SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Eight years after Illinois abolished the death penalty, the state's Republican governor on Monday proposed reinstating the punishment for mass killers and people who gun down police officers. Gov. Bruce Rauner tied the death penalty plan to gun restrictions favored by Democrats who control the Legislature …



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner



(Springfield--jc)  -- The warm and drier weather is giving producers a chance to make a lot a planting progress. State Crop Statistician Matt Russell says almost the entire last 7 days were good for planting…



State Crop Statistician Matt Russell

66 percent of Soybeans have been planted and 24 percent have emerged. Average statewide topsoil moisture is rated as 1 percent very short, 14 percent short, 79 percent adequate and 6 percent surplus.



(Bloomington--jc)  State Farm, based in Bloomington, is looking to fill 300 entry-level jobs. The insurance and banking company held a career expo yesterday in Bloomington. Filling the news jobs comes on the heels of a move by the company to cut just under 900 analyst positions from the McLean County operations. Some of those jobs are being moved to Atlanta, Dallas and Phoenix.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The foundation that supports the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois, is selling a black dress once owned by movie star Marilyn Monroe to raise funds to repay a loan, The loan in question was  used to buy artifacts relating to the 16th president and keep the presidential relics available for public viewing. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation is putting nine items up for auction in Las Vegas June 23, including photos of the 1950s movie icon by photographer Arnold Newman. The wool dress could sell for more than $60,000, according to Julien's Auctions.



BATAVIA, Ill. (AP) — The families of two sailors with Illinois ties who were killed during the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor are preparing for their burials. Military officials say DNA testing helped identify remains of the sailors who were among 429 killed when the USS Oklahoma sank.The military says 20-year-old Gunner's Mate 2nd Class William Hellstern of Peoria, Illinois, will be buried Friday in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. A burial ceremony for Petty Officer 2nd Class Walter Howard Backman is planned for Memorial Day in  Batavia.




(Paxton-rb) Paxton’s town wide garage sales are set for early June. Paxton townwide garage sale Spokesperson Larry Gerken says now is the time to sign up…


Paxton Town wide Garage Sale Spokesperson Larry Gerken



(Paxton-rb) Paxton Buckley Loda Schools Life Skills group is having a fundraiser this weekend. Event Organizer Brandon Eidson says the event takes place on Friday in Paxton…



P-B-L Life Skills group Fundraiser Organizer Brandon Eidson



(Paxton-rb) One Paxton group is hosting a public event during the Memorial Day weekend. Paxton Senior Living is hosting an Art and Craft Show and Sale on Saturday May 26th. Show time is 9am til 2pm says Event Organizer Cathy Whitcomb…



Paxton Senior Living  Event Organizer Cathy Whitcomb



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



(Paxton--jc)  Friday it was a variety of specific flags on vehicles at Paxton Buckley Loda High School. Monday the Confederate flag, Don’t Tread on Me and Trump flags were inside some student vehicles at the Ford County school. Some at the school were offended by the flags and others say it is their right to free speech. School officials did ask the students not to bring the flags on grounds for reasons of safety.



YORKVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Officials in northeast Illinois have approved plans for a historical marker to commemorate the original location of the state's northern boundary. The aluminum cast marker will be installed onto an eight-foot aluminum pole in Yorkville's Town Square park this summer . The city hosts events and observances in the park. Alice Fellers of Crystal Lake came up with the idea when she was researching a project for the Illinois Bicentennial and discovered the original marker between Plano and Sandwich was missing.



(Springfield-rb) After a 16-month vacancy, Gov. Bruce Rauner has named another Chicago corporate attorney to fill the last empty seat on the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.Sanford "Sandy" Perl of Glencoe, a partner at Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago and a 1987 UI alumnus, is the last appointment made by Rauner to replace three former trustees whose terms expired in January 2017. The board has nine statewide members appointed by the governor. Rauner's office filed the appointment late Monday afternoon with the Secretary of State's office and planned to announce it this morning.



(Champaign-rb) A dumpster fire Monday at a campus-area apartment building caused some damage to the structure but resulted in no injuries.Champaign Deputy Fire Marshal Randy Smith said crews were called to an apartment complex on Locust Street,  shortly after noon. Initial reports from firefighters are that there's no fire damage inside. Smith says officials are looking into whether trash piling up from University of Illinois students moving out helped spread the flames.

The new Small Business Optimism Index, issued by the National Federation of Independent Business, shows a record level of small businesses seeing profit growth. The number reporting poor sales fell to a near record low. That optimism is tempered by potential actions in Springfield that could affect small business owners.J.B. Pritzker, the Democratic candidate for governor, has called for a temporary hike in Illinois' flat income tax rate. He then wants lawmakers to work to change the state constitution to allow for a progressive income tax, which would include several different rates, depending on income. Grant said that could have consequences for many small business owners.


The Illinois Department of Transportation is working to raise awareness about the alarming number of motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes as the weather warms up. Motorcycles in Illinois account for 3 percent of the state’s registered vehicles, but motorcyclists account for 15 percent of total road fatalities. There were 1,097 traffic fatalities in Illinois in 2017. Of those, 162 were motorcyclists, eight more than 2016, according to preliminary state data. The state launched its Start Seeing Motorcycles safety and training program to promote awareness and safety. It is implemented each year to align with the riding season and more opportunities for motorcycle travel.



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