SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A humbled Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, one of the most endangered state executives in the country, promised Thursday to be less confrontational and more understanding of his political opponents' views if voters give him a second chance in the November election.Fighting an uphill battle for re-election in a Democratic-leaning state, the first-term Republican delivered an unorthodox address that was part apology, part State of the State address, and part stump speech.


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — A University of Illinois report suggests that the school consider adopting a new sports mascot to help quell ongoing turmoil over the 2007 decision to do away with its longtime Chief Illiniwek portrayal. The report by a group of university administrators released Thursday also proposes greater campus education about Native American history and imagery, including presentations on why the use of Illiniwek is inappropriate.


(Washington--jc)  -- Winter wheat is starting to go in the ground. Here is USDA's first look at planting progress. Gary Crawford reports…




(Washington--jc)  The latest USDA crop production estimates show both corn and soybean production up for this year's crop and reaching record yields if realized. Rod Bain has the story...



(Paxton --jc)  Several members of the Eastern Illini Electric Cooperative are on the road today. They are heading the the Carolinas to help with the Huricanes and severe weather in that area of the country  The local crew will help South River E-M-C in recovery efforts.



URBANA — A Rantoul woman was killed in a crash early Thursday near Rantoul along Route 45 near Leverette road.Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup sayas 23 year old Shana Outlaw was pronounced dead at 6:40  Thursday morning at Carle Foundation Hospital. No autopsy will be performed, Northrup said.Illinois State Police Master Sgt. Mark Holley said Ms. Outlaw was headed south in the right lane of U.S. 45 just south of Leverett Road when her car developed a mechanical problem and she stopped and got out. About 5:50 a.m., a pickup truck driven by a 30-year-old man from East Lynn whose name was not released struck her car.


ELGIN – Governor Bruce Rauner and Faber-Castell Cosmetics announced the company’s first North American manufacturing facility in Illinois. The German company has leased a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Elgin that will be dedicated to producing cosmetic pencils for the North American market. The $9 million project will create 50 full-time jobs. The announcement comes after the Governor visited with the company in Stein, Germany in late spring.


CULLMAN, Ala. (AP) — Two inmates who escaped from an Alabama jail have been captured in Illinois.The Cullman County sheriff's office told news outlets that Justin Eugene Curington and John Patrick Parsons escaped Wednesday while assigned to pick up trash in Cullman.Details on where they were caught in Illinois were not immediately available.Deputies said the men will be returned to Cullman. 



(Paxton--ab)  -- The Paxton Swine and Dine is tomorrow in the city of Paxton. Paxton Area Chamber or Commerce Spokesperson Ashley Tolleys says there is events on Saturday for the whole family...



Paxton Chamber of Commerce Spokesperson Ashley Tolley



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



(Paxton--jc)  -- Summer is still here, but the autumn leaf raking process will begin soon. In Paxton, City leaders looked at options from a leaf vacuum to using local city workers to help with leaf removal in the fall. Due to high costs of any proposal, property owners in Paxton will have to get rid of leaves on their own. The City council in Paxton voted in July to ban burning leaves within city limits.


(Washington--ba)  -- Agriculture Secretary still hopeful for a new farm bill before the old one expires, but many issues stand in the way. Gary Crawford reports...




SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A federal appeals court has upheld Illinois' campaign contribution limits.The 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that the limits set in a 2009 law do not violate First Amendment free-speech rights . Illinois Liberty PAC filed a lawsuit in 2012. It challenged the campaign-finance limits imposed following scandals involving now-imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.Illinois Liberty PAC argued limits on individuals' contributions shouldn't be lower than those for corporations or unions. It complained that political parties and "legislative caucuses" formed by lawmakers may make unlimited contributions and that all limits are off when a self-funded candidate chips in enough.



(Paxton--ab)  -- The Paxton Swine and Dine is this Saturday. Paxton Chamber of Commerce Spokesperson  Ashley Tolley says the event starts early and pit passes are available...


Paxton Chamber of Commerce Spokesperson Ashley Tolley.


(Springfield--jc)  -- The state board of education is exploring ways to address the teacher shortage in the state. State Schools Superintendent Tony Smith says it starts with money problems as 90 percent of teaching vacancies last year were in struggling districts…



State Schools Superintendent Tony Smith

The state is in need of bilingual and special education teachers.


(Springfield--jc)  -A former member of the commission that oversees allegations of state lawmaker wrongdoing, and the state’s Auditor General, say an employee of the Legislative Inspector General dropped the ball on key issues.A report from Auditor General Frank Mautino published Thursday of the Legislative Inspector General’s office for fiscal years 2013-2016 found required financial, property and personnel reports were either not filed or filed late.Former commission member and former state Sen. Karen McConnaughay, R-St. Charles, who served on the commission from early 2015 until she retired from office this summer, said the commission needs to be held accountable to that.



(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner said  Thursday that the two-and-a-half year budget impasse was a fight for reforms. His opponents have called it a failure.While touting success like school funding reform, school choice expansion and criminal justice reforms, Rauner said he’s learned a lot in his first term. The governor says changes in state government are difficult.

As harvest season approaches, many people will be out traveling that aren’t familiar with rural areas. Ford County Sheriff Mark Doran has some advice for driving on rural roads.

Ford County Sheriff Mark Doran

(Paxton--jc)  A local author is hosting a book signing at tomorrows Swine and Dine in Paxton. Tabitha Eichelberger of Paxton is the author of the book, “Diary of a Lonely Prom Queen.” The book signing takes place from 10am until noon  at Hudson Drug and Hallmark in downtown Paxton.

(Loda-jc)-The Roger Schunke kicking cancer benefit ride  and the 2nd annual Ron Harness Memorial ride takes place on Sunday. Sign up is at 10-30 Sunday morning at the Rantoul V F W. The ride starts at noon  and ends at Murdocks in Loda around 3-30. Donation is 20 dollars per person and 30 dollars per couple . Live music, good food and a silent auction hilite the event at Murdock’s on Sunday



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