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WPXN Blog

Thursday August 17 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois House has soundly rejected Gov. Bruce Rauner's plan for a new public-school funding method. The House voted 0-60 Wednesday on legislation that encompasses the changes the Republican governor made in an amendatory veto. The Senate voted to override the veto on Sunday.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- House lawmakers are denouncing hate groups in a resolution passed Wednesday. The measure, condemning white supremacists and similar groups, received unanimous support and elicited moving speeches from several legislators. Representative David Harris of Mount Prospect…

 

 

State Representative David Harris of Mount Prospect. On Sunday, the Illinois Senate passed a similar resolution urging police to consider Neo-Nazis and White Nationalists as terrorist groups.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Those wanting to go swimming in Paxton only have two more chances to do so. The Paxton Park District announced the pool will close for the season on Sunday. Because of school starting the pool will be closed today and tomorrow. The pool is open Saturday from 1 until 9 and Sunday from noon until 5.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The new Cobblestone Hotel and Suites will be holding a job fair next week. The group announced on their Facebook page they will hold a job fair August 22nd and 23rd from 10 to 5. The company is looking to hire all shifts and weekends for positions at the front desk, night audit and housekeeping.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The City of Paxton is making some changes to its dog ordinance. Mayor Bill Ingold says the changes focus on penalties…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

 

 

(Iroquois County-jm) -- Iroquois County Treasurer Mindy Kuntz Hagan is reminding residents that the deadline to pay their second installment of real estate taxes without penalty is Monday. After that date, a one and a half percent interest will be added to the second installment. You can pay by mail, any bank in Iroquois County or at the Treasurer’s office in Watseka.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce has a new executive director. Belynda Allen took over for Kellie Wahl, who stepped down to become a teacher. Allen talks about what she hopes to accomplish as director…

 

 

Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Belynda Allen.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner says he's determined to fight a "corrupt political machine in Chicago" and its "special deals" as he seeks a second term. Rauner spoke at a GOP breakfast Wednesday before heading to the Illinois State Fairgrounds for a campaign rally. 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The House is shooting down legislation based on the Governor’s amendatory veto of a school funding plan. Instead of trying to override the veto as the Senate did last week, the House voted on a separate bill with the Governor’s changes. It failed miserably and House Republican Leader Jim Durkin denounced the effort…



House Republican Leader Jim Durkin. Democrats say there is no support for the Governor’s revisions. The four legislative leaders are scheduled to meet Friday in hopes of reaching a compromise.


 

(Undated-jm) -- School begins for many students across the area this week and police are reminding motorists to be alert for children. Police say motorists need to watch for children walking or riding their bike to school as well as slowing and stopped school buses.


 

(Gibson City-jm) -- The Gibson Area Music Foundation will hold their Hymn Festival this Sunday. Spokesperson Jean Noellsch says the festival will be held at the Gibson City United Methodist Church…



Hymn Festival Spokesperson Jean Noellsch.


 

(Champaign County-jm) -- An Urbana woman has become the first person to announce their candidacy for the newly created county executive position. Voters last November approved creating the position with the elected person taking office in December of 2018. Democrat Darlene Kloeppel has announced she plans to run for the position. No Republican candidates have officially announced their plans however, County Clerk Gordy Hulten and State Senator Chapin Rose are said to be considering the position.


 

(Cissna Park-jm) -- The 2017 Cissna Park Old Settlers Reunion kicks off tonight in downtown Cissna Park. Spokesperson Francis Thompson talks about day 1 of the three day festival…



Cissna Park Old Settlers Reunion Spokesperson Francis Thompson.

 

 

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Wednesday August 16 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois House plans to gauge support for changes Gov. Bruce Rauner made with an amendatory veto of school funding legislation. There will be no immediate vote on overriding the veto when the House convenes Wednesday. Instead, Democrats will consider a new school-funding bill that incorporates the Republican governor's changes. But its chances in the House are slim. If the compromise bill isn't approved, the House will have until Aug. 29 to override the governor's veto.

 

(Washington-jm) -- Your reaction to USDA's surprising new crop yield forecasts may depend heavily on what you grow and where you farm. Gary Crawford has the details…

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The National Corn Growers Association will hold a field day and soil health meeting at an area farm. The group will a soil health field day meeting on September 8th in Vermilion County with Tom Kentner. For more information or to register visit soil health partnership dot org.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City has a new police chief. Mayor Dan Dickey says the council approved Adam Rosenthal to replace Eric Hyatt, who passed away in July…

 

 

Gibson City Mayor Dan Dickey.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- An Urbana lawyer and former Miss America has announced her bid to become Illinois Attorney General. Erika Harold announced candidacy on the Republican ticket to face off against 4 term democrat incumbent Lisa Madigan in the 2018 election.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Rantoul village board approved a microloan request at their meeting last week. Rantoul Village Administrator Jeff Fiegenschuh talks about the microloan request and program…

 

 

Rantoul Village Administrator Jeff Fiegenschuh.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Attorney General Lisa Madigan along with State Senator Scott Bennett will hold a student loan forum and urge Governor Bruce Rauner to sign a student loan bill of rights in Champaign today. Attorney General Madigan is convening a student loan forum with education advocates and social service organizations to urge the governor to sign the bill, which addresses widespread abuses and failures in the student loan industry. The forum will be held at 2 p.m. at the Champaign Public Library on W. Green St.


 

(Springfield-jm) -- A new law aims to better take care of police dogs injured on the job. The measure let's emergency medical service providers transport a wounded K-9 officer via ambulance to a veterinary clinic. State Police Trooper Justin Royer says this will ensure their furry officers, like his partner Drax, quickly get the care they need…



State Trooper Justin Royer. People at the scene would still take priority if they need an ambulance under the law.


 

(Thomasboro-jm) -- Trucks going to the elevator in Thomasboro will have to find a new route. In an effort to protect the newly resurfaced Main Street, village leaders will approach Premier Cooperative about signs designating a truck route. The village board had considered an ordinance limiting vehicle weight limits, however, there was concerns on how to enforce the ordinance.


 

(Buckley-jm) – Buckley based Christ Lutheran High School will hold their annual Knight for Christ benefit auction this Saturday at the Wyndham hotel in Urbana. Executive Director Sandy Spitz talks about some of the items on the live auction…



Christ Lutheran High School Executive Director Sandy Spitz.


 

(Champaign County-dg) -- An area law enforcement official has announced his plans to run for Champaign County Sheriff. Greg Worrell will be petitioning for signatures to be able to be put on the March ballot. Worrell has spent over 40 years in Law Enforcement. He Currently works as an officer in the Fisher Police department.


 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton-Buckley-Loda School District is still trying to prepare a budget. Superintendent Cliff McClure says it’s hard to prepare a budget without money from the state…



PBL Schools Superintendent Cliff McClure.

 

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Tuesday August 15 2017

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois has made a long-delayed move toward replacing the private manager of the lottery, years after the first of two governors tried to fire the current manager for missing sales goals. Camelot Illinois on Monday presented an overview of its plan to increase sales and put more money in state coffers for schools and other programs. CEO Nigel Railton says the plan includes more prominent retail displays and marketing of online games, including a mobile app.

 

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois' Champaign-Urbana campus says it will only use the block letter "I" logo from now on. School officials made the announcement Monday, saying the campus is retiring use of the more ornate column letter "I" logo that nonathletic units have used since 1997. Instead, school officials said colleges and administrative units will begin moving toward using the block letter "I" logo immediately.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor Bruce Rauner is signing a new law that protects preschoolers from being expelled. The measure prevents early childhood programs from kicking unruly kids out of school. Instead, they will need to documents steps taken to help children with their behavioral problems. Governor Rauner applauds the bill…

 

 

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. Preschools will be able to temporarily remove a child for safety reasons, but must then work to find resources to help the student. The law goes into effect next year.


 

(Iroquois County-jm) -- Iroquois County Sheriff’s police are reporting a pair of recent arrests. William Thomas of Hoopeston was arrested on a Champaign County warrant for failure to pay child support. Jacob Johnson of Cissna Park was arrested on a Vermilion County warrant for two counts of aggravated fleeing and eluding a police officer.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The City of Paxton has approved a contract for a company to remove sludge from the sewer plant. Mayor Bill Ingold says it’s the same company the city has used for the past few years…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- An area ag conglomerate is helping non-profits. Monsanto is giving farmers the opportunity to direct $2,500 to their favorite non-profit as part of their America’s Farmers Grow Communities program. Farmers have until November 1st to enroll in the program. If chosen, farmers will be able to direct the donation to an eligible non-profit of their choice.

 

 

(Buckley-jm) -- Christ Lutheran High School is preparing for their 13th annual Knight for Christ auction. Executive Director Sandy Spitz has the details for this year’s event…

 

 

Christ Lutheran High School Executive Director Sandy Spitz.

 

 

(Ford County-jm) -- Ford County Sheriff’s deputies handled 4 civil matters and issued 22 traffic citations during the past week. On August 8th, complaints of reckless driving in Piper City were received, a rural Gibson City man reported losing his wallet in Florida and a complaint of Violation of a NO Contact Order was taken at the Ford County Courthouse. On August 9th, a residential burglar alarm in rural Piper City was received and a Roberts resident reported damage to his vehicle.  On August 11th, illegal dumping was reported in rural Roberts.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- It was a cool, dry week for Illinois crops as we hear in the weekly crop report. The temperature and rainfall this past week were both below normal, and average statewide topsoil moisture was a little drier at seven percent short, 35 percent short and 58 percent adequate. Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 77 percent of corn is now in the dough stage…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 97 percent of soybeans are blooming and 83 percent are setting pods. 63 percent of the soybean crop is rated in good to excellent condition, down slightly from the previous week. The third cutting of alfalfa is now 72 percent complete and five percent of sorghum is mature.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Authorities say applications for concealed-carry permits have been generally declining in Illinois since the program launched three years ago. The State Journal-Register reports that numbers provided by the Illinois State Police show nearly 104,000 people applied for the permits to carry concealed weapons in 2014, and about 32,900 have applied so far this year. Experts cite several explanations for the decline, including that the strongest supporters applied as soon they could.


CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is revising his response to a deadly attack at a white nationalist rally in Virginia after refusing to call it an act of terrorism. The first-term Republican called the attack that left one woman dead "outrageous" but wouldn't call it terrorism when asked repeatedly by reporters Monday in Chicago. Later, he issued a written statement through his office calling it "absolutely an act of domestic terrorism." His spokeswoman couldn't explain the discrepancy.


 

(Springfield-jm) -- The State Department of Employment Security and Revenue will be offering more online services to employers in Illinois. Starting September 11th, employers can take advantage of the my tax Illinois website to take care of things like submitting tax appeals, filing unemployment insurance reports and making payments. Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Bob Gough (goff)...



Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Bob Gough. The website is: my tax dot illinois dot gov.


 

(Iroquois County-jm) -- A Milford man will be sentenced later this month after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter. Danny Murphy pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of involuntary manslaughter after admitting he caused fatal injuries to David Garrett during an altercation in April of 2015. In exchange for his guilty plea, two counts of first degree murder were dropped. Murphy remains in the Iroquois County Jail on $1 million bond. He will be sentenced on August 23rd.

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- The Gibson Area Music Foundation’s Hymn Festival will be held this Sunday at the Gibson City United Methodist Church. Spokesperson Jean Noellsch says there are a couple of familiar faces leading this year’s program…



Hymn Festival Spokesperson Jean Noellsch.


 

(Mahomet-jm) -- A familiar face could be named project manager of a construction project in the Mahomet Seymour school district. Former Superintendent Rick Johnston is one of several candidates being considered for project manager for the construction of a new elementary school set to open in 2018. The board is expected to make the hire at their August 21st board meeting.


 

(Cissna Park-jm) – The Cissna Park Old Settlers Reunion is this Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Spokesperson Francis Thompson says there are raffles every night during the festival…



Cissna Park Old Settlers Reunion Spokesperson Francis Thompson.


 

(Champaign-jm) -- People in the Champaign-Urbana area were treated to a mini air show yesterday morning. The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds made a fuel stop at Willard Airport but before they stopped the group put on a mini show. The group was flying from a show in Massachusetts back to their base in Nevada.


 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Senate voted Sunday to override Governor Rauner’s amendatory veto of Senate bill 1 by a vote of 38 to 19. State Sen. Jason Barickman, who has headed up the Senate GOP’s effort to negotiate a funding formula that treats all Illinois schools fairly, spoke against the override…



State Senator Jason Barickman.

 

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Monday August 14 2017

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Senate is voting to override the Governor’s amendatory veto of an education reform bill. The bill is required to let the state send education dollars to Illinois schools. The Governor made some changes, saying the original measure gives too much money to Chicago schools. But Senator Kimberly Lightford of Maywood says the school funding formula needs to be fair to all children…

 

 

State Senator Kimberly Lightford of Maywood. If the House also overrides the Governor’s amendatory veto, which requires a three-fifth majority vote, the original legislation will become law.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce is looking for a new director. Amanda Donaldson has stepped down as director of the chamber after a year and a half on the job. Those interested in the position are asked to send their resumes to Chamber President Cody Kietzman.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- The Gibson Area Music Foundation will hold their annual Hymn Festival coming up this Sunday. Spokesperson Jean Noellsch talks about this year’s event…

 

 

Gibson Area Music Foundation Spokesperson Jean Noellsch.


 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul Township High School school board members will get their first look at the tentative fiscal year 2018 budget tonight. In addition to the budget, school board members will also discuss and consider a pedestrian crossing proposal. The Rantoul Township High School school board meeting gets underway at 7 p.m.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A Paxton company will be receiving $750,000 from the city. Mayor Bill Ingold says the council finished the paperwork and agreements with Colmac Coil…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- There will be a contested race for the 104th Illinois House District. Cindy Cunningham of Royal announced she is seeking the Democratic nomination for the seat held by retiring Representative Chad Hays. Mike Marron of Fithian announced he is running on the Republican side. The 104th district covers parts of Champaign and Vermilion Counties.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor Bruce Rauner is urging lawmakers to accept his changes to an education funding reform bill. The Governor says under his revisions, nearly 98 percent of Illinois’ 852 school districts will receive more state funding that they would in the original legislation…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. Governor Rauner says if lawmakers won’t uphold his amendatory veto, they should work with him to reach a compromise and make sure schools get state dollars.


 

(Urbana-jm) -- A Fisher teen is being charged as a juvenile in the death of a Fisher man after she crashed the vehicle they were in while she was driving under the influence of drugs. The 15-year-old is charged with two counts of aggravated driving under the influence of a drug. The teen was driving a pickup truck under the influence of cocaine when she crashed at the intersection of 3200 N and 1200 E, about 2 miles northwest of Rantoul. The teen’s passenger, 34-year-old Damon Moseley was killed in the accident. Her next court appearance is set for September 8th.


 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce has a new director. Belynda Allen was hired to take over for Kellie Wahl who stepped down earlier this summer. Allen introduces herself…



Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Belynda Allen.


 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City city council members will have a lot to vote on at tonight’s meeting. Council members will be asked to consider a facade grant request to Jerry Holsten, consider a bid for patch spraying, consider bids for painting of the town’s water tower, consider granting $5,000 to Railside Golf Course for improvements and swearing in a new police chief. The Gibson City city council meeting gets underway at 7 p.m.


 

(Cissna Park-jm) -- The 2017 Cissna Park Old Settlers Reunion is coming up later this week. Spokesperson Francis Thompson has the dates for this year’s event…



Cissna Park Old Settlers Reunion Spokesperson Francis Thompson.


 

(Rural Crescent City-jm) -- The Ford County Soil and Water Conservation District along with the Iroquois County Soil and Water Conservation District will hold their Iroquois-Ford Cover Crop Field Day this week. The event will take place at Tom Roselius and Mark Redeker Farms at the corner of Highway 49 and 1400 N. on Wednesday, August 16th from 9:30 until 2. Cost is $5 in advance $10 day of and can be made by calling 815-432-3946 extension 3.

 

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Friday August 11 2017

 

(Undated-jm) -- Attorney General Lisa Madigan is joining 32 other attorney generals who have reached a settlement with Nationwide Insurance over an October 2012 data breach. The breach resulted in 1.27 million consumers having their personal information, including social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, credit scoring information and other personal data, stolen or compromised. Under the settlement, Nationwide will pay $5.5 million to the states included in the settlement, and Illinois will receive more than $280,000.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The former Rantoul Motel will see the wrecking ball later this year. The village board approved the contract to Owens Excavating at just under $40,000. Village Administrator Jeff Fiegenschuh says the sign will be donated to the historical society…

 

 

Rantoul Village Administrator Jeff Fiegenschuh.

 

 

(Thomasboro-jm) -- Thomasboro village leaders have voted to hire a new full-time police chief instead of contracting with the county. Village board members sought cost estimates for both keeping the current system, employing a part-time chief and three part time officers or contract with the county. Village trustees learned it would cost the village $13,000 a month to contract with the county compared to the $70,000 the village budgets annually under the current system. Current chief Keith Willis announced earlier this year that he will retire in November.


 

(Buckley-jm) -- Christ Lutheran High School in Buckley is gearing up for their 13th Annual Knight for Christ benefit auction that will be held on Saturday, August 19th in Urbana. Executive Director Sandy Spitz talks about how the school uses the funds that are raised…

 

 

Christ Lutheran High School Executive Director Sandy Spitz.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce will hold their business after hours coming up in two weeks. The event will take place on Thursday, August 24th from 5 to 7 p.m. at Paxton Healthcare and Rehab. For more information, call the Chamber office at 379-4655.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The anxiously-awaited, first survey-based yield and production estimates for this year's corn, soybean, and cotton crops were revealed Thursday by USDA. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

CHICAGO (AP) — Democratic candidate for governor J.B. Pritzker has selected state Rep. Juliana Stratton of Chicago to be his running mate in the 2018 election. The billionaire businessman said Thursday Stratton has "taken on" Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and will fight for working and middle-class families as his lieutenant governor. Stratton won her first term in office last year with the help of an endorsement from President Barack Obama. Pritzker is among several Democrats looking to unseat Rauner.
 

 

(Loda-jm) -- An area golf course is promoting their new website. Lakeview Country Club Course Superintendent Doug McCoy talks about the new site…



Lakeview Country Club Course Superintendent Doug McCoy.


 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce will hold their final movies in the park tonight. Chamber Director Belynda Allen invites the whole family to Wabash Park…



Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Belynda Allen.


 

(Gibson City-jm) -- C-U at Home’s documentary film, “The Phoenix, Hope is Rising” will hit the big screen at an area theatre. The group announced Thursday that the film will be shown at the Harvest Moon Twin Drive-in in Gibson City on Sunday, August 20th. Gates open at 7:30 p.m. and the film is free of charge and open to the public.


 

(Springfield-jm) -- Conservation World at this year's Illinois State Fair features a new butterfly house and an emphasis on protecting the monarch butterfly. Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Wayne Rosenthal says the first five thousand visitors to the education tent in Conservation World will receive seeds for a pollinator garden that attracts the monarch. The idea is to boost their rapidly declining numbers…



Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Wayne Rosenthal. Conservation World also offers kid’s fishing clinics, blacksmith demonstrations, a lumberjack show and a wildlife tent.

 

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Thursday August 10 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Senate has scheduled a Sunday session to deal with Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto of a school funding measure. Senate President John Cullerton issued a statement Wednesday. But the Chicago Democrat did not specifically mention a vote to override the amendatory veto by the Republican governor.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor Bruce Rauner is signing a new criminal justice reform law designed to help steer those getting out of prison towards a better path. The law lets offenders receive a copy of their birth certificate for free upon their release. It was sponsored by Representative Al Riley of Hazel Crest…

 

 

State Representative Al Riley of Hazel Crest. Not having those records can make it hard to find housing, get a license or find a job.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Ameren Illinois has announced they are equipping nearly 240 trucks including three in the Paxton area with AEDs. The move allows a better chance of survival for both workers and members of the community who may need the device. Ameren employees are trained on how to use AEDs as well as CPR.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Half Century of Progress is returning to Rantoul later this month. The farm show runs August 24th through the 27th on the former Chanute Air Force Base. Show Spokesperson J.C. Reitmeier says they are proud to welcome back the Earthquake to this year’s show…

 

 

Half Century of Progress Show Spokesperson J.C. Reitmeier.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City will hold their annual Hymn Festival coming up this month. The festival will take place on Sunday, August 20th at 3 p.m. at the Gibson City United Methodist Church. Former Fisher Mayor Milt Kelly will direct this year’s festival.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Work continues on the Cobblestone Inn and Suites west of Paxton. Mayor Bill Ingold provides an update on the project…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed a law that makes state government purchasing less cumbersome. The Republican signed the measure Wednesday in Urbana at the University of Illinois. The law eliminates administrative delays for universities. It also allows government agencies to enter joint-purchasing agreements to increase cost-saving buying power.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois State Fair is unveiling this year’s butter cow, created by a new team of artists. The butter cow exhibit was sculpted by Sarah and Andy Pratt of West Des Moines Iowa. It’s their first year at the Illinois State Fair, and the 2017 version features a momma and her calf, sticking their tongues out at each other says Midwest Dairy Association’s Marla Behrends…



Midwest Dairy Association’s Marla Behrends. Sculptor Sarah hid nine hearts within the sculpture, representing the nine essential nutrients found in milk. The butter cow display took 90 hours to create.


 

Saybrook’s farmers’ market is held on the second Saturday of each month from 8 to 11 a.m.  at the EDGE building, located at the corner of Harrison and Main streets in Saybrook. Local produce, baked goods and a wide variety of crafts are on display and available for purchase. All items are homemade/homegrown.


 

(Vermilion County-jm) -- Crops around the area are uneven because of the significant amounts of rain earlier in the growing season. Vermilion County Farm Bureau Manager Tom Fricke says he predicts the crop will be decent this year…



Vermilion County Farm Bureau Manager Tom Fricke.


 

(Ford County-jm) -- The Ford County Sheriff’s office has released July activity numbers. During the month of July, deputies handled 11 traffic accidents and issued 90 traffic citations including 44 for speeding, 9 for operating an uninsured vehicle, 4 each for no valid driver’s license, driving on a suspended driver's license and not wearing a seatbelt and 3 each for DUI, improper lane usage and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. Deputies also handled 8 criminal damage to property reports, 5 thefts, 3 batteries, 2 each of  DUI alcohol, burglary and criminal trespass complaints and 1 each of theft from a motor vehicle, identity theft, failure to register as a sex offender, assault and DUI drugs.


 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The old Rantoul Motel will be coming down. The Rantoul Village Board approved a contract last night to tear down the shuttered motel says Rantoul Village Administrator Jeff Fiegenschuh…



Rantoul Village Administrator Jeff Fiegenschuh.

 

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Wednesday August 9 2017

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul police are investigating several reports of shots fired in the Winding Lane neighborhood. Last Friday, police were called to the 200 block of Winding Lane where officers were told between 10 and 15 shots had been fired at a home and a vehicle. The next night, police were called to the 100 block of Winding Lane for an unknown number of shots fired into a vehicle. On Sunday, police were called to the same house as Friday night’s incident after three or four shots were fired at that house. Police do not believe the same weapon was used in all the incidents. People were home all three times, but no one was injured.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Will USDA's survey based crop estimates this week calm some of the volatility in the grain and soybean markets? Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The former Sorenson factor on Paxton’s northside will see new life. Gibson Area Hospital and Health Services has announced their new Elite Performance of Paxton will move into the 15,000 square foot facility in 2018. The Paxton facility will specialize in strength and conditioning programs and feature sports medicine facilities and an indoor hitting area for baseball and softball.

 

 

(Buckley-jm) -- August is here and that means it's time to prepare for back to school. Christ Lutheran High School in Buckley Executive Director Sandy Spitz says you still have time to enroll your student…

 

 

Christ Lutheran High School Executive Director Sandy Spitz.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A Rantoul man has been charged with attempted robbery in Thomasboro. 22-year-old Jacob Peters is charged with aggravated robbery and possession of a stolen vehicle after police say Peters allegedly tried to rob Thomasboro Grocery Sunday afternoon. The clerk gave a description of the suspect and the vehicle to police, who stopped Peters. The car Peters was driving belonged to his sister, who loaned it to their mother, who reported it missing from her work on Friday. Peters is due back in court September 5th.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor Bruce Rauner is signing a new law that lets 16 and 17 year olds sign up for the state’s organ and tissue donor registry. Expanding the registry to allow teens to participate will help save more people says Secretary of State Jesse White…

 

 

Secretary of State Jesse White. To sign up for the organ and tissue donor registry, visit the website: life goes on dot org.

 

 

(Ashkum-jm) -- Illinois State Police in Ashkum have released recent arrests. A state trooper on patrol in Iroquois County stopped a vehicle on I-57 for speeding. A search of the vehicle revealed 2 firearms, ammunition, cannabis and drug paraphernalia. Demario Watkins and Daniel Wilson-Sowah of Danville were arrested and charged with unlawful use of a weapon, unlawful possession of firearms and firearms ammunition, no FOID card, possession of cannabis over 30 grams and possession of drug paraphernalia. Pedro Medrano of Alamo, Texas was arrested following an accident on I-57 near Gilman. Medrano was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and operating an uninsured motor vehicle.


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(Paxton-jm) -- This week’s Scott’s Tips for Success has to do with canning. Paxton Hardware and Rental’s Scott Allen says they have a wide variety of canning products…



Paxton Hardware and Rental’s Scott Allen.


 

(Ford County-jm) -- Ford County Sheriff’s deputies handled 4 civil matters and issued 28 traffic citations during the past week. On July 30th, a reckless driver was reported in Piper City and criminal damage to property was reported in rural Elliott. On July 31st, a residential burglary was reported in Piper City, a rural Paxton woman reported being the victim of credit card fraud and a Sibley resident reported a theft of gasoline. On August 2nd,  a Piper City resident reported a theft from his home. On August 3rd, a deputy mediated a custody dispute in Clarence. On August 4th, building materials were reported stolen in Roberts. On August 5th, a report of a violation of a Stalking/No Contact order was taken in Melvin.


 

(Buckley-jm) -- One area school is gearing up for their annual auction fundraiser. Christ Lutheran High School will hold their annual Knight for Christ on Saturday, August 19th. One of the big ticket items this year is a golf cart says Spokesperson Larry Abbe…



Christ Lutheran High Schools Knight for Christ Spokesperson Larry Abbe. For more information or to get your ticket call the school at 217-394-2547.


 

(Undated-jm) -- An area hospital is being sold to a Peoria area group pending state approval. OSF Healthcare announced Tuesday they are buying Presence Covenant in Urbana and Presence United Samaritans in Danville. OSF Healthcare operates 10 other hospitals in Illinois including OSF St. Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington.


 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois State Fair is offering a new area for families to enjoy, called Thrillville. Thrillville will be set up inside the fair’s gate two entrance and feature exciting acts like cirque extreme and the x-pogo stunt team says Manager Kevin Gordon…



State Fair Manager Kevin Gordon. The Illinois State Fair kicks off Thursday in Springfield and runs through Sunday the 20th. Get all the details online at Illinois State Fair dot info.

 

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WPXN AM NEWS Tuesday August 8 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner has rebuffed borrowing billions of dollars to pay long-overdue state bills. The Republican rejected calls Monday from Democratic Comptroller Susana Mendoza and Treasurer Michael Frerichs. They both urged Rauner to sell up to $6 billion in bonds to pay off a chunk of a $14.4 billion backlog of bills. He told reporters in Chicago that "more borrowing on top of the spending behavior of the state government is not an optimal answer."

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois Farm Fields got a break from the heat as we hear in the weekly crop report. Temperatures were cooler than normal this past week, and nearly six days were suitable for fieldwork. Statistician Steve Maliszewski says 97 percent of corn is now silking…

 

 

Crop Statistician Steve Maliszewski. 94 percent of soybeans are blooming and 70 percent are setting pods. 64 percent of the soybean crop is in good to excellent condition. Average statewide topsoil moisture is rated at nine percent very short, 25 percent short, 64 percent adequate and two percent surplus.

 

 

(Iroquois County-jm) -- Two Iroquois County men have been formally indicted in separate incidents. An Iroquois County grand jury indicted 24-year-old Shane Weber on two counts of aggravated battery following an incident outside Dutchmaster Bar in Buckley in July. The grand jury also indicted 41-year-Robert Wroblewski of Watseka for felony theft of equipment from Watseka Chrysler.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Several of the schools in the Rantoul City Schools district are receiving upgrades this summer. Superintendent Michelle Ramage talks about the work being done…

 

 

Rantoul City Schools Superintendent Michelle Ramage.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The speed limit on E. Summer Street in the city of Paxton could be lowered tonight if the city council approves a proposal. The proposal calls for lowering the speed limit on Summer Street near Memorial Field and by Coady Park. Council members will also be asked to revise the fine for impoundment of dogs and penalties and consider approving a bid for sludge removal. The Paxton City Council meeting gets underway at 7 p.m.

 

 

(Buckley-jm) -- August is here and that means back it’s back to school time for area students. Christ Lutheran High School in Buckley is gearing up for the start of the school year says Executive Director Sandy Spitz…

 

 

Christ Lutheran High School Executive Director Sandy Spitz.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A Ludlow man’s bond is set at $500,000 after Rantoul police found 456 grams of meth in his car. 42-year-old Shawndale Cowell was charged with two felonies, possession of meth with intent to deliver and possession of meth between 400 and 900 grams. Cowell was also wanted on an outstanding warrant in Georgia for being a felon with a firearm. If convicted of possession with intent to deliver he faces 12 to 50 years in prison. If convicted of possession between 400 and 900 grams he faces 8 to 40 years in prison. A pretrial hearing is set for September 5th.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Yesterday was Purple Heart Day in Illinois and the State Department of Veterans’ Affairs is recognizing all recipients. During a special ceremony at the state capitol, Military Order of the Purple Heart Hayes-Krell Chapter’s Joe Schaler explained the origins of the medal. It was first established by General George Washington in 1782, and initially called the badge of merit…

 

Military Order of the Purple Heart Hayes-Krell Chapter’s Joe Schaler. The medal has evolved over time and is now awarded to soldiers killed or wounded by serving. State Veterans’ Affairs Director Erica Jeffries spoke at the event and thanked those who have received the honor and all who have served.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor Bruce Rauner is signing a new law requiring state employees to take cyber security training. Most state workers have already gone through the program, which is taken online and will be administered annually. Governor Rauner says it’s important because employees are the state first line of defense…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. The training covers topics such as identity theft, computer viruses and preventing data breaches.


 

(Undated-jm) -- A Chicago man has been indicted on felony drug charges in Iroquois County after police say he hid the drugs inside of him and made him ill. 44-year-old Angelo Hamilton was traveling on a Greyhound bus from St. Louis to Chicago when he became ill. Emergency personnel were called and that was when the drugs were discovered.


 

(Loda-jm) -- An area golf course is reminding people about a special promotion they have going on. Lakeview Country Club in Loda continues to offer their punch passes says Course Superintendent Doug McCoy…



Lakeview Country Club Course Superintendent Doug McCoy.


 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul Village leaders are expected to approve a contract with a company to tear down the old Rantoul motel. Village trustees will be asked to approve the contract with Owens Excavating at a cost of $39,250 to demolish the former Rantoul Motel along Route 45. They will also be asked to approve a change order for the water tower project at a cost of $48,125 and consider a micro loan request for $10,000. The Rantoul Village Board meeting gets underway at 6:30 p.m.


 

(Vermilion County-jm) -- Crops are still feeling the effects of the spring rains that left some farmers replanting. Vermilion County Farm Bureau Manager Tom Fricke provides a crop update for his area…



Vermilion County Farm Bureau Manager Tom Fricke.


 

(Iroquois County-jm) -- Gilman police continue to ask the public for assistance in finding a missing teenager. Police have been looking for Diamond Kohl for several weeks. Gilman Police say on July 28th, a camera captured a black car parking in from Boondock’s Bar and a white male in his 20’s exit the vehicle. A short time later the male and a female, positively identified as Kohl, were seen leaving the area heading northbound on N. Central Street. Anyone with information is asked to call Gilman police.


 

(Washington-jm) -- Young and beginning farmers will soon have access to help and advice on running their businesses. Gary Crawford reports…

 

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WPXN AM NEWS Monday August 7 2017

ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) — A judge has ruled an Illinois law requiring hospital and medical clinic professionals to tell pregnant women about all their available options, including abortion, can't be enforced. U.S. District Court Judge Frederick Kapala says enforcement should be barred until litigation is settled. The Thomas More Society filed a lawsuit in March. It contends the law forces health care providers who are opposed to abortion to discuss the procedure and refer a patient for an abortion if requested.

 

 

(Buckley-jm) -- Christ Lutheran High School is preparing for their 13th annual Knight for Christ auction. Executive Director Sandy Spitz has the details for this year’s event…

 

 

Christ Lutheran High School Executive Director Sandy Spitz.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton firefighters were called to a small fire at the north Casey's Sunday afternoon. Firefighters were called to the convenience store in downtown Paxton around 4 p.m. No word on the cause.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- Iroquois County Treasurer Mindy Kuntz Hagan has announced she will not run for re-election. Hagan made the announcement last week. Hagan says anyone interested can call the county clerk’s office. Petitions for the primary will begin circulating on September 5th.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- 5 school crossings will receive upgrades in the village of Rantoul. Rantoul City Schools Superintendent Michelle Ramage says they are in the early stages of planning the work…

 

 

Rantoul City Schools Superintendent Michelle Ramage.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The search for a new village administrator in Rantoul is expected to begin soon. Jeff Fiegenschuh announced last week that he will be leaving the position to take a similar position in Rochelle in the northwestern part of the state. Fiegenschuh has been village administrator since 2014. His last day with the village is September 8th.

 

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Experts say heavy rain and flooding affected northern Illinois in July while the central and southern parts of the state saw dry weather that caused crop damage. Data from the Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois show that on average statewide precipitation during July was about 4.8 inches. Northwestern and northeastern Illinois saw averages of more than 7½ inches of rain.
 

 

(Gilman-jm) -- The Iroquois West School District’s July meeting was a quick meeting. Superintendent Dr. Linda Dvorak hi-lites some of the key items they discussed…



Iroquois West Schools Superintendent Dr. Linda Dvorak.


 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City firefighters were called to a fire at One Earth Energy Saturday morning. Firefighters were called after a belt on a drive motor caught fire. No injuries were reported.


 

(Watseka-jm) -- Emergency personnel from around Iroquois County gathered in Watseka Friday evening to send off retiring 9-1-1 coordinator Nita Dubble. Dubble is retiring after 38 years of service to the county.


 

(Loda-jm) -- Lakeview Country Club in Loda has made some changes over the past couple of months. One of the biggest changes is a new website says Lakeview Country Club Course Superintendent Doug McCoy…



Lakeview Country Club Course Superintendent Doug McCoy.


 

(Paxton-jm) -- A grand opening for a new gym in Paxton will be held this week. P365 Fitness will hold the grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony at 3:30 on Thursday. The business is located in the former Nordic Fitness location.

 

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WPXN AM NEWS Friday August 4 2017

(Gibson City-jm) -- The Ford County Relay for Life is this Saturday at North Park in Gibson City. American Cancer Society Community Manager Kristen Kolwelter talks about the number of teams they have and their fundraising goal for this year…

 

American Cancer Society Community Manager Kristen Kolwelter.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Those wanting to take target practice at the Paxton Police’s shooting range. The public can take target practice at the shooting range on Saturday, August 19th from 10 to noon. The cost is $10 per person. For more information call Paxton Police at 379-4315.

 

 

(Buckley-jm) -- Christ Lutheran High School in Buckley is gearing up for their annual Knight for Christ auction coming up on Saturday, August 19th in Urbana. Executive Director Sandy Spitz says you have until the end of next week to get your ticket…

 

 

Christ Lutheran High School Executive Director Sandy Spitz.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City leaders have approved the sale of a portion of land in the Jordan Industrial Park. Steve Killian is going to relocate his business, Johnny on the Spot port-a-potty business to the site. The council approved the sale at a cost of $16,000.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Crop and livestock producers overall experienced little or no change in what they received for their commodities from May to June. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- The Ford County Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation will hold their auction tomorrow. Spokesperson Gary Reiners talks about the event…



Ford County Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation Spokesperson Gary Reiners.


 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Utility vehicles will now be covered under Gibson City’s golf cart ordinance. The city council approved to allow the vehicles on roads. ATV’s however, remained banned.


 

(Buckley-jm) -- Buckley residents looking for things to do will have some options. Mayor Sheree Stachura talks about some of the activities she is trying to plan…



Buckley Mayor Sheree Stachura.


 

(Loda-jm) -- The Loda Village Board has approved the formation of their own planning commission. The seven member commission that will handle zoning and planning issues are: Shirley Meece, Joyce Sage, Cathi Caspers, Reginald Rasmus, Linda Bogard, Donald Hutchinson and Gene Breeden Jr. The commission will have members that serve 1,2 and 3 year terms.


 

(Undated-jm) -- A new safety report takes a look at how worker productivity is lowered because we just aren't getting enough sleep. It finds the health of American workers is threatened, and it has a high cost for employers, too. More from Veronica Carter…


 

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WPXN AM NEWS Thursday August 3 2017

CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner has reignited an age-old, but divisive political strategy on a new front in Illinois: Schools. The Republican used his veto powers to extract money for Chicago schools from a plan needed for all Illinois public schools to get funding this fall. Pitting Chicago against the rest of the state has been a popular tool for the first-term governor. But this time it's a particularly risky move ahead of Rauner's 2018 re-election bid, with schools statewide potentially paying the price.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Rantoul City Schools District has approved participating in the village’s housing incentive program. Superintendent Michelle Ramage says the program has several benefits…

 

 

Rantoul City Schools Superintendent Michelle Ramage.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Sewer rates will be going up in Gibson City. The city council approved the 25 percent increase. The increase will go towards the sewer separation project.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- The Ford County Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation will hold their annual banquet this Saturday. The event will be held at the Kruse Center in Gibson City. Spokesperson Gary Reiners says tickets are still available…

 

 

Ford County Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation Spokesperson Gary Reiners.

 

 

(Mahomet-jm) -- The village of Mahomet will be losing nearly 200 ash trees. The village board approved a 3 year contract with Mahomet Landscapes to remove 189 trees and stumps at a cost of $69,900. Village leaders cite the emerald ash borer as the reason for the removal.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is urging families to focus on back-to-school and campus preparedness this month. As you start shopping for school supplies, you should also teach your child about cell phone use during an emergency says Spokesperson Patti Thompson…

 

 

Illinois Emergency Management Agency Spokesperson Patti Thompson. Thompson also recommends making sure your child’s school has all your correct contact information and pre-authorizing a friend or relative to pick up your student in an emergency. You should also find out where kids will be taken if school is evacuated.

 

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Champaign is creating a civilian panel to examine complaints against the city's police officers. The (Champaign) News-Gazette reports that the City Council voted to create a subcommittee of the Human Relations Commission that has subpoena power to obtain witness statements and other evidence.

 

 

(Gilman-jm) -- A new mural will be going up in the gym at Iroquois West. Superintendent Dr. Linda Dvorak says the mural will depict the history of the district…

 

 

Iroquois West Schools Superintendent Dr. Linda Dvorak.

 

 

(Thomasboro-jm) -- Discussions will continue at this month’s Thomasboro village board meeting on what to do with police protection. The village has just a few months to figure out what to do after chief Keith Willis announced he is retiring in November. Village board members are contemplating hiring a new chief or hiring the Champaign County Sheriff’s office to do patrols. The discussions will continue at the meeting on Monday.

 

 

(Loda-jm) -- There are some changes coming to an area golf course. Lakeview Country Club Course Superintendent Doug McCoy talks about some of the new things at Lakeview…

 

 

Lakeview Country Club Course Superintendent Doug McCoy.

 

(Undated-jm) -- There will be a contested race for the 18th Congressional District. Currently the seat is held by Republican Darin LaHood but he will be challenged by Democrat Junius Rodriguez, a Eureka college professor. Rodriguez lost to LaHood in the 2016 election. The 18th Congressional District covers the eastern side of McLean County.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Transportation is making preparations for the solar eclipse later this month. Up to 200 thousand people may flock to Southern Illinois to see a total eclipse on Monday, August 21st. IDOT Spokesperson Guy Tridgell says they are working with state and local police to get ready, and will temporarily suspend lane closures in that area…

 

 

IDOT Spokesperson Guy Tridgell. Tridgell urges motorists to turn on their headlights during the eclipse and not to pull over to the side of the road to view the event.

 
 

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WPXN AM NEWS Wednesday August 2 2017

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Village of Rantoul is looking for a new village administrator. Jeff Fiegenschuh has announced he is leaving the village to become city manager in Rochelle, Illinois. Fiegenschuh has been with the village since 2014. He cited the close proximity of his family as reasons for taking the position. His last day as village administrator is September 8th.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- The Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley school district is one of many across the state watching to see how the education funding formula fight will pan out in Springfield. Superintendent Jeremy Darnell says the uncertainty makes it hard to prepare a budget for the upcoming year…

 

 

GCMS Schools Superintendent Jeremy Darnell.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton police have released their recent activity report. On July 20th  Angel Gonzalez was arrested following a traffic stop for no valid driver's license, possessions of cannabis, no insurance, obstruction and unlawful possession of title documents.  On July 21st, a black male in his 20’s passed a counterfeit $100 bill at Subway.  On July 23rd, Britton Roberts of Urbana was arrested following a traffic stop for zero-tolerance, improper lane usage and possession of cannabis. On July 27th, a residential burglary was reported in the 500 block of W. Holmes Street and a 16-year-old male was arrested for delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug equipment. 

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- The 2017 Ford County Relay for Life will be this Saturday in Gibson City. Ford County Relay for Life Co-Chair Chic Meredith talks about the event…

 

 

Ford County Relay for Life Co-Chair Chic Meredith. We will be broadcasting from the Ford County Relay for Life from 4:30 to 5:30 as part of our summer fun tour.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Parkland College is gearing up for the fall semester with an enrollment blitz. The blitz will run Thursday, August 10th and Monday, August 14th through Friday, August 18th from 8 to 5. Students can receive assistance from admissions and record, counseling and advising, financial aid and more. For more information, call 217-351-2482.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Secretary of State Jesse White is urging more minorities to consider organ and tissue donation. Nationally, 63 percent of those waiting for an organ are minorities, but they only account for 33 percent of those donating. Secretary White urges everyone to sign up to give the gift of life…

 

 

Secretary of State Jesse White. Secretary White says about 300 people in Illinois die a year waiting for an organ transplant. Join the state’s organ and tissue donation registry online at: life goes on dot com.

 

(Rural Crescent City-jm) -- The Ford County Soil and Water Conservation District along with the Iroquois County Soil and Water Conservation District will hold their Iroquois-Ford Cover Crop Field Day this month. The event will take place at Tom Roselius and Mark Redeker Farms at the corner of Highway 49 and 1400 N. on Wednesday, August 16th from 9:30 until 2. Cost is $5 in advance $10 day of an can be made by calling 815-432-3946 extension 3.


 

(Paxton-jm) -- A Paxton business is looking to make some changes. Mom and Pop’s Kettle Korn Stop is working with the city and the chamber to do some changes to the front of the building says owner Alan Meyer…



Mom and Pop’s Kettle Korn Stop Owner Alan Meyer.


 

(Gibson City-jm) -- The American Red Cross will hold a blood drive at Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley High School today from noon to 4 p.m.


 

(Gilman-jm) -- School districts around the state are keeping an eye on what lawmakers will do with the education funding bill. Governor Rauner used his amendatory veto power on the bill that now must go back to lawmakers to decide what to do with. Iroquois West Schools Superintendent Dr. Linda Dvorak says her district will be able to open on time this fall…



Iroquois West Schools Superintendent Dr. Linda Dvorak.


 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton Police are asking for the public’s help in solving criminal damage to property at a Paxton business. According to police, a person or persons graffitied obscenities on an outbuilding at the old broom factory as well as on a house and a semi trailer. Anyone with information is asked to call Ford County Crimestoppers at 217-784-4173.


 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor Bruce Rauner is cutting extra money for Chicago from a school funding reform bill. The Governor is issuing an amendatory veto to Senate Bill One, which is needed in order for the state to send money to schools. He says all students, no matter where they live, should be treated fairly…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. The Governor says the ailing Chicago teacher pension system should be addressed separately. Lawmakers can now accept Rauner’s changes or try and override them. If both of those options fail, the bill will be dead and timely payments to schools will be in jeopardy.

 

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WPXN AM NEWS Tuesday August 1 2017

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Spotty rain showers marked the past week as we hear in the latest crop report. Some areas received a lot of rain, some not enough, leaving average statewide topsoil moisture at eight percent very short, 21 percent short, 67 percent adequate and four percent surplus. Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says corn silking jumped ahead to 93 percent complete…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 88 percent of soybeans are blooming and 50 percent are setting pods. The soybean crop improved to 66 percent in good to excellent condition. 71 percent of sorghum has headed and two percent is turning color. The third cutting of alfalfa is now 35 percent complete.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A Rantoul man faces up to 12 years in prison a DUI accident that injured a child nearly two years ago. Juan Gaspar Miguel-Juan pleaded guilty in Champaign County court Monday to aggravated driving under the influence.  Miguel-Juan struck Triston Smith as he rode his bike on Maplewood Drive near the entrance to Brookhill Golf Course back in September of 2015. Smith suffered a broken pelvis, two broken legs, a concussion, damage to his spleen and severe trauma to his face. He will be sentenced September 25th.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A Paxton restaurant and bar will hold their grand opening tonight. Harvest Ale House will hold a ribbon cutting at 4 pm in the former 102 Lounge building. Owner Ben Grice talks about the menu…

 

 

Grice talks about the atmosphere inside…

 

 

Harvest Ale House Owner Ben Grice.

 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Attorney General Lisa Madigan and 14 other attorneys general are asking Congress to preserve and expand two programs for low income residents. The attorney generals are asking congress to preserve and expand funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and the Weatherization Assistance Program. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program serves over 300,000 households while the Weatherization Assistance Program serves 7 million households.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- The Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley School District is donating to help with upkeep of Railside Golf Course in Gibson City. Superintendent Jeremy Darnell says the district uses the course for their golf teams…

 

 

GCMS Schools Superintendent Jeremy Darnell.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Lawmakers are sending an education funding reform bill to the Governor that he plans to amend to remove extra money for Chicago Schools. If Governor Bruce Rauner moves ahead with the amendatory veto as expected, the legislature can either accept his changes or try and override the veto. In the meantime, Senator Andy Manar of Bunker Hill says they’ve been meeting with Republicans to try and negotiate a deal…



State Senator Andy Manar of Bunker Hill. G-O-P lawmakers say the Democrats haven’t been dealing in good faith. A new school funding formula is needed so schools can receive money from the state.


 

(Undated-jm) -- The owners of a bed and breakfast near Paxton is contesting their appeal that was denied in a discrimination case. The TimberCreek Bed and Breakfast is contesting an appellate court's dismissal of their appeal of $80,000 in fines and penalties. The appellate court dismissed the appeal back in May. Lawyers for the bed and breakfast had argued for the court to review the order by an administrative law judge.


 

(Ashkum-jm) -- Illinois State Police have announced multiple arrests made over the weekend. Joseph Borrelli of Arlington Heights was arrested for possession of cannabis following a traffic stop on I-57 in Iroquois County. Antoine Carter of Champaign was arrested for driving under the influence following a traffic stop on I-57 in Iroquois County. Nadine Robinson of Chicago Heights was arrested for driving under the influence following a single vehicle accident on Route 49, 2 miles south of Cissna Park.


 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois median prices climbed in June while home sales held steady. WPXN’s Jason Madden has the details…


 

 

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WPXN AM NEWS Monday July 31 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois legislators have adjourned the third day of a special session without wading into a school funding fight. The House and Senate met briefly Friday. The Legislature won't convene again until Monday when Democratic Senate President John Cullerton says he'll send Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner a plan that overhauls how Illinois funds schools. It's needed for schools to get funding. However, Rauner has said he objects to the plan and will use his amendatory veto powers to send it back.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Department of Agriculture is asking livestock exhibitors to monitor the health of their animals as the Illinois State Fair approaches. State officials say owners should observe the health of their herds before bringing any animals to the state fair. They should contact veterinarians if any animal shows signs or symptoms of an illness. State officials say the monitoring is necessary to prevent the spread of any illness or disease among animals. The Illinois State fair opens Aug. 10.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A Paxton business is looking to make some changes. Mom and Pop’s Kettle Korn Stop opened in downtown last year and owner Alan Meyer says they are looking to make some improvements…

 

 

Mom and Pop’s Kettle Korn Stop Owner Alan Meyer.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency Acting Director Richard Graden is reminding farmers they have until August 1st to enroll in Agriculture Risk Coverage and/or Price Loss Coverage programs for the 2017 crop year. For more information about the program, contact your local Farm Service Agency office.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- July is coming to a close and that means so is summer for area students. Rantoul Township High School Superintendent Scott Amerio has registration information for students in his district…

 

 

Rantoul Township High School Superintendent Scott Amerio.

 

 

(Iroquois County-jm) -- Iroquois County Sheriff’s police have released their recent activity report. On July 25th, deputies investigated a single vehicle accident on County Road 600 E. near 1475 N. 64-year-old Jose Carmona of Onarga was traveling north on 600 E. when he swerved to miss a tree limb in the road, lost control and struck a tree. On July 27th, Victor Vanvaley of Hixon, Tennessee turned herself in on an outstanding warrant for failure to appear for driving under the influence. Also on July 27th, Cully Vogt of Moracco, Indiana turned himself in on an outstanding warrant for failure to appear for possession of a controlled substance.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The USDA's first survey based report on expected production of major row crops comes out August 10th, but data collection is already underway. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

CHICAGO (AP) — State investigators say the former head of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services improperly awarded a no-bid contract to a person with whom he co-owned property. The Office of the Inspector General report made public Friday also says George Sheldon hired someone who'd been charged with drunk driving to a job that involved driving state vehicles. Sheldon resigned in May amid the probe and controversy over child deaths. He didn't immediately respond to a message seeking comment.


URBANA, Ill. (AP) — University of Illinois students and professors will have extra vacation time next month as classes will start almost a week later than usual. The News-Gazette reports the Aug. 28 start will push final exams closer to Christmas. The university's governing calendar requires that the semester last 14 weeks and that it not start before Aug. 22. The policy pushes the start of classes closer to the end of August every five or six years.


 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton-Buckley-Loda School District is moving forward with a new food service manager. Superintendent Cliff McClure says the district will save money and provide more options for students…



PBL Schools Superintendent Cliff McClure.


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(Gibson City-jm) -- The Gibson City Melvin Sibley School District is reviewing financial numbers for the previous school year. That was one of the few topics discussed in their recent meeting says Superintendent Jeremy Darnell...



GCMS Schools Superintendent Jeremy Darnell.


 

(Rural Crescent City-jm) -- The Ford County Soil and Water Conservation District along with the Iroquois County Soil and Water Conservation District will hold their Iroquois-Ford Cover Crop Field Day in August. The event will take place at Tom Roselius and Mark Redeker Farms at the corner of Highway 49 and 1400 N. on Wednesday, August 16th from 9:30 until 2. Cost is $5 in advance $10 day of an can be made by calling 815-432-3946 extension 3.


 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is offering some tips for safely viewing the solar eclipse next month. It’s a rare event you don’t want to miss on August 21st, but you do need to take some precautions says Public Health Spokesperson  Melaney Arnold…



Illinois Department of Public Health Spokesperson Melaney Arnold. Arnold says homemade filters and regular sunglasses are not safe for looking at the sun.

 

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WPXN AM NEWS Friday July 28 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The state of Illinois Department of Natural Resources is now making information available for controlled pheasant hunters for the 2017-18 hunting season. In a news release, the department says hunters can now go online for information about the pheasant hunting season at 20 sites and the online permit reservation system for the IDNR sites opens on August 7.
 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Most Illinois metro areas enjoyed over-the-year job growth last month, but the State Department of Employment Security says it’s slow going. Jobs were added in 11 of the 14 metro areas in June, Decatur was unchanged and two, Danville and Rockford lost jobs says Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Bob Gough (goff)...

 

Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Bob Gough. The unemployment rate dropped in all metro areas from June of last year to June of this year, although Gough says that’s due to the labor force shrinking in Illinois. Locally in Ford County the unemployment rate fell from 5.1 percent to 4.9 percent. In Iroquois County the unemployment rate fell from 4.7 percent to 4.1 percent. In Champaign County the unemployment rate fell from 5.3 percent to 4.8 percent. In Vermilion County the unemployment rate fell from 7 percent to 6.8 percent and in McLean County the unemployment rate fell from 5.2 percent to 4.4 percent.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Good news for Parkland College students. The community college announced Thursday students will start seeing their MAP grants for the fall and spring semesters next week. Students in Illinois haven’t seen full MAP grant funding in two years because of the budget stalemate.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A Paxton restaurant and bar will open next week. Harvest Ale House will officially open with a ribbon cutting at 4p.m. Tuesday. Owner Ben Grice talks about the beer…

 

 

Harvest Ale House Owner Ben Grice.

 

 

(Ford County-jm) -- The Ford County Treasurer’s office is accepting sealed bids for some abandoned properties throughout the county. The properties are located in Gibson City, Piper City, Cabery and Paxton. The properties were acquired by the county after their real estate taxes went unpaid in 2016 and years prior. The minimum required bid is $645. Sealed bids are due at treasurer Penny Steven’s office by September 22nd.

 

 

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The 30-foot-tall statue of Abraham Lincoln that stands at the front gate of the Illinois State Fairgrounds is back in one piece after temporarily losing an arm. The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports that an auto body repairman reattached Lincoln's arm to the fiberglass statue. The repairman says it appears the 50-year-old statue's metal frame rusted, causing the arm to detach. State officials say Lincoln is now ready to welcome visitors to the fair next month.


 

(Springfield-jm) -- Day two of special session at the state capitol came and went with no movement towards making sure schools open on time in the fall. Lawmakers were only in session for a few minutes, and Governor Bruce Rauner again chastised the Senate for not sending him the education funding bill needed to send money out to schools…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. President Cullerton says he’s been trying to meet with the Governor to discuss the issue, but if that doesn’t happen, he will send the measure to the Governor’s desk on Monday.


 

(Buckley-jm) -- A rural Loda man is facing aggravated battery charges for an incident that occurred at a Buckley bar. Iroquois County Sheriff’s police say 24-year-old Shane Weber is facing two counts of aggravated battery for allegedly striking a 67 year old multiple times. Weber is due back in court August 28th.


 

(Urbana-jm) -- The 2017 Champaign County Fair comes to a close tomorrow. Tonight country music star Chris Young takes the stage at 7. Fair Spokesperson John Bell talks about the final day of the fair…



Champaign County Fair Spokesperson John Bell.


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(Urbana-jm) -- Up to 30 Champaign County employees could lose their jobs because of the financially struggling county nursing home. County Administrator Rick Snider told the county board that they may need to loan the nursing home an additional half a million dollars over the next six months to keep it going. If that happens Snider predicts the county will have to cut 24 to 30 jobs in the next fiscal year which begins January 1.


 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The village of Rantoul is looking for more people to come forward and be mentors for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Village Administrator Jeff Fiegenschuh says anyone interested can call village hall…



Rantoul Village Administrator Jeff Fiegenschuh.

 

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WPXN AM NEWS Thursday July 27 2017

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor Bruce Rauner is signing a new law preventing legislative pay raises and per diem rate increases. The measure stops cost of living increases for lawmakers and was widely supported by members of both parties says Governor Rauner. 

 

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. The law keeps legislator per diem rates at 111 dollars per session day and mileage reimbursement at 39 cents per mile.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- School districts continue to watch Springfield as lawmakers returned to try and work out an education funding plan. Paxton-Buckley-Loda Schools Superintendent Cliff McClure says the lack of payments from the state is hurting districts including PBL…

 

 

PBL Schools Superintendent Cliff McClure.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton emergency personnel were called to a two vehicle rollover accident near Paxton Wednesday afternoon. According to Illinois State Police, 22 year old Heather Claeys of Rankin was traveling westbound on 500 N. when she pulled out in from of a vehicle driven by 80-year-old Gordon Seggebruch of Onarga. Claeys vehicle had six occupants including two in the year of the truck that were ejected. All six were taken to Carle Hospital in Urbana. Claeys was cited for failure to yield, no insurance and failure to secure a child in a child restraint.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The calendar says July but Paxton’s annual Christmas parade is four months away. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold says PRIDE in Paxton will be collecting donations this weekend for the parade…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A Paxton restaurant will hold a grand opening next week. A grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony of the Harvest Ale House will take place on Tuesday, August 1st at 4 p.m. at the restaurant at 102 S. Market.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The USDA's new food price forecast for this year raises the possibility of grocery store prices doing something they haven't done in over 60 years. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Senate President John Cullerton says he will send the Governor the education funding reform bill on Monday. Senate President Cullerton says he hasn’t advanced the measure for fear that Governor Bruce Rauner’s promised amendatory veto will kill the bill and prevent money from going to schools. He says he’s been trying to set up a meeting with the Governor…



Senate President John Cullerton. Cullerton says if they don’t meet, he will move the legislation to the Governor’s desk on Monday. Rauner says the Senate should send him the bill now, and says it’s “unconscionable” to play games with children’s education.


 

(Springfield-jm) -- State lawmakers were called back to the state capitol to discuss a school funding formula. State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says the biggest sticking point is the bailout of Chicago Public Schools…



State Senator Jason Barickman.


 

(Iroquois County-jm) -- The Iroquois County Public Health Department is seeking help from residents in collecting dead birds in the county. The health department is collecting dead birds to be tested for the West Nile Virus.The birds must be believed dead for less than 24 hours and show no obvious sign of death. Residents can send the birds to the Iroquois County Public Health Department in Watseka.


 

(Urbana-jm) -- The Dick Andrae Memorial Race was held last night at the Champaign County Fair. Fair Spokesperson John Bell talks about what is happening on today at the fair…



Champaign County Fair Spokesperson John Bell.


 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton-Buckley-Loda School District has approved a bid from a company to serve as the district’s food service manager. The school board approved Aramark’s bid of $281,479. The district expects to save at least $75,000 and provide more food choices to students.


 

(Springfield-jm) -- Environmental groups have a warning for the nation’s leaders: hast will make more waste. A House vote could come as soon as this week on legislation know as the “Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2017.” Veronica Carter reports on the potential impact for Illinois…


 

 

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WPXN AM NEWS Wednesday July 26 2017

(Springfield-jm) -- Three State Treasurer’s, including Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs are requesting the McKesson Corporation to help fight the U-S heroin epidemic. McKesson is one of the country’s largest drug distributors, and Treasurer Frerichs wants the company to do more to prevent drug abuse…

 

 

State Treasurer Mike Frerichs. The treasurer's call on McKesson to take several steps including tying executive compensation to progress in combating the opioid epidemic. If they don’t, Frerichs says the state will reconsider investments in the company.

 

 

(Ford County-jm) -- The first case this summer of West Nile virus in Ford County has been found. The Ford County Public Health Department says a bird tested positive for the disease. West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Common West Nile virus symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches. Symptoms may last from a few days to a few weeks. However, four out of five people infected with West Nile virus will not show any symptoms. In rare cases, severe illness including meningitis or encephalitis, or even death, can occur. People older than 50 are at higher risk for severe illness from West Nile virus.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A local restaurant and bar will be opening in downtown Paxton next week. Harvest Ale House will open to the public on August 1st in the former 102 Lounge building. Owner Ben Grice says it feature local beers…

 

 

Harvest Ale House Owner Ben Grice.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Clinic is mourning the loss of one of their own. Dr George Bark passed away Monday night at Carle Foundation Hospital. Dr. Bark specialized in Family Medicine at the Paxton Clinic.

 

 

(Gilman-jm) -- School districts like the Iroquois West School District are watching to see what will happen as lawmakers return to the state capitol today. Superintendent Dr. Linda Dvorak says State Representative Tom Bennett came and spoke to the school board about the situation in Springfield…

 

 

Iroquois West Schools Superintendent Dr. Linda Dvorak.

 

 

(Fisher-jm) -- The Fisher Village Board is expected to authorize the sale of the water and wastewater system this week. The village board will hold a special meeting Thursday night where they are expected to authorize the sale of the system and the properties they are on to a private company. The meeting will get underway at 6 p.m.

 

 

(Loda-jm) -- The 2017 Loda Good Ol Days runs this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. A new event this year is mud bogs. Spokesperson Shannon Edenbern talks about the mud bogs…

 

 

Loda Good Ol Days Mud Bogs Spokesperson Shannon Edenbern. Other activities include a parade on Saturday at 10, fireworks Saturday night at dusk and tractor pulls on Sunday.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Unique collectables will be up for grabs at Treasurer Mike Frerichs’s live auction at the Illinois State Fair this year. The Treasurer’s office regularly auctions off unclaimed property online, but will hold a live version at the fair on August 19th from 9 a.m. to noon. Treasurer Frerichs says there will be plenty of neat items…



State Treasurer Mike Frerichs. You can preview the items this Thursday at the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago, or on August 8th at the state capitol.


 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul firefighters were called to a car fire Tuesday evening. Firefighters were called to the car fire on Grove Avenue, a block from the main firehouse just before 8. No word on the cause of the fire.


 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Lawmakers return to the state capitol today to discuss an education funding formula. School leaders around the area are keeping an eye on the special session in Springfield. Rantoul Township High School Superintendent Scott Amerio says it’s making it hard to prepare a budget…



Rantoul Township High School Superintendent Scott Amerio.


 

(Fairbury-jm) -- The American Red Cross will hold a blood drive on Wednesday, July 26th from 11:30 to 5:30 at the First United Methodist Church in Fairbury.


 

(Undated-jm) -- Area lawmakers are calling on Democrats to send Governor Rauner an education funding formula proposal that was approved back in May. State Senator Jason Barickman says it’s time to stop playing games…



State Senator Jason Barickman.


 

(Champaign-jm) -- Parkland College’s Radiologic Technology program received two donations to help the program. Carle donated two x-ray machines to the program after the hospital upgraded their equipment. The donated machines are expected to save the program half a million dollars.


 

(Urbana-jm) -- Harness Racing was held last night at the Champaign County Fair. Fair Spokesperson John Bell talks about what is happening at the fair today…



Champaign County Fair Spokesperson John Bell. The fair runs through Saturday.

 

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WPXN AM NEWS Tuesday July 25 2017

(Springfield-jm) -- It was a hot week for Illinois crops as we hear in the weekly crop report. Temperatures and rain was above normal this past week, and five days were suitable for fieldwork says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 77 percent of soybeans are blooming and 33 percent are setting pods. 59 percent of the soybean crop is rated in good to excellent condition. Average statewide topsoil moisture is rated as 12 percent very short, 21 percent short, 59 percent adequate and eight percent surplus, with wide disparities across the state.

 

 

(Ford County-jm) -- State and local authorities combined forces last week in a sex offender compliance check in Ford County. Officers from Illinois State Police, Ford County Sheriff’s office, Gibson City Police and Paxton police checked on 48 offenders. All were found to be in compliance. Police say they routinely check to verify registered sex offenders are living and working at the places they reported on their registration.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Area school leaders are keeping an eye on what is happening when it comes to a school funding bill. Paxton-Buckley-Loda Schools Superintendent Cliff McClure says Senate Bill 1 would benefit the PBL school district…

 

 

PBL Schools Superintendent Cliff McClure.

 

 

(Rural Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City emergency personnel were called to a two vehicle accident late Monday morning. The accident occurred on Route 54 about two miles south of Gibson City. No word on if there were any injuries.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul Township High School board members heard a presentation from Superintendent Scott Amerio on Equalized Assessed Value. Amerio talks about the presentation…

 

 

Rantoul Township High School Superintendent Scott Amerio.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor Bruce Rauner is calling lawmakers back to Springfield to discuss school funding. Governor Rauner wants the legislature back in town Wednesday for special session to tackle the issue. He’s been asking lawmakers to send him the funding reform bill they passed so he can issue an amendatory veto, removing money for Chicago teacher pensions…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. The measure has not been sent to his desk yet. A new education funding formula must be signed into law in order for schools to get money from the state.


 

(Champaign-jm) -- Champaign County coroner Duane Northrup is releasing the name of a 12-year-old Cissna Park boy who died in an accident over the weekend. Northrup says Jacob Rose was a passenger involved in a single vehicle accident Saturday in Iroquois County. According to reports, Rose was ejected from the vehicle. Preliminary autopsy results show Rose died from traumatic injuries. The Iroquois County Sheriff’s office continues to investigate the crash.


 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Some changes are coming to the multi-use paths in the village of Rantoul. Rantoul Village Administrator Jeff Fiegenschuh says there has been some issues with motorized bikes being used on the paths…



Rantoul Village Administrator Jeff Fiegenschuh.


 

(Ford County-jm) -- Ford County Sheriff’s Deputies handled 3 civil matters and issued 23 traffic citations during the past week. On July 17th, a deputy mediated a property dispute in Roberts, a theft of gasoline was reported in Piper City and deputies mediated a family argument in rural Piper City. On July 19th, a Melvin resident reported criminal damage to property and Michael Eigenbauer of Piper City was arrested for violation of bail bond. On July 20th, scrap copper was reported stolen from a rural Elliott residence, a deputy assisted Gibson City police with a domestic battery and a commercial burglar alarm was reported in Melvin. On July 21st complaints of an unregistered solicitor in Roberts was received and Michael Hurst of Roberts was arrested following a traffic stop on Route 115 and 600 N. He was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, driving under revocation, improper lane usage and speeding 91 mph in a 55 mph zone.


 

(Urbana-jm) -- The 2017 Champaign County Fair continues today at the fairgrounds in Urbana. Last night was the talent show and karaoke contest. Fair Spokesperson John Bell talks about what’s happening tonight…



Champaign County Fair Spokesperson John Bell.

 

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