today through Wednesday. Village officials say anyone that owes an outstanding storm drainage bill qualifies for the program. The bill payer must pay the outstanding balance, but the village will waive the interest and penalties on the account. Those interested in the program can call the village at 892-6832.    


(Buckley-dg)-The Village of Buckley will be having golf cart games and a free movie in the park at Buckley Lake Park this Saturday. Registration for the golf cart games begins at 3:30 with a variety of games beginning at 4pm. Entry is $10 per cart. Closing ceremonies will take place around 6:30. Then the free showing of the movie Sandlot will begin at 7pm. Food vendors will be on hand beginning at 4:30.



(Chicago--jc)  Today is Columbus Day and most schools are closed. Also closed today are banks and county offices. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is celebrating the day by attending the annual Columbus Day parade in Chicago. That event steps off in the noon hour today.


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



ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) — Two Illinois youth football coaches are facing felony charges after police say a fight broke out between coaches and parents following a game and one coach displayed a gun. Forty-three-year-old Terrance Morris and 39-year-old Devorah Clark, both of Indiana, were being held Sunday in the Winnebago County Jail. Police say Morris and Clark are coaches for the Calumet City Thunderbolts. The team played the Rockford Renegades Saturday afternoon in Rockford.


YORKVILLE, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois man released on parole after spending decades in prison for murdering five people remains in prison as he awaits a viable housing option. The Beacon-News reports that 77-year-old Carl Reimann was granted parole in April. He's been back at the Dixon Correctional Center since May after being removed from two housing arrangements.


CHICAGO (AP) — Former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock's public corruption trial is now scheduled for June in federal court in Chicago. The Chicago Tribune reports the former Illinois Republican congressman will stand trial June 10. Schock was once a rising star in Congress. He's now accused of using campaign money and his congressional allotment for personal expenses. He resigned amid scrutiny of lavish spending, including a "Downton Abbey"-style redecorating of his Capitol Hill office.


SWANSEA, Ill. (AP) — Illinois conservation police have seized a pet bobcat from a family in Swansea. Lakesha Mayweather tells the Belleville News-Democrat reports that she received a permit to own a captive bobcat and that state officials renewed it. She paid $1,800 to a Missouri breeder for the declawed and neutered cat she calls Capone. But IDNR seized the animal last month and ticketed Mayweather for unlawful possession of a dangerous animal and unlawful import of a dangerous species.



(Rantouil--jc)  Rantoul firefighters were called to a home fire along Fairview Avenue in the village. Authorities believe that the home caught fire due to an electrical short. No word on the amount of damage was given. No one was hurt in the blaze


(Champaign--jc)  -- Rain over the weekend and harvest progress, remains a concern for area farmers. Area farmers have brought in a large portion of the corn and soybean crops over the past week. As far as rain and temperatures, State Climatologist Jim Angel with the Illinois Water Survey in Champaign says above rainfall is expected and the temperatures will be more autumn like…


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


(Rantoul--jc)  A Rantoul man was found safe after local police were seeking information about his whereabouts. Rantoul police say 25 year old  Melvin Fox was located around 9 on Saturday night. Fox has autism and is non-verbal. Rantoul police thank those who helped with the search.



(Danville-dg)-On Sunday October 14th, you can relive the past in form of political participation at the Truman Whistle Stop 1948 in Danville. This is an interactive all-ages reenactment complete with 1940s cars, posters, buttons, music, food, a replica Ferdinand Magellan train car, and, of course, Harry S. Truman. And then join in for a conversation with the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum archivist Sam Rushay and local historian Tim Smith about the political history of Danville and its significance in the 1948 campaign. This free event is being produced by the Vermilion County Museum and Illinois Humanities as part of the celebration of the Illinois Bicentennial.



URBANA, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois is dedicating a garden to a 26-year-old Chinese scholar who authorities say was kidnapped near campus and killed last year. Yingying Zhang disappeared June 9, 2017, after she arrived at the university in central Illinois. Former graduate student Brendt Christensen has been charged with her abduction and death. Authorities have not found her body. University officials say they'll hold a dedication ceremony Thursday for the Yingying Zhang Garden. The garden is located in Urbana, close to the last place she was seen on surveillance video getting into a vehicle. Authorities say she told friends she was on her way to sign an apartment lease. University officials are inviting students, faculty, staff and the public to the 2 p.m. dedication ceremony.



(Washington--jc) --  The cooler weather is on its way later this week. That means

Fireplaces and firewood. Nature Conservancy’s Forest Health Director Leigh Greenwood is urging people who want to gather and use firewood locally to make sure to follow the rules…



Nature Conservancy’s Forest Health Director Leigh Greenwood.



PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — The mother of a 4-year-old boy who died in a house fire has sued a central Illinois village, arguing its fire department's response was inadequate. The lawsuit filed against Bartonville claims its volunteer firefighters took 12 minutes to arrive at the burning house on July 17 and didn't seek immediate help from a Peoria fire station that's about five minutes away. Bartonville's mayor declined to comment.



URBANA, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois is banning all smokeless tobacco products from its main campus in Urbana-Champaign. University officials say the campus no-smoking policy will be extended to products such as chewing tobacco and dissolvable tobacco strips starting next August. The tobacco ban will apply to students, employees and campus visitors, including fans at sporting events. It will cover all university-owned property, indoors and outdoors.


(Paxton--ab) Paxton Buckley Loda High School parent teacher conferences are October 24th and October 25th. Contact Kim Goble in the high school office at 217-379-4331 to schedule those appointments with high school teachers.


(Springfield--ab) The Illinois Department of Revenue is launching a new, more user-friendly website. Revenue spokesperson Terry Horstman says the revamped site is mobile friendly and easier to navigate.



Illinois Department of Revenue Spokesperson Terry Horstman

The website is: tax dot illinois dot gov


CHICAGO (AP) — Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky was among more than 50 people were cited by police at a Chicago protest calling for higher wages and union rights for fast food workers. The protest by the Illinois Democrat and the others took place Thursday outside fast-food giant McDonald's corporate headquarters. The demonstration is part of the "Fight for $15," a national movement seeking to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour for fast food, child care, airlines and other workers. The group also wants the right to start unions or join existing ones.


(Askum--ab) Illinois State Police (ISP) District 21 Commander, Captain Don Aaron Harsy, announces the ISP will conduct Special Traffic Enforcement Patrols in Kankakee, Iroquois and Ford Counties on November 10, 16, 20, 23, 24 & 25. These STEPs allow the ISP to focus on these fatal four violations which contribute the greatest to traffic crashes and fatalities: Driving Under the Influence (DUI); - Safety Belt and Child Restraint use; Speeding; and Distracted Driving.


(Watseka--jc)  Riverside Healthcare in Kankakee and Iroquois Memorial Hospital are discussing merger. The two area hospital has signed a letter of intent to pursue the merger. The process has just started. WPXN news will continue to update this story as it develops.



(Fisher--jc)  --The Village of Fisher Planning and zoning commission is set to meet next week to discuss special use permits for the construction of community solar gardens. The gardens would be built on the Stalter property just south of Green Street in the village. A public hearing on the issue preceeds the commissions meeting on Wednesday. Officials will also look at rezoning a property in the 400 block of West Division Street from commercial to family residential. The Fisher Planning and Zoning Commission meeting comes to order at 6pm Wednesday October 10th.



SPRINGFIELD — Recognizing the importance of an industry that employs more than a half million workers in the state, Gov. Bruce Rauner today proclaimed October Manufacturing Month in Illinois.  The governor says manufacturing is at the heart of the Illinois economy. Manufacturing Month events will take place throughout October in Illinois. These events showcase some of the nearly 13,000 manufacturing firms that call Illinois home. October is a time to highlight the benefits of working in the industry and continue to build a talent pipeline that guarantees Illinois remains a leader in manufacturing for years to come. Manufacturing Day will be celebrated nationwide today.


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



 A taxpayer-funded nursing home in one of the nation’s highest-taxing counties has amassed tens of millions of dollars in reserves and local officials are now looking to send part of that back to taxpayers.The Valley Hi Nursing Home in McHenry County is actually a taxing district, taking about $40 annually from each property taxpayer there. Not counting federal money it gets for care, the facility has amassed reserves of more than $40 million, enough to run operations for four years.McHenry County, in northern Illinois, has had an annual property tax burden as high as four percent of a home's value, most recently 2.82 percent in 2017, according to ATTOM Data Solutions. That's higher than others around it and among the highest as a ratio of home values in the nation.



(Springfield--jc)  -- The state owes 24,000 state employees millions of dollars in backpay for failing to pay raises, but Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration is pushing to the limit how much it will have to pay amid a contract dispute with the state's largest public-sector union. The Rauner administration says whether taxpayers are on the hook for more than $400 million to state employees in raises from a contract that expired more than three years ago depends on the ultimate outcome of whether there’s an impasse.The Illinois Labor Relations Board ordered the Rauner administration to issue reports on paying step increases for 24,000 state employees by the first of this month. The raises are based off a contract that expired June 2015, shortly after Rauner took office.


(Rantoul--jc)  -- The Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce  is now opening up the nomination process for our annual awards which will be given out at the R-A-C-C Annual Banquet on November 9th. To receive a nomination form for Citizen of the Year , Volunteer of the Year or Educator of the Year please email d-i-r-  Nomination forms must be received by October 31 by either emailing , mail to : RACC 120 E. Sangamon, Rantoul 61866 or dropping off at the RACC office.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Four central Illinois residents have been charged in connection with the death of a man last month inside a Springfield hotel. Fifty-three-year-old Michael Trone of Springfield was found dead Sept. 6 in a Sleep Inn after police received a report of unresponsive man in a hotel room. An autopsy later determined Trone was strangled. Sangamon County State's Attorney John Milhiser said Thursday the suspects face first-degree murder and robbery charges.


(Buckley--jc)  -- Crusader Hall at Buckley based Christ Lutheran High School is the setting for a meeting later this month for Buckley residents. The purpose of the meeting is a public information meeting about the towns proposed sewer system project. The meeting comes to order at 5 on Thursday October 18.


(Washington--jc)  -- Over 80 food and beverage items have been added to a U-S-D-A app designed to help consumers Rod Bain has the story…



(Rantoul--jc)  The move to a new location for one local auto dealership could be complete by Spring 2019,  Shields AutoMart of Rantoul will be making the move to property just of Route 136 near the Rantoul Super Walmart Store on the villages west side.  The local dealer is putting up a new 27 thousand 800 foot facility. Those driving by the site will see the start of ground prep work for the new building. Weather will determine when the facility will be ready in Spring of 2019.




(Chicago--jc) --  Illinois officially celebrates its 200th anniversary with a Bicentennial gala at the United Center on December 3rd. Bicentennial celebration official Tim Kazurinsky says a huge party is planned for December 3rd in Chicago…



Bicentennial Celebration official Tim Kazurinsky

Tickets are available to the public.


The Immanuel Lutheran Church in Loda is holding a homemade goodies sale and garage sale from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday  113 Iroquois Trail at Lake Iroquois. Proceeds from the sale will go to the Ladies speical projects, including Christ Lutheran High School’s student education fund, a church sponsored St. Louis Seminary student fund. Garage sales are taking place today and tomorrow around Lake Iroquois


The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday in the stores parking lot. Funds are being raised for Missions Are Us. It’s pork chop sandwiches, chips and pop on the menu


A local Fire Department is having one of its fundraisers this Sunday. The Cissna Park Fire Protection District is having it’s Annual Fried Chicken Dinner  Sunday from 11am-5pm. Please come out to show your support.





Governor Bruce Rauner Says the State is Attacking the Opioid Epidemic in Illinois From Several Angles

(Springfield--ab) Governor Bruce Rauner says the state is attacking the opioid epidemic in Illinois from several angles. Walgreens has 83 kiosks around Illinois where people can drop off unused medication. that will save lives says Governor Rauner.



Governor Bruce Rauner

Additionally, the state has received federal medicaid funding to improve mental health and behavioral care in Illinois…and the state has a 24 hour addiction helpline at 833-2-findhelp. Patients also can now be prescribed medical marijuana for pain instead of addictive opioids.



(Washington--jc)  -- October is National Pork Month. Pork prices are lower at the grocery store. Gary Crawford has the details…



(Roberts--ab) Halloween planning is starting to get underway for area residents. The village of Roberts at their recent board meeting discussed what time trick or treating hours will be, and Village mayor Rick Flessner has the results of those discussions.



Village of Roberts Mayor Rick Flessner


(Rantoul--jc)  When Rantoul Township High School board members meet on Monday they are expected to approve a study hall incentive program. The board will also hear a P.E Team presentation, and look at a VISA account. The Rantoul High School board meets at 7 on Monday night at the high school


(Central and Southern Illinois Region, October 3 2018) — The American Red Cross is recognizing McDonald’s in Bloomington/Normal, Lincoln, LeRoy, Mahomet, Monticello, Clinton, McLean and Gibson City Illinois as they are raising funds to support disaster relief operations by generating donations on Thursday October 4th to help provide around-the-clock shelter, food and comfort to people impacted by Disasters such as Hurricane Florence. On October 5th, McDonalds in these locations will have canisters to collected donations to support Disaster Relief efforts. This funding helps enable the Red Cross to send disaster workers to the affected areas to help shelter, feed and comfort people who are impacted by disasters.



DETROIT (AP) — A judge has cleared the way for possibly thousands of people to be paid for work performed while they were students at a chain of cosmetology schools in Michigan and two other states. Federal Judge Judith Levy ruled Monday that students who cleaned floors, restocked products and washed towels were performing tasks that weren't directly related to their education at Douglas J Aveda Institute. The judge says they can be considered employees. The school also has locations in Chicago and Tennessee.


(Cissna Park--ab) The Cissna Park Fire Protection District will have their annual Chicken Fry this upcoming Sunday on the 7th from 11 AM to 5 PM. Here is the details from Cissna Park Fire Department Chicken Fry spokesperson Ed Dubrick.


Cissna Park Fire Department Chicken Fry spokesperson Ed Dubrick


QUINCY, Ill. (AP) — Authorities say two nursing home residents and two employees were killed when the bus they were riding slammed head-on into a grain truck in western Illinois. Illinois State Police say the 15-passenger bus caught fire after the crash Tuesday afternoon on U.S. 24 near Quincy and that all four people on board died. Those killed lived or worked at Timber Point Healthcare Center in nearby Camp Point, Illinois.



(Springfield--jc)  -- A member of the Illinois Legislative Audit Commission is looking to get the state’s Auditor General to review the operations of the private foundation that supports the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield.State lawmakers also are considering whether other such entities need similar examination.The ALPLM Foundation has come under scrutiny after a report revealed the private group for years held back official documents calling into question the claim a stovepipe hat the library holds was worn by the slain 16th President.



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



CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has attacked Democrat J.B. Pritzker as a "trust fund baby" and a tax cheat as the GOP incumbent fights a tough battle for a second term. Rauner and Pritzker met Wednesday for their first two-way debate of the Illinois governor's race.


( Urbana--jc)  -- Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup is releasing the name of a Sidney, Illinois woman who has died after being involved in a motor vehicle versus freight train collision on Homer Lake Rd. south of St. Joseph Wednesday night. Eighteen-year-old Savannah J. Day was pronounced dead at the scene at 6:40 PM last night.  Ms. Day was driving a vehicle westbound on Homer Lake Road near County Road 2300 East when her vehicle struck the train. An autopsy is scheduled for today. An inquest may be held at a later date. This death is being investigated by the Champaign County Coroner’s Office and Champaign County Sheriffs office.


(Washington--jc)  --- The fall harvest is moving quickly in East Central Illinois. Farmers continue to bring in a large soybean and corn crop overall. U-S-D-A Meteorologist, Brad Rippey has the latest on  topsoil moisture conditions around the country…



U-S-D-A Meteorologist Brad Rippey.



(Chicago--jc)  --Voter confidence in state lawmakers to fix Illinois’ fiscal problems is low and the willingness for taxpayers to leave the state is high. AARP of Illinois says that’s a recipe for disaster.Illinois’ credit rating is near junk. The backlog of bills is more than $7 billion. The state’s unfunded public sector pension liability is at least $130 billion. Add in promised other post-employment benefits and that number skyrockets to over $200 billion.After a two-and-a-half year budget impasse where required spending was on autopilot, growing the state’s deficits, lawmakers imposed a $5 billion income tax hike and the state still continued deficit spending. The budget passed this year is admittedly more than $1 billion out of balance and it included last year's $5 billion income tax increase.


(Chicago--jc) --  A wage fight for fast-food workers is set for Chicago among other areas today. Mary Ann Schuermann reports…





SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office has opened an investigation into the handling of a Legionnaire's disease crisis at a state-run veterans' home by Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration. The Democrat's spokeswoman said Wednesday that authorities will review whether laws were broken and whether public notice was timely. A Rauner spokeswoman says the administration has not hidden information from residents' families, lawmakers or taxpayers.


(Paxton--jc)  Officials with the city of Paxton will dedicate the overpass in Paxton to honor the officers and residents  involved in a shooting on April 7, 1979. State leaders passed a resolution to name the over pass along Route 9 in Paxton The McCarter Case Vice Hale Memorial Overpass. The event takes place at 10am on October 22nd at the Paxton Firehouse. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold and other local leaders are expected to attend the event. Survivors and family members of those involved in the nearly 40 year old shoot out are also expected at the dedication ceremony.


(Potomac--jc)  -- One local service group is hosting a fundraiser on Saturday. Potomac based Hooves of Hope has the rodeo round up set for Noon until 8-30 on Saturday at the Hooves of Hope building along Route 136 in Potomac. A kids’ rodeo, jail and bail. The Marvin Lee Band, horse barrel racing also hilite the event.


(Champaign--jc)  -- What a difference a day makes. Wednesday’s high temperature was 90 degrees. Today’s high temperature may have already occurred just past midnight this morning. State Climatologist Jim Angel with the Illinois Water Survey in Champaign says the first frost of the year usually comes soon…



State Climatologist Jim Angel with the Illinois Water Survey in Champaign


The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce will have its Business After Hours today at Abbe Insurance Agency in Buckley. The event takes place from 5:30-7pm. Drinks and hors d’oeuvres will be provided for those attending.  



(Paxton--jc) --  One local Paxton business is set to celebrate 10 years in Business one week from today. Simply Pat’s Hats is located in the state street mall in Paxton. Owner Pat Milchuck is hosting a program and celebration at the Paxton Carnegie Library in downtown Paxton starting at 6-30 next Thursday night. Pat’ hats have been sold and worn to the Kentucky Derby, car shows and other events. Pat’s hats are all one of a kind.



Pritzker to Pay Back $330,000 in Taxes to Cook County

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Democratic nominee for Illinois governor will repay the Cook County treasurer more than $330,000 worth of property-tax breaks he received in what an investigator called a "scheme to defraud" taxpayers. The Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday that campaign officials for J.B. Pritzker say the billionaire will repay the county by the end of next week. An investigator alleges that Pritzker family members and an associate misrepresented the condition of a family mansion for tax reductions.



(Roberts--ab) The Village of Roberts signed a resolution for adding a zoning perimeter of 1.5 miles to regulate the construction of Wind Farms. Village of Roberts mayor Rick Flessner said the town of Roberts wants some safegaurds from Ford County


Village of Roberts Mayor Rick Flessner



BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — The Air Force is reprimanding a former commander at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois as part of a plea agreement over sexual misconduct accusations against him. The agreement comes after Col. John Howard was removed in December as commander of the 375th Air Mobility Wing. The reprimand states Howard sought a sexual relationship with a "very junior" female enlisted airman while serving in the United Kingdom in 2016-17.



NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon, which has faced political and economic pressure to raise pay for thousands of employees, is boosting its minimum wage for all U.S. workers to $15 per hour starting next month and said it will push for an increase in the federally mandated minimum wage, which now stands at $7.25 per hour.

The wage hike will go into effect as Amazon hires more than 100,000 holiday workers to pack and ship goods in its warehouses. Employers are facing the tightest job market in nearly two decades, making it more difficult to lure workers who have a lot more choices about taking a job than just a year ago. Amazon is building a shipping warehouse in Champaign, locally.

Champaign--jc)  -- Last month was the 12 warmest September on record in Illinois. The average temperature in September was 70 degrees. That’s nearly 4 degrees above normal says State Climatologist Jim Angel…



State Climatologist Jim Angel

As for October, Angel says we can look for above average temperatures and above average rainfall.


(Undated--jc)  -- A poisonous weed that prompted President Abe Lincoln's family to move to Illinois is putting livestock here at risk. Abe Lincoln’s mother was killed by milk from a cow that had eaten a poisonous plant. His family relocated to Illinois from Indiana for their safety.The dry, hot summer has created the perfect conditions for it to threaten livestock here in the Land of Lincoln.The white snakeroot was responsible for poisoning the milk that killed Nancy Hanks Lincoln, Abe’s mother, and many others in Indiana during the early 1800s when he was 9 years old.The active poison in the slender, white-flowered weed is fat soluble, meaning it will find its way into a lactating cow’s milk and poison a calf or person if they ingest enough.


(Central Illinois --jc)  -- Plaintiffs in a Central Illinois lawsuit to get non profit hospitals to pay property taxes say they’ll move forward with their case in light of a similar Supreme Court ruling.The Illinois Supreme Court upheld that a nonprofit hospital is still exempt from property taxes if the value of the free services it provides is greater than its annual bill from all the units of government that levy taxes on the property. In the majority opinion in the case, Oswald v. Hamer, the justices said the plaintiff, Constance Oswald failed to prove that the tax exemption for nonprofit hospitals was unconstitutional.Lawyer Mark Deaton with the Illinois Health and Hospital Association said communities will continue to receive the “benefit of the bargain,” offering tax exemption in exchange for their services.



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



(Springfield--jc)-- The new Illinois  State police memorial park was dedicated Tuesday in downtown Springfield. The park has been years in the making and pays tribute to troopers killed in the line of duty. That includes sergeant Erin Hehl who was killed in a helicopter crash in 1997. Her husband Bob spoke at the ceremony on Tuesday…



Bob Hehl Husband of Fallen Trooper Erin Hehl

The park features a black granite memorial wall etched with the names of fallen troopers.


(Springfield--jc)  --Illinois is among the easiest states in the country in which to cast a ballot, according to a new study. The report, titled “Cost of Voting In American States,” created a “Cost of Voting Index” after examining 33 different factors, focusing on laws regarding registering to vote and actually casting a ballot. Differences in registration deadlines carried the most weight. Illinois finished twelfth among the 50 states thanks to a couple of recent laws. One was the early voting laws that have come into place and another is  same-day voter registration. The fall election is Tuesday November 6th.



(Undated--jc)  -- Few Illinois cities growing, according to a new analysis of the the nation's towns, which found Decatur to be the slowest-growing city in the United States. Consumer finance research website WalletHub put Decatur at the bottom. And a state lawmaker says it’s time to act. Of the 515 cities in the WalletHub 2018 Fastest-Growing Cities in America report, no Illinois city is above No. 343, where Champaign landed. Decatur was rock bottom at No. 515. Springfield wasn’t far behind at 507, the seventh slowest growing city.


(Rantoul--jc)  No new Village Administrator for Rantoul yet. Rantoul Village leaders learned that their candidate for the position wants some changes in the contract. The board met in their monthly study session last night and also met in executive session to discuss the hiring. The board is expected to make a decision on the Village Administrator position and move forward with an offer to their candidate over the next week.



(Roberts--ab) The Village of Roberts signed a resolution for adding a zoning perimeter of 1.5 miles to regulate the construction of Wind Farms. Village of Roberts mayor Rick Flessner has more.


Village of Roberts Mayor Rick Flessner


(Chicago--jc)  --Illinois’ manufacturing and farming communities are excited about the new trilateral trade agreement President Donald Trump announced between the U.S, Mexico and Canada. But the Illinois Manufacturing Association’s Mark Denzler says  Illinois must address its poor business climate. The consensus of farmers is that the U.S. must continue making deals with other countries in the face of a trade war with China. The new deal was struck between the U. S. and its neighbors this week. Denzler adds that the deal between the three countries is also good news for chemical, pharmaceutical and food manufacturers.



(Washington--jc)  -- Corn crop progress is proceeding ahead of average. Stephanie Ho has the numbers…




(Undated--jc)  -- The American Red Cross Central and Southern Illinois Region will offer a special Disaster Volunteer Boot Camp event in Champaign this week. The three day camp starts on Friday and runs through Sunday. The Disaster volunteer boot camp is a unique opportunity for people who would like to fast track in becoming a Red Cross disaster volunteer. Those interested may contact the Red Cross office in Bloomington. The Red Cross is set to host additional volunteer boot camps in Quincy, Peoria and Mt Vernon over the next month.


(Paxton--jc)  The Ford County Sheriff’s office received nearly 30 thousand dollars in boarding inmates income during September. In the monthly report released on Tuesday, the local sheriff’s department handed out 39 speeding tickets along with 39 other traffic violations and 44 warnings. To date, the Ford County Sheriff’s Department has received just over 454 thousand dollars in services and fees.



(Carlinville--jc)  -- Want to learn more about Route 66. Officials with the

Great Rivers and Routes Tourism Bureau is hosting  the 4th Annual Miles of Possibility Route 66 Conference in Carlinville from October 25 through the 28th. Speakers, banquets and bands also highlight the event. More information is found on-line with the Great Rivers and Routes Tourism Bureau.


U.S. Supreme Court Refuses Former Police SGT. Drew Peterson a New Trial

CHICAGO (AP) — The U.S. Supreme court has refused to grant former suburban Chicago police Sgt. Drew Peterson a new trial, dealing another blow to his efforts to have his murder conviction in the 2004 drowning death of his third wife overturned. The decision announced Monday follows two rulings by the Illinois Supreme Court to reject Peterson's appeal of his 2012 conviction in the death of Kathleen Savio.


(Washington--jc)  --The federal Farm Bill expired at midnight on Sunday. Illinois’ only representative in the negotiations says Senate Democrats are to blame for not getting a new one to the President Donald Trump’s desk. Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis is part of the conference committee tasked with negotiating a final Farm Bill to pass both chambers and send to the president. The previous one expired at midnight Sunday. This leaves a number of programs without funding. The U.S. House passed a new Farm Bill that included tougher work requirements for recipients of SNAP benefits, otherwise known as food stamps. Trump supports the tougher work requirements. The Senate's version of the bill did not include the work requirements, and lawmakers from both chambers to date have been unable to come up with a compromise measure


(Melvin--jc)  In updating our story from Monday morning, an early morning fire in a newly built shed on the Robert Miller farm caused 400 thousand dollars in damage. Firefighters from Melvin, Gibson City, Elliott and Roberts were on the scene of the blaze. The metal shed, a combine and other contents were destroyed. Around 30 loca firefighters helped at the scene.



(Chicago--jc)  -- Expect some wheeling and dealing in the Illinois House from Democrats working to get votes to override the governor’s vetoes of dozens of bills. After the November midterm elections, the current batch of state lawmakers will head back to Springfield for veto session. They could consider 78 bills the governor vetoed or changed so far this calendar year. Each bill’s chief sponsor would have to motion for an override in the chamber the bill originated. State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, said that’s a lot of bills for sponsors to consider for override attempts.  Forty-five of them passed both the House and Senate with supermajorities. Cassidy doesn’t expect many to be contentious.



(Undated--jc)  The states top fire officials has several tips to make a fire-free-fall. WPXN’s Braedon Arnett has the story…


(Hoopeston-jc)  - The McDonald’s restaurants in Vermilion County are assisting the County’s Victim Assistance Program by hosting a supply drive for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The drive takes place starting Thursday and running through October 14th. The drive will collect items needed by the Crosspoint Human Services’ Domestic Violence and Transitional Shelter. Items needed include include towels and washcloths, toddler-size diapers, journals for adults and children, laundry baskets and detergent. Also, twin size mattress pads, body wash, grocery cards of $25 or less, nonperishable food items, cleaning supplies and children’s craft supplies. Stop by any Vermilion County McDonald’s to make a donation. Additional information is found in Hoopeston’s, Just the Facts.



(Springfield--jc) --  Corn harvesting is about halfway done as we hear in the weekly crop report. Last week, farmers had over 5 days suitable for fieldwork says State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.

35 percent of soybeans have been harvested and 80 percent of soybeans are rated in good to excellent condition.



SPRINGFIELD — Recognizing the importance of an industry that employs more than a half million workers in the state, Governor Bruce Rauner Monday proclaimed October Manufacturing Month in Illinois. Governor Rauner says manufacturing is at the heart of the Illinois economy and for decades, Illinois manufacturers have shown their savvy by adapting to changing market conditions and embracing innovation to stay at the top of their game. Illinois companies manufacture a wide range of products including farm equipment and machinery, automotive parts, plastics, pharmaceuticals, biofuels and food products.



(Washington--jc)  -- Pork exports are doing fine despite the tariffs. Gary Crawford reports…




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




WASHINGTON (October 1, 2018) -- The National Corn Growers Association President Lynn Chrisp says  farmers across the country have been closely following NAFTA negotiations and reminding the administration of its promise to ‘do no harm’ to agriculture. Chrisp says the national corn growers association applauds federal leaders  for reaching a new agreement and look forward to seeing how a new agreement benefits American corn growers. Last year the United States exported $3.2 billion of corn and corn products to Mexico and Canada, supporting 25,000 rural jobs. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that trade with Canada and Mexico supports 14 million U.S. jobs across many sectors. 


(Springfield--jc)  -- The Illinois State Police, Illinois State Police Heritage Foundation Board Members, representatives from the Illinois Senate and House of Representatives, and other distinguished guests will participate in a Dedication ceremony for the Illinois State Police Memorial Park. The Springfield  Park will serve as a location to pay tribute to the bravery and courage of fallen Illinois State Troopers. The ceremony begins at 11 this morning.



SPRINGFIELD, ILL. – Harvest is in the air, leaves are starting to turn, and this month is National Pork Month. October was traditionally when hogs were marketed. Today, it serves as a celebration to thank pork producers and share their stories with consumers. Celebrate by eating extra pork this month to support our local pig farmers. Illinois Pork Producers President Mike Haag  says if you eat, you have a connection to a farmer, Haag says October Pork Month is an opportunity to refresh the connection consumers have with farmers. The Pork producers mission is to produce safe, nutritious food in a responsible manner for families across the United States and around the world. Pork provides nutritional qualities, including amino acids, vitamins and protein.


(Rantoul--jc)  Rantoul Village leaders are expected to name their new Village Administrator tonight. The choice are between Danville Mayor Scott Eisenhower and East Peoria’s Jeff Eder. Current Village Administrator Rick Snider resigned earlier this year, but has stayed on in the post until a new person takes over. The Rantoul Village Board meets at 6 tonight in the municipal building on Tanner Street.


(Paxton--jc)  October is here and farmers continue to harvest the corn and soybeans.  Farmers may be looking at a farm insurance payout with federal crop insurance due to lower prices says Abbe Insurance, Diversified Insurance Agent Larry Abbe…



Abbe  Insurance of Buckley and Diversified Insurance Agent Larry Abbe.

CARMEL, Indiana – Merchants Bancorp based in, Carmel Indiana and its subsidiary, Joy State Bank, an Illinois chartered bank located in Joy Illinois announced Monday it has closed on its acquisition of F-M Bancorp Incorporated, based in Paxton. Chairman of Merchants Bancorp Michael Petrie says closing this transaction adds to their growing presence in Illinoi sand represents another milestone that support their vision  of sustainable growth in markets in the state. The acquisition of Farmers-Merchants adds 112 million dollars in assets to Merchants Bancorp. The bank in Paxton and Joy Illinois will be called the Farmers-Merchants Bank of Illinois.



(Springfield--ab)Michael Jordan leads the list of top 10 Illinois Athletes in the latest bicentennial celebration poll. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Spokesperson Chris Wills says it should come as no surprise that Jordan came in at number one.Tthe five time M-V-P led the Chicago Bulls to Six Championships.


Others making the top 10 include Chicago Cubs great Ernie Banks and Olympians Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Bonnie Blair. Vote now in the next category...groundbreaking women at: illinois top 200 dot com.


(Springfield--jc)  Illinois has been warned by federal authorities that the state has significantly over-issued federal food assistance to individuals who didn't qualify and may face a large fine as a resultA letter issuing the warning was sent from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to the Illinois Department of Human Services Secretary James Dimas earlier this month. USDA officials found that Illinois has a number of problems with its issuance of federal food assistance to a “significant portion of the SNAP caseload” and the issue may be what they called “systemic.” The feds say the state ignored reporting requirements for a number of cases, even suspending the requirements for all households due to report in January and February. As as result, the USDA found that Illinois issued food stamps to a significant number of people from November through February, even though they didn't qualify under federal law.


(Springfield--jc)  Corn harvesting is 50 percent complete in the state. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says soybean harvest is also moving along quickly…


State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.

Schleusener sas wheat planting is 8 percent complete. Topsoil moisture is 3 percent very short, 15 percent short, 75 percent adequate and 7 percent surplus.



CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The Parkland College Dental Hygiene Clinic is currently seeking to serve area residents who have not had dental cleanings in five years or more. Patients may come in for various dental services, such as oral examination, X-rays, cleaning, fluoride treatment, sealants, and oral hygiene instruction.Appointments last approximately 3.5 hours, as the Dental Hygiene program students are learning and are working with their instructors. The cleaning may take one to four appointments, depending on the patient's individual needs. More information is found by calling the college.



Parkland College's Precision Agriculture Program Named No. 2 Among Nation's Community Colleges by


(Chicago--jc)  -- Attorney General Lisa Madigan joined a bipartisan coalition of 16 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in a lawsuit challenging states’ ability to regulate student loan servicers and protect student loan borrowers from abuse. Madigan and the other attorneys general filed the amicus brief in the lawsuit filed by the Student Loan Servicing Alliance against the District of Columbia to prevent the enforcement of a D.C. law that regulates student loan servicers, which are the companies that process loan payments. The lawsuit asserts that D.C.’s law is preempted by federal law. The amicus brief explains that the U.S. Department of Education has abdicated its role in regulating student loan servicers and has recently turned a blind eye to servicer misconduct, resulting in widespread abuses of vulnerable borrowers. The coalition’s brief also explains that preventing states from regulating loan servicers would lead to dramatically more loan servicer misconduct and more harm to borrowers.



CHAMPAIGN — Parkland College's Precision Agriculture program has been named No. 2 among the nation's community colleges by

Earlier in the year, released its Top 25 Colleges in the U.S. for Precision Agriculture, which comprised four-year institutions; it released its Top 20 Two-Year Colleges list in early September, with Parkland's program ranking second on the list.Parkland College offers the most comprehensive Precision Agriculture associate’s degree in the state of Illinois.


(Paxton--ab) Harvest is rolling on and be prepared for mixed results ays Ludlow Coop Market Analyst Paul Seaman



Ludlow Coop Market Analyst Paul Seaman



( Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois is below the middle of the pack when it comes to state business tax climate and a nonpartisan group says if the state were to change its flat income tax to a progressive one, it’s ranking would go down even further.The nonpartisan Tax Foundation’s 2019 State Business Tax Climate Index puts Illinois at No. 36. That’s down from last year’s ranking of No. 33. Among Illinois’ neighbors, only Iowa had a lower overall rank of 45.Tax Foundation's Nicole Kaeding said Illinois is ranked 13th for its flat income tax, but its high property tax (No. 45), corporate tax (No. 39) and unemployment insurance tax (No. 42) brings the state down for the overall index.



(Paxton--jc)  -- Apex Clean Energy is a company that is proposing an extension of the Ford Ridge Wind Farm in the Gibson City and Sibley areas of the county. At issue is setbacks for the windmills. Several county committees have held public comment meetings. The next one in the process is on Wednesday night, 7pm, at the courthouse in Paxton. That meeting is for the Ford County Zoning Board of Appeals.  Apex Clean Energy is looking to work with the county on setbacks and other issues, while some opposition comes with a proposed 22 hundred 50 feet in setbacks on rural properties. Apex officials have said that if the longer setbacks are approved, it would hamper windmill expansion in Ford County. The full Ford County Board could take up the issue when then meet on October 8th.


(Lake Iroquois--jc)  -- One local church is hosting a bake sale and garage sale this Friday and Saturday to benefit a local Christian High School. Those with Immanuel Lutheran Church in Loda is participating  with the Lake Iroquois

Garage sales on Friday and Saturday. The money raised goes to Christ Lutheran’s student education fun and St Louis Seminary student fund. The sale take place at the Alan and Nancy Johnson home at Lake Iroquois.



(Washington--jc)  -- The U.S. and Japan have agreed to begin trade negotiations. Gary Crawford reports…




CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — An official at Southern Illinois University says a student accused earlier this month of belonging to a white supremacist neo-Nazi groups is no longer enrolled in the school. Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Lori Stettler tells The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan that as of Wednesday the male student was no longer enrolled at the Carbondale campus but said that the students' rights to privacy prevented her from identifying the student or elaborating on the reasons for his departure.


CHICAGO (AP) — The board of directors of Feeding America announced this week that Claire Babineaux-Fontenot has been named CEO. Babineaux-Fontenot has held leadership positions at Walmart, the law firm of Adams and Reese, and in government offices. Feeding America describes itself as the nation's largest organization battling hunger. Its network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries provide 4 billion meals to people facing hunger in the U.S. each year.



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



(Springfield--jc)  -- In an effort to reduce interest payments, Governor Bruce Rauner signed SB 28-58 into law, allowing Illinois to invest funding from other sectors to generate interest monies.The new law could save the state up to 100 million dollars a year in interest payments. State Treasurer Michael Frerichs says now,  if the state has a bill that is more than 90 days late, they start paying 1 percent interest per month, or 12 percent annually. The state has the ability to borrow money at a much cheaper rate.



(Washington--jc)  --The Republican-supported legislation that would make last winter’s tax cuts permanent has passed the House but its future in the Senate is uncertain.Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis’ bill removes the 2025 expiration of the lower tax rates enacted into law in December. It passed the House Friday with a couple Democrats breaking with their party and supporting it. Davis later said the passage is a great step forward for providing certainty in the tax code and is hopeful that the Senate will move on it soon.



(Undated--jc)  -- The Centers for Disease Control this week released some sobering statistics about last year's flu season, but the numbers may not account for the people who got sick in Illinois.The CDC said 80,000 people in the U.S. died from the flu last year. Almost a million more got sick. Illinois' flu toll is just a fraction of that, but we don't know the total number.The Illinois Department of Public Health's Melaney Arnold said that's because the state doesn't track adult deaths.



(Ford County--jc)  -- Several fire departments are helping put out a shed fire in rural Ford County this morning.  Officials say the fire is at a farm west of Loda and Route 115. No word on how the blaze started. Fire Departments from Roberts, Melvin, Elliott and Gibson City responded to the blaze. WPXN news will update this story as more information becomes available



(Urbana--jc)  -- The next move in a tax-exemption hearing is in the hands of lawyers for Champaign based Carle Foundation Hospital of Urbana. A judge on Friday told lawyers for the local hospital, they have until October 19 to file positions on their interpretation of the Illinois State Supreme Court decision in late September. At stake is the amount of tax owed by the hospital group. More is also expected by November when the issue comes back to the court system



(Chicago--jc)  -- Illinois has been warned by federal authorities that the state has significantly over-issued federal food assistance to individuals who didn't qualify and may face a large fine as a result. A letter issuing the warning was sent from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to the Illinois Department of Human Services. USDA officials found that Illinois has a number of problems with its issuance of federal food assistance to a “significant portion of the SNAP caseload” and the issue may be what they called “systemic.”  The feds say the state ignored reporting requirements for a number of cases, even suspending the requirements for all households due to report in January and February. As as result, the USDA found that Illinois issued food stamps to a significant number of people from November through February, even though they didn't qualify under federal law.


(Springfield--jc)  -- With harvest continuing, it’s that time of year when farmers and motorists need to share the road. There are typically more than 275 crashes with farm equipment each year in Illinois. University of Illinois Extension Safety specialists Bob Aherin says farmers must do their part...



U of I Extension Safety Specialist Bob Aherin

Aherin says the motoring public needs to do their part to by slowing down, giving big farm equipment plenty of room and also to know that farm machinery will be on local and area roads through harvest.



CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — An official at Southern Illinois University says a student accused earlier this month of belonging to a white supremacist neo-Nazi groups is no longer enrolled in the school. Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Lori Stettler tells The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan that as of Wednesday the male student was no longer enrolled at the Carbondale campus but said that the students' rights to privacy prevented her from identifying the student or elaborating on the reasons for his departure.


DANVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Authorities say two students at an eastern Illinois high school face criminal charges after a firework was set off inside the school, prompting a lockdown of all classrooms.Police say the loud explosion happened Wednesday morning inside Danville High School.Danville Public Safety Director Larry Thomason says that two male students were each charged with possession of an explosive and reckless conduct and were being detained at the county's juvenile detention center. No one was hurt in the incident


WHEATON, Ill. (AP) — DuPage County's health department says an elderly person has died of West Nile virus _ the first human death of the virus in the county in four years. The Chicago Tribune reports that the person who died became ill in early September.



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Those who want to get a jump on the November election need not wait. Early voting in Illinois began yesterday across the state. But voters will have to visit their county clerk's office or the office of their local election authority to do so. Those who aren't registered to vote may join the rolls at the time they cast their ballot. Online voter registration is also available through the Illinois State Board of Elections through Oct. 21.The Nov. 6 election features races for governor and lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, comptroller, treasurer, and seats in the state House and Senate and in Congress. According to the State Board of Elections, 1.4 million voters cast early ballots in 2016, a presidential election year. Two years before, there were 497,000 early voters.


BLOOMINGTON — A father held in contempt of court for refusing for attend child custody hearings in McLean County was sentenced to six months in jail Thursday. The Pantagraph reports that  Michael Cadena's sentence is the maximum penalty for the direct criminal contempt of court issued by Associate Judge Lee Ann Hill for his failure to comply with multiple court orders to return to Illinois for hearings on his 2014 petition for custody of his 4-year-old son, Michael Cadena Jr.



Attorney General Lisa Madigan is announcing a 148 million dollar nationwide settlement with Uber over a 2016 data breach. The case stems from hackers accessing personal information about approximately 600 thousand Uber drivers. Attorney General Madigan says the company didn’t report it for more than a year.



The state will get eight and a half million dollars in the settlement…and affected Uber drivers in Illinois will each get 100 dollars.



(Springfield--ab)The unemployment rate fell in nearly all the state’s metro areas last month. 13 of the 14 metro areas saw a decrease in the August jobless rate compared to one ago says Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Bob Gough.



10 metro areas added jobs over the year with the largest increases seen in Kankakee…Champaign/Urbana, the Quad Cities, Rockford and the Chicago area.


(Rantoul--ab) Retired Air Force instructor Larry Snider teaches basic electronics Mondays, October 1-29, from 1:00-5:00 pm at the Rantoul Public Library. Get hands-on experience with electrical components while learning theory. Paced to your ability with a lot of one-on-one training. Teens and up welcome. Great for home-schooled teens. For more information call the Rantoul Public Library at 217-893-3955.



(Paxton--ab) The harvest continues with farmers getting back into the fields after early week rains. Moisture and volume, the two factors for crops are rated at the local elevator. Ludlow Coop Manager  Paul Seaman says its a low moisture year and a varying volume year...



Ludlow Coop Manager Paul Seaman


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Leaders of the state's major political parties are embracing a report's recommendations to end sexual harassment in Illinois government. The Illinois Anti-Harassment, Equality and Access Panel issued the report Wednesday. It suggests that parties help elect more women to public office, only fund campaigns with strict anti-harassment policies, set up an independent process to investigate complaints and more



(Springfield--jc)  -- Democrats and unions renewed a push to require local school districts to pay a minimum salary for starting teachers ahead of the fall veto session despite a new funding formula injecting $350 million of new money for Illinois’ public schools. Senate Bill 2892 would circumvent local school boards’ decisions on contracts for teachers by making the minimum teacher wage $40,000 a year. With the backing of the Illinois School Management Alliance, Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed the measure earlier this year. He said it was an unfunded mandate.State Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, urged for an override at a news conference outside of the Illinois Education Association this week Consumer finance research group WalletHub reported Illinois currently is the fourth best state in the country for teachers.


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



(Undated--jc)  -- The controversy over sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh spilled into governor's races across the country as the woman at the center of the claims told her story to a riveted nation. In Illinois, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner said earlier this month that there should be an investigation and the allegations, if true, should disqualify Kavanaugh. He did not specify whether he thought the Senate inquiry was sufficient or whether the FBI should investigate. Rauner's spokesman said the governor was traveling Thursday and did not watch Ford's testimony. His Democratic challenger, J.B. Pritzker, criticized Rauner's response. Pritzker said the governor continues to support Trump and Kavanaugh. Pritzker says he opposes Kavanaugh  because the judge poses a grave threat to Roe v. Wade, the Affordable Care Act, and critical consumer and environmental issues.


(Urbana--jc)  Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner was in Urbana on Thursday to help welcome the new Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory. The state of the art facility is another key to keeping the University of Illinois at the top for research. Governor Rauner said it was another good day bringing a promising future for the U of I and local area…


Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner


(McLean County--jc)  The McLean County Landfill is expected to reach capacity and close this weekend. County and EPA Officials have been monitoring the landfill for several years. Starting next week, waste collected in McLean County will be taken to Livingston County. The McLean county landfilled will be capped with soil and monitored for 30 years General Manager of Republic Services in West Central Illinois Dan Winters says  he does not estimate the cost of waste removal will increase in McLean County, outside of annual inflation adjustments.



WEST FRANKFORT, Ill. (AP) — A closed private college's lawyer says part of a political memorabilia collection from the late southern Illinois Congressman Ken Gray is missing. Gray's widow gave the collection two years ago to Morthland College in West Frankfort. School attorney Aaron Hopkins says the building storing the collection was broken into earlier this year, but he didn't know what was taken.


(Bloomington--jc)  One member of the Illinois Soybean Growers Association met Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel. Illinois Soybean Growers director of Market Development Mart Albertson says the Illinois based farmers group was honored to talk with the Cuban leader. Albertson says Illinois has been working on opening doors with Cuba since 2012. Last year the U-S exported 50 million dollars of soy to Cuba..


(Champaign--jc)  -- September will finish with hotter than normal temperatures and above average rainfall. State Climatologist Jim Angel says the outlook for the last several days of the month and the start of October is cooler temps and some precipitation..



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



(Undated--jc)  --Early voting is upon us in Illinois. Mail-in ballots are free to fly. But don’t dare take a picture of your vote.Snapping a photo of your filled-in ballot and posting it on Facebook or Instagram is technically a Class 4 felony in Illinois, which comes with a prison sentence of one to three years. According to the Illinois Election Code, anyone who “knowingly” casts his or her ballot in a way that “can be observed by another person” is breaking the law.


(Washington--jc)  What information was provided in the latest U-S-D-A quarterly hogs and pigs report. U-S-D-A Livestock Analyst Shayle Shagam provides the numbers…



U-S-D-A Livestock Analyst Shayle Shagam.



(Paxton--jc)  Carmen Gronewold and Tom Meents are now in the Paxton Buckley Loda Hall of Fame. Gronewold was a 1975 graduate of Buckley Loda High School that has devoted her life to a Christian Ministry. Meents is a 1985 Paxton High School graduate who played on the Mustangs State final football team and is an 11 time champion of the Monster Jam Tour. Also last night. The Paxton Buckley Loda Homecoming Queen is Mikayla Jones and the Homecoming King is Tim Hewerdine.


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The University of Illinois Division of Intercollegiate Athletics Thursday announced a gift of $3.1 million from Illinois alumnus and agriculture businessman, Greg Heckman. Heckman's gift pledges $3 million toward the completion of the Henry Dale and Betty Smith Football Center, which will feature the naming of the main entrance as the Heckman Lobby. The additional $100,000 will be dedicated to student-athlete scholarships through the I FUND. The gift officially helps the DIA reach its announced fundraising goal of $30 million for the football project, bringing the total announced pledges to $31.175 million. Despite meeting the $30 million mark, fundraising will continue for the $79.2 million project.  



(Paxton--jc)  Do you like history?  The Ford County Historical Society’s Water Tower Museum in Paxton is open on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Those attending the local museum will see the history of the 102nd county in the state. The museum is located behind Paxton City Hall in downtown Paxton. There  is no charge for admission to the museum.



$47 Million Project to Rebuild the Interstate 80-U.S. 30 Interchange Announced

NEW LENOX — Gov. Bruce Rauner joined Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn and local officials Wednesday to announce the start of a $47 million project to rebuild the Interstate 80-U.S. 30 interchange. The new interchange will provide congestion relief, improve safety and enhance traffic flow in a critical freight and jobs corridor for the state. The Illinois Department of Transportation project will extend a third lane in each direction on I-80 from approximately Interstate 355 through the U.S. 30 interchange. The bridges carrying I-80 over U.S. 30, Metra’s Rock Island District Line and Hickory Creek will be rebuilt.


(Pesotum--ab) The Champaign county Sheriff's office has some information for the public headed to the Luke Bryan Farm tour show on Friday in Pesotum. No Buses or motorhomes will be allowed to park in the parking lot. All vehicles left overnight will be towed away. In The concert venue Chairs and Blankets are allowed in the designated areas, No coolers will be allowed, No backpacks will be allowed, No outside food or drink will be allowed on the premises, No fireworks or weapon of any kind, No Animals other than service animals, No video cameras or professional camera lenses, No re-entry allowed, No Glass containers allowed, and tickets must be presented for access to the parking lots.


CHICAGO (AP) — Following years of reformulating at McDonald's, most of the burgers it serves in the U.S. are now preservative-free. As of Wednesday, the world's largest burger chain says classics like the Big Mac and Quarter Pounder with Cheese are preservative-free, with reformulated buns and sauces. Pickles on the sandwiches still contain artificial preservatives, but customers can request sandwiches without pickles. McDonald's has been gradually removing preservatives from its menu for several years in an effort to appeal to more health-conscious buyers. In 2016, it removed high-fructose corn syrup from its buns and took artificial preservatives out of its Chicken McNuggets.



(Springfield--jc)  -- Several car seat safety checks are being held around the state this weekend. It’s estimated four out of five car seats are installed incorrectly says Illinois Department of Transportation spokesperson Jessi Hopkins…


Illinois Department of Transportation spokesperson Jessi Hopkins.

Visit  Buckle-up-Illinois-Dot-Org to find a car seat safety check near you.



(Gibson City--ab) Due to Gibson City police officers helping with Gibson City- Melvin Sibley homecoming events, the Gibson City Police Department Range will not be open today.



CHICAGO – State Representative. Bob Rita will bring together two House committees for legislative hearings aimed at bringing gaming expansion and broad economic opportunity to Illinois. Rita, a Democrat from Blue Island, has been the House Democrats’ point person on gaming issues since spring 2013. He has proposed several bills on gaming expansion, including a large amendment to Senate Bill 7 that combined new casinos, race tracks and slot machines. The issue did not receive enough support by the end of the Spring legislative session that ended in May. The next  committee meeting on the issue is set for Wednesday, Oct. 17th at the Capitol in Springfield.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Three women in Illinois government who are studying sexual harassment and gender equity say a solution would be to elect women to half of all political offices in the state. The Illinois Anti-Harassment, Equality and Access Panel issued a report Wednesday recommending measures for political parties to combat sexual harassment and make politics fairer for women.


(Thomasboro--jc)  -- State police say a Rantoul resident was injured in a two vehicle accident along Route 45 near Thomasboro Wednesday afternoon. Two Rantoul residents were injured and taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Police say driver one was attempting to cross Route 45 and was struck by the second vehicle going south. Driver one was not injured, but was cited for failure to yield at a stop sign.


(Urbana--jc)  -- Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is set to help a research lab at the University of Illinois this afternoon. The governor will help with the ribbon cutting on the new Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory at 3pm. University of Illinois Chancellor Robert Jones and U of I President Tim Killeen along with local State Senator Chapin Rose are also expected to attend the event.



(Kankakee--jc)  In a release to media, Kankakee Meg agents say an arrest was made late Tuesday night on a Kankakee man on an unlawful use of a weapon by a felon charge. Arrested in the incident was 22 year old Emil France. France was taken to the Jerome Combs Detention Center.



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



(Springfield--jc)  This weekend is the last opportunity for Illinoisans to avoid paying sales taxes while shopping online, even though the practice has technically been illegal for years. Tucked away in one of Illinois’ 2019 budget bills was a requirement that out of state businesses selling Illinoisans goods will have to tack a 6.25 percent sales tax on to purchases starting Monday. Sellers with a physical presence in Illinois, like Amazon, have been doing this for years, but this year’s Supreme Court case South Dakota v. Wayfair says online purchases are subject to the destination’s state tax even if there’s no building within state lines according to  Carol Portman of the Taxpayers Federation of Illinois.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Rural areas and small towns in Illinois are seeing expanded Medicaid coverage. Mary Ann Schuermann reports…




(Paxton--jc)  -- One from Paxton and another from Buckley. One was a Mustang and the other a Rocket. Two former students in the Paxton-Buckley Loda School system are set to be inducted into the P-B-L Hall of Fame later today.  Carmen Gronewold grew up in Buckley as was a 1975 graduate of Buckley-Loda High school. Gronewold has devoted her life to Christian based work. Organizations like Hosana National Team and Rainbow of Promise work with the Lutheran Church with various Christian ministries. Since 1996, Gronewold has been serving as the North America associate director for Peace Rehabilitation Center.

Tom Meents graduated Paxton High School in 1985. Meents played on the Paxton Mustangs football team that finished runner up in the state in 1984. Meents got involved with the Monster Truck series and has been one of the most successful drivers in the series. Tom has won 6 world championships and 5 free style championships during his career with the Monster Truck series. His career started in 1993. Gronewold had prior commitments and will not be attending this weekend’s festivities. Meents is set to address the high school this afternoon and will participate in tonight’s 6 pm Homecoming parade.


CHICAGO (AP) — Uber has agreed to pay $148 million and take steps to tighten data security after the ride-hailing company failed for a year to notify drivers that hackers had stolen their personal information, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced Wednesday. Uber Technologies Inc. and all 50 states and the District of Columbia reached the settlement after a massive data breach in 2016 that went unreported for a year.


(Washington--jc)  - Producers in parts of the nation’s midsection could see a frost and freeze event. Gary Crawford has the details…



(Gibson City--jc)  -- Gibson City Rotary Club says it’s ‘time to play.’ The local Ford County service group has completed work at North Park in Gibson City. The club is inviting the community to a celebration event on Sunday October 7th from 1 til 3pm. In addition to the park toys, the event also features ice cream popcorn, water, face painting and barrel train rides for the little ones.



(Rantoul--jc)  Rantoul Chamber officials are looking at another space for the chamber office. The Rantoul area Chamber of  Commerce has been located in the downtown area of the village for a couple of years, before that the chamber had an office in the Rantoul Business Center. The former Matthews Building was also a location for the local chamber. Chamber leaders are just seeking options as it looks at the best position for the local chamber to serve all its members.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Watch your mailbox, Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerich’s office is sending out 12 million dollars worth of checks to some Illinois taxpayers. The money has been sitting as unclaimed property. The money belongs to thousands of Illinoisans. Treasurer Frerichs says that’s why they launched the money match program…



Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs.


(Paxton--jc)  -- One local Thrift shop has its semi-annual bag sale going on now through Saturday at noon. The Paxton Thrift Shop has a 75 cent per bag offer today. Saturday is listed as a surprise. The Paxton Thrift Shop is open from 10am until 4pm Wednesday through Friday and Saturday from 10am until noon.



(Champaign--jc)  -- The month of September has seen warmer than normal temperatures. State Climatologist Jim Angel says its not a recording setting month, but warmer than normal…



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



(Rantoul--jc)  Paxton Buckley Loda and Gibson City Melvin Sibley schools are celebrating homecoming events this week. At Rantoul Township High School the annual homecoming parade takes place at 4 on Friday afternoon. The 2018 Homecoming King and Queen will be crowned at an assembly just before 3 on Friday. The Rantoul F F A is hosting a tailgate party and the Rantoul Eagle football team host I-V-C on Friday night. The Rantoul High School cafetorium is the setting for the homecoming dance on Saturday night.



Illinois Man Charged with Conspiracy to Interfere with Commerce by Threats and Violence Pleads Guilty  

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — One of four Illinois men charged with conspiracy to interfere with commerce by threats and violence has pleaded guilty to the charges. Ellis Mack of Clarence also pleaded guilty Tuesday to unlawful possession of a machine gun before U..S. Magistrate Judge Eric Long in Urbana. Long set the 18-year-old Mack's sentencing for Jan. 9 before U.S. District Court Judge Sara Darrow. As part of his plea agreement, Mack agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in their cases against the other alleged members of the Patriot Freedom Fighters, Michael Hari, Michael McWhorter and Joe Morris. Prosecutors allege the four conspired to rob or attempt to rob Walmart stores, and attempted to extort Canadian National Railway by threatening to damage tracks if the railroad didn't pay ransom. The 47-year-old Hari, 29-year-old McWhorter and 23-year-old Morris are charged in Minnesota with the August 2017 bombing of the Dar al Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington. No one was injured.


URBANA, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois campus senate is backing a Native American tribe's stance that the school's longtime Chief Illiniwek mascot is a degrading racial stereotype.The Academic Senate approved a resolution in a near-unanimous vote this week supporting the Peoria Tribe of Oklahoma's statement against any use of the chief as a symbol or mascot.University officials dropped the portrayal in 2007, but professor Jay Rosenstein says  that the tribe's statement calling it a harmful stereotype is important. Resolution sponsors said the Peoria tribe is the only one recognized by the federal government that includes descendants of the Illinois Indians who once lived in the Urbana-Champaign area.

A recent university report suggested adopting a new sports mascot. Chancellor Robert Jones told the senate that Chief Illiniwek won't return.


(Thawville--ab) Harvest in the Onarga, Thawville and Gilman areas was going quickly, until the rain over the past several days. Thawville farmer John Hildebrand says the crops are what was expected...



Thawville area farmer John Hildebrand


(Springfield--ab) This is National Child Passenger Safety Week and Secretary of State Jesse White is reminding families about a new car seat law taking effect in January. The law requires kids to be in a rear-facing car seat up until the age of two. After that, they need to be in a seat recommended for their size and weight…up until they are eight years old says Secretary White.


Secretary of State Jesse White

White says many car seats are not installed properly. Many hospitals, local state offices and police and fire stations hold car seat safety checks for parents.


CHICAGO (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a Chinese citizen in Chicago has been arrested for allegedly spying, including by helping recruit U.S. engineers, defense contractors and scientists for intelligence services in China. Twenty-seven-year-old Ji Chaoqun has been charged with one count of knowingly acting in the U.S. as an agent of a foreign government without prior notification of the attorney general. He's accused of working at the direction of intelligence officials with the People's Republic of China.


(Bloomington--jc)  -- Frontier is now flying again at the Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington. The airline started new flights to Denver this week and coming in early October, Frontier will have non-stop flights to Orlando Florida.  10 AM flights on Tuesdays Thursday and Sundays to Orlando. Central Illinois Regional Airport continues to have nonstop flights to Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and more.


MARKHAM, Ill. (AP) — A man previously barred from a mayoral post in suburban Chicago has been sworn in as a result of Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner's intervention on his behalf.Roger Agpawa was the top vote-getter in Markham's 2017 mayoral race. However, an Illinois appeals court ruled in April he wasn't eligible to hold the position because of a felony conviction. Agpawa pleaded guilty in 1999 to federal mail fraud charges and was ordered to pay restitution.

After Agpawa's swearing in Tuesday, his attorney, Burt Odelson, said a certificate from Rauner, dated Sept. 14, restored Agpawa's rights of citizenship and made him eligible to hold elected office. The governor's office Tuesday confirmed the filing of the certificate with the Illinois Secretary of State's office.


BLOOMINGTON — A Bloomington man involved in a five-hour standoff with Bloomington police was in court Tuesday  to face weapons charges. 31 year old Cody Powell barricaded himself in his home and son around noon on Sunday. He refused to surrender until just after 5pm on Sunday. Powell was charged today with possession of a firearm with a revoked firearm owners identification card and illegal possession of ammunition without a FOID card.  He bond was set at just over 10 thousand dollars.



(Rantoul--jc)  It’s Dancing through the Decades for the Rantoul Township High School homecoming.Today is Cross color day and it’s Throwback Thursday. Friday is spirit day for the Eagles. This year’s homecoming parade is set for 4pm on Friday. The king and queen will be crowned at the high school around 2-50 Friday afternoon.. The homecoming football game kicks off at 7 with the dance on Saturday evening..



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



CHICAGO (AP) — The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago has settled a lawsuit filed by a man who alleges he was abused when he was a boy by a priest. The man's attorney said Tuesday the archdiocese agreed to pay $2.9 million to the alleged victim of disgraced former priest Daniel McCormack. The man, who is in his 20s, claims McCormack abused him twice when he attended St. Agatha's Catholic Church. Out of deference to the victim, the archdiocese declined to comment on the settlement.


(Washington--jc)  -- Soybean conditions are better this year than last. The crop progress is also ahead of the five year average. Stephanie Ho reports…




SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The building that once housed President Abraham Lincoln's law office in Springfield will soon be opened as a tourist welcome center.

The first floor of the Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices historic site will open next month as an extension of the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau .Major work to replace the floors and painting are complete, says Bureau Tourism Manager Jeff Berg. The renovations cost around 100 thousand dollars.


EUREKA, Ill. (AP) — State wildlife crews have poisoned a central Illinois lake as part of a plan to kill off the carp that have overrun it and restock it with game fish. Illinois Department of Natural Resources biologists on Monday spread a compound toxic to fish around the 30-acre Eureka Lake near Peoria. Carp multiplied rapidly after most of the lake's game fish died during a harsh winter in 2013.


(Springfield--jc)  -- A new proposal cracks down on motorists who drive recklessly through work zones. The legislation comes from State Senator Tom Cullerton of Villa Park and the Illinois Tollway. It slaps a one thousand dollar fine on anyone intentionally  entering or cutting through a work zones says Tollway Executive Director Liz Gorman…



Tollway Executive Director Liz Gorman

The measure also raises the fine for striking a highway worker from 10 thousand to 25 thousand dollars. To date, 14 people have died in work zone crashes in the state.



(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is renewing his call to reinstate the death penalty in certain cases. The Chicago Police Department retired the badge of fallen commander Paul Bauer yesterday and praised Governor Rauner’s bravery on the issue. Governor Rauner also urged lawmakers to bring back capital punishment for those who kill police officers…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner

Bauer was shot and killed in February of this year by a four-time convicted felon during a car chase in Chicago. The state abolished the death penalty in 20-11.



(Paxton--jc)  Want to learn more about 4-H? Those with the Paxton area Walltown 4-H club are hosting a backyard bonfire on Saturday. The event is set for the Loschen farm in rural Paxton. Games, a hotdog dinner, s’mores also hi-lite the event. Information about joining the Walltown 4-H club will also be available.



Illinois is 23rd Happiest State

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



(Undated--jc)  It’s not Hawaii, but Illinois came in at No. 23 on personal finance website WalletHub’s 2018 Happiest States in America  report. Hawaii, Utah and Minnesota were at the top of the list. West Virginia, Arkansas and Louisiana were at the bottom. Wallethub analyst Jill Gonzalez says  Illinois did pretty well especially in the emotional and physical well-being category which was weighted the most heavily in the state. Gonzalez adds that Illinois has room for improvement in areas such as employment.While Illinois fell right in the middle, it did well in overall emotional and physical well-being with a ranking of 12th.



(Buckley--ab)  - The rain patterns for area farmers this past Spring and Summer was from heavy rain amounts to dry. NexGen Ag co-owner Todd Shively says the harvest yields show the difference in the amount producers have received....


Nextgen Ag co-owner Todd Shively.

Shively and partner Brian Dippel hosted Monday’s WPXN Farmers in the Field Harvest Lunch Program. Today WPXN will be broadcasting live at the Hildebrand farm in rural Thawville over the noon hour.



ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A conference at the University of Michigan is bringing together experts to share ideas on dealing with a warming climate in the Great Lakes region.The biennial Great Lakes Adaptation Forum runs from Monday through Wednesday at the campus in Ann Arbor.Discussions will focus on four broad themes.

They include cooperation between U.S., Canadian and indigenous peoples; getting funding for climate adaptation initiatives; developing leadership in schools, businesses and government; and the latest innovative tools such as building design and smart sensor technology.


(Urbana--jc)  -- The University of Illinois is asking lawmakers to let it offer tax breaks to lure companies to campus. University of Illinois President Tim Killeen said to keep Illinois students in Illinois after they graduate, the school needs to bring employers to the state. Killeen says the school is pushing lawmakers to allow it to offer tax breaks for companies to come to Illinois, and work with the university.The issue could come up in the fall veto session following the November 6th election.



(Buckley--jc)   Abbe Insurance Agency in Buckley is hosting a Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours event on Thursday, October 4th. The event takes place at Abbe Insurance’s home office in the big white building on the south edge of Buckley  from 5:30 to 7 p.m.



(Paxton--jc)  -- Paxton High School’s class of 1978 will celebrate its 40-year class reunion during Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School’s homecoming week this Friday and  Saturday. The weekend will kick off with an informal gathering at Market Street Tap in downtown Paxton following the homecoming football game Friday evening. On Saturday, classmates will gather at 6:30 p.m. at the Cobblestone Hotel on Paxton’s west side.



(Springfield-jc)  The dry weather gave farmers plenty of time in the fields as we here in the weekly crop report. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says the harvest progress put corn at 28 percent in the bin..



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener..

75 percent of soybeans are dropping leaves and 17 percent of soybeans have been harvested.



(Rantoul--jc)  - Local State Representative Mike Marron is hosting an office hours event in Rantoul this afternoon. The 104th district state representative will meet with constituents from 1 til 3 this afternoon at the Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce office in downtown. Marron has replaced Chad Hays in the state representative seat. Hays retired earlier this year.


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



WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — The third trial in the 1990 killing of a 9-year-old girl has ended in a mistrial after jurors failed to reach a verdict after three days of deliberations. A judge Monday declared the mistrial in the trial of Stanley Liggins. He'd twice been convicted of murder in the killing of 9-year-old Jennifer Lewis, of Rock Island, Illinois. Her burned remains were found Sept. 17, 1990, in a field in Davenport. She had been sexually abused, strangled to death and then doused with gasoline and set on fire.Liggins knew Jennifer's mother and investigators focused on him as a suspect. He was twice convicted and sentenced to life in prison, but both convictions were overturned.


(Rantoul--jc)  One Rantoul based Church is hosting a food distribution event later this week. The Christian Life Church in Rantoul is holding the event for Champaign County residents from 9 til 10-30 Saturday morning at the Community Center on Wabash Avenue in Rantoul. Those participating are asked to bring a box and identification with current address.


(Urbana--jc)  The city of Urbana is joining the efforts of other Champaign County communities in bringing in body cameras for its police force. Urbana city leaders made that known at its meeting last night. Rantoul and Champaign already have cameras in use for its police force.


(Springfield--ab)  With Flu Season around the corner,  Illinois Department of Public Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jen Layden says the shot is necessary. She adds that there are various spots to get your shot....



Illinois Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jen Layden.


(WASHINGTON) September 24, 2018 – The National Corn Growers Association Monday, called on leaders of the Senate and House Agriculture Committees to put partisan differences aside and find common ground on a farm bill. The  current bill expires September 30. In a letter to Senate and House Committee leaders, N-C-G-A President Kevin Skunes said a new farm bill would provide certainty to farmers during increasingly uncertain times for agriculture.


(Onarga--ab) The Ford-Iroquois 4-H auction is coming up in Mid november to help with costs associated with costs to operate local 4-H projects.  Ford-Iroquois extension Deb Mason says the kids will benefit from the auction.


**NWS 1907**


Ford Iroquois Extension Auction Spokesperson Deb Mason



(Chicago--jc)  --A new survey shows more Illinois community college students move on to complete a four-year degree than students in any other state. Illinois moved up from number 3 in the previous survey, jumping Iowa and Washington in the process. Nearly 54 percent of students who entered a community college in Illinois in 2010 graduated with a bachelor’s degree within six years. Illinois’ number is almost 12 percentage points higher than the national average.Eric Lichtenberger, deputy director of Information Management and Research with the Illinois Board of Higher Education, credits the top ranking to efforts to make the transfer process easy for students.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Farmers have had time over the past 7 days to get harvest going. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 28 percent of corn is in the bin and the soybean crop is moving along at a good pace…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.

Topsoil moisture is rated at 4 percent very short, 18 percent short, 73 percent adequate and 5 percent surplus



Pesotum, Il. (09/24/18) – The Illinois State Police (ISP), assisted by the Champaign Police Department, conducted an Alcohol Countermeasure Enforcement  Bar ID Check detail on Saturday. In a news release yesterday, state police say the purpose of the ACE program is to reduce and deter underage drinking. As a result of the ACE detail, 21 citations were issued for Possession / Purchase, 2 citations for Possession Prohibited on Public Property, and 1 citation for Adult Responsibility.  In addition, minors convicted of purchase, possession or consumption of alcohol will face a one year suspension of their driver’s license. During the detail, bar checks were conducted at five bar locations and a Street Sweep in Champaign County. Brothers Bar & Grill, The Red Lion and Kams were ticketed for 6 violations. Joe’s Brewery received 4 violations. The Illini Inn received zero violations.


URBANA, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois plans to conduct a survey to study the drop in African-American student enrollment. The university had 475 black students enroll this fall, down from about 500 last year and almost 550 in 2016. The 2018 number doesn't include 115 multiracial students who also identify as African-American. University officials plan to survey the more than 700 applicants who declined the school's admission offer this year.


BELVIDERE, Ill. (AP) — Police say a woman called in a false threat of a gunman that prompted dozens of officers to search for the suspect and place several schools on lockdowns. Belvidere police say 20-year-old Sabrina Andrews of Belvidere has been arrested on felony charges of making a false police report. Police say Andrews claimed Thursday a man with a gun outside of Belvidere South Middle School was threatening to shoot her child.


DU QUOIN, Ill. (AP) — Officials say attendance at the 2018 Du Quoin State Fair in southern Illinois dropped by 8 percent from last year. Organizers say the 11-day fair attracted about 100,800 before it wrapped up on Labor Day. The attendance decline was about the same as last month's Illinois State Fair in Springfield that drew about 370,000 people.


CHICAGO (AP) — The archbishop of Chicago has removed a priest as head of a North Side church after he burned a rainbow banner, angering the LGBT community. The Chicago Tribune reports that Cardinal Blase Cupich announced Rev. Paul Kalchik's removal in a recent letter to parishioners and staff at the Resurrection Catholic Church. Kalchik told the newspaper on Friday he's not anti-gay.



(Springfield--jc)--  The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is limiting the archery deer hunting season in 5 East Central Illinois Counties. The restriction is meant to boost herd numbers in  Douglas, Macon, Moultrie, Piatt and Champaign Counties says Illinois Department of Natural Resources Spokesperson Ed Cross.. .


I-D-N-R Spokesperson Ed Cross.

The restriction runs from October First through the 15th.


(Washington--ba)  -- Supporting the health of your soil is not only good for the environment, but also great for your profits. Clay Pope of USDA’s Southern Climate Hub explains how they both fit together.



Clay Pope USDA Southern Climate Hub



CHICAGO — Governor Bruce Rauner Friday issued executive orders eliminating 53 boards and commissions that serve no public purpose and have been inactive for years, some for as long as two full decades. Governor Rauner says tis is a matter of good government through transparency and the people of Illinois need to understand the ongoing work of the state. They should not be led to believe that people are still at work doing tasks that were completed 10 years ago, or that they are supporting advisory roles for which the need expired in the 1990s. Over the years, the State of Illinois has created more than 600 authorities, boards, bureaus, commissions, committees, councils, task forces and other similar entities. Many of them have completed their work and no longer operate, yet they still appear in State publications, public-facing websites, and Legislative Research Unit reports as if they were still doing the people’s work. Collectively, the orders eliminate 72 redundant or inactive boards and commissions so that executive branch operations are more transparent and efficient.


BLOOMINGTON — A man is in custody after barricading himself inside a west Bloomington home for more than five hours Sunday afternoon. The Pantagraph reports that Sunday evening, Bloomington police ended a Public Safety Alert it issued earlier in the day. A tactical unit and negotiating team attempted to convince the man, identified Sunday night as Cody Powell, to use a phone that was placed on the back porch and the standoff ended peacefully. Bloomington police say that Powell had been "threatening people in the area" before officers arrived at the house.


(Fisher--jc)  Pending a final inspection set for later today, a grocery store is returning to the village of Fisher.  Ingolds Meats and Deli is under the ownership of Fisher residents Brandon and Carissa Chandler. A grand opening is set for Saturday.



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



CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois State Police will be out this week issuing tickets and handing out safety literature in a bid to bring down numbers of railroad-crossing deaths in the state. A greater emphasis on the problem in Illinois comes during U.S. Rail Safety Week this week. There were over 100 railroad-crossing collisions in Illinois involving vehicles last year, leaving 25 people dead and causing 29 injuries.


CHICAGO (AP) — A former OpenTable employee has been charged with wire fraud for allegedly making hundreds of bogus reservations at Chicago restaurants to undermine a rival booking service. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that prosecutors allege in charging documents that 30-year-old Steven Addison booked more than 300 reservations at at least 45 Chicago restaurants using Reserve, aiming to hurt the company's reputation. OpenTable's CEO said in March that one "rogue employee" was involved.


CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago commodities trading firm has agreed to pay a 1.5 million dollar  penalty after admitting to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission it created and instantly canceling fake orders to induce favorable transactions. Geneva Trading USA admitted at least three of its traders engaged in "spoofing" between 2013 and 2016. The orders involved futures contracts that were traded at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Geneva Trading settled with the CFTC without admitting or denying any of the findings.



(Iroquois County--jc)  -- Iroquois County Sheriff’s police arrested 30 year old Chad Koester of Watseka on Friday. Koester was charged with forgery. He was taken to the Iroquois County jail in lieu of bond.


(Rantoul--jc)  Rantoul Village leaders say a new village administrator could be named sometime this week. Two final candidates have been interviewed for the job. They are Danville Mayor Scott Eisenhower and Jeff Eder of East Peoria. The contract for Rick Snider expires at the end of this month. Snider extended his position with the village for several months as his family is making the move to the East Coast.



(Milford--jc)  A Milford man was arrested by Iroquois County authorities for theft under 500 dollars. Police say 58 year old Jack McKay was transported to the Iroquois County jail where he posted the required bond and was released.


(Paxton--jc)  -- Now that autumn has arrived, those properties with falling leaves in Paxton have to deal with them, without burning them. Paxton City council members enacted a leaf burning ban ordinance. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold says its up to property owners to get rid of leaves this fall…



Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold



(Springfield--jc)  -- The Tickborne Heartland virus is showing up in Illinois.  State Public Health Department officials warn that ticks are still a problem this time of year. The heartland virus has only been in the the U-S since 2009. And just one case of infection, a Kankakee resident has turned up so for in the state says State Veterinarian Doctor Connie Austin…



State Veterinarian Doctor Connie Austin.
Symptoms for Heartland virus are similar to other tick illiness. They include fever, headaches, fatigue and diarrhea.


(Paxton--jc)  -- The Paxton area Chamber of Commerce has a new executive director. She is Ashley Tolley. Tolley replaces Madison Duden. Duden has taken a position with Busey Bank. Tolley also works at Edward Jones in downtown Paxton. Tolley does the Edward Jones market reports on WPXN weekday afternoons at 4-30.



Illinois Governor Candidates Debate Over Income Tax Hikes

CHICAGO (AP) — Republican Governor Bruce Rauner on Thursday accused rival J.B. Pritzker of plotting a massive income tax hike on the people of Illinois, a claim the Democrat dismissed as another lie from a governor who's "been lying for three-and-a-half years." One of Pritzker's top priorities is changing Illinois' flat income tax to a graduated system.  But Pritzker refused during a debate Thursday, as he has throughout the campaign, to detail what those rates should be. Governor Rauner says Pritzker is dodging the question of Pritzkers income tax increase and can not be trusted when it comes to taxes. Pritzker again called Rauner a liar. The debate at NBC-5 in Chicago was the first of the race, and included two third-party candidates: Conservative Party candidate and GOP state Sen. Sam McCann and Libertarian Grayson "Kash" Jackson. Rauner leveled several attacks on Pritzker and his connections to longtime Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan, who he said has had Illinois in a "stranglehold." But his attacks weren't limited to Pritzker. Rauner accused McCann of being a "phony candidate" put up by Madigan to take GOP votes and help Pritzker win. That launched one of the most spirited moments of the debate.


(Southern Illinois--jc)  -- A federal judge has refused to grant class-action status to a lawsuit alleging wage discrimination against female doctors at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. The case was  initiated by former S-I-U surgeon Doctor. Sajida Ahad and joined by four other female doctors, will proceed after the ruling by U.S. District Judge Sue Myerscough. Myerscough said Ahad failed to show there was a "common cause" to produce a "common answer to the questions of whether and why compensation for female physicians was lower than compensation for similarly situated male physicians. The lawsuit alleges female physicians at SIU were being paid more than $12,200 per year less than male doctors for similar work. SIU officials, who have denied Ahad's allegations in the past, declined to comment on the judges ruling.


(Urbana--jc)  One Urbana hotel remains closed with faulty fire-alarm system. In updating our story from earlier this week, the Garden Hotel in Urbana fire officials closed the hotel on Wednesday citing the infractions at the facility. Hotel owners say it will take around 3 weeks to correct the system and that 20 employees will be out of jobs during that time.


(Rantoul--jc)  One local police department is reporting bogus 100 dollar bills being circulated in the area. Officials with the Rantoul Police Department say several 100 dollar bills have been passed through some Rantoul businesses. U.S. Treasury officials say that if you believe you have received a bogus bill, remember some tips.  The first is to be safe and not put yourself in danger. Also do not return the bill to the passer. Observe the passer’s description and vehicle information. Contact your local police department when it is safe to do so. Rantoul police add to know how to recognize a bogus bill.



DEKALB, Ill. (AP) — Northern Illinois University's board of trustees has named a woman for president for the first time since the school opened its doors in 1899. In a news release, the DeKalb university says that Dr. Lisa C. Freeman is the 13th president. Freeman has been serving as acting president since July of last year.



(Cissna Park--ab) The Cissna Park FFA Pumpkins in Park is coming up on September 22nd. Cissna Park FFA ag advisor says its not too late to be a vendor at this years event just give him a call.



Cissna Park F F A Advisor Jeff Clifton


(Pesotum--jc) -- State police along with other Champaign County police agencies are offering some good advice for those attending the Luke Bryan Farm Tour Concert one week from today. The first is for those not attending the concert. That advice is to avoid the area between Tolono and Pesotum next Friday between 1pm and 1am on Saturday. The second bit of advice is to follow the traffic patterns set up by local authorities and follow the proper paths to and from the concert.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan says combating sexual harassment in the Capitol has become a "personal mission" but he wishes he'd acted sooner to "correct past mistakes." The Chicago Democrat spoke out Thursday in a Chicago Tribune op-ed. A string of Democratic lawmakers and workers in Madigan's political and government organizations have been accused of sexual misconduct this year amid the #MeToo anti-harassment movement. Madigan has been criticized for not having rooted it out.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Hunters and landowners are urged to report suspected cases of E-H-D in white tailed deer to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. E-H-D stands for Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease which can kill deer. Department of Natural Resources. Spokesperson Ed Cross says infected animals develop a high fever…



D-N-R Spokesperson Ed Cross

55 cases in deer have been reported so far this year.


(Buckley--ab) Buckley Christ Lutheran is hosting a dinner fundraiser tonight. The event is set for the  Buckley American Legion. The meal starts at 4pm and runs through 7pm C-L-H-S Spokesperson Charlie Goldenstein says it’s a delicious menu...



C-L-H-S Spokesperson Charlie Goldenstein



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



CHICAGO (AP) — The candidates for Illinois governor are clashing over taxes during their first televised debate. Democrat J.B. Pritzker says he wants to change Illinois' flat tax to a graduated system, in which the highest earners are taxed at a higher rate than others. But he won't say what the new rates should be. He says it should be negotiated with the Legislature. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner says Pritzker won't answer the question because "the truth is so painful." Pritzker called  Rauner a liar.


St. Charles, IL, September 20, 2018 --Today is the start of a new beginning in Illinois. A new upstart citizen activist organization, Illinois Citizen Uprising is out to change the corrupt, self-serving status quo that has rigged the political game. Rigged by the entrenched politicians so they remain in power. A rigged system that has buried this state in unconscionable debt, and bred corruption at the highest levels. Illinois Citizen Uprising will join with citizens across Illinois and demand structural changes to Illinois government.  Illinois Citizen Uprising’s mission is to give the voters an opportunity to vote on two constitutional amendments that will change the corrupt political system this state is mired in: term limits of 8 years for all members of the Illinois General Assembly, and an independent commission to draw fair legislative maps that will promote competition. Additionally, this organization will work towards the defeat/removal of Speaker Mike Madigan. Madigan has become the single greatest obstacle to every effort at real reform.


(Watseka--jc)  -- Officials with the Watseka school district took precautionary measures on Thursday following some social media posts caused concern. School officials brought in local law enforcement to help with the investigation. Several police vehicles were at Watseka High School on Thursday. Student and staff safety always a top priority for all schools


(Gibson City--ab)The Gibson City Rotary Club has begun selling their 2019 fundraising calendars.  This year these 8" x 10" colorful calendars are available for a $20 donation to the Gibson City Rotary Club.  There will be 56 drawings throughout the year, and each drawing has a prize valued at least $100 assigned to it.  Each calendar is assigned 3 unique numbers, giving THREE chances to win on each of the 56 drawings, which means your $20 donation to Rotary gives you 168 chances to be a winner. Those interested in a donation calendar are asked to contact any Rotary Club member.


(Springfield--jc)  The state’s unemployment rate dropped to four point one percent last month, matching the lowest rate on record in Illinois. The August rate is done more from the previous month says State Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Bob Gough…



State Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Bob Gough.


(Lake Iroquois--jc)  -- Its a 50th anniversary open house on Sunday for those in the Lake Iroquois area. A dedication is set for 1 on Sunday afternoon. Basketball and volleyball games, a home run derby and bingo hilite the event at the lake pavilion E I E C is helping the event by providing food. The public is invited to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of Lake Iroquois.


(Springfield--jc)  -- A 13 member team of first responders is in North Carolina helping with hurricane recovery efforts. The Illinois Task Force One Swiftwater Team is providing mutual aid says team leader Chuck Gross…



Illinois Task Force One Swiftwater Team Leader Chuck Gross.

So far the team has been involved in over a dozen rescues and has also helped with rising flood waters and also hooking up generators for gas stations.



(Paxton--dg)  -- With harvest upon us, many people will be out traveling that aren’t familiar with rural areas. Ford County Sheriff Mark Doran has some advice for driving on rural roads...



Ford County Sheriff Mark Doran



(Paxton--jc)  -- The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m on Saturday. The cookout will raise funds for Toys for Tots. On the menu is Pork chop sandwiches, chips and pop.



November 13th is the Next Court Date for a Ford County Man Accused of Battery and Unlawful Restraint

(Paxton--jc)  -- November 13th is the next court date for a Ford County man accused of battery and unlawful restraint concerning an incident in Clarence earlier this year. Those are the Ford County charges against 47 year old Michael Hari of Clarence. Hari and three others also are facing terrorism charges. The next court appearance on those charges in Federal court in Urbana is also November 13th. Additional information is found in the Ford County Record



CHICAGO (AP) — A leading medical journal has retracted six food research articles by a Cornell University marketing professor, saying the results can't be verified.The papers under question include a 2005 study that said people eat more when served food in large bowls and a 2013 article that said hungry grocery shoppers buy foods with more calories but not more food. They appeared in journals published by the JAMA Network, which include the Journal of the American Medical Association.



(Paxton--ab) Harvest has started in East Central Illinois. In our first Farmers in the Field program,  we stopped by the Meyer farm northeast of Paxton and talked with local farmer Mike Herriott. Herriott talks about the progression of the soybean crop this year....



Paxton Area Farmer Mike Herriott

Diversifed Insurance-Abbe Insurance of Buckley sponsored our first farmer in the field harvest lunch event. Shields AutoMart of Paxton provided the use of a 2019 GMC truck and Monicals Pizza provided the pizza lunch. Our next farmer in the field program is coming soon.


(Askum--ab) For the fifth consecutive year, Illinois State Police District 21, announces District 21 is partnering with local, state and federal agencies to promote vehicle and pedestrian safety around railroad tracks and trains during Rail Safety Week, which is taking place September 23-29, 2018. To promote rail safety awareness and education and prevent injuries and fatalities, ISP District 21, has planned enforcement details throughout the week at various railroad grade crossings. Drivers and pedestrians who disobey the laws associated with railroad grade crossings and railroad property will be cited. In addition to enforcement efforts, the ISP is also committed to changing behavior through education. Officers will be distributing literature to the public that contains rail safety information.


(Gibson City--jc)  Friday is the final Friday for summer 2018. One Ford county town has its final cruise night on Friday. Gibson City is the venue for the cruise event. Various local groups and Gibson City area business are also participating. The Friday nite cruise takes place from 6 until 10  in Gibson City.



(Springfield-jc)  -- The Illinois Community College Board is launching a new statewide billboard campaign to help more adults meet their education goals. Whether it’s getting the G-E-D or finishing up adult literacy to English as a second language. Board Deputy Director Jennifer Foster says adults need these skills to earn a livable wage…



Illinois Community College Board Deputy Director Jennifer Foster

More information is found on-line at Adult-Education-Dot-Org


(Onarga--ab)  -- A fundraiser for 4-H is coming to the Iroquois County town of Woodworth.  The Ford-Iroquois 4-H Auction is set for November 18th. University of Illinois Extension spokesperson Deb Mason says the auction brings benefits to area kids...



U of I Extension Spokesperson Deb Mason


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Failed efforts to authenticate Abraham Lincoln's ownership of a stovepipe hat were kept secret for years by the nonprofit group that owns the hat. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation sought national museum experts' review in 2013 and an FBI DNA analysis in 2015 to prove Lincoln's link to the iconic hat. Neither turned up sufficient evidence it belonged to the 16th president.



(Washington--jc)  -- What does the latest soybean and corn price ratio mean? Stephanie Ho has the details…



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


(Addison--jc) -- -The National Federation of Independent Business has has endorsed Bruce Rauner for a second term as governor. N-F-I-B State Director Mark Grant says Governor Rauner is the clear choice for Illinois. N-F-I-B is the  nation’s leading small-business association. Grant added the endorsement was based on the candidate's record and position on issues affecting small businesses.



(Bloomington--jc)  -- An early morning collision on Wednesday caused three fatalities. State police say a semi driver going north along Interstate 39 just north of Bloomington lost control of his rig and struck a southbound semi head-on. The accident happened around 5-30 Wednesday morning.



(Danville-jc)  -- A man arrested in connection with a Vermilion County shooting is being held on 7 Million dollars bond. Police arrested 34 year old Yuri Lillard late Tuesday night in Colorado, according to a Channel 3 report. Lillard is has been charged with first degree murder and use of a weapon by a felon. Lillard is accused of shooting Tyrell Henderson last Saturday night in Danville.


As harvest is underway, drivers need to slow down for slow moving equipment. Ford County Sheriff Mark Doran says drivers needs to be patient and aware of an increase of deer crossing the roads.



Ford County Sheriff Mark Doran




(Washington--jc)  U-S-D-A is forecasting strong meat trade in beef and pork. Stephanie Ho has the details…



CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The Parkland College Board of Trustees approved its FY 2019 budget and hired a new athletic director Wednesday, as well as announced a successful refinancing of its bond debt at a greater savings to taxpayers than originally estimated.The board adopted the fiscal year 2019 budget, which includes a $333,191.00 operating surplus. Chief Financial Officer Chris Randles first presented the tentative budget in July, and the budget was on display for public review and input starting Aug. 1.Parkland College officials also named Brendan McHale as the school's next director of athletics, overseeing its eight Cobras sports teams.


(Paxton--jc)  -- WIth summer winding down, economic development remains very positive in Paxton, especially in the downtown area. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold says, several buildings are receiving upgrades and the streetscape program is going according to plan…



Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold



URBANA — One Urbana hotel has been ordered to remain closed after faulty fire alarms were found. The Garden Hotel in Urbana is closed until further notice. The order came from Urbana fire officials.


(Cissna Park--abjc)  Cissna Park’s Pumpkins in the Park event takes place on Saturday in the downtown area of the village. Cissna Park F F A Advisor Jeff Clifton says the day begins with a breakfast followed by a host of activities…



Cissna Park High School F F A Advisor Jeff Clifton.

Cissna Park is also hosting fall garage sale days on Friday and Saturday.


BLOOMINGTON — Health care closer to home for veterans came one step closer to reality Wednesday as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs selected a Bloomington site for a future $6 million outpatient clinic.The VA will locate its first clinic in McLean County at 207 Hamilton Road, Bloomington.The vacant building is the former Illinois Department of Employment Security office. The VA Clinic will serve several area counties including Ford and Iroquois.





McDonald's Workers Staging Protests in Several Cities in the First Multi-state Strike Seeking to Combat Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — McDonald's workers are staging protests in several cities in what organizers called the first multistate strike seeking to combat sexual harassment in the workplace. The protesters are demanding that McDonald's require anti-harassment training for managers and employees. The fast food chain declined to comment on the protests, saying it stood by a statement issued last week defending its anti-harassment policies.


WAUKEGAN, Ill. (AP) — A former Marine under a death sentence for killing a sailor in Virginia has pleaded guilty to fatally attacking two young girls in a suburban Chicago park in 2005. Thirty-year-old Jorge Torrez was sentenced Tuesday to 100 years in prison for killing 8-year-old Laura Hobbs and 9-year-old Krystal Tobias in Zion. Torrez was sentenced to death in 2014 for killing Navy Petty Officer Amanda Snell of Las Vegas.


(Springfield--ab)  -- This is National Farm Safety and Health Week.As harvest season begins, the Illinois Department of Agriculture is Highlighting some of the dangers associated with the industry. that includes being careful on rural roads says Spokesperson Denise Albert.



Spokesperson Denise Albert

Albert says farmers also need to take care of themselves as they work long days during harvest…and make sure kids know to be safe around large equipment.


(Cissna Park--ab) -  The Cissna Park FFA chapter is hosting their annual Pumpkins in the Park on September 22nd. Cissna Park Ag Advisor Jeff Clifton says there is events for people of all ages.



Cissna Park Ag Advisor Jeff Clifton**



(Paxton--jc)  -- The Ford County Public Health Department released the 2018 flu clinic schedule. A total of 15 Walk-In Flu Clinics are scheduled in Ford County beginning next week and lasting through October. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  and the Illinois Department of Public Health are strongly advising vaccinations for everyone 6 months of age and older. It is requested that those attending a clinic wear a shirt or blouse that provides easy access to the vaccination site.The first flu clinic is Monday September 24th from 9 til 11am at. Piper City Rehab & Living Center in Piper City



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois appellate court has upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit filed to stop a law that'll expand Medicaid and state-employee group health insurance to cover abortions. A three-judge panel of the Fourth District Appellate Court ruled unanimously that a Sangamon County judge correctly dismissed the lawsuit filed by anti-abortion groups. The judge ruled in January that courts shouldn't intervene in General Assembly "political questions." The Catholic Thomas More Society appealed the decision, saying lawmakers passed the measure too late in 2017 for it to take effect Jan. 1 and didn't appropriate funding. Republican state Rep. Peter Breen of Lombard was a lead attorney representing the pro-life organizations. He said the case will be appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court.


(Washington--jc)  -- USDA's latest crop report indicates a potentially huge U.S. corn crop on the way. Stephanie Ho reports…



(Watseka--jc)  -- A national test of the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System  originally scheduled for 20th September 2018 has been postponed to October Third. The Federal Emergency Management Agencies website has the official information on the scheduled test.


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



(Undated--jc)  --The CEO of Sears says among the financial problems the Illinois-based company is grappling with is long-term pension obligations.A think tank says it should be a wakeup call for governments to move away from offering defined-benefit plans to employees. Sears CEO Eddie Lampert said in a blog post that the changing retail landscape, with an increasing number of online shoppers, is a major issue, but he also said the company’s pension payments add to the problems. Lampert said in the last five years, Sears has contributed almost 2 billion dollars to pensions. Lambert added that if the company had been able to employ those billions of dollars in its operations, Sears would have been in a better position to compete with other large retail companies. Most of those do not offer large pensions Sears plans to close 78 stores across the country this month. Sears has already closed around 500 stores including those in Champaign and Bloomington, locally


(Springfield--ab)  -- This is national farm safety and health week,there are a lot of safety issues when it comes to farming says state Department of Agriculture spokesperson Denise Albert. That includes handling stress, farm equipment on rural roads and tractor safety.



the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s Facebook page will cover various safety topics and offer tips all week long.


(McLean County--jc)  -- A budget deficit for McLean County and cutting positions is in the past for the McLean County board. Last year McLean County officials cut jobs and reduced services. This year the McLean County Board voted to bring some county jobs back to the county. McLean County officials also want to add a county motor fuel tax to help with local road projects and more.




SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois State Fair lost nearly 210 thousand dollars on its Grandstand concerts in Springfield last month after seeing record ticket sales a year ago. Figures released by fair officials show it took a big hit over country star Thomas Rhett's weather-canceled show. The State Journal Register reports  the fair would have lost only 75 thousand on the nine scheduled concerts if Rhett could have performed. Five concerts didn't break even. Concerts headlined by alternative rock band 311 and metal band Halestorm each lost about 110 thousand dollars Three concerts were in the black, led by 132 thousand dollar profit for a country show featuring Luke Combs. Fair spokeswoman Morgan Booth says the grandstand had an extraordinary 2017 with nearly a quarter-million dollars in profit. Booth says the fair aims for a diverse concert lineup each year.



PITTSBURGH (AP) — A scientist who warned about the environmental threat of microbeads is one of six people being honored with $250,000 cash awards from the Pittsburgh-based Heinz Family Foundation. The annual Heinz Awards recognize achievement in the arts, public policy, the economy and other areas. Among the winners is SUNY Fredonia researcher Sherri Mason, who found that billions of tiny plastic microbeads were being released into the nation's waterways each day. Another winner is one from Illinois.  The winner from Urbana is environmental psychologist Ming Kuo.



(Washington--ab) USDA meteorologist, Mark Brusberg, has the latest on both the winter and spring wheat crops.



U-S-D-A Meteorologist Mark Brusber

(GIbson City-jc)  -- The Ford County Relay for Life event raised thousands of dollars for the American Cancer Society this past August. One team from Ford County continues to host events to raise more money. The Chic Meredith Ford County Relay for Life team is hosting a Euchre party on Friday night at the Moyer library in Gibson City.  The event starts at 6-30 and money raised goes to the Ford County Relay for Life.



(Buckley--jc)  Want to help raise money for a local Christian based high school? Then eat fish, or chicken.  Christ Lutheran High school is hosting a fish and chicken fry on Friday night at the Buckley American Legion. Donation is 10 dollars for adults and on the menu is fish, chicken, german and regular potato salad, cole slaw, baked beans and lemonade. All proceeds benefit Christ Lutheran High School in Buckley.



(Fisher--jc)  One local high school is celebrating its homecoming festivities this week. The annual homecoming parade in Fisher is set for tonight at 6-30. A pep rally follows tonight’s parade. A dance is set for Saturday night. The Fisher Bunnies. The Fisher Bunnies football team is 4 and Oh on the season and receiving votes in the latest I-H-S-A polls released on Tuesday


Illinois Farmers Mostly Staying Out of Back-and-Forth Over Whether Farm Bill Should Include Work Requirements for Food Assistance

(Undated--jc)  -- Illinois farmers are mostly staying out of the back-and-forth over whether the farm bill should include work requirements for food assistance.The federal farm bill, which contains a slew of government programs for crop insurance, farm credit, research and more, is in conference committee where U.S. senators and representatives are hashing out the differences between two separate versions.One sticking point is over whether able-bodied adults should be required to work or get job training in order to be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which used to be called food stamps.



(Paxton--jc)  -- City of Paxton leaders are looking to renovate the cities Pavilion at Pells Park. One estimate was for 150 thousand dollars. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold says the cost may be less.  Mayor Ingold says a 12 thousand dollar donation to help was received from the local V-F-W…


Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold

The project could start as early as this fall and Paxton city leaders want to have it completed by the 4th of July next year.



(Springfield--jc)  4 percent of soybeans have been harvested as we hear in the weekly crop report. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says last year only 1 percent had been harvested…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.ago.

75 percent of corn is mature and 12 percent has been harvested

WPXN’s Farmers Harvest Lunch in the Field Program begins this week. We will be bringing a Monical’s Pizza Lunch to an area farmer and talk about the local harvest over the noon hour on Wednesday.


(Rantoul--jc)  --The Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that they will host a job and  career fair for its members and community on October 12 from 11 to 1 at Rantoul Business Center. If you are hiring and would like to participate in the event or are an organization that offers job skills and workforce development services in order to help job seekers become more employable and would like to participate please call 217 893 3323


(Chicago---jc)  -- Should lawmakers tinker with the state’s income tax rates and scale them higher for people who make more money and lower for those who make less? That’s a question voters could answer in the governor’s race when they vote November 6th Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker wants a progressive tax, though he hasn’t revealed what the rates would be or what income levels might trigger higher taxes. He has said the rich should pay more and that he would work with lawmakers to determine a rate and income structure for the progressive income tax. Pritzker says it would take a couple years to implement a progressive tax because there would need to be a state constitutional amendment to change the existing flat tax to a system with graduated rates. To get more revenue to spend on programs in the short-term, Pritzker has proposed legalizing sports betting, marijuana for recreational use and implementing service taxes.  Governor Bruce Rauner says Illinois needs to do is to follow the federal government’s cue in cutting tax rates and simplifying the tax code.


CHAMPAIGN — A variety of fall-semester midterm courses at Parkland College will begin on Monday, October 15. All courses provide full college credit for successful completion within an eight-week period.Subject areas include art, music, theatre, math, history, communication, economics, English and psychology, among others.The deadline to register is Sunday, Oct. 14. Those interested may call the college at  217-/351-2482 or visit the Parkland College website at w-w-w-dot-partkland-edu-apply.



(Washington--jc)  -- Plans are already in place to get food quickly to victims of Florence. Gary Crawford reports…


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois House Republicans have ended campaign support for a sitting GOP lawmaker amid allegations of "harassment." The Chicago Tribune reported Friday that the House Republican Organization cut financial ties with Rep. Jerry Lee Long of Streator and asked him to step down. GOP spokeswoman Eleni Demertzis says campaign officials were "made aware of allegations into Rep. Long's behavior" but would not elaborate. Long wouldn't comment on the claim but says he won't quit the re-election race


Undated--ba)  -- It’s National Farm Safety week. Scott Heiberger of the National Farm Medicine Center discusses the need for farm parents and grandparents to keep younger kids safe in the workplace….



Scott Heiberger of the National Farm Medicine Center.



(Saybrook--jc)  One local V-F-W post is hosting a “Salute to Freedom” motorcycle ride event. Officials with the Saybrook V-F-W Post 4-5-4 say registration begins at 9-30 Saturday morning with the ride to begin at 10-30.  A Dinner, silent auction and music also hi-lite the event.



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



(Chicago--jc)  Hundreds of thousands of Illinois students are considered “chronically absent” and that may make life difficult for schools in light of the new federal education requirements. In the 2015 school year, the most recent year for which data was available over 335 thousand Illinois students missed at least 10 percent of their school days. This is what advocacy group Attendance Works classifies as “chronically absent.” In a report, the advocacy group said that a pattern of missing instruction can hurt a student’s development for years ahead. Attendance Works figure is higher than the Illinois State Board of Education’s because the state only measures chronic truancy, which is classified as missing five percent of school days, but doesn't include excused absences. In 2015, ISBE said nine percent of students were chronically truant, compared to Attendance Works’ finding of 16.5 percent of students being chronically absent in Illinois. That gap represents more than 150,000 students.


(Springfield--ba)  -- Voters are choosing Enrico Fermi as their number one pick for illinois scientists in the latest top 10 poll. Fermi developed the world’s first nuclear reactor and played a key role in the manhattan project. abraham lincoln presidential library spokesperson Chris Wills says James Watson, who discovered the shape of d-n-a takes the second spot...



Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Spokesperson Chris Wills.

You Can Vote Now In The Next Poll…top Illinois Athletes…at Illinois Top 200 Dot Com.

MURPHYSBORO, Ill. (AP) — A southern Illinois judge has thrown out a murder conviction in the 2014 death of a Southern Illinois University student. A Jackson County judge vacated Gaege Bethune's first-degree murder conviction Monday in 19-year-old Pravin Varughese's death, after saying that jurors could have been confused by wording in Bethune's indictment. A jury convicted the Eldorado, Illinois, man in June in Varughese's death, but his new defense attorney sought to have the conviction thrown out.


(Champaign County--jc)   Champaign County Crimestoppers are seeking information about a Champaign man wanted  on a failure to appear charge. 25 year old Douglass Driver is wanted on a no bond warrant for failure to appear for possession of a stolen vehicle.Driver is described as  , black, 5'9", 150 lbs., with black hair and brown eyes. His last known address is 714 West Vine Street, Champaign.Anyone with information is asked to call Champaign County Crime Stoppers.



(Springfield--jc)  The soybean harvest is underway as we here in the weekly crop report. 58 percent of soybeans are dropping leaves and 4 percent has been harvested. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 75 percent of the corn crop is mature…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener

2 percent of sorghum has been harvest. Average statewide topsoil moisture is 3 percent very short, 10 percent short, 80 percent adequate and 7 percent surplus.



(Rantoul--jc) On your things to do Friday night, how about a paint party. The Rantoul Recreation Department is hosting a “Paint Like Me” Party at the Rec building Friday evening at 6. Rec Department officials say a few more people are needed to make the event work. Those interested are asked to contact the Rantoul Recreation Department at 893-5700.


(Undated--ba) -- Its National Farm Safety week. Scott Heiberger of the National Farm Medicine Center says safety in agriculture has improved and has gained more attention over time...



Scott Heiberger of the National Farm Medicine Center.



(Paxton--jc)  -- A new business is now open in rural Paxton. Prairie Material is open for pick-up and delivery at 100 North 32-80 East road in rural Paxton. The company offers construction gravel, and Ag lime to construction sand. Phone sales are available at 708-514-0017.


(Rantoul--jc)  --.There will be a special meeting of the Rantoul Police Pension Board on Wednesday, September 26  3:00 PM. The meeting will be held at the Village of Rantoul Municipal Building on . Tanner Street. One new business item is the review and approval of transfer of Creditable Service for Eric Ruff from the Rantoul Police Pension Fund to the Urbana Police Pension Fund for just over 120 thousand dollars. The local board will also have an open period to hear concerns from local citizens.



INDIANAPOLIS – Garth Brooks, the reigning Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year, will take the stage in Indianapolis for a private show at this year’s 91st National FFA Convention & Expo. The premier youth leadership organization dedicated to preparing members for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture, the National FFA Organization boasts a membership of nearly 670,000 nationwide. The National FFA Convention & Expo remains one of the largest student conventions in the world, annually drawing more than 65,000 attendees.


Governor Bruce Rauner Promises to be Less Confrontational and More Understanding of His Opponents if Given a Second Chance

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A humbled Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, one of the most endangered state executives in the country, promised Thursday to be less confrontational and more understanding of his political opponents' views if voters give him a second chance in the November election.Fighting an uphill battle for re-election in a Democratic-leaning state, the first-term Republican delivered an unorthodox address that was part apology, part State of the State address, and part stump speech.


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — A University of Illinois report suggests that the school consider adopting a new sports mascot to help quell ongoing turmoil over the 2007 decision to do away with its longtime Chief Illiniwek portrayal. The report by a group of university administrators released Thursday also proposes greater campus education about Native American history and imagery, including presentations on why the use of Illiniwek is inappropriate.


(Washington--jc)  -- Winter wheat is starting to go in the ground. Here is USDA's first look at planting progress. Gary Crawford reports…




(Washington--jc)  The latest USDA crop production estimates show both corn and soybean production up for this year's crop and reaching record yields if realized. Rod Bain has the story...



(Paxton --jc)  Several members of the Eastern Illini Electric Cooperative are on the road today. They are heading the the Carolinas to help with the Huricanes and severe weather in that area of the country  The local crew will help South River E-M-C in recovery efforts.



URBANA — A Rantoul woman was killed in a crash early Thursday near Rantoul along Route 45 near Leverette road.Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup sayas 23 year old Shana Outlaw was pronounced dead at 6:40  Thursday morning at Carle Foundation Hospital. No autopsy will be performed, Northrup said.Illinois State Police Master Sgt. Mark Holley said Ms. Outlaw was headed south in the right lane of U.S. 45 just south of Leverett Road when her car developed a mechanical problem and she stopped and got out. About 5:50 a.m., a pickup truck driven by a 30-year-old man from East Lynn whose name was not released struck her car.


ELGIN – Governor Bruce Rauner and Faber-Castell Cosmetics announced the company’s first North American manufacturing facility in Illinois. The German company has leased a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Elgin that will be dedicated to producing cosmetic pencils for the North American market. The $9 million project will create 50 full-time jobs. The announcement comes after the Governor visited with the company in Stein, Germany in late spring.


CULLMAN, Ala. (AP) — Two inmates who escaped from an Alabama jail have been captured in Illinois.The Cullman County sheriff's office told news outlets that Justin Eugene Curington and John Patrick Parsons escaped Wednesday while assigned to pick up trash in Cullman.Details on where they were caught in Illinois were not immediately available.Deputies said the men will be returned to Cullman. 



(Paxton--ab)  -- The Paxton Swine and Dine is tomorrow in the city of Paxton. Paxton Area Chamber or Commerce Spokesperson Ashley Tolleys says there is events on Saturday for the whole family...



Paxton Chamber of Commerce Spokesperson Ashley Tolley



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



(Paxton--jc)  -- Summer is still here, but the autumn leaf raking process will begin soon. In Paxton, City leaders looked at options from a leaf vacuum to using local city workers to help with leaf removal in the fall. Due to high costs of any proposal, property owners in Paxton will have to get rid of leaves on their own. The City council in Paxton voted in July to ban burning leaves within city limits.


(Washington--ba)  -- Agriculture Secretary still hopeful for a new farm bill before the old one expires, but many issues stand in the way. Gary Crawford reports...




SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A federal appeals court has upheld Illinois' campaign contribution limits.The 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that the limits set in a 2009 law do not violate First Amendment free-speech rights . Illinois Liberty PAC filed a lawsuit in 2012. It challenged the campaign-finance limits imposed following scandals involving now-imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.Illinois Liberty PAC argued limits on individuals' contributions shouldn't be lower than those for corporations or unions. It complained that political parties and "legislative caucuses" formed by lawmakers may make unlimited contributions and that all limits are off when a self-funded candidate chips in enough.



(Paxton--ab)  -- The Paxton Swine and Dine is this Saturday. Paxton Chamber of Commerce Spokesperson  Ashley Tolley says the event starts early and pit passes are available...


Paxton Chamber of Commerce Spokesperson Ashley Tolley.


(Springfield--jc)  -- The state board of education is exploring ways to address the teacher shortage in the state. State Schools Superintendent Tony Smith says it starts with money problems as 90 percent of teaching vacancies last year were in struggling districts…



State Schools Superintendent Tony Smith

The state is in need of bilingual and special education teachers.


(Springfield--jc)  -A former member of the commission that oversees allegations of state lawmaker wrongdoing, and the state’s Auditor General, say an employee of the Legislative Inspector General dropped the ball on key issues.A report from Auditor General Frank Mautino published Thursday of the Legislative Inspector General’s office for fiscal years 2013-2016 found required financial, property and personnel reports were either not filed or filed late.Former commission member and former state Sen. Karen McConnaughay, R-St. Charles, who served on the commission from early 2015 until she retired from office this summer, said the commission needs to be held accountable to that.



(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner said  Thursday that the two-and-a-half year budget impasse was a fight for reforms. His opponents have called it a failure.While touting success like school funding reform, school choice expansion and criminal justice reforms, Rauner said he’s learned a lot in his first term. The governor says changes in state government are difficult.

As harvest season approaches, many people will be out traveling that aren’t familiar with rural areas. Ford County Sheriff Mark Doran has some advice for driving on rural roads.

Ford County Sheriff Mark Doran

(Paxton--jc)  A local author is hosting a book signing at tomorrows Swine and Dine in Paxton. Tabitha Eichelberger of Paxton is the author of the book, “Diary of a Lonely Prom Queen.” The book signing takes place from 10am until noon  at Hudson Drug and Hallmark in downtown Paxton.

(Loda-jc)-The Roger Schunke kicking cancer benefit ride  and the 2nd annual Ron Harness Memorial ride takes place on Sunday. Sign up is at 10-30 Sunday morning at the Rantoul V F W. The ride starts at noon  and ends at Murdocks in Loda around 3-30. Donation is 20 dollars per person and 30 dollars per couple . Live music, good food and a silent auction hilite the event at Murdock’s on Sunday




University of Illinois Says Record Number of Students Enrolled for Fall Semester

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois says it has a system-wide record number of students enrolled for the fall semester, including an eighth straight year of record enrollment at its main campus in Champaign-Urbana. University officials announced Wednesday that total enrollment at its three campuses grew 2.7 percent to nearly 85,600 students. The Champaign-Urbana campus saw a 3.2 percent boost in its student body to 49,339.


(Rantoul--jc)  A home fire in Rantoul caused damage to a garage and the attached house early Wednesday morning along Juniper Drive. Fire officials say  the blaze caused 60 thousand dollars in damage to the structure. No one was injured in the fire.


(Paxton--jc)  --Due to set-up, event hours, and tear down for the Paxton Swine ‘n Dine, the following streets will be closed starting at 8 p.m. Friday, September 14th:

Market Street: from Center to Holmes

Pells Street: from the alley behind Harvest Ale House and Frederick Community Bank to the Route 45 stop light

The post office will be accessible during office hours.

Frederick Community Bank plaza will be accessible during office hours from the alley.Streets will be open as the activities finish. Market Street from Pells Street to Center Street will be closed until Sunday, September 16th at noon.



(Leverette--jc)  One railroad crossing in Champaign County will be closed to through traffic starting on Monday.  Railroad workers will be fixing the crossing that is located in Leverette, just north of Champaign starting on the 17th at 7am. Work should take around 5 days. Motorists are asked to seek alternative routes in that area.



(Iroquois County-dg)-As farmers are getting into the fields for this harvest season, Iroquois County Sheriff Derek Hagen tells his deputies to remind the public to be aware of all the large slow moving equipment that will be out on the roads for several weeks.


 Iroquois County Sheriff Derek Hagen



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A central Illinois Catholic priest has been removed from ministry after church officials say he misused money from two parishes and pornography was found among his possessions. The Springfield diocese says the Reverend Barry Harmon went on medical leave last October from Mother of Dolors Parish in Vandalia and St. Joseph Parish in Ramsey. The diocese says reviews found Harmon misappropriated up to $29,000 from the parishes and was to repay the money. Diocese officials say Vandalia police determined no child pornography was involved, but that Harmon was charged in July with drunken driving.


NEW YORK (AP) — The #MeToo movement is coming to the Golden Arches. McDonald's workers have voted to stage a one-day strike next Tuesday at some of the company's restaurants in 10 cities in hopes of pressuring management to take stronger steps against on-the-job sexual harassment. Organizers say it will be the first multistate strike in the U.S. specifically targeting sexual harassment. McDonald's is defending its anti-harassment efforts and says it is recruiting outside experts to offer advice.


(Carolina--jc)  With the arrival of Hurricane Florence to the Southern Mid-Atlantic area today, what is the impact on crops and livestock. Rod Bain reports…




(Kankakee--jc)  Kankakee Community College will begin the process to choose another college president. Current president John Avendano announced this week he will step down from the position at the end of June next year.


(Chicago--jc)  --Illinois trails the rest of the nation in terms of wage growth since the Great Recession. Tied with Mississippi, Illinois employees had the second slowest wage growth in the country. One analyst says it’s because the cost of state government regulations limit what companies can offer.The Pew Charitable Trusts released data on all 50 states to show the growth or decline of personal income since the end of the Great Recession.While the national wage growth from late 2007 to the first quarter of this year was 1.6 percent, Illinois’ income growth was 0.7 percent. Only Connecticut had slower growth at 0.6 percent.Analyst Mark Glennon of Wirepoints said the high cost of doing business in Illinois limits what employers can offer employees, adding that is why some companies are leaving Illinois and the state is out of sync with what’s happening with the rest of the country.


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



(WASHINGTON) In a letter to President Trump Wednesday, the American Farm Bureau Federation, National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, National Sorghum Producers, American Coalition for Ethanol, Growth Energy, and Renewable Fuels Association urged the administration to act immediately to restore the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard and allow year-round sales of E15 and other mid-level ethanol blends. The groups also expressed concern that any benefit from year-round E15 sales and proper implementation of the RFS could be nullified if refiners are given further regulatory bailouts that undercut the spirit and intent of the law.



(Paxton--jc)  -- A handful of household hazardous waste collections will be held this fall. Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Spokesperson James Jennings says this is a time to get rid of chemical cleaners, oil based paint, antifreeze to weed killers…



I-E-P-A Spokesperson James Jennings.

Locations for the household hazardous waste collections include Danville and Decatur.



(Springfield--jc)  Illinois State police are taking a different look at distracted driving.  State troopers were driving semis along Interstate 55 on Wednesday and looking for distracted drivers. State police officials say it is one more way to help keep Illinois roadways safer.




(Washington--jc)  A congressman from Illinois has filed legislation to make last winter’s federal tax cuts permanent. U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis filed legislation this week that would make them permanent.The lower rates, the higher standard deduction, child tax credit, and other provisions would all become permanent under Davis’ bill. Davis says this is an opportunity for Democrats in the Senate to support tax relief for working Americans. Illinois residents save an average of 2 thousand 300 dollars annually under the cuts, according to the Heritage Foundation.



(Springfield--jc)  -- The state’s leading manufacturers’ group said Illinois could miss out on the benefits of a growing manufacturing sector despite a tentative U.S-Mexico trade deal. Even before President Donald Trump's administration announced a tentative deal with Mexico, the U.S. manufacturing sector was growing. Some have attributed the growth to federal tax cuts enacted this year and Trump’s deregulation efforts allowing for easier expansion and more operational investments, among other economic factors.The Institute for Supply Management recently  reported positive growth for the U.S. manufacturing sector for August.



(Chicago--jc)  The infant mortality rate is two to three times higher for black babies and one major cause is Sids. Rush University Medical Center Pediatrician Gina Lowell says parents are still bringing their babies to bed, putting them at risk. Looking at the issues from another perspective is also key says  D-C-F-S Acting Director B J Walker...



D-C-F-S Acting Director B J Walker


(Rantoul-jc)  Rescue crews are on the scene of a multiple car crash along Route 45 south of Rantoul. The Southbound lanes of route 45 are closed at this time. Police are reporting several injuries. WPXN News will update this story as more official news becomes available.



(Rantoul--jc)  Most Rantoul village officials will receive the same compensation with no raises for the coming year. Rantoul Village board members voted to keep the salaries at their current rate this week. One exception is a 12 hundred dollar raise for Village Clerk Janet Grey.



(Rantoul--jc)  The man who was taking several vintage planes apart has been charged with money laundering and theft. Channel 3 reports that 68 year old Ken Morrison on WHiting Indiana is accused of selling 2 ejection seats. Local police say he sold them for 125 dollars. Air Force officials say the seats are worth 40 thousand dollars.




Striking Chicago Hotel Workers Spend a Fifth Day on Picket Lines

DYER, Ind. (AP) — The U.S. military says human remains found decades ago on a Pacific island have been identified as those of a U.S. Marine from northwestern Indiana who died in a World War II battle against Japanese forces. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency says Pfc. Leonard A. Tyma's remains were identified using dental, anthropological and chest radiograph comparison analysis and other evidence. The 21-year-old Dyer, Indiana, man died on Nov. 20, 1943, during the first waves of the U.S. 2nd Marine Division's assault of the Gilbert Islands.


CHICAGO (AP) — Striking Chicago hotel workers spent a fifth day on picket lines as the walkout grew to 26 downtown hotels. Some visitors say hotels have scrambled to clean rooms and check in guests. The strike has targeted large chains including Hyatt, Hilton and Marriott, but The Chicago Tribune reports employees at the Cambria Chicago Magnificent Mile joined the strike Tuesday.



(Paxton--jc)  -- The budget for Paxton Buckley Loda schools shows a 24 million dollar deficit. The reason is the on going major upgrade project at Clara Petersen, and the high school. The actual budget shows a deficit of around 160 thousand dollars. The P-B-L School board will host a public hearing on the budget tonight before their regular monthly meeting. The budget hearing is at 6 followed by the regular meeting.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Corn harvest is underway as we hear in the weekly crop report. Just several days were suitable for fieldwork over the last week, but some producers got a little harvesting in, says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…




State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.

77 percent of the corn crop is in good to excellent condition and 37 percent of soybeans are dropping leaves.


(Undated--jc)--  Illinois lacks a clear economic advantage over its neighbors, according to new analysis. A group in New Hampshire created a method to measure New Hampshire's economic advantage over its neighbors as the tides of taxation there change. When an analyst did the same for Illinois and its neighbors, he said the results were revealing. New Hampshire had historically lower tax burdens than its neighbors in the northeast. New Hampshire has no income, sales, or estate taxes, which the nonprofit Granite Institute says gave it an advantage. Bill Bergman with Chicago-based Truth in Accounting saw the analysis and used the state datalabs database to evaluate Illinois and its neighboring states similarly. Illinois fared worse than its neighbors. Bergman said the metrics shouldn’t be seen as an indictment of state and local officials, but rather a lesson for the people who put them there if they’re concerned about the state’s economy.


(Undated--jc)  -- There’s still no deal between the U.S. and Illinois’ largest trading partner Canada, but a deal inked with Mexico has farmers in the Land of Lincoln feeling more optimistic.After months of trade uncertainty following the administration’s scrapping of the North American Free Trade Agreement, President Donald Trump announced late last month a deal with Mexico.Trump said last week in Montana that he’s winning on trade.Mexico is Illinois’ second-largest trading partner, with Illinois having sent nearly $9.5 billion in goods. Among the top exports to Mexico outside of automotive parts is corn. Canada is Illinois’ single largest trading partner; it took in nearly $16 billion in exports from Illinois in 2016.



(Chicago--jc)  -- A freelance automotive journalist worries a testing site operated by the Illinois Tollway Authority could be for more than just testing automated tollway technology. Paul Brian said he’s noticed a site with various sensors on northbound I-294 for years with a sign that reads “for testing purposes only.”Illinois Tollway Authority officials said the site is used for testing various sensors, but only for tollway purposes. The site, established in 2015, had an initial price tag of $2.7 million. The Illinois Tollway has used the test site to study a range of systems according to Illinois Tollway Authority spokesman Dan Rozek. He added that the site has been a resounding success based on how many technologies  have actually tested.


(Springfield--jc)  Farmers are able to carry a little heavier loads during this fall harvest in the state. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed an executive order to increase load limits by 10 percent. Illinois Ag Deputy Director Warren Goetsch says it will benefit farmers…



Illinois Ag Deputy Director Warren Goetsch

(Roberts--AB) The Village of Roberts had their regularly scheduled board meeting on Monday night,  Joy Gonzalez has resigned from the board and Taylor Behrends was sworn in to replace Gonzalez. The Village pumped 864,400 gallons of water in August. The village will meet with Ameren CIPS later today. They have voted and will close the library. 


OAKWOOD, Ill. (AP) — A power company wants to wall off Illinois' only national scenic river with rocks instead of removing toxic waste seeping into the water. The Middle Fork of the Vermilion River is home to three pits of toxic coal ash from a shuttered power station. State regulators worry the river is eroding the banks so quickly it could unleash a surge of coal ash. But instead of digging the muck, Vistra Energy proposed building a wall of rocks to armor part of the riverbank.



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



DANVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A federal reports shows that a Veterans Affairs hospital in eastern Illinois is having trouble filling many of its health care jobs. The national report released by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs found that the VA Illiana Health Care System in Danville had 167 open positions as of June 30. Of those, 105 openings were in the medical and dental fields.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Corn harvest is underway with some farmers in the Gibson City area and west of Watseka leading the way locally. 56 percent of corn is mature with 4 percent harvested as we hear in the weekly crop report. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says soybeans are inching closer to harvest..

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.

Average statewide toposil moisture is 3 percent very short, 6 percent short, 65 percent adequate and 26 percent surplus.


(Springfield--jc)  -- With between 3 and 5 inches of rain so far in the area and 4 to 8 inches in western Illinois, the amount of rain for the first half of the month is more than what Illinois sees in September, normally. State Climatologist Jim Angel says blame Hurricane Gordon and the other tropical storms could bring more moisture..



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


(Rantoul--jc)  --Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce officials are hosting a Community Coffee  this morning at 7-30 at the chamber offices in downtown Rantoul. You may your business cards, ideas, and network with other business owners and professionals or members of the Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce or community and brainstorm thoughts and ideas , meet great people and visit with old friends or make some new ones

 (Rantoul--jc)  -- Rantoul Community Night Out is one week away. The event is sponsored in part by  the Rantoul Police Department to help bring neighborhoods together and also get to know the local police force. The Rantoul Community Night Out is set for September 19th in the village.


(Gibson City--jc)  With the Labor Day Holiday complete and summer winding down, one Ford             

County city continues to make plans for a Halloween time event. Leaders in Gibson City continue to    make plans for the Gibson City Chamber’s annual Fright Night. The date for the event is set for     Tuesday October 23rd.


(Paxton--jc)  As part of the annual Swine and Dine in Paxton, a cruise is set for 5 on Saturday   afternoon. Participants are asked to get to the downtown area by way of the Holmes Street Bridge.   The cruise in begins at 5 on Saturday afternoon with bands at 6pm.


(Penfield--jc)  -- Gifford firefighters were called to a Penfield home on Tuesday morning to battle a   house ablaze. The fire occurred at the Bice home at 401 Elm Street in Penfield. Firefighters say the   home received around 100 thousand dollars in damages. No one was home at the time of the fire.   Firefighters believe the fire started in the basement area of the home..



(Washington--jc)  -- What agency will regulate new food products from cell culture technology and what should those products be called USDA and FDA will host a joint meeting on this next month. Gary Crawford  has the details… 



(Champaign, Illinois) — Prairie Gardens, a local retailer in Champaign since 1964, is joining forces with CASA with an exclusive Taste of Fall event. The event will be held Friday, September 14th from 6pm-8pm at Prairie Gardens. Guests will enjoy a special evening in celebration of the new fall season and to raise money for CASA. Guests will enjoy complimentary appetizers and beverages, expert-led fall decorating demos, new arrivals for fall, and more.

Prairie Gardens will be closing early for this private event and a $5 donation per guest is required. 100% of tickets sold, plus 10% of all sales this evening will be donated directly to Champaign County CASA. Additional donations can also be made to CASA at the event. 



University of Illinois Offering Free Tuition to Qualifying In-State Students

(Urbana--jc)  -- Illinois’ flagship public university is offering free tuition for four years to qualifying in-state students, and a state senator says Illinois is playing catch up with other states.State Sen. Chapin Rose said the University of Illinois’ program offering four years free tuition for in-state students whose family income is less than $61,000 is done mainly by combining federal Pell Grants with Illinois scholarship programs so Illinois schools can be more competitive. He said schools in other states have been marketing similar deals utilizing federal and state grants for years.



(Springfield--jc)  -- After a year of surveys and panel discussions, the Illinois State Board of Education found that teachers want what workers everywhere want: More money and job security.The State Board of Education recently released a report about the best ways to ease the state’s teacher shortage. State officials found that there is a statewide shortage of teachers. The need is acute for special education and bilingual educators in rural and poor school districts.The Board of Education is proposing programs to attract more young people to the teaching profession and making it easier to become a teacher in the state.


(Springfield--jc)  -- A battle is brewing over the peer-to-peer car rental market in Illinois.Gov. Bruce Rauner recently issued an amendatory veto, attempting to change a bill that would regulate personal vehicle renters and require them to pay the same taxes as big companies.   The governor says that peer-to-peer car sharing is an innovative new service that simultaneously allows vehicle owners the freedom to realize additional income on an existing household asset, while also affording consumers a new service to meet their mobility needs. He added that the bill he vetoed was ill-suited to thoughtfully regulate the new industry.



(Paxton--ab) The Paxton Swine and Dine is taking place this Saturday on Market Street.. Events begin at 6 AM with the BBQ competition registration. Other daytime events include a bags tournament, a petting zoo, food vendors, and inflatables. Event Spokesperson Ashley Tolley says  free concerts also hilite the annual downtown event for the city of Paxton…



Swine and Dine Spokesperson Ashley Tolley



SPRINGFIELD, ILL. – As the fall season approaches, Illinois pig farmers are facing numerous hurdles. This includes market uncertainty, costly challenges due to trade disputes, vulnerability to foreign animal diseases, and a labor shortage. In Illinois alone, these difficulties are impacting an industry that generates $1.8 billion annually to our state’s economy and offers 10,500 jobs. While the entire agriculture industry is struggling with similar issues, the pork industry is shouldering much of the burden.The Illinois Pork Producers Association board of directors just announced that they are committing $30,000 to the U.S. Meat Export Federation to specifically increase pork demand in Korea. Funds are effective immediately to ensure that action is taken before year end.Mike Haag, IPPA President from Emington, IL, is proud of the project and wants to get the word out.



(Paxton--ab) The Paxton Buckley Loda School Board has their latest meeting on Wednesday at 7 PM from the P-B-L administration conference room at the high school in Paxton.  Items that will be discussed are current school year grants, the 2016 Audit, and short term Substitute teachers.


(Rantoul--jc)  The Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce office in downtown Rantoul is the venue to discuss issues with local state Senator  Scott Bennett today. The event is set for noon to 1pm The local state senator will be answering constituents questions on issues for the hour



(Springfield--jc)  Today is the date Americans remember 9-11 2001. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is thanking first responders and emergency personnel for their service. The governor says these heroes deal with more than just natural disasters…


Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner



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



NORMAL — Illinois State University dropped in the latest Best Colleges rankings by U.S. News and World Report, but remains in the top 100 among best public national universities.  Illinois Wesleyan University's ranking was relatively unchanged in the ranking of national liberal arts universities. ISU was 91st among public national universities and number 171 overall, which includes both public and private institutions. IWU dropped one spot from a year ago, ranking number 72 this year.


(Paxton--jc)  -- City leaders in Paxton could move on leaves when they meet tonight in monthly session. The local council approved a ban on leaf burning in Paxton as of July 10th of this year. Options remain for city action from inactivity which puts residents in charge of leaf disposal to a leaf collections by the city. The Paxton City council meets tonight at 7 on the second floor of city hall.


(Springfield--jc)  -- New eligibility guidelines for free and reduced school lunches are being released and low-income families are encouraged to apply to the program. Income limits are set each year and Roxanne Ramage with the State Board of Education says the breakfasts, lunches and after school snacks help make sure students do not go hungry…



State Board of Education Spokesperson Roxanne Ramage.

Questions about the program are found at your local school.


(Paxton--jc)  Two will join the Paxton Buckley Loda Hall of Fame later this month. One from Paxton and the other grew up in the Buckley area. The new inductees  are invited for the parade and the homecoming football game on the 27th and 28th of this month. They are Tom Meents of Paxton and Carmen Gronewald of Buckley.


(Springfield--jc)--  Sunshine today in the WPXN listening area, but is has been a wet start to the month of September in Illinois, thanks, in part, to tropical storm Gordon. September’s statewide average precipitation has already hit 3 and one half inches and that is more than 3 inches above normal says State Climatologist Jim Angel…



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

The highest rain total was just east of St Louis in Clay City, where 10 inches of rain has fallen so for in September.


(Rantoul--jc)  Rantoul village leaders will swear in two new police officers when they meet in monthly session tonight. They are Officer Ashley Lyn Butt and Officer Adrian Alberto Gauna. Local leaders will also recognize new officer Alejandro Carajal. Agenda items include an outside liquor license for outside venues, purchasing a vehicle from Shields Auto Center and selling some village owned properties. The Rantoul Village board meets at 6 tonight in the municipal building on Tanner Street.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois State Police say the Labor Day Holiday was a busy weekend for troopers. State Police beefed up enforcement over the long weekend in support of operation care initiative says State Police Sergeant Jacqueline Cepeda…



State Police Sergeant Jacqueline Cepeda.

Cepeda says over the 4 day detail, troopers made almost 5 thousand traffic stops, 3 thousand speeding tickets, 101 D-U-I arrests and over 500 tickets for not wearing a seatbelt.


(Undated--jc)  -- September 11th 2 thousand 1 is a date that will live in the minds of all Americans. Several events are set for today around the area to commemorate the events of 9-1-1. In Iroquois County, the Iroquois County Republican Women’s club is hosting its 7th annual First Responders event at 6 this evening at the Milford Fire Department. In Paxton the  Ford County Republican Women’s group along with the Daughters of the American Revolution are hosting their event at 6 tonight at the Paxton Firehouse. Both events honor those in the military along with local police and fire department personnel. Other events include at the city building in Urbana at 7-30 this morning and at 8-46 this morning at west side park in Champaign.




Gov. Bruce Rauner Declares a "Harvest Emergency" to Help Crop-Hauling Illinois Farmers

NEW YORK (AP) — New York's new investigation into clergy sex abuse allegations in the Roman Catholic Church is delving into confidential church files in a state where hundreds of people have already made claims through internal church programs. But few criminal cases or lawsuits may come out of the inquiry. New York has some of the nation's strictest time limits on taking child sex abuse claims to court. Yet inquiries by several states could still be valuable to victims by bringing information to light.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A judge has sentenced a Springfield woman to an extra six months in prison after learning a letter of support she submitted to the court was falsified. The State Journal-Register reports 31-year-old Elizabeth Gonzalez was sentenced last month to 15 months in prison for embezzling more than $47,500 from a bank where she worked.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner has declared a "harvest emergency" to help crop-hauling Illinois farmers compete with those in neighboring states. The Republican's declaration allows haulers to exceed road-weight limits in taking crops to market. The free permits are available from the Illinois Department of Transportation.


(Rantoul-dg)-The Rantoul Township High School Board of Education will hold its regular scheduled meeting on Monday. Agenda items include purchasing of a School District vehicle, approving Substitute Teacher pay and items concerning personnel. The meeting comes to order at 7pm the in Rantoul Township High School Boardroom.


(Paxton--jc)  -- If you saw  lots of motorcycles and riders in Paxton on Sunday, there was a good reason. The annual 9-1-1 Memorial ride took place around several local stops yesterday. One was in Paxton as local firefighters and E-M-S held a lunch for the group.


(Champaign--jc)  A Rantoul woman is facing an aggravated battery charge after police say she stabbed her husband on Friday. 38 year old Sandra Findley was arrested early Saturday morning. Local police were called to a home along Brookshire drive on a report of domestic violence. Rantoul police say the wound is non-life-threatening.



(Undated--jc)  WIth the effects of Hurricane Gordon, it just does not have the feel of drought locally. U-S-D-A Meteorologist Brad Rippey looks at the significant month-over-month changes in drought coverage for various states …



U-S-D-A Meteorologist Brad Rippey.



(Paxton-jc)- What is next for  the subject of wind farms in Ford County? The Ford County planning commission is set to meet again later this month to discuss setbacks, ordinances and other local concerns. Last week, the county board committee meeting was a packed courtroom in Paxton on wind farms. One proposal is to place set backs at 25 hundred feet. Some in the county feel the positives for taxing bodies does not outway having windfarms in Ford County.

An adjourned meeting of the Ford County planning commission is set for 7pm on September 27th.


CHICAGO (AP) — Deadly blood infections persist in Illinois' understaffed nursing homes, according to a joint news investigation. The Chicago Tribune and Kaiser Health News found that about 6,000 Illinois nursing home residents a year who were hospitalized had sepsis, a bloodstream infection that can quickly turn fatal if not if not cared for properly. About 1 in 5 didn't survive, according to an analysis conducted for KHN by Definitive Healthcare, a private health care data firm. Sepsis is developed in bedridden patients with pneumonia, urinary tract infections and other conditions, including pressure sores. Sepsis can be prevented by turning immobile people every two hours and taking other precautions.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The remains of an Illinois native shot down over Germany 74 years ago during World War II have been identified. The P-0-W and M-I-A Agency announced last week that it had identified 28-year-old Herbert W. Harms. He was a native of Rutland Illinois. Harms was an Army Air Force tail-gunner on a B-17 bomber. His plane was shot down on a mission to Zeitz, Germany on Aug. 16, 1944. Eight of nine crewmembers bailed out safely and were held as prisoners of war.


GRIFFITH, Ind. (AP) — A winning Powerball lottery ticket sold in northwestern Indiana will expire Monday if the $50,000 prize goes unclaimed.The (Northwest Indiana) Times reports that the ticket must be redeemed by 5 p.m. Monday at the Hoosier Lottery headquarters in Indianapolis.The ticket for the March 14 Powerball drawing was purchased at a Speedway gas station in Griffith.

While it wasn't a winner of the big cash prize, it secured a smaller payout by matching four of the five non-Powerball numbers drawn.



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



(Undated--jc)  -- Illinois high school students are more likely to text while behind the wheel than their counterparts nationwide, according to a new study. Some 38 percent of high school students across the nation text while driving, translating to nearly four in 10 students, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health. At 42 percent, Illinois had a slightly higher percentage of high schoolers texting while driving than the national average in 2015. The study was based on data obtained from 35 states that participated in the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey.



(Rural Illinois--jc)  -- Rural parts of Illinois could finally get high-speed internet thanks to new federal grants.Almost $100 million in funding is coming from the Federal Communications Commission from a fund created with some of those fees found on phone and internet bills.Illinois Telecommunications Association President Randy Nehrt said the grants were awarded through a bidding process. One stipulation of the grant money is that the companies winning the auctions must bring service to at least 40 percent of the new customers within three years. They have 10 years to complete the projects.


(Washington--jc)  - What does the ag trade look like for the first 10 months of the fiscal year. U-S-D-A trade economist Bryce Cook has the numbers…


U-S-D-A trade economist Bryce Cook.


(Watseka--jc)  A dead crow in Southern Iroquois County has tested positive for the West Nile virus. Iroquois County Public Health Department officials say the crow was found Loda. The virus remains  a possibility due to the time of year and wet conditions. Public Health officials continue to inform local residents to take precautions especially at dawn and dusk where mosquitos are out.


(Rantoul--jc)  There were some military type actions on the former Chanute Air Force base on Saturday and Sunday. The reason was an airsoft event. The Sleeping Giant airsoft event saw around 160 participants fire plastic pellets in a competition. The event took place around Grissom Hall in the southern part of the village.


(Springfield--jc)  - The State is launching a new college and career planning tool for students and parents.  The Illinois College to career website lets families plug in the type of school and field of study students are considering. Illinois Community College Board Executive Director Karen Hunter Anderson says its a valuable resource…



Illinois Community College Board Executive Director Karen Hunter Anderson.

The website is I-L-College-2-career-dot-com


(Springfield--jc)  -- Attendance was down but vendor sales were up at this years Illinois State Fair in Springfield. More than 369 thousand people attended the annual event. That is an 8 percent decrease compared to last year. Illinois State Fair Spokesperson Denise Albert says it was a good fair with high vendor receipts…



Illinois State Fair Spokesperson Denise Albert.


(Paxton--jc)  Two Ford County based groups are hosting a 9-1-1 remembrance event tomorrow evening. The Ford County Republican Women and National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution have a community event at 6 p.m. Tuesday at  at the Paxton firehouse on North Market Street in the city. The event commemorate the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and also to honor and recognize local and firefighters, area emergency personnel, to police officers and ambulance drivers.


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Parkland College announces the grand opening of its new cafe, Betsy’s Bistro at Parkland Today is the first day for the new college venue in the Student Union cafeteria. Hours of operation are 7-30am to 3pm Monday through Friday  Menu items include breakfast sandwiches, pancakes, fresh-made doughnuts and fresh-ground specialty coffees for breakfast, with burgers, crispy chicken sandwiches, fresh-cut fries, wood-fired pizza, wraps and a salad and noodle bar for lunch says Doug Richter, executive chef for the Parkland campus cafe



llinois State Police Busy Writing Tickets and Giving Warnings Concerning Speed on Interstate 74

(Champaign-dg)-The Illinois State Police have been busy writing tickets and giving warnings concerning the speed on Interstate 74 in Champaign. The Illinois Department of Transportation lowered the speed limit to 60 miles per hour to help reduce traffic accidents.


(Springfield-dg)-Treasurer Mike Frerichs’ new program “MONEY MATCH” aims to return 12 million dollars to Illinois taxpayers. Those with two thousand dollars or less in unclaimed money may soon be getting a check in the mail. Treasurer Frerichs explains how Money Match works.


Treasurer Mike Frerichs

Notification letter will be sent this month and once addresses are verified… checks will be mailed.


(Paxton-dg)-It was a packed courtroom in Paxton as concerned citizens heard discussion on proposed changes to Ford County’s ordinance regulating wind farms. The Ford County Planning Commission advisory panel voted to adjourn the meeting to 7pm on September 27 for further discussions.


(Loda-ba)-The American Legion Riders are having their Roger Schunke Kicking Cancer Benefit Ride & the 2nd annual Ron Harness Memorial Ride Sunday, September 16th. Signup will start at the VFW in Rantoul at 10:30 with the ride commencing at noon, ending at Murdock’s in Loda around 3:30 with food, music, and a silent auction.


NEW YORK (AP) — Burt Reynolds, the handsome film and television star known for his acclaimed performances in "Deliverance" and "Boogie Nights" and an active off-screen life that included relationships with Loni Anderson and Sally Field, has died at age 82.


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



(Springfield-dg)-Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is expected to declare a harvest season emergency later this morning, allowing farmers to apply to the Illinois department of Transportation to get a free permit to haul 10 percent over their gross vehicle weight and axle weight limit on state highways. Local authorities will have the ability to grant similar permits.


(Springfield-dg)-The Illinois department of Public Health is working to get more people vaccinated against Hepatitis A. I-D-P-H is sending HEP-A vaccine to nearly a dozen local health hopes of vaccinating those most at risk which include drug users, men who have sex with men and the homeless. Director Dr. Nirav Shah sasy Hepatitis A si an infection that can damage the liver.



Shah sasy there have been outbreaks of Hepatitis A in several other states...but none so far in Illinois.


(Danville-ba)-The Vermilion County Museum Society will be hosting  Behind the Tombstone, a resident guided walking tour at Spring Hill  Cemetery in Danville on September 14th, 15th, and 16th with all proceeds benefiting the Vermilion County Museum. Tickets are available at the Vermilion County Museum during regular Museum hours, Thursday through Saturday, 10:00 am to 5:00pm.

Paxton’s Swine and Dine event is one week away. There will be plenty of food and activities going on. Event spokesperson Ashley Tolley has some details about the concert.

Event spokesperson Ashley Tolley

(Gibson City-dg)-It’s never too early to start thinking about Christmas. For one area town that’s just what they’re doing. Gibson City Mayor Dan Dickey wants to change the name of the Gibson Area Chamber of Commerce Lighted Holiday Parade to the Gibson City Christmas Parade. He and his wife are leading the organization of this year’s November parade. The Theme for this year’s parade is “An Old Fashioned Christmas.

Gibson City-dg)-Three area high schools are teaming up to give students an unique learning experience. Paxton-Buckley-Loda, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley, and Fisher high schools will be implementing the Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship Prairielands CEO program. The Program will involve students visiting local businesses and hearing from guest speaker from local businesses. And it will all be done without textbooks or classrooms. The curriculum is based on the experiences of the business community. A selection committee will select students based on their application and references provided. The students need to be trustworthy with good work ethics, but not necessarily a straight A student.

The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10am to 2pm Saturday, September 8th in its parking lot to help raise funds for the Paxton Evangelical Covenant Church. Pork chops, sandwiches, chips, and soda will be for sale.



State Universities Could Learn Lesson from EIU

(Charleston)-One Eastern Illinois University trustee says the state's other struggling universities may want to look to EIU to get their schools back on track. Three years ago, Eastern Illinois University Trustee Dan Caulkins said the outlook for the school was gloomy. Enrollment was falling, the school had just spent $25 million from reserves, and then Illinois' budget stalemate came.  But Caulkins said over the past three years, EIU has cut programs, narrowed its focus and turned around its enrollment numbers. Caulkins said higher education in Illinois and across the country is changing. And higher education institutions must adapt to the changes.  


(Bloomington)-According to an annual survey from the National Federation of State High School Associations, the total number of football players in the state has dropped about 17 percent in the past few years from 47,068 to 40,111. Matt Troha, assistant executive director with the Illinois High School Association, said injury concerns and new research on concussions play a factor. He said the IHSA has taken steps to make the sport safer. “Most of them revolve around the practice schedule,” Troha said. “The amount of time you’re allowed to practice, what days you can practice, how often you can wear equipment and go full pads and hit when you are practicing.” He adds that shifting enrollment patterns in the city Chicago with the influx of small charter schools, is also to blame. “Many of them are very small and don’t field a team. The opportunity to have a team might not be there. They might be located in an old factory or office building where there’s no gym or football field.



Nike has unveiled its first "Just Do It" ad narrated by Colin Kaepernick, a spot scheduled to air during the NFL season opener Thursday night as well as during the U.S. Open tennis tournament and other major sporting events.

The two-minute spot released Wednesday highlights superstar athletes LeBron James, Serena Williams and others, and touches on the controversy of NFL players protesting racial inequality, police brutality and other issues by demonstrating during the national anthem.



IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The Mexican man charged with killing an Iowa college student was known for years on the dairy farm where he worked by another name: John Budd. Yarrabee Farms is facing scrutiny over whether its managers had any idea that Cristhian Bahena Rivera was in the country illegally before the slaying of Mollie Tibbetts. The name under which Rivera worked for the last four years was confirmed by three people with knowledge of his employment history who spoke on condition of anonymity.



WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department says it's convening a meeting later this month to discuss concerns that social media companies may be hurting competition and "intentionally stifling the free exchange of ideas on their platforms." The statement comes on the same day as Facebook and Twitter executives appeared at congressional hearings. Both companies pledged to better protect their social media platforms in the 2018 elections and beyond.



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



(Springfield)-The state of Illinois has less than a month to set thousands of workers five years ahead in pay and explain how it's going to pay them four years worth of back wages with interest, something the state may claim that it can't afford. The state has until Oct. 1 to set 14,000 union workers’ pay to what it would be had they gotten step increases since 2015. This comes from one of the final legal motions regarding Gov. Bruce Rauner’s decision to freeze the pay of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 members when their contract expired. The state would have to also explain its claim of “insufficient funds” to pay the more than $400 million in back wages, according to the AFSCME release. The Illinois Labor Relations Board wouldn’t turn over the ruling without being legally compelled via a Freedom of Information Act request.



(Springfield)-About 1,000 emergency response crews from around Illinois have been spending time this week in Springfield hearing about lessons learned from recent shootings, both deadly and narrowly averted. Mike Chamness, chairman of the Illinois Terrorism Task Force, said attendees will hear about the task force’s proposals to help address school shootings.The 2018 Training Summit event sponsored by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency was free for attendees with sessions on a variety of issues. Vendors of various services for emergency managers were also on hand showing off services and goods. It wraps up today.



(Chicago)-With Rahm Emanuel's announcement this week that he won't seek re-election, Chicago has a new opportunity to elect a mayor who will help the city tackle some of the systemic issues that have it held it back for decades. After Emanuel's announcement, Rockford Republican Dave Syverson correctly noted that Chicago is a key economic engine for all of Illinois and that Chicago's mayor holds the key to that engine. Furthermore, Syverson said all of Illinois should care about who becomes Chicago's next mayor


(Champaign)-December corn prices approached contract lows not seen since the second week of July as August ended. The continued weakness in corn prices persists despite 2018-19 marketing-year projections of stocks to use near 11 percent. The August Crop Production report forecasted 2018 corn production at 14.586 billion bushels with a yield of 178.4 bushels per acre. According to University of Illinois agricultural economist Todd Hubbs, the corn yield forecast has recently come under scrutiny due to the latest industry estimates predicting yields below the current projection. “The question is whether the corn production forecast will change enough to result in higher prices than those currently reflected in the market,” Hubbs says.


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - A central Illinois city has approved settling two lawsuits accusing police of wrongdoing for a combined $3.7 million. The News-Gazette reports that the Champaign City Council approved the settlement Tuesday, with the bulk of the funds going to a man alleging he was wrongfully incarcerated for nearly 18 years. The council also approved a $220,000 settlement for a man who sued the city and two officers for excessive force. The city doesn't admit any liability or wrongdoing in the settlements.



NEW YORK (AP) — With the start of the NFL season tonight, there is good news for football fans: It's going to be much easier to watch NFL games online this year. The league is finally dropping a requirement that viewers sign in with a cable or satellite subscription, in hopes of expanding its online audience at a time when TV ratings are declining . Though there are restrictions — no free streaming on smart TVs, for instance — the move marks a significant departure for sports. Other major professional leagues still require TV subscriptions for hometown teams.



New Children's Concussion Guidelines Recommend Against Routine X-rays and Blood Tests for Diagnosis



CHICAGO (AP) — New children's concussion guidelines from the U.S. government recommend against routine X-rays and blood tests for diagnosis and reassure parents that most kids' symptoms clear up within one to three months. Signs of potentially more serious injuries that may warrant CT imaging scans include vomiting, unconsciousness and severe, worsening headaches, according to the guidelines released Tuesday. The guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are the first broad evidence-based recommendations for diagnosing and treating children's concussions, the researchers say. They evaluated 25 years of scientific research on managing concussions in children and chose procedures with the strongest evidence of benefit.


EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — Insurance giant State Farm on Tuesday reached a $250 million preliminary settlement in a federal class-action lawsuit claiming the company funneled money to the campaign of an Illinois Supreme Court candidate. The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis alleged Bloomington-based State Farm secretly funneled money to the campaign of Supreme Court Chief Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier while he was a candidate for the high court in 2004.


HARRISBURG, Ill. (AP) — A prosecutor says a southern Illinois physician charged with killing his estranged wife and destroying her body will have his trial delayed because of questions over his fitness to stand trial. Saline County State's Attorney Jayson Clark tells The Southern Illinoisan he was ready to start the murder trial for Brian Burns of Harrisburg later this month.



BLOOMINGTON — A Peoria resident pleaded guilty to murder Tuesday in the December 2016 death of a 41-year-old man during a kidnapping that started at the victim's home in Normal. The Pantagraph reports that 30 year old Danny SMith Junior was charged with kidnapping and murder in connection with the death of Maunds Bryant of Normal. In an open plea agreement with the state that did not include a prison sentence, Smith pleaded guilty to a single count of murder. He is eligible for a term of 20 to 60 years in prison when he is sentence on November 20th.


(Washington--jc)  -- Sports teams can fall in the rankings in no time; but it's not limited to sports. Rankings can change drastically in the world of agricultural buying and selling. Gary Crawford has the numbers…




(Chicago--jc)  Walt Disney leads the list of Illinois Entertainers in the latest Illinois top10 poll. Disney was born in Chicago  and studied at the art institute of Chicago. He holds the record for the most academy awards as a film producer says Abrhahm Lincoln Presidential Library spokesperson Chris Wills. There are more top names on the list…


Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Spokesperson Chris Wills

The next category to vote is the state’s top scientists at Illinois-Top-200-dot-com.



(Gilman--jc)  Iroquois West school board members have two items on a special agenda meeting on Thursday of this week. The board will look at Crescent City communication and hear in a closed session student disciplinary cases. The Iroquois West school board meets on Thursday night at 7 at the high school in Gilman.


(Springfield--jc)  -- The average statewide temperature for this past week was more than 76 degrees. That’s about three and a half degrees above normal. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 90 percent of the corn acres have dented…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.

16 percent of soybeans are dropping leaves and the statewide topsoil moisture is 4 percent very short, 17 percent short, 72 percent adequate and 7 percent surplus



(Gibson City--jc)  Harvest fest is coming soon to one Ford County city. Gibson City leaders are meeting later this week to consider a special license for the Sand Trap restaurant and bar in conjunction with the annual event, This years Gibson City Harvest Fest is set for Friday and Saturday. Music, beer garden, bags tournament and a kids area hilite this years event.


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


(Farmer City--jc)  A portion of Interstate 74 near Farmer City was dedicated to a fallen Illinois State Police Trooper. 37 year old Ryan Albin was killed on duty last year on I-74. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner attended the dedication ceremony…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner.

Illinois State police Director Leo Schmitz also made comments on the somber ceremony…



Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz

The Ryan Albin Memorial Highway stretches from.mile marker 155 to mile marker 160 near Farmer City


(Paxton--jc)  -- Two Ford County service groups are planning a community event next week to commemorate September 11th 2001. The Ford County Republican Women’s group and the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution have set  the event for 6pm on Tuesday evening at the Paxton firehouse on Market street in the city. The groups will also recognize and honor local emergency personnel from firefighters, police officers and ambulance drivers at the 9-11 event. A raffle is also on going for the two organizations.


CHICAGO (AP) — A federal judge has refused to overturn the fraud conviction of an Illinois judge. Earlier this year, a jury convicted Cook County Circuit Judge Jessica O'Brien of fraudulently obtaining mortgages for Chicago investment properties and illegally pocketing more than $300,000. U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin on Tuesday denied several motions made by defense lawyers for O'Brien, including those seeking an acquittal or a new trial. She is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 9


(Paxton--jc)  -- One local business is planning its grand re-opening for this month. The Paxton NAPA store will celebrate the grand re-opening on Friday September 14th. The Store is located on south Market Street in the city.  The event takes place from 11am to 1pm and a lunch will also be served to those attending the event.


(Piatt County--jc)  An Allerton Illinois man was not injured in a one vehicle accident along Interstate 72 in Piatt County on Tuesday. The crash of the truck and its rock load, did block the interstate for several hours. 37 year old Corey Kilgore  was cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. The accident blocked the exit ramp for several hours.


(Champaign--jc)  State police reported another  incident in a construction zone on Tuesday afternoon along Interstate 74 in Champaign County. Police say a semi tractor trailer stalled in a construction zone near the Cunningham Avenue exit around 5pm Tuesday. . The stalled vehicle caused a large back up of vehicles in the area. The roadway was cleared after about one hour.



(Rantoul--ab) Rantoul high school has a new security system. The system is called Raptor. The way Raptor works is that when someone enters the high school's main office, they will be asked to present an I-D, such as a Driver’s License. That information will be put into the Raptor system. One use of the Raptor system is to make sure that registered sexual offenders are not entering our school without the schools  knowledge. The Raptor system checks the visitor's name and date of birth for comparison with a national database of registered sex offenders. No information is shared with other entities. School officials are ready to answer any question about the Raptor system at Rantoul Township High School.


(Springfield--jc) It was a warm week for Illinois fields as we hear in the weekly crop report. Five days were suitable for fieldwork this past week. State crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says soybeans are turning color on 49 percent of acres…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusner.

Schleusener says 36 percent of corn is now mature and 75 percent of the state’s corn crop is in good to excellent condition.




Chicago – Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced she joined with 17 other attorneys general to file an amicus brief in Ramos v. Nielsen supporting plaintiffs’ efforts to prevent the potential deportation of hundreds of thousands of people who hold Temporary Protected Status in the U.S.  In this case, plaintiffs are seeking a preliminary injunction blocking a new rule issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for purposes of determining whether to extend a country’s TPS designation. The plaintiffs allege that the rule has resulted in the termination of TPS status for natives of El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan and violates the due process rights of TPS holders and their children, and constitutes discriminatory action against TPS holders from Latin America and Africa.




Portion of Interstate 74 to be Named in Honor of Fallen State Trooper Ryan Albin Today

(Farmer City--jc)  Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is expected in Farmer City this afternoon. The governor is delivering remarks at the Illinois State Trooper Ryan Albin Highway dedication ceremony. The event is set for 1-30 this afternoon at the Trinity Community Fellowship Church along Clinton avenue in the city. State leaders passed a resolution to re-name the portion of the local interstate in his honor says State Senator Chapin Rose…



State Senator Chapin Rose of Mahomet.

Albin was fatally injured while on the job as an Illinois State Trooper.  Interstate 74 from mile marker 155 to 160 will be named in Trooper Albin’s honor


BLOOMINGTON — The state agreed with lawyers for John Y. Butler on Friday that 16 counts of theft should be dismissed against the man who once oversaw operations of a Bloomington owned arena. Judge Bill Yoder dismissed the counts after Assistant State's Attorney Brad Rigdon acknowledged the allegations involve alleged misconduct outside the statute of limitations for criminal charges. Rigdon said the charges will be rewritten to address the deficiencies and refiled within the next several weeks.


(Rantoul--jc)  -- One local state senator is hosting a town hall meeting this afternoon in Rantoul. State Senator Scott Bennett, democrat of Champaign will meet with constituents from 5-30 until 6-30 this afternoon at the Rantoul Business Center. A second town hall meeting with Bennett is set for the Westville City Hall on Wednesday afternoon at 5-30.


CHICAGO (AP) — Police arrested a dozen participants of an anti-violence protest on Labor Day that tried and ultimately failed to shut down an expressway that leads to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. Live TV reports Monday showed Illinois State Police troopers also arresting the main organizer of the protest, the Rev. Gregory Livingston. State police say a dozen people were arrested, handed $120 citations and then released.


(Chicago--jc)  -- A company owned by Democratic gubernatorial candidate J B Pritzker is warning its employees not to join a union, according to a letter one of its employees posted to Facebook. A Channel Three report says the letter states that there's only one way to guarantee that you can avoid the problems a union could possibly cause and to just say no.  Billy Dean, an employee for SeaDog Ventures, which is an Entertainment Cruises company, posted the letter to his Facebook page. Entertainment Cruises is owned by The Pritzker Group, which is owned by Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker and his brother Tony Pritzker.


(Washington--jc)  -- Reaction from Ag officials over a report on meat and poultry testing. The article appeared in this week’s Consumer Reports. U-S-D-A Food and Safety Inspection Service Administrator Carmen Rottenberg says they do extensive inspection on meat and poultry for drug residues and other contaminants…


U-S-D-A Food and Safety Inspection Service Administrator Carmen Rottenberg.



(Urbana--jc)  One thousand 300, that is the amount of seats available for an event with former U S President Barack Obama. The former leader is making a visit to the Urbana-Champaign campus of the University of Illinois on Friday. A seat lottery for students at the local college started last week and over 20 thousand have entered,  Obama will speak at 11am on Friday at Foellinger Auditorium.


(Ford County--jc)  -- Wind farms and the future of wind farms will be the subject of a meeting in Paxton on Thursday. A Ford County board committee has recommended that setbacks for new windmill projects in the county move to 25 hundred feet.  A large crowd is expected for the meeting on Thursday. The meeting comes to order at 7-30 inside the first floor courtroom at the Ford County Courthouse in Paxton.



(Paxton--jc)  -- The Paxton Foundation is starting to fundraise for the current year.  The local group raises money to help with academic needs for students in the Paxton Buckley Loda School district. Teacher grants along with a 45 thousand dollar grant for laptop carts were provided over the past year. The Paxton Foundation has also has a new website addition that allows donations  to be placed securely on-line.



KANKAKEE, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois county has approved a memorial honoring three former governors from Kankakee, including convicted ex-Gov. George Ryan.

The Kankakee County board endorsed it in a 10-to-2 vote last week. It'll be on the Kankakee courthouse lawn. It'll also be dedicated to Len Small, governor from 1921 to 1929; and Samuel Shapiro, governor in the late 1960s. Member Michael LaGesse opposed it, saying he didn't get one call in favor. Board member Robert Ellington-Snipes expressed reservations, citing Ryan's corruption convictions. But he said Ryan also did some "good." He voted for the plan. The Woman's Club of Kankakee led the drive for the memorial in the city. The group hopes to have it completed in October.



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


(Paxton--jc) With the Labor Day Holiday over, there is still summer left and the hot weather to go with it. That also means there remains a possibility for the West Nile virus. Ford County Public Health Department spokesperson Christie Wallace says to be aware of where mosquitoes are especially during dawn and dusk hours…


Ford County Public Health Department Spokesperson Christie Wallace


BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) — The Bloomington City Council will consider a proposal to penalize landlords who repeatedly violate city housing codes. The Pantagraph reports the review comes after one landlord racked up nearly 800 code violations at six rental properties. One of those buildings was destroyed by fire earlier this year. Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner says the council needs to take another look at the issue and chronic offenders. Renner says, "We need to come after them and we need to come after them hard."



URBANA, Ill. (AP) — Officials have picked sites at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus and in Springfield to become part of a Chicago-based high-tech innovation center.The University of Illinois Springfield recently acquired Innovate Springfield, a downtown business and innovation incubator, to house the first hub of the Illinois Innovation Network. The Springfield hub will connect to the Discovery Partners Institute in Chicago.The Springfield hub decision comes months after Illinois lawmakers awarded the University of Illinois system $500 million in state money to build DPI and to establish hubs across the state. DPI is the centerpiece of the innovation network, which aims to accelerate economic growth in Illinois through research and innovation.


(Washington--jc)  Harvest time is right around the corner. Farm income is on the line. U-S-D-A Chief Economist Rob Johansson talks the basics of farm income…


U-S-D-A Chief  Economist Rob Johansson.

(Chicago--jc)  -- The month of August has provided some good news for Illinois small businesses. Recent reports indicate national gross domestic product increasing at a 4.2 percent annualized rate, the fastest since the third quarter of 2014. Mark Grant, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, said small businesses are feeling the effects of that growth here in Illinois and says some are  super-excited because of the amount of business and others continue to hire more employees. Meanwhile, a new survey from the Tax Foundation estimates Illinois will add nearly 9,000 jobs this year as a result of tax cuts in Washington, and nearly 60,000 by 2025.


(Rantoul--jc)  -- The current finalist for the Rantoul Village Administrator position is down to two. Rantoul village leaders are meeting with the pair later today and local leaders could name a new village administrator as early as this Thursday. The two candidates are Jeffrey Eder, the city administrator of East Peoria, and Scott Eisenhauer, the mayor of Danville. Current Rantoul Administrator Rick Snider has stayed on at the position through the end of this month. He is moving to the East Coast.



(Washington--jc)  The Agriculture Secretary believes a recent deal with Mexico, and securing an agreement with Canada, would help the U.S. in advancing additional trade agreements going forward. Rod Bain reports..




(Milford--jc)  One local political organization is honoring first responders next week. The Iroquois County Republican Women’s Club’s 7th Annual First Responder Appreciation Celebration at 6 p.m. Sept. 11. The celebration takes place at the Milford Fire Station. The public is invited to the event.



CHICAGO (AP) — More than two dozen libraries across Illinois will receive grants to teach middle and high school students how to use the latest technology. Secretary of State Jesse White, who also serves as the state librarian, announced the some $525,000 in Project Next Generation grants.

The program provides funding for libraries to offer after-school programs with access to computers, software and other technology. Mentors are hired to help  them. They include libraries in Carbondale, Chicago, Decatur, Joliet, Kankakee, Moline, Peoria and Sparta..


(Paxton--jc)  -- The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a Lunch ‘N Learn event on Thursday. Kodi Smith of Ameren Illinois will speak about the utility company’s energy-efficiency program. Lunch will be provided. More information on cost is found by calling the Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce.



Congress Has Until the End of September to Get New Farm Bill to President Donald Trump's Desk

(Washington--jc)  -- Talks are now under way between U.S. House members who supported a farm bill with a work requirement for food stamp recipients and a handful of senators who passed a version of the bill without a work requirement.Congress has until the end of September to get a new farm bill to President Donald Trump’s desk before the existing one expires. While the bill is important to the agricultural community, the bulk of the spending goes to federal food assistance. The House’s bill passed with a requirement that able-bodied recipients without young children need to either work or train for 20 hours a week to qualify for food assistance. The Senate’s didn’t.Creighton University Economist Ernie Goss predicts House members of the committee tasked with merging the two bills will not get a work requirement in the final version.


CHICAGO (AP) — A debate coach who went into Illinois prisons to organize teams of inmates has filed a federal lawsuit alleging the Department of Corrections barred the activity in violation of free-speech rights. The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin reports that Katrina Burlet's lawsuit filed Wednesday in Chicago accuses officials of shutting down the program months after she began organizing debates on the topic of parole


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The federal courthouse in Springfield is getting a $2.6 million face-lift. The State Journal-Register reports the U.S. General Services Administration is repairing the exterior of the Paul Findley Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse. GSA spokeswoman Cat Langel says weather exposure has worn down the exterior walls of the building, which was constructed in 1930.


HARRISBURG, Ill. (AP) — Snakes and amphibians will have the right away for a while on Shawnee National Forest's Snake Road. The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports that beginning on Saturday, officials are closing the roadway in Southern Illinois to allow the animals to migrate from LaRue Swamp to the nearby limestone bluffs.


CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois-Chicago says it will drop men's and women's gymnastics after the 2018-19 season. The university says the decision will affect 11 women and 25 men who still will have NCAA eligibility. Scholarships will be honored for students who stay. Illinois-Chicago Chancellor Michael Amiridis says it was an "exceptionally difficult decision" influenced by the cost of running sports teams.



(Champaign--jc)  -- This summer was warmer and wetter than we usually see in Illinois. The statewide average temperature for June, July and August came in at 75 degrees, which is about a degree and a half above normal says State Climatologist Jim Angel…


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

There are some dry spots in the state in portions of Northern and Western Illinois.



CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has granted eight requests for clemency and denied 85 other petitions. Rauner's office announced the clemencies Friday. The petitions granted were for crimes including burglary, theft, drug possession and delivery of a controlled substance. Some of the cases are decades old, and in most cases the people were sentenced to probation.

Pesotum, IL - The Labor Day weekend signifies the end of the summer and one of the busiest driving periods of the year where millions of motorists are expected to hit the roadways nationwide. Illinois State Police (ISP) District 10 Commander, Captain Louis Kink, is urging motorists to celebrate responsibly, and make safety their number one priority. Troopers will focus their attention on the primary factors that contribute to fatal traffic crashes. Driving under the influence (DUI), speeding, distracted driving, and not wearing seat belts, the Fatal Four, are the four primary causes of fatal traffic crashes. Troopers will patrol Illinois roadways watching for and assisting stranded motorists, and enforcing Fatal Four violations in order to help reduce traffic fatalities and injuries. There will be additional emphasis on DUI offenses over the holiday weekend. The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign began on August 17 and runs through today. The ISP will have additional troopers out on the roadways and at roadside safety checks watching for impaired drivers. Troopers will also be watching for those who fail to slow down and move over. Illinois law requires motorists to reduce speed, change lanes if possible, and proceed with due caution when approaching a vehicle on the side of the road displaying rotating or flashing lights.


(Washington--jc) The Labor Day holiday weekend brings out the grills. Marianne Gravely with U-S-D-A's Meat and Poultry Hotline saying there are limits to how long you should leave out perishable foods…



Mariane Gravely with the U-S-D-A Meat and Poultry Hotline.



(Paxton--jc)  Its open again. The direct route from Paxton to Rantoul along U S Route 45. A bridge project just over two miles south of Paxton began this Spring and the hope was it would re open by September. It’s now September and the bring work is complete.



CHICAGO (AP) — Driving north into the City of Chicago? Chicago's Lake Shore Drive is a hot spot for high-speed ticketing, according to city police data. The scenic highway along Lake Michigan accounts for more than half of all such citations in the city The number of high-speed tickets issued on Lake Shore Drive jumped to more than 4,300 last year, up from more than 500 in 2014.



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



(Urbana--jc)  --Authorities in Champaign County say DNA, genealogy research and littering lead them to a suspect in a 2009 Illinois murder case. Champaign County Sheriff Dan Walsh said DNA evidence is not like what you see on TV. But the DNA trail that lead his office to a suspect in the 2009 murder of Holly Cassano sounds like something out of a story. Walsh said after nine years, investigators turned to a private company to work up a DNA profile of the man who raped and killed Cassano. The sheriff said investigators connected the final dots when their suspect, 30-year-old Michael Henslick, dropped a cigarette butt. DNA testing of that butt matched DNA at the scene of Cassano's murder. Champaign County State's Attorney Julia Rietz said Hinsleck faces four counts of first-degree murder. He's being held in the Champaign County jail on $10 million bond.


(Washington--jc)  -- Think summer is almost over? With these temperatures, you could be forgiven if you have second thoughts Stephanie Ho reports…




(Champaign--ab) There’s a new speed along one stretch of Interstate 74 in Champaign Thursday was the last day of the 70 miles per hour speed limit on Interstate 74 from the Interstate 57 exit  to Cunningham Avenue in Urbana. Illinois State Police Department Captain Louis Kink says this was all based on research from the Illinois Department of Transportation….



Illinois State Police Captain Louis Kink

The new speed limit along Interstate 74 from the I-57 exchange to Cunningham Avenue is now 60 miles per hour.



Illinois latest Top 200 list could be the toughest vote yet.Illinois' bicentennial best-of voters are picking the state's top entertainers. But the choices aren't easy. Oprah Winfrey, Walt Disney, Hugh Hefner, Quincy Jones, John Hughes and Bill Veek are all on the list. Chris Wills with the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum said picking the best will be a personal choice.



Members of Illinois’ congressional delegation are touting the importance of maintaining locks and dams in helping move agricultural products, but there’s some caution moving forward. U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Moline, said there are billions of dollars in backlogged maintenance needs in the locks and dams system and if any of them fail, farmers would take a massive hit.The Trump administration announced $10 million for the LaGrange Lock in Cass County. The lock last underwent rehabilitation in 1988. U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Dunlap, said agriculture is the No. 1 industry in his district. He said with Illinois being connected to major rivers and waterways, locks and dams are crucial in getting agriculture products around the world.



(Watseka--jc)  Iroquois County Treasurer, Mindy Kuntz Hagan, announced that the deadline to pay the second installment of real estate taxes without penalty is Wednesday, September 5, 2018. After that date,an interest penalty will be added to the installment payment.



Expect Busy Travel Days on This Holiday Weekend



(Undated--jc)  -- Today is the unofficial start to the final weekend of summer with the Labor Day holiday on Monday. State and local police are also stepping up patrols for the expected busy travel weekend. State Department of Transportation Spokesperson Guy Tridgell says too many people are dying on Illinois roads…



I-Dot Spokesperson Guy Tridgell


CHICAGO (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department is transferring former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock's public corruption case in central Illinois to a new prosecutorial team in another judicial district, two weeks after the trial judge was bumped from all of his criminal cases for commenting in emails about a trial he was overseeing. A filing from prosecutors Thursday doesn't specify which U.S. attorney's office would take over the Peoria Republican's case, but the one in Chicago may be the most likely to get it.


JOLIET, Ill. (AP) — A suburban Chicago Catholic diocese has settled for $1.4 million a lawsuit filed by three men who allegedly suffered repeated sexual molestation at the hands of their priest. The three unidentified men were allegedly abused by Father Leonard Mateo of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet between 1980 and 1982 when the victims hadn't reached the age of 11. The unnamed plaintiffs came forward with their allegations against Mateo in 2014. The settlement was reached in Will County Circuit Court.


(Springfield--jc)  --A bill designed to discourage monopolies in the medical supply industry is making its way through the Illinois General Assembly.House Bill 5930, introduced by Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, and co-sponsored by Rep. Gregory Harris, D-Chicago, would eliminate payment cuts to companies that supply medical equipment for Medicaid patients.One of the reasons for the bill was this year’s reimbursement cuts of 10 percent to 50 percent to medical supply companies.


(Champaign--ab) Yesterday was the last day of the 70 miles per hour speed limit on Interstate 74 from the Interstate 57 exit  to Cunningham Avenue in Urbana. Illinois State Police Department Captain Louis Kink says this was all based on research from the Illinois Department of Transportation….



Illinois State Police Captain Louis Kink

The new speed limit along Interstate 74 from the I-57 exchange to Cunningham Avenue is now 60 miles per hour.



(Watseka--jc)  -- The Iroquois County Public Health Department will continue to

offer free water sample test kits until further notice. Testing for coliform bacteria will reveal whether your water supply may be contaminated with infectious organisms, but it will not provide a direct measure of pathogenic, or disease-causing, bacteria. Specific disease-producing organisms present in the water are not easily identified, and testing for these organisms in the laboratory is complex and time consuming. Coliform bacteria, on the other hand, can easily be identified in the lab. Call the Iroquois County Public Health Department for more information at 815-432-2483.



(Urbana--jc)  -- Former President Barack Obama is set to visit the University of Illinois one week from today. The U of I is honoring Obama with its Paul Douglas Award for Ethics in government. Obama will also present a speech at Foellinger Auditorium  at 11 a m on September 7th.


(Rantoul--jc)  -- If you are a Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce member, today is the final day to sign up for a luncheon with Illinois Attorney General candidate Erika Harold. The luncheon is set for one week from today. Those chamber members interested are asked to call the chamber office at 217-893-3323. Chamber members are also reminded that the new chamber year begins on Saturday and membership fees are due.


(Rantoul-jc)  -- One local state senator is hosting a town hall meeting next week.

Democrat Scott Bennett of Champaign says the event is set for Tuesday September 4th from 5-30pm to 6-3opm at the Rantoul Business Center.


(Paxton--jc)  -- The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow. The parking lot cookout is to raise money for the Paxton Buckley Loda class of 2022. On the menu is ribeye steak sandwiches, chips and  pop.


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


(Undated--jc) The extended Labor Day holiday means cookouts and parties. State police and local police will be out in full force with safety patrols throughout the state. Illinois Department of Transportation Spokesperson Guy Tridgell says those traveling will see the heavy police presence…



I-Dot Spokesperson Guy Tridgell


CHICAGO – Governor Bruce Rauner says he sides with consumers on the issue of car sharing in Illinois. The innovative new service, where people rent cars from peers for short periods of time, often by the hour, gives consumers added mobility choices and is likely to result in lower prices. With his amendatory veto of Senate Bill 2641, Rauner rejected the idea of regulating and taxing car sharing out of business. At the same time, however, he suggested that the new service be subject to certain taxes and insurance on par with existing rental car competitors. The governor believes the service has economic potential for the state.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Save your receipts. The reason is some of that money you just shelled out for school may be tax deductible. Illinois Department of Revenue spokesperson Terry Horstman says some K-through-12th grade expenses can be written off..



Illinois Department of Revenue Spokesperson Terry Hortsman



(Washington--jc) -- What is the new farm income forecast. U-S-D-A Chief Economist Rob Johansson has the numbers…


U-S-D-A Chief Economist Rob Johansson



(Washington--jc)  The Labor Day holiday is another weekend for outdoor grilling. One important tool is the meat thermometer. Gary Crawford has the story…



(Rantoul--jc)  -- Does your village of Rantoul neighborhood want to participate in the annual Rantoul Community Night out celebration. This year’s event is set for Wednesday September 19th. Event organizers have been planning the event since early Summer. More information is found by calling the Rantoul Police Department at 892-5600.



The Cissna Park Fire Department will be having it’s Waterball Fight and Bags Tournament on Sunday September 2nd out in front of Garfield’s restaurant. Garfield’s will be open during these events.

Champaign, Ill. – The State Farm Center announced today that legendary rock band The Doobie Brothers will perform at State Farm Center on Wednesday, October 10th. The Doobie Brothers have sold over 48 million albums and are regarded as icons of classic rock. They join the list of 2018 State Farm Center headliners this fall that include Jake Owen, The Avett Brothers, and Chris Young. Tickets go on sale to the public Friday, September 7th at 10 a.m. CT online at, over the phone at 866-ILLINI-1, or at the Illinois Ticket Office at State Farm Center. The show is at 7:30 p.m., with doors opening at 6:30 p.m.


Illinois Republicans Demand that Democratic Candidate Governor J.B. Pritzker Provide Details About Progressive Income Tax Plan

(Chicago--jc)  --Illinois Republicans are demanding that Democratic candidate for governor J.B. Pritzker provide details about his progressive income tax plan before early voting starts for the November election. Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti held a news conference in Peoria on Wednesday to call on Pritzker to release details about his plan to change the state’s flat income tax to one that charges more based on level of income. Pritzker consistently has been silent about what he would propose as far as rates he would support if a graduated tax became constitutional. His common answer to repeated questions from reporters is that he would “work with the legislature” to set rates that would be appropriate at that time.


(Ludlow--jc)  An agreement with Mexico and talks with Canada are a start for farm

crops grown in the WPXN Listening area. Tariffs with China are also affecting prices and product. Ludlow Coop General Manager Paul Seaman says a large crop, and tariff situations are causing issues for crop pricing…



Ludlow Coop General Manger Paul Seaman.


CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is seeking a sixth term in the post. Republican candidate Jason Helland says it is time to retire White. When asked about White's age, Helland told the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board the 84-year-old White is "not capable" of continuing serving until his term would end in January 2023. White replied he thinks he's in better shape than Helland.


(East Central Il--jc)  -- Eastland Mall in Bloomington and MarketPlace Mall in Champaign have openings due to the closing of Bergners yesterday. Wednesday was the final day of the defunct company. Sears at the Eastland Mall is also closing soon. The positive for the Bloomington based mall is several new  businesses are preparing to open this fall. They include Hibbett Sports and Planet Fitness.


(Paxton--jc) City of Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold, along with several other mayors will try to eat on five dollars or less. The mayors are participating in the Eastern Illinois Foodbank SNAP hunger challenge. Some participants are accepting the challenge for the day and others for a week. They also are encouraging others to participate.The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness of the barriers to access high-quality, food on a SNAP budget.



(Springfield--jc)  -- A new Illinois law on companies making money off people by using their arrest mugshots online has been given a few more teeth.Under the guise of public background checks, some for-profit websites will collect local mugshots and post them with information about the accompanying address.Starting in 2019, the publishers of the mugshots face a $100 per day fine as well as liability for the plaintiff’s legal costs if they don’t update information on the sites when told to.


(Kankakee--jc)  Illinoisans are having trouble figuring out what goes in the recycling bin and, so far, it has cost residents of one city their curbside recycling program. Waste Management estimates that 25 percent of America’s recycling isn’t recyclable. It some places, it means services will be canceled., Kankakee’s garbage provider announced that it is stopping curbside recycling service on Saturday in the city. Officials with Republic Services told the Daily Journal that Kankakee residents had been putting far too much garbage in recycling bins.



CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois Foundation is getting a $20 million donation, including $15 million for the Fighting Illini Football Performance Center. The money is coming from the H.D. Smith Foundation. Henry Dale Smith started H.D. Smith, a medical wholesale company. Chris and Dale Smith say they're honoring their parents' passion for Illinois football. The Henry Dale and Betty Smith Football Center will have space for strength and conditioning, sports medicine, locker rooms and coaches' offices.



(Rantoul--jc)  A two vehicle accident caused damage to a light pole in the village of Rantoul on Wednesday morning. Police say 26 year old James Zindars of Rankin was attempting to turn left onto Murray road when his vehicle struck a westbound vehicle driven by 37 year old George Papametro of Rantoul. Each vehicle received substantial damage. No word on the amount of damage to the streetlight was available.



(Pontiac-dg)-The Central States Thresherman Reunion in Pontiac starts Today and goes through Labor Day. This year they are featuring the National Gathering of the Orange Allis Chalmers Show. Central States Thresherman Reunion President Dave Herz talks about keeping history alive.



Central States Thresherman Reunion President Dave Herz



(Paxton--jc)  -- Local regulations and wind farms will again the the main topic at a Ford County board meeting in early September.  The Ford County planning commission is set to meet at 7-30 Thursday evening September 6th. Public comment is expected at the meeting. One proposal would be to place setbacks on any new windmill in the county to 25 hundred feet. The Ford County board will look at the issue as early as their monthly meeting in September



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



(Urbana--jc)  A Mahomet man has been charged with first degree murder in a almost decade old murder case. Michael Henslick was in Champaign County court on Wednesday. Holly Cassano was fatally stabbed to death in 2009. She was also sexually assaulted. Bond for Henslick  was set at 10 Million dollars.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois lawmakers who want to know what’s happening with the University of Illinois' $500 million Discovery Partners Institute heard a lot of talk of "potential," and plenty of answers about "not yet" at their latest hearing.The Discovery Partners Institute and the Illinois Innovation Network are the University of Illinois to-be-built gems. It's a promised collaborative effort, university President Tim Killeen said, hubbed in Chicago, Springfield, and Urbana that will tap into the university’s students and professors and unlock the economic benefit inside. Democratic state Sen. Bill Cunningham told U of I leaders that the idea sounds great but he wants more actuals on cost and timeline for the project



(Springfield--jc) --  The state of Illinois is using its 108 Million dollar Volkswagon settlement to kick off the “Driving a Cleaner Illinois” program. Illinois Environmental Council Jen Walling says this is a tremendous opportunity to protect the state’s most vulnerable…



Illinois Environmental Council Spokesperson Jen Walling.

The first initiative will help some cities in Chicago and the St Louis area. Future projects will help cities in Champaign, McLean and


( Clinton--jc)  Clinton Fire Department officials say they are looking for their next driver-engineer for the local fire department. Applicants must meet the requirements. The starting salary is just over 41 Thousand 300 dollars. A residency requirement is also required. More information is found by contacting the Clinton Fire Department.



(Washington--jc)  -- Ag exports for fiscal year 20-19 are expected to increase from earlier estimates. U-S-D-A Chief Economist Rob Johansson says the numbers are up…



U-S-D-A Chief Economist Rob Johansson


(Springfield--jc)--  The Illinois Department of Public Health is confirming the first west nile related human death this year. Public Health Department Spokesperson Melaney Arnold says the patient who died was over 65 and from LaSalle County…



Public Health Department Spokesperson Melaney Arnold

Arnold  says the chance for West Nile disease continues until the first major frost of the fall or winter.




Governor Rauner Signs Bill to Allow Medical Marijuana as Painkiller

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Governor Bruce Rauner has signed a law allowing medical marijuana to be used as a painkiller instead of highly addictive opioids. The law the Republican signed Tuesday is effective immediately. It allows physicians to temporarily prescribe cannabis for pain relief as a means to combat a growing opioid-addiction epidemic. The Illinois Department of Public Health reports that 11,000 people have died from opioid overdoses since 2008.



(Springfield--jc)  --Citing low commodity prices and skepticism over the agriculture economy, bankers are tightening up on loans to farmers.Creighton University’s Rural Mainstreet Economy Index surveyed bankers in rural areas in Illinois and a number of other states in the Midwest. In total, bankers polled weren’t optimistic about the combination of low commodity prices and drought in some areas this summer. A third of them reported rejecting a higher percentage of farm loans.The confidence index among bankers reflects their opinion of the economy six months out. It rose to a weak 46.5 from July’s 42.7, indicating a pessimistic economic outlook among bankers. Fifty indicates a neutral indice.



(-Springfield--jc)  -- In just a few years, drivers in Illinois will be able to pay for two years worth of registration on their car at once. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has signed legislation that would allow a vehicle registration to be paid for two years at a time. It won’t save money on the $101 annual cost but it would prove more convenient.  Motorists would pay $202 for the multi-year registration. Trailer owners would be able to register for up to five years at once. State Senator Dan McConchie, Republican of Hawthorne Woods says his father inspired the bill.



(Pontiac--jc)  -- The 2018 Pontiac Thresherman’s reunion starts on Thursday and Runs through Labor Day. Event Spokespeson and Club President Dave Herz says farm demonstrations will be featured daily…



20-18 Pontiac Thresherman’s Reunion Spokesperson and club President Dave Herz



(Champaign--ab)  -- After a month's closure, the William M. Staerkel Planetarium will reopen to public audiences on the Sept. 7-8 weekend with a new operating system and a new fulldome show.  "Experience the Aurora," featuring fulldome, time-lapse imagery of the Northern Lights, will premiere September 7th at 8 p.m. and run every Friday and Saturday night through October. The show will be presented on Staerkel's Digistar 6 operating system, an upgrade from the Digistar 4 system installed eight years ago. The planetarium has been closed since Aug. 8 to install the new system.



CHICAGO (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union and other organizations are challenging panhandling ordinances in 15 municipalities across Illinois.

Letters demanding repeal of the ordinances were delivered Tuesday by the ACLU, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless and the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty. Officials in 15 cities in the state from Chicago to East St Louis and including Champaign, Urbana and Danville are the recipients. Diane O'Connor of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless says panhandling laws unfairly criminalize people experiencing homelessness for exercising their rights.The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled panhandling is protected by the First Amendment right to free speech.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Advocates are pushing to override the governor’s veto of tobacco 21 legislation. The bill raises the age to purchase cigarettes from 18 to 21. Democrat State Senate President John Cullerton supports the measure…



State Senate President John Cullerton

The governor says those 18 years of age are mature enough to make their own choices


(Springfield--jc)  -- The Illinois Manufacturers' Association  is applauding Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner for the veto of Senate Bill 904. The issue relates to  medical fees and electronic claims. Vice President of the I-M-A Mark Denzler says the governor helped keep the cost of worker’s compensation for Illinois employers that already face the 8th highest costs in the nation. Information used in an injury investigation would also be limited under the bill. The governor says he wants to reign in medical costs and help set proper A-M-A standards. Currently, a doctor can bill a 350 percent increase in a workers compensation case than in a case covered by private insurance.


(Springfield--jc)  -- State Senator Steve Stadelman of Rockford says a a new law requires schools to give kids that can not pay for a lunch, a lunch without making a big deal out of it. Payment plans can be worked out, behind the scenes. Stadelman says is the debt would reach 500 dollars then schools could ask the state to take the money out of a family tax refund…



State Senator Steve Stadelman of Rockford



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



(Mahomet--jc)  -- An arrest has been made in a 2009 fatal stabbing of a Mahomet woman. Authorities say Michael Henslick of Mahomet was arrested at Market Place Mall On Tuesday night. Bond was set at 10 million dollars. Henslick is accused of sexually abusing and fatally stabbing Holly Cassano of Mahomet in November of 2009. Police are hosting a news conference this morning to release more information. WPXN News will update this story as more official news becomes available.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Advocates are pushing to override the governor’s veto of tobacco 21 legislation. Under the bill, customers will have to be 21, instead of 18 to buy cigarettes in Illinois. Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed the bill citing a few concerns…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner

The issue is expected during the fall veto session in November.


(Rantoul--jc)  Rantoul village leaders have three possibilities to replace Rick Snider as Rantoul Village Administrator. The local board met in executive session and met with three candidates for the local position. They are Jeff Eder of East Peoria. Eder holds the city administrator post there. Also, private consultant David Nord of Cherry Valley and current Danville Mayor Scott Eisenhower. Rantoul leaders says a new village administrator is expected to be hired in September.


CHICAGO (AP) — A federal appeals court in Chicago has found that the U.S. Fair Housing Act places obligations on landlords to protect LGBT tenants from harassment by other tenants. Monday night's ruling by the 7th U.S. Court of Appeals sides with 70-year-old Marsha Wetzel. She accused a suburban Chicago senior living center of doing nothing to stop other residents from hurling homophobic slurs at her and even striking her because of her sexual orientation.


(Champaign--jc) The Champaign Planning department is looking to build a downtown plaza. They have some ideas in place. A public open house is set for October. And city council members could vote on the idea of turning a parking lot into an interactive zone.


(Undated--jc)  -- The second installment of real estate taxes are coming due in several area counties. In Champaign County, the second installment is due next Tuesday. For Iroquois County property owners, the due date is Wednesday September 5 and for Ford County property owners, the due date is Friday September  7th. Payments can be made on-line, at most banks and at the local county treasurer’s offices.


(Champaign--jc)  There was another shooting last night in Champaign. Authorities say the incident happened  around Larkspur Lane. Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup says that 16 year year old David Sankey was taken to a local hospital and later died. The death is being investigated as a homicide. Champaign police are continuing their investigation this morning.


(Tuscola--jc)  A semi crash on Tuesday night halted traffic along Interstate 57 near Tuscola. The road was blocked for several hours. No word on any injuries was provided by authorities.


(Washington--jc)  Increasing beef production could bring on lower retail prices. Gary Crawford  reports…




(Paxton--jc)  Paxton Chamber leaders says a  lunch and learn is set for September 6th. The topic is Ameren’s  Energy Efficiency program. More information and sign up is found by contacting the Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce.


(Champaign--jc)  The University of Illinois will adopt a clear bag policy for entrance into State Farm Center for the current school year. The policy will be enforced at all public events held at State Farm Center, which includes Fighting Illini men’s and women’s basketball, concerts, shows, musicals, plays, and other sports and entertainment events. Each ticketed guest can carry one large clear plastic or vinyl bag, also binoculars without cases, pocket cameras and items related to a medical condition are o k too. Prohibited items include food and drink, flags, banners, weapons, laptops, and selfie sticks.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Governor Bruce Rauner on Tuesday defended his veto of legislation to hasten paperwork that immigrant crime victims need to stay in the U.S. despite earlier approving welfare assistance for immigrants in similar circumstances. Republican Rauner told The Associated Press that the 2016 law he signed was "good humanitarian action" and did not suggest conditions of a "sanctuary state," which he opposes.The law, which took effect in January, provides state-funded health care, cash and food assistance to immigrant victims of human trafficking, torture and other serious crimes while they await federal visas to avoid deportation.


(Danforth--jc)  The fall festival and quilt auction for Prairieview Lutheran Homes in Danforth is set for early September. The two day event runs on Friday September 7th and Saturday September 8th. A Woodworth fish fry, Singing pastors and the group Natural High hilite the activities on Friday. On Saturday its the popular local band Back Paiges, a 5K Run, quilt auction,  and a pork chop meal are events of day two.




Gov. Bruce Rauner Signs Law Requiring Quarterly Reports on the Health of Veterans Under State Care

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed a law requiring quarterly reports on the health of veterans under state care after a Legionnaires' disease crisis at a state-run veterans' home. The Republican took the action Monday. It requires the Department of Veterans' Affairs to inform lawmakers of the health of all residents at veterans homes in quarterly reports.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois prison officials say they can't provide information about an incident that left an inmate dead because they've surrendered all records to federal investigators _ a response that has stunned ex-federal prosecutors and detectives. The Associated Press requested documents related to the May 17 incident at Western Illinois Correctional Center, but the Illinois Department of Corrections says it gave everything to the FBI, which is investigating the incident.


KANKAKEE, Ill. (AP) — Police say an 8-year-old boy was shot to death in what was apparently a terrible accident in a northern Illinois city. Kankakee Police say Jeremiah Wilson, Jr. was taken Sunday afternoon to Riverside Medical Center, where the Kankakee County Coroner pronounced him dead. Police say they are interviewing witnesses and family members, but that it appears the shooting was accidental. Police would not say if they believe the boy shot himself or was shot by someone else.


(Champaign--ab) In-state High school students whose families make 61,000 dollars or less a year will receive free 4 year tuition from the University of Illinois. This big step was crucial says Kevin Pitts  assistant provost of Education for the U of I .



University of Illinois Assistant Provost of Education Kevin Pitts



CHICAGO – Young cancer patients struggling for survival no longer have to give up the prospect of parenthood when they undergo potentially sterilizing treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation or surgery.   A new law signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner amends the Illinois insurance code to require coverage of egg or sperm preservation, a well-established medical practice that gives hope to patients who receive life-saving cancer treatment that they can one day have their own children.  Governor Rauner say with this legislation, we give them a way to overcome the burden of high out-of-pocket expenses for egg or sperm freezing so they can preserve an option to have a family in the future.



(Springfield--jc)  -- County collectors will now be able to eject tax bidders who intentionally disrupt a tax sale to change the outcome of an auction, or who use illegal bid practices in order to monopolize the bidding process, now that local State Senator Jason Barickman’s Senate Bill 585 has been signed into law. Barickman says the new law will protect the integrity of the tax bidding process by allowing county collectors to remove bidders who are purposely disrupting a sale for their own benefit. The new law also provides uniformity to the various fees that are collected on tax sales and clarifies fees that are to be charged for subsequent taxes.

(Springfield--jc)  -- Corn in Illinois is beginning to mature. Rainfall was above normal over the past week, especially in western Illinois where they needed a good rain. State crop statistician Mark Schleusener says corn is chugging along…


State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.

16 percent of soybeans are turning color and 29 percent of sorghum is mature. The third cutting of  alfalfa is 84 percent complete. Topsoil moisture is 6 percent very short, 20 percent short, 68 percent adequate and 6 percent surplus.


Ashkum--ab) Illinois State Police (ISP) District 21 Commander, Captain Don Aaron Harsy, announces the results of a Roadside Safety Check (RSC) held in Kankakee County from late night August 25th to early morning August 26th. The check was conducted at Route 45 and North Street in Bradley, by District 21 officers. There was a total of 41 citations handed out during the roadside safety check period.


Two North American neighbors have reached, in principal, agreements on trade, with finalization expected later this week. Rod Bain has the story…




(Springfield--jc)  - Illinois Secretary of State and State Archivist Jesse White is proud to announce the online exhibit “100 Most Valuable Documents,” is now accessible on the Secretary of State’s website, This exhibit is in recognition of state’s bicentennial. Through the Illinois State Archives, White’s office selected documents they believe reflect the most impactful moments in Illinois’ profound bicentennial history. These valuable documents are housed at the Margaret Cross Norton Building in Springfield.


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



URBANA, Ill. (AP) — New defense filings in the 2017 slaying of a University of Illinois scholar from China is shedding light on why federal officials presume the missing scholar is dead. Brendt Christensen is charged in the kidnapping and death of Yingying Zhang, who.  went missing on June 9, 2017. Her body hasn't been found.Government attorneys have said they plan to seek the death penalty because Christensen allegedly tortured Zhang before killing her.Christensen's lawyers filed more than two dozen motions last week seeking to suppress evidence, dismiss the main charge against their client and declare the federal death penalty  unconstitutional. Christensen's attorneys are questioning a police dog's alert to the presence of a body in Christensen's apartment bathroom during a 2017 search.



CARTERVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A new organization is trying to get more filmmakers and production companies to film their movies in southern Illinois. WSIL-TV reports the non-profit Southern Illinois Film Commission wants to highlight the natural beauty of the area while boosting the local economy. Commission member Jon Musgraves says Illinois offers incentives that are competitive with other states, but most filmmakers tend to go to Chicago.




(Springfield--jc)--  80 percent of the Illinois corn crop is in the dent stage as we hear in the weekly crop report. 11 percent has matured. As for soybeans, state crop statistician Mark Schleusener says they are ahead of last year’s pace..


State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener


(Rantoul--jc)  Rantoul Village leaders are set for a special meeting tonight at 6. The only agenda item is a closed session to discuss employees.  The meeting takes place at the municipal building on Tanner Street.




(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office is launching a new clergy abuse hotline. As investigations into sexual misconduct by clergy members increase, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says they want to give victims and whistleblowers, a place to report…



Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

The number to remember is 1-8-8-8-4-1-4-7-6-7-8


(Hoopeston--jc)  the 75th annual National Sweetcorn Festival begins later this week. Gates open for the annual  local Labor Day event at 5pm on Thursday. Free sweetcorn is being offered on Saturday, Sunday and Monday during specific mid-day hours of the 5 day event. The Chris Lane concert is set for 6-30 Saturday night. A carnival, Bingo, the National Sweetheart Pageant, lots of contests also hilite the event. The local band Back Paiges performs on Monday afternoon at 2 on Labor Day at the National Sweetcorn Festival in Hoopeston.


(Gibson City--jc)  The Gibson City Police Department as a new officer. City officials say the new member of the team is  Austin Rosenbaum. Rosenbaum was sworn in last night at the Gibson City, city Council meeting. Rosenbaum is a G-C-M-S Graduate and Gibson City native.


(Urbana--jc)--  Eastern Illinois Foodbank will host a bread and produce distribution at the Urbana warehouse again this Wednesday. The event takes place at 25-04 North Shore Drive in Urbana. It’s the final bread and produce date for the month


(Gilman--jc)  -- One Gilman business is set to host a grand re-opening in early September.  The business known as “the Garage” has planned the event for Gilman’s Super Saturday on Saturday September 8th. A ribbon cutting is set for noon. The Garage has been under a refurbished project after a May 9th fire caused extensive damage to the building. The fire caused over 80 thousand dollars damage to the building.


(Urbana--jc)  -- A Rantoul man was sentenced to 6 years in prison for domestic battery. The New Gazzette reports that Tommy Johnson was sentenced after evidence showed he had a long violent relationship with a Rantoul woman. The sentence was handed out on Monday.


(Farmer City--jc)  -- The Farmer City Police would like to make citizens aware that over this weekend there was at least one male subject attempting to get into vehicles in the 600 and 700 blocks of West Market Street. The crimes took place around 3 in the morning.  If anyone has any information or if anyone has camera footage please contact the Farmer City police department at 309-928-2111.


(Washington--jc)  -- A new US-Mexico trade deal will help American farmers. Stephanie Ho reports…




Governor Bruce Rauner Leads Illinois Bicentennial Route 66 Motorcycle Ride

SPRINGFIELD — Governor Bruce Rauner led the Illinois Bicentennial Route 66 motorcycle ride, which made stops in Wilmington, Pontiac, Lexington and Lincoln en route from Shorewood to Springfield — all in celebration of the day 200 years ago when Illinois adopted its state Constitution in Kaskaskia. Later in the day, Rauner dedicated the new Illinois REALTORS Bicentennial Plaza, which is adjacent to the Governor’s Mansion. More than 500 participants started the day at a kick-off rally at Conrad’s Harley-Davidson in Shorewood and continued along the route before concluding in Springfield for a barbecue at the Governor’s Mansion. Stops included a visit to the Gemini Giant in Wilmington, a Route 66 motorcycle license plate presentation at the Route 66 Association Hall of Fame & Museum in Pontiac, a lunch stop at Kelly’s on 66 in Lexington and a water stop at The Mill Museum in Lincoln.



BLOOMINGTON — More State Farm employees could be headed to its Bloomington headquarters as a result of the company closing its location in Florida. The company in an emailed statement last week says consolidation plans to close operations in three other areas and move jobs to Bloomington, Atlanta, Dallas and Phoenix. The announcement stated that some of the workers in Florida will be coming to the Bloomington operations.


PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — The city of Peoria has sent out temporary layoff notices to more than two dozen employees. The (Peoria) Journal Star reports that the notices went out employees who belong to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal employees union and 16 members of the Teamsters union. The notices went to members of the unions that decided against taking furlough days.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Democratic president of the Illinois Senate says Gov. Bruce Rauner delivered a "slap in the face" to immigrant crime victims with a veto of legislation to encourage them to participate in criminal investigations. Sen. John Cullerton of Chicago sponsored the plan which Rauner rejected on Friday. It would push police to move more quickly to sign certification that an immigrant is a cooperating crime victim.


(Undated--jc)  -- It will be a visual, if you make a stop at some rest stops in the state of Illinois. The Illinois Department of Transportation is using the state rest areas to show what can happen if people make bad choices when they’re driving. Vehicles from fatal crashes in Illinois will be stationed at 14 rest stops around the state with details about  fatal crashes says Illinois Department of Transportation spokesperson Guy Tridgell…



I-DOT Spokesperson Guy Tridgell.

More than one thousand people died on Illinois roads last year.



NORMAL —McLean County authorities say a man suffered minor injuries after he was robbed on Constitution Trail Thursday afternoon.The man told Normal police he was on Constitution Trail, east of the bridge over Linden Street, when two males of unknown age approached him and hit him in the face, knocking him to the ground. His wallet was stolen..Anyone with information that could help the investigation is asked to call McLean County Crime Stoppers at 309-828-1111.



URBANA —The next step in the sale of a Champaign nursing home is set for September.  A state board plans has set a hearing in Urbana on September 13th concerning the pending $11 million sale of the Champaign County Nursing Home. The hearing location is the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center in Urbana



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner calls him "one of the youngest, most effective lobbyists" in Illinois. Hunter Martin's two-year lobbying effort ended this week when the Republican governor signed a law requiring insurance companies to pay for replacement hearing aids every three years for children under 18. 10-year-old Hunter lost one of his hearing aids at school. The Illiopolis boy waited two exhausting weeks for a replacement. His mother Ramona says he struggled so hard to hear in class he often took after-school naps. Hunter began testifying before legislative committees to require insurance coverage of replacements of hearing aids, which can cost up to 4 thousand dollars.



(Springfield--jc)  -- A new state law cracks down on the owners of dangerous dogs. Owners with dogs that have killed another dog and continue to let them run loose, could be deemed, reckless, by a judge. State Senator Laura Murphy of Des Plaines sponsored the measure based on an incident in her district…



State Senator Laura Murphy of Des Plaines.

Anyone found guilty will be banned from owning dogs for up to three years.



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



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has vetoed legislation that would have boosted the maximum damage award allowed survivors of veterans who died of Legionnaire's disease at the veterans home in Quincy. The legislation would have increased from $100,000 to $2 million the maximum damage award survivors of veterans could seek from the state. The bill passed with bipartisan, support in the Legislature. Rauner rewrote the measure to impose "a more reasonable and justifiable $300,000" limit on total awards.



ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) — A high school football game in northern Illinois was halted after an exchange of gunfire between two vehicles nearby sent hundreds of spectators running away and players dropping to the field for safety. The Rockford Register Star reports that there were no indications that any fans were hurt by gunfire outside Auburn High School's Wyeth Stadium on Friday night. But some people were hurt as they ran away.



(Champaign--jc)  With some rain in East Central Illinois over the weekend and the past week, soil moisture is adequate. The corn crop is almost past the need for a needed rain in Ford Champaign Iroquois McLean and Vermilion counties. The western part of the state also received the needed rain. State Climatologist Jim Angel with the Illinois Water Survey in Champaign says some parts of North Central Illinois including parts of Kankakee County  have been dry for several months…


State Climatologist Jim Angel with the Illinois Water Survey in Champaign


(Undated--jc)  -- Marijuana growers across Illinois are expanding, despite years of lower-than-expected demand in the state's medical cannabis pilot program.The facilities expect more residents to gain access to the drug through a bill awaiting a decision by Gov. Bruce Rauner, the Chicago Tribune reported. The opioid bill would allow medical marijuana to be used in place of prescription painkillers.The state's prescription monitoring program tracked 1.5 million opioid prescriptions in the first quarter of 2017, according to data from the Illinois Department of Public Health.The governor's election this November also has operators seeing the potential to attract the general consumer, not just the patients.Rauner has said legalizing marijuana for recreational use would be a mistake. But Democratic contender J.B. Pritzker has said he would work to legalize recreational marijuana in the state.


GENEVA, Ill. (AP) — An investigation has concluded that a police officer was justified in fatally shooting an armed jail inmate who had taken two nurses hostage at a suburban Chicago hospital last year. Kane County State's Attorney Joseph McMahon issued a news release saying he determined that North Aurora police officer Christopher Joswick had a "reasonable belief" that it was necessary to use deadly force to prevent the death or serious injury of one of the nurses or other officers.


URBANA, Ill. (AP) — A University of Illinois student is pushing for service animals to be allowed into science labs. Fifty-four-year-old student Joey Ramp and psychology professor Justin Rhodes have twice asked a campus committee to approve service animals inside labs that experiment with animals. They were denied both times. Rhodes says the university has many talented people that need their service animal.



(Pontiac-dg)-The 70th Annual Central States Thresherman’s Reunion takes place this weekend in Pontiac starting on Thursday. This year the event is hosting the National Allis Chalmers Gathering of the Orange. Thresherman Reunion President Dave Herz talks about the total number of farm tractors and equipment that is expected at this year’s show.



Central States Thresherman’s Reunion President Dave Herz



CARTERVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A new organization is trying to get more filmmakers and production companies to film their movies in southern Illinois. WSIL-TV reports the non-profit Southern Illinois Film Commission wants to highlight the natural beauty of the area while boosting the local economy. Commission member Jon Musgraves says Illinois offers incentives that are competitive with other states, but most filmmakers tend to go to Chicago.


DETROIT (AP) — Michigan seismologists are studying a meteor that exploded in the atmosphere over the state with the help of scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego. The University of Michigan seismologists and the California scientists will publish their combined data in an upcoming research paper. The Jan. 17 meteor showered small fragments down west of Detroit. People in Illinois and Indiana also reported seeing the meteor.


Undated--jc)  -- It may still be August, but if you’re anything like me, it’s never too soon to start thinking about Halloween. From costumes and decorations to what candy you’ll be handing out to the ghosts and goblins in your neighborhood, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to the spookiest time of the year. Reese’s, Kit Kat and Hershey’s chocolate treats are getting a makeover for the season — or rather, their wrappers are! They all will be offered with limited edition glow-in-the-dark wrappers


Also...Today is the first day of classes for the University of Illinois.




Former Governor Jim Edgar in Favor of Casinos

CHICAGO (AP) — Former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar, once an opponent of land-based casinos, now says he favors casino expansion, including one in Chicago. Edgar says there are  “more pluses than minuses" than there were 25 years ago. At that time Edgar said he didn't want casinos in any part of Illinois. Now Edgar says the city of Chicago needs the revenue and the state of Illinois could use the revenue.The former two-term Republican governor made the remarks as an Illinois House subcommittee hearing about casino expansion bill was underway. Among other things, the measure would create six new casinos, including one in Chicago and another locally in Danville..


(Roberts--jc)The village of Roberts is replacing lights on village property with LED lighting. Village Mayor Rick Flessner says the initial cost will turn into cost savings…



Roberts Mayor Rick Flessner


Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup has released the name of a Westville, Illinois man who has died from injuries sustained after being involved in a motor vehicle crash at Illinois Route 1 and Greenwood Avenue in Westville, Illinois in Vermilion County on August 22, 2018. Twenty-eight (28) year old Tyler A. Karuzis, was pronounced dead at 10:33AM yesterday at the Carle Foundation Hospital Critical Care Unit in Urbana, Illinois. Mr. Karuzis died from traumatic head injuries he received during the crash. No autopsy will be performed. This death is being investigated by the Champaign County Coroner’s Office and the Illinois State Police.


(DuQuoin--jc) The official start of the DuQuoin State fair is set for today. Assistant Manager Tibretta Reiman (‘rye-man) says that fair has a different vibe…



Duquoin State Fair Assistant Manger Tibretta Reiman.


(Undated-jc)  -- Crops look very good for the most part in East Central Illinois. Growers in the Ford Champaign Iroquois Vermilion to McLean and Piatt counties are looking to an earlier start to harvest. Dry cool and breezy are the keys to drying the corn crop. Around the nation top soil moisture has a wide range as we hear from U S D A Meteorologist Brad Rippy…



U-S-D-A Meteorologist Brad Rippy


(Springfield--jc) With the new law creating a scholarship program for college students in Illinois, one local college president says it will help keep students in the state. Illinois State University President Al Bowman says the “aim high” effort provides 25 million dollars to keep the best and brightest in Illinois…



Illinois State University President Al Bowman

The 25 million dollars will be matched by Illinois Public Universities


Pontiac, IL – Illinois State Police (ISP) District 06 Commander Bill Langheim announces plans for Saturation Saturday enforcement. The enforcement initiative will occur on Saturday, August 25, 2018 in conjunction with the Labor Day “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign which runs from August 20 through September 4. Saturation Saturday is a statewide initiative with Mothers Against Drunk Driving to raise awareness on the dangers of drunk and drugged driving, and increase enforcement to remove and arrest individuals driving under the influence. Troopers across the state will join county and local law enforcement agencies for increased enforcement during the evening hours of August 25 and early morning hours of August 26.



Champaign, Ill. – State Farm Center is hiring event staff for the upcoming season.  The State Farm Center Event Staff team is responsible for a wide variety of roles to enhance the guest experience, including greeting guests, scanning tickets, directing guests to seating areas and facility amenities, serving as ushers inside of the arena, and staffing the new Illinois Premium Seating club spaces and seating areas within State Farm Center.  State Farm Center is a multipurpose arena that hosts a variety of events each year, including Fighting Illini Men’s and Women’s Basketball, Broadway shows, concerts, family shows, community events, and more. More information is found on line at state-farm-center-dot-com-forward-slash-jobs. Interview dates are Monday Tuesday and Wednesday.


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



PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — A Chicago-based federal judge will preside over the public corruption trial of former Republican Congressman Aaron Schock. U.S. Judge Matthew F. Kennelly was named by 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Diane Wood to replace U.S. District Judge Colin Bruce. The Urbana-based Bruce was removed from hearing all his criminal cases after it was revealed he exchanged emails with an employee at the U.S. attorney's office in which he commented on and joked about one of his trials in progress at the time.


(Mahomet--jc)  -- With a new law to help protect the Mahomet Aquifer from natrual gas emissions, the Mahomet Aquifer Task Force continues to look at ways to continue to protect the water that is supplied to East Central Illinois and beyond says Illinois State Senator Chapin Rose…



Illinois State Senator Chapin Rose of Mahomet



PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — A central Illinois museum wants to make sure that a historic mural stays in Peoria as the auction of the Marriott Pere Marquette and neighboring Courtyard by Marriott approaches next month.The Peoria Riverfront Museum filed a claim in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in July indicating ownership of the mural in the hotel lobby depicting the landing of the Marquette and Louis Joliet expedition in 1673 in what would later be Peoria, the Journal Star reported. The mural features French explorer Father Jacques Marquette greeting a group of Native Americans.



(Washington--jc)  --We like to think we have the modern edge in production, but even 70 years ago there were, for example, egg producers getting some incredible production from their layers. Gary Crawford reports…


(Chamapaign--jc)  -- Champaign police continue to investigate a shooting that happened last night in the city. Authorities say the shooting happened along Hickory street and one person was taken to a local hospital.  Police were on the scene for several hours interviewing those at the scene and the investigation continues this morning.



(Gibson City--jc)  -- Gibson City leaders will look to purchase artificial lighted Christmas wreaths when they meet on Monday night. An ordinance approving execution of an option for a Solar lease for city property at the Industrial Park on the city’s west side is also a topic for discussion. Gibson City council members may also give a special license to the Burgers and Beer restaurant in conjunction with harvest Fest set for early September. The Gibson City council meets on Monday night.



(Springfield--jc)  We are one week away from the unofficial last weekend of summer with the Labor Day Holiday. The words from the Illinois Department of Transportation in Springfield is for motorist to be aware of their surroundings and do not text, do not speed, do not drive impaired says I-DOT’s Randy Blankenhorn….



I-DOT Secretary Randy Blankenhorn


(Rantoul--jc)  -- A new Rantoul police officer has graduated from the Police Training Institute. The local police department is congratulating Drew Frizell on the distinction. The next step for Officer Frizzell is a 14 week field training program with the Rantoul police department.




Gov. Bruce Rauner Signs Laws That Expand Mental Health Services

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed five far-reaching laws that expand mental health services and Medicaid coverage of them. Advocates say the Republican's action Wednesday strengthens the attack on the opioid crisis and puts behavioral health care on par with other types of medical care. The governor says it helps those affected get the treatment they need…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner



(Vermilion County--jc)  -- A Westville man was seriously injured in a three way accident along route 1 in Westville around 11 Wednesday morning. State police say a pedestrian ran out into traffic where a vehicle slammed on the brakes and a motorcyclist following the car struck the vehicle in the rear. The motorcyclist was taken to a Danville hospital with serious injuries. The pedestrian was cited.



CHICAGO (AP) — The Democratic National Committee says an attempt break into its database that houses information on tens of millions of voters nationwide has been thwarted. A party official says hackers created a fake login page to try to harvest passwords and usernames. The party's cybersecurity has been an issue since 2016, when Russian hackers compromised DNC servers and revealed emails that exploited divisions between Bernie Sanders' and Hillary Clinton's presidential campaigns.



(Chicago--jc)  -- One of Illinois' political experts says a new poll that gives J.B. Pritzker a 16-point lead in the race for Illinois governor is more about Governor Bruce Rauner. In the new NBC-Marist poll released this week, 46 percent of voters surveyed want J.B. Pritzker for governor. Another 30 percent say they'll vote for Rauner. The poll also says twice as many people disapprove of Rauner's performance than approve. Chris Mooney with the University of Illinois' Institute of Government and Public Affairs said that's not good, but it's not too late for the governor. The poll gives Libertarian candidate Kash Jackson six percent of the vote, and gives third party candidate Sam McCann four percent.  Fourteen percent of voters asked told pollsters that they are undecided.


(Paxton--jc)  -- With the cool fall like temperatures today through the weekend, it seems mosquitoes are also on their way out. Next week, the hot temperatures return to the 90s plus and summer weather sees the opportunity for mosquitoes and the west nile virus. Ford County Public Health Department Spokesperson Christie Wallace says the pesky bugs are out dusk and dawn, but some even more…



Ford County Public Health Department Spokesperson Christie Wallace.  



(Paxton--jc)  -- Paxton police say a man who was preaching through a megaphone near the Paxton Buckley Loda Junior High School on Monday left the scene and no laws were broken. In updating our story from early this week, the man was questioned by Paxton police and their report said the man was on a public right of way and was expressing his right to freedom of religion. A group of religious people were at the place near the school on Monday


(Paxton --jc)  -- Wednesday, ABATE of Illinois announced their support of Bruce Rauner for Governor of Illinois.  Rauner responded by saying he is proud to received the endorsement. ABATE of Illinois is a non-profit organization devoted to promoting the rights of motorcycle riders across the state from safety, education and also promoting freedom to ride.


(Roberts--jc)  -- The village of Roberts is changing light bulbs and using better technology. Roberts Mayor Rick Flessner says its also a cost saving way to do things for the village…


Roberts Mayor Rick Flessner.



(Penfield-dg)-The Buck Creek Tractor Pull will be held at the I & I Show Grounds in Penfield on Friday. I.P.A. Sanctioned Classes include Outlaw Tractor, Naturally Aspirated Tractor, and Farm Stock Tractors. Local Classes include 7500 lb tractors,

Street Diesel Trucks, and 20,000lb Out of Field Tractor. The event starts at 6pm.


(Bloomington--jc)  One of the two remaining anchor stores in the Eastland Mall in Bloomington is closing. The Sears store will close in November and the Sears auto Store is closing next week. The Pantagraph reports that liquidation of the Sears operations at the Eastland Mall will start next week. Officials will Sears Holdings Operations say the national chain is closing 46 unprofitable stores by the end of the year. The closure means that Kohls is the only anchor store at Eastland Mall.



(Paxton--jc)  There is one more free concert in the park this Sunday in Paxton. The Pride in Paxton annual Music Under the Stars series will feature the band Prairie City. The concert begins at 6pm in the pavilion at Pells Park in Paxton.



(Paxton--jc)  -- The annual Paxton Swine ‘N Dine is less than one month away. Organizers are looking for volunteers and vendors for the event. Those interested are asked to call the chamber office. The Paxton Swine ‘N Dine is set for Saturday September 15th in the downtown area of the city.



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




(Springfield--jc)  After Illinois lawmakers patted themselves on the back and told taxpayers the budget they passed this year was balanced, a bond issuance tells potential buyers that the state budget is $1.2 billion in the red. Even using the proceeds of a $5 billion income tax increase passed in 2017, and assurances from lawmakers it was balanced when they passed it in May, a state filing for bond buyers notes that the “Fiscal Year 2019 General Funds budget has an estimated underlying structural deficit of $1.2 billion.”The governor’s office said the two series of bonds, one a $656.5 million issuance that matures in 2033, and a second for $263.7 million that matures in 2032, is not borrowing, it’s swapping interest rates that are variable with fixed interest rates. That rate is not yet known.



(Undated--jc)  When a newspaper closes, local governments in the area tend to borrow more, spend more, hire more workers and raise taxes, according to a study on the matter. The study by professors from Notre Dame and the University of Illinois at Chicago found a pattern of government growth shortly after a newspaper closes. The study is in the process of being peer reviewed and hasn't been published in a journal. The authors analyzed 204 counties with a single newspaper that closed between 1996 and 2015. They found local borrowing costs rose by up to 11 basis points more than they otherwise would. Government efficiency diminished as well. Locally, the Leader newspaper and the County Star in southern Champaign county are stopping operations at the end of this month.



(Rantoul--jc)  One Rantoul police officer has retired from the department. Rantoul Police Department officials say officer Charles Casagrande was an officer in the department from January of 1994 through last week. He served as a patrol officer, K-9 Officer, investigator, SWAT operator and negotiator. Casagrande was also very active in Shop with a Cop and Cop on a Rooftop. Those with the local police department say congratulations to Officer Casagrande on his retirement


(Cissna Park--jc)  Cissna Park School leaders will start the process to hire a new school principal after the retirement of a popular educator. Bethanie Marshall informed the board this month that she intends to retire. Marshall is from the Cissna Park area. The board is expected soon to look at how to fill that future vacancy.


(Springfield--jc)  A package of 5 new laws for Illinois will increase health care options for mental health and substance abuse patients. Illinois Department of Insurance Director Jennifer Hammer says getting those affected the right treatment is the right thing to do...



Illinois Department of Insurance Director Jennifer Hammer


(Ford County--jc)  The owners of a dog in Ford County that died due to rat poison want to find those responsible. Channel three reported that a dog owned by the Clement family died from the poison. Anyone with information about this act, is asked to call local authorities.


PESOTUM – Illinois State Police District 10 Commander, Captain Louis Kink, announces the I-S-P will conduct an Occupant Restraint Enforcement Patrol  in Champaign County during September. OREPs allow the state police to focus on safety belt and child safety seat laws. Illinois law requires all vehicle passengers  to be buckled up! Safety belts are still one of the most effective safety devices in vehicles, estimated to save nearly 14,000 lives each year. Half of vehicle occupants killed in a traffic crash were not properly buckled up. The objective of this program is to increase occupant restraint compliance through education, child seat inspections, and enforcement.


(Farmer city --jc)  -- Leaders in Farmer City are looking for a new police chief. Terry Scott is leaving the position to take another position in Vermilion County. Those interested in the Farmer City police job are asked to contact the Farmer City city manager by the 14th of September. Farmer City council members would like to get a new police chief sometime in early fall.


(WASHINGTON DC--ab) U.S. and Chinese officials are having trade discussions this week in Washington. Gary Crawford has the story...




(Urbana--jc)  Its the annual Urbana Sweet Corn Festival is set for tomorrow and Saturday in downtown Urbana. 70 vendors, lots of sweet corn and local entertainment hilite the two day event. On the stage Friday night includes 90s Daughter and on Saturday it’s the Lou Dubello Band.



Federal Judge Says Printing of 3D Guns Should be Decided by the President or Congress

SEATTLE (AP) — A federal judge hearing arguments over a settlement that allows a company to post online plans for printing 3D guns said the overall issue of such untraceable plastic weapons should be decided by the president or Congress. U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik said Tuesday that he'll rule on the legal issues involving the settlement between the company and the Trump administration. He added, however, that a solution to the greater problem is better suited to the president or Congress.


(Coles County--jc)  A single vehicle accident blocked some lanes along Interstate 57 on Tuesday morning. Police say 32 year old Brian Hang of Washington state lost control of his semi in the southbound lanes of I-57 near milepost 192 in northern Coles County. The semi entered the right ditch, eventually rolling and blocking the southbound lanes. Hang was cited for improper lane usage. No injuries were reported.



CHICAGO (AP) — A federal judge in two high-profile criminal cases in Illinois has been removed from hearing all his cases after revelations he exchanged emails with a paralegal at Springfield's U.S. attorney's office, commenting on a trial he was overseeing. Colin Bruce has been presiding over ex-U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock's corruption case and the case involving the kidnapping of a Chinese scholar. But the chief judge for U.S. courts in central Illinois said Tuesday he'd "temporarily reassigned" Bruce's cases.


(Champaign--jc)  Illinois governor Bruce Rauner signed a measure into law that focuses on trying to keep the state’s best and brightest students at home in Illinois. Local State Representative Dan Brady of Bloomington says it was a bi-partisian effort…



State Representative Dan Brady of Bloomington.


(Paxton--jc)  -- Ford County Taxpayers are reminded that Friday, September 7th is the due date for the 2nd installment of the 2017 payable 2018 real estate taxes. Taxes may be paid at the courthouse, drop box in front of the courthouse, any Ford County bank or by mail if postmarked by September 7th.  After that date, you will need to pay by mail or at the courthouse.  The banks will not take payments after September 7th.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed Senate Bill 25-40 into law. The law is aimed at protecting the integrity of the non-profit grant process, and makes a multitude of changes to the current grant process—including a requirement that grant dollars are to be spent or distributed during the fiscal year for which they were appropriated·     Other points of the new law restricts governors from transferring money into other state funds to be used for purposes other than what the legislature intended and also creates a  mechanism to allow the comptroller to stop payments in cases where there are issues with a grant program and a blackout period before elections when state officials would not be allowed to make grant announcements. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman was the key sponsor of the bill in the Illinois State Senate.

(Paxton--ab) There has been an overall decline in condition of the nation's corn crop. Stephanie Ho reports...



(Illinois--ab) --  Illinois state police troopers were out on the scene of a crash on I-57 Northbound at milepost 222 in Champaign County Tuesday morning. Both lanes of traffic were shut down and was diverted on to US Route 45. All lanes of traffic were open just before 1pm.  Police say a semi was leaving a rest stop area when a second semi in the northbound lanes applied brakes due to slowing traffic. The two semis collided and diesel fuel was also spilled. Champaign County Hazmat helped clean the scene.



(Roberts--jc)  The public is invited to attend a free concert presented by the youth of St. Paul's Lutheran church in Roberts.  The Waterson, Vaughan, Geerdes, Swan, Kietzman, Pollard, and Walters kids along with some of their friends have prepared a program including pop, Broadway hits, classical, jazz, country--something for everyone. The event is set for Sunday August 26th at 2 in the afternoon at the church on Weldon Street.



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



(Springfield--jc)  --A new report on state budgeting has prompted fresh debate about how tax dollars are spent north and south of Interstate 80 in Illinois. A Paul Simon Institute for Public Policy at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale study found that most people in Illinois, no matter what part of the state they live in, don't feel like they're getting a fair share of the state's tax revenue. Furthermore, it found Chicago and the suburban counties in northern Illinois got back less money from the state than they sent to Springfield in taxes while counties in southern Illinois tended to get more money from the state than they contributed.The institute’s report found 19 of Illinois’ southernmost counties received $2.81 in state spending for every dollar they sent to the state. Results were similar in other parts of Illinois, except in the Chicago area, where Cook County received 90 cents on the dollar and the five collar counties got 53 cents for every dollar they paid the state.


(Farmer City--jc)  It was a thank you from one town to another this week. Officials from Farmer City gave a shout out on social media to crews from the village of Rantoul. Rantoul sent 2 bucket trucks and 4 crew members to Farmer City on Monday to help with broken power poles and power lines. The mutual aid was provided as part of both towns being part of the Illinois Municipal Utility Association.


(Paxton--jc)  The process for a new awning for a business in Paxton continues. The Paxton City Council approved a new 90 inch awning and sign for Mom and Pop’s Kettle Korn Shop. The business is located at 119 South Market Street in the city.  The sign is expected to be completed by the middle of September.


(Bloomington--jc)  With the fall mid-term election and the state of Illinois with a hotly contested gubernatorial race, a local Republican leader says he sees more unity in the Republican party. 53rd district State Representative Jason Barickman of Bloomington says Republicans are unified to elect their slate of officials…



53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington


(Urbana--jc)  A Paxton man plead guilty to stealing scrap silver from a manufacturing plant in  Champaign. The News Gazette reports that 37 year old Dustin Kurtz of Paxton admitted that between July of 20-14 and March of 20-18 he took scrap silver from Littlefuse Incorporated. Champaign County Judge Tom Difanis ordered Kurtz to pay just over 37 thousand dollars in restitution to the Littlefuse company and was also sentenced to a two year second chance probation. He had no prior convictions.


(Chicago--jc)  --Illinois’ tech manufacturers have a serious shortage of skilled talent and optimism about the state’s economic climate.The Technology Manufacturers Association of Illinois has compiled a year of surveys from their thousand members and found that they’re optimistic about the national economy but think the state’s local economic climate is not where it should be. Even with the problematic tariff debate, Illinois manufacturers’ overall outlook in July was 84 percent positive. Their opinion of Illinois’ economy has stayed near 20 percent for the last 12 months.


(Roberts--jc)  With the village of Roberts library closing, what do you do with those books. Roberts Mayor Rick Flessner says some will be donated to other libraries in the area…



Roberts Mayor Rick Flessner.

(Paxton--jc)  -- A sludge removal project is set to begin in the city of Paxton. Local leaders say sludge will be removed from the city’s wastewater-treatment plant on the city’s west side.The  Metro-Ag Company will do the work. Cost is under 5 cents per gallon. The project could cost up to 46 thousand dollars and one million gallons of sludge being removed at the plant.

(Watseka--ab) Tomorrow , the Iroquois County Republican Central Committee will host a steak fry in the 4-H building at the Iroquois County fairgrounds  just north of Crescent City along Route 49.. The event will begin at 6 p.m. Two speakers are now lined up for the evening: Travis Sterling and Joe Alexander. Sterling is the new executive director of the Illinois GOP. Alexander, a member of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign committee, will speak about his travels and experiences with President Trump.A gun raffle will take place with three guns offered as prizes. Check with precinct  committeeman for tickets or on the groups facebook page. Ticket may also be purchased the night of the event.


URBANA, Ill. (AP) — Lawmakers are summoning University of Illinois officials to Springfield to discuss a new public-private innovation center near downtown Chicago. University of Illinois President Tim Killeen and other university officials have been asked to attend a Senate Higher Education Committee hearing about the Discovery Partners Institute on August. 28. The hearing comes after Killeen was urged in June to inform the community about the project.

(Rantoul--jc)  -- It will be a day of taking time to find ways to deal with bullying and a day to become more tolerant of others. Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Belynda Allen says Illinois Attorney General candidate and Champaign County resident Erika  Harold is visiting Rantoul to bring a program as unification and peace…



Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Belynda Allen. More information about the visits to Rantoul City schools, Rantoul High school and a luncheon with chamber members is found on the chambers website or by calling 893-3323.




Corn and Soybean Progress Looks Good

(Springfield--jc)  -- Corn and soybean progress is moving right along as we hear in the weekly crop report. After a week of about normal temperatures and rainfall, 95 percent of soybeans are setting pods says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.

94 percent of corn has reached the dough stage and 76 percent of the Illinois corn crop is rated in good to excellent condition.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed a law that gives families of extremely ill children more flexibility in health care. The Republican's action Monday affects children considered "medically fragile, technology dependent." The law means that their expensive, highly technical care which is covered by Medicaid is exempt from managed-care organizations. These families may maintain fee-for-service Medicaid health care.



CHICAGO (AP) — The Securities and Exchange Commission accuses a father and son of a Ponzi-style scheme that raised at least $135 million since 2010 from over 900 investors nationwide. A Monday SEC statement says Jerome H. Cohen and Shaun D. Cohen dangled the prospect of double-digit returns, falsely assuring investors the investments were secured by income-generating, South Side Chicago properties. The civil complaint says they began paying older investors with new investors' money as the investments faltered.



(Paxton--ab) Fall is in the air and that means harvest is coming up. Paul Seaman from Ludlow co-op says harvest could be starting after labor day...



Ludlow Coop Manager Paul Seaman.



CHICAGO (AP) — Drugmaker AbbVie is donating $100 million to Ronald McDonald House Charities, which help provide housing to pediatric patients and their families throughout the U.S.The donation announced Monday is the single largest ever gift to Chicago-based charity network. The money will be used to build housing in at least 26 states and at 32 Ronald McDonald Houses.



(Springfield--jc)  -- A new state law bans the sale of Ivory in Illinois. According to the Humane Society of the U.S., more than 30 thousand elephants are killed by poachers each year for their tusks. Illinois representative Marty Moylan of Des Plaines sponsored the measure in the Illinois House and says the animals need to be protected…



Illinois Representative Marty Moylan of Des Plaines.

The new law also bans the sale and purchase of Rhinoceros horns. Antique weapons or musical instruments that contain ivory are exempt under the law.



(Undated--jc)  -- Moms and dads and fans are getting ready for Friday night lights or Thursday on the volleyball courts across Illinois. The start of school is also the start of high school sports. As always, says safety is the top priority says Sam Knox of the Illinois High School Association. Knox said this is also the year that coaches and high school referees need to get re-certified in concussion-protocol training. The law was passed in 20-16 and requires coaches and referees to pass a concussion exam every two years. Friday night football begins this Friday with the WPXN Friday Night Preview show at 6-05pm with the opening kickoff at 7pm between Paxton-Buckley-Loda and the Falcons of Gibson City Melvin Sibley



CHAMPAIGN — No one was injured in a chain-reaction event of three crashes involving six vehicles Monday morning on a rain-slicked Interstate 57 in southwest Champaign.According to an Illinois State Police report, at 7:31 a.m., Marietta Huffstutler, 36, of Champaign was driving a Nissan Altima north on I-57 near milepost 231.5, just south of the Curtis Road exit, when her vehicle hydroplaned as she passed a semitrailer driven by Brian McKeel, 45, of Jackson, Tenn. Huffstutler's car spun out and was struck by McKeel's semi, coming to rest in the right lane of the highway.



(Springfield--jc)  One law signed by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner allows retiring state, conservation and secretary of police purchase their badge and firearm. The governor says another bill encourages officers to get help from mental health issues without worry about their jobs…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner



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



NAPERVILLE, Ill. (AP) — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet will re-evaluate the residency of two priests who have faced sexual abuse allegations and live in a retirement home adjacent to a junior high school. The Revs. James Nowak, 81, and Richard Jacklin, 67, reside at the St. John Vianney Villa in Naperville. Diocese officials said the re-evaluation comes after neighbors, school officials and parents raised concerns about the retirement home's proximity to Kennedy Junior High School."The Diocese of Joliet is sensitive to the concerns raised by the school parents," the diocese said in a statement.



(Springfield--jc)  -- Corn and soybean progress is moving towards harvest as we hear in the weekly crop report. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 95 percent of corn is in the dough stage…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.

Schleusener says average statewide topsoil is rated as 8 percent very short, 26 percent short, 63 percent adequate and 3 percent surplus.

(Springfield--jc)  -- Three of every four students entering kindergarten aren’t fully prepared, according to results from the Illinois State Board of Education’s first look at kindergarten readiness.The Kindergarten Individual Development Study  measured students’ development upon entering kindergarten. Jackie Matthews with the Illinois State Board of Education said the data is an important benchmark. Matthews says children who do well on the “KIDS” program,  arrive at kindergarten with higher levels of readiness are actually more successful in grade

school and, also less likely to drop out of school and more likely to graduate.


(Ford County--jc)  It’s a donation that has been done before. The full Ford County board is expected to be asked to make a contribution to the Ford-Iroquois University of Illinois Extension office in the amount of 50 thousand dollars. The money would be used for operational costs for the current fiscal year. The money comes from the property tax levy.


(Springfield--jc)  -- A new law allows Illinois high school students to take as many college credit classes as they want starting next year. Some school districts had previously limited the number of dual-credit classes that students could take. State Senator Chuck Weaver, Republican from Peoria, sponsored Senate Bill 25-27 to change that. The law requires the courses be taught by instructors who meet state requirements and is worded to allow students to take them either in the classroom or online. Weaver said the law was designed to encourage students to learn at their own pace.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Dick Van Dyke of Danville leads the list of the top actors in Illinois History. Other favorite actors with the most votes in Bill Murray from Wilmette, Gene Hackman, also from Danville and Harrison Ford from the Chicago area. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum spokesperson Chris Wells says a good number of Illinoisans voted in the top 200-dot-com actor category…



Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Spokesperson Chris Wells

The next category from the Bicentennial group is entertainers.



(Duquoin--jc)  -- The Duquoin state fair begins on Friday. The twilight parade will be held inside the fairgrounds. There is also a new ride, the double ferris wheel, says assistant Fair Manager Tibretta Reiman (‘ray-man)...



Duquoin State Fair Assistant Manager Tibretta Reiman

More information about the event is found on-line at Duquoin-State-Fair-dot-net.



(Springfield--jc)  -- The number is 293. That is the number of new laws for the state of Illinois over the past month. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has been busy to act on the various measures the democratic controlled House and Senate in Springfield have sent to the governor’s desk. The General Assembly is allowed to introduce an unlimited number of bills. Some states limit that number. Governor Rauner is expected to act on more laws as there continues to be a large number pushed to his desk in Springfield.



Cannabis Plants Eradicated in Kankakee County

(Kankakee--jc) --  Kankakee County K-Meg agents along  with assistance from the Illinois State Police eradicated 751 outdoor cannabis plants in the Pembroke Township area on Sunday morning. Kankakee County Sheriff’s police say upon investigation with a search warrant, agents seized equipment utilized in the production of cannabis and four firearms. The investigation continues today.


(Shelby County--jc)  -- An Effingham man was fatally injured in a two vehicle accident in Shelby County on Friday afternoon. State police say the man was in a vehicle  going west along Route 16, One car was attempting to pass a second car, when oncoming traffic approached and the two cars collided. Three residents from Tower Hill were also injured in the accident.


(Springfield--jc)  -- The Illinois department of Transportation is asking the public’s help in making Illinois roads, safer. Illinois Department of Transportation  Secretary Randy Blankenhorn says highway deaths are an epidemic, caused by drunk driving, speeding and distracted driving. Blankenhorn says texting while driving is an especially serious problem…



I-Dot Secretary Randy Blankenhorn.

I-Dot is holding a safety summit in October with state and local agencies to discuss ways to end distracted driving.


(Paxton--ab) Paxton Buckley Loda schools have been in session for two days for the new school year. A work project at the Clara Petersen building and the  High school continue. P-B-L School superintendent Cliff McClure says the project continues with school in progress....



P-B-L School Superintendent Cliff McClure


ROCHELLE, Ill. (AP) — A railcar manufacturing plant in northern Illinois is set to close as the factory building goes up for auction. Nippon Sharyo announced Thursday it would be closing its Rochelle plant at the end of this month after a failure to deliver 130 bi-level Amtrak passenger cars for Illinois and California. The company said the complexity of the project ultimately prevented completion and brought significant financial losses. The city hopes in the meantime to recruit another manufacturer to the facility.


(Springfield--jc) --  Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is signing a package of public safety bills. The first law encourages police officers to seek mental health treatment if needed, without fear of jeopardizing their career says Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz..



Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz.

Another bill lets retiring troopers, conservation officers and secretary of state police to buy their badge and firearm and a third gives gun owners a 60 day grace period while their FOID card renewal application is being processed.



(Gibson City--jc)  -- Gibson City Melvin Sibley school board members are expected to approve field trips for various grades when they meet tonight in monthly session.  Several donations will be announced. They include a 2 thousand 43 dollar donation from the Rick Amburgey Memorial and a 1 thousand three hundred dollar donations from the G-C-M-S Booster Club. That donation is expected to be received for  a softball diamond sound system. Also on the agenda is approval of the Caps program The G-C-M-S school board meets tonight at 6-15 in the board room at the high school.



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A new study by the Illinois Board of Education shows that less than a quarter of the state's children were fully prepared to enter kindergarten last year. The study of about 106,000 students was based on teachers' evaluations of their kindergarten students. The data show that about 42 percent of students weren't prepared last year in any of three development areas. Seventeen percent were prepared in one area, 18 percent in two areas and 24 percent were prepared in all three areas.



CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — The Carbondale City Council is considering allowing "natural" burials that involve biodegradable materials and no chemicals. The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports is discussing altering its code to allow the process at Oakland Cemetery. Natural burials use no chemicals such as formaldehyde to preserve a body. Biodegradable caskets are used and placed directly in the ground with no vault. Typically such graves are not even permanently marked.




(Hoopeston--jc)  --Elvis is coming to Hoopeston. Actually,  it’s Elvis tribute artist Doug Church along with the Change of Habit Band. The event is a fundraiser for the Lorraine Theatre of Hoopeston. The event takes place at 7 on Saturday night at the theatre.



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




PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Around 40 Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers based in Peoria have returned home from Afghanistan. A Friday statement from the Illinois National Guard said the soldiers made their way back to the state over the last two weeks. They are from Company B, 2nd Battalion, 238th Aviation Regiment. Its soldiers were mobilized to Afghanistan last August. Some soldiers operated out of Bagram Airfield and others from the Kandahar Airfield.


(Rantoul--jc)  -- Flooding continues to be an issue in one part of Rantoul.  Those on some properties near the Northview school say flooding occurs when the area receives a good size rain. Both the village of Rantoul and Rantoul City schools are discussing which entity is responsible for correcting the problem. Area citizens have brought the issue to both boards and the conversations continue.


(Springfield--jc)  The 20-18 Illinois State Fair is now complete for another year. Although some rain cancelled a few events, it was a successful year says Illinois State Fair Manager Luke Sailer…


Illinois State Fair Manager Luke Sailer.


(Washington--jc)  -- Older Americans need a proper diet too. Aging successfully and a good diet, go together says Michigan State University Extension Advisor Leatta Byrd..



Michigan State University Extension Advisor Leatta Byrd.



CHICAGO (AP) — Helene Walsh, the wife of a conservative radio host and former Illinois congressman, will replace a former state lawmaker who resigned after being accused of sharing nude photos of an ex-girlfriend online. The Chicago Tribune reports Walsh was selected from a pool of about 20 contenders to replace former GOP state Rep. Nick Sauer. She is the wife of former tea party congressman Joe Walsh. Walsh will also appear on the November ballot.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A series of festivals, parades and other events will mark the 200th anniversary of Illinois adopting its state constitution. Among the celebrations planned for Aug. 26 is the dedication of a new Bicentennial Plaza next to the Illinois Governor's Mansion in Springfield. Constitution Day festivities also are planned in Galena and Dixon, and East St. Louis hosts a Heritage Festival. Gov. Bruce Rauner is holding a Route 66 Motorcycle Ride that will travel from Shorewood to Springfield.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has signed two new hunting related laws.  The first law gives hunters a new fashion choice in hopes of making themselves more visible says Governor Rauner…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner

A second law cracks down on illegal hunting.

7am new

(Undated--jc) For decades, Michael Drweiga has opened his wallet whenever the donation basket comes around at church, but the latest revelations of priests sexually abusing children brought him to the conclusion that he can no longer justify giving.Brice Sokolowski helps small Catholic nonprofits and churches raise money, but he too supports the recent calls to withhold donations.And Georgene Sorensen has felt enough anger and "just total sadness" over the past few weeks that she's reconsidering her weekly offering at her parish.Across the U.S., Catholics once faithful with their financial support to their churches are searching for ways to respond to the constant sex-abuse scandals that have tarnished the institution in which they believe, with back-to-back scandals in the past two months.



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Bicyclists will get to tour central Illinois farms, vineyards and breweries during a new, five-day ride scheduled as part of Illinois' Bicentennial celebration.The Prairie Heritage Ride will be held Sept. 10 to 14 and cover more than 300 miles in central Illinois. Among the stops will be Mackinaw Valley Vineyard, Rader Family Farms, Prairie Fruits and Creamery and Hand of Fate Brewing Company.The ride is a joint effort between the Illinois Department of Agriculture, Bicycle Illinois and the Springfield Bicycle Club. It starts and ends in Springfield and includes overnights in Lincoln, Bloomington, Champaign and Decatur.

7am new

(Loda--jc)  -- One tractor pull that was rained out is set for another appearance this Saturday. The 8th annual Loda Good Ole Days Truck and Tractor pull  begins at 10 Saturday morning on the west side of the village. 13 classes will be featured in the event.Gates open at 8 Saturday morning and food will be available.




Friday August 17 2018

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The field director for Republican U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis's re-election campaign has been charged with felony aggravated battery after he allegedly got into a physical altercation at a campaign event for Davis' opponent. The (Decatur) Herald & Review reports that its media partner WCIA obtained a video that appears to show Levi Lovell confront Davis' Democratic opponent, Betsy Dirksen Londrigan, and her husband at a Wednesday night fundraiser in Springfield.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Democrats gathering for their annual state fair rally on Thursday matched the verbal salvos launched by Republican opponents a day earlier in the informal launch of the fall election campaign, even without former Vice President Joe Biden. The Indiana fill-in for the ill Biden criticized Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's handling of the state budget and Rauner's Democratic opponent, J.B. Pritzker, said Rauner has divided Illinois and his own party.


URBANA, Ill. (AP) — Agreements are almost finalized with city officials in Champaign and Urbana for the area's first dockless-bike-share service. The active transportation coordinator for the University of Illinois says VeoRide has given her serial numbers for 500 bicycles, which is the largest fleet size that's allowed. Each bike features a GPS, a self-locking mechanism on the back wheel and can be accessed with a phone app. VeoRide charges 50 cents for 15 minutes.


(Springfield--jc)  -- July’s jobless rate came in at four point 2 percent, down from four point 3 in June. Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Bob Gough says 37 Hundred jobs were added last month…



Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Bob Gough.



MAHOMET —Governor Bruce  Rauner Thursday signed legislation that requires gas storage field owners to notify local communities if natural gas leaks threaten to expose residents and businesses to contaminated water. The new law also mandates annual storage field inspections by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. State Senator Chapin Rose of Mahomet says the new law requires notification to local offices and homeowners…



State Senator Chapin Rose of Mahomet

The issue is in response to a gas leak near the Mahomet Aquifer in 2016. Local officials and area residents were not informed about the leak that contaminated private wells and was so severe that residents reported being able to light their water on fire.



(Springfield--jc)  Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner used his amendatory veto concerning the Illinois Secure Choice Retirement Savings program. State Treasurer Michael Frerichs blasted the governor saying its politics…



State Treasurer Michael Frerichs.

Officials will the governor’s office say a mandatory participation in the measure was one reason Governor Rauner vetoed the measure back to lawmakers. Frerichs says Democrats will look to override the veto this fall.


(paxton --ab) Thursday kicked off the first day of school for the Paxton Buckley Loda School district and by all facets it was success. P-B-L School Superintendent Cliff McClure says it’s a great start to the new year...




P-B-L School Superintendent Cliff McClure



(Cissna Park--jc)  It’s day number two for the Cissna Park Old Settlers Reunion. On the free entertainment stage in the part at 8 tonight is the popular band Back Paiges. Swyear Amusements is on the midway and cod fish sandwiches is the special in the pavilion. Cash prize drawings will also be held tonight. On Saturday, WPXN will be broadcasting the annual parade live at noon and someone will win a brand new Chevrolet car on Saturday night.



(Champaign--jc)  You can learn and get a good walk in too. Join T.J. Blakeman, President of the Champaign County History Museum, and local history enthusiast on a widely acclaimed trip back through time to explore the rich history of Downtown Champaign. This 1.5-hour walking tour takes a leisurely route through the streets of Downtown discussing the buildings, people, and events of today and yesterday. So put on your favorite walking shoes and join the Champaign County History Museum as we bring history to life! Participants should wear comfortable shoes and dress for the changing August weather.  The walk is set for Friday evening and Saturday afternoon. More information is found on line on the museums website.



POTOMAC — Lola’s Bar and Grill in Potomac will host a fundraiser beginning at noon on Saturday and going til 1 am Sunday for John Reardon, a longtime Potomac resident and U.S. Army veteran. Reardon is battling a serious illness. Donations will be accepted at the door, and food will be served from 1-5 p.m. The music lineup is Dixie Flyer at 1pm, the Parrish Duo at 3:30, the . Sound Choice DJ Karaoke at 6pm with the  Zack Dable Experience from 8:30 until close.


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


OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The economy is expected to continue growing slowly in rural parts of 10 Plains and Western states, but the ongoing trade disputes remain a concern.Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says grain prices have fallen even lower since the trade disputes erupted.The overall economic index for the region increased slightly to 54.8 in August from July's 53.8.That score still suggests growth because it is above 50, while any score below 50 indicates a shrinking economy.Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.


(Springfield--jc)  -- The jobless rate fell a tenth of a point to four point 2 percent in July. Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Bob Gough says it is a positive trend…



Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Bob Gough


BLOOMINGTON — In one of the largest drug busts involving the alleged sale of methamphetamine in Bloomington, two men were charged Thursday with possession and delivery of about 12 ounces of the drug The Pantagraph reports that 40 year old Jeremy Cagle, of Marquette Heights and 24 year old Charles Guilliams of Bloomington were arrested by Bloomington police in Carlock, following what authorities said was Cagle's sale of meth to a confidential police source. The drugs have an estimated street value of 27 thousand dollars


(Paxton--jc)  The cost to repair the historic pavilion at Pells Park in Paxton could cost around 150 thousand dollars.  City of Paxton leaders continue to discuss how to get the dollars to pay for the restoration. One suggestion is to involve the Ford County Historical Society or Paxton Foundation to help fundraise.  Another suggestion from the city council is to save up city funds to complete the project. The Pavilion in Pells Park in Paxton was built in 1907.



(Mansfield-dg)-The Mansfield Homecoming celebration is this weekend, Friday Saturday, and Sunday. The Carnival will be open on Friday and Saturday. Live music with the Feudin Hillbillies on Friday night and Wreckless Whiskey on Saturday night. The IPA Tractor Pull starts at 6pm on Friday. The antique tractor pull starts at noon on Sunday. A parade, car show, Lawn Mower pulls and Power kids Derby hi lite the activities on Saturday. Check out a full list of activities on Facebook.


(Buckley--jc)  One local Christian School has their annual dinner and auction fundraiser tomorrow at the Garden Hotel in Urbana on Saturday. It’s the annual knight for Christ for Buckley based Christ Lutheran High School. Event spokesperson Larry Abbe says hundreds of items will be auctioned off to raise money for the local school…



Christ Lutheran High School Knight for Christ Spokesperson Larry Abbe.


(Rantoul--jc) The village of Rantoul owns around 20 parcels of land they want to place back on the taxing roll. They range from blighted properties and tax lien properties within the village limits. Village leaders are taking with their legal team on how the move forward with the sale of the properties. Property owners near the properties in question are expected to be contacted about buying the parcels.


ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The Great Lakes Commission says it will divide nearly $900,000 among seven local organizations to help cut runoff of sediment, nutrients and other water pollutants. Runoff feeds harmful algae blooms and oxygen-starved "dead zones" where fish can't survive. Recipients of the grants will install best-management practices for limiting soil loss and applying fertilizer in ways intended to keep it on the land instead of washing into the Great Lakes.


(Champaign--jc)  The Taste of Champaign opens today and the event runs through tomorrow. The event is sponsored by the Champaign County Park District and takes place at Westside Park. 30 vendors are featured at the two day event. Taste tickets are one dollar.


(Paxton--jc)  One local church is hosting a free family movie night tonight at 6-30. The Paxton Church of Christ is showing the film “Wonder.” The movie features the true story about August Pullman. Rootbeer floats also hilite the evening

The Paxton IGA is hosting a parking lot cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Money from the cookout will benefit the Loda American Legion. Menu is Ribeye steak sandwiches, chips and  pop.



Thursday August 16 2018

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner has rallied Republicans at the Illinois State Fair by talking about the negatives of Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan and promising to make the GOP the "majority party." The first-term Republican rounded off a slate of candidates for statewide office at Governor's Day Wednesday. Rauner is facing a re-election campaign against billionaire Democrat J.B. Pritzker.


CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago activist who helped organize a protest march that briefly shut down Lake Shore Drive this month now wants to disrupt traffic with a Labor Day march on an expressway near O'Hare International Airport. At a Wednesday news conference, the Rev. Gregory Livingston said the anti-violence march will take place on Labor Day on the Kennedy Expressway.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Springfield Republican who holds the Illinois House seat once occupied by Abraham Lincoln says it's a "bad sign" that officials are seeking an auctioneer to sell Lincoln artifacts to pay a $9.7 million debt. Rep. Tim Butler says he was surprised to hear about the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Foundation's action Wednesday. The collection includes a Lincoln stovepipe hat and bloody gloves from the night he was killed. Butler says state money should be a last resort.


(Springfield--ab) A new State law spearheaded by Secretary of state Jesse White Cracks down on texting and driving. The new law makes the offense a moving violation. The old law marked it as a nonmoving violation and the new law also makes the offense go on your driving record.According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Driving while texting is 6 times more dangerous than driving drunk. Secretary of State Spokesman Henry Haupt  says the new law will affect people's thoughts about texting while driving…



Secretary of State Spokesperson Henry Haupt


(Bloomington--jc) It was day one for  move-in day for students at Illinois State University in Normal on Wednesday.Move in continues today through the weekend.  Several campus groups are helping and local police say certain roads this week are just one way as students make their way to campus. First day of classes for I-S-U in Normal are set for Monday.



(Paxton--jc)  -- The First property tax distributions from Ford County Treasurer Krisha Shoemaker are coming soon. They are being made to local taxing units. Shoemakers office also says the 2nd installment of property taxes are due by September 7



(Paxton--ab) Harvest is just around the corner and you may see it as early as labor day weekend. Ludlow Coop General Manager  Paul Seaman says an early start could be happen…



Ludlow Coop General Manager Paul Seaman



(Paxton--jc)  The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce says the next Chamber business after hours is set for later this month. The event takes place at the Frederick Community Bank in downtown Paxton on Wednesday August 29th from 5-30 to 7pm. Officials with the bank are providing drinks and appetizers for those attending the event.




CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — The search for a new president for Southern Illinois University could take a year following the resignation of its previous leader following a contentious dispute over shifting state funding between its campuses.The board of Trustees members met in a private session for nearly three hours this week to discuss how they will replace former President Randy Dunn, who resigned in July.



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



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A trip by former Vice President Joe Biden to Springfield, Illinois, has been called off because of illness. Biden had been scheduled to speak Today at the Illinois Democratic County Chairs' Association brunch at a Springfield hotel, but the group's leader says Biden is under doctor's orders not to travel. Rock Island County party chairman Doug House says he's sure Biden will soon be back campaigning for Democrats in Illinois and elsewhere.

The brunch kicks off the Illinois State Fair's Democrat Day. The group had sold all 2,500 tickets for hotel's main ballroom and made plans to accommodate 700 more people in a second room.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois livestock producers hope to dispel myths with a first-of-its-kind report.The 2018 Livestock Report from Illinois’ beef, milk and pork producer associations says it’s revealing the truth about the state’s livestock farms. The project examines 30 years of publicly available data from the Illinois Department of Agriculture and Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies. The report shows the number of total livestock complaints to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency in the past 10 years is trending downward with a peak of 122 in 2007, down to 24 in 2017.The number of livestock-related violation notices issued by the IEPA in the same period trends downward with a peak of 29 in 2007 down to 5 in 2017.


(Paxton--jc)  -- The issue of wind farms continues to be a topic in Ford County politics. The subject of set backs for wind farm towers and local properties will be discussed  in the next month for the Ford County Plan Commission and the Ford County Zoning Board of Appeals. One Ford County committee recommended that setbacks go up to 2 thousand 5 hundred feet for any new wind farms in Ford County. A  company has proposed to build another wind farm in Ford County. The final decision will be made by the full Ford County board at a meeting later this year.


(Paxton--jc)  -- Teachers in the Paxton Buckley Loda School District have approved a three year contract with the district. The vote was taken on Wednesday. The P-B-L School board also approved the new deal when they met later in the day. The new three year deal is retroactive to July first of this year and runs through June of 20-21. With the new deal, teachers in the district will be given raises of around 14 hundred dollars per year of the pact. Both sides said negotiations were completed in a professional manner.



(Springfield--jc)  Sexual assault victims will soon receive more specialized care when they go to the Emergency room. One new state law requires hospitals to have a specially trained provider on staff around the clock to treat victims. The issue was sponsored by State Representative Mike Unes of Pekin…



State Representative Mike Unes of Pekin


(Cissna Park--jc)  -- The 20-18 Cissna Park Old Settlers Reunion begins tonight in the park in Cissna Park. Free entertainment on the stage in the Park tonight at 8 is the Bellflower Country Opry. Swyear Amusements is on the midway with plenty of food. The three day event is sponsored by the local Cissna Park American Legion Post 527 and someone will win a brand new Chevrolet car on Saturday night. WPXN will be broadcasting the parade live on Saturday at noon as part of our Summer Fun Tour.



(Undated--jc)  It’s mid August and you can usually see those Hazy Crazy days of Summer. One reason for some hazy this August in East Central Illinois are the California fires.  National Weather officials in Lincoln say the movement of winds carry some of the fire smoke high in the atmosphere and into the area and state. The haze is expected to last for about a week according to weather officials.



(Washington--jc)  -- Could higher prices be coming for wheat. Gary Crawford has the numbers…



(Champaign County--jc)   Democrat J B Pritzker made a political stop in Champaign on Wednesday. The Democratic gubernatorial candidate  says he would support a state funded capital spending measure to support high speed rail in Illinois. Pritzker says an infrastructure bill is needed. Under Pritzker, the measure would also fund state Universities and high schools.





Wednesday August 15 2018

(Springfield--jc)  With the mid term elections coming up in November,  some with the minority party in Springfield say they  are pushing for reforms in workers comp, to property tax help. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman says those proposals have fallen on deaf ears from the Democratic majority…



53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman



The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that a central Illinois city is liable for a woman injured on its uneven sidewalks, a precedent that could affect cities across the state.The state’s high court said the city of Danville wasn’t immune from a lawsuit a woman filed after she tripped on an uneven seam in a sidewalk there. Barbara Monson tripped on the sidewalk in 2012 and sued the city for not fixing it. Lower courts ruled that the city wasn’t liable but the Illinois Supreme Court disagreed, saying laws that give Illinois municipalities immunity weren’t as important as the common law requirement for them to keep their property in working order. The Supreme Court said in its ruling that it is “the common-law duty of a local public entity to maintain its property in a reasonably safe condition.”



(Springfield--jc)  -- A group of politically connected state employees are suing Governor  Bruce Rauner to get their jobs. The eight employees were identified by an Executive Inspector General’s report as political patronage hires from the Rod Blagojevich and Pat Quinn administrations. Rauner fired them and others in 2017 in a push to the end practice at the Illinois Department of Transportation Rauner argued that the employees shouldn’t have union protections.



(Springfield--jc)  5 thousand people have already called in to the state’s opioid helpline.Most of the callers have either been someone that is addicted to opiates or are concerned about a family member. Illinois Department of human services Danielle Kirby says trained specialists answer questions and discuss treatment options and now offer follow-up calls…

Illinois Department of Human Services Spokesperson Danielle Kirby.

The helpline number is 833-2-FIND-HELP. On line at Helplin-dot-I-L-dot-org.


CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois' attorney general is suing the operators of Trump International Hotel and Tower for removing water from and releasing water into the Chicago River in violation of federal environmental laws. The lawsuit claims the building sucks about 20 million gallons of water out of the Chicago River and returns the same amount 35 degrees hotter. The water is used to cool the building's heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. Trump Tower officials say the lawsuit was motivated by politics.



(Rantoul--jc)  -- Rantoul Chamber officials are hosting a community coffee this morning at 7-30.The event takes place at the Rantoul Area Chamber or Commerce office in downtown Rantoul. Executive Director Belynda Allen says to bring your business cards, ideas, and network with other business owners and professionals or members of the Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce or community and brainstorm thoughts and ideas.


The Paxton Buckley Loda Porkchop Kickoff will be Friday August 17th at the High School. The Volleyball Scrimmage will take place at 5:30 in the gym. The Freshman/JV Football Scrimmage will start at 6:45. The Cheerleaders will do their  routine followed by the PBL Panther Regiment. The Varsity scrimmage will begin around 7:30.



(Springfield--jc)  -- A new measure to foster increased rural broadband access is now law and the Governor Bruce Rauner's administration said that’s good for Illinoisans young and old. AARP’s Ryan Gruenenfelder said broadband internet access plays a critical role in the lives of aging Illinoisans delivering new technologies improve our quality of life. The measure also reduces some regulations to get more broadband in rural areas. Rauner said it’s not just for older generations.


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(Gibson City--jc)  -- The Harvest Fest celebration is set for Friday September 7th and  Saturday September 8th in Gibson City. The event is centered around a scarecrow theme and organizers says there is something for all ages. Gibson City leaders also approved several one day licenses for the “Elite Absurd Foottrace” event. The Gibson City American Legion, Railside Golf Club and Sammer’s 2. Music also hilites the two day event in Gibson City.


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



SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Bruce Rauner signed legislation to better keep the public informed about pending actions of the Illinois Tollway Board.SB 2291 amends the Toll Highway Act to require that the board of directors post an agenda for each meeting at as well as at the authority’s headquarters building at 2700 Ogden Ave., Downer’s Grove, two business days (rather than 48 hours) in advance of the meetings. It also requires that specific details concerning contracts for projects over $100,000 shall be included, with Internet links to those details provided.



(Springfield--jc)  -- With Ag Day Tuesday at the Illinois State Fair, there could be a lot of buzz about a possible trade deal coming together with the U.S. and Mexico lllinois farmers and manufacturers continue to hold out hope for an agreement to continue trade and avoid tariffs. .”Next to corn, Illinois exports a lot of pork south of the border. Hog producer Scott Behrmann from Albers said a deal will be a relief. Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert said the prospects of a deal with Mexico are welcome because Mexico imports a lot of Illinois pork, corn and even cheeses.


(Buckley--jc) There is still time to get in on a brand new Toro lawnmower as the prize for a fundraiser for a local high school. Donation is 50 dollars per ticket for the mower valued at over 25 hundred dollars says fundraiser Larry Abbe…



C-L-H-S Auction and Dinner Spokesperson Larry Abbe. Tickets are available at  Abbe’s office or by calling 217-394-2547.



(Rantoul--jc)  -- A unique event is coming to Rantoul in early September. The game is called “Airsoft.” Similar to paintball, the game is played with B-B like plastic pellets and the two day event is set for Grissom Hall at the Rantoul Aviation Center. The event is private and only registered participants will be at the game site on the 8th and 9th in September.



(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and First Lady Diana Rauner are donating 1 million dollars towards the renovation of the state fair coliseum. The money will go to the Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation. The coliseum was built in 1901, but closed in 20-16 due to structural concerns. The governor wants school kids to choose a name for the building…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner


The next night for Draggin’ Main in Downtown Gibson City will be this Friday evening at 6pm. Several Businesses will be open for dining and shopping opportunities



Soybean growers may produce a record crop this season, but could suffer the price consequences. Gary Crawford reports…





(Champaign--jc)  -- Champaign County Crime Stoppers is seeking assistance regarding a report of shots fired earlier this month  in Champaign near Centennial High School. The shots were fired on August 6th Anyone with information can contact Crime Stoppers at 217-373-8477  Cash rewards of up to $1,000 are paid for information leading to an arrest.


(Gibson City--jc) Hot dogs, go cart rides, a cake walk, and a parade are some of the events set for the Corn Belt Shrine Club annual Kids Day in the park at North Park in Gibson City on Sunday.  All games cost just 25 cents and there will also be face painting and go-cart rides. The Corn Belt Shrine Club annual Kids in the Park runs from noon til 3pm on the 19th.


(Cissna Park--jc)  -- We are just one day away from the three day run of the Old Settlers Reunion in Cissna Park. The annual event is considered the longest running celebration in the state with its 131st celebration this weekend. Free entertainment nightly, Swyear Amusements and a car giveaway hilite the event. One popular event is the parade on Saturday at noon. Cash prizes are given in several categories. They include walking-bicycles and tricycles. Non-motorized floats, golf carts with a patriotic theme and Large floats. WPXN will broadcast the parade live at noon on Saturday.



Tuesday August 14 2018

(Springfield--jc)  -- Two new laws are designed to help keep more college students in Illinois. One of the measure eases worries about map grants from year to year, giving returning eligible students priority says Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner

More on the second law that helps transfer credits on our next newscast this morning.



CHICAGO (AP) — An Illinois judge has been reprimanded for using his position to solicit paid speaking engagements from law enforcement groups, medical societies and hospitals. The Illinois Courts Commission said Monday it determined 4th District Appellate Judge Robert Steigmann of Urbana exploited his office and had improper financial dealings with people likely to come before his court. Steigmann said the speeches were his way of sharing his love of the law and denied he was biased toward groups that paid him


PLEASANT HILL VILLAGE, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's recent signing of bills to reduce the backlog of patients waiting for Medicaid approval won't save a small-town nursing home from closing next month. Pleasant Hill Village Administrator Maryann Walker tells the State Journal-Register that she's happy Rauner signed the two Senate bills earlier this month, but that they won't keep her Macoupin County skilled-care facility open.


MURPHYSBORO, Ill. (AP) — A new defense attorney for the man convicted in the 2014 death of a Southern Illinois University student has won a delay in his sentencing as he aims to have the conviction thrown out. A judge on Monday pushed back sentencing for 24-year-old Gaege Bethune of Eldorado, Illinois, until Sept. 17. He had been scheduled for sentencing Wednesday on first-degree murder for 19-year-old Pravin Varughese's (VAHR'-geez) death.


(Springfield--jc)  Corn continues to progress ahead of schedule as we hear in the weekly crop report. 90 percent of corn is in the dough stage and 45 percent is denting. That’s well ahead of last year and the 5 year average says State Crop Statistician Brad Summa…



State Crop Statistician Brad Summa.

Summa says 90 percent of soybeans are setting pods and 73 percent of the crop is in good to excellent condition. Statewide topsoil moisture is 10 percent very short, 30 percent short, 59 percent adequate and one percent surplus.


(Springfield--jc)  When the parade of champions happens today at the Illinois State fair, one local resident has an animal ready for the state’s top sale. Hunter Weber of Buckley’s hereford steer was named reserve grand champion Land of Lincoln steer at this year’s Illinois State Fair. At the parade of champions this afternoon, the steer will be sold in the Governor’s Sale of Champions. Proceeds from the sale to to the exhibitor, and towards youth in agriculture like 4-H and F-F-A.



(Paxton--jc)  --Paxton City council members may accept the donation of property to the city on Shal-lee court near the Nelson Field ball diamonds. The Lee family owns a lot in the cal-de-sac and have proposed to donate the lot to the city. The property holds some bleachers and is used by spectators at ball games. The Paxton City Council is expected to approve the donation of property when they meet tonight in monthly session at 7 tonight on the second floor of city hall.




(Springfield--jc)  The 20-18 Illinois State Fair  has several food traditions. One is Culler’s Fries. Jim Cullers says they sell one popular product...fries in a cone with salt and vinegar…



Jim Cullers of Cullers Fries.

The Culler’s stand at the Illinois State Fair is in the same spot they have held for 73 years. The Illinois State Fair runs through Sunday in Springfield.



SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Bruce Rauner signed bills Monday to increase Illinois seniors’ access to high-speed internet and provide more convenience with permanent identification cards. House Bill 5752 creates the Broadband Advisory Council to explore ways to expand broadband access, often called high-speed internet, throughout the state, including in unserved and underserved areas.



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



(Paxton--jc)  Accolade Healthcare in Paxton is closing one of its three buildings and residents will be moved to two other locations in the city. The building on north market is being shut down. A meeting between workers at the sites in Paxton and the management team for Accolade Health is set for today. More information about the merger into two sites in Paxton will be available later today. WPXN news will continue to update this story as more official news becomes available.



(Springfield--jc)  In updating our story about two new laws to help keep college students in the state, the second new law gives students more flexibility towards a degree. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says credits will transfer easier under the new law…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner




(Springfield--jc)  -- Corn continues to progress ahead of schedule as we hear in the weekly crop report. 90 percent of corn is in the dough stage. State Crop Statistician Brad Summa says 90 percent of soybeans are setting pods…



State Crop Statistician Brad Summa

22 percent of sorghum is mature and the 3rd cutting of alfalfa is 70 percent complete.


(Paxton--jc)  Paxton City Council members will look at closing streets for the annual Swine and Dine event when they meet tonight. The Swine and Dine event takes place on Saturday September 15th in the downtown area. Approving several groups to collect donations at street corners in the downtown area over the next several months is also a topic for local leaders. Those wanting to collect donations include the Faulkner toy drive and the Knights of Columbus. The Paxton City Council meets at 7 tonight on the second floor of city hall.


(Champaign--jc)  Weather officials say an El-Nina could be coming this fall or winter. State Climatologist Jim Angel with the Illinois Water Survey in Champaign says that could mean a warmer fall or winter too…



State Climatologist Jim Angel with the Illinois Water Survey in Champaign



(Rantoul--jc)  -- Rantoul village leaders are expected to approve a water main project on North Tanner street when they meet tonight in monthly session. The cost of the project is just under 80 thousand dollars. Also on the agenda tonight is a proposal to accept the three hangers on the former Chanute Air Force Base and a call center into the village. The Rantoul Village board comes to order at 6 tonight in the municipal building on Tanner Street.



(Springfield--jc)  -- WPXN News is taking a look at the long time vendors at the Illinois State Fair. Another mainstay is Vose’s Corndogs. Owner Bob Vose says the lines may be long at the corn dog stand, but it’s worth the wait…



Vose’s Corndog Stand owner Bob Vose.

Vose started at the State Fair delivering ice in the 1940s. The Illinois State Fair runs through Sunday in Springfield.


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Parkland College officials announced Monday that any interested persons wishing to run for a position on the Parkland Board of Trustees may pick up nominating petitions and related documents from Nancy Willamon in Room U336 at the Parkland College campus, 2400 W. Bradley Ave., Champaign, Illinois, during regular business hours beginning August 27th Petitions may NOT be circulated prior to Sept. 18th The term of incumbent trustee James Ayers, Bianca Truitt Green and Jonathan Westfield will expire in April 2019. These board openings will be for a six-year term on the ballot and said seats will expire in April 2025.


(Dewitt County--jc)  Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan Monday announced a lawsuit against a DeWitt County trucking company following a diesel fuel spill that contaminated a pond and a nearby creek. Madigan’s office filed a lawsuit in DeWitt County Circuit Court against H&M Trucking Company, which specializes in transporting food products. Madigan’s lawsuit alleges that approximately 4,000 gallons of diesel fuel were spilled at H&M’s trucking terminal located  in Clinton. Madigan says the fuel contaminated soil, a pond and a nearby creek. Human exposure to diesel fumes can cause dizziness, headaches, nausea and more severe symptoms like heart palpitations. According to Madigan’s lawsuit, diesel fuel began leaking from a storage tank at the terminal beginning around June 30. The leak went unreported, and fuel soaked into the ground on and around the site. The fuel covered the entire surface of the pond and killed vegetation in a two-foot perimeter around the pond, prompting the property owner to contact state  authorities.




Monday August 13 2018

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — A Northwestern University journalism professor has resigned after being accused of misconduct by former students and employees. Alec Klein said in an email that he voluntarily resigned effective Friday "because I believe it is in the best interests of all involved as I pursue other endeavors." Klein in February took a leave of absence while the university investigated misconduct charges raised by eight former students and two Medill former Justice Project employees dating to 2011.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Using tax dollars to settle sexual harassment claims is illegal under a law Gov. Bruce Rauner signed. Rauner acted Friday on the plan by Republican Rep. David McSweeney of Barrington Hills and Democratic Sen. Tom Cullerton of Villa Park. They pushed it after the resurgence of the #MeToo anti-harassment movement last fall. Harassment complaints felled powerful men in entertainment, politics and the media. Media reports revealed that several congressmen had used tax dollars to quiet complaints.


(Springfield--jc)  It was Veteran’s Day at the Illinois State Fair on Sunday. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed 6 new laws in honor of the occasion. One law makes it easier for vets to eligible benefits, a second is the silver alert program says governor Rauner…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner.

Another new law designates November 4th as G-I Bill of Rights Day in Illinois and two others honors Desert Storm service medal recipients on their license plates.


CHARLESTON, Ill. (AP) — A former Illinois basketball coach who pleaded guilty to sexual assault involving two former players has been sentenced to 60 years in prison. A judge sentenced 54-year-old Barry Wolfe of Martinsville to the maximum sentence Friday, after hearing from victims. One said in a written statement that high school was a living hell because of Wolfe's actions. Wolfe coached the Central Illinois Storm, an American Athletic Union basketball program for girls age 17 and younger in Illinois and Indiana.



(Springfield--jc)  Families and outdoor enthusiasts are urged to stop by Conservation World at the Illinois State Fair, going on now through Sunday. Conservation World is a 30 acre park with ponds and grass to shade trees. State Department of Natural Resources Director Wayne Rosenthal…



Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Wayne Rosenthal.

There is also a Paul Bunyan Lumberjack show and butterfly house.


(Champaign County--jc)  -- Several members of a Tennessee family were injured in a one vehicle accident in Champaign County on Saturday afternoon. Police say 33 year old Jamal Halloway of Memphis lost control of his vehicle in the northbound lanes just south of Champaign and the vehicle rolled several times. Halloway, and three family members were treated at Carle Hospital with minor injuries.


(Pontiac--jc)  It’s an event that is celebrating 70 years in Central Illinois. The 20-18 run for the Pontiac based annual Threshermans Reunion starts on August 30th. The groups president is Dave Herz and he talks about a plethora  of Allis-Chalmers orange…



Pontiac Thresherman’s  Reunion event President Dave Herz.



(Springfield--jc)  81 cadets have graduated from the Illinois State Police Academy. They will hit the road as new troopers all over the state. The Cadets made it through a grueling 25 week program in Springfield that included physical challenges, vehicle and firearms training. State Police Director Leo Schmitz says the class has met the initial challenge…



Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz

Now the State police is accepting applications for cadet class 129. The classes start next April and applications are due this Wednesday at  Illinois-Trooper-Dot-Com.



(Fisher--jc)  Could a solar farm be coming to the village of Fisher. Fisher Village leaders were informed that a Minnesota company is looking to build a facility in the south part of Fisher near the grade school. Novel Energy has over a hundred wind farms in Minnesota. State incentives and a lottery for such facilities remain a topic in the state capitol.


(Springfield--jc)  Illinois Brewers will have more freedom to expand their businesses under a new state law. Governor Bruce Rauner says this law removes antiquated regulations that were stifling the brewery industry. Illinois Craft Brewers Guild Executive Director Danielle D’Alesandro agrees says it will left breweries serve beer and cider from other business in their taprooms…



Illinois Craft Brewers Guild Executive Director Danielle D’Alesandro.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is todays Bicentennial Minute…




URBANA, Ill. (AP) — A University of Illinois report is recommending new efforts to support students in the first weeks of school when sexual assaults are most common, especially among freshman. The  university's second systematic survey of sexual misconduct on campus recommends targeting resources at specific groups who have a higher risk of sexual assault. The survey is also recommending doubling down on efforts to reduce alcohol abuse.

LERNA, Ill. (AP) — Learn how to dye materials 19th Century style at the Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site. The hands-on workshop will be Aug. 25 beginning at 10 a.m. in Lerna. Instructors will show participants the process for dyeing fabric in the tradition of the frontier. They will use materials available at the time such as flowers and bark.


(Springfield--jc)  Illinois Brewers will have more freedom to expand their businesses under a new state law. The law strips outdated regulations from the liquor control act of 19-34, C-E-0 Matt Port of Destihl in Normal says one of the most important components helps the whole brew industry….


C-E-O Matt Porter of Destihl of Normal



LISLE, Ill. (AP) — Benedictine University officials say the president of the Illinois-based school has resigned. The Daily Herald reports Michael Brophy stepped down Thursday and is planning a yearlong sabbatical. A spokeswoman says Brophy's future position with the university will be determined next summer. The private, Catholic university is based in the Chicago suburb of Lisle and has campuses in Springfield, Illinois, and Mesa, Arizona. Brophy became president in 2015.


(Paxton--jc)  The Paxton Buckley Loda Teachers Union is expected to vote on a  proposed new contract for teachers in the school when they meet later this week. The Paxton Buckley Loda School board and negotiators for the local teachers have worked on a tentative new three year deal. If approved by the local teachers union, the P-B-L school board is expected to give their o-k to the new deal. Contract details will be released after a new deal is reach.


(Springfield--jc)  She is reigning in Springfield. Rural Cissna Park resident and current Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Samantha Hasselbring started her duties at the Illinois State Fair. The event runs through Sunday.  Hasselbring invites you to see her at the fair in the state capitol…



Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Samantha Hasselbring.

(Cissna Park--jc)  The 20-18 run for the Old Settlers Reunion begins later this week. The annual event runs Thursday and Friday evening in the park in Cissna Park. Entertainment on Thursday at 8 is the Bellflower Country Opry. Friday its the popular band Back Paiges at 8 and on Saturday night its the Neverly Brothers band. A parade is set for Noon on Saturday and someone will win a brand new car on Saturday night. The annual Old Settlers  Reunion is sponsored by the local American Legion Post 527 of Cissna Park.


(Washington--jc)  The high corn and soybean forecasts may have surprised many people, but they also may end up being closer than most August estimates. U-S-D-A Chief Economist Rob Johansson says they may be close to the final harvest numbers…



U-S-D-A Chief Economist Rob Johansson


(Gibson City--jc)  -- One Ford County school district is getting ready for the start of school with a school supply drop off night this evening. The Gibson-City-Melvin-Sibley Elementary School drop off night begins at 4-30 and runs until 6-30. The school will be open for families to drop off school supplies in classrooms and lockers. Entertainment, free ice cream and books also hi-lite the event in Gibson City.

(Champaign--jc)  -- Soil moisture continues to dry, but some mid week rain could help. State Climatologist Jim Angel with the Illinois Water Survey in Champaign says a chance for rain in some parts of the state runs from Tuesday through Thursday…



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




Friday August 10 2018

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner blamed Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Thursday for the city's gun violence, saying the mayor has "failed horribly" on public safety after gunfire last weekend injured more than 70 people and killed 11 . The Republican governor said Chicago police lack sufficient officers and cutting-edge equipment. A spokesman for Emanuel, a Democrat, dismissed the claims and pointed at Rauner's rejection of legislation to license firearms dealers. Speaking at a state Capitol news conference, Rauner for the second straight day said he had no plans to send the National Guard to patrol Chicago's South and West Sides, where many of last weekend's shootings occurred.



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner

Hundreds of more officers will be deployed to crime areas of Chicago this weekend.


POTOMAC — Lola’s Bar and Grill in Potomac will host a fundraiser beginning at noon one week from tomorrow for a Potomac man battling a serious illness. The event is for  John Reardon, a longtime Potomac resident and U.S. Army veteran. The fundraiser will see music food and auction items at Lola’s Bar and Grill in Potomac starting at mid-day on the 18th and running into the evening hours.



(Springfield--jc)  Gaining support for growing the economy and the fiscal health of Illinois remains on the agenda for Republicans in Illinois. 53rd District State Representative Jason Barickman of Bloomington says the party continues to push the idea of a growing economy…



53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington




(Champaign County--jc)  -- Champaign County Crime Stoppers is seeking information about a Rantoul man wanted on violation of bail bond. Authorities are seeking 38 year old Lance Bufford, whose last known address is in the 400 Block of Sheldon Avenue in Rantoul.  Bufford is described as a black male, 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighing around 190 pounds. If you have any information, you are asked to call Champaign County Crime Stoppers at 217-373-8477.



(Washington--  ab) Corn and Soybean crops are far ahead of normal development. Gary Crawford has the story...




(Gilman--jc)  Those traveling along a busy road in Gilman will have to take a different route starting later this month. Illinois Department of Transportation officials say work on the railroad tracks along Route 24 in Gilman will close on the 20th of August and remain closed for the duration of the project. That work is expected to last around 10 days



ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Republican leaders are disavowing a congressional candidate over contentious views he's promoted. The state GOP chairman and other party officials say they're withdrawing support for candidate Bill Fawell after reviewing conspiracy theories about the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the 2012 Sandy Hook mass school shooting that he posted to social media. Fawell is the GOP challenger to Democratic Rep. Cheri Bustos.




OREGON, Ill. (AP) — Organizers say repair work could begin next spring on the century-old Black Hawk statue in northern Illinois as they are less than $90,000 short of their fundraising goal. Repairs on the 48-foot-tall concrete statute in Lowden State Park are estimated to cost $600,000. The Black Hawk Restoration Team says it has $210,000 of the $300,000 needed for contracts to be signed. The state has provided a $350,000 grant.



(Springfield--jc)  - A new law signed by Governor Bruce Rauner aims to bring more jobs back to Springfield. The measure was sponsored by State Representative Sara-Wojcicki-Jimenez (woe-jisky him-men-ez), who says it makes Springfield the default location for state positions…



State Representative Sara-Wojcicki-Jimenez

No current employees will have to move. The new law applies to new jobs and vacancies.



(Paxton--jc)  - A Ford County committee says the full county board should look at costs for its annual required audit. The cost for the audit by Kemper C-P-A Group of Champaign has risen over the last couple of years from around 27 thousand to just over 45 thousand this past year.  Ford County Clerk Amy Frederick will look to get bids for the audit and the full board is expected to look at the issue in the very near future.



(Springfield--jc)  -- The smell of mini donuts and corn dogs  to the sounds of kids on carnival rides is in the air in Springfield as the 20-18 Illinois State Fair has begun. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner urges everyone to come out and enjoy …



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner



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



(Paxton--jc)  The Paxton Buckley Loda Teachers Union is expected to vote on a  proposed new contract for teachers in the school when they meet next week. The Paxton Buckley Loda School board and negotiators for the local teachers have worked on a tentative new three year deal. If approved by the local teachers union, the P-B-L school board is expected to give their o-k to the new deal. Contract details will be released after a new deal is reach.


(Springfield--jc)  The Illinois Department of Public Health is reminding families to make sure everyone is up to date on recommended vaccinations. Vaccines protect babies from 14 diseases by the time they reach two years of age.  Illinois Department of Public Health Spokesperson Melaney Arnold says getting immunized is not just about protecting yourself…



Illinois Department of Public Health Spokesperson Melaney Arnold


(Paxton--jc)  -- Could an extra  quarter of a cent tax be coming to Ford County. The purpose of the tax would be for a specific purpose...public safety. The Ford County board could hear about the issue next week when they meet. A  Ford County board committee is making a recommendation to pursue the quarter of a cent tax increase. Any issue before Ford County voters this fall is expected to be an advisory type vote.


(Springfield--jc) Rural Cissna Park resident and current Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Samantha Hasselbring started her duties at the Illinois State Fair on Thursday. Hasselbring says serving as the state’s fair queen is a blessing…



Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Samantha Hasselbring.


(Farmer City--jc)  Event organizers with an annual September event in DeWitt county want you to mark your calendars. The annual Fabulous Farmer City Extravaganza is set for September 9th. The event is set for the Farmer City raceway and one hilite will be Cozair Harley Davidson and their Jumpstart Trailer. If you’ve never ridden a motorcycle, this is an safe opportunity to experience what it’s like.  The event is very affordable with a usual five dollar charge to enter a vehicle in the show, a five dollar registration for the 50 yard bike drag races. Trophies will be given to the top 5 finishers in each class.


(Rantoul--jc)  - Those in the Rantoul school system needing assistance with school supplies to school clothes have an opportunity on Saturday to fill those needs. The Community Service Center is hosting its “Back to school-clothing event on Saturday from 8 until noon. Those wanting to receive clothes and supplies must contact the Community Service Center in the village to register for the program. The referral must be brought on Saturday t receive the items.


BRIDGEPORT, N.Y. (AP) — Two new exotic zooplankton species have crept into the Great Lakes, according to researchers.The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Cornell University researchers confirmed the species are in Lake Erie. The findings are part of the EPA's biology monitoring program in the Great Lakes. The species are Diaphanosoma fluviatile, which is from Central and South America and the Caribbean, and Mesocyclops pehpeiensis, which is native to tropical and temperate areas of Asia.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Harness racing, fried food to livestock shows. The 20-18 Illinois State Fair has them all says Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner


(Gibson City--jc)- A benefit for a Ford County man who died in a house fire is set for Gibson City American Legion on Saturday. Money raised goes to the Jeremy “Hillbilly” Turner family for funeral expenses and more. Cover charge for the event is 10 dollars per person or 15 dollars per couple. A dinner and silent auction along with music are also event activities.


(Gibson City--jc)  -- The Ford County Corn Belt Shrine Club will host its’ annual Friends of the Shriners Golf Cart run starting at 2 on Saturday afternoon. Registration begins at 1pm. The cost is 70 dollars per couple. Proceeds to benefit the Shriners Hospitals for children


(Paxton--jc)  -- Paxton IGa’s cookout on Saturday will feature pork chop sandwiches chips and soda. This weeks service group that will benefit from the efforts is the Gibson City Masonic Lodge.



Thursday August 9 2018

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner says he will not dispatch the Illinois National Guard to Chicago to stem gun violence. The Republican on Wednesday said that "the National Guard is not for neighborhood policing." He dismissed suggestions that he call up the state militia after 74 people were shot in the city last weekend. At least 11 were killed. Chicago police have ordered 600 additional officers to the affected neighborhoods through the weekend.



JOLIET, Ill. (AP) — A northern Illinois teacher is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife, also a teacher. Authorities say Michael Kazecki beat to death his wife, 38-year-old Rebecca Kazecki, after she tried to intervene Tuesday when he was hitting their 11-year-old son. Rebecca Kazecki died at Presence St. Joseph Medical Center from a skull fracture and bleeding on the brain. Will County Circuit Judge Ben Braun on Wednesday ordered Kazecki held in lieu of $2 million bond.



SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Bruce Rauner announced he has appointed Illinois Rep. Tim Butler of Springfield to serve as co-chair of the Illinois Bicentennial Commission. Butler joins fellow co-chairs Gloria Castillo and Lori Healey. Butler is a Peoria native, he is the great, great, great great-grandson of Lewis Barker, who was elected in 1818 as the state senator from Pope County and who served during the first four Illinois general assemblies.   As Illinois celebrates its Bicentennial the next Illinois Top 200 project is actors. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Manager Chris Wills says two choices are from Danville in Dick Van Dyke and Gene Hackman. You can cast your vote for your favorite at Illinois-Top-200-dot-com.

(Washington--ab)  -- Chinese tariffs on U.S. soybeans have thrown soybean trade patterns into what one expert calls, "unfamiliar territory". Gary Crawford reports...




(Urbana--jc)  Keeping you updated...the trial of 4 Ford County men accused of conspiracy to interfere with commerce, possession of a machine gun and also charges of attempted arson was moved to November. 47 year old Michael Hari, 29 year old Michael McWhorter, 23 year old Joe Morris and 18 year old Ellis Mack are due back in federal court in Urbana on November 13th.  Hari, McWhorter and Morris are also charged with attempted arson that happened at the Women’s Health Practice in Champaign in November of last year. The same three have also been indicted on civil rights and hate crime violations in Minnesota.



(Loda--jc)  The 8th annual Loda Good Ole Days Truck and Tractor Pull has a rescheduled date. The event will take place on Saturday August 25th starting at 10 in the morning. Registration for the pull starts at 7am and gates open at 8am There are 13 different classes pulling in the annual event on Loda’s west side.



(Buckley--jc)  -- When schools start later this month, one school will not be in session on Mondays. Christ Lutheran High School in Buckley is going to a 4 day school week. The move will help with the academic schedule at the Christian High school, but also with transportation costs for families says Christ Lutheran High School Executive Director Sandy Spitz…


School Executive Director Sandy Spitz…

The local school is also set to have its annual dinner and auction fundraiser on August 18th at the Garden Hotel in Urbana. Reservations for the event remain available from the school in Buckley, Abbe Insurance of Buckley and at the WPXN studios.


(Springfield--jc)  The 20-18 Illinois State Fair begins today and once again the Butter cow is part of the annual event. It took about 63 hours and 600 pounds of butter to sculpt the butter cow this year. The Jersey cow has a winning ribbon and a Lincoln Top hat says Illinois Ag Director Raymond Poe.



Illinois Ag Director Raymond Poe.

The Illinois State Fair runs through August 19th.


(Rankin-jc) -- Village of Rankin leaders are helping a local civic group with a drainage project.  The three thousand dollar donation from the village to the Rankin Lions Club will help fix some drainage issues at Centennial Park. Work on the project will be done by local volunteers.



(Paxton--jc)  -- One local theatre group has auditions tonight and on Saturday. The Tri-County Players will hold open auditions for “Windy Hollow” starting at 6-39 tonight and also at 10 Saturday morning. The Paxton theatre is located at 120 North Market Street in downtown Paxton. Needed for the production are over a dozen junior high aged kids. The play Windy Hollow will be performed on September 21st through the 23rd


(Rantoul--jc)  -- You are invited to come out to Wabash Park in Rantoul on Friday night to enjoy the last of the Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce’s Movies In the Park 2018 Summer Series with your family , friends and of course , one of the most popular movies of the summer , Sherlock Gnomes. !! There will be free Swag Bags for all, so bring your people, your blankets, and lawn chairs and come out and enjoy this great community event. The movie starts at dusk


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


(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner spoke to the Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce in Peoria on Wednesday. The governor talked about helping minority businesses succeed…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner


GODFREY, Ill. (AP) — Ivanka Trump toured the welding facility at a southwestern Illinois community college as she promoted the importance of continued worker training. The daughter of President Donald Trump traveled Wednesday to Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey. Trump said a new national council for U.S. workers is aiming to provide information to mid- and late-career workers about training they could seek for jobs of the future.


(Gibson City--jc)  -- One Ford County church is celebrating two anniversaries this weekend. Gibson City’s American Lutheran Church has a 75th anniversary as a church and has been located along route 9 in the city for 50 years. A pie and ice cream social is set for Saturday from 3 pm to 4-30pm. The Christian Group “Jakes Boys” will perform at 5pm. The church is located at 905 E. First St. in Gibson City.


(Roberts--ab) The Village of Roberts is closing their library. Roberts Mayor Rick Flessner says several factors went into the decision to close the facility…


Roberts Mayor Rick Flessner


(Rantoul--jc)  -- Some property of the U. S Air Force was apparently stolen according to a local news report. The Rantoul Press reports that ejection seats from an Air Force plane, being demolished on the former Chanute Air Force base are missing. Rantoul Police say the ejection seats were taken and sold to a third party. The seats have been recovered, but the investigation into who sold the seats continues this morning.


(Penfield--ab)  A tractor pull is set for Penfield later this month. The Buck Creek Tractor Pull will be held in Penfield on August 24th. Spokesperson  Ryan Musson says several classes will pull at the event...




Buck Creek Tractor Pull Event Spokesperson Ryan Musson


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois legislation designed to ensure ride-share drivers undergo adequate background checks is now law.A statement from Illinois Senate Democrats says it took effect Tuesday. It requires that those applying to be ride-share drivers provide their full name and social security number, as well as their date of birth.The statement says that before the new law prospective drivers were only required to give their address, age, driver's license number, motor vehicle registration and automobile insurance liability.


(Washington--jc)  The first survey based crop forecast is set to come out on Friday. U-S-D-A Meteorologist Brad Rippey says the information might be closer to what the final harvest will be as crops are further along this year…



U-S-D-A Meteorologist Brad Rippey

(Springfield--jc)  -- The 20-18 Illinois State Fair begins today at the grounds in Springfield.  Free Entertainment, grandstand concerts, conservation work to harness racing, livestock show, and fair food, hilite the annual event. State Fair Manager Luke Sailer says officials associated with the fair try to keep the event affordable for families…



Illinois State Fair Manager Luke Sailer.





Wednesday August 2018

(Springfield--jc)  -- Eight former Illinois workers are suing Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration, alleging they lost their jobs for political reasons.The workers were laid off from the Illinois Department of Transportation. The governor's administration last year said the layoffs were partly a case of "cleaning up past hiring mistakes and personnel practices. Rauner said the employees were illegally hired patronage workers under previous Democratic governors.The lawsuit filed in federal court Friday argues that the layoffs were part of a deliberate "attempt to deprive the plaintiffs of their employment in retaliation for not being supporters of Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Republican Party. The eight were moved to a different department and  eventually laid off.


WAUKEGAN, Ill. (AP) — The Libertarian candidate for Illinois governor, who's campaigned against the state's child-support system, engaged in a shouting match with a judge about money he owes his ex-wife and access to child visitation. The (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald reports Grayson Jackson balked at scheduling a meeting with his daughter at a neutral family visitation center.


(Danville-jc)  -- Two semi drivers were injured in a two vehicle accident early Tuesday morning. Police say 63 year old Donald Hendershot of Gospart Indiana lost control of his rig just before 5 am yesterday and his vehicle struck the rear of a second semi driven by 67 year old Simone Certain of Newton Iowa. Hendershots semi rolled over and  Certains ended in the east side ditch. Both were taken to area hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.


(Washington-jc)  -- What’s the outlook for soybeans? U-S-D-A Meteorologist Brady Rippy provides some details…




(Rantoul--jc)  Rantoul Village leaders are in the process of crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s on sell documents for the three hanger properties and the A T and T call center. All three properties are located on the former the former Chanute Air Force base in the village. Still to go in the process is approval from the Rantoul Village board and publishing the selling of the properties in the federal register. A California group has agreed to buy the three hangers and the call center for just over 5 point 5 million dollars. These are the final deeds from the process that started with the closure of Chanute Air Force Base in 1993.


(Springfield-- ab) -- Advocates are urging the governor to sign legislation creating the Illinois council on women and girls into law.State Representative Anna Moeller of Elgin says the establishment of the council will ensure that women’s voices are heard and influence policies and legislation...



State Representative Anna Moeller of Elgin



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois will receive more than $15 million in federal money to construct an electric transmission line in southern Illinois. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Monday the $15.3 grant for Illinois is part of nearly $350 million in 20 rural electric projects in 14 states. The Illinois project allows Marion-based Southern Illinois Power Cooperative to install 21 miles of transmission line from the Marion Power Plant to a new substation in Carrier Mills.


(Rantoul--jc) The Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting a “Paint Like Me” Party next month.  Officials with the local chamber say the event is set for September 21st at the Recreation building on East Flessner. The cost for those interested is 30 dollars.


(Paxton--jc) It was not a lightning strike on a person in Paxton on Monday night. With the severe weather on Monday evening throughout the area, several reports of damage were provided. Reports on a person being struck by lightning was actually a very close lightning strike and a person at Monical’s Pizza felt a tingle in his arm when he touched a door. Emergency officials provided care for the man. The amount of lightning strikes did cause some damage to that area of Paxton.


NANYANG, China (AP) — Christians across China have seen their churches raided and their Bibles confiscated amid the atheist ruling Communist Party's ambitious new effort to dictate _ and in some cases displace _ the practice of faith. Some have lost their jobs or faced evictions as President Xi Jinping pushes a campaign to lend "Chinese characteristics" to a religion traditionally aligned with Western democracy.



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



(Springfield--jc)  -- The Illinois Department of Veteran’s Affairs is honoring purple heart recipients. The purple heart is awarded to any member of the U-S Armed Forces who has been wounded or killed in combat. Veteran’s Affairs Director Stephen Curda was at an event in Springfield on Tuesday and thanked approximately 5 thousand heroes…



Veterans Affairs Director Stephen Curda

A purple heart memorial was built at the Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield several years ago.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Bicentennial will be on full display this weekend _ for free. The Illinois State Museum will participate in the Illinois Office of Tourism's Doors Open Illinois program. Admission will be free on Aug. 11-12 for the new exhibition "Bicentennial and Beyond! The Illinois Legacy Collection." The exhibit celebrates the Prairie State's 200th birthday and features rare and rarely seen artifacts from the museum's collection of more than 13 million items.


(Springfield--jc)  Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed a law that puts the state in charge of regulating drones, overriding municipal regulations in towns that had them. The governor signed Senate Bill 32-91  making the state the regulator of drones, also known as unmanned aircraft. The law, effective immediately, says the regulation of an unmanned aircraft system is an exclusive power and function of the state. No unit of local government, including home rule unit, may enact an ordinance or resolution to regulate unmanned aircraft systems.


(Chicago--jc)  --The price tag for parents to send their kids back to school this year is estimated at more than 500 dollars. The back-to-school shopping list seems to grow every year, and never seems to get any cheaper. Liz Verrill, an audit partner with accounting and consulting firm Deloitte, said a new survey puts the back-to-school price tag at about 510 dollars per family this year. The total in the country is 28 Billion dollars.


(Washing.ton--jc)  -- What is the latest look at the nation’s corn crop. U-S-D-A Meteorologist Brad Rippey has the details…



U-S-D-A Meteorologist Brad Rippey.


(Undated--jc)  -- Illinois ranked 28th in C-N-B-C's annual list of "America's Top States for Business," far behind other states in the Midwest. C-N-B-C’s scorecard on state economic climate ranked states on competitiveness to show their ability to attract businesses. The list has both Republican-model and Democrat-model success stories at, or near, the top. But even highlighting its strengths, Illinois was in the bottom half of the rankings.The comprehensive ranking of states is based on their ability to lure and retain businesses. It used more than 60 metrics to compare the states against each other. The most important were workforce, infrastructure, and cost of doing business.


(Bloomington--jc)  -- One local Illinois State Senator says the Russia-election hacking probe is being made into a political issue. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says both Republicans and Democrats in Springfield were already working on ways to protect the election process in the state when information was released on Russia hacking in elections. Barickman says Democrats are trying to use the issue against Republicans…



53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington


(Undated--jc)  --Illinoisans are heading for the door more than nearly any other state, according to a report on how many households are using moving services to leave.Stevens Worldwide Van Lines’ annual long-distance moving study found Illinois had more than twice the number of households moving out of state than moving in. Using data from the American Moving and Storage Association’s database of more than 150,000 out-of-state relocations in 2017, Illinois was the only state that saw more than twice the households leave than arrive, posting 14,147 departures and 6,833 arrivals.The figures don’t include families that use a U-Haul or other methods to move their possessions.


(Paxton--jc)  -- Ford County leaders may address setbacks for wind farms when they meet next week. The Ford County Zoning committee on Tuesday rejected a 15 hundred feet setback for windmills to structures, but then approved a 2 thousand 250 feet setback recommendation. The next step is consideration by the Ford County Zoning board and County planning commission. The full county board could get the issue sometime in the near future.


(Rantoul--jc)  -- A health fair is coming to one nursing home center in Rantoul. The Villas of Holly Brook are hosting the health fair on saturday from 11am until 2pm. Giveaways, free blood pressure checks and free food hilite the event on Saturday at the Villas of Holly Brook in Rantoul


(Buckley--jc)  The St John’s Lutheran Church of Buckley Ladies Aid group has a delicious way to enjoy great food and fellowship on Sunday. The group is hosting an ice cream social complete with sandwiches, ice cream and desserts. Money raised from the Sunday mid day event will help with the Christian groups efforts at the local church.




Tuesday August 7 2018

A tornado touch down, a building losing its roof, a tree on top of a house to tree thatching, occurred with last nights storms that moved at a quick pace throughout East Central Illinois. National Weather Service officials reported the tornado touchdown near Thomasboro in Champaign County. In Paxton the roof of a building along Vermilion Street was torn off by winds. Also a house on Washington was damaged by a fallen tree.  Flooding occurred in Rantoul in several areas including the viaduct along route 136 in the center of town. Several hundred homes were without power due to the storms in the Rantoul, Potomac and Gifford areas. Tree issues were also reported in Rankin, and from Champaign to Danville along the I-74 corridor. Flash flood warnings were also issued for low lying areas throughout the area. Channel 3 also reported over 1 thousand 3 hundred lightning strikes last night as of 11pm


MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 6, 2018  -- Legal Expense Solutions is now advocating for farmers across the country to reduce fees paid to attorneys in the corn seed settlement.  Law firms will be receiving hundreds of millions in fees on the Corn Seed Settlement that was reached with Syngenta. Legal Expense Solutions argues some of the fees may be excessive, unnecessary and unethical.   Tens of thousands of farmers have retained their own attorneys. Hundreds of thousands more are represented by a consortium of law firms in the class action. The settlement requires that no claimant will receive more money per acre/bushel than any other for at least one year.  Individual attorneys have retained some farmers at fees of 40% or more of the farmer's recovery. A federal judge has granted preliminary approval to a $1.51 Billion settlement between the class and Syngenta.




(Paxton---ab) One Local school board  is having their regularly scheduled meeting on August 8th. Paxton Buckley Loda school district will have their 2019 fiscal year budget on display and hear updates on the renovation projects at Clara Peterson School and Paxton Buckley Loda High School The meeting comes to order at 7 tomorrow evening.



(Bloomington--jc)  One local state senator says his job for the constituents in his district is to keep pushing for reforms, lower taxes and to help manage the budget. 53rd district State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says his job is to keep moving the positives forward for those in in the 53rd district and Illinois…



53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington


(Cissna Park--jc)  -- It’s reading with royalty tomorrow in Cissna Park. The Cissna Park News reports that Iroquois County Fair Queen Lyndsey Neukomm will participate with Pre-K to 3rd graders at the Cissna Park Community Library from 10 until 11am on Wednesday. Crafts and snacks will also be provided. Those wanting to attend the free event are asked to call the library at 815-457-2452.


DECATUR, Ill. (AP) — The foundation of Macon County Sheriff Howard Buffett says it's making an "unprecedented investment" in Decatur. The announcement involves community health and will be made Wednesday. No other details were released Monday. Buffett is the son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who has helped the foundation by giving stock from his company, Berkshire Hathaway.



NORMAL — The final days of summer break typically include shopping for school supplies and soaking up a few more trips to the pool. DeAnn Thompson of Normal has one more task on her back-to-school list: prayer. The Pantagraph reports that for two decades, hundreds of students, parents, community members, school staff members and retired teachers have come together at Eastview for an evening of prayer over Twin City schools. That event is set for 7 tonight  at the Foundry of Eastview Christian Church along Airport road in Normal.


(Paxton--jc)  Concrete work and plumbing is almost complete for the Clara Petersen Building project for the Paxton Buckley Loda School district. P-B-L Superintendent Cliff McClure says the site will be moving upward soon…


P-B-L Superintendent Cliff McClure



CHAMPAIGN (N-G)  Could some venues in the city of Champaign serve alcohol in the morning hours. Tonight Champaign City council members will vote on a an ordinance that prohibits restaurants from serving alcohol outdoors before 11 in the morning on Saturdays and noon on Sundays A proposed change would be to allow permitted outdoor patio establishments to serve alcoholic drinks as soon as they open.



(Springfield--jc)  -- Corn progress is surging ahead as we hear in the weekly crop report. 81 percent of the corn is in the dough stage and 21 percent is in the dent stage. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says soybeans are also progressing…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.

Schleusener says 25 percent of sorghum is turning color and the third cutting of alfalfa is nearly 60 percent complete.



Hoopeston -- ab) Hoopeston is having its National Night out today from 4 PM to 7 PM in the front of the Lorraine Theater. The Lorraine theater will be selling raffle tickets for the chance to win Cubs vs. Cardinals tickets for the September 29th game. Another raffle gives you the chance to win tickets to an Elvis Impersonator show on the 25th of August. There will be plenty to do including Corn hole, a dunk tank, and a bounce house. There will be ice cream, Sno cones, hot dogs and other food items from vendors.



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



(Springfield-jc)  -- Illinois’ horse racing industry is making a move to add a type of video gambling at its tracks.The idea is called “historical horse racing” and it allows gamblers to bet on random past races without knowing the names of the horses or which race it was. Opponents say it would equate to having slot machines. Proponents say it is just another form of horse racing. Illinois Racing Board Executive Director Domenic DiCera said “HHR” is a move to compete since the tracks have been cut out of slots and other gaming..


(Paxton--jc)  -- Summer means warmer weather and also things like mosquitos. Along with the pesky bugs comes things like West Nile Virus. Ford County Public Health Department.s Christie Wallace says there are different types of mosquitoes…

Ford County Public Health Department Spokesperson Christie Wallace


(Undated--jc)  - In the past year, grocery stores in Clinton, Moline, Effingham, Farmer City, Fisher, Kankakee and several Chicago suburbs have closed and two more in central Illinois are slated to close by the end of this month.Two Kroger grocery stores are slated to close later this month, one in Decatur and another in Lincoln. Company officials said those stores were not expected to return to profitability. Illinois Retail Merchants Association President Rob Karr says one reason for the trend is that people tend to eat out more and one other is that grocery stores live on the narrowest margins. Karr adds that the local and state government also has a impact on the grocery business in the state.



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The newly appointed leader of Southern Illinois University says he wants to heal divisions following the polarizing tenure of the school system's former president. The Southern Illinoisan in Carbondale reports that interim President J. Kevin Dorsey sees a big task ahead of him after taking over for Randy Dunn, whose last day was in July. Public trust in Dunn evaporated after internal documents revealed he worked to split the system's two campuses and reallocate millions in funding.


(Springfield--jc)  -- 95 percent of soybeans are blooming and 84 percent are setting pods as we hear in the weekly crop report. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 81 percent of the corn is in the dough stage…


State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.

Schleusener adds that average statewide topsoil moisture is 8 percent very short,31 percent short 59 percent adequate and two percent surplus


(PESOTUM--ab) The Illinois State Police announce the use of Roadside safety checks. ISP District 10 commander, Captain Louis Kink announced that they will be conducting roadside safety checks in Champaign County during the month of August. Officers working these roadside checks will be watching closely for the following: Driving Under the Influence, Safety Belt and Child Restraint uses, Speeding, Distracted Driving and other Illinois vehicle code and criminal violations.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Architects dominate the list of top Illinois Artists and Architects in the latest Illinois top 200 poll. Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan were among the top ten on the list chosen by voters says Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Spokesperson Chris Wills…



Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Spokesperson Chris Wills



(Washington--jc)  What are the export trends for the first 9 months of the fiscal year for ag goods. U-S-D-A Economist Bryce Cooke says some are down…



U-S-D-A Economist Bryce Cooke



(Gibson City--jc)  -- One local service club has a golf cart event on Saturday in Ford County.  The Corn Belt Shrine Club in Gibson City is hosting “Friends of the Shriners Golf Cart Run” at 2 this Saturday in Gibson City. The event starts at the home of Greg Houtzel and ends at Sammers. The run goes around the city and concludes with a dinner. The fundraiser costs 70 dollars per couple  Proceeds benefit the Shriners Hospitals for Children.




Monday August 6 2018

DANVILLE, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that a woman who was injured after tripping on a poorly maintained sidewalk can move forward with a lawsuit against the city of Danville. The  state's high court ruled 7-0 last week that the city of Danville was not immune from liability, as the city had argued. Lower courts had sided with the city, finding that the municipality was protected by a state law intended to shield government from the actions of their employees.



HOOPESTON, Ill. (AP) — Teachers in Hoopeston schools are learning how to take care of themselves so they can take care of their students. All 220 Hoopeston school staff members this month will attend one-day wellness and self-care training based on "The Happiness Advantage" by Shawn Achor. Hoopeston schools Superintendent Suzi Hesser says teachers "can't give from an empty well." She says the training ensures their "buckets are full" so they can help pupils. The program is funded through the Illinois Student Assistance Commission. The commission has a seven-year grant to improve post-high school achievement.

The grant also provides $35,000 a year for seven years to finance a Hoopeston social worker.  Hoopeston will have a social worker at each of the elementary, middle and high school buildings.



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois  marked its first Barack Obama Day. A law signed last year made August 4th 4 a day to honor of the 44th president. Saturday was Obama's 57th birthday. Obama was born in Hawaii but began his career as a community organizer in Chicago. He served in the state Senate and U.S. Senate before winning the White House in 2009.



(Springfield--jc)  -- The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is now accepting applications for archery hunting on private property. More than 120 heer hunting sites are available. D-N-R Spokesperson Ed Cross says hunters need to get their applications in by August 24th to be eligible for the I-Rap program…



D-N-R Spokesperson Ed Cross.



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois children must ride in rear-facing child-restraint seats in automobiles until age 2 under a law Gov. Bruce Rauner signed. The Republican OK'd the measure for small backseat passengers Friday. Rear-facing restraints are recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Children taller than 40 inches or weighing more than 40 pounds are exempt.



ST. JOSEPH, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is reviewing legislation that would test feeding the state's deer, which some say could help the animals better fight off illnesses while others argue could spread disease.The bill under review would launch a five-year experiment to test how feeding Illinois deer affects the wild herd's health. The study would lift the 15-year-old rule that makes it illegal to feed deer. Dr. Clifford Shipley, a newly retired University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine professor, said the study's feed formula would help deer thrive. If approved, the experiment could be done locally in Champaign County. Brent Manning, former director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, stated that this would be the biggest wildlife bungle the General Assembly could possibly make.


(Clinton--jc)  --Exelon has made a generous donation to the DeWitt County Museum Association. The money will be used to provide the free musical entertainment during the 50th Annual Apple ‘n Pork Festival which will take place September 29 & 30 at the C.H. Moore Homestead DeWitt County Museum.  There are other 2018 festival-related sponsorship opportunities available. Any business, organization, or individual interested in sponsoring a special festival attraction is encouraged to contact the museum at 217-935-6066.



(Watseka--jc)  -- Immunizations gives parents the safe, proven power to protect their children from 14 serious and potentially deadly diseases before they turn 2 years old. To recognize the importance of immunizations for a healthy start and throughout our lives – and to make sure children are protected with all the vaccines they need – the Iroquois County Public Health Department is joining with partners nationwide in recognizing August as National Immunization Awareness Month.

“Children who don’t receive recommended vaccines are at risk of getting the disease or illness, and of having a severe case,” said Vonda Pruitt, Director of Nursing at the health department. “Every dose of every vaccine is important to protect your child and others in the community from infectious diseases.” Today’s childhood vaccines protect against serious and potentially life-threatening diseases, including polio, measles, whooping cough, and chickenpox.



(Paxton--jc)  Its official the First National Bank in Paxton and the Cissna Park State Bank are now under a new name. The two local financial institutions were connected through a banking corporation. Now the two are under the same business. The new name is The Frederick Community Bank of Paxton and Cissna Park. the new signs around the two banks were installed last week



(Paxton--jc)  Summer Motor Fuel Tax dollar projects are in the final stages for several streets in the city of Paxton.  One block resurfacing on Center, State and Summer Streets are getting their final touches. Work is expected to be completed very soon and city officials remind the motoring public to be extra careful in road work zone areas.


(Rantoul--jc)  One local Christian organization is set for its annual fundraiser banquet later this month. The “Jesus is the Way” Prison Ministry, based in Rantoul, has the banquet on Friday August 24 from 6 to 8pm at the Laborers International Union facility  along Anthony Drive in Urbana. This year’s theme is “Circle of Love.” Those wanting more information may call the Jesus is the Way prison ministry in Rantoul.



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



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner has rejected legislation that would prohibit retailers from charging fees on rebate cards. The Republican vetoed the measure Friday. It would have banned merchants and banks that issue rebate cards to consumers from charging maintenance or dormancy fees. Chicago Democratic Sen. Cristina Castro of Elgin sponsored the bill. She says Rauner sided with "big banks" over consumers. She says a rebate promised at a certain level should not be reduced by fees.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has begun accepting applications for grants to acquire land for open space and recreation.Officials are accepting requests from local governments for the state-administered Open Space Land Acquisition and Development fund. OSLAD provides state money to municipalities to purchase and develop land for public outdoor recreation. It is a matching program that provides advance payment of half the grant award for development projects. It's funded through part of the state's Real Estate Transfer Tax.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The 20-18 Illinois State Fair by the numbers: 160. 200. 30 million. 4. And 1 "Crazy Mouse." The state fair kicks off Thursday, the 160th edition, amid the backdrop of the Prairie State's 200th birthday.After years of fairgrounds deterioration exacerbated by a political deadlock that left the state without a budget for two straight years, there's $30 million available this year for improvements — the roads have already been repaved State Representative Tim Butler of Springfield says the state fair is what Illinois is all about.



State Representative Tim Butler

And to celebrate, the fair is offering a 20 percent drop in the price of a beer, to $4. The fair runs through Aug. 19 and admission is unchanged at $10 except for Thursday's Preview Day, Agriculture Day on Aug. 14 and Family Day on Aug. 19, when $5 gets you in the gate.The "Crazy Mouse" is the state fair midway's first-ever roller coaster.



(Urbana--jc)  -- Experimental Aircraft Association is bringing the first-ever mass produced airliner to Urbana this month.The Ford Tri-Motor 5-A-T flew its first flight in December, 1928 and calls the Liberty Aviation Museum in Port Clinton, Ohio home today.  Today, E-A-A and the Liberty Aviation Museum work together to showcase the historic aircraft around the country for all to enjoy The event is set for August 16th through the 19th at Frasca Field just north of Urbana. More information is found on their facebook page.


(Springfield--jc)  -- High school students will be heading back to school this month. They will also be learning more about handling sexual harassment. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed the measure into law. State Representative Stephanie Kifowit of Oswego sponsored the measure and says students from her district suggested adding new topics to the current sex-Ed curriculum…



State Representative Stephanie Kifowit of Oswego


BLOOMINGTON — A former Bloomington nurse was sentenced to four years in prison Friday for what a prosecutor termed a "cold, calculated" crime that involved stealing opioid patches from two terminally ill nursing home residents in McLean County  Judge Casey Costigan handed down the sentence to 31 year old James Rellihan. The judge also recommended drug treatment for Rellihan in the Department of Corrections but denied a request for boot camp.



(Paxton--jc)  Wind farms will be the topic for a Ford County committee on Tuesday morning. The committee will be addressing proposed changes to the counties ordinances regulating wind farms in Ford County. Wind tower setbacks is the main topic for the meeting. The meeting is set for 10 Tuesday morning in the small courtroom of the Ford County courthouse in Paxton.


(Gibson City--jc)  The Gibson City American Legion is the venue for a benefit for the family of a  Ford County man who died in a house fire in May of this year. The Saturday benefit is for the Jeremy “Hillbilly” Turner family starting at 5 with  a dinner and silent auction. Music and raffles also hilite the fundraiser. The family home was a total loss in the May 8th fire.





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