(Springfield--jc)  --  The new session of the Illinois Legislature is underway with the largest percentage of Democratic lawmakers serving in Springfield in more than five decades.Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton and GOP House leader Jim Durkin and Senate leader Bill Brady all were re-elected Wednesday to their leadership posts.Outgoing Governor Bruce Rauner presided over the Senate swearing-in. He leaves office Monday, when Democratic Gov.-elect J.B. Pritkzer will be inaugurated.Democrats now have a 74-44 House majority and a 40-19 majority in the Senate. That's the largest percentage of Democrats since 1964.


MANTENO, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs says it's taking action after a case of Legionnaires' disease was confirmed at a home for veterans.The department says it was alerted early Tuesday by hospital medical staff that a resident of the Manteno Veterans' Home had tested positive for the flu-like illness.IDVA Director Stephen Curda says he directed staff to notify all residents or their next of kin or power of attorneys. The department also is activating a water safety response plan, which includes testing the water and checking residents' vital signs more often.Thirteen residents died and dozens of others were sickened after a 2015 outbreak of Legionnaires' disease at the veterans' home in Quincy. Gov. Bruce Rauner faced heavy criticism for not immediately alerting residents or the public.



(St Joseph--jc)  A car crash blocked the east bound lanes of Interstate 74 early Wednesday morning . Police say that traffic was re-routed around the accident scene just east of St Joseph from 4-30am to around 7am.



(Springfield--jc)  -- If you received unemployment benefits in 20-18, keep an eye out for your tax forms.Unemployment recipients have to pay taxes on their benefits and need the 10-99-G form in order to file. State Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Bob Gough says if you requested an electronic copy, it should be in your email…


State Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Bob Gough.

The State paid more than 1 point 73 Billion dollars in unemployment benefits to more than 346 thousand people last year.



(Gibson City--jc)  -- Notice is hereby given that a public hearing will be held by the City of Gibson City Planning Commission on Monday, February 11, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. at the Villas of Hollybrook Dining Room located at 1400 N Melvin Street, Gibson City, Illinois. The hearing is a continuation of the January 7, 2019 meeting and will involve the discussion of changes to the City of Gibson Zoning Ordinances for residential and commercial districts as they relate to wind and solar power energy.



There will be no shortage of milk for hungry families in Illinois – in fact, there may be too much. Food banks across Illinois are facing a unique challenge. They have just a few months to hand out over 315,000 gallons of milk.The United States Department of Agriculture is donating the milk because it wasn't sold due to the tariff tit-for-tat. The U-S-D-A donations have started to arrive and  will keep coming through March.



(Chicago--jc)  -- Continued population loss means Illinois will have to say goodbye to one at least one of its 18 congressional representatives after the 2020 Census. Election Data Services recently released its annual projections of which states will gain and lose U.S. Representatives at the next turn of the decade. The projections show Illinois’ 18th Representative will almost certainly be removed and given to another state, said Kimball Brace with Election Data Services.Other states projected to lose seats include Alabama, California, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, and West Virginia, according to EDS. New York is projected to lose two representatives.

A new Illinois legislative session got underway Wednesday with Democrats firmly in control but both parties pledging to turn the page on years of budget stalemates, government dysfunction and name-calling.Democrat Michael Madigan, already the longest-serving state House speaker in U.S. history, was easily elected to his 19th term. Other leaders — Senate President John Cullerton and GOP leaders Rep. Jim Durkin and Sen. Bill Brady — also were re-elected.It was Madigan who was the target of most of Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's attacks during a years-long state budget impasse


Ashkum, IL. – Illinois State Police District 21 Commander, Captain Don Aaron Harsy, announced activity and enforcement figures for December 2018. Illinois State Police District 21 Troopers issued 572 citations, 801 written warnings, including 13 DUIs, 23 seatbelt citations, 31 criminal arrests. Troopers also assisted 128 motorists, conducted 108 Motor Carrier Inspections, and investigated 85 traffic crashes. There was one fatal crash investigated by District 21 in December.



(Gibson City--jc)  – Gibson Area Hospital Baby Central welcomed Harper Ann Hills as the first baby of 2019.  Harper Ann arrived January 7, 2019, at 2:20 p.m. weighing 6 pounds, 15 ounces and measuring 20 inches long. Harper Ann was welcomed into the world by her parents Jaymee Smith and Danny Hills from Hoopeston and joins two siblings at home. Harper Ann was delivered by M-D Doug Lanoue.



(Rantoul--jc)  -- Rantoul Village leaders will look to approve several micro loans for local businesses. On the 15th, the Rantoul village board will take official action on a 10 thousand dollar loan and 10 thousand dollar facade grant for A House of Flowers and a 30 thousand dollar micro-loan for Elite Pro. The village board regular monthly meeting comes to order on Tuesday at 6pm


(Gibson City--jc)  Republicans find themselves in a similar position in state government, in the minority to the democratic party. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City was sworn into the 101st General Assembly on Wednesday. Bennett says his hope is the majority party will work for all Illinoisans…



106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.


(Ford County--jc)  Do you want to be a member of the Illinois Sheriff’s Association? One local county is pushing for new members. Ford County Sheriff Mark Doran says association dues notices were sent out this month and the group is looking for new members. Individuals can join the Illinois Sheriff’s Association for 20 dollars. The dues for businesses is 50 dollars. The mission statement of the group is to continue to make communities in Illinois safer places to live and work.


(Springfield--jc)  -- One bill passed on Wednesday morning before the new assembly was sown in at the state capitol will let the governor appoint new members to the Illinois Tollway board.  The second measure is to raise the salaries of nearly 50 department heads. Senate President John Cullerton says spending an additional 700 thousand dollars plus extra benefits is good for Illinois…



State of Illinois Senate President Democrat John Cullerton.

The measure will be one of the first for newly elected Illinois Governor J B Pritzker. He will be inaugurated on Monday in Springfield.


(Loda--jc)  -- On Southern Iroquois County town is hosting a family gospel group at one of its local churches on Sunday January 20th The Dysart Family Gospel Group is set to perform at the Loda United Methodist Church. Refreshments will be served and a free will offering be collected. The Dysarts are a mom and dad group that performs with their 5 children.



(Champaign--jc ) Champaign Police are investigating a car crash into a local business this morning. Police say the driver of a car crashed into the Manzellas restaurant along First street in Champaign earlier this morning. Police are on the scene at this hour. WPXN news will update this story as more official information is given.



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