(Springfield--jc)  -- With state legislative leaders signaling they will come up with an official estimate of how much tax revenue they expect to bring in for the coming fiscal year, there is a question of how reliable that figure has been in the past.The state constitution says expenditures should not exceed expected revenues for the year. State statute requires a revenue estimate resolution to be passed in the House and Senate.Two  Republican sponsored measures to get an official estimate in the Illinois House were tabled last week by the Democratic leadership.



(Washington--jc)  The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday that it will not hear an appeal by imprisoned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich of his corruption convictions, the second time in two years it has declined to take up his case.The nation's highest court offered no explanation for its decision, letting stand the Chicago Democrat's convictions. They included seeking to trade an appointment to the Senate seat Barack Obama vacated to become president for campaign cash.



(Springfield--jc) There was only one day suitable for fieldwork over the past week. Some farmers used the day to apply anhydrous ammonia and some light planting. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says winter wheat is coming along…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.

There were just a small number of corn planting reports in the entire state. Topsoil moisture is rated at 1 percent very short, two percent short, 65 percent adequate and 32 percent surplus.


(Rantoul-rb) The Village of Rantoul  board will hold a public hearing on the proposed budget this afternoon at  5:45 at the municipal building on Tanner Street. A meeting to vote on the budget will follow. The budget process has been one of the most difficult in recent years. At last week’s monthly meeting, the board appeared to settle on a compromise plan that would call for the laying off of only one part-time employee in the Recreation Office while retaining four full-time workers in central maintenance and laying off one in that department.



(Mahomet-rb) A Mahomet teenager was killed after a single vehicle accident. It happened about 9 Monday morning in Hensley Township near Mahomet. Police say 19-year old Heather Clarke was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy was scheduled for yesterday afternoon. The accident remains  under investigation.



(Warsaw--jc)  -- Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner marked the 25-year partnership between the Illinois National Guard and Polish Armed Forces yesterday.  He met with senior officials from Poland’s Ministry of Defense in Warsaw and proclaimed it State Partnership Day in Illinois to recognize the bilateral economic and military ties between the state and Poland. The State Partnership Program between Poland and the Illinois National Guard started in 1993, shortly after the people of Poland emerged as a free nation.



Undated--jc)  --The future of Bergner’s stores in the area remains uncertain after an investor group faced a court set-back in their efforts. Bergner’s has area locations in Bloomington’s Eastland Mall, and MarketPlace Mall in Champaign. A sale of assets was the topic of a bankruptcy court on Monday.




(Chicago--jc)  -- Go Cubs go. As part of the Illinois BiCentennial celebration, the Illinois Top 200 project asked Illinoisans to pick their favorite buildings in the state.  Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum Spokesperson Chris Wills says Chicago’s Wrigley Field tops the list..



Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum Spokesperson Chris Wills

Other favorites include the Willis Tower and Tribune Tower. The next vote is historic sites. You can vote on line at Illinois Top 200-dot-com



(Springfield--jc)  -- One bill in the state capitol could mean higher gas prices in the state, but also includes safety measures.The bill would require certain safety training for employees at oil refineries that operate in Illinois. Several Republicans said the training and prevailing wage causes an negative business climate in the state.  The democrat sponsored bill passed through a committee and is now awaiting a vote in the Illinois Senate.



(Champaign County--jc)  Champaign County Crime Stoppers is seeking assistance finding a man who threatened a Walmart security guard after he was stopped for concealing merchandise under his clothing. The alleged crime took place between 4 and 5pm at the Walmart Store on North Prospect Avenue in Champaign. Anyone with information is asked to contact Champaign County Crime Stoppers at 217-373-TIPS.



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



(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is proposing a balanced budget with money to spare to help pay down overdue bills. The governor vetoed last year’s unbalanced budget and tax hike. Rauner says the state needs to be fiscally responsible…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner



(Springfield--jc)  -- People are not supposed to feed wild deer in Illinois. Baiting deer for hunting is illegal, and the state's Department of Natural Resources says feeding wild deer can spread disease. But some people in some places in Illinois could soon give some deer something to eat. Local State Senator Chapin Rose says  there are veterinarians who say feeding deer outside of hunting season will help keep the animals healthy. Some with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources disagree. The Senate panel approved the measure but want a pilot program first.



(Springfield-rb) Some Illinois Lawmakers want to cut sales taxes on personal care products by  five percent. The tax code already considers diapers, baby wipes, condoms, and pads as luxury items. The plan could drop that sales tax from over six percent to one percent. That's the same tax often used on groceries and medicine. Supporters say the cuts help the family budget.


(Paxton-rb) Even though the weather outside may say different the Paxton Park District announced that they will open the Pool at Coady park on Saturday May 26th. During the season Open swim hours will be available from 1-5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 1-5 p.m. Friday through Sunday and 8-10 p.m. Wednesdays during the summer. Family Tot Swim will be available from 10-11:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.




(Bloomington-Normal--jc)  --The Bloomington-Normal area will be regaled for the 89th year by the Gamma Phi Circus, with performers comprised of Illinois State University students and staff. Marcus Alouan is director of the circus and says the students have been working on the acts since August. This year’s theme for the circus is  ‘Once Upon a Time.’ Show times are Friday night at 7 and 1pm and 7pm on Saturday at Redbird Arena on the campus of Illinois State University.


(Gibson City-rb) Retired and semi-retired folks are invited to meet for coffee and conversation from 9 to 10 a.m. this morning, at the American Lutheran Church, 905 E. First St., Gibson City. The guest speaker will be  Steve Kelly, manager of the One Earth Energy ethanol plant in Gibson City.


(Thawville-rb) The Thawville Community sale is this Saturday starting at 10am. Among the many things at the sale, will be some tasty snacks being sold by a local school. Buckley Christ Lutheran Executive Director Sandy Spitz from talks about their concessions…



Buckley Christ Lutheran Executive Director Sandy Spitz


(Paxton-rb) The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce will sponsor a Business After Hours networking event from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, April 19, at Accolade Healthcare Senior Living, 450 E. Fulton St., Paxton. Drinks and hors d’oeuvres will be served. Attendees can check out what Accolade Healthcare, formerly known as the Illinois Knights Templar Home, has to offer and network with business members from Paxton.


(Cullom-rb) Tri-Point High School’s FFA chapter will be hosting its annual blood drive on Thursday, April 19, in the high school’s gymnasium. Appointments will be available from 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Persons interested in donating blood may call 815-689-2110, Ext. 301, for an appointment or can visit the  American Red Cross website at Blood donors are eligible to donate if they are in good health, weigh between 110 and 350 pounds, and have not donated blood within the previous 56 days. Donors must be 17 years of age, or 16 years old with parental consent.


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