NEW LENOX — Gov. Bruce Rauner joined Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn and local officials Wednesday to announce the start of a $47 million project to rebuild the Interstate 80-U.S. 30 interchange. The new interchange will provide congestion relief, improve safety and enhance traffic flow in a critical freight and jobs corridor for the state. The Illinois Department of Transportation project will extend a third lane in each direction on I-80 from approximately Interstate 355 through the U.S. 30 interchange. The bridges carrying I-80 over U.S. 30, Metra’s Rock Island District Line and Hickory Creek will be rebuilt.


(Pesotum--ab) The Champaign county Sheriff's office has some information for the public headed to the Luke Bryan Farm tour show on Friday in Pesotum. No Buses or motorhomes will be allowed to park in the parking lot. All vehicles left overnight will be towed away. In The concert venue Chairs and Blankets are allowed in the designated areas, No coolers will be allowed, No backpacks will be allowed, No outside food or drink will be allowed on the premises, No fireworks or weapon of any kind, No Animals other than service animals, No video cameras or professional camera lenses, No re-entry allowed, No Glass containers allowed, and tickets must be presented for access to the parking lots.


CHICAGO (AP) — Following years of reformulating at McDonald's, most of the burgers it serves in the U.S. are now preservative-free. As of Wednesday, the world's largest burger chain says classics like the Big Mac and Quarter Pounder with Cheese are preservative-free, with reformulated buns and sauces. Pickles on the sandwiches still contain artificial preservatives, but customers can request sandwiches without pickles. McDonald's has been gradually removing preservatives from its menu for several years in an effort to appeal to more health-conscious buyers. In 2016, it removed high-fructose corn syrup from its buns and took artificial preservatives out of its Chicken McNuggets.



(Springfield--jc)  -- Several car seat safety checks are being held around the state this weekend. It’s estimated four out of five car seats are installed incorrectly says Illinois Department of Transportation spokesperson Jessi Hopkins…


Illinois Department of Transportation spokesperson Jessi Hopkins.

Visit  Buckle-up-Illinois-Dot-Org to find a car seat safety check near you.



(Gibson City--ab) Due to Gibson City police officers helping with Gibson City- Melvin Sibley homecoming events, the Gibson City Police Department Range will not be open today.



CHICAGO – State Representative. Bob Rita will bring together two House committees for legislative hearings aimed at bringing gaming expansion and broad economic opportunity to Illinois. Rita, a Democrat from Blue Island, has been the House Democrats’ point person on gaming issues since spring 2013. He has proposed several bills on gaming expansion, including a large amendment to Senate Bill 7 that combined new casinos, race tracks and slot machines. The issue did not receive enough support by the end of the Spring legislative session that ended in May. The next  committee meeting on the issue is set for Wednesday, Oct. 17th at the Capitol in Springfield.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Three women in Illinois government who are studying sexual harassment and gender equity say a solution would be to elect women to half of all political offices in the state. The Illinois Anti-Harassment, Equality and Access Panel issued a report Wednesday recommending measures for political parties to combat sexual harassment and make politics fairer for women.


(Thomasboro--jc)  -- State police say a Rantoul resident was injured in a two vehicle accident along Route 45 near Thomasboro Wednesday afternoon. Two Rantoul residents were injured and taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Police say driver one was attempting to cross Route 45 and was struck by the second vehicle going south. Driver one was not injured, but was cited for failure to yield at a stop sign.


(Urbana--jc)  -- Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is set to help a research lab at the University of Illinois this afternoon. The governor will help with the ribbon cutting on the new Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory at 3pm. University of Illinois Chancellor Robert Jones and U of I President Tim Killeen along with local State Senator Chapin Rose are also expected to attend the event.



(Kankakee--jc)  In a release to media, Kankakee Meg agents say an arrest was made late Tuesday night on a Kankakee man on an unlawful use of a weapon by a felon charge. Arrested in the incident was 22 year old Emil France. France was taken to the Jerome Combs Detention Center.



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



(Springfield--jc)  This weekend is the last opportunity for Illinoisans to avoid paying sales taxes while shopping online, even though the practice has technically been illegal for years. Tucked away in one of Illinois’ 2019 budget bills was a requirement that out of state businesses selling Illinoisans goods will have to tack a 6.25 percent sales tax on to purchases starting Monday. Sellers with a physical presence in Illinois, like Amazon, have been doing this for years, but this year’s Supreme Court case South Dakota v. Wayfair says online purchases are subject to the destination’s state tax even if there’s no building within state lines according to  Carol Portman of the Taxpayers Federation of Illinois.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Rural areas and small towns in Illinois are seeing expanded Medicaid coverage. Mary Ann Schuermann reports…




(Paxton--jc)  -- One from Paxton and another from Buckley. One was a Mustang and the other a Rocket. Two former students in the Paxton-Buckley Loda School system are set to be inducted into the P-B-L Hall of Fame later today.  Carmen Gronewold grew up in Buckley as was a 1975 graduate of Buckley-Loda High school. Gronewold has devoted her life to Christian based work. Organizations like Hosana National Team and Rainbow of Promise work with the Lutheran Church with various Christian ministries. Since 1996, Gronewold has been serving as the North America associate director for Peace Rehabilitation Center.

Tom Meents graduated Paxton High School in 1985. Meents played on the Paxton Mustangs football team that finished runner up in the state in 1984. Meents got involved with the Monster Truck series and has been one of the most successful drivers in the series. Tom has won 6 world championships and 5 free style championships during his career with the Monster Truck series. His career started in 1993. Gronewold had prior commitments and will not be attending this weekend’s festivities. Meents is set to address the high school this afternoon and will participate in tonight’s 6 pm Homecoming parade.


CHICAGO (AP) — Uber has agreed to pay $148 million and take steps to tighten data security after the ride-hailing company failed for a year to notify drivers that hackers had stolen their personal information, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced Wednesday. Uber Technologies Inc. and all 50 states and the District of Columbia reached the settlement after a massive data breach in 2016 that went unreported for a year.


(Washington--jc)  - Producers in parts of the nation’s midsection could see a frost and freeze event. Gary Crawford has the details…



(Gibson City--jc)  -- Gibson City Rotary Club says it’s ‘time to play.’ The local Ford County service group has completed work at North Park in Gibson City. The club is inviting the community to a celebration event on Sunday October 7th from 1 til 3pm. In addition to the park toys, the event also features ice cream popcorn, water, face painting and barrel train rides for the little ones.



(Rantoul--jc)  Rantoul Chamber officials are looking at another space for the chamber office. The Rantoul area Chamber of  Commerce has been located in the downtown area of the village for a couple of years, before that the chamber had an office in the Rantoul Business Center. The former Matthews Building was also a location for the local chamber. Chamber leaders are just seeking options as it looks at the best position for the local chamber to serve all its members.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Watch your mailbox, Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerich’s office is sending out 12 million dollars worth of checks to some Illinois taxpayers. The money has been sitting as unclaimed property. The money belongs to thousands of Illinoisans. Treasurer Frerichs says that’s why they launched the money match program…



Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs.


(Paxton--jc)  -- One local Thrift shop has its semi-annual bag sale going on now through Saturday at noon. The Paxton Thrift Shop has a 75 cent per bag offer today. Saturday is listed as a surprise. The Paxton Thrift Shop is open from 10am until 4pm Wednesday through Friday and Saturday from 10am until noon.



(Champaign--jc)  -- The month of September has seen warmer than normal temperatures. State Climatologist Jim Angel says its not a recording setting month, but warmer than normal…



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



(Rantoul--jc)  Paxton Buckley Loda and Gibson City Melvin Sibley schools are celebrating homecoming events this week. At Rantoul Township High School the annual homecoming parade takes place at 4 on Friday afternoon. The 2018 Homecoming King and Queen will be crowned at an assembly just before 3 on Friday. The Rantoul F F A is hosting a tailgate party and the Rantoul Eagle football team host I-V-C on Friday night. The Rantoul High School cafetorium is the setting for the homecoming dance on Saturday night.


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