Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker Signed Legislation Raising Teachers' Minimum Salary

(Iroquois County-jm) -- The primary election may not be for another six months but candidates will soon be able to start circulating petitions. Candidates for established political parties can begin 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.



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed legislation raising teachers' minimum salary to $40,000 over four years to address a statewide shortage of classroom leaders. The current minimum teacher salary ranges from only $9,000 to $11,000. The new law signed by Pritzker Thursday raises the minimum to $32,076 for the 2020-2021 school year, $34,576 in 2021-2022, $37,076 in 2022-2023 and $40,000 in 2023-2024. It was needed says the governor...


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Illinois Governor JB Pritzker



(Springfield-jm) -- Jobs were up last month in all Illinois metro areas for the first time in 19 years. July nonfarm jobs increased over the year in the state’s 14 metro areas, building on recent momentum says Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Sam Salustro…


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Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Sam Salustro. Areas with the most growth compared to a year ago include Chicago, Rockford and the suburbs, but also downstate communities like East St. Louis and Champaign-Urbana. The unemployment rate dropped in 11 metro areas last month.


(Rantoul--jc)  Four days of agriculture began Thursdays morning in Rantoul. The village will see between 25 and 30 thousand people attending the Half Century of Progress each day. Event spokesperson JC Reitmeir says one reason for the show is the farm equipment…


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Half Century of Progress Show Spokesperson JC Reitmeir

Today, the flag raising at 8am with the largest U S Flag on the east side of the event. Field demonstrations in the morning and afternoon.  1pm parades also hilite the event. On the grounds find the Licorice Guy Booth, the lady from Minnesota that does farm embroidery and the license plate sign lady from Grant Park There is plenty of food from Spring Creek Barbeque to Mission’s R Us. On Saturday at 3pm it’sOrion Samuelson and Max Armstrong on  the stage .


(Kankakee--jc)  State Police are reminding motorists that the Interstate 57 construction zone from mile marker 308 to mile marker 315 is slowing traffic in that area. Those who can, are asked to take alternate routes during the construction period around Kankakee. State Police continue to tell motorists to slow down in construction zones and always turn off your cell phone. 



(Rantoul--jc) Monday nights are Pickleball nights in Rantoul. The Pickleball courts were finished earlier this month and Rantoul Recreation Department officials say the contests begin at Wabash Park on Monday nights at 7. 



(Bloomington-jm) -- A Gibson City business is expanding into the Bloomington-Normal market. Hustedt Jewelers bought William MarKen Jewelers and will rebrand the store. Hustedt Jewelers opened in Gibson City in 1983 and opened a second location in Pontiac in 2013. 


DU QUOIN, Ill. (AP) — The Du Quoin State Fair is about to start. The fair that runs through Sept. 2 will open this afternoon with a 5:30 p.m. ribbon cutting followed a half hour later with a Twilight Parade inside the fairgrounds.



(Paxton--jc)  -- It’s time for the annual Pork Chop Kickoff at Paxton Buckley Loda High School’s Zimmerman Field at I-57 Stadium. The public eats at 5 this afternoon and the football team scrimmages at 7-30. The Panthers open the season in Gibson City, one week from today against the defending state champion Falcons of Gibson City Melvin Sibley. Our pre-game begins at 6-05pm next Friday night.


(Paxton-jm) -- Today is the day for a back to school supply drive at a Paxton bank. The Frederick Community Bank is collecting donations from 11 to 2 at their drive up facility at the corner of Pells and Market. The donations will be distributed to the Paxton-Buckley-Loda School District.


(Springfield--jc)  -- 3 new criminal justice reform laws are now on the books in Illinois. The first law lets inmates given a long sentence prior to 1998 to earn good time credit for taking college courses or completing substance abuse programs. Reaction from Illinois Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton…


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Illinois Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton

The other 2 bills ensure those being held while awaiting trial can cast a ballot and the other educates soon-to-be released prisoners about the voting process


(Loda--jc)  -- A benefit for a 7 year old heart transplant patient is set for Murdocks Restaurant in Loda on Saturday. The “heart strong” benefit will raise money for on-going medical bills for Macie Marie Meier. Just an Angel Spokesperson Dale Puls says the event starts with registration at Murdock’s in Loda at 10 tomorrow morning…


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Just an Angel Spokesperson Dale Puls. Again, the event starts with sign in at 10 tomorrow morning. The donation for the cruise is 15 dollars per person or 20 dollars per couple. The event also features raffles, a silent auction, food and music.



(Loda-jm) -- Another area community is considering whether or not to allow recreational marijuana businesses. Loda village leaders are expected to discuss the issue at their September meeting. Recreational marijuana will be legal to buy and use by adults starting January 1. 



LIVINGSTON COUNTY, IL: A traffic stop made by an Illinois State Trooper on Thursday morning, led to the arrest and the seizure of suspected cannabis weighing more than 38 pounds. A District 6 Illinois State Trooper stopped a passenger vehicle after observing a traffic violation. Upon investigation, suspected cannabis was detected. Arrested for possession of 38 pounds of cannabis, cannabis Trafficking and , Delivery of Cannabiswas 45 year old Anita L. Williams, of Peoria. Williams has been incarcerated in the Livingston County Jail in Pontiac



(Springfield--jc)  A recent sexual assault law puts more protections for victims. The bill was sponsored by 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman, Republican from Bloomington. Barickman says protecting and helping victims of assault is the main focus of the new law…


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53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman, Republican from Bloomington


(Gibson City--jc)  When Gibson City leaders meet on Monday night, they will look at special licenses for several groups and businesses in conjunction with the upcoming Harvest Fest. Special license requests have been made by Burgers and Beer, Railside Golf Course and the Gibson City American Legion. Selling a police squad car and looking at truck bids are also on the agenda. The Gibson City Council meets at 7 on Monday night.


(Central Illinois--jc)  The owner of a number of coal-fired plants wants Illinois lawmakers to take action after the company announced it plans to close four plants. 

Vistra Energy announced this week  it will close four facilities in Central Illinois. The company cited the Illinois Pollution Control Board’s June decision requiring it to shut down two gigawatts worth of coal-produced energy facilities by 2020. 


(Paxton--jc)  The cookout at the Paxton IGA on Saturday will feature pork chop sandwiches, chips and pop. The money raised will go to the Paxton Girl Scouts. The cookout runs from 10am until 2pm..


The Illinois Department of Labor Reminds Youngest Members of the Illinois Workforce That They Need a Work Permit to be Employed in Illinois

(Urbana-jm) -- A Rantoul man has been arraigned on heroin charges in Champaign County court. 27-year-old Lavonte McWilliams was charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance. McWilliams was arrested on August 6th after a search of his home following a shooting in Champaign in late July. During the search, police found 10 grams of suspected heroin, a scale and packaging materials. His next court date is October 8th. If convicted of the most serious charge, he faces probation to up to 15 years in prison.


(Springfield--ba) Funding is available to help pay for school field trips to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and museum in Springfield. Schools where more than 30 percent of the students are low income are invited to apply for the  Winnick family field trip grants. They cover the cost of admission and provide money for transportation says museum spokesperson Chris Wills.



Presidential Library and Museum spokesperson Chris Wills.



(Springfield--ba) The Illinois Department of Labor is reminding the youngest members of the Illinois workforce that they need a work permit to be employed in Illinois after the number of permits the state issued to teen workers spiked in 2018. Fourteen-year-olds and 15-year-olds in Illinois must get an employment certificate before they can start a job. The Illinois Department of Labor used the start of the school year to remind young workers, and their employers, about the permits.

Illinois Department of Labor Director Michael Kleinik said the restrictions for the young workers were put in place for their protection.


(Loda-jm) -- The village of Loda is looking for answers after an audit by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency uncovered a significant amount of water usage could not be accounted for. The audit found that nearly 15 percent of the water used in the village could not be accounted for which prompted village leaders to install a water meter at the fire department.



(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White reminds drivers to be careful as children head back to school. Last year, nationwide, 17 kids were fatally injured by motorists who failed to stop for a school bus. White says be aware of your surroundings…



Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White



(Rantoul--jc)  -- The 20-19 Half Century of Progress Show opens officially at 7 this morning. The flag raising ceremony begins at 8, along with the Half Century Tractor ride. Field demonstrations with broom corn, corn shelling, soybean combining and tillage work starts at 8-30. The tractor Ride returns to the grounds around 1 this afternoon.  It’s back to field demonstrations in the afternoon. The popular band Back Paiges performs from 3pm to 6pm. A tractor pull starts at 4. WPXN will be broadcasting live over the noon hour today as part of our Summer Fun Tour. Its stop number 17.



(Springfield--jc)  -- 3 new criminal justice reform laws are now on the books. 2 of the bills signed by the governor aim to engage more people in elections. Governor JB Pritzker says those who get out of prison will learn more about the voting process…


Illinois Governor JB Pritzker

The 3rd law creates incentives for inmates serving long sentences to earn good time credit by taking college and life skills courses.



(Urbana-jm) -- The 2019 Urbana Sweetcorn Festival takes place this week. The two day festival takes place Friday and Saturday nights in downtown Urbana. Live music and hot corn hi-lite the activities. On the stage Friday night beginning at 5 pm is Feel Free, followed by The Nightcaps at 6:30, The Tons O’Fun Band at 8:15 and Wreckless Whiskey at 10:30. Saturday night, Bruiser and the Virtues kicks things off at 7 pm followed by Them Guilty Aces at 8:30 and Captain Rat and The Blind Rivets at 10:15.


(Melvin-jm) -- Officials believe lightning may have started a fire that destroyed a home near Melvin Wednesday. About 30 firefighters from Melvin, Roberts and Gibson City fire departments battled the blaze at 925 N 800 E. The home was vacant at the time and is a total loss.


(Springfield--ba) Governor JB Pritzker is signing a new law to better protect immigrant tenants. The law aims to make sure immigrants are safe from harassment by their landlords says Governor Pritzker.



Governor JB Pritzker



(Paxton-jm) -- Asbestos abatement is expected to begin soon at Eastlawn Elementary. Work is expected to begin Monday and should be completed by the end of October. Demolition of the oldest building in the Paxton-Buckley-Loda school district is expected to be completed by Christmas.



(Gifford-jm) -- The Gifford Fire Protection District will hold their spaghetti dinner fundraiser this Saturday. The fundraiser will run from 4-8 pm at the German Fall Festival Building in downtown Gifford. A golf cart raffle will also take place at 6pm.



(Washington-jm) -- USDA has begun processing payments for the first round of the Market Facilitation Program. Stephanie Ho reports…





(Rantoul--jc)  Four days of agriculture start this morning in Rantoul. The village will see between 25 and 30 thousand people attending the Half Century of Progress each day says event Spokesperson JC Reitmeir…



Half Century of Progress Show Spokesperson JC Reitmeir

WPXN will be broadcast today from the event over the noon hour Its’ Summer Fun Tour Stop 17.



(Champaign--jc)  -- The dog days of August are here. What can we expect over the next week in the weather department. Illinois Water Survey in Champaign Spokesperson Kevin Grady says higher temps and some additional precipitation…



Illinois Water Survey in Champaign Spokesperson Kevin Grady






Assisted Living Could be Coming to Paxton

(Springfield--ba)  -- Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul said a lawsuit challenging the Illinois Gun Dealer License Certification Act is “not ripe for judicial review” and should be dismissed because state police have yet to fully implement the act and that no part of the law has been used to stop dealers from doing business.The attorney general responded this week to a lawsuit in Sangamon County Circuit Court filed by several gun stores across the state and the Illinois State Rifle Association.The association last month sued the state over the law, which requires federally licensed gun dealers in Illinois to get a state license in addition to federal license.


(Gilman-jm) -- Three area fire departments received new equipment last night. The Gilman, Onarga and Danforth fire departments received tools for grain bin extrication. The new equipment was donated by Cargill.



(Washington--ba)-Soybean Conditions have gone down. USDA’s Stephanie Ho reports.




(Gilman-jm) -- The Iroquois County village of Gilman is looking for a new cop. Officer Brian Norton stepped down to take a position with the Ford County Sheriff’s Department. The village is considering a contract with the county after only three applications were received to fill the opening.

(Springfield--ba)--Governor JB Pritzker is supporting planned parenthood’s decision to forgo federal funding over a new abortion gag rule. The rule prevents clinics accepting title 10 family planning funds from talking to patients about where they can get an abortion. Planned Parenthood officials say this is an attack on reproductive health care…and Governor Pritzker agrees...



Governor JB Pritzker



(St Joseph--jc)  -- Sun Prairie Seeds, based in the Champaign County community of St Joseph held a field demonstration Tuesday at the plant. One Sun Prairie Seeds Farmer is Gary Fugh of rural Fisher. Few says he has been planting Sun Prairie Seeds since 1983…



The Field Day at Sun Prairie Seeds provided area farmers with a view of  different varieties of corn and soybeans in the field. Product information was also available. Fugh says one popular variety is Sun Prairie Corn 28-40…



Sun Prairie Seeds Farmer Gary Fugh of rural Fisher.


(Loda-jm) -- Site work has started on a former Paxton Buckley Loda school building that has another future use.  The former Loda Grade School is getting new life. Aardsma Research and Publishing is looking to renovate the 96 year old building. The company would use the building as an anti-aging lab. The local company has started work on the building for its transformation.



(Springfield--ba) The results are in. In one day, 200 agencies, both public and private, made an all out push to raise awareness about driving too fast. The Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police said the participating agencies issued more than 3,200 speeding citations on August 4th. They also helped spread the word about the dangers of speeding.


(Chicago--jc)  --Illinois spends the most in the Midwest per student on education. But instead of going to classrooms, a big chunk of that money props up bloated education bureaucracy. Over 9 thousand school administrators earned more than 100 thousand dollars a year, and they’ll each receive 3 million dollars or more in pension benefits during their retirement, according to an Illinois Policy Institute analysis of the most recent public data available. While school districts pay administrators’ salaries and benefits through local property taxes, state taxpayers are on the hook for those pension costsIllinois has the fifth-largest number of school districts in the nation. Most Illinois school districts serve fewer than 1 thousand students.


(Paxton-jm) -- Assisted living could be coming to Paxton. Accolade Healthcare of Paxton Senior Living is considering a three phase construction project at their facility on Fulton Street. Phase one would involve the construction of a 44 bed assisted living wing. Phase two would renovate the existing independent living area in the basement of the facility. Phase three would construct 8 to 12 single-story townhomes near the facility. The company also hopes to add 12 skilled nursing beds while bringing in an additional 5 to 10 jobs to the area.


(Springfield--jc)  -- The Illinois Housing Development Authority is offering a new gant program to help homebuyers pay for closing costs. Closing costs can quickly add up, and that is the reason for the grants says I-H-D-A Spokesperson Andrew Field…



Illinois Housing Development Authority Spokesperson Andrew Field

More information is found on-line at I-H-D-A- mortgage-Dot-Org.

(Paxton--dg)  -- Site improvements have started on the former Knapp Miller Funeral Home in Paxton. The new name of the business is the Cox-Knapp Funeral Home. A building expansion project continues. Owner  Kendall Cox says there are several ways to contact the funeral home in your time of need…



Cox Knapp Funeral Home Owner Kendall Cox



(Roberts--ba) One town in Ford County is funding a project to make their local water system safer. Roberts village Mayor Rick Flessner talks about why they are re-painting their water tower.



Roberts village Mayor Rick Flessner 



(Washington--ba)-There's been a slight decline in corn condition. USDA’s Stephanie Ho reports.




(Rantoul-jm) -- A Rantoul non-profit will be holding their annual fundraiser this Friday. Jesus is the Way Prison Ministries will hold their fundraiser on Friday from 6 to 8 pm at the Laborers International Union North American Local 703 in Urbana. Tickets or more information is available by calling 892-4044.





Frederick Community Bank in Paxton Collecting School Supplies to Donate to PBL School District

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. J.B. Pritzker says Illinois will not use federal family planning funds as long as Republican President Donald Trump's administration prohibits women's health clinics from referring patients for abortions. The Democrat called Trump's requirement a "gag rule" Monday on a national conference call in which Planned Parenthood announced it is ending participation in the family planning program rather than follow the rule.


(Champaign--ba)    (AP) — The parents of a slain University of Illinois visiting scholar Yingying Zhang are giving $20,000 to the people who provided information that led to the arrest and conviction of their daughter's killer. The family's attorney hasn't said who will receive the money, but two women were instrumental in the successful prosecution of former doctoral student Brendt Christensen, who last month was convicted in Zhang's killing and sentenced to life in prison.


(Springfield-jm) -- The condition of Illinois corn and soybeans improved a little as we hear in the weekly crop report. 89 percent of soybean acres are blooming says State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. The condition of the corn crop rose slightly to 42 percent in good to excellent condition, with 12 percent in the dent stage. The third cutting of alfalfa hay is now 57 percent complete. Average statewide topsoil moisture came in at 11 percent very short, 40 percent short, 47 percent adequate and two percent surplus.


(Springfield--jc)  -- The Illinois State Police director didn’t know anything about more than two dozen surveillance balloons launched states away that are expected to come down in Central Illinois next month.The Guardian says the U.S. Military  was conducting a test across six midwest states using 25 high-altitude balloons packed with technology. The balloons were launched in South Dakota. They will drift over to Central Illinois sometime in September.



(Springfield--ba) SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A Democratic state senator is apologizing for a mock assassination of Republican President Donald Trump staged at a weekend fundraiser. The incident occurred Friday night at Chicago Senator Martin Sandoval's golf outing in the Chicago suburb of Winfield. Photos showing a man with a fake rifle points it at someone wearing a Trump mask. Sandoval calls the incident "unacceptable." He says he doesn't "condone violence against the president or anyone else."


(Gibson--ba)  --Summer is not over yet, and one city committee  is assessing the current 2019 pool season. The Gibson City Pool board will be meeting Wednesday night to assess the summer. The group is also looking to fill a management position.



(Gifford--ba)  --One school district is meeting to talk about a budget for the future. The Gifford Board of Education is meeting to discuss a future budget as well as a budget hearing. The local board meets tomorrow night at 5-30 at  the school in Gifford.


(Rantoul--ba) The  Half Century of Progress begins in just two days at the Rantoul airport. . Event Spokesperson JC Reitmeir says something new is coming to this year’s show...



Half Century of Progress Spokesperson JC Reitmeir.  WPXN will be broadcasting live over the noon hour on Thursday to help kick off the event.



(Beloit-jc)  -- The Rantoul based Raminator Monster Truck team continues to make appearances around the area and nation. On Friday the group will be in Southern Wisconsin. The event is hosted by Bryden Motors in Beloit from 10am until 3pm on Friday.


(Fisher--jc)  A business in Fisher has the go-ahead to build a laundromat with a separate gaming room. The local board voted to give the proper liquor license to the local business owner. The business will be located next to the Ingolds grocery store in downtown Fisher. 


(Paxton-jm) -- Those wanting to receive medical care after hours can now do so in Paxton. Gibson Area Hospital is announcing extended hours for the Paxton Clinic. The clinic will now take walk ins on Wednesday evenings from 5 to 6:30 pm.


(Paxton-jm) --  School does not start till early September in the Paxton Buckley Loda School district. One local bank is hosting a school supply collection day this week. The Frederick Community Bank in Paxton is collecting donations for the Paxton-Buckley-Loda School District. The supply drive takes place on Friday from 11-2 at their drive up facility in Paxton.


(Urbana--jc)  Add the city of Urbana to the list of area communities to talk about legal marijuana sales. The city hosted a meeting last night on the subject. Urbana leaders contend the money side of  legal marijuana sales could bring several hundred thousand dollars into city coffers. Paxton, St Joseph, Gibson City, Rantoul and Monticello are other communities looking a local marijuana sales. Marijuana becomes legal to sell on January First in Illinois. 


(Springfield-jm) -- A new state law will expand banking opportunities for Illinoisans. Governor J-B Pritzker says one in five households does not use a bank. This law creates the “Bank on Illinois” Program, which will publish a list of appealing banking opportunities…



Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Pritzker says many of the people that don’t use a bank are paying high fees to cash checks or are racking up a lot of interest with payday loans. Illinois is the first state in the country to implement this type of program statewide.


(Chicago--jc) A former Ford County attorney, and local circuit judge will be 

serving  the Illinois State Bar Association. Retired judge Steve Pacey of Paxton will serve on several committees for the state bar association. Pacey served the 11th circuit as judge from 1996 through December 20-13.



(Springfield--ba)-The Illinois Attorney General is expected to file a response to the Illinois State Rifle Association’s lawsuit challenging the state’s Gun Dealer Licensing Certification Act. The Illinois State Rifle Association is suing because the rules for the law that went into effect last month haven’t been filed. The case has a hearing Sept. 5. Illinois State Police say rules have been filed, but there’s a month’s long review process underway.



(Springfield-jm) -- The condition of Illinois corn and soybeans improved a little as we hear in the weekly crop report. After a week of above average rain and temperatures, State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 55 percent of corn is now in the dough stage…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 89 percent of soybeans are blooming, and 67 percent are setting pods. 40 percent of the crop is rated in good to excellent condition. Average statewide topsoil moisture was considerably wetter this past week at 11 percent very short, 40 percent short, 47 percent adequate and two percent surplus.


(Springfield--ba)-Illinois’ community college system is among the worst of all 50 states in the nation, according to a new analysis. Consumer finance website WalletHub ranked Illinois’ community college system No. 40 overall, and that’s even with eight states, such as Alaska and Indiana, not being ranked because of a lack of data. The state rankings were based off rankings of individual community college systems within each state.


Governor Pritzker Signs 49 Bills into Law

(Springfield--jc)  -- Governor J.B. Pritzker announced late Friday that he signed 49 bills into law, including one that would allow graduate students to unionize. Among the bills the governor signed was House Bill 252, which would allow public research assistants, graduate assistants and teaching assistants to unionize. That law goes into effect January  1. Another bill signed Friday, House Bill 3503, requires insurance companies to offer plans and options to cover hearing aid instruments. 


(Rantoul-jm) -- A Rantoul veteran will be making a trip to Washington D.C. tomorrow as part of the Honor Flight. Alfred Lientz served in the Navy during the Korean Conflict. Lientz and 92 others will depart tomorrow morning from the Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport in Springfield for the nation’s capital. To nominate someone for an honor flight visit Land of Lincoln Honor Flight dot org.


(Undated-jm) -- University of Illinois college students will be making their return to campus this week and Illinois State Police are reminding everyone to slow down. District 10 troopers  issued several citations over the weekend for speeding. They say there will be an increase in troopers on area interstates and highways this week. And with students returning to the University of Illinois this week, campus and Urbana and Champaign Police are warning motorists of increased traffic and traffic changes. Illinois Street between Goodwin and Lincoln will be one way as will Nevada Street, Peabody Drive between 1st and 4th Streets, on Tuesday and Thursday. Maryland Drive and 1st Street will be one way on Thursday.


(Champaign--jc)  -- It’s officially dry in a large portion of East Central Illinois. Illinois Water Survey Spokesperson Kevin Grady says the drought monitor puts areas around Champaign is in drought condition…



Illinois Water Survey-Champaign Spokesperson Kevin Grady



(Gibson City-jm) -- The chief clinical officer and chief operating officer of an area hospital is being recognized. Gibson Area Hospital and Health Services is announcing Robin Rose has been named the 2019 Illinois Rural Health Association’s administrator of the year. According to the organization, the award is presented to a healthcare administrator who has made an outstanding contribution of major significance to rural health in Illinois.


(Springfield--jc)  The recent ag disaster declaration by the U-S-D-A means getting the information and dollars lost amount calculated. Illinois Governor JB Pritzker says the process continues…


Illinois Governor JB Pritzker


(Cullom--jc)  -- Tri Point School leaders are expected to approve the annual contract for the districts athletic trainers when they meet tonight in monthly session.  School board members will look to set meeting dates for the districts crisis committee and deal with the annual budget The Tri Point School board meets at 6-45 in Kempton.



(Cissna Park--jc)  The three day Old Settlers Celebration in Cissna Park was another huge success. Cissna Park resident Gail Redeker was the winner of a brand new 20-19 Ford vehicle. Old Settlers is sponsored by Cissna Park American Legion Post 527.


(Washington--ba) Researchers have begun work that will eventually lead to a national seed bank for hemp. From where will the material for the bank come? USDA’s Gary Crawford reports.



(Champaign--jc) --  A property accident with no injuries was reported on Saturday in Champaign County. Police say the accident happened around mile marker 226 just after 3 on Saturday morning. The left lane was closed for several hours.


(McLean County--jc)  A McLean County jury has found a former U-S Cellular Coliseum executive guilty  of theft. The three day jury trial for Curtis Webb concluded Friday morning in Bloomington. Webb was found guilty of stealing money from the U-S- Cellular Coliseum. Sentencing is set for 1-30pm on October 28th in McLean County court in Bloomington.


(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton firefighters were called to a vehicle fire late Saturday morning. Firefighters were called to the fire on I-57 at the Paxton exit around 11:30 am. No word on if there were any injuries.


(Danville-jm) -- A local branch of a state agency is looking for a new director. Angela Thibedeux Burns has stepped down as director of the East Central Illinois Community Action Agency in Danville. The group assists low income families with things like helping pay energy bills. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Development has been investigating the Danville facility for what they say is egregious mismanagement. East Central Illinois Community Action Agency serves residents in Ford, Iroquois and Vermilion Counties.


(Springfield-jc)  -- Final attendance numbers are not in yet, but the 2019 Illinois State Fair was a success. State Fair Manager Kevin Gordon says vendor sales were up…



Illinois State Manager Kevin Gordon.

Gordon says promotions, contests and record concert ticket sales were factors in the successful run of the fair.


MARION, Ill. (AP) — A smoking ban at Department of Veterans Affairs' health care facilities will take effect later this year. The smoke-free policy that begins Oct. 1 applies to patients, visitors, volunteers, contractors and vendors, and it prohibits cigarettes, cigars, pipes, vape pens and e-cigarettes. The VA has permitted smoking in designated areas. Spokesman Kevin Harris says the change is taking place amid growing evidence that smoking, as well as second hand and third-hand smoke, is a health and safety risk



(Rantoul--jc)  -- The 20-19 Half Century of Progress Show is set to begin on Thursday at the Rantoul airport. The event features 4 days of everything agriculture and is the precursor to the Farm Progress show in Decatur. The event is more than field demonstrations and static displays. There are food vendors, parades, a tractor drive and more. Event Spokesperson JC Reitmeir says a kiddie tractor pull takes place on Saturday at 2pm…



Half Century of Progress Spokesperson JC Reitmeir.



MARKHAM, Ill. (AP) — Four female police officers in the Chicago suburb of Markham allege gender discrimination in complaints filed with the Illinois Department of Human Rights. The (Tinley Park) Daily Southtown reports the complaints follow Terry White's promotion to chief of police last year and were filed between February and May. White declined the newspaper's questions about the allegations, as did Mayor Roger Agpawa. They released a statement saying the matter will be "resolved through the proper channels."


(Bloomington--jc)  Leaders in the Illinois Republican party continue to look at the future to rebuild office holders in the state, region and local area. 53rd district State Senator Jason Barickman says the re growth of the party starts with grass root efforts…



53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman- Republican Bloomington



(Gibson City-jm) -- More jobs are coming to Gibson City. Alamo Group Inc, announced they recently acquired the Dixie Chopper business from Textron Outdoor Power Equipment. It’s unknown how many new jobs will be created.


(Gilman--jc)  -- Iroquois West School board members will look at two F-F-A field trip requests when they meet in monthly session tonight in Gilman. Setting a budget hearing and looking at a request from the Slow Boys Tractor Club to use school property for a show on September 14th are also on the agenda. The meeting comes to order at 7 tonight at the high school



(Springfield--ba) Illinois finished ninth in a ranking by the website 24/7 Wall St. of identity theft rates across the nation. Identity theft complaints per 100,000 people in Illinois numbered 127. The median loss for all types of identity-theft fraud in the state is $300, with total losses coming in at $30,492,718 last year. The share of identity theft in the state involving credit cards – the most common type of such fraud cases – is 37 percent.


Several Accidents on I-57 has ISP Reminding Motorists to Slow Down and Pay Attention in Construction Zones

DANVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A former central Illinois man has received two life prison sentences in the deaths of a man and woman. The bodies of Theodore Hill and Zarra Laws Strickland were discovered in a secluded area west of Danville, each with bullet wounds to the head. Glen T. Torres Jr. in April was found guilty of first-degree murder following a trial in Vermillion County Circuit Court. Torres was accused of shooting the 29-year-old Hill and the 28-year-old Strickland as they were riding in a car on Aug. 2, 2015.


(Champaign--jc)  A Semi driver failed to slow down in a construction zone along Interstate 57 in Champaign County on Thursday afternoon. Police say the semi struck a vehicle directly ahead of his vehicle and the accident caused a chain reaction to involve three additional vehicles. The accidents occurred in a construction area at mile marker 237 in Champaign County. No injuries were reported and the semi driver was cited for several violations.


(Springfield--ba)--There’s still plenty of time to enjoy all the food, free entertainment and more at the Illinois state fair in Springfield. Inside the fairgrounds…visitors will find everything from dancing dobermans to free fishing clinics. In the fair’s Thrillville area…Swifty swine pig racing runs several times a day.


(Rantoul--ba)  -- The Half Century of Progress farm show starts next Thursday at the Rantoul Municipal airport property. Event spokesperson JC Reitmeir says the amount of equipment at the  event is an amazing site....



Half Century of Progress farm show Spokesperson JC Reitmeir


(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton emergency personnel were called to an accident on I-57 Thursday evening. The accident occurred near mile marker 260, about a mile south of Paxton. No word on if there were any injuries.



(Springfield--ba)-Governor JB Pritzker is launching “Connect Illinois” …a 420 million dollar program to bring high-speed internet to all parts of the state. Governor Pritzker says the new broadband advisory council will be planning the broadband expansion…focusing on three areas: education, economic development and telemedicine.



Governor JB Pritzker 



(Springfield--ba)-An amendment to the Illinois Equal Pay Act signed by the governor this week prohibits employers from asking job candidates about salary history, a change that goes into effect at the end of next month and could make finding the most qualified applicant more difficult for small- to medium-sized businesses in Illinois. The head of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce called the new law burdensome to business owners. Todd Maisch, president and CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, said the law won’t do much for job applicants and creates challenges for business owners.



(St. Joseph-jm) -- One area fire department has received a grant. The St. Joseph-Stanton Fire Department received a five thousand dollar grant from the Bayer Monsanto Grant Foundation. The department plans to use the money to purchase grain bin rescue equipment.



(Washington-jm) -- The USDA is giving farmers more time to pay crop insurance premiums without added interest added to the bills. Gary Crawford has the details…




(Paxton--jc)  -- The cookout at the Paxton IGA on Saturday will help raise money for the Melvin Men’s Christian Fellowship group. On the menu is ribeye steak sandwiches, chips and pop. The cookout runs from 10am until 2pm in the Paxton IGA parking lot.


(Crescent City-jm) -- The Crescent-Iroquois School District has a new superintendent and it's a familiar one to the area. Rod Grimsley was named superintendent this week during a special meeting. Grimsley retired from the Gifford Grade School District at the end of last school year.


(Undated--jc)  With nearly 7,000 units of local government, Illinois is taking some baby steps toward reducing that number with a goal of lowering property taxes in the process. Illinois Governor. J.B. Pritzker signed the legislation into law that would allow voters to approve of dissolving townships in McHenry County. The northern Illinois county is the first county to move to reduce the number of government entities. State Representative David McSweeney says that 7 thousand units of local government is too many and the new law with help consolidate that number


(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Lottery is launching new online features to make playing more convenient. Thanks to a new state law, players can now buy single-draw tickets for lucky day lotto, pick three and pick four both online and through the lottery app says Spokesperson Jason Schaumburg…



Illinois Lottery Spokesperson Jason Schaumburg. 

Additionally, you can scan your instant tickets on the Illinois Lottery app to see if you’re a winner.


(Rantoul-jm) -- A Rantoul man has been sentenced to six years in prison for selling drugs. 22-year-old Rayvonn Simpson pleaded guilty to possession with intent to deliver after police found him with ecstasy and cocaine. Also found was a gun and several hundred rounds of ammunition. In return for his guilty plea, charges of being an armed habitual offender, unlawful use of weapons by a felon and possession of cocaine were dismissed. 



(Pesotum--jc)  -- A Minnesota family received only minor injuries in a one car mishap on Interstate 57 Thursday afternoon. Police say that 49 year old Lindy Birch of Cambridge Minnesota was going south on the interstate near Pesotum when some metal in the roadway struck the vehicle. Birch had minor injuries


(Gibson City--jc)  -- Ford County Crimestoppers is seeking information about a burglary at a Gibson City business.. A burglary at Bradbury Auto Sales was reported on Monday morning The business is located on 8th Street in Gibson City. Several items were taken from the business. An Illinois State Police Crime Scene unit helped in the investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call Ford County Crimestoppers at 217-784-4173.


(Gibson City--jc)  -- One Ford County city is preparing for fall garage sales. Gibson City’s town wide fall garages sales take place Thursday September 5th through Saturday September 7th. Those interested in being placed in the garage sales flyer are asked to contact the Gibson Area Chamber of Commerce office by August 31st.



(Ludlow-jm) -- The site of a former church in Ludlow could be getting new life. Trustees of the former Ludlow Christian Church are proposing giving the land to the village to be turned into a park. The church closed several years ago.


(Thomasboro-jm) -- The village of Thomasboro may be expanding. An out-of-state company has approached the village about annexing a parcel of land on the northeast corner of Route 45 and Flatville Road that the company intends to build on. Village leaders will continue discussions at the next meeting.


(Washington-jm) -- USDA's latest look at the value of agricultural lands reveals a year-over-year rise in average value. Rod Bain reports…



(Rankin--jc)  -- Local residents Don and Diane Rasmus were family representatives to designate  a rural Rankin farm as a Centennial Farm. The award was handed out at the Illinois State Fair Ag Day. The rural Rankin farm is owned by Don and James Rasmus, Joyce Carlson and Robert Sprehe. A sign and certificate will be placed at the farm


(Cissna Park-jc)  Today is day two of the 20-19 Old Settlers celebration in Cissna Park. On the stage tonight at 8 on the main stage is the popular local band Back Paiges. The annual parade is set for noon on Saturday. Someone will win a 20-19 Ford car tomorrow night. WPXN will be broadcasting live during the parade on Saturday with Becky Puetz. It’s summer fun tour stop 16.



Governor JB Pritzker Signed Legislation to Expand Insurance Coverage for Life Saving Treatments.

KANKAKEE, Ill. (AP) — A 30-year prison sentence has been handed a northern Illinois man who pleaded guilty to setting a fire that killed two boys. In pleading guilty earlier this year, 65-year-old Alex Sawyer said he was upset a landlord didn't return his security deposit when he set the April 13, 2016 fire in Kankakee that killed brothers 4-year-old Justice Stewart and 2-year-old JuShaun Watson. Sawyer must serve 100 percent of the sentence Kankakee County Circuit Judge Kathy Bradshaw-Elliott handed down Wednesday.


CHICAGO (AP) — Attorneys general in 13 states, including Illinois, have filed a lawsuit challenging a Trump administration rule that'll allow immigration officials to deny green cards to migrants who use public assistance, including food stamps or housing vouchers. The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in federal court.


(Pontiac--jc)  106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City is helping with a Senior Health Fair in Pontiac this morning. The event  is set for 9am to 11am at the Pontiac Rec Center…



106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City

The event is in partnership with the Pontiac Parks and Recreation Department


(Springfield--ba)  --Governor JB Pritzker is signing legislation to expand insurance coverage for life saving treatments. One new law requires insurance companies to cover office visits and treatment for tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease. The second requires coverage of epi-pens for children with severe allergies. The cost of the pens has risen by more than 400 percent over the last decade says Governor Pritzker.



Illinois Governor JB Pritzker


(Gibson City--jc)  -- It’s time to cruise in Gibson City on Friday night. The monthly car cruise steps off at 6pm and runs through 10pm in the downtown area of the city. Organizers invite car enthusiasts to cruise and also area residents to park their cars and enjoy the monthly summer-time cruise. Dan Kearfott and his musical friends will perform. A cookout at the Gibson City American Legion, Queen of Hearts raffle and shaved ice and ice cream will also be available.


(Springfield--jc)  -- A Ford County youth won first place in the 8 to 10 year division in the Illinois Cream of the Crop photo contest. Paxton resident  Payton Luebchow won the contest with the picture called, “A Day’s Work”. Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs hosted a reception in the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s tent at the state fairgrounds to honor Luebchow and the other two first-place winners of the contest: Austin Kammeyer of Manito, who won first place in the 11-14 age division, and Tanner Mickey of Taylorville, who won first place in the 15-18 age division. 


(Ogden--jc)  Three vehicles with Champaign County residents were involved in a four car accident along Interstate 74 near Ogden on Wednesday morning. Police say a black vehicle with driver unknown, cut off a second vehicle while entering a construction zone causing the remaining 3 vehicles to crash at the site. Several injuries were reported, all with non-life threatening injuries. The driver of the black vehicle left the scene State Police say they are investigating the accident. The east-bound lanes were closed for several hours this morning as crews worked to clean up the accident scene.


(Watseka--jc)  It’s National Immunization Awareness month. WPXN’s Joel Cluver has the story..




ALTON, Ill. (AP) — A marker will be placed at a site in southern Illinois where the state's first soybeans were planted. Officials of the Illinois State Historical Society and others will be present when the marker is dedicated Aug. 23 in Alton. Dr. Benjamin Franklin Edwards traveled to San Francisco in 1849, where he helped shipwreck survivors from Japan. They reportedly showed Edwards their appreciation with a gift of "Japanese Peas." A friend of Edwards later planted the beans in his home garden.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Nearly every politician in Illinois wants to lower local property taxes, but a representative for school boards said sending more unfunded mandates to local districts that are largely funded through property taxes makes that goal harder to reach. As school bells ring for the first time, school boards know they must begin to prepare for a number of new requirements coming in the new school year, including a  higher minimum salary for teachers and statewide curriculum mandates for new civic education classes, lessons on the history of Illinois, L-G-B-T history and more. Ben Schwarm, deputy executive director at the Illinois Association of School Boards, said lawmakers consistently express support for lower property taxes, yet continue to send school districts mandates that will require adding staff or higher costs. 



(Ford County--ba)-- Ford County residents have until tomorrow to pay the first installment of property taxes. Ford County Treasurer Krisha Shoemaker says the time is now…



Shoemaker says the 2nd installment date is also coming soon...



Ford County Treasurer Krisha Shoemaker


(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois State Fair Grandstand concerts are bringing in more money than ever before. The concert series is proving to be a popular lineup this year, bringing in nearly two million, one hundred thousand dollars so far. Only about one thousand concert tickets need to be sold to break that record as well. Upcoming concerts include Old Dominion, Snoop Dogg and Shinedown. 


(Springfield-jm) -- The State Department of Public Health is confirming the presence of a rare tick-borne virus in Illinois. The Heartland Virus first popped up last year when a person in Kankakee County tested positive, and now ticks from that area appear to be carrying the virus. Public Health’s Samantha Debosik (duh-boe-sick) says if you get bitten by a tick, you should watch for these symptoms…



Illinois Department of Public Health’s Samantha Debosik. Those infected usually have to be hospitalized but most fully recover. Debosik recommends wearing light-colored long clothing when walking near tall grasses and shrubs where ticks like to hang out. Bug spray is also a good idea.


(Gibson City--jc)  Gibson City Melvin Sibley School board members are expected to approve several upcoming school fieldtrips when they meet on Monday night. The first is for the G-C-M-S F-F-A to a Decatur event set for August 28th and the second is a 5th grade field trip to LayFayette Indiana on October 4th. Two donations to the G-C-M-S football program in the amount of 500 dollars and 4 thousand dollars will be accepted by the board. Approving the upcoming school year budget is also an agenda item. The board meets on Monday night at 6-15.


(Fisher--jc)  -- Fisher Village board members are set to meet on Monday to discuss a liquor license proposal. In updating our story from earlier this month,  one local businessman is proposing to open a laundromat business, but also use a portion of the building for a video-gaming in a separate part of the building. The licquor license would be a pour only facility. A hearing on the matter was held this summer. 



(Cissna Park--jc)  -- Today is the first of 3 days for the Olds Settlers Celebration in Cissna Park. Swyear Amusements is on the midway for the entire run of the local event. A talent Show hilites activities on the main stage at 7 tonight. The celebration is sponsored by the Cissna Park American Legion Post 527. There is always “plenty of shade and water” at the Old Settlers Celebration in Cissna Park. Someone will win a new Ford 2019 vehicle at the conclusion of the celebration on Saturday night.



Governor JB Pritzker Signed Legislation Expanding the State's Medical Marijuana Program.

(Springfield--ba) -- Governor JB Pritzker  signed legislation expanding the state’s medical marijuana program. One measure makes the pilot program permanent, and adds 11 new conditions like chronic pain, anorexia, migraines and autism to the list of those eligible for medical cannabis. Governor Pritzker says it’s important to provide relief to those suffering...



Illinois Governor JB Pritzker


(Undated--jc)  ---A federal court says Facebook users in Illinois can join a class-action lawsuit against the social media giant, potentially collecting thousands of dollars per account. A federal appellate court ruled unanimously Thursday that Illinois-based users who want to sue Facebook for allegedly breaking state law by collecting biometric data may do so as one large class-action lawsuit. Facebook told Forbes that it plans to appeal the ruling. Google had a similar case dismissed. The lawsuit alleges Facebook broke Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act, which requires companies to ask to collect facial, fingerprint or other physical characteristic data and then explain how they plan to use the data.



(Paxton--jc)  -- It’s new to a business in Paxton. It’s a product featured on the T-V Show Shark Tank. It’s backed by businessman Mark Cuban. The Vortex Vault Bed raised to a height of nearly 5 feet, the safe room has been approved by the Texas Tech Wind Institute to withstand an E-F-5 tornado. Illinois Distributor Jim Allen says the safe room is available at 3 sizes….



Illinois Distributor for the Vortex Vault Bed Jim Allen

 A sample of the Vortex Vault Bed may be seen at Paxton Hardware and Rental in Paxton.


(Rantoul--jc)  -- Some Scammers are using  a local police number Rantoul Police say they received several calls on Tuesday about spoofing the local number. Residents have told the local police department they received a call, allegedly coming from the police department. The scammer tells the person on the phone they have an outstanding warrant and to provide a social security number. Rantoul Police say if you receive this type of call, hang up. Do not provide any personal information.


ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — An FBI agent testified the accused Illinois militia leader charged with organizing the bombing of a Minnesota mosque kept a cache of guns, including assault rifles that were altered to be fully automatic. The latest is the case against 48 year old Michael Hari of Clarence was a pre trial hearing. The Star Tribune says, special agent Joel Smith said he found four shotguns and four rifles with serial numbers scratched off in a duffel bag tied to 48-year-old Michael Hari at the home of the defendant's friend in Clarence in February 2018. Federal 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 attack two years ago at the Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center. Hari has pleaded not guilty.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Many public employees are now required to disclose the number of sick days they plan of cashing out in their final years before retirement. It’s , a move that could help public employers better plan for pension costs. Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the bill into law.The measure immediately requires any non-union worker who plans to collect a pension via the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund to tell the public body they work for how many sick days they’re holding. 


(Champaign--jc)  Police in Champaign are investigating a shooting along Crescent Street near Centennial High School. The incident happened around 10 last night. 

One person was taken to a local hospital. No other information was available.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Department of Public Health says a Chicago resident in his 70s is the first confirmed human case of West Nile virus in the state this year. It said Tuesday the man became ill in late July. The department says 74 counties in Illinois last year reported a West Nile virus positive mosquito batch, bird, horse, or a human case. It reported 176 human cases, including 17 deaths.


URBANA, Illinois –Eastern Illinois Foodbank and Eastern Illinois University are teaming up to offer new students at E-I-U a unique volunteer opportunity. On Saturday, approximately 60 new E-I-U students will travel to the foodbank warehouse as part of Prowl, EIU’s new student orientation program.During the volunteer event, students will repackage bulk food into smaller portions that will be distributed to  food pantries and soup kitchens. The foodbank serves 18 counties in Central Illinois.


(Manteno--jc)--  Illinois State police say that Interstate 57  southbound lanes near Manteno were closed for several hours last night after a multi vehicle accident. The accidents happened around 2  on Tuesday afternoon. The road was to re open after the vehicles were cleared from the Interstate. 



(Champaign--ba) -- Champaign County R-C Club’s annual Large Scale plane Fly-In on Saturday, August 24 9am to 5pm and Sunday, August 25, 9am to 1pm. R/C planes will be performing various stunts, and the flying field is located at 3616 West  Bloomington Road in Champaign.


(Paxton--jc)  An ordinance concerning a local tax on recreational marijuana purchases made in Paxton is on hold. City council members will continue to look for more input on the issue. City leaders may address a 3 percent sales tax in September. Recreational use of marijuana will become legal on January First in Illinois. Sales tax sign up dates and other state issues remain on the topic of legal marijuana sales. Severa other towns and cities that are looking at legal marijuana sales include Gibson City, St Joseph, Rantoul and Monticello. El Paso and Morton have voted down marijuana sales in their two cities. 


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A consultant has determined that a casino in Chicago would not be profitable enough. The study by Union Gaming Analytics released Tuesday concludes that Illinois casino tax and fee structures are too "onerous" to allow a developer to make more than 1% or 2% profit.. Under Illinois law, a casino operator must pay a $250,000 application fee, a $15 million "reconciliation" fee when the license is issued and gambling position fees. Other state casinos are being planned, including one in Danville in Vermilion County.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois farmers want a trade agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. They also want to use an agreement as a bridge to get past the 2020 election and the ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China. During Ag Day at the Illinois State Fair on Tuesday, Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert said farmers have been patient during the ongoing trade disputes lead by President Donald Trump, but their patience is wearing thin. Guebert saysChina has got the willingness and the ability to push things off until after next November’s presidential election period.



(Washington--jc)  -- What information can we gain from the crop report from Monday afternoon. Gary Crawford has the story…




(Paxton--jc)  Paxton Buckley Loda School board members are expected to put the new fiscal year budget on display when they meet tonight in monthly session. Awarding contracts for electric and gas and also purchase a van for the local school district. Setting staff orientation and opening day agendas is also on tonight’s agenda. The Paxton Buckley Loda School board meets at 6 tonight in Paxton.


(Rankin--jc)  -- A presentation concerning a marijuana cafe and dispensary was held in Rankin last night. Rankin resident Davian Kayne Michael Emling, is considering locating his proposed cannabis cafe, bakery and dispensary Some attending were in favor of the project, others cited some concerns. . Recreational marijuana becomes legal in Illinois on January First. The issue moves to the local Rankin board. They are expected to deal with the issue at some future meetings.



(Paxton--ba) Two area residents were part of the Illinois State Fair Sale of Champions on Tuesday evening. They included the Grand Champion Poultry Meat Pen, owned by Faith Foster of Paxton. The Grand Champion Meat Goat and Land of Lincoln Grand Champion Steer were animal projects of Tara Hummel of Cabery. Illinois Governor JB Pritzker was outbid by his wife for the Grand Champion Steer, owned by Cole Caldwell of Elmood…



Illinois Governor JB Pritker.


Faith Foster of rural Paxton  talks about her experience in this competition.



 Faith Foster of rural Paxton

Fosters chickens sold for 5 thousand dollars.


(Cissna Park--jc)  The initial day of a three day event in Cissna Park starts on Thursday. On the stage Thursday night at 7 is a talent show. The three day event also features Sywear Amusements on the midway and someone will win a 20-19 Ford vehicle on Saturday evening. The annual Old Settlers Reunion is sponsored by the Cissna Park American Legion Post 527.



(Mahomet--jc)  The Mahomet Seymour school board finance committee is set to meet tomorrow afternoon. Topics include long term debt planning and budget issues. The Mahomet Seymour School Finance committee meets at 2 on Thursday afternoon. 


(Fairbury--jc)  -- Today at the Fairbury Fair is a country music show featuring JoDee Messina. The opening act is Kelsey Hickman. General admission tickets are 20 dollars and the V-I-P Zone is 30 dollars. The first act goes on stage at 6-30 with Messina taking the stage at 8pm The Fairbury Fair starts today and runs through Sunday.



U.S. Senator Dick Durbin is Pushing to Abolish the Federal Death Penalty

(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois is in the process of implementing the largest infrastructure plan in the state’s history.The specifics of the plan were left largely obscured until Gov. J.B. Pritzker enacted it. Now that details have been released, infrastructure experts have pointed to areas where taxpayers should be aware of potential extra costs. The breakdown of costs released in June by the governor’s office showed three-quarters of the total funds, more than $33 billion, would go to roads and bridges. The rest is devoted to “vertical” infrastructure, a broader range of projects such as improvements to schools and local government structures. Some of the vertical projects have been criticized as unnecessary. Critics have said the state’s fiscal condition should be addressed before building pickleball courts.



(Paxton--jc)  -- Fundraising for the Paxton Grand Ole Flag project is progressing nicely. Spokesperson Denny Kingren says fundraising started two months ago and the group is about half way to the goal…



Paxton Grand Ole Flag Spokesperson Denny Kingren of Paxton. The group has a target date of 20-20 Flag Day June 14th to have the 30 by 60 foot flag up on a 150 foot pole on Paxton’s west side near Interstate 57.


(St. Joseph--ba) Approving the 20-20 tentative budget is one topic for discussion for the  St. Joseph Community School District tonight. The school board is expected to move a permanent transfer of $728,000 from the education fund to the working cash fund. The meeting comes to order in the grade school conference room at 6-30 tonight.



(Gifford--jc) --  St Paul’s Church of Gifford is sponsor  a food distribution event on Saturday in Rantoul.  The site is the Community Service Center in the village.  The food will be handed out starting at 9 Saturday morning. Low-income residents of Champaign County are eligible to participate.



(Springfield--ba)  -- Veterans were honored at the state fair with special ceremonies and with a parade. Illinois Emergency Management Agency Acting Director and retired Brigadier General Alicia Tate Nadeau spoke to the crowd and looked to the future.



I-EMA Acting Director Brigadier General Alicia Tate Nadeau


(Paxton--jc)  -- Some building maintenance to the E-M-S building in downtown Paxton is a topic for local leaders when they meet tonight in monthly session. Paxton City council members are also expected to approve closing portions of streets around the Eastland School property as that property will be torn down this month. A discussion and look at an ordinance for the selling of recreational marijuana is also set for tonight. The Paxton City Council meets at 7 tonight on the second floor of city hall


TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A newly released study says if Asian carp reach Lake Michigan, they probably would find enough food to spread farther. The invasive fish have infested the Mississippi River and dozens of tributaries. Some experts have questioned whether there's enough plankton in Lake Michigan to sustain the fish away from the shoreline. The lake has seen a drop-off in plankton. But a report released Monday by University of Michigan scientists says the carp could feed on other organic material.



(Springfield--ba) -- They were hog-callers and husband callers at the state fair. There were also two repeat winners. The first is Petersburg resident Shirley Flickinger…



Shirley Flickinger of Petersburg

Vermilion County resident Andrew Metheny of Georgetown also had the winning call…


Georgetown’s Andrew Metheny

The Illinois state fair runs through Sunday in Springfield


(Undated--jc)  -- U.S. Senator Dick Durbin is pushing to abolish the federal death penalty after President Donald Trump’s administration announced it will be resuming executions again for the first time since 2003. Durbin’s bill would “prohibit the imposition of the death penalty for any violation of Federal law, and for other purposes.Illinois eliminated the death penalty eight years ago.


(Undated--jc) Several area communities continue to look at the idea of a marijuana business operating locally.  They include, Paxton, Gibson City, Rantoul St. Joseph and Monticello. Two communities have said no to the idea in their communities. The Pantagraph says El Paso and Morton have voted not to pursue marijuana sales. The recreational use of marijuana becomes legal on January First. 


(Washington--ba) How does USDA's August crop production forecast - including recent survey data from corn and soybean growers compare to what trade analysts were expecting from this month's reports  Rod Bain reports...



BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Forecasters are warning of dangerously hot weather across a wide stretch of the U.S. South and Midwest. The National Weather Service says parts of 13 states are under heat advisories, from Texas, Louisiana and Florida in the South to Missouri and Illinois in the Midwest. Monday temperatures in the 90s combined with humidity  made it feel like 110 degrees across much of the region, and the heat index could reach 115 degrees in parts of the Deep South.


(Rantoul--ba) The annual Luke Remington Cancer Walk is set for September at Rantoul Township High School Event Spokesperson Sue Sawyer says the event provides fun and fellowship for those participating....



Luke Remington Cancer Walk Spokesperson Sue Sawyer 


(Springfield--jc)  106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City is set to serve on an Illinois House committee to look at property tax issues in Illinois. Bennett says finding solutions to high property taxes is a key for growth in the state…



106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City


(Springfield--jc) --  There was plenty of time for fieldwork as we hear in the weekly crop report. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 93 percent of corn is now silking…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener

80 percent of soybeans are blooming and 49 percent are setting pods.


(St Joseph--jc)  -- St Joseph village leaders are looking into an Oslad grant for use by the village when they meet tonight. Council members will discuss audit services and are looking to hire Hap Industries for Christmas decoration. The St Joseph monthly meeting comes to order at 7 tonight.


(Gibson City--jc)  A railroad crossing project in Gibson City will take about a week to complete. The Northfolk Southern Railroad crossing at the intersections of Illinois 9, Illinois 47 and Illinois 54 will close for a week beginning next monday. The crossing is set to be rebuilt. Motorists can expect delays during the reconstruction project.  In updating our story from yesterday, the railroad is set to do a similar project starting next Monday in McLean.



High Dive Show Back at the State Fair

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — High damage costs from devastating floods are prompting more states to take a long-term look at ways to guard against future floods. An Associated Press analysis of preliminary assessments has identified about $1.2 billion of damage to roads, buildings and other infrastructure from storms and floods in the first half of 2019. Some states are studying ways to shore up their levee systems while also directing more money toward flood protection.


(Bloomington--jc) The second college admission scandal has elected state leaders wondering how to legislate the issue. A report by ProPublica highlighted a practice by which Illinois parents exploit a legal loophole, ceding guardianship of their children during high school, often to a friend or family member. Reaction from local State Representative Dan Brady of Bloomington…



State Representative Dan Brady of Bloomington


(Springfield--jc)  -- The high dive show is back at the Illinois State Fair this year. Updating our story from Saturday, the high divers have been gone for a few years. This year they are back in the middle of the fairgrounds says Watershow Production Director Dana Kunze…



Watershow Production Director Dana Kunze

The shows go on each four times between 1pm and 8pm The Illinois State Fair continues through August 18th.


(Springfield--jc)  -- The Illinois State Board of Education is offering free activity guides at the Illinois State Fair. The Lieutenant Governor’s tent on Main street has the free guides says I-S-B-E Spokesperson Angelique Hamilton…



I-S-B-E Spokesperson Angelique Hamilton



(Gibson City--jc)  -- A Gibson City man built it and a Paxton man helped seal it. A picnic table built by Wayne Link of Gibson City and finished by Larry Carter of Paxton is set to be delivered to the V-A in Danville. The table was part of a fundraiser for the 7th annual Mid-Summer Fun Run sponsored by the Ford County Old Times and Gibson City American Legion. The table also features signatures  from the group.


(Springfield--jc) The Grand Champion Poultry at this year’s Illinois State Fair is a project from rural Paxton. Faith Foster of Paxton  is the owner of the project that finished tops at the state fair. Congratulations to Faith Foster and the winning poultry project.


(Rankin--jc)  A public meeting on a proposed marijuana business near Rankin is set for tomorrow night in the Vermilion County town. The hearing takes place at 6-30 Tuesday night at the Rankin Lion’s Club building. Rankin resident,  Daiven Kayne Michael Emling, is considering locating his proposed cannabis cafe, bakery and dispensary. Emling plans to outlay plans for his operation on Tuesday night. Recreational marijuana becomes legal in Illinois on January First.



(Gibson City--jc)  -- Gibson City leaders are set to meet on tonight and considered several special licenses for the Fall Harvest Fest event. They include licenses for the American Legion, Burgers and Beer,  and Railside Golf course. Council members will also hear an insurance proposal from P-M-A District Manager Scott Knapp. A purchase of a new police vehicle is also on the agenda. The Gibson City Council meets at 7 tonight.



CHICAGO (AP) — The University of Illinois has launched a two-year study and is offering free soil tests to home gardeners and urban farmers across the Chicago area.It's called the Chicago Safe Soils Initiative . Professor Andrew Margenot is the leader of the project and he says that cities can often be "hotspots" for heavy metals like lead.



(Paxton--jc)  Add the Paxton Evangelical Covenant Church to the list of  recipients for the Paxton I-G-A’s charitable rebate program. The local church received a 1 thousand dollar check on Friday. The local group presented the Paxton I-G-A with 200 thousand dollars in grocery receipts.


PRAIRIE DU ROCHER, Ill. (AP) — The fate of a Mississippi River levee that's awaiting a federal accreditation decision could put a southern Illinois village at risk of flooding. Village President Ray Cole says if the levee in Prairie du Rocher loses FEMA recognition, homeowners' flood insurance premiums could spike by double digits from about $400 a year. The Southern Illinoisan reports that a study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers found the levee needs millions of dollars in upgrades to meet FEMA regulations on seepage.


CHICAGO (AP) — The Illinois Republican Party's chairman is urging President Donald Trump not to follow through on the idea he broached of freeing imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Tim Schneider said in a written statement Friday that officials found guilty should serve their full sentences, especially in a state where he says "corrupt, machine-style politics is still all too common." Trump said Wednesday he thought the seven years the Democrat Blagojevich has served so far for corruption was enough.


CHICAGO (AP) — Health officials say at least six young people were recently hospitalized in Illinois after experiencing severe breathing problems possibly related to vaping. The Illinois Department of Public Health says the young people experienced symptoms that included chest pains, shortness of breath and vomiting. The Chicago Sun-Times reports those affected vaped days and weeks before their hospitalization.


(Bloomington--jc)  U-S Route 136 will be closed starting next Monday for about a week at a railroad crossing in McLean. The Union Pacific railroad is making improvements along the tracks. The work should take around 5 days to complete.




(Springfield--jc)  --Illinois is in the process of implementing the largest infrastructure plan in the state’s history.The specifics of the plan were left largely obscured until Governor J.B. Pritzker enacted it. Now that details have been released, infrastructure experts have pointed to areas where taxpayers should be aware of potential extra costs. The breakdown of costs released in June by the governor’s office showed three-quarters of the total funds, more than $33 billion, would go to “horizontal” infrastructure, mostly roads, bridges, mass transit, and similar projects. The rest is devoted to “vertical” infrastructure, a broader range of projects such as improvements to existing schools, government structures, and new projects. 



(Springfield--jc)  The Illinois State Fair Coliseum is now back in business. The 60 thousand square foot three story structure was built in 19-0h-1. The structure was repaired over the years, but was condemned in 20-16. Ag Deputy Director Warren Goesch says it is now the “Crown Jewel” of the fair…



Illinois Ag Deputy Director Warren Goesch



SAVOY, Ill. (AP) — The family of a Chinese scholar whose body was never recovered after her 2017 slaying gathered at a memorial service that included only her photograph and their own memories of her life. On Friday at a memorial service near the University of Illinois' Urbana-Champaign where Yingying Zhang attended school, her father spoke of a loving daughter who worked hard and would do anything to help her friends.


(Washington--jc)  -- Where are some of the global areas to be highlighted in USDA's latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates Rod Bain reports…




(Paxton--jc)  One downtown Paxton business is set to close it’s brick-and-mortar store in the near future. The Central Lean store will close after 8 years in operation in the city. The announcement was made on the store’s facebook page.  No final date was provided. Company officials say the operation for product will continue with deliveries from the farm.



(Paxton--jc) the First Paxton Senior Fair was a success on Saturday. The event took place at Pells Park in Paxton. Around 25 vendors offered services, free giveaways to those attending the free event. More than 150 people came to the event at the pavilion on Saturday. 



President Trump May Free Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich

CHICAGO (AP) — President Donald Trump has sent his clearest signal yet that he may be about to free former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich from a federal prison. The 62-year-old Democrat is seven years into a prison term for attempted extortion, bribery and other political corruption. Trump told reporters on Air Force One this week that he thought Blagojevich has been "treated unbelievably unfairly" and that he's sentence was too long. He added he's been thinking "very strongly" about commuting the sentence.


(Washington--jc) --  The U-S-D-A has declared all counties in Illinois disasters, citing historic flooding across the state this year. WPXN’s Joel Cluver has the story…



CHICAGO (AP) — The Archdiocese of Chicago says the first Catholic priest to adopt a child is accused of sexually abusing a minor in 1974. The archdiocese said Thursday that Cardinal Blase Cupich asked Rev. George Clements to step aside from ministry pending the outcome of the investigation. The 87-year-old Clements is retired but still assists at area parishes. Chicago Police notified the archdiocese about the allegations. The archdiocese then notified prosecutors and child protective services.



(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a slew of bills into law this week. Some take effect immediately. One eliminates a basic skills test to streamline teacher licenses and allows public schools to pay student teachers. Another new law effective immediately allows public universities to sell surplus real estate to raise money for deferred maintenance and emergency repairs A third says that beginning next year, 12 year olds will be able to get services for S-T-Ds or substance use disorders. A 4th bill signed by the governor  establishes suicide prevention measures and training for police. 



(Urbana--jc)  -- Champaign County  Coroner Duane Northrup  released the name of a Broadlands woman who has died after being struck by a tractor-trailer semi on early Thursday morning. 33 year old Emily N. Ray, was pronounced dead at the scene at 1:39 AM. as a result of blunt force injuries she received during the incident.  Ray was reportedly struck by a semi on I-74 eastbound near the Neil Street exit in Champaign. No autopsy will be performed however, an inquest may be held at a later date. This death is being investigated by the Champaign County Coroner’s Office and the Illinois State Police District 10. 



(Gibson City--jc) --   A hymn sing event is set for Sunday in Gibson City. the event begins at 3 Sunday afternoon at the United Methodist Church. Milt Kelly of FIsher is directing the festival and says the songs were chosen by area churches…



Gibson Area Music Foundation Hymn Festival Director Milt Kelly of Fisher



(Rantoul--jc)  -- Rantoul Township High School board members will be looking a policy language when they meet on Monday night in monthly session. Areas of discussion include investments, transportation  to the violence prevention program. The R-T-H-S board meets at 7 on Monday night at the high school.




(Paxton--jc)  -- On the menu at the Paxton IGA cookout on Saturday is Pork Chop Sandwiches, chips and pop. The money raised will benefit American Legion Post 568 Help Hometown Heroes. The cookout runs on Saturday from 10am until 2pm


CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul is questioning the constitutionality of the Trump administration's expansion of immigration agents' power to deport migrants without having them first appear before a judge. Raoul calls it "outrageous" in a statement Thursday and claims the expansion will lead to racial profiling.


(undated--jc)  --Some Illinois homebuyers may have to settle for previously-owned homes, according to a new report that shows fewer homes are being built in the state. The information from Construction-Coverage-dot-com found that Illinois had 17 new homes built per 10,000 people last year. That’s far below the national average of 41 new homes built per 10,000 people. Analyst Michael LaFirenza, who  wrote the report, said the state’s construction, acts as a sort of barometer for local economic health. Rhode Island and Connecticut had the lowest number of new homes being built, the highest was in the state of Idaho.



(Washington--jc)  --Topsoils in many farming areas are going through a major drying out process. Gary Crawford reports…




(Springfield--jc)  -- The federal Real I-D law has been around for more than a decade but has never been fully implemented, however, starting in October 1 next year, Illinois will be fully compliant with the federal law. After years of delays, the federal mandate for national I-D standards for people to board a plane or enter federal buildings will be fully implemented across the country. Illinois will be ready to comply by that deadline.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois House members are looking into a college financial aid scam. Members discussed on Thursday how to close a loophole that has let wealth parents transfer guardianship of their child do they could get financial assistance. Local Representative Carol Ammons of Champaign chaired that meeting…



State Representative Carol Ammons of Champaign.

State leaders are looking at ways to close the loophole and also make sure any changes do not make it harder to for students who need the aid.


(Gibson City--jc)  -- Gibson City leaders are set to meet on Monday night and considered several special licenses for the Fall Harvest Fest event. They include licenses for the American Legion, Burgers and Beer,  and Railside Golf course. Council members will also hear an insurance proposal from P-M-A District Manager Scott Knapp. A purchase of a new police vehicle is also on the agenda. The Gibson City Council meets at 7 on Monday night.



(Springfield--jc)  70 Illinois County Fair Queens and representatives from the state’s 105 fairs and expositions will be celebrating today on the second day of the Illinois State Fair in Springfield. It’s County Fairs and Horse Racing Day at the Illinois State Fair. Today is also the first day on harness racing at the fair’s one mile dirt track, which is the fastest in the world. The Illinois State Fair runs through August 18th.


(Forsyth--jc) Forsyth city leaders have passed an ordinance to ban marijuana sales in their city. The ban passed unanimously.  Urbana officials are on-board with the marijuana sales issue. Other area towns like Paxton, Rantoul, Gibson City, St Joseph and Monticello continue to seek public input. Decisions in those communities will continue over the next several months. Legalized recreational use of marijuana becomes legal on January First.



(Fisher--jc) Could a laundromat business and gaming facility be coming to the village of Fisher. Local leaders in the district held a public hearing on the issue yesterday. Several dozen people attended and the issue raised tempers at times. At question is a new liquor license and whether a laundromat and liquor and gaming go-together. Tax revenue for the village is another part of the equation. Fisher leaders say they will vote on the issue at a future meeting.



(Rantoul--jc)  -- The annual “Back to School Day” takes place tomorrow at the Bethany Christian Church in Rantoul.  School age kids from Kindergarten through 8th grade, living in northern Champaign County, will be able to receive new shoes, socks, backpacks and other school supplies Some clothing will also be available. The church is located along Grove Avenue in the village. Students must be present to receive the shoes. Students in Rantoul, Gifford, Ludlow, Dewey and Thomasboro are eligible. Contact Community Service Center of Rantoul today for more information.



(Urbana--jc)   Walk-in interviews will be held for State Farm Center Event Staff later this month. The interviews take place on  August 26th-27th and 28th from 3:30-7:30 p.m. each day at State Farm Center. No appointments are necessary. Simply show up during the open interview time periods Casual dress is acceptable.



Public Hearing Set in Rankin to Hear About Marijuana Dispensary

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — The father of a slain Chinese scholar says his family understands they may never get to bring his daughter's missing remains back to China from Illinois. Ronggao Zhang told reporters in Urbana on Wednesday that he understands how difficult it would be to locate his daughter Yingying Zhang's remains if they are actually buried in an Illinois landfill, as her killer reportedly told his lawyers. Brendt Christensen was sentenced to life in prison last month for her 2017 kidnapping and killing.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Officials are showcasing one of the most popular attractions of the Illinois State Fair.The butter cow was unveiled Wednesday afternoon at the fairgrounds. The sculpture has been a part of the state fair for almost 100 years.This year's cow has been sculpted from 800 pounds of recycled butter. The cow stands near the word "Future" to incorporate the theme of the fair, which is "Building Our Future." The cow is on display at the Dairy Building


(Rankin--jc)  -- A public hearing is set in the village of Rankin on Tuesday to give the public an opportunity to discuss a proposed marijuana dispensary. That business would be located on a farm just north of Rankin in Vermilion County. The public hearing starts at 6-30 Tuesday night at the Rankin Lions Club building.


(Urbana--jc)   A University of Illinois Gies College of Business professor has calculated how much corruption in America costs the average corporation. The study found political corruption is associated with a $7.6 million reduction in an average firm's bottom line and acts like bribery “can readily become an unwritten rule of conducting business in certain areas within the U.S.”

An author of the report also said one-party rule often foments more opportunities for corruption.



(Watseka--jc) In updating our story from this week, Iroquois County Coroner Bill Cheatum identified the teen that was strangled on Monday in the village of Sheldon as Adara “Sissy” Bunn of Sheldon. Bunn was a student at Milford High School. Milford School leaders says grief counselors will be available to students from 8am until noon on Thursday and Friday for students and friends.  A Sheldon man is due back in court to face charges.  Police arrested 49 year old Arthur C. Jensen on Monday. He appeared in Iroquois County where his bond was set at 1 Million Dollars


(Washington--jc)  What are the Ag Trade numbers for the first 9 months of the fiscal year. U-S-D-A Trade Economist Kamron Daugherty has the details…


U-S-D-A Trade Economist Kamron Daugherty



(Buckley--jc)  -- The village of Buckley in Southern Iroquois County is seeking bids to remove 7 trees on village property. Those interested in the job are asked to call the village hall. Buckley Village leaders are expected to open the bids and award the contract at their meeting in September.


(Undated--jc)  --Fallen Illinois State Police Trooper Gerald Ellis is being remembered with an inscription on the wall of the Illinois State Police Heritage Foundation Memorial in Springfield.In March, Ellis was struck and killed near Green Oaks by a driver going down I-94 the wrong way.


(Lombard--jc)  --The county that served as the test case for local government consolidation in Illinois has continued to shed layers of government to save money for taxpayers. DuPage County, located in the western Chicago suburbs, announced that it had dissolved a seventh unit of government when a judge signed an order dissolving the Highland Hills Sanitary District last month. The district served 529 properties in and near Lombard, but was facing a large tax hike to pay for renovations. The dissolution means the county will pay for the repairs and provide water services while a nearby reclamation district will handle the rest.


(Springfield--jc)  Illinois Governor JB Pritzker continues to champion equal pay for all. The governor says the hiring process is to find the best person for the job…



Illinois Governor JB Pritzker.

The governor signed a new law to help the hiring process at the end of July.


(Gibson City--jc)  It’s time to sing in Gibson City on Sunday. The Gibson Area Music Foundation is hosting the Hymn Festival at the United Methodist Church at 3 on Sunday afternoon. Milt Kelly of Fisher is the director of the event again this year. The public is encouraged to attend.


(Washington--jc)  The 20-19 growing season has not been a great one so far, but there have been far worse years. Gary Crawford reports…



(Rantoul--jc)  -- The Rantoul Recreation Department  has been experiencing an outage with their Recreation Software. During this time, they are not able to register for activities or sell any memberships, also customers are not able to access their online accounts.  For the time being, Debit or Credit cards can not be accepted at the Hap Parker Aquatic Center.


(Hoopeston-jc)  Elvis is coming to Hoopeston later this month.  Elvis tribute artist Doug Church will be performing at the Historic Lorraine Theatre on Main street in the city on Saturday August 24th. . Tickets are 28 dollars. The money raised goes to the “Save the Lorraine” foundation. A free will dinner with Church is set for 5pm at the United Methodist Church.


(Paxton--jc)  -- Ford County Taxpayers are reminded that Friday, August 16th,  is the due date for the 1st installment of the 2018 payable 2019 real estate taxes. Taxes may be paid at the courthouse, drop box in front of the courthouse, any Ford County bank or by mail if postmarked by August 16th.


Ashkum, IL. – Illinois State Police District 21 Commander, Captain Don Aaron Harsy, announced on Wednesday,  activity and enforcement figures for July. Illinois State Police District 21 Troopers issued 520 citations, 884 written warnings, including 10 DUIs, 32 seatbelt citations, 23 criminal arrests. Troopers also assisted 192 motorists, conducted 242 Motor Carrier Inspections, and investigated 69 traffic crashes. There were no fatal crashes investigated by District 21 in July. 


(Cissna Park--jc)  The annual Cissna Park Old Settlers Reunion starts one week from today. A talent show helps kick off the three day event in the downtown park. Music, Swyear Amusements throughout the park, plenty of food and “shade and water” also hilite the event. Some one will also win a brand new 20-19 Chevrolet car on Saturday night. WPXN will be broadcasting live on Saturday August 17 at noon as part of our Summer Fun Tour.




One Million Dollar Bond Set for Sheldon Man Who Strangled Teen

(Watseka--jc)  An autopsy was performed at the Brian R. Mitchell Forensic Center in Kankakee County yesterday, on the 17 year old female located deceased inside the residence of 49 year old Arthur C. Jensen  of Sheldon Monday night. The teen was a student at Milford High School School officials say counselors will be available starting this week for those needing some help.  Iroquois County Sheriff’s police say preliminary autopsy results showed that the female died of Ligature Strangulation. Toxicology and other forensic tests will be performed by the Forensic lab of the Illinois State Police as the investigation continues. Jensen appeared in the Iroquois County Court in front of Judge James Kinzer Tuesday afternoon in Watseka.. Jensen’s bond was set at 1 Million dollars and a public defender was temporarily appointed. Jensen’s next court appearance is tomorrow afternoon at 1:30PM at the Iroquois County Courthouse in Watseka. WPXN news will continue to follow this story as more official news becomes available. .


NEW YORK (AP) — Pharmacy chain Walgreens plans to close 200 stores in the United States as it seeks to cut costs. The company said in a regulatory filing Tuesday the closings are part of its previously announced plan to trim costs by $1.5 billion in a few years. The Deerfield, Illinois-based company operates over 18,000 stores worldwide. 

CHICAGO (AP) — An Illinois state senator who was indicted last week on federal charges of taking more than a quarter million dollars in salary and benefits from the Teamsters while doing little or no work has been removed as chairman of the Illinois Senate's Labor Committee but he's still being allowed to sit on the committee. The Chicago Sun Times also reports that State Sen. Tom Cullerton was made chairman of the Senate's Veterans Affairs Committee by the senate president who's also his cousin.



(Gifford--jc)  A shed fire caused major damage at a structure in rural Gifford Tuesday morning. The blaze caused several thousand dollars damage. Two residents were not injured in the blaze. A hot tub is believed to the cause of the fire. Rantoul fire fighters assisted Gifford Fire with the incident.



(Buckley--jc)  -- It is now illegal in one local community to put grass clippings on the towns streets. The new ordinance was adopted for the village of Buckley in Southern Iroquois County. The new ordinance states that village leaders can impose fines for violators.


(Springfield--jc)  The Illinois State Fair starts tomorrow in Springfield. Ticket sales are on pace to break records for the grandstand lineup. The box office has been busy says State Fair Manager Kevin Gordon…



State Fair Manager Kevin Gordon. The state fair runs August 8th through the 18th in Springfield.



(Springfield--jc) --Some of the state’s leading politicians agreed that additional policies are needed to help prevent mass shootings, such as mental-health funding and passing red-flag laws, in the aftermath of shootings in Texas and Ohio.In the wake of the shootings, elected state and national officials are trying to find ways to curb the violence. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said there needs to be a focus on addressing mental health, poverty and substance abuse. As for restrictions on certain guns and gun parts, Pritzker said Illinois can only do so much.


(Springfield--jc)  -- See something, say something.That’s the message the Illinois Emergency Management Agency in the aftermath of mass shootings in parts of the country. I-EMA wants to raise awareness with public service announcements about the importance of reporting suspicious activity to state and local law enforcement.



(Springfield--jc) It is the middle of Health Center’s  week. Illinois Governor JB Pritzker also signed into law a measure to eliminate the Medicaid application backlog…



Illinois Governor JB Pritzker



(Undated--jc)  --The Emergency Alert System will be conducting a test this afternoon, nationwide. The test will take place at 1-20 this afternoon. The test is in conjunction with the F-C-C.


(Springfield--jc)  --Illinois’ state parks are getting what the state’s chief steward of public lands said is some much-needed attention as part of the new capital construction plan. That total statewide construction bill will cost taxpayers $45 billion in increased taxes and fees over six years. The money will come from the state's gas tax – which was recently doubled – and increased driving fees, among other sources. With more 300 state parks in Illinois, Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Colleen Callahan said there has been a lot of deferred maintenance from over the years.



(GIbson City--jc)  In updating our story about the two John Deere dealerships in Ford County merging, the merger between A-H-W stores and Arends and Sons in Gibson City also means the property in Gibson City will close. The Record reports that the Gibson City operation will close on August 26th. The inventory will be put in A-H-W’s other 16 locations. All employees of Arends and Sons are being offered jobs with A-H-W.



(Washington--jc)  t's a rough year for corn and, in some cases, soybeans in several states.Gary Crawford reports…




(Vermilion County--jc)  A 19 year old woman was fatally injured in a two car mishap along Stateline road just past noon on Tuesday. State Police say the teen lost control of her vehicle and went through a T-Road and was struck by a southbound vehicle. Her name has not been released by authorities. No word was given on the two occupants from Covington Indiana in the second vehicle.



7am new

(Paxton--jc)  A Senior Fair is set for Pells Park in Paxton on Saturday.  Event Organizer Mike Evinger says the theme is “bringing seniors and business together”...



Paxton Senior Fair Event Organizer Mike Evinger.

The free event runs from 10am to 6pm on Saturday at the Pells Park pavilion. Around 25 different businesses will be participating during the event.


(Fisher--jc)  -- Fisher leaders are expected to approve a proposal for the Heritage Pond Lighting improvement project when they meet tomorrow night in monthly session.  Local leaders may also create a Class A liquor license authorizing the sale of alcohol for on-premise consumption. A change order for road work on 3rd street is also on the agenda. The Fisher Village board meets at 6 tomorrow night in the Community Center



(Gibson City--jc)  -- Those with the Gibson City Parks, Building and Technology committee will meet next week for a proposal. The committee will hear a presentation on the downtown WI-FI and Speaker System by M-C-S Technologies. The meeting takes place August 15th at 7pm at city hall.



(Rantoul--jc)  -- Let the games begin. The new courts at Wabash Park will be ready for play by later today. The Rantoul Park District multi-use courts at Wabash park include tennis courts, volleyball courts and pickleball courts.



Corruption has Cost Illinois Taxpayers Nearly $10 Billion Since 2000

(Springfield--jc)  -- Corruption has cost Illinois taxpayers nearly $10 billion since 2000.That’s according to a new report from the Illinois Policy Institute.The group said corruption has contributed to the state’s economic slowdown and prevented the private sector from adding more than half a billion to the economy each year.


(Springfield--jc)  Before Illinois’ governor doubled the state’s gas tax last month, Illinois had the 21st highest taxes on motor fuel.The nonpartisan Tax Foundation now puts Illinois at No. 3, only behind Pennsylvania and California.


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A 29-year-old Springfield, Missouri  man is charged with three counts of second-degree murder after a crash killed three people. Andrew Lynch is jailed with no bond this morning after a wreck Saturday killed 41-year-old Jamin Seabert; 39-year-old Kimberly Seabert, both of Reeds Spring, and 19-year-old Braeden Seabert, of Watseka. The Missouri State Highway Patrol reports Lynch hit a vehicle at a stop light in Springfield, then went through the intersection and hit the Seaberts' vehicle.


(Springfield--jc)  -- There’s been a lot of focus on opioid abuse in years.  The latest on a new report from the State Criminal Justice Information Authority show that methamphetamine is still a huge concern in Illinois.  Researcher Lauren Weisner says the most cases are in Central and Southern Illinois.,..



State Criminal Justice Information Authority Researcher Lauran Weisner



(Danville--jc)  -- Interstate 74 in Danville was slowed Monday morning due to a semi accident and fire. In updating our story, the exit to Bowman Avenue in Danville was closed for a time Monday as crews removed the semi from the roadway and ditch area. 


(Hoopeston--jc)  -- It’s time at the historic Lorraine Theatre  along Main Street in Hoopeston for another trivia night. The event takes place on Saturday August 17th starting at 6pm. The 15 dollar entry fee also includes a Pizza King Personal Pizza. Officials with the “Save the Lorraine” foundation are looking for 10 groups with up to 5 people in each group to participate. Some prizes will be provided  and some additional theatre snacks are available, Contact the theatre for more information


(Champaign--jc)  -- July was hot and dry, the month of August started out cooler, but still dry. Farmers need a rain. Some lawns and gardens too. What is the 6 to 10 day outlook for weather? Illinois Water Survey in Champaign Spokesperson Kevin Grady has the answer…



Illinois Water Survey Spokesperson Kevin Grady


DIXON SPRINGS, Ill. (AP) — After years of inattention due to a state budget standoff, parks around Illinois are seeing a flurry of maintenance activity. An indication of the sprucing up of Illinois' parks is the work done at the Dixon Springs State Park. The swimming pool in southern Illinois has received a new slide. The roughly $175,000 pool renovation project includes an upgrade to the chemical monitoring system. Site superintendent Chris McGinness says every picnic table in Dixon Springs will be redone by next summer.



(Paxton--jc)  -- 13 speeding tickets were handed out by the Ford County Sheriff’s office in July. In releasing the monthly report on Monday, sheriff’s officials say 29 traffic citations were handed out. Sheriff’s police also handled 10 non-criminal complaints, one aggravated battery, one unlawful use of a weapon, one possession of Meth and one theft. Ford County also received just under 33 thousand dollars for boarding fees and 600 dollars on a foreclosure sale during July.


(Springfield--jc)  -- A bipartisan group of Illinois state lawmakers joined Governor  J.B. Pritzker to celebrate the signing of a bill they say will save taxpayers money on Medicaid costs, one of the largest items in the state budget. The governor says Health care is a right for all, not a privilege. Pritzker signed Senate Bill 1321. Pritzker touted the new budget that was enacted last month, which included $80 million more for Medicaid than the previous spending plan, an increase of 18 percent.


(Undated--jc)  --A promoter and the founder of Confederate Railroad tried to quell controversy and convince state officials that the country group wasn't political or racist, but Gov. J.B. Pritzker's administration canceled the band's performance at the DuQuoin State Fair the day before tickets went on sale, according to internal emails.The emails, obtained through the state's Freedom of Information Act, show how a single act at the smaller of Illinois' two state fairs quickly became national news that had the full attention of the governor's office. Weeks after the band was pulled from the lineup, Pritzker said the use of the Confederate Flag on the band's album cover isn't tolerated in Illinois because it is a symbol of hate. 


 (Washington--jc)  Corn silking is catching up with the five year average, but still behind schedule. Stephanie Ho reports…




(Rantoul--jc)  -- The Half Century of Progress Show is coming to the Rantoul Airport area this month. Event Spokesperson J-C Reitmeir says you can expect to see 30 thousand spectators each day, around 4 thousand people also bring equipment, plus vendors too…



Half Century of Progress Event Spokesperson J-C- Reitmeir



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker says he's thankful that the state has not suffered a mass shooting like those over the weekend _ without mentioning two major shootings with multiple deaths in the past decade. The Democrat was asked Monday in Chicago about the shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, which left a total of 31 dead. Pritzker said: "Thank God that it hasn't happened here." He added that officials must determine the best way to "to protect the people here


Champaign, Ill. – The State Farm Center announced today that The Head and The Heart will perform at State Farm Center on Saturday, September 14th.  The Head and The Heart are best known for their #1 singles “Lost in My Mind,” “All We Ever Knew,” and “Missed Connection.” Opening for them will be the rock band The Moondoggies. Tickets go on sale to the public Friday at 10 a.m.


(Farmer City--jc)  -- The Fabulous Farmer City Extravaganza is set for early September. The annual one day event takes place on Saturday September 8th starting at noon at the Farmer City raceway. A car, bike and truck show, motorcyle racing challenge and vendors hilite the event. Those interested in having a booth at the event are asked to call Bolt at 217-819-0581.


(Undated--jc)  State police in Pesotum and Ashkum remind the motoring public to slow down and move over as workers continue to mow along the state roads. Keep the workers safe as they complete their jobs. 


(Cissna Park--jc)  -- It’s the final show of the season at the Country Theatre Workshop in rural Cissna Park. The production of “The Hallelujah Girls” begins on August 15th. The show is about  a group of friends who realize that time is precious and want to live their lives to. the fullest. Then the fun begins. The shows run August 15th through August 25th. 7-30pm performances Thursday through Saturdays and a 2-30pm matinee on the two Sundays. Call the box office at 815-457-2626 for ticket information



Illinois Community Colleges Prepare for Teach Programs in Growing and Cultivation of Cannabis

When recreational marijuana becomes legal in Illinois on Jan. 1, it brings with it the potential for job creation in areas from breeding and cultivation to processing, marketing and retailing. The state’s community colleges want to prepare residents to do those jobs.“The law that recently passed the General Assembly and signed by the governor allows up to eight community colleges to establish a careers and cannabis certificate program, and that program allows students to be trained and the marijuana industry including the growing and cultivation of cannabis,” said Matt Berry, chief of staff of the Illinois Community College Board.


DECATUR, Ill. (AP) — Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed a measure aimed at helping more Illinois students receive federal financial aid to attend college. The new law makes completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid a requirement for graduation. The application is used by the federal government to determine whether a student is eligible for federal grants and loans.


DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — Rapidly rising water levels in the Great Lakes are damaging shorelines and creating uncertainty for lakeshore residents. Duluth has dealt with three major storms on Lake Superior in less than two years, with total damage estimated at nearly $30 million. Duluth's construction project supervisor tells Minnesota Public Radio News high water levels are making the storms even more destructive. But higher lake levels benefit the shipping industry, since deeper water allows ships to carry more cargo.


(Springfield--jc)  --A task force to find property tax relief for Illinoisans who pay the second-highest property tax in the nation is expected to come up with a plan by the end of the year.Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed legislation Friday creating the Property Tax Relief Task Force. The governor said the bipartisan group will review the entirety of the state's property tax system, study best practices in other states and make short-term and long-term recommendations by the end of the year. Some Republicans have said that they are concerned the task force will be used to promote Pritzker’s proposed constitutional amendment to change the state's flat income tax to one with higher rates for higher earners. Democrats said lower property taxes are the goal.



(Washington--jc) Ag officials in Washington are working on accuracy. U-S-D-A leaders are working on making the drought monitor system more accurate and more detailed. Gary Crawford reports…



(Springfield--jc)  -- Some teens have experienced severe breathing problems after vaping. Illinois Public Health Department Director Doctor Ngozi Ezike (en-gozi)  (eh-zee-kay) says many people incorrectly assume vaping is a safe alternative to cigarettes...



Illinois Public Health Department Director Doctor Ngozi Ezike.


(Rantoul--jc)  -- The Rantoul Township High School board is set to meet in a special session tonight. On the agenda is to accept the fiscal year 20-20 budget, select a new board member to fill a vacancy and hire a health technician. The Rantoul Township High School board meeting comes to order at 7  at the high school. 


(Paxton--jc)  -- A Senior Fair is coming to Paxton on Saturday. The event takes place at Pells Park in Paxton from 10m  through 6pm. Organizer Mike Evinger says one reason for the free to attend event is to allow seniors in the Paxton area the chance to talk with dozens of businesses and groups in one area…



Paxton Senior Health Fair Organizer Mike Evinger


(Paxton--jc)  -- Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School’s Panther Regiment marching band did a preview of  their halftime show on Friday at Pells Park in Paxton The Panther Regiment will be led on the field by drum major Mallory Johnson. The first Paxton Buckley Loda football game is set for August 30th at Gibson City Melvin Sibley. The first home game is Friday September 6th against Georgetown RidgeFarm. You can hear all the PBL football games, here on WPXN.


(Champaign--jc) The weather numbers for July have been tabulated. Illinois water Survey in Champaign Spokesperson Kevin Grady says July will be remembered as hot and dry…



Illinois Water Survey-Champaign Spokesperson Kevin Grady


(Paxton--jc)  -- Paxton City Alderwoman Susan Satterlee is chairing the next meeting by the city concerning any regulation of recreational marijuana business. The council’s license, permit and zoning committee will meet on week from today at 7pm to continue to look at the marijuana business issue. Recreational marijuana becomes legal in Illinois on January first. Mondays meeting takes place on the second floor of city hall 


(Springfield--jc)  - The Illinois State Board of Education is adopting new statewide learning standards for world languages, in hopes of giving students a more immersive experience. The updated standards guide teachers and students through 5 levels of proficiency says I-S-B-E Consultant Kim Johnson…



Illinois State Board of Education Consultant Kim Johnson



(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois is unlikely to join the list of states that offer a “back-to-school” sales tax holiday.Sales tax holidays are periods when specific goods are exempted from state, and sometimes local, sales taxes. Many states schedule the events for August when “back-to-school” shopping largely takes place.Illinois held a one-time sales tax holiday back in 2010, but Rob Karr, president of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, said it didn’t provide the boost some expected


(Gibson City--jc)  -- A hymnfest is set for Gibson City on Sunday. The event takes place at 3pm on August 11th at the Gibson City United Methodist Church. The Gibson Area Music Foundation is sponsoring the hymnfest with Director Milt Kelly. The event will feature popular hymns and the stories behind them.


(Paxton--jc)  -- The school building project for the Paxton Buckley Loda School system is nearing completion as local school officials continue to prepare for the first day of school.  The Paxton Buckley Loda High School annual Pork Chop Kickoff is set for August 23rd at the high school in Paxton.




Piper City Celebrates it's 150 Anniversary this Weekend

(Oakwood--jc)  The second accident within one hour along Interstate 74 caused major traffic delays in the area and a fatality. Police say an accident in the westbound lanes near Oakwood slowed traffic just before 3 Thursday afternoon. Then as traffic was moving slowly, a semi struck the back end of another semi causing a crash, as one of the vehicles burst into flames. Westbound lanes were closed for several hours. Traffic was backed up for 4 miles as clean up crews arrived to clear the accident. WPXN news will update this story as more official news becomes available


(Undated--dg)  -- Piper City will be celebrating its 150th Anniversary today and tomorrow. Opening ceremony will be at 5 this afternoon with a reveal of a 1969 time capsule to follow. Games on the midway, bingo, bounce houses, and live music featuring a barbershop quartet and the Esh Van Project will provide entertainment for all ages. A grand parade steps off at 1 Saturday afternoon. A show and shine car and tractor show, games and contests will take place at Branch Park. The Sesquicentennial Celebration will conclude Saturday evening  an Alumni Dinner, along with games on the midway, bingo, bounce houses, and live music featuring The New Relation.


(Paxton--jc)  -- Ford County Public Health Department Offering School Immunizations at the office in Paxton. Public school vaccinations are required for Kindergarten, 6th Grade and High School students. Health Department officials recommend that all children be vaccinated whether enrolled in public, private or home school settings. Available vaccinations include tetanus, diptheria to rubella, meningitis and chicken pox. The Ford County Public Health Department  offers Walk-In and Scheduled Vaccine Appointments. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact Ford County Public Health Department at (217)379-9281. 



(Paxton--jc) A Free Senior Fair is set for Saturday August 10th in the city of Paxton. Organizer Mike Evinger says those attending the event will get to talk with 25 vendors about services for senior citizens…



Paxton Senior Fair Organizer Mike Evinger

The event runs from 10am until 6pm at Pells Park in Paxton on Saturday August 10th. 



(Urbana--jc)  - It was the second day in a row where a bomb threat was made in Urbana. Champaign County authorities were called to Carle Hospital early Thursday with the threat. Police conducted an investigation. No bomb was found. Earlier this week a bomb threat was made at the Urbana Wal-Mart Store. That threat caused the store to be evacuated for about one hour. No bomb was found.


(Champaign--jc)  --In the latest U-S drought monitor, portions of western and central Illinois are considered abnormally dry. July also ushered in warmer weather. Average rainfall in the state was about 3 inches says Illinois Water Survey in Champaign Spokesperson Brian Kerschner…



Illinois Water Survey in Champaign Spokesperson Brian Kerschner

The average temperature was just over 77 degrees.


(Bloomington--jc)  -- It’s day 3 of the McLean County Fair today. On the entertainment schedule tonight is the Natu Band followed by Chase Bryant at 8pm. On Saturday at the grounds in Bloomington it’s the annual Demolition Derby at 7pm. The McLean County Fair runs through Sunday


(Mahomet--jc)  -- The Mahomet Seymour School board has a special session meeting set for Monday afternoon.  A closed session discussing pending litigation is the agenda item. The meeting comes to order at 5-30 Monday afternoon at Middletown Prairie School.


(St Louis--jc)  --Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced that a new St. Louis Cardinals permanent Illinois license plate will be coming soon and available for purchase after Labor Day.  White says it’s a way to support your team…



Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White

The license plate, which features the Cardinals iconic ‘Birds on Bat’ logo, was unveiled by White at Busch Stadium prior to the Cardinals game last night.



(Paxton--jc)  -- On the menu at the Paxton IGA fundraiser cookout is ribeye steak sandwiches, chips and pop. Money raised from 10am until 2pm on Saturday goes to the Loda American Legion

(Springfield--jc)  --A taxpayer advocacy group is touring parts of Illinois highlighting what it said are lavish public sector pensions in an effort to spur change. Taxpayers United of America Founder and President Jim Tobin was in Champaign this week to highlight public pensioners making more than $1 million over the lifetime of their retirement. Statewide, the number of public pensioners getting six-figures a year has increased by more than 2,500. Tobin says this brings the new total to 22,053 retired government employees receiving over 100 thousand dollars per year


(Springfield--jc)  -- The Illinois State Fair opens next Thursday in Springfield. New promotions have been added to attract fairgoers. The goal is to boost attendance, especially by families during the weekdays. State Fair Manager Kevin Gordon says they will have a big raffle Monday through Thursday at the fair, a daily treasure hunt and more..



Illinois State Fair Manager Kevin Gordon

Some other new items are 4 new carnival rides, racing pigs and Team Big Air. The fair runs August 8th through the 18th.


(Springfield--jc) -- The hot days of July are complete for the year and August weather is expected to be much of the same thing. Though it’s summer, Illinois Department of Transportation are looking to hire Winter Highway Maintainers and Snow Removal Operators in all 9 districts in the state. Those interested are asked to check out the employment page on I-Dots website


Updated from pm new

(Undated--jc)  --Illinois finished 33rd in a ranking by the website 24-7 Wall Street of relative purchasing power within each state.The value of a dollar in Illinois came in at One dollar-one-cent. Goods and services in relatively poorer states tend to be less expensive than in states that are home to large, wealthy metropolitan areas, according to the analysis .Each state’s dollar value was estimated by dividing 100  by estimates for regional price parity. The best value state is Mississippi and the worst value state is Hawaii.


(Rantoul-jc)  The Half Century of Progress Show is coming to Rantoul later this month. Event Spokesperson J C Reitmeir says a tractor drive helps kick of the event on Thursday August 22nd…



Half Century of Progress event Spokesperson JC Reitmeir

The event runs from Thursday August 22 through Sunday August 25th at the Rantoul Airport area


CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois lawmakers say they will investigate the use of a loophole in the state's guardianship law that wealthy families took advantage of to qualify their children for college financial aid. Recent reports indicate some parents were transferring guardianship of their children to friends or relatives to make it appear they came from poorer backgrounds. Members of the Illinois House Higher Education Committee scheduled an Aug. 8 meeting to look into the practice.


CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois will get about $382,000 of a national settlement following a computer security expert's whistleblower lawsuit against Cisco Systems Inc. James Glenn had reported security flaws in Cisco video surveillance software used at major U.S. airports and by federal agencies. According to the 2008 lawsuit he filed under the federal False Claims Act, Glenn lost his job instead of being rewarded.



Some Ideas were Heard Last Night in Paxton on the Future of Marijuana Sales in the City

(Springfield--jc)  -- Governor. J.B. Pritzker said Tuesday that he was excited to implement the state's gambling expansion law, but it’s unclear when that will happen.The gambling law the governor signed last month will help fund a $45 billion, six-year infrastructure plan. The measure included adding a $1 per pack tax to cigarettes and was coupled with another bill doubling the state’s gas tax and increasing other driving fees to pay for both horizontal infrastructure like roads and bridges and vertical infrastructure like public universities. After watching a race at Fairmount Park in Collinsville on Tuesday, Pritzker told the crowd that the state is taking the allotted 40 horse-racing days and increasing it to 100 racing days.


(Paxton--jc) The meeting of the city of Paxton long term planning committee heard some ideas last night on the future of marijuana sales in the city. The state of Illinois will become the 11th state to legalize the use of recreational marijuana on January 1st. Several at last night’s meeting say the city should be proactive and allow the sale of marijuana and look to gather in sales tax revenue. City leaders were using the meeting to discuss the idea. If the city council and mayor would pursue sales, they would need to pass a new ordinance. Monticello, GIbson City, and St Joseph are other area towns looking into sales of legal marijuana starting in 20-20.


OTTAWA, Ill. (AP) — Two skydivers are said to be fine after they collided in midair during a jump outside Ottawa. A spokesman for Skydive Chicago said one of the licensed skydivers was knocked unconscious in the collision Tuesday. However, his automatic activation device opened his parachute. Because he was unable to steer, he landed in the Fox River. The Ottawa Fire Department says the other skydiver landed at the airport and both were taken to OSF St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Ottawa for evaluation.


(Washington--jc)  -- Farmers will likely be given the go-ahead to grow hemp in 2020, but will they be able to have a crop insurance policy for their crop? Gary Crawford reports…




(Rantoul--jc)  Champaign County not only has a local citizen as the Illinois Veteran’s of Foreign War State Commander, but also an advocate for local veteran’s in the area.  Rantoul resident Brad Gould is the current V-F-W State Commander, he also heads a group in Champaign County for veteran’s assistance. Gould says his office in Urbana is an easy reach by phone, when veteran’s have questions and issues…


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


(Springfield--jc)  -- A new state law aims to further protect the public from food allergies. The law requires products with sesame that are sold in Illinois be labled as such. State Representative Johnathon Carroll of Northbrook sponsored by bill…



State Representative Johnathon Carroll of Northbrook

There is also a push to put sesame on a list of common food allergies at the federal level.


(Gibson  City--jc) August summer activities continue with a group based in Gibson City to host a kids day. The Corn Belt Shrine Club’s Kids day is set for Noon to 3pm on Sunday August 18th at North Park in the city. A parade kicks off the day at 11-30 along Sangamon Avenue. Hot dogs, go-kart rides, a cake walk and other games for kids will be offered. All activities are just 25 cents.




(Springfield-jc)  -- Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has signed legislation to bolster the state’s “Move Over” law, The legislation increases the penalties for not slowing down and moving over when you see a vehicle with flashing lights stopped on the side of the road. The governor says there will also be higher fines for highway construction zone violations…


Illinois Governor JB Pritzker

This year, 22 stationary Illinois State Police squad cars have been struck by motorists and 2 troopers died as a result of those accident.


Ford County, IL - Ford County Public Health Department is collecting dead birds through October 15  Christy Wallace, Vector Program Coordinator is asking for assistance from the public in the collection of dead birds found in Ford County.  Collecting and testing dead birds are important components of our West Nile virus surveillance program. If you find a dead bird, contact Ford County Public Health Department (217)379-9281.  However, before you submit a dead bird, please ensure the following criteria are met they include that the bird is dead, but the carcass is in good condition. Birds should be dead no more than 48 hours prior to collection and shows no sign it died of causes other than West Nile.




(Washington--jc)--  Although taken by producers every 5 years, work is ongoing to develop the Census of Agriculture ... both products from the last Census, and the latest Census scheduled for 2022. Rod Bain reports..



(Springfield-jc)  --The architect of a plan to buy out a portion of state retirees’ raises defended the program after a report found it saved the state about $13.1 million, far short of the $445 million it was expected to save the state this year. A report from the Civic Federation found the plan to offer retiring state pensioners a buyout of a portion of their annual raises in retirement had saved the state little more than $13.1 million. Former Gov. Bruce Rauner had estimated it would save the state an estimated $445 million this year. State Rep. Mark Batinick, R-Plainfield, who crafted the buyout legislation, said the program wasn’t fully implemented and that Rauner’s administration overestimated the projected savings to shore up the state’s budget. 



(Watseka--jc)  Iroquois County’s Policy and Procedure committee will hear an update on flood matters in the county when they meet tomorrow morning in Watseka. The county committee is expected to approve revised job descriptions for the Finance Center  and hear an E-M-A report. The Iroquois County Policy and Procedure committee meets at 9 tomorrow morning in Watseka.


(Washington--jc)  -- It’s drier than normal conditions for crops in the midwest. U-S-D-A Meteorologist Brad Rippey  says despite some midwest rains, the Corn Belt is dry…



U-S-D-A Meteorologist Brad Rippey


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon has announced the names of two U.S. soldiers who were killed in Afghanistan on Monday. The Defense Department says 20-year-old Pfc. Brandon Jay Kreischer of Stryker, Ohio, and 24-year-old Spc. Michael Isaiah Nance of Chicago died "as a result of wounds sustained in a combat related incident" in Tarin Kowt, in southern Afghanistan. Pentagon spokesperson Jessica R. Maxwell says the incident is under investigation.


(Rantoul--jc)  -- Do you want to celebrate National Coloring Book Day? Your opportunity will be Friday in Rantoul as the Rantou Public Library will host an open house. The observance runs from 10am until 4pm on Friday. Supplies will be  provided for those who want to color at the library on Friday.


CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago's transportation agencies are boosting services to accommodate tens of thousands of people attending Lollapalooza. The Metra commuter train and the CTA subway agencies will expand capacity for one of the nation's most popular music festivals. It takes place Thursday through Sunday in Chicago's Grant Park. 


(Cissna Park--jc)  Do you have talent? If the answer is yes then you are wanted for the Cissna Park Old Settler’s Talent Show set for August. The annual event sponsored by the Cissna Park American Legion takes place from Thursday August 15th through Saturday August 17th in the park in Cissna Park. A junior division will feature groups and individuals 14 and under. The senior division is for groups and individuals 15 to 21. The show starts at 7-30pm. Some one will also win a brand new car at this year’s Old Settlers celebration.



Illinois Crops are Progressing as They Should be

(Urbana--jc)  -- Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup has released the name of a male discovered deceased outside an apartment building in the 300 block of South State Street early Monday morning. 23 year old Julian A. Cummings, of Champaign, was pronounced dead at 8:20AM Monday at the scene. Preliminary results from a Monday afternoon autopsy Mr. Cummings’ death is due to natural causes. Final autopsy results are pending toxicology and other testing. This death remains under investigation by the Champaign County Coroner’s Office and the Champaign Police Department.


(Springfield--jc)  -- After a late start, Illinois crops are moving right along as we hear in the weekly crop report. 52 percent of soybeans are blooming and 14 percent are setting pods. That is well behind the usual pace but a nice increase over last week. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener updates on corn…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.

98 percent of winter wheat has been harvested and the 2nd cutting of hay is 76 percent complete.


TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Five Democratic governors of states in the Great Lakes region want candidates in next year's presidential election to back a plan for protecting their freshwater resources. Led by Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, the governors Monday proposed a six-point platform that seeks increases in federal spending on water treatment infrastructure and environmental cleanups. Whitmer told The Associated Press she's hoping for support from Democratic hopefuls as well as President Donald Trump.


(Rantoul--jc)  -- Registration is now open for Youth Karate, Intro-Belted will be combined into one class. Classes are 8 sessions, First class of the season will start August 15  with the next class starting October 3. More information is found by calling the Rantoul Recreation Department at 893-5700.


(Rantoul--jc)  -- Personnel is the focus of a Rantoul Township High School board meeting this week. A special meeting is set to come to order at 7 on Thursday night at the high school. 


PESOTUM – Illinois State Police District 10 Commander, Captain Louis Kink, announces the I-S-P will conduct Roadside Safety Checks  in Macon County during August. The details combine a strong sense of public awareness and enforcement in order to save lives of the motoring public.  I-S-P has zero tolerance for impaired driving in Illinois. Officers working the detail will be watchful for drivers who are operating vehicles in an unsafe manner, to driving under the influence and distracted driving


CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo will remain free to all until mid-century under an agreement zoo operators reached with the city's park district. The Lincoln Park Zoological Society, which operates the zoo, and the Chicago Park District, which owns the zoo's land and buildings on the city's North Side, extended their operating agreement to Dec. 31, 2049. Zoological society CEO Kevin Bell says keeping the zoo free is a great thing for the city and for people visiting Chicago.


(Paxton--jc)  -- The subject will be recreational marijuana  use and sales. The place will be the second floor of city hall in Paxton. The city of Paxton long-term planning committee will meet at 7 tonight to look at options, hear from the public and find the right policy for the city. Monticello, St Joseph, and Gibson City are also area towns looking at the legalization of marijuana issue in the state that becomes law on January first. 


(Watseka--jc) --  One Iroquois County health provider is celebrating 25 years in operation in August the I-M-H Home Health will host a meet and greet in the Iroquois Memorial Hospital lobby located in Watseka. The event takes place from 10am until 2pm August 14th.. The Iroquois Memorial Hospital Home Health team will be doing free blood pressure checks, offer refreshments, and giveaway door prizes.


(Champaign--jc)  -- We close out July with normal summertime weather highs and lows. Illinois Water Survey in Champaign Spokesperson Kevin Grady says the first weekend of August says its more normal August weather to begin the month…



Illinois Water Survey in Champaign Spokesperson Kevin Grady


(Bloomington--jc)  -- 7 people will compete tomorrow for the chance to be the new  McLean County Fair queen. They are Autumn Bolen of Cropsey, Genesis Witte of Waynesville, Maddie Kraft of Towanda, Skye Shumaker of Heyworth, Clarissa King and Emily King of Normal, and Callie Yoder of Eureka. The pageant begins at 7 tomorrow night in Cloverleaf Hall.


CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Democratic Congressman Dan Lipinski is lamenting the level of gun violence in the U.S. after fleeing a gunman during the California festival shooting. Lipinski was at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in northern California with his wife when a gunman fatally shot three people, including two children, and wounded 12 others. The gunman, identified Monday as Santino William Legan, opened fire Sunday as the festival was in its closing hours, sending the crowd scattering.


(Gibson City--jc)  A job and resource fair is set for Thursday afternoon in Gibson City. The event is sponsored by the Moyer Library District and the Champaign CountyRegional Planning Commission. Those attending are asked to dress to talk to potential employers, bring resumes and be prepared to be interviewed for jobs. Thursday’s event runs from 4pm to 6pm at the Moyer Library on Sangamon Avenue in Gibson City.


UNIVERSITY PARK, Ill. (AP) — Authorities say the driver of a box truck has died after the vehicle was struck by an Amtrak passenger train in northeast Illinois, causing several train cars to derail. In updating our story from Monday, the Will County coroner's office says 77-year-old Richard E. Millette of Frankfort, died following Sunday's crash in University Park. The train was heading from Chicago to Carbondale and was going about 70 mph at the time. Two minor injuries were reported among the nearly 300 passengers on the train.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has signed a new law to give some Illinoisans relief from high interest rates on their debt. The governor says the consumer fairness act lowers post-judgement interest rates…



Illinois Governor JB Pritzker.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Precipitation and temperatures were below normal this past week Statewide topsoil moisture declined 6 percent very short, 34 percent short, 57 percent adequate and 3 percent surplu.State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener takes a look at the soybean crop…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener

59 percent of corn is silking and 16 percent is  the dough stage. 44 percent of the corn crop is in good to excellent condition.



Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a law designed to show Illinois property owners how much the tax increment financing districts in their area are diverting into special funds that can be used to spur redevelopment.. Not all property owners may fully understand what a TIF district does, but if they pay property taxes in Illinois they’ll soon see a line on their bill about the TIF districts in their taxing jurisdiction.TIF dollars come from diverting the higher tax revenue from the district as property values increase during a given period of time, often 20 years or more. That money can be used for incentives to spur development in blighted areas.





Hundreds of Illinois National Guard Members are Being Deployed to Afghanistan

(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois Governor. J.B. Pritzker signed legislation Friday that makes Illinois the eighth state to remove time restrictions on prosecuting crimes of sexual violence.The Democrat signed into law a measure that lifts a 10-year statute of limitations on pressing charges in felony cases of sexual assault and sexual abuse. The law takes effect January First. 



CHICAGO (AP) — Hundreds of Illinois National Guard members are being deployed to Afghanistan, the largest such deployment in a decade. About 400 members of the 1st Battalion, 178th Infantry Regiment of the National Guard, headquartered on Chicago's South Side, will begin a more than yearlong deployment in support of counter-terrorism efforts says Illinois Governor JB Pritzker…



Illinois Governor JB Pritzker

. The soldiers will first spend a few weeks undergoing training in Fort Bliss, Texas, before heading to Afghanistan in late September.



BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — An agricultural economist says the Trump administration's decision to base new handouts to farmers hit by the trade war with China on how many acres they've planted might be a fairer way to distribute the cash. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced Thursday that the government will pay another $16 billion in aid to farmers affected by the president's trade war with China. Scott Irwin, a University of Illinois agricultural economist says per acre payments are fairer than per bushel.



(KKK-jc)  -- An Amtrak train bound for Champaign derailed near Monee after colliding with another vehicle. Amtrak says the driver of a box truck was killed, but  no passengers on board were seriously hurt. Emergency responders helped out at the scene for hours late into the night.


(Springfield--jc)  -– Illinois schools now have more options for long-term student records that could save taxpayer funds, due to legislation sponsored by State Senator Jason Barickman. The republican from Bloomington sponsored the measure, he believes is a common-sense answer to a problem that many  schools face. The measure updates a set of rules for how schools handle, store, and potentially destroy long-term student records. The measure is now law.


(Washington--jc)  -- The USDA has issued a number of state grants to help fight food assistance fraud. An advocate for SNAP reform says Illinois could be more vigilant. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that $5.1 million in SNAP Fraud Framework grants were awarded to fund state projects designed to reduce recipient fraud in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.


(Springfield--jc)  -- With the tougher texting laws in place, the Illinois State Police say it is important to know what you can and can not do with your phone while driving When talking on the phone, you must be completely hands free, not just holding the phone and having it on speaker. Illinois State Police Sergeant Joey Watson says when using the phone for directions, the tips are these…


Illinois State Police Sergeant Joey Watson


(Washington--jc)  What is the latest forecast for retail grocery store food prices. Gary Crawford has the story…




(Paxton--jc)  A former Paxton Buckley Loda student, athlete, collegiate football player, honor student and WPXN employee has accepted a position with the N-F-L. Jordan Anderson has accepted a position at N-F-L H-Q as a media assistant. Congratulations to Jordan on the new job. He will be moving to Los Angeles.



(Cissna Park--jc)  One area school has set school registration for one week from today. Those in the Cissna Park school district will have registration on Monday August 5th and Tuesday August 6th. The first full day of classes in Cissna Park is Tuesday August 20th.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois Governor. J.B. Pritzker issued his first veto of the 47 bills the governor acted on Friday. Pritzker vetoed Senate Bill 2026, a measure to alter the process of how the state applies for certain federal waivers for various taxpayer funded programs. It is unclear if the sponsors will seek an override.


(Undated--jc)  -- Motorists filling up in Illinois have been paying double the gas tax all month, but there are ways they can save money if they do some research. Governor. J.B. Prtizker signed an infrastructure package that doubled the state’s gas tax from 19 cents a gallon to 38 cents last month. It went into effect July 1. The measure, along with an increase in vehicle registration and other driving fees, is supposed to help pay for a $45 billion, six-year infrastructure plan. petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan said Illinois motorists are definitely feeling the increased gas tax, especially those who don’t live close to a border to fill up in another state.


(Paxton--jc)  -- The Christmas in July fundraiser for the city of Paxton Christmas parade committee was another success on Saturday in the city. Volunteers gathered 635 dollars in donations. The money raised will help with expenses for this year’s Paxton Christmas parade. The theme for this  year’s parade is Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The parade steps off at 1-30pm the Saturday after Thanksgiving.


(Loda--jc)  Loda Good Ole Days is now complete for another year. The three day event featured pageants, a parade, kids games, talent show and a huge truck and tractor pull. Organizer Alecia Whitcomb says the town is proud of its efforts in the village park…



Loda Good Ole Days Organizer Alecia Whitcomb



(Watseka--jc)  -- Do you remember the show “Hee Haw”. Some of the living members of the hit television show are set to perform in Watseka in August. The Watseka Theatre production takes place on Saturday August 10th. The 4 cast members performing are Jana Jae, Misty Rowe, Buck Trent and Lulu Roman.


(Undated--dg)  -- Piper City will be celebrating its 150th Anniversary this Friday and Saturday. Opening ceremony will be at 5on Friday afternoon with a reveal of a 1969 time capsule to follow. Games on the midway, bingo, bounce houses, and live music featuring a barbershop quartet and the Esh Van Project will provide entertainment for all ages. A grand parade steps off at 1 Saturday afternoon. A show and shine car and tractor show, games and contests will take place at Branch Park. The Sesquicentennial Celebration will conclude Saturday evening  an Alumni Dinner, along with games on the midway, bingo, bounce houses, and live music featuring The New Relation.



(Gifford--jc)  Let the junior high softball practice begin. Those in the Gifford area along with a coop with Potomac and Armstrong schools have I-E-S-A softball practice starting this afternoon at 4. Physicals are required before athletes can participate. 



Loda Good Ole Days Starts Tonight with Pageant

(Washington-jc)  -- U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue Thursday announced further details of the 16 billion dollar package aimed at supporting American agricultural producers while the Administration continues to work on free, fair, and reciprocal trade deals. In May, President Trump directed Secretary Perdue to craft a relief strategy in line with the estimated impacts of unjustified retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural goods and other trade disruptions. Perdue has the details…


U-S Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.


(Paxton--jc)  -- The subject will be recreational marijuana  use and sales. The place will be the second floor of city hall in Paxton. The city of Paxton long-term planning committee will meet at 7 on Tuesday night to look at options, hear from the public and find the right policy for the city. Monticello, St Joseph, and Gibson City are also area towns looking at the legalization of marijuana issue in the state that becomes law on January first. 


(Springfield--jc)  -- June brought some good news on the jobs front. Jobs increased by 95 thousand last month says State Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Sam Salustro…


I-D-E-S Spokesperson Sam Salustro


CHICAGO (AP) — Public health officials say Illinois is among 24 states affected by a recall of fennel seed products because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Mountain Rose Herbs of Eugene, Oregon, is recalling all sizes of its fennel seed, ranging from 4 ounces to 50 pounds. Customers should not consume the seeds and can return the products for a full refund.



(Springfield--jc)  -- Secretary of State Jesse White’s office is awarding more than 5 million dollars in adult literacy grants. The money will fund 113 local literacy projects around the state says Secretary White…



Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White



(Loda--jc)  -- Today is day one of three for the annual Loda Good Ole Days celebration. The Little Mister and Little Miss Pageant and a Junior Mister and Junior Miss Pageant takes place at 6 in the park pavilion. DJ Myles plays music after tonight’s pageant. Event spokesperson Alecia Whitcomb says Sunday features the truck and tractor pull and Saturday is a full day of family activities with fireworks...



Loda Good Ole Days event Spokesperson Alecia Whitcomb

WPXN will be broadcasting live on Sunday from 10-30 until noon from the truck and tractor pull. Its Summer Fun Tour Stop 15.


(Paxton--jc)  The Paxton Train Depot is open  to to public again. The depot and train car are located in the downtown area of Paxton along North Market Street. The building is full of historic information on trains and train travel through the years in East Central Illinois. 



(Melvin--jc)  A-H-W L-L-C is growing again. The John Deere dealer with 16 stores in Illinois and Indiana has purchased another John Deere dealership in the area. A-H-W has purchased Arends and Sons of Gibson City. The sale took place this week and the transfer of the business is set for August.



(Paxton--jc)  -- The cookout at the Paxton IGA will be raising money for the Hands of Christ Food Pantry in the city. On the menu are pork chop sandwiches, chips and soda The cookout runs from 10am until 2pm in the IGA parking lot.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul says consumers can now file claims in the huge settlement of Equifax. A-G Spokesperson Annie Thompson says a new website will help with that process…


Attorney General office Spokesperson Annie Thompson

That website is Equifax-breach-settlement-dot-com



(Mahomet--jc)  --A state senator is questioning a proposed expansion of two public universities on a vacant block in Springfield.Southern Illinois University and University of Illinois, Springfield, say they’re interested in a joint operation to be developed on the block north of the Governor’s Mansion. State Senator. Chapin Rose of Mahomet says with enrollment trending down, he doesn’t see the need.



(Chicago--jc)  -- Checks totalling $10,000 to a former political operative of House Speaker Michael Madigan from a former ComEd lobbyist are the subject of federal investigators.The Chicago Tribune reports the checks from Mike McClain to Keven Quinn came after Quinn was let go following a sexual harassment retaliation complaint. Both were subjects of federal raids in May.


(Gifford--jc)  -- A water main project could be in the future for one area town. After the tornado of 20-13, some new improvements came to the village. One was a new water tower. Gifford, like most other towns their size, are looking to improve infrastructure. Gifford Mayor Derald Ackerman says one project in the near future would be upgrading the water main in a portion of town…



Gifford Mayor Derald Ackerman


(Urbana-jc)  -- There are two more big days for this year’s Champaign County fair. Today. The 4-H Horse show is set for 9 this morning. Gates open at 10. Its national country music star Dustin Lynch, with Dylan Scott and Jimmie Allen tonight at 7. On Saturday, it’s First Responder Day. Champaign County Fair President Bill Alagna says its the city and county coming together…



Champaign County Fair President Bill Alagna 

 Gates on Saturday open at 10am. The carnival opens at noon with a 25 dollar ride bracelet special,  along with the I-T-P-A Tractor Pull at noon. The I-P-A Tractor and Semi pull at 5pm



(Springfield--jc)  --The unfunded liability of downstate police and fire pension funds has grown more than 9 percent per year since 1991.The Illinois Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability reports the more than 640 funds combined were more than 75 percent funded in 1991. In 2017, they were 55.4 percent funded. Total unfunded liabilities are more than $11 billion.



(Paxton--jc)  -- A senior fair is set for August in Paxton. The event will be at Paxton’s Pells Park from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, August 10th. The senior fair will feature goods and services of interest to area senior citizens. The event is free to attend.



Its' 4-H Day at the Champaign County Fair Today

(Collinsville--jc)  -- As trade talks dredge on, Illinois’ senior Republican House member says farmers in his district are pushing for the federal government to move on a deal with Mexico and Canada, but he suspects politics are getting in the way. The agricultural community has been pushing Washington to hammer out a successor to the North American Free Trade Agreement since Trump administration officials said they are seeking a better deal.Southern Illinois Representative. John Shimkus, Republian from Collinsville, toured his district speaking to farmers, who he says are rightly stressed about the poor crop conditions. But they’re also pushing him and others to move forward with the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Democrats, Shimkus suggested, are slow-walking the deal because they're reluctant to give Trump any kind of political win.


(Springfield--jc  -- Illinois’ new capital bill contains funding that will address what officials say has been an ongoing problem for years. The capital bill sets aside 80 million dollars to assist mental health facilities all over the state .Mark J. Heyrman, facilitator with the Mental Health Summit and Mental Health America of Illinois, says there has been a lack of community mental health services.With diminishing financial support, state psychiatric hospitals and community facilities were forced to close their doors. One fact is there used to be 33 thousand  state psychiatric hospital beds and now there are 1 thousand 200.


(Provo--jc)  -- Illinois’ governor was in Utah Wednesday. Governor J.B. Pritzker’s office says the freshman state executive attended a series of meetings hosted by the National Governors Association in Salt Lake City. His office says the goal is to advance Illinois’ priorities.



(Buckley--jc)  More activities are being planned for Buckley Lake later this year. The village held a movie night, Fun Day and numerous family and church events already this year. Buckley Mayor Sherry Stachura says ideas are needed for a fall time movie and more…


Buckley Mayor Sherry Stachura



(Chicago--jc)  --Is powerful House Speaker Michael Madigan the target of an FBI investigation into political corruption in Illinois?b The Feds won't say, of course, but it sure feels like he's a person of interest at the least.A series of recent events indicate there's a heckuva lot of smoke around Madigan, if not a full-on raging fire.Madigan's home or offices haven't been raided, but FBI agents executed search warrants at the homes of three of his closest allies in recent months.And on Wednesday, the Chicago Tribune reported that federal agents are investigating $10,000 in checks that lobbyists with Illinois energy giant ComEd sent to one of the Madigan allies whose home was raided recently. 


(Washington--jc)  --In just a few short weeks some major growing areas have gone from oversaturated to dry soils and crop stress. Rod Bain reports…



(Urbana--jc)  Its’ 4-H Day at the Champaign County Fair today. The 4-H Sheep Show, 4-H Rabbit Show 4-H Swine Show and 4-H Goat and 4-H Beef Show are set for this morning. Gates open at 10 at the fairgrounds along Coler Avenue in Urbana. Tom Gordon of Urbana has been a long time fairgoer and is closely tied to the local fair. Gordon says he remembers getting a social security card at the fair in the 1940s…


Urbana resident and Champaign County Fairgoer Tom Gordon

A kids pedal tractor pull begins at 3 this afternoon, The carnival opens at 5 and motor madness motorsports extravaganza begins at 7 tonight. 



(Springfield--jc)   -- More apprenticeship programs will be available at some Illinois Community Colleges thanks to a 4 million dollar federal grant. The money will help around 16 hundred students participate in various programs says Illinois State Community College Board Spokesperson Matt Berry…



I-S-C-C-B Spokesperson Matt Berry

The program will be offered locally at Parkland College in Champaign.



(Gibson City--jc)  -- A hymnfest is set for Gibson City in mid-August. The event takes place at 3pm on August 11th at the Gibson City United Methodist Church. The Gibson Area Music Foundation is sponsoring the hymnfest with Director Milt Kelly, organist Heidi Brown. The event will feature popular hymns and the stories behind them.


CHICAGO (AP) — Public health officials say Illinois is among 24 states affected by a recall of fennel seed products over possible Salmonella contamination.

Mountain Rose Herbs of Eugene, Oregon, is recalling all sizes of its fennel seed, ranging from 4 ounces to 50 pounds. The product was sold online, at retail shops and distributed to vitamin and health food stores in two dozen states. Refunds are available.


(Washington--jc)  ItIt appears that U.S. trade talks with China may be advancing soon from the telephone to the negotiating table. Gary Crawford reports…



(Kankakee--jc)  Kankakee Police are investigating a fatal shooting that occurred along Evergreen Street in the city last night around 6pm.  As police arrived, a man was found shot in the street. Kankakee Crimestoppers are seeking any information about the shooting. Anyone with information is asked to call Kankakee County Crimestoppers at  815-934-7463.


(Rantoul--jc)  Illinois V-F-W Commander and Rantoul resident Brad Gould is busy with his new position this year. Gould was elected as to the top spot last month. Gould says a writing competition and visiting districts in the state to trips to the nation’s capitol are on his job duties…



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


(Undated--jc)  A lawsuit against a Ford County bed and breakfast operation west of Paxton will proceed. The defense in the case of Timber Creek B and B had asked to dismiss the case, but that was denied in local court on Wednesday. The lawsuit stems from a 20-11 case of penalties imposed for discriminating against a same sex couple from Tuscola. More information is found in the Ford County Record.



(Ashkum--jc)  Those with the Iroquois County Fair, the Ashkum community along with family and friends are mourning the death of a popular local fair president, ag leader, family member and friend today. The visitation for 76 year old Marvin Perzee is set for 2pm to 5pm at the 4-H Building at the Iroquois County Fairgrounds north of Crescent City along Route 49. Perzee was a well respected member of fair community throughout the area, state and nation. He served the local 4-H chapters and the local fair for his lifetime. He will be missed, but always remembered. Perzee’s funeral takes place at 5pm at the fairgrounds. Visitation will continue following the funeral service today. 



(Paxton--jc)  -- Elevator repairs and upgrades will be on the agenda of a Ford County committee in August. The Ford County Public Health Commission has been looking into repairs to the elevators at the courthouse in Paxton for several months. Costs for repairs and what upgrades are expected to be agenda items at the August 13th, 9am meeting in Paxton



(Loda--jc)  The 20-19 Loda Good Ole Days are set for this Friday Saturday and Sunday in the Southern Iroquois County town. Event Spokesperson Alecia Whitcomb says some competitions and music hilite the evening on Friday…



Loda Good Ole Days Spokesperson Alecia Whitcomb



(Gibson City--jc)  -- The Gibson City  Police,Health, Light and Nuisance Committee is set to meet on Monday night at city hall at 7. . The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss new squad car for the police department, reports of complaints about vehicles without current registration, property that is dangerous and presents hazards to the community and other nuisance complaints. The public is invited to the committee meeting to address any concerns.



Today is Speed Awareness Day In Illinois

(Springfield--jc)  -- Today is speed awareness day in Illinois. It’s a day to remind the public to slow down. Lou Jogmen with the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police says ignoring the speed limit has become all too common…



Lou Jogmen with the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police in Illinois.

The probability of death or serious injury in a crash doubles for every 10 miles per hour over 50 miles per hour. Illinois State Police are boosting the amount of patrols today for Speed Awareness Day in Illinois


COLLINSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A southern Illinois Democrat says he will challenge Republican Congressman John Shimkus next fall and is conceding he has no chance of winning. John W. Hursey Jr. of Collinsville has filed paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission to run in the 15th Congressional District race as a Democrat. The district runs from Collinsville in the west to the Indiana state line in the east. The 61-year-old Shimkus has served in the House since 1997. He received 71 percent of the vote last year.


KANKAKEE, Ill. (AP) — The Democratic chairman of an Illinois county is facing criticism for posting an image on social media comparing Make America Great Again hats worn by supporters of President Donald Trump to Ku Klux Klan hoods. Crain's Chicago Business reported the Kankakee County Democrats posted the image Friday.


CHICAGO (AP) — A lawyer for a former Northwestern University professor charged in the 2017 stabbing death of his boyfriend responded to a co-defendant's guilty plea with a vow to continue fighting the charges. The Chicago Tribune reports that Wyndham Lathem's attorney, Adam Sheppard, told reporters on Tuesday that Andrew Warren appears to be "shifting blame" and that he expected to attack Warren's credibility at trial.


CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed two laws aimed at protecting young immigrants, including those whose parents are deported. The governor says he disagrees with the Republicans on the issue…



Illinois Governor JB Prtizker.

 One law extends the time a child can have a short-term guardian if their parents are detained or deported by federal immigration authorities. The other helps young immigrants seeking special visas as victims of abuse or neglect.



(Urbana--jc) --Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup has  released the name of a Mahomet woman who was involved in a motor vehicle crash in rural Coles County, on Sunday.  25 year old Kayla L. Kelley was pronounced dead at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana on Sunday morning as a result of traumatic injuries she received during the crash. Ms. Kelley was reportedly driving a Toyota Rav 4, when she lost control of her vehicle, causing it to roll over. She was ejected from the vehicle. No autopsy will be performed, although an inquest may be held at a later date. This death is being investigated by the Champaign County Coroner’s Office and the Illinois State Police District 10.


(Urbana--jc)  -- It’s Livestock Day today at the Champaign County Fair. The Junior Swine starts the day at 8 this morning. The, Junior Beef and Junior Sheep shows begin at 8-30 this morning. Gates open at 10 and the carnival opens at 5 this afternoon. Motorcycle races hilite the entertainment tonight starting at 6-30 and the Crazy Johnny Band is the musical entertainment in the Beer Pavilion tonight from 9 til midnight. One must stop at this year’s fair is Culler’s Fries. Culler’s Fries owner Jim Cullers says they have been located at the Champaign County Fair and State Fair in the same location for decades…



Culler’s Fries Owner Jim Cullers. 

Culler’s Fries will also be in operation at the Half Century of Progress Show in Rantoul next month. 



(Paxton--jc)  -- One local grocery store has made a donation to the Paxton Pool with its round up program. The Paxton based “Save the Paxton Pool Committee” received a check in the amount of 3 thousand 784 dollars this week from the Paxton IGA. The local group continues to raise money for the Paxton Park District Pool. Businesses, civic groups and individuals may sponsor a “free swim” event at the pool through the summer hours. More information is found by calling the Paxton Park District at 379-4203 The next free swims are Thursday from 1pm to 5pm sponsored by Pax-Nasz and Saturday from 1pm to 4pm sponsored by the Farmers Merchants Bank of Illinois



(Rantoul--jc)  -- Village of Rantoul leaders are looking to the local court system to get the owner of the Home Theatre building in downtown Rantoul to repair the facility.  The Press reports that the owner wants to fix up the property and again offer movies. A fine was levied against the property and some nearby property owners are concerned about the theatre building and its future. Village leaders are expected to address the issue at meetings this summer.


(Springfield--jc)  --The new course to become a firefighter in Illinois could make it a lot easier for people to become firefighters. About 70 percent of firefighters in Illinois are volunteers. But the ranks are thinning, thanks in part to the weeks of training that used to pull wannabe firefighters away from home. The Illinois State Fire Marshal is changing that.Fire Marshal spokesman J.C. Fultz says a new blended training program will allow firefighters to learn the classroom stuff online at home during the week, and train on the job one the weekends. 


(Springfield--jc)  --Illinois is one of the worst states when it comes to allowing former state officials to perform lobbying activities after they leave office. That’s according to a new study from the group Public Citizen. The report says while some states have bans on former lawmakers lobbying, either forever or for different “cooling off” periods of one to six years, Illinois has no restrictions.


(Champaign--jc)  -- Last weekend was hot and humid. The weather for the final full week of July is more summer friendly. Illinois Water Survey Spokesperson Brian Kerschner says more typical July weather is here…



Illinois Water Survey Spokesperson Brian Kerschner




(Gifford--jc)  It’s still July, but school officials in Gifford have set school registration times for the 20-19 to 20-20 school year. Gifford students will register for school on July 30th and July 31st. Registration is from 9am to noon and 1pm to 4pm each day..



SPRINGFIELD – A federal grant will allow the Illinois Community College Board to serve more than 1,600 apprentices in pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs that will lead to employment in the information technology sector. 

The $4.0 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, will support the development and expansion of apprenticeship programs in partnership with ten Illinois community colleges including Parkland College in Champaign.



(Loda--jc)  The 9th annual Loda Good Ole Days Truck and Tractor Pull is set for Sunday on the west side of Loda. Loda Good Ole Days Spokesperson Mallory Lithgow says this years event is in honor of a “dear friend” who passed away earlier this year…



Loda Good Ole Days Spokesperson Mallory Lithgow.

WPXN will be broadcasting live on Sunday morning as part of our Summer Fun Tour from 10-30 to noon. It’s Summer Fun tour stop 15.


(Watseka--jc)  -- It seems summer has only just begun but now is the time to schedule your child’s back-to-school vaccines. The Iroquois County Public Health Department recommends scheduling your appointments early to beat the rush.  Officials say if you wait until August to schedule your child’s school vaccinations, you may not be able to obtain an appointment before the first day of school.



(Peoria--jc)  One college based in Peoria is closing. Midstate College, in operation for over 130 years, is closing permanently on August 14th. The announcement was given to students this week. School officials are now working on transfers for enrolled students.



(Rantoul--jc)  If you saw police moving around Rantoul Township High School on Tuesday morning and afternoon, there was a good reason. The Champaign County Metro Swat Team was conducting training at the local school. Several police vehicles and cars were stationed around Rantoul Township High School throughout the day.


(Cissna Park)  -- One local school has its alumni reunion set for August 16th. Graduates from Cissna Park High School are invited to Creekside Prairie on the north side of the village. Registration starts at 2pm with a program at 3pm. Honored classes include 1959, 1969 and 1994. Cissna Park Schools will be open from 1pm to 2-30 that afternoon for those interested.




Several Local Communities Will Be Discussing on Whether to Allow Marijuana Sales

(Springfield--jc)  Some major laws signed by Illinois’ governor will soon go through the rules process.The cartoon classic "Schoolhouse Rock" explained how a bill becomes a law in the U.S. Congress. The process is similar in the Illinois state legislature. But how laws are ultimately enacted in Illinois is another story.State Sen. Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, is on the Joint Commission on Administrative Rules, or JCAR. That’s a body with an equal number of Democrats and Republicans from both chambers who hammer out details on how some laws will be implemented by the various state agencies.


CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois will get over $7 million in Equifax's $700 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission and others over a 2017 data breach that exposed private information of nearly 150 million people. The proposed settlement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will provide up to $425 million in monetary relief to consumers. Federal officials coordinated the investigation with attorneys general nationwide, including Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul.


CHICAGO (AP) — An Illinois Republican group has apologized and removed from its Facebook page a post that showed images of four Democratic congresswomen who have been criticized by President Donald Trump and referred to them as the "Jihad Squad." The post appeared Friday night on the Republican County Chairman's Association page.


(Rantoul--dg)  --The Half Century of Progress vintage farm show is one month away. The 4 day event runs from August 22 through the 25th on the Former Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul. With over 700 acres to work with, Half Century of Progress Spokesperson JC Reitmeir says it’s the largest show in the United States.



Half Century of Progress Spokesperson JC Reitmeir


(St Joseph--jc)  One Champaign County Community is set to hear a presentation from the Vermilion County Land bank when they meet tonight in monthly session. The St Joseph village board is also expected to discuss options for the village with the legalization of marijuana and what the village plans to offer or not offer in town. The St Joseph village board meets at 7 tonight. Hiring seasonal help and bike parking in the downtown area are also on tonight’s agenda. Monticello, Paxton and Gibson City are area towns considering action on the subject of legal marijuana use.



Big R Stores—the farm, home, and outdoor retailer founded in 1964—announced that it is changing its name to Stock & Field. The new name allows the brand to send a clear message about their offerings and commitment to providing every rural lifestyle enthusiast with a one-stop destination to gather all of the mission-critical products they need to pursue their work and hobbies. The retailer has operated under the Big R Stores name since 1964 when Bill and Pat Crabtree opened the first store in Watseka, Illinois. Since then, the company has grown to 25 locations across Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin and Michigan—including new stores opening soon in Portage, Wisconsin and Lansing, Michigan. The Stock & Field Lansing store will mark the Company’s first expansion into Michigan.



(Paxton--dg)  --The Knapp Miller Funeral Home in Paxton has new owners. Kendall Cox and K’lee McGeary have purchased the funeral home and the new name will be Cox Knapp Funeral Home. Owner Kendall Cox says he appreciates the opportunity the Knapp family has given him in being able to own a business in his home town.



Cox Knapp Funeral Home Owner Kendall Cox



(Springfield--jc)  -- It was a hot week for Illinois crops and winter wheat harvesting is almost complete as we hear in the weekly crop report. 94 percent of winter wheat is now out of the ground. Soybeans are blooming and 2 percent are setting pods says State Crop Statistician Brad Summa…


State Crop Statistician Brad Summa



(Urbana--jc)  -- Today is Senior Citizen Day at the Champaign County Fair. There is free gate admission for Seniors until 2pm. The gates open at 10. The Open Beef Show starts the day at 8-30 this morning. Marvin Lee and Friends performs at 10am. Activities for Seniors go from 10am until 2pm. The carnival opens at 5 with Harness Racing at 7. WPXN will be broadcasting live from 12-30 until 2. It’s summer fun tour stop 14.


(Springfield--jc)  --Participants in a roundtable discussion Monday in Springfield are seeking ways to combat a shortage of trained professionals in the healthcare industry. Among the issues raised by U.S. Representative Rodney Davis and Illinois health professionals were immigration and education. Davis,a Republican from Taylorville, said the demand for nurses, doctors and facilities is going to explode as the Baby Boomer generation will demand more healthcare resources. Davis says we do not  have enough physicians, we do not have enough nurses, and we do not have enough facilities in rural areas of this country,



(Undated--jc) --  A conservative former state lawmaker who resigned to nearly defeat incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner last year is entering the race for Congress but Rauner’s lieutenant governor stands in the way.Former state Rep Jeanne Ives formally announced Sunday that she would run for Illinois’ sixth Congressional seat.She positioned herself as a coalition builder who would restore civil discussions in Washington’s highly charged environment in her new campaign ad released  this week.



(Springfield--jc )  -- The weekly crop crop report shows 94 percent of the winter wheat crop harvest.  Also 36 percent of corn is silking and 1 percent is in the dough stage. State Crop Statistician Brad Summa says 96 percent of soybeans have now bloomed…



State Crop Statistician Brad Summa

Topsoil moisture is rated as 1 percent very short, 19 percent short, 68 percent adequate and 12 percent surplus.

(Ford County--jc)  A five mile stretch of Route 115 in Ford County remains closed today. I-Dot Officials say a box culvert repair project will keep the road closed for the remainder of this week.  Motorists should take other routes around the construction area. State Police continue to remind the motoring public to slow down, move over and drive extra careful in construction zone areas.



(Springfield--jc)  -- The Illinois Department of Labor is reminding employers they need to have health and safety information posted in the workplace. The poster lists employee rights and employer  responsibilities says Illinois Occupation Safety and Health Administration Director Ben Noven…



Illinois Occupation, Safety and Health Administration Director Ben Noven



(Paxton--jc) Plans continue for the Swine and Dine Festival in Paxton. The Chamber and City say the day begins with the grilling competition. A bags tournament, food trucks, inflatables and music also hilite the one day event. This year’s event takes place on Saturday September 21st in downtown Paxton. A free concert featuring Johnny McGuire and Jerrod Neimann is set for the downtown area that night.


(Washington--jc)  -- Some more key numbers coming out with the latest U-S-D-A cattle inventory report. U-S-D-A Livestock Analyst Shayle Shagam has some numbers…



U-S-D-A Analyst Shayle Shagum


(Paxton--jc)  With the recent hot and humid weather, the city of Paxton Christmas Committee is announcing the theme for this year’s Christmas Parade. Its Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The parade steps off on the Saturday following Thanksgiving. The group will be standing along several street corners in downtown Paxton on July 27th for donations to help with expenses for this year’s parade.


Illinois Lawmakers Looking at Capping Property Tax Increases for Apartment Buildings that Include Low-Income Housing

(Springfield--jc)  --Illinois lawmakers are looking at capping property tax increases for apartment buildings that include low-income housing in a portion of the building.State senators gathered last week in Chicago for a hearing to discuss Senate President John Cullerton’s Senate Bill 2259. It would put caps on how much assessments on apartment complexes could rise if the owner commits at least 20 percent of the building's units to be reserved for families that make less than a set income depending on the area. The caps would gradually be reduced over the course of ten years. New construction is typically assessed for a higher dollar value once it’s finished because it’s worth more than it was as an open lot.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker said he’ll call lawmakers back to Springfield if the House’s top Republican wants to change legislation that put stronger standards on the emissions of a cancer-causing chemical. House Republican Leader Jim Durkin said Pritzker fast-tracked re-opening of “corporate polluter.”Pritzker and Attorney General Kwame Raoul released statements Friday defending their decision to allow a medical instrument sterilization company to reopen its facility in suburban Chicago in December as long as the company adheres to new emissions standards. Residents and lawmakers had wanted the plant shut down over concerns about ethylene oxide emissions causing cancer.


(Loda--jc)  -- The annual Loda Good Ole Days begins this Friday and runs through Sunday in the Southern Iroquois County town. On Friday it’s the Little Mister and Little Miss along with the Junior Mister and Junior Miss Pageant at 6. Food and a D-J follow the pageant.  On Saturday the parade steps off at 10am. The lineup starts at the former Loda school building. Children games, a talent show, dance and fireworks hilite the day on Saturday. Sunday its the annual Truck and tractor pull at noon. WPXN will be broadcast live on Sunday morning to help kick off the event. It’s Summer Fun Tour Stop 15.



(Iroquois County--jc)  You can add southeastern Iroquois County as a potential spot for a mega-hog farm. A farm near Sibley in Ford County remains a possibility for a large hog farm. The Illinois Department of Agriculture is hosting a public information meeting on Tuesday August 6th. The meeting will take place at the Administrative Center in Watseka. The Parks Livestock group, based in Stockland, is the company backing the proposed project.



PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Authorities have suggested that the remains of a slain scholar from China may never be found despite a vow from prosecutors that the search will continue. Brendt Christensen, a former doctoral student in Illinois, killed Yingying Zhang in 2017. In recent filings, prosecutors said they rejected a plea deal with Christensen after concluding it'd be impossible to verify any details Christensen would provide about where Zhang's remains are. He was sentenced Thursday to life in prison without parole



(Undated--jc)   Speed Awareness Day is Wednesday July 24th. State police will be out in full force, enforcing the speed limit. State police continue to advise motorists 

to obey the speed limits. Speed Awareness Day is Wednesday July 24th in Illinois



(Undated--jc)  -- Illinois Department of Transportation officials say the extreme heat on Friday  caused some road buckling in the area. A portion of Interstate 57 in the northbound lanes near Buckley, did break up. I-Dot officials were called to the area and the road was repaired. A portion on Interstate 55 near Shirley also buckled on Saturday.  Local and State police remind the motoring public to be aware of any road buckling issues and to drive safely.



(Crescent City--jc)  Today is the final day of the Iroquois County Fair, north of Crescent City along route 49. The major event on the schedule today is the livestock sale. The sale starts at 1-30 this afternoon.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois businesses are expressing concerns about a bill on the governor’s desk that prohibits employers from including salary history questions on job applications. According to House Bill 0834, the legislation “prohibits an employer from seeking the salary, including benefits or other compensation or salary history, of a job applicant from any current or former employer.” Mark Grant, state director for the National Federation of Independent Business in Illinois, said it’s going to take some time for small businesses to understand that this is “the law of the land and they're going to have to adhere to it.”


(Chicago--jc)  --An annual survey has revealed information about drunken driving arrests across Illinois.As the state’s largest city, Chicago had the highest number of DUI arrests last year at nearly 1,900. Rita Kreslin, executive director of the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists, said things have been sliding in the wrong direction. Among all other cities, Rockford tops the list. The northern Illinois city made 552 DUI arrests last year, up nearly 13 percent from 2017.  Closer to home, DUI arrests jumped in Bloomington by just over 30 percent from 20-17



(Springfield--jc)  -- A bill eliminating medical co-pays for prisoners is in the hands of Governor JB Pritxker.  A similar measure died last year when then-Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed it, but proponents hope Gov. J.B. Pritzker will sign House Bill 2045, which eliminates prisoner copays for medical care.The bill was sent to the governor June 28.Prisoners in Illinois who want to see a doctor must fill out a request and say, in writing, what is wrong and why they think they need care. Their requests are reviewed by nurses who decide which cases merit a medical visit and which, for example, can be remedied with medication



(Urbana--jc)  It’s Kids Day at the Champaign County Fair today on the grounds along Color (KO-lar) Avenue in Urbana. The open swine show, open sheep show  and open dairy show begins at 8. Gates open to the public at 10 with preschool rides in Kiddie land. Its the Cincinnati Circus Companies Big Show at Noon 5pm and 7pm at the Champaign County Fair today. The carnival opens at 5. WPXN will be broadcasting tomorrow from the fair from 12-30 to 2pm



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — State health officials say more data on pregnancy and babies will available to the public. The Illinois Department of Public Health says it is adding maternal and child health data to its public health community map. The feature shows information on the quality and access to healthcare throughout the state, including racial disparities.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois trooper killed in the line of duty has been honored on a memorial wall in the Illinois State Police Memorial Park. The State Journal-Register reports that friends, family members and colleagues of Trooper Brooke Jones-Story gathered Saturday to add the 34-year-old's name. She was killed in March when a semitrailer struck her while she was conducting a traffic stop on the highway near Freeport.


(Rantoul--jc)  The next meeting of the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners is set for Wednesday afternoon at 1pm. The meeting is set for the conference room of the Rantoul Police Department on Grove Avenue.



Jobs Were Up and Unemployment was Down Last Month in Illinois

(Springfield--jc)  --The Illinois Senate could take action on a measure to require Illinois residents to submit fingerprints to get a Firearm Owners Identification card when lawmakers return this October. A Second Amendment advocate is urging police groups to oppose the bill. Senate Bill 1966 passed the House in May. It would increase fees FOID cards while decreasing how long the cards remain valid. It would also require applicants to submit fingerprints to get the card. The card is required to legally have a firearm or ammunition in the state.


 (AP) — A federal judge has castigated an ex-University of Illinois student for showing no remorse for his slaying of a scholar from China and for not apologizing to his victim's family. Judge James Shadid spoke Thursday as he sentenced Brendt Christensen to life in prison hours after jurors couldn't agree on whether the 30-year-old should be put to death for killing 26-year-old Yingying Zhang. Shadid said Christensen's "inexplicable act of violence" was done to "fulfill self-absorbed fantasies."


(Paxton-dg)-The Knapp Miller Funeral Home in Paxton has new owners. Kendall Cox and K’lee McGeary have purchased the funeral home and the new name will be Cox Knapp Funeral Home. Owner Kendall Cox said the time was right to come back home to Paxton.



Cox Knapp Funeral Home Owner Kendall Cox


(Crescent City--jc)  -- Today at the Iroquois County Fair near Crescent City along Route 49,  it’s the 4-H Beef Show at 8 this morning. The Sheep, Swine and Goats shows also start at 8. The Draft Horse Halter show takes place at 9 with a noon Draft Horse Hitches Show. There is a Talent Show  this afternoon at 5-30. On stage tonight is the Petersen Farm Brothers at 7-30. The WPXN Ice Cream Booth opens over the noon hour today. We will also be broadcasting live at Noon today from the fair. Its Summer Fun Tour Stop 13.


(Springfield--ba) -- Jobs were up and unemployment was down last month in Illinois. The state jobless rate for June came in at four point three percent. That’s down from four point four percent in may. Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Sam Salustro says payrolls increased by more than 11 thousand.



Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Sam Salustro.



(Paxton--jc) --  With the excessive heat now through Sunday several area communities are offering cooling centers for those needing a place to keep cool. In Rantoul, the Forum Fitness Center on the village’s west side is available as a cooling center. In Paxton,  the E-M-S building on State street has been designated as a cooling center. 


(Piper City--jc)  He will be remembered as a teacher, coach, mentor and family friend. 76 year old Dale Cupples passed away earlier this week.  Cupples coached various teams for 39 years and he also was a social studies teacher for 43 years. A memorial service is set for Sunday at 2-30 at the Tri Point Junior High Gym in Piper City, which also bears his name.


(Melvin--jc)  -- It’s free movie night tonight in Melvin. The Movie “Dumbo” will be shown at 7 tonight at the Melvin Community Hall. Those attending are asked to bring a blanket to sit upon..


UNDATED (AP) — So far this week, anticipated nationwide immigration raids have not materialized at the expected magnitude. Yet the mere prospect of such raids has provided evidence that legions of pastors, rabbis and their congregations across the United States stand ready to help vulnerable immigrants with offers of sanctuary and other services. Jewish rabbis have organized a network of more than 70 synagogues committed to this cause. Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services has launched a similar effort.


(Bellflower-jc)  Dan Basham and Dave Raymer will join the Bellflower Country Opry Band on Saturday. Admission is 10 dollars. The show starts at 7 with a baked spaghetti meal at 5pm



(Paxton--jc)  -- On the menu at the Paxton IGA Saturday from 10am until 2pm is Ribeye Steak Sandwiches, chips and pop. The proceeds go to the Loda Lions Club.

(Springfield--jc)  -- Governor. J.B. Pritzker said Thursday that Illinois won’t accept money from the federal government for family planning centers after a federal rule barring tax dollars for centers that promote abortions.Last month, a federal appeals court upheld President Donald Trump's so-called “gag rule.”“The gag rule holds hostage federal funding for contraception for low-income women unless providers refuse to refer or provide abortion services along with other reproductive health care,” Pritzker said in a statement Thursday.



(Washington--ba)-..-  If you need help finding the right USDA farm loan, USDA has a new online tool for you. USDA’s Stephanie Ho has that story.



(Urbana--jc)  Today is the initial day of the Champaign County Fair at the grounds on Colar Street in Urbana. The gates open at 4 this afternoon with the carnival starting at 5. There are stock car races at 6-30 at the track and it’s music from 9 til midnight in the beer pavilion. The Champaign County Fair runs through July 27th.



(Springfield--ba) --  Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs’ office will hold a live auction of unclaimed property during the Illinois state fair in Springfield. The auction will be held on Saturday, august 17th and feature a variety of items says Treasurer Frerichs.



Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs


(Chicago--jc)  --Federal agents searched the home of another longtime associate of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, but it's not clear what they were investigating.Agents searched the Quincy home of former Springfield lobbyist Mike McLain in mid-May.  That’s around the same time agents searched premises connected with two other Madigan associates, political operative Kevin Quinn and former Chicago Ald. Michael Zlaewksi.It’s unclear what federal agents were investigating. The Tribune reported the search warrant indicated investigators were looking for connections to possible criminal acts. 


(Cissna Park--jc)  -- The theme for the annual Cissna Park Old Settlers parade is “Patriotism.” The annual parade steps off at noon on Saturday August 17th. The staging area will be around Knapp Funeral Home and will turn on Route 49 to the village park. The three day event features a talent show, musical entertainment, Swyear Amusements on the midway, beer tent, and plenty of “shade and water.” The event takes place from August 15th through the 17th in Cissna Park. 


(Springfield--jc)  -A state lawmaker who supported doubling the state’s gas tax to pay for infrastructure projects said a new audit could mean some planned projects won't get funded.The audit found that dozens of bridges in Illinois weren’t inspected in a timely manner.The Illinois Auditor General released an audit Thursday of the Illinois Department of Transportation for a two-year period ending June 2018. Among other issues, the audit found that 78 bridges that weren’t inspected on time. Twenty-eight bridges were overdue for routine inspections, some were up to 4 years overdue. Ten were listed as the responsibility of an adjacent state and five were rated structurally deficient, the audit said.



(Gibson City--jc) -- It’s Friday Night Under the Lights in downtown Gibson City tonight.The monthly car cruise takes place from 6pm to 10pm. The event features cruising along Sangamon Avenue. Music with Dan Kerfoot and his musical friends, steak sandwiches sponsored by the Legion Riders, a Queen of Hearts Drawing, anda project presentation from Gibson Area Hospital hilite the event. A blessing of the cars kicks off the cruise at the New Beginnings Christian Church.




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