URBANA, Ill. (AP) — One of four Illinois men charged with conspiracy to interfere with commerce by threats and violence has pleaded guilty to the charges. Ellis Mack of Clarence also pleaded guilty Tuesday to unlawful possession of a machine gun before U..S. Magistrate Judge Eric Long in Urbana. Long set the 18-year-old Mack's sentencing for Jan. 9 before U.S. District Court Judge Sara Darrow. As part of his plea agreement, Mack agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in their cases against the other alleged members of the Patriot Freedom Fighters, Michael Hari, Michael McWhorter and Joe Morris. Prosecutors allege the four conspired to rob or attempt to rob Walmart stores, and attempted to extort Canadian National Railway by threatening to damage tracks if the railroad didn't pay ransom. The 47-year-old Hari, 29-year-old McWhorter and 23-year-old Morris are charged in Minnesota with the August 2017 bombing of the Dar al Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington. No one was injured.


URBANA, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois campus senate is backing a Native American tribe's stance that the school's longtime Chief Illiniwek mascot is a degrading racial stereotype.The Academic Senate approved a resolution in a near-unanimous vote this week supporting the Peoria Tribe of Oklahoma's statement against any use of the chief as a symbol or mascot.University officials dropped the portrayal in 2007, but professor Jay Rosenstein says  that the tribe's statement calling it a harmful stereotype is important. Resolution sponsors said the Peoria tribe is the only one recognized by the federal government that includes descendants of the Illinois Indians who once lived in the Urbana-Champaign area.

A recent university report suggested adopting a new sports mascot. Chancellor Robert Jones told the senate that Chief Illiniwek won't return.


(Thawville--ab) Harvest in the Onarga, Thawville and Gilman areas was going quickly, until the rain over the past several days. Thawville farmer John Hildebrand says the crops are what was expected...



Thawville area farmer John Hildebrand


(Springfield--ab) This is National Child Passenger Safety Week and Secretary of State Jesse White is reminding families about a new car seat law taking effect in January. The law requires kids to be in a rear-facing car seat up until the age of two. After that, they need to be in a seat recommended for their size and weight…up until they are eight years old says Secretary White.


Secretary of State Jesse White

White says many car seats are not installed properly. Many hospitals, local state offices and police and fire stations hold car seat safety checks for parents.


CHICAGO (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a Chinese citizen in Chicago has been arrested for allegedly spying, including by helping recruit U.S. engineers, defense contractors and scientists for intelligence services in China. Twenty-seven-year-old Ji Chaoqun has been charged with one count of knowingly acting in the U.S. as an agent of a foreign government without prior notification of the attorney general. He's accused of working at the direction of intelligence officials with the People's Republic of China.


(Bloomington--jc)  -- Frontier is now flying again at the Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington. The airline started new flights to Denver this week and coming in early October, Frontier will have non-stop flights to Orlando Florida.  10 AM flights on Tuesdays Thursday and Sundays to Orlando. Central Illinois Regional Airport continues to have nonstop flights to Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and more.


MARKHAM, Ill. (AP) — A man previously barred from a mayoral post in suburban Chicago has been sworn in as a result of Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner's intervention on his behalf.Roger Agpawa was the top vote-getter in Markham's 2017 mayoral race. However, an Illinois appeals court ruled in April he wasn't eligible to hold the position because of a felony conviction. Agpawa pleaded guilty in 1999 to federal mail fraud charges and was ordered to pay restitution.

After Agpawa's swearing in Tuesday, his attorney, Burt Odelson, said a certificate from Rauner, dated Sept. 14, restored Agpawa's rights of citizenship and made him eligible to hold elected office. The governor's office Tuesday confirmed the filing of the certificate with the Illinois Secretary of State's office.


BLOOMINGTON — A Bloomington man involved in a five-hour standoff with Bloomington police was in court Tuesday  to face weapons charges. 31 year old Cody Powell barricaded himself in his home and son around noon on Sunday. He refused to surrender until just after 5pm on Sunday. Powell was charged today with possession of a firearm with a revoked firearm owners identification card and illegal possession of ammunition without a FOID card.  He bond was set at just over 10 thousand dollars.



(Rantoul--jc)  It’s Dancing through the Decades for the Rantoul Township High School homecoming.Today is Cross color day and it’s Throwback Thursday. Friday is spirit day for the Eagles. This year’s homecoming parade is set for 4pm on Friday. The king and queen will be crowned at the high school around 2-50 Friday afternoon.. The homecoming football game kicks off at 7 with the dance on Saturday evening..



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



CHICAGO (AP) — The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago has settled a lawsuit filed by a man who alleges he was abused when he was a boy by a priest. The man's attorney said Tuesday the archdiocese agreed to pay $2.9 million to the alleged victim of disgraced former priest Daniel McCormack. The man, who is in his 20s, claims McCormack abused him twice when he attended St. Agatha's Catholic Church. Out of deference to the victim, the archdiocese declined to comment on the settlement.


(Washington--jc)  -- Soybean conditions are better this year than last. The crop progress is also ahead of the five year average. Stephanie Ho reports…




SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The building that once housed President Abraham Lincoln's law office in Springfield will soon be opened as a tourist welcome center.

The first floor of the Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices historic site will open next month as an extension of the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau .Major work to replace the floors and painting are complete, says Bureau Tourism Manager Jeff Berg. The renovations cost around 100 thousand dollars.


EUREKA, Ill. (AP) — State wildlife crews have poisoned a central Illinois lake as part of a plan to kill off the carp that have overrun it and restock it with game fish. Illinois Department of Natural Resources biologists on Monday spread a compound toxic to fish around the 30-acre Eureka Lake near Peoria. Carp multiplied rapidly after most of the lake's game fish died during a harsh winter in 2013.


(Springfield--jc)  -- A new proposal cracks down on motorists who drive recklessly through work zones. The legislation comes from State Senator Tom Cullerton of Villa Park and the Illinois Tollway. It slaps a one thousand dollar fine on anyone intentionally  entering or cutting through a work zones says Tollway Executive Director Liz Gorman…



Tollway Executive Director Liz Gorman

The measure also raises the fine for striking a highway worker from 10 thousand to 25 thousand dollars. To date, 14 people have died in work zone crashes in the state.



(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is renewing his call to reinstate the death penalty in certain cases. The Chicago Police Department retired the badge of fallen commander Paul Bauer yesterday and praised Governor Rauner’s bravery on the issue. Governor Rauner also urged lawmakers to bring back capital punishment for those who kill police officers…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner

Bauer was shot and killed in February of this year by a four-time convicted felon during a car chase in Chicago. The state abolished the death penalty in 20-11.



(Paxton--jc)  Want to learn more about 4-H? Those with the Paxton area Walltown 4-H club are hosting a backyard bonfire on Saturday. The event is set for the Loschen farm in rural Paxton. Games, a hotdog dinner, s’mores also hi-lite the event. Information about joining the Walltown 4-H club will also be available.


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