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WPXN Blog

The Illinois lottery is Celebrating the Nation's First-Ever Lottery Week

(Springfield--ba)  -- The Center for Illinois Politics says in the period of one year 98 children involved in investigations with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services died.The Chicago-based nonprofit also examined the agencies finances and found the agency will spend about $81,000 per child under its custody, including foster care, institutions and group homes. A DCFS spokesman says the figure is lower because the agency provides other services. The report also shows the revolving door of directors at the agency. It has had 13 different directors since 2011.

 

(Effingham--jc)  -- The man who started the county gun-owner sanctuary resolution efforts in Effingham County said more than half of the state’s counties have measures in place to oppose onerous gun laws. Effingham County Board Vice Chairman David Campbell said 65 of the state’s 102 counties have passed gun sanctuary resolutions. Campbell said he and others are working to encourage more counties to adopt such resolutions.

 

 

(Washington--ba)  -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture is extending the deadline to file crop acreage reports for agricultural producers in Illinois impacting  by flooding and heavy moisture. WPXN’s Braedon Arnett has that story.

 

 

 

CHAMPAIGN, Ill.— A Parkland College Adult Education program that trains adult residents to assist their kids and grandkids with school subjects will soon receive funding from a new state family literacy grant and is currently looking for volunteer tutors to boost program offerings. The Project READ "Parent and Family Learning Lab," which launched in February as "Parent Lab," has been awarded a fiscal year 2020 grant by the Illinois State Library's Penny Severns Family Literacy Program. The state program supports initiatives that provide comprehensive literacy instruction and support to families.

 

 

(Urbana--ba) -- Urbana’s finest public servants will become dinner servers on Monday, July 29 as Members of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge # 70 work at the Longhorn Steakhouse at 2010 N Prospect in Champaign. A portion of the restaurant’s proceeds from the officer’s shift of 5 to 8pm will help fund the FOP’s charitable community events throughout the year.

 

 

(Washington--ba)  --New USDA rice forecast shows slightly improved price prospects for U.S. growers. USDA’s Stephanie Ho reports.

 

 

 

(Loda--ba)  -- The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting a retro themed annual Golf Outing. The Lakeview Country Club in Loda is the venue for a Flashback to the 80’s golf event,  Proceeds go to the Community Improvement Fund. The outing will be Friday, August 23, with Lunch at 11am provided by the Tin Cup restaurant.

 

(Springfield--ba) The Illinois lottery is celebrating the nation's first-ever lottery week. The week is in recognition of lotteries across the country and their contributions. In Illinois, the lottery has provided more than 20 billion dollars in revenue to the state since 1985 says Spokesperson Jason Schaumburg. Much of that goes to education.

 

 

Spokesperson Jason Schaumburg. 

 

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — The mother of a former University of Illinois student convicted of killing a Chinese scholar told the jury deciding his fate it would be horrible if he is put to death. Ellen Williams testified Monday that Brendt Christensen's crime is "horrible" and she feels "bad." Williams' testimony is part of the penalty phase of Christensen's trial. The federal jury that found him guilty last month in the 2017 killing of Yingying Zhang now must decide if he should be executed or serve life in prison.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  Crops and producers continue to play catch-up, as we hear in the weekly crop report. 96 percent of soybeans are now in the ground State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says the corn crop is catching up…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener

90 percent of winter wheat has been harvested and the 2nd cutting of alfalfa is 39 percent complete.  Topsoil moisture is 1 percent very short, 18 percent short, 72 percent adequate and 9 percent surplus

 

 

(Champaign County--jc)  -- Champaign County Crimestoppers is seeking your help in solving a crime that occurred on Tuesday July 9th at Aldis in Champaign. Authorities say a man and a woman distracted an elderly customer and then stole her purse. The woman’s credit cards were used for over 1 thousand dollars in purchases in Mahomet. The suspect is described as an older female, black, 5 feet tall and weighing around 175 pounds. Anyone with information is asked to call Champaign County Crimestoppers at 217-373-8477

 

(Undated--jc)  Have you encountered the new fees from the state yet? WPXN’s Joel Cluver has the story…

 

 

 

(Rantoul--ba) Loans will be on the minds of Rantoul Village leaders tonight. The Rantoul Village Board of Trustees will meet to discuss a micro loan to Kiefer Photography, approve an EDA Loan to Rantoul United  Pentecostal Church, motion to authorize and approve the purchase of a Portable Trailer Bypass Pump. the meeting comes to order at 6 tonight in the meeting room on Tanner Street.

 

 

 

(Urbana--jc)  The next court appearance for a Clarence man in a domestic hate crime in Illinois is one week from today. 48 year old Michael Hari is accused of an attempted firebombing in Champaign, locally. A separate charge of bombing a mosque in Minnesota is expected to be heard in court in September. Three other defendants in the cases are awaiting sentencing.

 

(Springfield--ba)  --Governor JB Pritzker and Attorney General Kwame Raoul are urging immigrants to know their rights.  Governor Pritzker says Illinois stands as a firewall against the president’s attack on immigrant communities. With that in mind, Attorney General Spokesperson Annie Thompson offers some tips for those confronted.

 

 

Illinois Attorney General Spokesperson Annie Thompson 

 

 

(Buckley--jc)  -- A sanitary sewer project remains a topic for local leaders in one Southern Iroquois County town. Officials in the village of Buckley are looking at ways to fund a sanitary sewer project in town. Buckley Mayor Sherry Stachura says the town council and her office are trying to do what is best for Buckley…

 

 

Buckley Mayor Sherry Stachura

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- It is because of higher operating costs. That is the reason City oF Paxon residents will be spending more for their water and sewer rates. City leaders gave their O-K for the increase this month to be three percent. The increase is one percent more than the fees have seen over the past 10 years.  The additional fees for those in the city is just under 1 dollar per month

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- With the heat and humidity pushing temperatures into the 90s and the heat indexes into the 110 degree range, the Paxton Emergency Management Agency is reminding local residents that heat related deaths in vehicles are preventable. Also, check on your elderly neighbor with this weeks high heat conditions. 

 

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois woman checked her mail and learned about a man's travels in Hong Kong. But Kim Draper doesn't know the man — and the postcard is 26 years old.Draper, who lives in Springfield, says the postcard from 1993 appears to have been written by a father to his children. She tells The State Journal-Register that she's been searching online for Leena Kizilbash, who could be living in Massachusetts.

 

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State is Behind Schedule on Gambling Expansion

CHICAGO (AP) — Several thousand protesters have marched through downtown Chicago to protest the Trump administration's immigration policies, including planned sweeps in several American cities, including Chicago. The protesters at Saturday's march belted chants critical of President Donald Trump and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. Many carried placards with messages including "No kids in cages" and "Abolish ICE."  A similar protest was held in Champaign, locally.

 

JOLIET, Ill. (AP) — The Will County Forest Preserve District welcomes patrons to enjoy themselves, but "Don't Be a Jerk." The Forest Preserve's campaign is aimed at littering, unleashed dogs, improper use of its 125 miles of trails. Forest Preserve CEO Ralph Schultz tells the (Joliet) Herald-News that those are the complaints administrators hear the most. Police have issued 41 citations for such offenses so far this year. But complaints indicate they're happening more often.

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — American Airlines says it will keep the Boeing 737 Max plane off its schedule until Nov. 3, which is two months longer than it had planned. In a statement Sunday, American says the action will result in the cancellation of about 115 flights per day. It says it "remains confident" that the Boeing plane will be recertified this year. But some airline executives are growing doubtful about that timetable.

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- The new Clara Petersen School in Paxton will be ready for occupants in September.  The new two-story 63 thousand 400 school will have it’s dedication ceremony on Saturday September 28 at 10 that morning. The public will be invited to tour the new building. School starts September 6th for students in the Paxton Buckley Loda School District.

 

(Champaign--jc)  The first 6 months of 20-19 were wet and cold. The first two weeks of July  are just the opposite with hot and humid conditions. Brian Kerschner with the Illinois Water Survey in Champaign says January through June was a record setter…

 

 

Kerschner says the 6 to 10 day outlook will be warmer and more humid...…

 

 

Illinois Water Survey in Champaign Spokesperson Brian Kerschner.

 

 

(Springfield-jc) --  Elected officials, including two Republican lawmakers, talked with residents Saturday about two controversial efforts, one that would separate Chicago from the rest of the state and another to encourage more counties to pass resolutions declaring themselves gun sanctuary counties.While gun sanctuary resolutions have caught on in some parts of the state, the measure to break Chicago off from the rest of Illinois is unlikely to gain traction in the General Assembly.Residents in Sangamon County heard from two Republican state representatives, the Effingham County Board Chairman and Vice Chairman and two gun-rights activists at a town hall meeting Saturday. They discussed an effort to separate Chicago from Illinois and why county boards across the state are passing gun-owner sanctuary resolutions.

 

(Gilman--jc)  -- Iroquois West School board members will look to award bids for bread and milk when they meet tonight in monthly session.  Bids for a boiler project are also on the agenda. The Iroquois West School board meets at 7 tonight in the board meeting room in Gilman. 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  Rantoul resident Mark Hall took first place in racing on Saturday evening at the Summer Smash Monster Bash in Evansville, IN! Meanwhile in Bloomsburg, PA, Mat Dishman has taken two second place finishes with one more race tomorrow. Great job team!

 

(Chicago--jc)  -- Illinois' new gambling expansion is barely two weeks old, but the state is already behind schedule.Illinois lawmakers intentionally set the state on a fast track to open casinos in Chicago, Rockford, Waukegan, the south suburbs, Danville, and in southern Illinois.But the state is not keeping up the pace.The state should have named a firm to study a Chicago casino on Friday. That hasn't happened. Gov. J.B. Pritzker said it will, eventually.

 

(Washington--jc)  --A U.S. Senator wants to send a message to states like Illinois that have accumulated large pension debts: Don’t look to the federal government for a bailoutA newly-filed resolution by U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas, states that Congress should not be responsible for bailing out fiscally-irresponsible states.  Cotton says the sense of the Senate is that the Federal Government should take no action to redeem, assume, or guarantee any debt, including pension obligations, of a State and if any negotiations are proposed, Congress should be notified before the process begins.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  --A state legislator who represents the Illinois State Fairgrounds said he's worried Governor. J.B. Pritzker's administration is on a slippery slope of state-sponsored censorship after canceling the performance of a band at the DuQuoin State Fair and that a boycott of the event would only hurt the local community. Pritzker's administration canceled a scheduled performance by Confederate Railroad, a country music act from Georgia, administration because the band uses the Confederate flag, which is associated with racism, slavery and treason. State Representative Tim Butler, Republican from Springfield says he is no fan of the Confederate flag, but said the government should not engage in censorship.

 

 

(Champaign--jc)  -- Illinois V-F-W Commander and Rantoul resident Brad Gould also helps with the veteran’s assistance in Champaign County.  Gould says he is one who helped the program start…

 

 

State of Illinois V-F-W Commander Brad Gould of Rantoul

The Ford County Old Timers held a motorcycle rally and fundraising event on Saturday that helps fund programs for veterans in Ford, Champaign, Vermilion and Iroquois Counties locally

 

 

(Watseka--jc)  -- Iroquois County Treasurer, Kurt Albers, announced that the deadline to pay the first installment of real estate taxes without penalty is Tuesday . After that date, 1 and one half percent interest on all property must be added to the first installment each month it remains unpaid, according to the Illinois State Statutes.  There is also a drop box on the south side of the Administrative Center in Watseka near the 911 Center.

 

(Cullom--jc) Tri Point School leaders will look at approve participation in the K-C-C early start program and set a budget hearing when they meet tonight. A conference workshop update and a look at collective bargaining matters will also be on tonight’s agenda. The Tri-Point school board meets at 7 tonight in Kempton.

 

(Gibson City--jc)  Its the monthly Gibson City Friday nights under the Lights this Friday. A blessing of the cruising cars and other vehicles will be done at the New Beginnings Church on Sangamon Avenue at 6. The cruise starts soon after and musical entertainment, a queen of hearts contest,  and plenty of food will be available on Friday night in Gibson City.

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- Rantoul School board members were hear some readings on proposed policy issues when they meet tonight in monthly session.  Costs for girls sports uniforms and lunch fees are also on tonight’s agenda. The Rantoul Township High School board meets at 7 tonight at the high school. 

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- Hundreds of items  were sold on Saturday at an auction in Paxton. Officials with the Paxton Buckley Loda school district held the auction at Eastlawn school in Paxton. Items sold ranged from industrial food equipment to trophies and school desks. The building will be razed as the district opens a brand new addition to its Clara Petersen School in September

 

 

 

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Governor J.B. Pritzker Defends His Decision to Remove Country Band Confederate Railroad from the Duquoin State Fair

(Springfield--ba)  -- Legislation on Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk would overhaul how Illinois workers who live in other states are taxed with implications for both businesses and employees. The legislation would put Illinois in line with how other states operate and would give businesses leeway that other states have used to go after companies for tax revenue, according to tax experts. About 4.3 million employees, or 3.2 percent of the workforce, work from home at least half the time, according to Global Workplace Analytics.

 

 

(Springfield--ba)  -- Governor JB Pritzker is defending the decision to remove the country band, “Confederate Railroad” from the concert lineup at the Duquoin state fair.  Officials pulled the act from the southern Illinois fair over concerns about the group’s name and use of the confederate flag. Some have questioned why rapper Snoop Dogg hasn’t been nixed from state fair in Springfield’s lineup as well, citing his 2017 album “Make America Crip Again” and imagery of dead body with a toe tag reading “Trump.” Governor Pritzker responds:

 

 

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker

 

(Springfield--ba) --The Illinois department of labor is urging employers to have a plan in place to address workplace violence. Workplace violence can include anything from verbal threats to a mass shooter. With that in mind…it’s a good idea for businesses to prepare says Illinois Occupational Safety and Health Administration Director Ben Noven.

 

 

 Illinois Occupational Safety and Health Administration Director Ben Noven.

 

 

(Iroquois County--jc)  -- The extreme hot and humid temperatures are causing some issues on local and area roadways. Iroquois County Highway Department officials say a portion of Illinois Route 24 near Sheldon buckled due to the extreme weather conditions. I-Dot officials were on the scene, Wednesday afternoon,  to repair the portion of the road.

 

(McLean County--jc)  -- A McLean County man is due back in court on a charge of attempting to drown a police K-9.  McLean County authorities say officers went to a campsite in rural Shirley to look for a Shirley man wanted on two local felony warrants. Upon investigation, police were attempting to arrest 40 year old Stephen Sholty, and as he fled the alleged incident occurred. Sholty is due back in court on July 16th.

 

(Penfield--jc)  Everything agriculture  is set for the I and I Grounds in Penfield starting today and running through Sunday. The 20-19 Historic Farm Days features daily farm demonstrations like threshing and corn shucking.  Tractor parades to a open school house also hilite the 4 day event. WPXN will be broadcasting live from noon to 1-30 today as part of our Summer Fun Tour. Its’ stop number 12. 

 

 

(Cissna Park--jc)  -- Those wanting to view the proposed annual ordinance for the village of Cissna Park have the opportunity now. Cissna Park Village Leaders have placed the appropriations ordinance for public inspection. Local leaders are expected to vote to approve the budget when they meet on July 15th.

 

(Fisher--ba)--  The trio are reigning. The Fisher Fair Pageant Queens have been crowned and now they are handing out ribbons, announcing in the grandstand and more. . 19 year old Gabriel Shook of Dewey is your Fisher Fair Queen, 12 year old Makenna Hamilton of Ogden is the Junior Miss Fisher Fair, and 6 year old Maddie Wilson of Rantoul is your Little Miss Fisher Fair. The Fisher Community Fair runs through Saturday.

 

MOUNT CARROLL, Ill. (AP) — A man charged with murder in the death of an Illinois child welfare worker entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors and was sentenced to 21 years in prison. Andrew Sucher was accused of attacking Department of Children and Family Services worker Pamala Knight when she tried to take a child into protective custody in September 2017. Under the deal announced Wednesday by public defenders and the Carroll County state's attorney's office, Sucher will serve 100 percent of his sentence.

 

(Springfield--ba)  --The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services is working with the federal government to implement the single largest tax included in the new state budget, an assessment on managed care organizations in Illinois that officials have estimated will bring in hundreds of millions in revenue for the state. However, Davesurance.com insurance broker Dave Castillo questioned if the feds would approve a plan he said seems to be using the same tax dollars twice.

 

 

(Undated-jc)  -- Illinois’ state budget and those of local towns are more restricted by changes to pension investments than other states because of automatic annual raises for retirees in Illinois.The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College found Illinois state and local governments have to pay the same amount to retirees getting 3 percent compounded annual increases regardless of the broader economic conditions.

 

(Gibson City--jc)  Some business initiatives passed by Illinois leaders are one step closer to bringing jobs to the state and local area.. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett, of Gibson City, says there was support on both sides of the aisle…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City

 

 

(Fisher--jc)  -- The Mark Chesnutt, Drew Baldridge and Fuedin’ Hillbillies concert is one day away for the Fisher Community Fair. Today is Donkey races day. That event filled with local leaders and celebrities is set for 7 tonight. A Sheep show begins at 8. A farm frenzy starts at 9-30.  Bingo starts at 1 this afternoon and it’s Jim Kates performing in the commercial building at 7.

 

 

(Washington--jc)  After several incidents of sports fans getting hurt at sports stadiums, Illinois U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin is urging major league teams to require more protection for spectators. Durbin wants the leagues to extend protective netting at ballparks to ensure errant balls don’t hit fans  A fan was recently hospitalized after being hit by a foul ball at a game between the Cubs and Astros.

 

(Champaign--jc)  -- It’s really no surprise, but the first 6 months of 20-19 were the wettest in Illinois history. The collection of weather data dates back to 18-95. The new record is 20-19 says Illinois Water Survey of Champaign Spokesperson Brian Kerschner…

 

 

Illinois Water Survey of Champaign Spokesperson Brian Kerschner

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  Rantoul Village leaders are expected to give their o-k for a loan to a downtown business. Kiefer Photography  owners are asking for a 30 thousand dollar micro-loan to repair damage to their building in downtown. Some of the damage was caused by falling bricks. Work on a nearby business at, A House of Flowers by Paula, had recently been completed. The new request could be granted at the July meeting of the Rantoul Village Board next week.

 

 

(Bayles Lake--jc)  -- You are asked to attend, but also bring your lawn chairs for music on Sunday night at Bayles Lake. The music in the park takes place at 6 on Sunday evening. Prairie City will perform. Members of the United Methodist Church will be collecting a free will donation to benefit needy Children in Illinois during the concert at Robinson Pavilion.

 

 

(Fisher--jc)  Its Donkey races tonight at the Fisher Community Fair. Fair President Todd Cotter says its family entertainment and the donkeys are the stars…

 

 

Fisher Community Fair President Todd Cotter.

 

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A Marijuana Dispensary Could Be coming to East Central Illinois

(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White said Tuesday that his office does not share information with Immigration and Customs Enforcement or any other law enforcement agency on the issue of a person’s legal status in the United States. White made his comment in response to published stories saying that ICE and the Federal Bureau of Investigation use photos from Drivers License offices nationwide as a means to identify undocumented persons. Illinois was not mentioned as one of the participating states. 

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- The items will be up for auction on Saturday. The items in question are inside the Eastlawn School Building in Paxton. Officials from P-B-L set the date for auctioning off items for 9 a m Saturday. Local auctioneer Brad Strebeck will take the bids for everything from food equipment, theatre seats, old trophies, band equipment to antique doors. A complete list of items is found on line at  strebeck-auctions-dot-com.

 

(Springfield--ba) --  From increasing the state's gas tax and minimum wage to carving out tax credits for some businesses, associations representing different sectors of Illinois' economy have different takes on how new measures passed during the last legislative session will affect businesses. A report the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association released showed the impact in various counties in central Illinois. In Macon County, manufacturing makes up 40 percent of the county’s gross domestic product. In Champaign County, it is 6.8 percent of the county’s GDP. Sangamon County’s manufacturing sector makes up nearly 3 percent of the county GDP, while in McLean County about 2 percent of the county’s GDP comes from manufacturing.

 

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  Summer in Illinois is hot and humid. The Paxton Park District has set up some free swim times courtesy of local organizations and businesses. The first is Thursday from 1pm to 5pm with the thanks going to the First Lutheran Church of Paxton.This weekend on Saturday from 1pm to 4pm and Sunday from 1pm to 4pm its a free swim for the public courtesy of the Pueblo Lindo Restaurant.

 

 

(Fisher--jc)  -- The first day of the 20-19 Fisher Community Fair is complete. Day 4 on Friday is national concert day. Fisher Fair President Todd Cotter says bringing in  Mark Chesnutt, Drew Baldridge along with the Fuedin’ Hillbillies has seen excitement from the Fisher community and area…

 

 

Fisher Community Fair President Todd Cotter

 

 

(Springfield--ba)  -- The state board of education is reminding that free and reduced meals are available not just at school…but also at participating daycares and after school programs. The child and adult care food program is federally funded…reimbursing daycare centers and programs says Illinois State Board of Educations Spokesperson Tim Murphy...

 

 

 I-S-B-E Spokesperson Tim Murphy.

 

 

(Paxton--ba)  -- An update on the Clara Petersen School project is expected tonight in the monthly meeting of the Paxton-Buckley-Loda School board.  Summer is also renovation time at the high school in Paxton.

 

 

(Watseka--jc)  -- The Watseka Unit 9 School District has a new interim Superintendent. He is Gary Miller. The local school board made the interim pick on Tuesday afternoon as they continue to look for a permanent replacement for the districts superintendent position

 

(Champaign--jc)  -- One person was injured in a rollover accident Tuesday near the Interstate 57-to-Interstate 72 interchange. Police say 21 year old Daimika Curry lost control of his vehicle Tuesday afternoon around 1-30. He was taken to a local hospital. Curry was wearing a seat belt. He received citations for having no insurance and driving with a suspended license

 

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois State Museum Society is offering day trips for people to explore the state's history and culture this summer by coach bus. The first trip is scheduled for Aug. 10 and will feature a visit to the Illinois State Museum Lockport Gallery and a 90-minute walking tour of the Old Joliet Prison. The second trip is Sept. 14 and will focus on African American history.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — A transgender woman who had battled the Illinois Department of Corrections over alleged abuse while she was incarcerated has been released from prison. Deon "Strawberry" Hampton of Chicago was released Monday from Logan Correctional Center outside Lincoln. Prisoner Review Board spokesman Jason Sweat says the Corrections Department recommended restoration of good conduct credit to the 28-year-old Hampton and the board approved. He says that made Hampton eligible for release.

 

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — The mother of a Chinese scholar who was kidnapped and killed by a former University of Illinois doctoral student has told a jury about the loss she feels. Lifeng Ye's video testimony was played Tuesday for the jury that last month convicted Brendt Christensen in Yingying Zhang's 2017 death. The same jurors will decide if Christensen should be given the death penalty. Lifeng Ye spoke through tears of never seeing her daughter wear a wedding dress or have children of her own.

 

(Champaign--jc)  -- July is here and the temperatures are hot. Brian Kerschner is with the Illinois Water Survey in Champaign says July weather means hot and humid conditions…

 

 

Illinois Water Survey-Champaign Spokesperson Brian Kerschner

 

 

(Vermilion County--jc)  Could a marijuana dispensary be coming to East Central Illinois.  A public hearing on the issue has been set for next month. The date is Tuesday August 13th at 6-30 that evening. The hearing takes place at the Lion’s Club Building in Rankin. Recreational marijuana becomes legal on January First. 

 

(Fisher--jc)  -- It is day 2 at the Fisher Community Fair today. It is Childrens day. Fisher Fair President Todd Cotter says fishing for prizes to Plinko are games this morning…

 

 

Fisher Fair President Todd Cotter. 

 

(Kankakee--jc)  -- Interstate 57 continues to be closed overnights between mile marker 315 and 318 due to a bridge removal project. Both northbound  and southbound traffic, during the overnight hours, are being re-routed. The road closures are expected to continue through the end of this week. 

 

 

There are some similarities between corn and soybean crop development. USDA’s Stephanie Ho reports.

 

 

 

(Paxton--ba)  -- One local church is selling a breakfast to support an upcoming mission. A group from The American Lutheran Church in Rantoul  is selling breakfast burritos to support a trip to Tanzania. The suggested donation for a bag of 5 burritos is $10, More information about the fundraiser is found by contacting the church office.

 

 

 

(Mahomet--jc)  Traffic was backed up for several hours along Interstate 74 between Mahomet and Champaign on Tuesday afternoon. Authorities say a rollover accident was the cause. Three people were taken to Champaign hospitals with injuries sustained in the crash. Traffic was slowed for several hours.

 

(Cissna Park--jc)  -- Wanted...your talent. A talent show is set for Thursday August 15th in Cissna Park at the annual Old Settlers Celebration. The show will be on the stage in the park, beginning at 7-30 pm.  More information is found by contacting Lynn Hasselbring at Lynn-Hasselbring-at-C-P-Schools-dot org.

 

 

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Don't Leave Your Kids or Pets in a Hot Car

(Undated--jc)  --As the summer moves into its hottest days, there is a push to nationalize the effort to prevent parents from leaving kids in hot cars.Leaving a child unattended in a car in Illinois under certain circumstances is a misdemeanor for the first offense. It can be a felony for subsequent offenses.Nearly 20 other states have similar laws of their own. But there is a push to take the issue to Congress.

 

NAPERVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A survivor of a northern Illinois private plane crash that left one dead says her husband, who piloted the plane, is a hero because of his efforts to prevent the tragedy. Investigators say 70-year-old Raymond Jakubiak of Naperville was flying his 1981 Beech A36 single-engine aircraft from Nashville to the Chicago area when it began experiencing engine problems Friday. The plane caught fire after Jakubiak made an emergency landing in a wheat field near Chebanse in northern Iroquois County.

 

 

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — A prosecutor is telling a federal jury that convicted of a former University of Illinois doctoral student convicted last month in the kidnapping and killing a Chinese scholar deserves the death penalty because the crime was "cold, calculated, cruel and months in the making."

 

 

(Springfield--ba) -- A house committee is discussing the removal of more than 200 books from a downstate state prison library. The books were taken out of the Danville correctional center’s education justice project collection…used by inmates taking college courses. The program director…Rebecca Ginsburg with the university of Illinois says the books are a vital part of the curriculum.

 

 

Rebecca Ginsburg with the university of Illinois 

 

(Undated--jc)  -- A fundraiser for veterans is set for Saturday.  The 7th annual Summer Fun Run is sponsored by the Ford County Old-Timers begins at the Urbana V-F-W. The motorcycles will go to Danville, Hoopeston and end in Paxton Saturday afternoon. Anyone wanting to participate have several options says event Spokesperson Tabitha Renfro…

 

 

7th Annual Summer Fun Run Spokesperson Tabitha Renfro

 

(Springfield--jc)  Under a new program in Illinois, the state will be providing financial assistance to independent pharmacies serving Medicaid customers in small communities. The Critical Access Care Pharmacy Program is funded with legislative authority and the first payments have been submitted to the Comptroller's Office for distribution, with payment amounts based on the Medicaid prescriptions that pharmacies fill according to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. Executive Director of the Illinois Pharmacists Association Garth Reynolds says the funding does not solve the entire reimbursement problem, but it does provide some financial assistance to pharmacies in the most needed areas in the state.

 

(Watseka--jc)  -- Iroquois County leaders are set to  support the activity to work towards and with the city of Watseka to establish the Iroquois County River Conservancy District b.  The issue is one this morning at the county board meeting in Watseka. A motion to remove specific wording from the Resolution Opposing the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act is another topic. The Iroquois COunty board meets at 9 this morning in the administrative building in Watseka.

 

 

(Gibson City--jc) -- Money for new roads will go to new road projects. That is the way the new law reads for the 45 Billion Dollar Infrastructure program. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says that was an important component for supporting the program…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City

 

 (Undated--jc)  --While Illinois drivers pay more for gas after lawmakers doubled the state's gas tax and increased vehicle fees to pay for a $45 billion infrastructure plan, federal lawmakers have yet to reach a consensus on how to move forward with a national infrastructure funding plan. The state plan doubled the state’s gas tax and increased vehicle registration and other fees to pay for the $45 billion, six-year state infrastructure plan called “Rebuild Illinois.”Illinois electric vehicle drivers will pay $248 annually for vehicle registration. That's up from $17.50 a year.

 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- The HUD Action plan and an improvement project for around 340 thousand dollars at the local waste water plant are on the agenda for Rantoul Village leaders when they meet tonight. The monthly study session will also feature a micro loan request  from Kiefer Photography. A tobacco ordinance is another topic for local leaders. The Rantoul Village Board study session comes to order at 6 in the municipal building on Tanner Street

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- 38 percent of soybeans are rated in good to excellent condition as we hear in the weekly crop report. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says the corn crop is growing fast…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener

Average statewide topsoil moisture is 6 percent short, 66 percent adequate and 28 percent surplus

 

(Buckley-jc)  You can add the village of Buckley to the list of towns that have aging sewer type system issues. Village leaders are looking at options as the village looks to the future to possibly do a major project, says Buckley Village Mayor Sherry Stachura…

 

 

Buckley Village Mayor Sherry Stachura

 

(Champaign--jc)  -- Parkland College is launching a new program on campus this fall that trains students for entry-level work as I-T help-desk technicians, an initiative supported by Google. Completing the six-credit-hour Google I-T Support Professional course  certifies students to provide entry-level support in just one semester at Parkland College and help fill a growing need. According to Google, Google Help Desk technicians are in-demand with many national corporations, from G-E and Intel to Smucker's and Walmart. The national median wage for I-T support specialists is $52,000, and about 150,000 unfilled  support jobs need to be filled across the U.S. No experience with computers is needed beforehand to start the program. For more information, please contact Cyndia Hinton, program manager 217-351-2414

 

 

(Springfield--ba) --Illinois will become less reliant on coal-fired power plants by the end of the year. Under an arrangement with the state, Vistra Energy soon will shut down 40 percent of its eight-facility fleet in central and southern Illinois. Phil Gonet, president of the Illinois Coal Association, said that could cause problems with energy reliability. He said coal can compete with alternative energy if the alternatives were highly subsidized.

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  There could be an increase to your water bills  after tonight’s Paxton City Council meeting. Local leaders are set to discuss a one percent increase in the water and sewer rates in Paxton.  A solar ordinance is also a topic for council members this evening. The Council is expected to give their o-k for volunteers with the Paxton Nursery school to ask for donations on downtown street corners on August 23 and August 24. The Paxton City council meeting comes to order at 7pm on the second floor of city hall

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- A long time and respected member of the Rantoul Township High School board is stepping down. The Press reports that local businessman Doug Jordahl is stepping down after serving the local school district for just over 22 years. The board is looking to fill the vacancy as soon as possible.

 

 

(Gibson City--jc)  Gibson City has a new police officer. He  is Hunter Johnson. Johnson was sworn in last night during the city council meeting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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6 ladies Will be Running for Iroquois County Fair Queen

CHICAGO (AP) — Eight buildings designed by famed American architect Frank Lloyd Wright have been added to the UNESCO World Heritage list. They include the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City, the Hollyhock House in Los Angeles and the Unity Temple in Oak Park, Illinois. The Wright buildings mark the 24th site on the list. Currently, there are 1092 designated World Heritage sites in 167 countries.

 

QUINCY, Ill. (AP) — Officials say four airlines have submitted proposals to offer passenger service at Quincy Regional Airport. The (Quincy) Herald-Whig reports Boutique Air, Air Choice One, Cape Air and SkyWest Airlines have filed paperwork with the U.S. Department of Transportation to offer flights. They have applied to be part of the Essential Air Service program, which gives subsidies to airlines offering passenger service to rural airports. SkyWest currently has a contract.

 

(Crescent City--jc)  -- What do Grace Alhden of Ashkum,  Taylor Hasselbring of Cissna Park, Abigail Wagner of Milford, Samantha Jensen of Onarga, Brianne Miller of Donovan and Morgan Gash of Hoopeston have in common? They are the 6 ladies vying to become the 20-19 Miss Iroquois County Fair Queen. The pageant is set for Wednesday July 17th at 7pm at the Iroquois County fairgrounds north of Crescent City along Route 49.

 

(Springfield--ba)  -- The 4th of July Holiday is complete, but Governor JB Pritzker is asking the public not to text and drive. Governor Pritzker says distracted driving kills more people than drunk driving in Illinois…and is a big concern.

 

 

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker 

 

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Officials say the deadline for entries to participate in the parade that opens the Illinois State Fair is approaching. Entries for Twilight Parade participants are due Monday. The parade committee will choose about 60 entries based on the applications. The theme this year is "Building our Future."

 

CHEBANSE, Ill. (AP) — Authorities say a Tennessee woman died and two suburban Chicago residents were injured after a small plane made an emergency landing in an Illinois field. Iroquois County Sheriff's Police said Saturday Raymond Jakubiak of Naperville was flying a Beech A36 single-engine aircraft from Nashville to the Chicago area Friday afternoon when he began to experience engine trouble.. Jakubiak attempted to land in a wheat field near Chebanse , where the plane was damaged and caught fire. Jakubiak and passenger Dorothy Stockard of Hermitage, Tennessee, were taken to Loyola University Medical Center near Chicago, where Stockard died. Passenger Wrenne Jakubiak of Naperville was treated for injuries and released.National Transportation Safety Board investigators are looking into the cause of the accident.

 

 

(Springfield--ba)  --A state senator plans to continue a push for more regulations for vaping products and e-cigarettes in Illinois over opposition from the industry. Illinois recently raised the purchase age of vaping products from 18 to 21, as part of the Tobacco 21 law that took effect this month. Lawmakers also increased the taxes on vaping products. State Sen. Terry Link, D-Vernon Hills, said he plans to seek further regulations, including a ban on flavored vaping products.


 

(Loda--jc)  A Team Walk is set for Lakeview Country Club in Loda in September. Money raised will go to find a cure and raise awareness of Huntington’s Disease. The walk on the course and a scramble golf tournament are the events for the day.  The walk steps off at 8am Saturday September 7th. The golf tournament tees off at 11am. Those wanting to participate in the walk may contact Samantha Cox at 217-249-1421. The walk donation is 25 dollars.

 

 

(Washington--jc)  --- The Environmental Protection Agency  released the proposed Renewable Volume Obligation rule for 2020.  National Corn Growers Association President Lynn Chrisp says that once again E-P-A has failed to account for lost volumes due to refinery exemptions and uphold the President’s commitment to the Renewable Fuel Standard . Chrisp adds his frustration is that the E-P-A did not account for potential waived gallons going forward in the proposed rule. The position of the National Corn Growers Association is that farmers are facing a very tough economic environment and the continued waiver abuse chips away at farmers bottom line. Since early 2018, the EPA has granted 53 RFS exemptions totaling 2.61 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons of renewable fuel. There are currently 38 pending petitions for 2018.

 

 

(Champaign--jc)  -- The weather stats are in for the month of June.  Illinois Water Survey in Champaign Spokesperson Brian Kerschner says wet and cool…

 

 

Illinois Water Survey-Champaign Spokesperson Brian Kerschner

 

(Roberts--jc)  -- The process to repaint the water tower in the Village of Roberts has begun. Roberts Village leaders are working with the Farnsworth Group from Champaign for the bidding process.  Roberts Mayor Rick Flessner says the project is expected to cost around 115 thousand dollars. Village plans are to borrow the money and have the project completed by Spring of 20-20.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A plant pathogen that causes an invasive tree-killing disease has been found in Illinois.The Illinois Department of Agriculture says the pathogen that causes sudden oak death has been confirmed in ornamental plants at 10 Walmart stores and one Hy-Vee.The issue first emerged with rhododendrons at an Indiana Walmart in late May.Agriculture officials traced the pathogen to plans from nurseries in Washington and Canada sold through an Oklahoma store. Officials received shipping records and found that 18 states overall received the plants. The stores have issued recalls of the infected plants.So far, no oak trees in Illinois have been infected with the incurable disease.Experts say sudden oak death poses no threat to humans, animals or food sources.

 

(Undated--jc)  -- Illinois will become less reliant on coal-fired power plants by the end of the year.Under an arrangement with the state, Vistra Energy soon will shut down 40 percent of its eight-facility fleet in central and southern Illinois.Phil Gonet, president of the Illinois Coal Association, said that could cause problems. The news comes as state lawmakers continue to debate the future of the Clean Energy Jobs Act. The legislation sets a goal of making Illinois’ power grid free of carbon-based fuels by 2030, and would put the entire state on a path to use 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. As of 2018, renewable energy resources accounted for slightly more than 7 percent of net electricity generated in Illinois.

 

 

 

(Springfield--jc) One of the components of the new budget for the state of Illinois is some major projects at area and state colleges and universities Illinois Governor JB Pritzker says they are designed to help Illinois to become a leader in higher education…

 

 

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- When city of Paxton leaders meet in monthly session tomorrow night, they are expected to discuss and approve the local Teamster contract. Another agenda item is approving the Annual Appropriation Ordinance. They City of Paxton Council meeting comes to order at 7pm Tuesday on the second floor of city hall.

 

 

(Sibley--jc)  The annual Sibley Burr Oak Tractor Drive took place on Sunday with a route from the Sibley area to Fairbury. The local event raises money for the Ford County Relay for Life but has also will continue to honor veterans says event spokesperson Russ Tjarks…

 

 

Sibley Burr Oaks Tractor Drive Spokesperson Russ Tjarks.

 

(Gibson City--jc)  Gibson City council members are set to look at a facade grant for a downtown business when they meet tonight. The grant application is from the  Bayern Stube located at 209 North Sangamon Avenue in the city. Gibson City leaders will also look a special license for the Sand Trap for the annual Harvest Fest Event. Other agenda items include bids for a backhoe and wheel loader and to purchase some picnic tables for local parks. The Gibson City Council meets at 7 tonight.

 

 

(Fisher--jc)  The numbers are 3, 10 and 17. Three young ladies are vying to become the Fisher Community Fair Queen tomorrow night.. There are 10 candidates for Junior Miss Fisher Fair and 17 candidates for Little Miss Fisher Fair. The pageant starts at 6-30 on Tuesday night. Tuesday is the first day of the 5 day event.   The annual Fisher Fair features a tractor pull, donkey races and a demo derby. County Music Singer Mark Chesnutt performs on Friday night at the fair. WPXN will be broadcast live on Wednesday morning at 9. It’s Summer Fun Tour stop 11.

 

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4th of July Activities Continue in Area Communities This Weekend

(Champaign--jc)  -- Illinois Governor JB Pritzker says higher education in Illinois will receive a much-needed pick-me-up under his new “Rebuild Illinois” program. The program includes money for a new quantum physics facility at the University of Illinois to a parking lot at Morton College says the governor…

 


Illinois Governor JB Pritzker. The Governor says making these investments in higher education will keep more students in Illinois for College

 

 SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A Cook County judge has ruled that Illinois lawmakers violated the state constitution by freezing their salaries from 2009 to 2017. Associated Circuit Judge Franklin Valderrama's ruling this week indicated that the prohibition on altering a legislator's compensation during a term of office includes freezing it. State Comptroller Susana Mendoza argued that the ban doesn't apply to pay reductions. She says it is meant to keep office-holders from enriching themselves.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — A Beluga whale has given birth to a calf at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium. The 38-year-old beluga whale, Mauyak, delivered on Wednesday evening. Shedd officials say the mother and calf are doing well and will remain under 24-hour observation by the aquarium's animal care team. They are currently not viewable by the public.

 

Springfield--jc)  -- The 4th of July Holiday weekend continues and Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is urging the motoring public, not to drink and drive. Secretary White says between friends, ride sharing services and public transportation, there is no excuse to drive under the influence…

 

 

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White

 

(Undated--jc)  Holiday activities continue in several area towns today in Allerton Park, Clinton Tuscola and Onarga.  In Rankin, the Fourth of July celebration will be held today and tomorrow at Centennial Park on the village’s southwest side. WPXN will be broadcast live at the celebration to help kick off the Truck and Tractor pull this afternoon. Summer Fun tour stop number 10 runs from 4 to 6pm. A full day of activities are set for Saturday  with waterball fights, a cake walk, children’s games, to a watermelon seed spitting contest and pig calling contest. There is a DJ and fireworks on Saturday night.

 

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — State officials are urging boaters to stay safe as the holiday weekend begins. Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director of Law Enforcement Jerry Costello says there'll be increased traffic on lakes and rivers and recent fatalities are a "stark reminder on the importance of boating safety." State officials say all boat operators should check to make sure there are enough personal flotation devices on board.

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  Rantoul resident and current Illinois Veterans of Foreign Wars State Commander Brad Gould was the grand marshal of the Rantoul Freedom Celebration parade on Thursday. Gould talks about his path in the V-F-W to becoming the commander in June…

 

 

Rantoul resident and V-F-W State Commander Brad Gould

 

(Paxton--jc)  Saturday’s fundraiser cookout at the Paxton IGA parking lot will feature ribeye sandwiches, chips and soda. The proceeds will benefit a local toy drive organized by local realtor Kaye Harper. The cookout runs from 10am to 2pm.

 

(Chicago--jc)  -- A former lawmaker who voted at least once to cut his own pay while in office and later sued  to get that money back can proceed with his case, a Cook County judge ruled. Illinois’ comptroller said it’s an example of why taxpayers don’t trust politicians. Former state Senators. Michael Noland of Elgin and James Clayborne of East St. Louis, both Democrats, filed an amended complaint in 2018 seeking acts passed by previous legislators that froze lawmaker pay and required furloughs and compensation forfeiture in certain years during their terms to be declared unconstitutional 

 

(Gibson City--jc)  Firefighters in Gibson City were called to a home fire on North Wood Street on Thursday evening. No word on damage estimates or cause of the fire were provided. WPXN news will update this story as more information becomes available.

 

(Springfield--jc)  The 4th of July weekend is upon us. Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White says 2 out of 4 traffic fatalities over the 4th of July holiday involve alcohol…

 

 

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White.

 

(Buckley--jc) Officials and residents in the village of Buckley have dedicated the refurbished windmill at Buckley Lake. The ceremony was held on Thursday morning following the village parade. Buckley Mayor Sheree Stachura says several groups and individuals helped with the project…

 

 

Village of Buckley Mayor Sheree Stachura

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  --Illinois homeowners have missed $269 billion in home equity growth in the last ten years due to the state’s lower than average home appreciation, according to an analysis of one of the largest pools of home sales data in the world. An analysis by economic watchdog website Wirepoints of home sales data provided by Zillow found that Illinois homeowners would have seen $269 billion in home value growth had home appreciation in Illinois kept pace with the national average since 2009.Zillow’s data showed the total value of all homes in the United States in 2009 was $24.2 trillion. It increased to $32.4 trillion as of May 2019, an increase of more than 33 percent.

 

(Sibley--jc)  The annual Sibley Burr Oaks Area Tractor Drive is set for Sunday. The event raises money for the Ford County Relay for Life. Those participating will be driving tractors along a route and will also honor veterans.  Organizer Russ Tjarks says a route to Fairbury is planned this year…

 

 

Sibley Burr Oaks Area Tractor Drive Spokesperson Russ Tjarks

A raffle for a pedal tractor will also be held.

 

(Paxton--jc)  Paxton Chamber officials announced the winners of the Little Miss and Little Mister Contest at the Old Fashioned 4th of July event at Pells Park. The Little Miss is Tinley Eichelberger   and the Little Mister is Beau Glazik of Paxton.

The winners of the WPXN Watermelon eating contest, 

Youth Division Kindergarten through 3rd grade… 6 year old Brenda Blangin of Paxton

Junior High Division 4th Grade through 8th grade...13 year old John Dietricks of Paxton

Adult Division 17 year old Liam McMillan of Paxton

 

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Several Area Communities Start 4th of July Festivities This Afternoon

(Odgen--jc)  -- Westbound lanes of traffic were closed down for about 5 hours early this morning along a portion of Interstate 74 in Champaign County. The closure was in the westbound lanes from Odgen to St Joseph.  Road repairs were completed during that time.

 

 

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Testing in three southwestern Michigan waterways has turned up no trace of Asian carp that have damaged the environment and economy in other parts of the U.S. The state Department of Natural Resources says 336 water samples have been taken this year from the Kalamazoo River and Ottawa County's Spring Lake and Lake Macatawa. They were analyzed for Asian carp DNA. None tested positive.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A central Illinois man has been sentenced to 60 years in prison for the 2017 beating death of his two-month-old son. Eric Cutler pleaded guilty in May to first-degree murder in the death of Millieon Cutler, who died of blunt-force trauma to his head and body. Authorities say the boy suffered skull, rib and pelvic fractures from the March 2017 beating. The 24-year-old Cutler must serve 100 percent of the sentence handed him by Sangamon County Circuit Judge Adam Giganti.

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- The state of Illinois is going to look at how schools in the state are handling and welcoming transgender students. Illinois' new transgender, nonbinary and gender nonconforming students task force will spend the next six months looking at everything from dress codes to bathrooms to pronouns in Illinois schools. Governor J.B. Pritzker signed an order that creates the task force.

 

 

(Springfield--ba) -- Corn planting is still not complete as we hear in the weekly crop report. 95 of corn has been planted…compared to 100 percent normally says Illinois State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener...

 

 

Illinois State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- The Rantoul Freedom Celebration starts this afternoon at 4 on the grounds near the Hap Parker Aquatic Center. The event kicks off with the Sundowners Anything on Wheels Car Show. The aquatic center will have a free swim from 4pm to 9pm. Music, kids games and volleyball also hilite the event on Wednesday. Rantoul based Hall Brothers will also offer monster truck rides. Fireworks take place at dusk. WPXN will be broadcasting live at 4pm this afternoon. It’s Summer Fun Tour Stop number 7.

 

 

(Washington--ba)  Prevented planting claims could hit record levels. USDA’s Gary Crawford reports.

 

 

(Buckley--jc)  Do you want an roll-top desk? The village of Buckley has one.  Village leaders are asking for bids on the desk. Anyone interested is asked to call the village hall and bids will be opened at the August meeting of the Buckley Village Board.

 

SPRINGFIELD – More than 117 million visitors traveled to Illinois in 2018, setting a new record number of visitors for the state. Visitors to the state spent $41.7 billion, boosting Illinois’ economy by $2 billion over the previous year, according to data provided by the U.S. Travel Association. This record growth resulted in a 5.1 percent increase in visitor spending over 2017— higher than the national visitor growth rate of 4.9 percent. State and local tax revenue generated from visitor spending jumped 7.1 percent to $3.3 billion, creating an additional $220.8 million for the state and local communities.

 

 

(Chicago--jc)  --The head of a free-market think tank in Illinois and a New York-based hedge fund claim  Illinois officials went afoul of the state constitution when they issued debt, according to a lawsuit seeking to invalidate $14.3 billion in state bonds. The petition brought by Illinois Policy Institute CEO John Tillman, in his capacity as a taxpayer, and Warlander Asset Management, a fund that owns $25 million in Illinois bonds bought in multiple offerings, aims to enjoin the state from paying the more than $14 billion in debt service left on two bond offerings. Tillman also is the chairman of the board of the Franklin News Foundation, which publishes The Center Square. The petition, filed in Sangamon County Circuit Court this week, claims Illinois’ Constitution requires bonds go to a specific purpose, roads for instance, instead of financing deficits as they allege the state did in 2003 and 2017.

 

 

(Springfield--ba) --Corn planting is still not complete as we hear in the weekly crop report. Rain has continually delayed work in the fields…leaving farmers behind schedule. 95 percent of corn has now been planted…and 89 percent emerged. 42 of corn is rated in good to excellent condition, a slight decline. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 87 percent of soybeans have been planted.

 

 

State  Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener

 

(Gibson City--jc)  -- The Cornbelt Shriners along with Gibson Area Hospital are hosting a street dance in downtown Gibson City on Saturday. The first band starts at 5-30. 90s Daughter will take the stage at 8. There is a 5 dollar cover and the money raised goes to Shriners Hospitals for Children and the Live-Like-Jay Scholarship fund. Food will also be available during the fundraiser.

 

(Springfield--jc)  --Providing tax relief for some property owners is driving up costs for others, especially in two northern Illinois cities, according to a new report.A report by the Lincoln Institute for Land Policy and Minnesota Center for Fiscal Excellence found that businesses in Chicago paid the third-highest tax rates in the nation on commercial property in 2018 largely because of tax breaks for homeowners shifted the burden to business properties.“The city has a fairly classified property tax system that imposes a higher effective property tax rate on office buildings and other types of commercial properties,” said Adam Langley, associate director of tax policy and data initiatives at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.

 

(Urbana--jc)  --Coroner Duane Northrup is releasing the name of a Champaign child who has died as a result of an injury sustained in an incident in which a pellet rifle discharged along  Rosewood Drive on June First. One year old Loryn. Brown,of Champaign was pronounced dead Monday afternoon at the Carle Foundation Hospital Emergency Department in Urbana. Preliminary results from the autopsy performed Tuesday indicate Ms. Brown died as a result of a rifle pellet wound to the chest. An inquest may be held at a later date. The investigation into this incident is ongoing by the Champaign County Coroner’s Office and the Champaign Police Department. 


 

(Paxton--jc)  -- The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce’s Old-Fashioned 4th of July celebration begins later today in the Pells Park Pavilion.  The event at 6 tonight is the Little Mister and Little Miss Contest. The two event continues tomorrow at Pells Park with a worship service, food, the band Back Paiges, a watermelon eating contest and fireworks at dusk.

 

 

(Sibley--jc)  -- Sibley’s Sparkling Shuffle 5-K is this evening. Registration is at 7-30pm at the Sibley Pavilion and the running begins at 9pm. The course is lighted and also has actors, lighted houses, Uncle Sam and music.

 

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Flags to be Flown at Half Staff over the Weekend in Honor and Rembrance of Fulton County Sheriff Deputy Troy Chisum

(Springfield--ba)  --Buying things in the capital city just got more expensive. Monday marked the beginning of an additional one percent added onto sales taxes in Sangamon County. Springfield schools will get an estimated $10 million in new revenue for facilities. Additional revenue raised will be used for school facilities throughout the county. Voters approved the increase last November. That would bring the sales tax for Springfield’s South Central Business District, where Legacy Point is, to 10 percent.

 

 

(Washington--ba) U-S-D-A had some surprises for the corn markets in its acreage and stocks reports. USDA’s Gary Crawford has that story.

 

 

 

 

(Springfield--ba) Gov. J.B. Pritzker's office ordered flags in Illinois to be flown at half-staff over the weekend in honor and remembrance of Deputy Troy Chisum of the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department from sunrise Saturday until sunset Monday. Chisum was killed in an armed standoff last week in Avon, Illinois.

 

(Springfield--ba) --Illinois is sending an additional $375 million in state funds to public schools as part of an overhaul of the state funding formula. Some have said school districts should invest some of that into shoring up security measures, but one regional official said schools have to be safe without resembling a prison. A number of school officials from across the state gathered in Wrigleyville last week to hear Nicholas Demchenko, vice president of Chicago-based EncompassAV and his associates pitch cloud-based security cameras from startup Verkada for their schools.

 

 

(Gibson City--jc)  - Its time for visiting the area as lawmakers have completed their task of getting a new budget. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says during the entire month of June he has been busy talking with constituents in the area…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- The Rantoul Freedom Celebration starts on Wednesday at 4 on the grounds near the Hap Parker Aquatic Center. The event kicks off with the Sundowners Anything on Wheels Car Show. The aquatic center will have a free swim from 4pm to 9pm. Music, kids games and volleyball also hilite the event on Wednesday. Rantoul based Hall Brothers will also offer monster truck rides. Fireworks take place at dusk.

 

 

(Springfield-ba)-Illinois congressmen from both parties are looking to bring back a flying mission to the 183rd Wing of the Air National Guard in Springfield. Republican U.S. Reps. Rodney Davis, Mike Bost and Darin LaHood, along with Democratic U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos and Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth signed a letter looking for an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to make that happen.

 

ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) — Power has been restored to more than 139,000 utility customers following a severe thunderstorm that moved across northeastern Illinois.

ComEd says about 9,800 of its customers remained without service Monday afternoon. The utility says the Sunday storm included wind gusts up to 74 mph, lightning and heavy rain.Communities impacted by the storm included Rockford and Momence. Closer to home, a tornado touched down near Gilman in Iroquois County. Hail, heavy rain also caused some damage throughout the area over the weekend. Also, a plane was flipped at the Rantoul Village Airport

 

 

(Springfield-jc)  --The head of a free-market think tank in Illinois and a New York-based hedge fund claim Illinois officials went afoul of the state constitution when they issued debt, according to a lawsuit seeking to invalidate $14.3 billion in state bonds.The petition brought by Illinois Policy Institute CEO John Tillman, in his capacity as a taxpayer, and Warlander Asset Management, a fund that owns $25 million in Illinois bonds bought in multiple offerings, aims to enjoin the state from paying the more than $14 billion in debt service left on two bond offerings. Tillman also is the chairman of the board of the Franklin News Foundation, which publishes The Center Square.The petition, filed in Sangamon County Circuit Court on Monday, claims Illinois’ Constitution requires bonds go to a specific purpose, roads for instance, instead of financing deficits as they allege the state did in 2003 and 2017.

 

(Loda--jc)  -- The annual Loda Good Old Days are set from Friday July 26 and running through Sunday July 28th. A Family night in the Pavilion start the 3 day festival. A 10am Saturday parade, Childrens Games,  a mud volleyball tournament, talent show with open-mic night  and fireworks hilite Saturday.  On Sunday its the annual Loda Good Ole Days Truck and Tractor Pull at noon.

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- In anticipation of the heat index reaching near 100 degrees this week, the Village of Rantoul has opened a cooling shelter at the Forum, located at 200 West Flessner Avenue. The Forum is open from 5am to 9pm, and anyone needing a place to keep cool is welcome to go to that building where accommodations will be made. If you need a cooling shelter outside of those hours, please call Rantoul Police and the shelter will be opened.

 

Chicago – Attorney General Kwame Raoul led a multistate group of 16 attorneys general in urging the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to rescind its proposal that would prevent transgender and gender nonconforming individuals from having equal access to safe homeless shelters.In a letter sent Monday to HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Raoul and the attorneys general argue that HUD’s proposal to repeal a 2016 amendment to the Equal Access Rule will compromise the safety of transgender and gender nonconforming individuals staying in homeless shelters. HUD adopted the 2016 amendment after four years of research into transgender and gender nonconforming people’s access to shelters and considered the disproportionately high rates of homelessness experienced by transgender youth. 

 

 

(Bloomington--jc)  One local State Senator says the 4th of July, just like Memorial Day and Veterans Day is a time to enjoy a cookout to fireworks, but also a time to remember our heritage and those who fought for our freedom. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says take some time to remember...

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington

 

(Monticello--jc)  -- The Monticello Freedom Festival is set for tomorrow from 4 until 11 pm. Food, kids games, DJ Big Daddy Mac, pony rides raffles and fireworks hilite the day. There are also train rides from the Monticello Railway Museum to Lodge Park for  the fireworks.

 

 

(Undated--jc)  Real Estate taxes remain a question for several area counties and another is now past due on the first installment. Ford County Tax payers continue to wait on the process as do tax payers in Iroquois County. The first installment of taxes in Champaign County were due on Monday

 

 

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Tornado Touchdown Near Gilman Sunday Afternoon

(Undated--jc) Severe weather moved quickly through East Central Illinois on Sunday afternoon. A tornado touchdown was reported near Gilman, Sunday afternoon. Hail, heavy rains and strong winds were also reported throughout the area. 

 

(Springfield--ba)   --It’s not just Illinois most expensive budget that begins Monday, it’s also the day the state's gas tax will double to pay for a $45 billion statewide capital spending plan. Governor  J.B. Pritzker said families affected by the higher taxes can look to the yet-to-be-approved progressive income tax for relief. Today marks the beginning of the new fiscal year. With the governor's signature of a pair of bills Friday, it also marks a doubling of the state’s gas tax, increased diesel taxes, increased vehicle registration fees and other driving fees for Illinoisans. The tax increases will pay for a six-year, $45 billion infrastructure plan.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — Prosecutors who secured a guilty verdict this week against a former University of Illinois doctoral student for killing a visiting scholar from China have suggested it won't ever be possible to recover her remains. They made that assertion in a filing unsealed Friday. It's a response to Brendt Christensen's lawyers, who said he offered after his 2017 arrest to plead guilty and divulge where Yingying Zhang's remains were for a life sentence.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gas prices are going up today in Illinois. Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has signed into law a $45 billion capital plan to build and upgrade bridges, roads, schools and parks. It will be paid for by expanding gambling and make it more expensive to do things like drive and smoke cigarettes. Pritzker signed the plan on Friday in Springfield. The new gas tax is 19 cents per gallon higher than they were on Sunday.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois officials say a survey this month for Asian carp in Chicago-area waterways found no trace of the invasive fish. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources said Friday it teamed up with the Illinois Natural History Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the June 3-14 investigation of 602 sites for fish and surveillance of more than 400 sites for environmental.

 

 

(Loda--jc)  A music in the park event is set for an area pavilion. The group Prairie City and Friends is set to perform at the Robinson Pavilion on Sunrise Drive at Bayles Lake later this month. The concert will start at 6pm Sunday July 14th. A free will offering will be collected to benefit the United Methodist Children’s homes in Illinois. Picnic tables are available for seating, or you may bring your own lawn chairs. 

 

 

CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. J.B. Pritzker has created a task force to look at the rights of transgender students in Illinois. The Chicago Democrat signed an executive order on Sunday, the day of Pride Parades nationwide including in Chicago. The order also directs the Illinois State Board of Education to protect the rights of transgender and gender-nonconforming students, including publishing resources on legal rights. A similar event was also held in Paxton. 

 

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — A federal judge who was removed from hearing criminal cases last summer as he was presiding over two of Illinois' highest-profile cases will be resuming all his duties in September. The  News-Gazette reports that a judicial panel admonished Judge Colin Bruce for exchanging emails with a U.S. attorney's office employee about one of his trials but concluded his decision-making on the bench wasn't affected.

 

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Leaders of the Evangelical Covenant Church have voted to defrock a Minneapolis pastor and expel his church for permitting gay marriage. The Rev. Dan Collison had his credentials removed at the Evangelical Covenant Church's annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, on Friday night. Leaders also voted to expel Collison's First Covenant Church, a founding member of the 134-year-old denomination. A Michigan pastor also was defrocked for officiating at his son's same-sex marriage.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- The legalization of recreational marijuana might have the unintended consequence of shrinking the already small pool of potential truck drivers in Illinois, but Matt Hart, executive director of the Illinois Trucking Association, said his organization is pleased the legislature maintained federal standards for his industry. Hart added the at the end of the day, safety is the top concern at the Illinois Trucking Association.Traces of marijuana can remain in a person’s system for up to 30 days or more, unlike alcohol, which for most people is metabolized in hours. Therefore, someone can test positive for marijuana days or even weeks after using the drug.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois pharmacies are supporting House Bill 465, which would establish new state oversight of pharmacy benefit managers if signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker. Garth Reynolds, executive director at Illinois Pharmacists Association, says the bill establishes an oversight enforcement mechanism for pharmacy benefit managers in Illinois for the first time.  Reynolds adds that pharmacy benefit managers are subcontractors of health insurance, mainly the medical side and as subcontractors, pharmacists have not really fit into the current insurance code the way it is in Illinois.”

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- Paxton’s Old Fashioned 4th of July is set for Thursday, but the festivities begin in a renovated Pells Park Pavilion on Wednesday. The 20-19 Little Mister and Little Miss contest is set for 6 on Wednesday night. A full day of activities continues on Thursday with patriotic music, food and the official WPXN City of Paxton watermelon eating contest Thursday afternoon . There will be fireworks at night on Thursday in Paxton

 

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Montgomery Gentry and Mitchell Tenpenny at the Ford County Fair Tonight

(Undated--jc)  --The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a question about immigration status will not be allowed on the 20-20 Census, a decision that marked a setback for President Donald Trump’s administration, but a potential win for Illinois. The reason is a large immigrant communities and billions of dollars in federal funding on the line. A lower court in New York previously ruled that the question would result in noncitizen households responding to the census at lower rates after Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced in March 2018 that he had decided to reinstate a question about citizenship on the 2020 decennial census questionnaire. Illinois, has been losing people and is reliant on immigrants to cancel out some of those losses

 

(Melvin--ba) Evie Ellis of Paxton continues to hand out ribbons and take lots of photos at the Ford County Fair in Melvin. Ellis will also compete next January in the State competition in Springfield. Ellis says Ford County has great leadership with the annual pageant…

 

 

Ford County  Queen Evie Ellis of Paxton

 

 

(Undated--jc)  Fill up your gas tank before Monday, when the state's gas tax will double and vehicle registration fees will increase. Governor. J.B. Pritzker is expected to sign legislation today that would double the state’s gas tax to pay for a 45 billion dollar infrastructure plan along with another bill to hike the tax on a pack of cigarettes by 1 dollar. Monday marks the beginning of the fiscal year. Once Pritzker signs Senate Bill 19-39, which doubles the state’s motor fuel tax and increases vehicle registration and other driving fees, and Senate Bill 690, which expands gambling, taxes are on the rise in Illinois.


 

(Paxton--jc)  Authorities have identified the woman who died in a mobile home fire in Paxton on Wednesday night. 67 year old Peggy Elkins was fatally injured in the blaze. No foul play was suspected. No damage estimates were available.  The Ford County Record reports that cause of death was not the fire. Ford County Coroner Rick Flessner believes a cardiac incident was the cause of death.

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- Ameren Crews continued some work on transformers along Route 9 in the city of Paxton on Thursday.  Traffic along Route 9 near Signs and Designs, Casey’s and The NAPA store were one lane traffic. Area police agencies remind the motoring public to slow down,  especially in construction zones. 

 

(Springfield--ba)   --The home of a former top political aide to Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan was raided by the federal government. Federal agents searched Kevin Quinn’s home, Quinn is the brother of Chicago Alderman Marty Quinn. He’s also central to a sexual harassment retaliation complaint filed by a former Democratic staffer. The focus of the federal investigation and whether it’s connected to Quinn's work with Madigan is unclear. 


(Springfield--ba)- The Illinois Fire Marshal’s office is reminding the public about state fireworks laws and safety.  Hundreds of people across the country head to the emergency room each year because of fireworks injuries around the Fourth of July holiday. One favorite, sparklers, can be especially dangerous, says Fire Marshal spokesperson JC Fultz.

 

 

Illinois Fire Marshal Office spokesperson JC Fultz.


 

(Gifford--jc)  -- The 20-19 Gifford celebration is set for today and tomorrow. Tonight at 6-30 is the Marvin Lee Band. The movie “Moana” will be shown at 8-30 in Roessler Park. Emord Park in Gifford will be the location for many of the Saturday events.  Starting at 7 tomorrow morning its a 5-K Run and walk. The annual parade steps off at 11. This year’s grand marshal is Linda Tiarks. She just retired after a 28 year career at Gifford Grade School. Afternoon events include the flag raising at noon, the Little Miss Gifford Pageant at 1pm and the Kiddie Tractor Pull at 2-30. New this year is a wing eating contest. Back at Roessler park at dusk are fireworks. WPXN will be broadcasting live  at 10-30 with Becky Puetz It’s Summer Fun Tour Stop number 6.


 

 

(Paxton--jc)  The cookout on Saturday from 10am until 2pm at the Paxton IGA will feature pork chop sandwiches, chips and pop. This week’s fundraiser helps the group called “Inner Guard Widow Sons.”

 

(Melvin--jc)  -- It’s concert day at the Ford County Fair in Melvin. Montgomery Gentry performs after opener Mitchell Tenpenny. The concerts begin at 7-30 says Ford County Fair President Kirk Miller…

 

 

Ford County Fair President Kirk Miller.

WPXN will be broadcasting live over the noon hour today from the fair in Melvin.

 

 

LEWISTOWN, Ill. (AP) — A man suspected of fatally shooting an Illinois sheriff's deputy has been charged with first-degree murder and ordered held on $5 million bond. Forty-two-year-old Nathan Woodring of Avon appeared in Fulton County Circuit Court on Thursday. He's accused of killing 39-year-old Fulton County Deputy Troy Chisum after Chisum responded Tuesday to a battery and disturbance call at a home in Avon in rural western Illinois.

 

 

OAK LAWN, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Department of Public Health says it's investigating four cases of Legionnaires' disease in individuals at a suburban Chicago hospital. It said Thursday that two of the four were patients at Advocate Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn within the past two months. The agency says it will visit the hospital this week to test its water and that the hospital is working with it to strengthen its water management.

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  When the Rantoul 4th of July Parade steps off next Thursday morning at 9-30, the Grand Marshall is from town but also serves as the State Commander of the Veterans of Forein Wars. He is Brad Gould. Gould says he is originally from Indiana..

 

 

Rantoul 4th of July Parade Grand Marshall-Illinois VFW Commander Brad Gould

 

DECATUR, Ill. (AP) — For those kids looking to step inside a 7-foot eyeball, the Children's Museum of Illinois is the place to go. The (Decatur) Herald & Review reports the interactive display called "Peek Inside" that allows visitors to see the eye from the inside out will be open to the public within a few days. Dr. John Lee, a local ophthalmologist, designed it hoping that if people know more about the eye and eye diseases they will be better equipped to spot those diseases in time to protect their sight.

 

(Washington--jc)  The U-S-D-A is making available to the public reports that break down information from the 2017 Census of Agriculture data by congressional districts. Stephanie Ho reports..

 

 

(Melvin--jc)  -- The newly crowned Little Miss and Little Mister at the Ford County Fair are both from Gibson City. They are Mister Levi Johnson and Miss Autumn Eads.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. J.B. Pritzker has activated an additional 80 Illinois National Guard troops for flood-fighting efforts in southern Illinois. The governor's office said Thursday about 140 Guard troops now are being used for sandbagging operations, levee monitoring and security in East Cape Girardeau, McClure and Gale.

 

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Starting Monday, You Must be 21 to Buy Tobacco Products and E-Cigarettes

A Paxton woman is dead following a house fire that happened around 10pm last night. Ford County Coroner Rick Flessner said the woman was alone and no foul play is expected. No word on what started the fire. The woman’s name hasn’t been released.

 

 

CHICAGO (AP) — The family of a scholar from China killed by a former University of Illinois doctoral student says they're aware he offered to divulge where her remains were but weren't convinced the body would actually be found. A Wednesday statement from Yingying Zhang's relatives says they were "leery" of Brendt Christensen's offer "because he had lied so many times in the past." The defense said in a Tuesday filing that Christensen made the offer, asking for a life sentence in exchange.

 

 

(Springfield--ba)  -- One of the key components of the state’s new marijuana law is addressing those previously convicted for minor violations. About 700 thousand records could be wiped clean under the law. More than half are eligible to be automatically expunged or pardoned if the offense involves less than 30 grams of weed. Governor JB pritzker says tough marijuana laws have hit minority communities especially hard...

 

 

Illinois Governor JB pritzker

 

 

(Springfield--ba)  -- Starting Monday, people younger than 21 won’t be able to buy tobacco products or e-cigarette in Illinois.The new law, which Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed earlier this year, was designed to discourage young people from smoking or using other products that contain nicotine by raising the age limit to buy those products from 18 to 21. Supporters of the measure said smoking leads to higher health care costs that could be picked up by taxpayers and the more smoking is reduced, the more taxpayers will save down the line.

 

 

(Washington--ba)--How much of this past season's crops are still in storage? We'll find out this week. USDA’s Gary Crawford has that story.

 


(Undated--jc)  What is the analysis on Illinois bad financial situation. WPXN’s Joel Cluver has the story…

 

 

 

(Paxton--ba)  -- Ford County, as Trustee, has completed their tax deed proceedings on real estate properties that were delinquent for 2015 and mobile homes that were delinquent for 2016 and prior real estate taxes. The County, as Trustee, will now offer for sale, the real estate and mobile homes obtained to the public. They will offer approximately 21 real estate items and 1 mobile home item through a sealed bid auction sale. All sealed bids must be in the Ford County Treasurer’s Office located at the Ford County courthouse no later than July 12th.

 

 

(Undated--jc)  The 7th annual mid-summer fun run sponsored by the Gibson City based American Legion Riders is set for Saturday July 13th. Group Spokesperson Tabitha Renfo says the motorcycle ride fundraiser for local Veterans goes through 4 counties on July 13th…

 

 

 

American Legion Riders- Ford County Old Timers Spokesperson Tabitha Renfro

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- There is a free swim this afternoon at the Paxton Park District Pool. The event from 1pm to 5pm is sponsored by Shields Auto-Mart of Paxton.

 

(Paxton--ba)  Evie Ellis of Paxton was crowned the 20-19 Miss Ford County Fair Queen. Ellis was a guest during our live broadcast yesterday and says her future plans are college and career....

 

 

Ford County Fair Pageant Queen Evie Ellis

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza publicly shared her frustrations with state agencies and the Illinois Auditor General’s office. The reason is  tardiness in getting Illinois’ official budgetary post-mortem from 2018 to her so that she can release it to the public. July 1 will mark the beginning of Illinois’ new fiscal year for accounting purposes but the state has yet to release its

 comprehensive annual financial report, from the fiscal year that ended in June of 2018. No timetable for the report was provided by the Auditor General’s office.

 

AVON, Ill. (AP) — A sheriff's deputy in Illinois has been killed as authorities surrounded a suspect barricaded in a home. Illinois State Police say the Fulton County sheriff's deputy was responding to a battery and disturbance call about 2 p.m. Tuesday in the area of Avon, about 165 miles southwest of Chicago. Multiple shots were fired. The sheriff's office says 39-year-old Deputy Troy Chisum was fatally shot. Additional details weren't immediately released. The standoff continued hours later.

 

(Urbana--jc) Bond was set at 250 thousand dollars for two Champaign men arrested in Rantoul earlier this week on armed robbery charges.  23 year old Trevoy Fonville and 24 year old Elijah Duckword were arrested on Tuesday. The Rantoul Press also reported that U-S Marshals helped in the arrest. The pair are due back in court July 9th. A third person, 25 year old Dashiona Fonville, remains in custody on 200 thousand dollars bond. 

 

(Paxton--jc) Work on the demolition of the former Paxton Hospital building continues this week. Around two-thirds of the building is now gone as crews continue the razing process. The building is owned by Carle Foundation Hospital. Hospital officials have not revealed any plans for the property, other than the demolition process to date. 

 

 

(Melvin--jc) --  Today at the Ford County Fair in Melvin, the Open Class and Junior Sheep Show begins in the 8am hour. The Open Beef Show and Junior Rabbit Show start at 9 this morning. Ford County Fair President Kirk Miller says expected numbers for cattle and sheep are about the same, but hog entries are up…

 

 

Ford County Fair President Kirk Miller

 Registration for the Childrens Tractor pull starts at 5-30 with the event to start at 6 in the dance building. In the grandstand tonight it’s the Illiana Truck and Tractor Pull. WPXN will be broadcasting live over the noon hour as part of our Summer Fun Tour Stop number 5.

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  The Village of Rantoul and the Citizens Advisory Committee wish to invite public comments at a public hearing to be held at 6 tonight in the Board Room of the Rantoul Municipal Building on  South Tanner Street. The purpose of the hearing is to receive public comment on the use of $337,165 of Community Development Block Grant funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the fiscal year beginning in May of this year.. Last year, the Village spent CDBG funds for housing rehabilitation, infrastructure improvements, demolition, social services, and administration.  


 

HOUSTON (AP) — An attorney for the family of a 2-year-old girl struck by a foul ball during a game last month between the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros says the girl suffered a skull fracture.Attorney Richard Mithoff on Wednesday provided the first update by the girl's family on her condition since she was hit during the May 29 game in Houston.Mithoff says the girl had bleeding and swelling in her brain as well as a brain contusion after she was hit. He says she had a seizure after she was hospitalized and is taking medication to prevent more seizures.

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Tonight at the Ford County Fair it's Martin Xtreme Supercross Racing.

(Springfield--jc)  -- Democrats stand to get more money for their legislative districts than Republicans under a proposed $45 billion infrastructure plan, a top state Democrat said. A Republican involved in the late-night negotiations said talks with Governor J.B. Pritzker's office resulted in more money for Republican districts, but said the spending was still lopsided at the end of the legislative session. Democrats have veto-proof majorities in both chambers. Once the new capital spending plan signed into law earlier this month is finalized, districts represented by Illinois’ Democratic lawmakers will, on average, get more than districts represented by Republicans by what a high-ranking Democrat described as a two-to-one margin.

 

(Melvin--jc)  - Tonight at the Ford County Fair it’s Martin Xtreme Supercross Racing. The event begins at   7 tonight. There is also a gate reduction to 3 dollars and a 15 dollar armband night for the carnival will run from 6pm to 10pm. Kurt Blunier will be DJ'ing in the beer tent from 7-10:30.

 WPXN continues Summer Fun Tour Stop number 5 over the noon hour today. Today’s guest is 20-19 Miss Ford County Fair Queen Evie Ellis.

 

(Undated--ba) Summer time is grilling time. It’s Safety time too. WPXN’s Braedon Arnett has some food safety tips....

 

 

(MATTOON, Ill. (AP) — A central Illinois teacher has been named a Carnegie hero after subduing a teen who opened fire at Mattoon High School in September 2017. The Carnegie Hero Fund announced this year's honorees  including 40-year-old teacher Angela McQueen of Mattoon. The award is given to those who risk their lives to save others and includes a financial grant. 

 

 

(Pontiac--jc)  Bond for a Livingston County man was set at 250 thousand dollars on child pornagraphy charges. State Police say 37 year old Jay Pitchford, formerly of Pontiac was arrested in Arizona this week. Pitchford was arrested by the U. S Marshals Service.

 

(Melvin--jc)  With the selection of a new Fair Queen at the Ford County Fair Monday night, also comes proud families, friends and parents. 17 year old Evie Ellis of Paxton is the new Miss Ford County Fair Queen.  Her Mom, Sally Ellis of Paxton says this is a wonderful experience for her daughter…

 

 

Fair Queen Mom and proud parent Sally Ellis of Paxton.

 

(Ludlow--jc)  Paxton Buckley Loda Teacher and coach Jeff Graham is set to begin a new job in a nearby district on Monday.  Graham will be taking over for Dru Lobmaster as Superintendent and Principal in Ludlow on July First. One of the first agenda items for the new Superintendent will be to take care of a new contract with teachers. That issue has been agreed upon and will be a subject at the July meeting of the Ludlow School district.

 

(Watseka--jc) -- The Watseka Wednesday farmers’ market is available to the general public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the grounds of the Old Courthouse Museum in  Watseka. The market is open to anyone who would like to set up a table or booth area to offer their wares, which can include garden produce, baked goods, to craft items  More information about the free farmers’ market, call the museum office at 815-432-2215. On Saturday, the annual Garden Faire will take place on the grounds of the museum. Vendors will offer similar items. The Red Barn, located on the museum grounds, will offer food and drinks.


 

 

(Paxton--jc)  The First Methodist Church in Paxton is the venue for choir practices for the city’s 4th of July Community Choir. The next rehearsal is tonight at 7pm  If you love church and love to sing you are invited to attend. The choir will sing several patriotic tunes at 9-30 a m Thursday July 4th at Pells Park in Paxton.

 

(Springfield--ba)--  Farmers and ranchers with expiring Conservation Reserve Program contracts may now re-enroll in certain CRP continuous signup practices or, if eligible select a one-year contract extension. USDA’s Farm Service Agency also is accepting offers from those who want to enroll for the first time in one of the country’s largest conversation programs. FSA’s 52nd signup for CRP runs from June 3 to August 23.

 

(Springfield--ba)  --Illinois has approved the most stringent laws in the nation for the use of a cancer-causing sterilization agent commonly used to clean medical equipment.Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the Matt Haller Act – named after one of the local residents who died of cancer believed to be from ethylene oxide – on Friday. It sets strict emissions requirements. Companies in Illinois have six months to comply with the emissions requirements or face being shut down by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency

 

 

(Crescent City--jc)  -- One fair continues this week and another is set for mid-July. At the Ford County Fair today at the Ford County Fair its  Martin Xtreme Supercross Racing. The event begins at  7 tonight. There is also a gate reduction to 3 dollars and a 15 dollar armband night for the carnival will run from 6pm to 10pm Kurt Blunier will be DJ'ing in the beer tent from 7-10:30. Soon it will be time for the Iroquois County Fair. WPXN’s Braedon Arnett has that story.

 

(Springfield--ba)-Adults in Illinois will be able to enjoy recreational marijuana come January first. Governor JB pritzker signed the new law…letting Illinois residents 21 and older possess up to 30 grams of cannabis flower, five grams of cannabis concentrate and edibles with up to 500 milligrams of THC. He says it's the right thing to do.

 

 

Illinois Governor JB pritzker 

 

 

(Washington--ba)-USDA has released the names of 40 funding recipients under its Community Facilities program, which still has two billion dollars available for projects this year. USDA’s Stephanie Ho has that story.

 

 

 

ST. LOUIS (AP) — An advocacy group for Mississippi River communities says this year's prolonged flooding has created more than $2 billion in damage. Mayors from river communities agreed Tuesday that this year's flood has been particularly damaging because of how long it has stuck around. Colin Wellenkamp of the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative says the river has been above flood stage at some southern towns for more than 200 days.

 

(Springfield--jc)  --Members of the state's largest employee union ratified a new contract, but just how much the four-year deal will cost remains unclear. The contract includes more than 11.5 percent in raises over four years for nearly 40,000 employees, a $625 stipend for every year an employee worked without a contract during the four years of former Governor. Bruce Rauner's administration, and other benefits.  The position of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council is this is a fair contract for all. The cost though remains unclear..Wirepoints President Ted Dabrowski said that’s a disservice to the people who will pay for the new contract. The new fiscal year 20-20 budget will be enacted on Monday. No factors for higher employee costs were not totaled for the new budget.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — Bloomington  officials say the owner of an exotic cat that escaped and scratched two people before being killed by police is facing a fine. City attorney Jeff Jurgens says the owner of the caracal cat is facing a $1,000 fine for not registering her animal and a $100 fine for permitting the cat to run at large. Police spokesman John Fermon says after attacking a 32-year-old woman and her daughter Sunday, the cat also tried to attack a medium-sized dog. The caracal is native to Africa.

 

 

(Melvin--jc)  -- The Ford County Fair continues today at the fairgrounds in Melvin. Ford County Fair Officer Dallas Meyer says the local fair has a long history of bringing in national acts to Melvin…

 

 

Ford County Fair Officer Dallas Meyer. 

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  There is still time to donate items for a garage sale and bake sale in Paxton set for Saturday. Accolade Healthcare of Paxton Senior Living will be hosting a community garage sale and bake sale from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at the nursing home on Fulton Street in the city.

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Jury Finds Former University of Illinois Student Brendt Christensen Guilty of Kidnapping and Slaying of 26-year-old Yingying Zhang

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — A lawyer says the family of a Chinese scholar will ask a federal jury to recommend that the man convicted of abducting and killing her be put to death. The jury found former University of Illinois doctoral student Brendt Christensen guilty Monday in the kidnapping and slaying of the 26-year-old Yingying Zhang. Zhidong Wang represents Zhang's family. He told reporters shortly after the verdict that the family has already asked prosecutors to request the death penalty.

 

LAS VEGAS (AP) — "Jeopardy!" champion and professional sports gambler James Holzhauer made his World Series of Poker debut in Las Vegas, planning to donate half of his winnings to charity. Holzhauer won the first hand he played in a No-Limit Hold'em event. He planned to partner later in the day with Poker Hall of Famer Mike Sexton in another contest.

 

 

(Iroquois County--jc)  Illinois State Police and Iroquois County Sheriff’s police continue to investigate the death of a Watseka man. The death of 38 year Daniel Gutierez happened over this past weekend.  He lived in the 200 hundred block of 8th street. 

 

 

(Paxton--jc) --  A L-G-B-T-Q march is planned for this Sunday in Paxton. The march is planned for an 11 a m start at Pells Park in the City. The event will also move to the downtown area of the city. More information is found by contacting Paxton resident Tyger McClure. The event coincides with the 50 anniversary of the Stonewall riots of New York City

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- Over the past week, there were just 2 days suitable for fieldwork. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says some planting still needs to be done…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.

67 percent of the soybean crop has emerged with 42 percent rated in good to excellent condition.  15 percent of winter wheat has been harvested

 

 

MUNSTER, Ind. (AP) — Indiana casinos will compete effectively against a slew of new casino sites in Illinois, the state's governor said. Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb called gambling an "uber-competitive industry" after lawmakers in both states approved the legalization of sports betting this spring. Holcomb says the competition is on all the borders of Indiana, not just Illinois. A casino is planned locally in the Vermilion County city of  Danville,

 

 

(Melvin--jc)  -- Ford County has a new queen. She is Evie Ellis of Paxton.  This year’s first runner up is Kaitlyn Harders of Melvin and the second runner up is Cheyenne Wise of Loda. 

During our Summer Fun Tour Stop number 5 at the Ford County Fair today over the noon, one expected guest is Evie Ellis.

 

(Bloomington--jc)  With a recent report showing that suicide rates among farmers are more than five times the national average, the Illinois Farm Bureau is taking steps to help farmers in need. It is common knowledge that agriculture is a  high-stress occupation, that is dependent on the weather The 2019 crops year has proven to be a challenging one for farmers due to wet conditions throughout the Corn Belt. As a result, farmers had to get their crop in quickly, and working long hours to get it done. This is just the latest in a series of problems Illinois farmers face. The Illinois Farm Bureau is taking steps to ensure farmers have access to the help and information they need.

 

 

(Ford County--jc)  -- A two vehicle accident occurred south of Elliott in Ford County late Monday afternoon. Authorities say those involved were taken to area hospitals with non-life threatening injuries. 

 

(Undated--jc)  -- Illinoisans are flocking to border states to buy fireworks that aren't widely available in Illinois ahead of Independence Day.Fireworks stores in neighboring states depend on Illinois residents crossing the border to buy pyrotechnics. While there are more than 120 state licensed fireworks stores in Illinois, buyers still must get a permit and have an inspection to legally display such fireworks.Justin Bartlett, managing partner with Crossroads Fireworks in Bettendorf, Iowa, said the business gets customers from Illinois.

 

(Springfield--jc)  --Beginning in 6 days, drivers in Illinois caught by police using their cell phone behind the wheel will be charged with a moving violation.That means a guilty infraction will go toward the state’s three-strikes rule that suspends a driver’s license after three moving infractions a year.

 

(Melvin--jc)  Tickets for the Montgomery Gentry Show on Friday night at the Ford County Fair are available. Ford County Fair President Kirk Miller says there are several ways to get your tickets to this national act coming to Melvin…

 

 

Ford County Fair President Kirk Miller

WPXN will continue its live broadcasts from the Ford County Fair over the noon hour today. One planned guest is Evie Ellis, the newly crowned Miss Ford County Fair Queen 2019.

 

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Ford County Fair Queen Pageant Tonight in Melvin

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A union representing thousands of Illinois state workers says its members have approved a four-year contract that offers lump-sum payments and a series of raises. AFSCME Council 31 says workers will get $625 for each of the past four years worked. There will be a 1.5% percent raise in January, followed by a 2.1% percent raise in July 2020. The union says a pair of 3.95% raises will take effect in 2021 and 2022. Health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket expenses are going up.

 

(Mahomet--jc)  -- When Mahomet Seymour School board members meet on tonight, they are expected to approve Patrick Bailey as an Assistant Principal at the high school. Looking at a compensation bill for worker liability, hearing a report on the district risk management plan and talking about a grant application also are on the agenda. The Mahomet Seymour School meeting comes to order at 7pm.

 

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — A judge has set closing arguments for today after a former University of Illinois student accused of killing a scholar from China declined to testify in a trial that could lead to the death penalty. Prosecutors and Brendt Christensen's lawyers rested their cases Friday in federal court. Christensen told a judge that he understood his right to testify but would remain silent. Christensen is accused of luring Yingying Zhang into his car in 2017 and killing her at his apartment.

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- The Rantoul Public Library will present fun for everyone: Aaron Fowler has performed all across this country in schools, libraries and community concerts. Aaron’s summer library program is entitled “Look to the Skies, Lift up a Song.” It will be filled with lots of singing, movement and some out of this world fun! Bella (4 year old yellow lab-Professional Therapy Dog) will be with him again this summer. Going to have her practice wearing her space helmet. Friday, June 26, 2-3 pm. Children under 8 years old must be accompanied by a person over 13 years of age. At Rantoul Public Library, 217-893-3955, 106 W. Flessner. www.rantoul.lib.il.us

 

 

(Melvin--jc)  The 20-19 Ford County Fair started on Sunday. The weeklong event will feature a queen pageant, motorcross racing, tractor pull, donkey races and a demolition derby. Friday’s big concert is Montgomery Gentry.Ford County Fair President Kirk Miller says the process to bring a national act to the local fair, is year long..

 

 

Ford County Fair President Kirk Miller

WPXN will be broadcasting live starting in the noon hour today


 

(Loda--jc) --  Village of Loda officials are continuing to look at ways to fund a water tower project. Village leaders have been working with the village engineer on ways to get the project completed. Seeking grants or other money to help fund the project are also plans by the local board. The water tower topic is an expected agenda item for the Loda board this summer and fall

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  Rantoul Recreation Department officials say the Red Slide at the Hap Parker Pool is back up and running. The slide was fixed by pool maintenance staff.  The Hap Parker Aquatic Center is open Monday through Friday from 1pm to 7 pm and Noon to 7pm on weekends.

 

 

(Rantoul--jc) Rantoul has shown itself as a destination for some events, ballgames and yearly celebrations. Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhauer says with the Half Century of Progress making its return this August, to games at the Bill Seeber Complex, to the Rantoul Freedom celebration, the Pumpkin Chuckin Competition is another event on the calendar in November…

 

Rantoul VIllage Administrator Scot Eisenhauer

 

(Undated--jc)  --Illinois’ youth and working-age professionals are leaving in greater numbers than other age groups, including retirees, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Census Bureau.U.S. Census information shows the state's population declined by 45,000 people in the year ending last July.New data released Thursday showed that Illinois’ population losses were primarily attributed to people younger than 65. Nearly every age bracket from children under five to adults age 55-60 lost population.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- 3 new laws for immigrants in Illinois were signed into law by Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker. The first law prevents local police from participating in U-S Immigration and Customs enforcement efforts, a second bans Immigrant Detention Centers in Illinois.  The governor says 1 point 8 Million Immigrants live in Illinois…

 


Illinois Governor JB Pritzker.

 

(Gibson City--jc)  -- Gibson City leaders will look to hire The Kemper C-P-A group for the city’s annual audit when they meet on Monday night. Council members may also consider a lift station at Lot 12  in Jordan Park. Gibson City leaders are also expected to go into executive session to talk about compensation for certain city employees. The Gibson City Council meeting comes to order at 7pm on tonight.

 

(Paxton--jc)  The next free swim at the Paxton Pool is Thursday June 27. Shields AutoMart is the sponsor of the event. The free swim on Thursday is from 1pm to 5pm. Several businesses and organizations are sponsoring the free swims throughout the summer months at the Paxton Park District pool.

 

(Melvin--jc)  The Ford County Fair Queen pageant is tonight. Joel Cluver has the details…

 

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois home sales were down slightly compared to last May while median prices posted another year-over-year increase, data from Illinois REALTORS® show. Statewide home sales in May totaled 17,034 homes sold, down 1.3 percent from  May 2018. The statewide median price in May was $219,000, up 1.9 percent from May 2018, when the median price was $215,000. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- Do you need help with building your on-line business presence? The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting a lunch and learn on Thursday at the Cobblestone Hotel in Paxton. The event is set for noon with a light lunch. More information is found by calling Ashley Tolley at the chamber office at 379-4655

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Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum to Receive Lincoln's Bible

(Roberts--jc)  -- Firefighters from several area departments were called to a house fire in Roberts Thursday  morning. The home at 207 Hickory Drive was the location of the fire. Fire Departments from Roberts and Buckley with aid from Melvin and Loda also  responded to the blaze. Fire Marshal officials believe an electric short circuit was the cause of the blaze. No one was hurt. The Ford County Record reported that firefighters were called back to the home on Thursday afternoon after some smoke was seen coming from the home.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — The girlfriend of an ex-University of Illinois student charged with kidnapping a visiting scholar from China says he seemed proud as he told her he killed Yingying Zhang. Star prosecution witness Terra Bullis testified Thursday for a second day at Brendt Christensen's trial. He told her he raped and then beat the 26-year-old to death. He told her Zhang was his 13th victim, writing the number 13 on her hand. Investigators haven't been able to corroborate the claim.

 

(Springfield--ba)-In updating our story from Noon The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield is now home to a rare artifact…a Bible owned by the 16th president. An inscription on the front of the bible says it was given to Lincoln in 1864 by the “Ladies of the citizens volunteer hospital of Philadelphia.” After he died, Mary Lincoln gave it to a baptist minister and family friend, Noyes Miner. The Miner family has kept the bible safe all this time and is now donating it to the museum says State Historian Sam Wheeler.

 

 

State Historian Sam Wheeler.

 

(Washington--ba)

Most U.S. pastures are benefiting from excessive wetness. USDA’s Stephanie Ho reports.

 

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The head of the Illinois Gaming Board has stepped down after serving four years in the post. Springfield attorney Don Tracy was named chairman by then-Gov. Bruce Rauner in early 2015. Gov. J.B. Pritzker's spokesman Jordan Abudayyeh said Thursday a replacement will be named soon. When Tracy was appointed to the position, Rauner cited his background as an attorney and business owner. Tracy's resignation comes as Pritzker is expected to sign legislation expanding legal gambling in Illinois.

 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- One summer event that is returning to the Rantoul Airport this Summer helped village officials in their efforts to land the National Pumpkin Chuckin’  Competition. The bi-annual Half Century of Progress will encompass the Rantoul airport in August. Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhauer says having that event was a positive in negotiations for the Pumpkin Chuckin’ event to locate in Rantoul.

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- The 7th annual Mid Summer Fun Run is set for Saturday July 13th. The event is sponsored by the Ford County Old Timers. Group Spokesperson Tabitha Renfro says the money raised the event helps out veterans in Champaign and Ford Counties…

 

 

Ford County Old Timers Group Spokesperson Tabitha Renfro.

Those wanting to participate in the ride from Urbana to Danville to Hoopeston and Paxton are asked to contact the organization for details.

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  --Tomorrow at the Paxton IGA, the Saturday cookout will feature ribeye sandwiches, chips and pop. This weeks proceeds go the the Loda United Methodist Women’s group. The cookout runs from 10am until 2pm.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. J.B. Pritzker has issued disaster proclamations for two more counties affected by flooding.Pritzker said Thursday he added Knox and Henry counties in western Illinois to the counties receiving disaster proclamations. That brings the total in Illinois to 37 counties.Pritzker's office says the state has been fighting flooding for more than 100 days, and many rivers remain in major flood stage.

 

MOMENCE, Ill. (AP) — The body of a 67-year-old Chicago man who went missing after his boat crashed into a logjam on the Kankakee River in eastern Illinois has been found.The Daily Journal reports that authorities recovered Mike Stefano's body Thursday morning from the logjam.Stefano, his friend, James Hubona, and Stefano's dog, Buster, went into the water on June 8.Hubona was rescued by kayakers who tossed him a life jacket. Hubona said the boat went around in circles before hitting the logjam

 

(Paxton--jc) Wanted...singers. Organizers with the Paxton Old Fashioned 4th of July Celebration need singers for the community choir. That group will perform at the Pells Park celebration on the 4th at 9-30.  The next rehearsal is set for 7pm on Wednesday June 26 at the First United Methodist Church. More information is found by contacting the Paxton Chamber of Commerce

 

 

(Undated--jc)  -- Today is the first day of Summer. Are you ready to travel. WPXN’s Joel Cluver has some safety tips for your vehicles tires….

 


 

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Bankers surveyed in parts of 10 Plains and Western states, including Illinois, are seeing improvement in the region's farm economy. The Rural Mainstreet survey released Thursday shows the survey's overall index rising from a stunted 48.5 in May to 53.2 this month. Any score above 50 suggests a growing economy, while a score below 50 indicates a shrinking economy. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey, says higher agriculture commodity prices and rebuilding from recent floods boosted June's index. Goss also noted that despite negative consequences from trade tensions and tariffs, nearly 7 of 10 bank CEOS surveyed support either raising or continuing the Trump administration's current tariffs.

 

(Paxton--jc) --  It’s been one week since the launch of a brick paver program to help fund the Paxton Grand Ole Flag Project. Spokesperson Denny Kingren says the flag is 30 feet by 60 feet…

 

 

Kingren says two options are available for the paver bricks…

 

 

Paxton Grand Ole Flag Spokesperson Denny Kingren

The plan is to have the flag project completed by Flag Day 20-20. Those wanting paver bricks may go on-line at Thats-my-brick-dot-com-forward slash-paxton-flag

 

(Springfield--jc)  --Illinois’ laws for distracted driving are being reclassified so that texting behind the wheel will carry a stiffer penalty next month.Beginning July 1, distracted driving will be treated as a moving violation, meaning that it will still carry the same $75 fine for the first offense, but it will also go toward the state’s three-strikes rule that suspends a driver’s license after three moving infractions within a year.Illinois State Police spokeswoman Mindy Carroll said she hopes the change will make drivers think twice before they look at a hand-held device.

 

 

(Springfield--ba)-- The summer concert season is here and with that comes ticket scammers looking to take advantage of some high-profile concerts coming to Illinois, including the Rolling Stones tour opener Friday at Soldier Field. Steve Bernas, president and CEO of Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois, said some events have high enough demand that tickets are selling for thousands of dollars each. With that demand comes ticket scammers offering relatively cheap tickets and convincing stories of authenticity. There have also been stories of buyers and sellers making transactions at unsafe meeting places, heightening concerns about dealing with untrustworthy sources.

 

(Onarga--jc) The Onarga Public Library is the venue for the University of Illinois  Extension Ford Iroquois Master Gardeners Idea Garden event on Saturday. The event runs from 10 until noon. Those attending will view some summer beauty. Kids games and learning about beekeeping will also be offered

 

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State Board of Education Is Awarding One Million Dollars In Grants To Help Address The Teacher Shortage In Illinois

(Springfield--ba)   --The State Board of Education is awarding one million dollars in grants to help address the teacher shortage in Illinois. The money is going to seven districts around the state and will be used to either promote leadership opportunities for teachers or set up residency programs between high-need schools and universities. Deputy Superintendent Jason Helfer says they hope to award additional grants to other districts as well.

 

Deputy Superintendent Jason Helfer

No area districts are receiving money this time, but state officials hope to hire more teachers to additional districts in the near future.

 

 

(Washington--ba)-An expert says some of us may misinterpret the planting percentages in the USDA crop progress reports. USDA’s Gary Crawford has the story.

 

 

(Urbana--jc)  A Champaign county woman was sentenced to 4 years probation on Tuesday, after pleading guilty to stealing 15 thousand dollars from the Fisher School District. The News Gazette reports that 47 year old Elizabeth Bidner of rural Mahomet received the sentenced in Champaign County court on Tuesday.

 

(Springfield--ba) The pride flag flew above the Illinois Capitol for the first time ever this week, but it shouldn't be a surprise, given Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker's longtime support of LGBTQ equality. The state's new governor said his mother was a supporter of LGBTQ rights. Pritzker last week told a crowd at an LGBTQ pride event in Chicago that her advocacy never left him.

 

 

(Undated--jc)  --Midwestern bankers are tightening the purse strings on farm credit lines amid some of the toughest financial times for farmers in decades.A survey of bank CEOs by Creighton University’s Heider College of Business found they expect the percentage of farm loan defaults over the next 12 months in a number of Midwestern states, including Illinois, to be double the default rates for 2017.The survey is a part of Heider’s Rural Mainstreet Index, which fell below “growth neutral” for the first time since last November.

 

(Rankin--jc)  -- Wanted. Fire Departments to participate in the Waterball Fights in Rankin. The date for the competition is Saturday July 6th at 11am. Teams will consist of 3 fireman with a best of three format. Following the fireman competition is a kids water ball competition at the Rankin celebration. The kids event starts at

3pm. 

 

(Washington--ba) Planting progress for major crops like corn and soybeans are at record or near-record lows. Stephanie Ho has that story.

 

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- Paver bricks for the Paxton Grand Ole Flag Project are now available.  Spokesperson Denny Kingren says the bricks can be engraved and two sizes are available…

 

Paxton Grand Ole Flag Project Spokesperson Denny Kingren

To buy a brick, go on line at that’s-my-brick-dot-com-forard-slash-paxton-flag

 

 

(Undated--jc)  --A state Supreme Court decision in Rhode Island could possibly remove a hurdle to reforming Illinois’ pension debt load, but an expert said lawmakers here would first have to change course.Rhode Island’s highest court ruled earlier this month in Cranston Police Retirees Action Committee vs the City of Cranston that the city could freeze a cost of living adjustment for its police and firefighter retirees and not break the U.S. Constitution’s Contract Clause protection.Mike Stenhouse, CEO of the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity, said the city of Cranston’s budget was so upside down that the benefit freeze was deemed reasonable and necessary, a designed exception in interpretations of the clause.

 

(Cullom--jc)--  Tri Point School leaders approved a bid from Compass Insurance Partners for the district at a cost of 83 thousand 865 dollars. Clover Lead Farms was also awarded the milk bid for Tri Point. The Bread contract went to Aunt Millies. The Tri Point School board tabled to set the date for next year’s graduation. One date proposed was May 15th, 20-20.

 

(GIbson City--jc)  -- A historical walk event is set for Gibson City next month. The 20-19 “Gibson City, Through the Years” Historical walk takes place on Sunday July 21st at North Park in the city. Several area citizens will re-create some people and businesses from Gibson City’s  past. They include actors performing as Henry Hager of Hager Lumber, and Elmo Meiners of M and W Gear. Tickets go on sale July First. Those tickets will be available at Moyer Library.

 

(Springfield--jc) -- Senate Minority Leader Bill Brady says the new state budget was "as balanced as any budget" Illinois has adopted in decades, even though he voted against it. Brady gave his account of the flurry of legislation passed over the last month during a discussion in Chicago.  Brady told the group how Republicans fought to keep the Invest in Kids private school scholarship program over Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s plan to phase it out. The scholarship program is funded by private donors who get a 75 cents-on-the-dollar tax credit via the Illinois Department of Revenue.

 

(Springfield--ba)  -- An economist from a nonpartisan think tank said poverty rates could climb if Illinois changes from a flat income tax to a structure with higher rates for higher earners. Illinois' poverty rate is about 14.3 percent, which is right in the middle of the pack of all U.S. states and territories.  State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, said the soon-to-be new adult-use cannabis industry will help address poverty in Illinois with more jobs.

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  - Rantoul Village leaders are looking to help re-develop Heritage Lake in the village. Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhauer says the village is moving forward with some economic development ideas for the property…

 

 

Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhauer.

With the A-trel project in the village, local leaders expect the group to continue to develop their plans and have a ground breaking sometime over the next year.


 

(Washington--ba)  -- How will projected higher feed costs affect the hog sector?  Gary Crawford has that story.

 

 

 

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — A University of Illinois graduate student told jurors Tuesday that the man on trial for killing a 26-year-old visiting scholar from China tried to get her into his car by posing as an undercover police officer, saying she felt physically ill when she recognized him days later in a police photo display. Emily Hogan testified that Brendt Christensen, now 29, pulled up to her as she walked alone to a bus stop on the morning of June 9, 2017, the day Yingying Zhang went missing. Christensen was arrested on June 30, later pleading not guilty to a federal charge of kidnapping resulting in death. If convicted, he could be sentenced to death.

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce officials are seeking volunteers to help with the city’s 4th of July celebration, The popular Old Fashioned 4th of July  is set for Pells Park in Paxton. Anyone wanting to volunteer may contact the chamber of facebook. WPXN will again sponsor the Official Watermelon eating contest on the 4th of July in Paxton.

 

(Onarga--jc)  A business in the Iroquois County town of Onarga is relocating for  a time, while its downtown location is razed and re built. Demolition work  at the Beherns Farm and Home’s location in the downtown area began on Tuesday.

 

(Gibson City--jc)  -- Filling a Manager position and a report on the diving board are hilites of a pool committee meeting Thursday night in Gibson City. The committee will also look at pool finances. The Gibson City pool committee meets at 6 tomorrow night.

 

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Mosquitoes Could Be Thick This Summer

(Springfield--ba) Flooding this time of year often means more pesky mosquitoes. Blame the weather for the increase in floodwater mosquitoes, which like to breed in cooler, wet conditions. Illinois Department of Public Health spokesperson Melaney Arnold says the best way to protect yourself is to cover up.

 

 

Illinois Department of Public Health spokesperson Melaney Arnold

 

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — A witness is telling a jury that the former University Illinois doctoral student charged in the slaying of a visiting Chinese scholar used his computer to research serial killers, decomposing bodies and downloaded photographs of bound and gagged women. FBI Senior Forensic Examiner William O'Sullivan, on Monday,  walked the federal jurors through Brendt Christensen's computer use in the weeks before YingYing Zhang disappeared in June 2017. Zhang's body has never been found.

 

(Chicago--jc)  -- Good news for Northwestern University. Northwestern University finished 10th in a ranking of best education schools by U. S News that examined 258 campuses around the nation.The Evanston school’s tuition was not provided. The universities ranked by U.S. News were examined using weighted averages of 10 metrics, including a peer assessment by school deans, educational professionals’ assessments, student acceptance rates, verbal scores on standardized tests, doctoral degrees granted per year, research expenditures and student-faculty ratios.

 

(Iroquois County--jc)  The northbound lanes of Interstate 57 were down to one lane for several hours on Monday.  A semi rollover accident caused the slow down. State police continue to remind the motoring public to take extra precaution around construction zones and accident sites,  The area near the 300 mile marker near Chebanse is now back to normal.

 

(Sibley--ba)--  One local Ford County town is hosting an appreciation day in July

Sibley Appreciation Day is set for July 6th.Spokesperson Don Meyer talks about the origins of this event.

 

 

Sibley Appreciation Day Spokesperson Don Meyer

 

 

(Springfield--jc) --Illinois House Minority Leader Jim Durkin is being called out by a fact checker about his claim that there are parts of Interstate 80 that are too fragile for school buses to cross.Politifact rated that statement "mostly false" saying the Department of Transportation has given a bridge along the route a low rating, but knows of no ban on the crossing.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- Corn planting is nearly complete as we hear in the weekly crop report. After a very late start, 88 percent of corn has now been planted says State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener

70 percent of soybeans have been planted and 50 percent emerged.  6 percent of the winter wheat crop has been harvested


 

(Ashkum--jc)   Illinois State Police  District 21 Commander, Captain Don Aaron Harsy, announces the results of Alcohol Countermeasure Enforcementpatrols in Kankakee County on June 15. During the patrols 6 driver license, 5 registration violations and 3 insurance violations were reported.  The ACE patrols allow state police 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.

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- One local Senior Living Center is hosting a community garage sale later this month.  Accolade Healthcare of Paxton Senior Living Centers garage sale and bake sale is set for the home at 450 Fulton Street in Paxton. Officials with Accolade are currently accepting items for the sale.

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- An economist from a nonpartisan think tank said poverty rates could climb if Illinois changes from a flat income tax to a structure with higher rates for higher earners. Illinois' poverty rate is about 14.3 percent, which is right in the middle of the pack of all U.S. states and territories.  State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, said the soon-to-be new adult-use cannabis industry will help address poverty in Illinois with more jobs. State Rep. Will Guzzardi, D-Chicago, said another industry to create more jobs is the green and renewable energy sector.

Democrats also want to address income inequality, and some have said changing Illinois flat income tax to one with higher rates on higher earners will help. Illinois Policy Institute Chief Economist Orphe Divounguy said research shows tax increases hurt the economy and the move to increase taxes on small businesses through a progressive income tax could increase poverty. He cited Connecticut as an example.

 

(Champaign--jc)  Some wet weather is predicted for the next several days as we head into the first day of Summer on Friday. Illinois Water Survey Spokesperson Brian Kerscher says  the heaviest rain will be in southern Illinois…

 

 

Illinois Water Survey of Champaign Spokesperson Brian Kerschner

 

(Springfield--ba)  --Environmental advocates are considering it a win after Illinois passed a bill last month to ban a chemical that is often found in receipts and considered harmful. According to House Bill, 2076, “the Environmental Protection Act prohibits the manufacture, distribution, or use of paper containing Bisphenol A for the making of business or banking records.” The bill also “requires paper manufacturers to, among other things, replace Bisphenol A with an alternative chemical,” it states. B-P-A has been banned from receipts in other parts of the world, such as Canada and Europe, and Illinois has become the second state in the USA to ban it, after Connecticut.

 

 

(Washington--jc)  -- U-S-D-A officials continue to look for the most accurate acreage reporting from farmers. U-S-D-A National Ag Statistics Service Spokesperson Lance Honig says some farmers are still in the decision stage…

 

 

U-S-D-A National Ag Statistics Service Spokesperson Lance Honig

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- The demolition of the former Paxton Hospital continues today. The work to raze the building began several weeks ago. Carle Hospital owns the property. No specific uses for the property are planned. The demolition is expected to continue into early Summer.

 

(Sibley--ba)  -- The Sibley Burr Tractor Drive is set for July 7,Sibley Tractor Drive Spokesperson Russ Tjarks talks about his own personal experience with cancer, and why he decided to be a part of this now annual event…

 

 

Sibley Tractor Drive Spokesperson Russ Tjarks

 

(Rankin--jc) State Fire Marshal officials were in Rankin on Monday to try and find a cause of the blaze that completely destroyed the former Rankin Grade school building. In updating our story, the building had been in disrepair for years and the owner of the property facing fines from the Vermilion County Public Health Department. The Ford County Record reports that Vermilion County Public Health Department Administrator Doug Toole will contact property owner Herbert Polchow to get a timeline for the clean up of the property

 

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Former Rankin Grade School Building is a Total Loss in Early Morning Fire

(Rankin--jc) --  The State’s Fire Marshall’s office is investigating the fire of a former grade school building in the village of Rankin. The structure caught fire in the early morning hours of Saturday. The building was completely engulfed in flames by the time firefighters arrived.  The building is a total loss.

 

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Torrential rain this spring prevented most Midwest farmers from planting their crops but while the federal government provides help to growers of corn and soybeans, those who grow specialty crops are largely on their own. Although the lack of federal safety net programs for farmers who grow everything from arugula to zucchini isn't new, one of the wettest springs in U.S. history has focused attention on the special status of commodity crops, primarily corn, soybeans, cotton, rice and wheat.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois officials are warning people who plan to recreate in lakes and rivers to be cautious about blue-green algae that can cause sickness or other health issues. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Public Health say water conditions are ideal for the algae growth.

 

(Onarga--jc)  -- The Idea Garden is the location for an open house on Saturday in Onarga. The University of Illinois Extension’s Ford-Iroquois Master Gardeners will be showing the colors of summer at the event which runs from 10 til Noon. The Idea Garden is at the Onarga Public Library at 209 West Seminary in the village.

 

(Sibley--ba) --One annual event is focusing on honoring veterans as well as fighting cancer. Sibley Tractor Drive Spokesperson Russ Tjarks says the event is set for July 7th....

 

 

Sibley Tractor Drive Spokesperson Russ Tjarks

 

 

(Bellflower--jc) --  McLean County Sheriff released information about a fatal house fire in Bellflower. A house in the 400 block of first street in the village was observed engulfed by fire just after 5 Sunday morning. Assisting with the blaze, were fire departments from Bellflower, Saybrook and Farmer City. Upon investigation, a female was located deceased in the residence. The cause of the fire and fatality remain under investigation by McLean County authorities.

 

DU QUOIN, Ill. (AP) — The DuQuoin State Fair in southern Illinois is dropping a $2 entry fee. The admission fee for people 13 and older was started in 2016. Fair manager Josh Gross and John Sullivan, the head of the Illinois Agriculture Department, said they heard many complaints. Sullivan says he's "thrilled" to make the fair free again. The Southern Illinoisan reports that parking at the fairgrounds will be $15 while parking near the Southern Illinois Center will be $10.

 

(Gilman--jc)  Iroquois West School Board members will let bids for Bread, Milk and Fuel when they meet tonight in monthly session in Gilman. Iroquois West school leaders will also look to approve the amended fiscal year 20-20 calendar and approve its commercial insurance policy. The meeting comes to order at the high school board room in Gilman at 7.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- In the past ten years since the end of the Great Recession, Pew Charitable Trusts says Illinois increased overall spending 11 percent, but its pension funding dropped from 54 percent funded in 2008 to 35 percent in 2016.The report also says higher education spending per student increased 32 percent, the largest increase of any state reviewed.But Pew says Illinois' spending on K-12 education was down 22 percent per student since 2008.

 

 

(Mahomet--jc)  -- The 2019 Big Brothers Big Sisters Golf Outing is set for June 21st at Lake of the Woods Golf Course in Mahomet. The donation is 125 per golfer. Big Brothers Big Sisters Director Kristian Hopkins says that includes the golf and more…

 

Big Brothers Big Sisters Director Kristian Hopkins.

 

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — A central Illinois woman who admitted to seriously injuring a 5-month old boy at her home-day care business has been sentenced to 3 ½ years in prison.  59-year-old Debbie May of Champaign was sentenced on Friday. In April she entered what is called an Alford plea to aggravated battery, a plea that allows criminal defendants to maintain their innocence while acknowledge that there was enough evidence to persuade a jury to find her guilty.

 

 

(Gibson City--jc) Gibson City Melvin Sibley School board members will look at costs to repair the elevator at its Middle School in gibson City when they meet in monthly session.  The estimated cost will be just over 46 thousand dollars. School board members are also expected to approve bids for bread, dairy and trash collection. The G-C-M-S school board meets at 6-15 tonight at the middle school board room.

 

 

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — An exhibit of unique typewriters, including one used by the founder of Playboy, will open later this month at the University of Illinois. The university's Rare Book & Manuscript Library will feature typewriters used by Hugh Hefner and Roger Ebert. Both men were alumni of the university. Hefner's Underwood Standard portable typewriter that he used in college and to write for Playboy is one of the main exhibits. It is on loan to the library after being sold at auction in December for $162,500.The typewriters used by poet Carl Sandburg and novelist James Jones will also be featured.

 

(Melvin--jc)  -- The 20-19 field of candidates for the Ford County Fair Queen Pagent is set. WPXN’s Joel Cluver has the details…

 


(Pontiac--jc)  -- Illinois State Police (ISP) Zone 5 Investigations is requesting the public’s assistance in locating a missing 51-year-old woman, Beatrice Field, of Jasper, Indiana. On June 13, State police Investigations responded to an abandoned vehicle (Kia) at the Limestone Rest Area near Pontiac. The vehicle had been abandoned since May 29.  Field was identified on a rest area surveillance video walking from the vehicle on May 30. Field,is described as 5’ 0” and approximately 100 pounds. Foul play is not suspected. If you have any information on the whereabouts of Beatrice Field, please contact I-S-P Pontiac Communications Center at (815) 844-1500.

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- The Tri-County Players theater group is presenting the show “Wonderland”  this weekend and next weekend at the Market Street Theater in downtown Paxton. The Friday and Saturday performances are at 7 p.m., while the Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m. Seats  are available by callingt 217-379-7028. You can hear more about the Tri County Players production of Wonderland with an interview with Brandon Irish on our Noon news today.

 

 

(Rankin--jc)  --Rankin’s Fourth of July celebration will be held Friday, July 5, and Saturday, July 6, at Centennial Park on the village’s southwest side.A truck and tractor pull takes place on Friday July 5th at Centennial Park starting at 6pm. On Saturday,  food, a water ball fight, music, pie eating contest, joke-telling contest, watermelon seed spitting to an egg tossing contest hilite the day. Fireworks take place around 9 that evening.


 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- The latest class for the Rantoul based Lincoln’s Challenge program graduated over the weekend. The ceremonies were held at the Decatur Civic Center. Lincolns Challenge Program Public Information Director Michael Camacha says the program continues to grow in its partnership with the village or Rantoul and area…

 

 

Lincoln’s Challenge Program Public Information Director Michael Camacha

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  Rantoul area Chamber of Commerce Movies in the park was postponed Friday night due to inclement weather. The movie Ralph Breaks the Internet will be shown this Friday at Willow Pond Golf Course.

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Bricks Can Now be Purchased to Support Paxton's Grand Ole Flag Project

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Testimony in the trial of a former University of Illinois doctoral student accused of killing a visiting scholar from China revealed that the defendant bought Drano and garbage bags three days after the slaying. The detail came Thursday during the second day of the federal murder trial of Brendt Christensen in the June 2017 death of 26-year-old Yingying Zhang.

 

(Springfield--ba)-Thanks to a wet spring there are plenty of mosquitoes and gnats to contend with this summer. Bugs are always annoying but this year the buffalo gnats seem particularly nasty. State Public Health Director Doctor Egozi (en-gozi) Ezike (eh-zee-kay) says they are attracted to the air we breath out, perfumes and even our deodorant. They also aren’t fended off easily.

 

 

State Public Health Director Doctor Egozi (en-gozi) Ezike (eh-zee-kay)

 

 

(Wasington--ba)  -- A 2018 Farm Bill program securing scholarship funds for 1890's land grant universities received recognition and created celebration at USDA headquarters this week. Rod Bain reports...

 

 

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois State Museum has named a new director.

The state's Department of Natural Resources says Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko has been appointed after a nationwide search. She has served in leadership posts at the Abbe Museum in Maine and the General Lew Wallace Study and Museum in Indiana, which won awards during her tenure.

 

 

 

(Buckley--ba) Buckley fun day is set for tomorrow at Buckley Lake.  Buckley Mayor Sherry Stachura says there are lots of activities to enjoy...

 

 

Buckley Mayor Sherry Stachura

WPXN will be broadcast live Saturday from 10 until noon at Buckley Fun Day. It’s Summer Fun Tour Stop number 4.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  The State F F A Convention is complete for the year. On Thursday Gage Miller of Cambridge in Henry County was elected as the new Illinois F F A President. He succeeds Sophia Horton of Fisher in the position.

 

(Springfield-jc)  -- Come the end of September, 370 million dollars in back pay will be going to tens of thousands of state employees from early career raises from a contract that expired back in 2015. The courts sided with unions in a fight with former Governor Bruce Rauner that the raises must be paid. The State Journal-Register reports the interest on the back pay has yet to be calculated. The AFSCME union, which endorsed Governor. J.B. Pritzker, is voting to ratify its first new contract with the state since 2015.

 

(Paxton--ba) This Saturday on Scotts Tips for Success, Scott Allen from Paxton Hardware and Rental talks about Julie. Allen says it is important to know Julie  8-1-1 before digging on your property.

 

 

Paxton Hardware and Rental Owner Scott Allen

 

 

(Watseka--jc)  July 16th is the deadline for Iroquois County property owners to  pay their first installment of 20-18 taxes due in 20-19. Iroquois County Treasurer Kurt Albers also announced that the second installment is due on September 16th.

 

(Springfield--ba)-A bill awaiting the governor’s signature aims to better protect students from sexual abuse at school. The legislation creates an alternative hearing process for students reporting sexual abuse or harassment, so they don’t feel intimated or further traumatized. State. Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant of Plainfield is a co-sponsor of the measure...

 

State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant of Plainfield

 

(Buckley--jc)  -- Running, eating, fishing, tractors and a duck race hilite Saturday’s Buckley Fun Day at Buckley Lake. The 5-K race and walk starts the day at 7-30 Saturday morning. The Ladies Aid bake sale begins at 9. The annual fishing derby runs from 8am until 10am. Golf cart parade is set for 10-30. Food stand opens at 11 and the annual Buckley Fun Day Duck race takes place at 4-17 Saturday afternoon.

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  It’s graduation time for the next class at Rantoul based Lincoln’s Challenge. Class 52 will go through the pomp and circumstance tomorrow in Decatur. Saturday’s ceremony begins at 11am at the Decatur Civic Center.


 

(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois is the only state in America that has yet to release its official report from fiscal year 2018 and state officials don’t yet know when it will be released.Every state, most cities, and other forms of government must have a comprehensive annual financial report, or CAFR, done as a way for not only citizens to better understand their local government finances, but also to give officials a better idea on the baseline costs for upcoming budgets.Illinois is often one of the last states to finish its report and this year, state officials have yet to do it, making it the latest since 2011 when Comptroller-turned Deputy Gov. Dan Hynes released it on June 30, 2012, a full year after the fiscal year ended.

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- Organizers with the Paxton Grand Ole Flag project are announcing a brick paver project today. Grand Ole Flag Spokesperson Denny Kingren says the bricks are available starting today…

 

 

Paxton Grand Ole Flag Spokesperson Denny Kinrgren

Again,the bricks are  4-by-8-inch bricks, dedicated with a donation of 1 hundred dollars. 8 by 8 bricks will be sold for 250 dollars each. The bricks are available at the My Brick’s website. It’s online at Thats-my-brick-dot-com-forward slash-paxton-flag. We will have this information on our website too.

WPXN, in conjunction with the fundraiser, will play the national anthem each day in the 5pm hour. Listeners may provide a donation to the flag project and dedicate the National Anthem to a family member, veteran, or message. Call the radio station at 379-9796 for more details or message at news-at-wpxnradio-dot-com

 

 

(Milford--ba)-- Milford Fun Days is this weekend in the southern Iroquois County town.  Milford Fun Days’ Spokesperson Jason Reed says a parade games music and more hilites the day on Saturday....

 

 

Milford Fun Days Spokesperson Jason Reed

 

(Ford County--jc)  Ford County Health Department Officials expect lots of mosquitoes this summer. Joel Cluver has the details…

 

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- On the menu at the Paxton IGA Cookout tomorrow is pork chop sandwiches, chips and soda. This week’s proceeds go to the United Methodist Womens Group. The cookout runs from 10am until 2 pm at the IGA on Saturday.

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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker Has Signed Sweeping Abortion Protections into Law

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed sweeping abortion protections into law that establish women's access to the procedure as a "fundamental right." The legislation signed into law Wednesday puts Illinois at odds with Republican-led states that have been embracing steep abortion restrictions....

 

 

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker

The measure voids old abortion regulations that were on the books but had never taken effect because of court orders. It also requires insurance coverage for abortions, contraception and related medical care.

 

 

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — As a federal prosecutor on Wednesday shared with jurors grisly details of how they claim a former University of Illinois doctoral student kidnapped a visiting scholar from China, then beat her to death with a baseball bat , defense attorneys intent on sparing their client a possible death penalty offered an exceptional claim: He did it. Opening statements began Wednesday in the federal death-penalty trial of Brendt Christensen, who is accused of killing 26-year-old Yingying Zhang.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Pope Francis has deemed the first known black Roman Catholic priest in the United States to be "venerable," positioning the former slave for possible sainthood. The Diocese of Springfield, Illinois, says the pontiff's designation Wednesday of the Rev. Augustine Tolton as venerable means the church intensely scrutinized his life and recognizes it as one of "heroic virtue." The designation puts Tolton two steps away from possible canonization.


 

(Paxton--jc)  One group continues to seek another use for the Eastlawn School Building. The Paxton Buckley Loda School Board says they have already made plans to tear down the building as part of a new school project. No one came to the board during the referendum process and planning stages concerning the future of the aging building. A group wanting to save the structure made their pitch at last nights school board meeting. The consensus of the board is to continue with their plans.

 

(Milfor--ba) The annual Milford Fun Days are this weekend. The weekend is full of activities says Spokesperson Jason Reed...

 

Milford Fun Days Spokesperson Jason Reed

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- Some success stories with the Paxton Buckley Loda F F A from the state convention in Springfield. The local chapter had 3 students compete in the state Agriscience fair. Autumn Bruens and Lizzy Ruetter won their area of Plant Systems and were announced as National Finalist candidates. Christina White also competed. Mikayla Jones was named one of the top 10 chapter presidents. Kelsey Vaughn was recognized as one of Illinois' American Degree candidates. PBL was also recognized multiple times for National Chapter Awards.Today is the final day for the F F A convention. Fisher High Schools Sophia Horton will serve her last day representing the state as F F A President. A new slate of officers will be elected later today.



Paxton, IL—06/19/19—The Ford County Sheriff’s Office is excited to announce the implementation of the Medical Priority Dispatch Systemto better serve the residents of Ford County in emergency situations. With this new system, emergency dispatchers will follow nationally recognized standards and research-based protocols to identify life-threatening situations and to safely prioritize calls for fast response. The protocols guide emergency dispatchers through a series of questions they ask callers in order to identify the issue so they can send the correct help to the victim.  Emergency dispatchers will also use the questions to provide responders with accurate information so they can more effectively give care once they’re on the scene. Additionally, with the MPDS® emergency dispatchers can provide lifesaving and safety instructions to callers and victims before responders arrive. For example, by using the MPDS, the emergency dispatcher can instruct a caller on performing CPR or delivering a baby.

 

 

(Paxton---jc)  -- Officials with the Paxton Ole Fashioned 4th of July Celebration are looking for the next Little Mister and Little Miss for the annual celebration. Entry forms are found on  the Paxton Chamber of Commerce website. The contest is set for 6pm July 3rd at Pells Park in the city. WPXN will be sponsoring the annual watermelon eating contest on the 4th of July at the park.

(Springfield--jc)  --A case challenging Illinois’ Firearm Owners Identification card law is headed to the Illinois Supreme Court, but a gun rights group said it could end up in the nation's highest court. Illinois State Rifle Association Executive Director Richard Pearson said the case out of White County involved a disabled woman who had a single-shot .22 caliber rifle. Pearson says the judge in White County said the FOID card is unconstitutional in the home. The case now bypasses the appellate court because it deals with constitutional issues If the state Supreme Court agrees with the White County judge's decision, Pearson said it means people could keep a firearm in the home without a FOID card.

 

(Springfield--jc)  --New polling found Illinois’ proposed progressive income tax ballot initiative may be off to a rocky start in terms of public opinion.A  We-Ask-America poll of 800 likely Illinois voters shows support for changing the state’s flat income tax to one that would allow lawmakers to tax higher earners at higher rates stood at 51 percent as of the last days of May. While 51 percent would be just enough for the measure to succeed in November 2020, it has dropped eight percentage points since February. Governor. J.B. Pritzker says that groups like Ideas Illinois, which funded the poll, have spread misinformation about what his income tax proposal would do.

 

(Springfield--jc)  --With Fathers’ Day just around the corner, consumer finance website WalletHub ranked the best and worst states for dads. Illinois came in just above the middle of the pack at No. 21. The highest ranked subcategory was daycare quality, where Illinois ranked No. 7. Illinois ranked No. 47 for the unemployment rate for dads with children younger than 18.

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  A food distribution event is set for one local church today. St Marys and St Joseph Parish Center Spokesperson Judy Popel has the details…

 

 

St Marys and St Joseph Parish Center Spokesperson Judy Popel

 

FAIR OAKS, Ind. (AP) — Authorities have arrested one of three people charged with animal cruelty following the release of video showing workers kicking and throwing young calves at a northwestern Indiana dairy farm that's an agritourism destination. The Newton County Sheriff's Department said Wednesday 36-year-old Edgar Gardozo-Vasquez of Brook is being held at the Newton County Jail on a felony charge of torturing or mutilating a vertebrate animal and misdemeanor animal cruelty at Fair Oaks Farms.

 

(Gibson City--dg)  -- The seventh annual Mid-Summer Fun Run, sponsored by the American Legion Riders Post 568 in Gibson City and the Ford County Old-Timers, will be held Saturday, July 13. The event starts at the Urbana VFW post with signups starting at 10:30 a.m. The ride leaves the VFW post at noon. Food, beverages and entertainment will be provided at the final stop, the Carter household. There will also be 50/50 drawings, live music, an auction, a bonfire after dark and free camping. Donations of $20 per person will be accepted for the poker run ($15 at the gate). All profits and donations will benefit local veterans in Champaign County. Participants must be at least 21 years old. For more information or to make a donation, contact Larry Carter (217-841-6357), Ted Kaiser (217-249-4556) or Steve Bemount (217-841-8181).

 

 

The Gibson Area Chamber of Commerce annual Fish Fry is today from 5-7 pm at North Park Pavillion. Musical Entertainment will be provided by the Gibson City Community band from 6-7pm.  Menu included all-you-can-eat fish along with baked beans, coleslaw, macaroni salad, chips, bread and drink. Cost is $5. Carryout orders will be available. Desert provided by the G-C-M-S Band Boosters.


 

 

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Illinois lawmakers Looking to Free Up some Money to Cover the Cost of Emissions Testing

(Springfield--jc)  --After lawmakers accidentally removed the five-hour minimum for a school day in Illinois, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed legislation to restore it while still allowing schools more flexibility than before. The law  allows apprenticeships, dual-credit, career development and blended learning days to count toward a student’s required attendance total.

 

 

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — A jury has been selected in the trial of a former graduate student accused of kidnapping and killing a University of Illinois scholar from China. A federal judge in Peoria, Illinois, told jurors to return today for opening statements. Brendt Christensen could be sentenced to death if convicted in the 2017 slaying of Yingying Zhang, whose body hasn't been found.

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois lawmakers are looking to free up some money in the state's budget by using some motor fuel tax revenue to cover the cost of emissions testing, but the state’s Constitution may not allow it. The last change to Illinois’ Constitution was the Illinois Transportation Taxes and Fees Lockbox Amendment, which voters passed in 2016. It forbids lawmakers from using transportation funds for non-transportation spending. State Sen. Heather Steans’ bill, which passed both houses and now only needs Governor J.B. Pritzker's signature, would allow for the state’s emission testing done by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to be paid for using revenue generated by the Motor Fuel Tax, the state tax levied on each gallon of gas.

 

(Washington--ba)  -- Where does the Winter and Spring wheat crop stand as we close in on the middle of June. Gary Crawford has  the latest....

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  --Hundreds of FFA members from all over the state are in the capital city for the organization's annual convention.The event will culminate with the selection of a new state board. That board will replace the first all-female board, which was elected last year. The state leaders for the past year included Sophia Horton from Fisher…

 

 

Current State F F A President Sophia Horton of Fisher

 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- The National Punkin Chuckin’ Festival is on its way to Rantoul. The three day event will be the first three days of November this year. Rantoul Village Administrator Scot Eisenhauer says the local area can expect 35 to 40 thousand people to attend this three day festival…

 

 

Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhauer

 

 

(Roberts--jc) --  One Ford County Church is helping  sponsor a dance and show in July. The Living Word Church of Roberts is hosting the band Statesboro on Saturday July 20th in the park pavilion.

 

 

(Washington--ba)-- What to eat and what is good for you.  Hayden Stewart of the Economic Research Service has the  affordability of produce in meeting USDA dietary guidelines...

 

 

Hayden Stewart of the Economic Research Service

 

(Springfield--jc)  --One of the hundreds of bills Governor J.B. Pritzker is set to consider would allow victims of revenge porn to sue the person who posted the images online for up to $10,000 in civil damages. Posting sexually explicit content of someone online without their consent is already a crime in Illinois. State Representative. Mary Edly-Allen, Democrat from Libertyville,  helped Senate Bill 15-0-7 pass to give victims the ability to file a civil lawsuit. The bill creates a civil remedy for non-consensual dissemination of private sexual images.

 

(Paxton--jc)  When the Paxton Buckley Loda School Board meets tonight, a group that wants to save the  Eastlawn school building may be in attendance. During the entire process of a new school project and after a voter referendum, no one has come forth to save the aging building until earlier this Spring. The group  is looking at several Historic organizations to potentially help their cause. It is not -- certain how many signatures may be brought before the school board tonight. The concensus of the board from a media release earlier this month is to proceed with the school project as planned.

 

(Washington--ba--  )Soybean planting remains far  behind normal. Gary Crawford reports.

 

(Paxton--jc)  - Those with the Paxton Grand Ole Flag project say they are just days away from launching fundraising efforts. The group says they will launch on Friday, which is Flag Day.  The project is a 30 by 60 foot flag on a 150 foot pole to be located on Paxton’s west side near Paxton Buckley Loda High School. A brick fundraiser will officially start on Friday as the group looks to raise an initial 40 thousand dollars for the “grand ole flag.” WPXN radio will also make an announcement on Friday with a fundraising idea for the flag.

 

 

(Spirngfield--jc)  -- Illinois lawmakers have said the state budget they passed and Governor J.B. Pritzker enacted was balanced and properly contributes to public pension accounts, but an accounting watchdog said that’s misleading. Senate President John Cullerton, Democrat, from Chicago, says the  state's budget is balanced and makes payments to the state’s pension funds as required by law. Truth in Accounting Research Director Bill Bergman said state law requires a payment below what it would cost to actually start reducing the state’s billions of dollars in public retiree debt.  He refers to a 440 million dollar bond offering in April.

 

TREMONT, Ill. (AP) — Authorities say the remains of a central Illinois Marine have been recovered, months after he died in a plane crash off Japan's southern coast. Cpl. Daniel Baker of Tremont was one of six Marines who died in the Dec. 6 crash. The 21-year-old was aboard a refueling plane that collided with a fighter jet. The Marine Corps says Baker's remains were found during a salvage operation conducted from May 27 through June 7.

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- The public is urged to watch out for blue-green algae in Illinois lakes and rivers. Most algae is an important part of the ecosystem, but blue-green algae can produce dangerous toxins. Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Biologist Teri Holland describes blue-green algae…

 

E-P-A Biologist Teri Holland

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- The new Illinois budget has more money for mental health treatment. Governor J-B Pritzker says most everyone knows someone who is dealing with a mental health issue. The governor says an 80 million dollar increase in state funding, will help more people…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker

We will hear more from the governor on the topic on our Noon news today.

 

(Rantoul--jc)  Rantoul Chamber of Commerce officials say they hope to name a new Executive Director by the first of August. Current director Belynda Allen has left the office to take an Economic Development position in Hancock County in western Illinois.

 

 

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Corn and Soybeans Well Behind 5 Year Average

(Springfield--jc)  -- Farmers finally got some time in the field this past week. 73 percent of corn and 49 percent of soybeans have now been planted, but they are well behind the 5 year average says State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener..

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.

The first cutting of alfalfa is 41 percent complete. Average Statewide topsoil moisture is 54 percent adequate and 42 percent surplus.

 

 

CHICAGO (AP) — The trial of a former graduate student charged with kidnapping and killing a University of Illinois scholar from China is the first federal death-penalty trial in Illinois since it abolished capital punishment in 2011. Activists who fought to end executions in the state are dismayed. A leader in Illinois' anti-death penalty movement, Rob Warden, says federal authorities are "imposing capital punishment on a state that abolished it." He calls that "morally offensive."

 

(Rantoul--jc)  Rantoul police are seeking assistance in locating a Rantoul woman. 87 year old Lela O’Brien was last seen around 1-30 Monday afternoon  in the front lobby of Eagles View Supportive Living and Memory Care in Rantoul. O’Brien is described as a white female, Five feet--two inches tall, weighing around 130 pounds. She has dementia, but will answer to her name. Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call Rantoul police.

 

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A central Illinois city is defending a popular meteorologist who has been absent from local television newscasts since he criticized a corporate weather-alert brand. Joe Crain noted community criticism on live TV June 5 over "Code Red" weather alerts implemented by station owner Sinclair Broadcast Group. Sinclair did not respond to a request for comment. Several local businesses have pulled advertising from WICS. Even U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois says people should speak up for Crain.

 

 

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says many farmers hit by disasters will start to see help from the new disaster bill in "weeks, not months". USDA’s Gary Crawford reports.

 

The Paxton Buckley Loda School Board is meeting tomorrow and will hear the latest on the new Clara Petersen School project. Additional agenda items include, the process  of the Eastlawn Elementary demolition, and seeking proposals for waste services for the next school year. The meeting is set to take place at 6:00pm.

 

(Undated--jc)  -- A new report indicates Illinois is doing better than the rest of the country when it comes to food insecurity.The annual study from Feeding America says just under 11 percent of the state’s population struggle to afford nutritious meals on a regular basis.That compares to the national average of 12.5 percent. North Dakota has the lowest rate in the country at about 7 percent, while Mississippi has the highest at nearly 20 percent.

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  It’s graduation time for the next class at Rantoul based Lincoln’s Challenge. Class 52 will go through the pomp and circumstance on Saturday in Decatur says Public Relations Director Michael Camacha…

 

 

Lincoln Challenge Public Relations Director Michael Camacha

Saturday’s ceremony begins at 11am at the Decatur Civic Center.

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  The International Monster Truck Museum Hall of Fame has two area nominees. They are Mark Hall and Tim Hall.  The brothers are part of the Raminator Monster Truck. The local group travels, competes and offers the Raminator for events and shows across the country. The Hall Brothers and Raminator will be in Wyoming on July 6 for a Tailgating for Hope event in Pinedale Wyoming.

 

 (Springfield--ba)-It’s been 100 years since Illinois moved to give women the right to vote. At a ceremony honoring the 19th Amendment in Chicago, Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton spoke of how far the country has come…and pledged to continue fighting for women’s rights.

 

 

Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton

 

MOMENCE, Ill. (AP) — A man and a dog are presumed drowned after their boat crashed into a logjam on a river in Kankakee County. Momence Fire Chief Jim Spoon tells The Daily Journal that the logjam on the Kankakee River is about 25 feet (7.6 meters) wide, near the Illinois-Indiana border. Another man who was thrown from the boat Saturday survived.Spoon says the river was too swift for divers Sunday. Indiana authorities were helping Illinois police in the search.

James Hubona says he was lucky: Kayakers heard his calls for help and threw him a life jacket. He identified his missing friend as Mike Stefano, a former Chicago police officer, and his dog Buster.

 

(Springfield--jc)  --Illinois is among the most fun states in the country.Coming in at No. 11, the Land of Lincoln ranked high for performance arts, restaurants and fitness centers per capita, according to consumer finance website WalletHub.Illinois ranked No. 30 for casinos per capita, but that could change with a pending law to create 6 new casinos along with other gambling expansion measures. One of those casinos is projected for Danville.

 

(Watseka--jc)  Iroquois County Relay for Life officials have announced that the event this past weekend raised almost 90 thousand dollars. Money raised through August will go on the current year’s total. Those with the local relay say thanks to all who helped with this year’s event.

 

 

(Ford County--ba)-Ford County has completed their tax deed proceedings on real estate properties that were delinquent for 2015 and mobile homes that were delinquent for 2016 and prior real estate taxes. WPXN’s Braedon Arnett has that story.

 

 

 

FAIR OAKS, Ind. (AP) — Three people have been charged with animal cruelty following the release of video showing workers kicking and throwing young calves at a northwestern Indiana dairy farm that's an agritourism destination. The Newton County Sheriff's Department said Monday that misdemeanor charges have been filed against three people related to the Fair Oaks Farms case. The department didn't identify those charged or release details of the allegations.

 

(Springfield--jc)  State lawmakers aren’t expected back in Springfield until this fall but when they’re in session a couple of freshman say things can be chaotic.Decatur Republican state Representative Dan Caulkins says the place “runs like a circus with a hidden ringmaster.”.Rockford Democratic state Representative Maurice West said it’s similar to the HBO series “Game of Thrones” where he’s running full force toward an unknown goal with competing groups either chasing or attempting to block him.

 

 

 

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Illinois Dispensaries Preparing for the Legalization of Recreational Marijuana.

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois dispensaries are staffing up and remodeling in preparation for the legalization of recreational marijuana. The General Assembly approved the marijuana legislation last week and it now awaits a signature from Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker. If he signs, Illinois will become the 11th state, along with the District of Columbia, to permit recreational use. Companies already in the medical marijuana market said expansion to meet recreational needs could result in a hiring boom.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Emergency Management Agency has mobilized its third round-the-clock team to assist the flooding fight in Monroe County. IEMA Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau said Saturday that the latest Joint Quick Reactionary Task Force will be based in Valmeyer along the Mississippi River. The other two are in Hardin and Jerseyville. Tate-Nadeau says the teams are responsible for monitoring levees, providing manpower to bolster levees and assist the community in an emergency setting.

 

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — A group is recommending that the University of Illinois erect a plaque or monument to commemorate the history of Chief Illiniwek, the mascot who was dropped amid much criticism in 2007. The Chancellor's Commission on Native Imagery says the site outside Memorial Stadium, as well as a public retirement, could provide "healing and reconciliation." The group also recommends regular activities involving the university and Native Americans who consider Illinois to be their ancestral home.

 

(Undated--jc)  -- Students from across Illinois who are members of Future Farmers of America will descend on the capitol city Tuesday for their annual convention.There’ll be new executive officers selected for the coming year.This year’s FFA executive officers in Illinois were the first all-female board. The FFA President  this year has been Sophia Horton from Fisher.

 

 

(Champaign--jc)  The May numbers are in for May weather. Illinois Water Survey in Champaign Spokesperson Brian Kerschner says May was one of the wettest on record…

 

 

Illinois Water Survey-Champaign Spokesperson Brian Kerschner

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- If Illinois voters approve a constitutional amendment to change the state’s flat income tax to a structure with higher rates on higher earners, a tax professional says it will hurt jobs. Leonard and Associates Managing Partner Michael Leonard said higher taxes on small businesses will hurt their offerings to employees and may trigger them to invest in other states. Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the proposed rates that would only take effect if voters approve the idea at  the ballot box in November of next year.

 

(Urbana--jc)  --University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign finished first in a ranking of best library and information studies programs by U.S. News The local school’s peer assessment score was 4.7. The study ranked master’s degree programs on a scale of 1 being low and 5 being outstanding.Deans, directors and senior faculty members provided the assessment information. U.S. News calculated the numerical rank for these programs but did not publish the information for editorial reasons.

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- The Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce has its first Summertime Free movie coming on Friday night. Executive Director Belynda Allen says they will show the movie Ralph-Breaks the Internet…

 

 

Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Belynda Allen

 

CHICAGO (AP) — An unusually wet spring resulted in a delay in the planting of the Illinois corn crop.The U.S. Department of Agriculture says as of June 2, Illinois farmers have sown corn seed in 45% of the acreage dedicated to the crop. That is 53% below the five-year average. Of the seeds that have been laid, only 32% have emerged.Rodney Weinzierl of the Illinois Corn Growers Association last Wednesday counted three rainstorms moving over the Bloomington area. Each narrowly missed his 500 acres of farmland, allowing him his first opportunity to plant this year. He worked through the day to get two-thirds of his corn seeds in the ground.

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- Local governments in Illinois can now see just how much they, and their neighbors, are getting in tax money from the state. The Illinois Department of Revenue's latest addition to its website is designed to let officials cities, towns, and counties know exactly what they're getting from the state.  The MyLocalTax section provides the latest numbers on the local share of sales taxes, gas taxes and dozens of other taxes collected by the state and sent back to local governments.

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- A drainage Water Way  cleaning and M-F-T Bids hilite the Paxton City Council meeting Tuesday night. City council members will also look to approve some street repairs and patching. Purchasing a new pump for the Vermilion Street Lift Station, approving a collections day for PRIDE in Paxton on July 27th and a solar energy savings program are all agenda items. The Paxton City Council meets at 7 tomorrow night on the second floor of city hall.

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- One reason that the village of Rantoul is set to host the World Punkin’ Chuckin’ Contest is the organizers were actively seeking a new site.  A portion of the former Chanute Air Force base in the village was a perfect site. Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhauer says the village and area are glad they chose Rantoul…

 


Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhauer

Officials from the group continue to develop their plans for the November First through Third event that will bring 10 thousand plus visitors to the local area from around the state, national and several foreign countries.

 

 

(Melvin--dg)  --Tickets are being sold for the Melvin fire department’s annual raffle, which will award as prizes either $500 in cash or a choice of one of five guns or a gun safe. The drawing will be held June 29 in conjunction with the Ford County Fair’s demolition derby. Raffle tickets cost $10 each and can be purchased at RTD Auto in Roberts at 217-395-2180, AHW in Melvin, BCS in Gibson City or from any Melvin firefighter.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- The Illinois Lottery could soon offer sports betting at retail locations as part of recently passed gambling legislation in Springfield. Senate Bill 690, approved at the tail end of the legislative session, would create a pilot program to allow the Illinois Lottery to offer sports wagering. Additionally, the bill also allows for six new casinos in Illinois and legalizes sports wagering. The Illinois Lottery pilot program would allow for up to 2,500 sports betting locations across the State of Illinois in the program’s first year. An additional 2,500 locations could open in the second year, for a total of 5,000 locations in the first two years of the program. The locations would be Lottery retail outlets.

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- Rantoul Township High School board members will look to set wages for bus drivers at their monthly meeting on Monday night. An awning project, bus purchase and the approval of a band trip will also be discussed. The Rantoul Township High School Board meets on Monday night at 7 at the high school.

 

 

(Watseka--jc)  -- Iroquois County board members are looking to provide a 75 percent tax abatement for one county business when they meet this morning in monthly session. Gilman based Incobrasa has requested the abatement for a 10 year period. County leaders are also expected to vote on a solar ordinance and vote on a resolution to oppose a firearms Identification Owners Card Act. The Iroquois County board meets at 9  this morning in Watseka.

 

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Taxes Going Up on Many Items as July 1

(Springfield--jc)  -- People who buy gas in Illinois, pay to park , buy a new car, register a vehicle, smoke or buy things online, will soon be paying more in taxes to the state of Illinois.A slew of tax increases are coming July 1 with the various budget, gambling expansion and public works construction bills lawmakers passed in the final days of session last weekend. Drivers will pay higher taxes and fees. For those who drive about 12,000 miles a year, the doubling of the gas tax from 19 cents to 38 cents per gallon would mean an additional $114 to the state, but that will vary depending on gas mileage. Car owners will also pay $50 more for annual registration. For those buying a new car, the vehicle documentation fee nearly doubles to $300.  Smokers will also feel the pinch because there’s an extra $1 per pack tax, bringing the total tax to nearly $3 a pack. Shopping online will also have a sales tax tacked on, in part because of new language passed by the state legislature this session.

 

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — A federal judge at the trial of a former University of Illinois student charged with killing a visiting Chinese scholar says jurors should be ready to deliver opening statements mid the middle of next week. Thursday is the fourth day of jury selection at Brendt Christensen's trial in Peoria. Judge James Shadid says the final selection of 12 jurors and six alternates could happen Monday, with openings on Wednesday.

 

(Gibson City--jc)  -- Gibson City leaders are set to consider a special license for Rick’s Recreation Center for the Corn Belt Shriners Golf Event when they meet on Monday night at 7. Planting new trees and working on the downtown planters, and an amendment to Gibson City’s  second Tax Increment District also are topics for city officials. Council members will also hear about traffic options as a railroad crossing reconstruction project is set to begin soon. The Gibson City city council meeting comes to order at 7 Monday evening.

 

(Rantoul--jc)  A Rantoul resident will become the commander of the Illinois V-F-W next week. Brad Gould will also be the grand marshall of the local Rantoul Freedom Festival Parade on July 4th in the village. Gould has family ties to the local area, but grew up in Indiana….

 

 

Rantoul resident and soon to be Illinois V-F-W State Commander Brad Gould.

 

 

(Cissna Park--jc) The Cissna Park community, Illinois State Police, family and friends are mourning the death of a popular state trooper, American Legion member, civic leader and friend. 75 year old Francis Thompson passed away on Wednesday at his home in rural Buckley.  Thompson was a member of the Illinois State Police for over 31 years and also a Vietnam war veteran. His funeral is set for 11am Monday at Ash Grove Church in rural Onarga

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- The Paxton Police Department’s shooting range will be open to the public on Saturday from 10am until 1pm. The daily fee is 10 dollars. Those attending are to provide their weapon, ammunition along with ear and eye protection Paxton Police officers will be on hand for safety purposes.

 

(Washington--ba)-With tension rising between two economic superpowers, USDA’s Gary Crawford

reports on the current state of trade talks between the US and China.

 

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- A decree from Bishop Thomas Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois on Thursday banned House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton from receiving Holy Communion in the Diocese of Springfield."In addition, Illinois Catholic lawmakers who voted for either of these abortion bills are not to present themselves to receive Holy Communion," according to a news release.


 

(Springfield--ba)  -- Vape shop owners are up in arms over an effort to prevent them from allowing customers to sample products in their stores. The proposed legislation is described by supporters as regulating an unregulated and possibly dangerous industry of electronic cigarettes and vaping products. Adding vaping to existing Tobacco 21 laws would ban vape shops from allowing customers to sample products in their stores. The bill awaits a full vote in the Senate, something that could happen during fall session.

 

 

ASHKUM – Illinois State Police  District 21 Commander, Captain Don Aaron Harsy, announces the results of Occupant Restraint Enforcement Patrols held in Kankakee, Iroquois, and Ford Counties on June 4,. These OREPs provided extra patrol coverage for the ISP so officers could focus on saving lives by making sure all vehicle occupants were buckled up.  State police handed out 16 seat belt citations and 10 warnings during the patrol

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- It’s townwide garage sale days today and tomorrow in Paxton. Over 100 sales take place around town and nearby in the country. Maps are available at Casey’s locations and Village Pantry in Paxton.

 

Ashkum, IL. – Illinois State Police District 21 Commander, Captain Don Aaron Harsy, announced today activity and enforcement figures for May 2019. Illinois State Police District 21 Troopers issued 919 citations, 904 written warnings, including 7 DUIs, 132 seatbelt citations, 23 criminal arrests. Troopers also assisted 205 motorists, conducted 204 Motor Carrier Inspections, and investigated 83 traffic crashes. There was one fatal crash investigated by District 21 in May.

 

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  The riders made it through the city of Paxton. The Illinois State Police sponsored runners   went past the WPXN studios around 1pm on Thursday afternoon. The group started in northern Illinois, stayed in the Kankakee area on Wednesday night and moved through the local area on Thursday. The group is raising money for Special Olympics. The end of the run will be in Normal tomorrow with the opening of the Special Olympic games.

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- The Paxton Emergency Management Agency is looking for dedicated volunteers to join their group Duties include but not limited to traffic control, storm spotting, group activities, also includes meetings and trainings. No felonies or major traffic violations. Must have valid driver license.  Look them up on facebook for more information.

 

 

(Springfield--ba)-A new World War Two exhibit is now open at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield. The exhibit is called “In This Great Struggle…The Greatest Generation Remembers World War Two.” Museum Executive Director Alan Lowe says it includes interviews with veterans who served during the war.

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  On the menu at the weekly Paxton IGA cookout on Saturday is Ribeye steak sandwiches, chips and soda. The meal is offered from 10am to 2pm. Money raised goes to the Paxton Emergency Management Agency.

 

 

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