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WPXN Blog

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

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Buckley Mayor Sherry Stachura.

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Local State Senator Jason Barickman.

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

New

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

 

 

PRIDE in Paxton Director Teri Hancock.

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

PBL FFA Member Christina White.

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

Champaign County Farm Bureau Assistant Manager Bailey Conrady. 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

New

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

 

 

PRIDE in Paxton Director Teri Hancock.

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

PBL FFA Member Christina White.

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

Champaign County Farm Bureau Assistant Manager Bailey Conrady. 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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Prototypes of electric vehicles were unveiled Sunday by Rivian Automotive

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

Buckley Mayor Sherry Stachura.

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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


 

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

 

CLHS Executive Director Sandy Spitz.

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

State Department of Natural Resources Spokesperson Rachel Torbert. 

 

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

State Representative Allen Skillicorn.

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

PBL FFA Member Autumn Bruens

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

State Climatologist Trent Ford.

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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The US Department of Agriculture is investing $18 million in Illinois to improve rural broadband internet service

(Springfield-jm) -- Nine Democratic lawmakers are calling on Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul to investigate the business practices of the College Board and sale of data it collects from students who take the SAT and PSAT exams.  The College Board’s practice of selling student data through its program called Student Search Service was the subject of national news reports by the New York Times and Washington Post, among others. In May, a representative from the College Board, Todd Iverson, confirmed to the state Senate Judiciary Committee that the company sells access to data from Illinois students for 45 cents per student. That testimony came as the panel was considering legislation to strengthen the state’s Student Online Personal Protection Act.

 

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — University of Illinois officials continue to investigate anti-Semitic incidents at the Urbana-Champaign campus, including the painting Monday of a swastika in the school's Foreign Languages Building. In an email to students and staff, Chancellor Robert Jones saysa student also raised concerns about ""anti-Semitic content" at a staff development program for university housing workers. Jones said the two incidents "challenge our fundamental values of tolerance and inclusion."

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A state task force recommends consolidating downstate and suburban police and fire pensions. There are nearly 650 of these small, local pension systems and Governor J-B Pritzker says consolidating their assets would produce higher rates of return and give relief to taxpayers…

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Under the plan, the separate pension systems would be consolidated into just two, one for police and one for fire. Pritzker says he’d like lawmakers to pass the proposal when they return for the fall veto session later this month. 

 

 

(Piper City-jm) -- Piper City’s Branch Park will receive some much needed upgrades. Village trustees approved putting mulch down instead of pea gravel under the new playground equipment and the existing merry-go-round and monkey bars. The village will also install new baby and inclusion swings. The work will be done by a local business.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Ford County Public Health Department is holding flu clinics throughout the county during the month of October. Ford County Public Health Department Administrator Lana Sample says one of those clinics is happening this weekend…

 

 

Ford County Public Health Department Administrator Lana Sample.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A local state representative will hold traveling office hours in Rantoul today. State Representative Mike Marron will hold office hours from 9-11 am at the Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce office in downtown Rantoul. 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The US Department of Agriculture is investing $18 million in Illinois to improve rural broadband internet service. The money comes from grants from the Community Connect Grant Program and the Rural Broadband Access Loan. USDA officials say it will open a new world of commerce, education and healthcare in rural communities.



(Washington-jm) -- USDA forecasts for corn and soybean production this month reflect an adjustment down for each of those crops. Rod Bain has the details…

 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois saw nearly $40 billion in taxes in 2018, a nearly 5% increase from 2017. The data comes from the U-S Census Bureau’s annual survey of state and government tax collections. The majority came from sales and income taxes.

 

(Undated--jc)  Halloween is three weeks away. How much is spent on goodies and costumes and what is the favorite Halloween candy in the state. Joel Cluver has the details..

 

 

The Iroquois County Public Health Department will hold a flu clinic today from 9 to 10:30 at the Iroquois Farmers State Bank in Iroquois and from 12 to 2 at Beaverville Hardware.

 

A Rules of the Road review course will be held today from 10 to noon at the Gibson City Telecare.

 

Paxton IGA and Boy Scout Troop 32 will host a ribeye steak sandwich cookout from 10 until 2 on Saturday at the Paxton IGA.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A National Public Radio station licensed by the University of Illinois is objecting to a requirement that its reporters tell school officials about confidential complaints of university-related sexual harassment they receive. NPR Illinois published a letter late Thursday arguing that the First Amendment exempts its reporters, who are university employees, from a requirement to report sexual misconduct.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois State Police are loosening their policy to draw more potential new hires. Next year those wanting to join will no longer need a bachelor’s degree in order to apply. Illinois State Police cite a decline in troopers for the reason in the change. They say in 2009 2,119 troopers were out on the roads. This year that number is down to 1,767.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- This is Cyber Security Month in Illinois and experts say keeping your information safe starts with a solid password. Your password should be hard to crack, but doesn’t have to be overly complicated says State Chief Information Security Officer Adam Ford. He recommends a phrase like “I like Pizza,” then adding a symbol and a number. Ford says you also shouldn’t use the same password for everything…

 

 

State Chief Information Security Officer Adam Ford. Ford says you should change your password often and do not write it down anywhere. 


 

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


 

(Buckley-jm) -- Buckley residents don’t have to go far to get their groceries. Mayor Sherry Stachura says the villages grocery store is open and ready for business…

 

 

Buckley Mayor Sherry Stachura.

 

 

(Ford County-jm) -- The Governor Thomas Ford Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution are accepting entries for their annual American history essay contest. The contest is open to all Ford County students. There are two classes, 5th through 8th grades and high school. Essays must be received by November 29th. For more information, call Carol George at 847-855-9036.

 

(Washington-jm) -- Get ready for another round of U.S./China trade talks this week. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois is the least tax friendly state in the country according to a new report. The report shows property taxes in Illinois are the second highest in the country with a home assessed at $100,000 paying approximately $2,400 in taxes. The report also found the local and state sales tax is the 7th highest in the country at 8 point 78 percent. The bad news continues for the state. The state’s gas tax is the third highest in the country and tax on cell phones puts the state at number one at 20 point 91 percent. The only bright spot in the report is Illinois’ income tax of 4.95 percent comes in slightly higher than surrounding states.

 

 

CHICAGO (AP) — Exelon says in a new public filing that it and its electric utility, ComEd, have received a second federal subpoena asking about lobbying in Illinois and communications with a state senator whose offices the FBI recently raided. The Securities and Exchange Commission filing Wednesday says last week’s subpoena “requires production of records of any communications with certain individuals and entities,” including state Sen. Martin Sandoval. Authorities haven’t disclosed the purpose of multiple raids this year at homes and offices of Illinois Democrats. Agents entered Sandoval’s Capitol office last month.

 

Fisher townwide garage sales will take place today and tomorrow.

 

The Loda American Legion will hold their monthly Fish and Chicken Fry tonight.

 

Rick and Friends will perform at the Melvin Community Hall on Saturday at 7 pm. A dinner featuring sloppy joes will be sold by the Melvin Women’s Club will start at 5:30 pm.

 

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

 

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Drivers need to be on the look out for deer

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. J.B. Pritzker has released a five-year economic plan for Illinois that builds on the state’s strongest sectors such as agriculture, health care and transportation. The Democrat’s “Plan to Revitalize the Illinois Economy and Build the Workforce of the Future” was released Wednesday. Pritzker says he wants “to bring prosperity and opportunity to every corner of Illinois.”  The plan’s goals include building long-term growth through exports, startups, research and development and more. It also aims to invest in women, racial minorities, rural residents and others to close the “equity gap,” and sets sights on creating and retaining jobs.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- It’s that time of year when drivers need to be extra watchful for deer crossing the road. It’s mating season for deer, plus hunters are in the fields, which usually means an increase in deer activity. Illinois Department of Natural Resources Spokesperson Rachel Torbert says it’s a good idea to keep an eye out when you’re driving…

 

 

Illinois Department of Natural Resources Spokesperson Rachel Torbert. There were more than 15 thousand collisions between cars and deer reported in Illinois last year. 630 people were injured as a result and eight died. 

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- A Gibson City funeral home director has been charged with stealing more than $60,000 from her former employer. Michelle Rosenbaum was charged with one count of theft over $10,000. Rosenbaum allegedly took more than $40,000 from the Lamb Young Funeral Home’s business account to pay her personal credit card bills. She also allegedly made more than $10,000 in unauthorized purchases on the funeral home’s credit card. Last fall, Rosenbaum opened her own funeral home in Gibson City. She is due back in court October 23.

 

(Champaign--jc)  -- Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup is releasing the name of a Shelbyville man who has died from injuries sustained after being involved in a single motorcycle crash on September 11thin Effingham County. Randy James, 61, of Shelbyville, died at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, Illinois on October 09, from injuries sustained as the operator in a single motorcycle crash. This death is being investigated by the Champaign County Coroner’s Office and the Illinois State Police District 12. 

 

 

DANVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Prosecutors in an eastern Illinois county say a sheriff's deputy was justified when he fatally shot an inmate who attacked and stabbed him in a courthouse holding cell. Vermilion County State's Attorney Jacqueline Lacy says Deputy Kyle Janesky's actions in inmate Daryl Perkins' fatal Aug. 23 shooting warrant no criminal charges and "deadly force was justified." Perkins had attacked Janesky as he was being held in a first-floor county courthouse cell in Danville for a hearing in his felony case.

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Farmers and ag leaders are paying close attention to the weather as cooler temperatures are expected to make their way into the area this weekend. One big area for concern is the potential for an early frost says Champaign County Farm Bureau Assistant Manager Bailey Conrady…

 

 

Champaign County Farm Bureau Assistant Manager Bailey Conrady.


(Ashkum--jc)  --The Illinois State Police District 21 is warning the community in regards to a scam being reported in District 21. According to reports, area residents are being called by a phone number that is spoofed to appear as if the number is actually from the Illinois State Police District 21.The scam artist advise the resident that their social security number had been used in a drug smuggling operation and attempt to obtain personal information. Please be advised, the Illinois State Police does not solicit over the phone. You should always remain skeptical when you receive an unsolicited call by ANYONE demanding personal information over the phone. Police say to never give personal information over the phone or  e-mail, Questions, concerns may be addressed by contacting the state police in Ashkum at 815-698-2332.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Three STDs have reached all time highs in the U-S. Cases of gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis have risen for the 5th consecutive year according to the C-D-C. Last year 2.4 million cases were reported. The C-D-C attributes the increase to an increasing number of people being tested and a decrease in condom use. The highest numbers were found in adolescents and young adults.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Bipartisan support appears to be building in the Illinois General Assembly for a statewide ban on red-light cameras. Those are devices that some municipalities install at intersections to detect drivers running through red lights or turning without coming to a full stop. Critics of those devices, however, argue they serve only to generate revenue and are a potential source of political corruption. 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A hearing originally scheduled for today on the fate of three dogs involved in a vicious attack that left another dog dead has been rescheduled. The hearing was supposed to be today at the Rantoul Municipal Building on an incident back in September on Eater Drive. Police say three dogs mauled a poodle to death while the three dogs owner allegedly recorded the attack and encouraged the dogs to attack. No word on when the hearing will be rescheduled.


 

(Paxton-jm) -- It may only be October but the City of Paxton along with PRIDE in Paxton are gearing up for the annual Christmas parade. PRIDE in Paxton Director Terri Hancock says they are looking for parade participants…

 

 

PRIDE in Paxton Director Terri Hancock. The parade will take place on Saturday, November 30th in downtown Paxton.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- The Iroquois County Public Health Department will be hosting a series of flu clinics throughout the county during the month of October. The health department will hold the clinics starting Friday 9-10:30 at the Iroquois Farmers State Bank in Iroquois and from 12-2 at Beaverville Hardware. Other dates and locations: Creekside Terrace Cissna Park (Oct. 17 2-3:30), Iroquois Farmers State Bank Gilman (Oct. 18 10-11:30), Crescent City Community Building (Oct. 18 1-3), ABRA in Sheldon (Oct 21 3-4), Presence Merkle-Knipprath in Clifton (Oct 22 3-4), Heritage Woods Watseka (Oct 25 10:30-11:30) and Citizens State Bank Milford (Oct 25 2:30-4). The health department will also give flu shots from 9 to noon at their office in Watseka. For more information, call 815-432-2483.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- A new study out says cooking at home may lower your risk of cancer. Researchers studied the diets and blood samples of 10 thousand people and those that cooked at home had lower PFA chemical levels in their systems. PFA chemicals are commonly found in takeout and fast food packaging and can lead to serious health issues such as cancer, thyroid issues, decreased fertility and low birth rate.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)--  Illinois drivers paid nearly $100 million more in gas taxes in July than in the same month in 2018 after lawmakers doubled the state's gas tax to pay for infrastructure projects. The state's gas tax increased from 19 cents a gallon to 38 cents a gallon on July 1. It was part of a slew of tax and fee increases that will be used to pay for a six-year, $45 billion statewide infrastructure program. State Representative. Allen Skillicorn, Republican from East Dundee, voted against the tax increase. He said he wants it to be repealed, in part because of the cloud of suspicion around Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Martin Sandoval, D-Chicago. Federal agents raided Sandoval's home and offices looking into allegations involving a kickback scheme, according to media reports.

 

 

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Rantoul Village Leaders approved a Multi-Million Dollar Sports Complex

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton City Council voted 7 to 1 last night to repeal the city’s ban on leaf burning. The ban originally went into effect last fall. The repeal is effective immediately. WPXN News will continue to follow this story.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Current and former leaders of the Illinois Air National Guard said Tuesday the obesity rate in the United States has become a national security threat and they urged state lawmakers to invest more in early childhood education programs that focus on nutrition, health and physical activity. Speaking at the Springfield school district’s Early Learning Center, Brig. Gen. Richard Neely, adjutant general of the Illinois National Guard, and three retired generals pointed to a recent study entitled “Unhealthy and Unprepared in Illinois.” It found 70 percent of young adults aged 17 to 24 in Illinois cannot qualify for military service, including 31 percent who would be disqualified due to obesity. Those numbers are almost identical to national averages, and the report says it’s a major reason why the U.S. Army fell short of its recruiting goals in 2018.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- This is Infant Safe Sleep Awareness Month and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is reminding parents of the A-B-C’s of safe sleep. Unsafe sleep practices are the leading cause of death for children one year and younger. D-C-F-S Spokesperson Deborah Lopez says you can help protect your little one by following the A-B-C’s... 

 

 

D-C-F-S Spokesperson Deborah Lopez. D-C-F-S says your baby’s crib should not have bumper pads, stuffed animals or pillows that could cause suffocation. And although it’s tempting, parents should not bring their baby to bed with them. 

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- University of Illinois police are investigating after a swastika was found in a campus bathroom stall. Police say the swastika was found in the bathroom stall inside the Foreign Language Building. The swastika was found Monday evening.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- One big issue facing lawmakers is redistricting reform. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says it's an issue that voters should decide…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A Rantoul man on parole for a shooting in the village 6 years ago is facing federal drug charges. Jyshawn Jackson is facing federal charges of distributing cocaine after he was arrested by agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration. Agents allegedly made several controlled buys since July. Jackson sold 67 grams of crack cocaine and 28 grams of cocaine. He was on parole for a shooting at Colonial Liquors on Maplewood Drive in July 2011. He was sentenced to 6 years in prison in 2013.

 

 

(Washington-jm) --  The U.S. continues to import more agricultural products than it exports. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The median household income was at an all-time high in 2018, although it was not equal across the country. According to the survey by USA Today, the median household income was just under $62,000 a year. Maryland came in the highest at $83,000 a year while West Virginia came in the lowest at $44,000 a year. Illinois was ranked 15th at $65,000.

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul village leaders approved a multi-million dollar sports complex at last nights village board meeting. The complex, near I-57, would feature eight baseball and softball fields as well as eight soccer and football fields. WPXN News will continue to follow this story.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Kroger and Walgreens are the latest retailers to announce they will stop selling e-cigarettes. The move comes after 1,080 confirmed and probable cases of vaping related illnesses have been reported causing at least 21 deaths in the U-S including one in Illinois. President Donald Trump has announced his administration is planning a ban on flavored tobacco products.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health says it’s time to get your annual flu shot. Flu season is here and everyone six months and older should be vaccinated says State Public Health Director Doctor Ngozi Ezike…

 

 

State Public Health Director Doctor Ngozi Ezike. It takes about two weeks for the shot to be fully effective. The public is also advised to wash their hands frequently, cover their coughs and stay home if they’re sick. Symptoms include fever, chills, cough, runny or stuffy nose, fatigue and body aches.

 

 

(Livingston County-jm) -- A Cabery man is dead following a crash in Livingston County. Ronald Hoegger was traveling on 2500 E near 3450 N in Broughton Township when his vehicle left the road and hit a bridge with concrete rails. Coroner Danny Watson pronounced Hoegger deceased at the scene.

 

 

(Buckley-jm) -- Do you have trivia knowledge and want to put it towards helping Christian education in east central Illinois? Christ Lutheran High School in Buckley will be holding their trivia night this Saturday says Executive Director Sandy Spitz…

 

 

Christ Lutheran High School Executive Director Sandy Spitz.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Congressional leaders still are trying to hammer out a new trade agreement with Canada and Mexico, and there's a lot on the line for workers in Illinois. Mary Scheurmann reports…

 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The deadline for the state to refund Suburban Express customers has been pushed back. A Northern District of Illinois judge pushed back the deadline from October 9th to April 3rd. The Illinois Attorney General's office filed a discrimination lawsuit in 2017 against the owner of the Champaign-Urbana based company stating the company discriminated against U of I students.

 

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President Donald Trump signed the U-S- Japan Trade Agreement

(Washington-jm) -- President Donald Trump signed the U-S- Japan Trade Agreement Monday at the White House. President Trump called the deal a game changer for farmers providing them with significantly enhanced access to a critical foreign market. Under the agreement, Japan will expand access to many US food and ag products including corn, poultry, beef, pork, soybeans and wheat. 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- A new survey has found more residents feel the state is heading in the right direction and the state’s economy is improving. 28 percent of people surveyed feel the state is heading in the right direction compared to 14 percent in 2018. The survey also measured Governor J-B Pritzker’s approval rating. 59 percent of people surveyed believed the Governor was doing a good job. Despite the optimism, 61 percent of those surveyed said they are considering leaving the state. The majority of those were in the 18 to 34 year old age group and cited taxes and government policy for reasons to leave.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says a new tax incentive will attract data center construction to Illinois. The incentive is offered to large data center projects, allowing for an exemption from sales taxes. There’s also a 20 percent income tax credit against wages if the center is located in an underserved area. Governor Pritzker says this will boost the state’s economy…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Pritzker says companies are already expressing an interest in locating to Illinois because of the new credit. 

 

 

(LeRoy-jm) -- Police in McLean County are looking for a Rankin man. LeRoy police stopped Wayne Yeary over the weekend at I-74 and U-S 136 for suspected driving under the influence. Yeary escaped into a corn field and has not been caught. Yeary is facing charges of aggravated DUI, driving on a revoked license and resisting arrest.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Changes could be coming to Paxtons burning ordinance. The city council will discuss changes to the ordinance at tonight's city council meeting. The council approved the ban of burning last fall. In addition, council members will be asked to approve sewer extensions on Jack Street, discussing putting up yield signs at Maple and Center, discuss and possibly approve a solar panel ordinance and year their annual audit report from Kemper CPA. The Paxton City Council meeting gets underway at 7 pm.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Harvest progress lags behind as we hear in the weekly crop report. 91 percent of corn has reached the dent stage, and 59 percent is mature says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 65 percent of soybeans are dropping leaves and 11 percent has been harvested. That compares to 40 percent harvested by now normally. Average statewide topsoil moisture held steady at eight percent very short, 15 percent short, 57 percent adequate and 20 percent surplus. 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- Crews working on the MCORE Project struck a gas line on the University of Illinois campus Monday. Fire crews were called to the area near the English Building and Lincoln Hall just before noon. 

 

 

(Thomasboro--jc)  --When Thomasboro School leaders meet next week, they are expected to continue to look a cost saving ideas for the district. The projection for the local school is several hundred thousand dollars in the red. With the later than usual tax bills sent out, some money will appear in the next year’s coffers. The Thomasboro School board meets on October 15th at the school.

 

 

(Paxton-jc)  -- The ghosts and goblins will again appear on Market Street in Paxton at the end of the month. The annual Paxton Halloween parade steps off at 4pm on Thursday October 31st from the Carnegie Library on Market street in the city. Those attending will parade to the fire house where they will receive a goody bag from WPXN and then also trick or treat in the downtown area of Paxton.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Law enforcement agencies from around the state are in Springfield training on investigating crashes involving motorcycles. The training is put on by the Illinois Association of Technical Accident Investigations. 10 to 20 percent of all accidents in Illinois involve motorcycles.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The American Red Cross is encouraging people to donate blood during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women. 268,000 women are expected to be diagnosed this year. The American Red Cross says many will need blood transfusions as well as platelet transfusions. For a list of blood donation locations visit red cross dot org.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Lottery is launching the latest “Ticket for the Cure” instant game, benefiting the fight against breast cancer. The revamped speciality ticket is now available and goes to a good cause says Lottery Spokesperson Jason Schaumburg…

 

 

Illinois Lottery Spokesperson Jason Schaumburg. The Ticket for a Cure costs three dollars to play and has a top prize of 50 thousand dollars. 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Some area emergency management agencies are receiving federal grant money. The U-S Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration awarded the state’s emergency management agency more than $600,000 to focus on the state’s response capabilities when dealing with hazardous materials related transportation incidents. Locally, Champaign County EMA will receive over $6,900, Douglas County EMA $20,000, Kankakee County EMA over $11,800 and the Illinois Fire Service Institute over $178,000.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul village board leaders are expected to approve a construction contract for a new 20 million dollar sports complex at tonight’s village board meeting. Village trustees will be asked to approve the contract with Byrne and Jones Construction for the project on the villages west side. In addition to the sports complex, village trustees will be asked to approve the purchase of three new police interceptors and an engineering agreement for a phosphorus removal feasibility study and discharge optimization plan. The Rantoul village board meeting gets underway at 6 pm.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Harvest progress lags behind as we hear in the weekly crop report. 59 percent of corn is mature and 13 percent of the crop has now been harvested. That compares to 61 percent harvested at this time last year. Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 88 percent of soybeans are turning color…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 19 percent of winter wheat has been planted, matching the average pace and 94 percent of the third cutting of alfalfa is complete. Average statewide topsoil moisture stayed about the same with eight percent rated very short, 15 percent short, 57 percent adequate and 20 percent surplus. 

 

 

(Paxton-jc)  -- If you need fruit, one local F F A Chapter has the goods. The Paxton Buckley Loda F F A Chapter is offering fruit for sale now through October 23rd. More information is found by contacting the group at the high school in Paxton. 

 

 

(Danville-jm) -- The Vermilion County State’s Attorneys office is helping victims of domestic violence by holding a supply drive. The office is collecting items such as towels, pillows and food at Vermilion County McDonald’s locations. Items collected will benefit Crosspoint at the Y Domestic Violence and Transitional shelter.

 

 

(Rantoul--jc) In Rantoul, the Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce will host the first trick or treat-trunk event from 5pm to 7pm on Halloween in the downtown area. A costume contest also hilites the event. The chamber is inviting all business and civic members to bring a vehicle to downtown Rantoul that evening and hand out goodies to the Halloween goers in Rantoul.

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Haven Gaming LLC looking to put a Las Vegas-style casino resort in Danville

(AP) — Gov. J.B. Pritzker is spending $850,000 of his own money in renovations to the historic Illinois Governor's Mansion. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the billionaire businessman has given at least $3.45 million of his money to cover government costs that include doubling some salaries. The upgrades include fixing tile on the first floor, remodeling guest rooms and modernizing current plumbing.

 

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — More than 18,000 women traveled out of Indiana to terminate their pregnancies in recent years, according to state and federal data, likely fueled by the closure of abortion clinics and new laws restricting access to the procedure. While the number of abortions performed in Indiana declined by 14% between 2009 and 2017, The Indianapolis Star found that during the same period of time, the number of abortions sought out of state doubled.Illinois is an attractive destination for women seeking abortions as it lacks the restrictions of other states. It does not have a 20-week ban on terminations and the cost of the procedure is covered under Medicaid. Illinois also has more facilities that provide abortions. In 2017, Illinois had 40 and Indiana had nine.

 

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois’ engineering college and a company led by a graduate of the school are partnering on a technology center. The $100 million Center for Networked Intelligent Components and Environments will develop technology for use in transportation, manufacturing, medicine and homes. The center will be housed in the Grainger College of Engineering on the university’s campus in Urbana-Champaign.



(Washington-jm) -- The Agriculture Secretary was among those Friday applauding an agreement between USDA and EPA regarding the next steps in building the nation's biofuel industry. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

DANVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A group looking to put a Las Vegas-style casino resort in the Illinois city of Danville says it wants to build a family oriented destination and promote economic growth in the area. Haven Gaming LLC presented its proposal at a City Council meeting, where the group was approved as the city’s casino operating partner. The resort will include a hotel, full-service spa, multiple restaurants, pool and lazy river, convention center, live entertainment venue, 4,000 parking spaces and more.


 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A Rantoul man who admitted to having cocaine could face up to 50 years in prison. Darryl Nelson was charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance after police found 24 ounces of cocaine during a raid at his house on Winding Lane. Bond was set at $500,000.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Sunday kicked off fire prevention week and the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s office is urging families to be prepared should a fire break out. State Fire Marshal Spokesperson J-C Fultz says they recommend that families draw a map identifying pathways to two exits, and teaching kids how to escpae on their own in case you’re not there to help them. He says it’s also a good idea to practice a “fire drill” twice a year and set up a meeting place outside. Here’s some more tips…

 

 

State Fire Marshal Spokesperson J-C Fultz. There were more than 15 thousand residential fires in Illinois last year, and a reported 105 civilian fire deaths. 

 

 

(Chicago--jc)  --Illinois is the "least tax-friendly" state in the nation, according to a new report from business and economic forecasting publisher KiplingerThe state's economic woes and property taxes were major factors in the ranking.Kiplinger Tax Editor Rocky Mengle said the rankings were compiled by using the tax burden of a “hypothetical middle-class family” in all 50 states and Washington D.C.

 

Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup has released the name of a male who has died from a gunshot wound he received on Friday night in Urbana. Tramale (pronounced Tramell) Hooser, age 21, of Danville was pronounced dead at 8:08PM on October 5, 2019 at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, Illinois. An autopsy is scheduled for today at the Champaign County Regional Morgue Facility. An inquest may be held at a later date. The circumstances surrounding this incident are under investigation by the Urbana Police Department, the Champaign County Coroner, and the Illinois State Police Crime Scene Unit.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Public health officials in Illinois have awarded $350,000 in grants to help improve the health care of women of reproductive age. The Illinois Department of Public Health announced earlier this week that the competitive grants are going to 14 organizations and public health departments statewide. The recipients include Asian Human Services and Erie Family Health in Chicago, along with health departments in Calhoun, Cass, Fulton, Henry and Will counties. The goal is to increase the percentage of women ages 18 to 44 who get preventative medical care.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois students can compete for a cash prize by writing letters to authors. Secretary of State Jesse White says students in grades 4-12 are eligible to enter the statewide contest. Students are asked to read a book of their choice and write a letter to the author about how the work changed their view of the world. White says students can enter on their own or through schools, libraries and youth organizations. The deadline to enter is Dec. 16. Entry forms and other details are at the secretary of state’s site.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- More than a century after the world's first juvenile court was established in Illinois, advocates are still fighting to ensure that children accused of crimes aren't treated the same as adults. Mary Schuermann reports…

 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton firefighters had a busy weekend. Friday night firefighters were called to assist Ludlow firefighters with a fire in the 200 block of west Thomas Street. On Saturday afternoon, firefighters were called to a single vehicle rollover accident on Route 45 at 500 north on Paxtons north side. No word on if there were any injuries.

 

The 1st Paxton Chamber Wine and Chocolate Walk was a huge success as over 120 participants took in the beautiful weather to visit the 17 businesses that took part in the event. Hudson’s Drug Shop won best beverage, Best Dessert and Best decor went to Bijouix Boutique. Plans are already in the works for next year. 

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- A mural dedication will be held today in Watseka. The Watseka Kiwanis Club will hold the dedication of the Watchekee mural in the First Trust and Savings Parking lot at noon. Colleen Callahan, director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources will be the guest speaker.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says a new historic preservation tax credit is proving popular. During the first round, 24 properties were submitted for the credit, and four were ultimately chosen to help support restoration and rehabilitation efforts says D-N-R Spokesperson Rachel Torbert…

 

 

D-N-R Spokesperson Rachel Torbert. A credit of up to three million dollars per project is available, with a total of 15 million awarded each year. 

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- Governor J.B. Pritzker said he will make sure new tax revenue from the state's higher gas tax is spent property after federal agents raided the offices of Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Martin Sandoval as part of a corruption probe.Drivers in Illinois paid $100 million more in gas taxes in July than they did during the same month in 2018. Motorists in Illinois started paying 38 cents a gallon in state gas taxes on July 1. Lawmakers doubled the state's gas tax this spring as part of a plan to pay for infrastructure projects across the state. The revenue is earmarked for public works projects included in a six-year, $45 billion infrastructure plan. Lawmakers also passed other tax and fee increases along with expanded gambling measures as part of the spending plan for roads, bridges and buildings.

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Paxton Chamber of Commerce to Hold 1st Wine and Chocolate Walk on Saturday

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Schnuck Markets Incorporated, one of the Midwest’s largest grocery store chains, will stop selling cigarettes, chewing tobacco and other tobacco products as of January first.  The company operates 115 stores overall 5 area states. Schnucks has 3 locations in Champaign County and 2 in McLean County locally. The privately-held company already does not sell e-cigarettes or vaping products.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A new event for the Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce will be held tomorrow. The chamber will hold a wine and chocolate walk tomorrow from 11 to 4:30 says Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer…

 

 

Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A Rantoul teen will be tried as an adult after police found a loaded gun and drugs in his backpack. 17-year-old Kristopher Mockbee faces charges of armed violence, aggravated unlawful use of weapons and possession with intent to deliver cocaine. Mockbee was arrested last month after police were notified by a family member that he had a gun. When he was arrested police found a loaded handgun which had been reported stolen, cocaine and scales. He was on probation for a 2018 burglary in the village. Bond was set at $150,000. Mockbee is due back in court November 19th.


 

(Undated-jm) -- National retailer Bed Bath and Beyond is announcing the closure of more stores than initially anticipated. Originally the company announced the closure of 40 stores however, Thursday, the company announced 60 stores will close after the holiday season. The company has not announced what stores will be closed.  The company has stores locally in Champaign, Normal and Bourbonnais.

 

(Cissna Park--jc)  -- You can get a great meal and also help support a local volunteer fire department on Sunday. The annual Cissna Park Volunteer Fire Department’s chicken fry is set for the fire station along route 49 in the village from 11am until 5pm. Money raised goes to  new equipment and upgrading equipment at the fire department. Carry outs are available. The group have several prizes to award including a 55 inch Phillips television, a clock made from wood of the 18-84 water tower and some cash prizes.

 

 

(Fisher-jm) -- An area organization is holding a ride for a Gibson City girl battling scoliosis. 6-year-old Braylee Horn is in St. Louis for treatments and Just an Angel will hold a Cruise for Braylee to help cover some of the expenses. Just an Angel Spokesperson Dale Puls says the day starts with registration at the Wild Hare in Fisher with stops  in LeRoy, Towanda, Lexington, Colfax and Sibley…

 

 

Just An Angel Spokesperson Dale Puls of Paxton

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City residents may notice a rusty color to their water. The city’s water department will be flushing hydrants starting Sunday night and continuing through October 25th. Flushing will be done overnight and will begin on the northwest side of town.

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- Reduced investment returns during a future recession won't cripple state budgets, but state policy decisions ahead of a future recession might, according to a new report. Credit rating agency S&P said many U.S. states have learned lessons about fiscal discipline when it comes to public retiree costs. State governments have made changes in the past decade that will help shield their budgets from a future recession, according to S&P analysts. 

 

(Livingston County-jm) -- October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the Livingston County Health Department is hoping to turn porch lights pink. The health department is selling pink light bulbs for $4 and is encouraging everyone to light their porches pink to serve as a reminder to women to get breast exams and mammograms as recommended. Proceeds from the sale go to the Livingston County Cancer Fund.

 

(Washington-jm) -- The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service is looking to hire new food safety inspectors. Gary Crawford has the details…

 

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A Champaign County judge has ruled the county must grant OSF Heart of Mary Medical Center’s tax exemption while it is appealed with the state continues. The judge gave the county’s board of review 14 days to correct the assessments of the properties and county treasurer Laurel Prussing an additional 14 days after that to correct the more than $1.4 million tax bill. In a separate ruling, the judge denied the counties request to dismiss a lawsuit by Peoria-based OSF Healthcare. The hospital filed the lawsuit claiming the treasurer lacked the authority to send a tax bill stating the Illinois Department of Revenue determined most of the Urbana properties were tax exempt. Champaign County officials are challenging the tax exemption.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A new report from the legislative inspector general has concluded that Kevin Quinn, a former top aide to Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan did sexually harass a former political consultant. However, it was before certain provisions were put in place. In February, Alaina Hampton accused Quinn of sexual harassment dating back to 2016 and continued for 5 months. Hampton filed a lawsuit claiming Madigan’s staff ignored her complaints and retaliated against her. Quinn had worked in Madigan’s office for nearly 20 years.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Champaign-Urbana will be celebrating Oktoberfest this Saturday from 3pm to midnight in downtown. Activities include live German music and several local breweries with beer tastings. Admission is $5.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- The annual Walk to End Alzheimers will take place this Saturday at Meadowbrook Park in Urbana. Registration begins at 8:30 with a Promise Garden Ceremony at 9:30 and the walk at 10. Alzheimers is the 6th leading cause of death in the U-S affecting 5 million Americans. In Illinois, 230,000 people are affected by Alzheimers.

 

 

(Buckley-jm) -- Buckley will hold their Movie in the Park this Saturday at Buckley Lake. The movie that will be shown is Monsters Inc. Showtime begins at 6:30 pm.

 

 

(Loda--jc)  A volleyball tournament, bags tournament silent auction start Saturday morning at the Isles Sportsbar in rural Buckley on Saturday. The reason is a benefit for a local woman diagnosed with cancer. Ellen Cabbage Lee is a nurse who is originally from Thawville and lives in Paxton. The fundraiser will help with medical bills. The public is invited to the Ellen’s Focus on the Fight event at the Isles on Saturday.

 

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Revisions for wind farm regulations in Ford County are almost complete

(Peotone--jc)  -- With state funds earmarked to pave the road leading to it, proponents of a third Chicago-area airport are working to get past opposition to the project.Lawmakers allocated $162 million in bond-paid money in the state's most recent budget for transportation-related expenses at the “Interchange at Eagle Lake Road.” U.S. Representative. Robin Kelly says the funds represented the funding for the “final leg” to get the South Suburban Airport built in Peotone and now is the time has come to finally build the South Suburban Airport.

 

(Chicago-jm) -- A panel of Illinois judiciary members and stakeholders developed a three-year plan, announced Wednesday during an event in Chicago, designed to “improve the delivery of justice and better serve the public.” In what Supreme Court Chief Justice Lloyd Karmeier called the “most significant step forward” his branch of government has undergone since the amendment creating a unified court system in the state, the guide outlines a mission statement, vision edict and five core values meant to be its “blueprint for the future.”  The group crafted five goals 

They include “accessible justice and equal protection under the law;” “procedural fairness, timeliness, and operational efficiency;” “professionalism and accountability throughout the judicial branch;” “understanding of and confidence in the judicial branch;” and “sufficient funding.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Last month tied for fourth warmest September on record in Illinois. The average statewide temperature last month was 71 point three degrees. That’s nearly five degrees above normal, and a state record says State Climatologist Trent Ford…

 

 

State Climatologist Trent Ford. Statewide precipitation averaged over five inches but varied quite a bit across Illinois. Areas of north and north-central Illinois got about 12 inches of rain in September, while southeastern Illinois only had a quarter of an inch. 


 

(Rantoul--jc)  The Two day Punkin Chunkin event is set for the Rantoul Airport on November 2 and 3rd. The competition will feature dozens of competitions during the weekend run. The Punkin Chuckin group has an official beer distributor for this year’s event. They are Skeff Distributing Company. More information about the types of beer in the beer garden will be released later this month. The ticket prices for a weekend pass to the event is 20 dollars and are available at Punkin-Chuckin-dot come. WPXN will be broadcasting live on Saturday November 2 to help kick off the event.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A Paxton postal worker is being recognized for her work. A customer sent a letter to Congressman John Shimkus praising postal clerk Tina Masterson. Masterson received a letter from Shimkus thanking her for her dedication and professionalism.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- One area lawmaker is calling on the Governor and General Assembly to address redistricting reform. State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says redistricting should be done in a new, independent process…

 

State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

(Urbana--jc)  --A student at the University of Illinois is suing the school to get sexual harassment records after his Freedom of Information Act request was denied.John Bambenek, a former member of the Illinois Board of Higher Education, is now a student at the university, where he serves on the Senate of the Illinois Student Government of the Urbana-Champaign Campus.He filed a Freedom of Information Act request for all final reports of sexual harassment by faculty and staff dating back to 2014. His request was denied for being overly burdensome.

 

 

(Ford County-jm) -- Revisions for wind farm regulations in Ford County are almost complete. A committee has been working on revisions to the policy since a moratorium on wind farm development in the county was implemented in 2017. The county’s zoning board is proposing a 2,250 foot setback from property lines and properties. A vote could take place as early as November. The changes will require a supermajority-9 of the 12 county board members, to approve the changes after the village of Roberts filed a protest to the revisions.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Producers are keeping a larger normal share of their 2018 production stored on their farms. Gary Crawford reports…

 


 

(Undated-jm) -- Unemployment rates are down across the area in August. In Ford County, the unemployment rate fell to 4.1 percent down from 5 percent. In Iroquois County, the unemployment rate fell from 4.2 percent to 3.6 percent. Job increases were reported in the Champaign-Urbana area while job losses were reported in the Kankakee area.

 

(Rantoul--jc)  The Rantoul VFW Post 67-50 along with dozens of other service groups  gathered donations throughout the area to benefit military honor guard. The funds that come to the Rantoul VFW will help with military uniforms and other costs. Rantoul. VFW Spokesperson Joe Manka says over one dozen volunteers help with military funerals, appearances at schools and more...

 

 

Rantoul VFW Spokesperson Joe Manka

All involoved say a huge thank you to all who donated

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday called on Sen. Martin Sandoval to step down as chairman of the powerful Senate Transportation Committee in the wake of an FBI investigation into possible corruption and bribery involving public contracts. “While Senator Sandoval is under investigation, it’s in the best interests of our state that he no longer serve as chairman of the Transportation Committee,” Pritzker told reporters shortly after an unrelated event in Oak Lawn. “If he doesn’t step aside, he should be removed.” Sandoval, a Democrat, was instrumental in pushing through a $45 billion capital infrastructure bill this year that will fund repairs and improvements to state highways, bridges, university campuses and other public facilities.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The U.S. has never ended a marketing year with soybean stocks as large as they were on September 1st. One expert says the reasons for the stock buildup are fairly obvious. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Fisher-jm) -- An area organization is holding a ride for a Roberts girl battling scoliosis. 6-year-old Braylee Horn will go to St. Louis later this month for treatments and Just an Angel will hold a Cruise for Braylee to help cover some of the expenses. The ride will take place on Saturday at noon at the Wild Hare in Fisher. Other stops on the ride include LeRoy, Towanda, Lexington, Colfax and Sibley. 


 

(Urbana-jm) -- One area community is collecting old cell phones to give to victims of domestic violence. The city of Urbana is collecting phones, chargers and other phone accessories throughout the month of October. The phones will be given to Courage Connection and distributed to victims of domestic violence as emergency 9-1-1 phones.

 

(Iroquois County-jm) -- The primary election may not be for another six months but candidates are now able to start circulating petitions. Candidates for established political parties began circulating nominating petitions for the primary election on September 3rd. Paperwork must be turned into the county clerk’s office between November 25th and December 2nd. The primary election in Illinois is March 17th.

 

 

(Roberts-jm) -- A drainage project is about to begin in the village of Roberts. Mayor Rick Flessner says the project will help alleviate drainage issues on several properties…

 

Roberts Mayor Rick Flessner.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- It may be October but the Gibson Area Chamber of Commerce and City of Gibson City are preparing for their annual Lighted Christmas Parade. The parade will be held on November 23rd at 6:30 pm. Caroling downtown will take place from 4 to 6:30 pm. The theme this year is Silver Bells. For more information or to sign your float up, call Susie Tongate at 309-825-0311 or Mayor Dan Dickey at 781-1905.

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University of Illinois Football Hall of Famer Dick Butkus will join Red Grange in having a statue outside Memorial Stadium

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois government employees should not travel for work to states that “criminalize reproductive health,” a northwest suburban Democrat said. Rep. Daniel Didech, from Buffalo Grove, proposed legislation that would prohibit the state from requiring staff to travel to states with laws effectively banning abortion or requiring investigations into the cause of a miscarriage. It would also bar the government from reimbursing an employee for travel to one of those states. In the first six months of 2019, 12 states passed some form of a law restricting access to abortion. They include neighboring Indiana, Missouri and Kentucky. If enacted, his bill would apply to all three branches of government. It would additionally apply to all states with statutes barring access to abortion procedures or with miscarriage investigation requirements, until those states either repeal them or a court strikes them from their books.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says deer that have tuberculosis can transmit the bacteria to people. The CDC began investigating the possibility after a Michigan hunter contracted tuberculosis in 2017. The hunter had no exposure to people or countries with an endemic of TB. During the investigation, the CDC discovered the hunter inhaled the bacteria while field dressing a deer carcass and removing diseased parts. The CDC recommends wearing protective gear when field dressing.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton police are investigating a broken window at the Pells Park Pavilion. The broken window was discovered Friday evening, likely caused by a small object thrown at it. Anyone with information is urged to call Ford County Crime stoppers at 217-784-4173.

 

 

(University of Illinois-jm) -- University of Illinois football hall of famer Dick Butkus will join Red Grange in having a statue outside Memorial Stadium. The statue will go outside the main entrance to the Henry Dale and Betty Smith Football Center. The dedication takes place at 2pm on October 11th and is open to the public.

 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Two public hearings on an ordinance regulating solar energy in Paxton will be held in October. The planning commission will hear comments from the public on the ordinance on October 3rd while the city council will hear comments during the city council meeting on October 8th. The proposed ordinance would not charge a fee or building permit for a 0-2 kw system, however, a 2-10 kw system would cost $50, 10-100 kw would cost $100 and 100 plus kw would cost $200. Both meetings get underway at 7pm in the city council chambers.


 

(Springfield-jm) -- Three area lawmakers are being recognized for their efforts to protect the environment. Senator Scott Bennett and Representatives Carol Ammons and Mike Marron received the Milestone Achievement Award for their efforts in passing historical coal ash regulations. The regulations were signed by Governor J-B Pritzker back in July.

 

 

(Rantoul-jc)  -- Rantoul VFW post 67-50 needs your help. The local military group is gathering monetary donations on Wednesday in the village. Rantoul VFW Spokesperson Joe Manka says the money raised on Wednesday will go to the group’s honor guards. The group will have volunteers at the Family Video location at the corner of Route 45 and U-S Route 136 in Rantoul from 6am until 7pm on Wednesday.

 

(Undated-jm) -- Food delivery service Door Dash is reporting nearly 5 million users, delivery drivers and vendors data have been exposed to a data breach. The company says an unauthorized third party accessed the information in May. Names, emails, delivery addresses, phone numbers, the last four digits of payment cards and the last four digits of bank accounts were exposed. The company says they are reaching out to those affected.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- CVS Pharmacy is announcing they are suspending the sale of Zantac and CVS brand ranitidine products until further notice. The move comes after the FDA announced that ranit-idine products have low levels of nitro-sodim-ethyl-amine, an ingredient that can cause cancer. The FDA continues to evaluate whether those levels pose a risk. So far, there has not been a recall on the products and the FDA is not recommending that patients stop taking the medications at this time.

 

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul police are teaming up with the Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce to host Coffee with a Cop this week. The event takes place tomorrow from 7:30-9:30 am at the chamber office in downtown Rantoul. The chamber and police hope the event will break down barriers between police and the public.

 

 

The Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce is eager to announce an initiative to showcase our local schools by hosting a Teacher and Class of the Month, “T & C”. The initiative was created to promote group effort and teamwork. This initiative softly ran for the month of September and over 40 submissions were received. The winning “T & C” for the month of September is Dr. Joni White’s class of JW Eater Junior. High School. The Chamber will choose a winning Teacher and Class on the third Thursday of every month. Please have submissions returned on the third Tuesday of every month to be considered. Submissions can be emailed to dir@rantoulchamber.com or dropped in our mailbox at 120 E Sangamon, Rantoul. The winning Teacher and Class for the month will receive a pizza party from Papa Johns. As always, we would like to thank our Chamber Members for continuing to support our community efforts and initiatives. Contact the RACC office with any questions:

 

 

 

(Fisher-jm) -- The village of Fisher is looking to strengthen the enforcement language in their nuisance ordinance. The move comes after several residents brought their concerns to the village board. Village police say they will increase enforcement while the village administrator says he will research ordinances in other nearby communities.


 

(Washington-jm) -- Marijuana dispensaries are one step closer to having more avenues to handle their cash flow. The U-S House passed the Safe Banking Act which ensures marijuana businesses have access to banking services. Because marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, federal banks can’t accept the money. The U-S Senate must still approve the legislation.

 

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Illinois officials have rolled out a statewide video campaign to promote help available to those struggling with substance abuse

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois officials have rolled out a statewide video campaign to promote help available to those struggling with substance abuse, including opioids.The videos posted online focus on the stories of people who’ve struggled with addiction and are receiving treatment. The Illinois Department of Human Services campaign also includes television spots, social media ads and billboards. The agency’s secretary, Grace Hou, says the goal is to reduce the stigma of addiction and help others.

 

SULLIVAN, Ill. (AP) — A collision between a school bus and a sport-utility vehicle has killed a 5-year-old central Illinois boy who was a passenger on the bus. Moultrie County Coroner Lynn Reed tells the News-Gazette Tyson Mendoza of Gays was pronounced dead at the scene of Friday afternoon’s crash along a rural stretch of Illinois 32. The Sullivan Elementary School student was among 11 students on a Sullivan Schools bus when the collision occurred several miles south of the city of Sullivan. The driver of the SUV, 56-year-old Lori Samples of Decatur, was also pronounced dead at the scene, while the bus driver was injured.

 

(Washington-jm) -- The agricultural prices received index for August is up. Stephanie Ho has the latest from Washington…

 

 

 

(Gibson City--jc)  -- The Gibson City Exploratory Pool Committee is set to meet in early October. On the agenda for this Thursday’s meeting at  7pm at city hall is to review and discuss preliminary numbers and plans with Engineer Andy Keiser.

The local committee continues to look at the future of the city pool in Gibson City.

 

 

(Gibson City--jc)  --Encouraging exceptional students to practice medicine in rural areas is crucial to the success of Hospitals like Gibson Area Hospital and the rural communities served. G-A-H Foundation was honored to receive a significant gift to award scholarships to employees of our Hospital for education purposes. The money came from an anonymous benefactor, who wishes only to be recognized as “a grateful former Gibson City resident”. 9 students were awarded with funds to help offset their educational expenses.: Rheann Adams, Gilman; Marissa Arnett, Paxton; Carrie Brazel, Milford; Holly Garcia, Thawville; Kayla McCreary, Gibson City; Sydni Meunier, Melvin; Emily Row, Gibson City; Hailey Sellek, Paxton; and Kamri Thompson-Michael, Fisher.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Seniors and people with disabilities can start applying for the state’s winter energy assistance program October 1st. LIHEAP, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program helps eligible households pay their heating bills says Illinois Office of Community Assistance Director David Wortman…

 

 

Illinois Office of Community Assistance Director David Wortman. Seniors and people with disabilities can apply starting Tuesday, then families with children under the age of five can apply on November 1st. Visit liheap illinois dot com for all the details. 

 

 

CHICAGO (AP) — One of the nation’s most powerful state legislators has for decades tended to shrug off the latest scandal involving Illinois politicians, but the sight of FBI agents hauling bags of evidence from an office on the Democratic side of the Capitol building this week may have startled the normally unflappable Mike Madigan. Madigan, the longest-serving state House speaker in modern American history and the head of the Democratic Party in Illinois, hasn’t been accused of wrongdoing. But over the past 10 months at least half a dozen Democrats — including some confidants and allies — have been charged with crimes or had agents raid their offices and homes. Court papers mistakenly unsealed in one case involving a powerful Chicago City Council member even described a businessman wearing an FBI wire and secretly recording Madigan.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- State government finances in Illinois have continued to deteriorate during a decade of national economic growth, according to the latest analysis from Truth In Accounting.The public finance watchdog reviewed state government finances from all 50 states for its latest Fiscal State of the States report. Research Director Bill Bergman said Illinois went from No. 48 last year to No. 49 this year

 

 

(Bloomington--jc)  -- Representatives of the state’s manufacturers are calling on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to allow trade deals to move forward after a trip to Washington. Illinois Manufacturers’ Association President Mark Denzler and almost two dozen other members of the state’s manufacturing industry spent time talking to members of Illinois’ congressional delegation and others, pressing them to approve trade agreements and reauthorize the Export-Import Bank which helps American businesses facilitate international trade. Denzler added that the Illinois’ economy,  relies heavily on the passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has yet to act on.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The U.S. hog and pig inventory is as large as it's been in many years. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

(Monticello--jc)  -- Staff, members and friends of Farm Credit Illinois are mourning the death of its president and CEO in Tom Tracy.  He was with Farm Credit Illinois for over 10 years. Tracy was also a banker for over 20 years. He served on the Kirby Hospital Foundation in Monticello. Tracy passed away earlier this week.

 

 

(Champaign--jc)  -- In partnership with the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute, University of Illinois Extension in Champaign County is hosting an education event on beauty products. This event will be taught by Megan Seig, an Environmental Toxicology Scholar at the University of Illinois.Youth and adults are invited to attend Make-Up Monday. This free event will be held Monday, October 14 at the Champaign County Extension Office in Champaign. Those attending will lear about chemicals in the beauty products they use. More information is found on line at  go-dot-illinois-e-d-u-forward slash make-up-Monday.

 

 

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

 

 

State Climatologist Trent Ford.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Two Congressional members, including one from Illinois have filed a resolution in opposition to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ plan to rewrite the borrowers defense rule. U-S Senator Dick Durbin joined Nevada U-S Representative Susie Lee on Friday to introduce a Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval. DeVos’ plan would gut protections for student borrowers and taxpayers by eliminating 11 billion dollars in relief to those who were defrauded. The resolution of disapproval allows Congress to overturn regulatory actions of federal agencies with simple majority votes in both chambers.

 

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Univeristy of Illinois Student Diagnosed with Possible Case of the Mumps

(Springfield-jm) -- Starting Sunday employers cannot ask job applicants about wage history. The new law aims to even out the pay gap that has many women earning less than men in the same job. Illinois Department of Labor Director Michael Kleinik explains how it works…

 

 

Illinois Department of Labor Director Michael Kleinik. The ban does not apply if the person’s salary is a matter of public record or if they are a current employee of the company. The Illinois Department of Labor’s website has more details on the law and a hotline number to report violations.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Gov. J.B. Pritzker has appointed former U.S. Transportation Secretary and retired Republican Congressman Ray LaHood as the new chairman of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Board of Directors. LaHood and four others were appointed to the board Thursday, and they await Senate approval as well. Pritzker’s office said the other six appointees will be announced in the coming days. They are the first appointments to the 11-member museum board since it was established in August 2017 when the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency was abolished and most of its duties, except for those pertaining to the Lincoln Museum, were given to the Department of Natural Resources.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The unemployment rate was down in all 101 Illinois counties last month. All 14 metro areas and all counties saw a decline in the jobless rate compared to August of 2018 says State Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Sam Salustro…

 

 

Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Sam Salustro. Jobs were added over the year in 12 metro areas including the Chicago area, Springfield, Champaign-Urbana, the Quad Cities and Metro East. 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A University of Illinois student has been diagnosed with a possible case of the mumps. The Chemistry Department student was diagnosed at McKinley Health Center on campus. It typically starts with a fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness and loss of appetite, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control. That’s followed a few days later by swelling of the salivary glands, which causes the tell-tale puffy cheeks and a tender, swollen jaw. Symptoms of mumps typically appear 14-18 days after infection, although a third of infected people don’t have symptoms.

 

(Cissna Park--jc)  --The village of Cissna Park is already filled with pumpkins. The annual Pumpkins in the park event is set for Saturday. Cissna Park FFA Advisor Jeff Clifton says there are activities for the whole family…

 

 

Cissna Park F F A Advisor Jeff Clifton

 

 

(Ford County-jm) -- A Gibson City man has been sentenced to 30 months probation and 10 days in jail for traveling to meet a minor. 61-year-old Ricky Ensign pleaded guilty in July to one count of traveling to meet a minor and solicitation to meet a child. In exchange for his guilty plea, charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and residential burglary were dismissed.

 

 

(Paxton--jc)--  The Paxton Buckley Loda School Hall of Fame has a new member. She is Kendra Workman Smiley. Smiley was a 1970 graduate of Paxton High School.  She is an author, speaker, church leader, and Illinois Mother of the Year in 2001. Smiley attended the University of Illinois. She was honored last night during the annual PBL Homecoming parade and festivities at the high school 


 

(Springfield--jc)  - The announcement of a preliminary trade agreement between the U.S. and Japan is good news for Illinois farmers, but some are concerned Congress will be log jammed with impeachment talk.The Japan deal is the latest trade deal President Donald Trump's administration has queued up.The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Japan has committed to provide substantial market access to American food and agricultural products by eliminating tariffs and, enacting meaningful tariff reductions.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The state Department of Agriculture is checking the T-H-C levels of Illinois hemp fields. This is the first season farmers can grow hemp in Illinois and State Ag Director John Sullivan says they have to make sure the plants don’t have above point three percent of T-H-C. That’s the component that gets people high…

 

 

State Ag Director John Sullivan. Sullivan says fields with too much T-H-C have to be destroyed and growers will not be eligible for federal crop insurance. 

 

(SPRINGFIELD-jm) -- Business and industry groups are pushing back against legislative efforts to widely ban the use of ethylene oxide, a known cancer-causing gas, in most Illinois communities. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, chronic exposure to the gas can cause increased cancer risks, reproductive effects and other major medical problems, while short-term exposure may result in respiratory irritation and lung injury, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and shortness of breath. Representatives of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization and the Chemical Industry Council of Illinois sent a letter to General Assembly members this week to “express our serious concerns and opposition to any additional efforts to further restrict or ban the use of ethylene oxide in Illinois.” The group said ethylene oxide, which is used in medical supply sterilization and some manufacturing processes, is “a significant building block in the creation of an exhaustive list of life-improving products … including essential plastics and pharmaceuticals to cosmetics and clothing,” and is “the only acceptable method of sterilization for many medical devices.”


 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Human Services is launching a new video campaign to promote its drug addiction helpline. The effort includes five videos that tell the stories of addiction and recovery. They highlight the helpline says Human Services’ Dani Kirby, urging those suffering from opioid and other substance abuse…

 

 

Illinois Department of Human Services’ Dani Kirby. The campaign also includes social media ads, billboards and transit posters. If you or someone you know is suffering from substance abuse, visit the website: helpline il dot or or call 1-833-2-FINDHELP. 

 

 

URBANA — A fourth Democrat has announced he wants to be his party’s candidate for resident judge for Champaign County. David Moore of St. Joseph informed the Democratic Central Committee  that he intends to run for the seat now held by Judge Jason Bohm, who was appointed to it when Judge Michael Jones retired. Bohm plans to run as a Republican for the seat being vacated in 2020 by Presiding Judge Tom Difanis, who will retire late next year. That requires running in all six counties of the Sixth Circuit: Champaign, DeWitt, Douglas, Macon, Moultrie and Piatt. To date, no Democrat has announced plans to challenge Bohm, but Champaign attorney Sami Anderson has said she plans to run against him in all six counties for the Republican nomination for Difanis’ seat. Moore joins already announced Democratic candidates Ramona Sullivan, an assistant public defender; Ruth Wyman, a private general practitioner in Champaign; and Troy Lozar, an assistant state’s attorney.


 

(Fisher-jm) -- The sale of recreational cannabis will not be allowed in one Champaign County community, at least not for now. The Fisher Village Board instructed the village’s attorney to draft two ordinances-one banning the dispensing of cannabis while the second one allows for a three percent village tax if it is ever allowed. Village board members will vote on the ordinances at their next meeting.

 

 

(Paxton--jc) It’s Homecoming week for those at Paxton Buckley Loda High School The annual parade stepped off in the downtown area at 6 las night. PBL School Superintendent Cliff McClure says the parade is a part of activities from a parade to a dance, golf tournament and more…

 

 

PBL School Superintendent Cliff McCure

WPXN will be carrying the football game live on Friday night starting at 6-05-pm with the Friday Night Preview Show.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Charges against the former Chanute airplane salvager have been dropped. Ken Morrison was facing money laundering and theft after he illegally sold two ejector seats from a plane he was dismantling on the former Chanute Air Base. Court records show Morrison was recently sentenced to two years in federal prison after he was found guilty of tearing down and dismantling a historic bridge in Indiana and selling it for scrap. 

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Driver Going the Wrong Way on Interstate 74 Causes Accident

(Champaign--jc)   A car going the wrong way along Interstate 74 near the Interstate 57 interchange this morning struck a semi tractor-trailer around 3-30. Police are not commenting on those involved, but say the semi driver was taken to a local hospital. The accident has closed the eastbound lanes on I-74 and traffic is being rerouted around that area. That closure is expected til around 9 this morning. 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White’s office confirmed this week it denied what appears to be the federal government’s latest attempt to gather data about noncitizens living in the United States, this time through driver’s license information. A spokesperson for White’s office said the agency received a request from the U-S Census Bureau’s Data Acquisition Branch in September and denied the request. The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators distributed an email stating the Census Bureau has been seeking driver and identity card information including the name, address, date of birth, sex, race, eye color and citizenship status. Earlier this year, the Department of Commerce, which oversees the Census Bureau, proposed adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census. That was blocked by the U-S Supreme Court.

 

 

WOODSTOCK, Ill. (AP) — Congressmen and senators from Illinois are urging a review of health policies after a mumps outbreak at a northern Illinois county jail that houses immigrant detainees. Health officials confirmed six mumps cases at McHenry County Jail earlier this month. In a Wednesday letter the Democrats cite "serious concern" about conditions and urge a "thorough and urgent" policy review. The group also seeks additional details on the outbreak.


 

(Springfield-jm) -- Secretary of State Jesse White reminds that Real I-D requirements take effect in about a year. Starting October 1st 2020, you will need the Real I-D to fly domestically, a valid passport will also be an acceptable form of identification. Secretary White says you can get the Real I-D at your local driver’s services facility…

 

 

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White

Secretary of State Jesse White. Visit: real id dot ilsos dot gov for more information and a list of documents you will need to get the new license.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton’s Emergency Management Agency building will be receiving some repairs. Mayor Bill Ingold outlines the project…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

 

(Undated-jm) -- Those who need assistance paying their energy bills can do so starting next week. Low Income Home Assistance Program or LIHEAP, will begin accepting applications on Tuesday. Those in a single family can receive up to $1,561 in assistance, two person family 2,114, three person family 2,666 and four person family 3,219.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois State Museum in Springfield has agreed to return 42 culturally significant objects to Australia after nearly a century after they were brought to the United States. The museum says in a news release that it's the first institution in the world to repatriate artifacts as part of the Australian government's Return of Cultural Heritage Project, that is trying to bring back indigenous materials that were taken from the country.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Labor and State Fire Marshal’s Office are working to make sure haunted houses are safe for the public. All haunted houses must be inspected prior to opening. The state wants to make sure the public has a scary, but safe time when they visit says Fire Marshal Spokesperson J-C Fultz…

 

 

State Fire Marshal Spokesperson J-C Fultz. There’s also a limit on the number of dead-end paths a house can have and restrictions on open flames and pyrotechnic special effects. Exits and pathways must be wide enough to account for the maximum number of people in the attraction. 

 

 

(Undated--jc)  --Add another village to local governments banning recreational cannabis sales in their jurisdiction.The Village of Chatham, just south of Springfield, voted 4 to 2 to ban adult-use cannabis sales within the community. Just down the road last week, the city of Springfield voted to approve sales and tax it locally at 3 percent.An effort this week in the Springfield city council to bar sales failed to advance.


 

(Cissna Park--jc)  -- The annual Cissna Park Pumpkins in the park is set for Saturday in the southern Iroquois county town. Cissna Park F F A Advisor Jeff Clifton says the event has been growing over the years..

 

 

Cissna Park F F A Advisor Jeff Clifton


 

(Champaign-jm) -- Registration is underway for the one day Hazardous Waste Collection Event in Champaign. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is hosting the event on October 26th from 8-3 at Market Place Mall. You must register first.

 

(Washington-jm) -- Government payments have helped boost farm income. Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

(Undated--jc)  Now is the time to save on Monster Jam World Finals 21. Pre sale tickets are now available Use code PREFERRED before September 30th to be the first to select your seats

 

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Illinois is receiving a $4.5 million grant to fight the opioid crisis in the state

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois is receiving a $4.5 million grant to fight the opioid crisis in the state. The funds will be used to increase substance abuse services under Medicaid. More than 130 people die every day in the U-S from opioid overdoses. In 2017, 2,202 deaths from opioid overdoses were reported in Illinois.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The state climatologist is taking a look at when Illinois might see the first fall freeze. Farmers especially are wondering when the first hard freeze will hit. State Climatologist Trent Ford. Ford says the Climate Prediction Center is calling for above normal temperatures over the next two weeks, so a freeze is probably not imminent. 

 

 

(Buckley-jm) -- The village of Buckley will receive financial help for their water tower renovation project. The village was awarded a $180,000 loan from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for the work. Crews will be washing and recoating the interior and exterior of the water tower among other projects. Work is expected to be completed in December. The village does qualify to have $108,000 of the loan forgiven.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton-Buckley-Loda School District will show off the new renovation at Clara Peterson this Saturday. Superintendent Cliff McClure says the district is excited to show the public the new building.

 

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — FBI agents carried materials in bankers’ boxes and grocery bags out of the Illinois Capitol building on Tuesday, and multiple media outlets reported that and other raids were linked to a Democratic state senator. FBI spokesman John Althen said the agents were in the building for “law enforcement activity” but declined to elaborate. Multiple media outlets reported that the raids were conducted at Sen. Martin Sandoval’s Capitol office in Springfield, his district office in the Chicago suburb of Cicero and other locations linked to him. The Chicago Tribune reported that a man who answered the door at Sandoval’s Chicago home said he was not home.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- As lawmakers consider tougher vaping laws, one big question remains. What exactly is making people so sick? The more than 500 patients across the country who have fallen ill all vaped, but the next common denominator has yet to be found. At least 75 percent of the patients in Illinois vaped T-H-C. Another possibility being considered is Vitamin E Acetate which isn’t harmful when ingested or applied to the skin but may cause problems if it’s inhaled.

 

 

 (Watseka--jc)  -- The Iroquois County Sheriff’s Department is taking back unwanted prescriptions drugs on Saturday October 26th at the county jail in Watseka.It is the 18th time over a 9 year period that the public will be able to rid their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted medicine.. The event is set for 10 until 2.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is creating a task force to tackle discrimination in schools. The Affirming and Inclusive Task Force is made up of two co-chairs and 25 selected members. Their goal is to create strategies and practices to ensure students feel welcome, safe, supportive and included in the school environment.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- U-S Representative John Shimkus is accepting applications from high school seniors and college students interested in attending one of the military academies. Requirements include being a U-S citizen, at least 17 years of age but not more than 23, not married, under no legal obligation to support a child and must reside in the 15th Congressional district. Applications can be found online. The deadline to submit is November 1st.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Traffic was backed up on I-57 yesterday following a multi-vehicle accident south of Paxton. The accident occurred near the 259 mile marker. No word on if there were any injuries. A second accident also pushed traffic going south on Interstate 57 into Paxton and down along Route 45. That accident was a jack knifed semi. Traffic was heavy into Paxton for about one hour.

 

 

CHICAGO (AP) — Five Illinois residents have joined the ranks of young people nationwide to sue the makers of e-cigarettes that allege the companies’ marketing tactics targeted them when they were minors. The Chicago Tribune reports the plaintiffs are suing in federal court top e-cigarette producer Juul Labs and its parent company, Altria Group, and Pax Labs. Altria Group also owns tobacco giant Phillip Morris. The five — all between 18 and 20 — contend in their federal lawsuit that vaping caused shortness of breath and other health problems and caused their addictions to nicotine. Their attorneys say the five aren’t among the hundreds of people hospitalized nationwide in recent months for respiratory illness linked to vaping.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Transportation is looking for winter snow plow drivers. The snowbirds program makes sure the state has plenty of people to man snow plows on Illinois highways once winter arrives. Those interested must have a commercial driver’s license and pass a criminal background check. I-DOT Spokesperson Guy Tridgell says there are openings in many areas. Farmers and veterans often take advantage of the seasonal work. Learn more online at: idot dot illinois dot gov.

 

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World Championship Punkin Chuckin Event Coming to Rantoul in November

(Rantoul--jc)  -- From humble beginnings to national notoriety, the World Championship Punkin Chunkin is an event that has always cultivated an odd, challenging, and competitive quest for distance that, in turn, inspires creativity, ingenuity, teamwork, and passion. On November 2nd and 3rd, the World Championship Punkin Chunkin Association  will carry on a tradition started more than 35 years ago when they bring their signature pumpkin-launching event to the Rantoul Airport area in Rantoul. With the huge change in venue, the group is planning a two day event on November 2nd and 3rd, rather than a normal 3 day event. This is the first time the World Championships have been held outside the state of Delaware.  A two day ticket for the event is 20 dollars and daily tickets are 10 dollars, when purchased before the event.  

 

(Springfield-jm) -- It was a hot and fairly dry week for Illinois fields as we hear in the weekly crop report. Rain was slightly below normal this past week and temperatures were more than 10 degrees above normal. U-S-D-A Heartland Field Office Deputy Regional Director Steve Maliszewski (mal-eh-sheski) says 77 percent of corn has reached the dent stage…

 

U-S-D-A Heartland Field Office Deputy Regional Director Steve Maliszewski. 53 percent of soybeans are turning colors and 14 percent are dropping leaves. 43 percent of the crop is rated in good to excellent condition. The third cutting of alfalfa is 91 percent complete. Average statewide topsoil is rated at 11 percent very short, 22 percent short, 59 percent adequate and eight percent surplus.

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- An initial look at the possibilities. That is what those attending an information meeting on the Paxton Streetscape last night at city hall. Dozens of local citizens saw the vision of local leaders for the downtown area of the city. The project will begin with bids later this year and the start of work in the first part of 20-20.

 

 

CHICAGO (AP) — Attorneys have subpoenaed former Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn in a federal civil rights lawsuit over his 2015 decision to commute the sentence of man convicted in an Illinois Institute of Technology student’s murder. On his final day in office, Quinn commuted the sentence of Tyrone Hood, who’d already served 22 years. Charges were dismissed. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- House lawmakers and state officials are discussing how to address the vaping crisis in Illinois. Governor J-B Pritzker and several others are pushing legislation banning flavored nicotine in hopes of curbing use by teens. But Attorney General Kwame Raoul says that won’t be enough…

 

 

State Attorney General Kwame Raoul. Raoul says his office is also looking into the e-cig black market. 69 cases of serious respiratory illness related to vaping have been confirmed in Illinois with another 13 still under investigation. One person has died. 

 

 

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

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A new event for the Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce will be held in October. The chamber will hold a wine and chocolate walk on October 5th from 11 to 4:30 says Chamber President Alan Meyer... 

 

 

Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- It was a hot and fairly dry week for Illinois fields as we hear in the weekly crop report. Temperatures were more than 10 degrees above normal this past week and rain was down a bit. 26 percent of corn is now mature and two percent has been harvested, with 45 percent in good to excellent condition. U-S-D-A Heartland Field Office Deputy Regional Director Steve Maliszewski (mal-eh-sheski) turns to soybeans…

 

 

U-S-D-A Heartland Field Office Deputy Regional Director Steve Maliszewski. Winter wheat planting has begun with one percent complete. Average statewide topsoil moisture is rated as 11 percent very short, 22 percent short, 59 percent adequate and eight percent surplus.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A special event in central Illinois will dig into the facts and fiction showcased in some of Hollywood’s best known war films. Mark DePue, oral historian for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, is the featured speaker for Thursday night’s event at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield. Reservations to the free event can be made online . Attendees also get access to an exhibit featuring World War II artists and documents.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- It’s officially fall and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is reminding that state parks offer beautiful fall foliage. As the leaves change color the state parks really come alive says D-N-R Spokesperson Rachel Torbert. She says areas in northern Illinois will be the first to get a real taste of fall…

 

 

D-N-R Spokesperson Rachel Torbert. There’s also the popular Starved Rock State Park on the Illinois River Bluff with 18 canyons and Giant City State Park near Carbondale which offers hiking, rock climbing and horseback riding. Explore the state’s parks at dnr dot illinois dot gov.

 

 

(Hoopeston-jm) -- Hoopeston city leaders have approved spending $175,000 to help relocate a restaurant in order to build a new truck stop. The Subway restaurant on Route 1 would move to the former First Farmers Bank and Trust building so the new truck stop could come into the southeast corner of Routes 1 and 9. The money would come from the city’s tax increment financing district. 

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The deadline to enroll in Dairy Margin Coverage is extended to September 27th, but will that affect the start date for the 2020 DMC sign-up next month? Rod Bain reports…

 

 

 

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Its National Railroad Crossing Safety Week

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois has issued about 300,000 state driver’s licenses that are compliant with a 2005 law aimed at strengthening rules for identification at airports and federal facilities. The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports that after long delays, the Illinois Secretary of State is now processing thousands of the documents daily. The licenses that are compliant with the REAL ID Act of 2005 have a small gold circle with a white star in the middle. Those applying for a REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses need to show additional paperwork to prove their identity. Starting in October 2020, Illinois residents over 18 who fly or visit military bases will need a REAL ID-compliant document. Along with the new drivers’ licenses, passports can also be used.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Those wanting to get the best rates for holiday travel should do so next week. Triple A’s flight booking data shows September 25th is the start of the best booking window for air travel around both the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Flying Monday of Thanksgiving week has the lowest average ticket price prior to the holiday while the lowest average price per ticket is on Thanksgiving Day itself. For the Christmas holiday, Triple A says Christmas Eve has the lowest average price per ticket and is the lightest travel day of the week.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The September first inventory in cattle feedlots dipped below year earlier levels for the first time in years. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A Rantoul man has been sentenced to three years in prison for violating his probation. Tyheam Williams received the sentence Friday after he admitted to failing to show up to appointments for counseling and probation after he pleaded guilty to criminal sexual abuse and burglary in January. 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The public is invited to provide their input on the city of Paxton’s streetscape plan this evening. The city will hold an open house in the city council chambers from 4 to 6 pm.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton officials have approved the purchase of a new stump grinder for the public works department. Mayor Bill Ingold says the department has been busy cutting down trees…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Plans to combine Champaign County’s two jails could cost more than expected. Currently, the county has a jail in downtown Urbana, which is deteriorating and a satellite jail on the east side of Urbana that is unable to handle the capacity of both. Its estimated it could cost as much as $47 million to build a new jail. County board members could reach a decision on what to do as early as next month.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Home sales in Champaign County were lower in August compared to a year ago, while the median home price rose. According to the Champaign County Realtors Association, home sales decreased 12.75 percent with 260 homes sold compared to 298 in August 2018. The median home price rose 14 percent to $165,500 compared to $145,000 a year ago.



(Paxton--jc)  -- It was a cool moment, Friday night at Jerry Zimmerman Field at I-57 Stadium. The Make A Wish Foundation made a presentation to a Paxton Youth who serves as the Paxton Buckley Loda Football team Manager. P-B-L High School student Braden Mutchmore was provided with his very own A-T-V.  The delivery of the vehicle to Mutchmore was provided by Paxton’s own Tom Meents.

 

(Undated--jc)  -- Its National Railroad Crossing safety week. Illinois State police will be out in full force this week enforcing all crossing laws. State police officials remind the motoring public to follow the law especially when crossing train tracks.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois lawmakers this fall will consider banning most flavored vaping products, following recent restrictions that some other states have enacted amid concerns about the safety of vaping and its allure to young people. The legislation sponsored by Democratic state Rep. Deb Conroy, a Villa Park Democrat, would bar all vaping flavors except menthol, The Chicago Tribune reported. Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he supports banning flavored vaping products, which critics contend are marketed at children.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Food and Drug Administration is launching a criminal probe looking into the link between vaping and lung disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 530 confirmed or probable vaping related lung diseases in 36 states. Seven people have died so far, including one in Illinois. U-S Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois says he will introduce a federal tax on e-cigarettes and vaping products putting tougher restrictions on retailers and sellers.

 

 

(Dekalb-jm) -- The Environmental Protection Agency says it will revoke California’s authority to set higher standards for tailpipe emissions than those of the federal government-a move that will affect other states’ ability to set higher standards as well. Eric Tegethoff reports…

 

 

 

(Fisher-jm) -- The Fisher Community Building is getting cleaned up following a sprinkler malfunction last month. A sprinkler in the mayor's office broke, causing water to flood his office and the adjacent hallway. Village leaders believe most of the repair work will be covered by insurance.

 

 

Have you ever been interested in seeing the 9/11 Memorial, attending a Broadway play, or visiting Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty? Stacy Johnson is organizing an adult trip to New York City for the Summer of 2020. There will be an informational meeting for anyone that is interested at the Moyer Library in Gibson City tonight at 6:30pm.

 

 

(Roberts-jm) -- The Roberts Library could be sold soon. The village is trying to sell the former library building after structural issues forced the building to be closed. Mayor Rick Flessner says the sale could happen as early as next month…

 

Roberts Mayor Rick Flessner.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- An inmate and a correctional officer at the Champaign County Jail were taken to the hospital following an altercation. Champaign County authorities say the inmate tried to overtake the officer while leaving his cell. The two struggled until the inmate was subdued by other officers. Both are expected to be ok. Illinois State Police is handling the investigation.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Champaign Police are warning shoppers and businesses about counterfeit money circulating in the community. Police say a person gives the cashier a $100 bill while making a small purchase in order to get the most money back. Your asked to call Champaign Police if you have any information.

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- The 8th annual Paxton Swine N Dine is now complete for another year. Officials with the Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce would like to thank everyone who helped make this event a huge success. Keith Schladenhauffen of Fairbury and Rick Hardesty of Wilmington were grand prize winners in the annual Barbeque contest..

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Federal Government Approves Illinois Request For Federal Flood Assistance

CHICAGO (AP) — Federal officials have approved Illinois' request for local governments recovering from historic flooding to receive federal assistance. Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Thursday that 27 counties will be eligible to apply for federal loans or grants. Local governments will have 30 days to submit documents for assistance with flood-related losses or costs from fighting floods

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Some of the lead negotiators of the law to legalize adult use marijuana in Illinois are seeking to provide clarity on a provision that gives local municipalities control over which facilities, if any, would be authorized to allow cannabis consumption. The topic is at the top of the discussion list for potential follow up legislation, which could be heard when the General Assembly returns for veto session in late October. The bill legalizes adult use marijuana in public places such as restaurants which sponsorer Heather Steans says is not the intent of the bill. While the bill prohibits smoking cannabis in any place where smoking is prohibited under the Smoke Free Illinois Act, further language permits a local unit of government to exempt certain facilities from the Smoke Free Act.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois unemployment rate hit a historic low last month. The August jobless rate came in at four percent in August, down from four point two in July. That’s the lowest monthly rate on record and a good sign says Sam Salustro with the Illinois Department of Employment Security…

 

 

Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Sam Salustro. Jobs fell slightly from July to August, but are up by 65 thousand compared to August of 2018. The national unemployment rate is three point seven percent for August. 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A former Ludlow village trustee is facing additional charges after he attacked a correctional officer at the Champaign County Jail. Ross Radke has been in jail since he was arrested and charged with aggravated unlawful use of weapons and possession of a firearm without a firearm owners identification card five months ago. Radke is accused of grabbing a corrections officer by the neck from behind while he was doing security rounds. The officer was not seriously injured. Radke is now charged with two counts of aggravated battery.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A judge is expected to decide next month whether to order a bed and breakfast near Paxton to comply with penalties for discriminating against a same-sex couple in 2011. The Illinois Attorney General's office filed a motion in Ford County court asking the court to rule in its favor in a lawsuit against Timber Creek Bed and Breakfast.  The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the Illinois Department of Human Rights after the Human Rights Commission fined the bed and breakfast $80,000 back in 2016. A hearing is scheduled for October 23rd.



(Paxton-jm) -- There will be a couple of street closures for this weekend’s Swine n Dine in downtown Paxton. Holmes to Center Streets will be closed starting at 4 am Saturday through midnight Sunday. Market Street from Pells to Center will be closed starting at 6pm today through noon on Sunday.


 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The city of Paxton is moving forward with a streetscape project. Mayor Bill Ingold talks about the project…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold. The public will have a chance to hear more about the project and have any questions answered during an open house on September 23rd from 4 to 6 pm at city hall.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- An Illinois senator is calling for a federal tax on e-cigarettes. Dick Durbin says he plans to introduce legislation that would place a tax on the sale of e-cigarettes to help curb the use of the products by kids. Seven people in the U-S have died from the use of e-cigarettes and vaping including one in Illinois.

 

(Washington-jm) -- The current Agriculture Secretary and former Secretaries came have come together in support of the USMCA trade deal. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- The Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley school district is seeking nominations for their Distinguished Alumni Award. The award recognizes alumni who made significant contributions to society, whose accomplishments, affiliations or careers have honored the legacy of excellence. Nomination forms can be found on the district's Facebook page.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- It may be September but the Gibson Area Chamber of Commerce and City of Gibson City are preparing for their annual Lighted Christmas Parade. The parade will be held on November 23rd at 6:30 pm. Caroling downtown will take place from 4 to 6:30 pm. The theme this year is Silver Bells. For more information or to sign your float up, call Susie Tongate at 309-825-0311 or Mayor Dan Dickey at 781-1905.



(Fisher-jm) -- Another area community is taking up the issue of whether or not to allow recreational marijuana sales in their community. The latest is the village of Fisher. The public is invited to give their input during a special meeting on September 25th at 6 pm.

 

 

(Roberts-jm) -- The village of Roberts is working on a drainage project. Mayor Rick Flessner talks about the project…

 

 

Roberts Mayor Rick Flessner. 

 

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The former chairman of the Illinois Gaming Board allegedly engaged in prohibited political activity while heading the agency that regulates gambling, according to a report released by the Office of Executive Inspector General. The report says Don Tracy made “loans and contributions either directly, or through his wife, to political committees” in violation of state law. Tracy was named the Gaming Board’s chairman by former Gov. Bruce Rauner in 2015. Tracy, whose term was to end July 1, resigned in mid-June. The Springfield lawyer told the Chicago Tribune the report was “baseless speculation.” The inspector general’s 12-page report focuses on 30 contributions from Tracy and his wife, Wanda, from the time he became Gaming Board chairman until Oct. 29. Included are eight contributions totaling $7,600 from Wanda Tracy to Rauner’s campaign fund. Most of the checks were written from the couple’s joint account, though Don Tracy’s name was crossed off on many of them, the report says.


 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- This summer’s Illinois State Fair brought in more money than ever before. 2019 state fair revenue reached more than six point five million dollars, breaking the previous record of six point four in 2013. State Fair Manager Kevin Gordon says great weather, new promotions and an array of musical acts helped booster numbers. He says planning is underway for next year…

 

 

State Fair Manager Kevin Gordon. Grandstand concert revenue also hit a new high this year. Gordon says they are working now to book acts for 2020. 

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  Get ready...the 2019 Paxton Swine and Dine is set for tomorrow in the city. The barbeque competitors will be busy starting at daybreak preparing their entries. Food vendors open at 11. Paxton Area Chamber President Alan Meyer says there are a lot of things to do for the entire family…

 

 

Paxton Area Chamber President Alan Meyer

WPXN will be announcing the winner of our Summer Getaway Giveaway Saturday morning at 8am. The grand prize is a 1 thousand dollar travel voucher from Anywhere Anytime Journeys of Rantoul. 

 

 

 

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Flag that will fly over Paxton next year will be at PBL Homecoming Football game

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A federal magistrate is recommending that a judge decline to dismiss charges against an Illinois militia leader who was the alleged ringleader behind the 2017 bombing of a Minnesota mosque. Michael Hari’s attorneys had argued that four counts against him should be dismissed, saying that Congress exceeded its authority when it enacted a statute that Hari is accused of violating. U.S. Magistrate Judge Hildy Bowbeer disagreed. A federal judge will now decide whether to adopt her recommendations. Prosecutors allege Hari and two others drove from Clarence,  to bomb a mosque in Bloomington, Minnesota, in hopes of scaring Muslims into leaving the U.S. No one was injured in the August 2017 attack at Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center. Hari is also charged in a failed bombing of a women’s clinic in Illinois.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Owe the state taxes? Now is a good time to pay up. The Illinois Department of Revenue is offering a one time tax amnesty program for those who have outstanding tax debt incurred between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2018. Spokesperson Sam Salustro…

 

 

Illinois Department of Revenue Spokesperson Sam Salustro. Taxpayers have until November 15th to make a full payment. More information is available online at: tax dot illinois dot gov. 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- A new report out shows fewer Americans are signed up for health insurance. The survey revealed 27.5 million people did not sign up for health insurance through the health insurance marketplace in 2018. That is 8.5 percent of the population, up from 7.9 percent of the population in 2017.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- New legislation aims to lower the cost of insulin for diabetes patients. Officials say a person with type one diabetes spends on average, about 475 dollars a month for insulin. That’s led to people risking their lives to cut costs says Representative Sue Scherer of Decatur…

 

 

State Representative Sue Scherer of Decatur. The bill, which may come up during the fall veto session, limits the copay for a 30 day supply to 100 dollars. Only one other state, Colorado, has such a law. 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A Paxton man has been sentenced to 8 years in prison for violating a court order to stay away from his former girlfriend after a domestic incident last year. Nathan Steinmeyer received the sentence after he admitted to violating the order in August. Steinmeyer pleaded guilty in April to aggravated domestic battery for choking his girlfriend. He was originally sentenced to 3 years probation and must serve at least 85% of his sentence.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton-Buckley-Loda School Board is expected to approve their fiscal year 2020 budget at tonight’s school board meeting. In addition to approving the budget, school board members will hear an update on the Clara Peterson addition and Eastlawn Elementary demolition and consider updating school policies. A budget hearing gets underway at 6pm with the regular monthly meeting starting afterwards.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- An open house on the streetscape project in downtown Paxton will be held on 23rd from 4 to 6 pm. Mayor Bill Ingold talks about the latest with the project…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Rantoul Public Library will be celebrating Banned Book Week with an open discussion. The library will hold discussions on banned and challenged books on September 24th and 25th from 6:30-7:30 pm. Banned book week runs September 22-28.

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- If you want to see the flag that will fly over the city of Paxton next June, then you need to attend the Paxton Buckley Loda Homecoming football game later this month. The 30 by 60 flag will be on display at Jerry Zimmerman Field at I-57 Stadium on September 27th. A group of local volunteers has been raising money for the project since flag day this year. To date, the group has raised just over 30 thousand dollars for the project.  The plan is to have the flag raised on Flag Day in June of 20-20. Paver bricks continue to be sold for the project and donations may be dropped off at the Frederick Community Bank in downtown Paxton. 

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is making her first endorsement of a liberal challenger to an incumbent House Democrat, backing Marie Newman in the primary against eight-term Rep. Daniel Lipinski in Illinois. The New York congresswoman for now is putting her name and small-dollar fundraising ability behind congressional candidates, rather than in the presidential primary. Lipinski, who opposes abortion rights, is among the more conservative Democrats in the House and defeated Newman in a primary last cycle. By backing a primary opponent to a colleague, Ocasio-Cortez is mounting a campaign strategy that resembles her own political rise last year, when she toppled a House Democratic leader in a stunning primary challenge. It’s a flex of power for the freshman lawmaker but also one that makes colleagues wary.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Energy-efficiency jobs are booming in Illinois, and the pace is not expected to slow down anytime soon. Mary Schuermann reports…

 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- National retailer Forever 21 is announcing they are closing 100 stores across the country. The company says declining mall traffic is a major contributing factor. The company is looking to restructure their brand. The only area location is at Marketplace Mall in Champaign. It’s unknown if that store will be affected.


 

(Springfield-jm) -- As Farm Safety Week continues, the Illinois Department of Labor is focusing on the danger of grain bins. In just the past few weeks, two workers in Illinois have become trapped in grain bins. It’s an accident that can happen quickly says State OSHA Director Ben Noven…

 

 

State OSHA Director Ben Noven. The majority of grain bin entrapments happen on family farms. Noven urges workers to wear a safety harness when entering the bin and to “Lock out and Tag out”, making sure all power to the bin is off and tagged to remain off. 

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- About 2000 Ameren Illinois customers were without power yesterday evening in parts of the area.. 1,972 customers were without power. Customers in Gibson City, Melvin, Roberts, Elliott and Saybrook were affected. No word on the cause of the outage.

 

 

(Gilman-jm) -- Iroquois West school board members are expected to approve Title one plans districtwide at tonight’s school board meeting. In addition, school board members are expected to consider approving a school maintenance project grant, letting of the bids for snow removal, approving the districts fiscal year 2020 budget and reviewing new school district policies. The Iroquois West school board meeting gets underway at 7 pm.


 

(Paxton-jm) -- The smell of BBQ will soon fill the air in downtown Paxton as the 2019 Paxton Swine n Dine gets underway on Saturday September 21st. In addition to the BBQ competition, there will be a bags tournament, inflatables for the kids and of course food vendors. Once again this year, there will be live entertainment says Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer…

 

 

Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer. Also new this year, you can purchase tickets to judge some of the competitors food.

 

 

(Penfield-jm) -- The Champaign County Forest Preserve is looking to raise $250,000 to restore Willow Pond at Middlefork. A hole has opened up underneath the pond causing the pond to lose water and leading to frequent closurers of the beach. The forest preserve is looking to drain, dredge and deepen the pond, add a clay lining and remove the center island. The forest preserve has looked into grants to cover the costs, however, there are no grants available.

 

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This Week is National Farm Safety Week

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker’s office announced the appointment of two census co-coordinators Monday, a position created by an executive order he signed in June to maximize participation in the 2020 U.S. Census. State officials say up to two congressional seats and more than $1 billion in federal funding are at stake in Illinois if the complete population is not counted in 2020. The General Assembly allocated $29 million in state funding to an outreach effort that will be led by the newly created Census Office within the Illinois Department of Human Services. Marishonta Wilkerson and Oswaldo Alvarez were selected for the position. Of the $29 million set aside for the outreach efforts, 500 thousand to 700 thousand will be spent locally in the Ford, Iroquois, Champaign, Vermilion, Livingston and McLean County areas.

 

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Texas-based Vistra Energy has agreed to shutter a central Illinois coal power facility by the end of 2022 under a preliminary settlement with environmental groups that sued the plant in 2013. The Sierra Club announced Monday that the agreement with Vistra Energy affiliate Illinois Power Resources Generating to close the E.D. Edwards coal plant in Peoria County must be approved by a federal judge.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Producers are getting ready for the fall harvest as we hear in the weekly crop report. Crop progress still trails last year’s schedule, but may soon be ready to harvest in a few spots says Crop Statistician Brad Summa. He says 67 percent of corn is in the dent stage and 14 percent is mature…

 

 

Crop Statistician Brad Summa. 25 percent of soybeans are turning color and three percent are dropping leaves. 42 percent of the crop is rated in good to excellent condition. The third cutting of alfalfa is now 88 percent complete and average statewide topsoil moisture came in at 12 percent very short, 25 percent short, 57 percent adequate and six percent surplus. 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- This is National Farm Safety Week and the Illinois Department of Agriculture has some reminders for the harvest season. The theme this week is “Shift Farm Safety into High Gear,” recognizing the perils farmers face working with huge machinery and the need for drivers to give them plenty of room says State Ag Spokesperson Krista Lisser…

 

 

State Ag Spokesperson Krista Lisser. The Department of Agriculture will be highlighting different safety concerns on social media this week, including youth in the fields and mental health issues during a stressful planting season. 

 

 

(Ford County-jm) -- The Ford County Public Health Department will be hosting a series of flu clinics throughout the county later this month and into the next month. 14 walk in clinics will be held throughout the county put on by the health department. The clinics will take place on September 24th (9-11) at the Piper City Rehab, September 26 at the Ford County Public Health Department (9-11, 2-4),  September 30 health department (9-11), October 1 Gibson City Schoolhouse Apartments (9-11), October 4 at the health department (2-4), October 8 Gibson City Telecare (9-11), October 10 American Evangelical Lutheran Church Gibson City (8:30-11) and at the health department (4-6), October 12 Big R Gibson City (9-11), October 15 Paxton IGA (9-11) and at the health department (2-4), October 16 Kempton American Legion (8:30-11:30) and October 18 at the health department (9-11).


 

(Paxton--jc)  -- The Paxton Buckley Loda FFA is doing some collecting. They want to collect plastic bottle caps and a bunch of them. Their goal is 175 pounds   says PBL FFA Spokesperson Autumn Bruens…

 


PBL FFA Member Autumn Bruens. The group is set to recycle the plastic bottle caps and make a bench out of them

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- Champaign County is jumping on the recreational marijuana tax bandwagon. A county board committee recommended the 3 percent tax in incorporated areas and 3.75 percent tax in unincorporated areas of the county. Local municipalities must approve the sale of recreational marijuana in order for the county to receive money. A vote by the county board is expected at their September 19th board meeting.

 

(Kane County--jc)  -- Federal, state and Kane County health officials are adding two confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease to a dozen others in the Batavia communityThe previously reported 12 cases were found in Covenant Living at the Holmstad in Batavia.The two new cases were from out in the community.A water source with the bacteria has not yet been identified.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Gaming Board said Monday that state lawmakers need to change a law they enacted earlier this year if they ever hope to see a casio developed in the city of Chicago. The vote came in response to a feasibility study released last month that said such a casino would not be feasible given the tax and fee structure lawmakers imposed. Under the gambling expansion bill, lawmakers authorized six more land-based casinos however, according to the bill in addition to the taxes and fees that all casinos pay, the Chicago casino would be required to pay an additional 33.3 percent privilege tax which would bring the effective tax rate on a Chicago casino to roughly 72 percent. Lawmakers could revisit the issue when they reconvene for the fall veto session October 28th.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Producers are getting ready for the fall harvest as we hear in the weekly crop report. Corn harvest has begun with just one percent complete as only 14 percent of the crop has matured. The condition of the corn crop improved to 41 percent in good to excellent condition. Crop Statistician Brad Summa says 25 percent of soybeans are turning color...

 

 

Crop Statistician Brad Summa. Just 35 percent of pastures are rated in good to excellent condition. Average statewide topsoil moisture is rated as 12 percent very short, 25 percent short, 57 percent adequate and six percent surplus. 


(Springfield-jm) -- This is National Farm Safety Week and the Illinois Department of Agriculture has some reminders for the harvest season. Whether it be working with large machinery, dodging cars, or the long hours, farming remains one of the most dangerous professions says State Ag Spokesperson Krista Lisser…

 

Illinois Ag Spokesperson Krista Lisser. Lisser says motorists need to give farmers plenty of room on the road as they work the fields and be aware that a slow moving vehicle may be ahead. Producers are urged to take care of themselves during this busy time. 

 

(Ford County-jm) -- Ford County probation officers salaries will be fully funded after the state Supreme Court received an increase in their budget. With the increase in the budget, salaries will be 100 percent funded instead of 62 percent. 

 

(Washington-jm) -- If you are a corn grower who thinks prices right now are too low, you may not have much reason to change that thinking for this next marketing year. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Park District is holding off on the purchase of a new truck for now. The park district is looking to replace their 1999 truck. They are currently transitioning a 2009 truck to be a secondary truck. A decision on a new truck is expected to happen sometime in early 2020.

 

(Undated--jc)  -- Illinoisans have two of the most fun cities in the country within driving distance. Consumer finance website WalletHub ranked Chicago the fifth most fun city. St. Louis, Missouri, ranked No. 18. The rankings were based on entertainment, nightlife and costs, among other things.

 

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Illinois Government Agencies are Being Advised to Prepare for Budget Cuts in 2020

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois’ chief fiscal officer has a clear duty to pay lost wages to all members of the General Assembly affected by two statutes a Cook County judge ruled were unconstitutional, the attorney for two former Democratic state senators wrote in a court filing. One law freezing cost of living increases and another implementing furlough days violated Illinois’ governing document because they altered legislators’ wagers during terms for which their were elected a circuit court judge decided in July. Now, two former lawmakers who voted in favor of both statutes are asking the judge to compel Comptroller Susana Mendoza to issue back bay. If successful, the order could cost Illinois just under $13 million.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois government agencies are being advised to prepare for budget cuts in 2020. Illinois’ budget office sent a memo signed by Deputy Governor Dan Hynes and Budget Director Alexis Sturm noting the current budget is balanced however, it orders agencies to prepare a scenario in which 6.5 percent of current year funding would go away. The memo also directs agencies to review their boards and commissions with potentially cutting them by 10 percent.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois motorists can now get their driving records online. Instead of having to go to a local driver’s services facility, you can quickly download a copy of your driving record via Secretary of State Jesse White’s website. Spokesperson Henry Haupt says people need the record for a variety of reasons…

 

 

Secretary of State Spokesperson Henry Haupt. Visit: cyber drive illinois dot com any time of day to get your record. You’ll be asked to provide information from your driver’s license. The charge is 12 dollars, plus a one dollar credit card processing fee.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The City of Paxton will be flushing hydrants later this month. Water department employees will be flushing hydrants September 23rd through the 27th starting on the west side of town. Residents may notice discoloration and/or loss of water pressure. Those with questions are asked to call the water department at 379-2425.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Those hoping to ask questions about VA healthcare can do so in Rantoul. VA Illiana Health Care Systems will be hosting a town hall on September 19th from 5 to 6:30 pm at the Rantoul Business Center. Staff will be present to provide updates and answer questions on care, programs and services offered by the VA. For more information, call 217-554-3000 extension 45073.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The City of Paxton will hold an open house later this month on the upcoming streetscape project. Mayor Bill Ingold says the open house allows community members to learn more about the project and get their questions answered…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold. Ingold says work is expected to begin in the spring.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Park District is eyeing several thousand dollars in repairs to the community’s pool. Among the issues is a pump and a vacuum for the pool. It’s estimated to cost between $1,000 and $2,000 to repair the pump, while getting a new pump would cost between $5,000 and $8,000. A new vacuum would cost between $2,000 and $3,000. The park district is also looking at an estimated $500 to paint the pool gutters and $240 each for new deck chairs.


 

(Watseka-jm) -- Iroquois County Treasurer Kurt Albers is reminding residents the deadline for the 2nd installment of real estate taxes is quickly approaching. The deadline to pay the installment without penalty is today. After that date a one and a half percent interest rate will be added.

 

 

(Washington-jm) --  There's been some encouraging news for U.S. pork and soybean producers concerning trade with China. Gary Crawford has the details…

 

 

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois has recognized five professors at the Urbana-Champaign campus for their excellence in teaching and service. The University Scholars program started in 1985. Recipients receive $15,000 a year for three years to use toward scholarly work, including for travel, research assistants and books. Applicants are nominated from each campus of the university system.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A coalition of advocacy groups and lawmakers from both parties unveiled a bill Friday that would phase out emissions of a cancer-causing gas in densely populated areas and near schools or daycares by 2022. House Bill 3888 is the latest step in a highly publicized series of legislative and advocacy efforts to regulate or ban the use of ethylene oxide in Illinois. The bill states that by 2021 no sterilization company can use ethylene oxide within five miles of a region with a population density of at least 10 residents per square mile, or within the same distance from a school or daycare. Hospitals that use the gas in sterilization processes would have to meet the same requirements by January 2022, while critical access hospitals have until 2025. Ethylene oxide is a gas used in sterilization and manufacturing processes that has been linked to higher cancer rates. 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- A popular heartburn medication may have cancer causing carcinogens in it according to the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA announced Friday that low levels of nitrosodimethlamine, a known substance that could cause cancer is found in Zantac. The substance was found in both the name brand and generic versions of the pill that are sold at major pharmacies like Walmart, Walgreens and CVS. The FDA says the levels found in the medicine barely exceeds the amount found in common foods so the drug hasn’t been recalled.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- What are the price prospects for the upcoming U.S. soybean crop? Gary Crawford reports…


 

 

(Loda-jm) -- A Loda church is celebrating a major milestone in October. Immanuel Lutheran Church will be celebrating 70 years with a special service on October 13th at 10:30 am. The first service was held in 1948 by the Reverend E.M.  Goltermann in a local funeral home. In 1949 the church was renamed Immanuel Lutheran Church.

 

 

(Danville-jm) -- The Vermilion County Farm Bureau Foundation is hosting a rifle raffle. The foundation is raffling off a Henry Golden Boy and a Ruger Mini 14. Tickets are $20 a piece or 6 for $100. Proceeds benefit Ag in the Classroom. The drawing will be held on December 3rd. For more information or to get your tickets call the Vermilion County Farm Bureau office at 217-442-8713.

 

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Two area health care systems are combining some of their services later this year. Carle Hospital and Christie Clinic have announced a plan to begin sharing medical records beginning in October. Currently, its estimated about 80 percent of patients who use Carle physicians also see a physician at Christie. Both systems would be able to securely access the records of mutual patients. For patients they would be able to access their medical information for both places through the mycarle portal.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Work on a stretch of road in Champaign County is expected to begin today. I-DOT announced Leverett Road between Route 45 and Market Street will be resurfaced. One lane will remain open during the project. Work is expected to be completed by the end of November.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Keep your receipts parents, your children’s education expenses may entitle you to an income tax credit. Families paying more than 250 dollars for school costs in grades kindergarten through high school may be able to take the credit. Illinois Department of Revenue Spokesperson Sam Salustro says eligible expenses include tuition, lab fees and book fees….

 

Illinois Department of Revenue Spokesperson Sam Salustro. The credit is available to parents of kids in both public and private schools.

 

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Iroquois County Sheriff's Office is seeking the public's help into who vandalized the Danforth Cemetery

(Danforth--jc)  -- Iroquois County Police are seeking the public’s input on vandalism at one area cemetery. Police say damage to graves at the Danforth Cemetery happened on September 10 or September 11th. Local police continue to investigate. Anyone with information on this crime is asked to call the Iroquois County Sheriff’s office in Watseka

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The advertising and other business practices of tech giant Google will be under heavy scrutiny in the coming months as part of a bipartisan investigation led by 50 attorneys general including Kwame Raoul of Illinois.  In an announcement this week, Raoul’s office said the joint investigation will determine whether the tech giant operates in violation of state and federal antitrust laws. The investigation will focus on Google’s advertising practices and whether its dominance in the advertising and search market constitutes anticompetitive behavior that harms consumers. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The USDA is lowering the crop production forecast for Illinois. Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says based on conditions as of September first, the Illinois corn yield is 180 bushels per acre…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. The soybean yield is forecasted to hit 53 bushels per acre, down 12 from last year. Total production is estimated at 527 million bushels. That would be a 25 percent decrease from last year.


 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The village of Rantoul will be celebrating Community Night Out on September 18th. Events will take place at Eagles View Supportive Living and Memory Care starting at 1:30, Twin Lakes Senior Villas from 1-3 pm, Youman Place Apartments from 3-5 pm, Hope Meadows 3-5 pm and Golfview Village from 5-7 pm. For more information or to sign up for next year’s Community Night Out, call Nadine Frerichs at 893-5600.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton’s Swine n Dine BBQ Competition is coming up on Saturday, September 21st in downtown Paxton. Activities at this year’s event includes kids inflatables, a bags tournament, remote controlled cars for kids and live music featuring Nashville recording artist Jerrod Niemann. Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer says this year you can be a judge for the BBQ competition…

 

 

Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Button Township voters will have a new location when they go to the polls. Ford County Clerk Amy Frederick has announced voters will be voting at the Button Township Hall located at 3379 E County Road 200 N after the previous voting location, the Paxton American Legion, was sold. Voters will receive new voting cards with the updated location.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- After several months of back and forth with the state, the Paxton landfill is officially closed. Mayor Bill Ingold says the announcement was made at this month’s city council meeting…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The University of Illinois set several record numbers when it comes to student enrollment this year. 51,196 students are enrolled for the new school year, an increase from the previous record 49,339 set last fall. The freshman class also set a record. 7,665 freshman students are enrolled this academic year. That is up from last year's record 7,609. The freshman class has the strongest academic profile with an average SAT of 1348, ACT of 29 and GPA of 3.60. 5,698 students are from within the state representing 92 of the state's 102 counties. 

 

 

(Undated--jc)  -- All of Illinois’ neighboring states spend a higher percentage of their gas taxes and license fees on roads than the Land of Lincoln.The Tax Foundation ranked Illinois No. 34 for spending 34 percent of its gas and license taxes on roads.Of neighboring states, Iowa spends the largest percentage at nearly 51 percent.

 

(Washington-jm) -- Several area congressmen are promoting the benefits of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement while praising President Donald Trump’s trade war with China. During a recent news interview, Darin LaHood promoted the trade agreement saying it will help more products to be produced in the US and can help the dairy industry by reducing tariffs. The new agreement would replace NAFTA or the North American Free Trade Agreement. As for the ongoing trade war with China, LaHood said he understands its hurting the agriculture and manufacturing industries but it’s time, after 25 years to stand up to China.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Insurance is helping families collect unpaid life insurance claims. It’s the duty of insurance companies to pay beneficiaries but policies aren’t always paid out for various reasons. Director Robert Muriel says consumers can search to see if they are due any money on the Department of Insurance’s website…

 

 

Illinois Department of Insurance Director Robert Muriel. So far this year, the department has been able to help people find and collect more than 15 million dollars from lost or unclaimed life insurance policies. Visit insurance dot illinois dot gov for more information. 

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- An electronics recycling event in Champaign County will take place in October. The recycling event will take place on October 12th at Parkland College. Those interested in participating are asked to register online at ecycle dot simplybook dot me or call Nichole Millage at 217 403 4780.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Last months highly criticized USDA corn and soybean forecasts may be "vindicated" as those same basic forecasts in Thursday's new estimates are now within the much revised trade expectations. Gary Crawford has the details…

 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Ford County Public Health Department is expanding services and taking over a program for Iroquois County. The director of Iroquois County’s Adult Protective Services stepped down and the agency is no longer staffing it. Ford County signed a 5 year contract with the state to take over the program. Fees from the program are expected to generate enough revenue to hire a new person.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton-Buckley-Loda School District is gearing up for a busy homecoming week. Superintendent Cliff McClure talks about some of the events happening…

 

 

PBL Schools Superintendent Cliff McClure.

Homecoming week begins September 23.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  --As the Sept. 30 deadline approaches for municipalities in Illinois to decide on whether to allow and tax the sale of recreational cannabis, locally elected officials are under the microscope.The state lawmakers responsible for getting the legislation that legalized recreational cannabis to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk warned last month that municipalities shouldn’t tax sales of cannabis products at the maximum three percent. They said the high taxes would keep people from getting high using legal supply, opting to continue buying cannabis on the black market.In spite of the warning, many of the state’s cities are opting to tax sales at the highest rate. On top of state taxes that can be as high as 40 percent, local city and county sales taxes, the three percent tax can put the total tax on recreational cannabis at more than 50 percent.


 

(Springfield--jc)  --The debate over whether Illinois should change its flat income tax to a structure taxing higher rates for higher earners is expected to be expensive as groups on both sides of the issue prepare for November 2020 election.Voters will likely see more political ads for and against changing the state’s flat income tax to a structure with higher rates for higher earners. That proposed change to the state constitution will appear on ballots in November 2020. Voters will have the final say at the ballot box.Supporters have said the progressive income tax proposal will bring the state an additional $3.2 billion in tax revenue. That money would be used to address the state’s structural budget deficits. Opponents have questioned those revenue projections.

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General Motors is recalling over 3 million pickups and SUVs over brake issues

(Springfield-jm) -- Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s office is suing several pharmaceutical companies over the opioid crisis in Illinois. The lawsuit is filed against companies like Johnson and Johnson, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and more. It alleges they engaged in deceptive marketing practices that contributed to the opioid epidemic says Attorney General Spokesperson Annie Thompson…

 

Attorney General Spokesperson Annie Thompson. The suit also alleges that distributors McKesson, Cardinal Health and others failed to look into suspicious orders of opiates like hydrocodone and morphine. 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton-Buckley-Loda FFA Chapter needs your help to protect the environment. The group is collecting 175 pounds of bottle caps or approximately 35,000 caps. For more information or to donate your caps, contact a PBL FFA member.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Taxing bodies in Ford County are starting to receive payments from the county for property taxes collected in 2018. After the first round of property taxes were collected, 17.2 million were distributed. Paxton-Buckley-Loda and the Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley school districts each received 3.8 million while the Tri-Point school district received 2 million. The second installment of property taxes is due by October 28th. After that deadline, an estimated 12 million more will be distributed to taxing bodies. County officials say the payment delays are due to the Illinois Department of Revenue not sending out the county’s multiplier on time.

 

(Washington-jm) --Will this month's new round of USDA crop forecasts cause as big a stir as last month? We will know soon. Gary Crawford has the details…

 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- General Motors is recalling over 3 million pickups and SUVs over brake issues. The models impacted include the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks, model years 2014 through 2018. Also included are the Cadillac Escalade from 2015 to 2017, and the GMC Yukon and Chevy Suburban and Tahoe from 2015 through 2018. According to the automaker, the problem lies within the vacuum pump. The amount of vacuum created by the pump, according to GM, may decrease over time. When the vacuum level drops, the brake assist will decrease. This will increase the stopping distance needed, risking a crash.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A Rantoul man has been sentenced to four years probation for sexually abusing a girl back in December. Carlos Ramirez-Lopez pleaded guilty to aggravated criminal sexual abuse before the case could go to a retrial after a jury acquitted him of one count of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child back in July. Ramirez-Lopez also pleaded guilty to aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol for an incident in September 2018. He received 30 months probation for that. 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce is reminding everyone about the farmers market held outside the Paxton Carnegie Library in downtown every Thursday from 4-7 pm. Today, local musical act Vern and Vern will be performing. The farmers market runs through September 19th.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Attorney General Kwame Raoul is raising concerns about at-home rape evidence kits. The do-it-yourself evidence collection kits are being marketed to survivors, but really don’t provide the support system that victims need says Attorney General Spokesperson Annie Thompson

 

 

Attorney General Spokesperson Annie Thompson. Thompson says there are also concerns about whether these kits would be admissible in court.

 

 

(Gifford-jm) -- The village of Gifford will likely push their water main replacement project to early 2020. Project leader David Atchley brought to village leaders attention that there is not enough room in the right away in the 1600 feet without replacing field tile. Environmental regulations call for water mains and field tiles to be at least 10 feet apart. A possible solution is to request easements from 16 homeowners. 

 

 

(Buckley-jm) -- Buckley village trustees have approved a change order for their water tower refurbishment project. During the September meeting, village leaders approved removing a non-code compliant safety handrail on top instead of replacing it after an internet service tower was moved to another site. The change order will cost the village 1600 to remove the handrail, however, the village will be credited 5000 as they no longer need to install a new pressure-vacuum vent.


 

(Roberts--jc)  -- You can add one Ford County town to the list of communities that have placed a three percent sales tax on legal marijuana sales. The village of Roberts voted to put the sales tax on the books this week says Roberts Mayor Rick Flessner…

 

 

Roberts Mayor Rick Flessner

 

 

(Gibson City--jc)  -- For sale, used cars. The Gibson City Police Department is selling two used Ford Crown Victorias. One is a 2007 and the other is a 2008. Neither are running at this time and may need new batteries. If you would like to purchase either car, you may submit a sealed bid by Friday September 20th with the Gibson City Police..

 

 

(Gilman-jm) -- The Iroquois County community of Gilman is gearing up for their annual Super Saturday. Activities include a tractor show from 9-4, Bingo from 2-4 and a car show. This years event takes place on September 14th.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City will be hosting their annual Harvest Fest the second weekend of September. The two day festival takes place on Friday, September and Saturday. Friday night’s live music line up include Jake and Jackson and Fun Pianos Dueling Pianos. Saturday’s activities include a bags tournament, one-third race and beer stein holding. Live music Saturday includes The Fairchilds, Counterfeits, Devon Clemons Band and Nashville-recording artist Colt Ford.

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