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WPXN Blog

A Second Lawsuit Filed Against People's Gas

MAHOMET, Ill. (AP) — A second lawsuit has been filed against a gas supplier in connection with a 2016 gas leak in central Illinois that contained private wells. The lawsuit filed in Champaign County Circuit Court accuses Peoples Gas of contaminating drinking water when a large amount of natural gas was leaked into the Mahomet Aquifer. The action Monday by 21 residents brings to 38 the number of people who are suing Peoples Gas because of the leak from Manlove Field, an underground natural-gas storage facility.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — The agency that licenses and inspects health care facilities in Illinois has started an investigation of a hospital where doctors treated a baby brought in by a woman claiming to be his mother but was later charged with killing the actual mother and cutting the child from her womb. Illinois Department of Public Health spokeswoman Melaney Arnold would not provide any details on Tuesday about the investigation of Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.

 

 

(New York--ba)  -- Nearly two dozen states and municipalities are suing the federal government to stop a new rule letting health care clinicians object to providing abortions and other services that conflict with their moral or religious beliefs. WPXN’s Braedon Arnett has the story.

 

 

 

PESOTUM – Illinois State Police  District 10 Commander, Captain Louis Kink, announces the results of Special Traffic Enforcement Patrols in Champaign County on May 18. These sTEPs allowed the ISP to provide increased enforcement for impaired driving, occupant restraint, speeding, and distracted driving violations during the National “Click It or Ticket” Campaign. State Police handed out 25 speeding citations and warnings during the patrol.


 

(URbana--jc)  A ticket against an East Lynn resident was dismissed in Champaign County Court. The incident in question is a fatal crash along Route 45 between Thomasboro and Urbana. The News Gazette says that authorities view this as a tragic accident that claimed the life of 23 year old Shana Outlaw in 2018

 

 

WATSEKA, IL – Illinois Department of Natural Resources officials  joined members of the Watseka City Council, other local and state officials and community representatives in a ceremony commemorating the start of the Watseka Flood Mitigation Project last night. The project includes the planned acquisition and demolition of 65 structures located in floodplain, along with the clearing of the property. The acquisition and clearing of the floodplain property will reduce the need for future federal and state disaster assistance to affected residents in Watseka.  By removing these structures, the project will also reduce the need for public rescues and emergency services during flood conditions within the watershed. The project will also allow the City of Watseka to expand its public open space.The IDNR is providing more than $5.3 million in flood mitigation funding for the project.

 

 

(Springfield--jc) -- While the Illinois House Revenue Committee passed a progressive tax measure along party lines and the issue is in the hands of the entire Illinois House today, one Republican leader says property tax relief needs to be address. Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs says property tax relief needs to be addressed, but no property tax relief is on the horizon…

 

 

Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs

 

 

(Gifford--jc)  -- Gifford School Board members were updated on the gym project at the school. The masonry work has been completed. The next steps to paint the entire gym. School leaders in Gifford also  were informed that one summer project is on the calendar and that is the parking lot at the school.

 

 

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Officials of the Catholic Diocese of Peoria say their counterparts in the Archdiocese of New York are trying to halt the transfer of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen's remains to Illinois. Earlier this month, New York's Court of Appeals rejected the archdiocese's argument that lower courts erred in giving permission to a Sheen relative to transfer his remains to Peoria, where he was ordained 100 years ago. The Peoria diocese wants to inter Sheen's remains this year in St. Mary's Cathedral.


 

(Paxton--jc)  -- Monday is Memorial Day. The Paxton Evangelical Covenant Church is hosting their 37th annual cookout  Cookout spokesperson Andy Schaumburg talks about the event..

 

 

Evangelical Covenant Church Memorial Day Cookout Spokesperson Andy

Schaumburg

 

 

(Rantoul-jc)  -- Business owners and professionals are invited to a Community Coffee this morning at  7:30. at the Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce.

Bring your business cards, ideas, and network with other business owners and professionals or members in downtown Rantoul.

 

(Washington--ba)-Both corn and soybean plantings and development are far behind the usual pace. USDA’s Gary Crawford reports.

 

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois lawmakers are one step closer to putting Governor J.B. Pritzker's signature campaign promise on the 2020 ballot: A proposed change to the Illinois constitution that would allow for higher income tax rates on higher levels of income. The House Revenue Committee passed the measure along party lines with Republicans, who are a super-minority in the chamber, unanimous in their opposition.  Reaction to the bill from 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City

 

(Springfield--jc)  Earlier this month the Illinois Senate passed the bill, which was crafted through discussions among environmental groups, power plant owners and other stakeholders.   The House Energy and Environment committee passed the bill on May 16, and it now needs to pass a full House vote before the session closes at the end of May. Senate Bill 9 orders the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to develop rules regarding the closure of coal ash repositories and creates a process for public input on individual closure plans that must be filed with the state. The bill is sponsored by 104th District State Representative Mike Marron of Fithian…

 

 

104th District State Representative Mike Marron, Republican from Fithian

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- The pool is filled, the chemicals are ready and we await some warmer eather as the Rantoul Hap Parker Aquatic Center is set to open this weekend.  It takes about 350 thousand gallons of water to fill the pool on Rantoul’s west side. Opening day is Saturday and those who bought passes during a recent sale will be able to enter the pool at 11-30 Saturday morning. The pool opens to the public at Noon.

 

(Champaign--jc)  With the Spring semester complete, work on parking lots begins at Parkland College in Champaign. Summer long resurfacing is planned for the B-1 and B-7 parking lots at Parklands B wing starting on Tuesday May 28th. Those using the area the area are asked to use caution and look for alternative routes to classes and programs.

 

(Gilman--jc)  -- The wet weather continues to hamper local planting efforts. Ford Iroquois Farm Bureau Director David Treece says there is still time for farmers to complete their original acreage plans

 

 

Ford Iroquois Farm Bureau Director David Treece

 

(Rantoul--jc)  Among the schools with graduation services set for Friday night is Rantoul Township High School. School officials have announced that the commencement exercises will be held in doors this year. The Pomp and Circumstance ceremony begins at 7-30. You can hear the names of the Rantoul Graduates on our High School Senior salutes now on WPXN.

 

 

(Undated--jc) --  Do you want to serve Illinois as an Illinois State Trooper.  Those interested have until the end of May to apply. Cadet Class 130 will start in October.  Applications and more information is found online at illinois-trooper-dot-com


 

(Urbana--jc)  -- Champaign County property tax bills were expected to be mailed out this week, but more delays have occurred. Now the bills are expected to be mailed out on Tuesday. The due date for the first installment, if the bills are mailed out on May 28th would be June 28th. Iroquois County Treasurer Kurt Albers says bills are being delayed in his county. Ford County property taxes are also on the wait to mail list

 

(Paxton--jc)  Among the Memorial Day observances in the area is one at Glen Cemetery in Paxton. The annual program begins at 11am on Monday Memorial Day. The Paxton Buckley Loda Marching Band will provide music and the parade begins at 10 Monday morning at Eastlawn School. The Paxton American Legion Honor Guard will lead the parade on Monday morning. This Saturday, legion members are asking the public’s help to place American Flags on the graves on veterans. Those interested in helping are asked to be at the Glen Cemetery gazebo at 9 Saturday morning

 

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Seatbelt Enforcement Increased for Memorial Day Holiday

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — It's "border to border" seat-belt enforcement for Illinois police agencies through Memorial Day.Officials from the Departments of Transportation and State Police joined more than 200 local law enforcement agencies in Monday's announcement. The "Border to Border" campaign will feature stepped-up enforcement of mandatory seat-belt use with increased patrols and enforcement zones through next week's holiday.

 

(Springfield-ba) The Illinois Department of Public Health is working to stop the spread of measles and get more children vaccinated.  The number of measles cases continues to rise across the country…so acting Illinois Public Health Director Doctor Ngozi Ezike says the state is tackling the problem from several angles...

 

 

Illinois Public Health Director Doctor Ngozi Ezike

 

(Paxton--jc)  Next year’s Paxton Buckley Loda F-F-A leadership team has been announced. They include President Autumn Bruens. Vice President-Austin Jones,

Secretary Jasmine Miles, Treasurer Landon Wilson and Reporter Lizzy Reutter. Others on the officer team area Sentinel Dalton Busboom Historian Christina White, and vice presidents Maci Kingren and  Gracie Wagner.

 

 

(Roberts--jc)  THe village of Roberts in Ford County has two events coming up this summer. Roberts Mayor Rick Flessner says one is a music celebration and the other is a clean up day…

 

 

Roberts Mayor Rick Flessner

 

(Springfield--jc)  Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker ponied up $50,000 of his own money in the search for a new director for the Department of Children and Family Services.The Chicago Tribune reports Pritzker paid a Massachusetts company for the search before he took office

 

(Iroquois County--jc)  Area police agencies reported a serious vehicle crash that happened around 7-30 last night. The accident occurred on the Kankakee-Iroquois County line along route 45-52. The intersection was blocked due to the accident. Other details are sketchy at this time.

 

 

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Bradley University in Peoria has announced President Gary Roberts will retire next year. Roberts will depart when his contract expires at the end of May 2020, capping a 4 1/2-year stint heading his alma mater. The brief tenure for Roberts was not unexpected. He was planning his retirement when he was recruited by Bradley University

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  Things will probably start getting a little testy as lawmakers returned to Springfield for House session on Monday  afternoon. There are only 11 scheduled days remaining before the May 31stdeadline, 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says the minority Republican party sees a plan to balance the budget without raising taxes…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City

Fellow Republican Dan Brady of Bloomington agrees that a balanced budget can be achieved without new taxes…

 

 

105th District State Representative Dan Brady of Bloomington

 

(Springfield--jc)  --Justice Rita B. Garman of the Supreme Court of Illinois has begun an application process for a vacancy in the Eighth  Judicial Circuit. The vacancy will be created by the retirement of Judge Mark A. Drummond on August 5. Judge Drummond has been an At-Large Circuit Judge in the Eighth Circuit since 2004. Under the Illinois Constitution, judicial vacancies are filled by Supreme Court appointment.

 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- Rantoul police continue to seek information about multiple shots fired in the 13 hundred block of Harmon Drive on Sunday. Police believe shots were fired from a person getting out of a white colored vehicle. No additional information was provided. Police found 6 shell casings in the area. Anyone with information is asked to call Champaign County Crimestoppers or Rantoul Police. That number is 893-56-hundred.

 

(Springfield--ba)-Legislation headed to the governor’s desk aims to better protect animals in kennels. The bill requires kennels that aren’t staffed around the clock to be equipped with a fire alarm that automatically notifies first responders. Senator Don Dewitte of St. Charles says it was prompted by a tragic fire in west Chicago back in January.

 

 

Senator Don Dewitte

 

(Kankakee--jc)  Kankakee Police are attempting to locate missing seven (7) year old juvenile Jahriese Jones. The young boy was last seen talking to his mother on May 11th. Police are canvassing the area in an attempt to locate Jahriese or his mother Portia Coble since being notified yesterday. Kankakee Police are seeking the public’s help in locating the 7 year old.  If you have seen them or know their whereabouts please call police at 815-933-0417.

 

 

(Buckley--jc)  The 67th annual Buckley and Buckley-Loda High School Alumni Banquet is set for Saturday June 8th at the 103 East Restaurant in the village. Social hour starts at 5 with dinner at 6. Cost is 25 dollars per person.


 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- A continued look at some on-going and future economic development in the village of Rantoul. The A-Trel group, associated with the University of Illinois is on a portion of the village on the the former Chanute Air Force Base. If an agreement is reached, the group would be working with local, national and potential some international companies on road surface to autonomous vehicles says Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith…

 

 

Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith

 

(Springfield--ba)-Illinois has some of the highest workers’ compensation in the nation, according to a study from the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute. WPXN’s Braedon Arnett has the story.

 

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  Illinois Governor. J.B. Pritzker will decide if the state will get tougher on people who injure others while texting and driving.  The fine for texting while driving in Illinois is currently 75 dollars. The Illinois Senate agreed with the Illinois House to raise that fine to 1 thousand dollars and loss of license. The measure is now in the hands of the governor.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- Farmers finally got a little time in the fields over the past 7 days. Around 2 and one half days were suitable for  fieldwork, giving some producers a chance to start catching up says State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener

9 percent of soybeans have been planted and the first cutting of alfalfa hay is 5 percent complete.

 

 

The Paxton Swine and Dine Committee is pleased to announce Nashville recording artist, Jerrod Neimann as the 2019 Festival headliner.  Johnny McGuire will be the opening act. The event takes place at 7pm September 21, Downtown Paxton. General Admission is free and pit passes are available at Paxton Chamber dot com.

 

 

 

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Illinois Hit harder Than Any Other State by Ongoing Trade Battle

(Undated--jc)  The ongoing trade battle between the U.S. and China has hit Illinois harder than the rest of the nation. The Trump Administration has been engaged in a months-long trade war with China that has included retaliatory tariffs slapped on exports to each country.  Senior vice president at the U.S. China Business Council Erin Ennis, says that U.S. exports to China declined by more than $10 billion compared with 2017. Ennis adds that Illinois saw the largest decline of any state. Illinois exported $5.6 billion worth of goods and in 2018, Illinois only exported 3.8 billion. The biggest sector hit was Illinois soybean and soybean byproduct industries. This is reflected in lower commodity prices for farmers selling their crop on the market.The Trump administration said the Chinese government has been manipulating trade and currency get a better deal with the U.S.

 

 

(Mahomet--jc)--  A closed door session will start the Mahomet Seymour School Board meeting tonight at 6. The board is then expected to hire Dustin Day as an assistant principal for the Middletown Prairie school, approve Marissa Hill as the Coordinator of Student Services and Chad Benedict as High School Principal. The board will also hear a medical cannabis update, approve the handbook and meal prices for the next school year. The meeting begins at 6 tonight

 

(Washington--ba) -- High water is continuing to be a problem for the Mississippi River. USDA’s Stephanie Ho reports.

 

 

(Gibson City--jc) When the Gibson City Pool Committee meets tonight. the main topic of discussion will be the process to hire an assistant manager for the local pool. The committee meeting comes to order at 6 tonight at city hall.

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- Poppy days in Paxton will be  Friday and Saturday at several downtown locations. Volunteers from the American Legion will also be at Paxton IGA. Paxton American Legion Poppy Sales Spokesperson Pat Milchuck says it’s a tradition  in the city…

 

 

Paxton American Legion Poppy Sales Spokesperson Pat Milchuck

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- Like to garden, like to volunteer, Then the Rantoul Youth Center needs you. Andy Graham with the Rantoul Recreation Department leads the way to provide fresh vegetables for local youth with the garden project. Those wanting to help are asked to call the Youth Center in the village.

 

 

(Gilman--jc) Just a few farmers are back in the fields today throughout the entire WPXN listening area. Ford Iroquois Farm Bureau manager David Treece says even a small shower continues to delay area farmers from planting corn and soybeans…

 

 

Ford Iroquois Farm Bureau Manager David Treece


 

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago health officials say they've confirmed a measles case and are working to contact those who may have been exposed to the infection. The Chicago Department of Public Health said Saturday they confirmed the case Friday and exposures may have occurred Thursday at O'Hare International Airport and in downtown Chicago and Friday at the University of Illinois-Chicago. This is at least the second confirmed case in Cook County since March. The confirmations come amid a measles outbreak in the U.S.


 

(Springfield--ba)-Some “SNAP” recipients may soon be able to use their benefits in restaurants.

Lawmakers passed a bill setting up a program where the elderly, homeless and disabled can use their benefits to get a good meal at a restaurant. It’s supported by Senator Dan Mcconchie of Hawthorn Woods who uses a wheelchair.

 

 

Illinois State Senator Dan McConchie of Hawthorn Woods

 

 

(Gibson City--jc)  A Coffee and Conversation event is set for Thursday in Gibson City. Curt Homan with the Gibson Area Hospital is the featured speaker. The event runs from 9 til 10am at the American Lutheran Church on Route 9 in Gibson City. Homan will talk about current expansion and future plans for Gibson Area Hospital.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois would pour $41.5 billion into state construction projects over six years to rebuild and maintain roads, mass transit, schools and affordable housing, raise recreation areas, expand broadband and more under a plan Gov. J.B. Pritzker sketched out Friday. It would mean a doubled motor fuel tax, to 38 cents per gallon at the pump, and registering a car less than three years old would cost $199 a year, up from $100.

 

(CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Southern Illinois University Arena has a new name, thanks to the largest corporate naming rights agreement in the history of the Carbondale campus. The Southern Illinoisan reports after 55 years, SIU Arena is now the Banterra Center. The basketball arena is now named for Banterra Bank, which has 40 branches across Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Missouri. The naming agreement guarantees $4 million to SIUC in the first 10 years.

 

(Springfield--jc) One Republican leader in Springfield says the state has the ability to get to a balanced budget without raising taxes. Republican House Leader Jim Durkin says the surplus from April is the proof…

 

 

Republican House Leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- The brick fundraiser for the Paxton Grand Ole Flag project has started. The group is selling bricks of 4 by 8 for 100 dollars and 8 by 8 for 250 dollars. The bricks can be personalized. More information is found by contacting the Frederick Bank in Paxton or on line at thats-my-brick-dot-com-forward-slash-paxtonflag

These bricks will line the walkway to and the area surrounding a special flagpole behind the Paxton Jr. High/High School. All proceeds from these bricks will go towards the purchase of a flagpole that will measure 150 feet, and will be the tallest structure in the city of Paxton. The flag hanging from the pole will measure 30 by 60 feet.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — Two generations of an Illinois family have worked to recreate grassland habitats in an effort to save the endangered prairie chicken. The Chicago Tribune reports that the birds once numbered in the millions across the state but there are now about 200 left. The United Nations' Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services published a pioneering scientific study this week on biodiversity. The study found that 1 million species, including the prairie chicken, remain imperiled.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A 31-foot tall statue of Abraham Lincoln will make its debut this week in Springfield after stops in Chicago and Peoria. The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports the 19-ton sculpture named "Return Visit" will be located in front of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum starting Wednesday. It is scheduled to stay there through September 2020. The statue depicts Lincoln standing with a modern-day man holding the Gettysburg Address.

 

(Rantoul--jc)  Big Brothers Big Sisters of Champaign and Ford Counties has several mentoring programs from school to community based mentoring. Big Brothers Big Sisters Director Kristian Hopkins says the group uses various ways to help area kids…

 


Big Brothers Big Sisters Director Kristian Hopkins

(Paxton--jc) -- The Academic Awards program at Paxton Buckley Loda High School is set for tomorrow night at 7. The awards will be handed out  in the high school commons area. A reception begins at 6-15 on Tuesday night.

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Sponsors Needed for Paxton Buckley Loda Education Foundation's Programs

(Paxton--jc)  -- Wanted, sponsors for Paxton Buckley Loda Education Foundation’s programs for the next school year. The local nonprofit helps with the bookfair, book of the month, teacher requests to the Senior awards program. Businesses interested may contact the foundation online at secretary-at-p-b-l-foundation-dot-org

 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- One business in the Rantoul Plaza on Rantouls east side is closing due to the health concerns of one of its owners. The Diamond Sports Training Facility will close by the end of the month. The space will be available for rent and more information is found by calling Ron Minch at 892-5959.

 

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois is embedding a new geothermal heating and cooling system within the foundation of a building addition on its engineering campus as part of an effort to decrease greenhouse gas emissions.The project will install geothermal heat exchanger loops in the foundation of a novel "smart" pedestrian bridge. The bridge will link the 13,000-square-foot Hydrosystems Laboratory extension to the Newmark Civil Engineering Laboratory. Officials say that by using the 50-foot-deep rods currently being drilled for the foundation, the project will reduce general geothermal installation expenses in addition to providing for on-site research.

 

 

(Washington--ba)-- It's been about a year and a half since leaders from Mexico, Canada and the U.S. signed the USMCA trade deal. It still hasn't been approved by lawmakers in the three countries. What's the holdup? USDA’s Gary Crawford reports.

 

(Washington--ba)-Jobs were up last month in Illinois. The state gained nearly 21 thousand jobs in April…and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at four point four percent. Overall it was a pretty good month says Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Sam Salustro.

 

 

Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Sam Salustro

 

(Undated--jc)  -- Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois State Police are reminding the motoring public about some exits along Interstate 57 between Tuscola  and Champaign that no longer have fuel, even though some signs show active gas stations. Tuscola has several fuel station options, but mile marker 220 at Pesotum, 229 at Monticello Road and 232 Curtis Road have no gas stations along the Interstate. The Champaign exits of 235 and 237 have options off the Interstate.  The Olympian and Market Street exits have fuel options.

 

 

(Washington--ba)-Illinois State Police Troopers issued more than 560 tickets during a special distracted driving effort. During Distracted Driving week last month…troopers across the state focused on drivers who weren’t paying attention because of texting or talking on their cellphones. Troopers issued 569 distracted driving citations during that time…and another 57-hundred tickets for other violations. Lieutenant Joe Hutchins says they hope people realize how dangerous their behavior is.

 

 

State Police  Lieutenant Joe Hutchins


 

(Cissna Park--jc)  The Country Theatre Workshop located along Route 49 north of Cissna Park is presenting a variety show called “Peace, Love and a Parking Lot” Saturday night at 7-30 and Sunday afternoon at 2pm. Tickets are 15 dollars. The project is set to raise money for a parking lot at the Theatre.

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- The Paxton Buckley Loda High School band is hosting the 20th annual Salute to Veterans Concert on Saturday Night at 7. The concert takes place in the high school gym. At 5-30 tomorrow afternoon, the PBL Band Parents are offering a lasagna dinner

(Washington--ba)Local Farm Service Agency offices are scheduled to accept applications for continuous Conservation Reserve Program sign-up starting June 3rd. USDA’s Rod Bain reports.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)--  Paying restitution is usually the last thing to be paid in court cases. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City has sponsored House Resolution 20, that urges restitution be paid to the victim  before any court or law fees. Representative Bennett said the resolution passed the Illinois House on Thursday.

 

(Gibson--ba)-One school district is talking about future funding for field trips. Gibson City Melvin Sibley board members discussed to trips to Six Flags for the senior class as well as the FFA. They have also discussed a Lee Farms trip for the students who are enrolled into the Functional Life Skills class.

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois Governor JB Pritzker says the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is embracing recommendations from the independent report on the agency. The report came from the University of Chicago’s Chapin Hall group and the governor says it’s time for an overhaul…

 

 

Illinois Govenor JB Pritzker.

 

 

(Gibson City--jc)  -- The first monthly car cruise is set for Gibson City today.  The Friday Nights under the Lights starts at 6 and runs through 10 tonight. Cruising Sangamon Avenue, a cookout at the American Legion, along with music and the Ed Day Skate Park doing a Queen of Hearts contest are all part the the monthly celebration.

 

 

(Melvin--jc)  -- The movie “Ralph Breaks the Internet” will be shown for free at the Melvin Community Hall tonight at 7pm.  Those attending are asked to bring a blanket for seating.

(Lake Iroquois--jc)  -- Garage Sales this weekend at Lake Iroquois Loda. Hours today are 8am until 5pm and Saturday from 8am til 1pm

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- The weekly cookout at the Paxton IGA is from 10am til 2pm on Saturday. The money raised this week goes to the Loda Truck and Tractor Pull Association. On the menu is pork chop sandwiches, chips and pop.

 

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Paxton- Buckley- Loda Hires New High School Football Coach

(Paxton--jc)  Paxton Buckley Loda High School has a new Football Coach for the 20-19 season. P-B-L School board members hired Joshua Pritchard from the Petersburg Porta school district. Pritchard will replace popular coach Jeff Graham who resigned from the P-B-L school system at the end of this fiscal year to take a Superintendent’s job in the Ludlow School district in northern Champaign County.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker says he will quickly adopt "every recommendation" made in a report on suggested improvements to the Department of Children and Family Services. The Democrat and DCFS Director Marc Smith faced reporters Wednesday after releasing a review of the child-welfare agency by the University of Chicago's Chapin Hall research center. The report found that DCFS often endangers children with its focus on keeping troubled families intact.

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- A preservation group is on the side of some local residents who would like to see Eastlawn school building saved. Landmarks Illinois is a nonprofit organization that works to preserve historic buildings in the state. The aging facility is scheduled to be razed this summer. The Paxton Buckley Loda school board moved earlier this year to hire Lee Excavating from Thawville to tear down the school at a cost of 1 point 1-5 million dollars. An auction for items at the school was set for July 13th.

 

(Undated--jc)  -- Ford County real estate tax bills are set to be mailed by the middle of June. The first installment will be a due date 30 days after the mailing. Champaign County Treasurer office officials are working to get real estate tax bills out by the end of this month. In Iroquois County, issues beyond the control of the local treasurer’s office, have delayed the printing and calculation of the bills for Iroquois County real estate owners. Bills in Iroquois County will be mailed out once the issues have been resolved.

 

(Urbana--jc)  -- The Native American Guardians Association is hosting a meeting at the University of Illinois-Springfield campus this afternoon at 1. The group is revealing the newly proposed authentic Fighting Illini Athletics American Indian Half-time Unity celebration. The “In their Honor” video includes some Peoria Tribe Indians from Oklahoma.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- Drivers who ignore Illinois’ Move Over Law may soon face tougher penalties. New legislation raised the fins for not switching lanes when a vehicle with flashing lights is on the side of the road. Democrat State Senator Tony Munoz of Chicago says with 16 state police officers struck so for this year, they need to do something…

 

 

Democrat State Senator Tony Munoz of Chicago

Under the bill, the first offense would be 250 dollars and the second would be 750 dollars. An additional fee of 250 dollars will be added on top of the fins to help pay for public education efforts concerning the move over law.

 

 

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — A semi-trailer hauling honey overturned on a northwestern Indiana highway, spilling some of the sticky substance and restricting travel for hours. State police say the truck was hauling about 41,000 pounds of amber honey along Interstate 80/94 through Hammond when the driver lost control and the truck overturned about 6 a.m. CST Wednesday. At least four containers of honey were leaking and mixing with diesel fuel from the overturned vehicle. Three of the highway's eastbound lanes remain closed.

 

(Rantoul--jc)  In the third part of our series on the A-Trel Company, operating in Rantoul, today we look at what they are doing now. Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith says it’s more than road testing…

 

 

RantouL Mayor Chuck Smith.

It is the hope of Rantoul village leaders that a new project with A-Trel, the University of Illinois and the village will lead to autonomous vehicle testing in Rantoul. The investment from Rantoul would be around 15 million dollars for the state of the art facility.

 

(SPringfield--jc)  -- Illinois lawmakers have taken some initial steps to protect taxpayers from what local units of government can spend on weekend trips to Chicago for training conferences, but a couple of lawmakers said that getting enough support to advance further legislation won't be easy. State Representative David McSweeney, Republican from Barrington Hills, got legislation signed into law that bans local officials in Illinois from spending public money on entertainment but says bills to keep them from spending on travel, meals, and lodging expenses falling on taxpayers have not been successful because or lobbyist groups. Training conferences don't have to be lavish affairs at luxury hotels in Chicago He was also able to require taxing bodies to disclose budgets for convention spending.State Rep. Allen Skillicorn, R-East Dundee, said local taxpayers can’t attend every meeting because there are so many units of

government in the state – nearly 7,000.

 

(Bloomington--jc)  The hope of one local lawmaker is that the 2 major parties work together to get a balanced budget this month. That would include no new taxes and stabilizing pensions says 105th District State Representative Dan Brady of Bloomington…

 

 

105th District State Representative Dan Brady of Bloomington

 

(Springfield--jc)  --Proponents of a plan to tax and regulate recreational marijuana use for adults in Illinois plan to address a growing list of concerns, including how the tax money will be spent and how the state should treat people who were convicted of marijuana-related crimes in the past.The bill includes provisions for expunging criminal convictions for certain marijuana-related crimes. State Sen. Jason Barickman, R-Bloomington, said that could wipe out past convictions for acts that could still be prosecuted even if the bill were to pass as written. He said the legislature could just stay out of expungement, and leave it in the hands of Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  Even inmates at Stateville Correctional Center are graduating. Kim Howard reports.

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  The village of Rantoul  continues to look into the possibility of joining the Vermilion County Land Bank.  The village is using a 150 thousand dollar grant to provide more insight in the positives or negatives in a land bank. Several meetings on the issue have already been held with more meetings to come in the near future.

 

 

(Washington--jc) What is the latest on the topsoil moisture picture are the area, state and nation. U-S-D-A meteorologist, Brad Rippey, has the  details…

 

 

U-S-D-A Meteorologist Brad Rippey

 

 

(Rantoul-jc)  -- Another reminder about a free benefit for Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce members. Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Belynda Allens says members are invited to place business card fliers, and business cards at the chamber office in the downtown area.

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  A ribbon cutting for another new business in the city of Paxton was held on Wednesday afternoon. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold along with officials from the chamber of commerce welcomed Chakra Studio to the downtown area of the city. Classes also started at Chakra Studio on Wednesday.

 

 

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Paxton Native Sets Guinness World Record

(Springfield---jc)  --Lawmakers have two weeks to finish crafting a proposed $39 billion spending plan for the next state budget, which begins July 1.While lawmakers have had session days off and on throughout the year since January, the Fiscal Year 2020 budget isn’t expected to be finalized and sent to the governor until the last minute.Details on the fiscal year 2019 budget only became public last year in a Senate committee hours before it was pushed out of that chamber and into the House. That was with a House and Senate with Democratic majorities and a Republican Governor. Even though Democrats hold the governor’s mansion and have supermajorities in the House and Senate, the new budget could follow the same last-minute trajectory as last year.

 

(Urbana-jc)  -- You may not want it yet, but Champaign County tax bills will be mailed out soon. Officials with the Champaign County Treasurer’s office say the bills will be mailed out around May 28th. The first due date, once the tax bills are mailed will be 30 days later.

 

 

(Paxton--dg)  -- Have you seen the footage online yet for a world record. A Paxton Native set a Guinness World Record over the Weekend. Colton Eichelberger who drives for the Maximum Destruction Monster Truck team based in Paxton jumped seven Monster Jam Trucks at the World Finals in Orlando on Saturday. After the feat, he said it looked like there was room to clear a few more. We’ll have to wait and see if he can improve on the jump.

 

(Gibson City-jc)  -- City of Gibson City’s Ed Day Skate Park committee will meet tomorrow night. The group will look at their Queen of Hearts fundraiser, garage sale and gun raffle. A look at finances for the proposed park and plans to visit other skate parks are also on the agenda. The Ed Day Skate Park committee meets at 6-30 Thursday evening at the Gibson City, city hall.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  A new instant lottery ticket will benefit police memorials around the state. The “Blue” ticket joins the specialty games, and all the proceeds support memorials honoring fallen officers. House Republican Leader Jim Durkin says some of the money raised will also go towards the costs of bulletproof vests…

 


House Republican Leader Jim Durkin.

 

CLARKSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A historic site in southern Indiana is now part of a new 1,200-mile expansion of the Lewis and Clark Historic Trail. The News and Tribune reports national, state and local leaders gathered Monday at the Falls of the Ohio Interpretive Center in Clarksville to officially recognize the trail's expansion. The expanded recognition includes areas in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and new portions of trail in in Illinois and Missouri.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has joined with state lawmakers in promoting legislation that would increase penalties for drivers who don't slow or change lanes to avoid vehicles on the side of the road. The proposed legislation to strengthen Scott's Law is a reaction to the deaths of two Illinois State Police troopers this year as they performed their duties. The proposal, filed Tuesday, would increase the minimum fine for a first violation of the move-over law to $250 from $100.

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce is working on producing a Paxton restaurant brochure that will be distributed regionally.  If your food establishment would like to be included, please either email the chamber office p-a-c-c-director-at-outlook-dot-com or call 379-4655.  The cost for a full color spot is $100 but no charge for chamber members.


 

(Paxton--jc)  Work on the proposed Streetscape program in the city of Paxton continues to move forward. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold says an environmental study to a plan to bids and construction are coming together…

 


Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

The entire project needs to be completed by the end of 20-20 in Paxton.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo is celebrating the Mother's Day birth of a newborn western lowland gorilla. Zoo officials say the male infant was born at about 2 a.m. Sunday to mother Rollie and father Kwan, who weighs in at more than 400 pounds. The newborn has no name. He'll make his public debut Wednesday when the zoo's Regenstein Center for African Apes reopens. His weight is estimated at 4 to 5 pounds.

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- Paxton Buckley Loda School board members are expected to name a new high school football coach when they meet tonight in monthly session. An update and approval for some lighting and signage at the new Clara Petersen School, summer projects and school fees for the upcoming school year will also be discussed. The P-B-L school board meets at 6 tonight in the board room at the High School Junior High Complex on Paxton’s west side.

 

(Springfield--jc)  --Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White’s office is launching a public education campaign on Illinois’ move over law. Reminders will be added to driver’s license and vehicle registration renewal notices and a test question about the move over law will be added to the driver license exam says Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White…

 

 

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White

 

(Washington--jc)  What are the global supply and demand estimates on U-S corn with China in the mix. U-S-D-A World Ag Outlook Board Chair Seth Meyer looks at the latest numbers….

 

U-S-D-A World Ag Outlook Board Chair Seth Meyer

 

 

(Watseka--jc)  With Spring comes some bridge projects in one area county. Some work is moving forward on several bridges in Ash Grove and Milford townships. New bridges are coming to Danforth, Ashkum and Beaverville townships.


 

(Springfield--jc)  Budget talks continue in Springfield, and one area Republican says an April surplus shows that no new taxes are needed. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says the two sides need to work together with no new tax on things like bags and more…

 

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106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  In the second of a three part series, WPXN news takes a look at the A-Trel group and the University of Illinois College of Engineering as they occupy a portion on the former Chanute Air Force Base in the village.  A-Trel stands for Advanced Transportation Research and Engineering Laboratory. The group is a transportation research, educational and test lab located in Rantoul. The village of Rantoul and the of I are proposing to work on autonomous vehicles, testing road surfaces and partner with national and international vehicle companies. The idea is in the idea stage. Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith says under the proposal, cars would be tested in tunnels, and all types of roads on the closed course…

 

 

Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith.

 

(Springfield--jc)  --  Following heavy rain and flooding throughout Illinois, Attorney General Kwame Raoul Tuesday warned Illinois residents to be on alert for scammers looking to exploit homeowners and business owners who may be in need of repairs from storm-related damage. Earlier this month, a state disaster proclamation was issued for 34 counties related to flooding, and residents in communities along the Mississippi and Illinois rivers have been asked to prepare for possible evacuations due to floods. Raoul cautioned Illinois residents that scammers often move quickly into communities to take advantage of people with damage to their homes or businesses. Raoul noted these “storm chasers” use the opportunity to pressure people into making quick and often expensive decisions about cleanup and construction work. Raoul also warned residents that scam artists may be operating as insurance adjusters or public adjusters.

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  On Saturday, those with the Rantoul Public Library are having a Vehicle Day from 10am until 2pm. Those attending the event will be able to learn about all types of vehicles. Laser tag, face painting, crafts and food will also be part of the event at the local library

 

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Farmers Continue to Bear the Brunt of Trade Wars

(Undated--jc)  --- Farmers continue to bear the brunt of trade wars. That’s according to the Illinois Farm Bureau. In a statement Monday, the I-F-B said corn and soybean prices are depressed already and with a huge grain inventory, they are worried export markets will be further diminished. U.S.  President Donald Trump's tariffs on Chinese goods are expected to be met with similar tariffs from China on U.S. goods, including agricultural products.

 

(Urbana--jc)  -- An Urbana High School student was arrested on Monday for allegedly threatening another student on social media. School officials called Urbana police about the situation. The student was arrested and taken to the Champaign County Youth Detention Center on a disorderly conduct and illegal possession of ammunition charge

 

 

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — An 18-year prison sentence has been handed a central Illinois man found guilty but mentally ill of attempted murder and child abduction. Thomas Boitnott of St. Joseph was accused of taking his then-6-month-old daughter from her home in 2015 and abandoning her in a soybean field in a rural part of town. In handing down an 18-year sentence on Monday,  Champaign reports Judge Jason Bohm said Boitnott's daughter, now 4, should be an adult when he gets out of prison and can decide if her father is a part of her life.

 

 

(Washinton--ba)  -- What are the details from the latest National Interagency Fire Center wildfire outlook for this May. U-S-D-A Meteorologist Brad Rippey has the latest..

 

 

USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey

 

(Gibson City--jc)  More reaction coming from some state lawmakers over the 1 point 6 Billion dollar surplus of funds into the state’s coffers in April. The consensus of Republican Party leaders is that Illinois is showing the ability to get to a balanced budget without a progressive tax or other additional tax on Illinoisans. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says the two sides need to work together for the budget…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- State lawmakers are back Today for the final two weeks of legislative session. In addition to a proposed $39 billion spending plan and tax and fee increases proposed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, lawmakers may also deliberate legalizing cannabis for recreational adult use, expanding gambling to include sports betting and a gas tax hike to pay for statewide infrastructure projects.Session ends May 31.  

 

 

(Cissna Park-- jc) --  Some road construction in Southern Iroquois County began on Monday. The area is Route 49 just south of Cissna Park . Illinois Department of Transportation officials says to expect delays in the area. The construction on Route 49 will run from the second curve to the Vermilion County line. Work is expected to be completed in late June.


 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- The A-trel group, associated with the University of Illinois, continues to work on a 47 acre tract on the former Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul.  In the first part of a three part series, WPXN News looks at the economic development benefits for the village and area. Officials with the U of I College of Engineering are using the facilities to  seek better roadways, airports and rail systems. Rantoul Village leaders are hoping to expand with work on autonomous vehicles. Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith says one reason Rantoul works for the proposed project is all the weather for all the seasons…

 

 

Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith

WPXN News will have more on the subject on Wednesday’s am news.

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- A member of local State Senator Scott Bennetts office will be at the Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce office today from noon til 1. They will answer questions and hear concerns of constituents.

 

(Vermilion County--jc)  -- A Williamsport Indiana man was sentenced to 25 years in prison for molesting a child in Vermilion COunty last year. The News Gazette reports that 29 year old Johnathon Trammell plead guilty to the class x felony on Monday. Under the truth in sentencing law, he must serve 85 percent of the sentence.

 

(Springfield--ba)-- Over 600 Illinois farmers have applied for hemp licenses as a crop. WPXNs Braedon Arnett looks at the history of hemp and its practical purposes in the marketplace today...

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- Wet conditions continue to plague Illinois farm fields. In updating the weekly crop report, corn planting advanced by just one point last week, to 11 percent complete. No progress on soybean planting in Illinois over the past 7 days. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 35 percent of winter wheat has headed…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.

Just a few fields in Champaign, Vermilion, Ford and Iroquois Counties have been planted. The consensus of area farmers is that several more days need to be warm and dry before planting can begin. Some farm field prep work continues today in the WPXN listening area.

 

 

(Undated--jc)  Maybe some good news are area farmers, some sun and somewhat warmer weather this week as the planting season continues to stall. Illinois Water Survey Spokesperson Brian Kerschner says some mostly dry weather is here…

 

 

Illinois Water Survey in Champaign Spokesperson Brian Kerschner

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- Rantoul Village leaders are expected to give their o-k to purchasing two transformers for the village at a cost of around 111 thousand dollars when they meet in monthly session tonight. Local leaders are also ready to approve an investment in body cameras for the Rantoul Police department. Local leaders will be asked to approve 28 Axon body cameras at a cost of 21 thousand  447 dollars. An agreement with the Fraternal Order of Police, and a grant agreement with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources are also agenda items. The Rantoul Village Board meeting comes to order at 6 Tonight in the meeting room on Tanner Street.

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  Big Brothers-Big Sisters of Rantoul and Ford County Director Kristian Hopkins says the program is seeking additional “Bigs” to help with area kids. Hopkins says the process takes a little time, but it is worth it…

 

 

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rantoul and Ford County Director Kristian Hopkins. Big Brothers-Big Sisters plans a fundraiser golf outing on June 21st at Lake of Woods Golf Course in Mahomet

 

(Springfield--jc)  The Illinois Department of Revenue is offering some relief to flood victims struggling with their state taxes. Taxpayers in 34 flood ravaged counties can request a waiver from penalties and interest  for income taxes, withholding, sales, specialty and excise taxes. Department of Revenue spokesperson Sam Salustro says those seeking a waiver should e-mail Rev-dot-disaster-relief-at-Illinois-dot-gov…

 

 

Illinois Department of Revenue Spokesperson Sam Salustro


 

(Watseka--jc)  -- A flood mitigation meeting is set for the Iroquois County town of Watseka later this month. The meeting is set for Trinity Church in Watseka on May 21st.The meeting starts at 7pm. The city of Watseka is also receiving  some federal funds to use for flood prevention.

 

(undated--- Pittsburgh, Charlotte, Louisville, Tulsa, Austin and Ft. Worth are among the stops planned for the fall continuation of the “Imagine Nation Tour.” Multi-platinum selling MercyMe will spearhead the run alongside fellow GRAMMY® nominee Crowder and GMA Dove nominee Micah Tyler. They all will perform at the State Farm Center in Champaign.  Tickets go on sale on Friday





 

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No New Taxes Needed, Says Some in Springfield

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois is planning to name its Micro and Nanotechnology Lab after an engineering visionary who made the first practical LED. Professor Emeritus Nick Holonyak Jr. found a new alloy in 1962 that would emit light in the red part of the visible spectrum.  U-I trustees will vote this week on whether to name the Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory after Holonyak. Energy-saving LEDs are universal, used in everything from flashlights to spacecraft.

 

(Springfield--jc) A 1 point 6 Billion dollar surplus in revenues provided for April has some in Springfield saying the state does not need more taxes from its businesses and citizens. Republican House Leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs says a balanced budget can be reached without a tax increase…

 

 

Republican House Leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs.

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- The former Paxton hospital is set to be demolished, starting later this month. The property owners say the process could take about a month to complete. Carle Hospital officials do not have immediate plans for the property along Route 9 in the city.

 

 

PORTER, Ind. (AP) — Indiana Dunes National Park says visitors can reserve campsites, beginning Wednesday. In past years, all 66 sites at Dunewood campground were distributed on a first-come, first-served, basis. Under the new system, 34 sites can be reserved up to six months in advance. The remaining 32 sites will remain first-come, first-served. The price is $25 per night. The campground is open April through October.



(Watseka--jc)  the 20-19 Iroquois County Relay for Life is set for Friday June 7 in Watseka. The annual event kicks off at 5 in the afternoon. Teams that have been fundraising for the year will bring their dollars in to donate to the American Cancer Society. Teams will walk the track a Watseka High School. A lumineria ceremony and family activities are planned. This year’s event also includes money raised from Ford County teams.

 

(Undated--jc)  -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently released results of its 2018 census of every farm in the country. That includes the more than 72 thousand farms in Illinois, which generated 17 billion dollars in revenue that year, a 3 billion dollar increase from 2012, the last time the once-every-five-years census was conducted.That report concludes that the agricultural sector is the most lucrative industry in the state. Acting Agriculture Director John Sullivan points to a variety of factors that contribute to the success: Illinois is the Number  1 producer of soybeans and Number 2 producer of corn in the country. In addition, the report includes processing that goes on in the state, including turning soy and corn into livestock feed, and growing and processing the livestock in Illinois, as well as keeping production of ethanol in Illinois.

 

(Springfield--ba)-- Several groups visited the state capitol to express their opposition to legalizing recreational marijuana. Opponents like Representative Marty Moylan of Des Plaines cite several reasons that smoking pot for fun should not be allowed...

 

 

State Representative Marty Moylan of Des Plaines

 

 

(Bloomington--jc)  -- No tuition increases for incoming freshmen at Illinois State University for the 20-19- to 20-20 academic year. One increase will be a 10 dollar fee per credit hour. The decision was made  by the I-S-U board of trustees on Friday.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Urban League says Illinois should spend $33 million to spread the word about the 2020 census. The Chicago Tribune reports that Illinois could lose billions of dollars in federal funding and one or two congressional seats if there's an undercount next year. An undercount happens when the census counts a smaller number of people or homes in a population than shown by an independent estimate. At least $34 billion in federal subsidies for Illinois is tied to census data.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois lawmakers and Gov. J.B. Pritzker have learned that the state's take from income taxes in April was 60% higher than anticipated. Now there's disagreement on how to use that unexpected $1.5 billion windfall. House Republican Leader Jim Durkin says it is reason enough to call off the Democratic governor's revenue-raising plans. But Pritzker and Democratic legislators say it's far from a solution to Illinois' shaky financial position. Reaction from 104th District State Representative Mike Marron, Republican from Fithian…

 

 

104th District State Representative Mike Marron -Republican from Fithian

 

ARTHUR, Ill. (AP) — Volunteers are planning to add a marker at the grave of a Douglas County woman that recognizes her relationship to a Revolutionary War veteran. The ceremony Sunday comes more than 100 years after Arthur housewife Florinda Wood Martin died. The  Tuscola chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution will add the marker at Martin's grave in Arthur Cemetery on Mother's Day. The group says Martin's father, Alexander Wood, fought in the American Revolution.

 

 

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Authorities say a 14-year-old boy was fatally shot inside a Champaign home where an older teenager suffered a gunshot wound. The Champaign County coroner says Elijha James Booker of Champaign died soon after he was shot about 1:30 a.m. Saturday at a home he was visiting. Police say a 17-year-old boy was also shot but was treated and released from a local hospital. Police are investigating what happened. Police are looking to the public for information in the case. Anyone with information is asked to call Champaign County authorities or crime stoppers.

 

(Paxton--jc) City of Paxton leaders are set to meet tomorrow night and hear some figures for the proposed “Paxton Streetscape” program.  Local leaders will also hear a report on the Paxton “Grand old Flag” at Tuesday night’s meeting. Dealing with some raises, hiring summer help and a donation to the Show Bus also are agenda items. The Paxton City Council meets at 7 Tuesday night on the second floor of City hall.

 

CAIRO, Ill. (AP) — The former director of a southern Illinois housing authority is unlikely to face federal criminal charges for wrongly using agency money on personal expenses. Federal prosecutors have spent several months reviewing the case against James Wilson while he led the housing agency in the city of Cairo. A federal prosecutor says he believes a $500,000 civil settlement Wilson reached last year is "a just resolution to the serious allegations."

 

 

(Washington--ba) What is the latest on pastures, rangelands and conditions.

USDA meteorologist, Brad Rippey, has the details...

 

 

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois State Fair karaoke contest is returning this summer, and the winner will get to perform on the fair's biggest stage.

Organizers said Tuesday that nine regional county fairs will host qualifying rounds of State Fair Karaoke this summer. The top two winners from the regional contests will compete at the finale at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield on Aug. 11. The overall winner will be chosen that day. Fair Manager Kevin Gordon says it's a great opportunity for local talent to perform on the grandstand stage. It's also another type of free entertainment for people attending the fair.

 

(Gibson City-jc) --  Gibson City Street and Alley committee members along with the Water and Sewer committee will talk about a proposed storm sewer project at Gibson Area Hospital when they meet tomorrow night. The group will also hear about the cities water plant filters. The two committee meeting comes to order at 7 Tuesday night in the Gibson City Council Chamber office.

 

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Eastlawn-Clara Petersen school Pit Crew carnival is set for 10am until 2pm on Saturday

(Arcola--jc)  A car versus bus accident was reported near Arcola on Thursday afternoon. Police say a car vs school bus accident happened just before 3pm along Illinois Route 133. 19 year old Korbin Barrett of Arcola lost control of his vehicle and struck the bus head on.  Barrett was taken to a hospital with non life threatening injuries. The driver of the bus and one passenger received minor injuries.

 

(Washington--ba) -- How does the 2019 corn planting progress for early May compare to other years. Rod Bain has the numbers...

 

 

 

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — A central Illinois man who expressed remorse for killing a man while trying to collect a drug debt has been sentenced to 20 years in prison. Cornelius Freeman was convicted of second-degree murder for the March 2018 fatal shooting of 26-year-old Michael White of Chicago. The 40-year-old Freeman said he thought White was about to shoot him, prompting him to fire as White reached into his car. Freeman was captured later in Kentucky. Prosecutors argued Freeman deserved at least 27 years in prison.

 

(St Joseph--jc)  -- The Village of St Joseph  will hear a report on some donated benches when they meet on Tuesday night at 7. Also  on the agenda is a look at costs to repair some playground equipment at the Sports Complex in town.  A sewer line project and the the annual budget will also be topics for discussion. New board members will also be sworn in at Tuesday nights meeting



CHICAGO (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union says investigators assigned to look into the well-being of an Illinois boy beaten to death were overloaded with child abuse cases. An ACLU attorney told a federal judge Children and Family Service investigators assigned to AJ Freunds' case were juggling caseloads exceeding limits set forth in a federal consent decree. The decree mandates DCFS investigators shouldn't be assigned more than 153 new cases per year, with limits of 12 to 15 per month.

 

(Washingtondc--jc)--  Two Paxton business owners were in the nation’s capitol this week attending a committee hearing on internet usage. Alan and Marcia Meyer are owners of Mom and Pop’s Kettle Korn Stop in downtown Paxton. They met with Republican Congressman John Shimkus among other national leaders to talk about the importance of developing an internet privacy policy law. The hope of the meeting was to help set a nationwide policy for the internet used by small businesses across the nation.

 

(Watseka--jc)  The Iroquois County Transportation and Highway Committee is set to meet this morning at 9 in Watseka. On the agenda is to open bids for a slab road project near Ashkum. Other topics include preliminary engineering agreements in Stockland and Milford townships, a resolution for a bridge in Woodland and the state’s capital bill.

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  The cookout at the Paxton IGA on Saturday will benefit the Paxton Buckley Loda band program. The cookout runs from 10 am to 2pm  On the menu is ribeye steak sandwiches, chips and pop.

 

(Paxton--jc)  The Eastlawn-Clara Petersen school Pit Crew carnival is set for 10am until 2pm along the blacktop at Eastlawn school tomorrow. Games, inflatables, raffles, prizes and food will all be part of the local fundraiser. A 5 dollar wristband covers all the inflatables and carnival games cost just a quarter. A silent auction will take place. WPXN’s Joel Cluver is serving as the events master of ceremonies.

 

 

(Washington--ba) More rain means topsoil moisture is on the rise too. Rod Bain reports....

 

 

(Springfield-jc)  Today’s State House session is canceled. The Illinois House also canceled Monday. The Senate was not scheduled Monday.That leaves the House with only 16 session days and the Senate with 14 days before the May 31 deadline to pass a balanced budget with simple majorities.

 

(Springfield--jc--)  -- Businesses in Illinois that are open to the public may soon be required to have diaper changing tables available to both mom and dad. State lawmakers are close to sending a bill to the governor’s desk. House Bill 37-11 requires all public restrooms in a public building to have a baby changing facility that is physically safe, sanitary and usable for the purpose with certain exemptions and requires signage at or near the entrance to the baby changing station indicating the location.

 

(Paxton--jc)  What will some of the streets and corners look like with the proposed Paxton Streetscape program. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold says  the blocks along Market Street in the downtown area will be part of the project…


Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold

The start up process for the streetscape program is underway. The project is set to be completed by the end of 20-20.

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- A surplus is showing in the current fiscal year. That is good news says Republican House Leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs…

 

 

Republican House Leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs.

Durkin added that he and the republican party believe no new taxes are needed to get to a balanced budget by the end of this month. The next fiscal year begins July First.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois is the 11th best state in the country to be a police officer and, of its neighbors, is behind only Indiana. But Illinois’ ranking is down over several years. Part of Illinois’ rankings for 2019 include the state being 3rd for median income for law enforcement, 9th for protection expenses and 14th for officers per capita.Overall for police, WalletHub ranked Illinois 7th in 2018 and 4th in 2017.

 

 

(Springfield--ba)-Lawmakers are passing a bill aimed at helping more students go to college. The retention of Illinois students and equity, or “RISE Act” makes sure students who may not qualify for federal college aid, like undocumented immigrants and some transgender people, can apply for state aid. Senator Jim Oberweis of Sugar Grove spoke against the proposal.

 

 

State Senator Jim Oberweis

 

 

(Gibson City--jc)  A meeting of the city of Gibson City personnel committee has been cancelled. The committee was set to meet next Tuesday.

 

(Buckley--jc)  -- One local community has a painting party,  movie night, and fun day coming up. Officials with the village of Buckley says the village paint party is set for May 13th, 7pm, at Christ Lutheran High School. The first movie night of the season is June 8th and the annual Buckley Fun Day takes place on June 15th at Buckley Lake. WPXN will be broadcasting live at the Buckey Fun Day as part our our Summer Fun Tour 20-19.

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Illinois Collected $1.5 Billion More Than Expected Last Month

(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois collected $1.5 billion more than expected last month, a windfall that could wipe out most the state's budget shortfall and help avoid a proposed pension holiday, but lawmakers disagree on what to do with the surplus. Illinois House Republicans want Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Democrats to end calls for increasing taxes now or in the future. The state’s comptroller urged caution.State government collected 38 percent more from taxpayers in April than it did a year ago.

 

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana is the latest state to legalize sports gambling. Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb signed legislation Wednesday allowing sports betting and allowing the construction of two new casinos in the state. Indiana, Montana and Tennessee have legalized sports gambling this year and six other states did so last year after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allowed it nationwide. Indiana's sports wagering could start in September. In Illinois, representatives from several major league sports organizations were in Springfield Wednesday to discuss sports betting.A House Revenue and Finance subcommittee is set to  discuss measures to legalize such wagering.

 

(Paxton--jc)  Today’s WPXN Business of the Day is Hudson Drug and Hallmark Shop. The local business has been serving customers for over 70 years. Owner Andy Hudson says while some regional and national companies are starting at med-pak plan, Hudsons has provided that service for over 10 years…

 

 

Hudson Drug and Hallmark is a family owned pharmacy and a store with the largest selection of Hallmark cards, plus Mother’s Day gifts and more .Hudson Drug and Hallmark store owner Andy Hudson says one area of the business that has seen growth is the delivery to towns like, Rantoul, Gifford, Potomac, Onarga, Cissna Park and Gilman.  The delivery of medications also hilites Hudson’s as a destination in Paxton…

 

 

You can hear a full interview with Andy Hudson over the noon news block today.


 

(Springfield--jc)  -- The price at the pump as well as your license plate and driver’s license fee would go up under a plan to raise money for the state of Illinois. Democrat Senator Martin Sandoval says the proposal would bring i2 point 4 Billion dollars…

 

The plan also calls for vehicle registration fees to double. The new fee would be 100 dollars for cars and 200 dollars for trucks. If you register an electric car the fee goes from under 20 bucks to 1 thousand dollars. You can also add money to your gallon of gas. The proposal would increase the gas tax from 19 cents per gallon to 44 cents per gallon and then be tied to inflation. State Representative Don DeWitte, Democrat, from West Dundee says that is reasonable…

 

 

(Roberts--jc)  -- Motor fuel tax money is ready to be used in one Ford County town. Officials with the village of Roberts will use just over 15 thousand dollars in motor fuel tax money for seal coating of various streets, also some patching and culvert work. Roberts village leaders have also set May 13th as a day to flush hydrants in town.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)-- 104th District State Representative Mike Marron, Republican from Fithian says his bipartisan resolution creating a Coal Ash Task Force, has moved out of committee this week. Marron says the task force’s goal will be to bring legislators, coal company representatives, environmental experts, and the public together to study the effects of coal ash on the Vermilion River and the rest of the state.

 

 

104th District State Representative Mike Marron, Republican from Fithian

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- This is mental health awareness month and the Illinois Department of Human Services says it is a time to talk more openly about the topic. Each year mental health awareness month is held to note the importance of taking care of your mind as well as your body D-H-S Spokesperson Patrick Laughlin says mental illness is a problem that should not be ignored…

 

 

Department of Human Services Spokesperson Patrick Laughlin

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- Students in sixth, seventh, and eighth grades in Illinois could soon have a new class in voting and government. The Illinois Senate is going to take up a proposed requirement to teach civics in middle school. Illinois high schools already teach civics, but Shawn Healy with the Robert R. McCormick Foundation said students need an earlier start than that. A Senate panel cautiously approved the idea. Lawmakers are cautious because they're not sure schools can fit a full semester of civics into an already crowded school day.

 

(Monticello, Piatt County, IL – ) As a result of an investigation by the Illinois State Police, James E. Donaldson, 61, of Monticello  was arrested on warrants for Theft and Official Misconduct, both felonies. He was transported to the Piatt County jail and posted bond. If convicted, these felonies range from probation to up to 5 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. State Police say no other information will be released at this time.

 

 

(Watseka--jc)  -- Iroquois County Sheriff’s Department personnel remind those who mow grass along roadways to make sure the grass clippings do not cover the roadway. It is illegal to spread grass clippings on roads. The grass clippings on roadways causes a major driving hazard for motorcyclists.

 

(Gifford--jc)  A Gifford resident was fatally injured in a house fire in Gifford, Wednesday afternoon. Authorities say 43 year old Shane Rasor was the lone occupant in the house at the time of the blaze. No word on the cause of the fatal fire. No foul play is suspected. Rasor later died at a Champaign hospital.

 

(Springfield--jc)  --A group representing gas station owners is pushing back as lawmakers consider multiple proposals to raise the state's gas tax. One proposal from state Senator Martin Sandoval, Democrat from Chicago, would increase the gas tax by 25 cents per gallon and tie future annual increases to the rate of inflation. House Bill 3233 would also increase registration fees for regular vehicles to $148, up from $101. Electric vehicles would pay a $1,000 registration fee. Combined, the higher taxes and fees would bring in $2.4 billion for Illinois’ infrastructure, Sandoval said.Illinois Petroleum Marketers’ Association President Bill Fleischli said the state already gets $4 billion in revenue from gas taxes through federal and state sources.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- One in 489 properties in Illinois started the foreclosure process during the first quarter of the year – the fifth highest foreclosure rate in the nation,

According to an Attom Data Solutions analysis of property data. A total of 10 thousand 909 properties in the state had foreclosure filings during the first three months of 2019. That’s out of 5 million 334 thousand  housing units statewide. The foreclosure rate in the state was down 12.6 percent from the same period a year earlier.

 

 

(Roberts--jc)  -- Roberts officials have set up May 18th as an open house and liquidation day for those wanting items from the Roberts Library. The event is set for 8am til noon.  Roberts village board members also have donated some paperbacks to the Ford County jail for use by prisoners. Several table and chairs will also be going to the Roberts gym to be used by area youth.


 

(Buckley--jc)  One local Christian High School has set the date for their annual fundraiser. The 15th annual Knight for Christ benefit  auction will take place Saturday August 24th at the Garden Hotel in Urbana. A catered meal, silent and live auction will be featured. Money raised goes to support Christian education at Buckley base Christ Lutheran High school.


 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- At the end of this month, you will see Porsches, Lamborghinis, to customized vehicles in Rantoul. The event is called a “Crown Rally.” The Rantoul Airport will be used as a checkpoint for the event which starts in Chicago and goes to Indianapolis. Hundreds of cars are expected to participate in the event.  The vehicles will make a one lap timed legal speed event. The Crown Rally is not open to the public.

 

(Springfield--jc)  A new proposal to raise the tax on a pack of cigarettes by 1 dollar emerged at the state capitol. The one buck increase would raise the statewide sales tax to 3 dollars. That is in addition to any local sales taxes. Illinois Department of Public Health Director Doctor Ngozi Ezike says this will help reduce the number of smokers…

 

 

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Doctor Ngozi Ezike.

The new tax proposal would also raise tax on cigars and other tobacco products.

The tax is expected to bring in an additional 180 million dollars to the Illinois coffers.

 

 

(Paxton--jc) The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce invites the business and civic public to a business after hours. Accolade Healthcare of Paxton is the host venue for the event. Chamber officials say  to use the time to network with fellow businesses in the city. The event runs from 5pm to 7pm. Refreshments and door prizes will be offered.

 

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois state prison officers who have died in the line of duty are being honored as part of National Correctional Officers and Employees Week. The ceremony for fallen heroes takes place Wednesday. It will be at the memorial wall on the campus of the Illinois Department of Corrections in Springfield. The event is co-hosted by the Illinois Department of Corrections and the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice.


 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- Rantoul Township High School board members will look to accept a bid for  a roof project when they meet on Monday night. Approving the student handbook for the next school year, and a Tax Increment Financing district extension from the  village is also on the agenda. The Rantoul Township High School Board meets at 7 in the high school board room.

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New Recreational Marijuana Proposal Reflects on Some of the Lessons Learned by Other States

(Springfield--jc)  -- The new recreational marijuana proposal reflects on some of the lessons learned by other states. The plan is the result of hearings and studying how legalizing pot has worked elsewhere says State Senator Heather Steans, Democrat from Chicago…

 

 

State Senator Heather Steans, Democrat from Chicago.

Misusing the legal product is an issue in Colorado. One proposal also includes at public education campaign.

 

(Champaign--jc)  - Champaign based Suburban Express has shut down its operations. The News Gazette reports that the closing was confirmed by owner Dennis Toeppen on Tuesday. The Illinois Attorney General’s office had filed a lawsuit the alleged Suburban Express discriminated and harassed its customers. A 100 thousand dollar payment to the Attorney Generals office will also be made this month.

 

Springfield--jc)  -- They went too fast. That’s what House Speaker Michael Madigan said of the Senate’s debate on a proposal to change the state constitution's flat income tax to one with higher rates for higher earners.Madigan spoke to a class of journalism students in talking about the Senate’s 7-minute debate on the amendment, according to media reports. The package of bills linked with the proposed progressive tax is in the House Rules Committee.

 

(Paxton--jc)  The City of Paxton has a around 1 million 200 thousand dollars for its proposed Streetscape program.  One goal is reconstruction of a portion of Market Street in downtown Paxton, says Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold…

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold says that includes lighting, curbs and sidewalks to Market Street in downtown Paxton...

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

Bids and improvements to the downtown will come in early 20-20.

 

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) — A portion of Interstate 55 near Bloomington will be renamed to honor a former resident who killed while serving in Afghanistan. The Pantagraph reports a dedication ceremony is scheduled for May 18 at VFW Post 454 in Bloomington to honor Sgt. Anthony R. Maddox. Before the ceremony, a motorcycle procession will leave from the VFW and travel along the stretch of interstate that's being renamed. Maddox died in an accidental explosion while serving with the Army in 2013. He was 22.

 

(Buckley--jc)  -- Soon, when you drive through Buckley along Route 45 in the downtown area, a beautification project is ready for Spring and Summer. Buckley Village leaders welcomed the donation by Jeanette Tobeck to buy and plant flowers in the downtown area.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A state representative from southern Illinois has resigned to become the director of law enforcement for the state Department of Natural Resources.Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday announced that he appointed Jerry Costello II to the post. The Smithton Democrat has served in the Illinois House since 2011. Pritzker says his experience as a police officer and in Operation Desert Storm "brings much value to an important piece of state government."Costello graduated from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale before joining the Army and serving in Iraq.

 

 

 

(Undated--jc)  -- Yes, bad weather has hampered the progress on major crops. What is the latest information. Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  The end of the school year is coming soon, Officials with the Paxton Buckley Loda School have set senior awards night for May 21st at 7pm.

 

 

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard has ordered the Illinois River closed to all traffic due to high waters north and south of Peoria. The (Peoria) Journal Star reports the closed area stretches about 45 miles from Lacon to Kingston Mines. The National Weather Service has the river at major flooding levels from Peoria south to its confluence with the Mississippi River. The weather service forecasts high waters through the week and says more rain through Thursday could prolong flooding.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services says the agency has already taken steps to remedy problems uncovered in a state audit. Marc Smith pledges in a prepared statement Tuesday that DCFS will "take all the necessary steps to overhaul long standing policies and procedures that have failed Illinois' children.

 

(Springfield--jc--)  -- A new recreational marijuana proposal reflects on some lessons learned by other states. In updated our story from this morning, lawmakers are  negotiating in Springfield, but also are listening to what works and does not work says Democrat State Representative Kelly Cassidy of Chicago…

 

 

State Representative Kelly Cassidy, Democrat of Chicago

 

(Buckley--jc)  One local Christian High School has set the date for their annual fundraiser. The 15th annual Knight for Christ benefit  auction will take place Saturday August 24th at the Garden Hotel in Urbana. A catered meal, silent and live auction will be featured. Money raised goes to support Christian education at Buckley base Christ Lutheran High school.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- With Spring comes more motorcycles on the road. Make sure to make the roadways safe.  Kim Howard reports…

 

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — An unexpected tax-revenue windfall has so bolstered Illinois finances that Gov. J.B. Pritzker has nixed a plan to reduce pension-payment obligations next year. A letter to lawmakers Tuesday from the Pritzker administration reported $4.1 billion in individual and corporate income tax revenues in April. That's up 38% from 2018 and $1.5 billion more than initially projected. Pritzker will apply it toward the required $9.1 billion payment to the state's woefully underfunded pensions.

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  There are some age restrictions at one local Rantoul business after some issues with junior high students happened. The Rantoul Dunkins has seen some rowdy students in the hours following school recently. Rantoul Police are working with the local business to look to some solutions. Now, no one under 18 will be allowed in the business after 1pm without a parent or guardian

 

 

(Undated--jc) If you are stopped for speeding, especially along  one of the many miles of Interstate roads and you just see construction workers, there is a reason. Illinois State Police troopers have been dressing like construction workers on some Interstate roads to slow traffic and save lives.  State Police officials say to follow the posted speed limit, stay alert and stay off your electronic devices.

 

 

(Cissna Park-- jc) --  Some road construction is set to begin on May 13, just south of Cissna Park on State Route 49. Illinois Department of Transportation officials says to expect delays in the area. The construction on Route 49 will run from the second curve to the Vermilion County line. Work is expected to be completed in late June.


 

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — The cost for a new track and soccer facility at the University of Illinois has bounced 50% higher. It is now estimated the complex will cost nearly $21 million compared with the around $14 million estimate last year. School officials in the Champaign-Urbana area partly blame trade tariff for pushing the price of steel and aluminum higher. Construction costs are also higher because of a shortage of construction workers in a strong economy.

 

 

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The Midwest is About to Get More Rain Than it Needs

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The flood-ravaged Midwest doesn't need more rain, but it may get it anyway. The National Weather Service predicts several days of wet weather this week in the central U.S. Hydrologist Mark Fuchs said Monday that parts of eastern Kansas could get up to 5 inches of rain by Friday, and that parts of Iowa and Missouri could get 3 inches. The Mississippi and Missouri rivers and their tributaries are already flooding, causing levee breaches and evacuations.Closer to home,  some recent flooding levels continue to be monitored with Sugar Creek in the Milford area, the Iroquois river in Chebance, Iroquois and Watseka in Iroquois County. Other areas include the Sangamon River near Monticello and the Vermillion in the Pontiac and Danville areas.

 

KANKAKEE, Ill. (AP) — Prosecutors in northern Illinois say they are reconsidering whether to retry a man convicted of a 1999 murder after a child witness recanted his testimony. Terrence Haynes is scheduled to go on trial June 10 for the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Cezaire Murrell. Haynes claims he was forced to shoot Murrell after the man threatened him with a gun. An appellate court earlier this year ordered Haynes' release from prison and granted him a new trial.

 

(Washington--ba) What’s up with clutter. One former expert has some advice.

Retired University of Illinois Extension expert Karen Chan shares some ways to approach and address an area where clutter may be evident.

 

 

Former University of Illinois Extension expert Karen Chan

 

(Washington--ba) There's very little drought to report in the latest USDA Drought Monitor. Gary Crawford reports.

 

 

 

(Urbana--jc)  Bond was set at 50 thousand dollars for a Ludlow Village Board member. 62 year old Ross Radke of Ludlow was arrested over the weekend and has been charged with possession of a firearm without a foid card and 2 counts of unlawful use of a firearm. The Rantoul Press reports that Radke is due back in court on May 16.

 

 

(Ford County--ba)-- The Ford County Fair is coming up in June. That also means it’s Fair Queen pageant time. WPXN’s Braedon Arnett has the story…

 

 

(Urbana--jc)  -- Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup is releasing the name of a woman involved in a two vehicle crash that happened Monday afternoon near the intersection of Cardinal Road and Rising Road in Champaign County Ilsa L. Walden, age 42, of Champaign was pronounced dead at the scene at 1:00PM  by the coroner’s office. An autopsy is scheduled for tomorrow. This incident is under investigation by the coroner’s office and the Champaign County Sheriff’s Department.

 

(Watseka--jc)  -- The Iroquois County  Tax Committee is set to look at the annual list of tax bills to be voided when they meet this morning in Watseka. The Incobrasa project in the county and solar projects also hi-light the meeting. The Iroquois County Tax Committee meets at 9 this morning in Watseka. The Iroquois County Health committee meets at 9-30 this morning in Watseka.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- The House could take up a package of bills when members consider changing the state constitution’s flat tax to a structure with higher rates on higher earners as Illinois lawmakers head back to Springfield.The plan appears to have momentum, despite critiques from nearly all sides. Critics have said the proposals fail to address the state’s spending problems, its lowest-in-the-nation credit rating, or the state’s population loss.After clearing the Senate on Wednesday, the proposed Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 1, progressive tax rates in Senate Bill 687, estate tax repeal in Senate Bill 689 and property tax freeze in Senate Bill 690 are in the House. Sponsors of the measures have said they all must pass together or the package will fall apart. All of those measures are in the House Rules Committee.

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- A measure that already passed the Senate to bar drivers from using video devices while behind the wheel hit a snag in the House.Senate Bill 86 would prohibit a driver from using a video device, with the exception of the built-in navigation devices in newer vehicles.The synopsis of the bill includes cellular telephones, tablets, laptops, two-way messaging devices and electronic games into the category of prohibited devices for drivers who are behind the wheel. The measure also says using an electronic communication device does not include the minimal use of a finger to activate, deactivate, or initiate a function of the device.

 

 

(Paxton--jc) The Paxton Streetscape program continues to develop. Several businesses in the downtown area of Paxton have completed facade projects or upgrades to buildings. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold says the number of open businesses continues to grow in the city and the streetscape program is there to provide incentives…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

The city will use around 1 point 1 million dollars from a state fund to help with a street project on Market in the city among other downtown improvements.

 

 

(Spirngfield--jc)  -- Last week was a bust for Illinois farmers as we hear in the weekly crop report. Rain over the past week averaged more than 2 inches above normal and kept farmers out of the field says crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.

To date, 10 percent of corn and 3 percent of soybeans have been planted statewide. WPXN news will have another crop report on our noon newscast.

 

 

(Washington--ba)-Some believe an electric lawn mower requires less maintenance than a gas-powered counterpart, yet an Extension expert says there is still care needed to assure proper operation. Rod Bain has the story...

 

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- Rantoul Village leaders will seat the new board when they meet later today. The regular study session begins at 6, and local board members are expected to accept the Os-lad grant of 360 thousand dollars. Rantoul Village leaders are also expected to purchase 28 body cameras and accessories for  just over 21 thousand 700 dollars. The Rantoul Village board meets at 6pm in the boardroom on Tanner Street.

 

 

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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker Says He's Reached an Agreement on a Plan to Legalize Recreational Marijuana Starting Next Year

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker says he's reached an agreement with key lawmakers on a plan to legalize recreational marijuana in the state starting next year. Pritzker joined fellow Democrats Saturday to announce the legislation. It would allow adults 21 and older to legally buy cannabis for recreational use from licensed dispensaries. Illinois residents could possess up to about an ounce of marijuana. The legislation also would automatically expunge some marijuana convictions.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — Former Illinois state Senate president and Democratic National Committee member Thomas Hynes has died. He was 80. Son-in-law Cheever Griffin confirmed that Thomas Hynes died Saturday at Northwestern Memorial Hospital from complications of Parkinson's Disease. Hynes was a powerhouse in Chicago politics for four decades.

 

(Gibson City--jc)  -- Legislators start the first full week of May with a lot of issues that range from canibus and sports gambling to a balanced budget. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says the agenda will be busy all month..

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City

 

(Paxton--jc)  Another new business is coming to the city of Paxton. Pizza Palace is set to open later this month in the former Pizza Hut location on the city’s west side.

Pizza Palace has two other locations, one in Gilman and one in Ashkum in Iroquois County. A May 14th opening date is planned.

 

There’s $300 million at the Illinois comptroller’s office in bond proceedings meant to fund optional pension buyouts.Of the five pension funds, the State Employees Retirement System said there was about 23 percent of eligible members who took one of the options with more than $30 million to be paid later this month.

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- The City of Paxton Streetscape program continues to develop. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold says bids for the project will be let in early 20-20 and the project completed by the end of next year…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- There are still no details on what kind of framework for legalizing cannabis that lawmakers expect to debate and vote on at the statehouse.Observers speculated a Senate bill would be amended this week to legalize, regulate and tax cannabis, but lawmakers will be back on Tuesday.Gov. J.B. Pritzker is banking on $170 million from cannabis licensing fees in the budget that starts July 1.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- The Illinois Lottery wants to know. And the holder of the ticket only has until May 9 to claim the ticket.Illinois Lottery officials say the Powerball Quick Pick ticket was sold at a convenience store in Chicago on Cermak Road.The numbers were 11-16-38-50-69.There are four seven-figure prizes unclaimed for a total of more than $4 million.

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting another Business After Hours on Thursday. The event is set for 5pm to 7pm at Accolade Healthcare on Fulton Street in the city. The networking event will feature appetizers, open bar and a door prizes.

 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- The Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce will be open on a limited basis this week. The office will be staffed from 9am til 1pm through the week. Any questions or inquiries may be made on line at d-i-r-at-rantoul-chamber-dot-com.

 

(Champaign County--jc)  -- The Southbound lanes of Interstate 57 were closed for about 4 hours Sunday afternoon. A vehicle crash happened around noon on Sunday. The lanes were reopened around 4 on Sunday.

 

(Undated--jc)  -- Amid a nationwide measles outbreak, the Illinois Department of Public Health is taking steps to increase vaccination rates to prevent measles cases here.  I-D-P-H Director Jenny WInkler says the Illinois Department of Public Health is proactively working to increase vaccination rates and educate the public on the importance of vaccines to prevent the spread of measles.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 704 cases of measles in 22 states. Seven

measles cases have been identified in Illinois, including several in Champaign County locally. The Illinois Department of Public Health plans to increase access to vaccines by expanding outreach in communities with low vaccination rates and helping with community events. Health department officials say they also want to provide proper information about measles vaccinations.

 

(Paxton--jc)  Organizers with the annual Paxton town wide garage sales have set the dates this year for Friday June 7 and Saturday June 8th. Residents may sign up for to be included on  a map of the sales by calling Erica Grohler at 217-379-9174. The deadline to get on the map is May 25th. Garage sale goers from over 50 to 75 miles have come to the 100 plus sales in the city.

 

(Rantoul--jc)  Village of Rantoul leaders continue to look at an autonomous vehicle project to develop on the former Chanute Air Force Base area.  The project would be a major boost to local economic development. Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith says A-Trel is one potential company, another is the new car dealership building near Wal-Mart by Shields Auto Center…

 

 

Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith

 

 

(Urbana--jc)  -- Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup is releasing the name of a Bement  woman who has died after being involved in a motor vehicle crash in Hickory Point Township on Friday. 77 year old Evelyn L. Dick,was pronounced dead at Carle Foundation Hospital on Saturday. Ms. Dick was reportedly traveling on County Highway 20 when her vehicle collided with a second vehicle at the intersection of Greenswitch Road. Ms. Dick died from complications of injuries she received during the crash. No autopsy will be performed. An inquest may be held at a later date

 

(Rantoul--jc)  Making Rantoul a destination for transportation is the focus of local leaders. Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Belynda Allen says the possibilities are numerous…

 

 

Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Belynda Allen

 

 

(Urbana--jc) Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup is releasing the name of a male subject who has died from injuries he received during a shooting incident early Sunday morning in the 400 block of Edgebrook Drive in Champaign. Twenty-one-year-old Scot  Roth was pronounced dead early yesterday in the Carle Foundation Hospital Emergency Department. An autopsy is scheduled for tomorrow.. An inquest may be held at a later date. This death remains under investigation .

 

 

(Cissna Park--jc)  -- Golf cart owners in one southern Iroquois County town need to get their cart stickers renewed. The local stickers in Cissna Park expired at the end of April. Golf Cart owners have until June 6th to get the renewal sticker.

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  Route 136 east of Rantoul was blocked for several hours on Saturday due to a vehicle versus motorcycle accident. The driver of the motorcycle received non-life threatening injuries. The road was reopened after a couple of hours.

 

 

(Undated--jc)  --The latest Census count on units of government in each state shows Illinois still has hundreds more than any other despite being the sixth most populous state.The U.S. Census has released its biennial Census of Governments report, this year showing the count of state and local governments in 2017. Illinois dropped in its total units of government count, but at 6,919, it still has 1,575 more than Texas, the state with the second most.The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning said in its “On to 2050” report that the state needs to examine areas where consolidation and shared services can streamline government, but Senior Policy Analyst Lindsay Hollander said it can’t just be for the sake of lowering that number.

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- Those interested have until May 23rd to apply for a Spring Community Foundation of Rantoul grant. Applications are available on the Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce website. The address is rantoul-chamber-dot-com

 

 

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Some Flood Watches and Warnings Continue Today

(Undated--jc)  With all the rain over the past several days, some flood watches and warnings continue this morning. Several areas of concern include Sugar Creek n the Milford area and the Iroquois River in the Watseka area. Other flood levels are being reported along the Sangamon River in the Monticello area and the Vermilion River around Pontiac. Some flood levels are expected through the weekend with others cresting by Monday. The covered bridge at Lake of the Woods is also closed due to high waters.

 

(Springfield--jc)  --The Illinois House Executive Committee held a hearing Thursday morning on casino expansion in the state of Illinois.   Vermilion County Board Chairman Larry Baughn addressed the committee on what casino gambling would mean for his area. Local State Representative Mike Marron, Republican from Fithian says the casino idea has been discussed for years…

 

 

104th District State Representative Mike Marron of Fithian

 

 

(Washington--ba)-Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue tells reporters in Washington that he has had no discussions about a new round of trade mitigation payments to farmers.

 

 

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois lawmakers are looking to nudge public investment funds in the state toward what they call “responsible investing.”  The measure, which passed a Senate committee, would have any public entity in Illinois that invests taxpayer funds to establish guidelines that adhere to environmental, social and governance, or ESG, best practices.Specifically, it would require any public entity that has funds to invest to include in their best practices policy. That means corporate governance and leadership factors, environmental factors, social capital factors, human capital factors and business model and innovation factors.

 

(Rantoul--jc)  With a community cleanup day coming on the 18th, work on entrance signs into the village, the addition of new businesses, Rantoul is looking to continue to put community pride as a top priority. Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith says that type of work will continue…

 

 

Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith

 

UNDATED (AP) — More than half of Americans want major changes to the system of government, including about 1 in 10 who want a complete overhaul. That's according to a new survey by the University of Chicago Harris School for Public Policy and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research showing that dissatisfaction with the government system is closely tied with policy concerns. While 61% of Democrats want big changes, 52% of Republicans do as well.

 

 

(Washington--ba)-How would the U.S. economy be affected by bringing broadband to every rural citizen? A new report by USDA’s Gary Crawford has the answers.

 

 

 

 

(Saybrook--jc)  A spaghetti dinner is set for the Saybrook Sons of the American Legion today.  The menu is all you can eat Spaghetti, salad and garlic bread. The dinner runs from 5 to 7. Carryout orders also available.

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- A cookout for charity is set for the Paxton IGA on Saturday.  On the menu is pork chop sandwiches, chips and soda. Profits go to the Ford-Iroquois Master Gardeners program.

 

(Undated--jc)  Garage sale days today and tomorrow in Cissna Park.

 

Springfield--jc)  -- The Illinois Senate approved an amendment to the constitution, replacing the current flat tax, with a graduated system, based on what you earn. Senator Don Harmon of Oakbrook argues that 97 percent of Illinoisans will pay for the same or less under the plan…

 

 

Illinois State Senator Don Harmon of Oakbrook

Republicans like Senator Dale Righter of Mattoon oppose the plan, saying this will lead to more tax increases…

 

Illinois State Senator Dale Righter of Mattoon.

The issue is in the hands of the Illinois House this afternoon. Illinois voters will have the final say if the amendment moves to a vote next fall.

 

 

TAYLORVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Construction work is set to resume five months after a central Illinois city was struck by a rare December tornado, officials said. The December First tornado injured more than  25 people in Taylorville. Over 700 buildings in the town of about 11,000 were damaged by the devastating twister, rated an EF-3 storm with winds between 136 and 165 mph. Mayor Bruce Barry said local ministerial alliances and fundraiser group Missions for Taylorville have raised $700,000 as recovery work continues. Barry added that their goal is to establish long-term reconstruction plans.

 

 

 

(Washington--ba)- How close might the U.S. and Japan be on an agreement on agricultural trade issues? USDA’s Gary Crawford reports.

 

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  The Paxton Pool has some additional daily open hours after a vote during a special meeting last night. Park Board members voted to open the pool during the afternoons on Mondays,  Wednesdays and Fridays. The local pool will also be open Tuesdays and Thursdays in the evening. No weekend hours will be offered,

 

(Gibson City--jc)  The Illinois House and Illinois Senate were back in session this week. Lawmakers are working on issues from a proposed graduated tax, to casino expansion to the budget. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says he is back, but his recovery from a car accident continues…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City

 

(Cissna Park--jc)  An open house and retirement party for a popular teacher and high school basketball coach is set for May 11th.  Fans and Friends of the Cissna Park Timberwolves will honor Teacher and Coach Kevin Long on Saturday May 11th at 7pm. The event takes place at the Cissna Park American Legion Home. A program starts at 7-30 that evening.

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  One local school has an arts festival set for Saturday. The Paxton Buckley Loda Fine Arts Festival takes place on Saturday starting at 4pm. A performance is set for 5. A donation of 5 dollars per person is requested.

 

(7am new--jc)  Potomac residents, listen up, the village is reminding Potomac residents that the town clean up day is tomorrow from 7am until 10am. The cost is 20 dollars per load. Some restrictions apply.

 

(Melvin--jc)  - Marvin Lee along with Dyke Corson and Maddie Flessner will perform at the Melvin Community Hall on Saturday night. The concert begins at 7. Food will be available from the Friends of the Melvin Library starting at 5-30.

 

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Arlington International Racetrack Owner Richard L. "Dick" Duchossois to be Inducted into Horse Racing's National Hall of Fame

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (AP) — The owner of Arlington International Racecourse in suburban Chicago is being inducted into horse racing's national hall of fame. In a news release, the track says Richard L. "Dick" Duchossois will be inducted Friday at a ceremony at Arlington.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — Nine state workers who are no longer members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees are seeking the return of some the fees paid the union. In the lawsuit filed Wednesday, the Liberty Justice Center contends more than 2,700 state employees are entitled to money they paid to AFSCME from May 1, 2017 through June 28, 2018. The U.S. Supreme Court last year ruled it unconstitutional to make public employees pay union dues.

 

(Paxton--jc)  The “Save the Pool” group has been meeting for several weeks to look at strategies to keep the Paxton Park District pool open for as many hours as possible. In April, the local Paxton Park District board, voted to just open the pool for limited hours due to the annual cost of running the local facility. The Save the Pool group is looking to raise 25 thousand dollars to help the pool open later this Spring.   What will the hours be to swim at the Paxton Pool this year?

Park District Board leaders have called a special meeting for 6pm tonight to discuss the issue.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Senate has approved a graduated income-tax structure that charges a rate of 7.99 percent for the most affluent residents. The plan by Olympia Fields Democratic Sen. Toi Hutchinson was approved 36-22.  Hutchinson says she sees no reason not to move forward with the proposal…

 

 

Democrat State Senator Toi Hutchinson of Chicago.

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman-Republican from Bloomington says some feel this is just the start of an easy way to raise taxes on all Illinoisans…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman-Republican from Bloomington

 

 

(Paxton-dg) Today’s Business of the day is Houston Plumbing Heating and Cooling. General Manager Lisa Pierman reminds us why it is important to keep our Air Conditioners tuned up.

 

 

Houston Plumbing heating and Cooling General Manager Lisa Pierman

 

She goes on to talk about their Cool Cash rewards…

 

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois lawmakers discussed further phasing out cash bond requirements for people arrested for low-level criminal offenses. Former Governor  Bruce Rauner signed a law in 2017 that required a bail hearing for people couldn’t afford to bond out of jail. Now, lawmakers are looking into whether they should institute a “no-cash bail” system, possibly for those facing low-level felonies as well. White County State’s Attorney Denton Aud told lawmakers a high bond is a de facto way to keep dangerous people off the street.Other state’s attorneys gave instances where dangerous domestic abuse suspects could be released and return to their homes. State Rep. Will Guzzardi, D-Chicago, said poor people are often stuck in jail while awaiting trial while wealthy people can be back on the streets in hours.

 

 

As the end of the school year quickly approaches, area High School FFA Chapters will be finalizing another year.  The Fisher FFA has a couple of upcoming events. Fisher FFA Secretary Lacey Cotter talks about those events.

 

 

Fisher FFA Secretary Lacey Cotter

 

(AP) — A trial is underway in Chicago of a man accused in the 2012 murder of an informant who cooperated with a federal investigation into a central Illinois drug ring. Marquelle Palmer of Bloomington is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Melissa Woods, whose body was found in the basement of a boarded-up building in Chicago. Woods was to testify in a drug case targeting Palmer, his brother and more than a dozen others.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  --Proponents are promoting a package of bills to go along with a proposed change to how the state taxes income. Attached to a proposed rate structure is an end to the state estate tax and a limit to what schools can levy in local property taxes. State Senator. Andy Manar said the property tax freeze has two exemptions: pensions and debt. Republicans oppose the package.

 

 

(Undated--jc)  --Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers Riders  hosted dedication ceremonies during their 1,200-mile bicycle journey from St.Louis, Missouri, to Washington, D.C. for National Police Week.  Riders stopped at the Illinois Police Officers Memorial in Springfield, for a dedication for Trooper Brian McMillen. Trooper Brian McMillen tragically lost his life in the Line of Duty on October 28, 2007. Today at  approximately 1:30 p.m., the riders will stop for a dedication near the intersection of Champaign County Road 1400 North and 500 East, one mile south of Bondville. Sergeant Rodney Miller was a 16-year veteran of the ISP who died in a tragic car crash near this location on May 12, 2006.

 

(Gibson City--jc)  -- Cruising in Gibson City begins in a couple of weeks. The Friday nights under the lights in downtown Gibson City begins on Friday May 17th in Gibson City. Organizers are inviting those with classic cars to individuals to join in the cruising fun.

 

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Two workers at a southern Illinois pre-school are accused of making children stand naked in a closet as punishment. Teacher Mary Agbehia of Edwardsville and teachers' aide Shavonda Willis of Fairview Heights are workers at the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Center in East St. Louis. The St. Clair County State's Attorney's office announced Wednesday the women are charged with felony aggravated battery for alleged physical contact with the children and unlawful restraint.

 

(Undated--jc)  With the Spring weather comes more motorists on the road, more motorcyclists too. Keep watch. Kim Howard reports…

 

 

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Illinois State Legislature has until May 31st Deadline to Pass Legislation with Simple Majorities

(Springfield--jc)  -- As state lawmakers prepare to come back to the capitol to tackle potential tax increases to pay for the most expensive budget in state history, it’s expected to be a mad rush to the May 31st finish line. Illinois’ 101st General Assembly has been on spring break for the past two weeks. There have been a few committees meeting to focus on issues like infrastructure, sports betting, and budget requests from state agencies, but lawmakers have not been in full session to cast votes on legislation.There’s a May 31 deadline to pass legislation with simple majorities. That includes the budget for the coming fiscal year that begins July 1. Gov. J.B. Pritzker is eyeing a $39 billion budget paid for with an additional $1.1 billion in new revenue.

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- Raining again, and farmers are not getting much time in the fields. Some planting is underway as we hear in the weekly crop report. Only about 2 days were suitable for fieldwork this past week, but producers managed to get 3 percent of soybeans planted says State Crop  Statistician Mark Scheleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Scheleusener.

44 percent of the winter wheat crop is rated in good to excellent condition. Topsoil is rated 2 percent short 45 percent adequate and 53 percent surplus.

 

 

(Loda-jc)  Rain today, but better Spring weather is on its way and one area golf course is offering a buddy pass. Lakeview Golf Course in Loda Manager Doug McCoy says its a great way to plan for a fun year of golf…

 

 

Lakeview Golf Course in Loda Manager Doug McCoy.

The Tin Cup Restaurant is also open Tuesdays through Sundays at the golf course.

 

 

(Coal City--jc)  --A school employee in Illinois filed a federal lawsuit against a local school district and the state's largest public sector union, claiming both refused to stop deducting union dues from her paycheck months after she left the union. Susan Bennett, a janitor at the Moline-Coal Valley School District since 2009, withdrew from her union shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that forced union dues as a condition of employment violated the First Amendment. The high court's decision in Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 struck down forced union fees as unconstitutional. Bennett alleged the school district refused to stop deducting union dues from her paychecks in the lawsuit, which was filed in the Central District of U.S. District Court

 

(Chicago--jc)  --The potentially deadly “kissing bug” has made its way to Illinois. The Centers for Disease Control and Protection is warning residents that the Chagas disease earned the name the “kissing bug” because the bugs that transmit the disease typically bite people’s faces. Health officials say symptoms can include fatigue, fever, rash and swelling, but some can lead to stroke or heart failure.

 

 

(Washington--jc)  Sarah Tomlinson is with the U-S-D-A Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Her office is looking to advance the use of radio frequency backtags in livestock markets..

 

 

U-S-D-A  Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services Spokesperson Sarah Tomlinson

 

(Paxton--jc)  What will the hours be to swim at the Paxton Pool this year?

The Paxton Park District Board voted to shorten pool hours this Spring and Summer. A group called “Save the Paxton Pool” is looking to raise money to keep the pool open, as in past years. Park District Board leaders have called a special meeting for 6pm Thursday to discuss the issue.

 

(Washington--ba)-- Winterization of your gas-powered lawn mower means maintenance and repair to get it ready for its workload this Spring and Summer. USDA’s Rod Bain reports.

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  Potholes and road repair. That is a topic for all towns and cities this time of year. Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith says this issue is one the occurs every Spring..

 

 

Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith

 

(Washington--ba)-Honey consumption has increased over the last decade.

Margaret Lombard of the National Honey Board discusses the growth of honey as a food ingredient.

 

 

Margaret Lombard of the National Honey Board

 

(Springfield--jc)  --States are moving out of recession revenue holes.  Each state is doing it a little differently but most state governments have returned to their pre-recession revenue levels, according to a new analysis of their ledgers.The Pew Charitable Trusts analyzed each state’s revenue in the third quarter of 2018 and compared it to their pre-recession levels in Q3 of 2008. Research officer Justin Theal said the study found that only nine states have yet to reach the level of tax revenue that they brought in before the economic downturn.Illinois shot past pre-recession revenues in 2011 but not because of a growing economic recovery, rather a historic income tax increase lawmakers promised would be temporary.

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- As National Donate Life month comes to a close, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is urging people to sign up to be an organ donor. One person’s organs can help up to 25 others, but White says too many paitents die while waiting for one to become available…

 

 

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White.

More information is found on line at  Life-Goes-On-Dot-Com


 

(Chicago--jc)  -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is investigating two cases of Legionnaires’ disease at Mercy Hospital & Medical Center in Chicago, and a report of legionella in the facility’s water system.The investigation was limited to that facility as of this weekend.

 

 

(Springfield--ba)-The Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association (IPMA) and the Illinois Association of Convenience Stores are partnering with hundreds of small business owners across Illinois to “Tank the Tax,” a movement to oppose legislation that would nearly double the current tax on gasoline motorists that pay at the pump. WPXN’s Braedon Arnett has the story.

 

 

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The Illinois State Police Have Seen a Slow But Steady Decline in Their Numbers

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Former Illinois House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie has been named to the Pollution Control Board by Gov. J.B. Pritzker. Currie, who is replacing board member U-Jung Choe, who was appointed by Bruce Rauner in 2018. Currie, who was appointed to the board on Friday by Pritzker, will be paid $117,000 annually. The five-member Pollution Control Board is an independent state agency that establishes environmental control standards for Illinois. Currie's appointment requires Senate approval.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — An official says the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is reviewing unproven allegations of child abuse or neglect after the death this week of 5-year-old Andrew "AJ" Freund. Anne Gold is DCFS associate deputy for child protection. She told a House committee Friday that agency administrators are reviewing unfounded cases for any child three years old or younger.

 

(Washington--ba) Taiwan is a diverse market for US ag products, and this can provide many opportunities for the ag economy to grow. USDA’s Stephanie Ho Reports.

 

 

(Champaign--jc--  Parkland College commencement Exercises is set for Thursday May 16th at 8pm. The location is the Krannert Center in Urbana. This year’s keynote speaker is Seth Fein. Fein is an event curator and publisher.

 

(Champaign--jc)  -- Another kids clothing store is leaving Market Place Mall in Champaign. The Children’s Place is closing next month. The chain is closing several hundred of its stores, nationwide. The move was also prompted by the building of a new Costco store on the west side of the property. Two other stores in that area of the mall will be relocating at MarketPlace.

 

(Watseka--jc)  -- Iroquois County Treasurer, Kurt Albers has  announced that the deadline to pay mobile home taxes without penalty is Wednesday May 1st. A penalty is assessed after that date. The Iroquois County Treasurer’s Office is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday in Watseka. There is also a drop box at the  Administrative Center during non-office hours.

 

(Fisher--jc)  -- Plans continue for the village of Fisher  Lucky Foot Festival. Among the activities  are Little League baseball, bouncy houses, face painting,  softball, and a car show. This year’s show is in honor of Ranae Helpingstine. The Ranae Helpingstine Memorial Car Show is set for Saturday June 8th in Fisher. Registration begins at 10 that morning with awards at 3.

 

(Paxton--jc)  Congratulations to the Max-D Monster Jam team on their win in the 20-19 Stadium Championship Series. Next, for the team based in Paxton, is the World Championship Series in Orlando Florida from May 10th through 12th. Several of the drivers on the team will be competing at the various events.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — The Illinois State Police have seen a slow but steady decline in their numbers, leaving many to wonder if there are enough troopers to patrol roads, investigate highway shootings or oversee the concealed-carry gun program. Data from the state police shows the number of troopers has dropped by almost 20% over the past 20 years. Spending cuts, retirements, new responsibilities and a recent Illinois budget stalemate have been factors. Gov. J.B. Pritzker is proposing $7 million to train new cadets.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — A photographic memorial honoring service members who have died since the 9/11 terrorist attacks will stop in Chicago. "Remembering Our Fallen" will be displayed at the Gallagher Way entertainment center now through Wednesday. It features 31 "Tribute Towers" with photos of more than 5,000 service members. There's a separate display to recognize service members who died in training or on military bases.

 

BATAVIA, Ill. (AP) — The first bison of the spring has been born at the U.S. Energy Department's Fermilab facility, west of Chicago. Officials say the calf was born on April 20, one of 12 to 14 expected this spring. The public is welcome to photograph and see the herd at the lab in Batavia, about 35 miles west of downtown Chicago. Admission is free.

 

(Springfield--jc)  --Sports gambling is a topic in Springfield this week as lawmakers get back to work on the budget and other issues. Potential new revenue for the state to local cities is one positive on sports gambling. Illinois State University Athletic Director Larry Lyons says he is worried that college students would gamble on college sports…

 

 

Illinois State University Athletic Director Larry Lyons.

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker is calling on lawmakers to approve sports wagering in the state.

 

(Fisher--jc)  -- The volunteers were ready and the equipment purchased and ready, but Mother Nature intervened with a park playground project in Fisher on Saturday. Among those volunteering to help with the project were Officials from Illinois American Water, the Fisher High School Football team and others. The plan is to come back this Saturday at 8am to finish the installation at Lammle Park.

 

 

(Washington--ba)-What are some ways to store and prepare asparagus for enjoyment throughout the Spring? USDA’s Rod Bain Reports.

 

 

 

(Gibson City--jc)  Gibson City hosted opening ceremonies for its baseball and softball leagues on Sunday. West Park has a new name for its ball diamond. It is named Roy Roemer Field. Roemer is remembered as the town’s best fan. He passed away in October of 2017, City officials are planning a dedication ceremony at the field this Spring.

 

(Mahomet--jc)  -- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Illinois has a fundraiser coming in June. The golf fundraiser is called  Golf for Kids Sake. Big Brothers Big Sisters Director Kristian Hopkins says one way to help is to sponsor a hole for the golf scramble…

 

 

Big Brothers Big Sisters Director Kristian Hopkins.

To register to play, call the Big Brothers Big Sisters office.

 

 

(Champaign--jc)  A memorial site was dedicated on Sunday in Champaign. The memorial stands at the west entrance to Parkland College. The memorial is dedicated to Champaign  County workers lost while working in the county.

 

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Illinois Could Miss Out on Sports Gambling if Neighboring State beat it to the Punch

(Springfield--jc)  -- One of the chief forces working to bring sports betting to Illinois is worried about what would happen if neighboring states beat Illinois to the punch. Illinois Governor  J.B. Pritzker plans to use 212 million dollars in revenue from selling legal sports betting licenses in his upcoming budget. Although a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision gave states the green light to regulate and tax the activity, Illinois has yet to act. Democratic state Representative Michael Zalewski said Illinois could miss out if neighboring states legalize sports betting first. Part of the overall equation is tax rates. Industry groups warn high rates will keep illegal bookies in business by consumers not looking to pay the expense. They also have said that having online betting would ensure people have easy access to recreational wagering.

 

PEKIN, Ill. (AP) — The father of the man accused of killing four people at a Waffle House in Tennessee last year has pleaded not guilty to charges related to the gun used in the shooting. Jeffrey Reinking is accused of giving an AR-15 style rifle to his 30-year-old son, Travis Reinking, who allegedly used it in Nashville on April 22, 2018. The elder Reinking contends he was never owner of the gun and had sought the advice of the Tazewell County Sheriff's Department on whether to return the gun to his son

 

 

BEACH PARK, Ill. (AP) — The National Transportation Safety Board is sending a team to Illinois to investigate a chemical release from two containers that caused a toxic plume that sickened dozens of people. The team of four will be on the scene in Beach Park on Friday, when they will begin their work. Authorities say a tractor was towing two separate two-ton containers of anhydrous ammonia when the leak occurred around 4:30 a.m. Thursday. The leak created a toxic cloud that lingered for several hours over Beach Park.

 

 

(Paxton--jc)-Wanted...nominations for the annual Golden Deeds Awards.  The awards are handed out each year at the Paxton Old-Fashioned 4th of July celebration. Nominations need to include all of the nominees volunteer activities. Deadline for nominations is June 15th. Mail nominations to...Golden Deeds Awards, P-O-Box 299, Paxton Illinois.

 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- The Atrel is the site of research on railway ballast and related geotechnical phenomena.  The facility is located on a property in Rantoul. Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith says the local group does testing on road materials, but much more…

 

 

Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith

 

(Urbana--jc)  -- Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup is releasing the name of a Danville man who has died from injuries he received in a shooting incident that occurred during an altercation in Danville on Wednesday. 25 year old Roosevelt Anderson Junior was pronounced dead at Carle Foundation Hospital at 3:05 Thursday afternoon from a gunshot wound to the head. This incident is under investigation by the Danville Police Department and the Coroner’s Office

 

 

(Washington--jc)  -- Some changes are coming to the federal livestock and dairy insurance programs. Risk Management Agency Administrator Martin Barbre says the changes will take effect on July First…

 

 

Risk Management Agency Administrator Martin Barbre

 

(Undated--jc) --  Tomorrow is National Prescription Drug Take Back day, where you can find a location to safely dispose of excess prescription drugs. Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

Local events are set in Iroquois County at the Sheriff’s office and at Northfield Mall in Bourbonnais

 

 

 

(Buckley--jc)  -- Garage Sales are today and tomorrow in Buckley. The St. John’s Ladies is hosting a garage sale and bake sale at Christ Lutheran High School today and tomorrow that starts at 7-30.

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- A cookout is set for the Paxton I-G-A parking lot on Saturday from 10am until 2pm. One the menu is ribeye sandwiches, chips and pop. The profits benefit the Upper Room Church in Paxton.

 

 

(Spirngfield--jc)  -- Jobs were up in 8 of the state’s 14 metro areas last month.  While the unemployment rate rose slightly in 12 metro areas compared to year ago, jobs were added in Chicago, Peoria and Carbondale says Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Sam Salustro…

 

 

Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Sam Salustro

 

 

(Cullom--jc) The   Tri Point School board is set to meet on Monday night for its reorganizational meeting. The meeting takes place in Kempton at 7pm. The board will elect its president and secretary during the meeting.

 

(Clinton--jc)  Dewitt County board leaders have voted down a wind farm project. The vote was 7 to 5, but a supermajority was needed for the project to go forward. The board held several meetings on wind farms. It is not known if the wind farm group involved in the project will continue to try and come up with an agreement with Dewitt County leaders. Closer to home, Ford County leaders continue to address set backs on proposed and future wind farm projects in the county

 

(Rantoul--jc) Rantoul City School leaders have set its graduation for 8th graders. This is the first time for several years a ceremony will be held at the local junior high school. School board members have set the time during the 9 am hour of school. Some parents and other concerned citizens are pushing to get the school board to change the time of the graduation so more parents, guardians and friends could attend the event.

 

(Paxton--jc) The city of Paxton is set to repair around 10 different roads in the city using its annual allotment of motor fuel tax money. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold says that process has started. Ingold adds that the city will also use some general funds to do some additional road repair in the city this Spring and Summer…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold

 

(Washington--jc)  How does technology help with the issue of tracing animal disease.  Sarah Tomlinson is a spokesperson for the U-S-D-A’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Tomlinson says says of the technologies developed or in development regarding radio frequency ID tags, will help identify any issues with diseased animals…

 


U-S-D-A Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Spokesperson Sarah Tomlinson

 

 

(Fisher--jc)  -- One local community is set to put up new playground equipment on Saturday. Volunteers are set to meet at Lammle Park in Fisher to help put up the playground equipment. The set up begins at 8 tomorrow morning.

 

(Gifford--jc)  -- Gifford School Board members have elected Matt Lomax as their board president in the reorganizational meeting this week. Travis Huls is the board vice president,  Neil Baker as Secretary and Jaci Davis as Treasurer

 

(Paxton--jc)  Ford County mobile home owners are reminded they have one week to pay their mobile home tax bills. Bills paid late will incur penalties and interest. The Ford County Treasurer’s office is open Monday through Fridays from 8-30am to 4-30pm at the courthouse complex in Paxton.

 

(Bellflower--jc)  Garage sales this weekend are being held in Buckley. More garage sales are set for the village of Bellflower on Saturday. Maps for both sites are available.

 

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Governor Says He's Not Worried About Property Tax Investigation

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker says he has "no concerns at all" about a media report that federal authorities are investigating a property tax break he got by taking toilets out of a Chicago mansion he owns. The billionaire told reporters Wednesday he's certain that any review would show "all the rules were followed" in the tax appeal. WBEZ radio cited an anonymous source in reporting that Pritzker is under investigation. The U.S. attorney's office would not comment.

 

(Springfield--jc) --  The Illinois attorney general wants something done about electric companies that he says are taking advantage of people.Most people in Illinois have a main utility in their area. ComEd, Ameren, MidAmerican Energy, companies like that.But people can also buy their power from an alternative supplier.CleanChoice pointed to a poll that it says shows 76% of Illinois residents want the freedom to choose clean energy for their home. Kwame Raoul said he wants lawmakers to implement new regulations on alternative energy companies by the end of the spring session.

 

(Spirngfield--jc)  -- Illinois Governor. J.B. Pritzker is defending his proposal to address the state’s $134 billion unfunded pension liability. Pritzker’s proposal for the coming budget restructures pension payments and pays less than what’s required in the coming years. Despite critics, including some unions and Democrats, opposing the governor’s pension proposal seeing it as the state again kicking the can down the road.

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  Mobile Home Taxpayers in Ford County have until the end of business on Friday May 3rd to pay their taxes on time. The tax bills may be sent to the Ford County Treasurer’s department or dropped off at the county courthouse in Paxton. Office hours are from  8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

 

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — State public health workers are increasing accessibility to vaccines in response to an outbreak of measles in the U.S. that includes seven cases in Illinois. The Illinois Department of Public Health says it's also expanding outreach in communities with low vaccination rates and educating the public on the importance of vaccines. Gov. J.B. Pritzker says his administration is "taking the threat posed by a rise in measles cases very seriously."

 

(Springfield--jc)  Ticket sales for Illinois State Fair Grandstand Concerts are already breaking records. More than 28 thousand tickets were sold over the past week. State Fair  Manager Kevin Gordon credits the lineup that includes Reba...

 

 

State Fair Manager Kevin Gordon.

Acts coming to the Illinois State Fair include,  Snoop Dog, Bad Company and Reba.

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois Governor JB Pritzker says a new Illinois State Police tracking system should help chip away at the backlog of D-N-A evidence that needs to be processed. Illinois State Police Acting Director Brendan Kelly says the Laboratory Management System makes it easier to track and process. Kelly says this will also help show exactly which steps are causing the most delays…

 

 

Illinois State Police Acting Director Brendan Kelly

 

(Paxton-dg)-The Country House Restaurant is now open on Paxton’s west side in the former home of Country Gardens. New Owners Pete and Heidi Estrada have been in the restaurant business for many years. Pete has been cooking for over 30 years. Heidi talks about some favorites to look forward to at the Country House...

 

 

Country House Owner Heidi Estrada. It is Heidi’s birthday today, so if you happen to go the Country House today welcome them to Paxton and wish Heidi a Happy Birthday.

 

 

(Rantoul--jc) -- Officials with the village of Rantoul continue to work for an agreement with the A-Tel group to bring an autonomous vehicle testing site to town. It is a proposal at present date, but Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith says it is a very active topic for local civic leaders…

 

 

Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith

(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois Governor JB Pritzker says a new Illinois State Tracking system should help chip away at the backlog of D-N-A evidence that needs to be processed. The Laboratory information management system streamlines data collection and evidence. The governor says the new system will help with the current backlog of cases…

 

 

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker

 

(Undated--jc) Illinois state government is ready to send out mobile vaccine stations to neighborhoods, host vaccination clinics at events popular with parents and children, and set up at fairs, neighborhood celebrations, churches and more. The Illinois Department of Public Health says it’s in response to seven measles cases in Illinois, and 71 reported across the country last week alone.

 

(Watseka--jc)  -- The Iroquois County Sheriff’s Department will again be partnering with the D-E-A to provide a safe disposal of unused prescription drugs. Ons Saturday, bring your unused prescriptions to the Iroquois County Sheriff’s department west door and they will be collected no questions asked. The prescriptions can also be turned into the Iroquois County Courthouse Monday through Friday 8:30-4:30 or at the Iroquois County Sheriff’s Department throughout the year.

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  Snow, then salt, then melting, then pot holes. With Spring, the potholes are numerous in all areas rural and town and city. In Paxton, city leaders are looking to repave as many roads as possible with a budget of around 150 thousand dollars. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold says the process has started…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold

WPXN news will have more with the mayor on motor fuel tax issues on the noon newscast today

 

 

(Ohio--jc)  Have you ever wondered how 4-H got started? Summer is coming and so are summertime fairs and festivals. Area 4-H Clubs are working on projects ranging from fruits and vegetables to  cows, hogs and rabbits. Ohio State University Extension Spokesperson Cathann Kress says before the clubs 4-H was more business…

 

 

Ohio State University Extension Spokesperson Cathann Kress

 

(Farmer City--jc)  -- What do Jack Daniel, the Fuedin’ Hillbillies, Dave Woolridge, Tyler Rich, Hippie, Bill and Tom, Puddle of Mudd, The Robert Brown Band, and the Walkabouts all have in common. The answer is that all these bands will be playing at the Farmer City Heritage Days this year. The Farmer City Heritage Days runs from Thursday May 30th through Sunday June 2nd.

 

(Rantoul--jc)--  When the Hap Parker Aquatic Center opens later this Spring, an adult swim time will be set. With a a paid pool pass, adult swim times at the local facility will be from 7-30 until 8-30 weekday mornings. A second adult swim time is the noon hour on Mondays, Tuesdays. Thursdays and Fridays. More information on pool passes and special swim hours is found by contacting the Rantoul Recreation Department.

 

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Illinois is Ninth Most Addicted Gambling State in the Country

(Undated--jc)  --As Illinois looks to expand gambling to include sports betting, a new Wallet-Hub report found the state is the ninth most gambling addicted in the country. Among the metrics reviewed, Illinois ranked No. 1 for gambling-related arrests. And even though it’s not yet legal, Illinois ranked No. 1 for sports gambling, according to the report. Nevada was the most gambling-addicted state, the report found.

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois’ budget imposed by lawmakers over former Governor Bruce Rauner’s veto and hiking income taxes by 40 percent was given a largely failing grade by one nonprofit. The nonprofit Volcker Alliance gave Illinois mostly “D” grades and a “D-” in its state-by-state assessment of 2018 fiscal year’s governmental performance. The “D-” was for legacy costs. It’s the lowest mark the nonprofit uses. The alliance criticized the state for again including the sale of the James R. Thompson Center in its budget and for again failing to sell the building. Pritzker notably didn't include that gimmick in his budget proposal. Illinois remains one of the lowest-rated states.

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- When the Paxton Buckley Loda School board holds its reorganizational meeting tonight, two new school board members will be sworn in along with incumbent board member Steve Pacey of Paxton. Elected earlier this month are Dana Bergandine and Jason Dirks. Both are from Paxton. The P-B-L school board will also look to elect a President The meeting comes to order at 6 tonight at the meeting room at the unit office area in Paxton.

 

The Department on Aging requested $1.2 billion for the coming fiscal year, an increase of more than $100 million from the current fiscal year.Darby Anderson of Addus HomeCare opposes the department’s request saying there’s not enough funding to address the recently mandated minimum wage increase to $15 an hour by 2025.

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  Rantoul Clean up Day is set for May 18th. Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith says its a way to keep the village looking clean. Smith says the clean up day has been a part of village activities for several years…

 

 

Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith

 

 

(Washington--jc)  What are the best ways to bring high speed internet access to rural areas? U-S-D-A is now accepting funding applications for pilot project proposals to find out the best ways. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  With the final Saturday in April, the Ford County Water Tower Museum will be opening from 11a.m. until 2 p.m There is no charge for admission. More information about the museum is found by calling the museum at 379-4111.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  A state audit shows that more than half of Illinois' 656 local police and firefighter pension funds haven't been examined as frequently as state law requires. The Auditor General’s office found the Illinois Department of Insurance didn’t perform required examinations of the local funds once every three years. More than half of the funds had only been audited once since 2004. Many local public safety pensions are underfunded.

 

 

(Rantoul--jc) With over 160 schools applying for a “Safe Routes to Schools” grant several school systems in East Central Illinois will receive some help the the Department of Transportation. Rantouls Northview school has received a 200 thousand dollar grant for the program. Road improvements, anda better bike path are part of the project. Rantoul Village officials will be looking at ways to use the grant dollars for the betterment of the village. Illinois Governor JB Pritzker handed out the grants on Tuesday…

 


Illinois Governor JB Pritzker

Blue Ridge Schools in Farmer City and a school in Kankakee were also winners of grant money


 

(GIbson City--jc) Gibson City Water Department officials say they will be doing hydrant flushing starting on Sunday. City workers will start on the northwest side of town going northeast and also southeast going southwest. Hydrant flushing should take about one week.

 

(Springfield--jc)  --Lawmakers are pushing Gov. J.B. Pritzker and other legislators to pass legislation setting gender and race requirement for public corporations.The bill would require all publicly-traded companies headquartered in Illinois to have at least one African American and one person who identifies as a woman on their boards or face hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines for each day they’re out of compliance.State Rep. Chris Welch, D-Hillside, called the legislation a step toward parity for African-Americans and women.

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- As lawmakers prepare to reveal and possibly pass a measure to legalize marijuana for recreational use, some want to slow the effort down.Earlier this month, Senate Bill 7 to legalize pot for recreational use without any substantive policy changes passed out of committee, setting up lawmakers for a quick gut and replace. That could happen as early as next week when they return from Spring Break. Luke Niforatos from Smart Approaches to Marijuana has been lobbying lawmakers to slow the process down.

 

(Washington--jc)  --  Food waste is a huge problem, and USDA wants more young people to be aware of it. Stephanie Ho has the information…

 

 

 

Pesotum, Il. (04/22/19) – The Illinois State Police , assisted by the Champaign Police Department, conducted an Alcohol Countermeasure Enforcement or Ace patrol over the weekend in Champaign. The purpose of the ACE program is to reduce/deter underage drinking in Illinois. The goal of this program is to prevent, deter and take enforcement action in response to violations of laws associated with impaired driving, the sale of alcohol to a minor, the illegal consumption or possession of alcohol or drugs by minors, and increase police presence in the campus area. As a result of the ACE detail, citations were issued  to Brothers Bar and Grill, Red Lion and 51 Main.

 

(Kankakee County--jc)  A Kansas City Missouri man was fatally injured in a two vehicle accident along Illinois Route 17 in Kankakee County on Tuesday afternoon. Police say 70 year old Larry Dollinger of Kansas City lost control of his pickup going east. His vehicle struck a grain truck, head on. Dollinger was pronounced dead at the scene by the Kankakee County Coroner.

 

(Springfield--jc)  Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul is urging lawmakers to protect consumers from deceptive alternative retail energy suppliers. Kim Howard reports…

 

 

(Gibson City--jc)  -- Gibson City Pool Committee members are taking a close look at the local pool on Monday night when they meet at 6-30. The members are assessing the pool for the current year and making determinations about the local pool for next year. The committee is set to make recommendations to the Gibson City Council on any repairs or upgrades needed for this Spring and Summer at the pool.

 

(Undated--jc)  -- The Illinois State Police is offering the do’s and don’ts of reporting a reckless or drunk drivers on the highways. The public is always encouraged to help out and call 9-1-1 if they see someone driving dangerously down the highways.  State Trooper Mindy Carroll says key details are needed…

 

 

State Trooper Mindy Carroll

 

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)   Rantoul Rec Department officials say one week remains to enrolled area kids in the Adventure Camp or swim lessons. On-line registration is available or call the office at  893-5700. May first is the deadline to participate.

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Wet Conditions Kept Most Farmers Out of the Fields Last Week

(Springfield--jc)  Illinois state lawmakers are still off for spring break, but when they return next week, majority Democrats will be looking for more than $1 billion in new revenue Gov. J.B. Pritzker is looking to spend in the coming budget.The new revenue would be from legalized sports betting and recreational cannabis licenses, and proposed taxes on plastic bags, increased cigarette and e-cigarette taxes, and more.

 

(Undated--jc)  Wet conditions kept most farmers out of the fields as we hear in the weekly crop report. The state’s average topsoil moisture is rated at 45 percent adequate,and  54 percent surplus says State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.

Just one percent of corn has been planted in the state.  55 percent of winter wheat is rated in good to excellent condition.

 

(Vermilion County--jc)  There is still no word on any movement with the chief executive officer from the East Central Illinois Community Action Agency. Illinois officials have threatened to pull funding after alleged mismanagement of funds by a local official. CEO Angele Thibodeaux Burns has not given any indications she will step down. The East Central Illinois Action agency has several locations from Danville and Paxton.

 

(Springfield--jc)  --With both federal and state government mulling gas tax hikes, Illinois residents could potentially see higher prices at the pump.A report from Americans for Prosperity measured the cost of a proposed federal tax increase on motor fuel by state. If the federal increase were approved, Illinoisans would pay an additional $240 a year for gas on average. However, state lawmakers are also looking to fund infrastructure spending with a 19-cent per gallon state gas tax increase. AFP Illinois director Andrew Nelms said the two potential increases would be a significant hike for Illinois drivers to absorb.

 

NORMAL, Ill. (AP) — Illinois State University faculty and students are hoping to help the environment by creating more sustainable construction materials.The project uses recycled glass to make a concrete-based building material more eco-friendly. They have received a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for their work. The team is testing more than a dozen combinations of cement, fly ash and glass to see which will be best. The final product is called "flowable fill" and is used to fill trenches and stabilize soil.

 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- To shop local and to make the businesses a destination, continues to be the goal of the Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce. Executive Director Belynda Allen says the shop Rantoul program, Interstate 57 billboards, to Spring and Summer activities are just a start of destination Rantoul…

 

 

Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Belynda Allen

 

(Loda--jc)  A new restaurant is opening today in the Loda area. The Tin Cup Restaurant is part of the clubhouse complex on Lakeview Golf Course in Loda. The new restaurant manager is Peggy Burton. Burton says they are ready to open today for lunch and for dinners Thursdays through Saturdays…

 

 

Lakeview Golf Course Tin Cup Restaurant Manager Peggy Burton.

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- A state representative and Chicago Community Activists say the bes way to tackle violence in Illinois is to treat it like a disease. State Representative La Shawn Ford of Chicago says there is a lot of talk about ending violence, but not enough about why it’s happening in the first place…

 

 

State Representative La Shawn Ford of Chicago

Ford has plans to introduce a resolution in the house calling for violence to be addressed by focusing on mental health issues, substance abuse and lack of education.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- Monday was Innovation and Technology Day in Illinois. Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker spoke at a roundtable discussion in Chicago with the subject of making Illinois a tech industry leader…

 

 

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker

 

 

(Thawville--jc)  The village of Thawville is under a boil order. That boil order is until further notice.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — An air traffic control tower at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport has been awarded gold status by a group that monitors standards for eco-friendly buildings. Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Green Building Council announced the gold certification Monday for the south air traffic control tower at O'Hare. City officials say it's the first gold-certified air traffic control tower in the U.S. The tower is one of three that the FAA operates at O'Hare.

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- A new report says Illinoisans should expect to see nearly $500 a year extra in gas taxes if both the federal and state governments increase their motor fuel surcharges.Americans for Prosperity said drivers filling up in Illinois would see a $240 a year increase from just the proposed federal increase.Add a proposed 19-cent per gallon state gas tax increase floated at the Illinois statehouse and the total average increase a year would be $480.

 

(Undated--jc)  There are more Illinois cities in the bottom 100 than in the top of a list for best and worst cities to start a small business.Of more than 1,260 cities nationwide reviewed by consumer finance website WalletHub, Carbondale and North Chicago were No. 12 and No. 76 respectively.But there were six Illinois cities are among the worst 100 cities in the country to start a small business with Wilmette being the fifth worst.

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  The “Save the Pool” group met last night at the Cobblestone Hotel on Paxton’s west side. The purpose of the group is to help the Paxton Pool open for the summer. Paxton Park District board members voted to just open the pool for limited hours due to the annual cost of running the local facility. The Save the Pool group is looking to raise 25 thousand dollars to help the pool open later this Spring.

 

(Rantoul--jc) With several new businesses, a recent restaurant expansion and a potential agreement concerning an autonomous vehicles investment, the village of Rantoul continues to improve on the economic development front. Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith says it has been three years since the Holiday Inn started operations on the west side of the village…

 

 

Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith

 

 

Ashkum, IL. – Illinois State Police District 21 Commander, Captain Don Aaron Harsy, announced today activity and enforcement figures for March 2019. Illinois State Police District 21 Troopers issued 333 citations, 566 written warnings, including 5 DUIs, 7 seatbelt citations, 10 criminal arrests. Troopers also assisted 538 motorists, conducted 159 Motor Carrier Inspections, and investigated 129 traffic crashes. There were two fatal crashes investigated by District 21 in March. According to the National Safety Council the major contributing factors to motor-vehicle deaths in the United States are lack of occupant protection, alcohol, speeding, young drivers, distractions, and large trucks. In an effort to reduce fatalities, the Illinois State Police uses enforcement activities and educational programs to fight these major contributing factors.



 

(Paxton--jc)  The Grand Ole Flag project in the city of Paxton continues to move forward. The Paxton Buckley Loda School Board gave its O-K for the area for the giant flag. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold says the cities part will now be to get approval from the state and Federal Aviation Administration…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- Along with the Tin Cup Restaurant at the Lakeview Golf Course in Loda, another restaurant has made its debut this month. The Country House Restaurant is now open on Paxton’s west side. The restaurant is open from 6am to 8 pm Monday’s through Saturdays.  Sundays hours are 7am to 8pm.

 

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Southern Illinois University officials hope Illinois Veteran's Education Will Get Paid For

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Southern Illinois University officials hope the new governor will fund a decades-old state commitment to educate veterans that has been passed off on universities in recent years. The Illinois Veterans Grant pays for all Illinois veterans' tuition and required fees at its public colleges, community colleges and universities if they return to the state after completing their service. The state hasn't reimbursed any colleges under the program since 2012.

 

NEW YORK (AP) — There's at least one area of agreement among conservative, centrist and liberal leaders in the United Methodist Church: America's largest mainline Protestant denomination is on a path toward likely breakup over differences on same-sex marriage and ordination of LGBT pastors.The differences have simmered for years, and came to a head in February at a conference in St. Louis where delegates voted 438-384 for a proposal called the Traditional Plan, which strengthens bans on LGBT-inclusive practices. A majority of U.S.-based delegates opposed that plan and favored LGBT-friendly options, but they were outvoted by U.S. conservatives teamed with most of the delegates from Methodist strongholds in Africa and the Philippines. Many believe the vote will prompt an exodus from the church by liberal congregations that are already expressing their dissatisfaction over the move.

 

(Gifford-jc) Gordyville USA near Gifford is the venue for an area F-F-A Ag Expo. The Rantoul F-F-A chapter ag expo will feature a petting zoo and activities for kids.The event runs from 9am until 2pm on Tuesday.  The group is inviting area schools to attend. The public can attend from 2-30 until 4-30 tomorrow.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. J.B. Pritzker predicts a growth in wind-energy development after signing a law streamlining zoning rules. The Democrat signed legislation Friday that allows only counties and municipalities to establish standards for developing wind farms. Townships will no longer have authority in the process.

 

(Springfield--jc) Today is Earth Day and the Illinois Department of Transportation is giving out 5 thousand trees to local school districts. The effort is in celebration o of Earth Day and a way to improve communities in Illinois says I-Dot Spokesperson Jessie Decker…

 

 

I-Dot Spokesperson Jessie Decker.

 

630 am new(Springfield--jc)  An expert says Lyme disease cases in Illinois will likely continue to rise this year after having shown a gradual increase in recent years.Chris Stone, director of the Medical Entomology Laboratory at the Illinois Natural History Survey, said Lyme disease has doubled over the last decade.Stone said there's no definite way to forecast the increase of Lyme disease, which is caused by tick bites, but the trend in recent years gives experts an idea of what should be expected.

 

COLLINSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana is scheduled to speak later this month at a congressional prayer breakfast in southern Illinois. Scalise was injured in June 2017 when he was shot while practicing for the annual congressional baseball game in Washington. The Belleville News-Democrat reports Scalise is speaking at the request of his Washington roommate, Republican U.S. Rep. John Shimkus of Collinsville.

 

(Paxton--jc)-- Work on the new Clara Petersen grade school continues. Some work on city intersections into the new facility are costing the city of Paxton an investment in the roads leading into the new facility. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold says the work will help widen the roads for buses and school traffic…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- A group called “Save the Paxton Pool” has been formed after officials with the Paxton Park District gave notice on reduced hours for the local pool this summer. The group is looking to find its leaders and have met once to find direction and to initially plan strategies. WPXN News has talked with group members and will continue to follow them on future newscasts. Anyone interested  in helping with the group are invited to a meeting on tonight at 6pm at the Cobblestone Hotel on Paxton’s west side.

 

(Buckley--jc) Garage sale days are Friday and Saturday in Buckley. The St. John’s Lutheran Church Ladies Aid is planning a garage sale and bake sale at Christ Lutheran High School. The sales begin at 7-30 each morning.


 

(Springfield--jc)  Illinois farmers grow quite a bit of corn and soybeans. Officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service say the Prairie State ranked first in the nation in terms of soybean production and second in corn production in 2017. Illinois also has the most horseradish acres and pumpkin farm acreage.

 

(Chicago--jc) One Illinois based public health organization is seeking public funds to battle against anti-vaccination rhetoric that it says has fueled a measles outbreak. WPXN’s Joel Cluver the has story…

 

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- Rantoul Township High School board members have set their reorganizational meeting for Tuesday night. The board will seat its members and the elect a board president and place committees. The meeting comes to order at 7 Tuesday night at the high school.

 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- The Village of Rantoul is set to invest 15 million dollars if a proposal moves forward with the University of Illinois. The A-Tel company is already using a portion of the former Chanute Air Force Base and the group along with the University of Illinois want to bring autonomous vehicle testing to that area. Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith says the idea will be a good economic development for the village…

 

Village of Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- While members of the General Assembly debate allowing recreational marijuana in Illinois, the state’s Department of Agriculture is preparing for legalization. Director of Agriculture John Sullivan says he wasn’t sure the department would need to draw on the requested $8 million, but like medical marijuana, plants intended for recreational use would be grown and processed in officially sanctioned cultivation centers and distributed through licensed dispensaries. Sullivan says it’s very different than a customary crop, such as corn or soybeans or wheat.  The growing of marijuana is as very heavily regulated and it’s a tremendous amount of oversight and a tremendous amount of security at the growing centers Other areas of concern are employee safety and security and proper delivery. Sullivan says he envisions any dollars dolled out by the state in a new bill would be used for regulatory purposes.

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- If acting State Police Director Brendan Kelly has his way, more troopers would be on Illinois roadways enforcing distracted driving. Kim Howard reports…

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- Nearly six in ten people who use recreational cannabis in states where it is legal drive while high, according to polling.Insurance comparison site The Zebra polled more than 800 marijuana users that live in states where it’s legal to use recreationally. Fifty-nine percent said they drive while under the influence.Market insight director Alyssa Connolly said the anonymous responses from those polled show that the some based their decision to drive on how they felt at the time.Beyond field sobriety testing, Connolly said there’s no way to accurately test for levels of impairment, which creates issues for law enforcement.The inability for law enforcement to detect marijuana intoxication in a breathalyzer-type way has left some lawmakers saying they won’t support legalizing recreational cannabis.

 

 

 

GALESBURG, Ill. (AP) — The head of one of Chicago's premier attractions is slated to give the keynote address to Knox College graduates this year. The western Illinois school announced Tuesday that Shedd Aquarium CEO Bridget Coughlin will deliver the 2019 commencement address on June 2. Commencement speakers at the Galesburg-based college have previously included Barack Obama,  and comedian Stephen Colbert.

 

(Springfield--jc)  --It's not out of the ordinary for Illinois lawmakers to propose a lot of new laws. But for those bills to get approval by Illinois Senators, and unanimously for that matter, it's noteworthy. The Illinois Senate spent the last days before thes spring break passing a number of new proposed laws. One would create a statewide database for people who violate the Americans with Disabilities Act, another would allow schools to teach hunter safety and a third would create a website to report potholes statewide. State Sen. Dan McConchie says the potholes website idea has worked in the Chicago area for a number of years.The State Senator is proposing the idea for a statewide website. The measure moves to the Illinois House when they get back to work after the Easter Holiday.

 

(Rantoul--jc)  The Community Service Center, based in Rantoul, is hosting a food distribution event on Saturday. The food distribution starts at 9 in the morning. All low-income residents of Champaign County are eligible.  Those eligible need to bring an I-D with current address and a box. More information is found by calling the Community Service Center at  893-1530.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and museum is hosting a new train exhibit in May. The exhibit is called, All-Aboard--America’s Love of Railroads. The exhibit kicks off May 10th to help celebrate the 150th anniversary of the first transcontinental railroad says  museum spokesperson Chris Wills…

 

 

Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum Spokesperson Chris Wills

Admission is free to the exhibit on May 12th and then will remain at the museum through the end of the year.

 


 

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 Illinois Spends More on Public School Administrators Per Student Than Any Other State in the Nation.

(Springfield--jc)  Illinois spends more on public school administrators per student than any other state in the nation. A new analysis of public school spending by the Chicago-based Metropolitan Planning Council found Illinois spends $544 per student on administrative, non-teaching costs. That’s more than double the national average. Illinois was the only state that spent more than $1 billion in administrative costs in 2016. Illinois has 852 school districts. That's more than any other state.

 

(Chicago--jc)  Will Governor. J.B. Pritzker have to stop pushing for his graduated tax plan if the constitutional amendment makes it to the ballot? Illinois state law bans the use of public funds to promote a ballot initiative as well as a constitutionally-elected officer from “campaigning for any elective office or for or against any referendum question The Daily Herald Editorial Board criticized Pritzker for traveling the state to promote what he calls a "fair tax" and for posting a calculator on Illinois’ public state website asking people to find out how their taxes would be different under his proposed rates should the income tax change the way he wants it to.

 

(Undated--jc)  Metro areas in the state are losing population. WPXN’s Braedon Arnett has the numbers…

 

 

(Gibson CIty--jc) Gibson City leaders will hear a special use liquor permit for a local festival when they meet on Monday night.  A live music festival is scheduled in the city on May 17th. The council will also hear an announcement concerning the “Friday Night Under the Lights In Downtown Gibson City”. An update on the Ed Day Skate Park and a look at the local ball diamonds is also  on Monday night’s agenda. The Gibson City Council meeting comes to order at 7 on Monday at the meeting room on 8th street.


 

(Ludlow--jc)  -- Ludlow village leaders want to hear from residents on a proposed water main and pump house replacement project. A public hearing is set for Tuesday April 23rd at 6pm, One proposal for the village is a 2 point 8 million dollar renovation project. Just under 70 percent would be paid for by the U S Department of Agriculture. The hearing is an informational meeting and public input is wanted.

 

 

(Bloomington--jc)  As Illinoi Governor JB Pritzker continues to push a graduated tax through the House and Senate in Springfield, one local state senator has some concerns. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says the issue needs more safeguards before a constitutional vote takes place…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington

The issue is expected to move forward when lawmakers return to Springfield after the Easter holiday

 

 

(Washington--ba)-Measuring portion size is one way to limit the candy and sugary treats in Easter baskets. USDA’s Rod Bain reports.

 

 

(Washington--ba)-Egg producers are seeing prices falling at a time when those prices would be expected to go up. UDSA’s Gary Crawford reports.

 

 


 

(Paxton--jc)  At the Paxton IGA cookout on Saturday, its pork chops, chips and soda. The cookout runs from 10am until 2pm . Funds raised help the Paxton Peace Meal Program.

 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- It’s Easter Egg hunting time on Saturday in Rantoul. The Rantoul CORE group is hosting the event at noon on Saturday at Wabash Park. Some prizes will be awarded and the Easter Bunny will also be in attendance. The event is open to all children

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois education officials are considering whether the cost of teacher licensure tests may be contributing to the state's teacher shortage.The Illinois State Board of Education discussed  how to solve the problem while still maintaining high quality in classrooms. Higher-education partners and teacher candidates have told board members that one basic skills test costs $113 and another test is $300. The board indefinitely has put on hold the Test of Academic Proficiency starting June 30 while it studies other ways to test teachers' basic skills. Three bills are pending in the Illinois General Assembly that would eliminate the test or refund the cost to certain teachers. A board lobbyist says it has taken a neutral position on bills eliminating the test.

 

 

 

(Washington--ba)-Since Easter lilies in the ground don't bloom until summer, how are they produced to be available for the Easter holiday? USDA’s Rod Bain reports.

 

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- It’s Draggin’ Main in Paxton Saturday evening. WPXN’s Braedon Arnett has the details…

 

 

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  The Illinois Department of Transportation is giving out 5 thousand trees to local school districts. Handing out seedlings to some schools has become  a tradition in honor of Earth Day on April 22 says Illinois Department of Transportation Spokesperson Jessie Decker…

 

 

I-Dot Spokesperson Jessie Decker

 

CHICAGO (AP) — The year's Chicago Gospel Music Festival will include a tribute to the "Queen of Soul" Aretha Franklin. The 2019 festival runs May 31 to June 1 in Chicago's lakefront Millennium Park and the Chicago Cultural Center. City officials say the first night of the festival will feature artists honoring Franklin with a program called "Amazing Grace." Franklin died last summer at age 76.

 

(Springfield--jc)  --Craft distillers in the state have received good news from the Illinois House.A measure recently approved would license them based on size, giving smaller distillers some advantages. The system is modeled on the way craft brewers and winemakers currently are treated in the state.State Representative Tom Demmer of Dixon, is the lead sponsor of the bill in the House. He said the industry is small, but growing in Illinois.

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- One local company in Paxton is hosting an Easter Egg hunt on Saturday. Officials with Accolade Healthcare Paxton Senior Living Facility say the event is set for Saturday starting at 10am. The event is open to kids ages 1 through 10.  The Easter Bunny will also be in attendance for pictures

 

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Some Democrats are Unhappy with J.B. Pritzker's Plan to Short the State's Teacher Pension Fund

(Springfield--jc)  --Some Democrats are unhappy with Gov. J.B Pritzker’s plan to short the state’s teacher pension fund for several years.On the campaign trail, Pritzker said the state should pay more into pensions, likening it to paying down a credit card debt earlier. But in his first budget proposal, he said the state should restructure payments and pay less than what’s required in the coming years. The state would pay more after voters approve his proposed graduated income tax structure, which would hike rates for those making more than $250,000 a year.Speaking on "Chicago Tonight," Deputy Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford, D-Maywood, said not all Democrats are on board with that idea.

 

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — A Champaign-area bus company sued last year for an ad that the state's top law enforcement official said harassed and discriminated against Chinese students at the University of Illinois will be allowed to keep operating. The consent decree approved by a federal judge to settle former Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's lawsuit calls for Suburban Express to make a six-figure payment for customer refunds, implement anti-discrimination training for employees, and be closely monitored by the attorney general's office for three years. In adding to the story, the News Gazette reports that Suburban Express may have violated the consent decree. The Attorney General’s office is seeking a 10 thousand dollar fine. A hearing on that issue is set for next week.

 

(Undated--jc)  -- The American Alliance of Museums recently re-accredited the Illinois State Museum, giving the facility one of the highest distinctions available to museums.There are an estimated 33,000 museums in the U.S. About 1,070 museums nationwide qualify for accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums.Robert Sill, interim director of the Illinois State Museum, said the museum had to go through a rigorous process to get its accreditation.

 

 

(Gibson City--jc)  Two bills that that were stopped in committee during the first part of the Spring session in Springfield dealt with gun laws. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says the 2nd amendment would have come into play with the measures…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson city

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- The Paxton Buckley Loda School board has set its reorganizational meeting. The local board will meet on Wednesday April 24th at 6pm. At that time, two new board members will be sworn in and board officers will be appointed for a two year period.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is urging the public to be prepared for strong spring storms. After a recent April snowstorm, the forecast calls for severe storms and  code red warning today. I-EMA Spokesperson Rebecca Clark says its important to be prepared…

 

 

I-EMA Spokesperson Rebecca Clark

 

(Washington--jc) Are you hunting eggs this year? We hear from Gary Crawford…

 

 

(Saybrook--jc) One local American Legion Post has a new way to welcome legion members and guests. The Saybrook  American Legion Post has placed a new sign at the David Humphrey Daniel Legion Post 427.

 

(Rantoul--jc)  The Rantoul Recreation Department has announced a special sale for pool passes at the Hap Parker Aquatic Center. The sale will run from May 1st through May 8th. One special is a family of 4 season pass is 250 dollars. During the special sale dates, the family season pass is 200 dollars. Other deals are also available. More is found by contacting the Rantoul Recreation Department.

 

(Springfield--jc)  When it comes to fatal crashes on Illinois roads, the top reason is distracted driving. Kim Howard reports…

 

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Department of Agriculture plans to honor former state agriculture director and former U.S. Agriculture Secretary John Rusling Block. The agency said Wednesday that it plans to dedicate a plaque with Block's likeness on Monday morning at the Illinois Department of Agriculture building in Springfield. Block served at U.S. agriculture secretary under President Ronald Reagan from 1981 to 1986.

 

(Gibson City--jc)  -- Gibson City Melvin Sibley School board members will meet on Monday for its reorganizational meeting. The new board will elect a board chairman and other officers. The board will also look at donations for the Gibson City Melvin Sibley Boosters Club. The reorganizational meeting comes to order at 6-15 on Monday night at the meeting room at the high school.

 

CHAMPAIGN — The Parkland College Foundation has announced its selection of David J. Downey, founder and president of The Downey Group, as the 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year. Mr. Downey will receive the V. Dale Cozad Entrepreneur of the Year Award during Parkland College's 10th annual Entrepreneur of the Year Banquet, presented by SUPERVALU, Inc. An annual fundraiser for the Parkland College Entrepreneurial Program, the banquet will be held Wednesday, June 12, at the I Hotel and Conference Center in Champaign.  

 

(Gifford--jc)  A work conflict is the reason the Gifford Grade school board has changed its meeting date. The date for this month’s meeting is 6pm on April 24th at the school board meeting room.


 

(Washington--jc)  -- It will cost the Easter Bunny considerably less to bring us those eggs this year. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- Ford County Public Health Department is now offering Shingrix vaccine to adults 55 years of age and older. Shingrix helps protect against shingles, a painful rash that is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox.  According to the Centers for Disease Control , two doses of Shingrix is more than 90 percent effective at preventing shingles. About one in every three people in the United States will get shingles. The risk of shingles increases as you get older.  The Ford County Health Department has set a charge of 160 dollars per per dose. Staff members at the Paxton office can help you determine whether your insurance company will cover any of that cost. Contact office at 217-379-9281 to schedule an appointment.

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(Chicago--jc)0 A pro-progressive tax group has released more commercials that will run statewide to convince Illinoisans and their lawmakers to support a graduated income tax.Think Big Illinois announced three new ads  that are set to run on radio and television in markets across the state.The ads say a progressive tax that takes higher percentages of a wealthier person's income is fairer than the flat tax the state currently has.

 

In case you were on the fence about what type of candy to hand out to the kids this Easter, go with the Reece's.Retail research site retailmenot.com says Illinoisans' favorite Easter candy remains Reece's Peanut Butter Chocolate Eggs.Twenty-eight other states also had the non-cupped peanut butter chocolate treats as their top confection for the holiday.  

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Illinois Lawmakers say That State Workers Should Live in Illinois

(Springfield--jc)  Should Illinois’ state workers be required to actually live in Illinois?Illinois lawmakers in the state Senate gave that question a resounding “yes” .The legislation would give a new employee not living within the state's boundaries three months to establish residency in Illinois. Under the issue, any position filled after December 31 of this year, any person may be appointed to a position based in the State of Illinois but they would need to become a resident of the State of Illinois within 3 months

 

(Paxton--jc)  Around 90 Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce members attended the annual meeting last night at the Engelbrecht Farm Event Center. Those attending enjoyed a meal catered by the Pueblo Lindo Restaurant and heard from several speakers including Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold who provided an update on the Paxton Streetscape program. Alan Meyer was elected as the new President of the Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce.

 

(Springfield--jc)  --Hundreds of political groups across the state of Illinois are likely missing the deadline to file paperwork with the Illinois State Board of Elections.ISBE said Monday that 1,143 political committees still had not filed required quarterly reports, which were due by midnight. The agency said that figure accounts for more than a quarter of all the active political committees in the state.

 

(Springfield--ba)-The Illinois senate unanimously passed a bill this week to raise awareness about the state’s move-over law. The legislation requires the secretary of state’s office to include a reminder about the law in registration renewal notices…and to include a question about it on the written driver’s exam. It’s sponsored by Senator Chapin Rose of Mahomet and prompted by the increase in state troopers being hit by passing motorists.

 

51st District State Senator Chapin Rose of Mahomet

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- A group called “Save the Paxton Pool” has been formed after officials with the Paxton Park District gave notice on reduced hours for the local pool this summer. The group is looking to find its leaders and have met once to find direction and to initially plan strategies. WPXN News has talked with group members and will continue to follow them on future newscasts. Anyone interested  in helping with the group are invited to a meeting on Monday night at 6pm at the Cobblestone Hotel on Paxton’s westside.

 

 

(Watseka--jc)  After devastating floods in the Iroquois County seat of Watseka, one business has its sign back up at a new location. The Watseka McDonalds sign was erected on Tuesday at the restaurant’s location along Route 24 near the downtown of the city.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — The cardinal of the Archdiocese of Chicago is offering prayers for the people of France after fire engulfed parts of Paris' iconic Notre Dame cathedral. Cardinal Blase Cupich asked others to join him in offering prayers for first responders, renovation workers and cathedral staff. It took firefighters more than 12 hours Monday and Tuesday to extinguish the blaze. Cupich says Chicago Catholics stand "arm in arm" with the people of France. 

 

(Urbana--jc)  -- Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup is releasing the name of a woman who reportedly fell from the roof of a home located at 54 E. John Street in Champaign, on the early morning hours of April 13. 21-year-old Destyni Thomas of Urbana, was pronounced dead at Carle Foundation Hospital at just before noon on the 13th. Thomas died from a traumatic head injury she received from the fall. This death is under investigation by the Coroner’s Office and the Champaign Police Department.



 

(Springfield--jc)  - Most people may soon be able to get booze delivered with their groceries. The State Senate passed a bill setting a statewide standard for alcohol delivery. It’s sponsored by State Senator Andy Manar…

 

 

State Senator Andy Manar


 

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- Should 5th grade students be allowed to participate in Paxton Buckley Loda cross-country and track and field programs. That is one question for the P-B-L School board. The issue came before the board at this month’s monthly meeting. The board is looking for input on the subject and the request will be part of a future board meeting.

 

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — The College of Engineering at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign will be renamed in honor of alumnus William Grainger. School officials say The Grainger College of Engineering name recognizes a new $100 million gift from The Grainger Foundation. The foundation has committed more than $300 million to the school. UI officials say that's the largest amount ever give to a public university to name a college of engineering. The new name is pending approval from trustees.

 

(Springfield--jc)  Have you seen the don’t drink, don’t text signs along the Interstate 57 and Interstate 74 corridor? As a part of a promotional campaign, the Illinois Department of Transportation has been posting clever phrases to its digital information boards. WIth the spirit  of Tax Day, the department's latest anti-drunken driving initiative sign reads "Think taxes are expensive? A DUI costs $18,000."

 

(Springfield--jc)  --As Illinois lawmakers prepare to vote on a constitutional amendment to change the state's flat income tax to a graduated one, debate on the topic continued Monday even with the legislature off for a two-week break.The City Club of Chicago hosted four lawmakers this week, two Democrats and two Republicans, to make their case regarding a progressive income tax, which would have higher rates for higher earners.Peoria Republican Senator Chuck Weaver said the biggest reason Democrats want a progressive tax is to make it easier to raise taxes on a small number of high-earners.

 

(Springfield--jc)  Farmers are struggling to get time in the fields as we hear in the initial weekly crop report. Just over 1 day was suitable for fieldwork this past week says State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  - Rantoul police and Champaign County Crimestoppers are seeking information about an armed robbery in Rantoul that happened early Tuesday morning. Authorities say a subject entered the Casey’s store on Route 45 and Route 136 around 4-30 Tuesday morning. The suspect showed a knife and demanded cash. The suspect left with an undisclosed amount of cash. Anyone with information is asked to call Rantoul police or Champaign County Crimestoppers

 

(Champaign--jc)  -- What are the prospects of more flooding this Spring both locally and statewide. Illinois water Survey in Champaign Spokesperson Brian Kerschner says we can look forward to above average wet conditions…

 

 

Illinois Water Survey in Champaign Spokesperson Brian Kerschner.

 

AURORA, Ill. (AP) — Autopsies on the five employees killed when a gunman opened fire in February at a suburban Chicago manufacturing plant determined that all of them had been shot more than once. The (Aurora) Beacon-News reports that the reports released on Tuesday by the Kane County Coroner's Office concluded that none of the five victims was shot at close range.

 

(Gibson City--jc)  The proposed graduated tax issue continues to move forward in Springfield. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says he is opposed to giving a blank check to raise taxes…

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City. Bennett was in attendance of last nights Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting and Banquet held at Engelbrecht Farms in rural Paxton.

 

 

(Rankin--jc)  -- Rankin village leaders continue to work with owners of the property that housed the former Rankin school on the east side of Route 49. Owners of the property have paid fines from the Vermilion County Public Health Department. Owners of the property have a purpose for the land with a special needs school. Rankin Village leaders want to see the matter resolved without using town funds.

 

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- The Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce 2019 Freedom Festival Celebration and Parade plans continue. This years event in the village will feature a Freedom Festival Sundowners Car Show. The Car Show will run 4 to 8 pm on July 3rd,t and will include cars as well as trucks and motorcycles. The event is sponsored by Reynolds Towing. Greg’s Truck and Auto is another sponsor for this years car show. The 2019 Freedom Festival Celebration will begin at 4 pm and continue until 11 pm at the Hap Parker Aquatic Center in Rantoul with live bands , an expanded  and free Kids Zone , Beer Tent and Garden and the legendary grilled BBQ by the Rantoul American Legion. Other attractions this year are numerous food vendors, activities at the Hap Parker Aquatic Center , ending with the famous Rantoul Freedom Celebration Fireworks Extravaganza sponsored by the Village of Rantoul at dusk.There is no charge for parking. One fundraiser at the event are rides on the Hall Brothers Racing Monster Truck Raminator. The money raised will help support the RantouL Veterans’ Memorial.Then on July 4, you can start the day with the  Rantoul Rotary Breakfast starting at 7-30. The annual parade steps off at 10am on July 4th. Those wanting to help or participate with the local festival are asked to contact Belynda Allen at the chamber office at 893-3323.

 

(Paxton--jc)  The city of Paxton is set to launch its new website today. The announcement was made at last night’s Paxton Chamber event. More information is found on line at city-of-Paxton-dot-com.

 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- Need help learning how to meditate?  A program at a local library can help. Learn the basics of mindfulness meditation, and how to get the most from your practice at the Mindfulness Meditation Group in Rantoul every Sunday afternoon from 1:30- 3. There will be instruction, discussion, and meditation. You will learn how to: overcome stress and depression, improve your relationships with loved ones, heal and transform the wounds from your past, enhance your spiritual development, and realize true inner peace and happiness. It is ideal for both beginner and experienced meditators. The cost is FREE and there is no need to register. More information is found by calling the Rantoul Public Library.

 

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