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(Clarence-rb) After being indicted by a grand jury last week for possession of a machine gun, four Ford County men pleaded not guilty Monday to the charge. Michael Hari,  Joe Morris, Michael McWhorter, and Ellis Mack, all of Clarence, were arrested last month on the same charge and are believed by authorities to be part of a homegrown domestic terrorism group led by Hari, a former Ford County sheriff's deputy and one-time Libertarian candidate for sheriff. The indictment, which provided no new details about the case, alleges the four men possessed a machine gun from October 2017 through Feb. 27, 2018. The four men remain in custody. WPXN news will continue to update this story as official information is released.

 

 

(Chicago--jc)  --Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner  framed his legislative agenda for the upcoming session of the Illinois General Assembly around two key imperatives.  Governor Rauner says the first is a year-long balanced budget…

 

 

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. No new taxes is the second key issue for the governor. To start the process, the governor has asked House and Senate leaders to meet with him to agree on budget basics. The governor says those in state government could cut taxes by a Billion dollars if  the state has the courage to enact comprehensive pension reform. The Illinois House and Senate are back in session this week.

 

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- Will legalizing sports betting in Illinois lead to fewer teens betting on games online?That's the question anti-gambling advocates and state lawmakers are trying to answer. If the U.S. Supreme Court allows for sports betting in the states, and if Illinois legalizes sports books, then only adults will be able to bet on games. Illinois' proposal would allow casinos to create their own sports books, and would leave the door open to betting kiosks across the state.The plan hinges on a U.S. Supreme Court case on a state's right to gambling, Christie vs NCAA, which will be decided this summer.

 

 

(Springfield--jc) --  It was another cold, wet week for farmers in the state. With below normal temperatures and above average rainfall and snowfall, producers had very little time in the field.  State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says winter wheat is progressing…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Average statewide topsoil moisture is rated one percent very short, three percent short, 59 percent adequate and 37 percent surplus.

 

 

(Undated--jc)  -- A third death is connected to synthetic cannabinoids. WPXN’s Joel Cluver has the story…

 

 

(Champaign --jc)  --Parkland College has started open registration for fall classes. Those taking classes for the first time are asked to contact the admissions office. Others are asked to look a class availability.

 

 

(Springfield-rb)  A special nighttime enforcement patrol is coming to Kankakee county in May.Illinois State Police  District 21 Commander, Captain Don Aaron Harsy says the NITE patrol is set for Kankakee County on May 12th . NITE patrols allow the state police to focus on preventing, detecting, and taking enforcement action in response to impaired driving and occupant restraint violations especially between overnight hours when the number of  crashes is significantly higher. Officers will be looking for the top violations which range from DUI to distracted driving.


 

(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois is celebrating its 200th year as a state. Here is today’s BiCentennial minute…

 

 

(Chicago--jc)  -- The Illinois Economic Policy Institute has proposed more than doubling the state's motor fuel tax – from 34 cents to 85 cents. The main reason is the poor shape of roads in the state. If lawmakers go in that direction, Illinois will have the highest gas tax in the nation. Currently, Illinois is 11th highest in the nation with 34 cents per gallon. On other idea being suggested to state lawmakers is to raise the vehicle registration  fees from 101 dollars yearly to 578 dollars per year.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- Producers were kept out the fields over the past week, thanks to rain and snow. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 50 percent of the wheat crop in excellent shape…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.

 

 

 

(Paxton-rb) Republican Nominee for Attorney General and former Miss USA Erica Harold made a stop at the Paxton American Legion on Saturday.  Harold, from Champaign county, says after a long primary election, she is looking forward to the general election process…

 

 

Republican Nominee for Attorney General Erica Harold. Harold was the guest speaker at an event sponsored by the Ford County Republican women’s group.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  A state task force created by the Illinois legislature has released a report that shows how treatment over jail time is a better option for at-risk youth. Veronica Carter reports…

 

 

 

(Champaign-rb) The State Farm Center announced Monday that W-W-E LIVE will return to Champaign on Saturday, June 16 at 7:30 p.m.  The card for the show currently includes Roman Reigns, Samoa Joe, and Seth Rollins and more. Tickets starting at just 15-dollars  go on sale Friday morning at 10, On-line tickets may also be purchased .

 

(Bloomington--jc)  State Farm, based in Bloomington, is set to sell its former headquarters building in the downtown area of the city. The company made the announcement on Monday. The building is valued at around 9 million dollars. Company officials say they are in the first stages of selling that property.

 

 

Champaign-rb) Police have identified the suspect in  Friday’s armed robbery at the Subway in northwest Champaign. Based in part on multiple Crime Stoppers tips, a warrant was issued Monday for 31 year old Steven E. Johnson,, on charges of aggravated robbery. Bond has been set at 100-thousand dollars. Police spokeswoman LaEisha Meaderds says Subway employees informed police that  a man entered the restaurant Friday afternoon and demanded money while implying he had a weapon. The assailant left with cash. No one was injured.

 

 

(Coles County--jc)  A Harvey Illinois man was injured in a car versus semi accident along Interstate 57 near Mattoon on Monday. Police say a 33 year old Marcus Abston was driving in the southbound lanes when his vehicle struck a semi that was parked in the same lane with vehicle issues. Abston was helicoptered to a local hospital. The driver of the semi was not injured.

 

 

(Kankakee-rb) Illinois State Police is hosting a special day to allow you to turn in your unused or expired medication for safe disposal saturday april 28th at the Northfield Squarefield mall in Bourbonnais. Use the center court entrance at the back of the mall between LensCrafters and Kay Jewelers.

 

 

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