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WPXN Blog

Thursday August 16 2018

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner has rallied Republicans at the Illinois State Fair by talking about the negatives of Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan and promising to make the GOP the "majority party." The first-term Republican rounded off a slate of candidates for statewide office at Governor's Day Wednesday. Rauner is facing a re-election campaign against billionaire Democrat J.B. Pritzker.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago activist who helped organize a protest march that briefly shut down Lake Shore Drive this month now wants to disrupt traffic with a Labor Day march on an expressway near O'Hare International Airport. At a Wednesday news conference, the Rev. Gregory Livingston said the anti-violence march will take place on Labor Day on the Kennedy Expressway.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Springfield Republican who holds the Illinois House seat once occupied by Abraham Lincoln says it's a "bad sign" that officials are seeking an auctioneer to sell Lincoln artifacts to pay a $9.7 million debt. Rep. Tim Butler says he was surprised to hear about the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Foundation's action Wednesday. The collection includes a Lincoln stovepipe hat and bloody gloves from the night he was killed. Butler says state money should be a last resort.

 

(Springfield--ab) A new State law spearheaded by Secretary of state Jesse White Cracks down on texting and driving. The new law makes the offense a moving violation. The old law marked it as a nonmoving violation and the new law also makes the offense go on your driving record.According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Driving while texting is 6 times more dangerous than driving drunk. Secretary of State Spokesman Henry Haupt  says the new law will affect people's thoughts about texting while driving…

 

 

Secretary of State Spokesperson Henry Haupt


 

(Bloomington--jc) It was day one for  move-in day for students at Illinois State University in Normal on Wednesday.Move in continues today through the weekend.  Several campus groups are helping and local police say certain roads this week are just one way as students make their way to campus. First day of classes for I-S-U in Normal are set for Monday.

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- The First property tax distributions from Ford County Treasurer Krisha Shoemaker are coming soon. They are being made to local taxing units. Shoemakers office also says the 2nd installment of property taxes are due by September 7


 

 

(Paxton--ab) Harvest is just around the corner and you may see it as early as labor day weekend. Ludlow Coop General Manager  Paul Seaman says an early start could be happen…

 

 

Ludlow Coop General Manager Paul Seaman

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce says the next Chamber business after hours is set for later this month. The event takes place at the Frederick Community Bank in downtown Paxton on Wednesday August 29th from 5-30 to 7pm. Officials with the bank are providing drinks and appetizers for those attending the event.

 

 

 

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — The search for a new president for Southern Illinois University could take a year following the resignation of its previous leader following a contentious dispute over shifting state funding between its campuses.The board of Trustees members met in a private session for nearly three hours this week to discuss how they will replace former President Randy Dunn, who resigned in July.

 

 

(Undated--jc)  Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial Minute…

 

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A trip by former Vice President Joe Biden to Springfield, Illinois, has been called off because of illness. Biden had been scheduled to speak Today at the Illinois Democratic County Chairs' Association brunch at a Springfield hotel, but the group's leader says Biden is under doctor's orders not to travel. Rock Island County party chairman Doug House says he's sure Biden will soon be back campaigning for Democrats in Illinois and elsewhere.

The brunch kicks off the Illinois State Fair's Democrat Day. The group had sold all 2,500 tickets for hotel's main ballroom and made plans to accommodate 700 more people in a second room.

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois livestock producers hope to dispel myths with a first-of-its-kind report.The 2018 Livestock Report from Illinois’ beef, milk and pork producer associations says it’s revealing the truth about the state’s livestock farms. The project examines 30 years of publicly available data from the Illinois Department of Agriculture and Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies. The report shows the number of total livestock complaints to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency in the past 10 years is trending downward with a peak of 122 in 2007, down to 24 in 2017.The number of livestock-related violation notices issued by the IEPA in the same period trends downward with a peak of 29 in 2007 down to 5 in 2017.

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- The issue of wind farms continues to be a topic in Ford County politics. The subject of set backs for wind farm towers and local properties will be discussed  in the next month for the Ford County Plan Commission and the Ford County Zoning Board of Appeals. One Ford County committee recommended that setbacks go up to 2 thousand 5 hundred feet for any new wind farms in Ford County. A  company has proposed to build another wind farm in Ford County. The final decision will be made by the full Ford County board at a meeting later this year.

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- Teachers in the Paxton Buckley Loda School District have approved a three year contract with the district. The vote was taken on Wednesday. The P-B-L School board also approved the new deal when they met later in the day. The new three year deal is retroactive to July first of this year and runs through June of 20-21. With the new deal, teachers in the district will be given raises of around 14 hundred dollars per year of the pact. Both sides said negotiations were completed in a professional manner.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  Sexual assault victims will soon receive more specialized care when they go to the Emergency room. One new state law requires hospitals to have a specially trained provider on staff around the clock to treat victims. The issue was sponsored by State Representative Mike Unes of Pekin…

 

 

State Representative Mike Unes of Pekin

 

(Cissna Park--jc)  -- The 20-18 Cissna Park Old Settlers Reunion begins tonight in the park in Cissna Park. Free entertainment on the stage in the Park tonight at 8 is the Bellflower Country Opry. Swyear Amusements is on the midway with plenty of food. The three day event is sponsored by the local Cissna Park American Legion Post 527 and someone will win a brand new Chevrolet car on Saturday night. WPXN will be broadcasting the parade live on Saturday at noon as part of our Summer Fun Tour.

 

 

(Undated--jc)  It’s mid August and you can usually see those Hazy Crazy days of Summer. One reason for some hazy this August in East Central Illinois are the California fires.  National Weather officials in Lincoln say the movement of winds carry some of the fire smoke high in the atmosphere and into the area and state. The haze is expected to last for about a week according to weather officials.

 

 

(Washington--jc)  -- Could higher prices be coming for wheat. Gary Crawford has the numbers…

 

 

(Champaign County--jc)   Democrat J B Pritzker made a political stop in Champaign on Wednesday. The Democratic gubernatorial candidate  says he would support a state funded capital spending measure to support high speed rail in Illinois. Pritzker says an infrastructure bill is needed. Under Pritzker, the measure would also fund state Universities and high schools.

 

 

 

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Wednesday August 15 2018

(Springfield--jc)  With the mid term elections coming up in November,  some with the minority party in Springfield say they  are pushing for reforms in workers comp, to property tax help. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman says those proposals have fallen on deaf ears from the Democratic majority…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman

 

 

The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that a central Illinois city is liable for a woman injured on its uneven sidewalks, a precedent that could affect cities across the state.The state’s high court said the city of Danville wasn’t immune from a lawsuit a woman filed after she tripped on an uneven seam in a sidewalk there. Barbara Monson tripped on the sidewalk in 2012 and sued the city for not fixing it. Lower courts ruled that the city wasn’t liable but the Illinois Supreme Court disagreed, saying laws that give Illinois municipalities immunity weren’t as important as the common law requirement for them to keep their property in working order. The Supreme Court said in its ruling that it is “the common-law duty of a local public entity to maintain its property in a reasonably safe condition.”

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- A group of politically connected state employees are suing Governor  Bruce Rauner to get their jobs. The eight employees were identified by an Executive Inspector General’s report as political patronage hires from the Rod Blagojevich and Pat Quinn administrations. Rauner fired them and others in 2017 in a push to the end practice at the Illinois Department of Transportation Rauner argued that the employees shouldn’t have union protections.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  5 thousand people have already called in to the state’s opioid helpline.Most of the callers have either been someone that is addicted to opiates or are concerned about a family member. Illinois Department of human services Danielle Kirby says trained specialists answer questions and discuss treatment options and now offer follow-up calls…


Illinois Department of Human Services Spokesperson Danielle Kirby.

The helpline number is 833-2-FIND-HELP. On line at Helplin-dot-I-L-dot-org.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois' attorney general is suing the operators of Trump International Hotel and Tower for removing water from and releasing water into the Chicago River in violation of federal environmental laws. The lawsuit claims the building sucks about 20 million gallons of water out of the Chicago River and returns the same amount 35 degrees hotter. The water is used to cool the building's heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. Trump Tower officials say the lawsuit was motivated by politics.

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- Rantoul Chamber officials are hosting a community coffee this morning at 7-30.The event takes place at the Rantoul Area Chamber or Commerce office in downtown Rantoul. Executive Director Belynda Allen says to bring your business cards, ideas, and network with other business owners and professionals or members of the Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce or community and brainstorm thoughts and ideas.

 

The Paxton Buckley Loda Porkchop Kickoff will be Friday August 17th at the High School. The Volleyball Scrimmage will take place at 5:30 in the gym. The Freshman/JV Football Scrimmage will start at 6:45. The Cheerleaders will do their  routine followed by the PBL Panther Regiment. The Varsity scrimmage will begin around 7:30.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- A new measure to foster increased rural broadband access is now law and the Governor Bruce Rauner's administration said that’s good for Illinoisans young and old. AARP’s Ryan Gruenenfelder said broadband internet access plays a critical role in the lives of aging Illinoisans delivering new technologies improve our quality of life. The measure also reduces some regulations to get more broadband in rural areas. Rauner said it’s not just for older generations.

 

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(Gibson City--jc)  -- The Harvest Fest celebration is set for Friday September 7th and  Saturday September 8th in Gibson City. The event is centered around a scarecrow theme and organizers says there is something for all ages. Gibson City leaders also approved several one day licenses for the “Elite Absurd Foottrace” event. The Gibson City American Legion, Railside Golf Club and Sammer’s 2. Music also hilites the two day event in Gibson City.

 

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(Undated--jc)  Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial minute…

 

 

SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Bruce Rauner signed legislation to better keep the public informed about pending actions of the Illinois Tollway Board.SB 2291 amends the Toll Highway Act to require that the board of directors post an agenda for each meeting at illinoistollway.com as well as at the authority’s headquarters building at 2700 Ogden Ave., Downer’s Grove, two business days (rather than 48 hours) in advance of the meetings. It also requires that specific details concerning contracts for projects over $100,000 shall be included, with Internet links to those details provided.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- With Ag Day Tuesday at the Illinois State Fair, there could be a lot of buzz about a possible trade deal coming together with the U.S. and Mexico lllinois farmers and manufacturers continue to hold out hope for an agreement to continue trade and avoid tariffs. .”Next to corn, Illinois exports a lot of pork south of the border. Hog producer Scott Behrmann from Albers said a deal will be a relief. Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert said the prospects of a deal with Mexico are welcome because Mexico imports a lot of Illinois pork, corn and even cheeses.

 

(Buckley--jc) There is still time to get in on a brand new Toro lawnmower as the prize for a fundraiser for a local high school. Donation is 50 dollars per ticket for the mower valued at over 25 hundred dollars says fundraiser Larry Abbe…

 

 

C-L-H-S Auction and Dinner Spokesperson Larry Abbe. Tickets are available at  Abbe’s office or by calling 217-394-2547.

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- A unique event is coming to Rantoul in early September. The game is called “Airsoft.” Similar to paintball, the game is played with B-B like plastic pellets and the two day event is set for Grissom Hall at the Rantoul Aviation Center. The event is private and only registered participants will be at the game site on the 8th and 9th in September.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and First Lady Diana Rauner are donating 1 million dollars towards the renovation of the state fair coliseum. The money will go to the Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation. The coliseum was built in 1901, but closed in 20-16 due to structural concerns. The governor wants school kids to choose a name for the building…

 

 

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner

 

The next night for Draggin’ Main in Downtown Gibson City will be this Friday evening at 6pm. Several Businesses will be open for dining and shopping opportunities

 

 

Soybean growers may produce a record crop this season, but could suffer the price consequences. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

 

(Champaign--jc)  -- Champaign County Crime Stoppers is seeking assistance regarding a report of shots fired earlier this month  in Champaign near Centennial High School. The shots were fired on August 6th Anyone with information can contact Crime Stoppers at 217-373-8477  Cash rewards of up to $1,000 are paid for information leading to an arrest.

 

(Gibson City--jc) Hot dogs, go cart rides, a cake walk, and a parade are some of the events set for the Corn Belt Shrine Club annual Kids Day in the park at North Park in Gibson City on Sunday.  All games cost just 25 cents and there will also be face painting and go-cart rides. The Corn Belt Shrine Club annual Kids in the Park runs from noon til 3pm on the 19th.


 

(Cissna Park--jc)  -- We are just one day away from the three day run of the Old Settlers Reunion in Cissna Park. The annual event is considered the longest running celebration in the state with its 131st celebration this weekend. Free entertainment nightly, Swyear Amusements and a car giveaway hilite the event. One popular event is the parade on Saturday at noon. Cash prizes are given in several categories. They include walking-bicycles and tricycles. Non-motorized floats, golf carts with a patriotic theme and Large floats. WPXN will broadcast the parade live at noon on Saturday.

 

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Tuesday August 14 2018

(Springfield--jc)  -- Two new laws are designed to help keep more college students in Illinois. One of the measure eases worries about map grants from year to year, giving returning eligible students priority says Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner…

 

 

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner

More on the second law that helps transfer credits on our next newscast this morning.

 

 

CHICAGO (AP) — An Illinois judge has been reprimanded for using his position to solicit paid speaking engagements from law enforcement groups, medical societies and hospitals. The Illinois Courts Commission said Monday it determined 4th District Appellate Judge Robert Steigmann of Urbana exploited his office and had improper financial dealings with people likely to come before his court. Steigmann said the speeches were his way of sharing his love of the law and denied he was biased toward groups that paid him

 

PLEASANT HILL VILLAGE, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's recent signing of bills to reduce the backlog of patients waiting for Medicaid approval won't save a small-town nursing home from closing next month. Pleasant Hill Village Administrator Maryann Walker tells the State Journal-Register that she's happy Rauner signed the two Senate bills earlier this month, but that they won't keep her Macoupin County skilled-care facility open.

 

MURPHYSBORO, Ill. (AP) — A new defense attorney for the man convicted in the 2014 death of a Southern Illinois University student has won a delay in his sentencing as he aims to have the conviction thrown out. A judge on Monday pushed back sentencing for 24-year-old Gaege Bethune of Eldorado, Illinois, until Sept. 17. He had been scheduled for sentencing Wednesday on first-degree murder for 19-year-old Pravin Varughese's (VAHR'-geez) death.

 

(Springfield--jc)  Corn continues to progress ahead of schedule as we hear in the weekly crop report. 90 percent of corn is in the dough stage and 45 percent is denting. That’s well ahead of last year and the 5 year average says State Crop Statistician Brad Summa…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Brad Summa.

Summa says 90 percent of soybeans are setting pods and 73 percent of the crop is in good to excellent condition. Statewide topsoil moisture is 10 percent very short, 30 percent short, 59 percent adequate and one percent surplus.

 

(Springfield--jc)  When the parade of champions happens today at the Illinois State fair, one local resident has an animal ready for the state’s top sale. Hunter Weber of Buckley’s hereford steer was named reserve grand champion Land of Lincoln steer at this year’s Illinois State Fair. At the parade of champions this afternoon, the steer will be sold in the Governor’s Sale of Champions. Proceeds from the sale to to the exhibitor, and towards youth in agriculture like 4-H and F-F-A.

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  --Paxton City council members may accept the donation of property to the city on Shal-lee court near the Nelson Field ball diamonds. The Lee family owns a lot in the cal-de-sac and have proposed to donate the lot to the city. The property holds some bleachers and is used by spectators at ball games. The Paxton City Council is expected to approve the donation of property when they meet tonight in monthly session at 7 tonight on the second floor of city hall.

 

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  The 20-18 Illinois State Fair  has several food traditions. One is Culler’s Fries. Jim Cullers says they sell one popular product...fries in a cone with salt and vinegar…

 

 

Jim Cullers of Cullers Fries.

The Culler’s stand at the Illinois State Fair is in the same spot they have held for 73 years. The Illinois State Fair runs through Sunday in Springfield.

 

 

SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Bruce Rauner signed bills Monday to increase Illinois seniors’ access to high-speed internet and provide more convenience with permanent identification cards. House Bill 5752 creates the Broadband Advisory Council to explore ways to expand broadband access, often called high-speed internet, throughout the state, including in unserved and underserved areas.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial Minute…

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  Accolade Healthcare in Paxton is closing one of its three buildings and residents will be moved to two other locations in the city. The building on north market is being shut down. A meeting between workers at the sites in Paxton and the management team for Accolade Health is set for today. More information about the merger into two sites in Paxton will be available later today. WPXN news will continue to update this story as more official news becomes available.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  In updating our story about two new laws to help keep college students in the state, the second new law gives students more flexibility towards a degree. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says credits will transfer easier under the new law…

 

 

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner

 

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- Corn continues to progress ahead of schedule as we hear in the weekly crop report. 90 percent of corn is in the dough stage. State Crop Statistician Brad Summa says 90 percent of soybeans are setting pods…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Brad Summa

22 percent of sorghum is mature and the 3rd cutting of alfalfa is 70 percent complete.

 

(Paxton--jc)  Paxton City Council members will look at closing streets for the annual Swine and Dine event when they meet tonight. The Swine and Dine event takes place on Saturday September 15th in the downtown area. Approving several groups to collect donations at street corners in the downtown area over the next several months is also a topic for local leaders. Those wanting to collect donations include the Faulkner toy drive and the Knights of Columbus. The Paxton City Council meets at 7 tonight on the second floor of city hall.

 

(Champaign--jc)  Weather officials say an El-Nina could be coming this fall or winter. State Climatologist Jim Angel with the Illinois Water Survey in Champaign says that could mean a warmer fall or winter too…

 

 

State Climatologist Jim Angel with the Illinois Water Survey in Champaign

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- Rantoul village leaders are expected to approve a water main project on North Tanner street when they meet tonight in monthly session. The cost of the project is just under 80 thousand dollars. Also on the agenda tonight is a proposal to accept the three hangers on the former Chanute Air Force Base and a call center into the village. The Rantoul Village board comes to order at 6 tonight in the municipal building on Tanner Street.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- WPXN News is taking a look at the long time vendors at the Illinois State Fair. Another mainstay is Vose’s Corndogs. Owner Bob Vose says the lines may be long at the corn dog stand, but it’s worth the wait…

 

 

Vose’s Corndog Stand owner Bob Vose.

Vose started at the State Fair delivering ice in the 1940s. The Illinois State Fair runs through Sunday in Springfield.

 

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Parkland College officials announced Monday that any interested persons wishing to run for a position on the Parkland Board of Trustees may pick up nominating petitions and related documents from Nancy Willamon in Room U336 at the Parkland College campus, 2400 W. Bradley Ave., Champaign, Illinois, during regular business hours beginning August 27th Petitions may NOT be circulated prior to Sept. 18th The term of incumbent trustee James Ayers, Bianca Truitt Green and Jonathan Westfield will expire in April 2019. These board openings will be for a six-year term on the ballot and said seats will expire in April 2025.

 

(Dewitt County--jc)  Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan Monday announced a lawsuit against a DeWitt County trucking company following a diesel fuel spill that contaminated a pond and a nearby creek. Madigan’s office filed a lawsuit in DeWitt County Circuit Court against H&M Trucking Company, which specializes in transporting food products. Madigan’s lawsuit alleges that approximately 4,000 gallons of diesel fuel were spilled at H&M’s trucking terminal located  in Clinton. Madigan says the fuel contaminated soil, a pond and a nearby creek. Human exposure to diesel fumes can cause dizziness, headaches, nausea and more severe symptoms like heart palpitations. According to Madigan’s lawsuit, diesel fuel began leaking from a storage tank at the terminal beginning around June 30. The leak went unreported, and fuel soaked into the ground on and around the site. The fuel covered the entire surface of the pond and killed vegetation in a two-foot perimeter around the pond, prompting the property owner to contact state  authorities.



 

 

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Monday August 13 2018

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — A Northwestern University journalism professor has resigned after being accused of misconduct by former students and employees. Alec Klein said in an email that he voluntarily resigned effective Friday "because I believe it is in the best interests of all involved as I pursue other endeavors." Klein in February took a leave of absence while the university investigated misconduct charges raised by eight former students and two Medill former Justice Project employees dating to 2011.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Using tax dollars to settle sexual harassment claims is illegal under a law Gov. Bruce Rauner signed. Rauner acted Friday on the plan by Republican Rep. David McSweeney of Barrington Hills and Democratic Sen. Tom Cullerton of Villa Park. They pushed it after the resurgence of the #MeToo anti-harassment movement last fall. Harassment complaints felled powerful men in entertainment, politics and the media. Media reports revealed that several congressmen had used tax dollars to quiet complaints.

 

(Springfield--jc)  It was Veteran’s Day at the Illinois State Fair on Sunday. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed 6 new laws in honor of the occasion. One law makes it easier for vets to eligible benefits, a second is the silver alert program says governor Rauner…

 

 

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner.

Another new law designates November 4th as G-I Bill of Rights Day in Illinois and two others honors Desert Storm service medal recipients on their license plates.


 

CHARLESTON, Ill. (AP) — A former Illinois basketball coach who pleaded guilty to sexual assault involving two former players has been sentenced to 60 years in prison. A judge sentenced 54-year-old Barry Wolfe of Martinsville to the maximum sentence Friday, after hearing from victims. One said in a written statement that high school was a living hell because of Wolfe's actions. Wolfe coached the Central Illinois Storm, an American Athletic Union basketball program for girls age 17 and younger in Illinois and Indiana.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  Families and outdoor enthusiasts are urged to stop by Conservation World at the Illinois State Fair, going on now through Sunday. Conservation World is a 30 acre park with ponds and grass to shade trees. State Department of Natural Resources Director Wayne Rosenthal…

 

 

Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Wayne Rosenthal.

There is also a Paul Bunyan Lumberjack show and butterfly house.

 

(Champaign County--jc)  -- Several members of a Tennessee family were injured in a one vehicle accident in Champaign County on Saturday afternoon. Police say 33 year old Jamal Halloway of Memphis lost control of his vehicle in the northbound lanes just south of Champaign and the vehicle rolled several times. Halloway, and three family members were treated at Carle Hospital with minor injuries.

 

(Pontiac--jc)  It’s an event that is celebrating 70 years in Central Illinois. The 20-18 run for the Pontiac based annual Threshermans Reunion starts on August 30th. The groups president is Dave Herz and he talks about a plethora  of Allis-Chalmers orange…

 

 

Pontiac Thresherman’s  Reunion event President Dave Herz.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  81 cadets have graduated from the Illinois State Police Academy. They will hit the road as new troopers all over the state. The Cadets made it through a grueling 25 week program in Springfield that included physical challenges, vehicle and firearms training. State Police Director Leo Schmitz says the class has met the initial challenge…

 

 

Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz

Now the State police is accepting applications for cadet class 129. The classes start next April and applications are due this Wednesday at  Illinois-Trooper-Dot-Com.

 

 

(Fisher--jc)  Could a solar farm be coming to the village of Fisher. Fisher Village leaders were informed that a Minnesota company is looking to build a facility in the south part of Fisher near the grade school. Novel Energy has over a hundred wind farms in Minnesota. State incentives and a lottery for such facilities remain a topic in the state capitol.

 

(Springfield--jc)  Illinois Brewers will have more freedom to expand their businesses under a new state law. Governor Bruce Rauner says this law removes antiquated regulations that were stifling the brewery industry. Illinois Craft Brewers Guild Executive Director Danielle D’Alesandro agrees says it will left breweries serve beer and cider from other business in their taprooms…

 

 

Illinois Craft Brewers Guild Executive Director Danielle D’Alesandro.

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is todays Bicentennial Minute…

 

 

 

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — A University of Illinois report is recommending new efforts to support students in the first weeks of school when sexual assaults are most common, especially among freshman. The  university's second systematic survey of sexual misconduct on campus recommends targeting resources at specific groups who have a higher risk of sexual assault. The survey is also recommending doubling down on efforts to reduce alcohol abuse.

LERNA, Ill. (AP) — Learn how to dye materials 19th Century style at the Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site. The hands-on workshop will be Aug. 25 beginning at 10 a.m. in Lerna. Instructors will show participants the process for dyeing fabric in the tradition of the frontier. They will use materials available at the time such as flowers and bark.

 

(Springfield--jc)  Illinois Brewers will have more freedom to expand their businesses under a new state law. The law strips outdated regulations from the liquor control act of 19-34, C-E-0 Matt Port of Destihl in Normal says one of the most important components helps the whole brew industry….

 


C-E-O Matt Porter of Destihl of Normal


 

 

LISLE, Ill. (AP) — Benedictine University officials say the president of the Illinois-based school has resigned. The Daily Herald reports Michael Brophy stepped down Thursday and is planning a yearlong sabbatical. A spokeswoman says Brophy's future position with the university will be determined next summer. The private, Catholic university is based in the Chicago suburb of Lisle and has campuses in Springfield, Illinois, and Mesa, Arizona. Brophy became president in 2015.
 

 

(Paxton--jc)  The Paxton Buckley Loda Teachers Union is expected to vote on a  proposed new contract for teachers in the school when they meet later this week. The Paxton Buckley Loda School board and negotiators for the local teachers have worked on a tentative new three year deal. If approved by the local teachers union, the P-B-L school board is expected to give their o-k to the new deal. Contract details will be released after a new deal is reach.


 

(Springfield--jc)  She is reigning in Springfield. Rural Cissna Park resident and current Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Samantha Hasselbring started her duties at the Illinois State Fair. The event runs through Sunday.  Hasselbring invites you to see her at the fair in the state capitol…

 

 

Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Samantha Hasselbring.



(Cissna Park--jc)  The 20-18 run for the Old Settlers Reunion begins later this week. The annual event runs Thursday and Friday evening in the park in Cissna Park. Entertainment on Thursday at 8 is the Bellflower Country Opry. Friday its the popular band Back Paiges at 8 and on Saturday night its the Neverly Brothers band. A parade is set for Noon on Saturday and someone will win a brand new car on Saturday night. The annual Old Settlers  Reunion is sponsored by the local American Legion Post 527 of Cissna Park.


 

(Washington--jc)  The high corn and soybean forecasts may have surprised many people, but they also may end up being closer than most August estimates. U-S-D-A Chief Economist Rob Johansson says they may be close to the final harvest numbers…

 

 

U-S-D-A Chief Economist Rob Johansson


 

(Gibson City--jc)  -- One Ford County school district is getting ready for the start of school with a school supply drop off night this evening. The Gibson-City-Melvin-Sibley Elementary School drop off night begins at 4-30 and runs until 6-30. The school will be open for families to drop off school supplies in classrooms and lockers. Entertainment, free ice cream and books also hi-lite the event in Gibson City.


(Champaign--jc)  -- Soil moisture continues to dry, but some mid week rain could help. State Climatologist Jim Angel with the Illinois Water Survey in Champaign says a chance for rain in some parts of the state runs from Tuesday through Thursday…

 

 

State Climatologist Jim Angel with the Illinois Water Survey in Champaign.



 

 

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Friday August 10 2018

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner blamed Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Thursday for the city's gun violence, saying the mayor has "failed horribly" on public safety after gunfire last weekend injured more than 70 people and killed 11 . The Republican governor said Chicago police lack sufficient officers and cutting-edge equipment. A spokesman for Emanuel, a Democrat, dismissed the claims and pointed at Rauner's rejection of legislation to license firearms dealers. Speaking at a state Capitol news conference, Rauner for the second straight day said he had no plans to send the National Guard to patrol Chicago's South and West Sides, where many of last weekend's shootings occurred.

 

 

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner

Hundreds of more officers will be deployed to crime areas of Chicago this weekend.

 

POTOMAC — Lola’s Bar and Grill in Potomac will host a fundraiser beginning at noon one week from tomorrow for a Potomac man battling a serious illness. The event is for  John Reardon, a longtime Potomac resident and U.S. Army veteran. The fundraiser will see music food and auction items at Lola’s Bar and Grill in Potomac starting at mid-day on the 18th and running into the evening hours.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  Gaining support for growing the economy and the fiscal health of Illinois remains on the agenda for Republicans in Illinois. 53rd District State Representative Jason Barickman of Bloomington says the party continues to push the idea of a growing economy…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington

 

 

 

(Champaign County--jc)  -- Champaign County Crime Stoppers is seeking information about a Rantoul man wanted on violation of bail bond. Authorities are seeking 38 year old Lance Bufford, whose last known address is in the 400 Block of Sheldon Avenue in Rantoul.  Bufford is described as a black male, 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighing around 190 pounds. If you have any information, you are asked to call Champaign County Crime Stoppers at 217-373-8477.

 

 

(Washington--  ab) Corn and Soybean crops are far ahead of normal development. Gary Crawford has the story...

 

 

 

(Gilman--jc)  Those traveling along a busy road in Gilman will have to take a different route starting later this month. Illinois Department of Transportation officials say work on the railroad tracks along Route 24 in Gilman will close on the 20th of August and remain closed for the duration of the project. That work is expected to last around 10 days

 

 

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Republican leaders are disavowing a congressional candidate over contentious views he's promoted. The state GOP chairman and other party officials say they're withdrawing support for candidate Bill Fawell after reviewing conspiracy theories about the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the 2012 Sandy Hook mass school shooting that he posted to social media. Fawell is the GOP challenger to Democratic Rep. Cheri Bustos.

 

 

 

OREGON, Ill. (AP) — Organizers say repair work could begin next spring on the century-old Black Hawk statue in northern Illinois as they are less than $90,000 short of their fundraising goal. Repairs on the 48-foot-tall concrete statute in Lowden State Park are estimated to cost $600,000. The Black Hawk Restoration Team says it has $210,000 of the $300,000 needed for contracts to be signed. The state has provided a $350,000 grant.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  - A new law signed by Governor Bruce Rauner aims to bring more jobs back to Springfield. The measure was sponsored by State Representative Sara-Wojcicki-Jimenez (woe-jisky him-men-ez), who says it makes Springfield the default location for state positions…

 

 

State Representative Sara-Wojcicki-Jimenez

No current employees will have to move. The new law applies to new jobs and vacancies.

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  - A Ford County committee says the full county board should look at costs for its annual required audit. The cost for the audit by Kemper C-P-A Group of Champaign has risen over the last couple of years from around 27 thousand to just over 45 thousand this past year.  Ford County Clerk Amy Frederick will look to get bids for the audit and the full board is expected to look at the issue in the very near future.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- The smell of mini donuts and corn dogs  to the sounds of kids on carnival rides is in the air in Springfield as the 20-18 Illinois State Fair has begun. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner urges everyone to come out and enjoy …

 

 

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner

 

 

(Undated--jc)  Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial Minute…

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  The Paxton Buckley Loda Teachers Union is expected to vote on a  proposed new contract for teachers in the school when they meet next week. The Paxton Buckley Loda School board and negotiators for the local teachers have worked on a tentative new three year deal. If approved by the local teachers union, the P-B-L school board is expected to give their o-k to the new deal. Contract details will be released after a new deal is reach.


 

(Springfield--jc)  The Illinois Department of Public Health is reminding families to make sure everyone is up to date on recommended vaccinations. Vaccines protect babies from 14 diseases by the time they reach two years of age.  Illinois Department of Public Health Spokesperson Melaney Arnold says getting immunized is not just about protecting yourself…

 

 

Illinois Department of Public Health Spokesperson Melaney Arnold


 

(Paxton--jc)  -- Could an extra  quarter of a cent tax be coming to Ford County. The purpose of the tax would be for a specific purpose...public safety. The Ford County board could hear about the issue next week when they meet. A  Ford County board committee is making a recommendation to pursue the quarter of a cent tax increase. Any issue before Ford County voters this fall is expected to be an advisory type vote.

 

(Springfield--jc) Rural Cissna Park resident and current Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Samantha Hasselbring started her duties at the Illinois State Fair on Thursday. Hasselbring says serving as the state’s fair queen is a blessing…

 

 

Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Samantha Hasselbring.


 

(Farmer City--jc)  Event organizers with an annual September event in DeWitt county want you to mark your calendars. The annual Fabulous Farmer City Extravaganza is set for September 9th. The event is set for the Farmer City raceway and one hilite will be Cozair Harley Davidson and their Jumpstart Trailer. If you’ve never ridden a motorcycle, this is an safe opportunity to experience what it’s like.  The event is very affordable with a usual five dollar charge to enter a vehicle in the show, a five dollar registration for the 50 yard bike drag races. Trophies will be given to the top 5 finishers in each class.


 

(Rantoul--jc)  - Those in the Rantoul school system needing assistance with school supplies to school clothes have an opportunity on Saturday to fill those needs. The Community Service Center is hosting its “Back to school-clothing event on Saturday from 8 until noon. Those wanting to receive clothes and supplies must contact the Community Service Center in the village to register for the program. The referral must be brought on Saturday t receive the items.


 

BRIDGEPORT, N.Y. (AP) — Two new exotic zooplankton species have crept into the Great Lakes, according to researchers.The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Cornell University researchers confirmed the species are in Lake Erie. The findings are part of the EPA's biology monitoring program in the Great Lakes. The species are Diaphanosoma fluviatile, which is from Central and South America and the Caribbean, and Mesocyclops pehpeiensis, which is native to tropical and temperate areas of Asia.


 

(Springfield--jc)  -- Harness racing, fried food to livestock shows. The 20-18 Illinois State Fair has them all says Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner…

 

 

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner


 

(Gibson City--jc)- A benefit for a Ford County man who died in a house fire is set for Gibson City American Legion on Saturday. Money raised goes to the Jeremy “Hillbilly” Turner family for funeral expenses and more. Cover charge for the event is 10 dollars per person or 15 dollars per couple. A dinner and silent auction along with music are also event activities.

 

(Gibson City--jc)  -- The Ford County Corn Belt Shrine Club will host its’ annual Friends of the Shriners Golf Cart run starting at 2 on Saturday afternoon. Registration begins at 1pm. The cost is 70 dollars per couple. Proceeds to benefit the Shriners Hospitals for children

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- Paxton IGa’s cookout on Saturday will feature pork chop sandwiches chips and soda. This weeks service group that will benefit from the efforts is the Gibson City Masonic Lodge.

 

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Thursday August 9 2018

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner says he will not dispatch the Illinois National Guard to Chicago to stem gun violence. The Republican on Wednesday said that "the National Guard is not for neighborhood policing." He dismissed suggestions that he call up the state militia after 74 people were shot in the city last weekend. At least 11 were killed. Chicago police have ordered 600 additional officers to the affected neighborhoods through the weekend.

 

 

JOLIET, Ill. (AP) — A northern Illinois teacher is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife, also a teacher. Authorities say Michael Kazecki beat to death his wife, 38-year-old Rebecca Kazecki, after she tried to intervene Tuesday when he was hitting their 11-year-old son. Rebecca Kazecki died at Presence St. Joseph Medical Center from a skull fracture and bleeding on the brain. Will County Circuit Judge Ben Braun on Wednesday ordered Kazecki held in lieu of $2 million bond.

 

 

SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Bruce Rauner announced he has appointed Illinois Rep. Tim Butler of Springfield to serve as co-chair of the Illinois Bicentennial Commission. Butler joins fellow co-chairs Gloria Castillo and Lori Healey. Butler is a Peoria native, he is the great, great, great great-grandson of Lewis Barker, who was elected in 1818 as the state senator from Pope County and who served during the first four Illinois general assemblies.   As Illinois celebrates its Bicentennial the next Illinois Top 200 project is actors. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Manager Chris Wills says two choices are from Danville in Dick Van Dyke and Gene Hackman. You can cast your vote for your favorite at Illinois-Top-200-dot-com.


(Washington--ab)  -- Chinese tariffs on U.S. soybeans have thrown soybean trade patterns into what one expert calls, "unfamiliar territory". Gary Crawford reports...

 

 

 

(Urbana--jc)  Keeping you updated...the trial of 4 Ford County men accused of conspiracy to interfere with commerce, possession of a machine gun and also charges of attempted arson was moved to November. 47 year old Michael Hari, 29 year old Michael McWhorter, 23 year old Joe Morris and 18 year old Ellis Mack are due back in federal court in Urbana on November 13th.  Hari, McWhorter and Morris are also charged with attempted arson that happened at the Women’s Health Practice in Champaign in November of last year. The same three have also been indicted on civil rights and hate crime violations in Minnesota.

 

 

(Loda--jc)  The 8th annual Loda Good Ole Days Truck and Tractor Pull has a rescheduled date. The event will take place on Saturday August 25th starting at 10 in the morning. Registration for the pull starts at 7am and gates open at 8am There are 13 different classes pulling in the annual event on Loda’s west side.

 

 

(Buckley--jc)  -- When schools start later this month, one school will not be in session on Mondays. Christ Lutheran High School in Buckley is going to a 4 day school week. The move will help with the academic schedule at the Christian High school, but also with transportation costs for families says Christ Lutheran High School Executive Director Sandy Spitz…

 

School Executive Director Sandy Spitz…

The local school is also set to have its annual dinner and auction fundraiser on August 18th at the Garden Hotel in Urbana. Reservations for the event remain available from the school in Buckley, Abbe Insurance of Buckley and at the WPXN studios.

 

(Springfield--jc)  The 20-18 Illinois State Fair begins today and once again the Butter cow is part of the annual event. It took about 63 hours and 600 pounds of butter to sculpt the butter cow this year. The Jersey cow has a winning ribbon and a Lincoln Top hat says Illinois Ag Director Raymond Poe.

.

 

Illinois Ag Director Raymond Poe.

The Illinois State Fair runs through August 19th.

 

(Rankin-jc) -- Village of Rankin leaders are helping a local civic group with a drainage project.  The three thousand dollar donation from the village to the Rankin Lions Club will help fix some drainage issues at Centennial Park. Work on the project will be done by local volunteers.

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- One local theatre group has auditions tonight and on Saturday. The Tri-County Players will hold open auditions for “Windy Hollow” starting at 6-39 tonight and also at 10 Saturday morning. The Paxton theatre is located at 120 North Market Street in downtown Paxton. Needed for the production are over a dozen junior high aged kids. The play Windy Hollow will be performed on September 21st through the 23rd

 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- You are invited to come out to Wabash Park in Rantoul on Friday night to enjoy the last of the Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce’s Movies In the Park 2018 Summer Series with your family , friends and of course , one of the most popular movies of the summer , Sherlock Gnomes. !! There will be free Swag Bags for all, so bring your people, your blankets, and lawn chairs and come out and enjoy this great community event. The movie starts at dusk

 

(Undated--jc)  -- The State of Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial minute…

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner spoke to the Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce in Peoria on Wednesday. The governor talked about helping minority businesses succeed…

 

 

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner


 

GODFREY, Ill. (AP) — Ivanka Trump toured the welding facility at a southwestern Illinois community college as she promoted the importance of continued worker training. The daughter of President Donald Trump traveled Wednesday to Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey. Trump said a new national council for U.S. workers is aiming to provide information to mid- and late-career workers about training they could seek for jobs of the future.

 

(Gibson City--jc)  -- One Ford County church is celebrating two anniversaries this weekend. Gibson City’s American Lutheran Church has a 75th anniversary as a church and has been located along route 9 in the city for 50 years. A pie and ice cream social is set for Saturday from 3 pm to 4-30pm. The Christian Group “Jakes Boys” will perform at 5pm. The church is located at 905 E. First St. in Gibson City.


 

(Roberts--ab) The Village of Roberts is closing their library. Roberts Mayor Rick Flessner says several factors went into the decision to close the facility…

 

Roberts Mayor Rick Flessner


 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- Some property of the U. S Air Force was apparently stolen according to a local news report. The Rantoul Press reports that ejection seats from an Air Force plane, being demolished on the former Chanute Air Force base are missing. Rantoul Police say the ejection seats were taken and sold to a third party. The seats have been recovered, but the investigation into who sold the seats continues this morning.


 

(Penfield--ab)  A tractor pull is set for Penfield later this month. The Buck Creek Tractor Pull will be held in Penfield on August 24th. Spokesperson  Ryan Musson says several classes will pull at the event...

 

 

 

Buck Creek Tractor Pull Event Spokesperson Ryan Musson


 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois legislation designed to ensure ride-share drivers undergo adequate background checks is now law.A statement from Illinois Senate Democrats says it took effect Tuesday. It requires that those applying to be ride-share drivers provide their full name and social security number, as well as their date of birth.The statement says that before the new law prospective drivers were only required to give their address, age, driver's license number, motor vehicle registration and automobile insurance liability.

 

(Washington--jc)  The first survey based crop forecast is set to come out on Friday. U-S-D-A Meteorologist Brad Rippey says the information might be closer to what the final harvest will be as crops are further along this year…

 

 

U-S-D-A Meteorologist Brad Rippey



(Springfield--jc)  -- The 20-18 Illinois State Fair begins today at the grounds in Springfield.  Free Entertainment, grandstand concerts, conservation work to harness racing, livestock show, and fair food, hilite the annual event. State Fair Manager Luke Sailer says officials associated with the fair try to keep the event affordable for families…

 

 

Illinois State Fair Manager Luke Sailer.

 




 

 

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Wednesday August 2018

(Springfield--jc)  -- Eight former Illinois workers are suing Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration, alleging they lost their jobs for political reasons.The workers were laid off from the Illinois Department of Transportation. The governor's administration last year said the layoffs were partly a case of "cleaning up past hiring mistakes and personnel practices. Rauner said the employees were illegally hired patronage workers under previous Democratic governors.The lawsuit filed in federal court Friday argues that the layoffs were part of a deliberate "attempt to deprive the plaintiffs of their employment in retaliation for not being supporters of Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Republican Party. The eight were moved to a different department and  eventually laid off.

 

WAUKEGAN, Ill. (AP) — The Libertarian candidate for Illinois governor, who's campaigned against the state's child-support system, engaged in a shouting match with a judge about money he owes his ex-wife and access to child visitation. The (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald reports Grayson Jackson balked at scheduling a meeting with his daughter at a neutral family visitation center.

 

(Danville-jc)  -- Two semi drivers were injured in a two vehicle accident early Tuesday morning. Police say 63 year old Donald Hendershot of Gospart Indiana lost control of his rig just before 5 am yesterday and his vehicle struck the rear of a second semi driven by 67 year old Simone Certain of Newton Iowa. Hendershots semi rolled over and  Certains ended in the east side ditch. Both were taken to area hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.

 

(Washington-jc)  -- What’s the outlook for soybeans? U-S-D-A Meteorologist Brady Rippy provides some details…

 

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  Rantoul Village leaders are in the process of crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s on sell documents for the three hanger properties and the A T and T call center. All three properties are located on the former the former Chanute Air Force base in the village. Still to go in the process is approval from the Rantoul Village board and publishing the selling of the properties in the federal register. A California group has agreed to buy the three hangers and the call center for just over 5 point 5 million dollars. These are the final deeds from the process that started with the closure of Chanute Air Force Base in 1993.

 

(Springfield-- ab) -- Advocates are urging the governor to sign legislation creating the Illinois council on women and girls into law.State Representative Anna Moeller of Elgin says the establishment of the council will ensure that women’s voices are heard and influence policies and legislation...

 

 

State Representative Anna Moeller of Elgin

 

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois will receive more than $15 million in federal money to construct an electric transmission line in southern Illinois. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Monday the $15.3 grant for Illinois is part of nearly $350 million in 20 rural electric projects in 14 states. The Illinois project allows Marion-based Southern Illinois Power Cooperative to install 21 miles of transmission line from the Marion Power Plant to a new substation in Carrier Mills.

 

(Rantoul--jc) The Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting a “Paint Like Me” Party next month.  Officials with the local chamber say the event is set for September 21st at the Recreation building on East Flessner. The cost for those interested is 30 dollars.

 

(Paxton--jc) It was not a lightning strike on a person in Paxton on Monday night. With the severe weather on Monday evening throughout the area, several reports of damage were provided. Reports on a person being struck by lightning was actually a very close lightning strike and a person at Monical’s Pizza felt a tingle in his arm when he touched a door. Emergency officials provided care for the man. The amount of lightning strikes did cause some damage to that area of Paxton.


 

NANYANG, China (AP) — Christians across China have seen their churches raided and their Bibles confiscated amid the atheist ruling Communist Party's ambitious new effort to dictate _ and in some cases displace _ the practice of faith. Some have lost their jobs or faced evictions as President Xi Jinping pushes a campaign to lend "Chinese characteristics" to a religion traditionally aligned with Western democracy.

 

 

(Undated--jc) Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial Minute…

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- The Illinois Department of Veteran’s Affairs is honoring purple heart recipients. The purple heart is awarded to any member of the U-S Armed Forces who has been wounded or killed in combat. Veteran’s Affairs Director Stephen Curda was at an event in Springfield on Tuesday and thanked approximately 5 thousand heroes…

 

 

Veterans Affairs Director Stephen Curda

A purple heart memorial was built at the Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield several years ago.


 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Bicentennial will be on full display this weekend _ for free. The Illinois State Museum will participate in the Illinois Office of Tourism's Doors Open Illinois program. Admission will be free on Aug. 11-12 for the new exhibition "Bicentennial and Beyond! The Illinois Legacy Collection." The exhibit celebrates the Prairie State's 200th birthday and features rare and rarely seen artifacts from the museum's collection of more than 13 million items.


 

(Springfield--jc)  Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed a law that puts the state in charge of regulating drones, overriding municipal regulations in towns that had them. The governor signed Senate Bill 32-91  making the state the regulator of drones, also known as unmanned aircraft. The law, effective immediately, says the regulation of an unmanned aircraft system is an exclusive power and function of the state. No unit of local government, including home rule unit, may enact an ordinance or resolution to regulate unmanned aircraft systems.


 

(Chicago--jc)  --The price tag for parents to send their kids back to school this year is estimated at more than 500 dollars. The back-to-school shopping list seems to grow every year, and never seems to get any cheaper. Liz Verrill, an audit partner with accounting and consulting firm Deloitte, said a new survey puts the back-to-school price tag at about 510 dollars per family this year. The total in the country is 28 Billion dollars.


 

(Washing.ton--jc)  -- What is the latest look at the nation’s corn crop. U-S-D-A Meteorologist Brad Rippey has the details…

 

 

U-S-D-A Meteorologist Brad Rippey.

 

(Undated--jc)  -- Illinois ranked 28th in C-N-B-C's annual list of "America's Top States for Business," far behind other states in the Midwest. C-N-B-C’s scorecard on state economic climate ranked states on competitiveness to show their ability to attract businesses. The list has both Republican-model and Democrat-model success stories at, or near, the top. But even highlighting its strengths, Illinois was in the bottom half of the rankings.The comprehensive ranking of states is based on their ability to lure and retain businesses. It used more than 60 metrics to compare the states against each other. The most important were workforce, infrastructure, and cost of doing business.


 

(Bloomington--jc)  -- One local Illinois State Senator says the Russia-election hacking probe is being made into a political issue. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says both Republicans and Democrats in Springfield were already working on ways to protect the election process in the state when information was released on Russia hacking in elections. Barickman says Democrats are trying to use the issue against Republicans…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington

 

(Undated--jc)  --Illinoisans are heading for the door more than nearly any other state, according to a report on how many households are using moving services to leave.Stevens Worldwide Van Lines’ annual long-distance moving study found Illinois had more than twice the number of households moving out of state than moving in. Using data from the American Moving and Storage Association’s database of more than 150,000 out-of-state relocations in 2017, Illinois was the only state that saw more than twice the households leave than arrive, posting 14,147 departures and 6,833 arrivals.The figures don’t include families that use a U-Haul or other methods to move their possessions.


 

(Paxton--jc)  -- Ford County leaders may address setbacks for wind farms when they meet next week. The Ford County Zoning committee on Tuesday rejected a 15 hundred feet setback for windmills to structures, but then approved a 2 thousand 250 feet setback recommendation. The next step is consideration by the Ford County Zoning board and County planning commission. The full county board could get the issue sometime in the near future.

 

(Rantoul--jc)  -- A health fair is coming to one nursing home center in Rantoul. The Villas of Holly Brook are hosting the health fair on saturday from 11am until 2pm. Giveaways, free blood pressure checks and free food hilite the event on Saturday at the Villas of Holly Brook in Rantoul


 

(Buckley--jc)  The St John’s Lutheran Church of Buckley Ladies Aid group has a delicious way to enjoy great food and fellowship on Sunday. The group is hosting an ice cream social complete with sandwiches, ice cream and desserts. Money raised from the Sunday mid day event will help with the Christian groups efforts at the local church.


 

 

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Tuesday August 7 2018

A tornado touch down, a building losing its roof, a tree on top of a house to tree thatching, occurred with last nights storms that moved at a quick pace throughout East Central Illinois. National Weather Service officials reported the tornado touchdown near Thomasboro in Champaign County. In Paxton the roof of a building along Vermilion Street was torn off by winds. Also a house on Washington was damaged by a fallen tree.  Flooding occurred in Rantoul in several areas including the viaduct along route 136 in the center of town. Several hundred homes were without power due to the storms in the Rantoul, Potomac and Gifford areas. Tree issues were also reported in Rankin, and from Champaign to Danville along the I-74 corridor. Flash flood warnings were also issued for low lying areas throughout the area. Channel 3 also reported over 1 thousand 3 hundred lightning strikes last night as of 11pm

 

MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 6, 2018  -- Legal Expense Solutions is now advocating for farmers across the country to reduce fees paid to attorneys in the corn seed settlement.  Law firms will be receiving hundreds of millions in fees on the Corn Seed Settlement that was reached with Syngenta. Legal Expense Solutions argues some of the fees may be excessive, unnecessary and unethical.   Tens of thousands of farmers have retained their own attorneys. Hundreds of thousands more are represented by a consortium of law firms in the class action. The settlement requires that no claimant will receive more money per acre/bushel than any other for at least one year.  Individual attorneys have retained some farmers at fees of 40% or more of the farmer's recovery. A federal judge has granted preliminary approval to a $1.51 Billion settlement between the class and Syngenta.

 

 

 

(Paxton---ab) One Local school board  is having their regularly scheduled meeting on August 8th. Paxton Buckley Loda school district will have their 2019 fiscal year budget on display and hear updates on the renovation projects at Clara Peterson School and Paxton Buckley Loda High School The meeting comes to order at 7 tomorrow evening.

 

 

(Bloomington--jc)  One local state senator says his job for the constituents in his district is to keep pushing for reforms, lower taxes and to help manage the budget. 53rd district State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says his job is to keep moving the positives forward for those in in the 53rd district and Illinois…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington

 

(Cissna Park--jc)  -- It’s reading with royalty tomorrow in Cissna Park. The Cissna Park News reports that Iroquois County Fair Queen Lyndsey Neukomm will participate with Pre-K to 3rd graders at the Cissna Park Community Library from 10 until 11am on Wednesday. Crafts and snacks will also be provided. Those wanting to attend the free event are asked to call the library at 815-457-2452.

 

DECATUR, Ill. (AP) — The foundation of Macon County Sheriff Howard Buffett says it's making an "unprecedented investment" in Decatur. The announcement involves community health and will be made Wednesday. No other details were released Monday. Buffett is the son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who has helped the foundation by giving stock from his company, Berkshire Hathaway.

 

 

NORMAL — The final days of summer break typically include shopping for school supplies and soaking up a few more trips to the pool. DeAnn Thompson of Normal has one more task on her back-to-school list: prayer. The Pantagraph reports that for two decades, hundreds of students, parents, community members, school staff members and retired teachers have come together at Eastview for an evening of prayer over Twin City schools. That event is set for 7 tonight  at the Foundry of Eastview Christian Church along Airport road in Normal.

 

(Paxton--jc)  Concrete work and plumbing is almost complete for the Clara Petersen Building project for the Paxton Buckley Loda School district. P-B-L Superintendent Cliff McClure says the site will be moving upward soon…

 

P-B-L Superintendent Cliff McClure

 

 

CHAMPAIGN (N-G)  Could some venues in the city of Champaign serve alcohol in the morning hours. Tonight Champaign City council members will vote on a an ordinance that prohibits restaurants from serving alcohol outdoors before 11 in the morning on Saturdays and noon on Sundays A proposed change would be to allow permitted outdoor patio establishments to serve alcoholic drinks as soon as they open.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- Corn progress is surging ahead as we hear in the weekly crop report. 81 percent of the corn is in the dough stage and 21 percent is in the dent stage. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says soybeans are also progressing…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.

Schleusener says 25 percent of sorghum is turning color and the third cutting of alfalfa is nearly 60 percent complete.

 

 

Hoopeston -- ab) Hoopeston is having its National Night out today from 4 PM to 7 PM in the front of the Lorraine Theater. The Lorraine theater will be selling raffle tickets for the chance to win Cubs vs. Cardinals tickets for the September 29th game. Another raffle gives you the chance to win tickets to an Elvis Impersonator show on the 25th of August. There will be plenty to do including Corn hole, a dunk tank, and a bounce house. There will be ice cream, Sno cones, hot dogs and other food items from vendors.

 

 

(Undated--jc)  -- Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial Minute…

 

 

(Springfield-jc)  -- Illinois’ horse racing industry is making a move to add a type of video gambling at its tracks.The idea is called “historical horse racing” and it allows gamblers to bet on random past races without knowing the names of the horses or which race it was. Opponents say it would equate to having slot machines. Proponents say it is just another form of horse racing. Illinois Racing Board Executive Director Domenic DiCera said “HHR” is a move to compete since the tracks have been cut out of slots and other gaming..


 

(Paxton--jc)  -- Summer means warmer weather and also things like mosquitos. Along with the pesky bugs comes things like West Nile Virus. Ford County Public Health Department.s Christie Wallace says there are different types of mosquitoes…


Ford County Public Health Department Spokesperson Christie Wallace

 

(Undated--jc)  - In the past year, grocery stores in Clinton, Moline, Effingham, Farmer City, Fisher, Kankakee and several Chicago suburbs have closed and two more in central Illinois are slated to close by the end of this month.Two Kroger grocery stores are slated to close later this month, one in Decatur and another in Lincoln. Company officials said those stores were not expected to return to profitability. Illinois Retail Merchants Association President Rob Karr says one reason for the trend is that people tend to eat out more and one other is that grocery stores live on the narrowest margins. Karr adds that the local and state government also has a impact on the grocery business in the state.

 

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The newly appointed leader of Southern Illinois University says he wants to heal divisions following the polarizing tenure of the school system's former president. The Southern Illinoisan in Carbondale reports that interim President J. Kevin Dorsey sees a big task ahead of him after taking over for Randy Dunn, whose last day was in July. Public trust in Dunn evaporated after internal documents revealed he worked to split the system's two campuses and reallocate millions in funding.


 

(Springfield--jc)  -- 95 percent of soybeans are blooming and 84 percent are setting pods as we hear in the weekly crop report. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 81 percent of the corn is in the dough stage…

 


State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.

Schleusener adds that average statewide topsoil moisture is 8 percent very short,31 percent short 59 percent adequate and two percent surplus

 

(PESOTUM--ab) The Illinois State Police announce the use of Roadside safety checks. ISP District 10 commander, Captain Louis Kink announced that they will be conducting roadside safety checks in Champaign County during the month of August. Officers working these roadside checks will be watching closely for the following: Driving Under the Influence, Safety Belt and Child Restraint uses, Speeding, Distracted Driving and other Illinois vehicle code and criminal violations.

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- Architects dominate the list of top Illinois Artists and Architects in the latest Illinois top 200 poll. Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan were among the top ten on the list chosen by voters says Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Spokesperson Chris Wills…

 

 

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Spokesperson Chris Wills

 

 

(Washington--jc)  What are the export trends for the first 9 months of the fiscal year for ag goods. U-S-D-A Economist Bryce Cooke says some are down…

 

 

U-S-D-A Economist Bryce Cooke

 

 

(Gibson City--jc)  -- One local service club has a golf cart event on Saturday in Ford County.  The Corn Belt Shrine Club in Gibson City is hosting “Friends of the Shriners Golf Cart Run” at 2 this Saturday in Gibson City. The event starts at the home of Greg Houtzel and ends at Sammers. The run goes around the city and concludes with a dinner. The fundraiser costs 70 dollars per couple  Proceeds benefit the Shriners Hospitals for Children.

 

 

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Monday August 6 2018

DANVILLE, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that a woman who was injured after tripping on a poorly maintained sidewalk can move forward with a lawsuit against the city of Danville. The  state's high court ruled 7-0 last week that the city of Danville was not immune from liability, as the city had argued. Lower courts had sided with the city, finding that the municipality was protected by a state law intended to shield government from the actions of their employees.

 

 

HOOPESTON, Ill. (AP) — Teachers in Hoopeston schools are learning how to take care of themselves so they can take care of their students. All 220 Hoopeston school staff members this month will attend one-day wellness and self-care training based on "The Happiness Advantage" by Shawn Achor. Hoopeston schools Superintendent Suzi Hesser says teachers "can't give from an empty well." She says the training ensures their "buckets are full" so they can help pupils. The program is funded through the Illinois Student Assistance Commission. The commission has a seven-year grant to improve post-high school achievement.

The grant also provides $35,000 a year for seven years to finance a Hoopeston social worker.  Hoopeston will have a social worker at each of the elementary, middle and high school buildings.

 

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois  marked its first Barack Obama Day. A law signed last year made August 4th 4 a day to honor of the 44th president. Saturday was Obama's 57th birthday. Obama was born in Hawaii but began his career as a community organizer in Chicago. He served in the state Senate and U.S. Senate before winning the White House in 2009.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is now accepting applications for archery hunting on private property. More than 120 heer hunting sites are available. D-N-R Spokesperson Ed Cross says hunters need to get their applications in by August 24th to be eligible for the I-Rap program…

 

 

D-N-R Spokesperson Ed Cross.

 

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois children must ride in rear-facing child-restraint seats in automobiles until age 2 under a law Gov. Bruce Rauner signed. The Republican OK'd the measure for small backseat passengers Friday. Rear-facing restraints are recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Children taller than 40 inches or weighing more than 40 pounds are exempt.

 

 

ST. JOSEPH, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is reviewing legislation that would test feeding the state's deer, which some say could help the animals better fight off illnesses while others argue could spread disease.The bill under review would launch a five-year experiment to test how feeding Illinois deer affects the wild herd's health. The study would lift the 15-year-old rule that makes it illegal to feed deer. Dr. Clifford Shipley, a newly retired University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine professor, said the study's feed formula would help deer thrive. If approved, the experiment could be done locally in Champaign County. Brent Manning, former director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, stated that this would be the biggest wildlife bungle the General Assembly could possibly make.



 

(Clinton--jc)  --Exelon has made a generous donation to the DeWitt County Museum Association. The money will be used to provide the free musical entertainment during the 50th Annual Apple ‘n Pork Festival which will take place September 29 & 30 at the C.H. Moore Homestead DeWitt County Museum.  There are other 2018 festival-related sponsorship opportunities available. Any business, organization, or individual interested in sponsoring a special festival attraction is encouraged to contact the museum at 217-935-6066.

 

 

(Watseka--jc)  -- Immunizations gives parents the safe, proven power to protect their children from 14 serious and potentially deadly diseases before they turn 2 years old. To recognize the importance of immunizations for a healthy start and throughout our lives – and to make sure children are protected with all the vaccines they need – the Iroquois County Public Health Department is joining with partners nationwide in recognizing August as National Immunization Awareness Month.

“Children who don’t receive recommended vaccines are at risk of getting the disease or illness, and of having a severe case,” said Vonda Pruitt, Director of Nursing at the health department. “Every dose of every vaccine is important to protect your child and others in the community from infectious diseases.” Today’s childhood vaccines protect against serious and potentially life-threatening diseases, including polio, measles, whooping cough, and chickenpox.

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  Its official the First National Bank in Paxton and the Cissna Park State Bank are now under a new name. The two local financial institutions were connected through a banking corporation. Now the two are under the same business. The new name is The Frederick Community Bank of Paxton and Cissna Park. the new signs around the two banks were installed last week

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  Summer Motor Fuel Tax dollar projects are in the final stages for several streets in the city of Paxton.  One block resurfacing on Center, State and Summer Streets are getting their final touches. Work is expected to be completed very soon and city officials remind the motoring public to be extra careful in road work zone areas.

 

(Rantoul--jc)  One local Christian organization is set for its annual fundraiser banquet later this month. The “Jesus is the Way” Prison Ministry, based in Rantoul, has the banquet on Friday August 24 from 6 to 8pm at the Laborers International Union facility  along Anthony Drive in Urbana. This year’s theme is “Circle of Love.” Those wanting more information may call the Jesus is the Way prison ministry in Rantoul.

 

 

(Undated--jc)  -- Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial Minute…

 

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner has rejected legislation that would prohibit retailers from charging fees on rebate cards. The Republican vetoed the measure Friday. It would have banned merchants and banks that issue rebate cards to consumers from charging maintenance or dormancy fees. Chicago Democratic Sen. Cristina Castro of Elgin sponsored the bill. She says Rauner sided with "big banks" over consumers. She says a rebate promised at a certain level should not be reduced by fees.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has begun accepting applications for grants to acquire land for open space and recreation.Officials are accepting requests from local governments for the state-administered Open Space Land Acquisition and Development fund. OSLAD provides state money to municipalities to purchase and develop land for public outdoor recreation. It is a matching program that provides advance payment of half the grant award for development projects. It's funded through part of the state's Real Estate Transfer Tax.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The 20-18 Illinois State Fair by the numbers: 160. 200. 30 million. 4. And 1 "Crazy Mouse." The state fair kicks off Thursday, the 160th edition, amid the backdrop of the Prairie State's 200th birthday.After years of fairgrounds deterioration exacerbated by a political deadlock that left the state without a budget for two straight years, there's $30 million available this year for improvements — the roads have already been repaved State Representative Tim Butler of Springfield says the state fair is what Illinois is all about.

 

 

State Representative Tim Butler

And to celebrate, the fair is offering a 20 percent drop in the price of a beer, to $4. The fair runs through Aug. 19 and admission is unchanged at $10 except for Thursday's Preview Day, Agriculture Day on Aug. 14 and Family Day on Aug. 19, when $5 gets you in the gate.The "Crazy Mouse" is the state fair midway's first-ever roller coaster.

 

 

(Urbana--jc)  -- Experimental Aircraft Association is bringing the first-ever mass produced airliner to Urbana this month.The Ford Tri-Motor 5-A-T flew its first flight in December, 1928 and calls the Liberty Aviation Museum in Port Clinton, Ohio home today.  Today, E-A-A and the Liberty Aviation Museum work together to showcase the historic aircraft around the country for all to enjoy The event is set for August 16th through the 19th at Frasca Field just north of Urbana. More information is found on their facebook page.

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- High school students will be heading back to school this month. They will also be learning more about handling sexual harassment. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed the measure into law. State Representative Stephanie Kifowit of Oswego sponsored the measure and says students from her district suggested adding new topics to the current sex-Ed curriculum…

 

 

State Representative Stephanie Kifowit of Oswego

 

BLOOMINGTON — A former Bloomington nurse was sentenced to four years in prison Friday for what a prosecutor termed a "cold, calculated" crime that involved stealing opioid patches from two terminally ill nursing home residents in McLean County  Judge Casey Costigan handed down the sentence to 31 year old James Rellihan. The judge also recommended drug treatment for Rellihan in the Department of Corrections but denied a request for boot camp.

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  Wind farms will be the topic for a Ford County committee on Tuesday morning. The committee will be addressing proposed changes to the counties ordinances regulating wind farms in Ford County. Wind tower setbacks is the main topic for the meeting. The meeting is set for 10 Tuesday morning in the small courtroom of the Ford County courthouse in Paxton.

 

(Gibson City--jc)  The Gibson City American Legion is the venue for a benefit for the family of a  Ford County man who died in a house fire in May of this year. The Saturday benefit is for the Jeremy “Hillbilly” Turner family starting at 5 with  a dinner and silent auction. Music and raffles also hilite the fundraiser. The family home was a total loss in the May 8th fire.

 

 

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