(Urbana--jc)  -- Illinois’ flagship public university is offering free tuition for four years to qualifying in-state students, and a state senator says Illinois is playing catch up with other states.State Sen. Chapin Rose said the University of Illinois’ program offering four years free tuition for in-state students whose family income is less than $61,000 is done mainly by combining federal Pell Grants with Illinois scholarship programs so Illinois schools can be more competitive. He said schools in other states have been marketing similar deals utilizing federal and state grants for years.



(Springfield--jc)  -- After a year of surveys and panel discussions, the Illinois State Board of Education found that teachers want what workers everywhere want: More money and job security.The State Board of Education recently released a report about the best ways to ease the state’s teacher shortage. State officials found that there is a statewide shortage of teachers. The need is acute for special education and bilingual educators in rural and poor school districts.The Board of Education is proposing programs to attract more young people to the teaching profession and making it easier to become a teacher in the state.


(Springfield--jc)  -- A battle is brewing over the peer-to-peer car rental market in Illinois.Gov. Bruce Rauner recently issued an amendatory veto, attempting to change a bill that would regulate personal vehicle renters and require them to pay the same taxes as big companies.   The governor says that peer-to-peer car sharing is an innovative new service that simultaneously allows vehicle owners the freedom to realize additional income on an existing household asset, while also affording consumers a new service to meet their mobility needs. He added that the bill he vetoed was ill-suited to thoughtfully regulate the new industry.



(Paxton--ab) The Paxton Swine and Dine is taking place this Saturday on Market Street.. Events begin at 6 AM with the BBQ competition registration. Other daytime events include a bags tournament, a petting zoo, food vendors, and inflatables. Event Spokesperson Ashley Tolley says  free concerts also hilite the annual downtown event for the city of Paxton…



Swine and Dine Spokesperson Ashley Tolley



SPRINGFIELD, ILL. – As the fall season approaches, Illinois pig farmers are facing numerous hurdles. This includes market uncertainty, costly challenges due to trade disputes, vulnerability to foreign animal diseases, and a labor shortage. In Illinois alone, these difficulties are impacting an industry that generates $1.8 billion annually to our state’s economy and offers 10,500 jobs. While the entire agriculture industry is struggling with similar issues, the pork industry is shouldering much of the burden.The Illinois Pork Producers Association board of directors just announced that they are committing $30,000 to the U.S. Meat Export Federation to specifically increase pork demand in Korea. Funds are effective immediately to ensure that action is taken before year end.Mike Haag, IPPA President from Emington, IL, is proud of the project and wants to get the word out.



(Paxton--ab) The Paxton Buckley Loda School Board has their latest meeting on Wednesday at 7 PM from the P-B-L administration conference room at the high school in Paxton.  Items that will be discussed are current school year grants, the 2016 Audit, and short term Substitute teachers.


(Rantoul--jc)  The Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce office in downtown Rantoul is the venue to discuss issues with local state Senator  Scott Bennett today. The event is set for noon to 1pm The local state senator will be answering constituents questions on issues for the hour



(Springfield--jc)  Today is the date Americans remember 9-11 2001. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is thanking first responders and emergency personnel for their service. The governor says these heroes deal with more than just natural disasters…


Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner



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



NORMAL — Illinois State University dropped in the latest Best Colleges rankings by U.S. News and World Report, but remains in the top 100 among best public national universities.  Illinois Wesleyan University's ranking was relatively unchanged in the ranking of national liberal arts universities. ISU was 91st among public national universities and number 171 overall, which includes both public and private institutions. IWU dropped one spot from a year ago, ranking number 72 this year.


(Paxton--jc)  -- City leaders in Paxton could move on leaves when they meet tonight in monthly session. The local council approved a ban on leaf burning in Paxton as of July 10th of this year. Options remain for city action from inactivity which puts residents in charge of leaf disposal to a leaf collections by the city. The Paxton City council meets tonight at 7 on the second floor of city hall.


(Springfield--jc)  -- New eligibility guidelines for free and reduced school lunches are being released and low-income families are encouraged to apply to the program. Income limits are set each year and Roxanne Ramage with the State Board of Education says the breakfasts, lunches and after school snacks help make sure students do not go hungry…



State Board of Education Spokesperson Roxanne Ramage.

Questions about the program are found at your local school.


(Paxton--jc)  Two will join the Paxton Buckley Loda Hall of Fame later this month. One from Paxton and the other grew up in the Buckley area. The new inductees  are invited for the parade and the homecoming football game on the 27th and 28th of this month. They are Tom Meents of Paxton and Carmen Gronewald of Buckley.


(Springfield--jc)--  Sunshine today in the WPXN listening area, but is has been a wet start to the month of September in Illinois, thanks, in part, to tropical storm Gordon. September’s statewide average precipitation has already hit 3 and one half inches and that is more than 3 inches above normal says State Climatologist Jim Angel…



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

The highest rain total was just east of St Louis in Clay City, where 10 inches of rain has fallen so for in September.


(Rantoul--jc)  Rantoul village leaders will swear in two new police officers when they meet in monthly session tonight. They are Officer Ashley Lyn Butt and Officer Adrian Alberto Gauna. Local leaders will also recognize new officer Alejandro Carajal. Agenda items include an outside liquor license for outside venues, purchasing a vehicle from Shields Auto Center and selling some village owned properties. The Rantoul Village board meets at 6 tonight in the municipal building on Tanner Street.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois State Police say the Labor Day Holiday was a busy weekend for troopers. State Police beefed up enforcement over the long weekend in support of operation care initiative says State Police Sergeant Jacqueline Cepeda…



State Police Sergeant Jacqueline Cepeda.

Cepeda says over the 4 day detail, troopers made almost 5 thousand traffic stops, 3 thousand speeding tickets, 101 D-U-I arrests and over 500 tickets for not wearing a seatbelt.


(Undated--jc)  -- September 11th 2 thousand 1 is a date that will live in the minds of all Americans. Several events are set for today around the area to commemorate the events of 9-1-1. In Iroquois County, the Iroquois County Republican Women’s club is hosting its 7th annual First Responders event at 6 this evening at the Milford Fire Department. In Paxton the  Ford County Republican Women’s group along with the Daughters of the American Revolution are hosting their event at 6 tonight at the Paxton Firehouse. Both events honor those in the military along with local police and fire department personnel. Other events include at the city building in Urbana at 7-30 this morning and at 8-46 this morning at west side park in Champaign.



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