NEW ORLEANS (AP) — McDonald's workers are staging protests in several cities in what organizers called the first multistate strike seeking to combat sexual harassment in the workplace. The protesters are demanding that McDonald's require anti-harassment training for managers and employees. The fast food chain declined to comment on the protests, saying it stood by a statement issued last week defending its anti-harassment policies.


WAUKEGAN, Ill. (AP) — A former Marine under a death sentence for killing a sailor in Virginia has pleaded guilty to fatally attacking two young girls in a suburban Chicago park in 2005. Thirty-year-old Jorge Torrez was sentenced Tuesday to 100 years in prison for killing 8-year-old Laura Hobbs and 9-year-old Krystal Tobias in Zion. Torrez was sentenced to death in 2014 for killing Navy Petty Officer Amanda Snell of Las Vegas.


(Springfield--ab)  -- This is National Farm Safety and Health Week.As harvest season begins, the Illinois Department of Agriculture is Highlighting some of the dangers associated with the industry. that includes being careful on rural roads says Spokesperson Denise Albert.



Spokesperson Denise Albert

Albert says farmers also need to take care of themselves as they work long days during harvest…and make sure kids know to be safe around large equipment.


(Cissna Park--ab) -  The Cissna Park FFA chapter is hosting their annual Pumpkins in the Park on September 22nd. Cissna Park Ag Advisor Jeff Clifton says there is events for people of all ages.



Cissna Park Ag Advisor Jeff Clifton**



(Paxton--jc)  -- The Ford County Public Health Department released the 2018 flu clinic schedule. A total of 15 Walk-In Flu Clinics are scheduled in Ford County beginning next week and lasting through October. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  and the Illinois Department of Public Health are strongly advising vaccinations for everyone 6 months of age and older. It is requested that those attending a clinic wear a shirt or blouse that provides easy access to the vaccination site.The first flu clinic is Monday September 24th from 9 til 11am at. Piper City Rehab & Living Center in Piper City



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois appellate court has upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit filed to stop a law that'll expand Medicaid and state-employee group health insurance to cover abortions. A three-judge panel of the Fourth District Appellate Court ruled unanimously that a Sangamon County judge correctly dismissed the lawsuit filed by anti-abortion groups. The judge ruled in January that courts shouldn't intervene in General Assembly "political questions." The Catholic Thomas More Society appealed the decision, saying lawmakers passed the measure too late in 2017 for it to take effect Jan. 1 and didn't appropriate funding. Republican state Rep. Peter Breen of Lombard was a lead attorney representing the pro-life organizations. He said the case will be appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court.


(Washington--jc)  -- USDA's latest crop report indicates a potentially huge U.S. corn crop on the way. Stephanie Ho reports…



(Watseka--jc)  -- A national test of the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System  originally scheduled for 20th September 2018 has been postponed to October Third. The Federal Emergency Management Agencies website has the official information on the scheduled test.


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



(Undated--jc)  --The CEO of Sears says among the financial problems the Illinois-based company is grappling with is long-term pension obligations.A think tank says it should be a wakeup call for governments to move away from offering defined-benefit plans to employees. Sears CEO Eddie Lampert said in a blog post that the changing retail landscape, with an increasing number of online shoppers, is a major issue, but he also said the company’s pension payments add to the problems. Lampert said in the last five years, Sears has contributed almost 2 billion dollars to pensions. Lambert added that if the company had been able to employ those billions of dollars in its operations, Sears would have been in a better position to compete with other large retail companies. Most of those do not offer large pensions Sears plans to close 78 stores across the country this month. Sears has already closed around 500 stores including those in Champaign and Bloomington, locally


(Springfield--ab)  -- This is national farm safety and health week,there are a lot of safety issues when it comes to farming says state Department of Agriculture spokesperson Denise Albert. That includes handling stress, farm equipment on rural roads and tractor safety.



the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s Facebook page will cover various safety topics and offer tips all week long.


(McLean County--jc)  -- A budget deficit for McLean County and cutting positions is in the past for the McLean County board. Last year McLean County officials cut jobs and reduced services. This year the McLean County Board voted to bring some county jobs back to the county. McLean County officials also want to add a county motor fuel tax to help with local road projects and more.




SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois State Fair lost nearly 210 thousand dollars on its Grandstand concerts in Springfield last month after seeing record ticket sales a year ago. Figures released by fair officials show it took a big hit over country star Thomas Rhett's weather-canceled show. The State Journal Register reports  the fair would have lost only 75 thousand on the nine scheduled concerts if Rhett could have performed. Five concerts didn't break even. Concerts headlined by alternative rock band 311 and metal band Halestorm each lost about 110 thousand dollars Three concerts were in the black, led by 132 thousand dollar profit for a country show featuring Luke Combs. Fair spokeswoman Morgan Booth says the grandstand had an extraordinary 2017 with nearly a quarter-million dollars in profit. Booth says the fair aims for a diverse concert lineup each year.



PITTSBURGH (AP) — A scientist who warned about the environmental threat of microbeads is one of six people being honored with $250,000 cash awards from the Pittsburgh-based Heinz Family Foundation. The annual Heinz Awards recognize achievement in the arts, public policy, the economy and other areas. Among the winners is SUNY Fredonia researcher Sherri Mason, who found that billions of tiny plastic microbeads were being released into the nation's waterways each day. Another winner is one from Illinois.  The winner from Urbana is environmental psychologist Ming Kuo.



(Washington--ab) USDA meteorologist, Mark Brusberg, has the latest on both the winter and spring wheat crops.



U-S-D-A Meteorologist Mark Brusber

(GIbson City-jc)  -- The Ford County Relay for Life event raised thousands of dollars for the American Cancer Society this past August. One team from Ford County continues to host events to raise more money. The Chic Meredith Ford County Relay for Life team is hosting a Euchre party on Friday night at the Moyer library in Gibson City.  The event starts at 6-30 and money raised goes to the Ford County Relay for Life.



(Buckley--jc)  Want to help raise money for a local Christian based high school? Then eat fish, or chicken.  Christ Lutheran High school is hosting a fish and chicken fry on Friday night at the Buckley American Legion. Donation is 10 dollars for adults and on the menu is fish, chicken, german and regular potato salad, cole slaw, baked beans and lemonade. All proceeds benefit Christ Lutheran High School in Buckley.



(Fisher--jc)  One local high school is celebrating its homecoming festivities this week. The annual homecoming parade in Fisher is set for tonight at 6-30. A pep rally follows tonight’s parade. A dance is set for Saturday night. The Fisher Bunnies. The Fisher Bunnies football team is 4 and Oh on the season and receiving votes in the latest I-H-S-A polls released on Tuesday

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