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WPXN Blog

 

(Chicago--jc)  -- Attorney General Lisa Madigan joined a bipartisan coalition of 16 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in a lawsuit challenging states’ ability to regulate student loan servicers and protect student loan borrowers from abuse. Madigan and the other attorneys general filed the amicus brief in the lawsuit filed by the Student Loan Servicing Alliance against the District of Columbia to prevent the enforcement of a D.C. law that regulates student loan servicers, which are the companies that process loan payments. The lawsuit asserts that D.C.’s law is preempted by federal law. The amicus brief explains that the U.S. Department of Education has abdicated its role in regulating student loan servicers and has recently turned a blind eye to servicer misconduct, resulting in widespread abuses of vulnerable borrowers. The coalition’s brief also explains that preventing states from regulating loan servicers would lead to dramatically more loan servicer misconduct and more harm to borrowers.

 

 

CHAMPAIGN — Parkland College's Precision Agriculture program has been named No. 2 among the nation's community colleges by PrecisionAg.com.

Earlier in the year, PrecisionAg.com released its Top 25 Colleges in the U.S. for Precision Agriculture, which comprised four-year institutions; it released its Top 20 Two-Year Colleges list in early September, with Parkland's program ranking second on the list.Parkland College offers the most comprehensive Precision Agriculture associate’s degree in the state of Illinois.

 

(Paxton--ab) Harvest is rolling on and be prepared for mixed results ays Ludlow Coop Market Analyst Paul Seaman

 

 

Ludlow Coop Market Analyst Paul Seaman

 

 

( Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois is below the middle of the pack when it comes to state business tax climate and a nonpartisan group says if the state were to change its flat income tax to a progressive one, it’s ranking would go down even further.The nonpartisan Tax Foundation’s 2019 State Business Tax Climate Index puts Illinois at No. 36. That’s down from last year’s ranking of No. 33. Among Illinois’ neighbors, only Iowa had a lower overall rank of 45.Tax Foundation's Nicole Kaeding said Illinois is ranked 13th for its flat income tax, but its high property tax (No. 45), corporate tax (No. 39) and unemployment insurance tax (No. 42) brings the state down for the overall index.

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- Apex Clean Energy is a company that is proposing an extension of the Ford Ridge Wind Farm in the Gibson City and Sibley areas of the county. At issue is setbacks for the windmills. Several county committees have held public comment meetings. The next one in the process is on Wednesday night, 7pm, at the courthouse in Paxton. That meeting is for the Ford County Zoning Board of Appeals.  Apex Clean Energy is looking to work with the county on setbacks and other issues, while some opposition comes with a proposed 22 hundred 50 feet in setbacks on rural properties. Apex officials have said that if the longer setbacks are approved, it would hamper windmill expansion in Ford County. The full Ford County Board could take up the issue when then meet on October 8th.

 

(Lake Iroquois--jc)  -- One local church is hosting a bake sale and garage sale this Friday and Saturday to benefit a local Christian High School. Those with Immanuel Lutheran Church in Loda is participating  with the Lake Iroquois

Garage sales on Friday and Saturday. The money raised goes to Christ Lutheran’s student education fun and St Louis Seminary student fund. The sale take place at the Alan and Nancy Johnson home at Lake Iroquois.

 

 

(Washington--jc)  -- The U.S. and Japan have agreed to begin trade negotiations. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — An official at Southern Illinois University says a student accused earlier this month of belonging to a white supremacist neo-Nazi groups is no longer enrolled in the school. Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Lori Stettler tells The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan that as of Wednesday the male student was no longer enrolled at the Carbondale campus but said that the students' rights to privacy prevented her from identifying the student or elaborating on the reasons for his departure.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — The board of directors of Feeding America announced this week that Claire Babineaux-Fontenot has been named CEO. Babineaux-Fontenot has held leadership positions at Walmart, the law firm of Adams and Reese, and in government offices. Feeding America describes itself as the nation's largest organization battling hunger. Its network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries provide 4 billion meals to people facing hunger in the U.S. each year.

 

 

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

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- In an effort to reduce interest payments, Governor Bruce Rauner signed SB 28-58 into law, allowing Illinois to invest funding from other sectors to generate interest monies.The new law could save the state up to 100 million dollars a year in interest payments. State Treasurer Michael Frerichs says now,  if the state has a bill that is more than 90 days late, they start paying 1 percent interest per month, or 12 percent annually. The state has the ability to borrow money at a much cheaper rate.

 

 

(Washington--jc)  --The Republican-supported legislation that would make last winter’s tax cuts permanent has passed the House but its future in the Senate is uncertain.Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis’ bill removes the 2025 expiration of the lower tax rates enacted into law in December. It passed the House Friday with a couple Democrats breaking with their party and supporting it. Davis later said the passage is a great step forward for providing certainty in the tax code and is hopeful that the Senate will move on it soon.

 

 

(Undated--jc)  -- The Centers for Disease Control this week released some sobering statistics about last year's flu season, but the numbers may not account for the people who got sick in Illinois.The CDC said 80,000 people in the U.S. died from the flu last year. Almost a million more got sick. Illinois' flu toll is just a fraction of that, but we don't know the total number.The Illinois Department of Public Health's Melaney Arnold said that's because the state doesn't track adult deaths.

 

 

(Ford County--jc)  -- Several fire departments are helping put out a shed fire in rural Ford County this morning.  Officials say the fire is at a farm west of Loda and Route 115. No word on how the blaze started. Fire Departments from Roberts, Melvin, Elliott and Gibson City responded to the blaze. WPXN news will update this story as more information becomes available

 

 

(Urbana--jc)  -- The next move in a tax-exemption hearing is in the hands of lawyers for Champaign based Carle Foundation Hospital of Urbana. A judge on Friday told lawyers for the local hospital, they have until October 19 to file positions on their interpretation of the Illinois State Supreme Court decision in late September. At stake is the amount of tax owed by the hospital group. More is also expected by November when the issue comes back to the court system

 

 

(Chicago--jc)  -- Illinois has been warned by federal authorities that the state has significantly over-issued federal food assistance to individuals who didn't qualify and may face a large fine as a result. A letter issuing the warning was sent from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to the Illinois Department of Human Services. USDA officials found that Illinois has a number of problems with its issuance of federal food assistance to a “significant portion of the SNAP caseload” and the issue may be what they called “systemic.”  The feds say the state ignored reporting requirements for a number of cases, even suspending the requirements for all households due to report in January and February. As as result, the USDA found that Illinois issued food stamps to a significant number of people from November through February, even though they didn't qualify under federal law.


 

(Springfield--jc)  -- With harvest continuing, it’s that time of year when farmers and motorists need to share the road. There are typically more than 275 crashes with farm equipment each year in Illinois. University of Illinois Extension Safety specialists Bob Aherin says farmers must do their part...

 

 

U of I Extension Safety Specialist Bob Aherin

Aherin says the motoring public needs to do their part to by slowing down, giving big farm equipment plenty of room and also to know that farm machinery will be on local and area roads through harvest.

 

 

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — An official at Southern Illinois University says a student accused earlier this month of belonging to a white supremacist neo-Nazi groups is no longer enrolled in the school. Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Lori Stettler tells The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan that as of Wednesday the male student was no longer enrolled at the Carbondale campus but said that the students' rights to privacy prevented her from identifying the student or elaborating on the reasons for his departure.

 

DANVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Authorities say two students at an eastern Illinois high school face criminal charges after a firework was set off inside the school, prompting a lockdown of all classrooms.Police say the loud explosion happened Wednesday morning inside Danville High School.Danville Public Safety Director Larry Thomason says that two male students were each charged with possession of an explosive and reckless conduct and were being detained at the county's juvenile detention center. No one was hurt in the incident

 

WHEATON, Ill. (AP) — DuPage County's health department says an elderly person has died of West Nile virus _ the first human death of the virus in the county in four years. The Chicago Tribune reports that the person who died became ill in early September.

 

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