SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for parts of central and southern Illinois with as many as 7 inches of snow forecast.Weather service officials say the snow is expected to begin late Friday in central and southern Illinois developing from a winter storm system in the southwestern U.S. Snow is expected to continue into Saturday, sometimes mixed with rain. The heaviest amounts are expected to be between 5 and 7 inches west and southwest of Springfield to Shelbyville to Olney. Slippery road conditions are expected. No weather watches or warning were in effect for Illinois north of Bloomington. But weather service forecasters say from Ford and Iroquois County to northern Illinois can expect between 1 and 3 inches of snow late Friday and into the weekend.


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Residents who live with daily pain or who have difficulty completing simple to more complex day-to-day activities can get help from a free clinic at Parkland College starting Tuesday January 29th. The Learning Information for Everyday or Life Clinic, offered by the Parkland College Occupational Therapy Assistant program, offers simple strategies to conserve energy or can recommend or construct an assistive device to help residents navigate their activities better.  The LIFE Clinic will offer services Tuesdays, 9 to 11 a.m., from Jan. 29 through March 19. For more information or to seek assistance through the clinic, please call O-T-A Program Director Michelle Roberts at  217-353-2782.


(Springfield--ab) As Governor Bruce Rauner’s term comes to a close…he’s talking about his future plans. Spending time with friends and family is first on the governor’s to-do list when he leaves office. He says he will also return to the private sector, building businesses and backing entrepreneurs…



Rauner says the best part of being governor has been meeting people all over Illinois. The worst part was not getting done all he hoped to accomplish.



(Springfield--ab) The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is urging the public to get ready for this weekend’s cold and snow. IEMA spokesperson Rebecca Clark says now is a good time to make sure your home is winterized to prevent frozen pipes…and that you have an emergency kit on hand with things like water, a first aid kit and spare batteries.



Clark says Illinois averages about five winter storms each season. Parts of central and southwestern Illinois are forecasted to possibly get several inches of snow.



(Farmer City--jc)  -- A State trooper who was fatally injured in an accident near Farmer City in June of 2017 will be honored by his high school on Saturday. State Trooper Ryan Albin was killed in an accident while on duty. The Blue Ridge School District along with State Police will honor his memory by retiring his high school jersey at the Blue Ridge Knights game on Saturday. The J-V game starts at 5-30 Saturday afternoon and organizers invite classmates, family and friends to wear jerseys and come to honor the memory of Albin.



(Springfield--ab)More reaction coming from state legislators as the 101st General Assembly was sworn in this week.  State Representative Chris Welch of Westchester says priorities include down the state’s backlog of bills and addressing pension payments and a new income tax system…



State Representative Chris Welch of Westchester


(Piatt County--jc)  A Social Security scam has appeared again in the local area.Officials in Piatt County and Farmer City say local residents have received a phone call from someone posing as a Social Security representative. Police say the number that pops up seems to be legitimate but it is not. Police remind the public, to not give out personal information. Any questions about this or any suspected scam may be made to your local police department.


SPRINGFIELD – First Lady Diana Rauner announced Thursday that the Illinois Governor’s Mansion received a LEED Silver designation from the U.S. Green Building Council. The designation, which follows a full $15 million privately-funded renovation, addresses multiple categories related to sustainability, including energy efficiency, green cleaning, and air quality. Mrs Rauner says the LEED Silver certification is an accomplishment of which the entire state can be proud.


(Paxton--ab)This is  Radon Awareness month.  Christy Wallace with the Ford County Public Health department says Radon presents many dangers to the public...



Christy Wallace with the Ford County Public Health department



(Watseka--jc)   Iroquois County Treasurer Kurt Albers has announced that Mobile Home privilege tax bills will be sent out the first week of March. Those with address changes or mobile homes that have been destroyed are asked to call the  Iroquois County Treasurer’s Office at 815-432-6985.


(Illinois--ba) 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington heads back to Springfield as a member of the minority party. The Republican says with the super majority of Democrats in the State Senate, his commitment continues to be those living in East Central Illinois...



53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman



(Paxton--ab) The City of Paxton Streetscape program is taking some positive steps.  Paxton will be getting a minor facelift in upcoming months as part of a cityscape project. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold says he has been in contact with people to get the project started.



Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold



(Ford County--jc)  -- A large swine operation is being proposed for a rural area in western Ford County. The Ford County board is hosting a meeting on Thursday January 17th at the Sullivant Township Hall in Sibley beginning at 5pm. The purpose of the meeting is to get public input about the proposed swine operation. The meeting will be ran by the Illinois Department of Agriculture.



(Bradley--ba)-A credit union in Bradley is warning residents and businesses about fake currency floating around the area that looks strikingly real except for a couple key tipoffs that show the paper is prop money used in movies after a rash of similar incidents throughout the state. WPXN’s Braedon Arnett has the story.




SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed legislation giving the Illinois Department of Corrections authority to sell the closed Hardin County Work Camp to Hardin County for $1. The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports the move will let officials move forward with plans to reopen the Cave in Rock facility as a multi-county jail.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois officials have accepted a more than $10 million bid from a contractor to repair the deteriorating Illinois State Fair Coliseum. The State Journal-Register reports that Springfield-based R.D. Lawrence Construction Co. was awarded the contract Friday. The company hopes to begin construction in the coming weeks. A large focus of the renovation will be on the roof.


During Wednesday’s inauguration of the 101st Illinois General Assembly…lawmakers provided a glimpse of some of their priorities for the new year. While some talked about the need for a progressive income tax system and fighting crime…House Minority Leader Jim Durkin touched on the increasing number of people leaving Illinois.



Durkin says it’s time to work together to address the issues. Lawmakers also face more than seven billion dollars in unpaid state bills and a massive pension burden.



One local community’s school is having their monthly school board meeting. Rantoul public schools has their meeting on January 14th. Beyond reading various reports they will have items such as a. Track Team Trip Proposal b. Appoint Superintendent to Prepare FY20 Budget c. Approval of additional English Learner Teaching Position for 2019-2020 School Year.



(Fithian--jc)  Republicans find themselves in a similar position in state government, in the minority to the democratic party. 101st District State Representative Mike Marron of Fithian was sworn into the 101st General Assembly on Wednesday. Marron talks about working for the benefit of his constituents  in the local area…


101st District State Representative Mike Marron of Fithian



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